On my 6th birthday I was gifted the book "A Birthday for Frances" written by Russell Hoban. I loved it. From Santa I got "Green Eggs and Ham""How the Grinch Stole Christmas""Where the Sidewalk Ends", and "The Giving Tree". The more I read, the more I wanted to go on adventures while never leaving the comforts of home. My writing journey had begun...

     Saturday mornings, before mom brought me to my ballet lessons or dad took me to swim class, I'd watch "Schoolhouse Rock". Every week I faithfully tuned in, singing along with "three-minute" cartoons with catchy, educational songs about grammar and math. I learned about Interjections!!!; the function of Conjunction Junction (which got me hooked on "and", "but" , and "or"); and how a bill becomes a law. My all-time favorite clip was the soundtrack "Figure Eight", sung by vocalist Blossom Dearie, about a student's math class daydreams working her eight-centric times tables. It reminded me of someone who used to write her homework assignments as poems while "zoning out" in class.

     I always looked forward to "Story Time". My teacher would read "The Snowy Day", "The Velveteen Rabbit", or "Where the Wild Things Are", as my fellow 4th graders and I huddled together on the floor of the school library. My imagination flourished and I was able to embrace creativity by telling stories through poetry.  

     On October 2nd 1971, a television show debuted called "Soul Train". It featured performances by R & B groups and was a platform for rising artists like "The Sugar Hill Gang". I fell hopelessly in love with "Hip-Hop" music. The heavy bass, turntable-scratching, re-mixing, pop-locking, break-dancing, and poetic rhythms inspired me to put my own "swag" in poetry. Words like "Fly" and "Dope" became the new language.  

     In 1986 the "rap" trio "RUN-DMC" released the song "My Adidas" as a love letter to the company and became one of the most influential pioneers of "Hip-Hop" music. Because of them, along with many other artists, my spoken word was seldom heard, but now echoes forever in my written word. The "Superstar" shell-toe were (and still are) "the Dopest" sneaker in my closet.

     It was my Freshman year at "U-Dub" (The University of Washington) and I took a class: "English 101 - Creative Writing". I was absolutely obsessed with an experience I will never forget. I was given the chance to express myself without having to conform to the rigid rules of punctuation, grammar, or spelleng. I started putting poems together like a melody in my head making my classmates laugh and loved ones smile. One day a student came to me and asked if I would write a poem for a friend as a gift, I said "Sure." 

     I credit my success and passion for writing to my family, friends, and especially my 12th grade English teacher, Sister Mary Annette Dworshak of Holy Names Academy and her inspiring  words, "Keep Writing."