Posted in Blog, General

March Madness

…and I’m not talking about basketball. (Cuz I mean, who am I kidding? Basketball isn’t really my thing, but if you take me to a court, all bets are off)

But before I talk about what is happening in March (and there is a LOT more to talk about than normal), I have to reflect on the first two months of 2019.

In January, I completed a 31 in 31 challenge with one of my littles. I came to I think 32 or 33 poem drafts, some I love, some that are going in the trash, some just depend on if I feel like revising it or not. I was a hard month for writing though, partly because some of the prompts from the list we chose to follow weren’t so friendly. We did, however, choose another prompt from a different list if we really got stuck. Only happened about two or three times though, so not bad for the most part. And I find that I circle around the same themes, but I am slowly exploring and expanding my topic list. Weird prompts do help though, so I’m grateful for the internet.

In February, I was still writing, but not as much; I’ve been focusing on studying for an exam I will be taking this Saturday. Pray that I pass because I do NOT want to pay another $146 if I fail, but Also because I’ve been really studying since January for this test. I need to pass; it’ll open up better opportunities for me. Aside from that, I have also been preparing mentally for March.

Some more great February news! I have a microchap out with Damaged Goods Press that you can find here. I’m not going to tell you what it’s about because the title makes it quite obvious, but I will say it is very blunt and to the point, but I adore these pieces due to their rawness. It’s an eight chaplet bundle, though, so not only will you get my work, but the work of seven other people as well! Sounds like a great deal to me.

And finally, we get to March. I already told you that I have an exam this Saturday, it’s the Praxis for English/Secondary Education. It’s kind of a big deal. I’ve been studying SUPER hard for this, and it would crush me if I failed.

Next up, I have a reading on Tuesday, March 12 at Charmington’s in Baltimore. You can find the facebook event here. I still have yet to come up with a set list (Sue me), but I’m sure it’ll be amazing regardless of the work I pick. It will be me and three other writers. This is my first reading of the year, so I definitely have the energy for it. It’s free, so come on down to Charmington’s!

My hubby’s birthday is also in March, and I have a few fun things planned for him.

Last, but certainly not least, I will be hosting a writing workshop called “Confessionals: Writing the Hard Stuff” on March 27th at Greedy Reads in Baltimore. I was excited to pitch the idea, let alone teach it! Last year, my big sister and Managing Poetry editor of South85, Mel, challenged me to write more confessional poetry. I’m not going to say it was easy, but it has helped me big time with some of the pieces I’ve been working on, not just poetry either.¬† It was also featured in a magazine!

I think that’s all for now, but let me know what your plans for March are in the comments. Hopefully your month is less stressful (albeit all good stress that I signed up for) than mine.

Posted in Blog, General

2019 Goals!

I don’t do resolutions, but goals are just as great! Here are some of my writing-specific goals for this year:

  • Keep writing
  • Keep submitting
  • Submit more than I did in 2018
  • Complete 3 30-in-30s! (One in January with my little, one in April for NaPoWriMo, and one for Zoetic Press if they have WLYA this year)
  • Write more confessional poems and pieces
  • Become a featured reader
  • Expand my writing themes past relationships and blackness. Hopefully compile a chapbook about family, but we’ll see how that goes.
  • Not give up on a manuscript as a whole. I may give up on individual pieces but overall, I’ll try not to give up on them as much as I used to. I have a steadily growing slush pile
  • Be more intentional about writing this year. Get more organized.
  • Not be scared to self-promote
  • Apply for MFA programs (laugh with me)

Feel free to hold me accountable to these things and ask questions/for updates on any of them. Or if you want to be my cheerleader, be my guest!

Posted in Blog, FYMBF, General

I’m struggling and why that’s okay

Hey y’all,

So, first and foremost that 30 in 30 I did in April really did a number on me (especially since I wrote more than thirty poems), but guess what? I’m doing it again this summer as part of Zoetic Press’ challenge. this will be year #3 and they say third time is a charm right? Only this time (at least I’m hoping it works the way I planned), I’ll be writing more of FYMBF, one of the memoirs I’m working on, and it scares me. This book hurts to write now, so I can only think about what it feels like as I go deeper and deeper.

Imagine patchworking a wound shut with a rusted needle, razors, and duct tape only to re-open the wound with a knife and salt it with every word you write. Everything that comes out tastes like bile, sounds like skidding tires or 6th graders talking at high volume for hours on end with no window for relief or at least to open it to the world.

But all of this comes with the process. The hurt is temporary. This hurt is every piece of closure I wanted but never fully got. I’m creating a space With this book, a lot of things will be over. And people might hate me if I put it all out there. People might try to claim it was all my fault, some of which I already own up to, and some of which couldn’t be helped in that situation. People might not think I’m telling the truth, but I am. It’s my truth, and truth in itself is relative.

Oh the joy of being a writer, of telling stories that aren’t exclusively yours. Of falling in love with yourself and who you’ve become since.

I can’t wait for this story to be told.


Posted in Blog, General

March Happenings and April Plans

Hi everybody! I haven’t had all that much to report recently as I’m been working two jobs plus running and working my own business (talk about BUSY), but here is what’s been shaking around and what’s going to be happening. Some of this is BIG news, so keep on reading.

In March –

Oh man, March has been a whirlwind. At the beginning of the month (sorry for the lateness, you guys), I got this poem¬†published. It’s on the B-Side, but hey, a publication is a publication, and I will definitely take it. I’ve been working (read: staring at, then inching along) on a few projects and submitting different poems, and compiling different poem packets to send them out to potential presses. I haven’t had much success this month, other than the above publication, but I’m still pushing forward.

Coming up in April….

…. I have my first non-Hollins poetry reading! I am super excited for this despite my insecurities. I will be reading some of the work I wrote during my last month at Hollins and other work that shares the same theme of Baltimore. If you are local to the Baltimore area or don’t mind taking a drive up/down/whichever direction you’re coming from, the reading is April 6th, 2018. The event will be part of Highlandtown’s First Friday Art Walk series. You can find more information here.

Also, since I was pretty successful with last year’s 30 poems in 30 days as part of National Poetry Month (and then again last August as part of Zoetic Press’ challenge), I’m going to try it again. Cue the dramatic music. Let’s see how this turns out. My life is going to change during April, so I hope my creative mind can use these changes to my advantage.

Plus, it’s gong to be my birthday!!!


I’ve been bouncing between wanting to give up writing, writing EVERYTHING, simply wanting a break, and needing a push to write. I think that working so much is draining my creativity, but I need to eat, so what do I do when I have nothing left? How can I continue when I don’t even know where I am?

Writing isn’t an easy business by far, but I want my dreams to come true. I’m going to keep grinding and hopefully take some more time for me and my craft. Maybe that’s all I need.

Posted in Blog, General

It’s been a while

Hi everybody! it’s been such a long time since I’ve updated y’all. Well…. Here goes!

I’ve been doing….a lot of nothing. That’s not fair. What I mean is I’ve been doing a low of working and very little writing. With two jobs and my own business, I’ve abrely been scribbling on napkins, jotting notes in my phone, and doing free writes with my kids before their ELA lesson for the evening, but nothing concrete has really come.

I have gotten this poem published (Trigger warning for sexual assault, childhood sexual assault), and I will be getting a love poem published in Memoir Mixtape’s B-side for Volume Three.

I’m still looking for a press to pick up my manuscript and I am considering revising several of the pieces therein to make it better, easier to read and understand while keeping the rawness of black history and current events. Considering the juxtaposition on then vs now on the same page spread, but I’m still thinking about it. If it’s not picked up, then major revisions are going to happen. It’s daunting but still exciting.

In addition to poetry, I’m also writing some nonfiction/memoir stuff. I’m not focused on it, but when I do write for it, I just need to make sure that I write my truth regardless of who it may potentially hurt.

I’m doing what I can to get by. I’m still here, still breathing, just a little quieter.

Posted in Blog, General

I’m 23.

Let me start by saying this is not to boast or brag. This is for me, for me to not feel too bad about where I am in life. I’m 23, just 23.

By the age I am now, I have done the following:

  • Graduated from college
  • Published 16 essays
  • Published 15 poems (well, 14, but one is scheduled for December)
  • Had a poetry chapbook accepted for publication (even thought the press closed, I’m considering it a win)
  • Became Assistant Editor for Sundress Publications
  • Got accepted into graduate school (even though I couldn’t attend)
  • Finished 2 fiction books (though I was 14 and 16 at the time and I would never, EVER publish them without heavy editing or at all, still a win, right?)
  • Became a mentor/big sister to several people
  • Started my own business

And I’m sure that I’ve left some stuff off of the list, but all of this is to say that I have to be kinder to myself. I have done a lot for being so young, and I don’t give myself the credit I deserve. I don’t allow myself to relish in the small things; I keep working and writing until “something better” comes. This is not healthy, and it’s not my time yet for things. It’s okay to not have it together all the time. Wanting something to happen before it wants to happen can be toxic, so I’m dropping the attitude of I have to accomplish X by Y age. (Well for the most part. Babies and marriage I definitely want by 30 so I can have a healthy pregnancy, but that’s besides the point.)

I’m 23. I can’t go back in time and change things, but I can be more positive for the future. I have my life ahead of me to make a difference. I woke up this morning. I need to relish in that.

Posted in Blog, General

October Update and Why I’ve Been So Low-Key

Hi everyone, and welcome (back) to my blog! I have a lot going on right now, so it’s time to spill. Get ready for all of this, the good and the bad.

I always preferred bad news first, so here goes.

In April or May, I hinted about crossing i’s and dotting t’s. I had submitted a poetry chapbook manuscript to a press in April and on that same day, I had it accepted for publication. I jumped at the chance, and I had never been prouder of myself or my work until that point. In May, that press gave me the month of September as a tentative publication date with the promise of working with another editor on the team to spruce of my manuscript, saying they would send a contract soon. Well, that never happened.

I hadn’t heard from the press since then, so I queried mid-August, like any other author would do. I was then told that the press would fall into a delayed publication schedule. I was fine with that, and I was still very eager about this book. In September however, my heart broke and some of my dreams shattered. The press was shutting its doors.

For months, I worried over this chapbook. I worried over potential covers. I worried about tone. I worried about offending upsetting white people. I then worried that I didn’t care about offending white people because I knew I hadn’t written anything wrong. I re-wrote history from a black perspective without rose-colored glasses.

This book was my baby. My first baby found a home on a whim, and I when I say a whim, I mean I compiled the poems, sent it out, and it got accepted on the very first day, within hours. I know, that was pure luck. I don’t think I will get that again. Don’t get me wrong; the poems are strong and decent and a few of them have gotten picked up for individual publications, but the news that I wasn’t going to have a book out this year was a definite blow and shock to my system.

My baby would not be hitting the shelves (or the internet) this year. It took me a week and a slight revision of the manuscript before sending it out again. I’m not sure if I want to keep submitting it. I’m not sure if this book is for me anymore. I’m not sure if it’s good enough. I spent hours on each poem when I originally wrote them. I got angry writing them. I still get angry reading them.

And now I’m angry that I’m back to square one: researching and writing and revising.

I keep telling myself that if it really wasn’t good enough, it wouldn’t have gotten picked up by anyone. Then I felt like a fraud. Then I realized that this happens all the time to people. I’m no special snowflake, though I’d like to believe that my circumstances were pretty special.

Also, for everything I’ve submitted to since, I’m getting rejection letter after rejection letter including a few fellowships I really wanted, which is also not helping my mood.

That’s enough bad, right? Time for the good since you’ve last heard from me.

I’ve picked up an Assistant Editor position with Sundress Publications, something I did not think would happen, but God works in mysterious ways. I was sought after for the position; I did not actively seek it.

Also, although the press from my chapbook is shutting its doors, its journal is remaining open, and they are publishing my second favorite piece from that collection in December, and the editor is super sweet.

One more positive thing is I’ve been leading a few therapeutic writing workshops here in Baltimore for Melony Hill’s Writing for My Sanity workshops. My first one was in August, but she has asked me to return in November and December for three of those workshops, so I’m excited about that. It has been an amazing experience.

I think that’s all of my good news, but if I think of anything else, I’ll let y’all know. I’m really just trying to stay upbeat and happy, or at least I’m just trying to keep moving forward. It’s hard at times, but I can do it!

Take care everybody!