mindy raf

I write. I sing. I do comedy.
Author of debut Young Adult novel
The Symptoms of My Insanity DIAL/Penguin

The Symptoms of My Insanity
Recent Tweets @mindyraf
Who I Follow

"I’m a real author on Goodreads! Ah my first review, and it’s good! Ah another one! Well that’s a very passionate way to express discontent. Another. Nice! This girl loved it, she really gets it! Ooo, what’s this? A DNF with 16 exclamation points. What’s DNF? Damn Nice Fine? Dang Noteworthy Fly? Dope Neat Funny?  Delicious Noble Fancy? Oh…oh.  [signs out, has friend change password]" - #DebutAuthorMoments #TBT

Guess who sat behind us on plane? And also followed us to bookstore in London!

I mean…

Tacky American tourist takes pics of food at Croatian wedding.

Me: Americano
Waiter: ?? Antonia: Soupy.

"How much is neck pillow?"
“Oh. No I’ll just save my money for a massage later”
I am killing it at Newark airport’s Hudson News

I shop secondhand. In Bloomingdale’s if I find a dress I like, I just hold it my arms and whisper, “I’ll see you in a couple seasons.”

I wanna let dudes know. Can somebody put this on a tee for me?








y’all should probably spend some time reading this

Oh my god this was supposed to be about books but it’s actually about my relationship with my parents I was unprepared for these feels

yep yep yep this

"The hot insistence on labeling YA as “trashy” and not fit for adult reading isn’t just about a visceral hatred of genre fiction. It’s also a form of denial from older adults who don’t want to engage with the issues faced by Millennials. If the validity of experiences underlying the desire to read YA can be eliminated, then older adults can feel less responsible for what they did to the generations that followed them"

Read the whole thing. Seriously.

I hadn’t even thought about it this way, but I think I just had my whole worldview reframed. Terrific article.

Working in a bookstore, I get at LEAST one parent per day that calls YA comics or novels trash. And ALWAYS in front of their disappointed kid/teenager/tween who was really looking forward to reading that book. And EVERY TIME it takes a shitload of willpower (because customer service) for me to tell them to FUCK OFF.

Once, I was giving a class in a school about manga, and this one kid, her mom threw out all the manga she had bought, with her summer job money, (and it was good series too) simply because she thought her daughter was wasting too much time reading them. You know, instead of discussing the issue that maybe she didn’t do her chores or whatnot? Just fucking toss the books. Yeah.

The hatred on books because they are for teens or for girls shows off the lack of understanding that a group has for another (adults to kids, boys to girls, etc).

YA stories matter because they allow their readers to deal with uncertainty and disappointment, it allows them to enjoy themselves, it allows them to look up to a character that didn’t start up a special, but discovered they could be special if they took into their own hands to become great.

Coming of age stories now happen in books for pre-teens, teens, tweets, and even 50 years olds (after all, the midlife crisis is coming to terms with a change). Because society has strong expectations of everyone at every turn of age now. 

BOOKS FUCKING MATTER. The internet and the people who write on it matter. It all matters.

I’m writing YA stories until I die. 

And I will never tell my readers they don’t matter.

(via miriamforster)

I wrote a Bisexual Q&A. Kept it to myself in regards to social media because it’s my first time posting anything about how I identify. Plus I’m still learning the language of how I identify. I’m still choosing the words I need to use to categorize myself into the right group, box, circle, march, happy hour gathering.

Is it bisexual? Is that what I put down if, at some point, I wanted an online dating profile?

I do a stand-up joke where I tell the audience “I’m [smile] sexual [beat] so if you’re nice to me…”  It always gets a laugh. I think it’s the facial expression I use to button the joke. I’m pretty sure the face I make in the ellipsis implies I’m “easy”. Which is me making fun of the stereotype that bisexuals are all promiscuous and that promiscuity, specifically in women, is negative.  

When I told my family I had a girlfriend after years of having boyfriends, I used the word, “open.” Of course they were confused. “You know me, I’m just an open person. I like people. I’m open.” Bisexual seemed so specific, so label-y. But it does make sense for me. Expect is it binary? Does it exclude transgender and genderqueer people? When I identify as bisexual I think of it as fluid, as not attraction to cismales or cisfemales, but simply as attraction to genders that are like my own or different than my own. I’ve never dated or been intimate with anyone transgendered, transexual, or genderqueer,but that’s not to say I could never. But if I identify as bisexual, then does it exclude people? Or rather, do other people think it excludes people?

I know there are other words to use like pansexual and omnisexual and queer. There are so many words. But bisexual makes sense to me. It’s the word I’m choosing. And semantics aside, the bisexual community doesn’t enforce heteronormativity or exclude the trans community. But some people think it does and that the word holds exclusionary weight.

So I need a different word? Or do I just need more words? How many words do I need in order to identify myself in a way that doesn’t exclude due to the fact that I identity as an orientation that doesn’t exclude?

Where’s the box to check off “bisexual, pansexual, bi-queer, straight then curvy, jewish, white, ciswoman person?”

It’s pride month. And I have a girlfriend. So I’m thinking a lot about identity. I’m also watching a ton of  ”It Gets Better” videos and reading coming out essays. They’re all very “feel good,” but also light fires under my identity neurosis.

Recently I reached out to my girlfriend about this over Gchat because Gchat is a great medium for serious dialogue that involves orientation panic. 

Me: I’m watching coming out videos and having an identify crisis.
Her: ??
Me: Gay, straight, bi, queer? I’m bi? Right? Right?
Her: You’re bi, but dating me now. So you’re all gay : )
Me: Haha, no but for real I’m bi. I really truly identified as straight for so many years, but really I was pretty open but just …no women ever hit on me and I never make the first move, dating women wasn’t my wheelhouse, but that was fine because I really like guys too. I still do. 
Her: Yeah. I know. You’re bi. You’re so bi.
Me: But I wouldn’t be opposed to trans or gender queer, doesn’t bi exclude that? I just like people. The right people for me, I mean.
Her: No. bi can mean all, but yeah maybe you should be Queer.
Me: I don’t know if I like the word Queer. Growing up it was so negative. Hmm. 
Her: So just be straight. : )
Me: Haha. I’m straight with a curvy girlfriend line. Can I be strueer? I’m strueer!! 
Her: Um.  . .
Me: Can I make that a thing?! STRUEER!
Her: No.
Me: I need a WORD!
Her: Uh… .
Me: What am I? What are we?? 
Her: I don’t care what we are. As long as we’re together.
Me: Yeah.

So I wrote a “Bisexual Q&A” because that’s how I identify. I wrote a Bisexual Q&A and  I’m sharing it now because it’s pride month, and I’m proud it, and me, and the words I choose, and the language of my identity I’m still learning.


I hope you find the best words for you, and —most importantly—  the best people.