My 11 Writer Dreams Beside Being on Bestsellers List

As improbable as some may seem, here are my writer dreams besides being on bestseller lists.

  1. Be the half of a well-known literary couple like Ransom Riggs and Tahereh Mafi, Kaveh Akbar and Paige Lewis, Neil Gaiman and Amanda Palmer. (A girl can dream.)
  2. Have a room with a view in the house the is exclusively for writing and reading. This room will have lots of bookshelves!
  3. Make enough money from writing and its related duties such as speaking events, so that I have the option to quit my job (I don’t know that I’d ever quit my day job, though. I don’t see myself as a writer who needs the whole day to write (and I know this is very different for every writer, their genres, preferences, and goals.)
  4. Have one of my books or works taught at schools like Sara Kay’s and Clint Smith’s spoken word.
  5. Become as well known as Stephen King, Paulo Coehlo, and J.K. Rowling.
  6. Take a picture of my book on the shelves of bookstores next to the books of well-known authors.
  7. Read the quotes readers share of my work.
  8. Have a nemesis like Roxane Gay. Roxanne’s tweets about her nemesis are comical and remain mysterious because she never reveals who her nemesis is.
  9. Speak in a panel.
  10. Write a memoir and publish dairies (I’m still not sure if I want to publish my journals during my lifetime).
  11. Write memorable dedications and acknowledgements in my books. I love Kaveh’s “who all of this is meant to impress” to Paige Lewis in his acknowledgements of his poetry collection Calling a Wolf a Wolf. (Y’all, I’m a hopeless romantic, and I don’t know that I ever want to change this part of me.)

What are your writer dreams?


These Lines Belong in Love Letters

I’m going to start a poetry series in which I share poetry lines that move me and why they move me.

Sometimes I really believe I can turn anything into a you.

by #MelissaLozada-Oliva from “I’m So Lonely I Grow a New Hymen”

  • I love symbols and symbolism. When I see specific things, sometimes I see specific people from my life that are known for using those things, for saying those things. Sometimes it takes creativity to see things that are not physically present through things like songs, clothes, or scents. Also, I just noticed Melissa used “a you” instead of “you,” and to me that accentuates this replication of a someone who is not there.

i know no love without teeth
& have the scars to remember.

trace those scars & you have a map
to my heart. open carefully. i will not die.

by #JoseOlivarez from “I Wake in a Field of Wolves with the Moon”

  • I like how these lines go from teeth to scars and from scars to heart. (There’s probably a writerly word for what Jose does in this poem, so) let me call it a leading by holding your hand, a guiding through every step of the way. Jose holds the reader’s hand, tells you where the teeth have been, where the scars have formed, where the scars lead to. And when you arrive at the heart, he (or the speaker of the poem) has the audacity to tell you: i will NOT die. That’s my type of dramatic imagery, even though he’s talking figuratively (I hope he’s talking figuratively).


1527483638039 Hi, my name is Andrea, and I am an English Language Arts teacher who loves reflecting over the truth, beauty, and wisdom I find through reading, journaling, and teaching. The Hummingbird’s Journal is where I collect these reflections. Feel free to join me on Twitter where I retweet (more than I tweet) all things funny, enlightening, artsy, and poetical. 

A Spiritual Maturity & Grandeur

I was standing in front of an arrangement of roses with my uncle. We’d been in the dining room when I asked him if he had a simple piece of advice for me to find inner peace. When we stood in front of these flowers, he started telling me something important about the reason flowers need watering. But I did not let him finish his train of thought because I started crying.


To give you some context, I hadn’t seen my uncle in more than five years (since the last time I visited Mexico. I was a teenager then.). In his interactions with me and our family, his presence emitted, what I’ll call, a spiritual grandeur. In the words of Ada Limon, “I env[ied], I env[ied] that.” I wanted his spiritual grandeur, so I braved myself and asked him for spiritual advice.

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Lost Time is Never Found Again

I’m going to try this creative writing challenge which I found on Andrea’s blog The Perks of being Different which she found on Goldie’s BlogThe creative writing prompt is to “In exactly 120 words, write about an event that left an indelible imprint on your mind.” Let me know if you give it a try!

As family started arriving at my grandparent’s house for a family reunion, I kept my eyes glued to the door, so that I could greet everyone. At one point, two of my now tall cousins walked in, and I asked one of them, “Do you remember me?” When he smiled and nodded, I remembered his mischievous smile as a little boy, I remembered him chasing me and me chasing him, I remembered how my teenager self at one point felt annoyed by his endless energy.  When he did not chase me like my duckling, when he greeted me out of politeness and then left, I finally understood those sayings about time like the following: lost time is never found again.



1527483638039Hi, my name is Andrea, and I am an English Language Arts teacher who loves reflecting over the truth, beauty, and wisdom I find through reading, journaling, and teaching. The Hummingbird’s Journal is where I collect these reflections. Feel free to join me on Twitter where I retweet (more than I tweet) all things funny, enlightening, artsy, and poetical.

The Feeling of Adventure

I am in awe of airplanes. I went to my city’s airport twice this year before it was my turn to get on a plane to travel. I was left with this craving to watch planes land and take off as I saw them, then, through morning gold light and tall window panes. I still crave that image despite my recent trip to Mexico.


This post isn’t about Mexico’s food or its landmarks. It’s about a wisdom I bring back from there.  (I brought back wisdom to munch on for the rest of the year.) What I want to talk about is the feeling of adventure. (For context, you should know, that I was visiting family.) And even though I wasn’t a tourist, I still felt this sense of adventure.

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A Curiosity: When Our Paths Cross

I’ve been more and more curious about other people’s lives. Of what it means to be a school cook, a flight attendant, a jewelry store salesperson. How does the world look through their eyes?

Ive also been reading too much academic writing, and even though I’m learning (l love learning), there’s nothing beautiful to this type of writing (I’m sure that there are exceptions to this). When I think about my reading preferences, the reason why I am an avid reader is because I was able to make a home out of the books I read.


To make a home you need emotions, but after I read a chapter from an academic textbook, I feel like the authors only showed up to hand me the materials for me to build a home and to leave me to my own devices.

Going back to this curiosity of wanting to experience life through someone else’s point of view makes me think of my love of reading.  This might be the reason why I love reading memoirs and diaries. I love how writers can share the grandest truths through the simplest and sometimes, too, the humblest experiences. When taking out the trash, an uneventful Tuesday, or a stranger become the foundations of an epiphany.

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My Struggle with Being Disciplined

I was really, really disappointed in my self by yesterday evening. I failed to turn in a handful of assignments on time that were due at 11:59 p.m.

The straight-A student in me wanted to keep working till midnight, but I decided not to because I felt like I gave this past week worth of coursework my best effort. (Maybe this serves me as a lesson to never again take 3 summer courses, especially the 4-week courses that are the condensed version of 16-week versions.)


I’m not here to complain about the course load, and there’s more to this topic of my experience with graduate school that will probably make it on other blog posts like questioning myself if I really made the right decision to start working on a master’s degree at this time or whether or not I chose the right degree. 

I’m actually here to talk about discipline and procrastination.  I know that some people work well when deadlines are nearer. I can be one of these people, but I’ve also learned that this is not the way I produce my best work. So I’m a bit ashamed of some of the work I was able to turn in on time.

When I think about all the leaders I admire, I can quantify their discipline through their actions. When I look at their success such as publishing books, a large following, and their collaborations with other great leaders, I know for sure that they put in long hours of hard work.

Maybe I’m feeling on the lazy side because it’s summer. Maybe I’m adjusting to the requirements of the four-week courses and the higher expectations of graduate school. But one thing I know for sure is that the only way I’m going to pass these summer courses is by being 1,000% more disciplined.

Here’s to the start of a great week!

Q: How do you apply discipline in your life?