Tag Archives: writing

Representation Matters

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Although it’s just starting to feel like spring in Maryland, the spring equinox was about a week ago, meaning that spring is here. However, even more interestingly, it seems like March 20th was a universal trifecta of cosmic energy. In addition to welcoming in a new season, that day also had the pleasure of witnessing a solar eclipse and a super moon. I don’t know much about astronomy and the science behind these events, but that sounds pretty special if you ask me. Personally, my trust in cosmic energy and astrology is flaky. I’ll occasionally indulge in a horoscope reading and I proudly rep being a fiery Leo, but, on the whole, I don’t let any of it define me or my life.

On the other hand, a poet I follow on Twitter is better versed in that sense. She strongly believes in the effects of cosmic energy on our spirituality and she has a fairly deep knowledge of what these cosmic events mean. Through her, I learned that the energy being put out into the universe could be used as an opportunity for spiritual renewal. It could be said that it is the end of an era in a person’s life to make way for a new purpose to properly develop and grow. She explains that now is the time to state your intentions and, as the moon moves through its phases, your intentions will bloom, as well.

Again, I tend to only half believe in the power of the stars, simply because I don’t have a lot of experience with cosmic energy; however, I do believe in a power greater than all of us that may or may not use the cosmos as a tool, so, all in all, I was open to this possibility. More importantly, I was curious to see how, if at all, these events would affect my life and my spiritual course as a whole. My open-minded side was hoping for some kind of message from the universe, while the skeptic in me wasn’t allowing me to hold my breath.

So, on March 20th, my day went on as normal. Nothing particularly special happened until that night when I was taking a shower. Yes, the shower, the fountain of great ideas for every creative. So, being a writer, I was using my shower time as a time for reflection and thinking. I was thinking about my writing and which direction I should take. This was when the universe hit me with its gift. Representation matters.

Growing up, I don’t remember seeing any characters or celebrities who I could fully identify with. The closest thing I had was Scary Spice, but I definitely didn’t feel represented in books or shows. The vast majority of characters were white, while the few splashes of diversity I could see as a kid still only represented a minority of a minority. I couldn’t find any character that combined my physical features with my Afro-Latin roots. When it came to toys, Theresa, Barbie’s friend, was as good as it was going to get, but, I must admit, her brown, perfectly-tamed, wavy hair still made me feel out of place. But imagine. If it was hard enough for me to find a Hispanic representation that wasn’t from Central or South America, then imagine finding an accurate representation for each of my friends, who are even more diverse in their skin tones, hair types, and backgrounds. In other words, Susie Carmichael simply was never enough.

Unfortunately, fifteen years later and not too much has changed. DreamWorks is just now introducing the first black lead in a 3-D animated film and make-up lines have only recently expanded their products to include options for darker skin tones. There’s no doubt that this is a step in the right direction; however, it is also very clear that this movement could use some help, so that it can continue to foster positive change. This is where my intentions for the new moon come into play.

For me, representation matters, so, through my writing, I want to diversify the representations people are seeing. This means representing the minorities I identify with, the minorities around me, and the under-represented in general. I want to encourage character and perspective diversity, while also increasing options for those who feel under-represented. There is a spectrum between Theresa and Susie Carmichael that exists as a gap in media representation. With my writing, I hope to help lessen that gap because, simply put, representation matters.

But I do wonder, what else does the universe have in store?

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Yes, I Still Write

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Besides the Steeze app, which I previously told you all about, believe it or not, I’ve actually been spending a lot of time writing. I’ll admit I haven’t been writing a lot for MSauciana, but I have written a lot of things. I’ve mainly been preparing a collection of poetry for publishing.

I started off by sending a good chunk of poetry (150-200 poems) to family and friends to pick out their favorite poems. I gave them the ballpark of selecting their top 50 poems. I know what I like, but I don’t know what everyone else likes, so I wanted to get their feedback and see which writing styles of mine they like most individually. What better way to do that than by seeing what their favorite poems are?

But don’t feel forgotten because your opinions have been taken into account as well. I’ve been going back into my blog’s archives and making a note of how many interactions each poem I’ve posted has gotten. The poems with the highest amount of positive reactions will be considered your “favorites” and could be included in the collection I’m putting together. (For those of you who would like to help with this process, you can find all of the poems I’ve posted here. Feel free to ‘like’ whichever ones are your favorites, so I can take your opinion into account. If you’ve already liked it, but you want to make sure I know how much you enjoyed a specific poem, then a comment works just as well.)

So, yes, I’ve sent out poems to people and I’ve been going back and tallying your feedback, but I’ve also been spending A LOT of time writing new material. Why? There are a couple of reasons. First off, it wouldn’t be fair to present a book of poetry filled with poems you can read for free on my blog. There has to be something exclusive and special about the book that you can’t find anywhere else, especially on MSauciana. Because of that, a vast majority of what you see in the book will be never before seen and never published kind of poetry.

Second, I feel like my voice as a poet has evolved within the two plus years of MSauciana, so I need to create a good amount of material that reflects my new voice. With your help and life’s hand, I’ve been steered toward certain personal writing styles that I’m now exploring and developing. Although I love and respect my old work, I feel like my new work is even better, which is to be expected. No artist wants their work to be in the same place two years later. So that’s why I’ve been hoarding away so much of my new work. Just because I haven’t been posting as much as I used to on here doesn’t mean I’m not writing.

Aside from working on my poetry collection, I’ve also been submitting my work to organizations, awards, and competitions. I’m working on getting my writing out there and I’ve been trying to push myself, forcing myself out of my comfort zone. Thus far, I’ve been quite productive, so I’m going to use this momentum to stay focused and continue to progress. But, don’t worry because MSauciana is still very much in my plan.

Hello, 2014!

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It’s the first day of 2014 and I honestly have never been so excited to welcome a new year.  I believe that 2013 has been one of my best years to date, so I definitely want to see what the new year has to offer me.  2013 was undoubtedly a year of growth for me.  I finished whatever business I felt was holding me back from moving forward, helping me go on my own path to pursue my own passions.  I finished school, got rid of unhealthy relationships, and filtered out most of my negative thoughts from my mind. Now, it’s a new year and what most would perceive to be a new beginning, but I guess I see it more as a continuation.  It is a continuation of the progress that was made in 2013. 

From here, I only want to keep growing and improving as should everybody.  Who wants to start off the new year with no foundation and a completely clean slate?  It doesn’t make sense to erase what happened the year before.  If mistakes were made, you can turn them into lessons.  Lessons that can help make your new year better.  Don’t worry about regrets and what not.  Instead focus on what’s ahead while hanging on to all of the good things that happened to you.  2014 will only be as good as you make it.  Like I said before, 2013 was good to me, so I feel like I have  a lot of positive momentum on my side that I simply can’t let past me.  I’m going to take advantage of what I learned to make the new year even more successful.

With that being said, I want to thank you all for always showing your support by reading my posts everyday throughout the past two years.  I know I haven’t been posting every single day like before, but I’ve been dedicating more time to other projects that have been on the back burner for way too long.  Don’t think I’ve forgotten about you or that I don’t appreciate you because, when I say 2013 was good to me you all are included in that statement as well.  My blog continues to grow everyday and it’s only possible because you all are willing to hear me out.  I will definitely continue blogging away on here, but I’ll also be focusing on my works in progress.  When the time is right, I hope you’ll all continue to support me by checking out my new work.

For now, I wish you all a happy start to 2014.  Make it a good one!

NaNoWriMo is Back!

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Today marks the first day of November, which means that it is also the start of National Novel Writing Month.  It’s a month where writers are encouraged to meet their own goals and deadlines to finish their personal projects.  I’ve done this twice before and I must say I was pretty good with reaching my goals.  However, I’m all about improvement, growth, and progress, so I will definitely be raising the bar for myself during NaNoWriMo 2013.  I have started to put together my first collection of sorts, but I do have other projects underway that need some TLC, not to mention the notes in my phone full of untouched ideas.  So, this month, my goal is to finish at least one of my bigger projects and get some other projects started.  My number goal is 40,000.  Yeah, it sounds like a lot, but it is doable if I dedicate myself.  I hope you all have put some thought into your goals for the month and I wish you the best of luck!

600 & Going Strong!

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It’s crazy to think that 600 posts ago I was starting this very blog and making my first post public.  I was nervous about what kind of reception I would get and I was anxious about committing to something.  I had been writing for a long time before starting MSauciana.  I had been writing for years, but this blog was the first time that I was putting my words out there for others to openly read.  Prior to having this blog I only wrote for myself or for assignments.  I never entered competitions and I never performed in front of others, but this blog pushed me toward letting readers actually read my work.  It pushed me a little closer to where I need to be and I am so grateful for that.  However, I am more grateful for you, the reader.  You come to my blog and read what I have to say.  In your own ways, you support my craft and you encourage me to keep going.  I would’ve never found without this blog and without you all who pay attention to it.

I can proudly say that, in many ways, I’m not the same person who started this blog 600 posts ago.  Of course I’m not completely different, but I am more aware of who I am both as a writer and as a person.  Before I knew I wanted to write, but I wasn’t sure what I would write about, what style I would develop, and what my point would be.  Now, 600 posts and a lot of personal writing later, I can’t say I’m 100% sure of what’s next, but I definitely am narrowing in on what it is.  Thank you for helping me along the way and I hope that, through my writing, I can make all of your support worthwhile.

4 More Days…

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There are only four more days left in April, which means there are only four more days left in the National Poetry Writing Month Challenge.  Although I won’t be posting all of my poems that I’ve written in April, I’ve been working hard on my challenge and am on track to getting my 30 poems.  I hope all of you are closer to your writing goals of the month and, hopefully, we’ll all end April with 30 more poems under our belts.  Happy writing!

The National Poetry Writing Month Challenge

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For those of you who don’t know, April is National Poetry Writing Month where everyone is encouraged to try their hand at a little poetry.  During National Novel Writing Month in November writers are challenged to write 50,000 words, the average length of a novel, but, in April, people are challenged to write 30 poems, one for every day of the month.  I began writing poetry when I was about ten or eleven years old and, although I drifted away from it for a little while to practice other forms of writing, I still love it dearly.  Within the last couple of years, my love and appreciation for poetry has once again begun to thrive, so I will definitely be taking on this challenge.  I’ll be sure to post some of my poems, as I usually do, and I’ll even try to post about some of my favorite poets, so I hope you enjoy what’s to come in the month of April.  I also hope that you all take this challenge with me.  Even if you don’t consider yourself a poet, I’ve always found poetry to be a nice outlet for expression.  You don’t have to show anybody what you write, but sometimes you just have to let your thoughts out.  So take the challenge and enjoy National Poetry Writing Month!