The Delicate Art of Constructive Criticism
A month ago, I read a story by another Vocal Creator entitled All Writers Are Mean. The writer expressed her frustration with the quality of criticism launched against a fellow creator after a win in a Vocal challenge. It was brutal. The grand prize was $2,500, and some creators were nitpicking and tearing apart the winner’s work. The writer concluded that the writing space is mired in jealousy, envy and meanness. I've said as much in an article I published a while ago. Tucked away in the back of my mind, I didn't revisit this story until the completion of the Little Black Book challenge a few weeks ago.
A Rehabilitated Swiftie’s Guide to Zen
I have owned two albums physically in my 22 years of life: Kelly Clarkson’s Breakaway (randomly) and Taylor Swift’s Fearless. Growing up, we had this really beat-up VCR/DVD player hybrid that was perpetually on its last legs, and it was through this medium that I blasted all the songs on Fearless on repeat. Many years later, I regard this album with great fondness and nostalgia and can still belt the songs line-by-line. I consider myself to be what one would call a rehabilitated Swiftie. Taylor’s music was the backdrop to my early childhood, but somewhere between my first and second year of secondary school, I fell off the bandwagon. The transition to secondary school was rough. I was a bit of a nerd (still am) and was often admonished for my taste in music, with many labelling me an“Oreo." For those of you reading this who aren’t black, this is a grave insult when launched at a black person. It is almost a denial of your blackness because of your consumption of different forms of popular culture. As if your blackness could be erased by something as trivial as the type of music you enjoyed.
The Perfect Order to Read the Avatar the Last Airbender (ATLA) Comics
So you've finished Avatar the Last Airbender and are now looking to dive into the comics but have no idea where to start? Look no further! I present to you the perfect reading order for the graphic novels. Except for Suki, Alone, a standalone graphic novel set to be published on June 22, 2021, I own and have read the graphic novels multiple times. I've also seen the TV series a million and one times.
Emptying The Tank
I don't often dream, but when I do, I'm either being brutally murdered by a family member or doing something dreadfully mundane like going to the bathroom. Believe it or not, the bathroom dreams are the scariest. Everything else can be discounted as fantasy and fiction, but these, the ones when I envision myself doing things that I regularly do, seem real and visceral. Like the lines between our world and the dream world are temporarily blurred, and I lose the ability to distinguish between the two. These dreams plagued me periodically throughout childhood. There was always this overwhelming sensation of wakefulness.
If Twilight, Then Here are 5 Other Cringeworthy, Awful, No-Good, Terrible, Hilariously-Bad Teen Movies
Anyone who knows me knows I adore Twilight. I've read every single one of the books at least five times and have watched the movies just as many times. I'm even able to quote the first film line by line. We can speak endlessly about its long-lasting impact on my music tastes, the books I enjoy and the content I consume. Don't get me wrong. Despite this, there is no doubt in my mind that Twilight is terrible, awful, cringe-worthy and angsty in just about the worst possible way. That being said, it's also amazing.
Tonight, I'll Be Eating Ramen Because I Spent $6033.38 on Uber Eats Last Year
Yes, you read the title right. In the span of 12 months (March 2020 - March 2021), I somehow managed to rack up a $6033.38 Uber Eats bill. Before lockdown, I'd already had the app downloaded on my phone but only used it sparingly - once or twice a month at best. However, with the onset of the pandemic, my spending on food delivery went from bimonthly to every single day. It didn't help that Uber Eats' "Tonight I'll Be Eating" ads flooded my social media algorithm. You know the ones I'm talking about.
Daylight Saving and The Illusion of Time
Growing up in the tropics, we had two seasons: dry and wet. From January to June, rainfall is scarce, the air is practically devoid of moisture, and the sun is hotter than usual, which, living on an island in the Caribbean, is saying a lot. Onwards from July, it is more common to be lulled to sleep by the pitter-patter of rain outside your windows. As a bonus, the threat of hurricanes is ever-present. With the acceleration of climate change, the line between these two seasons has become a bit more blurred.
A Snapshot of My First Vocal Withdrawal
I published my first Vocal article on December 28th, 2020. Having discovered Vocal through an advertisement on Facebook, and after mulling it over for some time, I finally plucked up the courage to submit my first article entitled "How To Make New Year's Resolutions That'll Stick."Marketed as advice for others on how to craft successful New Year's Resolutions, the story was essentially a plan and a promise to myself. I was thinking out loud. 2020 as a concept was uniquely terrible for me as I'm sure it was for many others. I was thousands of miles away from my family, who I hadn't seen in over a year. I made the decision a few months earlier not to return home for Christmas because of how expensive plane tickets to the Caribbean are around that period, thinking that I'd just go home and spend the summer.