Dear English Majors

The hardest part of being an English major is not having support from your own Alma Mater. I was an undergraduate senior student at Cal State Channel Islands University when I submitted my first non-fiction story to their infamous literary magazine entitled “The Island Fox.” I felt a little apprehensive before turning in this piece that was about one of my favorite memories of visiting my grandparents in Mexico because the English professor running it was not a fan of me. In fact, she told me that I would NEVER make it as a writer, which made me contemplate dropping out of school. A week later I found out it was rejected because nobody on the writer’s panel understood it.

Now two years later, I’m a graduate student at Antioch Santa Barbara ten months from obtaining an MFA in Writing and Contemporary Media and I’ve decided to submit to the Island Fox again. Even though I’ve interned at a local newspaper and had my articles’ published for all of Santa Barbara County to read, I’m scared to be rejected by my Alma Mater. I keep thinking about my English professor saying, “Are you sure you want to be a writer?” This year I submitted a fiction piece from a chapter from a novel I’m writing. It’s one of the best pieces I’ve ever written. I’ll be crushed if it’s rejected. The interesting part about this is I’ve always thought my first published work would be from the Island Fox.

I wonder how many people have rejected it so far… WHYYYYY


Week Three of NMN…and Other Things


IIMG_3967t was Black Friday in a crowd of crazed consumers passing by a suffocating mirror, that I really took a glimpse of myself. There I was small, short, tan, long brown curly hair underneath a Dodger’s hat, I smiled at myself before the current of shoppers took me pass the mirror, but it was such a powerful moment for me.  I felt like myself. I really looked at myself and thought this is who I am. I was too distracted to see it before.  I feel and look healthy, yet I’m still struggling with anxiety.

Who isn’t nowadays? There is so much weight on our shoulders. I weirdly get anxiety from my allergies. For instance, when I’m around too much dust (carpet, clothing stores, dusty object) mIMG_3998y body starts to panic, especially when I get shortness of breath due to inhaling it. It’s such an inconvenient setback for me, but people have it worse right? I think yoga will help me center my thoughts over time. Apparently, it’s good for allergies too.  I did a hike a few days ago and did some yoga on the overpass. I needed to practice mindfulness and breathing. Breathing is the best way to control anxiety. I’ve learned from experience, except sometimes even I forget to breathe.

I’m going to stay positive. I’m not going to feel better overnight. Nothing happens overnight: losing weight, composing a perfect health care plan, graduating from school,  falling in love, becoming your best self, etc.  I’ve lost seven pounds in half a year, but I didn’t rush myself. Trust me I tried to lose weight as fast as I could, but it doesn’t work that way, for my body at least.  I didn’t want to fall back into bad habits and relapse. I decided the only way to lose weight was not to focus on the weight itself,  but how I felt. It always goes back to that. I also don’t like to post pictures of my “progress,” because I don’t need the confirmation of my Instagram followers to feel satisfied. This is for me.

I have a few more days of No Makeup November and I’m a little apIMG_4050prehensive about my self-progress, but let’s see what happens.



Week Two NMN…

Hi everyone,

It’s been two weeks now and let me tell you where I went today… Sephora. I wasn’t there to purchase anything obviously, I was there to get my friend a birthday gift. I told the cashier I was participating in No Makeup November and she said “Ew.” I kid you not, she said “ew.” I left the Makeup store extremely annoyed.

9f8c31a8272b999f9d8b5d8869ae23e0There’s a double standard in society though. We are taught to hide our flaws behind ms-l225akeup, but if we wear too much we look like clowns or worse, Kylie Jenner clones, you know with the gallons of foundation and contour people wear. I swear I blame the Kardashians for making young girls go straight into dressing like an adult/ showing off their smokey eye, instead of having that awkward Limited Too checkered board capris and one annoying pimple of their makeup-less face phase.

Like mentioned before, I’ve been thinking clearly because of the way I’ve been listening to my own needs and focusing on what matters to me. I’ve been a little more comfortable without wearing makeup, but it still can be difficult. Sometimes I want to add concealer to cover up the bags under my eyes or fix my eyebrows, but I talk myself out of it. I need to find this confidence within and accept my flaws for what they are. Nobody is going to teach you that. You have to teach yourself.


Basically a Week, Summer Review, Dating Advice from a Mexican Spinster Part Two

It’s been a week since I stashed away all my makeup and it’s been challenging. I feel like my appearance doesn’t reflect my personality. I look incredibly tired all the time, even my boss asked if I was feeling okay. Mentality- wise my anxiety has toned down a little, maybe because I don’t have to stare at myself in the mirror, while I hide all my imperfections. It’s a vulnerable situation all your outer flaws are visible to everyone.

The crazy part, I haven’t let this prevent me from going out. I went to a bar the other night for line dancing and two guys asked me to dance at the same time. I was honestly shocked. I wasn’t there to up pick a guy at a bar, but I guess I’m more approachable without makeup?

It’s really inspiring me to move on and let my heart heal from the bullshit I experienced this summer. Come to think of it, this summer really hinted to me that I needed to figure out what I wanted and how to become a better version of myself. I guess I needed that reality check of dating to help me understand that because who wants to date a jealous insecure woman.

I think that’s why some relationships aren’t very healthy because two people decide they like each other and want to be together without actually liking their own selves.

See what happens when you focus on yourself? You think more clearly…

-Kiki Reyes


P.S These are the three things I ask when I check in with myself:

  1. Am I drinking enough water?
  2. Am I sleeping enough?
  3. Have I been exercising?

No Makeup November Once Again

Hello, my readers and haters,

Today is my second day of NMN and this year I decided to do it for myself.  No more filters on Snapchat or Instagram filters. It takes me about an hour and a half to get ready, and I’ve been relying on makeup to feel confident and pretty without realizing I’m hiding behind it again. Thankfully,  I have this month to work on how I feel on the inside rather than the outside.

I’ve been having trouble with losing weight because of a particular health condition I have, and it’s been mentality straining. I am 23 years old now, and I feel the pressure of keeping weight off and face flawless is even more overwhelming. There is no secret that I suffer from Body Dysmorphia. Some weeks are easy, but sometimes it’s hard for me to leave my house because of how bloated/fat I think I am.  Despite being invited to a social outing, I won’t go if I don’t look good.

I’ve come to learn it’s not how you look, its how you feel! I haven’t been feeling “good” or my “best” for a bit; however, I’m happy to place aside the superficiality of social pressures and concentrate on my mind, body, and soul. Hopefully, I won’t get caught in these pressures after this month. I’m excited to share this experience with you guys and hope it can inspire you to check in with yourself.




The second day of NMN… Absolutely no filter



I’m the real life Rory Gilmore

I recently snatched an internship with a news press as an arts and entertainment journalist. I know! Me, writing for the most well-known paper in my county. I feel like this writing career is kicking off and I’m in the race. I’m published too! I also begin drinking a lot of coffee, once a day.  I also turned twenty-three last week,  I’m pretty old. I mean I have been asked out by guys older than me lately. I wonder if it’s because I look older or because I’m wifey material. (wifey material: someone who is mature, smart, sophisticated, can carry an intelligent conversation, has their shit together, and career-driven)  I think that is the case because guys my age don’t like the challenge and intelligence of me.  They also get intimidated by my success and background. They want someone who’s easy to manipulate, insecure, hypersexual, and overall easy.  Basically the opposite of me.  I’m not trying to sound like I’m better than guys my age, but I’m not looking to fuck around.  I feel like I’m worth more than a one-night stand. I want an emotional/ intellectual connection with someone, it doesn’t need to be all about attraction you know?

Anyway,  I’ve been contemplating the idea of getting my Ph.D. in Creative Writing or Journalism.  I know it’s wild, but I genuinely believe in education.  I have the opportunity and it’s all I’ve ever dreamt about, being a well-educated independent classy woman like Rory Gilmore.  I’ve always been so scared to be who I am because I thought I could never be that person, but here I am 23 and a freelance writer getting her master’s in writing, who has never been in love, but hopes to be, writing a novel,  and being my quirky nerdy self that everyone thought was lame.

In a way, my life is kind of glamorous. I probably have all the guys from my high school on the edge of their seats. Watch out I’m the real life, Rory Gilmore!

Advice From a Writer to Whoever Wants It…

Hello friends,

I am recovering from possibly one of the best weekends I’ve had in a long time. I’m not the type of woman who finds herself at bars and clubs three nights in a row, I look like a librarian for goodness sake, but there I was doing the damn thing. How do people do it? Party three nights in a row like that? On a normal basis! That’s insane. Besides, one of my professors from school gave me advice on how to be a better a writer. Actually, it was a list of fourteen things.  Here are my notes:

  1. Always say yes
    1. It’s all about the connections and relationships (networking)
  2. Build your own brand
    1. Social Media
    2. Your own website
  3. Time Management
    1. No excuses
  4. Make a Budget
  5. Travel
    1. Get outside anywhere/ everywhere
    2. Make a list of where you want to go
  6. Face your fears and take risks
    1. Inform yourself as a writer
    2. What makes you uncomfortable will help you
  7. Work out
    1. 20 minutes a day
  8. Know who you are
    1. All your characters are you
    2. Be confident
    3. Know your own story
  9. Know how to take a meeting
    1. meeting a manager
    2. arrive 10-15 minutes early, dress the part, always say yes (if they ask for water or coffee), research who you are seeing, pay attention to their office
  10. Be proactive
    1. Do it yourself, make your own stuff
  11. Treat writing like a job
  12. Write goals, daily, weekly, yearly
    1. 21 days to create a habit
  13. Do not live in a bubble
  14. Be interested and interesting

The numbers 1, 6, 13, and 14 are relevant to my weekend.  I have so much to share with you guys and I am quite inspired by the things that occurred this past weekend. I am no longer a boring person…