Community D.I.Y. Fairy Tales

What story would you tell, if you were asked to create a fairy tale? Volunteers from write@253 and members of the community had fun answering that question at the book release for Scarlet, by Marissa Meyer.

On February 21, King’s Books celebrated Tacoma author, Marissa Meyer’s young adult sci-fi/fantasy novel, Cinder, and its brand new sequel, Scarlet. The books are gaining in popularity and they feature futuristic takes on classic fairy tales. Marissa Meyer just had an author talk on February 5 for her book release and will host another one at the Tacoma Public Library Wheelock branch on March 16, so they wanted to make this one a little different, more like a party.

The bookstore owner reached out to local organizations like SotA to bring their robotics team, and write@253 to lead the community in an activity where they could create their own fairy tales. I volunteer with the group so I was on the email thread. I thought of magnetic poetry which led me to suggest having a classic fairy tale theme and have people add sentences on note cards to a group-created fairy tale. The volunteers got together and decided on the tales “Puss and Boots” and “Jack and the Beanstalk.”

This is what visitors of the event, who were of all ages, came up with:

 

PUSS IN BOOTS

Far out in the countryside there was a poor miller who died, leaving his three sons all that he owned. The eldest son took the mill, the second son the donkey, and the third son was left with the miller’s cat…

The miller’s third son was disappointed, understandably. The cat saw this and hatched a plan, the first thing he needed was a nice pair of boots!

Because boots would be a great start. After all who doesn’t look fetching in a pair of smart boots?

So with a mind full of boots and a heart full of hope Puss ventured off to obtain these boots. Not paying attention to the road he nearly tripped over the tiny mous running past him. But this was no ordinary mous. The mouse had rollerskates instead of feet.

Puss raised his brows, “What are those?” He asked looking up and down at the tiny mouse with the skates. “What are those on your feet?” The mouse looked down at his feet and then at the cat with the boots. He twitched his whiskers and asked.

“Why are you wearing boots? Cats don’t wear boots” Said the mouse.

“Because boots are the height of French fashion! I got these at Feather + Oar.” Said Puss. “The local shoe store and pub.”

“Oh, in that case, the color is rather becoming next to your orange coat. I, myself would have chosen maybe a light gray, contrasting with my black tail,” said the mouse, as he flicked his tail for emphasis.

With that, Puss set out on his mission to prove his worth to his master.

He trekked across the vast country in search of the Diablo Cave of Gold. After many days he reached the mouth of the cave, and took his first step into its dark, wet mouth. Suddenly, a black cloud of bats was flying at him. Just in time, he threw himself on the floor of the cave. Then boots took his boots off he said to puss now that I get a good look at you you are getting super fat lose some weight dude you can do better than that.

Offended, Puss stood a bit taller and puffed out his chest and said, “I am not fat at all! My figure is the result of years of productive (and delicious) mouse-hunting and I am proud of it.

With that, he realized that he was already of value to his master, the Miller’s son. So he bought some swiss cheese, turned his fine boots into clever mouse traps, and kept the miller’s son’s home mouse-free for the rest of his days.

The third son bowed very low and accepted the honor the king had conferred upon him. That very same day he married the princess. The cat became a great lord and never again ran after mice except for the fun of it.

JACK AND THE BEANSTALK

There was once a widow who had a son named Jack and a cow called Milky White. They were very poor and had only the milk from the cow, which they sometimes sold for food. But one morning Milky White gave no milk at all and they didn’t know what to do…

Jack set out on adventure! And the first thing he did was… eat a pile of earwax flavored jellybeans.

There was one more jellybean and he planted it. Soon it started to grow a stalk. It erupted rainbows and unicorns. The land was flooded by the earwax eating rainbow giants.

The cyclops giant’s eyeball fell out and almost killed Nyan Cat. This nyan cat was about to get eaten then Jack came in between the giant and was caught. He was eaten but sliced open the stomach and continued on his awkward journey.

Jack wasn’t a squeamish guy but a tummy full of ear wax and an eye full of giants was taking a toll on the poor boy.

Suddenly his insides erupted and he became sick all over the floor. Jack heaved and heaved until he could heave no more.

So busy heaving he didn’t notice a golden goose walking by.

The goose looked at Jack. “Quack, you smell bad and have a gross, waxy substance all around your mouth.” Then he barfed a rainbow with glitter and eyeballs.

The duck was so startled he laid an egg.

This was no ordinary egg but an egg made of solid gold.

Jack stared at the goose, and then at the beautiful golden egg. It was carved with flowers and vines, cupids and suns.

Unexpectedly, from out of the egg burst a borg-like techno-beanstalk! Jack rushed up the vine away from the giants to find…

The land of milk and honey, of course, but he didn’t have any buckets to bring the milk home.

Intill they got mad because of the air they were fighting but then when they ate it it got worse. He said what the heck are you doing you need to use a spoon for soup not a stupid fork fatty got that. Yes. Then when they watch the rainbow they said man look at the blue and darkpurple.

Luckily they stumbled upon the band the Eagles!!! Who knew Don Henley could carry so many pails of Milk.

I always thought Glenn Fry was the strong one.

They became very rich from selling the golden eggs and making the golden harp play for the curious Jack’s mother’s scolding tongue was still and all their days were happy.

 

Illustration by Danielle Burch

Grindhouse Theater: Tacoma’s Creeping Horror that Lives Under the Bed

The Grand Cinema works hard to keep blood, funk, and horror alive with Grindhouse Theater, presenting cult films in their original 35mm format.

Lovecraftian horror artist Nick Gucker and handmade printer with an Etsy shop Creepycult make posters for fun and profit to support the monthly movie night.

The most recent film shown was “Blacula,” in honor of Black History Month. The poster created for “Blacula” features the titular character awakening from his coffin.

Watching “Blacula” on 35mm was an eye-opening experience. I had only seen it on syndicated television before, but the film version was as clear as any other brand-new release.

“The people that love the movies make it fun,” said Gucker. He gets a kick out of the way show runner Justin Giallo works with local businesses like Puget Sound Pizza. They offered a special Necronomicon-style pizza in honor of the showing of “Evil Dead.”

Gucker has been a working artist for years. He attended fine arts camps while in junior high and beyond and went to summer camps at the Art Institute in Seattle.

The works of horror writer H.P. Lovecraft particularly inspire him. His favorite stories include “The Statement of Randolph Carter,” “The Outsider,” and “At the Mountains of Madness.”

Gucker loves black and white; ink is his medium of choice, and he also likes using brush pens in his drawings. Occasionally he’ll venture into painting with acrylics and watercolors and dabbles in digital coloring. He has a fondness for the dirty tones that come with using charcoal, “it has an old feel to it.”

When asked about his favorite stuff to draw, Gucker immediately replies, “tentacles.” He also lists such lovely topics as distorted human anatomy, insects, freaks, public executions, and death in general.

Gucker currently tours Lovecraft conventions. He has been asked to do art for several film festivals including one in Poland.

Next on the agenda for Grindhouse Theater is “Maniac,” a 1980 film featuring a serial killer who scalps his victims. The film promises plenty of gore, including a particularly infamous scene where horror artist Tom Savini’s head explodes via shotgun blast.

 

Artwork courtesy of Nick Gucker

Shroom Brothers Aim to Spread Spores Throughout Tacoma

Before Carrie Foster met Bob Jewell three years ago, she created art for herself and just kept it to herself before eventually giving it away to friends.

One of Foster’s friends approached herabout creating shirts from her drawings, and after they sold, the couple decided to go into business for themselves as Shroom Brothers.

Shroom Brothers makes screen-printed shirts and framed artwork for local art festivals. They’ve displayed at popular Tacoma gatherings such as the Sixth Avenue Art Festival, Music and Art in Wright Park, the Urban Arts Festival, Pagan Pride Day at Freighthouse Square, Cloud Nine at the Mix, and the Proctor Arts Festival (which they noted was their most successful venture).

Until the next Pacific Avenue Street Fair on June 9, their business has gone into hibernation. They’re hoping to wake it up by finding vendors for their shirts at local businesses.

Their stuff has been sold in the past at places like Dorky’s, which I imagine would go well with the Mario merchandise.

With shirts in the $20 range, students may find Shroom Brothers’ shirts as well as their other items very affordable given the cool designs. “Being an art-lover myself, I want people to take it home with them,” said Foster. The duo is also looking to make small, cheap things with their art like stickers and notecards with prices in the $1 to $5 range.

Foster is self-taught. Drawing inspiration from nature, movement, form, and color she pencil-sketches her works then goes over it with ink pen. She’s inspired by Celtic art and knot work like the tree of life. Over the course of our conversation, I noticed Jewell sporting a tattoo of a Celtic symbol on his arm; the image was created by Foster and later tattooed on him by his brother at 38th Street Tattoo.

When the couple started out, they didn’t know anything about photo emulsion, a popular process for screen-printing images on to shirts. It’s a way to screen-print images without needing to cut. A web search for “photo emulsion” shows how easy it is. Jewell watched YouTube videos to gain knowledge about the process. Since then, the couple have created hundreds of shirts. They’ve only created single tone prints so far but are very interested in exploring duotone.

As you might guess, their wares draw an interesting crowd at art festivals. When asked about interesting customers, Foster says she mostly likes meeting people who make art, love art, and want to talk about life. “World travellers are the most entertaining. They’re oddly very down to earth,” Foster remarked. She also talked about meeting a woman who bought shirts who divides most of her life in between living in Texas and India, and that she intended on selling Shroom Brothers shirts in India.

Designs in the works include an octo-maiden and an image of the Tacoma landscape including the mountain, cityscape, bridge, and a cephalopod.

While Shroom Brothers begins to spread out, right now you can find their stuff on display at 38th Street Tattoo. According to the couple, the place is striving for a classier atmosphere with a lobby that features a revolving cast of local art like photography, paintings, and the stuff Shroom Brothers makes.

You can get their stuff via the internet at Meylah.com/shroombrothers but they encourage people to just contact them through Facebook.com/shroombrothers.

Angry and Neurotic Doors

My closet door never shuts completely after I close it, and it annoys me, as if it is sending me some kind of warning about the fashion quality of my wardrobe.  Doors that never close completely after I shut them perturb the heck out of me, when always having to constantly make sure the door is shut all the way.

What is the function of a door?  Of any doors?  According to an online article titled “The History and Functions of Doors” from the Article Niche Project’s website, the function of doors is “to either keep something (or someone) in or out of an area.”  The article then goes on to differentiate between interior and exterior doors, saying that interior doors are found on the inside of a building, such as bedroom and bathroom doors, and exterior doors have at least one side exposed to the outside.

The most annoying use for a door: expressing anger by slamming it.  When someone slams a door in your face, it hurts.  The high uproarious sound of wood smacking against the doorframe scares you, as if a jolt of electricity has zapped your upper-body.  It is the one of the worst metaphors to express human anger; it is only funny when the person slams the door and the door does not shut all the way.

Why does someone slam the door when they are angry?  It is because he or she is at loss for words, and the sharp, loud sound of a door slamming is the only way to express that anger.

Many times when people are not angry, they are sad.  We tell those people to “open up”–like a door–and share their feelings.  We do not want them to hide their feelings.

One of my favorite anime series is “Welcome to the N.H.K.,” which is about a twenty-two-year-old, unemployed college dropout named Sato.  He is what is called in Japan a “hikikomori,” or a social outcast.  He lives by himself in a cramped studio apartment, littered everywhere with garbage and cigarette butts, and he is supported by his parents.

For an antisocial recluse, the door is an important symbol for Sato.  It is a struggle for him to leave his apartment.  He usually leaves his building with his friend Yamazaki or to meet at the park with Misaki, an eighteen-year-old girl who helps Sato with his hikikomori dilemma.  The function of Sato’s door is to keep him in his apartment.  He fears others coming into his apartment because of all the trash, as in one episode where he thought a person he met in a massively multiplayer online role-playing game was at his apartment door.  (The person was actually his friend Yamazaki who had been playing as the avatar Sato was befriending online.)

Doors have often been barriers to the socially impaired.  The socially impaired need doors to hide the causes of their insecurities, like the garbage surrounding Sato in his apartment.

 

Illustration by Danielle Burch

The Value in Silence

It has happened to me several times: I will get a good score on an exam, be pulled aside by the professor, and asked to participate more in class; they will assure me that if I do not comply on my own, they will call on me.  I can imagine that this is situation sounds familiar to many students who hate talking in class. Being forced to do so can be nerve wracking, and is definitely not conducive to learning.

Yet, in the majority of class syllabi “participation” is listed as part of the final grade. Professors expect students to demonstrate that they understand the material, not by scoring high on exams, but by talking.

One of my favorite books is “Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking.” Here Susan Cain writes about the U.S.’s obsession with extroverted people, especially in college classrooms where professors downgrade students who won’t talk in class, and constantly require students to work in groups.

Through interviews with students from China, she contrasts the Chinese educational system with America’s. In China, the ability to listen in highly valued. Introspective people are seen as capable and wise, whereas the West tends to value, in virtually any circumstance, those who are comfortable being loud.

The Chinese students were amazed by the American professors encouragement of any comments students had to offer, despite the fact that they were often absurd and unrelated. The Chinese students felt it was a waste of time, and avoided raising their hands to talk because they preferred to hear what the professor had to say. They studied hard, and were academically advanced, however they felt less valued in the classroom than their louder counterparts.

I am not against participatory classrooms; I understand the value of exchanging different views, and I do not consider this a waste of time. However, I would also argue that there are introverts and extroverts.  We each learn differently.  There are people who love to talk in class, and there are people who would simply prefer to listen, and that should be acceptable.

This is especially true in American university settings where we pride ourselves on striving for diversity in race, gender, sexual orientation, etc., but we find it so difficult to accept personality types that prefer conservative behavior to being loud and bold.

The classroom, just like the world, needs both types of people in order to function properly.

Diversity Summit Keynote Speaker Calls for Immigration Reform

Last Friday, SAB and the Diversity Resource Center hosted the university’s annual Diversity Summit. This year the event centered on immigration and LGBT rights, both of which were represented by keynote speaker Jose Antonio Vargas.

“I think of myself as a walking uncomfortable conversation, but it’s a conversation that needs to happen,” said Vargas.

Vargas is a Pulitzer Prize winning journalist, having written for major publications such as the New Yorker and the Huffington Post. He has also appeared on major networks such as CNN, NBC, and Fox to tell the story of his life as an undocumented immigrant living in the U.S.

Vargas came to the U.S. as a child, after his grandparents immigrated legally from the Philippines, and his mom, hoping to provide him with a chance at a better life, sent him to live with them. His grandfather saved $4,000 in order to purchase him a passport and a green card, and he was sent to the U.S.

“I’m an American because of the sacrifices of my family,” he said.

Until his freshman year of high school, Vargas had no idea he was undocumented. One day, like many 16-year-olds he went to the DMV to get a drivers’ license and was told his green card was fake. When he took it home, his grandfather told Vargas not to show it to people, because he was not supposed to be here.

Things changed when, at age 17, Vargas’s teacher encouraged him to become a journalist. He spent a summer at journalism camp, and decided that he would write his way into American citizenship. His byline would be his identifying documentation.

“I have written over 8,000 stories: how can they say I don’t exist?” he asked.

At age 17, Vargas also decided to come out of the closet to his entire class, as it was difficult to keep two large secrets about himself at once. Fortunately, he lived in California at the time and his classmates were very supportive.

However, Vargas stayed in the “immigration closet” for 12 years, until one day, while he was shadowing Mark Zuckerburg for an article, Zuckerburg asked him where he was from. Vargas was unable to answer, and felt cowardly compared to all of the “Dreamers” who were coming out as “illegals” during that time.

“I almost felt like it was a dare,” he said.

Vargas decided that if he was going to come out, he had to come out big, so he wrote “Outlaw,” an essay about his life as an undocumented immigrant. However, nothing happened aside from the government cancelling his Washington State drivers’ license, which he had obtained with a fake social security number. He then wrote an article for Time about why he had not been deported.

Since the article published, Vargas has been travelling the states talking about immigration. He does not consider himself an activist or an advocate, but a storyteller. He has come against a great deal of resistance throughout his travels.

America is steadily becoming more diverse, and while many people are inspired by this, many are frightened. This year marks the fiftieth Anniversary of Martin Luther King’s “I have a dream speech,” wherein he spoke of equality for African Americans. Now it is undocumented immigrants who dream of living a life with dignity.

Vargas believes that immigration reform will happen; the Republicans will not ruin their chances at 2016 by opposing it. However, this conversation is more about how the U.S. defines “American.”

“Citizenship is not something you’re given; it’s something you earn,” said Vargas.

What he is most worried about are naturalized citizens who have the power to change the conversation but do not. For every undocumented immigrant, there are several documented citizens who help them, Vargas explained, giving examples from his own life such as the Venture capitalists who paid his way through college.

Vargas emphasized to his audience that justice happens, but we all have a part in fighting for it. Vargas suggested that eliminating the use of the words “illegal immigrant” and “minority” would be a good start.

 

Photo by Andy Cox

Huskies Barking on Capitol Hill

On February 15, Huskies from UWB, UWT, and UWS gathered by the hundreds in many smaller packs at the Washington Capital building in the shade on cold sandstone steps facing out toward the sundrenched view of Capital Lake.

ASUW’s Office of Government Relations organized the tri-campus annual event dubbed “Bark Against Budget Cuts” to show the legislators in Olympia that Huskies care about higher education.

Students are facing higher tuition, cuts to financial aid, the elimination of programs, and bigger classes with fewer TAs on top of several years of devastating tuition increases and funding cuts to higher education.

Frank Chopp (D) of District 43 and Speaker of the House spoke to all of the Huskies on the steps of the Capital. He announced that HB 1043, aimed to eliminate differential tuition, had passed in the House of Representatives earlier in the morning with a nearly unanimous vote.

After a catered meal of gourmet sandwiches and deserts, many smaller groups of Huskies went indoors to meet with lawmakers in their offices. One such group of four UWT students, lead by ASUWT Vice President Rai Nauman Mumtaz, went to keep prearranged appointments with three legislators whose district includes UWT.

The first meeting had been prearranged with Jeannie Darneille (D), Senator of State District 27. She was not available and a member of her staff met with the student group instead.

Next was a prearranged meeting with District 27 House Representative Jake Fey (D) who entered his office wearing a bright orange lapel pin shaped like a bicycle. Fey had formerly been a Tacoma City Councilperson representing District 2. A student immediately asked if he was for connecting bicycle paths to create a new commuting option which did not involve risking injury while pedaling on streets with automobiles.

“Yes, I’m all for that. I worked to connect the Prairie Line Trail and others for the whole time I was on the Tacoma City Council,” said Fey.

The students kept their third and final prearranged meeting with District 27 House Representative Laurie Jinkins. She was not available and a member of her staff met with the student group instead.

UWT Computer Engineering student Thang Tran expressed his concern that SB 5318, SB 5179 and/or HB 1011 might be enacted. All of these bills would enact laws offering in-state tuition for U.S. veterans to pay without a one-year waiting period.

Tran told the lawmaker and other staff that he had been raised in Washington but had been discharged from the Navy in Florida.

“I had to pay out-of-state tuition which is much higher,” said Tran.

Web Exclusive: March Fourth Protests

On Monday, March 4 (“march forth”) protesters brought huge, eye-catching props to the UW Tacoma campus to raise awareness of the growing amount of student debt in the U.S.

Alan Collinge of StudentLoanJustice.org and Bill Moyer of the Backbone Campaign based in Vashon Island brought a huge graduation cap with the words “EDUCATION IS A HUMAN RIGHT” written on it along with a giant ball and chain inscribed with “$1 TRILLION”, the total amount of student loan debt in the U.S.

Photos by Kate Harpel

Jet-Setting on a Student Budget

Chances are you know of at least a couple of people who have backpacked through Europe, traversed South America, or spent time in Southeast Asia. The idea of it sounds so expensive that it is a concept to you and your wallet just can’t fathom it. I’m here to tell you that traveling isn’t as expensive as it is made out to be and that you can do it on a student’s budget if you have the gumption and the facts.

Travel begins with simply getting there and the trick to finding the cheapest flights is watching the rates like a hawk. Prices will fluctuate by the minute so it is best to use a website that shows you prices from several websites at the same time. Kayak.com and Cheapoair.com do this and both sites offer student travel discounts. Airlines such as RyanAir and IcelandAir are known for being the most affordable. Choose flights with layovers rather than nonstop flights to save money and go during the spring for best airfare. According to a survey conducted by Kayak, it is best to book exactly 21 days prior to departure for domestic flights and 34 days prior to departure for international flights. Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays are the cheapest days to book while Sundays, Mondays and Fridays are the most expensive. Those who wait until the last minute spend the most money.

Your next decision is to choose where you want to stay. Hotels, hostels, and couch-surfing go from expensive to cheap in that order. From my experiences in Holland and Germany, I absolutely recommend hostels over hotels. European hostels charge as little as $15 USD a night if you are willing to share a room with other travelers. You will save a ton of money, the difference in experience is not significant, and you will be out and about more often than being in the hostel anyway. Hostels make it safer for tourists by providing lockers to put your valuables in and by offering gender-specific accommodations. Some even offer free breakfast and in a cafeteria style setting.

The money you will save by not staying in a hotel will be crucial for the other expenses of the trip. Inner-city travel (bus, subway, train, tram, taxi, bike, scooter, horse-drawn buggie… ?) food, souvenirs and gifts, daily necessities, and museum passes are all things for which you will need funds. Student and group discounts are offered at most museums but the expenses do add up. You should also have an emergency fund in case you become ill or injured and need to pay medical bills.

My well-traveled friend Jake Pugh who has backpacked all over the world for cheap ($570 to Korea and $550 to Peru both roundtrip), shared his experience couch-surfing in Paris with me. He stayed in a loft at the top of a building in Paris and the people he stayed with were so hospitable that they even cooked for him. If you want to try your luck at an awesome experience like that, CouchSurfing.org is the go-to website for finding legitimate locals who wouldn’t mind you staying in their homes for a few days. Stay away from Craigslist as that site can be pretty sketchy to use for this purpose, especially in a foreign country. If you are looking for a more rugged experience consider WWOOFing. Organizations such as WWOOF (World-wide Opportunities on Organic Farms) offer listings of farms all over the world that are willing to offer lodging and food to travelers in exchange for daily farmhand work on a farmer’s land.

As far as getting around town, use all modes of transportation except taxis which can be the most expensive. Jake says to travel by taxi at least once during your trip because the drivers often know of the best restaurants that the locals go to and can tell you about events and cheap eats around town. Subway, tram, and bus systems are the most efficient while biking and mopeds are the most fun.

 

Illustration by Danielle Burch

Lurlene McDaniel’s Stories of Overcoming Mortality and Preserving Love

I began reading Lurlene McDaniel’s heart-wrenching books in middle school and I can’t really say I have been hooked ever since because I haven’t read her books ever since. It’s not that I didn’t enjoy reading them because I absolutely loved them. Honestly, I thought I had read all her books in middle school and then about a couple of months ago I came upon an article about her and read that she is still publishing books. What a fool I was. I began diving back into her books recently and she still has the same elements in her more recent books of overcoming life’s adversities through love and optimism. As a 12 year-old I wasn’t exactly mature enough to understand the dynamic emotions each of the characters displayed but having read one of her books recently, “Till Death Do Us Part,” my eyes have opened to the inspiration and complexity of her books. However, one thing that hasn’t changed is that I still cry like a baby while reading her books. A lot of readers don’t know about Lurlene McDaniel since her books fit into the specific niche of ‘Young Adult” but I realized her books shouldn’t be categorized under any niche because almost anyone can relate to the difficulties the characters endure and this element is what makes her books so realistic and genuine.

Lurlene McDaniel was born on April 5, 1944 in Philadelphia and began writing young adult books when her son Sean was diagnosed with juvenile diabetes at the tender age of three. This illness that her son had to endure changed her perspective on life. Based on her experiences McDaniel wanted to portray the lives of chronically ill people in her books and she has stated that writing has been therapeutic. In her book, “The Time Capsule,” McDaniel writes about twins Alexis and Adam and the struggles that ensue when one twin is diagnosed with leukemia. In order to be certain that her books are medically accurate, McDaniel conducts extensive research and interviews health care professionals. She also cites the Bible in order to instill a human element in her books as well as to portray the optimism and faith she had experienced living with her son’s illness.

McDaniel still currently publishes books, her most recent one being “The Year of Luminous Love” which will hit shelves in May 2013. McDaniel has also ventured away from her particularly “innocent” books and wrote “Prey” in 2010 which is about the thrilling romance between a teenage boy and his dangerously seductive teacher. Although it is quite the page-turner, I prefer the deep message her stories that are about overcoming illness in families possess. My favorite book thus far is “How Do I Love Thee” published in 2002, which includes three separate stories about three young couples who find love and preserve it even when faced with life’s struggles. Each story is unique but equally dynamic in its characters trials and tribulations. The romantic and dreamy covers of her books do not exactly invite serious adult readers but the cliché never judge a book by its cover goes very far with McDaniel’s books because she is truly a hidden gem in the literary world.

 

Illustration by Danielle Burch