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My Coastal Fashion Week Experience

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Coastal Fashion Week was presented by Exalté Magazine for the FIRST time this year. The show came to three states in three days: Mississippi, Alabama, and Florida. It was split into boutiques and designers, a small and well-orchestrated intermission between the two. All models were volunteers, and we’re asked to bring a coat to model-off and donate for Coats for a Cause, an extraordinary cause meant to bring warmth and smiles to those having to bare the cold weather. Personally, it was one of the best runway experiences I’ve had to date, and it’s an experience I’ve learned so much from.

It all started on Thursday, January 15th, 2015 at The Redding House in Biloxi, Mississippi. Since my first runway show had been in September 2014, I truly only had one experience to compare CFW to, and CFW exceeded my expectations by a long shot. Despite the fact it was the first out of three shows, the team working together at CFW managed to keep it organized and on track. By 7pm, as a model, I’d never felt more relaxed to walk in front of a crowd, which I feel is very important. No boutique or designer wants their models to accidentally trip or fall in their clothes in front of everyone because of nerves. So, the organized environment was a HUGE relief, especially compared to my show in September that moved so fast, quick changes were impossible.

When it came to the actual walking, I was at ease, though slightly nervous since it was only my second show. I walked to the somber music of Destani Hoffman–avant-garde designer, haute couture illustrator, and brilliant older sister. However, putting all sisterly love aside, Destani Hoffman delivered a performance like no other designer had. The eerie music, “straight-jacket” inspired clothing, and always-watching googly eyes had every person in the crowd clapping after each design walked before them.

Having missed the original tryouts for CFW, I was very lucky to be offered a look each night by Destani, because of a number of models not being able to make the show. It was a privilege to walk a collection I once saw lying in scraps in her apartment, and an even bigger privilege to walk and have her chosen for the Emerging Designer Award. She was the only designer awarded this prize, and because of it people are more than likely going to see a lot more of her designs.

At the end of the night, I’d walked for amazing designs and was part of a beneficial cause. I also met fantastic connections at the after party, which was held at the venue for the night, and I made some really wonderful friendships too.

Plus, that was only the first night.

The two nights following the first were located at The Ezell House in Mobile, Alabama and The Lee House in Pensacola, Florida. These houses, might I add, were absolutely gorgeous. I found myself planning my own home for if I were to ever come into a large sum of money–with sparkling chandeliers and old Victorian wood. Seriously, they were outstanding locations, but the clothing that walked inside them were even more outstanding. I was wishing the whole time that I could just make all the clothing appear in my closet, which may have been a tad unrealistic, but a girl can dream.

During the second night, CFW sold-out and a little more. So, space inside The Ezell House was very limited. However, despite that fact, the show still went off without a hitch.

By night three, CFW changed locations to The Lee House, hoping to create more space, and they did. The runway was put outside in the gorgeous courtyard. Small dangling lights lit the premise like small stars and large heaters were everyone’s savior from the cold. It was the final night, and most of the models had already done the show twice before. I had the schedule permanently written into my mind, and I was ready to walk the runway again. There were moments when the girls I spent the last two nights with were belting out Taylor Swift, and there were designers chilling together a sipping on the complimentary coffee. No one had been more relaxed. I had the view of the sparkling Pensacola water, and I had an adorable little town a block away to explore during our down time. It was a runway show in paradise.

The Finale show went off perfectly, no surprise there, and the after party was bitter-sweet with everyone saying their good-bye’s. I have marked this experience as one that was easy to write about. It was a beautiful story added to my life, and I am so blessed to be able to share a small glimpse of it today. Of course, I hope to do it again next year, and I hope to do more with Exalté Magazine in the near future. I, personally, loved that Coastal Fashion Week was more than just a job I showed up to. It was a community of fashion-believers.

Always,
Jinapher J. Hoffman

Life IS Cats

His name is Fuzzy, though when he’s in trouble my family calls him Fuzz. He’s quite the character: hardly charismatic, and truly regrets not posting his face on the internet before Grumpy Cat did. The truth is, Fuzzy isn’t all grumpy. He’s actually quite sweet & lovable…to me. He, however, is VERY anti-social, and kinda hates kids, and, well, maybe I should make a list.

  1. Seafood sickens him.
  2. If a cat bed is not made of paper, than he WILL stare at you until you make him one.
  3. He hates being brushed, despite the fact he rolls over when I finally get to him with a brush.
  4. If there were a Zombie Apocalypse, he’d live an eternity off of his stomach fat–which, I’ve determined must be why he’s stocked up so much.
  5. He’s the best cuddle buddy, with the exception of his butt being ONLY comfortable on my face.
  6. He always looks royally peeved, especially when Lucy is around.
  7. Lucy, the dog, is terrified of him.
  8. Despite not having any front claws, toddlers still shriek in fear when he slaps them in the face with a paw of fluff.
  9. He doesn’t like my music. Honestly, he doesn’t like any noise. Period. Well, except Taylor Swift. She’s his jam.
  10. If anyone awakens his slumber, which is ALL DAY, there will be plenty of meow-ing complaints.

Those are just ten facts about him, but there’s more. I bet you’re probably wondering how my cat has anything to do with life, but, in fact, he IS life. I know, you’re thinking I’m some crazy cat lady (I am, though not the point), but just read on.

Fuzzy is my personal metaphor for life. Life, much like him, is a very fragile, consistently grumpy, thing. One cannot mess with it’s regularity without getting a paw swat, but that’s truly all it is. It’s a slap in the face, and then, it’s time to move on. Life doesn’t hold grudges. It wants us to fix our mistakes and make amends. Fuzzy, just like life, wants that. He wants me to forget I forgot to feed him at exactly 9:30 p.m., and to not do it again. He may require extra petting at bed time, but he’s easily cured.

Life is easily cured. Sure, it’s a little extra work, but it’s worth it, because once we put forth some hard work (and feed the cat), everything works out and moves forward. So, essentially, life IS cats, and to everyone who thought I was crazy for thinking so, HAH.

Always,

Jinapher J. Hoffman

2015 Resolutions

It’s a new year, and it’s time to make my New Year’s Resolutions. Honestly, I’m coming up with all of these throughout today. So, maybe I’ll come up with more later, but these are the really important ones for this year.

  • 2015, for me, is all about starting my career. Ever since I was eleven, I’ve known that my role in life is to inspire people with the creation of stories. It didn’t matter if it was books or poems or videos–I did it all. I have done it all, and this year is going to be the year that I truly make my path in the creative industry. I’m going to Full Sail University, where I’ll obtain a Bachelor’s degree in Creative Writing for the Entertainment Business, and I’ll be doing more better quality projects for this blog. So, to put simply, my first resolution is to improve everything I’ve been doing since I was eleven. I want to take it to a whole new level.
  • My next resolution is to improve myself. I realize that I’m not the fattest, nor am I the ugliest, but my health meter lately is stuck on low. I want to improve my health by exercising daily, drinking more water and less soda, and also, eating healthier. I, all around, want to be a healthier, better version of myself.
  • Also, I want to work on my relationships. I want to work hard to keep the people around me happy, the people I love, and I want to not make myself miserable in the process. Sometimes, I put so much forth and give up so much for others, that I find myself wondering if I give too much, especially when I’m getting nothing in return. So, this year, I am making a resolution to keep my relationships healthy, for both my friends and myself.
  • I guess a more obvious resolution is to officially have my book on a bookshelf in stores, and to also sell 2500 copies, which would mean I get my retainer back. I truly could not ask for anything more than to share my stories, but at the same time it would be really awesome if 2500 people read my book!
  • Next, I want to hit record breaking statistics for my blog! This past year, it’s been kind of slow, but mainly, that’s because I’ve been so busy with my senior year of high school. So, now that I’ll have some down time, I’d love to really produce great, meaningful posts and gain a bigger following.
  • Another resolution is to keep a daily journal. Sometimes, the only way I can get through a rough situation is if I write down my thoughts. My mind is so chaotic, and so, I believe it would be beneficial  to keep a daily diary.
  • For now, those are my resolutions to kick off 2015! What are your main resolutions? Have any in common with me? Comment below!

    Always,
    Jinapher J. Hoffman

Update: Blog Will Be Under Construction Tonight

This Christmas, I received some great books to kick of 2015 with:

  • The Retribution of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin
  • Isla and the Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins
  • In the Afterlight by Alexandra Bracken
  • The Infinite Sea by Rick Yancy

As you all know, but just in case you’re new here, I review books all the time. I plan on reading these and reviewing them as January 2015 kicks into gear. So, I suppose this is a type of TBR, or To Be Read! Today, I’ll be COMPLETING my novel Twenty, which is pretty exciting, and later, I can take some time to vamp up the blog for the new year!

I’m leaning towards a new header and possibly a new layout. I’ll be playing around with it later. So, if you get on, don’t be shocked if it looks very strange (*chuckles*).

I hope everyone is doing good. This post is really just a quick update and to get you all excited about 2015’s upcoming book reviews! What are you looking forward to for the blog in 2015? What’s something you miss that you wish I’d continue? Let me know in the comments!

Always,

Jinapher J. Hoffman

Rant on Break Homework

Warning: This rant may or may not offend people involved in education. Please know that this is just me letting off some steam about my recent experiences, and that this is all just a matter of my own personal opinion. Nothing I write should be taken to heart PERSONALLY, but taken to heart WIDELY.

Let’s be honest: when kids are in high school, they are expected to do their homework. It doesn’t matter if we have a sport till 9 pm, or have to work till 11 pm. Teachers don’t care about that. What they care about is the assignment being turned in. Homework sucks. It really does, but myself and other students still get it done because they don’t want to fail. However, when a student has homework constantly, basically every night, and they have a two week break, that time should be what it is: A BREAK. That means us students shouldn’t have to worry about anything!

For me, I’m taking two AP classes and the rest are all Honors. My work load is pretty heavy, even though I only have five classes this year. My teachers don’t often take into account that I have OTHER classes, and so I typically end up with six hours worth of homework that I can truly only spend an hour doing. In my personal opinion, that’s ridiculous. Students should not be burdened down with so much homework they can’t breathe. I mean, I hate how I end up with more homework than actual classwork. I hate how the school systems, many of them, have begun to do that. Maybe we are young, and maybe we need to be responsible, but stressing us out with so much work that we feel like crying and are miserable is NOT NECESSARY.

But, back to the break thing.

Right now, I am on Christmas break and I’ve never been so stressed. I should be able to hang out with my family and my boyfriend and my friends, AND ENJOY MY TIME OFF, but unfortunately, I 1) had an English paper due, and my friends, a PAPER is not an ESSAY, 2) have to learn a whole unit for my Biology class through worksheets and projects, 3) I have to read the entirety of “Lord of the Flies” for English, and on top of that, I have my own personal deadlines. For example, I’m writing a book with a deadline of January 1st (that’s 50,000 words and over people). Also, I’m producing a video series for my blog, which takes a minimum of four hours for editing PER FILM. Oh, and I’m not done, I also have my social media to keep updated, which may not seem like a big deal, but when you’re someone like me who’s living will ultimately depend on social media in the near future, you have to keep up with it and update it accordingly. On top of that, I’m a Senior– meaning COLLEGE APPS.

Besides that? I have to spread my attention out to family and friends and my boyfriend. Of course, that’s not any kind of burden, but it does kind of suck that I don’t get a lot of time to do that, because when I do have my down time, my brain is still on. My brain never shuts up. When I’m finally done with one thing, it starts stressing about the next. I AM ALWAYS STRESSED. So stressed that I’ve started taking two to three hour baths. I’m 17. I should not be taking two to three hour baths. Not yet.

Am I complaining? Maybe a little bit. Don’t get me wrong. I am so blessed with ALL of these opportunities to do more with my life. My problem is that this Christmas Break was supposed to be exactly that with the exception of getting my book done. It was supposed to be my down time, and instead I’m crabby and frustrated and, honestly, REALLY HATE SCHOOL. High school should not stress me out so much that I hate it. It should not prevent me from doing things that will benefit my life in the future. Perhaps not every teenager is writing a book like me, or managing social media accounts rather than attending football games, but I AM POSITIVE that every other teenager out there shares this same frustration with their own circumstances.

So, I guess the moral of this rant is that I’m not a normal 17 year old and I should just be a stress ball and get over it. At least, that’s what most of my teachers and fellow adults would say with a nonchalant smile and a VERY tall pile of UNGRADED assignments on their desks. I’m just saying, no offense or anything, but if a teacher barely has the time to grade a few hundred papers, how do they expect a student to complete just as many assignments between all their classes? I think it’s a tad unfair.

Anyways, I’m just a teenager, right? So, what do I know?

I know that it would be nice if my 17 year old self could actually have the break I believe I deserve. Call me selfish if you’d like, but it’s the truth. I work my butt off and I deserve to be cut some slack, and honestly, my work that I turn in would be TEN TIMES BETTER if I wasn’t so stressed by the other multitude of assignments. Maybe that has something to do with my school system’s schedule (another rant for another day), but I truly should not be this level of overwhelmed. Can I handle it? Oh, hell yes. Should I have to? Absolutely not. It’s not necessary for students to be assigned assignments that won’t even be graded until a couple weeks after they are due.

Sorry, I’m really stressed.

Always,

Jinapher J. Hoffman

My Thoughts on Fire at 2 AM

The other day, I was talking to a distant relative in front of a fire and for some reason it made me wonder about fire and everything that comes with fire, and this is what I came up with.

Fire is so ominous. I don’t think it’s the hotness or the scorching that truly scares us. I think it’s the opportunity to do destruction that scares us. It’s the fact that it’s not easily controlled, but so easily made. Fire can be harnessed by any individual literally and figuratively. Literally, we can make fire with wood and oxygen. Figuratively, we can make fire with an uproar against a particular subject or subjects. We fear fire–fire that will destroy and disrupt and take away–and yet, we can be the flames. It’s so easy for us to become consumed by the fear of fire, and it’s a deadly consumption.

At the same time, you see, fire can be seen in a totally different view point. Where it may have destroyed and disrupted, it has renewed and brought a new beginning. It’s started a new story. Perhaps, the fire started with a foul beginning, but it’s not responsible for a foul ending. For example, let’s say a fire burns down your home. What you do or don’t do ultimately is your decision. Yes, the fire was the catalyst towards the choices, but in no way did it open its mouth and tell you to pick one option over another. Many like to blame their life on one particular moment, when they shouldn’t. They should blame nothing and remember their choices from that particular moment and forward. A lot of us have been blessed with so many choices, but that’s all they are. We can’t make them fight over us. It’s always put decision in the end. Fire can only fight more fire.

Everything else either enhances the flames or smothers them. Oxygen, or wind, for example is a friend. Water, on the other hand, is a foe. Fire–something that is so terrifying and so blamable–can also be built up or taken down. It has no say in whether it devours a building or falls to its death by the hose of the firemen. It can not speak against or for its hunger. It’s an inanimate object, and though it seems uncontrollable, it’s highly able to be controlled. Should it not? Think about it. We are everything fire is. We have things that build us up and tear us down, only we’re more enhanced. We can speak. We can decide. We can control a situation if we want to.

We are fearful of an element that can’t even decide when it kills or doesn’t kill. Yet, there’s people every day who DECIDE to kill or not kill. Perhaps, we are scared of fire because it’s not human; but, perhaps, fire isn’t scary because it’s not human.

Fire is destruction.
Fire is renewal.

Humanity is enhanced destruction.
Humanity is enhanced renewal.

It’s just something to think about. If one must be fearful of something, than the fear should be placed wisely.

Always,
Jinapher J. Hoffman

Holiday Thoughts

Around the holidays, it takes a lot to A) not gain weight and B) not be selfish. All we want to do is kick back, relax, and enjoy our Christmas gifts. The only problem is that the holidays are for celebrating the gift of life itself and cnerishing the family we’ve been blessed with–not how many things we can write down on our Christmas Lists.

The New Year is right around the corner, and it’s bound to be a long one with life changing obstacles. However, before we even reach 2015, we have to leave 2014 behind knowing we were our best selves in the end.

So, remember those who don’t have the means to supply their family or selves with gifts, and remember that the holidays aren’t about giving gifts but giving smiles. Cherish your blessings and remember that what you already have is the greatest present you’ll ever get.

On the not gaining weight side of this article, good luck. I’m still trying to lose the 10 lbs I gained 2 months ago!

Merry Christmas, and I’ll be writing soon on New Year’s Resolutions.

Always,
Jinapher J. Hoffman

DEADlines

When it comes to getting things done, it can take a lot of hard work and effort- especially, when you’re a teenage girl juggling finals, a book publishing contract, and personal life. Often times, I find myself wallowing in the great depth of deadlines- and, this is how I’ve overcome it.

Deadlines are nothing scary. Just think of them as goals you need to reach at a certain time. We all have goals, and we all work to accomplish them. However, with goals, you can take your time. With deadlines? Not so much. I’ve found that NOT lying in bed scrolling through Instagram and Twitter is an efficient way to make a deadline. Instead, coming straight home after school and popping open my laptop is the easiest way to get started.

Writing books is something I’ve done for a really long time. Now, it comes naturally. However, I’ve recently signed on with Tate Publishing and now, instead of taking my time, I have to find ways to get my inspiration pumping.Music is probably my biggest life savior (along with chocolate), and also, just getting some exercise to get my blood helping does the trick too. So, again, lying in bed and doing nothing certainly does NOT help. Trust me, I learned the hard way.

My first deadline is to complete my manuscript by January 1st, which is a deadline I’ve set for myself so that production can get going. It’s idealistic with the Holidays around the corner. I’ll have plenty of down time. However, a lot of my classes at school gave me projects and essays and assignments over the break, which is BEYOND frustrating. So, I’ve had to figure out a way to juggle all these tasks at once to 1) maintain good grades and 2) make my dream of publishing come true. It’s been one of those “floating” months, where I’m just trying to get things done- and, not necessarily the best I can. That’s my first mistake.

If you’re going to take the time out of your day to do something: do it right.

It’s common sense, I know, but in a world that moves by so quickly- even in a small town in Alabama- sometimes I forget what my best even feels and looks like. The good news is that I’ve learned from my mistake. I’ve learned that nothing gets done without a little hard work.

I guess the moral of this post is to do it, and do it right. Make your deadlines because once you don’t, life isn’t just going to hand you an extension. It’s important to always try your best, especially if you’re like me trying to publish a book- just do it. Get it done. Get it off your plate. Then, you can take deep breaths of relief and wait for your next deadline, and tackle it over and over and over again.

Always,

Jinapher J. Hoffman

Also, the “Finding Yourself Trailer” is now out on YouTube! Watch it here & Subscribe: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zfgzvPkh7cU