Call For Submissions

Hey lovely people!
Thank you for reading my blog. Whether it’s your first visit or your tenth, I hope you enjoy what I have to say here. My mission is simply to share my love and passion for pop culture, movies, music, and books with anyone who will read it. I’m looking for submissions for the month of March. The theme is going to be loss including: loss of loved one, pet, friends, self, and whatever else you can come up with! I decided to make this my theme because recently, my grandpa passed away. He was the nicest guy I’ve ever had the pleasure of meeting and I’m grateful to have had the opportunity to have in my life at all. I’m going to continue missing him and I felt like I should write about this experience and share books, movies, and TV shows I love that explores the different kinds of loss. I want to hear your stories about loss because I’m just one person and so it’ll become repetitive if I keep sharing my own wrestle with loss. It would mean the world to me if you emailed your stories about loss. If you’d rather not send anything personal that’s okay, I’ll take any pop culture recommendations on the topic or whatever else you can come up with! There’s no particular guidelines or word count, just send me anything and everything. Send ideas or completed stories to
Thank you so much!

How to Say Goodbye

I thought I’d do something new. I haven’t written any fiction on my blog because it’s more pop culture related than creative writing. I thought I’d at least try it out in order to mix it up a little bit. I’ve been writing pretty much the same thing because I’m not sure what else to say in relation to my theme. Writing a fictional story about change seems like a good idea and I might try to do at least one a month, maybe more in the coming months! Hope you enjoy the story.

I’ve lived in the same bright blue picket fence house in the small state of Connecticut all my life. My neighbor Maddie has been my best friend since I was old enough to talk. Our moms have been best friends since my mom moved in two years after Maddie’s mom. Her mom came over to welcome my parents to the neighborhood and they became instant friends. Maddie and I went to the same school. We’ve been in the same classes all of our lives. That all changed when my parents took me aside one day when Maddie and I were working on homework in my room and told me we had to move to California.

My dad is a filmmaker. He’s been making low budget documentaries since I was a little girl. After a visit with a fellow filmmaker, my dad felt like his best chance to make quality movies was heading for California. My mom makes her own jewelry and collects vintage clothes along with some other vintage items she loves. She also visited California with my dad when the two had their sets sights on a house. My mom had never been to Los Angeles before so she hunted out some vintage stores to look at. Much to her surprise, the city and some smaller surrounding cities were vintage goldmines. They visited the local school and reported back to me that I would just love it. How can I love something that I’ve never seen before? I’m used to my high school and I have no interest in going anywhere else. I tried to talk my parents into letting me finish my last two years of high school here but they said a change of scenery would be good for me.

I’m sixteen years old. I’m old enough to know what’s good for me and what’s not. Maddie’s family offered to take me in but my parents said that part of me growing up is adjusting. I’m the one who has to say goodbye to the town I was born and raised in.

My parents gave me the news in May which left me three months before I had to move. Saying goodbye is never easy. I know now that it’s the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do. I didn’t have a choice in the matter and I think that’s the hardest pill to swallow. Maddie’s whole family came over the morning we officially left to say our final goodbyes. Maddie and I were both only children so it was like she was my only sister. She was having a hard time letting me go, crying incessantly and refusing to let go of me as I tried to load my stuff into the U-Haul.

“Lissie, please don’t go,” she kept crying and repeating over and over.

My real name is Annalisa but Maddie has called me that since we were babies. I was lucky to live next door to Maddie for sixteen years. Even though I no longer have it, I just have to keep in that in mind.

“We’ll always be best friends Maddie. You don’t have to worry about that,” I told her as we both hugged each other with tears streaming down our faces. We knew that things would be different with me halfway across the world but someday, if our friendship really means something, we’ll still be close friends. That was the day I learned how you say goodbye.

What to Do When A Friend Changes

People change, it’s a fact of life I’m sure you don’t need me to preach to you. It can be hard to watch a friend change in a negative way. It doesn’t always have to be due to a relationship they are in, although that typically feels like the case. Sometimes people just evolve and see themselves differently, therefore how they see you changes. It has nothing to do with you, this person is just changing and they will still remain in your life if they are a true friend. It’s hard to accept it no matter how old you are. Sometimes, letting go of friends is just a fact of life.

There’s different ways of dealing with this situation and knowing which one to go about really depends on why your friend is changing. If it’s due to a new relationship, it’s best not to mention it initially. It’ll just create drama although I don’t recommend you to act like you are completely okay with this relationship to your friends face. It’s best to just be supportive, but if their significant other is with your friend all the time then gently bring up to your friend that you miss them and wish you could spend more time with each other. It’s best to avoid trash talking or saying anything that your friend might misinterpret as something against their boyfriend. This might seem like common sense, but sometimes you may not intentionally do it, but you’re friend might take it that way so it’s most effective to say positive things about him.

If you notice a dramatic change within your friend, don’t panic. It’s best to handle the situation as calmly and friendly as possible. Like I said, if the friendship is extremely important, then a relationship won’t ruin that. The friendships that end due to change either relationship related or something else, were the ones that didn’t matter anyway. It sucks to lose a friend but sometimes you end up becoming a better person because of it. Some of my best friendships have happened after losing other friends. Things have a way of working out for the better which is something to keep in mind.

Conquering The Honeymoon Period

Every relationship has that initial “Nothing can go wrong” moment. You’re both really into each other and you feel like that won’t ever change. There’s a lot of romance, you love talking to them every second of the day, and everything is perfect. Unfortunately, that period ends for everyone. But it’s up to the couple involved whether or not they beat this patch that all couples go through. This is the point where you see the strength in your relationship. If it’s strong enough to get through, it will beat it. I’m going to attempt to expand upon when this period ends and how to keep things going.

Obviously, the period ends at different times depending on the couple. It could be anywhere from just a few weeks to a couple of months. Typically, it’s two or three weeks but this also depends on how long your relationships typically last. For example, if you’re someone who’s had a lot of long term relationship, the honeymoon period where everything is great may last longer since it’s not a new concept to you. No matter when it happens, one major tips that I have is: it’s okay to fight. However, I think it’s important not to pick fight after fight because that’s the point when the relationship becomes dominated by fighting which is something no one wants.

If this is someone that you care about and are willing to change your ways for, it’s more likely that it will work. Being honest with one another is also important. One of the biggest tips to remember is to have some distance as well. Don’t be around your significant other 24/7 or even text them all the time. Speaking from personal experience, talking to them all the time can be too much sometimes because you get sick of each other. No one can keep that up all the time without getting exhausted. It doesn’t matter how perfect you think the person it is, it won’t work. Someone is bound to feel suffocated so it’s best to give some space but not too much either. In theory, it might sound difficult to find a balance and there’s definitely some difficult moments, but it will be best for your relationship in the end.

Take this advice or don’t, whatever you choose is completely up to you. I think these are some honest tips that will certainly help guide you to having a healthy and sincere relationship. Relationship advice works for some people while others find no use of it at all so take it as you please. I just hope these tips make sense to you readers! Thank you for reading!

The Significant Differences Between High School and College

I didn’t feel all that different after I started my first semester of college. Part of that was due to the fact that I live off campus. The other part was that I didn’t really make that many friends. However, the change that happened within myself and how I have started to approach things has been significant. In high school, it mattered who your friends were but in college, for the most part people seem to do their own thing. For example, if you go to the library in college, it’s quiet with everyone working in their own spaces. This may seem obvious but at my high school, it was more of a hangout where you could do whatever you wanted. This was my introduction to the fact that college is taken a lot more serious. It’s the real deal and getting good grades is more significant since you’re paying for your education so you don’t want to let down whoever is paying your tuition down.

Another big difference that I personally found is that the food is indeed better. You have more options even though I mostly eat at the same spots pretty much everyday or so. But in high school, you got what you got and even the best meal in high school isn’t as good as the worst meal in college. This may seem harsh but the differences are certainly there in terms of food.

High school was much more strict in terms of being released from class. It was amazing to me that professors often let us out five to fifteen or twenty minutes early. Sometimes the classes are scheduled much longer than what the lesson plan calls for and the professor doesn’t want to start something new so they just let us out early. When taking a test or final, you don’t have to wait until everyone has finished. Once you finish yours, you can go. This was rather mind blowing to me when I first started college and it’s a nice thing to have. Teachers weren’t allowed to let you out early in high school without getting in trouble. They also handed out pointless busy work after tests instead of letting us go.

These are just a few changes that I’ve noticed between high school and college. I’m sure there’s many more to come since I’ve only just finished my first semester. I look forward to this next semester which is something I rarely (never) did in high school. For high school students ready to give up completely, hang in there and wait for the light at the end of the tunnel.

Serial Podcast Link Roundup

Serial has become an internet phenomenon since it was released earlier this fall. As a fan of the podcast since the beginning, it’s been hard for me not to share my opinions about the case. I’ve decided to provide my own sort of masterpost of links that I’ve found related to different aspects of the case. Some of these sources were linked up on Reddit, while others I discovered while searching on Google.

Stories about Jay:

Reddit pretty much exploded when The Intercept posted the first interview with Jay, the key witness who’s testimony was the only evidence that put Adnan behind bars for life. Note: Part two should be posted later on today which I will add to the list.


Law Blogs- Provides well researched and credible information from sources that know what they are talking about in terms of the law aspect of the case.

Hae Min Lee

Adnan Syed

Rabia Chaudry – family friend who first brought the case to Sarah Koenig.

She keeps the blog “Split The Moon” where she frequently blogs about Adnan and his case. It’d be difficult to list all of them, I just listed several that provide a lot of interesting information.

Sarah Koenig

There’s tons and tons more I could post but I decided to stay away from the specific evidence that was in the case. These are just some articles that example the general aspect of the case and the hype surrounding the podcast itself. This will be updated some, let me know if I’ve left any imperative links off.

Small Town Anthem

I was going to focus on a whole playlist about small towns. I still might make one but I really just wanted to focus on the best small town anthem of all time. Born to run is a close second. Drum role please…the song is… Fast Car by Tracy Chapman. It’s a tragic and beautiful narrative about growing up in a small town of dreaming about a better life than the one that your parents had. Only to find yourself and your significant other falling into the same exact pattern. Just listen to the song and embrace how grace filled Chapman’s voice is.

Celebrities with Humble Beginnings

It’s easy to look at celebrities and think they had it made. Seldom do we consider that some of them come from small towns just like us. We may look at them and be inspired but it’s important to go after your dreams the way these celebrities did.

Ashton Kutcher

This pretty boy came from Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Both of his parents are factory workers & the town has less than 1,000 people. Kutcher even worked in the General Mills cereal department. He had to work to get where he is today and it’s admirable that he made it out of his small town.

Josh Hutcherson

This teen heartthrob wasn’t born into fame. He grew up in Union, Kentucky which has an area of only 3.2 square miles. Fortunately, his parents saw his passions and they moved to California to make their son’s dream a reality. The rest of the story is history.

Sarah Jessica Parker

The actress best known for her role as Carrie Bradshaw, wasn’t always a flawless NYC fashionista like her character. SJP actually grew up in the small town of Nelsonville, Ohio. Parker was involved in the arts from an early aged and was a local ballerina.

Julia Roberts

Has anyone ever heard of Smyrna, Georgia? I definitely haven’t, but this is the small town where Roberts got her start. It’s a refreshing reminder that even those we perceive as glamorous, we believe they’ve always been that way. This famous actress is a refreshing reminder of that not applying in this situation.

Movies & TV Shows About Small Towns

In these respective movies & TV shows, we get a glimpse of the hopes that those who live there have. These characters may face challenges but they never stop dreaming.

1. Billy Elliot
This is an endearing tale about a 10 year old boy living in London. Both his father and brother are coal miners & Billy is forced to take boxing lessons. Instead, Billy is intrigued by the ballet class next door and ends up dancing behind his fathers back. Billy’s journey to using dance as an outlet to get out is amazing.

2. Friday Night Lights
This TV show follows the fictional town of Dillon, Texas. The town is filled with characters that live for Friday Night football played by the high school called the Dillon Panthers. The coaches, players, & everyone living in Dillon gets caught up in football. This story about a small town stands out because of all the hopes, drama, and dreams that the people have.

3. October Sky
Homer Hickam lives in Coalwood, West Virginia in 1957. His father works at the mines and Homer who is in high school, is likely to follow in his footsteps. Then, Homer watches the launch of Sputnik in complete awe and signs up for the Science fair. He joins his friends with encouragement from their science teacher & launches rockets. This is an inspirational true story that no matter what is typical for our hometown, we can go after what we want.

4. Good Will Hunting
Will is a guy working as a Janitor at M.I.T. in his town of Boston. He solves the seemingly impossible math problems that no one else can solve. The teacher discovers Will and also finds out that the boy has an attitude problem. Will finds out more about himself from his therapist played by the late and great Robin Williams. Will has it in his head that he’s destined to live and die in his small town instead of living up to his full potential.

5. Garden State
Zach Braff and Natalie Portman star in this movie about a man returning to his New Jersey town for his mothers funeral. There he meets the quirky Sam who teaches him that home isn’t always a place. Sometimes our home is a person. Sometimes we want out of our small town life so desperately only to discover that we can find the ones we love there.

6. Once
A girl & a guy dream of making it out of having to work off jobs and become full time musicians. They are stuck in their mundane lives and desperately dream of better. It’s a beautiful portrait of reality & that everything isn’t going to work in our favor sometimes.

7. Dazed And Confused
This coming of age film follows the lives of several different types of teens & the adventures they have at the start of summer break. We see upcoming freshman boys get paddled, freshman girls pretending to be dogs, and just pure violent hazing behavior as an initiation. However, it also shows us a glimpse of what high schoolers go through.

8. Rudy
Rudy is just a small guy with zero athletic ability. But he dreams of dressing one game for his favorite football team Notre Dame. This movie is an inspirational ride as Rudy is faced with challenge after challenge but he never gives up. His desire to get out of his small town and be better than anyone else is what gets him ahead.

9. Everwood
This show follows a big time doctor settling in a small town with his two kids after their mother dies. Ephron must learn how to adjust to the small town of Everwood as he navigates all of the people. The girl from Revenge is much younger in this and it’s a great show about growing up, falling in love, and dealing with loss.

10. 8 mile
This movie is the semi-autobiographic film about the rapper Eminem’s life. His character who’s rap name is Rabbit is living in Detroit, living at home in a trailer with his mom, and barely getting buy. He feels trapped in this town where he’s lived his whole life. This film is kind of his grapple with his future and overcoming people who doubt his rapping ability.

September Theme

The concept of living in a small town is one that’s always intrigued me. Ever since I discovered Rookie Mag over a year ago, I’ve been intrigued with the concept of having monthly themes. I wanted to pay tribute to this in my own way. I’m not going to have as many pieces of writing as Rookie does since this is simply my personal blog. However, I will involve this theme in a few personal anecdotes, (maybe just one) playlists, movie & TV show recommendations, sports, & books. I’ve chosen to talk about small towns because the concept intrigues me. I plan on talking about my own hometown and the general concept of getting stuck in the town that you’ve grown up in. Why is that we spend the majority of our childhood wanting to get out yet we hardly ever actually leave? I plan on covering this to the best of my ability.