“Go”als

Here I am again, sat at a computer, doing exactly what I love most: in this particular case, listening to “8 Days a Week” by The Beatles and writing this blog. The feel of a pen or keyboard in my hands and time signatures tapping in my ears is the dream.

How will it translate into a career? Unsure.

This is the week when I’m supposed to post creative writing, but instead am going to talk about creative writing in the bigger scheme of my life, along with music… because I just read this:

img_4689

…And it meant a lot to me. I went in thinking it would be a nice little book by a big inspiration, and what I didn’t prepare for were the many tears streaming down my face, because of how personally it resonated with my artistic journey. I saw myself in Leslie’s words: my exact fears, self-doubt, and passion for words and rhythms. I saw my family within his, as he navigated an unconventional journey to find joy and dreams. And while I’ve always known how human we all are, reading his book really brought that home for me in an emotional way.

The world is a “big” scary place when you don’t know what you want to do with it. But when you start making steps toward dreams, you start realizing how small the world really is, and how interrelated we all are, even if you’ve never been across the ocean or across the country. Perhaps it’s scarier for us as artists to realize how incredibly tangible our dreams actually are, as long as we’re willing to put the work in.

My favorite summer show to watch is America’s Got Talent. Today I was struck by an elderly man who came on the show to do stand-up comedy and was then put through to the next round with 4 yeses. Despite his risque humor, I shed a few tears, because that perfectly exemplifies the heart of a true artist.

As an artist, you need a resilience of spirit. Sometimes your dream is right around the corner, and sometimes it doesn’t happen for 50 more years. So the real question is: are you willing to maintain an upbeat attitude and always strive to fail upwards, regardless of the time commitment? Because that will distinguish the dreamer from the achiever.

The past few weeks without social media have been wonderful, but I would be lying if I said it doesn’t freak me out. Social media has been the main outlet through which I pushed blogs to readers, and now I don’t have that in my grasp. My reader statistics have gone down drastically and that hasn’t been the easiest for me to watch.

Honesty time: this blog means a lot to me. I’m currently making no money, but the dream I’ve had for a while is to go further with this blog. I hope to eventually invest money into this blog. I’ve considered expanding this blog through YouTube videos, to add another dimension to my interactions with readers, especially where entertainment blogs are concerned. These are all tangible possibilities.

I know my blog cannot be my sole job. I know publishing books cannot be my sole job. I know my pursuit of the music industry in whatever capacity that manifests itself will not be my sole job. I need all three in my life, somehow, some way. I could see myself working for others or being my own boss. But in whatever I do, I need variety, and I think that’s why my interests are so broad.

More and more, I’ve felt like I’m called to something more than unconventional. Something unique. But I cannot place my finger on it.

I’m currently revising a fictional book that is fairly autobiographical. The necessity to have it published is out of a need to be heard and a feeling of under-representation as a petite woman. Throughout my scourings of the internet, I have yet to see anyone sending out such a message as the one in my book. With such autobiographical influence, it has truly become a story I believe only I can tell, which has propelled me forward in the artistic project.

Many of my blogs have originated out of a similar vein. Oftentimes I’ll want answers or agreement on a topic of interest, and cannot find such, so I feel the need to blaze the trail. Mostly because I know the power of silence, where lies can fester and wound. Frankly, even if people hate what I have to say, I’m going to say it, because at least SOMEONE will have talked it about it at that point.

So maybe I do know one piece. Whether I help brush dust off the pop music scene, whether I put out a book, whether I pen 5,000 more blogs, whether I edit books, whether I cover musical events in journalism, and on and on… I think I’m supposed to start conversations.

And I think now I’m ready for the word “go” in all of its capacities.

~Annah

Advertisements

To Break the Silence with a Poem

Gooey globs of

Moose Tracks

 

Smooth swirls of

Dizzying melodies

 

Oh so happy for this

Yellow breeze

With its gentle reminder:

 

The years go on

The sadness fades

Only to be greeted by

A grin again

 

Blue is mundane

Easily forgettable

But yellow will always

Beam and remain

 

~Annah

Freckles, Trains and Other Identifiers

I literally just wrote this in 10 minutes for my final project in YA Ethnic American Literature and felt that the world wide web needed to hear it.

 

A typo turns into

The “Untied” States:

The land of the panicked.

The home of the fearful.

 

We are an unraveled thread

Of ethnicities

That refuse to braid into one another.

We cannot possibly envision

The final sewn project;

We just think the colors would clash.

 

But aren’t all colors related?

The best hues on the palette are

Those that are mixed.

The best salads are

Those that are tossed.

I think we need to toss our prejudice

Out of the window and

 

Color by feeling, not sight.

 

You are not beautiful because you are

White

Black

Brown

Yellow

Or red…

You are beautiful because

You are you,

And because we all have a little of

Momma’s courage

And Dad’s stubborn love…

The freckles on Nana’s back

Or the thinning hair on Abuelo’s head.

 

We are not compartments,

You see,

We are a full train.

So why do we segregate ourselves so

And mask it under the name

Of unity?

 

Get up.

Stretch your legs.

You have miles to go.

 

…But won’t you let me walk beside you?

 

~Annah

Grade 15

A heavy workload. Aching eyes that cried too many times to count. Tough, beneficial conversations. Deep loss. Deep grief. Some 3 AM nights. Other 11 PM nights. Big career conundrums and frustrations. Little blips of clarity concerning one’s true passions. The realization of one’s youth. The realization of one’s maturity. Old friends. New friends. Internships. Housing crises. A lot of sass. The assurance of things hoped for. My very first novel draft. Large steps of independence and individuality. A fearful introvert becoming fearless in times of uncertainty. Constant pushes outside of cozy comfort zones. A broadening of my awareness for diverse opinions and lifestyles. An ear for the minority races and sexualities. An ear for the broken and confused. An ear whilst everyone else has lost theirs. Flinging into spring. Lots and lots of hopeful yellows that echo truth into my weary soul. Heavy weariness with a belly laugh of a silver lining. Crying girls in bedrooms. Crying boys in bedrooms. Smiles in between tears. Romance and the tenderness of feelings, so breakable indeed. People from the bad parts of town are people too. More attention to the minorities and outcasts. Protests for change. Sorrow that things will never be the same. Spontaneous outings for yummy treats. Professional resilience. Unapologetic appreciation for whoever puts a smile on my face. An introvert yelling friends’ names across rooms. Remembrance of commonalities. The necessity of music with its soothing narratives of pain and joy. Bittersweet, this life we have crafted for ourselves. Oh wait… It is not for yourself. Moldy hearts, forever being tilled. 💛

Junior year: defined as “how to power through anything and everything, one breath at a time.”

~Annah

Twelve-Piece Kite

Maybe I’ll be a kite today.

Throw me up in the air, so I don’t have to touch the moist muck of rejection and putrid stench of desperate feeling for a while. But if I’m transparent, I only need a tiny gust of wind to blow me into a snag, a pointy branch off a tree, a limb adding to my lack thereof. See, I pocket away what I don’t want to experience, even significant chunks of flesh and bone, deeming it inconvenience to chase after things that leave me a little worse for wear. But really? A heart broken? It could never be so; you can always mend up the patches on the snagged kite. Throw it back up, she’ll be fine. But she’s seen a little more and heard a little too much, maybe that her qualifications are not good enough, maybe that she’s a bit plain… but mostly that she’s perfect just the way she is and that still can’t black out the pain of conflict and delicate feelings that always lurk in dark corners. Flutter, fly, abide, glide, my little, sturdy, patched, kite. Don’t be tied down by the takers of the world who want to wrap you up and tell you what box you fit into. Out here the sun is closer, the wind has a wheezy laugh, and the jagged trees present daring challenges. After all, a kite is still a kite, even if it is torn into two, four, six, twelve.

I think I’ll be a kite today.

 

~Annah

A Trace of Joy

Yesterday in my British Literature class, our professor had us write poems modeled after some of the modernist poets we read. This poem is loosely based on “Valentine” by Carol Ann Duffy. I wrote it on the fly with no revisions and I appreciate that unapologetic way of writing. Maybe it’s flawed, maybe the word choice could be improved, but it’s bold in its imperfections.

 

Not a giggle or a hug.

 

I give you a scraped knee.

Scab oozing over in blood

It echoes contentment

Like happy toes squirming through mud.

 

Here.

It will leave a foul stench,

But one that whispers

Like a butterfly wing

Of rapidly beating hearts

Playing make-believe.

 

I want you to remember the truth.

 

Not neat pews at church,

But raucous, rowdy adventures.

 

I give you a scraped knee

To soften your heart

That has confined itself

To cubicles

And tax forms.

 

Take it.

Feel the rough edges on your

Weathered, weary hands.

Find joy in simplicity again.

~Annah

Tap-Dancing Veins

I wish you could see what I can. The pure yellow radiance of the tree. Its feathery, silky leaves tap-dance in the wind, illuminating the bright depths of its being. Apparently the leaves are passing away, but they have never shown so brightly throughout their numbered days until now, and it’s simply heart-stopping. It just is what it is without trying. Our friend Mr. Sun is only emphasizing what we already know to be true—joy and expectancy sit among the branches. This tree knows where it’s going, without knowing where each individual leaf will fall, yet the appendages tango together happily. It dances in the face of uncertainty. The branches breathe in, breathe out, sway up, sway down. They flutter, fly, and abide. As the sun looks on, the tree sits and waits, leaves steadily twirling to the floor. Eventually it will face a period of death, where the sun may seem to disappear from the tree’s presence maybe days, maybe weeks at a time. But the tree remains tall, adamant, and immovable in the face of its inevitable demise. It knows more than the leaves do—that some day soon more buds will grow, more leaves will bloom, and the yellow still courses within its veins. 

~Annah