Raising Money for Poetry!!

Raising Money for Poetry!!

Here in Tucson, AZ, there is a great non-profit, Casa Libre, that supports a literary community of poets in this city. They hold donation-based readings and workshops (not donation-based) hosted by poets from Arizona and all over the United States. As a woman of color, I really appreciate that they go out of their way to welcome and include diverse poets and readers in their community so that everyone’s voice can be heard.

There are having an event called “500 Sonnets” on June 9th to raise money for their organization so we can keep having readings and paying poets.

I will be writing and reading sonnets for this event on June 9th and need sponsors to help me reach my goal of raising $100. 

You can sponsor me here. You will need to key in my name after you click “shop” and my name is “Andrea Ivy.” You can sponsor me before the event or on the day of online.

Thank you for reading and donating if you are able.

Saving for Grad School: Changing Cell Phone Providers

I’ve officially switched cell phone providers. A great friend of mine recommended Google Fi a few months ago saying they have the best network and that they are more affordable. I wasn’t hearing it at the time. It wasn’t on my radar.

Now I’m saving for grad school, so I am cutting things and expenses out of my life that don’t add value. My cell phone service is with AT&T and its not adding value to my life. The reception is fickle. Where friends with other providers have service, I won’t. Their plan is extremely expensive, even with an employee discount. I was looking up cell phone providers and I remembered Google. There are lots of reasons I decided it was the right choice for me.


My pay $60/mth with AT&T for unlimited calls and texts and 1gb of data. I know. If I go up to 3gb of data, I’m paying $90/mth. Gross!

With Google Fi, unlimited calls and texts is $20/mth. Data is $10/gb and you only pay for what you use. You will never pay more than $60/mth for data even if you use more than 6gb, is what they say. So if I use 1gb of data per month, I would pay $30 instead of $60 with AT&T. And if I get crazy and want 3gb of data per month, I would pay $50 instead of $90 with AT&T.

Easy Transition

The transition cost is also a non-issue. They have affordable phones (yes you need to buy one of their phones) as low as $199 outright. The one I’ve purchased is $249 outright.

I looked into cancelling my AT&T plan and since I’m on the Next plan and owe nothing on my phone (I always buy my phones upfront), I don’t have any early termination fees (ETF).

Once my new phone arrives, I’ll set it up then cancel my prior service.

International Service

Now, I’m not a globetrotter yet but I plan to leave the country again at some point. Google Fi doesn’t charge extra for texts or data when you’re out of the country like my current provider. There is an increased rate for calls but, who calls anyone anyway nowadays.


My provider charges extra to use my phone as a mobile hotspot for connecting other devices to my phone’s internet. Google Fi does not. That’s a huge plus. Its convenient and saves money.



My Google Fi phone will arrive within a week or so. I am looking forward to paying less money for this service and putting that money towards my future. Google Fi makes a lot of claims and I hope they hold up. I’ll follow-up once I get the phone and service setup.



When we say we’re so “busy”, what are we really saying? Do we have a full schedule? Do we have a lot of physical tasks? Do we have a lot of mental tasks?
“Busy” is such an over-used term. When your friend asks you how you’re doing, besides “fine”, it’s probably “busy.” But where does the conversation go from there? A long rant on whats going wrong, who said what, who did what, or whatever plights you feel you’ve suffered. We’re dumping that on someone else and we’re inviting someone else to dump on us too.

Let’s say what we mean. Instead of saying we’re “busy,” let’s think critically about how we’re actually doing.

What interesting thing has happened?

What interesting thing will happen?

What are your goals?

What experiences have you had?

What activity are you doing that’s adding value to your life?

These are the types of topics we need to discuss when prompted with “how are you doing” or “what’s up?” You know what happens next? The questioner is encouraged to share as well. Now you’re really talking to each other instead of talking at each other. You’re having a meaningful conversation with another human being and instead of feeling pessimistic, you feel connected. If the questioner, isn’t as forthcoming. Ask them one of the questions above and maybe they’ll open up.

Let’s remember the definition of “busy”, as per Merriam-Webster:


a : engaged in action : occupied

b : being in use

2 : full of activity

3 : foolishly or intrusively active : meddling

4 : full of distracting detail

Definition 1 a

This really shouldn’t apply unless you are actually completing an activity. Instead of saying “busy”, just say what you’re doing. Example: “I’m making dinner right now.”

Definition 1 b and 2

This is used to describe objects. Not people. Example: “The telephone is busy.” or “The printer is busy.”

Definition 3

I hope this isn’t you but we’ve all been that micro-manager who needs to be “involved” in every aspect of something. This probably isn’t want you mean when you say you’re “busy.”

Definition 4

Unless you’re an overwhelming painting or disco paints, this will not apply either.
Now that you’ve read this, you’ll start realizing how much you say “busy.” I still say it so much even though its much less than I used to. It helps to think about the person you’re talking to. They’re asking me how I’m doing because they care. Let me acknowledge that care by being transparent and engaging. Let me accept that care by giving them an opportunity to acknowledge me.

Let’s avoid the one-word answers and have meaningful conversations.



I have so many things around that I am not using, that I carry from place to place, that have sentimental value, that I need. Why am I not using these things? Why am I carrying them around? Why do these things have sentimental value? Why do I need them?

Let use books for example. I have over 60 books that I plan to sell/donate over the next 3 weeks. Some of these books I’ve had since high school. Yeah, high school. Over 10 years. Parents have stored them for me. I’ve had friends help me move them from apartment to apartment. I stress over how to display so many books. I worry that I haven’t read all of these books and if someone asks me about one of them, I won’t have anything to say. I think about making a list of which books I want to re-read but there’s so many it’s hard to decide. Some of these books have sentimental value. “Brave New World” by Aldous Huxley is my favorite book.

I’m tempted to say I love this thing but that’s not appropriate.

I don’t love things.

I love people and experiences.

I love the experience of reading this book for the first time in high school and being blown away by the world Huxley created, the anti-establishment ideals it embodied, and how foreshadowing his concepts were and still are. That’s the sentiment. I have that whether I possess his book or not. This is a book that I will keep. I am keeping about 15-20 books. Some are literary. Some are informational. I feel all of them will serve me. Even out of those 15-20, if I had to get rid of them, if they got destroyed in a fire, I would not cry. I would not worry. They are just books. I can find them online if I need them later. If anything, I’d be relieved that I didn’t have to occupy myself with storing/organizing them. I won’t keep these last 15-20 books because I think I need them. I don’t need them. I want them so that I can learn from them, escape through them, and further enrich my writing practice at this moment. Once they have served me and have no other purpose, I will get rid of them.

I don’t own these things.

I am simply borrowing them.

They are temporary, as am I.

This mindset really puts “things” in perspective. I’m more mindful when I need to buy a thing, when I am gifted a thing, when things find their way into my home. This translates well to emotions too. For me, this is a lot harder than just getting rid of stuff. When someone does something that causes me to feel something, it’s really hard to not let that emotion take over but I can stop myself from acting on it impulsively.

When I find a safe space, I take that emotion to my journal and figure out where it came from and what I want to do with it.

Sometimes, I decide I will act on it. Sometimes, it’s an “old feeling” that does not serve me anymore, so I try to let it go through more writing.

I don’t have space for everything. I only have space for me and the things that serve me at this moment. I’m making more space for me and my passions and cutting out the distractions — material and immaterial. My passion is writing. Most of my “physical” writing is secure on the “cloud.” Things like journals are not, but if these were to be destroyed I would be sad, but I would also move on. You have to. Minimalism isn’t just about de-cluttering or living out of a suitcase.

For me, it’s a deeply reflective practice in defining who I am, not through the things I own, but through my passions and behavior.

I strongly recommend the work of The Minimalists. I didn’t fully commit to minimalism until I discovered their podcast. They have a documentary that is definitely worth watching. I rented it on Amazon Prime. They also have books.

If it pleases you, please tell me what role minimalism has in your life? When did you discover it? How has it improved your life? What are your struggles?

Let’s Talk

Thank you to everyone who’s visited my blog and read my work. It really means a lot knowing that my work appeals to someone else, even if its only one person.

Yesterday someone reached out to me and told me this blog inspired them to start journalling again and that made my day.

I started this blog because I was going through an intense transition in entire life and felt like I had no one to listen. Now, this blog is a home for my creative writing and a safe space to discuss things like mental health, personal development, self-care, and life in general.

I would make this blog even if no one read it, but hearing how my words helped someone or inspired someone encourages me to keep going and doing this.

If you have found anything on this blog helpful, inspiring, or simply enjoyable, please leave a comment, fill out the contact form, or message me directly. It not only helps me but will start a dialogue with the others who read this blog as well.

I don’t want this to just be me talking at you. Writing and life are meant to be discussed and I hope I’ve created a safe space to do that.

If there is something that I can do to facilitate comments, please let me know.

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