A few years ago I wrote a questionnaire for models asking about their work and their lives. It was research for my book, Being a Model (BAM). I planned to contact a few models I followed on Instagram and ask if I could interview them. I did end up messaging them but they didn't respond. Not surprised. My message probably got lost in the sea of messages they regularly got. If you are a writer I encourage you to be bold in your research methods.
For BAM, I wanted a realistic depiction of an emerging model in the modeling industry. I had my own ideas of what a model did, but I didn't want my ideas. I wanted real life or as close to real life as I could get within the confines of the plot. Here's my questionnaire and below it is background info for my character Aunt Marceline from my book, A Grave of Dead Roses:
Questions for Model Interviews
What was a typical day for you when you first started modeling?
What was it about modeling or fashion that made you want to become a model?
Did you have support from family and friends?
What is your living situation?
Have you heard of model apartments?
Is it true that models receive payment months after the fact?
How long is a photo shoot for you?
What type of jobs do you do?
How many do you get in a day or a week?
Have you ever considered freelance modeling?
What are some misconceptions about being a model?
For photo shoots, do you have changing rooms or do you change in front of others? Is it uncomfortable?
What goes through your mind when posing?
How did you find your style of posing?
Some models end up having to get a 2nd job because of the inconsistency of modeling jobs plus (something about payment) Have you run into that? If you get paid from Youtube, does it alleviate some of that pressure?
How realistic is it for a new model to work in a runway show for a very high-end fashion designer?
Have there been any questions about your ethnicity or background during auditions?
How did you gain confidence in front of the camera?
Have you received any negative comments about our weight or body shape?
If so, was it from photographers, or your agency?
What fun things do you do in your spare time?
For the setting, I have used Google Earth and Google images to look up cities and countries I had never visited. The setting has to be realistic. Imagine reading a book that takes place in a metropolitan city but it's described as farmland. I hope to travel to the places in my book just to make sure the setting is accurate. We as writers must bring the environment to life and paint a colorful picture in black letters.
I will rave about poetry until the day I die.
Welcome back lovely people. Today I will talk a little about my upcoming poetry book. I won't spoil the name of it, but its acronym is T.G.C. I did not intend to make this compilation at the onset. I wrote one of the poems around 2016, another in 2019, and the rest within the past year. I realized I had a theme going in a few of my poems and decided to keep going with it. I love poetry.
The theme for my poetry book surrounds glass, namely mirrors and gems to represent false hope and new beginnings. I write about falling for cracked mirrors to represent a cycle I found myself in continuously hoping for something I knew would never pan out when it came to relationships with people. When I say relationships I'm referring to friendships and familial relationships as well as romantic. There is a lot of confusion in TGC as I question my motives and my lack of self-awareness when I fall back into the cycle. The book is really a journey to healing - represented by gems - and getting to a place where I prioritize myself. Let me tell you, I do not often write about myself. A majority of my poems are fictional narratives, but in TGC, some of those poems are inspired from my real-life experiences. I am being vulnerable and raw about what goes on in my mind. I am confronting my incorrect patterns of thinking. Super nerve-racking but these poems are way too good to keep private. I know many people could benefit from reading TGC and enjoy the message.
The poems are graphic and gory. Lots of blood, wounds, and scars. Emotional pain can be just as bad as physical pain and I wanted to express those emotional wounds in a physical way. I find it easier to describe imagery in poetry than in fictional stories because the structural expectations are different. You can experiment more in poetry in my opinion. Maybe I forced a rigid structure upon myself that isn't necessary. Either way, I feel more free in poetry. I really surprised myself with the images and metaphors I came up with. The Resident Evil 8 video game inspired the imagery for one poem. I love how I can grab inspiration from anywhere and weave it into the narrative I am writing. It makes writing enjoyable and stimulating. Who knows what I'll say next!
I do plan on self-publishing T.G.C. because I have a specific idea of how it must look. I might add illustrations. I want more creative control on how it comes out. Plus, it's a project that is near and dear to my heart so I want to hold it close. I thought I was done with T.G.C. but I have an idea for another poem. The plan is to publish it in 2022, but I am not opposed to refining it and publishing it next year.
Thank you for reading about T.G.C.! I hope when it does come out you all will be interested in reading it. :)
*Photo by Tuva Mathilde Løland on Unsplash.com!
Welcome back to my blog. It's been awhile I know! But I am back so enjoy today's post about a conference I attended two weeks ago.
I heard about the Black Writers Weekend (BWW) through my best friend back in May or early June. It was a four day conference set in Atlanta, Georgia from August fourth to the seventh. BWW included workshops, panels, screenings, and networking. There were different types of creatives like literary writers, filmmakers, and podcasters! What a great start to an ending summer, just what I needed. So, why was this weekend significant?
Legal Career vs. Creative Career
I spent the past three years in law school working towards a Juris Doctor degree and finally graduated three and a half months ago - yay me! But that wasn't the end. The second week of May to July 26th was reserved for studying for the California bar exam. BWW came a week after I took the exam. Great, a chance to spend most of my time working on creative projects while I wait for results! Law school was a lovely challenge that didn't leave much room for developing my fictional stories. I want to create content for this blog, for my ASMR YouTube channel (fading sunlight asmr), and write my short story. It's exciting to devote my free time to creative expression and build my creative career. Writing is fun and expressive. I want to indulge in it as much as I can before I dive back into legal land. I have so much to say, it would be a crime to keep it all in. BWW was a mental reset to get my mind back into writer mode/creator mode.
Practical Advice vs. Motivation
During BWW I attended several sessions such as how to get a literary agent, creating social media content, access to Hollywood, and MORE. I gained practical advice and motivation through the speakers' inspirational words. Those two go hand in hand. Sometimes hearing the steps you need to complete something is not enough. You know what you gotta do, but where's the motivation? The sessions I attended that had speakers sharing their successes, failures, and insight were just as necessary as the speaker who taught us how to approach a literary agent. Imagine having a car with no key. Yes, you have a mode of transportation, but nothing to make it start. You can't drive anywhere if the car doesn't turn on. The car is the practical advice and the key is motivation. My mind is ever flowing with ideas. Sometimes I don't know how to bring them to fruition while other times I don't have the motivation to physically work on them. Sometimes it's fear! Following your dreams takes courage. What if I publish a book but people hate it?! What if someone gets offended by a line in my poem?! What if I get laughed at?! I think it is natural to have these thoughts, but I can't let them stop me from putting my work out there. I appreciate the speakers for being vulnerable and authentic and for taking the time to encourage us creatives. The conference renewed my creative spirit.
I hope you readers stick around to follow the content that is soon to come.
*Photo by Mika Baumeister on Unsplash!
Confidence is a mindset. These are five realizations to change the way you think and build confidence from within.
Have honest conversations about who you are as a person. Know yourself from the inside out. Understand your flaws and strengths, your likes and dislikes. Stop pretending to be someone you’re not and allow the true you to flourish. Find out what you want from this life, not what others or society wants from you. Be careful not to give in to the voice of fear. Don’t listen to the voice of self- doubt. You can’t do this, you’re not good enough, you don’t have enough skills, you’re not a good friend, blah blah blah. What is the truth? Counter those lies with true affirmations and behave like you believe it. Sit down in front of the mirror and have an honest conversation with yourself about every facet of your life. You lived this life, with all its ups and downs, all the joys, the secrets, the sorrows, the losses, the achievements. Your experience is unique to you. I don’t know your thoughts or your desires. I don’t know whether you would thrive better in cold environments or warm environments. I don’t know if you want the responsibility of being a parent or not. But you know. When you know who you are, other people’s opinions won’t waver your truth. Which brings me to the next part:
Stop believing others over yourself
People’s opinions are not the foundation for your life. Their validation is not necessary. You will run yourself into the ground trying to please others and believe everything they say. There are people who love to hate on you. They criticize the way you express yourself, they downplay your achievements, and they constantly discourage you. Do not believe them! Their words hurt. I know they do. The great thing is those nasty words are not the foundation for your life. You don’t need to internalize them! When someone calls you stupid (not in a joking manner) it may sting, but you will understand yourself enough to know you are intelligent. When someone says your artwork is ugly, and you have no talent, you won’t be fazed. The way you feel about it is above their opinion. Now, I’m aware friends, family members, or even teachers can know you well enough to speak about you, say what you’re good at and what you’re not good at. Sometimes parents know you better than you know yourself! That is why being honest with your reflection is important. You won’t need to depend on their perspective, you will have the right lenses on to see and assess yourself properly.
This includes being honest and believing the non-fear guided thoughts about yourself. Get to know your existence. Accept your flaws. Accept grace. Give yourself encouraging words and necessary pep talks. Denounce fear. Take care of your body, soul, and spirit. If possible, remove yourself from unhealthy situations and unhealthy attachments. Seek help when you need. Carrying all those burdens will break you down.
“Carry each other's burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.” Galatians 6:2
Life is Temporary
Tomorrow is not guaranteed, neither is next year or the next fifty years. How do you want to spend the days of this existence? Life is way too short to spend it trying to please others while disappointing your reflection. Life is too short to not believe in yourself and use the gifts and passions God gave you. No one wants to look back and feel the pain of regret for not making certain life choices.
Bonus: God loves you!
Can anything ever separate us from Christ’s love? Does it mean he no longer loves us if we have trouble or calamity, or are persecuted, or hungry, or destitute, or in danger, or threatened with death? Romans 8:35
And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. Romans 8: 38
Bible verses from biblegateway.com
Photo by Michael Dziedzic on Unsplash
Be confident in your journey.
People have a version of you in their heads. When you try to be someone apart from that version it can be difficult and cause tension. People in your lives sometimes feel uncomfortable when you decide to go outside of your comfort zone. That could be:
1. studying something different in school
2. breaking friendships or romantic relationships
3. quitting your job
4. setting boundaries.
When they see growth or change that is outside of what they are used to seeing they may discourage you. They may think you are incapable of achieving those goals. Sometimes it's because you are holding a mirror to their face and showing them their flaws and all the growth that they need to do. Some are not ready to face that truth.
Being confident in yourself includes being confident in your abilities and being confident in your growth.
You must take risks in life to move forward because not everything is known to you. You don’t know the future. A choice may seem daunting, but that does not mean you should run away from it. Apply to that job. What if that is where you are supposed to be? You are stopping yourself from excelling because you are afraid of what exactly? Afraid of failure? What if you succeed? You have to be aware that God has established a path for you, and he will not lead you astray. Do not be anyone but yourself. Not your parents’ version of you, not your friends’ version of you, and definitely not society’s version of you.
Go find your purpose and live confidently in it.
*Photo by John Towner on Unsplash.com.
Hello everyone! Today's post is all about my book, World War III: Human or Foe. I'm going to share a summary, characters, my inspiration for this, and the writing process. This book has gone through storyline transformations and three title changes to go with each one. It's a science fiction novel with a possible completed word count of 80,000 words.
Summary: Two CIA agents, a former Canadian Securities Director, Three tech experts, a historian, a management consultant, and the President's daughter. In the year 2110, what do they all have in common? This group of unlikely individuals is in a mission to save Exceptionals, humans with special abilities being hunted by people in their respective countries who either want to weaponize or destroy them. It has caused an uproar in almost every country, something close to a civil war inwardly, and a world war III as countries come against each other. The venture does not come without its challenges as each person must face a different kind of danger then they were expecting to face. Despite the turmoil, they find family amongst strangers.
There are two options for the book cover. Feel free to comment which one is your favorite!
This is an old story I started in high school and never finished. I read a lot of science fiction back then, and it inspired me to write a sci-fi story. I don't know how I came up with the plot though. There is whole outline for this story which makes it easier to write because I know where to go next... literally. The characters are travelling to multiple countries. I've had to research how long it takes to fly to one country to another, and how countries detect aircrafts, and army ranks. It's a wild story about superhumans needing saving instead of saving others. I'm writing it in third person omniscient and it's the first time I'm using this POV. This way, the reader can get a taste of multiple characters at the same time. My goal is to complete a first draft by the end of 2020. I can do it!
Here are my characters in the order they appear in the book:
Dominic Atwater is 25 years old. Dominic is a pretty quiet and usually tries to stay neutral on hot topics. He's a historian that knows Latin and studies other cultures in his spare time. His role in this group is to be the translator and to be as invisible as possible. He has a hard time making friends due to his long isolation which built up his social anxiety.
Sienna Michaels is 26 years old. Sienna is a leader. She is proactive, intelligent, and adores her family. In her spare time she enjoys exercising, especially running. Her parents and brother are all fighting overseas and every since college she has been protesting on behalf of the exceptionals. She has a big heart for those disadvantaged and overlooked in society.
Shannon "Shane" Ingram is 20 years old. Her mother died from a disease when she was four and her father is a Colonel in the U.S. Army. She loves running and has been to several survival camps. Shane never went to regular school, but instead a military boarding school her dad taught in sometimes. Shane acts as a scout for her father when searching for exceptionals in the U.S.
Bethany Francine Blair is 17 years old. She is an only child of the President and First Lady. Bethany loves shopping, movies, and ice cream. Since she was little, she wanted to become a nurse or veterinarian. People see her as an airhead (which she kind of is) but sometimes she exaggerates it. She can't expose her parents' secret.
Julia Styles is 37 years old. Julia is an artist. She loves to sketch just about anything. She went to an art school in Paris, France at age 16. She received a scholarship to attend the conservatory which was great since her parents were not rich. She has two younger brothers, Charles, and Louis. Yes, they are twins named after kings. Julia does not mind that her name is not royal. She hates monarchs. Julia loved art, but she also loved kickboxing and staying up to date with politics. She dreamed of growing up to be a kickboxing, art enthusiast, political official. She was fierce and went against anyone head all. Julia joined the CIA to make a difference and protect her fellow citizens. Julia knows it's a privilege to help policymakers make decisions on the US national security.
Donovan Miles is 39 years old. Donovan worked with Julia at the CIA. He's a mystery. Grew up with his grandparents that didn't care much about him, enlisted in the military to have a sense of purpose in his life, then ended up with the CIA. Now he's helping Julia look for Andrei. Donovan is an arrogant, ill-tempered man with little compassion for others.
Maya and Simeon: These twin siblings are 22 years old. They work for Donovan and Julia. They are great with technology and always up to date. Their parents are inventors and learned all of technological advancements from them. Maya is the more outspoken one while Simeon is reserved. Maya always has a smile on her face. She is optimistic, quick on her feet, and intuitive. Simeon is a thinker, more pessimistic, but always ready for a challenge.
Shawn Taylor is 45 years old. He is the former Director of the Canadian Security Intelligence Service. He met Andrei during his employment. Shawn has no family and created security in his work. He built up a name and a reputation for himself. He is compassionate with a kind smile.
Alec Rios is 20 years old. He is an excellent hacker employed by Andrei to do some work for him. Alec is very much removed from society and into the computer world, specifically the dark web. Though, much of his work is for positive use. He loves to eat, spend time with his family, and watch movies.
President Jeffrey Blair is in his second term has President of the United States. He has found himself part of Andrei's team while injured. He feels personally responsible for the trauma that come upon the world. Him and his wife sought out a scientist to produce a child, Bethany. President Blair loves Bethany and would give his life for her.
Doctor Anahi Mendez works at a local clinic in Montero, Bolivia. She is the ex-wife of Andrei. Dr. Mendez is courageous and passionate about her work in medicine. It takes up most of her time and she has no gripe about that. Dr. Mendez has been pulled into the team almost unwillingly, but soon agrees to help fight for the exceptionals.
Andrei Nicolae Cretu is 36 years old. His birthday is July 6th 2074. He was born and raised in Romania as an only child and came to the U.S. at age 18. He has a bachelor’s in International relations and a minor in economics. He became interested in journalism after interning at a newspaper place his aunt worked at. He loved the idea of traveling and writing stories about different countries. His parents were both teachers of history and economy. They instilled him the love of politics. He became a travel writer, focusing more on government and economy. He also used photography to help to create scenes during civil wars, poverty, or protests. He started in the U.S., then branched to various places. He was a U.S. diplomat for Romanian for a while. When WW3 began, he covered it in his journalism work. It wasn’t too bad at first. As it heated up he decided to work for the CIA. That is when he met Julia. At first, he had the notion that the US was harboring a dangerous secret and was the enemy, so he began spying on them. Then he started working with the Romanian government. Then he started to piece things together.
Zola Nkweli is the leader of the South African sector for the organization saving exceptionals on behalf of the Safeguard. She is a woman well grounded in culture, headstrong, and lives up to her name which means "Be calm". Zola has a caring and fierce nature about her. She can lead an entire army of soldiers if she so pleased.
Sad news: I had many plans this summer and now they’re foiled.
Good news: New ideas have come to light and I’m excited.
Alright gang, there has been a change of plans. Amusement parks are closed, beaches are closed, music festivals are rescheduled, and people are losing their jobs. What do we do now? What is there to do? It’s okay to feel disappointed about events rescheduling or being prohibited from going outside. It’s okay to miss the “normal days” while also understanding why it’s important to not go out unless it’s essential. Don’t be discouraged. In my last post I suggested some new things to try during quarantine. Today’s post is explaining how I am dealing with the new changes.
Focusing on editing and outlining for Our Father
I have plans to finish editing my story and then redoing the story by outlining. I started this story many years ago and never wrote an outline. I was what the writing community calls a “pantser”. I wrote without fully knowing what was going to happen next. There’s a vague idea of a plot with certain scenes that need to occur.
I’m going to keep working on my World War three book. This one has an outline, so I know the direction it needs to go in. It has fight scenes, futuristic technology, and ultimately tells a story of a group of strangers bonding over a global war.
More blog content!
Super excited to push out more posts for everyone and share my thoughts. It’s been almost two years since I created Disorderly-Thoughts and in July I am going to do a reflection post about my experience. Stay tuned for my Law School reflection as well, didn’t forget about that one.
Yes, an ASMR (Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response) channel is in the works. People watch ASMR to relax, sleep, study, and calm down. I personally adore watching it on YouTube, and cannot wait to help others through my videos. More details coming soon.
All in all, staying creative as usual.
*Photo by Joe Szczepanska on Unsplash.com
They say home is where the heart is, but for some people home is not a place where they want to be at.
During this time when we are being ordered to stay home, it's hard for people who don't want to be “home”. It can be hectic, a negative environment, it can be loud, or boring. Not everyone is having a good time right now. Not only do we have to worry about a pandemic but there are people who are being enclosed with family members who create a negative environment for them. It could be an abusive situation or a situation where a person's mental health is not taken seriously. Somewhere a person is being ignored because they are the “black sheep” of their family. Some people enjoy being home and spending this time with their family because they couldn’t before due to work or other circumstances. This has given them an opportunity to spend time with their loved ones in the way that they wouldn't have before. How do you reconcile being in a place where you don't feel comfortable or safe? How do you reconcile being in a place where you do feel comfortable and safe but it's boring and starting to stress you out?
Let's start with the first scenario. There are hotlines for people to call if they are in an abusive situation or they need help. Reaching out to other family members who may be able to give support is an option. An online community that you trust is an option. It's not fair to feel trapped in the place where you're supposed to be safe. There is someone you can call whether it's a crisis hotline or a close friend. Find time by yourself when they're asleep or when they're busy and you can have some alone time. Remember you are strong and there is an out. I have never been in abusive situation, but I know there's so many resources to help people. You don't deserve to be treated in a negative fashion.
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255
National Domestic Violence Hotline: 1-800-799-7233
National Mental Health Association: 1-800-969-6642
For the second scenario. Try new things that you never had before with your family members. I know you probably heard this a million times. There are way too many things to do in life for you to run out of ideas. Every day one person in your family can decide what you guys are going to do. There must be experiences and ideas that you all have talked about and never done. Hopefully these are things that you can do inside the house and not outside!!
Here are some ideas:
-Try new recipes for meals
-Hold dance contests
-Read books that had been on your list
-Buy a bunch of board games
-Create comic books
-Paint with your kids,
-Learn how to sew.
-Clean your garage.
-Create a Youtube or Tik Tok account.
-Learn how to write poetry.
-Learn how to use editing software.
-Start a new exercise program.
-And so much more!
*Photo by Scott Webb on Unsplash.
Do you know what it means to write a book?
I didn’t when I first started taking writing seriously. I didn’t realize how grueling the process was, and how much detail and research went into writing. I saw writing as a light-hearted activity, not something that would cause me grief. Not something that would cause me to doubt my abilities. Maybe I’m not as good as I think I am. Crying over a lost flash drive. Stunned and disappointed over a crashed flash drive (this time I had some of it backed up). It takes up your time and energy, but it’s all worth it. Once that draft was complete, I felt relieved, a bit saddened, but more importantly, proud of my effort. I was proud of the characters I created and developed. I was proud of the storyline that began as a small idea into a full-blown plot. I was proud of my ability to carry out a project and see it through. The process is rewarding. You go through hours or days of research, editing, fashioning chapters together, and adding in little details that make the story sound realistic if it’s fictional.
You’re not always going to have inspiration. You’re not always going to have the motivation to write thousands of words. Some days you may barely get out a few hundred. Don't let the grueling part of this process scare you. Have confidence in yourself.
What excites other people to want to write a book? Is it to tell a story? Share their insight? Maybe try something new? I hope anyone who wants to write book sets lots of realistic goals, enjoys the journey, and keeps a support system around them! If you have any questions about writing, please email me, comment, or DM me.
Photo by Rashtravardhan Kataria on Unsplash
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