Live your best life

Live your best life. Create something today.

I have been writing a lot lately, both poetry and fiction.  I am finally starting to see the purpose of my journey.

I love helping others.  It makes me feel great to help someone. After sharing my poetry with others, I realized I can write to help others.

This is a great feeling.

So I say to you, go do that thing you want to do. Create. Write. Paint. Go run, act, or sing. Lift weights, or cook that awesome meal. Live your best life today. Don’t wait. Start today.

#Savannah #Georgia #amwriting #author #writer #readers #authorsofinstagram #bookstagram #poet #poetrycommunity #wordbeatpoetry #poem #poetsofinstagram #poet #create #creator #love

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Word Beat Poetry! First show!

My Post (17).pngWord Beat Poetry is going to be a live poetry reading performance on my WRUU radio show with various poets once a month.

Our featured poets for the first one are Melanie Goldey, Chiasa Sarang, and Monica Lee Floyd.

Mark your calendars to listen live to this wonderful group of poets on 8/11/19 at 4 pm on 107.5 FM WRUU Savannah or live streaming from www.wruu.org

Ah, the student loans

Borrowing this from a friend. I could not have said it better.

———–

I see so many older folks complaining and trying to pin it on the next generation for being lazy, entitled, greedy, whatever you want to call us.
Here’s the truth though.
We were lied to.
On several levels.

We were made promises and have been patient, hoping those promises would be kept, and they were not.

Now we are desperate, and we are angry.

Before I begin to explain what happened to us, and why we are ALL in this situation (yes, not just the younger generation, but you older generations are part of this too, you just can’t see it), let me just say, this will either make you angry because you don’t want to admit to the truth and see things our way, or you will be angry because you finally understand what we’ve been put through and you realize who’s really at fault.

When I was in high school, college was the only option I was given. That or the military, but since I am a small female with health issues, that was out of the question. I went to a conservative private school, and these were basically our only options because that’s all they told us was an option (we were too young to realize that we had a multitude of other options- trade school, being self-taught and doing the research on our own, waiting several years to save up and go to school when we wanted to, or waiting to even decide on what we were going to study). No, we had to decide now, and so I decided to go to another conservative public school because it was touted as one of the best. So many of the graduates from my school had gone there in the past. It was a place of pride to be accepted into this school. So I went to that school.

The education I received was not satisfactory to me, and I wanted to teach college level, so I went to a highly praised school down south to get my Masters. It was also said this was the best school to get the education I was searching for, so I went. I even got a scholarship. Worry about the costs later. I was promised a job within 6 months of graduating. This was a lie.

We had to go through an Exit Class, where we were told about how our loan companies would now be contacting us. They didn’t inform us about how to understand our loans, what we were signing away, what all the numbers meant. They just handed us a packet, told us to read it, and go. This is how I was lied to and made the mistake of consolidating my loans. This is how I ended up with a total student loan debt of $145,000 upon graduating.
I have paid it regularly as much as I could afford over the last decade.
I now have a student loan debt of $160,000.

Nobody told us that there wouldn’t be any jobs because the economy was broken and the previous job-holders weren’t retiring at the same rate as the generation before them.
We were lied to about this.

Nobody told us that even with consolidation, even with deferment of our loans while we’re on hard times, even with three part time jobs, we would barely be able to pay the interest rate on our loans.
We were lied to about this.

Nobody said that there wouldn’t be any affordable houses for us to buy because, again, the economy was broken, and the price of houses was only going up.
We were lied to about this.

There is currently over $1.5 trillion in student debt.

Most of those with student debt are working so so hard to try and pay those loans off, but can barely even make a dent.

We are all just trying to make a better life for ourselves and our next generations.

And here is the lie you were all told.

That money is the key to your happiness.
You were raised in a fairly good economy. Education was cheap. Jobs were everywhere. You didn’t need as much experience to get one of those jobs, and you could pay off your loans within years.
You were told that getting a degree, getting a job, making money, buying a house, having kids, and retiring early was the key to a fulfilling life.
Since those things all cost money, you believed that money = happiness.

Right now, the things you could buy with your little amount of money when you were our age, costs infinitely more. And education is disproportionately worse.

You encouraged the next generation to do the same thing you did anyway. Get a degree, get a job, buy a house, have a family.

You didn’t realize how much harder that was because you were no longer in that situation. You were comfortable. You were “happy.”

We followed your advice, and the advice of the schools, the big companies we wanted to work for, the institutions that wanted to lend us money so we could “follow our dreams.”
We didn’t know that all they wanted was our money.
You didn’t know that all they wanted was to bleed us dry.
Our education system is broken. They don’t care if we get a job or not, they just care if they get the paycheck from us and we increase the graduation rate so their school looks better so they get more attendees.

None of us knew we were being manipulated.
None of us knew we were being lied to.

There aren’t any jobs for our generation in the field we studied and worked hard for, so we have to take whatever jobs we can find, even if it’s not in our field, even if it doesn’t pay well.
There aren’t any houses we can afford, so we have to rent, which means we have to take on another job to help offset that cost.
If we try to live with our parents to save money, we’re labeled as leeches.
We’re trying to live our lives better, but it’s hard.

We were also told that money is the key to our happiness.
But after so many years of this, we are finally coming to realize that that is the biggest lie we were all told.
So we are working to change the system.
We are trying to make the world a better place, break out of the vicious cycle of capitalism and giving our time and energy and money to corporations and institutions that just want to bleed us dry until our dying day.

So sorry you think we’re lazy.
Sorry you think we’re greedy.
Sorry you think we’re entitled.

Sorry you think that forgiveness and change and wanting to make a better world for everyone is so scary.
I understand why.
I understand that you feel cheated. You lived your whole life based on this principle and now you are being told it was wrong.
I understand your anger about that.
I understand you feel like something is being taken from you.
But try to understand: we feel exactly the same.
We feel cheated, we felt lied to our whole lives, we feel angry, and we feel like everything we worked hard for was taken from us.
All because of a little set of lies.

So, to wrap this up, I just want to quote Bob Dylan.
“Your old road is rapidly agin’.
Please get out of the new one if you can’t lend a hand.
For the times they are a’changin’.”

Oh, and if you want to get angry and yell at me about this, go right ahead.
I’ll be turning off notifications on this post because I know I can’t change your opinion, and you can’t change mine.

So why did I post this?
To show solidarity to those who are feeling like their own parents and grandparents have abandoned them in this matter.
And also to tell you your time is almost up and we have a lot of patience, so change is coming one way or another. You can either be part of it and support the next generation that is inheriting this world from you, or you can watch it happen from the other side.

Y’all have a great day.
I hope happiness and fulfillment finds you all, and that money is not a factor in it. ❤️

Five years in

Five years in as an indie author

Alledria Hurt (guest writer)
Self-publishing, what do I know about it now five years in?

This is a massively rewarding and also soul-sucking choice in life. I say that with every bit of sarcasm I can muster. I both elate in and despise being my own boss. I started self-publishing almost on a whim back in 2014 with my first book of short stories, Objects: Stories of Things. I did not anticipate acclaim. That publication was an experiment. Breaking ground as it were for the things that would come later. I don’t promote it now, though some of the short stories have gone on to become attached to other projects since I own the copyright and thus can farm them out as reprints whenever the thought strikes me.

Alledria Hurt and Adam Messer

Before I did this, I did the usual thing. I wrote novels and tried to get them traditional representation. That road led to a great deal of despair and more than a little self-loathing as I piled up rejections. I won’t tell you how many. Suffice to say I have a thin skin and do not take rejection well. My first novel came out in 2015 after being roundly rejected a number of times. At the time , Chains of Fate, was my favorite book. Not the only book I had written, but my favorite. There’s a book I wrote first called Rain, but that one will never see the light of day for personal reasons. I have left instructions in my will to have it burned unread. What I learned from Chains of Fate are two things. One, turning a standalone novel into a series can be both rewarding and horrible. Two, giving in to your fans, even when that fan is your mother, can be a recipe for heartbreak. You see, Chains was a one-off, a standalone. Then my mother, whom I love dearly, decided she had to know what happened next. At first, I stood adamant there was no next. The story was complete. After many months of her insistence, I wrote Blades of Fate which would come out in 2017. Immediately after finishing Blades, I knew there was no way it could be considered wrapped up, so I wrote Ruins of Fate, the final installment of the series which also came out in 2017. So now, where I had one book, I have three. She wants a fourth. I have refused, in no uncertain terms, to do more stories with those characters.

Since I’ve been self-publishing, I have realized it still takes a village to do this. While I am my own boss so to speak, I am also occasionally someone else’s boss who is assisting me in making this happen. I don’t have a standing editor, but I have worked with a few. I don’t have a standing cover designer. I have worked with a few of those as well. In each instance, my one person shop has had to make room for someone else with their own deadlines and their impact on my work. That being said, scheduling is a wonderful practice one should adopt post-haste. I am the poster child for missed deadlines. Mental health problems often lead to me not being able to be as consistently productive as I would like. Therefore, if I’m going to use an editor or a cover designer, I generally wait until I have already finished the project to book them. Several of my friends, other authors in the biz, will book their editor spaces well ahead of their project and then work to that deadline. Go with what works for you, but do it.

Finally, and perhaps most importantly, look after yourself. Over the course of the last five years, I have dealt with multiple medical problems, some of them exacerbated by my work habits. I’m a diagnosed Bipolar Schizoaffective, which means I have schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. Both of these get aggravated by stress. Guess what gives me stress? Deadlines. Plot lines that don’t want to work the way I want. Pressure to succeed. All stressors for me. I have been both on and off medication. Life generally works better for me if I’m on meds. I forget this with frightening regularity and then get reminded by others who have to watch me meltdown over something inconsequential. Look after you. Your brain, and the body which goes along with it, are your most valuable resource in this game. If you don’t have the ability to hold it together, you are doing yourself a disservice.

All in all, I have appreciated my journey into self-publishing and look forward to what I will learn as I foray deeper into the wilds of the publishing landscape. I am currently working on a shared universe story for a publisher and seeking representation for some of my other novels even while self-publishing more of them.

Alledria Hurt is a writer/actress/cat mom who lives in Savannah GA with her husband and two cats. She can be found most readily at Alledria@alledriahurt.com . All of her books are available through Amazon and some can be found on other fine retailers.

Old school pen and paper.

Hello everyone!

I hope you are doing well.

I picked up a Norcom Exceed writing pad today and a new Pilot G-2 07 black pen. I love writing with pen and paper, even though typing or dictation is quicker.

The tactile sensation of writing helps me with my creativity and exploring story development.

What is something you like to do to help your creativity?

Please comment below.