• Who Am I? •

Who am I?
The first verse
of my 28th year
is a question,
another ellipsis
with lessons to be
revealed day by day
as I fight and love
to where I’m meant
to go.
I don’t know
the destination
but I know that for it
I am destined.
I’m only human
for now,
but I was a soul
long before,
and my journey
is less about
becoming someone new
and instead about
becoming the someone
I was before I
even knew my name
or what words were.
As I begin around this
system’s star once more,
I hold hope close,
and go forth with faith,
confident and sure… 

Hope you all enjoyed this. Rather than the usual writing all the things I’ve been through for my birthday (and especially given what a poetic past year it was for me) I felt it would be more fitting to celebrate the beginning of being 28 with a new poem. Here’s to a new year of being and stuff!

Want to read more poetry?
Add Unraveling Light on…


Buy the book on…

Barnes & Noble | Amazon | IndieBound

(Featured Photo by Josh Felise on Unsplash)



A Million Things I Haven’t Done

Way back in the day, when I was a wee 13 year old, I had a Xanga. If you don’t know what Xanga is, I’ll just be over here dusting off my cobwebs and trying not to feel ancient. If you are in the know, you know that it pre-dates Insta, Twitter, even Facebook. It was a blogging site that for some reason, I adored, and it was my first foray into the blogging world. I used to write on that baby all the time, even up until college, letting it serve as a means of chronicling my life and years. And so, as I reflect back on how much I miss than dang blog, I thought I’d bring back an old tradition, which was writing just before my birthday about everything I’d done in the past year, and then looking ahead to what comes next.

So 26.

What a damn year, yo. Let’s break down some of the highlights, starting with last year and working up to the most recent highlights…

Mere weeks after turning 26, I went to my first New York Comic Con, where I proceeded to meet Guillermo del Toro, Ron Pearlmean, Steven Yeun, Andy Serkis, and this little guy you may have heard of named STAN F**KING LEE. *breathes a moment* Sorry. I get carried away about that last one. We also hosted our first live show for SpeakBeasty at that con, which was unreal and magical and definitely didn’t make me cry. (Narrator voice: she definitely DID.)

As any American without a MAGA hat will tell you, November was hard. Gut wrenching, heartbreaking, soul crushing hard. I went from standing in the shadow of Independence Hall the night before the election, hearing the Obama’s and the Clinton’s speak, thinking, this is it. History is happening right in front of me. I’m here the night before the first woman president gets elected. As we all know, the story didn’t pan out that way, and that has led to our very frightening current climate. To add insult to injury, the depression I experienced that month was so intense, that I didn’t finish NaNoWriMo.

But, because my life is weird like that, there was one thing that happened the day after the election that managed to be a beacon in the darkness. A patronus memory in the making, if you will. For on November 9th and 10th, I got to see an advanced press screening of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, and I got to cover the goddamn red carpet, where I saw J.K. Rowling in person. Yeah. I don’t talk about this moment of my life enough. But it definitely happened, and no fronting whatsoever, I SOBBED. I wish I’d gotten a picture with her or a signature or said hey thanks for my childhood and life and stuff, but that’s an adventure for another day. 😉 Seeing her was enough to turn on the light even in the darkest of times.

Oh, and I saw Hamilton. That happened. #StillNotOverIt

It’s true what they say that when one door closes, another one opens. The only thing of note that went down during this month was finding out my short story wasn’t going to be published by Inkshares, and subsequently entering it to be published in a literary magazine, which led to…..

The month I found out/got my first work of my life legitimately published. I still look at my copy of Wizards in Space sometimes, in sheer disbelief that it exists. That my story is printed within its pages, and that strangers out there somewhere who I may never meet have heard a story I had to tell. And apparently at NerdCon: Nerdfighteria, John Green bought a copy of the mag, which means that there’s a small chance John Green has read something I wrote. Being 26 could have dropped the mic here and been fine cause IT DOESN’T GET BETTER THAN THAT KIDS. (Or does it???)

APRIL & MAY 2017
As if getting a story published wasn’t enough, these two months finally saw me getting a new job, the job I’d honestly been wanting ever since graduating college and starting to work at the company I’m with. It’s not a dream job, nor a job I plan to stay at forever, but its the first time in my life that I have ever made a livable wage. I’m by no means making big bucks or anything, but it allows me to function more like a normal person, and man, it sounds insane to say, but being a person without wanting to die every minute because of financial stress is just bliss, I tell you.

Much of this summer blurs together, since most of it was spent doing one of two things–being at the new job, or working on the rewrite for They Are the Last. I made a lot of progress during these summer months, taking the story a bit slower and steadier without the worry of a publishing campaign looming over my every moment. July and August blazed by as I worked lots of extra hours and then spent what weekends I could stealing away to cafes to write. I also got a lot more into my love of poetry, which led to me doing my first spoken word event.

This one was a bit of a month, as I finally moved into a new apartment and at long last, started getting treatment for my anxiety and depression. These two things happening at just about the same time made for a really interesting combination, and as exhausting as the move was (I managed to sprain an ankle the day I was originally supposed to) it was a process I needed. It was the closing of a door, while opening a shiny new one. It was a sign of progress that I desperately needed to feel like I’m moving forward with my life. And the medication has honestly been one of the best decisions I’ve ever made for myself. I’m finally starting to manage my conditions, in a way that doesn’t rip me apart as much as it used to. It’s been incredible.

Only 19 days of this month, and already, unparalleled moments and memories I’ll treasure forever. My vacation to Orlando to attend MuggleNet LIVE 19 Years Later was too unbelievable to comprehend. I spent a magical day at Disney with a number of my SpeakBeasty friends, ushered in the only canon date in Harry Potter that fans have been able to live through together (September 1st, 2017, the day Albus goes off to Hogwarts) and spent lazy days strolling through Universal with people I love more than anything. I got to live out my dream of spending a day writing in the Wizarding World, sitting outside Florean Fortescue’s with a Butterbeer ice cream working on edits, and enjoyed a delicious dinner in the Leaky Cauldron as I worked on the book. It was too beautiful for these measly words to convey. I wish life could be like it every day.

Which brings me to the now. Or rather, the tomorrow. Tomorrow, I turn 27, an age that doesn’t come with much pomp or circumstance, and which forces me to face the fact that I was 17 10 years ago. But I feel energized for it. I feel an anxious kind of ready that’s trapped in my bones. I look back at how my life has progressed over especially the last 3 years, and each time, life gets ever more complex which makes it ever the more beautiful.

My life still gets messed up. I’m still broke some days. I still get majorly stressed. I still don’t always accomplish the things I set out to do. But the one thing I have yet to do, and which I pray I never do till my time on Earth is done, is give up. I hope that 27 is a year in which I keep pushing forward, and boldly going after my dreams, even though the thought of it scares the hell out of me. But as my fave said in a tweet earlier this year, which I put to paint…

“Courage. Even when panic’s at the back of your throat, courage.”
-Lin Manuel Miranda

I hope as I go forth into my 27th year that I can have even a shred of the courage exhibited by my heroes. I hope that even as I struggle, beautiful things come of it. I hope that no matter what comes my way, I don’t give up. Because for all the amazing things that happened to me while I was 26, there’s still a million things I haven’t done. But just you wait… 😉


What Gives Me Life

A late night blog cause my heart’s doing some things.

Sometimes, I feel like I’ve failed, even when I shouldn’t feel that way. Like the one thing I might have done wrong or not done well enough means I myself am a failure. Its a feeling that bites and burns and I wish I knew how to shut it down as it happens, but sometimes, that shit’s hard. But what I’ve learned in recent years, is that there are other things in my arsenal of emotion I can use to at least combat it, if not eradicate it. Tonight was one of those nights where I got to do that.

Not an hour ago, I hopped off a call with my podcast co-producer and our three new interns. Yep. That’s right. The podcast I run has interns. This statement feels unreal, because as my co-producer put it, it means we’ve grown so much that we need help. This beautiful and weird little thing we created is becoming a big enough thing that we need more people on our team to make it continue to grow and succeed. And while bringing on unpaid interns to an already unpaid job I have might not look like much on paper, to my heart, it is everything.

Most of the things I love doing most in life are things I don’t get a paycheck for. I didn’t get paid to make short films with my production company/band of friends when I was in college. I don’t get paid to produce a podcast about a movie about wizards. I don’t get paid to insanely agree to write 50,000 word novels every November, while encouraging strangers to also write 50,000 word novels with me. As of yet, I don’t get paid to stay up late at night editing and rewriting a story that’s been in my mind for most of my life. But these things that don’t put any coins in my pocket are the things which breathe life into my soul. They are the worthwhile things that make up the entire short list of most profound, enthralling, uplifting moments I’ve ever experienced. These things make me feel more alive than anything I’ve ever punched a time clock for.

These little moments, these small victories, they are my weapons for the days I feel like I’ve failed. They are the swords that cut my self doubt and they are the fans to my flames of hope. While there were things I did and didn’t do today that made me feel like I’d messed up or failed, the one thing I did right has to be enough to keep me going onto the next moment, and the next, and the next. I will fall and I will fail more times in life than perhaps I’d ever be able to count, but these things are sure to come in equal measure with things that are beautiful, inspiring, and which will give me the strength to stand back up.

Tonight began the next leg of a journey. One with a bigger team, more responsibility, and more chances for me to fail. But I have a feeling that with the right amount of dedication, spirit, and joy, whatever pitfalls may lay in waiting will be far outweighed by the triumphs sure to come.

Our Beautiful “Other”

This isn’t a post about him. This is a post about you.

You, dear reader, are a human being. You are a person who breathes and lives and who is capable of the same intelligent thought that invented everything from the wheel to the iPhone. The fact is that you are here because at some point in history, two other human beings brought you into the world. My opinion is that you’ve made it this far for a reason.

You are not the only one who is here. There are others. Some worship the same God, some don’t. Some have more melanin. Some love different people than you would like them to. Some have embraced their true identity, despite the one forced upon them at birth. Some have worked hard even as their bank account reads E, while others lavish in mansions because they were handed opportunities based on a privilege they did not ask for, yet have anyway. There are almost 7 billion others, not a single one of them you, but each of them them. 

To them, you are a them. Each of us exists as an other in relation to someone.

Yet it is in our otherness that we are one. Our skin and our minds and our hearts and our spirits are each of them unique and other, and that is what makes this world we did not ask for, yet have, a rich mosaic of life. We are each a stroke in a painting that’s a few thousand millennia in the making, each of us a word in a book that’s still being written. Every one of you is part of humanity’s verse in history.

Black, white, able bodied, transgender, Islam, impoverished, Asian, two-spirited, Latino, cisgender, disabled, young, Christian, mentally ill, thin, wealthy, elderly, fat, bisexual, agendered— these and countless more markers are all truths for certain individuals. These unique elements build our identity and make us who we are, and they are all of them valid. Because you are the intersectional sum of all these things, you too are valid. You have others who love you, as you love them. And for the sake of each and every other, we must all have love for one another.

When hate enters your heart, it’s like clear waters destroyed by oil. It poisons you and all who drink you up. But love is what heals. Love is everything the light touches, love is what brings flowers to bloom and humans into being and puts wonder into the eyes of our children. We only make this world any kind of better or any shade of great when we see the value in each and every other. The individual stanzas that are our other is what makes us a beautiful poem when we all come together.

So as you are here, you with your beautiful other, remember others are also here. We are all here together, and it is together that we will decide what kind of poem we want to be.

(Note: Featured image is an original abstract painting by Elayna Mae Darcy)

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…


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.


Write Space

For most of the country (and let’s be real, the world) 2016 was just awful. Not only did we lose people who were regarded as cultural icons, but the world was ripped apart by wars, mass shootings, and other instances of violence that took so many others from us. It was a year in which I got to see both Bernie Sanders, and Hillary Clinton speak at rallies, each time inspiring within me a hope that this nation can do better, only to have hate win out in a devastating conclusion to an election, which felt more like the beginning of a dystopian novel. 2016 was hard.

But when I think about what this year meant to me personally, it was really a year full of words. This day last year in a frenzied marathon, I wrote 11,900 words to conclude my first draft of They Are the Last, which still is one of the most accomplished moments of my life thus far. So it was only natural that 2016 should be a continuation of that. And while I’ve yet to complete my full second draft, I managed to write 80,000+ words during NaNo and Camp months, and countless other words of rewrites for the new draft in-between. I even wrote my first short story (add another 5,000 words for that) which is hopefully set to be published next year. You could say that words themselves defined my year.

And so rather than try to convey exactly what it feels like to be writing like I’m running out of time, I thought I would instead share this collection of photos I’ve snapped over the year featuring the spaces in which I have written. Some were posted to my Instagram, some were taken with my professional camera, but all of them were captured by me.

As a writer, it feels like sharing these images is one of the most personal things I can do, because it invites you in to my space in which I create. These photos capture an extension of my very head space, and a glimpse into how, when, and where I make happen the closest thing I can to magic.

I hope you enjoy them, and even more so, I hope each and every person who happens upon this post has a beautiful and blessed 2017. We could use it after all we’ve been through together. Keep your heads up, hearts full, and as we leave 2016 behind and soldier into this brave new world, may the odds be ever in our favor.

January 1, 2016
January 2, 2016
January 10, 2016
January 26, 2016
January 29, 2016
February 8, 2016
February 25, 2016
February 26, 2016
March 20, 2016
March 22, 2016
March 25, 2016
April 5, 2016
April 18, 2016
May 3, 2016
June 11, 2016
June 12, 2016
June 22, 2016
June 25, 2016
August 7, 2016
August 11, 2016
August 15, 2016
September 4, 2016
September 11, 2016
September 18, 2016
September 25, 2016
October 1, 2016
November 1, 2016
November 27, 2016
December 26, 2016
December 31, 2016

(All photos in this post are copyright © 2016 Elayna Mae Darcy)

A Tale of Three Journals

In the winter of 1999, one of my mom’s friends got me a small Winnie the Pooh diary for Christmas. There was no way that woman could know what a seed she was planting when she gave me that thing, but it is a journal I still have to this day, and once a year I still write in it, just to keep the story going.

Since then, a great many journals have made their way into my hands, as evident from the one photo I took earlier in this year with all the ones I could find in my apartment stacked on top of one another. Oh look, here it is… (The Winnie the Pooh one I spoke of in the paragraph above is the third journal from the top in this photo. The purple spined one.)


Even since that photo, I know I’ve acquired at least two or three more journals for various purposes. Sometimes they are for particular stories I am working on, sometimes they are catch all repositories of thoughts. But some in this stack exist with the purpose of being just what the name proclaims: a journal. I’ve written in them about countless moments in my life, both the major and the trivial. The bulk of my teenage years and fears are recorded in these tomes, and honestly if I were stuck in the “your house is burning down and you only have time for one thing” scenario, my one thing I’d grab would be a bag that I’d hastily proceed to shove all of these into.

Which brings me to today. December 26th. A day where the creative stars align for me. For you see, one of the journals in that stack, this one to be precise…


… is a journal I got on December 26th, 2006. Ten years ago today.

It’s one of my favorite journals I’ve ever owned honestly, and contains much of my 16 and 17 year old angst, the bulk of which I’d be far too embarrassed for anyone reading my big-girl-grown-up blog to see. Within its pages are recounted magical summers with friends, emotional school years, and longings of a me who just wanted to see the world and write.

This journal set the bar for other journals in my life, but along with all of its counterparts, it shared one thing in common: I never filled all of its pages.

Part of this beautiful book with it’s linen-like pages and books on the cover, remains empty. I’ve never before in my life been able to fill up an entire volume with my thoughts, dreams, or musings.

Until today. December 26th, 2016.

The thing is, two years ago, when I decided I wanted to change my name to Elayna Mae Darcy (a story you can acquaint yourselves with here) the very first thing I thought was, I need a journal. I’m gonna need a comprehensive chronicle of this new life of mine. So, remembering that I got that favorite journal from way back when on December 26th (because I write the dates/times/places of every journal I’ve ever bought somewhere in the back of them) I went out, and bought this beautiful volume…

This photo was from my trip to Edinburgh.

And so I bought my second journal on December 26th.

With my new name in tow, this journal and I set out on a grand adventure to capture my life. This little green book has been with me in my moments of deepest despair and greatest joy in the last two years. It contains poems written on the days I saw Bernie Sanders, and Hilary Clinton speak. It holds the autographs from a number of people who starred in the Harry Potter films. A butterfly landed on one of its pages once in a park. It’s been to London, Scotland, San Diego, Orlando, New York, and New Hampshire. It’s been written in on the shaky cabins of Greyhound buses, all the way up to the smooth sailing of a plane cruising at 35,000 feet above the Atlantic. No other journal I’ve owned can claim such adventure, which makes it only fitting that it is the first one I’ve filled from cover to cover.

And so when I penned the end of its last entry today, I knew exactly what I needed to do, and I got myself to a bookstore downtown to purchase its successor.

Isn’t she lovely?

Who knows what journal December 26th the Third will get to contain? Will she too visit other nations, be in the hands of famous persons, or witness history as it’s happening? Maybe. Or perhaps she will contain the quieter moments, the musings of a sometimes somber yet striving to be jubilant Hufflepuff. If I’m blessed, she’ll do both.

This journaling journey has been such an important part of my life, and sometimes it is strange for me when I realize that I’ve been doing it now for over seventeen years. When I put it that way, my act of journaling is of legal age in the wizarding world! I’ve done this long enough for children to have been born, gone through adolescence, and start looking at colleges. To be as young as I am and know I’ve done something consistently for that long feels strange, but also right.

Here is to any and every adventure that this newest journal may hold.

Big Moments & Little Musings

Every blogger’s experiences are different, which is probably why I find most of those “5 Absolute Concrete Rules for Your Super Duper Blog Success, We Totally Promise” sort of blogs to be silly. Who are you, random stranger of the internet, to tell me what makes the most sense for me, my blog, and the story of my life? Surely, tips are encouraging and give insights into how a blog could, and perhaps should, be run. But I find the experience of blogging too personal and unique for there to be a insta-success recipe.

So right now, rather than carefully planning out a blog post I never finish, I’ma pop in here with some thoughts on some things. Cause reasons…

My brain still has not caught up with the wonderment that was the weekend of New York Comic Con, in which over a span of several days, I met storytelling legends (Stan Lee, Guillermo del Toro), actors whom I greatly admire (Steve Yeun, Ron Pearlman, ANDY SERKIS?!!??), and most importantly, got to witness a precious moment in time. My podcast—the one I’ve been co-producing over at MuggleNet for the last ten months—had it’s very first live show/panel. I was so proud of the remarkable people I work with. I’m ever in awe of them—their combined intelligence, kindness, and sillyness is sometimes too much for my heart to handle. If only little fangirly me from my teen years could know the experiences she’d get to have as an adult. The podcasts she grew up listening to? She’d get to be part of that. It’s wild and beautiful and so many other words that just don’t do it enough justice. I can’t describe the joy that filled my heart that day.

Since then, there’s been several other huge-potentially-life-changey moments that have come up, but for me to go deep into describing them now would take too long and probably make me close this tab to finish writing the rest later. Just know, there’s good things happening. Very good things.

Going forward, I can say it’s safe to start placing bets on November probably being the best month of my life. One of the reasons of which I can share, is HAMILTON FINALLY. At last I’ll get to see the musical that’s been shaping my year and helping me grow. And the other major element, is going to be that Fantastic Beasts finally drops. It’s been 3 years of waiting for this movie to finally be here—and one long year of podcasting about it—so honestly, chances are I’ll be crying through approximately 76% of that movie. (Don’t worry, they’ll be mostly happy tears…I hope…*looks pointedly at J.K. Rowling*)

And lastly, NaNoWriMo approaches! If last year was any indication, I tend to blog with more frequency when caught in the throes of NaNo. Perhaps it’s because my hands are fixed in fervent typing mode. Or maybe it’s because in order to write a story, I need blogging and journaling to help me psychologically work through the process of stroytelling. Whatever the reason, I’m pretty settled on this November’s adventure being the completion of draft two of They Are the Lastseeing as last year’s mission was draft one. I’ve also got a few other reasons to get that done, but life would be boring if I didn’t have at least a few secrets.


Normally this be the place where I wrap things up and be like, “sorry for rambling”. But to be honest, I’m not sorry. Getting out my thoughts in rapid fire like this was fun, and besides…



What is a Legacy?


When I think about why I want to write and tell stories, the most significant reason is because without stories to help me navigate and understand my life, I might not still be here. It was my friends on the page at Hogwarts that got me through years of bullying. It was the music of RENT that helped me come into my own and embrace my brand of weird. It was Doctor Who that made me realize no one in the universe is unimportant—including me. So as I awoke today—on the day which marks 7 years since my mother died—I can’t help but think about the newest story in my life that’s helping me through. Hamilton.

You’re an orphan of course, I’m an orphan! Those few lines from the first time I listened really hit me, for I too am an orphan. Hamilton wrote his way out of his circumstances and poverty, which is what I’m struggling here to do by writing non-stop. He had his revolutionary covenant, as I have my remarkable squad of friends who are always on my side. Seeing all these pieces of myself in a musical penned by someone I’ve never met reminds of the one thing that I really need on days like this—I’m not alone.

But of all the quotes from Hamilton I can think of today—especially It’s Quiet Uptown—the one that actually came first to mind this morning was one from the show’s final song.

What is a legacy? It’s planting seeds in a garden you never get to see.

This line in the context of the show refers to Hamilton reflecting in his final moments about the legacy he may or may not leave behind. He was a man obsessed with “legacy”, wanting his name to live on and mean something. But for me this morning, it was not my own legacy I thought about. It was my mother’s.

She was not a perfect person. She had flaws, pissed off a lot of people, and made many mistakes like the rest of us. But what is her legacy? What is the legacy of a woman who’s obituary was nothing more than a few lines about the family she left behind and that she loved gardening? It is unlikely history will ever remember my mother the way they remember someone prolific like our ten dollar founding father. But there is at least one thing she left behind—me.

When people leave us, those of us who are left behind are the ones who define their legacy. We carry with us every day what they left us with. And while Cynthia Hannon might never be remembered by the ages, she is remembered with a full heart by me and those she touched because of her kindness.

Her legacy is the fact that she supported & encouraged an artistic child who is now close to being a published author. Her legacy is in the memories of my friends she used to drive out of her way to take home after our drama club practice because their parents didn’t think it was important. Her legacy is love. Its a love that I carry with me every moment of my life. And as the same favorite storyteller behind Hamilton recently reminded me:

Love is love is love is love is love is love is love is love, cannot be killed or swept aside.

So mom, today in your honor, I remember the love you left behind. It will not be swept aside. I’ll keep your flame. I’ll be the one who tells your story.

APRIL 25TH, 1953—JUNE 26TH, 2009