“Are you sure you didn’t consent and forget?” -A Police Officer, to me, the day after my attack

I’ve dealt with unwanted attention, in many different forms, since a young age — long before I became an official “survivor” in the eyes of the law.

But when I was sexually assaulted by a stranger in my own home, and soon discovered I was not my attacker’s only victim, I realized that however difficult the process may be, my case could save someone else. So for the first time in my life, I came forward.

This is that story.

Author and sister at the Women’s March, Washington D.C., 2017
Author and sister at the Women’s March, Washington D.C., 2017

I wake up to the harsh peal of my daily alarm, and the bright morning sun blasting through my open…

White privilege can be used for good. But first, you need to acknowledge it’s existence.

Image credit: instagram.com/donslens

When white (and white-passing) people hear the term “white privilege”, many are quick to defend themselves, as if privilege, itself, is something to be ashamed of. Privilege is out of your control. Those outside your perceived group know that. What’s shameful is opting out of your position to speak up for others.

“But I’m white and not privileged. My life has been hard — you don’t know my story.”

White privilege doesn’t mean your life has been easy. It just means it is not made consistently more difficult (economically, socially, systematically, etc.), because of the color of your skin.

“Actually it has… I experience reverse racism: I’m seen as a bigot.”

First of all, the term “reverse racism” is an oxymoron in the sense that it admits you are…

Between weirdly timed naps, self-taped auditions, and existential crises, an actor’s journey can be very rewarding.

When it comes to working in the Entertainment industry, one universal truth is that everyone’s path is different, and there’s no magic formula to absolute success. That said, there are some experiences you are likely to have on your way to turn your passion into your profession.

1.) When you tell people your goals, some will assume you just want to be famous.

…as if there’s no other possible reason or motivation behind being an actor.

You might also be met with the occasional impulsive challenge to “prove” your ability, such as, “oh, you act? CRY right now!!!” Or the (somehow worse), “oh, you act? Have I seen you in anything?” …

Dallas struts over, still stuffing crumpled cash into her holographic fanny pack. She somehow looks even prettier glistening with sweat.

Note: This Fictional story is a stand-alone piece within my series, Life of Crime, but go back and read “Confessions of a Teenage Drug Dealer” if you wish, for additional context and character development. Thanks!

Some pop electronic hit blasts as Becca, glowing under a colored spotlight, dangles elegantly from a silver beam. She twirls upside-down with her legs split above her, toes pointed. Most of the vets here can’t even do that. I remember tossing her in the air on the sideline of our high school football games. That shit was harder than we made it look.

“You got…

“We regularly go from hot-boxing subsidized apartments to hot-tubbing on Chad’s dad’s mansion estate. But she’s an in-betweener… forgettable. Until now.”

Note: This is the first installation of my Fictional series, Life of Crime: Inspired by real people and true events. If you like this story, read “Confessions of a Hustler” next. Thank you!


I turn around to find a beady-eyed girl approaching from the end of the driveway.

“FUCK YOU!” she shouts, tossing up a middle finger.

I look back towards the house, trying to figure out who the fuck she thinks she’s talking to.

“No, YOU, bitch! FUCK YOU!”

Okay, so it’s me. She’s definitely talking to me. “Dude, do I know you?”

“You fucking ruined my friend’s…

We retreat to the places we call home, bearing gifts, sharing a single thought: please, nobody bring up politics. It’s the most wonderful time of the year!

The upcoming election is fresh in our minds, but it’s time to put our differences aside and bathe in homemade eggnog underneath twinkling lights.

I rescue my most beautiful ugly sweater from the depths of my closet, whip up my most indulgent recipe, gift-wrap a thoughtfully selected White Elephant contribution, and head to our annual generic-holiday Friendsgiving dinner, fashionably early. I’ve missed you guys so much!

I squeal as I squeeze the host! We pour golden potions into flutes. We chat and giggle as acquaintances file past. Here we are! The clique, reunited! Aside from a single missing link; but…

The following is a short story I wrote for Eat, Darling, Eat — an international publication which explores relationships between mothers and daughters regarding food. This piece is dedicated to my loving mother, Jutamas Fessel. Thank you for allowing me to publish your likeness — and your Panang Recipe!

“My sister was such a baby.” My mom describes her childhood as she plucks the eye from a baked catfish at our kitchen table. “She cried when my mom told her to kill the frogs for dinner.” She pops the small, shiny disk into her mouth like a piece of candy…

The is an abbreviation of the true story I had the privilege of hearing in the heart of Atlanta, Georgia, over diner food at 3 AM, after a really fun warehouse party.

I am not arguing politics, and I understand that the account of one man does not reflect the morals/attitude of the entire force or an entire demographic. I am merely recounting a story, which moved me, from a friend. Thank you for reading and understanding.

“In the Army, they trained us to be killers. And at 18, you know, it was almost like a video game. We were…

At the edge of a dark time, I came to the conclusion that heaven and hell exist on earth as high and low moments. They’re places or dimensions moreover, occupied by love versus selfishness.

That’s what I’ll tell my spiritually intellectual friends… if they ask. I’ve been trying to do more listening lately, anyway. The people I commit my time to are all so passionate. They inspire me.

But they sometimes escalate my mania.

I experience demons as physical manifestations of bad energy. It can be extremely difficult to move forward in a world full of demons.

But He grants me peace.

I joke that he’s a healer. I felt it as soon as I met him. My mind works quickly — too quickly — but somehow, he always manages to calm me down.

I’m just a girl attempting to conquer a Bucket List and debilitating anxiety simultaneously. It’s going alright.

I remember a time when I felt stuck, collecting dust, just like my old, handwritten list of dreams and aspirations. I remember believing that things would never get better.

But then they did.

I’m on day eight of my solo cross-country road trip.

My windows are down, and my speakers are all the way up.

I scream the lyrics at the top of my lungs:

“I don’t ever wanna feeeeeel, like I did that day… take me to the place I loooove, take me all the way”

And I fly through the rolling hills.

I still don’t have cell service…

Juliet Fessel

(A)uthor/ctress/rtist/ctivist/thlete | instagram.com/julietfessel

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