Of Freelance and Quarantine

Well, hello there world! It’s basically May and my little heart has missed this blog and ranting and raving about TV shows and movies. Like many of you, I’ve been home since mid-March, trying to manage. I’ve Zoomed, I’ve FaceTimed, I’ve done it all. I finished up my post-grad program right as the stay-at-home order began in March and let me tell you that the job hunt in the advertising world in a pandemic is….well you can imagine, especially because I live right across the Hudson from New York City.

Thankfully, I still have a freelance job, copywriting, and doing some content creation that is getting me by. It’s definitely not how I imagined the first few weeks of post-grad life but I feel like I said that years ago when I got my bachelor’s degree.

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I’m so ready to get back into fiction writing and talking about television, music, and movies. Lately, I’ve been bingeing an anime called Haikyu on my lunch break. It’s a great show. I definitely didn’t expect to like another sports anime after watching Prince of Tennis back in middle school. I also finally saw Parasite! It was so good. The film had so many messages and moments that kept me engaged.

School got me behind on all of my favorites so here’s my watchlist.

  1. Extraction
  2. The Last Kingdom (Season 4)
  3. How to Get Away With Murder (Season 6)
  4. Big Little Lies
  5. Legion (Season 3)
  6. Queen Sugar (Season 4)
  7. Locke & Key
  8. The Crown (Season 3 – Started but didn’t finish)
  9. Cheer
  10. Insecure

What shows have been watching lately and what’s a habit you’ve started or broken during quarantine?

 

Logo Draft

Tuesday Talks: Breaks and Refocusing

Happy Tuesday all,

It’s been a while since I’ve done a Tuesday Talk post and that’s mainly because I’ve been focusing on some other things. I spent a while on a very time-consuming application for a graduate school program. It took a lot of creative thinking, research, and execution. In the end, I didn’t get in. It took me a few days to accept that because it had been the first time I was rejected from a school. I’m not afraid to admit I bawled my eyes out.

*Note: I applied to about 12 or so schools for undergrad and got into them all. I have a few other schools to apply to so I’m not giving up hope.

I’ve spent the last week or so planning my next steps and relaxing after the stressful waiting period. I also started working on cleaning up my categories and tags for this blog. I will admit that there was some bitterness because the project took time that could have gone to my WIP. But after talking to some friends I realized that graduate school is a part of my plan and there will be setbacks. A setback isn’t time wasted it’s simply life and God telling me which road I need to take.

I’m happy to be getting back to my WIP and will be posting more on here throughout the summer as I work to reach those writing goals and apply to the other programs. This may be a stretch, but if you work in advertising or know anyone in advertising, especially any copywriters I would love to chat with you about how you got to point that you have in your career.

Kira Elise

A to Z Challenge: K is for Kites

I had a kite once as a kid. My grandpa tried his hardest to show me how to use it. I tried my best to follow his instructions, but it was a fail. I remember getting so tangled up and frustrated. Our backyard is fairly large, but the trees were the real enemy. No matter what direction I guided the plastic toy, they’d ensnare it in their branches. Today, I came across the picture below in a Google search.

I really just want to ask the beach goers how they did it. I couldn’t even get a standard sized kite to fly properly in a backyard. Hey, you! How did you manage to get a giant panda flying with coastal winds blowing?

Failing at something and seeing others succeed at it sucks. The irritation and self-doubt you feel right after the fact is never a fun place to be. But, I always start to think about the things I’m talented or good at that others are not. Life’s about balance. You can’t be good at everything. You have to let someone else fly their kite. You go on and fly your plane.

 

Kira Elise

2 for one special today since I missed yesterday. Stay tuned for L.

A to Z Challenge: J is for Joy

I’ve always been the kind of person who refused to let people and circumstances steal my joy. Don’t get me wrong, I get frustrated and angry about things and at people. I’ve dealt with the loss of two close people in the last five months. I’ve cried and questioned.

When I say steal my joy, I meant allowing those people and events to keep my down. To lead me to a depression where I don’t want to get out of bed, where my favorite things are unappealing, where I want to simply be left alone.  I’ve experienced that in the two years since graduating college when I didn’t have any interviews lined up. When my former classmates and friends found jobs and got engaged. When I never heard back from companies. 

My family kept asking about how I was and if I had been applying. I wanted to kill time with writing, but even that escaped me at times. It was an unexpected turn of post grad life that I struggled with. I never went to my doctor about it because I thought, “Hey, I’m getting out of bed most days and I’m still eating regularly. I don’t want to hurt myself either. I just hate doing the same thing day in and day out with no progress.”

It sucked, but I found joy anyway I could. My friends made me laugh. Talking to my mom about her day took my mind of off my own dismal days. Even church helped. Randomly on Twitter one day I saw a tweet discussing post graduate depression and so many others had joined the conversation talking about their own experience. It brought me comfort. I wasn’t alone.

Now, I have a plan. I’m working on grad school applications. The push to do so may have come from a loss, but it’s the beginning of the next chapter. It’s progress that’s a source of joy.

Kira Elise

Tuesday Talks: Lost Time

In life, you make plans and then things unfold that change them. My plan was to hit 50,000 words on my WIP this month. Spending two weeks being sick and losing my voice for several days were not a part of the plan. For some, it’s not physical illnesses that force a shift but mental. Trying to find the energy, motivation, or just simply peace of mind to do much, let alone write, can be a struggle during those times. As a writer, it feels to me like trying to start a car with no gas.

As we get into February, I look back at not just the last week that has been beyond hectic and emotional with the unexpected loss of my grandfather, but the last month. I now find myself frustrated as I shift last month’s goals and tasks into this month’s pages in my bullet journal. I cringe at what feels like lost time.

This week, I’m coming to terms with loss; of time and of a loved one. Writers experience a change in plans all the time from that line you love being crossed out by an editor, to having to give up on that WIP we loved but simply couldn’t finish. A change of plans can lead to better things. Even if in the moment it makes us cry, lose sleep, and stress, the other side may just be brighter.

Kira Elise

Tuesday Talks: Writing Through Grief

I started a draft for this post back in December after close friends lost their mother. I never came back to it because I wasn’t sure exactly what to say or how to finish it. Today, I write through my own grief. Today, I can finish this because I now have a deeper understanding of the emotions and the state of mind after a loss.

I’ve been blessed in that I haven’t felt the loss of many close loved ones. When my grandfather, my mother’s step-father, passed away when I was thirteen, I used writing as an outlet. He was the man that taught me how to ride a bike, to draw, and express myself creatively. Back then it was poetry and some really cheesy fanfiction. I cringe looking back at some of the things I wrote prior to and during my “scene kid” phase of healing, rebelling, and blasting screamo. I can tell you that in an African-American household it caused some issues and concern.

Early this morning, my grandpa, my mother’s father, passed away. I hadn’t been able to sleep so I was awake when we got the call quarter to three. As we sat in the nursing home waiting for the funeral home, I got the urge to write. It felt ill-timed so at first, I didn’t indulge. After some time, I opened the “Notes” app on my phone and wrote a poem.

It was bad, it didn’t rhyme, there was no flow, but it helped for a time. In the midst of the tears, I was still creating. In the midst of loss and death, I was producing a new thing. My brain was bringing my attention to things that made me smile.

I’ve gotten three hours of sleep in the last 24 hours and it’s going to be a hard few days, but I’m blessed to have a love and passion for a skill that allows me to express my thoughts, get lost in a different world, and make those I love immortal.

Rest in peace, grandpa. I love you.

Kira Elise

Tuesday Talks: The Rules of Setting Goals

Setting goals and creating to-do lists are great ways to get organized and keep track of the steps you’re taking towards something you want to achieve. Whether that achievement is losing weight, completing a novel, starting a new business, or going back to school, monitoring your progress can be a motivator to keep you going.

I spent the first week of the new year setting goals for everything from my writing and fitness to more secondary things like learning how to sew and practicing my hand lettering. Here are just a few of my goals for 2017:

  • Write at least 1,000 words a day
  • Finish my WIP
  • Drink more water
  • Make at least one new writing connection each month
  • Start setting aside savings for a car

Before and during the process of jotting down my goals, I took some time to read about setting goals and how others do it.

One thing that stood out to me is the idea of making sure your goals are realistic. I’m assuming the people who list this bit of advice in their articles mean only adding goals that you can realistically reach. While it’s somewhat true and beneficial for some people not to create outlandish goals, I like to add everything I want to achieve, realistic or not.

I believe you’re doing yourself a disservice if you don’t allow yourself to dream and have big aspirations that you’re not sure can happen. If you’re advised not a to include something in your goals list, you won’t strive for it. If you’re not trying to reach that goal, you’ll never know if you could have actually done it. Don’t put barriers on yourself.

When it comes to setting goals, create your own rules!

Kira Elise

Wednesday Words

Happy Wednesday everyone! As the holiday season rolls around and the weather turns cold, some people need a little extra pep in their step. Here are this week’s words of encouragement, including shifting perspective and writing.

 

We must let go of the life we have planned, as to accept the one that is waiting for us. — Joseph Campbell

Keep your face always towards the sun – and the shadows will fall behind you.             — Walt Whitman

“We are all apprentices in a craft where no one ever becomes a master.”
—Ernest Hemingway

 

Kira Elise

 

Tuesday Talks: All Summer 16′

As summer ended last week,  I sat on the beach with my family taking in the views and the breeze. I reflected back on all that’s happened this summer in the media, pop culture, and in my own life with my writing and my search for full-time employment. I learned a bit about myself and where I want to be.

Photo Aug 02, 7 42 36 PM

Me in Times Square

My new mission, besides finishing my novel, is to get myself to New York. I spent a week as an intern at an advertising firm and I knew I needed to be in the city even more than I had thought before.

I learned that copywriting just may be the way for me. I also learned that just because I may not have the inspiration for one work, my creativity isn’t in a slump. While I took a step back from my main novel I started drafting and even writing more than one short story and even some fanfiction.

I know for some writers, fan fiction isn’t serious work but I remind myself the heart and time that goes into a project like that and that some published works start out as fanfiction.

My obsessions from this summer were Captain America: Civil War and its introduction of Black Panther, Netflix’s Stranger Things, John Boyega, and Adweek’s weekly Twitter chats. I’m a big Marvel fan and I’m super excited to see Chadwick Boseman on my screen again in his own solo hero film.

Strangers Things took me by surprise. Everyone was raving about it and I wasn’t even sure if I was going to watch it. I was already into season two of Marco Polo and I’m not a fan of scary things. My best friend and I randomly decided to watch it one day. By the end of the week, we had finished the show and I loved it.

Of course, things didn’t go exactly as I had planned this summer but when is life predictable?

Kira Elise

Tuesday Talks: Taking Big Steps

Happy Tuesday everyone.

I’m traveling this week, but I made sure to slide this one in while I’m tucked away in my hotel room for the night. This week, I’m visiting the city I want to live and work in very soon. It’s my first time traveling this far alone and it was a big step. I’m legally an adult and have been out of college for a year, but I still got teary-eyed saying goodbye to my mom. The somewhat silly part is that I’ll only be gone for a week.

I wondered to myself if just being gone for a week made me so emotional and nervous, how will I handle moving away eventually? The answer, I’ll just have to.

In life, we get new opportunities and chances that can change our lives, but only if we let them. I could have said no to the program I’m attending this week. I could have let my fears keep me at home. Instead, I talked to my family and got all the detailed figured out before hopping on a train.

Big steps are nerve-wracking. There’s really no way to get around that, at least in my opinion. Yet, if we truly want to grow and move forward, these steps are necessary.

Feign confidence in your path, even if you’re not sure of it. As I was told today by the CEO of a major advertising firm, “It’s okay not to be sure.”

Kira Elise