Week In The Life of a Blogger/Busy College Student!

It has been two weeks since I posted a blog post. You can definitely say things have been busy according to the April Diaries! With that, it is the last weekend of September which only calls for something I promised a long time ago… a week in the life!

Monday

11:00AM: Work-Study! My job is being the editor-in-chief of the English/Creative Writing department zine, “Voices.”

*Depending on the day, I also work table times for clubs and Student Senate*

1:00PM: Queer Theatre and Drama class!

6:30PM: Student Senate meeting!

In between class and Senate, I have time to do homework or go home and chill for a while.

Tuesday

9:30AM: Advancing Public Argument class!

11:00AM: Another work-study meeting!

12:00PM: LUNCHTIME! I usually get a Chicken Ranch Wrap or Sushi.

2:00-3:20PM: African Literature class! I have been waiting so long to take a course like this!

3:30PM: Get (a billionth) coffee of the day. Have you ever had the Pumpkin Spice Chai from Starbucks???

5:00-6:20PM: Math class! As mentioned in The Correlation of Hummingbirds, Dancing, and Algebra, I’m taking (guess what) College Algebra!

6:30PM: Women’s Collective for Violence Prevention and Victim Empowerment Eboard or general meetings! I serve as Vice President of the club!

Wednesday

11:00AM: CPC (Community Partnership Center) Publication meetings!

1:00PM: Queer Theatre and Drama class!

2:00PM: Academic Affairs meetings! This counts as one of my Senate committee meetings.

3:00PM: LUNCHTIME! (Late, I know).

4:00PM: Finance meetings! This is another one of my Senate committee meetings.

*Depending on the Wednesday, I usually have to go to meetings of clubs I represent, CPC full-staff meetings, RISC or Title IX meetings*

Thursday

9:30AM: Advancing Public Argument class!

2-4:50PM: How to Write Your Novel class! This is one of the classes I have to take as a Creative Writing major.

5-6:20PM: Math class!

8:00PM: Hawks’ Herald Eboard meetings (though I am not technically a part of their executive board, I still have to go because I’m their Organization Senate Representative). This is also the school newspaper (that I took a break from) but I chose to write for them, again!

(Fabulous) Friday

9AM-12PM: My advocacy internship at Day One Rhode Island!

1:00PM: Queer Theatre and Drama class!

2-3:20PM: African Lit!

3:30-4:30PM: Senate office hours!

Finally, let the weekend commence!

Saturday and Sunday

The weekend usually varies for me. Saturday’s I’m most likely doing homework, studying, writing, or hanging out with a friend or two. Then Sunday is the day I set aside to hang out with my boyfriend (hi, Steve!)

 

 

The Truth About Writing Full-Time | You Have A Purpose

I’m starting to realize why writing for a living can be tough. Often times, I denied that fact and thought I could do whatever it takes. But I’m not giving up, even though it really is hard and can make you feel a tad manic. I’m not trying to be an Ernest Hemingway, who was a quote-unquote “abusive alcoholic.” And yes, I just quoted “Ten Things I Hate About You.”

For those of you who don’t know, I recently published an eBook of poems. No, this is not a “self-promotion.” This is where I get real. Again, unfortunately, it may an eBook for the rest of its existence. It wasn’t the way I wanted it to come out, mostly because I was trying to self-publish with little to no money. In fact, I published it without spending a dime! I personally don’t know of any authors who self-published and were successful, except maybe Rupi Kaur (correct me if I’m wrong.) Self-publishing is hard! Really, it is. You know what’s harder? Making it as a writer. I’ve had trouble making it as a blogger!

Everyone knows the story of J.K. Rowling and how she got into writing. If you know me, you’d know that I am a sucker for literature and the authors that compile some of the greatest works of all time. I write this as I look at my unread copy of War and Peace sitting on my shelf along with Moby Dick and On the Origin of Species, all of which I am determined to read and conquer one day (or within multiple days.) Two summers ago, prior to starting my career at RWU, I read Ernest Hemingway and Jane Austen excessively. Like myself, Hemingway was a budding journalist before realizing he wanted to write creatively.

I remember when I was still at SAC, my Spanish professor heard me quote Ernest Hemingway (in Spanish) and she strongly encouraged me to write for the campus newspaper. This was a week after I started this blog. Again, as I’m writing this, she’s not the only one who recognized my talent in writing. How am I just realizing this? I don’t know.

But Hemingway was more than an alcoholic, even though it was highlighted in some of the characters of his novels and short stories. But that’s the thing with us, writers. We build based off of personal experience, which may seem like it’s hard to write at times. Coming up with content, even for a blog, is hard. There are touchy subjects that need to be shared in order to empower. Hey, I think I just came up with my reason for #WhyIWrite. And that’s just the thing! You write for a reason, no matter if it’s sports journalism, technical writing, grant writing, travel writing, creative writing, etc. You write because you have a purpose on this planet. That’s the same concept of why people teach young minds, serve in the military, etc. — you have a purpose. Any profession is hard, but you’re doing great.

 

 

Living La Vida De Moda: Maria Del Carmen Mercado

A year ago when I wrote an article called Meet Local Fashion Designer Maria Del Carmen Mercado for my internship. We’ve been in touch since I sat down with Maria in Dave’s Coffee Shop in Providence, but I decided to write a follow-up article (a whole year later) about the Dominican Republic-born, Providence-based fashion designer.

“I didn’t choose fashion, fashion chose me.”

Maria recalls the days where her career as a designer, and essentially, a creative began: “My story of a fashion designer or creative began as a child, where I would sew the clothes for my dolls and my friends’ dolls, and everything around me was usually transformed into dolls.  For example, mango seeds. I would usually paint a face on them with nail polish and they would become my dolls. [My] business also started early; I would make doll clothes and trade them for candy or coins.”

Her curiosity for fashion and particularly the art of movement peaked when she was in high school. “I was involved in after-school art programs and activities.  But it wasn’t until high school where I started to work after school in a clothing store.  I also modeled with two agencies and started to draw clothes.  During this time I became very curios why the clothing that I loved never fit correctly so during my time in my job I would put close attention to the fabrics that I handled, the details of the clothes but most importantly, I would ask myself how would I change the garment to make it fit me the way I liked,” says Mercado. And because of this experience, she likes to work with clients to give them the perfect jacket, wedding dress, bathing suit, etc that fits them just right.

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After graduating high school, she received a scholarship to attend the Rhode Island School of Design pre-college program (concentrating on fashion), where she built a portfolio and eventually got into her first-choice college: The Fashion Insitute of Technology in New York, New York where she graduated as a fashion design major in 2007.

“Fashion is a form of expression, my own personal way to see a shape or garment.  It is my way to represent a body’s figure.  To me, fashion is away of life. Things become shapes, color and structure.  It’s a way of putting attention to the details around me.  For example, my opinion on politics, history and culture. Fashion is thinking outside the box. It is knowing when to listen to your intuition and being able to recognize what is and isn’t there.”

If you are thinking about a career in fashion design, Mercado does have a few words of wisdom for you: “First I want to say that fashion is NOT what you see in the magazines, another word is NOT just glamour.  Just like a doctor or engineer, there are certain things that a fashion designer needs to learn.  In my opinion, to be a good fashion designer, I feel education is key.  Even if you are wealthy how would you communicate what you want to the pattern maker or the seamstress or most importantly, how would you know the difference between a patterned sleeve or a skirt?  To be a fashion designer there are so many components that you need to learn that you can’t learn by watching youtube channels.  Pattern making, draping, fashion illustration, color theory,  are just a few things that are a must for a fashion designer.”

Mercado continues: “to be a great fashion designer you need to be adventurous, willing to take risks and be different.  Learn to look within yourself and make decisions that YOU feel that work.  You need to have the confidence to turn off the voices and follow your heart.  I feel that the best direction is to design what I feel is correct NOT what is trendy.  I believe that you can’t teach someone how to be an artist but they can learn the technical side and the best way is through formal education.  Being an artist is seeing and feeling beyond what’s there, how can you teach that?”

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When asked what her favorite part of being a designer was, she said she enjoys every aspect of it! But that isn’t to say, that there aren’t times when she doesn’t have creator’s block. When she does get creator’s block, she doesn’t go by what other people are creating or what’s “in style,” at the moment. She just moves on to another project or takes a walk to recharge and refresh her mind. That also isn’t to say that she doesn’t get critical with herself, either, which she said is a weakness of hers.

“Although I am much better now, but it took awhile to realize that no one is going to give my brand 100% but me.  MDCM designs are my feelings, the way I see things, my way of life.  Realizing that no one but me could convey this has helped me a great deal, most importantly excepting that perfect does not exist.”

With that being said, in the fashion world, one is always learning, making mistakes, taking risks, and finding themselves through their work!

To view Maria’s website, click here  and to shop, go to http://www.mariadelcarmenmercado.shop! Thank you, Maria, for the interview and for your powerful, impactful words of advice!

***Photographers of the design images are @gabinichi and @denzzzadd from ristudio504.com — check out their work! 

 

FESTIVE FRIDAY NIGHTS: How To Make Your Dreams Come True | How I Realized Mine

“And, when you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.” — Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist

I may not have read The Alchemist, yet. But I know one thing to be true: I am just another up-and-coming “Girl-Boss” trying to make her way through the world she has barely even experienced, just to find that treasure. And by the “world,” I mean the world of the digital age coexisting with publishing. That’s right, publishing, my dream job.

It has dawned on me while searching my brain for topics to write about that I have never discussed my “dream job” with you all. I remember when I was in kindergarten, I had a collection of dolls called the Pop Dreamers, who were based on Disney princesses. One of them kept repeating, “dreams are just wishes and wishes come true.” And then there’s the song, “A Dream Is A Wish Your Heart Makes,” from Cinderella. I even recall writing a poem in fourth grade titled, “What is a Wish?” I wish I still had the poem, first of all. But that was when I first started writing poems and had a knack for it. If it weren’t for that stupid 86 I got on that book of poems in sixth-grade English, I would have continued to write poems.

This may or may not be a cliché, but college is all about discovering yourself. It takes some people less time than others, and for some, it can take possibly a whole lifetime! No matter if you choose to go to college or not, you will find your treasure in the depths of the Egyptian Pyramids, or somewhere more realistic. For me, it happened to be about rediscovering yourself through the odyssey of resilience (that’s actually a title of a poetry book that I WROTE coming out in 2019.) If you know me well enough and have seen my incessant self-promos on Facebook, you’d know that I wrote for a platform called The Odyssey Online — manager found my work to be so impressive that he made me the editor in chief! All of this stuff about journalism and writing came back to me. Even in fourth and fifth grade, I was a part of the Newspaper Club. At the time, what I found to be my “passion” were stuffed animals, particularly Webkinz and Shining Stars. I wrote about what I knew at that time, did some investigation to find out what was the “Webkinz favorite” of Dale Street School (yes, I was the mastermind behind that.)

Never in my wildest dreams did I ever think I would be interning for Rhode Island Monthly (do I bring that up a lot? Yes, yes I do. Don’t like it? I don’t care, it’s my life) and even taking on a web manager position for the English and Creative Writing department and managing editor position for our soon-to-be online magazine, Voices. Even though I have a full year left of college (I graduate December 2019), I am in the process of looking at grad schools. Also, you may congratulate me because I am officially a first-semester-senior!

Anyway, as I was doing my search, I have concluded that I want to start my own magazine, or start out small and work my way up to being an editor. No, I do not know what it’d be about, but again, it’s about working your way towards it. I’m going to use that redundant phrase, dreams don’t work unless you do right in this very sentence, because I think it’s quite relevant. If you want something to be a “hit,” you have to make it a hit. In the end, it’s all up to you. It’s okay to get second, third, and even ten opinions, but your destiny meets you. It’s like what my mom always tells me, “always have a Plan B; I’ve gone as far as Plan K!” I certainly will not know what I’ll be doing after December 2019, but I have the amazing help of everyone on my side. Seek help, if need be. In fact, scratch that, it’s imperative that you ask for help.

 

A Year In The Books | The Rest Is Still Unwritten

It took two years, but I am finally a junior in college. Woo! That’s right, I just finished up the last semester of my (second) sophomore year. I can honestly say I have no regrets after this incredible year. I don’t regret choosing Creative Writing. I don’t regret the friendships I’ve made. I don’t regret choosing Literary Publishing over Critical Writing. These are just a few. But one thing’s also true: I don’t regret transferring.

A year ago, I would’ve never thought I’d be where I am today, and I have so many people to thank for that; supporting me, guiding me in the right direction, and giving me that constant reassurance that everything will be okay. I didn’t think a “bright future” existed for me after what I’ve gone through last year. But I’ve come out the end of the tunnel a better person who knows what she’s doing and fighting for what she deserves.

I also came out of the tunnel a more confident person (though I’m not confident that I passed my Marketing final!) I began going to the gym again and even got a personal trainer! This has definitely been a semester of figuring out who I really am and bettering myself; I know, how cliche does that sound? But I promise you that I have.

In just two weeks, I’ll be starting a little mini chapter-within-a-chapter in my life as I embark on my internship and my second job. I feel like I really am living the Carrie Bradshaw lifestyle.

Picture this: Me walking down the streets of Providence while I narrate to myself, “Before there was sex, before there was the city, there was just me, April, from Bristol, RI.” 

Watching these seniors at RWU getting ready for the graduation really has me eager to graduate. In December 2019, if not May 2020, I’ll be the one wearing my decorated cap and donning my black gown with that gold and blue hood and that white collar.

I’ve never really thought of how blessed I am until now as I sit on my white leather couch topped off with pink pillows. I can’t wait to see what this summer will bring for me before I start senior seminar/thesis in the fall!

Some of my top moments this semester:

1.)  Choosing poetry as my focus for senior thesis/sem.

2.)  Taking a poetry class

3.)  Scoring an internship for the summer

4.)  Writing about fashion/recipes for Hawks’ Herald

5.)  Being a part of a Literary Publishing course and learning how to copy-edit

Be sure to follow me on my summer journey! ☺

xoxo, April

Never Settle | Getting Out Of Your Own Way And Upsetting The Balance

“We know what we deserve. We’re not stupid, but we accept something to not upset the balance.” – Unknown

My whole life my goal was to be “different” and to upset this so-called balance. Even when I was a little high school fashionista, my goal to get into the fashion industry was to start out in retail. So, when I was 16 and 17 years old, I applied to stores like Forever 21 only to find out that they accepted applications from prospects 18 and older. At the time, people my age were babysitting or working at grocery stores. I- I was already learning about marketing research (thanks to my mother). Yes, I was ambitious then — insanely ambitious, maybe a little too ambitious when applying for colleges, however.

Moreover, now a newly-minted 21-year-old, I’m looking for more than just a job. I’m looking for an internship with a book publisher. Plus, my mom signed us both up to go to a marketing event. Who knows what will come out of that? We’ll see within a week or so. I just need something that’s a) worth my time and b) will make me happy. I need something that I’ll look forward to when I wake up in the morning — something that will make my heart sing.

“No amount of security is worth the suffering of a mediocre life chained to a routine that has killed your dreams” – Maya Mendoza

In other words, never settle for anything that’s going to get in the way of what you really want. It’s like I learned when I was in the hospital: “Get Out Of Your Own Way.” In all honesty, I felt like my life in New Hampshire was so limited of opportunity. There is no doubt that I experimented with different career paths, from healthcare to writing to social work then back to writing. I always came back to writing. Now that I’ll be in Rhode Island full-time, this is my chance to be a more complete version of myself.