M

y story begins with a butterfly-shaped notebook. It was the first notebook I remember having written in. The words in it are hardly legible - "chicken scratch" would be a compliment - and I'm pretty sure they were Britney Spears song lyrics, not original content. Yet, this notebook was the beginning of something great for me. It was the beginning of everything I have become till today. Born in St. Louis, MO but having grown-up in a small town across the bay from Mobile, AL, everywhere I looked and everything I knew belonged within a very teeny, tiny box. I was an unconventional child - a little girl that liked to play in construction site dirt hills, read books in solitude, and admire avant garde couture. Everything I was went against everything most kids were. My interests were of fantasy worlds and clothes as art rather than Friday night football and tailgating. Naturally, I had a tough time fitting in and making friends. School was easy for me. Every subject was a breeze, as long as I kept myself organized, and I often found myself bored. I didn't have friends to hang out with after school or activities to attend, so I often escaped into my writing. I had always written short poems, song lyrics, and stories but never a novel. Then, after finishing the Uglies series by Scott Westerfeld at 11, I thought to myself, "What's stopping me from creating something like this?" It was a big thought for an 11 year-old, but again, I wasn't average. I wrote my first "book" that year. I first wrote it on an old computer and transferred it to a floppy disc. I became a wizard at Microsoft programs at a young age because of this. I familiarized myself with technology while other kids were focused on birthday parties. Then, my computer crashed, and I lost everything. The book was gone, and I had misplaced my floppy disc. However, this didn't stop me. I'm a stubborn girl, which can be a fault, but for the most part, it keeps me from giving up on what I believe in. I bought a dark green, 50 cent notebook - just your standard Walmart, school supplies notebook - and I filled the pages beginning to end with my book. Of course, at 11, I didn't know what the requirements were for a novel, and I certainly didn't have 50,000 words, but I did have at least 75 pages filled with content. It was a huge milestone for myself, and I loved it so much. Since then, I haven't stopped writing. Since 11, I've written 8 full novels - one of which, Twenty, was published. I've written too many short stories to count, but I've had 7 published and won 1 award for Best of Flash Fiction. I've copy edited over 480,000 words, and I've freelance written 2 novels. Writing has been and will always be my life, my passion, and my career. However, as you can probably imagine, it can get repetitive doing the same thing over and over again. So, at fourteen I launched my first blog, which has now evolved to the website you currently sit on, The Jinapher. I've also taken on writer work for freelance clients in the USA, UK, and AUS. I work as a part-time employee at Six Degrees Inc. - a marketing company - as a Social Media Communicator, and I work as a remote Freelance Copy Editor & Writer at Book In A Box. I have done volunteer work as a proofreader, and I did modeling in the past - which lead me deeper into my obsession with fashion. As a model, I was a human coat hanger - yes - but I also learned the handwork, effort, and creativity that goes into a designer's brand and collection. For years, I have blogged on fashion, and this year - 2017 - I'm launching my first ever shop. I want to learn what I can about a good business, and I figured the only way to do so is to get my hands dirty. The same goes for travel. I've yearned to travel the world since I was a child, and this past year - 2016 - was the first time I was able to satisfy my taste with a road trip to California with some friends. Since then, I have planned trips left and right, road tripping the South and most of the East Coast. I write about those travels a lot on this blog, because that's what I do - I write. My story is writing. Though my blog has specific niches in travel and fashion, my true passion is being able to write content for others, to share my experiences and help others discover inspiration for their lives. Now, I'm currently 20 years-old, live in a studio apartment in downtown Mobile, AL, and I stick to my small city in the hopes to save more money to travel at least 3 months out of the year.