Challenges for 2017

Happy New Year friends and fellow readers,

My tentative reading goal for 2017 is 52 books.  I plan to read various genres, as I did in 2016, and to continue to read across multiple medias.

I’ve also decided to challenge myself in a new and interesting way; though I’ll still attempt to read at least 52 books, I’m going to do so while polishing off all of the books I’ve got lined up on my Kindle so far. 

A writing goal I’m working towards is publishing 10 times this year; ideally it’ll be across a few genres and formats – I’d like to publish more poetry for my career’s sake, as well as a couple of pieces of CNF, maybe some fiction, and a few articles. With a publish count of 7 poems this year (though five are through one site), I’m setting the bar high for myself.

I’ll keep today’s post brief for y’all and say goodbye for now.

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There is still hope for us yet; on the Electoral College.

I cannot and will not support Donald Trump. In the first day after electoral results came in there were numerous attacks on marginalized persons. This is not the America that we need, it is not a great America, it is a shame on all that we have ever even hoped to represent. Clinton is problematic, but she is not vehemently racist, sexist, and homophobic. I fully believe that a Trump/Pence presidency will bring about the end of our nation and the end to safety for so many people. It is time for us to stand up for what we believe in and affect change. The Electoral college’s votes are not made final until December 19th; though it has never been done in the history of this nation, there is a chance for the results of this election to be changed – we elected Clinton, the EC elected Trump. Make our voices heard, demand that the EC changes their votes and allows our people to remain safe.

Please follow the link to this petition and tell the Electoral College to make HRC president of the United States on December 19th.

cute lil update post

Today I got stuff done.

Lots of it.

I found my building (and met a few of my professors), got my parking situation all sorted out, read one of the many student publications I picked up in said building, and read a stunning book of poetry! I even got a couple of super rough drafts started.

I owe some of my productability to Starbucks; I still don’t have wifi at home, so I camped out here for a few hours in order to actually use my big-girl laptop.

Back to that book of poetry!

Book 31 hasn’t been released yet, and all that I can tell you is that it was written by a friend. I’m holding onto my review until the release date is set and I’m given the go-ahead to share it with you all. (Don’t bother checking Goodreads either, you won’t even find a hint.)

Expect my next review to be on the eBook I won this week.

Happy reading,
Scarlett

Asking the Audience

Hey y’all! I’m here today to ask for some input.

I need book recommendations.

I have a shelf full, and I need to read them all eventually, but I’m looking for more books on identity and self that aren’t self-help oriented – I’m not having a lot of luck with them thus far (I’m the pickiest person I know).

I’m currently working on The Bean Trees by Barbara Kingsolver, and I love her (she and Wally Lamb are my tops for fiction). I’d rather not have a ton of fiction recommendations if I can help it, but they’re also welcome.

Becoming more interactive with my audience is one of my blogging goals, so feel free to comment and discuss below!

Here’s what you can do:

  • Recommend a book and I’ll review it
  • Give me some concepts you’d like for me to discuss
  • Ask me for recommendations on specific topics
  • Ask for content that deals with other forms of media

I know that my posting hasn’t been up to par lately, and I sincerely apologize for that. I’m still trying to get back in the swing of things after so many changes, losses, and wins. Life is constantly evolving, and I’m excited for what the future holds, I just have to get past some things (old and new).

I look forward to hearing from y’all!

On the Arts

Today I want to take a step away from concept pieces and book reviews, and sort of change up my about me format. I recently discussed some elements of my life that I’m happy about, namely my budding makeup career and my acceptance to GCSU for an MFA. Before I delve into this piece, I’d like to let you all know that you won’t see posts like this from me often. If/when I’m published elsewhere, I’ll include links in posts additional to my T/F posting.

Today, I’ve decided to share a few glimpses into my portfolios with you. I avoided a clickbait title because I don’t have any interest in using this post to grow my audience, I only want to invite my current audience to see a bit of my work thus far. Again, do not expect this to happen often.

Here are a few photos from my mega-shoot on Saturday, the main reason that I didn’t get my Friday posting done in time:

IMG_3501

Image credit: Mike Alberghini – Shadowink Photography

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Image credit: Mike Alberghini – Shadowink Photography

 

Before I get too into this, I’d like to talk about identities; I have several.

  • Blogger
  • Writer/Poet
  • Makeup Artist
  • Reader
  • Feminist

I don’t think any of these identities takes much priority over the others, though I certainly acknowledge that feminism causes me to look at things through a different lens than others might. As far as writing goes, poetry is my favorite. I enjoy blogging, and I want to continue doing such personally and professionally, but poetry is something that is more organic and raw in my opinion. It takes a lot of work to be satisfied with a poem, and despite encouragement from peers and professors, I’ve been very insecure about my poetry to date. After getting into a program based in part on my poetry writing, I feel that my confidence is budding and growing enough for me to comfortably take this leap. I’ve decided to provide a small snippet of my portfolio (which was submitted formally to GCSU’s MFA program). I ask that any criticism be constructive, if not kindly worded.

Two of the ten poems that I submitted are as follows;

 

We Buried You at the End of Summer While the Fruit Trees Withered

Fitting to plant your body
like the seed of a pear
when pears had just left season.

A body like a seed
from the man like a tree
whose branches lifted me
when I couldn’t reach the fruit.

Bodies don’t grow like seeds.

 

——

Name – I have removed the title of this poem for personal reasons, I hope you understand.

Home is a person.
The shutters close
When you need restoration.
The door locks
And you are the curves and bends
Of the only place,

He waits for you.

Lungs bombinate,
Breath in gusts of chimney smoke.
Veins like electrical wires.
Bone marrow insulation
Between feathersoft tissue
And vinyl skin.

Home is cold,
But he warms for you.

—–

Thank you all for taking the time to read my work, and I hope to see you all around here again!

On Freelancing and Life After Undergrad

If there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s that the job market is ROUGH. Freelancing is a hustle, whether it be writing, makeup, or whatever. I’m having (exponentially) more luck with my freelance MUA work than I am with my writing (though I have two prospective jobs in the works that sound very promising and offer good stability. Those jobs would be continuous blogging, something that I (clearly) enjoy; both companies that I’ve spoken with are companies that I support and would love to work with.

Potential FAQ: Why freelance? My answer is this; I freelance write and do freelance makeup work because I love both of those respective trades, and freelancing gives me the opportunity to accept or turn down gigs as I go. I can continue freelancing with a day job, I can continue freelancing when a day job isn’t an option (in grad school), etc.

That being said, I’d like to discuss some things I’ve learned from freelancing so far.

  • People will flake on you.
    • Free photoshoot, free makeup, over a month of notice and planning; I still had more flakes than follow-throughs.
    • Free work is necessary to make a name for yourself, but it can be a real hassle trying to get feature articles published, getting models (or friends) to show up, etc.
  • You HAVE to network (your ass off).
    • Working for a company you’ve already got resources for days. Freelancing? You have no audience, no resources, etc. without busting ass to network.
    • Networking platforms like LinkedIn are the shit; accept all of the connection requests, reconnect with EVERYONE, and include everything you’ve ever done in your life (aside from those misdemeanors and speeding tickets).
  • Success almost never comes immediately.
    • Networking takes time.
    • You’re talented, but you’re new.
    • There’s a lot of other talent out there.
  • You’ll likely need another job while you’re starting out.
    • On one hand, you need to dedicate oodles of time to your freelance networking and pitching, on the other hand, you can’t network without having the cash to pay your internet bill.
  • You won’t be able to depend on every job inquiry to follow through.
    • Even if you’re pricing is really low, even if you’ve spoken to the potential client several times, there’s always the chance that they won’t hire you.
    • This sucks. This will always suck. It will also always be a possibility.
  • You will lose your patience. People might lose their patience with you.
    • A. You’ll lose your patience with people who don’t follow through, etc.
    • B. Your friends/family might lose their patience with your self-promotion, inability to afford extravagances, etc.
    • C. You will lose your patience with yourself. That’s the hardest part.
  • You are selling your service, you need to try to brand yourself.
    • My current potential gigs where writing is concerned both deal with blogging. I have more content available for my audience on this blog, therefor that is how people view me; as a blogger. My makeup portfolio is mostly full of glam looks, some avant garde sneaking its way in as I progress; mainly I market myself as a special event MUA; ie. prom, wedding, or photoshoot looks.
    • Selling yourself is fine. Incorporating your personality into your work is necessary. Writing and makeup both allow me to do that; my personal blog gives me plenty of room to incorporate my life, my experiences, and my opinions. My makeup career taking place (in part) on social media means that my personality is, again, unavoidable. This doesn’t mean that you have to have the highest level of self confidence on earth, it simply means that you have to try and sell yourself well.
    • The more unique you are, the better.
  • You need to work out a schedule / be VERY reliable.
    • This past Friday I missed my first scheduled content date without updating my audience ahead of time. Don’t be like me. My Tuesday and Friday scheduling is that way for a reason; when a job comes up, one of the first things your potential client is going to ask you about is your scheduling. Being able to provide evidence of your timeliness and reliability is key to landing jobs.
    • DO NOT OVERBOOK. If you’re rushing, you’re probably not producing quality content. Your career is not English 1101, you cannot bullshit your way through this career.
  • Expect rough patches, dry spells, and otherwise sucky times.
    • Consider retail’s sale fluctuations in December and January; you’ve got MASSIVE jumps in sales right before the holidays, enough to necessitate the hiring of seasonal workers in most cases. Come January, the stores are virtually a ghost-town, seasonal employees are either taking inventory or already being let go, and some regular employees are receiving far fewer hours than before. Companies avoid closing their doors during this period by planning ahead. You may have an excellent April, but if you don’t have a gig for the first two weeks in May, it’s going to sting. When your income juts up, hold the reins and make sure that you’re stable enough afterwards for a good long while before you blow your stack on a new Macbook and ten liquid lipsticks from Sephora.
  • Post-Everywhere platforms are your friend in the blogging sphere.
    • WordPress is my friend; when I publish a new blog post, it automatically shares my post to Facebook, LinkedIn, Google Plus, Twitter, and more.
    • Social media is your best friend in branding and networking.
  • Be patient.
    • With yourself.
    • With your career.
    • With your creativity.
    • With your whole freaking life.

Freelancing sounds a lot like being unemployed, doesn’t it? It feels that way during the lulls. I’m writing this during a lull, waiting to hear back from two excellent prospects, and i can honestly say that though I’m struggling, it will be rewarding in the future. Writing and makeup are two things that I absolutely love, and I’m sticking with them until I get to where I’m going.

Some VERY Exciting News! 

Alright, expect your regularly scheduled posting later this evening or tomorrow afternoon because…

I GOT INTO GRAD SCHOOL!!!!! 

I’ll be attending Georgia College and State University in the Fall for a Master’s of Fine Arts in Poetry. 

Also, I had my license testing at 2:00 today which meant that I didn’t get to writing quite as early as I’d planned. 

BUT I GOT MY LISENCE! 

 ALSO, meet Buffy the duck. Buffy likes to get in my hair and stand on my shoulder. I’m not sure why, but I certainly don’t mind it. 

I’ll be posting about The Wife of Bath’s Tale from Canterbury Tales next.