World Hum!

Sometimes in life, you just need that instant gratification… I’ve never submitted material to a “non-print” (read: online) publication, but as I haven’t been writing anything for the newspaper in a loooong time, I thought Why not?  I’ll have a damn go!  So I did.

This is just “because”…  I’ve been holding onto a couple pieces for awhile, waiting for the right fit for them, and I think I may have found one in World Hum.  Vamos a ver!  If I hear back (or not), I’ll probably have more to say about it in… a couple weeks maybe?  Fingers crossed!

Time to chant to Ganesha?  Probably!  It’s been so long since I’ve published anything (months! Yikes!) it wouldn’t hurt to petition some Divine intervention!  😉

ganesha writing


Spell Check is the Devil

I constantly find myself in conversations with other (many) people about how I am the only one left in their lives who is still “smarter than their phone” and has taken such a minimalist approach to technology, it’s considered pretty darn archaic…

But!  That said… My rebuttal has always been that the amazing modern invention of  “auto correct” and other such intellectually stunting technology has swiftly killed the art of writing and witty communication.  Why learn to spell or use proper grammar when you’ve got that handy dandy technology to fix everything for you?  Horrible…

On a lighter note, at least good jokes – when done tastefully – come out of unfortunate situations if the situations are light and collectively “PC” (no pun intended) enough.  I’ve been on a spoken word binge lately.  Love Taylor Mali’s work.  He cracks me up.  Makes me feel like the art of literary expression is not and will never die off in this world of hashtags and acronyms for phrases I’m yet to catch up on =\


Recently discovered Marshall Davis Jones… he is genius!!!!  Love it.  Absolutely HAD to throw his video in this post.  Amazing!  Check him out:

A Sad Day…


It is a very sad day in the literary world and all the other seemingly frivolous yet beautiful spheres of existence we share on this planet.  Maya Angelou was and continues to be a bright light.  Akin to pop music’s loss of Michael Jackson, we have lost a legend.  What an inspirational and beautiful powerful soul whose work lives on like her spirit.  Blessed Be & All Love.  Only Love.

The New Path Following the New “Umph”: NaNoWriMo!

I’ve recently been going through these serious creative writing binges… Stories have been flying out of these digits like no one’s business.  Mercury Retrograde seemed to mess with my communication a bit, but I’ve suddenly reactivated my wordsmith’s skills (and thankfully proved to myself I didn’t suddenly suck at writing) and in feverish passionate writing have realized the Mercury Retrograde had just ended (aren’t coincidences so wonderfully not coincidences in life? Hehe).  I’m so grateful for this spark.  My Guides, Dad, Archangel Uriel & Gabrielle… I feel so blessed!  So grateful to be doing this work I almost completely gave up on.  It feels good to revive the dream 🙂  I actually made a big decision this weekend, made the energetic space, burned what had to be burned and initiated a couple new paths with this new “umph!” and determination in me.  It’s a determination I haven’t felt in a long time… and it’s amazing! 🙂  Loving this…


Writing… just like all my work (oh the beautiful double-edged sword of self-employment!), requires intense self-motivation and “umph” every single day.  The thing is, I’ve found that I’ve been struggling most with my marathon writing project because I’m not getting paid for it.  It’s something I NEED to do.  It’s a need WITHIN ME.  I have a story that’s clawing and kicking to be told… but an article is OK’d, and I leave my manuscript to research and write up something I’ll get paid for.  Instant gratification.  Short distance running… A quickie of sorts…

But!  I’m still determined to go the distance, so I made some significant changes (not really sacrifices, I feel it’s a cherished gift) to allow me time to write.  Even with these changes, there always seems to be something else pressing me to change my focus and get my “priorities” done first.  When I get caught in this trap and I don’t literally drop everything out of my hands, pick up a pen and write… I don’t reach my page goal.  It’s depressing.  This is my dream!  So… painstakingly, I’ve been drinking coffee (taboo at my house) and plowing through the early morning hours.  I get home pretty late, so I often find myself all crooked and lopsided in the morning – my face with pen ink pressed in from the page I fell onto between words the night before… It isn’t exactly glamorous.  Particularly since this dancer is looking more like a graveyard shift truck driver these days.  Shitty hours and sleep deprivation call for new strategies.  I need oxygen in the brain to create anything of value…

So!  I found the next best thing tonight 🙂  Community!  A deadline!  Being accountable to OTHER writers for my own work!  It’s genius.  It’s NaNoWriMo.

I used to have my wonderful homegirl Jenny call me every Wednesday night and harass me with “Did you write? What did you write?”  It worked!  It worked great!  Then… I started writing for the paper AND I started enjoying a full six-to-seven hours of sleep (instead of four) AND it became so easy to forget about my manuscript AND not being able to handle the shame and embarrassment of dropping the ball on my own dream, I asked Jenny to stop calling.  I was sad =(

But!  Now with this GENIUS organization, I’m super inspired and pumped!  I don’t even use the word pumped!  Hahaha, you see, that’s how driven I am now.  Sometimes a gal just needs to have a deadline and be accountable to others.  I technically fall into the “Rebel” category of NaNoWriMo, but it’s fucking awesome, so I don’t care.  I’m in!!!

NaNoWriMo is National Novel Writing Month and they have locations everywhere (even here in Long Beach!).  Come join us!  Spread the inspiration!  This is such a great group… Write with me!!!  Write Now!!!! =D

Check out out NaNoWriMo here (also associated with the Young Writers Program and NaNoWriMo Camp).  Great stuff!

Oh man, I haven’t been this excited about anything since my lovely friends told me about the Tiny House Movement!  I’m totally joining the movement… it’s so awesome!  But that’s another blog post…

Passion and Creativity Always! xoxo


Pure Genius!

You only have to watch the first 30 seconds and shut off the video – there’s no need to watch past 30sec – seriously!  It’s the best cure for writer’s block.  I’ve always known the wisest advice was always the simplest… In this case, it’s all cured in one sentence: Give Yourself Permission to Write Garbage!   Hahaha.  I LOVE IT!    (first 30sec is all you need – don’t worry about the rest of it)


*taking a break (and hiding a little) to get some writing done in between gigs during my last RTW trip.

Real Good Will: My Latest Column for RLN


Here’s the latest column I’ve written up for Random Lengths News.  Just sent it to my editor a few minutes ago.  It’s a fluffy, happy column on how awesome Sharon and Jewell are 🙂  I love them and I love their “swap”!  I hope you enjoy this one – I really enjoyed writing it up.

Real Good Will: A Visit to the 710 Swap”             

by Jennifer Tehani Sarreal

In our Capitalist society, it is both an American mass-consumerist byproduct and cultural norm to collect inevitable piles of “stuff” – particularly during the holidays – that have no particular function (nostalgic or otherwise) in our lives.  In this country, we need look no farther than garage sales to understand that the purging of physical collateral is not necessarily indicative of an impending change of residence. 

With good intentions, items are recycled by the consciously green, creatively up-cycled or re-fashioned by hipsters and hoards more are generally donated to a local Good Will to be sold at a much cheaper price – perpetuating our primary conception of exchange to be monetary while maintaining that feel-good sensation of paying it forward somehow.  With many families still recovering from the recession and an ever-widening gap between the rich and the poor, it would only increase the feel-good factor to know that our discarded things traveled directly to where they were needed: to our friends, our neighbors, actual people in our communities who could benefit from these items as they are without alteration.

Since my first introduction to the 710 Swap in Long Beach, I have unceremoniously exiled myself from the land of second-hand stores forever and vowed to never look back.  When the changing of the seasons alters my waistline and consequently limits the number of lightly worn usable clothing in my closet, I pack all of the cloth reminders of my weight loss (or gain) along with unneeded household items into a Trader Joe’s paper bag and anxiously wait for the third Friday of the month to arrive so I can de-clutter my apartment and build a sense of community at the same time. 

The 710 Swap is a contemporary twist on an ancient idea.  Bartering has always existed.  It is said to go as far back as 6000BC in Mesopotamia, but we all know it’s as old as our species.  We’ve all bartered whether we knew it or not.  Bartering, the simple act of an exchange without currency, happens all day.  Teenagers switch bags of chips with each other at lunch time.  Siblings exchange clothes.  Adults swap drinks nightly in our local bars.  This system of exchange reemerged in popularity on a grand scale (amid our already established standardized Dollar) during The Great Depression – a similar time of little money and plenty hardship. 

Affectionately named after the Long Beach Freeway, “The Swap” embraces this useful idea of bartering, but from a refreshing angle: sharing is the ultimate goal.  There are no credits received or items counted in the giving or receiving.  This innovative monthly event is founded on the simple motto “Share what you have. Find what you need”.  A project of Catalyst Network of Communities (a local 501c3 non-profit social impact organization), the 710 Swap is the best communal antidote to domestic clutter and neighborly disconnection. 

Literally armed with colorful paraphernalia hanging from large plastic IKEA shopping bags at my elbows, I walk across the parking lot adjacent to Rite Aid toward the MADhaus on Pine Avenue on a third Friday.  Blues music saunters through the wind from the free outdoor music concert just behind my destination, seemingly pulling at my feet in a rhythmic drawl and allowing me to slowly savor the wonderful concoction of good music and the chilly night air.  Attending the 710 Swap is always a magical experience.  Now a part of the Historic Old Pine Avenue’s Twilight Walk, swapping has found it’s new home at the MADhaus (a performance space and gallery dedicated to supporting local artists) which was generously donated for the last year and a half by Mike Wiley. 

I walk inside to the smells of a gastronomic playground of holiday tamales, an assortment of desserts and savory appetizers to nibble on.  The sounds of gentle music in the background accompany the cheerful chatter and laughter of participants eating and waiting for “swap time” at exactly 7:10PM.  I am quickly greeted by 710 regulars: Jewell Faamaligi, a co-coordinator of the event; her daughter Jessie and Sharon Moiseiff, the creator and founder of the 710 Swap.  I carry my items to the center of the room where others’ are neatly displayed then return for a plate at the potluck to munch and socialize with old friends and some new ones. 

Swap time begins, and it is not the life-threatening Wal-Mart-on-a-Black-Friday style stampede one would imagine.  People walk around slowly, pick things up, put them down, wait to make sure no one else is eyeing it, eat, chat, laugh… It feels like a warm gathering of friends.  I look around in amazement at the beauty of the scene.  In our self-imposed world of material things used and discarded, a flower emerges from a crack in the sidewalk: real good will at work.

*Visit the 710 Swap at:

Word Play Masters

I LOVE this kind of stuff.  Yesterday, my buddy Nick came up with a funny (yet sadly accurate) nickname for my now-30-year-old anemic easily-bruising body : “old fruit”.  I really do bruise like an old piece of fruit, but it’s alright, I’m still sexy and much younger than Nick hahaha.  OK, maybe not so funny, but you had to be there.  It was not half as funny as these words here on “Word Play Masters” (below) but it all just mentally tickles me.  Words are good times!

The Washington Post's Mensa invitational once again asked readers to take  
  any word from the dictionary, alter it by adding, subtracting, or changing 
  one letter, and supply a new definition.   Here are the 2009 winners:                                                 

  1. Cashtration (n.): The act of buying a house, which renders the subject  
  financially impotent for an indefinite period of time.                     

  2. Ignoranus : A person who's both stupid and an asshole.                  

  3. Intaxication : Euphoria at getting a tax refund, which lasts until you  
  realize it was your money to start with.                                   

  4. Reintarnation : Coming back to life as a hillbilly.                     

  5. Bozone (n.): The substance surrounding stupid people that stops bright  
  ideas from penetrating. The bozone layer, unfortunately, shows little sign 
  of breaking down in the near future.                                       

  6. Foreploy : Any misrepresentation about yourself for the purpose of      
  getting laid.                                                              

  7. Giraffiti : Vandalism spray-painted very, very high.                    

  8. Sarchasm : The gulf between the author of sarcastic wit and the person  
  who doesn't get it.                                                        

  9. Inoculatte : To take coffee intravenously when you are running late.    

  10. Osteopornosis : A degenerate disease. (This one got extra credit.)     

  11. Karmageddon : It's like, when everybody is sending off all these       
  really bad vibes, right? And then, like, the Earth explodes and it's like, 
  a serious bummer.                                                          

  12. Decafalon (n.): The gruelling event of getting through the day         
  consuming only things that are good for you.                               

  13. Glibido : All talk and no action.                                      

  14. Dopeler Effect: The tendency of stupid ideas to seem smarter when they 
  come at you rapidly.                                                       

  15. Arachnoleptic Fit (n.): The frantic dance performed just after you've  
  accidentally walked through a spider web.                                  

  16. Beelzebug (n.) : Satan in the form of a mosquito, that gets into your  
  bedroom at three in the morning and cannot be cast out.                    

  17. Caterpallor ( n.): The color you turn after finding half a worm in the 
  fruit you're eating.

Newer words can be found here: