Photo courtesy of Sunny Mama via Wikimedia Commons.

First of all, congratulations! You’ve taken the first step toward publishing: deciding on an idea, however vague. This is by far the easiest part. The next part involves asking yourself a series of questions about the project in question and how you plan to publish it. (Naturally you also have to write it, but that goes without saying. So let’s talk about the business side.)

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I’ve been blown away by all the positive responses I’ve received for the blog post I published about my depression. I haven’t been able to respond to all the messages and comments scattered around, but thank you so much to everyone who read it, shared it, and took the time to tell me how much they care about me. Knowing that someone you love is struggling is extremely hard, and sometimes you might think that the little gestures you make don’t make a difference, but they do. They really do.

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[Content warning for discussion of depression and suicidal ideation]

I graduated from college three years ago. My family was ecstatic. After four long years of exams, 10-page papers, and struggling to stay awake during lectures, I was getting a bachelor’s degree. I was one step closer to the elusive status of “independent adult” that had seemed so foreign to me since I was a kid.

I had a lot of advantages, but it wasn’t an easy path at all. My anxiety and depression had peaked my sophomore year in high school, leading me to be home schooled for 11th and 12th grades. I didn’t go to a prom, a senior trip, or walk across a stage in cap and gown. Years ago my mom asked me for one request: that I wear a dress when I graduated from middle school and high school, and for my wedding. When I graduated from middle school, I wore a bright red, flowy dress that showed off my legs and arms. For high school, I ordered a $30 diploma online and stayed in my pajamas for most of the summer.

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Someone on Twitter (another artist) posted a poll asking whether digital art is “real” art, meaning does it have intrinsic value the way “traditional” art (art made with physical materials like canvas, paint, pencil, etc.) is always assumed to have. When it popped up on my timeline about 90% of people had given the right answer (which is a big “HELL YES”) but it got me in my feels and I had to drop some T on it that I didn’t even know I had in the pantry.

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I literally can’t with reality right now. Two more black men were shot by racist assholes, and I’ll probably end up voting for Hillary Clinton next year. Everything is terrible. So I *may* have spent this weekend watching video game walkthroughs on YouTube, gorging on dairy products and drawing black girls watching the sun set together:

By Your Side WIP1

 

Things that I have learned so far: 1) I never draw more than two characters in one picture and 2) My art portfolio is so sparse it’s pathetic. Maybe I should make drawing cute girls a weekly thing.

I don’t even know if I have the energy to finish this. The sky will be fun, though!

Posted in Art Comments Off on Works in Progress: April 14, 2015

As you can plainly see, “Dreams in Tandem” is no more and I’ve migrated my online presence to this here website, which was gorgeously designed by Hafsah Faizal of IceyDesigns. I created my first blog over five years ago, back when I was still in high school and my biggest concern was not being prepared and flunking out of college. Now, I’ve graduated and moved on to a whole new, bigger set of life problems including finding a job, reconnecting with my creative roots in writing and painting, and learning to adult without overloading from all the cynicism such pursuits entail.

(#IHaveNoIdeaWhatImDoingWithMyLifeButImPrettySureImAlreadyAFailure definitely applies.)

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Posted in Personal Experience Comments Off on New Site + General Updates
Cover image via Goodreads

Love is the Drug by Alaya Dawn Johnson has a fairly standard sci-fi plot: A deadly flu mutates and begins killing thousands of people worldwide, causing international panic and war as the United States declares martial law at home. Then, in the middle of the chaos, a political conspiracy begins taking shape… etc., etc.

Then there’s Emily Bird, a senior at an elite prep school in Washington D.C., who has always bent to her mother’s will. Now, she’s facing a crisis of identity. Continue reading

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For the last three months, I was living in New York City for a summer internship at The New York Times. It seems weird to type that using the past tense, because it simultaneously feels like only yesterday and forever ago that I graduated with my bachelor’s in May. Now, after years of following a clear-cut path — brush your teeth, go to school, get good grades, graduate — I’m left wondering, what now? In a lot of ways, this summer helped answer that question for me, but in other ways, I’m left even more confused than before.

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(Cover image and summary courtesy of Goodreads)

Emma looks forward to the day when she can let go of her past—both of them. After more than a year on the run, with clues to her parents’ whereabouts within her grasp, she may finally find a place to settle down. Start a new life. Maybe even create new memories with a new family.

But the past rises to haunt her and to make sure there’s nowhere on the planet she can hide. Declan Burke wants his wife back, and with a little manipulation and a lot of reward money, he’s got the entire world on his side. Except for the one man she dreads confronting the most: Noah Tucker.

Emma returns to face what she’s done but finds that the past isn’t the problem. It’s the present—and the future it represents. Noah has moved on and another woman is raising their daughter.

In the shocking conclusion to M.D. Waters’s spectacular debut, Emma battles for her life and her freedom, tearing down walls and ripping off masks to reveal the truth. She’s decided to play their game and prove she isn’t the woman they thought she was. Even if it means she winds up dead. Or worse, reborn.

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(Cover image and summary courtesy of Goodreads.)

Sam Kercher is every inch a wickedly hot Marine. Tall. Sexy. Lethal. When his best friends call in a favor, Sam is forced to face an entirely new line of duty—playing nanny for their newly divorced sister and her squirming seven-month-old twin boys. If Sam can dissemble an M16 in his sleep, diaper duty should be a cakewalk…right?

Unfortunately, Operation Nanny isn’t quite that simple. Sheridan has sworn off overbearing military men, so Sam must protect her from her dirtbag ex without revealing just how much he has in common with her brothers. Or that he’s been ordered not to touch her. Ever. Problem is, Sheri’s one hell of a gorgeous woman, capable of making this hard-bodied marine even harder. And Sam wants her bad.

Protect the girl. Care for the babies. Hide his identity. And keep his hands off. But even the most disciplined Marine has weaknesses…and Sheridan is one Sam might not be able to resist.

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