Grief During Holiday Season

by Hannah Joyce

It’s the holiday season, and we all know it’s a stressful time of year for people already without having to deal with the loss of a loved one.


In July, I lost my Meme. She died of congestive heart failure. It came on fast. One day she was her lively smiling self and the next she came down with this awful illness. I watched the life fade from her eyes. I watched my Meme leave this world. It was one of the hardest things I have ever experienced. I would give anything to have her here for the holiday season.

In this article, I want to talk about grief. I want to talk about how everyone griefs in their own way. Just within my own household, my mom, my dad, and I all grieve in different ways. My dad and I are similar in our behavior in how we handle stress and our emotions. We are the type of people that bottle it up. We feel like we have to be the strong ones. We have to take care of everyone. My mom is a powerful woman, but she is definitely a crier. She feels all of her emotions, and with the loss of her mom, it has broken her heart just like it has to my dad and me.

Christmas was my Meme’s favorite holiday when she was here. She had this obsession with snowman. I feel that the best way to honor her is to continue on with life. Not forget her but honor her through living our best lives. She was so proud of me and told everyone she could about how I was going to college. She wrote down where I was going and what I would be studying on a piece of paper so she wouldn’t forget. Unfortunately, she died before I started college but that didn’t stop me from pursuing my education if anything it has been a bigger motivator. I don’t want to disappoint her. I am channeling my grief into living my best life for my Meme. My mom, on the other hand, has not stopped living, but in some ways she has. She told me the other day that if it wasn’t for me still being at home that she most likely would not have sat up the Christmas decorations. This really annoyed me and I didn’t understand but looking back I see that it just hurts too much. The hurt my mom is feeling is too much, she doesn’t know how to deal with it. Her way of dealing with it is talking about it, this is completely opposite for me, I don’t want to talk about. I just want to live.

We all have the right to grieve how we need too. We need to respect how others grieve. Take some time this holiday season to recognize that everyone has their own struggles within the holiday season and why they love it or hate it. Respect that and just be there for your loved ones. Be the shoulder to lean on.

Image source:historicodessa.org



The Holiday Season

by Hannah Joyce

The Holidays are upon us. Thanksgiving has ended, and it will soon be Christmas. This time of year tends to be stressful for everyone. Family reunions are happening every other week, and for some, family gatherings are incredibly stressful.


For me personally, I have such a supportive and loving family, but like any family, we have our problems. We all are very strong in our opinions and beliefs, but there is so much love between us. Our intentions are always good, but sometimes it feels like one person is running the show.

Every year we have a family Christmas usually done before Christmas where we all get together, and the adults do a yankee swap while everyone buys gifts for the kids. You would think a yankee swap would be pretty simple, but my Aunt is very hands on and loves to be the one calling the shots. No disrespect to her at all, but at times it gets very annoying. 

Why can’t we just do a simple yankee swap? She is always making it more complicated than it needs to be. When we first began having the family Christmas’ we just set a price limit for it, and everyone would bring a gift. As the years passed, my aunt has changed the game. She’s moved it to a gift card and a small gift swap, that it relates to the gift card, so that we open the gift, but not the gift card. For me personally, I enjoyed how we did it initially, but she continues to try to change it.

My point in sharing this experience with you is that family is tough, but without them, life would be dull. During the holiday season, it is not only important to give thoughtful gifts to others but to continue to make sure you are taking care of yourself. Self-care does not go on hold for the holidays. Continue to take time for yourself and maybe you will find that the holiday season becomes just a bit easier when you are actively still caring for yourself.



Let’s help Cyntoia Brown

Usually, people do not want to talk about Sex Trafficking, because it is hard to hear the truth, but I believe that we should speak up, and help victims like Cyntoia.  She was sex trafficked by the age of 16, drugged, and abused several times. Sold to a 43-year-old man who Cyntoia killed after being consequently abused. Even though she was a minor, the Tennesse court punished her with the life sentence.

Filmmaker Dan Birman tells her story in the documentary “Me Facing Life: Cyntoia’s Story” which talks about her brutal life.

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More information about the case





Sign the petition


Learn more about the documentary


Image source: NBC News



It is never too late to be thankful

by Hannah Joyce

November is the month of Thanksgiving, a time to recognize all that we have to be thankful for. A time to spend with family and relax. To renew your soul for the cold winter ahead. Let’s take a moment to think about what we can be thankful for this holiday season:

  • I am surrounded by my loving family
  • I am continuing my education
  • I have a roof over my head
  • I have food on my table
  • I have love in my soul



Family is so very important. It is not always the blood relatives you were given by God but the people that stick by your side through thick and thin. People that know the good and bad about you but still love you despite that. We do not all have a loving family we were born into, but we can all form our own family in this world. Who is your family this holiday season?

School can be such a drag, but I am so fortunate to be able to continue my education in human services to hopefully one day become a victim advocate. We all have our own individual passions, mine happens to be helping others but what’s yours? What gets you smiling? What makes you warm inside? It could be anything from working at a home improvement store and helping a couple find the perfect color for their walls or running a multi-millionaire company. Find your passion and make that a reality.

With the recent natural disasters, many people have lost their homes. I am lucky to live in an area that is not affected much by mother nature besides snowstorms in the winter time. For those of us that are fortunate enough to have a roof over our heads let’s give back to those who are not as lucky as us. This can be anything from donating to the organization’s that help those that have lost their homes to volunteering your time at a food pantry/homeless shelter.

During this time of the year a lot of people give to local food pantries and volunteer at soup kitchens but here is an idea, what about doing this all year long? The food pantries and soup kitchens don’t need help just during the holiday season but all year around. Even if you just donate food to your local food pantry on a regular basis that would be a huge help to your community.

This year slow down, don’t worry about the Black Friday deals. Don’t worry about anything except enjoying your time with your loved ones.

From the We are all the same family have a very Happy Thanksgiving. 

Note: By the end of the weekend, some people are tired of being with their families, but we always should think about the meaning of this holiday, when you were so excited to see the dear ones, and celebrating all the love and gratitude.



Brazilian Illustrator: Marcela Sabiá -spreading message of self-love thru art

by Mariana Laviaguerre
The Brazilian Illustrator, Marcela Sabiá, has been spreading message of self-love thru art. Her motivation to engage the cause started after the end of a long relationship. She began to feel a necessity of empowerment and to redeem her self-esteem.
Read below the full interview.
When did you discover your passion for art?
I’ve always been passionate about art since an early age. I would spend hours drawing, creating characters and Arts was one of my favorite classes at school. I thought it was amazing to study art history and devoted much to schoolwork. I also recall buying magazines, clipping all the illustrations I could find and keeping them on a folder. All of this has always been very spontaneous, and I’ve never thought about working with art until I finished the college feeling depressed about my professional life. I guess that was when I found out how passionate I was and I found my way as an illustrator.
What motivated you to use your talent as an illustrator for the sake of causes such as self-love, mental health, and body positivism?
When I started illustrating professionally, I began to miss a purpose behind my work. I wanted to spread a message and involve myself in a cause but did not know precisely what-until the end of a long relationship that shook me deeply. After that, I began to feel a necessity of empowerment and to redeem my self-esteem, which resulted in the illustrations of self-love. What was a therapy to help me ended up becoming the cause I was looking for and all the focus of what I do today, with a lot of love.
What are your greatest inspirations in art?
I am a fan of many illustrators, but currently, the ones who are inspiring me the most are Bruna Morgan, Frances Cannon, Tyler Feder, Carol Rossetti and Ambivalently Yours.
Who do you consider to be your female inspirations?
I am inspired when I see extremely well-known pop artists using their voices to empower other women and talk about issues like mental health-when everyone expects them to be superficial and only sexual symbols. I greatly admire Demi Lovato for being as transparent as her trajectory (use of drugs, bipolarity, self-mutilation, food disorders, bullying) and help so many people. I’m also a fan of Rihanna, Lady Gaga and (Brazilian singer) Anitta.
Do you receive feedback from male fans? What do they say about your work?
Just a few, but yes. I have already received testimonials from men who thanked me for addressing some subject, others asking me to talk about specific masculine issues and the most common: offenses and criticism saying that I encourage women to be “ugly and fat .” There are still few men with a receptive feminist mindset, I think mainly because there is the idea that feminists hate all men and that’s not true. My fight is for equality and freedom for both sexes. Why is waxing something imposed on women when it should be a choice, just as it is for men? And why is it acceptable for a woman to be sentimental, but if you question the masculinity of man if he is emotional? It’s something that needs to be deconstructed.
If you could give a piece of advice to girls who have difficulty accepting their bodies, what would you say?
I’d tell them to remember that there are no rules when it comes to beauty. There is no pattern that we are accustomed to craving. Beauty is a state of mind, of profound love for what we are and the fact that we are unique in this world. It’s a process that begins when we can find a little piece of our body that we love and focus on it every day until we find many others. Don’t compare yourselves to others don’t mistreat yourselves. Start looking for love and people will do the same.
Do you think that art can be a tool to help people who suffer from problems as depression?
I’m sure about this! People get stronger when they realize they’re not alone and they’re not the only ones going through that experience. The prejudice with the illness makes it much worse-we think we are crazy and unbalanced but the mind gets sick just like the body does.  I think it’s important to share the reality of illness, through art or otherwise, to inform and include people.
Tell us about your upcoming projects.
At the moment, I’m working on the “#realprincesses” project in which I illustrate Disney princesses with human features like acne, stains, and a plus size body. I also intend to write a book for some time, but I still have not been able to dedicate myself to the project as I would like. It’s still going to happen:)
Would you like to leave a message for our readers?
Don’t be afraid to focus on yourselves, to find yourselves, to try new things. Believe more in yourselves by all means. You are worthy and worthy of love, never doubt that.
IG: @marcelailustra



Talking About Self-Care

by Hannah Joyce

Let’s talk about self-care. First I want to make it clear that self-care is NOT selfish. We all practice self-care in different ways. There is no one right way to practice self-care. Self-care can be anything from simply doing the basics or treating yourself to a bubble bath.


Why is self-care important?

  • Your body needs rest (Physical Health)
  • Your mind needs rest (Mental Health)
  • We need to take care of ourselves so that we can help others

Two years ago I had never heard of the term ‘self-care’, it was first introduced to me when I began training to volunteer at a crisis center for victims of domestic and sexual violence. At the time I was seventeen, I had the mindset that I could handle anything until the first day of training ended. I was mentally exhausted. We had gone over intense stuff that day. 

My heart hurt for people suffering from domestic/sexual violence, and my mind was crushed from all the information I had learned that day. I went home, and I did nothing. I couldn’t think straight, my mind my racing with all the information I had learned. I wanted to help the people affected by these terrible things but if I couldn’t even do my homework, how could I help others?

This is where self-care is essential. I had to find a way to wind down and refresh my soul.

Let’s talk about ways someone can practice self-care,

  • Take a hot shower – I find that the warm water running down my body is relaxing. While I shower, nothing else is important. All I am focusing on is that shower.
  • Take a bath – I have a friend that deals with a lot of chronic pain and taking a bath is apart of her daily routine. Without it, she says she wouldn’t be able to function.
  • Read a good book – In life we get so caught up in the daily activities that we may not make time to sit down and read that book we have been eyeing. Cozy up on the sofa with a hot cup of tea and just lose yourself in a book.
  • Treat yourself to a spa night either at home or at an actual spa – self-care does not need to be expensive. There are a ton of home spa ideas at the tip of your fingertips on Pinterest.

Lastly, I want to leave you with some encouragement. You are enough, we all need to take time for ourselves whether that is taking a shower or reading a book. It is a necessity. There is no shame in practicing self-care.
Image Source: http://www.lifeunadorned.com/category/other/


Gricey RT New Collection

We are proud to announce Gricey RT’s new collection. She highights in her geometric art women in arts, inventions, mission and business. You can acquire any of this art pieces on her website www.griceyrt.com.

Frida Kahlo: Mexican self-portrait artist and feminist.Frida Kahlo

Yoko Ono: Japanese multimedia artist, singer, songwriter, and peace activist.Yoko Ono.jpg

Princess Diana: Member of the British Royal family.Princess Diana.jpg

Marilyn Monroe: American actress and model.Marilyn Monroe.jpg

Marina Abramovic: Yugoslav performance artist.Marina Abramovic

Mother Teresa: Albanian-Indian Roman Catholic-run and missionary.Mother Teresa

Amelia Earhart: American aviation pioneer and author.Amelia Earhart

Iris Apfel: American businesswoman, interior designer, and fashion icon.Iris Apfel.jpg

Caja Wessberg: Swedish professionally represented model and award-winning illustrator.Cajsa Wessbaerg

Sensitiveblackperson: founder of Art Hoe Collective.Sensitiveblackperson

Talia Bro: Danish art hoe from Instagram.Talia Bro

AURORA Aksnes: Norwegian singer-songwriter and producer.AURORA aksnes

La Marisoul: (Marisol Hernández) Mexican-American singer from the “Santa Cecilia” band.Marisoul

Gricey Rangel TrejoGricey RT


Breast Cancer Awareness Month

by Hannah Joyce

I am an 18-year-old college student. Breast cancer is not something I think about. About six months ago I noticed a lump on my breast. It had a white head, so I just assumed it was a zit/cyst. I didn’t think it was anything to worry about. I casually mentioned it to my mum, she didn’t seem worried, so I just forgot about it. (At the time she didn’t fully understand that it was on my breast)  Two months ago I mentioned it to my Dad, he asked how long it had been there? I told him a while. He told me to call the doctor right away. I didn’t understand the urgency, but when he explained, the fear settled in. As I waited for the doctor come check me out the nerves began to set in. Thoughts were running through my head. Some being that I am so young, I am just entering college, I can’t have cancer. Luckily for me, it was not breast cancer. It was a cyst, but for so many women they are not as lucky as I am.


‘On average, every 2 minutes a woman is diagnosed with breast cancer and 1 woman will die of breast cancer every 13 minutes.’

Let’s breakdown some common myths. The following things do not cause breast cancer…

  • Caffeine
  • Deodorant
  • Microwaves
  • Cell Phones

I am sure we have all heard ‘don’t put your phone in your bra, you will get breast cancer.’ This terrified me for years until I educated myself concerning the topic of breast cancer.


Let’s talk about prevention, how can you take care of yourself….

  1. Self Exams – It is recommended that women regularly exam their breasts (Once a month) to make sure there is nothing alarming going on. And you can for sure make this fun, set some time aside every month and treat yourself. This could be a bubble bath or anything your heart desires to make the examining of your breasts a little bit more enjoyable.


  1. Seeing your doctor on a regular basis (Usually once a year). As ladies, we all know how much of a pain it is to get those pelvic exams/pap smears, but they are NECESSARY and very IMPORTANT. It’s the boring self-care that we have to do. But it could save your life in the long run.


  1. Mammogram time! Mammograms are suggested for ladies over 40 years old. They are to be done yearly. I know my own mom doesn’t really like these, but this is another tool that is available to us. This could be the difference between life and death.


The above information was found in an online booklet provided by the National Breast Cancer Foundation, it is completely free. 

To get your own copy, click here

Sources for Article


Image Source: Loquitur



Domestic Violence Awareness Month

by Hannah Joyce

October is commonly known as Breast Cancer Awareness Month, but it is also the home of Domestic Violence Awareness Month as well.

“On average, nearly 20 people per minute are physically abused by an intimate partner in the United States. During one year, this equates to more than 10 million women and men.” There are a lot of people who are experiencing domestic violence in society today whether it is physical, emotional, or mental.


Why is that there is not more of a push to raise awareness around the issue of this terrible violence?

Lots of people experiencing domestic violence might not even realize what it is happening. 

Why is this?

  • All they know is abuse.
  • Simply do not understand what domestic violence is.

Educating men and women on what a healthy relationship is the key of respecting and love someone.

Why do you think abusers cut contact off from the world?

It is a form of control, but we can get ahead of this by teaching from the young age what domestic violence is, and what a healthy relationship looks like.

Preventing domestic violence

Teaching women …

…that they are equal to their male counterparts.

…that they have a voice and that their voice matters.

…to be confident in who they are.

…the warning signs of a bad relationship.

Advocacy for people who do not have a voice, sharing your knowledge of domestic violence, and resources could save a person’s life. Get involved in your local community in the fight against domestic violence.

If you need help, contact the local coalition in your state,

Click the link below to find the one near you.

State Coalitions – Provides Services to victims of domestic violence as well as raising awareness

How to get involved

Take Action


Information in Article from

National Coalition Against Domestic Violence

Image source: https://jasonirby.wordpress.com/2017/09/21/join-jason-irby-for-domestic-violence-observance-event-on-october-21-2017/


Inspire with Christy Birmingham

This week we are going to talk about Christy Birmingham. She is a writer, poet and feminist. Her writing is inspiring and motivates every woman who is going thru difficult moments. I personally love her work, Christy explains how art/poetry helped her to deal with personal issues, depression, and abuse. She is the perfect example what we have been trying to translate on our project.


Read her complete interview below.

When did you discover your passion for writing?

As an elementary school student, I realized my love of poetry and short stories. It was after becoming a voracious reader. I recall my English teacher asking us to pen a story based on a prompt and my story getting a good mark from the teacher. I was very proud!

Is poetry your favorite writing style?

Yes. Poems mean a lot to me as this was my first writing style published (back in elementary school – the poem was on the topic of recycling). I like the succinct nature of poetry. The format suits how my thoughts often emerge and I find that my expressions go well with a poetic format.

Do you think poetry is a type of therapy?

It absolutely can be! Art therapy has proven benefits and writing is a form of it. Poems, in particular, helped me to deal with personal issues, including depression and abuse. It was through my first poetry book Pathways to Illumination that I truly came back to being “me.”

Tell me about your writing motivation.

I am primarily motivated to write to help women struggling with their mental health or with unhealthy relationships. I speak from experience and want to help others. I believe that my purpose is to provide a hand to those who need help in these areas. By growing my blogging and book platforms, I can hopefully reach more women.

Who is your favorite author?

Margaret Atwood! I was drawn to her when I realized how distinct a writing style she has. I marveled in her book Surfacing at how she crafted a female character that was both unique and familiar at the same time. She has a beautiful way of phrasing sentences.

Tell me about your favorite poem.

I cannot choose a favorite poem. There are so many great choices. Some of the poets I admire most are Maya Angelou, Robert Frost, and Sylvester L. Anderson.


What are your career aspirations?

I think that keeping inspired in a career can wane, no matter who you are. If I find this happening, I take a break from my desk and walk out in nature (preferably by the water). This will calm me and help me refocus my train of thought. It helps to write down the why behind why you do what you do as a career and look at this piece of paper when you find yourself feeling uninspired as a way to re-ignite the spark in you!

Tell me about your coming book.

I am working on a collection of short stories. It will be my third book and the first one that is fiction. I am not releasing too much about this upcoming book… yet.


Women’s rights

What do you think needs to be done to reduce the violence against women? 

I think that we need to stop putting the onus on women to prevent violence. I suggest instead that we educate men about respecting women and what a healthy relationship looks like. Instead of looking at sexual assaults as “what did she do to be treated that way?” let’s instead say “why did he do that?” But, better yet, let’s address the issue before it even happens.

Do you think that women can overcome traumas through writing?

I think writing is a therapeutic tool, absolutely. Journaling is just one example. My therapist had recommended it to me, and I found it helpful for making sense of a full mind. Reading the words on paper was scary at first, but it does force you to come to terms with the past and only by doing so can you move ahead.

How can writing be a powerful tool to speak out about women’s rights?


For me, writing provides a way to connect with women whom I might not otherwise ever meet in person. Blog posts, articles, and books are all powerful ways of educating women and men about gender equality. My last book Versions of the Self explores the different types of relationships and explains how we each affect one another. The great thing about the written word is that it can be read re-read and savored whenever a person wants.

If you could advise a young girl who lives in a vulnerable territory, what would it be?

It would depend on the exact situation. If she is scared, I would encourage her to reach out to someone she trusts and express what is behind her fear. This person can then take the steps necessary to get this child to a safe place. Also, I would tell her to trust her instincts. If something feels off, it likely is!

Feel free to leave any message to our readers. 

Feminism is not an ugly word! Often a person raises an eyebrow at me when I explain that some of the writing I do concerns the subject of feminism. It is about protecting female rights around the globe, and we deserve to fight back at the attacks being made on it. Let’s stand strong and unite, men and women, to make the world a more peaceful and fair place to live.


Find Christy Birmingham blogging about ways to enhance your life and live fully at When Women Inspire. Also, you can find her on TwitterPinterest, and Google+.


Interview with Gricey RT – Geometry Art Portrait

by Vanessa Daniela

Empowering girls is the key to a prosperous society.

We are pleased to support Gricey RT. An amazing young artist who is well known for her geometry portraits. Gricey is launching her new portraits on our website in October.

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Read the exclusive interview with this talented artist.



Born and raised in Northern Mexico, the artist behind this trend, Gricey RT, is only 15 years old. She is currently studying his first years of high school, but she already has a promising career in the field of Art & Mathematics.

French, English and Spanish speaker — she has a wide perspective of different cultures from which she finds inspiration and applies it to her art.

Her goal is to inspire this generation with art as her tool–therefore, the birth of this website, just to share her pieces with the world and to raise funds in order to keep developing her art techniques.


When did you discover your passion for the arts?

I have always tried to express myself through any kind of visual art, as far as memory holds. About three years ago, when my former math teacher gave us an assignment about tessellations—handmade drawings made of a pattern of geometric figures—I realized I could combine my art with basic geometry. However, unlike Leonhard Euler’s great masterpieces, I decided to put my own twist to it—implementing faces. That is because when I was nine years old I began developing a passion for the human face’s proportions and little characteristic that can make it different from everyone else.

Do you think art is a therapy?

Absolutely. It helps people going through tough times and traumas, and it is certainly as a mean to express your inner thoughts without the fear of criticism. No matter how you do it, you learn to love it and be proud of it; what really matters, however, is your feelings towards it and the opinion you have about it. It is unique. It is yours.

Tell me about your art motivation

My art motivation is the combination of both my fascination for art and mathematics. My goal is to highlight the distinctive features of the human face, to capture its beauty in a minimalist way. I enjoy drawing a human face with its own characteristics—large eyes, small forehead, big checks, you name it. The trick is using lines only. But in the end, the reaction of the people when I hand them their portrait is the most satisfying part and my biggest motivation.

Who is your favorite artist?

I consider Vincent van Gogh as my lifetime favorite because of his distinctive style and perspective of the world. To illustrate, his paintings clearly show the brush-stroke. Also, the effect of continuous movement in his painting Starry Night. Banksy’s political activism, on the other hand, caught my attention. His intention to transmit his message about politics through “illegal” means. He agreed to the possibility of going to jail, not showing his face, and doing it at night. Nowadays you have to be more spontaneous and creative in the way you share your art, like the previous example.

Tell me about your favorite art piece. 

My favorite art piece is The Creation of Adam and The David by Michelangelo because I like the way he captured the essence of the human body. Also, the Sunflowers of Van Gogh. A personal reason, my favorite color is yellow.

What are your career aspirations?

I have always clear that engineering is my area of vocation, in specific the area of cybernetics and electronics. Designing and developing prostheses to help amputees is one of my goals. Although recently my focus has been on developing my own style in art, I am sure that I will find a way to merge both aspects of design and achieve innovation in my area of study as well as on the artistic side.

Tell me about your coming project.

My upcoming project is a collection of the outstanding women throughout time. My intention the promotion of the idea that women are dauntless, empowered and capable of anything.

Women’s rights.

What do you think needs to be done to reduce the violence against women? 

I think we should educate our children that women are capable. We should encourage them to participate in social movements and politics. Making society aware women’s mistreatment through the means of art, like poems—like Button Poetry (which I really love)—performance art such as Marina Abramovic and Kara Walker, social movement such as The Art Hoe Collective, photography and visual art; Women support each other and empower one another.

Do you think through art women can overcome traumas?

Through art, we can put our traumas and difficult situations apart. This helps us to observe and analyze with objectiveness. That is because the first step to overcome, is to organize what we feel and what we think, and a way to do it, as I said, is through art.

How art can be a powerful tool to speak out about women’s rights?

I often think how in the past women art wasn’t well treated or even accepted. But since then, we had acquired the courage to express, create and show our art. At this point, we start to make ourselves conscious that we are also human beings and that we deserve the same opportunities as men do. So now I can say that we can inspire new generations of women to create and fight for what we want.

If you could give advice to a young girl, who lives in a vulnerable territory. What would it be?

All problems at a certain point, tend to end. In a good or a bad way, however. But the difficult part is living with them. Art is always a good way to escape because it helps you to focus and express your ideas. A painting, sculpture, a song, it doesn’t matter. And you don’t need expensive equipment to produce it, as I do, you can implement the concept of Minimalism, created by Joshua Fields Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus. After all, your only true supply is your imagination and the most important thing, what really matters is your opinion.

Feel free to leave any message to our readers. 

I think that art has to do completely with feelings, it’s expressing yourself in different ways, and by the other hand opening your view of the World, because all of us see different things in a same piece of art. But no matter the place, people, culture, etc. Feelings are the universal language. So in some way art is telling us that we are all equal. As human beings, we have the same opportunities, strengths, weakness, etc. And that these art pieces deserve our attention, our respect, and tolerance.


Where Do We Go Now – Director Nadine Labaki


by Charlie Brewer

Where Do We Go Now is the story of a small Lebanese village threatened by Christian-Muslim conflicts. The village is unnamed. The time is unspecified. It could be anywhere, anytime The men in the isolated village get along well with one another, until they get wind of the international conflicts between their faiths. Once they do, they are immediately split by religion despite the protests from their respective religious leaders. Their wives are tired and scared of the effects of their rage on their village, and do their damnedest to ensure the harmony and, in turn, their safety from one another. Director, co-writer, and star Nadine Labaki crafts a beautiful homage to the strength and cunning of the often underestimated and under appreciated Middle Eastern woman. All at once, she displays to her audience the crippling effects of reality, the joyful camaraderie of a musical, and the ups and downs of a forbidden romance. All of these ideas are connected by one single conflict, showcasing just how imperative it is to comprehend the effects of religious prejudice. Where Do We Go Now blurs the line between fictional characters and reality, inspiring its audience to take the lessons it teaches and apply them to their lives.

This film serves to inspire young women around the world because it was created by, for, and about women. It showcases the female gender in an entirely different light: yes, the women of the village are the traditional mothers and wives, but insists that those same women are intelligent, complex, raw characters that are often taken for granted. When this movie began with a group of women crying over their late husbands and sons, I reluctantly settled in for another male-dominated war movie about Courage in the Face of Adversity. Then the women began a

slow, heavy dance in time with one another. All at once, it was about the wives’ grief, the story less told but no less painful. It is clear from the first scene that this is no story we’ve been told before, zeroing in on the fact that the same women crying for the men they lost are completely their own beings, independent and strong and even manipulative in their own right. The husbands become the simplistic one-track minded characters, and the audience receives a much-needed insight into the minds of the loving wife and mother. The women effortlessly put aside their differences in religion in favor of the well-being of the village, manipulating their husbands like puppet masters. They are clever, cunning, loving, emotional, strong, weak, hateful, broken, and whole, all in one. For once, we are shown a complex, well-written hero in the form of the dowdy middle-aged mother. This film proves that anyone can be a hero, and that everyone – especially your mother – is one.

Every time I watch this film, I notice something new. I laugh. I cry. I call my mother. I learn. The making of this movie was not about gains, about fame, about money; instead of it was about sending a message that everyone can understand. This movie is art, because it disturbs the comfortable and comforts the disturbed. Both sides are affected, both sides respond, and both sides blame the other for negative reactions. It is here that developing the wives, characters becomes even more imperative, because they are in the middle of the issue. As an American, it is fascinating to examine the conflict that our nation barely makes an effort to understand through the lense of a character we can all connect to. This film, with its story and its characters and its creators, inspires me to be the director, the creator, the artist I want to be.

Image Source: http://www.openlettersmonthly.com/hammerandthump/interview-nadine-labaki-director-co-writer-and-star-of-where-do-we-go-now/


One Sky: A collaborative project with almost 90 female* artists and one instruction: look up.

Women Who Draw is an open directory of female* professional illustrators, artists and cartoonists. It was created by two women artists in an effort to increase the visibility of female illustrators, emphasizing female illustrators of color, LBTQ+, and other minority groups of female illustrators.

One of their most recent project is called “One Sky”: a collaborative project with almost 90 artists and one instruction: look up.


On August 13, 2017, at precisely 12:00 pm Eastern Standard Time, 88 artists all over the world stopped what they were doing, looked up, and drew the sky. What each artist saw was unique to the time, the weather, and the place. The locations ranged from Tel Aviv to Brooklyn, Buenos Aires to rural Georgia. Some saw different hues of blue. Some saw black, pink, or gray. Some saw stars or clouds or fog or rain. Here it was summer. There it was night. In one place a fire left a heavy brown haze. Whatever sky the artist saw, they captured it on paper in their own unique style. They were, at that exact moment, separate skies. But when we view these drawings together, they become one far-stretching, simultaneous world view. They become a portrait of one shared sky.


This is the beautiful result: https://www.topic.com/one-sky

*Women Who Draw is trans-inclusive and includes women, trans and gender non-conforming illustrators.


Women are making the best rock music today

Snail Mail – Photo: Emma Swann

The New York Times newspaper published an amazing story yesterday about 25 new bands that prove women are making the best rock music today.Here’s what they wrote: “Where, exactly, have the guitars gone? Sure, there’s never been a shortage of traditional rock bands – say, a mostly male, mostly white four-piece. But in the face of increasingly diverse music tactics, their cultural impact is beginning to wane. Many indie-rock groups have started to feel rote or even parodic, as if they’ve run out of ideas or exhausted the passion to develop new ones.

But a new generation of female and non-binary performers – punk in style or spirit, coming from theall-ages warehouse and D.I.Y.-venue ecosystem – is taking their place. These singers and musicians, working just below the mainstream, are  making music about tactile emotion, rousing politics and far more.

Laetitia Tamko aka Vagabon – Photo: Jared Allen

To take stock of this vibrant moment, and to spotlight these artists’ work, we spoke with them about why they make the music they do, and what obstacles the industry, and society large, have thrown in their paths.”

Check out the story on the link below:


Some content on this page was disabled on January 10, 2018 as a result of a DMCA takedown notice from Emma Swann. You can learn more about the DMCA here:



Meet Tammie Umbel, who built a $1.7 million beauty business while home-schooling her 14 children.


Tammie Umbel built a $1.7 million beauty business while home-schooling her 14 children.

“The purpose of Shea Terra was never intended to be so that I could go out and work,” the 44-year-old mom and businesswoman said. “Whatever I could do while being in the kids’ presence and in their service when they need me emotionally and physically, then I would do it. But I never said I wasn’t going to make money.”

Umbel travels the world finding raw materials for her Dulles, Va.,-based business that primarily caters to women. Ten employees manufacture products with names like Argan Oil, Shea Butter and African Black Soap.

The two-decade-old company grossed $1.7 million in revenue last year, Umbel said. She turned a profit of about $350,000 in 2016 — and is rightly proud of it.

Tammie Umbel’s company makes soaps, lotions, scrubs and other skin and face creams. (Sarah L. Voisin/The Washington Post)

The company gets about $100,000 a month in revenue online and most of the rest from Vitamin Shoppe, the 700-store chain that carries her lotions and creams.

“I absolutely love what I do,” Umbel said. “I have done everything myself, from A to Z.”

The children — ages 4 to 26 — go everywhere with her. Not all of them at the same time, of course. Her oldest child graduated from the University of Virginia and is in her last year at Liberty University College of Osteopathic Medicine. Three others are in college studying engineering, cybersecurity and medicine.

Some might accompany her on sourcing “vacations” to Africa, something of a logistical nightmare. Sometimes they just pile into her recreational vehicle (sleeps 10), and off they go to an industry show in Florida.

“It’s not easy,” she said, with notable understatement. “We have to keep our passports up to date, which is a nightmare. Airports are tough. Lots of times, people in airports are jerks.”

Most of Umbel’s ingredients are things I have never heard of, like the argan oil from Morocco.

“In 2003, a Moroccan worker of mine brought a bottle of argan oil to me that his mother had made. I knew immediately I held the oil of the future, although I detested that it sounded like the name of a gas.”

She buys marula oil in Namibia, injecting some much-needed cash into a former mining community. And Egypt is her source of something called Black Seed Oil.

“I built Shea Terra the old-fashioned way,” said Umbel, who lives on a Loudoun County farm with her physician husband. “Hard work is how. Dedication. I took the money I made and reinvested in the business. No debt. No loans. No investors.”


As the company has grown, Umbel has trained her staff so she can run the company remotely from her Leesburg farm, a half-hour from the factory that she rents for $5,300 a month.

If she must go to the factory, sometimes the children come, too.

“I would line them up at tables in the shipping area and give them (school) lessons while running back and forth to orders,” she said. “I would teach them alongside me as I ran the company. Was it difficult? Very. But I was determined to succeed.”

The self-taught businesswoman has had to learn marketing on the fly. Most of it came from roaming the aisles at Vitamin Shoppe. She noticed that retail sales demanded symmetry and continuity. Same color. All in a line.

“Retailers want shelf presence,” Umbel said. “They want to see five products together, lined up. They want to be able to put a whole regimen on their shelves. They don’t want to see just one piece. If you took 10 different fragrances and 10 different products, you basically have chaos.”

Umbel grew up in Prince George’s County and spent much of her teen years living by her wits. She was born with a curiosity about foreign cultures, including Asian and Indian.

“I was fascinated by different cultures,” she said. “My best friend was from Korea, and I loved to go to their house and eat their food. I was a strange child.”

She would camp out in front of a black-and-white television and watch public-service ads about hungry children.

“I was fascinated by that, and I wanted one day to create jobs for these people,” she said. “I was very conscious of human suffering.”

Umbel, a practicing Muslim, met her husband, Syed Ishaq, at a mosque when she was 16. He was 12 years older and had just arrived from Pakistan, where he had attended medical school. Ishaq is now a kidney specialist — a nephrologist — with Inova Fairfax and Access Medicine.

“He was very handsome and well-mannered,” she said.

She married him when she was 16 and gave birth to their first child two years later.

While her husband studied for his medical exams, Umbel in 1990 created a clothing company that was modestly profitable and specialized in ethnic garb from South Asia and the Middle East. She closed it down after she became pregnant with their fourth child.

She smelled — literally — another opportunity in the various international people who frequented the Islamic Center near Washington’s Embassy Row.

“These women who hung around the mosque had natural beauty and skin they would take care of with these different natural ingredients,” she said. Some would cover their body with a blanket and “smoke” their skin with woods from Africa.

“I saw all these different natural regimens and said all these things could make a really good business if I introduced them to the American population,” Umbel said. “I could bring some very needed income into the [African] villages.”

She started Shea Terra in 2000 in the basement of her Arlington home. At first, she cooked up some shea butter. Then some cream. She taught herself how to make soap.

The big break came in late 2001, when she returned from a lengthy trip to find $1,000 in shea butter orders from online sales. Soon, she was selling $30,000 a month, reinvesting most of the income in the company.


Umbel eventually moved to her current facility near Dulles International Airport, where she makes and stores her products. Most of her raw materials are flown in through Dulles and trucked to her factory.

The biggest margins are in her facial-care line.

The nice thing about the beauty and skin-care business is that it tends to be less affected by recessions than others. “People are really vain and willing to pay a lot of money for their face,” she said.


Shea Terra got a boost when actress Sarah Jessica Parker posted on social media applauding its face wash. “She said that her face had not been that soft since she was a baby,” Umbel said. “She was thanking her celebrity aesthetician.”

It’s not all glamorous, though. Believe it or not, the beauty business has a dangerous side.

“The border control people are scary people,” Umbel said, referring to her travels abroad. “Overseas, they tend to give people in general a hard time. You don’t know if you are ever going to see daylight again.”

But on the other hand, her children go places that most others may never see.

“Not a lot of kids can say, ‘I was in Namibia and on a safari at Etosha Park,’ ” Umbel said.

Source: The Washington Post


Women on Writing – Enthusiastic and Sad Life Lessons that We Should Read

by Vanessa Daniela

This summer, I have read fascinating books that expanded my knowledge about society,  cultures and human rights. I can not deny how shocked, sick, or enthusiastic I was after some chapters on these books.

For some of them, you will need to have a thick skin to read thru pages of torture and suffering, but all of them are life lessons. Before I talk about them, I want to congratulate the female authors and those who fight for human rights. Also, my deepest condolences to those who lost their daughters and family members.

Until We Are Free – My Fight for Human Rights in Iran by Sherin Ebadiimages

Shirin Ebadi is a human rights lawyer, former judge and has been defending families against the regime in Iran. She is the first Muslim woman to receive the Nobel Peace Prize.

One of her most remarkable battles was to change the child custody laws in Iran after Arian Golshani, 9-year-old was beaten to death by her father and stepmother. The Iranian law favors the men over women, so Golshani was not allowed to stay with her mother after her parents’ divorce.

Following Ebadi’s  journey thru this book, it gave me a unique perspective and an amazing knowledge about Iran.

The regime has been violating the human rights by torturing people to extract information about anything useful to the government. It is an inspiring and sad book, but totally worth reading.

Click here to read more about Shirin Ebadi

I am Malala by Malala Yousafzai with Patricia McCormick

Malala is one of the bravest girls that I have heard of. She stood up for education even 51dVLcrS0gL._SX321_BO1,204,203,200_when she faced Taliban death threats and after the attack that caused her eternal marks. Despite the brutal attempt, she raised stronger after it.

“We were scared, but our fear was not as strong as our courage.”
Malala Yousafzai, I Am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban

Malala is the youngest Nobel Prize Winner.

I applaud her parents for supporting her studies and dreams. According to Taliban, Pakistan culture, and religion, girls should not be educated, but be married at an early age and dedicated to their husbands and house work.

Click here to read more about Malala Yousafzai

O Diario de uma Escrava by Ro Mierling – The Slave’s Diary capa-diario-de-uma-escrava

This book is based on real stories of girls that were sexually abused by a psychopath that kidnaps girls and uses them as his object. I read for study purpose, but I wanted to throw up after every chapter. I couldn’t believe how some people can be so heartless.

According to statistics, in Brazil, every year, 40,000 minors disappear, and a third of them are used for sexual purpose. Usually, they leave without leaving a trace.

DO NOT READ, if you went thru any kind of sexual abuse. However, It is an excellent book for parents and teenagers as a watch out. Breaking parents’ rules and curfews, and talking to strangers on the internet can be a lapse with permanent marks.

…”please watch over them and guard them again mistakes of youth that are unalterable.” Powerful Prayers of Protection

Click here to learn more about Rô Mierling

The Crossroads of Should and Must: Find and Follow Your Passion by Elle Luna 51I6aeJYqlL._SX325_BO1,204,203,200_


Elle Luna is an artist, designer, and writer who challenge us to think outside of the box and push ourselves to reflect on the conflict between our passions and our money maker job.

Reflective words, messages combined with an inspiring touch of art bloomed my creativity and put me ready to work on my craft.

“Should is how other people want us to live our lives. It’s all of the expectations that others layer upon us.”



Click here to read more about Elle Luna

Image Source


Dark Side Books

Editora Sextante








Gender Equality – Why It Matters

GenderWhile the world has achieved progress towards gender equality and women’s empowerment under the Millennium Development Goals (including equal access to primary education between girls and boys), women and girls continue to suffer discrimination and violence in every part of the world.

Gender equality is not only a fundamental human right but a necessary foundation for a peaceful, prosperous and sustainable world.

Providing women and girls with equal access to education, health care, decent work, and representation in political and economic decision-making processes will fuel sustainable economies and benefit societies and humanity at large.

  • About  two-thirds of countries in the developing regions have achieved gender parity in primary education
  • In Southern Asia, only 74 girls were enrolled in primary school for every 100 boys in 1990. By 2012, the enrolment ratios were the same for girls as for boys.
  • In sub-Saharan Africa, Oceania and Western Asia, girls still face barriers to entering both primary and secondary school.
  • Women in Northern Africa hold less than one in five paid jobs in the non-agricultural sector. The proportion of women in paid employment outside the agriculture sector has increased from 35 per cent in 1990 to 41 per cent in 2015
  • In 46 countries, women now hold more than 30 per cent of seats in national parliament in at least one chamber.

Regardless of where you live in, gender equality is a fundamental human right. Advancing gender equality is critical to all areas of a healthy society, from reducing poverty to promoting the health, education, protection and the well-being of girls and boys. Investing in education programs for girls and increasing the age at which they marry can return $5 for every dollar spent. Investing in programs improving income-generating activities for women can return 7 dollars for every dollar spent.

What can we do to fix these issues? If you are a girl, you can stay in school, help empower your female classmates to do the same and fight for your right to access sexual and reproductive health services. If you are a woman, you can address unconscious biases and implicit associations that can form an unintended and often an invisible barrier to equal opportunity. If you are a man or a boy, you can work alongside women and girls to achieve gender equality and embrace healthy, respectful relationships. You can fund education campaigns to curb cultural practices like female genital mutilation and change harmful laws that limit the rights of women and girls and prevent them from achieving their full potential. To find out more about Goal #5 and other Sustainable Development Goals, visit: http://www.un.org/ sustainabledevelopment 

Source: United Nations


Domestic Violence – SEEK HELP!

untitledDomestic violence can include and is not limited to:

  • *Physical violence:  Hitting, kicking, biting, shoving, restraining, slapping, throwing objects, battery
  • *Emotional abuse: Name calling and threats
  • *Financial abuse: Preventing access to bank accounts, credit cards or other financial resources
  • *Sexual abuse: Any forced sexual activity
  • *Spiritual abuse: Keeping someone from going to a place of worship or using scriptures to justify abuse.

Source: http://tinyurl.com/yd5uocrx


In the US: Call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233 (SAFE).

In Canada: Visit ShelterSafe to find the helpline of a women’s shelter near you.

In the UK: Call Women’s Aid UK at 0808 2000 247.

Worldwide: Visit International Directory of Domestic Violence Agencies for a global list of helplines and crisis centers.



II Poetry Contest: The Fictitious Crush

by Rahmat Idiaro D.

A cool, serene and well fragranced arena appealing to her poor innocent soul
It breezes of coolness and flourishment melts the stony heart
She looked up to the smiling moon and she smiled back
Behold was the charming appariton of a cool gentleman of mensch with a smiley and handsome personality
He walked slowly and directly to the green planty arena with a natural spray and several snap of shots after a beauteous butterfly chase.
A thousand thoughts intruded her ornamented mind
“what a nature lover!” Her soul uttered
She looked up abruptly and found him dancing in sequence to a popular soul music
“what a romantic movement!” Her soul uttered
He retired to a wooden bench and dispersed several handfuls of grain to the doves who bubbly gobbled it
“what a kind and generous personality he revealed!” Her soul uttered
He carried the natural spray and towards her direction he comes
“He must have sighted me!” Her soul uttered happily
She closed her eyes and stood up impatiently with her hands ready to procure the spray
She opened her eyes only to percept the invisible movement
“Where could he have been?!” Her soul uttered deeply
She looked forward to the wooden bench and realized she was in an imaginary world.


II Poetry Contest: Our hearts are wracked…

by Adrienne,

Our hearts are wracked
With sobs of pain
Our tears do overflow.

Our souls are numb
With disbelief
By turmoil plunged too low.

Is this the end
Of hopes, of dreams?
“Is this the end?” we cry.

Two choices lie
Ahead of us–
To either run or rise.

We will not run
“For that is fear”
Our inner being cries.

So we’ll be brave
And join our hands
For only then we’ll rise.


II Poetry Contest: She Fought

by Anuj Abraham

She has suffered.
She has endured a lot.
She has seen the worst.
She has been a failure, a lost cause.
She suffered in silence.
She hoped.
She was caged.
She was humiliated.
She was tortured, mentally.
Disrobed of her peace but
She fought.
She survived.
She was cheated.
She was destroyed.
But she fought.
Wounds were not her weakness,
It became her strength.
Pain became her ally.
Scars reminded her of her grit & determination.
She didn’t just survive, she lived.
She is not just a fighter.
She is a warrior.
She is now fearless.
She is strong.
She is mighty.
She is you!


II Poetry Contest: One day…She WOKE up…

by Annie

One day…She WOKE up. She REALIZED….that the environment in which her generation existed was fictitious. She embarked on a journey… She OBSERVED, EVALUATED, and learned to APPRECIATE LIFE! She got in touch with her spirit, and recognized this as her identity. She removed the value from her body and placed it on her heart. She trusted her mind and her soul. She made mistakes and some bad choices, but accepted these along with her flaws and gracefully moved on. She reclaimed her innocence; yet continued to grow as a woman. She bathed in knowledge. She believed in love
& paid no mind to opposing parties.


II Poetry Contest: Daughter listen to me

by @theframedsky

Daughter listen to me
you who may never be
for I fear for the future
the future we are trying to shape
slowly but with haste we are pushing
for you to never have to fear
never have to question your feelings
Daughter trust me I’ll keep pushing
to be a better person
so I wont be but an obstacle
for those striving to change the minds
the archaic few who keep us
from ever meeting
Daughter believe me the world
isn’t always going to be just
but maybe one day we can make it yours
I can see you now in the brightest spot of my being standing on your own two feet unquestioned for your abilities are the proof
strong as the woman I knew you could become


II Poetry Contest: The Enigmatic Woman

by Self

You know,
The woman.
Of fancy curves,
Riding you to wild fantasies,
You know.

But do you know?
The enigmatic woman,
Who doesn’t hails matriarchy but only absolute equalism.
A diligent woman of dignity.

The enigmatic woman,
Who can march you to victory,
Came from a hidden legacy of warriors through history.

The enigmatic woman,
Who is ever unhindered through ages,
By periodical atrocities.

The enigmatic woman,
Who never learned to surrender,
To the chaos between pen and spice.

The enigmatic woman,
An impeccable benevolent woman,
A crack of dawn she is.

Sadly! You won’t find her on demand,
Because she ain’t gaudy.
A lifesome soul,
Of beauty and sanctity.

Found only then,
When not seen,
Through ‘His’ eyes.


II Poetry Contest: Dress appropriately?

by treepokok

I dress according to the weather,
what’s the matter?
She hikes her skirt up
a little short,
what’s on that little mind of yours
nothing but dirty thoughts?
Control yourself
not her clothing.
Avert your eyes,
what are you thinking?
She is wrapped in cloth from head to toe,
oh now she’s mysterious,
and your head is still spinning.
You need perhaps
a little more respect
to chase away the lust
that’s eating up your head.


II Poetry Contest: Father’s Bride

by infinite thought diaries

The bright sun was like a dark night,
Any ray of hope was out of his sight,
Doing wrong was a daily thing,
Missing his happiness the lonely king,
But thn she came with a new life,
His heart’s queen his forever wife,
Though just in dreams but yet so near,
And only dreams was the place when he had no fear,
Though now she had gone far away to come again,
Leaving him behind to face all the pain,
But he had to live for the princess she left behind,
To Teach her life lessons and strength of being kind,
She grew up as loving as the queen,
Had ferociousness of the young king,
She was the replica of the old queen,
Old King’s success was to be seen,
She fought hard for the father’s pride,
For his lost confidence and his kingdom in wide,
Where discussion of daughter being Superior gets people to divide,
The old king was proud of her daughter’s stride.


II Poetry Contest: Whole

by Susan Llewelyn

For a long time I couldn’t go there
look at that gapping hole
instead I smoked it, drank it,
ate it whole and wore it out
trying everything but actually seeing
the Grand Canyon in my soul
Forged by the eternal mystery of time
a travelling caravan of well worn
loves and hurts, I turned away
so many times, until eventually life
won’t let anything be ignored, least of all
I wish someone had told me
all those years ago that to fill the void
I just had to look into the mirror
and say you’re pretty damn fine
a good person, over and over, repetition
reinvented the soundtrack of my life
until one day l had a new jam
on permanent rewind. Hole?
Well that’s just a construct
of an unreliable narrator
I am as I’ve always been
brilliant, priceless


II Poetry Contest: No one really cares if you smile or you cry


No one really cares if you smile or you cry
Life goes on if you’re alive or you die
This is a world of real people living a lie
Too busy faking smiles I wish I knew why
And then came a day when I learnt to say ‘No’
I listened to my heart and not what they told
I fought back those demons all in a row
I felt like a queen. I felt young, free and bold
It felt a little awkward as all of this was new
Being ‘Me’ and not ‘Perfect’ was too good to be true
But somewhere deep down I guess I always knew
Nothing can ever be more beautiful than the ‘real you’


Poetry Contest: The Unsilencing

by Katie Hogan

Part I
In the foggy torrent of Hurricane Floyd,
I am born with curiosity that tumbles behind blue eyes.
I terrify my parents with my own thunder.

Part II
I am too young to remember when
I first learn that I am better seen and not heard.

Part III
I am hollow and illicit,
Salt stains my cheeks.
I crack the backbone of Vogue covers and diet pills,
Suck the marrow of silent torture,
Learn the secrets of shrinking.
Barbie was an instruction manual before she was an invitation.
There is nothing colloquial about this kind of crumbling.

Part IV
I pray to skeletons before I close my eyes,
Skip the litany of alarm setting and teeth brushing,
Trade in the thrum of thick precocity and pleat my periphery into an improper fraction.
I am less than unity and I cannot be creased into even sections.
I sever the space between being heard and being seen,
Shove myself into the margin.

Part V
It was never about smallness,
It was about shrinking the guilt–
Sacrificing the space I never had a right to.
I learned I was better seen and not heard,
And then I hid behind my silence.

Part VI
I calculate the damage of my downfall,
And I do not care.
I cleave myself from emotion,
Cling to apathy,
And curl up behind my collarbone.
It easier here.

Part VII
I cannot decide if I want to die.
I would rather live in the empty of indecisiveness,
But they tell me that without fuel, expiration is inevitable.
Apparently you cannot evaporate the ocean without dehydrating the entire planet.
This all started because I could not stand to be seen and not heard.
I do not like being told what to do.
This life is my mess.
I dictate the destruction.

Part IX
I am the weapon and the antidote.
I learn the etymology of my inexorable deprivation,
Find antonyms for divestiture,
Translate pain into purpose.
I peel my voice from passivity,
And plaster it to the paper.
I shout so loudly my pen punches holes between my words.
I keep writing when the ink dries.

Part X
I am far more untamed than I remember,
Half silk and half smoke,
No longer the abused, nor the abuser.
I am the elegy of my smaller self.
I find myself in places I did not exist before.


II Poetry Contest: The written Parchment is a pensive Message based on a (Woman life)

by Chirayuwriter

Pic 1. (past memories)
“caption ”
“Sadness wracked on her face
When a voice whisper on her ear’s
the memories revealed again to the time when there was no one behind, The passage Is based on her somber life, When she was born, how her family left her alone in the cage house of the orphanage, She deliberates her past without the love of family and surviving with the question why you have left me alone to fight against the world?.
The answer framed in a parchment voice lived by her own experience where she finds about the word “woman” is questioning word for the world,

Parchment lines:
Baby girl born & burned Girl Walk & Suck
Woman flies & wing’s cut.
Isn’t a reason why I’ve been waiting to suffer from such an awful to the woeful activities happens in my life, Does a girl is born for the purpose of use and throw slogan, what a universe is made for us who are living in the place of heaven.

“Proceed with Caution”.
One day afternoon while coming from a friend’s house, I Met three crook boy’s who were drunk, commanded on my clothes and on my body, it was on a Crowdy path and near the street there was a cop checkpoint sitting in the chair eating and gossiping, many peoples were traveling in the street and I was standing after being commanded by the three boys my mind thought to leave away the place or to sit at home like a fearful girl like mainly every other girl’s go through with it and my second opinion heat in mind was to give them a slap, but after giving them slap, they won’t be able to understand how I feel or a girl feel when they been abuse or treat like a puppet, will they respect me or any other women, there action can be more harsh to me they can harm me like everyday, every min, every second there is a woman who is going through with such a situations harassment or molesting, some stay at that place to give away an action as a fighting spirit or some give up everything like a trapped victim so my mind was staying at that place, then suddenly I got to come to their point, they assumption to me, I called them near to me and I asked what is your problem? Haven’t you seen someone like me who wear a short shirt and a short skirt does you find something interesting in that? Do you think we women’s are a remote control button so anyone can press it or operate at any time? Do you want to see my body right?.
Do a thing I am sitting in between to this street you can remove all my clothes and do what you like to do, all I am yours? then after you are being enjoyed everything  with me then pass away to someone else who are born as a human, but then act like you (an Evil Mind), you know for me you are a Criminal how just look at your mind and say some something about yourself, you don’t have the answers right?.
You know some criminals are guilty and some are free flying because the power of politics to the colour of money is standing with them and they shows a life of women as a standing toy of the sleeping pillow, You three are drunken and you look like you have done something wrong before, so do you want to hide your mistake or you want to repeat it again? To admit your mistake in front of the people’s on the social media right? or to get arrested for your crime in front of the cop I’m looking into your mind now you’re standing being very guilt at present so don’t you think its right time to admit all the mistake you did in life, because your intention can change at any time, so what you do you want from me now?.
Then after few minutes later they fell on my leg’s and apologize for their mistake, actually the scene is still incomplete because the crowd of the street have surrounded them, how let’s go back to place where such an incident was occurred the place in market. where the different life’s are moving away and every life has a story behind so incident to live media to people’s who are watching and in the crowed people’s there is a team of Report’s with the power of youngster help me when I start recording the live mode on a television broadcasting it’s been Live on every channel, and they there are criminal who raped many people’s by their mind.
“I have faced everything in life
Because I’m a woman, every raped is done in a day or night is an anguish spirit in mind as a sadness, humor stops the life of brilliance for the woman’s, a rope is made to use nor to make a knot on it and use it to attempt suicide..
But nor a respect and love from the people’s who are born as human in the world, I have seen many people’s who will motivate you a lot, but at the end there intention plays a game in mind and use it on a woman…
“Thinking is bug of acting”
For example take an apple..

“An apple is sweet fruit, but when you eat it, then the action relates the molesting scene on a woman the way of crime.
“He was munching the character of lady in mind,
He took a bite out and chewing the mentality of a perceptual object
He breaks away the whole body
By thinking process on where he started hunting and threaded at the beginning and at the end he peeled away everything”

P.S (?)… The Story remains as a Question Mark because the answer is with you in your mind and action is in your hand so never please save the Girl child and fight against the crime.
Please respect Women’s.


II Poetry Contest: “You are so pretty”

by Alea Nesbit

Is that all you have to say?
If I hear you are pretty again
I believe my guts will begin to twist and
burn and the only way to save me from this torture is to cut them and let them spill out on the floor.

I’m tired of being pretty.
Cause pretty fades.
I rather hear how my words makes your heart tremble like the waves of an earthquake, where the fault line created from the impact of a conversation transpired from my lips will leave you forever changed & never the same.
I much rather hear how my presence entering a room is a megaton of energy that can set the whole earth vibrating like a bell.

Pretty is as pretty does.
But I rather be looked at as more.
I rather much be told that my very presence has the power to inspire a whole generation of warriors.

I rather hear how my love melts rocks like the sun, that it can cause the seas to dry up but yet harmless as a dove.

I rather hear how my passion is like a burning flame. Giving you a scar you proudly proclaim.

I want to hear how my smile encompasses the light of the world. Notice how I hold heaven in my spirit.

Tell me I belong amongst the wildflowers, because I freely bloom with petals for my feet, even when the season change I will always begin again.

If the words formed from your lips are your
so pretty, I rather much hear nothing at all.
Cause silence speaks louder then words sometimes.

Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder and we all are more then just a pretty face


II Poetry Contest: I love how she smiles, suppressing the hurt within.

by sprinkled_with_sass

I love how she kisses everyone else’s scars when she herself is bleeding.
I love how she flips her hair in confidence knowing she ‘got it’.
I love how she sees no limit to her abilities.
I love how she winks at any challenge bestowed upon her.
And without the might of a man she paints a life for herself to be proud about.
I see ‘her’ in each woman. Some of them still discovering, some valuing and some sadly demeaning.


II Poetry Contest: For you, yes.. you.

by participant of School Poetry Competition in Bali

I don’t know how to start it, hmm..you know I have such a big big ego for saying something about you. You know, I always be (and will be always) complaining about your attitude, the way you treat, how I say that you can’t be romantic, cute, charming..rare to say adorable words..and…plain. But, somehow, I always miss you, you are always there..beside me, keep me safe, try to make me happy, give your anger just because you care. I’ve never got that from the others. You just do it. Never been busy about words. When I’m in difficult time, you are in front line, helping me. Can you just stay here until the rest of my life, hun?


II Poetry Contest: Lady

To all the girls who prove that they are no less than men.

Don’t consider her weak
As she can shake the world under your feet..

She is a sister, she is a wife
She is the one who has given you life…

You insult her and call her by names
Trying to put her character in blame…

Don’t consider her powerless as she is quite
Coz when the time comes she can also fight..

And if breaks the limit of her tolerance
She will give answers to every violence..

Her shyness is her weakness is just a myth
coz if she turns into Kaali she can tear up your ribs…


LGBT Pride Month

by Vanessa Daniela

Earth will be a better place once we treat everyone with respect. We support the LGBT community and stand against any kind of discrimination.

Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Pride Month (LGBT Pride Month) is currently celebrated in June to honor the 1969 Stonewall riots in Manhattan. The riots were the mark of the Gay Liberation Movement in the United States.

Screen Shot 2017-06-08 at 5.39.42 PM

Nowadays, the celebrations attract millions of people from different ages around the World. The goal of the commemorative month is to recognize the impact that this community have had in history worldwide.

However, according to the FBI, the LGBT people are the most likely targets of hate crimes in America.  L.G.B.T. people are twice as likely to be targeted as African-Americans. It is time to change this scenario. We are all humans, and we all deserve respect. Don’t let your faith and/or culture violate the most sacred words: respect, peace, and love.








II Poetry Contest: To the boy who sent me two messages, the first one saying, “It’s not my problem” and the second, “survival of the fittest.” In response to being asked about helping refugees.

By magicaldisco

Tell me how “fit” you really are.
Is it because you were able to strike a man in the head who held a sign that said, “People are refugees too?” while having people cheer you on, praise you, call you a savage, and saying you are ‘a real man.’

Or what about the time when the word started getting around and our football coach suspended you only for 5 games as a punishment and you bawled your eyes out?

Does it make you more fit that you were randomly born into a wealthy family? Is this what ‘survival of the fittest’ means to you? Is this why it’s ‘not your problem’ that a little girl is holding her deceased newborn brother in her arms drenched in blood? Why does green paper separate you from her?

Boy who has only ever known of trophies, if you are so pro-life and a worshipper of jesus, tell me, where did your compassion go? Was it left behind when you started to feel like something was pricking at the frailness of your masculinity? Did you feel the poking of a child crying for help, who you deem ‘not your problem’ when you were marching around with your other guy friends shouting, ‘Stop killing human beings!’ And by the way, Boy, who the fuck are you to tell me what I can do with my body?

I’m afraid that you reveal yourself a hypocrite and a coward.

Now, that is your problem; a problem that the rest of us have to deal with.

To the 5-year-old girls, who are continuously having the world root against them, as their schools burn down, and their houses blow up; you are not a problem, you are a solution to this world of people who lack compassion.

I’m sorry that this white American Boy believes you do not deserve a chance just because of where you are come from.

I see a photo of you smiling, as the buildings behind you collapse and cripple at the hands of nuisance.

You are my faith in humanity.


Malala: Motivational Life Story


by Vanessa Daniela
I was reading the book, “I am Malala,” last month. I was motivated to describe how I felt reading her book. It was an inspirational and profound life lesson for me; I believe it would be for many others. I do regret not reading it before now. Malala is an energetic and motivated woman. Her willingness to educate girls and boys around the World is Magnifique.

In the book, she describes her life in Valley of Swat in Pakistani and then in Birmingham, England. Malala’s father was a school teacher; she was considered lucky in her town for having such understanding and supportive father.

When I have gone thru difficult moments in my life, especially traumas that affected my learning abilities within different periods of my life, I was very distracted by things that were not adding to my education.

Fortunately, I did graduate from college, and I also acquired a master’s degree. However, I do feel that I am still catching up on subjects that I haven’t learned in the past. I deeply regret not reading more or learn everything that I could once I had the opportunity to do so and had fewer domestic and career responsibilities.

During the period of my life when I had fewer constraints on my time, I wish somebody like Malala would have shown me that far worse things can happen to us. However, that our motivation can take us anywhere and everywhere our dreams might lead us.

Nowadays, I have been watching documentaries, reading about war, paying attention to terrorism activities, and evaluating the need for more gender equality. I feel overwhelmed because there is so much violence degrading our World; it is hard to find the motivation I feel that I should have to fight human rights. However, I know in my heart that we cannot give up. Reading the book, “I am Malala,” was another reminder of that fact. We have to use our strengths to bring peace and equality to the World.

Let’s be brave like Malala! Do not let fear stop us from making our Earth a better place.

Malala’s Speech to UN Youth Takeover

Source: Their World

…The terrorists thought that they would change our aims and stop our ambitions but nothing changed in my life except this: Weakness, fear and hopelessness died. Strength, power and courage was born.  I am the same Malala. My ambitions are the same. My hopes are the same. My dreams are the same.

Dear sisters and brothers, I am not against anyone. Neither am I here to speak in terms of personal revenge against the Taliban or any other terrorists group. I am here to speak up for the right of education of every child. I want education for the sons and the daughters of all the extremists especially the Taliban…

Honourable Secretary General, peace is necessary for education. In many parts of the world especially Pakistan and Afghanistan; terrorism, wars and conflicts stop children to go to their schools. We are really tired of these wars. Women and children are suffering in many parts of the world in many ways. In India, innocent and poor children are victims of child labour. Many schools have been destroyed in Nigeria. People in Afghanistan have been affected by the hurdles of extremism for decades. Young girls have to do domestic child labour and are forced to get married at early age. Poverty, ignorance, injustice, racism and the deprivation of basic rights are the main problems faced by both men and women…

…Dear brothers and sisters, we want schools and education for every child’s bright future. We will continue our journey to our destination of peace and education for everyone. No one can stop us. We will speak for our rights and we will bring change through our voice. We must believe in the power and the strength of our words. Our words can change the world…

…So let us wage a global struggle against illiteracy, poverty and terrorism and let us pick up our books and pens. They are our most powerful weapons.

One child, one teacher, one pen and one book can change the world. 

Education is the only solution. Education First.

Image Source: Financial Times





Ecoutez-moi by swo8 Blues Jazz from the album Manaus Where Two Rivers Meet in iTunes


I don’t normally post on Tuesdays but today is The International Day of the Girl and this is such an important issue. This video is called Ecoutez-moi by swo8 Blues Jazz from the album Manaus Where Two Rivers Meet on iTunes. It is dedicated to the rights of girls/women and especially to our right to an education. It is sung in French because French is the second language in most North African countries. Malala Yousafzai is a strong advocate for these rights and she nearly lost her life in the fight. All photos of Malala are from the public domaine. 3:41 min. 2 MB

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To Inspire Girls Today, Honor the Groundbreaking Women of History — RAISING GIRLS’ VOICES

This weekend, one of the country’s preeminent computer scientists celebrates a birthday. Not Bill Gates or Larry Page. And not Mark Zuckerberg. It’s someone we don’t hear very much about: “Amazing Grace” Hopper. Her accomplishments aren’t taught in many high school classes. And she doesn’t come to mind when people think “groundbreaking computer scientist.” Yet […]

via To Inspire Girls Today, Honor the Groundbreaking Women of History — RAISING GIRLS’ VOICES


via Fighting female genital mutilation: Education matters — World Education Blog

There are approximately 45 million girls of primary and secondary school age not going to school in sub-Saharan Africa according to the UIS – more than in any other region. Our 2017/8 report showed that across 18 countries in the region, gender-based violence, as measured by intimate partner violence, early marriage and female genital mutilation, […]

via Fighting female genital mutilation: Education matters — World Education Blog

via Setara Hassan: Empowering Afghan Women Through Media — Leadarise Journal

This month, Leadarise takes you to Afghanistan to meet Young Woman to Watch Setara Hassan. Setara was born in Afghanistan but fled the civil war with her family in the ’90s when she was still a child. The family first moved to Pakistan before settling in Denmark. Setara grew up influenced by both Eastern and […]

via Setara Hassan: Empowering Afghan Women Through Media — Leadarise Journal

Opinion: Domestic Violence…”You Are Not Alone” — Women of Egypt Mag

Wednesday November 29, 2017 By: Menna Doubal Body stamped with rainbow coloured bruises, dislocated shoulders, broken bones, battered souls, muted screams, silent cries, shattered voice and endless feelings of sorrow… “I was trapped. I felt like his property. I was literally just his punching bag.” Since the beginning of time, women were considered unequal to […]

via Opinion: Domestic Violence…”You Are Not Alone” — Women of Egypt Mag

The Shameful, Too Often Silent, Sexual Exploitation of Women — Retake Our Democracy via​ The Shameful, Too Often Silent, Sexual Exploitation of Women — Retake Our Democracy

Writing about the sexual exploitation of women should come from a woman, and so today’s blog comes from Roxanne. We also provide a video that educates men on the meaning of consent. Lastly, we include links to local organizations who work with women and girls who have suffered from sexual abuse.

via The Shameful, Too Often Silent, Sexual Exploitation of Women — Retake Our Democracy

via Made for Freedom combating human trafficking — FOX2now.com

ST. LOUIS, Mo. _ The City of St. Louis is one of the biggest problem areas in the United States when it comes to human trafficking. Sometimes children under 10-years-of-age are being sold into sex slavery. Dawn Manske is the CEO and Founder of “Made For Freedom”, a brand that fights human trafficking. She joined…

via Made for Freedom combating human trafficking — FOX2now.com