Sunday, May 20, 2012


Self publishing a novel is a nightmare.

I don't mean nightmare in the "crazy clown chasing you with a pick-axe" type of way. I mean nightmare in the deepest, darkest fears you have about your self-esteem coming to life.

Have you ever realized how perfect a book must be before you grab it off the shelf? Have you ever truly taken the time to appreciate the font of the words you read? The length of chapters? The number of grammar mistakes? I'm guessing not on that one since most have a grand total of ZERO mistakes. Or how about each sentence? Have you ever looked at each sentence and analyzed whether or not it is truly ready to be read by people everywhere, most of whom you've never met?

Needless to say, I'm wicked nervous.

I can honestly say I've never worked harder for anything in my life, but I've also never wanted anything more. I'm pretty sure I'm annoying everyone on my facebook page with endless updates about my writing life. Word counts, sentences, paragraphs, pages, chapters, character development... If I thought about it, I most likely put it on the facebook.

Maybe it is because I'm ostracized in Maine with no one I'd call a "good" friend. Maybe it is because I just crave attention and need the satisfaction of knowing people I haven't talked to since high school are aware of the daily happenings of my brain. I wish I could explain to you what exactly it is that I love about posting to facebook, but I can't.

I'm just one of those girls.

I really think the reality of the fact I will soon, in almost a month, be a legit published author is really starting to freak me out. How will I get through this? I am only 20 years old, what if this book isn't good enough and it ruins any prospect of me getting a career in this field I love so much?

What if my characters suck?

What if my writing scares away every living soul to ever read a book?

What if I become the new person that people on reddit make fun of for being so stupid and lame? What if I become the joke?

Naturally, I am a neurotic, phobic, anxiety filled person. I try to hide it, so only the people I'm closest to know the reality of my situation. I'm afraid of anything that crawls, flies, or slithers. I'm afraid of confrontation. I'm afraid of failure. I'm afraid of disappointing anyone who believes in me. I'm afraid of being attacked in the parking lot. I'm, in general, just afraid of the world. Fear is not a fun place to be, and it sure as hell is not where I want to be for the rest of my life.

But this whole publishing process is making my naturally paranoid state even worse, and I honestly did not think it could get much worse.

Anytime I go to read a sentence I just want to delete it and start over, but I know that would be an awful idea, and I talk myself out of it.

Maybe this is part of the grand 'ol "writing process" people tell me about. This is the part where I think everything I do sucks butt. And I must say, I'm really not enjoying this stage.

I'm ready to move past this. I'm ready to go back to being the writer I know I can be. The writer who has some form of confidence in the characters she creates, in the world she believes in, in the dialogue she writes, and in the fictional universe she wishes she lived in.

When I get in these endless circles of self doubt I look to a few of my favorite writers: Joss Whedon, Stephen King, Wil Wheaton, Felicia Day, Jane Espenson, J.K. Rowling, Brian Michael Bendis, and so many others I could mention.

I remember that all of them started somewhere. That someone told them they couldn't do it, just as MANY have told me. That before they were the fantastic writers they are today that they were just a kid, just 20 years old wanting to make their dreams come true.

They were just like me.

I know that I can be that person. I can be the next Joss Whedon or Stephen King. Granted, those are some big shoes to fill, and I would no where near compare myself to their gloriousness. But just the idea, the hope, that one day I may have fans everywhere knowing my name, fictionalizing relationships with my characters, and clinging to every word I write literally thrills me to my core.

All of this hard work will be worth it, this I know.

For now, I shall go back to freaking out, editing the shit out of After Life, Inc. (which comes out June 22nd as an ebook... If all goes as planned) and hopefully will learn from my own words and keep on keeping on through this haze of self doubt and realize my full potential.

I write, therefore I am.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Rafael Swag-Master Casal.

If you have never heard of Rafael Casal I would not be surprised. I am, however, quite sad for you.

Rafael Casal is a slam poet turned hip hop mastermind.

He has yet to release a single song that I would not put on repeat for hours on end and not get sick of. His skills are superb. His lyrics speak the truth.

You can tell by the heart and soul he puts into his music that he truly believes and loves the art of manipulating words into a sick rhyme and applying some seriously powerful beats to accentuate the lyrics.

I first fell in love with Rafael through a friend who introduced me. I didn't think much of him, just another hip hop artist that was decent enough. My friend made the mistake of leaving the CD in my car after I dropped her off one day.

Let's just say it didn't leave that crappy stock stereo for months.

I wore the thing out. Half the songs skipped because of sheer over use of the disc. But I refused to stop playing it. I knew every word and felt a real connection to this artist, even though I couldn't have described anything about him to you. I couldn't even name the songs because it was just a CD in the player. One thing I did know, was that I was listening to someone truly amazing.

Soon enough I decided to do some light youtubing to find out more about this Rafael Casal fella, and how he was so awesome. What did this man look like? How did he come up with this music? How is he not mega popular and extremely wide known?

I felt everyone already knew him and I was late to the game. Turns out I was relatively early to the party for the first time.

I discovered his poetry, in particular what he is most widely known for performing, "Barbie and Ken 101."

It is no secret that I am a huge fan of slam poetry. I love to write, I love to perform, and I love to watch and experience so many different people pour their hearts and souls into a mic in hopes someone will listen to them. Whether it is a poem that makes me laugh hysterically, or words that convey more sadness than I can fathom. I am drawn in almost instantly by anyone who has the guts to speak their truth.

Rafael Casal's "Barbie and Ken 101" changed my life. I wrote a paper on it during my breif stint in art school, and I've listened to his performance more times than I care to share. The man has some freaking talent. If you haven't seen this I suggest you do so immediately. (

As I said in the beginning of this post, you probably have never heard of Mr. Casal. It isn't because he isn't trying, because trust me, if you pay any attention to his twitter or facebook feeds the man is constantly at work to make kick ass music.

Every time I am up relatively late browsing through my phone I become legit excited if I see him posting a lot because it usually means he is up to something completely awesome.

I had the pleasure this evening of listening to his latest LP, "Mean Ones" which I literally cannot describe how truly amazing it is. I always think Casal cannot get any better, but with each new release (which he makes available for FREE to download at for ANYONE who wants to enjoy his music) he surprises me.

Casal's songs deserve to be on the minds of everyone. His lyrics deserve to be engraved in the brains of anyone willing to listen.

I also am extremely thrilled about Daveed Diggs, who Casal teamed up with for a Bay Boy Mixtape. Diggs has a unique sound to his voice I haven't heard before. I'm not sure I can compare it to anyone, it is truly fresh and new; just like Mr. Casal himself.

The man is smart.

I've since updated my car, including an iPod jack with some really amazing speakers, and I am grateful that playlists cannot be worn out, because let me tell you, my "Bay Area Mix" is on non stop repeat.

I would describe what Rafael Casal does as BRILLIANT and nothing less. It is a true honor to be able to listen to his music and I hope to do so for many years to come.

Get Back.