The Pre-Writing Has to Stop

So it's been a year — and then some. But hey, I was busy trying to become who I am. I'm embarrassed to say how long I've had this draft open in my browser (it was a week and a day). Twenty-twenty was undoubtedly a rough year for the universe, but I don't really want to rehash all of that. What's sad is I could have been using that time more effectively to reach my personal goals, but I didn't. Again, there's no point in wallowing in all of that ~time wasted~.


In other news — I'm back, baby. 

This isn't one of those accountability posts. It's more like a "rip the bandaid off and publish something" post. I did a lot of what Hannah Horvath would call "pre-writing" in the last year or so. Now it's time to get those ideas out into the ether. Because that's what this space is for. I used to think I wanted it to be something for everyone else to pore over. Now I realize the immense and invisible pressure that puts on a person like me. 


Recently, I've been inspired by a lot of the creative people I work with. In fact, my boss was actually the one who inspired me to sit down and reflect on the things that I'm passionate about outside of work. Because we shouldn't be defined by what we do for a living — we should be defined by the things we want to do. 


When I'm not publishing whatever the heck I want to on here, I'm likely doing a few other things elsewhere online. My creative ooze is everywhere! 


Staff writing for Showbiz Cheat Sheet  

You can find most of my writing on Showbiz Cheat Sheet because I'm a staff writer now. I've been with the company for a year, but I've taken some recent inventory, and I've been writing about entertainment for like, six years. Good for me. 

I'm excited to share more about that journey (I've been watching too much of The Bachelor) here as well. From getting the job to celebrity interviewing tips to my not-so-great reality star encounter — it's all on my list of 'things to write.' 


Lights, Camera, No podcast

Then there's the Lights, Camera, No podcast. Every week, my internet pals and I talk about a different movie in the horror or thriller genre. Every Friday, you can listen to us on SpotifyiTunes, and pretty much every other podcasting outlet. We're also on Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, and Facebook. Plus, Lights, Camera, No live streams from Twitch every Wednesday while we record new episodes. Come hang out with us sometime! 


Freelancing for POPSUGAR

Ironically, I got the freelancing gig with POPSUGAR by applying for a full-time job. At the time, I think the hiring manager was looking for a digital editor (maybe?), and the position wasn't remote. I still managed to land a phone interview thanks to my background in writing for SEO. Unfortunately, they weren't willing to commit to a full-time remote worker, but they offered me a paid spot as a freelancer instead. 


I don't get to write as frequently as I would like for POPSUGAR, and there are many reasons why. For starters, most of the writing I'm capable of or interested in overlaps with what I write for Cheat Sheet, and that always takes priority. The other thing is that I actually have to submit pitches, and those don't always get the green light. I'll do a whole post about freelancing for POPSUGAR, how you can do it too, the types of pitches they're looking for, and all of that good stuff. Like I said — 'things to write.' 


But this is where I'll continue to host my musings. 

Best Scene In Rocketman Movie | My Future Lies Beyond The Yellow Brick Road

I know I'm very late to the game on this one, but I watched Rocketman last night and holy hell, it was a good movie.

Note: I don't think this post could contain spoilers, especially if you know anything about Elton John, but then again, here's your warning just in case.

As the daughter of a DJ, I pride myself on my music knowledge. I know a little bit about a lot of artists thanks to my dad - something that's really helpful when it comes to things like Quizzo or schooling someone as to what's playing on the radio. With that being said, I'm v. familiar with Elton John's music, but I had no idea about the personal struggles he faced with addiction.

Overall, I love these kinds of biopics that give you an inside look (however dramatized) at what artists like Elton John or Freddie Mercury went through in order to become who they were always supposed to be.

The part of Rocketman that sparked my whole ~celebration of the movie was a single scene that depicted self-love in the best/most beautiful/tear-jerking way.

First I should mention that the entire movie is a personal recollection of his life - from a young boy discovering he can play music back after hearing the notes only once to the drug-fueled billionaire success he came to be - told from the throws of many a group meeting.

As Elton's time in rehab comes to a close, he finally confronts all of the demons from his past that caused him to become who he was rehabilitating - a cocaine and alcohol-fueled sex addict with a short fuse and an out-of-control shopping habit. That included his parents, two people who had trouble putting someone else's needs before their own; his former manager/lover John Reid; his loving grandmother who doted upon him but never really stepped up to the plate when he needed her; and of course, his younger self.

"When are you going to hug me?" Reggie Dwight beckons to Elton John (a clap-back to earlier in the movie when BB Reggie asks his hard-headed father the same question).

Insert me, my heart ready to burst: "This is the most BEAUTIFUL portrayal of SELF-LOVE I have EVER seen!"

Elton hugs his younger self close in what is the embrace he needed to let go of all of the bad from his past and start anew, fresh and newly sober.

It's easy to lose yourself a bit, particularly when you haven't been treated the way you deserve to be. Healing is possible, though - if only we would chose to embrace the power of self-love a little more often. Rocketman was a stunning portrayal of that, and the epic legend that Elton John came to be, of course.

An Ode To 'A Double Shot At Love' | MTV's Pauly Delvecchio & Vinny Guadagnino

Today is a sad day.

A Double Shot At Love has come to an end. What's a girl to do with her Thursday nights now? It's times like these I really miss Jersey Shore and all of those Thursday nights with a bowl of spaghetti and meatballs ready to go.

Good thing Family Reunion's coming back soon!

Anyway, Pauly and Vinny's chance of finding love is officially over. And what a finale it was. Picture it - me, standing in front of my television, clapping with joy as I shout "Suck 👏 on 👏 that 👏 sis!"

In honor of the show's conclusion, let us regale in all of the high-quality drama that came out of this incredibly weird dating situation.

Here's a list of the women who made this show possible, for reference.

Dating two dudes at once is weird. 

SallyAnn Salsano, reality television extraordinaire, did it again with the format of this show. Two of the most iconic guidos dating the same bunch of women living under one roof?

What could go wrong?

Absolutely everything. And I'm here for it.

Despite a lot of these women deciding who they were more interested in early on, Pauly and Vinny committed to dating all of them ~equally. As you can imagine, that didn't sit right with a lot of these women's spirits. But hey, that's what reality television is all about.

Christina was kind of a bitch.  

This girl literally thought she was God's gift to this green earth. It was a lot to handle, but her final meltdown was truly a work of art.

"I think I'm wasting my life here, actually. I have like a really short lifespan - it's only like 150 years."

I'm sorry, is she a sea turtle?

"Life goes by fast and I don't wanna spend it like wasting it."

Did she not realize what she was signing up for? I enjoyed watching this psycho, but my sanity is grateful that she left when she did.

Cate and Derryn got real drunk, real fast. 

I've always wondered what the alcohol budget was for these types of shows. It's a necessary component in the creation of great moments, like the first mixer the girls had. The drinks were flowing and we got to see who would fit into that Jersey Shore lifestyle and who wouldn't. 

Derryn was definitely the fun drunk ("I'm a vegetarian") while Cate hid in the bathroom and cried because she was too drunk. Way to make a good impression, sis. 

Cate's probably the real MVP though because these shows wouldn't be nearly as entertaining without the over-the-top drunkards.

Suzi had the most obnoxious laugh. 

This girl had such a high-pitched voice. It reminded me of the girl who used to do the morning announcements at my high school, in all of its squeaky glory.

Her laugh though? That was next level. Peep at 1:30 to see what I mean.

A lot of people probably assumed she was a dumbo, but she was a nurse! Suzi goes to show you really can't judge a book by its cover, as she wasn't just a pretty face. 

Mish got her ass handed to her. 

When Angelina made her visit to the house, I was a little shocked (mostly because she's hot and cold with the Jersey Shore crew). 

Then I remembered what divine reality television I was watching and her entrance in the ambulance made a lot more sense. 

I guess she was there to vet the girls and intimidate them in a way, but the only one she really had any kind of effect on was Mish. Poor girl. 

I don't think this woman would hurt a fly, but Angelina saw that Mish was the weakest link and she went at her

She literally said she felt like she had to stir shit up. 

If anything, Angelina should have gone for Nikki! She was the one that created whatever kind of issue there was, refusing the shot Angelina made. Mish was only defending Nikki when she said: "It's her personal belief."

While it was uncomfortable to watch (and the tears were a little unnecessary - never let 'em see you cry girlfriend), we love a cringe-worthy moment. 

Personally, I felt that Angelina was more annoyed at the fact that Nikki didn't drink, but she couldn't call her out for that because like, that's a problem for some people and she doesn't know these girls' past and it just wouldn't have been a good look overall. 

Anyway. 

I felt bad for Mish! Some people aren't built to handle the sass that comes with the Staten Island Dump 😬

Holly went out with a bang. 

I loved Holly and wanted her so badly to calm the hell down so that she could win Pauly over. But alas, Nikki had him tight in her claws and he never really got the chance to make a connection with homegirl.

When Holly's cab was called, she let the boys know they had just made "the BIGGEST mistake of their lives." One of the most cliche lines of all time, but what did we expect from our fairy-tale loving girl?

I was really rooting for Holly! Deep down, I knew she was being over-the-top at times, so much so that I would yell at my television begging her to DIAL IT BACK, but she didn't and I respect her for it.

She put her heart on the line and showed her true, authentic self. And you really can't hate on that.

What the hell, Elle. 

Elle was cool and all but I didn't really appreciate her decision to play both sides of the field SO LATE in the game. There was no authenticity to what she was putting out there, ya know?

Derryn's disappointment. 

I was rooting for Derryn, but honestly, I would have rooted for whoever was pinned up against Nikki at the end. Clearly, Nikki was a huge source of drama for the show and probably a major reason people continued to tune in, so duh.

Despite not choosing anyone, I think Pauly should have given Derryn a chance.

Maybe he wasn't ready to be tied down, or maybe he didn't want to watch Nikki drown Derryn in the pool, which is more likely the case.

Alysse takes the cake. 

Vinny chose to give Alysse a shot at love and I was pretty happy about it. I think they vibed the best and she was one of the most genuine people on the show. She impressed Vinny's dog and more importantly, his mom, and I think they could work as a couple, at least for a little while. 

I still have yet to watch the reunion special, but I did see screenshots of Alysse crying so I'm not sure what's going on with their relationship, but I liked her. I think she and Vinny could make a good couple, but then again maybe the ~reality of the reality television life was too much for her to handle. 

Is Slack Software Ruining The Office Dynamic? | Slack Software Hazards

What happened to good old water cooler chat?

These conversations may have seemed like a waste of company time in the past, but what if I told you there was tech out there that would become the biggest time suck your company has ever experienced?

Slack – a cloud-based communication software that currently has 8 million daily users – has done away with the need for human interaction, instead offering your office with a way to communicate and collaborate digitally.

That’s not the only thing Slack brings to the table, though.

I worked for a full-service digital marketing agency that helps SMBs with their online presence. In the six years I had been there, we had grown substantially (5 people in 2013 to more than 30 full-time employees in 2019). As we grew, our open-office plan started to dissect at a rapid pace. Soon, various teams were compartmentalized into offices and it wasn’t long before management started looking for a better way for us to communicate.

Sometime in 2016, we were called into a conference room and introduced to Slack – the workplace messaging app that Fortune 500’s swear by!

I find Slack to be a useful tool that makes collaboration and communication easy and fun. It’s essentially a hybrid of every social media platform and dating app out there and thus vastly appealing – not to mention the GIF/Emoji vernacular that’s now an acceptable thing to use when communicating with your boss.

Slack also offers a number of other benefits, like being free to use for the budget-friendly office or offering the convenience of connection through the use of the mobile app.

I concede that Slack does make communicating with my colleagues less awkward, especially because I can lighten any conversation with an appropriate GIF. Whether I’m sharing documents via the Google Suite or need to get a quick answer from someone on the other side of the building, when used properly, Slack makes my day-to-day easier.

And yet for all of the blessings Slack has brought to our small corner of the B2B world, I see user-initiated HR nightmares on a daily basis that straight up stress me out.

Cyberbullies aren’t a thing of the past. 

Slack makes workplace bullying easier both to take part in and ignore.

Cyber-bullying is a tale as old as time, one that used to be limited to social media comments and online chat rooms. Now, with the advent of Slack, it’s prevalent in places of business. Bullies who once took comfort in hiding behind a computer screen have seamlessly transitioned into the American workplace, waiting for someone to say something in Slack so that they can passively correct or publicly insult.

This may not happen in every workplace on a daily basis or ever, even, but these trolls lurked in the Millennial-driven office I worked in, waiting for a chance to bully through comments, emoji reactions, or GIFs.

Not only does this limit productivity, but it’s a major distraction as well. The natural instinct to defend oneself kicks in (I will not be publicly ridiculed!) and before you know it, thirty minutes have been wasted crafting responses and Googling reaction memes, which is a losing battle in itself because you end up looking like a fool regardless.

Slack isn’t as inclusive as it’s cracked up to be. 

Slack allows users to create public and private channels, as well as host private chats with as many or as few people as you'd like.

There are relevant private channels, like those that exist to share information among a particular team that wouldn’t make sense to anyone else otherwise. Then there are the private channels that function as gossip mills.

This Intelligencer article points out that "Slack is also perfect for conspiring and bitching” – necessary evils in the workplace, yes, but is it helpful to encourage such acts with software that makes it easier than ever to do so?

Depending on the content, finding out there’s a Slack channel you’re not in-the-know about can sting about as much as being excluded from an impromptu happy hour.

From a managerial standpoint, these private channels can pose a threat to the peace within company culture and quickly cause a divide among comrades.

Cliques aren’t formed in person anymore – they're cultivated in Slack.

Insinuation is scary.

Regardless of the method, we all read digital messaging with a preconceived connotation.

I, for one, cannot get through an email without feeling like the sender thinks I’m a complete idiot. Pepper in the passive-aggressive use of emojis and GIFs that Slack makes possible and you’re left with crippling self-doubt that says you are, in fact, idiotic.

It’s hard to get a read on how a person meant their words to be read, and harder still to decipher whether they meant that ‘/giphy What An Idiot’ reaction or not.

Slack is a major distraction.

That same Intelligencer article likened Slack to the social media of the workplace in that it “...makes the line between work and not-work blurrier than ever — the constant scroll of maybe-relevant chatter in your chosen Slack channels registers at times like the background noise of any other newsfeed."

Personally, the moment I see a (!*) notification pop up in the Slack tab of my browser, a wave of stress washes over me and within two seconds, I’m back in the throes of what’s going on in Slack. Our workplace has channels like 'Client Announcements' and 'Office,’ fairly standard channels that allow for fast, effective communication on everything from client news to the goings-on around the office.

Then there are the other channels – which can be created by anyone at any time – like 'Random' (where things like pop culture news and articles from The Onion go) and my favorite, 'Oh Lawd He Comin' (a channel dedicated to photos of fat animals).

Whether they mean to be or not, these are the culprits of daily distraction. You do have the ability to opt out of channels or mute their notifications, but then you’re left to deal with the mounting pressure of feeling excluded when it comes time to interact face-to-face with the rest of your colleagues.

When people use Slack as intended, it’s a wonderfully useful tool.

Even though we’re all adults, someone needs to lay down the law. Management should decide where it makes sense for your operation to draw the line. Relay those rules to employees, so they understand what’s going to fly, and what isn’t, when it comes to communicating in Slack.

At work, we’re ultimately using Slack in a professional setting, so be sure to act accordingly! Avoid things like mentioning explicit activities, or calling someone out publicly. If an issue arises, or you feel uncomfortable, handle it the same way you would a traditional workplace conflict—face to face or by going to human resources.

In the cases cited, issues are 100% user-generated and an excellent nod to the age-old anecdote of why we can’t have nice things. From an HR or managerial standpoint, it’s vital to be in tune with the way your employees are interacting. You don’t have to monitor every chat. However, you should be mindful of what’s going on in the public sectors of your Slack workspace.

Take notice of how your employees are engaging with each other. If you notice anything unsavory, address it directly—and in person—to nip it in the bud.

Overall, Slack does have a place in the office. Sure, the way my team sometimes uses it can be a little wacky. But it really does make my job as a content creator a lot simpler—especially when it comes to file sharing, brainstorming, and planning workplace events.

In fact, I can’t think of a better way to do those things anymore—I certainly don’t miss the horrendous email chains!

version of this post first appeared on Spin Sucks!

Why I Relate To Guinevere Beck | Caroline Kepnes' 'You'

You has been given a new life recently, what with Netflix releasing it as an "original series" and completely bypassing the show airing on Lifetime back in September. For that, I am grateful, because my thoughts are once again relevant.

I read the book first, because like all great things that become movies, television shows, and Netflix "originals," You was a book first (yay, Caroline Kepnes). While I found myself eerily attracted to the idea of Joe, what struck me even more was the level I related to Beck, which is weird because personally, I think she's one of the most erratic and aloof people to ever walk the planet. I was both delighted and disgusted by this revelation. Here's why.

Beck is the world's biggest procrastinator. 

As a writer, Beck always bailed on her friends "to write." In reality, she was doing everything but. This includes, but is not limited to:  shopping, texting, tweeting, and playing hard to get with seemingly harmless men and/or old flings. Before I sat down to write this, I distracted myself with laundry, prepping my gym bag, putting away dishes, scooping the cat litter, and changing the scent on my bathroom wallflower.

So, aggressive flirting aside, I understand the desire to put off creativity. Pushing yourself to sit down and produce something people are going to want to grace their eyeballs with is hard.

Note:  I spent an unreasonable amount of time looking for a gif to accompany this point. It saddens me to say I could not find one that sat right with my spirit. 

Beck is FULL of self-doubt. 


This one hurts to admit, mostly to myself. I hated watching Beck doubt herself because it hit me right in the feels. 

For many of us, the self doubt is always there, lurking quietly. I ignore it instead of dealing with it. To lessen that doubt, I, much like Beck, will seek justification from those closest to me who I know aren't going to be like "Quit while you're ahead kid, everything you write is contrite!" 

Regardless of that need for people to tell me my work is pretty, I still try to seek critical feedback as often as possible. I give credit to Beck for sticking with her schooling and opening her writing up for critique from her pompous classmates. 

And while I don't think Beck ever really evolved to her full potential in terms of self assurance, she did serve as a reminder to annoy myself less with said doubt and work on building myself up and actually writing about what I want to instead of tearing myself down and doing absolutely nothing. 

She's intolerant of bitchy nonsense. 


In the book/show, Beck makes little time for other peoples drama, mostly because she's busy dealing with her own. Whether it's snide comments from her step-mom, harsh critiques from Blythe (an aggressively hipster classmate), or the attention-seeking acts bestie Peach exhibits, Beck gets where and when to draw the line. 

I don't know if you knew, but being self-absorbed is like, the ~thing now. It applies to the way people only pay attention to what's going on in their own little bubbles. In Beck's case, that was her writing and her relationship with Joe and what she was going to post to her Twitter to stay relevant. For me, it's my writing and my cat. 

It can be easy to let other peoples actions, opinions, and other general bullshit to mold the way I think about for the rest of the day, but when that happens, it's important to let that inner badass out to play.  

Like all of us, she's a little lost. 


Beck loses sight of herself, a common occurrence in the human species. She is torn apart by what she views as a superior writer, her relationship is on the rocks and she's fairly confused about what she really wants out of therapy, oh, and she fields sexual advances from her coveted work-study teacher. This shit-storm forces Beck to question what her goals really are. 

She's like so many adults who wake up and wonder what they'll be when they grow up (myself included). This character flaw is what drives her to find herself in other people. She turns to Peach for the validation that she's cool enough and attractive enough to get other people to like her. In Joe, she fills the void created by her constant need for attention. 

As for me, I'm constantly trying to figure out where my passions lie; what lights my soul on fire; which novel I'm going to finish first - you get it.

Today, one of my favorite writers announced that she was switching gears. I find reassurance in that. It's nice to know that, no matter how much respect or success the people I admire have attained, they're still hungry for more.