1.1 … Seasons

el (1)

LOVE LESSONS

1.1 … Seasons

From changing trees and wilting leaves,
to blossoming hopes and sunny skies.
Calendar years,
ages of our lives,
epochs of friendships,
eons of relationships;
everything in reality has its season.
And through all the
moments, minutes, & months
that have made up
my reality,
I’ve never stopped
wondering
when I’ll fall into one
that is filled with love…

⚬⧝⚬


For more from this collection, visit

elluminations, vol. 1
LOVE LESSONS

Click here to learn more about elluminations. This poem is also available on Medium.


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(Featured Photo by Bernd Schulz on Unsplash)

(elluminations © 2018 Elayna Mae Darcy)

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I Am Unraveled

Every so often, I write a blog post that calls back to the title that is displayed on my blog. Capturing Life’s Chapters, it reads. When I started this blog, it didn’t have much sense of direction. All I knew was that I had just changed my name, and needed a fresh start on the internet. A place to share what I’m going through, what my dreams are, and to reflect on where I’ve been.

Today is one of those posts, because today friends, is in a way, the first day of the rest of my life.

Unraveling Light is officially for sale, and I am a published author.

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Me at my first book baby.

The day in all did not come with much pomp or circumstance. I haven’t even left the house, because I’ve just been mostly going back and forth between cleaning my room and posting about the release all across the internet. It’s been a lot of staring at my screen, and feeling like I’m shouting out into a void. But the congratulations from friends and people that did find their way to me where all so heartfelt and genuine, that you’d think from the look on my face that I landed on the NYT list. My first book came in with a whisper, but it was a whisper full of love and kindness and excitement, and I will forever be grateful that my journey into publishing began this way. With unexpected surprises, with unbridled enthusiasm, and even in some cases, making people realize they could love poetry when they never had before.

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I’m so beside myself with joy that I really and truly do not know what else to say. My heart is just so very, very full. 

I know that ahead lies uncharted territory. I have a whole new world to navigate before me. New stories, new adventures, and new perils as well. I know it won’t be easy, but I feel a kind of ready that I have never felt before. Just a thousand thank yous to every person who helped get me to today, and here’s to whatever wonders await for tomorrow and beyond.

I should probably get some rest after such an emotional day, but y’all know me. 😉 I have something brewing, and as my favorite GIF to use for writing days always says…

supernatural we got work to do


Unraveling Light
is now available to order on
Barnes & Noble | Amazon | IndieBound

First Memory

First Memory

It was an earthen rainbow,
a sprawling sea of leaves,
bright reds, brilliant yellows,
fading greens.

We’re all packed in the van.
Mom’s driving, always
steering our family forward,
though getting no more credit
than a stranger driving a cab.

I know these things now,
for losing her taught me much
that I wish I’d never had to learn.
But I treasure those changing trees.

I don’t remember
the 90s song that
played on the radio,
but I remember
that earthen rainbow.
I remember the
September breeze
through the window
dusting my small cheeks
in the same way
I remember my mother…
with love, and with peace.

⚬⧝⚬

This poem is an excerpt from Unraveling Light, Elayna Mae Darcy’s debut collection of poetry, coming summer 2018. The book is currently available for pre-order on Kickstarter.

 

 

 

 

Talk Less, Make More

2017 is here and with it comes lots of people making lots of resolutions that they don’t keep up with. Me? I’ve been one of those people. Many times. I sit myself down on day one of a new year and say things like…

You will make ____ blog posts per week! MINIMUM!

You have to make ____ videos a week or ELSE!

Workout ___ days per week or feel ASHAMED.

Almost as soon as these goals are declared either out loud by me or put up on the internet, I seem totally unable to keep up with them. This leads to feelings of shame, frustration, and makes me feel like anything I do accomplish isn’t good enough because it wasn’t “the goal”. I end up spending the rest of the ensuing year being like…

deal

That’s not the kind of year I want 2017 to be. I know that I have things I want to accomplish this year. Many things in fact. But if I am ever to grow I need to check myself, and part of checking myself is knowing myself well enough to know that when I set hard number goals, I fall short. As opposed to when I am more abstract in my goals, and then usually tend to exceed said vague expectations.

This is the kind of year I want. I want to read more books. I want to take more photos and make more video blogs and write more words. But what I DON’T want to do, is beat myself up for the next 12 months because I didn’t hit every point on a list I made at the beginning of the year. Let this be my little social experiment in not being hard on myself, and instead going with what feels right. Maybe I’ll have two months where I don’t post, and then post three times a day in a week. Maybe I’ll manage to take tons of photos one month, and then none the next. No matter how this ends up, I just know that this wibbly-wobbly set of expectations feels so much more free to me, and thus much more attainable.

So here is to 2017 being a year of quality over quantity! Here is to a year of me making cool stuff because for one, I love when people enjoy the work I do, and two, because it’s just so much fun.

 

All Good Things

As 2016 gets under way, I find myself caught up in something that many of us spend the first days of a New Year doing: thinking about what I can do differently. What resolutions should I make? What am I actually able to stick to as a realistic goal? What do I need more of in my life?

One of the biggest things, is positivity, which may sound like a contradiction to most people who know me. My friend even sent me this tweet as I was working on writing this post:

I pride myself on being a person who just spews encouragement and excitement in every direction, because honestly, that’s who deep down I feel I am, and it’s entirely who I want to be. But what less people know about me is that in order to do that, I’m usually having to suppress my depression and anxiety to make it happen. I’ve gotten considerably better at this than I was before, but it’s still a daily struggle, and one that I need to be proactive about keeping under control.

So what’s my solution? What’s my plan for being the happiest me I can be in 2016?

Meet my Memory Box.

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What’s a Memory Box? Well, it’s what I am calling my version of something that I was actually inspired to do by one of my friends, only hers is called a Good Things Jar. The container is whatever you want it to be, but the idea of it is simple.

Every day, you write down one good (happy, positive, exciting, amazing, or any-other-word-that-describes-wonderment) thing on a piece of paper, and put it in the box. Then at the end your 366 (since it’s a Leap Year!) you’ve got an entire container that’s full up with the beautiful moments of your year. You can even decorate it if you like, so over the year I plan to add to what is currently just a plain red box, so that by year’s end, the box is as much a representation of the year as the things that are inside of it! Quotes, stickers – whatever I find that sums up the epicness of 2016.

My friend's Good Things Jar! GOOGLY EYES! :D
My friend’s Good Things Jar! GOOGLY EYES! 😀

For me, reminders of the good things in life can be what keeps me going, especially on days when I am feeling at my worst. It’s one of the reasons I like to journal and blog as much as I do. Memories of good things can reignite the sparks in one’s heart that you need to keep going. They can inspire you to keep fighting so you can experience more like them. Memories are part of what makes us most human.

I already feel in my bones that 2016 is going to be a game changer, and so I can’t wait to see where this lil venture takes me. And even better, this box fits perfectly as a vessel for all the good things, as it was the box that my Christmas gift from my sister came in. And what was the gift it carried? The “Best Day Ever” mug shown next to it in the photo above. ^_^

So here’s to the year and to all the happiness that it will bring, and most of all, here’s to looking back at the end of this year, with what will hopefully be both a little red box – and a heart – full up with love.

Thankful

To me, Thanksgiving is not a day about the dinner, or celebrating any of that crap about pilgrims that they make you enact in elementary school. It’s not about Black Friday and deals and getting your Christmas shopping done a month early. For me, it really has just become another day of the year. But the one reason that introspective little me does enjoy it, is it calls to the forefront the idea of thankfulness, which is something we don’t often recognize enough. The world would be better if we took more than just one day a year to focus on it.

2015 is probably the year where I have more to be thankful for than I’ve ever experienced in a single other year of my life. I think back to 15 year old me, and I feel if she could have seen where 25 year old me would end up, see the things I am blessed enough to be able to do, she’d be pretty proud. So while I don’t want to spend an incredibly long post recapping my year (that will come in December) I do want to take a moment out of this day to detail for you five (of the many) things I am truly thankful for this year.

5) Getting to travel to London & Scotland.

This was without a doubt one of the coolest things that has ever happened to me. Getting my plane ticket a whirlwind seven days before flying, being able to be part of MuggleNet’s very first fan convention, spending time with those MuggleNet friends at the Warner Brothers Studio Tour, and spending five of the most beautiful days of my life in Scotland, in the city where my favorite novels were written . . . it was powerful to say the least. And on top of all that wonderment, it was that very trip that led to me working on my novel again. (Which I’ll get to in a moment.)

me in eburgh
Standing up by Edinburgh castle, with Arthur’s Seat at my back.

 

london sunset
My last sunset in London, sitting outside the Globe Theater.

4) Becoming an Municipal Liaison for NaNoWriMo.

This experience has been so rewarding in so many ways. I’m someone who has participated in NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) since November 2004, so the opportunity to finally do more than write by giving back to people of my region through encouragement and support has been indescribable. Not to mention that I was fortunate enough to become part of the @NaNoWordSprints team, where I got to run word sprints for people around the world, and even began the #NaNoHouseCup, where Wrimos compete to write the most words for their respective Hogwarts Houses. Combining my loves of encouraging others, writing, and being a Harry Potter nerd is one of the most rewarding things I’ve ever done.

wrimos
Some of the writers at the 11/7/15 PhillyWrimos Write In.

3) Getting back to telling my story.

Piper. Alteria. They Are The Last. These are words that have been a part of my life and consciousness since I was 13 years old, and for the majority of those years, they became nothing more than a name, a place and a title that “I’d get to one day when the time was right.” Well turns out that time was 2015, because after a truly miraculous day in Edinburgh, Scotland, I realized that it was Piper’s story that I was always meant to tell. Since then, I’ve written almost 90,000 words worth of drafts, and am still going. This story is what I’m supposed to be doing with my life, and I’m so thankful that I finally accepted that truth.

storytime
My work space from Day 10 of NaNoWriMo 2015

2) Finding God again.

Ever since losing my dad in 2005 and then my mother in 2009, God and the idea that there was an all powerful being in the universe that cared about me was something I just couldn’t accept. My depression and anxiety ate away at me, and despite being surrounded by loving friends, I felt at times to be very, very alone. But this past year, I’ve gotten more in touch with my faith again, and honestly, it is an integral part of what I believe made this the most positive, life changing year I’ve ever experienced. There is just too much beauty in the cosmos for me to think it’s all just an accident and that everything is chaos and chance. I couldn’t be more thankful for God and all they’ve done for me to remind me that I am loved and worthy of this life I’ve been blessed with.

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Edinburgh Scotland (April 23, 2015)

1) My friends.

Always and forever am I thankful for my friends. As I’ve gone through my life from phase to phase – elementary to middle schools, middle to high school, high school to college, college to ‘real life’ – I have had to grow and learn that not all friendships are forever. It’s a hard lesson, because the people I used to love in my life but have fallen away from for one reason or another still leave imprints on my heart, and whether things ended badly between us or not, I still cherish the moments spent with them and the inside jokes that still make me laugh. It makes me think about my friends now, and as sad as it is to think, not all of them will stay with me.

Life changes as the seasons, and who knows which trees and flowers will continue to bloom and which ones will wither and become a memory? All I know is right now, on this Thanksgiving Day of 2015, there are so many people that come to mind. So many people surrounding me who make me realize my life is worth it, who make me laugh, who believe in me fiercely enough that for the first time, I’ve begun to believe in myself. Know dear friends, I consider you all precious gifts, that I am now, have been, and always will be, thankful for.

muggles
Friends from MuggleNet staff at Expo Patronum 2015.

 

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Me with friends at MISTI Con 2015.

 

friends3
Friends and I at the ball during Geeky Con 2015.

Smile

I’m coming off of the accidental blogging hiatus I’ve been on to share this photo (below) and explain why it’s so gosh darn important to me right now.

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I used to hate pictures being taken of me. Hated it. I felt like all a photo did was capture every crappy flaw I felt I had, and preserve it for all of history to see. I’d look at photos of myself and verbally tear them to shreds. Sometimes the negativity would just be in my head, but most times I would say it out loud to the people looking at them with me:

“Oh lord, kill it with fire!”

“This is awful, I have like six chins!”

“Ugh, I’m so gross in this one.”

“Delete that from existence please!”

This was the kind of smack talk I’d dish out about m y s e l f. My self esteem was a living nightmare. I’d allowed countless taunts and being bullied in my formative years to change my perception of my own body into this hideous, inaccurate, not-me-creature that I couldn’t stand to look at. But as time has gone on, and selfie culture has griped the 21st century tight and propelled us all into a world of omg-look-at-me #SelfieSundays, I’ve fully embraced the idea that taking photos of oneself can be extremely therapeutic, and help us to see ourselves in a way that makes us more confident, self assured individuals.

People can hate on selfies and those who take them all they want, but it doesn’t change that snapping a good picture of myself, makes me feel amazing. It’s not about the likes and the comments (which while encouraging, are not necessary). It’s so I can see myself how I want to see myself, which is as a bamin’-slamin’ confident queen of my own universe, dammit!

Caring about others is immensely important to life as a human being, but I think there also comes a time where we must remember that we are human beings too. We are individuals who need love, and not just from external sources. There’s got to be self love as well. As my homeboy J.C. once said:

Love thy neighbor as thyself.

Note the thyself in there. We’re supposed to love other people as we love ourselves, but how can we be expected to reciprocate to the world what we don’t feel for ourselves? That’s just not a thing. So the selfie above, for me, embodies that. It’s about looking at myself, and seeing a person who’s worthy of love instead of someone who’s face needs to be hidden.

Looking back at older photos of me, I’ve realized how much I used photoshop the heck out of them or crop them as close to my face as possible. And I would never, ever purposefully smile with my teeth. Lack of health insurance kept me from getting braces growing up, and the way I used to see it, my face was bad enough without the crooked teeth, and so my smile suffered. My smile wasn’t honest, because my happiness with who I was wasn’t honest. And apparently its so noticeable that I even had a friend of mine text me yesterday about it. She had just gotten my new number and was adding a contact photo of me, and only had two she could use – one from last year when we first met, and one from just a few weeks ago:

The other pic I had was from Leaky last year and you’ve just come so far that it didn’t even look like you anymore.

While I still have a long way to go, the photo above – with me smiling so genuinely because I woke up that morning feeling fan-freaking tastic – served as a realization that I’ve come pretty far from where I started. The text hit home, because it’s so true. Year ago me would never have the confidence of the girl in the photo above, and to me, that’s a wonderfully mushy mix of exciting and beautiful.

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My first selfie? This pic is about 10 years old. Me, my self esteem and smile have com a long, long way.

Old me used to believe confidence was a destination, but the reality is, being confident with yourself is not an arrival point or finishing line that you cross. It’s a journey. One that we must continue on through our lives, full of the same pot holes, pit stops, flat tires and tolls you’d find on a regular old road trip. But journeys are also beautiful, let you constantly see things you never did before from new perspectives, and lead you to people who make the whole adventure one worth having.

So for any of you reading this and not feeling so hot with who you are today: my advice? Take a selfie. Pick your best angle. Put on your best outfit. Wear that hat you love. Do the duck face, the peace sign or whatever else makes you feel ten shades of fabulous. Because you have the right to feel incredible about yourself. And most importantly friends – please remember to smile.
(PS – Writing this has got me determined to complete the blogging from my London vacation, so expect Breakfast at Hogwarts this coming Monday!)

25×25

The fact that I will be 25 years old recently dawned on me, and the thought of being a quarter of a century old kind of makes one feel reflective. Sometimes I still feel like I was a teenager last week, but then I have to step back and remember that its been ten years since I started high school, and now over a year since I graduated college. It’s cheesy and everyone says it, but it really is true . . . time sure does fly.

elaysBut as I’ve been evaluating my past, I end up catching myself and realizing that by thinking so, so, so much about where I’ve been, I miss out on the moments right in front of me, and I forget to live in the now. So as I think about not thinking about the past and thinking about the present which makes me think of where I’ll be in the future (timey-wimey I know) I’ve decided to create a list for my year. Not a set of vague and lofty resolutions that I won’t follow through on, but a set of 25 perfectly achievable things that I would like to do before I turn 25, which I believe will help me also make 2015 an incredibly memorable year.

There’s a little less than nine months to cross off all the items on this list, so this should be fun. The hope is that for every item I get to check off this list (which will be presented in no particular order) I’ll blog about the experience – treating each item as a prompt challenge to be fulfilled in a later post. Things on the list will vary between quirky, fun things I’ve always wanted to do, and more meaningful big items that I feel can really make this a rewarding year for not just me, but others in my life. Wish me luck!

1) Marathon all 8 Harry Potter films.
Almost 20 hours of magical movie goodness? Always.

snape

2) Marathon all 6 LOTR/Hobbit films.
Another 20+ hours of marathoning? #DoItForFrodo

frodo

3) Spend a weekend kicking back in a blanket fort.
Because nothing says turning 25 like acting like you’re 5.

blanketfort

4) Host a fancy picnic with friends.
Never had a legitimate picnic, so this Spring I’ma make it a thing.

garden party

5) Spend an entire weekend without internet.
Let’s be real, we all need to power down once in a while.

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6) Visit at least 2 other countries.
I’ve never left the USA and this is not acceptable. Now all I need’s a passport . . .

world

7) Pull an all nighter at a beach.
Because stargazing and the ocean. Is there any other reason needed?

ariel

8) Read at least 25 new books.
Because 2015 is the year I get back in touch with something I love most. Books.

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9) Send a random positive message to all my tumblr followers.
Currently there’s 1850 of them, and if there’s more I’ll add them too. #WorthIt

awesome

10) See the sunrise from the Art Museum steps.
I’ve always said I wanted to do this with someone, but screw it. I’m not going to let others keep me from doing what I want this year.

rocky

11) Create my own dish that can become a family recipe.
Hint: The secret ingredient will probably be love.

yum

12) Stargaze somewhere so clear I can see the Milky Way.
Cause nothing puts things in perspective like being able to see your galaxy with your own eyes.

milky way

13) Visit London.
Hopefully for MuggleNet Live: Expo Patronum, which is going to be the awesomest thing ever.

awesome totally

14) Go to Geeky Con 2015 and revisit Hogwarts.
Because nowhere in the world have I ever felt so at home than I did with my nerdy family.

hogwarts

15) Sing at an open mic night.
I haven’t sang like I used to in years. It’s high time I changed that.

scarlet sings

16) Write a letter to my 50 year old self.
Where will I be in the next 25 years? Who knows. 50 year old me, that’s who.

too old

17) Bury a time capsule somewhere special to me.
And won’t it be grand if one day someone finds it while I’m still alive?

doctor

18) Become a published author.
Whether its some poetry in a literary magazine or a book you can buy from amazon, I want to be able to say I’m published before 25.

good writing

19) Go camping for at least a night.
Me and the outdoors don’t tend to be very one with each other. Perhaps this will change that.

outdoors

20) Get my second tattoo.
Been wanting the next ever since the first. The time has come.

tattoos

21) Cut my hair really short.
Like, really short. Like, shorter than ever short.

mulan

22) Successfully complete a photography project.
I have a few in mind, but I need to stop procrastinating and make them happen!

sherlock camera

23) Perform spoken word poetry.
I’ve written several pieces, but always get too scared to share them. Not anymore.

poem

24) Make a new short film.
I miss filmmaking more than anything, so its high time I made a new narrative short.

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25) Send a letter to all the important people in my life.

The people I love deserve to hear that, and nothing to me says I love you like a handwritten letter.

love you

Thanks for reading loves. Here’s to the rest of 24, and to making things happen.

#SpeakUp2015

Firework babyThe night of New Year’s Eve into New Years Day was a night I won’t soon forget.

I had the chance to hang with some close friends, have a few drinks, nom on some pizza, and then by random happenstance got a chance to see the Penn’s Landing fireworks from a rooftop. It nearly made me cry because the view was so beautiful. After that, one of the friends on the roof with us was like, LET’S GO TO IHOP! So we continued the adventure downtown, shenanigans ensued, pancakes were devoured, and we spent a solid hour attempting to find a cab. It was a near perfect night.

Until the chauvanistic/transphobic Douchenozzle on Locust Street came along.

Basically, as my friends and I walked along the street, trying to find a cab that would stop for us at almost 2am, there was a guy walking behind me with his phone out, who I overheard making a rude comment to a girl walking by with another guy. Douchenozzle, as we shall refer to him, decided to say to this girl, “Your dress is too short honey, put on some fuckin pants!”

As anyone who knows me is aware, I cannot stand guys like this, who are the reason so many women are afraid to walk out their door for fear of being harassed. Even though she was walking with someone else and the pair of them brushed off the comment to keep walking, it really annoyed me, and I turned around, shooting a venomous look at Douchenozzle. I didn’t say anything though, because of something that bothers me just as much as his comment did.

I’ve witnessed scenarios like this, many of them worse, on countless occasions, but I always keep my mouth shut. Its safer to stay quiet, especially for women. But if you do decide to stay silent, society will tell you, “If you don’t speak up, that’s just as bad! Why didn’t you call him out? Maybe he doesn’t know its offensive until you tell him!” This leaves me stuck in a place where I am damned if I do and damned if I don’t. But what happened next made me pick damned if I do, because Douchenozzle stepped over the line.

Douchenozzle noticed the group made up of several men and women who were walking ahead of me and my group of friends, and at this point the guy makes his way around me to be closer to them. This was when I noticed the camera of his phone was turned on, and he tried to take a picture of one of the women in front of us. Then, laughing, he proceeds to say something to my guy friends, completely disregarding my existence.

He proclaimed, “Dude, look at this!” He holds up his phone for my friend to see, “That fags a man! That’s a he/she!” pointing to the one woman walking in front of us with her friends, who proceeded to cross the street to get away from him.

As my friend looked back at me confused, and as Douchenozzle continued to laugh, I said to him, “How about you shut the fuck up?”

In retrospect, me swearing was probably not the best course of action, but given the fact that this all went down not even three days after Leelah Alcorn committed suicide, I found it impossible to keep my cool and stay silent about this guy’s completely uncalled for commentary. Then, Douchenozzle, who happens to be white like me, turns to some random person on the side of the street, who happens to be black and says, “Yo man, that girl just called you a filthy n****r.” and points at me.

THAT is why so many women stay silent rather than call out injustices. Because people like Douchenozzle will do whatever they can to try and hurt us should we open our mouths.

Thankfully, and because I’d like to believe God was on my side, the man that Douchenozzle said this too had not seemed to be paying full attention and ignored the rude and racist comment that this guy had been trying to pin on me. Seeing he had failed, Douchenozzle chose to walk away in the other direction, but he was still. fucking. laughing.

So what’s the point of me regaling you all with this encounter which shows how sexism, racism, and transphobia are alive and well in 2015? This isn’t news to anyone. The point is that while Douchenozzle tried to hurt people with his comments, and tried to hurt me for calling him out on them, no one got hurt. My saying something derailed his hatred, and led him away from the people he was trying to harm. If nothing else, my speaking up helped the person he was mocking from receiving any further torment.

Queen Bey

I understand that not every situation is safe enough to speak up, and I will be the first person to recognize that. Maybe had I not been with three male friends, I might not have been as bold. But at the end of the day, talking about changing the way men treat women (and how pretty much everyone and their mother treats the trans* community) is not going to do any good unless we stick up for each other and call out sexism and prejudice when we see it happening.

I encourage you to consider this a challenge for the year. Add it to your list of resolutions, because while feminism and trans issues are finally gaining national attention, we have a long way to go to. It’s my hope that people realize how important their voice can be. Standing up for someone can make all the difference.