Being Marginalized Is Not A Free Pass To Avoid Scrutiny

There seems to be a gray area hovering throughout the lands of the internet, as well as outside of the digital world. It has materialized as controversies have arisen, and people have drawn their lines of what they will or won’t allow to come to pass without comment. However, this gray area of indecision, or decisively placed rose colored glasses, is insidious at best, and therefore should not exist.

An identity is not meant to shield, because actions determine your character, regardless of who you are. Furthermore, though every single person will make a mistake at some point, that does not excuse the action which remains erroneous in nature. To point to past decent actions as reason that you should be forgiven, is immoral, and also just as wrong as attempting to hide from scrutiny behind your identity.

Recently, after a slew of various events within the book community, this has been weighing on my mind. It is not easy to hear that you’ve committed an error, but rather than become defensive and point to your sexual orientation or other marginalized identity, it should be rather obvious that the best path forward would be to admit to wrong doing, and then commit to doing better going forward. We’re all human, and therefore pre-disposed to making mistakes. However, nothing can remove the blame for your own choices or actions. You, and you alone, are responsible. Being marginalized is not an eraser than can absolve you.

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The Poet X: A Book Review

I stalled breathing at the close of a book that made use of beautiful and vivid prose; this was my reaction to The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo. This novel, which is written in verse, is an empowering work that reminds us all we have the power to speak up for who we are, even in the face of adversity.

Xiomara Batista, also known as the Poet X, is a sophomore in high school who crafts poems to escape the rigid life that is being the daughter of a devout Catholic mother, who expects more than she is willing to give. Her writing is her escape from her life and a place where she finds her own voice. Throughout the book, we watch as Xiomara changes from passively floating along, to taking charge of her life when she can no longer take what it has become.

For anyone who has toxic family members or parents, or a difficult relationship with their relatives, this book may hit quite close to home. I personally connected with Xiomara as she too had a tense, and at times tenuous relationship with her mother. The representation that remains at the forefront though, I am not, so I will not comment on that. However, even so, that matters little as a well written book transcends identities, and allows us to view that which we might not else be privy a window into were it not for novels such as these.

From beginning to end, I was compelled to complete this story as I became encompassed with raw emotion. Even as I came to the close, I felt that this novel is better left as a bit of mystery, and something that each reader should experience for themselves.

Trigger warnings: Abuse

I rated this 4/5 stars on Goodreads.

Disclaimer: I read this book of my own accord, and was in no way compensated for this review. All thoughts are my own.

Wake Up, White People – The Time Has Come For Us To Step Back and Step Up

Wake Up, White People – The Time Has Come For Us To Step Back and Step Up

This article is long over due, but in the wake of multiple tragedies caused by white supremacist ideology, in my humble opinion, it is necessary. The problem, as has been stated by countless individuals across various platforms, as well as out loud, is us. Yes, us. Whether we realize it or not, at least a part of each one of us has been complicit in a form of aiding and abetting behavior that could lead to what occurred in New Zealand at one point in our lives. While this is not an easy post for me to write, as those who were impacted by the tragedy attempt to heal from the pain they are feeling, we who are not, have a job to do – take a hard look at ourselves and do better.

For background, I was raised in an environment that breeds racism like infected rabbits. It was toxic, as one could presume, and infected me in ways I wish not to repeat, because that mindset is harmful, and should be furthered no more. Still, thinking such as that has become a widespread problem throughout the world, creating spaces that have become unsafe for anyone without light skin, a cross around their neck or praises of Jesus on their lips. I, as someone who has been further educated by various people of color, wish to change this.

To be clear, I want no part of the “White Savior Narrative”. That is not my intention in writing this, nor will it never be. However, I do hope to educate fellow individuals, who seek to allow complacence to become the breeding ground upon which more sinister forces could re-populate if not addressed, to re-evaluate at the bare minimum. Silence is compliance.

Which leads me to this – white people, it’s time we hold ourselves and others accountable, if we have not been doing so thus far. Sentiments that lead to the destruction of life for those who are not like us do not begin when someone places their hands on a weapon, but far earlier. It is time we acknowledge that passivity cannot continue as that is what allows for dangerous thoughts to run rampant.

Whether we like to admit it or not, our voices have been amplified because of our skin color alone, in some cases. It is a fact that while some disagree vehemently about, as they refuse to see their privilege as it is, there are others of us who see it and hope to do better with it. We cannot do this alone though. Collectively, not only in times of sorrow, but in joy, we must all commit to constant vigilance, and refuse to allow hate to poison the water of life.

Likewise, our current political environment has given rise to some of the most virulent strands of hate in recent years. The words of politicians have been heeded or taken as permission to do harm to those who are not of the same gender, race, ethnicity, and much more. Anyone with a shred of sense will realize that this is not okay, and it needs to stop.

So, as a Caucasian person, what can you or I do? It’s simple, really. We need to stop, take a step back, and listen. Listen to whom, you might ask? To the very people that our actions have either indirectly or directly caused harm to – people of color, those of different religions other than Christianity, and so on. Their voices are the ones that should be heard now, as they are the ones who are repeatedly slighted.

For some, this task might not prove to be difficult at all. However, there are others of us who refuse to allow their voices to be unheard, even when our opinions are unnecessary. This is the path that has led to countless, senseless shootings and other acts of violence or microaggressions against those who have been previously harmed by colonialism and white supremacy for as far back as history can reach. Regardless of what has taken place in the past, this must end now.

Geoffrey Holder once said, “Education begins at home. You can’t blame the school for not putting into your child what you don’t put into him.” With that being said, that racist uncle who makes rude comments during the news? Hold him accountable. That sibling who makes jokes about people of color? Hold them accountable. The bottom line is that, if we do not address the hate we see surrounding us in our daily lives, then how can we expect it not to fester, and manifest elsewhere outside of it?

If you take offense to this post, then consider it a reprimand, as well as a call to action. I am not perfect, and have believed toxic mind sets in the past. It is only because I have met and learned from others in my life who are different from me, as well as read countless articles and posts by people who live in a skin so distinct from my own, that I became aware that I had been wrong on so many accounts. With that being said, words have power, as does knowledge, and I intend to use mine for good, rather than perpetuating hate.

For those wishing to boost the fundraiser on social media, or donate to the victims of the recent shootings in New Zealand, I will leave a link below. As needed, I will update with more if I find any other legitimate ones.

United for Christchurch Mosque Shootings via LaunchGood


A Month of Organized Writing

Here we are, thirty-two days into the year, and I have made it a solid month of writing every single day. With the help of careful planning and effort towards productivity, I managed this. It was not always easy, but it was worth it.

As of now, I am still working on finishing my novel outline. I managed the bulk of it in January, which is a massive feat, considering everything that I had thrown my way. My goal is not to rush, but to construct an outline that will guide me well as I write the first draft of the book. Were I to rush the culmination of it, I might end up sacrificing quality for speed, which is not something I desire to do.

As far as the blog, I exceeded my expectations here, in the end. Although, despite my best intentions to craft a schedule that would allow me to ease into the rhythm of posting three times a week, what I had mapped out looked more like a mountain than a molehill, when I began. However, that schedule, ever flexible and changing, has served me well on my journey to become a more strict and methodical writer.

My newfound organization has given me the freedom to create in my own time, without sacrificing what I love doing outside of writing. With my newly minted work ethic intact, and the ideas flowing fluidly from mind to page, I enter this new month with the goal of continuing this trend.

Of Returning and the Road Ahead

 

Current Time- 7:39 P.M.

Current Mood- Slightly frustrated, but determined.

Caffeine Level- Extremely low. I’m not quite sure that I can function much longer without my socially acceptable addiction.

Words Written in the Past 48 Hours- Less than 2,000. It’s pitiful, really.

So, it’s been an awful long time since I’ve logged into this blog. I feel like the last year or so has been more draining and hectic than a few others, but thankfully I survived the storm. In the time that I’ve been gone, a lot of stuff has gone on in my personal life. I’ve been working hard, as well as hardly working.

I managed to snag a job last year, in my dire time of need. I had a good run there, but some good things must come to an end. I’ve written more fanfiction, as well as sections of novels I hope to one day publish. Babies have been born, nuptials have occurred, and my little family of three has grown older. Life has continued on, with me tagging along for the ride.

Now, I’m back. I have no plans of going anywhere this time, as I crack down on myself, in an effort to progress further in my nearly non existent professional writing career. I should have done this ages ago, but the important point to remember is that I am now.

Next month is Camp NaNoWriMo, and it is my hope that I will be able to write at least 40,000 solid words on my first novel. It’s a fantasy, and something that I have been planning for ten years. The series it belongs to, I have, anyways. The actual book was tacked onto the whole series two months ago, but it is actually essential to the rest of the novels which will follow. Ah, the life of a writer.

In my quest to become a published author, I will sing and bitch about it all here accordingly, depending on where I’m at in the process of which work. Maybe one day, someone will realize how brilliant I am, and simply offer me a book contract on the spot. HAH! Now that’s just wishful thinking. However, I’ll still hold out hope.

Until next time, may your coffee be flowing, and your sleep adequate.

The Socially Awkward Writer Seeks Employment

Current Time- 12:02 a.m.

Current Mood- Relatively calm, while mildly anxious

Caffeine Level- Moderately low, after a wonderful high.

Words Written in the Past 48 Hours- Around 3,000 at the very least.

Life, it seems, really is filled with bends and twists. My better half is no longer employed, therefore I am venturing out into the world to find a means of acquiring funds. The difficulty with this journey is that I am wholeheartedly a socially awkward nerd. Does social anxiety count as a marketable skill? One could wish so, I suppose.

Just as with writing and blogging, I somehow must convince these managers that I am worth their time and fit to become their employee. While I’m altogether a fairly likable person as a whole, add in social anxiety and a whole host of other mental problems stemming from life events and uncontrollable DNA, and here I am wondering myself if I am legitimately the person for the job. Nevertheless, as a Slytherin, I hope I am able to carefully conceal all of this to reenter the grueling world that is retail. Wish me luck!

Of Time Well Spent

Current time: 12:30 a.m. (Unfortunately, not five o’clock somewhere anymore.)

Current Mood: Sleepy

Caffeine Level: Pleasantly Decreasing

Words Written In Past 48 hours: At least 5,000

Today, my 1 year old, who is nearly two, went to bed early. For anyone who simply does not understand the struggle of a toddler who does not sleep, here is a little glimpse:

I Have a Dream sleep

No sleep

Tiny Human

When said tiny human does happen to fall asleep it feels like this:

So Much Win

So, with that being said, tonight felt like I was Dobby, who had just been given a sock. (Also, my home may look as if there is not a house elf living here anymore, but that is entirely beside the point.) Because of this, I have been able to watch two whole episodes of Once Upon A Time and knit my first attempt at a Slytherin beanie! This may not seem like much, but for someone who always feels busy every hour of the day, this is a huge accomplishment.

With Christmas coming closer, I am beginning the task of making all of the gifts homemade this year, as I had previously decided I would. Although it will take longer, knitting and such is quite therapeutic for me. It helps me channel my pottery demolishing urges upon becoming extremely ticked off. Really, I’m not only doing this for me, but for all the pottery that was not made simply to be broken. It’s a win-win. 🙂

Ps. Happy International Coffee Day!