A Writer's 21st Century Memoir.

Posts tagged “journalism

The First Check I Received As An Author

A large white envelope sat at the back of my mailbox. I pulled it out along with some bills and junk mail. I thumbed through the pile of magazines, postcards, and decorative postage making sure that every parcel had been delivered to the correct metal box. However, when I got to the large white envelope with a bright yellow redirect sticker plastered on the front with my name on it, I could have sworn right there and then that the United States Postal Service delivered the envelope to the wrong person.

I looked at the envelope again. It had been addressed to me. It was from Amazon Digital Services and the presentation of the envelope prompted me to assume that there was something important inside. I opened up the envelope and looked at the contents with a face that seemed genuinely surprised. I had received my first check from the eBook that I had published online. (more…)


Be Quiet, It’s Christmas

I swore never to be silent whenever and wherever human beings endure suffering and humiliation. We must always take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented. -Elie Wiesel

“It has gotten to a point where I am genuinely annoyed at everyone else’s annoyance – be it social, political, or otherwise. It’s the week before Christmas, folks. Make some cocoa, sing a song, and get on with life.”

I saw the post on Facebook. An acquaintance had typed a message meant for peace, but rooted in disgust and ignorance. I couldn’t help but think, yes, it’s Christmas, but what are we going back to? Our “annoyance” was for police brutality, the injustice that has occurred in our “justice” system, and the racism and prejudice that has been embedded deeply into our society.

So, I read the comment on the Facebook status below. (more…)


“W” is for Waitlisted

The Thing About These Recent Tuition and Fee Hikes For Education

Photo by Richard Lee via Flickr

Photo by Richard Lee via Flickr

The estimated costs of attending college in the University Of California school system for undergraduates during the entire 2013-2014 academic school year was $36,078. With estimated costs for books and supplies at $1,500, living costs at $13,800, personal and transportation costs at $2,200, and health insurance fees at $1,700, the total average estimated cost for education can put you back $55,278 a year. As of today, approved to raise tuition as much as 28% by 2019 for at University of California schools.

For California State University Schools the price tag rings a little differently, but the costs for attending the institutions are continuing to rise as well. During the 1989-1990 academic school year, tuition fees were at $700. Today, according to the California State University website, undergraduate CSU students pay $5,472 and, on average, mandatory campus fees of $1,287 totaling their costs to $6,759.

The other day I was speaking with a friend, who also went to the same Cal State School, about registering for classes. She was nervous, as everyone else was, about getting the classes that she needs in order to graduate on time. (more…)


L is for the Locals

LA visitor drives in from over the Grapevine and into the thin layer of smog covering the lid of the Central Valley that has been collected from cites all over. The non-local knows only of what he has been told. For the strange new face, Bakersfield is this mystic town filled with locals riding horses on city streets in barren desert. However, he eventually changes his tune after his personal tour guide and former local resident takes him on a journey.

The stranger is taken onto the fertile land, where the majority of the nation’s produce is grown. The visitor realizes how close everything is to the city at the base of the valley. The mountains of Tehachapi, Lake Isabella, Los Angeles, the beaches along the coast, and the family owned farms and dairies, surround the growing city creating new and exciting events and ideas for vacations.  (more…)


The Thing About Social Activism

Photo by Jason Howie via Flickr

Photo by Jason Howie via Flickr

It took me a week to figure out the videos that were being posted all over Facebook and Vine were for raising awareness for Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), or Lou Gehrig’s Disease, “a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord.” I remember leaning over to a friend siting next to me to tell her what these Ice Bucket Challenges were all about after finding it out myself to which she responded, “Huh? What is ALS?”

The Ice Bucket Challenge goes like this: People are asked to make a video of themselves dumping a bucket of ice water on their heads, post it a social media site, and then challenge three friends to do the same within 24 hours or donate $100 to ALS.

The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge went viral in the hopes of raising awareness through social media, and although it has come to be a great way to inform people about ALS, it didn’t exactly start off that way. (more…)