story time*

I’ve been seeing a ton of posts about tells, and had thought that I didn’t have any. I began to get a niggling curiosity, however: would common tells feel good to do while daydreaming?

I’m a naturally curious person, so I tried pacing in my bedroom, murmuring to myself.

Something clicked.

And I have NEVER daydreamed so clearly. Everything was like I was standing right there. I paced faster at exciting parts and grinned giddily whenever something interesting happened.

I apparently have been repressing my tells for years, because the more I think about it, the more scenes from my childhood fall into place. Because culturally, MDD isn’t even RECOGNIZED yet, let alone accepted, I covered my tells so adeptly that I myself forgot about them.

Until now.

Does anyone else have a similar story or am I weird even in the maladaptive daydreaming community…? :)

Texting my ex
  • ...
  • Me: Do you remember the dorm room on the first floor?
  • Him: Haha yeah.
  • Me: One day, I went there and we were making out in your bed.
  • Him: Yeah.
  • Me: And your Chinese roommate who moved out just walked in to pick up his stuff.
  • Him: Hahahahahaha.
  • Me: And I was tryna hide under your blanket and he was like 'whats up'.
  • Him: Well, many things were up.
  • ...
So my friends are paranoid
  • Me: So out of the group here, who's the most terrifying?
  • Friend 1 : Friend 2
  • Friend 3: Yep Friend 2, you do taikwando
  • Friend 2: What? It obviously you!
  • Me: Me?
  • Friend 1 and Friend 2: Her?
  • Friend 2: Yes, her. She too nice. And it's terrifying, I don't know if she's genuine or acting.
  • Friend 1: she's genuine... I think.
  • Friend: Actually I agree she has a dark side, you should see her in history class
  • Me: Wait what I'm nice?
  • Friend 3: Hun, you are too cinnamon roll to be a real cinnamon roll
Texting my ex 2
  • ...
  • Him: You remember once I hid you in a closet.
  • Me: when?
  • Him: One day the dorm pol came to routine check.
  • Him: The beds were next to each other.
  • Me: I don't think that was me.
  • Him: That was you.
  • Me: I've never been in your closet.
  • Him: 100% it's you.
  • ...

 SO TODAY I was walking to college down a main road, it was really windy (as you might imagine with all the cars) and I was preocupied with keeping a grip on my beanie when I saw these two women walking a little way ahead of me on the other side of the road. One of these ladies was a bit taller than the other and they were holding hands (aww), the taller kinda butch lady had a flannel shirt on (double aww) and her partner/friend was wearing a cute cream and beige hijab. Now I swear to God this is relevant, wait for it.

A massive gust of wind suddenly comes tearing along the main road. I nearly lose my backpack, to give an idea of how bad it was. I look up and see the wind rip off this poor girls hijab and send it spiriling away down the street. (She had an undercap on so no major crisis but still, right.) 

Before. You. Can. Blink. Our taller flannel-wearing girlfriend of the year TEARS off her flannel like lesbian Clark f***** Kent, throws her shirt over her partners head, and BAM she sprints off LIKE A SHOT after the hijab. 

like 10/10, damn son, holy cheesits burrito, that is the very definition of chivalry and romance right there. 

@sixpenceee This is a story for you, this literally just happened to me about an hour ago.

I got home from work today and I was singing in the bathroom while I was taking off my makeup. My boyfriend and I record covers of songs and I started to hear music from the living room so I stopped singing to listen. I was hearing a cover we did of Nutshell by Alice in Chains and I thought my voice sounded really good in this particular recording so after a few seconds when my boyfriend walked into the bathroom I asked him which specific audio he played because I liked it.

He looked at me really confused and asked “What do you mean?” I asked him again and he still looked baffled and said slowly “I was playing guitar… I could hear you singing. You sounded really good.” I just stared at him, slowly starting to realize what just transpired.

I thought my boyfriend was playing a recording because I could hear my own voice, or something like it. He thought I was singing from the bathroom for the same exact reason except I wasn’t singing. I don’t know who or what was. I am having a hard time wrapping my head around this, although I am not particularly surprised as weird things seem to gravitate towards me.

i guess i just remembered this story from the DEH stage door so Michael Park was the first person to come out and i was so fucking starstruck like holy shit thats Michael Park and when he gets to me hes super friendly and so incredibly sweet just taking his time to talk and sign things and so i say to him “i have to say i think you are the funniest member of this cast” and i explained that he was just so uplifting and funny in interviews and stuff and first he said “well when this is your job you can never take yourself too seriously” which is honestly great advice and then a little louder he says “hey make sure to tell Will Roland you think im the funniest when he comes around” and i swear i hear from all the way down the stage door line in a very tiny Will Roland voice “michael i swear to god” 

I had a dream where I was watching an alternate version of the movie Moana.

Moana’s island was a more advanced civilization and had ancient looking towers on it. People were still not allowed to leave, but Moana’s dad was a much more tyrannical leader who would punish those who attempted. He was the only one with the ability to sail, because he could control a magical manta ray he enslaved to be the engine of his ship.

Moana was curious about stuff, and wanted to explore some of the ancient ruins on her island and the outside world, especially the top floor of the tallest tower, the one she wasn’t allowed to visit.

One day, an explorer from another island appeared, and she kept him hidden and safe from her dad, knowing he would kill him or force him back into the sea. The explorer convinced Moana to come with him to explore the tower. They go through the different floors, discovering secrets and avoiding traps, until they reach the top floor.

There they discover Maui, who was trapped there for a thousand years. Maui attempted to leave the island a thousand years ago along with a bunch of kids, but was captured by Moana’s ancestor. Since he was a Demigod, and couldn’t be killed, Moana’s ancestor opted to trap him at the top of the tower along with all the kids.

A thousand years later, he is still there, helping raise the descendants of the kids who were trapped there with him, who developed a small society. The explorer wants to help free Maui and the people who live at the top of the tower, but Moana is afraid of her dad. Maui sings a song to her to help convince her to stand up to him.

And that’s where the dream ended.

story time.

i went to a weird tech high school where you were pretty much allowed to do almost anything, and you were given an expensive macbook laptop to do ur homework and other shit on. its like normal high school except u could get up and go to the bathroom whenever and not get into trouble (kids asked anyway who am i kidding we feared getting yelled at jus for needing to take a whizz)

and one day, first year, two months in, the school had a big gathering because they were having a problem. yknow, with the expensive macbook laptops.

they were getting cease and desist warnings from dreamworks because somebody was downloading 25 illegal digital copies of the bee movie, every day, for two weeks straight. they were being threatened with lawsuits, so the principal and vice principal basically rounded up all these meme-infused teenagers, and told them, “stop downloading the bee movie. we could get shut down because of you. please stop.”

and it went on for another week because, whoever this kid was, hated this school so much. so much so that they tried to have it shut down in the most fucking ridiculous way possible. by downloading the bee movie, staring jerry seinfield, as many times as possible. illegally.

i remember one early morning, after i got my breakfast burrito, some friends ushered me over to one of the lunch tables and pointed to another friend’s computer. a pirating site was open, and the kid who was responsible was actually a friend of mine. they looked at me, the biggest shit-eating grin on their face, and pointed to, you guessed it, 25 illegal digital copies of jerry seinfelds the bee movie downloading all at once on internet explorer.

the real kicker was that, since the laptops were technically purchased and owned by the school, they werent tied to any of the kids legally. just the school as a whole. so no names or faces were mentioned at all in the illegal downloadings of almost 100+ copies of the bee movie, staring jerry seinfeld.

so the kid was never caught.

I wrote an essay to convince my teacher to let us watch Lilo and Stitch in class.

A few weeks ago in my math class everyone was really tired. So someone suggested we watched a movie instead of doing work that day. Then I immediately said that we should watch Lilo and Stitch (because why not). For the most part everyone in class agreed with me. But my teacher wasn’t buying that I was being dead serious about wanting to watch it. So he said as a joke that if came to school the next day and had written an essay on how Lilo and Stitch relates to math he would consider letting us watch it in class. I told him that if he wanted a paper, a paper he was going to get. But he still didn’t believe me. The next day I walk into class with this paper.

It didn’t work. We still haven’t watched Lilo and Stitch. I’m still salty.

In a complicated fiasco last year with my friend’s very conservative and anti-gay parents, I was forbidden from ever seeing her again purely based on the assumption that all girls with short hair are gay or trans and looking to sleep with her daughter. Anyways, I figured I’d just convince her mother that I was, in fact, straight, she’d let me see my friend. And what’s straighter than having a boyfriend? So I asked my guy friend to pose as my boyfriend in some pictures—which was just as awkward as you would assume. Naturally, our overbearing friends stepped in to help, telling us to move closer and whatnot. It was still awkward. And what’s the best thing to do in an incredibly awkward situation? Embrace it. We started calling each other fake-boyfriend/girlfriend, shouting cliches in the hallways, or texting heart emojis (ironically, of course). Anyways, that joke kinda fades out within the next few months but it’s still brought up occasionally. At one point, I told my cousin about it and of course she questions whether or not it’s actually fake saying, “I did that in high school and I ended up marrying him.” (Queue the “yeah right we’re just friends.”) Well it turns out she was on to something. A year later, I’m dating him and I had to explain to my cousin that yes, my current boyfriend is the same as my fake boyfriend. So she got to say ‘I told you so.’

In summary, if you think the whole “fake boyfriend” plot is unrealistic, think again.

ben cook story time

so this is a story Ben’s dad told me one day and I think it deserves to be shared with the world.

while Ben was working in billy elliot on Broadway, he and his dad would regularly see shows together. one day they were hoping to see the revival of John Guare’s dark comedy, House of Blue Leaves. a show that deals with a lot of mature matters.

Ben walks up to the ticket office, asks if they have a student discount, and proceeds to show the ticket manager his sixth grade PPAS ID. after he asked for two tickets, the manager leans out of the window and says, “this show is for mature audiences, you are too young to see the show.”

Ben, without batting an eye, replies with, “but I say fuck onstage every night.”

the ticket manager responded with “oh, you must be in billy elliot.” then handed them their tickets and they went on their way.

This is super random but i just really wanted to share this picture I just found.

This a picture of me when I was about 6 with a giant egg. Now that in itself, is important.
But I got this egg because I drew a picture of a rabbit and coloured it in and I was so proud of it I submitted to this competition, and when I got this GIANT Egg in the post I was so excited that I had WON this egg with my shitty 6 year old artistic talent. I didn’t know it then but looking back thats what made me want to become an artist.

I’m about to go off to University to study Illustration and Animation in Cambridge- and part of me feels like if I hadn’t hadn’t won that egg … I could be doing something completely different. That egg gave me fulfillment … and I will never forget it.
Thank you Egg.

If you’ve got the time and the inclination, what’s to stop you showing up on the hour at any lecture hall at any university and becoming the guest lecturer? Nothing, that’s what! Professors are always late and campus police don’t know the difference. All you need to do is walk in and get talking.

“What’s this class all about?” is a great opener. While you wait for someone to raise their hand and say “noses”, or “smelling”, or “science”, draw a big rectangle on the blackboard. You can always use a rectangle.

When some kid says “Last week the professor said we’d be looking neurological processing of olfactory stimuli,” you can shake your head and smile and say “just explain it to me like I’m 10 years old.”

This time they’ll definitely say “smelling”, and you can turn that rectangle on the blackboard into a truck.

“Imagine a truck,” you could say. “It’s parked on your top lip. And when you smell something, the men load up all that smelling information into the back of the truck. Who can tell me what comes next?”

Wait for them to say “they drive the truck up your nose,” then say “Exactly! They begin the perilous journey up your nose. They’ll dodge all the boogers and thick black hairs, and finally they’ll arrive at your brain.”

Next, discredit the professor who’s walked in. “You slept with a student!” is a classic for a reason. Even if he hasn’t, he won’t stick around to argue the point!

“When the truck arrives at the brain, the men unload the truck and they show all the smells to the loading dock workers. They decide whether something is a good smell or a bad smell. Sometimes, the workers get confused. Like people who think poop smells good! We’ve all got a friend like that. Who thinks that, by a show of hands?”

If no one raises their hand, you could try saying “It’s natural… how bad can a substance produced naturally by the human body be? It’s normal to be curious. What about you,” and here you want to point at someone in the front row, “you might be interested to know that I have a very natural diet. That means a great texture and aroma.”

If there are no takers, you probably still have half an hour to get to the next lecture hall. Good luck!

How I Overcame Reader’s Block (And So Can You!)

As a kid, I adored reading.  Okay, more specifically, I enjoyed reading about dragons, but that’s not the issue here.  

It frequently coincided with my equally as intense love of climbing trees, and some of my fondest memories involve being perched in a small tree and reading some hopelessly goofy, dragon-related literature while my mom and toddler siblings used the playground equipment.  If no climbable trees were available, I’d settle for reading under one and drinking a thermos of chocolate milk while they ran around in the park. 

As I got older, my tastes got a little more eclectic as I encountered Harry Potter, Percy Jackson, Anne Shirley, the residents of Narnia and Middle Earth, respectively, and much to my mother’s horror, Stephen King, but my passion remained more or less the same.    

Bottom line is, I loved reading.  It was my paramount joy, my primary source of entertainment, and I didn’t think that would ever change.

So imagine my shock when, around my sophomore year of college at the age of seventeen, it occurred to me that I hadn’t really read for pleasure since I discovered the Hunger Games a year or two prior.  Moreover, and equally as horrifically, when I tried to read I found I couldn’t focus;  regardless of the quality of the story and how much I wanted to read it, the investment was gone.

Whether this was due to my first stint with organized education (prior to college, I was homeschooled) or the fact that I’d grown accustomed to the bite-sized chunks of candy-flavored, insubstantial information served up by the internet, the sad and simple fact was that I had fallen out of love with reading, and it looked like it was going to stay that way forever.   

Well, flash forward two-point-five years to Present-Day Brooksie, and since school got out in early May, I’ve read Chuck Palahniuk’s Make Something Up: Stories You Can’t Unread, Ruth Ware’s In a Dark, Dark Wood, Emma Straub’s The Vacationers, Neil Gaiman’s The Graveyard Book, and Celeste Ng’s Everything I Never Told You.  Despite the disappointing lack of dragons, I loved all of them.    

I drink books like nectar again, if you’ll pardon the floral language, and everything from the quality of my writing to the quality of my life has improved as a result of it.  

So how did I fall back in love with reading?  Well, I’ve spent a lot of time pontificating on this, and as far as I can tell, it can be narrowed down to three factors:

1.  Reading every day.

It started with lunch.  Every day, when I’d sit down at my university cafe, I used to get out my laptop and watch YouTube or whatnot while I ate my sandwich – a cool idea in theory, but really sort of gross whenever I rubbed my greasy fingers on the mouse and keyboard. 

When I made a conscious decision to read more, I began taking out my book and reading during the lunch period instead.  It didn’t come naturally at first – I was easily distracted and kept zoning out – but I ultimately found it very pleasant, especially when I listened to some classical music in the background as well (nice for atmosphere, and for drowning out noise and distractions.)  

I kept doing it.  

When that summer rolled around, I rediscovered an amazing little outdoor cafe by the harbor.  It had no wifi, which for my purposes, was absolutely perfect.

I went there to read Good Omens and eat home baked lemon squares, pie, and banana bread, listening to international tourists speak in other languages, and watch the boats go by.  It was a beautiful environment, and that (coupled with the fact that Good Omens is just really fucking awesome) made it easier than ever for me to want to stay longer and become more engrossed in what I was reading.

Afterwards, I’d take out my notebook and work on my own stories and journal.  Overall, I’d say that summer was one of the most intellectually productive I’ve had.  

Once school started again, it got a little harder to read every day, but by then my love of reading had pretty much caught:  it had become an intellectual drug for me again, a source of comfort, pleasure, and inspiration.  Also, it was another viable excuse to procrastinate on my academic responsibilities, which was always welcome.  So I kept reading.  It was still a relatively slow process, as I had to work around my already busy schedule, but the more I read the more adept I became at drinking in the information in hungry, satisfying gulps (a bit more suggestive than I’d initially intended that metaphor to be, but I’m going to go with it.)

But this isn’t to say that there were no bumps in the road back to bibliophilia.  There was another factor that I had to grasp before I reached the point where I could unabashedly adore reading once again.

Which is: 

2.  Reading what excites me.

No, I’m not speaking sexually, you pervert.  I’m talking about books I actually want to read.  

When I first started trying to get back into literature, I started trying to read the classics exclusively, like Around the World in Eighty Days and Little Women.  Let me be clear, these books are amazing (excluding the jarring amounts of racism and endorsements of British colonialism in the former) but after semesters of reading similar works for my literature seminars, they just felt a little like…academia.  

In fact, the only reason I was insistent on reading classics exclusively, I now realize, was because I was a pretentious, pseudo intellectual little shit back in those days with a horrible case of impostor syndrome.  What I needed to re-learn was what dragon-loving, Ten-Year-Old Brooksie long since already knew: the best way to enjoy reading is to read what you actually enjoy.

It was a lesson I slowly but surely remastered, and it took me a while to realize that modern literature is teaming with smart, enriching reads, like Life of Pi, American Gods, Where’d You Go Bernadette, The Twelve Tribes of Hattie, The Help, Everything I Never Told You, and countless others.  

Moreover, these were books I didn’t have to force myself to read;  they were books I found myself reading at four AM because I didn’t want to stop.  

I’ve also discovered classics that I can eat up in a matter of days, like A Tree Grows in Brooklyn (Which absolutely everyone should read, by the way:  Francie Nolan is a feminist icon, and way, way ahead of her time, not to mention it’s fucking hilarious and will make you cry like a little bitch), Jane Eyre, and basically anything written by Jane Austen.  I love these books for their sharp wit, applicable and timeless life observations, and striking lack of the pretentiousness that I’d come to associate with a lot of classic literature.

This summer, I my reading list includes Vonnegut’s Slaughterhouse 5, Douglas Adams’ The Restaurant at the End of the Universe, Chuck Palahniuk’s Fight Club, Louis Sachar’s Holes, Anthony Doerr’s All the Light We Cannot See, and Neil Gaiman’s Anansi Boys.  I’m looking forward to reading each and every one of them. 

Ultimately, the point I’m trying to make here is that there’s no joy to be found in pretentiousness:  don’t read to prove yourself as an intellectual.  Read to enrich your soul, read what you legitimately enjoy, and read what inspires you.  

Which brings me to my next and final point…   

3.  Reading what inspires me.

This one might be true specifically for my fellow authors, but since I know a large portion of my followers are fellow authors, I think it’s applicable here.  

Ever since I was an infinitesimally small child, I’ve wanted to write stories.  When I was fourteen I wrote a hopelessly angsty YA novel about a half-dragon girl named Freedom and her misadventures with an ambiguously lesbian vampire and werewolf duo, a seductive and ambiguously bisexual elf (it was a time of self discovery for me), and a talking lion.  When I was eleven, I wrote a middle grade novel about a little boy who befriends a dragon.  When I was four, I wrote *ahem!* drew wordless stories about a winged wolf-creature named Starlight and his (in retrospect, overtly gory) battles with monsters.

It was bizarre, cringey, and I’m not gonna lie, pretty fucking awesome.  

Around the time I started college at around sixteen, I’d just decided I wanted to start writing again.  I had lots of ideas, and I remember in detail getting yelled at by my manager for scribbling in my notebook behind the counter instead of dutifully smiling at customers the way I was supposed to.  

But my writing was…well, to put it bluntly, it was really, really bad.  It only began to improve when I resolved to write every day.  It noticeably and drastically began to improve when I began to read works that I found creatively inspiring. 

While I was revising my manuscript, I read a lot of Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett, both masters of the kind of urban fantasy I was attempting to write,  and spent a lot of time figuring out what I loved most about their writing and how to best apply it.  This was also around the time I began reading Douglas Adams, which was, let me tell you, a magical experience.  It involved a lot of delighted gasping on my end and thinking you’re allowed to do that?

It really showed me what the barriers were for creative writing, or in this case, total lack thereof.

I think I owe these writers a lot for helping me to create several novel-length manuscripts I’m incredibly proud of, and one that I’m currently preparing to get published.


So in closing, for anyone suffering from reader’s block, feel free to try my approach:  read every day, read what you love and not to stoke your ego, and for my writer peeps, read what inspires you.

Either way, my books and I are enjoying a passionate long-term relationship, and every day I find myself loving them more.

So while I sort of gave my impression of the Wonder Woman movie last night, let me elaborate by saying that it was fantastic, and it was wonderful to see such an iconic female superhero represented well, and from a female perspective.

But let me tell you the cherry that topped off the evening: Rach and I were hanging out after the movie, waiting to see if there was a post-credits scene, and we noticed this little girl in the front row with her dad. People had mostly all left, so he was letting her play in the empty area at the front of the theater. And the whole time the credits were going, she was dancing and play-fighting and just generally PUMPED about the movie she just saw.

And I thought to myself, YES. That’s exactly why this movie is so important. I want my daughter, I want EVERYONE’S daughters, to be able to go see a movie where someone like them is the star, someone like them is the hero. Someone like them does the rescuing and saves the day.

Wonder Woman was fantastic. Now, more please. Give us more female superhero movies. Give us black female superheroes, and Asian female superheroes, and Muslim female superheroes, and LGBTQ female superheroes. Every little girl deserves to feel like that little girl I saw last night; to watch a hero like them on screen for two hours and walk out feeling invincible.

Story Time

Being able to watch Newsies Live whenever I want has reawakened my love for this musical and a hilarious memory.

So I was lucky enough to see the original cast when Newsies first came to Broadway with my sister and mom. We decided to splurge a little bit on our seats since we rarely go to shows and Newsies is one of our favorite movies.

We had center, first row, aisle seats and being that close to the stage and the dancing literally entrances you. Like, I could see the spit flying out of their mouths and the sweat dripping off their faces and it was magical.

But sitting first row and getting so caught up in the show means you fail to take in your surroundings. And my memory is so hazy about where this incident takes place, but I think it’s the theater rally when Jack shows up after being paid off by Pulitzer.

In the original show, Jack doesn’t arrive at the rally from backstage, but by walking down the aisle. And being so mesmerized by the show, my sister and I had no clue that Jeremy Jordan was in the audience.

So when he suddenly appeared by my side to say his line, my sister and I freaking jumped in our seats and screamed, which caused the people in the rows behind us to crack up, and honestly I’m surprised Jeremy Jordan did not break character after he scared the life out of two fansies who were too into the musical to even notice that the lead was standing beside them.