Ode to the Selfie

This poem made me smile. I love collaborations.

These are the poets of this beautiful piece.


Photographing Different Body Shapes

As soon as I sent my book to editing, I realized something was missing… an updated author photo.  I began scrambling to find a photographer to take  updated and professional photos.  One problem, I hate pictures… Let’s be real, I hate the way I look.  I am in this space where I’m learning to accept and love myself unconditionally.  I’m heavy. I’ve always been heavy.  Even when I work out, I get tighter not smaller.  (Except this one time when I starved myself) So the idea of seeing myself in photos, not fitting the slim standard of beauty is always discouraging.

I decided just because I’m heavy I don’t have to take unflattering shots. I was grateful to find this tutorial on how to pose.  I also plan to look up how to layer clothing. Thought I’d share.


Here- Alessia Cara

I’m sorry if I seem uninterested
Oh I’m not listenin’, oh I’m indifferent
Truly I ain’t got no business here
But since my friends are here, I just came to kick it
But really I would rather be at home all by myself
Not in this room with people who don’t even care about my well being
I don’t dance, don’t ask, I don’t need a boyfriend
So you can, go back, please enjoy your party
I’ll be here, somewhere in the corner
Under clouds of marijuana with this boy who’s hollerin’
And I can hardly hear
Over this music I don’t listen to
And I don’t wanna get with you
So tell my friends that I’ll be over here

Oh oh oh here, oh oh oh here
Oh oh oh I asked myself, what am I doin’ here?
Oh oh oh here, oh oh oh here
And I can’t wait ’til we can break up out of here

Excuse me if I seem a little unimpressed with this
An antisocial pessimist, but usually I don’t mess with this
And I know you mean only the best and your
Intentions aren’t to bother me, but honestly I’d rather be
Somewhere with my people, we can kick it and just listen to
Some music with a message, (Like we usually do)
And we’ll discuss our big dreams, how we plan, to take over the planet
So pardon my manners, I hope you’ll understand that I’ll be here (Ooh)
Not there in the kitchen
With the girl who’s always gossipin’ about her friends
Oh tell them I’ll be here
(Ooh) right next to the boy who’s throwin’ up
‘Cause he can’t take what’s in his cup no more
Oh God why am I here?

Oh oh oh here, oh oh oh here
Oh oh oh I asked myself, what am I doin’ here?
Oh oh oh here, oh oh oh here
And I can’t wait ’til we can break up out of here

Hours later congregatin’ next to the refrigerator
Some girl’s talkin’ ’bout a hater, she ain’t got none
How did it ever come to this? I should’ve never come to this
So holla at me, I’ll be in the car when you’re done
I’m stand-offish, don’t want what you’re offerin’
And I’m done talkin’, awfully sad it had to be that way
So tell my people when they’re ready that I’m ready
And I’m standin’ by the TV with my beanie low
Yo I’ll be over here

Oh oh oh here, oh oh oh here
Oh oh oh I asked myself, what am I doin’ here?
Oh oh oh here, oh oh oh here
And I can’t wait ’til we can break up out of here (Oh oh, oh oh)

Response to not receiving my artist grant 11/14/2015


i don’t want to dream
too big
too big
cause i don’t want to fall
so far
so far

i just want to dream
a little bit
a little bit
and take
one step forward
never looking back
never looking back.

I’d already started to plan for how I would distribute money over my projects. I was going to pay for health insurance for a year.  My job reviews how many hours we work for health insurance every six months.  So even if I were willing to take the financial hit to take time and write, I couldn’t keep my health insurance.  I’d like to just take the Affordable Health Insurance, so I’m not having to constantly stress about whether I’m getting and/or working enough hours.

I was going to take a couple weeks to tour with my poetry book.  I’d already started to discuss with another poet how we would book the tour, through bookstores, coffee shops, poetry groups and colleges.  Something told me to wait until I found out if I actually got the grant before I got too emotionally invested.

I was going to cut my hours at work so I could focus on producing more projects.  I think I could get three books out next year if I owned more of my time.  When I moved to St. Louis and was looking for a new job, I also completed a novel.  Editing and rewriting was consuming.  With minimal time obligations it took about six months.  Now I’m so tired some days, I don’t answer the phone or even open my laptop.

I planned to work part time and work full time on my projects.  Which meant spending entire days at the library.  Especially since this current project is also research intensive.

The long term goal was to produce enough work, that it would sustain me… And I could permanently work part time and create full time.

I had already started interviewing editors who specialize in dialect.  I want my work to always be improving.  I was going to actually have money to pay professional editors.  Not that I don’t love my friends and appreciate their feedback.  I just feel a few professional editors would be a great addition to the process.  Not to mention, I learned so much from the writer who edited my first book.

It would be awesome to get a budget for the video I’ve been trying to complete.  I have so many projects going at one time, so few financial resources and I’m dividing what little I have between them… sometimes it feels impossible.

I can still do all the things I want, but it’s a struggle. I make just enough to live… So, not getting this grant is not going to stop my work but it will delay it.  I’ll just have to go on payment plans with editors and cover producers.  It’s heartbreaking to say the least.

The Perfect Printer for a Starving Writer

Bulk InkI bought a printer about a year ago.  Because I’m a #writer and print a lot for #editing, I choose my printer based on the cost of ink.  Usually I price ink on Ebay, Amazon and at my local Target.  For this printer, I can replenish all the ink for about $6.  Which is awesome because if I bought the name brand ink it would be $38.38 before taxes, (I just priced it).

Still when I received the printer it was challenging setting it up. I was really disappointed because it didn’t have the functionality advertised.  I bought it online but didn’t hook it up until I needed to use it.  By then, I’d missed the window to return it.  It was so difficult getting it to print.

Eventually it printed Google Docs and anything online, but wouldn’t print directly from my PC. It also set itself up to print for anyone on the network, still not from actual PCs.  This Wifi access was something new, though not fully functioning.  The previous printer, which I had forever, only printed directly from one PC.  I’d had the previous printer since back when I used a desktop.

You only buy cartridges one time. Then you fill them as needed. The refill ink is inexpensive. You can get all the colors for $15. I can't tell how big the jug is and it doesn't list dimension online, but it's considerably cheaper than brand ink.

You only buy cartridges one time. Then you fill them as needed. The refill ink is inexpensive. You can get all the colors for $15. I can’t tell how big the jug is and it doesn’t list the volumes online, but I’m sure it’s considerably cheaper than brand ink.

refillable ink 2 refillable ink 3Recently I had to change the ink on my new printer.  As a result, it stopped printing.  I was so frustrated and I was kind of disappointed with myself all over again that I chose this printer.  I mean, I did all this research and still bought a problem.  I don’t have money to throw away so I’ve been finding ways to make it work.

Over the coarse of Googling methods to fix it, I found these How-to videos on Youtube.  Turns out different computers require different steps to set up printers on them, which are not all outlined in the printer manual.  In the process of fixing the ink issue, I finally connected the printer to the actual computer. I also found and explored all these other functions.   Now I can print not only from my PC, but my phone and remotely. It is pretty cool.

On the downside, every time I change the ink I can look forward to cleaning the header to make it accept the ink and print. The upside, the ink is far cheaper than standard.  Also you get what you pay for.  I bought this printer so that I could print the most at the best value.  So I will have to clean the headers as a normal step to changing the ink, every single time. Based on previous experience, there is usually some weirdness whenever you buy off brand ink. I’m just glad there is a solution to this problem.  I’m ok with having an extra step to save tons of money.

If you are someone big on the environment and recycling you can get this. You never have to change out the cartridges, you only have to pour more ink into the canisters. Also you you can visually monitor how much ink is in each one... and not have to rely on the printer system to keep you informed. Depending on how much you print this is ink for two years. The ink is also fairly inexpensive to refill it. If you are like me, you won't use that much colored ink.

If you are big on the environment and recycling you can get this. You never have to change out the cartridges, you only have to pour more ink into the canisters. Also you can visually monitor the ink and not rely on your printer’s system information. Depending on how much you print this is listed as two years of ink.  This ink is also fairly inexpensive to refill. If you are like me, you won’t use much colored ink.

Going forward, I will read reviews, specifically negative ones so I can fully comprehend what I’m buying.  The truth is, normally I would read reviews, but because I decided to buy this printer after seeing it in Target and pricing the ink I didn’t vet it the way I do, when I’m getting a product online.  I felt like I was making a great decision when I decided to buy it online because it was $50 more in the store.  I could tell by the stars, there were negative reviews, but I’ve had success with things online where other people had problems.  On top of that, I know you can’t please everyone.

Truthfully, there are more positive reviews than negative…  It’s almost at five stars.  However, I think the negative ones are more helpful and honest.  Some of the positive reviews after I actually read them seem more like marketing more than actual consumers.  While the negatives all seem to hi-light the same challenges.

Had I initially read the negative reviews, I would have started off with the cheap knock off ink, so the printer would NOT be programmed by the expensive branded half empty chipped ink included.  Until today, I didn’t know they put a programming chip on the initial ink cartridges to keep you from being able to use off brand cartridges.  After reading several reviews, I learned it’s this printer’s policy to make it difficult to use cheaper ink.  Which I also get, we’re capitalist.  Had I started off with the cheap off brand I may not have had to do all the steps it took to make it finally accept the new ink.  There are always positives in every negative.  Then again, I don’t’ know if I would have felt comfortable buying it.

I couldn’t decide if I should include the printer because people gave it really bad reviews, for good reason.  This printer requires a lot of time and patience.  If it were not for my commitment to the investment, I wouldn’t have resolved several of the initial challenges.  If I had tons of disposable income, I might have chucked it and payed $40 every single time I needed to get more ink, which by the way would be often.

Over all, I decided to write this post to share ink options and because it has been a long battle with this printer.  It’s only fair that I note, it’s usually challenging to use cheaper ink for all printers.  My last printer sometimes would not recognize the cheaper cartridges.  Which was fine, because I buy both ink and paper in bulk.  So I’d always have several cartridges on hand it would recognize. Because cheaper ink is like $1 per color, while the expensive name brand charges $24 per color unless you buy in bulk, which brings them down to about $18-20 per color.  I was ok if one didn’t work every now and then, I was still saving.  There were fewer steps in changing the ink with my previous printer, but it was also much older and very straight forward.  My laptop is older too, so I’m not sure if the connection issues are about the printer or my laptop.   Still, I am grateful it all finally worked out and I’m finally getting what I bargained for.