This is what I’ll tell my children
I will say that it is okay to cry
about death, about love
about the simple way a smile
can change you
I will not shame them
erase their tears
use the old way of stoicism
they will not
I will whisper the tales of
a crying woman
how she cries for eternity
they will not
but they could cry forever
if they wish to
I will tell my weeping children
Their tears are so powerful
We’ve made monsters out of them
-Originally published in Berry Mag
Traveling is hard. Traveling solo is hard. Traveling solo as a person of color is hard. Traveling solo as a woman of color seems almost impossible.
Yet, somehow it’s done. Despite being told no by overprotective parents, by a community that has largely never even left the state, let alone the country. Being told no by a world that is used to us staying at home.
Not only do we survive in a world that does not always love us, we thrive. If you’ve been following my blog for a while you know that I am part of Brown Girl Travels. This is part memoir, part travel guide, part diary for many women of color solo travelers. It a community that has filled a void that I didn’t even know existed until I saw the call for submissions.
I was invited to read some of my work at the zine release party which was at the beginning of this month. I hadn’t preformed any of my work since Oakland, so I was slightly nervous. This is why having a community that loves and supports you is so necessary as an artist. You feel like you can take on the world. I read a couple pieces on my experiences as a traveler, mainly back to my parent’s home country of Guatemala. There’s just something about revealing a piece of work to someone and having them enjoy it that can’t be described. It’s an amazing feeling.
Community is so essential as an artist. Forming a community with other artists simultaneously gives you a platform of support and feedback. I feel like I got that from Brown Girl Travels. Ashley, you’ve created a great platform and I can’t wait to see what you do next with it.
Hello everyone! Another month has passed and I can’t believe it’s almost summer. Last month, I was pretty burnt out and I’m still recovering from it but I’ve slowly felt rejuvenated by just taking time to relax and just consume media instead of constantly produce it. That didn’t stop me from publishing some pieces and working on some of my other projects.
Check out my latest piece from Vain VVitch and their body horror zine.
On The Strange Is Beautiful:
“Finding Your Worth” A Poem
Conchas Y Contras:
The history of Latin America and U.S intervention through politics and culture.
Junot Diaz and the complicity that allowed sexual harassment and assault.
Also big news on a current project. I put out a Call For Submissions for a zine I was creating called “Very Important Dogs”, I am pleased to say that I have finished it for the most part and I am hoping to release it before the end of the June. If you are interested in placing an order, feel free to shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. If not, I will be posting instructions on how to order through Paypal and Venmo as well as opening a shop on the site (fingers crossed). Thank you for joining me for another month of recaps.
April was about stepping back and really wondering where I want to take my work next. What I want to focus on in terms of creating. There are a couple of publications that I’ll be featured in coming out next month so stay tuned for that.
It’s been a long time coming but Brown Girl Travels is finally out! The zine is an amazing 100+ pages of stories, pictures, poems, guides- pretty much everything you could want if you’re a WOC solo traveler. Check it out on Instagram.
On Conchas Y Contras:
We interviewed the creator of the self-help website The Strange Is Beautiful, Shannen Roberts
Our discussion on The Black Panther, in film and in comics