Memories of You

In the quiet corner of a cozy coffee shop, Emma sipped her latte and gazed out the window. It was a place she had frequented for years, but today, it held a special significance. She was here to relive memories of love, memories that had shaped her life. 


As she watched the raindrops race down the window pane, her mind drifted back to that fateful day when she first met Daniel. It was a sunny afternoon, much like this one was gloomy. Their eyes met over the counter, and a smile was all it took for their hearts to connect. Love bloomed like a spring flower, and for a while, life was a beautiful melody. 


They spent countless hours at this coffee shop, sharing dreams, fears, and secret desires. Every cup of coffee held the promise of adventure, and every glance was filled with affection. As the months passed, their love deepened, and the coffee shop became their sanctuary. 


One particularly cold winter evening, Daniel surprised Emma with a heartfelt note hidden under her coffee cup. It read, “To the love of my life, Emma. Let’s create a lifetime of memories together, starting with this moment.” Beneath the note, he had placed a sparkling engagement ring. Tears of joy filled her eyes as she said yes. 


Their wedding was a magical affair, surrounded by family and friends who could see the love that radiated from their hearts. Emma remembered how Daniel had whispered in her ear during their first dance, “I promise to fill your life with love and memories, my forever.” 


Time moved forward, as it always does. The coffee shop remained a constant in their lives, even as they faced the challenges and joys of marriage. It witnessed their laughter and their tears, their hopes and their fears. 


Years passed, and they became parents to two beautiful children, Sarah and Liam. The coffee shop became a refuge again, a place where they stole quiet moments together amidst the chaos of parenthood. As they sipped their coffee, they’d often exchange knowing glances, reminders of their enduring love. 


However, life had a way of testing love. Daniel’s health began to deteriorate, and their visits to the coffee shop became less frequent. Emma watched helplessly as the love of her life fought a battle against an unrelenting illness. Even in those trying times, their love remained steadfast, a beacon of hope in the darkest of nights. 


One rainy afternoon, Daniel took Emma’s hand and said, “My love, our memories are etched in this place, in our hearts. You’ve given me a lifetime of love, and I’ll carry it with me always.” Emma nodded, her eyes filled with tears. 


In the quiet corner of the coffee shop, Emma sat alone now, staring at the empty chair across from her. Daniel had passed away, leaving behind a lifetime of cherished memories. The coffee shop had witnessed their love story from its beginning to its bittersweet end. 


As she finished her latte, Emma knew that this coffee shop would forever hold a special place in her heart, a place where the memories of love would linger long after the rain had stopped. She smiled through her tears, grateful for the love she had experienced, and whispered to the empty chair, “I love you, Daniel. You’ll always be with me, in this coffee shop and in my heart.” 

the importance of understanding impulsive vs. intrusive and why the “letting my intrusive thoughts win” trend is harmful

i’m sure at some point you’ve seen a video of someone acting out in a unpredictable way- most likely acting on an impulse that most ignore. you go to the comments and every single one says something along the lines of “letting my intrusive thoughts win.” you get a laugh; it’s just a harmless joke, right? what you see as a harmless joke is what people with ocd- like me- see as a kick to the face. if our intrusive thoughts were something harmless like that, i’m sure we’d be laughing too. when we try to explain to people the difference between impulsive vs. intrusive, they get hostile: offended even. then you have those who claim to be an english professor who blindly explain what intrusive “actually” means while idiotically ignoring the idea of a clinical term. people don’t take the differentiation seriously enough, and as someone who has had such crippling struggles with ocd and intrusive thoughts, i’m sick of it.

let’s talk about what “intrusive thoughts” actually are

intrusive thoughts can be defined as unwanted, distressing and repetitive thoughts that often go against your morals. these can include acting out towards people you love in violent or morally unacceptable ways. intrusive thoughts are not exclusive to people with ocd- but they are a common (and arguably the most debilitating) sign of the illness. they can make you question your own morals and convince yourself you actually want to act out on your thoughts. this is not the case. intrusive thoughts are the manifestation of your worst fears and the things that disturb you the most/go against your morals. someone who has intrusive thoughts about hurting themselves or hurting someone they love does not want to act out on those thoughts. actually, it means that they are incredibly disturbed by those thoughts and would most likely do anything to ensure they don’t happen- like acting out compulsions, another common sign of ocd. people who experience intrusive thoughts are not their thoughts, and their thoughts do not represent their urges or morals at all.

now that we know what intrusive thoughts are, what are impulsive thoughts?

impulsive thoughts are exactly what they sound like. they are thoughts of acting out on an impulse. an impulse is defined as a strong urge or desire to act on something. that is one of the main differences between impulsive vs. intrusive- an impulsive thought is something you have an urge/desire to act out on, an intrusive thought is a thought that is uncomfortable and more often than not disgusts you: it is something you would never want to act out on. impulsive thoughts could be something like wanting to cut your own hair at 2am even though you know you’d botch it, or the urge to grab and eat food you see in the fridge that isn’t yours. the difference is drastic, so why do people insist on using intrusive when they really mean impulsive? maybe it’s unwillingness to change, or maybe it’s pure disregard for mental health. 

how is using “intrusive” when you mean “impulsive” harmful to others?

i first started getting intrusive thoughts when i was 14, and i was too scared to tell anyone about it. i thought everyone would think i was a horrible person and call me crazy- the one word no one with ocd wants to be called. if you use “intrusive” when you mean “impulsive,” it gives people the wrong idea about what intrusive thoughts actually are- so when people with genuine intrusive thoughts explain what they experience, others react in a negative and disgusted manner because they have this false idea that intrusive thoughts are harmless impulses that wouldn’t harm anyone in any serious way to act out on. this makes people with ocd feel crazy and misunderstood, and being understood is the most important thing when it comes to dealing with ocd. another thing is how people say they “let their intrusive thoughts win.” if someone with genuine intrusive thoughts “let them win,” they would be imprisoned or dead. telling someone with intrusive thoughts to “let them win” is disgusting and disrespectful, and it only showcases how uneducated you are. 

now that we understand the difference and how using intrusive when we mean impulsive is harmful, where do we go from here? 

as someone with ocd, when i see the misuse of the term “intrusive thoughts,” i educated immediately. you should too. if you see someone using the term intrusive incorrectly, you need to correct them and explain the severity of their mistake. if you ignore it and allow them to use the incorrect term, you are harming MILLIONS of people with ocd and worsening the mindset around genuine intrusive thoughts. it is not hard to switch “intrusive” to “impulsive.” if you are not willing to make that change, then you are the exact problem i have described in this blog. don’t be complacent. speak up when you see misinformation regarding ocd. don’t just let it happen- for all of our sakes. 

a final note to everyone who has ocd and/or experiences intrusive thoughts

you are not your thoughts. that’s right, you. are. not. your. thoughts. there is nothing wrong with you and you are not alone. if you are someone i know reading this, just know that the only reason i wrote about this is because i experience it too. you are not alone. please come to me if you need help dealing with this crippling disease. i’ve struggled so that i can  help others, and i will not hesitate to share this wisdom with you. it’s going to be okay. you’re going to be okay. everything is going to be okay<3.

a final note to everyone else

the best thing you can do to help is educating yourself on ocd and the difference between intrusive and impulsive. you can even start right here on the msa literary blog! my beautiful friend and former roommate emma stapp has many articles about ocd and i 100% recommend reading each one she has posted: they are beautifully written and so important.

here are additional resources about ocd and intrusive thoughts to learn from:,mind%20without%20any%20apparent%20trigger.

i sincerely hope this blog helped you & inspired you to educate yourself on ocd. let’s come together and end the misconceptions about ocd and intrusive thoughts!<3 

also please check out emma stapp’s article “ocd is not an adjective…”

I’m Back!

Hello friends, long time no see. How was your guys’ summer? Hopefully well. My summer was extremely fun! I loved hanging out with my friends, working, swimming and going on vacations, but that is not the point of this blog. Without further ado let’s get into the blog. 

In the first blog of SENIOR YEAR (woohoo can you tell I’m excited?) I will be reading and analyzing A poem by the lovely, yet terrifying Edgar Allen Poe entitled “A Dream Within a Dream, using the Liz Lerman workshop method. 

I’ll insert the poem here: 

A Dream Within a Dream 

By Edgar Allen Poe 

Take this kiss upon the brow! 

And, in parting from you now, 

Thus, much let me avow– 

You are not wrong, you deem 

That my days have been a dream; 

Yet if hope has flown away 

In a night, or in a day, 

In a vision, or in none, 

Is it therefore the less gone? 

All that we see or seem 

Is but a dream within a dream. 


I stand amid the roar 

Of a surf-tormented shore, 

And I hold within my hand 

Grains of the golden sand– 

How few? Yet how they creep 

Through my fingers to the deep, 

While I weep—while I weep! 

O God! Can I not grasp 

Them with a tighter clasp? 

O God! can I not save 

One from the pitiless wave? 

Is all that we see or seem 

But a dream within a dream? 


This poem is one of my favorite pieces by him. The piece was first published in 1849 which isn’t modern at all so the writing form and some of the language is drastically different than what is commonly used in the 2000’s. That’s a big part of why I love historical poets or authors in general. First, we will start off with statements of meaning. I love the tone of this story. He sounds so desperate, so eager yet still so vulnerable. There’s something he wants but his depth of emotions leaves him so unhinged that he’s unable to grasp it, so it leaves him wondering if it’s real life or a dream. I also enjoyed that he uses only one period (.) throughout the piece. It gives me the feeling that these are fast, intense and draining thoughts that must get out, therefore they all begin running together instead of calm, concise thoughts that conclude themselves.  

He also references nature repeatedly in this poem when he talks about the shore in line 13 and the golden grained sand in line 15. He also mentions a pitiless wave in line 22 that seems overbearing in my opinion. He has a few words that are italicized in the piece which are “gone”, “All”, “One” “all”. Two of the words begin with a capital letter and two of them are all lowercase. I don’t really know why he did this, but my brain puts the words together as “all gone, all one.” I feel like he’s trying to express that everything he talks about in the poem is one “thing” or “being” but then he realizes it’s a dream and then it’s all gone when the dream perishes. At the end he cries out to God which means he has some form of religious belief and that he thinks that whatever higher power that he believes in can save him from this everlasting dream.  

Well, in the name of Looney Tunes, that’s all 4 today folks. Thanks for reading my blog, see you next month. Byeeee. 

Benefits to reading diverse genres

                Hi. Back to blogging. Over the summer I did a lot more reading than writing. Everyone has their favorite genres including myself. I like horror, romance, and mystery books. Some people ONLY like their favorite genres. I wanted to talk about why reading more than just 1-3 genres can benefit us as writers. I see an extreme growth in my own writing because of the amount of reading I did over the summer. I dove into genres I thought I would absolutely hate like Sci-Fi, humor, action fiction, and even a couple biographies. It can offer a very large range of benefits for us as writers.

                Reading different genres exposes you to different story telling formats, structures, and perspectives. Especially if you pick up a fantasy novel or Sci-Fi. Being exposed to these forces a creative stimulation for us to think outside of the box. It can broaden our creative thinking I would say. Writing isn’t always about emotion, though, it is some people’s favorite thing to add to writing. Reading books that explore more than you think inside a box is eye opening.

                Reading a diverse genre can also broaden your perspective on writing. Think of it like this, each genre and novel offer you a unique lens for us to view the world through. Different genres can expose you to different cultures, time periods, and topics to write about. They can show you different ways to write about certain subjects. You can even get a new perspective on your favorite thing to write about. Maybe you write a horror story, but you read someone else’s horror story after. They may show you a whole different perspective on how to show fear in a story.

                Now, you will also get to improve your own personal writing through exploring literature. You will get to read different tones, styles, voices, and narratives. All of which can improve your own writing skills. You will see how different genres employ different pacing, language, dialogue, and imagery. These are all very versatile as well. Once you apply them to your own writing, they don’t have to be exactly how the other novel used them. You make them your own as well. You can also make them engaging.

                New genres can expand your vocabulary by miles. Diverse genres have new words, phrases, and terms specific to their genre. You would be able to enrich your vocabulary, which will enable you to communicate more effectively in your writing. I noticed that my recent flash fiction and poem I wrote had a very wide vocabulary I never saw in my previous writing.

                You will improve your adaptability as a writer. If you are skilled in multiple genres, you will be able to adapt to new projects. This is extremely handy for us because we are literary students. We get new projects very often that aren’t in our comfort zones, or we may dislike the prompt. If you’re experienced in more than one genre your adaptability to these projects will be improved. The dynamic of your work can improve as well because of your ability to draw from different genres.

                Different genres evoke different emotions in the characters in the story. When you read a horror novel you read the characters in fear, romance novels show them in love, and a scientist in a Sci-Fi novel may show them focused. You would experience a wide spectrum of emotion and many new ways to describe it. Every author describes these emotions differently as well as every genre. Reading new authors more often and more genres will show you so many new ways to have your readers feel the same and connect more with your characters.

                Empathy also plays a large role. If you read different genres you will read about different characters from so many backgrounds and situations. This helps you develop empathy which will give you a broader understanding of human nature. How will this help your own writing though? This will enrich the authenticity of your characters.

                I hope my blog may help some of you who are in writers block or just like to read in general. From my own personal experiences, I recommend reading many novels on every inch of the spectrum.

Hello Again:)

So you mean to tell me that I’m already a senior and that I’ll be graduating in a few months? No, I don’t believe you. I swear it felt like it was yesterday when I was sitting in my eighth grade math class listening to my teacher waste twenty minutes talking about something that had nothing to do with math.

Well, even though now it feels like it all went by really quickly, I did cherish every moment I have spent in MSA so far. Since being here, I’ve learned to be a lot more self confident and I have had an amazing opportunity to further my talent as an artist. I know it sounds cheesy, but I swear it’s true.

I know that this year promises to be the busiest as we prepare for events like preview day, portfolio day, showcases, graduation, not to mention applying for colleges and scholarships, but I have a feeling that it’ll be a great year.

Since we’ll only be posting once a month, I think it’ll be good for me to use this as just something to use to write about something silly, random, fun, etc. Like last year, I posted a lot about Marvel, my love for reading, other nerd stuff. I’ll probably be doing a lot of that again and maybe just to let off some steam.

For this go-round, I’ll talk about a new favorite movie that recently came out on Netflix: “Nimona”

Nimona - Netflix Movie - Where To Watch

I absolutely love this movie and have watched it two or three times already. I love the animation style, Nimona’s chaotic energy, the themes that play out throughout this movie, everything about it is just chef’s kiss.

If you are unfamiliar with the movie or haven’t watched it, Nimona is about a girl(Nimona) who has the ability to shapeshift and because of this, she is seen as a monster in the society. Ballister is a knight that was framed for unaliving the queen, so he’s seen as another villain. At first, Nimona just wants to be the villain’s sidekick until she learns that Ballister is innocent. The two work together to clear Ballister’s name in a society that is closed off from the rest of the world by a wall because they have lived in fear of outside “monsters” for a thousand years.

I’m not gonna lie, this movie made me laugh and cry and. I watched it after the first few previews before I’d start to see too many spoiler clips. I honestly wasn’t expecting a lot from it, just for it to be something cute and fun to watch, and I am not picky when it comes to movies, I think the only two genres that I don’t care that much for are rom-coms and anime(please don’t come for me). So Nimona was up my alley. I loved that Ballister played a fatherly role to Nimona(even though she’s a thousand years old, but she still has the chaotic energy of a teenager). I loved seeing the relationship between these two progress through the movie. And I absolutely loved both of their character development. 

Nimona' Review: This Was Worth the WaitNetflix releases official trailer for graphic novel adaptation 'Nimona'  starring Riz Ahmed, Eugene Lee Yang

If you haven’t seen this movie and you love to watch fun, animated movies with a lot of good, deep themes, I highly recommend watching it. Here’s one of my favorite scenes<3


the beauty of covers.

Imitation is the best form of flattery, especially when it comes to reinterpreting art in unique and fresh ways. There is this argument though, that it kills originality and the genuity of the original themes and messages an artist was trying to initially convey. This thought is especially seen within the music industry, with sampling and covers. Personally, the notion that these renditions kill individuality in the imagination simply does not make sense. I think it just takes on a new form and the connections through music or feeling/messages of a song can not be measured in a way.


There is an artist that really embodies the explanation I’m trying to convey. Her youtube handle is Nikki Chin (above) and she’s a part of a  called Tash’s Safe Space. Her personal account is mostly made up of bass covers from what I’ve seen so far. Noticing the attention to detail that she pays tribute to in her covers really made her stand out to me.

She covers my favorite song by my favorite band called “Be Quiet and Drive (Far Away)” by Deftones. She really utilizes the accents of the song within her piece, her bass really adding definition and texture to a song I’ve heard more than a million times. I don’t know but it really felt alive to me. Like Deftones did a really good job with it and of course, no one can outdo the doer, but her cover really brought the bass to another level within the song. She does this with another song that I covered myself, “The Chain” by Fleetwood Mac. She definitely has some techniques that beautifully stray away from the song and even the tabs she used. I think the way she personalized that song is such a huge example of why covers are so important to the music industry.

tyler, question mark space, the creator question mark

I think it goes without saying that Tyler the Creator is an extremely talented artist. One of my favorite things about him is his usage of samples. How he can rebrand a song and make it something completely new. For example, in his album Igor, the track I THINK was sampled from Special Lady by Bibi Mascel and Get Down by Nkono Teles. Two songs were released decades before Igor’s time, and two songs of completely different genres. His artistry helped bring a fresh and new outlook to these with a strong rap forefront and funk/disco undertones. By far it is one of the most talented things Tyler has been able to do.

“Fantastic Magic” by TK from 凛として時雨: The Desperate Battle for An Identity

Fantastic Magic isn’t an album that necessarily tells a specific story the way Flowering did. However, all of the songs are connected by one specific theme: “Who Am I?”. Each of the songs in the album deal with the struggle for an identity, both as a person and as an artist. 

Here is a link to the full album on YouTube: 

The album begins with the title track “Fantastic Magic”


This song intertwines the struggle for identity as a person and artist. This song, like many, could be seen as a silent confession of the artists emotions towards an unknown individual. It takes a reminiscent perspective, appearing to look back on the good times the artist and the individual shared. It conveys a feeling that the artist is looking back on the past to discover who he is. Specifically in the lyrics (roughly translated):

The delusion and imagination directed at us
The delusion and imagination that we were robbed of
When I become parched, I know all the colors
My heart is pounding, you and me, and memories

The heart of those days is slow mo slow motion
My heart is empty these days Slow mo Slow motion
Fantastic Magic

This song isn’t necessarily my personal favorite out of the songs in the album, but I never skip it when it comes on.

Up next, we have what is likely Kitajima’s claim to fame: “Unravel”:


This song was the opening for the first season of the anime Tokyo Ghoul, an adaptation of the manga written by Sui Ishida. This song is all about the identity of the individual. It is a declaration of the artists lack of individual identity. A realization that he no longer knows who he is and is afraid of what he has become. It is both a cry for help and a warning to his loved ones to stay away from him. It is also a wish that others will remember him the way he used to be, the person that he sees as a “pure” version of himself. I believe the lyrics that best convey this are:

In the distorted world, I gradually become transparent and invisible
Don’t find me, don’t stare at me
In a world that someone drew I don’t want to hurt you
Remember me and keep me vivid

Overall, this song is a certified banger. If you watch anime, you’ve most likely heard this song more than once. Even then, the best is yet to come.

Following the chaotic cry for help of “Unravel” is “Kalei de scope”:


This song leans into the more existential side of the album. It is also, like “Fantastic Magic”, a fusion between the two different identity crises. One of the most significant parts of the song are the lyrics:

“Why does only the unreachable miracle move my heart?

Why is it that only memories that cannot be seen move my heart?

ordinary emotion”

These lyrics talk about how oftentimes the things we struggle the most to remember are what have the most impact on who we are as people.


After that, the song “an artist” begins:


As evident from the title, this song deals much more with the singers struggle with an identity as an artist. This is clearest in the following lyrics:

For the sake of being reflected in you, even though I can’t change

Even if I gave you everything that I captured on the remaining film

Nausea wells up, a mass of phrases I don’t even want to see

Break that key, you’re crazy crazy”

This song is about the artists desire to create art that is inherently meaningful, while also struggling with their feelings that everything they make is essentially pointless. 


This is followed by the song “tokio”:


This song is a deep dive into the identity of the person behind the artist. It is the individual. He is observing the world around him, the world of the “artist” from the perspective of the “individual”. It is a fear of change, mixed with the understanding that one must change eventually. This is shown with the lyrics

“no matter how much I overtake myself
When the morning comes, everything will rewind
If I reach out my hand, the answers overflow
Suddenly I’m broken and lost
Chasing after unfamiliar places
Forcing myself to find my place
I feel like I’ll be hated for who I am
I tried to swallow myself inside someone
It’s time to change
I still can’t say anything to the unchangeable me”


This, the bridge of the song (I think), carries the most power within this song. It is an acceptance and a denial. It is the emotions of the song summarized.

Next up is “Shinkiro”:


This song is an expression of the desires of the artist. This is shown through the lyrics

“I can’t see the important things, so listen to my music listen to my music
Don’t even doubt what you have in your hand, listen to my music listen to my music
i was having the same dream”

This song is softer, and one of the only songs with a second singer joining TK. This song is almost begging for the listener to listen to the music and messages the artist has made. It is a desire to be known as an artist.


After that comes “Dramatic Slow Motion”:


This song is complex in its own right. It is, in some ways, the realization that the individual and the artist are the same. This is best shown with the lyrics

“I want to give you a slow motion name and show it to you
In the world, my dream rock star has already entered me”

Though I believe the most powerful lyrics in the song are

“Consciousness is blown away by the delay
The volume envelops you
Harsh voices and scenery, hand in hand
This time I’m the fake star of my dreams
Can I touch your eardrums?”

These lyrics are like a repeat of the message of “Shinkiro”. The artist is asking if he is allowed to have his music heard.


The next song in the album is “Spiral Parade”:


This song is about the journey from being just an individual to also becoming an artist. This is best shown with the lyrics

“Forgetting how to blink, I chose the endless road
I’m searching with my ears open, it’s an endless Self Spiral
At some point, I touched the guitar, and there was nothing to fear
It begins when I meet myself reflected in six mirrors”

However, it is also a realization of losing yourself to your art. A fusion between the artist and the individual.

After this is “Fragile”:


This song is about the futility of the artist. It is an expression of the difference between what the artist wants to create and what they are actually capable of creating. The following lyrics support this:

I’m not here to seek pain, but
The words that come out are sad
I’m not here in search of light, but
If you can see something, that’s fine

play hide and seek
The words I want to convey are floating in the air
The only thing I can spit out is the darkness, you know?
I wish I could see everything in her transparently”

This song is a beautiful song and is one of the softest songs in the album.

To end the album, we have the song “contrast”:


This song is an acceptance and a transformation. The individual and the artist accept each other and become one. It is the most “conversational” of the songs within the album. The lyrics that best represent the song are 

you know all my favorite things
I guess I even remember my favorite chords
Why? Even though the present is overflowing
Remembering a phantom promise
If you close your eyelids, time will stop

you remember all the things i said
Because you can solve all the incomprehensible codes
Why? I don’t know who I am
I guess I was looking through a phantom telescope
I can’t close my eyes because eternity will run away”

It is a realization that there is no such thing as a permanent identity, neither for artist nor individual. 


This, while not my favorite album by TK, has some of my favorite songs by him. 


A Colorless Class

The Anti-Racist Writing Workshop – How to Decolonize the Creative Classroom” by Felicia Rose Chavez. 

White Fragility – Why it’s so Hard for White People to Talk About Racism” by DiAngelo Robin.

Eloquent Rage – A Black Feminist Discovers Her Superpower” by Cooper, Brittney C.

Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria?: And Other Conversations About Race” by Beverly Tatum.

Any book by Rick Riordan.

And thousands more. 

starting a conversation.

There are a million things I can talk about literature-wise that are important to this conversation. The ‘conversation’ in question is about how classrooms/schools/anything predominantly made up of white people mistreat and mishandle situations concerning any other race. I write about characters of color, and I’ll tell you why. It’s because it needs to be talked about. It’s because I see beauty in other cultures. That’s it. It’s because I want a little kid to read about a character in my stories, and I want them to relate. I want them to be able to see themselves in this piece instead of a “Y/N with blue eyes and blond hair.” I want to stop reading about people like that because it was all I read. I want people to challenge themselves.

one of your favorite authors, even…

A prime example of a white AND published author doing this correctly is the author of the Percy Jackson series, Rick Riordan. Annabeth Chase (the main love interest) has light-tanned skin, blond curly hair, and stormy grey eyes. Now, you would start to think, “Is that not just a Y/N trope that you previously described?” It is. Guess what, though? In the entirety of the series, he also includes BIPOC. Bianca Di Angelo, Nico Di Angelo, Charles Beckendorf, Ethan Nakamura, Grover Underwood, Reyna Avila Ramirez-Arellano, Carter Kane, Leo Valdez, Frank Zhang, AND MORE. So yes, while the main love interest for that may be a Y/N sort of fantasy, BIPOC characters also get just as much love and appreciation from this author. Later in the Magnus Chase series, Rick introduces a love interest named Alex Fierro. Alex is a Mexican, genderfluid, and formerly homeless teenager. Rick is none of those things, and yet many fans relate to and love Alex dearly.

fear is no excuse

If someone is afraid of misrepresenting a culture or group of people, all they have to do is do their own research and reach out for help. There are BIPOC editors who will help with that EXACT thing. Nobody will walk through every sentence with someone while editing,  hoping it will help with the representation of BIPOC because they shouldn’t have to. It isn’t their job to do that.

final message

When I was a kid, all I wanted to do was be like Rick Riordan. I wanted to create worlds full of color for all people to enjoy. Even if only five people read my work, I hope they feel represented. Even better, if one hundred people read my work and feel represented well!

BIPOC deserve the recognition they have never been given.

A Late “Lost Girl” Analysis :)

So, anyone who knows me knows that the MSA production of “Lost Girl” by Kimberly Belflower threw me for several loops. Reactions including but not limited to: An entire poetry collection, including a 100+ line self portrait, an entire identity crisis (Short lived and easily resolved but still), and a little too close relation to the character of Wendy. That play made me take a good, long look at several core aspects of myself and my emotions, and put me through an emotional spectrum I haven’t felt in a very long time; the hallmark of truly great art. Naturally, it earns this month’s analysis. 

DISCLAIMER: I am not giving a summary and reading further could spoil the play. Read at your own discretion. : )

The first fantastic aspect of this play is the way that it utilizes Peter Pan himself. Peter is built up as this great big concept, while so rarely being portrayed on stage. Such tactics are not uncommon in storytelling, particularly playwriting, but it’s done explicitly well here. Peter, conflated with the concept of himself Wendy has formed in her own memory and attached herself to, grows to represent and play the part of things much bigger than he could ever be. He’s the memory of Wendy’s last moments of joy, the now past concept of who she was, the personification of the only love she’s ever felt. He’s freedom, hope, love itself, happiness personified. But, when he finally comes back on stage, he’s simply Peter. He can’t, wasn’t, and won’t ever be any of those things, and the inevitable and wordless disappointment that comes with realizing this is the key catalyst to Wendy’s eventual recovery, which just happens to be one of the best utilizations of the concept I’ve seen in quite a while. 

Another absolutely stunning aspect of this play is Belflower’s use of visual/conceptual metaphor. For example, the most obvious is the window in Wendy’s room. Throughout the whole play, in a show of persistence and pointless hope, Wendy keeps the window open, even when the cold air makes her sick. She does this from the day she returns as a child to the day she sees Peter again and begins to let go. When she realizes Peter can never be what she needs him to be, she asks him to leave and closes the window. She lets go of her hope. It’s the single most fitting ending I’ve ever seen. Other examples of masterful metaphor in the production is Wendy’s kiss, symbolizing anything from purity to happiness, as well as the bedroom itself, which is symbolic of Wendy’s past and her unwillingness to leave it. The play is packed full of masterful metaphors. 

Finally, the best thing about this play, as with many, is the monologues, specifically Wendy’s. There are many instances I can, and will if prompted, go on and on about, but for the sake of word count I’m going to focus on one. That monologue is the one that is repeated/modified throughout the play. The infamous “I give myself eight minutes a day to think about him.” Throughout the production, Wendy delivers a version of this same monologue to the audience to benchmark where she is in her progress of letting go. It’s also her final monologue before she sees Peter again. The entire thing is always a wonderfully crafted literary masterpiece, but the mere concept of someone spending so much time in a certain thought process that they have a defined way to think about their own thoughts speaks for itself. The monologue is beautiful, truly. 

Honorable mention to the use of the chorus/other girls. It’s truly one of the best writing tactics I’ve seen in a long time, and Belflower uses it masterfully. 

Now, with all of that being said, I’ll close out now. Thank you for listening to my “Lost Girl” tangents, and I’ll see you next month!  

-Elliot <3

letterboxd: the happiest place on earth

hello! this month, i’ll be talking about my favorite app–letterboxd. it’s a place where you can log, rate, and review every movie you’ve ever seen and even make lists of of movies you’d like to see. it combines my favorite things in the world–movies, analyzing, and list-making. in honor of my appreciation for the app, i’ll be listing some of my reviews to give y’all a sample of what letterboxd is like.

I Think We’re Alone Now 2008 ★★★★½

this, for me, is what documentary filmmaking (especially indie) is all about. a heartbreaking, raw, and sometimes hilarious picture of the lives of two very peculiar people. i love the low-budget look and quality. it’s provides an oddly comforting, fitting feel. every choice feels deliberate and perfect, right down to the title cards and closing credits. sean donnelly deserves way more credit for this. if you enjoyed this film, check out its website! it’s got cool bonus info and pictures.

Experimenter 2015 ★★★

i don’t completely remember watching this. i just remember enjoying it and thinking colin firth did a great job. imagine my surprise when i found that he is in no way, shape, or form in this movie. no clue where i got that from. good movie, though!

Practical Magic 1998 ★★★★★

never knew how badly i needed to see stockard channing and sandra bullock do witchcraft with stevie nicks in the background. perfect, warm, comforting. smilled so big my face hurts.

Cyberbully 2011 ★½

definition of camp. you had to be there.

The Way We Were 1973 ★★★★

heartbreaking in the very best way. something about them felt doomed from the start, but i rooted for them every step of the way. i absolutely love the dialogue in this film, to the point where i found myself typing notes as i watched. i’ll definitely be rewatching this movie as soon as i mop up all the tears from my floor.

Thelma & Louise 1991 ★★★★½

equal parts tragic and hilarious. a beautiful, messy story of two incredible women who thrive together. perhaps the best casting of a duo i’ve ever seen. God bless susan sarandon.

Halloween Ends 2022 ★★★★½

wow, people really hate this movie. personally, it might be my favorite in the franchise other than the original. i think that it managed to cut through the bullshit of the rest of the series and get back to the heart of what truly makes it so effective—the character-driven plot. halloween is so effective in making the audience fall in love with its characters—laurie, dr. loomis, even michael. and this movie, for me, is no exception. i definitely understand why many people didn’t like this film. most think that there wasn’t enough of michael, and that made it weak. i don’t feel that way. in my mind, halloween is and always was laurie’s story. and this was the perfect ending to it.

thanks for reading!

random keanu picture to sum up the past month of my life