*This post was written in June.

I realize it’s the end of summer now but I’d like to share my garden progression. I planted my winter garden right after New Year’s. The garden was planted late for the season but I don’t mind.

I planted two kinds of lettuce that are both still growing as of June 2020. I’ve had several months of lettuce. I tried growing onions in the center section but it did not work at all. The corner is brussel sprouts. They grew larger but never produced any sprouts. I think I planted them too late in winter and then we had a few really hot weeks in March that really stunted their growth. …


textured wall with a small window and graffiti. On the wall is a sign that reads impasse chapta and a spray painted black cat
textured wall with a small window and graffiti. On the wall is a sign that reads impasse chapta and a spray painted black cat
“Enjoy this Ray of Light” by NathalieSt is licensed under CC BY-ND 2.0

*This was written March 30, 2020

Hello again. I haven’t posted since Valentine’s Day and boy has the world changed since then. Like many people in the world I am on lockdown. I am now a fully remote worker which is new. When I first started freelancing I worked remotely part of the time. This time has been completely different. I have co workers and students to check in on. I also have a job that does not lend itself well to remote work.

If this is the first post you’re ever reading of mine, welcome to the party. I work as a technical director of a college theater department. What does that mean? It means I manage and maintain the theater spaces, handle scheduling, and handle the technical elements of all the productions. The fun bits of my job are designing lights and building sets. The less creative work I can do from home is paperwork. And so that’s what I’ve been doing. Going to virtual meetings, creating paperwork, answering emails, prepping for next school year, ect. …


sadness from the pixar film inside out looks at the camera sadly
sadness from the pixar film inside out looks at the camera sadly
“こんな感じで。” by amika_san is licensed under CC BY-ND 2.0

In light of the pandmic, this post feels even more relevant.

*NOTE: This was written March 8, 2019

Illness. Whenever I get sick, I feel like I have to perform sickness otherwise I won’t be believed. I can you hear you saying, “Well that’s silly.” It is silly but as a female with chronic health issues, many stemming from my uterus I’m not believed the majority of the time. I say I don’t feel well or there’s something wrong and I’m told I’m wrong. That what I’m feeling is invalid. …


HOW I paid off $25,000 of student loan debt in 1 year

open book with dollar bills spilling out. the title reads student loans.
open book with dollar bills spilling out. the title reads student loans.
“Student Loans” by investmentzen is licensed under CC BY 2.0

I wrote my monthly money checkin series last year about paying off my student loans. Today I’d like to talk more in depth about the steps I took to pay off my debt.

Step one was getting a full time job with health benefits and a steady paycheck. Prior to my current job I was freelancing full time. My yearly income was consistent but my month to month pay fluctuated making it harder to plan. With obamacare, costs fluctuated from year to year.

Step two was good fortune. I worked full time job number one for 6 months then switched to a different position in the same company. I earned $1,000 more per month in the switch. …


film shoot in a meadow with a large tree
film shoot in a meadow with a large tree
“Paramount Ranch — Kidnapped” by Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area is licensed under CC PDM 1.0

A short film I worked on three years ago is going to be released. And I feel weird about it. I feel proud of the short of the film. I feel sad that that particular experience and version of filmmaking can’t exist for a long time. I feel sad that I can’t make something like that now.

I was a production assistant on this film. We shot in the mountains for 4 days and all slept up there for the film shoot. It felt like going to camp. Everyone was lovely. I was miserable. I did not know until this summer that I got severe altitude sickness. Which is great when you are filming in the mountains. I kept having health issues — allergies, endometriosis, my ear drum collapsed, migraines. It was all falling apart. It wasn’t long after this shoot that I quit working on set in film. I loved filmmaking but my body did not. I pivoted to more writing and post production work. …


rolls of american dollar bills. title reads 2020 mid year checkin.
rolls of american dollar bills. title reads 2020 mid year checkin.

We are more than half way through the year so let’s check in on our goals. Click here to see my 2019 goals, mid year check in and end of year review.

A disclaimer before you read this post. I am in an extremely privileged position. My money related goals have not been impacted by the coronavirus. I am aware of how fortunate I am to still have my full time job with benefits. I understand that many people’s lives have been turned upside down in catastrophic ways. If reading about other’s money situations is difficult for you right now, skip to goals 6 and 7. Of course, skip this entire post if needed. …


There is a hashtag going around twitter where authors are sharing their advance amounts. It was started to highlight the financial disparity between black authors versus their white peers. It’s illuminating. Here are my numbers for articles I’ve written.

The Billfold: $40 per article

Business Insider: $0 reprint of an article

Matador Network: $40 per article, $25 per reprint of an article

Copywriter: $15-$18 per hour, part time

At the now defunct billfold, they paid all writers the same fee. It was great for equity purposes. But it means that when an article did well or went viral there was no more compensation. Case in point, the fuck off fund by Paulette Perhach. …


Good morning!

It’s been a while. In 2016 I started posting daily, then weekly then never. I’m ready to come back. This week I’ll start with a bit of an update.

I wrote my first TV Pilot and full length play! I’m really proud of these pieces.

Image for post
Image for post

Next step is rewrites over the summer. Why summer? I’m am directing two one act plays. I started working on the plays over the holidays and they both open at the end of April. Once the plays run their course, I will have more time to devote to rewrites.

I’m loving the directing process. It’s been so much fun creating a thing from nothing. The first play is 8 minutes and shows why 3 different women decided to have an abortion. This play was written in response to Pussygate and the huge number of male politicians trying to legislate women’s lady parts. I go to the doctor A LOT in relation to severe issues with my period. I was really frustrated that because abortion is such a divisive issue there’s a constant threat of losing access to all gynecological care. Luckily a lot of those bills in 2016 did not pass. …


And saved lots of money in the process

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Image for post
Fresh tomatoes and raspberries from the yard

One frequent question I get asked is whether or not gardening helps save me money. I would say yes and in more ways than one.

Gardening is similar to a CSA: you pay for everything upfront and then enjoy the food for the season. At this point, my yard is already sectioned off. I have the number of pots that I need and leftover seeds from previous years. I also have help. My grandfather helps me plant at the start of each spring and answers any questions if I’m unsure of things. …

About

Ariana Burrell

Writer & Poet living in SoCal. Plant lady. Always has too many questions. Name pronounced (Air-e-on-uh)

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