• Don’t let fear keep you from playing the game

    People glamorize life. They look at the world through rose-colored lenses, and are torn apart when they have to face reality. Life is a game. We play and sometimes, we lose.

    But many times, we win. Some get so bogged down in the shadow of their failure that the victory that comes after is bittersweet. One thing that all people should accept is the fact that failure is inevitable. Perfection is impossible. No human can succeed at everything.

    But failure, or more accurately fear of failure, shouldn’t stop you from trying something new. Courage isn’t defined by the absence of fear, but by being afraid and doing it anyway. It might surprise you to know that our most rewarding experiences come from stepping out of our comfort zone. see more


    April 9, 2014 at 10:37 am

  • Music for a soon-to-be-grad

    Music is one of the few things that are forever. There’s always room for new discoveries to nestle a permanent place between old favorites—maybe even songs you’ve listened to for years. Unlike music, college is fleeting, and I find myself staring at one last month of classes. (Imagine a 22-year-old version of a kid grasping her stuffed teddy bear, shaking her head, tears welling, after hearing Santa isn’t real. That’s me right now.) Does it have to end?

    A reliable coping mechanism as I apply for countless jobs is listening to some bands I haven’t yet explored. Uncharted territory on all fronts, I enter this next phase of my life with an indefinite question mark drawn across the coming months.

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    April 8, 2014 at 3:49 pm

  • Andrea Gibson calls hearts to action

    Sometimes you hear a song, speech or poem that leaves you speechless, unable to put words to feelings. You are stunned speechless.

    That’s how I feel about amazing spoken word. That’s how I felt when I first heard Andrea Gibson. Gibson has often been considered the poet of our generation, and considers herself an activist as well as an artist. She has been featured in various media outlets and has published two books: “Pole Dancing to Gospel Hymns” and “The Madness Vase.”

    Andrea Gibson differs from other spoken word poets that I’ve encountered because her words say, “Take what I’m saying, and run with it.” They are poems that refuse to sit stagnant in your heart. They are calls to action. see more


    April 7, 2014 at 10:04 am

  • The power of positivity

    The English language is an amalgamation of several cultures, histories, tragedies and successes. We have words rooted in every language, and people don’t acknowledge this melting pot of terminology often enough.

    Words are as beautiful as they are powerful. The childhood saying, “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.” Biggest lie ever.

    Physical wounds heal—they may leave scars, but the pain they cause eventually ends. Words leave no scars, but they can shatter a person. Our minds are incredibly powerful and what gets in there has the ability to affect everything we do. see more


    April 7, 2014 at 9:58 am

  • Seattle’s APRIL Festival Celebrates Independent Literature

    Over the last year or so, I have fallen in love with the city of Seattle. From the beautiful city skyline, to the nature surrounding it, Seattle radiates beauty, innovation and art.

    Seattle is also home to one of the largest independent book festivals in the nation: the APRIL Festival. APRIL stands for “Artists, Publishers and Readers of Independent Literature.” The mission statement of the event is “to connect readers with independent literature and the authors and publishers of this relevant and vitalizing work.” see more


    April 2, 2014 at 7:00 am

  • Your personal runway

    Designer Coco Chanel said,“Fashion is not something that exists in dresses only. Fashion is in the sky, in the street, fashion has to do with ideas, the way we live, what is happening.”

    Whether you believe in the power of the fashion industry or not, it doesn’t lessen the positive effects of wearing clothes that make you feel good.

    Society puts far too much stock in physical appearances, but there is something to be said about a person wearing an outfit that boosts their confidence. In these trying times, every little bit of confidence you have is necessary. see more


    April 2, 2014 at 12:00 am

  • Giving praise to Shakey Graves

    Whoever thinks good music doesn’t come from Texas is profoundly mistaken. I’m not a fan of the pop-country fusion you hear at bars that serve buckets of Bud Light and offer mechanical bull rides. But I do love the timeless twang of more classical folk and country.

    Shakey Graves—or should I say Alejandro Rose-Garcia—is more or less the king of Americana, the one-man band and the suitcase kickdrum (yes, that’s apparently a thing.) When I first heard his “Roll the Bones” on a music blog, I immediately googled it to find out what this soulful roots band was. I don’t know what surprised me more: That it was merely one person, or that this one person played “The Swede” on my family’s favorite show, Friday Night Lights. And let me tell you, he has grown up.

    Rose-Garcia’s voice unpredictably shuffles between a soothing croon to a near wail, but always reaps a sincerity that feels directly aimed at your soul. His lyrics speak the hard truths of life, heartbreak and the long journey to our physical and metaphorical homes. Perhaps the best part of Shakey Graves is the literal “shaky” aspect of Rose-Garcia’s music. You never quite know when the pace will pick up for slow down, when his voice will heighten or suppress, but that’s the beauty of it. You have faith that it’s going to be good, and it always is. see more


    April 1, 2014 at 4:49 pm

  • How you know it’s the final countdown

    It is finally April… which means that school ends in less than six weeks. WHAT?

    Where did the semester go? Between January craziness, Spring Break, St. Patrick’s Day shenanigans, and March Madness — Spring 2014 simply flew by.

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    March 31, 2014 at 10:01 pm

  • Celebrate April Fools Day with literature

    This post contains spoilers about various literary works.

    While snow continues to fall on the east coast, spring has arrived in Arizona. Flowers are blooming, the sun shines beautifully. March and April are notorious for stunning weather. April also houses one of the silliest, most mysterious days of the year – April Fools Day!

    April Fools falls right after my birthday, and I usually forget the holiday exists because of all of the birthday excitement. This year is different. I was fooled pretty badly last year, and this year is my chance to fool in return. see more


    March 31, 2014 at 9:56 pm

  • Album talk: It’s music season

    A couple days ago while I was sitting at my desk and scrolling through Twitter, I read words that had been missing from the world since 2011. The Black Keys was finally going to release a new single. It’s one of those bands I can’t say I still listen to very often. However, I fostered an addiction to them my sophomore year in college while walking from the light rail to my English class in Tempe. It was a long stretch of ground to cover coming from my internship downtown, and I had a solid hour and a half of peaceful solace to listen at will. The Black Keys albums would be on shuffle the whole span.

    Can anything compete with “Lonely Boy”? I held my breath Monday as I sat and pressed play on the new single, “Fever.” It was good. It wasn’t great. But hey, they’re back, with an anticipated album release date of May 13 for its “Turn Blue” album.

    It’s a good time to love music. A couple of weeks ago, Lykke Li decided to drop a spontaneous bomb on Facebook with the unexpected news of a new album for the first time since 2011’s “Wounded Rhythms.” She released a video teaser for the album as well, with the tracks “Love Me Like I’m Not Made of Stone” and “No Rest For the Wicked” to follow. She is a true visionary with dramatically heart-wrenching power ballads and video imagery. The album “I Never Learn” is scheduled to release May 6. see more


    March 27, 2014 at 8:13 am