The Hustle is Real.

MailIn a way I was joking when I mentioned to someone that I was going to start selling my novel, Hanging Upside Down, out of the trunk of my car. I mean with how far technology has allegedly taken us, is there really a reason to have a stash of books with me all the time (sidenote: yes, I carry one copy at all times)? Then I think about the time I was on my way to work and I saw this guy selling his self-published book on the train. That is the definition of hustle, but could that really be me?

A few weeks ago, after my book signing at La Casa Azul, I found myself giggling because here I was with a box of books putting them in to the trunk of my mother’s car. I needed to store them somewhere temporarily since I was not about to carry that heavy ass box to dinner and then back home via taxi. But I knew they were there and as time began to pass and the need to sell more books increased, I knew I had to dip into the stash in the trunk of my mom’s car.

Make no mistake, being a salesman was never my strong suit. In a few past jobs and money making ventures, I had to try to sell something like a consumer good or a phone card (yep…back in the day-before cellphones, I tried to sell phone cards to people…) and it never worked because I didn’t believe in the product. They tell you that you need to do two things, believe in what you sell and always be closing.

The other issue I has back then was the fact that my self esteem was shot. I didn’t believe in myself because I didn’t love myself so imagine me trying to sell you anything. So I went through most of my young twenties not wanting to go into sales. Of course, as I got older I began to realize that we all have something to sell… ourselves. To be quite honest, we sell ourselves when we apply for jobs and go on interviews as such so, at some point, we need to be able to sell something.

So here I am with a product that may just be a culmination of a life’s goal and I’m still learning how to sell myself.

The hustle is real. I find myself doing a book giveaway, posting quotes on social media, having other people post pictures of my book, writing this blog, and doing book readings. However, I never had that “selling the book out of my trunk” feeling until last week. I announced that I would send people a signed copy of the novel if they were willing to send me money via paypal. I’ve come to not judge people at all when it comes to buying books and reading. I know they’re many people who just don’t read for leisure. So, imagine my surprise when I had more than a few takers of this offer.

The hustle is definitely real and while it’s not out of the trunk of my car, it is definitely out of the box in my apartment.

100 Copies

2014-10-04 13.24.55-2I look over the last few weeks and I can see how much I’ve hustled. When I started this process I wasn’t sure what I wanted that magic number to be. I never set a goal of the number of units I wanted to sell. I just wanted to publish a book. Now all I do is find myself looking at numbers and reading guides on “how to sell your novel.”

So now that my travel schedule has calmed down, I can focus on what got me here. While I need to write more, I also need to read more, and ultimately I need to support more.

I have sold 100 copies of Hanging Upside Down and I want to think that’s awesome but something tells me that I can do better. I’ve learned so much about self publishing and I admit that I’ve made a shit load of mistakes. When I’m done with the second book, I will do many of these things differently. Yet, I think that there are things I still have up my sleeve and other strategies I have yet to try.

I view this number in two ways and it really depends on the mood I’m in. On the positive side, I’ve sold 100 books! I mean there were times I thought that I would never go over 40. I know, it’s a great accomplishment to publish a book (even if typos continue to be found — don’t go there) but it’s even better when people actually read it. On the negative side, 100 copies is like nothing in the grand scheme. There are a lot of people within my circle and most of those (between friends and family) make up that number. What I’m really trying to do is step outside that circle into a larger readership.

Regardless of my mood, I’m still my own biggest critic. If anyone is going to criticize anything about the book it will not be something I have not already told myself.

So I will use this number as motivation to get more done. I have opened up most channels available to me in order to sell a book. Amazon, iBooks, Barnes & Noble, and Google Play are all channels where I have taken the time to set up accounts which has led to the book being available. I just need to get people there.

This first book is like an experiment. I see what works and what doesn’t work. The next book will be everything that this novel isn’t when it comes to mishaps. But for now, I just want to try to get to the next 100.

Did I mention I’m doing a Book Giveaway?

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Chapter Fourteen

IMG_8412In a few short hours I will be at my first New York City book reading/signing at La Casa Azul Bookstore in East Harlem. It’s interesting because I’m not really nervous. This is unlike many of the events that I work in my day job with the exception of the fact that people are coming to see me. Perhaps the lack of nerves has to do with the fact that I’ve been preparing what I’m going to read at this event.

It’s fair to say that the book is adult in nature. It’s also fair to say that I’ve really tried my best to control how the book is categorized. If you look at where the book is listed on Amazon it just says fiction but my dear friends at Apple have marked my book as Erotica. I don’t view this book as erotica at all. There are books out there in which the premise is for the characters to get down and get it in and there is nothing wrong with that at all. I would like to think that this is a story that contains sexual themes but it is certainly not porn.

Which is why I had to choose what I read very carefully because I want to show the story outside of the sexual theme. There are several chapters in the book that have no sex at all although there is extreme language in the dialogue. I combed through the novel to find just the right amount of the story I need to share that does not contain spoilers. So, what I want to do is share the excerpt of what I’m going to read for those who will not there. This is a small portion of Chapter Fourteen:

It’s about a four hour drive to New York. I prefer taking Route 17 because traffic is always lighter than using I-81 going toward Pennsylvania. It also gives me a great opportunity for some alone time. I normally set up a playlist on my iPod of random songs that range from Hip-Hop to classical music, but this time to start my drive the My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy album by Kanye West. Music relaxes me while giving me time to think.

I’m very excited to see Zenia. I think about how this whole thing started. We met six years ago while she was an undergraduate student. She was member of the Latino Students Association and I attended one of their forums called The Origins of Quisqueya. It was a brilliant discussion on the relationship between Haiti and the Dominican Republic. That was the forum where we first met when her boyfriend, at the time, introduced me. It was a brief encounter and from then on, I always seemed to run into her.

We really didn’t start talking until a year later when she was a senior. She became the president of LSA and asked me to be on a panel discussion about Afro Latino Identity. This is a subject that is near and dear to my heart so I gladly accepted. Our mutual interest in Latino Heritage Month is what sparked a friendship especially since she had broken up with her boyfriend the summer prior. She would be a frequent visitor to my office, which was not all unusual since I had many students visit me. What Raina had an issue with was how often I communicated with her via text. I can honestly say that in the beginning the relationship was strictly platonic. There was nothing inappropriate being said or done, it was just a generic friendship that was forged upon mutual interests. She would date one or two guys on and off during this time.

It took me by surprise that she applied to be a Graduate Assistant for my office. The office of Student Programs consists of several smaller departments that revolve around the overall development of students outside of the classroom. My area is Diversity Engagement, which deals with the celebratory months, multicultural student organizations and mentoring. The other three areas are Events Management, Greek Life, and Student Activities. Each area is slotted to have one Graduate Assistant and it just so happened that the position that reported to me had been vacated due to graduation.

One of the most important things that I look for in a G.A. is the ability to do the job effectively. I also needed someone who could help with picking up the slack of meeting and advising undergraduate students. The reason why I hired Zenia was because of her experience as a former student leader and her general ability in computer programming and coding. I had a goal in mind that year which was to overhaul our entire website and have a multifunctional database that would match mentors with students. My previous G.A. had already started on the preliminary designs in terms of color scheme and layout but the project became too big for him to handle. The original thought was to hire a third party company or person to complete the design work, but when Zenia came on-board she expressed a desire to do it and apply it to her Masters Program in Computer Engineering.

Zenia graduated in May and because of the website being overhauled, I was able to get special consideration for her to start in July. I felt that we needed a two month head start before classes began in order to make sure we can launch the website by September and the interactive Mentoring component in January. This is when the both of us saw each other just about everyday. Our working relationship was intense and the schedule was ambitious. Raina took notice as to how increasingly busy I was especially over the summer since that time is normally a dead period. She was already convinced that something was going on.

It wasn’t until after the launch of the website that Judy pointed out that Zenia had a crush on me. I admitted to her that I found Zenia to be attractive but I never thought anything would come of it. Then one night we were chatting casually online when we starting talking about our personal lives. We got on to the subject of past loves and sex. I found myself being very curious about her and her exploits. I never understood why she was presently single. Before you know it we were flirting with each other. We began to talk about everything.

The question that came up was: Are you happy in your marriage? As much as I wanted to say yes to this, it made me think about how much of a bad husband I already was. I had a constant problem with flirting with other women. I just couldn’t get used to the fact that the moment I got married I became interesting to other women. I felt like I spent years being ignored by most women and all of sudden I was getting attention that I wasn’t used to. Years later, I would discover that I was looking for something that my marriage wasn’t providing me. But, answering that question, are you happy in your marriage, was something that I couldn’t answer with certainty.

Why was I not happy? Was it because I was too young to get married when I did? Was it that I was just an asshole who loves women so much that I craved that extra attention? Perhaps it was the fact that I miss the attention I used to get from my mother. Maybe I was looking for something more unique and real. The problem with my faux happiness was that it was killing my marriage slowly and Zenia was shooting holes right through everything by just being the bright ray of light I may have been looking for. She had a Global Warming effect on me and I just chose to ignore it.

Our affair seemed to start with an awkward kiss. We were working late one day and she was sitting at my desk typing away. She called me over to show me some values within the mentoring database. I was looking over her shoulder and I could smell her perfume. It was an intoxicating smell that almost made me kiss her neck right then and there. As we talked, we both looked at each other and I went in for the kiss. Zenia was just about to say something as I kissed her and the whole situation seemed awkward.

I pulled away and her eyes were telling me that she was shocked. She gets up and begins to leave. “Where are you going?” I ask. She replies that she just has to go. I sit down on my chair thinking about how much of a fool I am. I can hear Raina’s voice in my head: it’s only a matter of time before your online flirting becomes reality, ten cuidado. I now wanted to fix this. I didn’t want to lose her as a graduate assistant. All of our flirting gave me an indication that perhaps it might be ok, but I couldn’t be so sure.

I went home feeling terribly guilty. Raina and I had a fight that night. I’m not sure who started it, maybe I gave an attitude about something or maybe she didn’t like the fact that when she called my office Zenia picked up the line. At the end of the night I texted her:

I’m sorry. What I did was unacceptable.

She wasn’t online either. Raina went to bed upset and I just stayed in the living room watching Sportscenter. My phone vibrates and it is Zenia.

I’m sorry I walked out. It just caught me off guard. There is something I need to do now and I was unsure about it until now. I will be in your office in the afternoon around 1pm. I already checked your calendar. You have no appointments.

I wanted to text her back, but I just knew that it might not be a good thing. I should’ve known better. Zenia was stressed about school and the viability of the project in general. Now I throw my dumb ass actions into the mix. I was mad at myself because she’s one of the smartest women I know and the fact that I’m 10 years older than her and married made it worse. I wouldn’t be surprised if she quit the next day.

Thank you for reading! I hope you enjoyed that. I have a book giveaway listed here but if you want to purchase Hanging Upside Down you head here and chose the format best for you!

Thanks for the support!

It Was All A Dream…

IMG_8284Hanging Upside Down has a bunch of 90’s hip hop references in it. I wanted to make sure that I honored what I felt was the best time for the genre. But what makes me laugh as I was drinking Merlot the other day (yeah, being an author means I drink wine – I also had a coupon), was that song Juicy from Notorious B.I.G. came into my head as thought about actually making this book a reality. Our paths are not the same but the song talks about reaching his dream.

I think about the late nights and the editing. I think about the times when I thought that it was such a bad idea to even write a single word. There was a time when I thought that everything in this book was dog shit. Somehow I endured with the support system that I have. But I did know one thing for sure: I could do this.

Let’s assume you read the book or at least started to. By now you are wide eyed after reading chapter one. Perhaps you were really not expect things of that nature to happen so quickly or perhaps that situation itself was just surprising. Well, truth be told, chapter one is the key to the entire book. When I first started writing this, it was just a short story. The original title was called Revenge. I was going to add it to the numerous amount of short stories that I’ve written and done nothing with. But there was something in me that decided to just keep going and the story itself had evolved past the original title.

That feeling of I can do this permeated my thoughts as I got closer to 40 thousand words. I remembered about how I had thoughts of one day writing a book and how my past attempts have failed for one reason or another. I really thought with each chapter that something was going to stop me. I thought there would’ve been some sort of self induced writer’s block that would prevent me from finishing this. So, I kept writing to see where this whole thing was going to take me.

Then something happened on the way towards this dream. I could not stop writing! I was starting to think that I was writing too much. Was this story ever going to end? My fear of writing too little became a fear of writing too much. I’m not trying to be like Tolken and write epics that span several novels. I just wanted to tell one story and go from there. What was left was a 400+ page story about a guy who makes bad decisions.

Of course the first question I get is… Are you sure this is fiction? O_O <— my face

In the end, I think that I’ve come up with a product that men who have been in similar situations can relate to. I think women readers will see this as a juicy type of story (see what I did there?) that will be entertaining to say the least. At least, that is direction I’m getting from feedback I’ve received.

Answer: Yes, I’m sure that book is fiction based on things I’ve seen, heard, or done. lol

The real dream is being able to go on Amazon and see my book there. I don’t think that I will every get used to seeing it. I’m not used to book displays or people calling great attention to all of this when I’m around. I suppose I just want the book too speak for itself and that is the real dream.

Today is THAT day. #hangingupsidedown


How long have I been talking about this? I feel like it has been years since I first started writing this book. Now here I am on this day to say that it’s finally out. I wrote a book and no matter what happens from this point on, no one can take this away from me.

Selecting the date was probably the hardest thing to figure out during this process. Sure, there was the writing part but that was more of me getting this story out. Editing was an adventure all in itself but the reality is all these things needed to be done by this day.

Today my book is out, officially. I couldn’t have done this on my own and I still have a lot left to do. Yes, the book is out on Amazon and on Kindle but there are other formats and venues in which I’m trying to have this book available in. Nook, iBooks, and Google Play are all on my list. Since this is my first time doing this, it’s hard to know what to expect when dealing with each provider. Ultimately, I would also like to be at Barnes & Noble but they have some requirements that I need to adhere to.

So the question that I have for myself is… now what? There seems to be endless amounts of self promotion that I have ahead of me. Each format has it’s own marketing option so when I get back from my trip to Denver tomorrow I will map on some strategies. I think I have done a great job within my circles of influence, but it is now time to step out of that. Word of mouth is only going to take me so far.

hanging_book-signing-SM-wopicWith that said, I have another book signing in NYC on 10/8 at La Casa Azul Bookstore in Spanish Harlem. I have been encouraged to do a reading from the book so we will see how that goes. The funny thing is that I have been practicing this. The hard part was selecting which pages to read that have the least amount of curses and sexual references. lol

In any case, I will have my orange sharpie (which I seem to carry with me everywhere now) to sign books for what seems to be mostly family and friends. I’m hoping to get a wide range of folks to show up. I think it will be a good time.

Thanks again for the support and keep reading.

30 for 30: Books & Autographs

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All of this is hard to explain. To see the table that has a card with my name next to a small stack of books would have been hard for me to fathom a year ago. Yet, to see people drop by that very table to get my signature and a copy of my work is hard to put into words. I’ve barely gotten used to the idea that I wrote a novel but seeing more than one person hold it in their hands is just awesome.

I wont lie. I have intentionally made it difficult for people to get advanced copies of the book. The fact of the matter is that as a self published author, I have to do much of the work from marketing to setting the price to creating actual invoices. I wanted to create a buzz within my circle of friends and family that would expand into other people feeling excitement about this. So I emailed people in phases with explicit instructions to not share the book link with anyone and the only favor I asked was to post a picture of the book on social media.

The results worked better than I ever thought they would. Those who did not receive any emails wondered how to get the book and when they asked me where they can purchase it, I would then send them a link with the same instructions as the previous person. Of course, if you follow me on any of my social media platforms you will know that I promote pretty regularly but not heavily. I don’t want to drown my audience with this novel either, which is why it’s better when other people do it.

2014-09-20 10.20.07Which brings me to my book signing in Syracuse this past Saturday. I ordered thirty books for this, which is the standard from I was told. I was fully prepared to come back to NYC with an extra 10-15 books that I could essentially sell out of the trunk of my car. But before I really knew it, people were buying the books that were on display that the SU Bookstore the day before the signing. But still, it was a game day and despite it being a reunion weekend for Black and Latino Alums (Coming Back Together), I thought I would still have extra books left.

Well, I have always been told that I sell myself short because all my books were sold out and I was shocked. It was definitely a highlight when I told people who asked if the book was still available and I had to break to them. Just like I can say that I’m happy to admit that I’m working on a deal with the SU Bookstore to have more copies available. Although, after while, I do feel generally bad that not everyone was able to get the book when they wanted it.

All of you have been so supportive of me and I cannot express how grateful I am. The book hits Amazon and Ebooks on October 1st. I’m happy this journey has taken me here.

The Numbers Behind My Novel


I consider this upcoming week to the eve of my first book signing. It is quite a big deal in my world and to be quite honest, I don’t know what to expect. What I mean is that I don’t know how to act or what to write. You have to understand that I barely know what to say when I sign a birthday card. Anyway, this whole thing has made me think about the novel what is going on right now.

Here are some number that I find interesting:

There are 5 people who have the novel before I do. That sound’s crazy right? Well, it started like this, I wanted close friends, family, along with people who have helped me make this a reality to have an advanced copy. So when the book was finally ready to go, I sent certain people an email on how to purchase this advanced copy. So I also have to order copies for myself but I suppose I chose standard shipping because certain people have gotten it as early as Tuesday!

Only 8 days before my first ever book signing in Syracuse and 27 days until my NYC signing. I feel like a rookie. Do I bring my own pen? Should it be a sharpie? I have no idea what the standard is. One would think I would know this since I have worked enough book signings in my day. But the real question is, do I draw like a little symbol? I dunno. I suppose I should practice.

Since we are on this number, 8 is the amount of times I’ve read this book. Even though I have an editor, much of this was a team effort. I also wanted to makes sure that each read made sense and applied the appropriate changes I felt I need to do. With all the eyes looking at this, there are 2 major typos that I just discovered. They wont be in the ebook versions or any of the later versions if I can help it. You get a cookie if you find them. #rollseyes

Anyway, 36 is the number of chapters in the book which spans 412 pages. The solicitation will say 420 but that is counting the dedication and the acknowledgments. I always find it interesting that I wrote so much. This story started out as a short story that kept going and going.

Ultimately the only number that really matters is 1. This is the first book of what I hope to be many. I have been loosely working on the sequel to this book as well as a brand new idea that has come to me. I’ve been getting tons of support and I just hope that you all enjoy it!

Late For Work – A Short Story


I hate being late for work, but once again this damn train is delayed.

It’s bad enough that I have to take a bus just to get to a train that is always jammed packed, but how many sick passengers occur in an a given week? Not even hearing Jay Z in my headphones could hide the sheer frustration of this strap hanger.

It’s not that I don’t plan my time well. I always catch BX.39 early enough to catch the express 6 train in Parkchester that takes me to 125th street where I catch the downtown 4 train. As always, it’s packed with people going to work and school and I normally find myself in near prayer just make it to work on time.

However, today I could care less. While I hate being late for work, I cannot stand my job and I spent the majority of last night typing my resignation letter. I feel very fortunate to have found another job on the Upper East Side. I just cannot wait to finally hand this in to my boss but, of course, the train had to be delayed for 30 minutes.

What makes it worse is that I have get off at Wall St which makes this Bronx to Manhattan commute a nightmare. I race up the subway stairs once my train finally arrives. It is already 8:45 and I have a meeting at 9am that I now need to rush for.

Wait. What was that noise? I look up.

Oh. My. God.

Why is the World Trade Center on fire?


This is a story I wrote a few years ago that I thought I lost. I found it while searching for something else a few months back. I edited it yesterday. I wanted to contribute something to this day that is still fresh in my memory. 

The Crisis of Comic Book Nerds

tumblr_nabpamQG2B1rsex6lo1_1280It must be hard to be a nerd these days. Look what’s happening in the not real world! Captain America is now Black, Thor is now a woman, Wally West is Black (one of the many version of the Flash), there are two Black Supermen flying around, a  Muslim Green Lantern, and the crux of this whole thing is that damn Miles Morales, the Ultimate Spider-Man. Who said it was OK to have all this diversity in comic books?

Wait. Let me fix the first sentence. It must be hard to be a white nerd these days.

The socially awkward have a problem with the broad brush stroke of diversity that also includes feminism. These are big words that get thrown around in the comic book worlds because (surprise, surprise!) current comic book audience includes women and men of all races. So it would only make sense that Marvel and DC would make books (or at least characters) to address their changing readership.

Before I even go any further. I need to point out that I’m not addressing how well or poorly these companies actually represent people of color. I’m not going to address how horribly these companies portray women in their porn like renditions of variant covers or how they contribute to overall debate on standards of beauty when in reality most these fans boys just want to fantasize and masturbate to some form of super heroine.

Justice-League-of-America-Vol.-1-200-1982This is more about the nerds who are used to the norm. They are used to the role playing games in which they imagine a world of trolls and elves in which everyone is white (thank you Peter Jackson for the reinforcement). Do you know how hard it is to find a picture of a Black woman, Ranger class? If it exists then I wouldn’t know about it. These fan boys are used to a world where the the only diverse version of the Justice League of America is when Martian Manhunter was on the team.

So why are they up in arms? Their world is crashing in around them. The “minorities” are taking over their space. They are used to the one Black friend. Do you know what I’m talking about? Let me list the one Black friend in comics and beyond: James Rhodes (Iron Man), The Falcon (Captain America), Lando Calrissian (Star Wars), Cyborg (Teen Titans/Justice League), and John Stewart (Justice League/Green Lantern). Those just from the top of my head. Please notice that Cyborg and John Stewart are rarely on the same team at the same time.

comics-the-multiversity-1But now, we have books like Multiversity that depicts worlds of black superheros (I will not mention the plethora of independent books that have entire worlds dedicated black superheros…or maybe I will) and we have Marvel that is pushing the envelope in their cinematic universe as well as comic books. People are losing their minds in comment sections all over the internet that is reserved for them. Donald Glover is the voice of Miles Morales in the 3rd season of Ultimate Spider-Man. Just one episode and the fans boys have lost their 20 sided dice.

Why is this important to them? It is that impossible to see a diverse face in a comic? Neither comic book company has really scratched the surface. Latinos, Asians, and Native Americans are barely represented. Women are still portrayed with huge boobs and impossible outfits to fight crime. But you dare put pants on Wonder Woman? You dare make Green Lantern gay? You have the nerve to have Michael B Jordan play the Human Torch? You’ve just ruined comics forever.

I call it progress. Although real progress has already occurred.

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Title image by John Jennings

Mixed Emotions


There are so many things going in the world and in my life right now that I have SO many mixed emotions that its getting to the point that I just don’t know how to feel on any given day. I know that I’m a versatile person that allows me to adapt to any situation in my life but lately things have been overwhelming. There is a multitude of feelings I can have a given day: anger, fear, joy, sorrow, excitement, and sentimentality. It is an interesting and frustrating mix because how do I deal with it all.

Anger. I’ve been angry everyday since the Michael Brown incident in Ferguson. I’m angry because police killings/brutality has become the norm. Watching the protests turn into riots with tear gas and bullets flying is ridiculous. We are watching history and seeing the way people react to all this is beyond interesting. I suppose I’m tired of showing people that we are not delusional. We don’t make us racial issues. The anger is there because I know all of this will not end well.

signingExcitement. I announced yesterday on social media that I have book signings in Syracuse on 9/20 and NYC on 10/8. I am traveling down a road that I have never experienced and it is exciting. When I started the novel last year events like these were not on my mind. I just wanted to contribute the literary world. The support that people have given me is tremendous and I’m not used to this. It is truly humbling.

Cover ImageFear. I HAVE A BOOK SIGNING. This scares the shit out of me. I’m a chronic over-thinker so I think about too many things that are close to irrational. What if no one shows up? What if too many people show up? Do I have to read an excerpt from the book? What chapter? What if I’m late? <— This right here is my life. I’m so used to being behind the scenes at events that being the main event is abnormal. Yes, I have been a key note speaker before but it never gets easy for me. lol

Sorrow. There are many things that I just don’t share with people so I will keep this to a minimum. I have two family members with cancer and it weighs on me. It weighs on me more than I admit to people. I stay strong because as one of the youngest members of my families (paternal and maternal) I feel the need to be responsible so I can to make sure that family stays together.

Joy. I love my job. I cannot say it any clearer. I have found a place that values me as a person and values students. Granted I am about to make 2 years at Barnard College and maybe I’m still on a high but having the ability to be creative and to be myself is something that allows me to thrive.

Sentimentality. A few weeks ago the woman in my life has left to pursue her MBA at the Tepper Business School at Carnegie Mellon. It is incredibly awesome to be with a woman who is smarter than me. Our relationship is strong and we will continue to be together while sharing our success separately until she returns. Yet, I miss her and it becomes hard to focus because of it.

All this makes it hard for just to do what I need to everyday but, thankfully, I know how to take my emotions and transfer them into words.