“The Cubicle Diaries: Friends Close, Coworkers Closer”

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WARNING: NOT ONLY DO I GUSH, BUT I ALSO GIVE OUT QUITE THE SPOILER ALERTS BUT WHO CARES! IT’S NOT LIKE YOU’RE GOING TO FIND OUT ANYWAYS. & BESIDES, IT’S NOT TOOOOO MUCH.

The wait is FINALLY over! My God! How does that saying go, don’t talk about it, be about it. Oh, it’s time to be about it. Now is the time I can prove more than ever why I came back to the states. Time for the marketing spurs to activate, time to whip out the rosé, time to whip out the roses –black roses that is, time to let games begins. FINALLY!!! The Cubicle Diaries: Friends Close, Coworkers Closer has finally debuted. I was behind by a few weeks, but it was all for perfecting reasons. It’s funny how I found out the gospel. I was kicking it in my apartment, waiting patiently for my author copies to come, and I was like, watch my book be live & me not even know it! I then “accidently” clicked on the link to my book via Amazon, and there it was, alive and ready for anyone in the world to buy. I was like, OMFGG! The first thing I thought, besides OMG & Thank you, Jesus, was where is the fucken rosé?!? This isn’t a celebration for sparkling wine, this calls for real champagne. Fuck a hoe, I’m pulling out the stops on this bitch! I worked soooooooooooooo hard for this piece. I seasoned it and marinated it, and now it is ready for everyone to feast off of and suffer from gluttony. I can’t believe it. Twice author. I know for a fact some thought I wasn’t going to do it, and that I’m all talk. Here’s a few words of advice, don’t EVER underestimate me. I’m not you. I feel so happy and confident on this project. In the interview I had a few months ago, see past blogs, I shared that I can finally feel like a writer. I am in LOVE with this volume.

It took me a year to do my own edits. Edits not write the motherfucker. Then I went back & forth with the publishing company. Back and forth, back and forth, and then I was like, OK, step away from the keyboard. Plus, I felt like there was no reason to edit it anymore, and I have to trust the editors to let them do their thing. It’s hard for every writer to step away from their project, because it can always be that much better, but we must learn to trust in ourselves and make the next round or project better, if needed. And that’s kind of what happened with volume II. I definitely LOVE volume I, it is my baby, but the thing that I love about The Cubicle Diaries is that it’s a series that gets better and better. Everything the series is capable of is not paraded into the first volume, although a lot of it starts there; the seeds were planted. The second volume definitely surpasses the first on a lot of levels. I learned a lot from volume I, and because of that volume II is better, and because of volume II, volume III will be ‘grand.’ I so wanna touch on volume III, but I need to thrive off of volume II at the moment.

I’m proud because most writers feel success off of writing one piece, which is great, but not for me. I’m just like, I, and The Cubicle Diaries has so much to tell. We all have a story to tell. Some are just more interesting than others. I love this volume because it’s very episodic and entertaining. It is literally LOL funny. I LOVE what I did to all the characters. I swear, “Doris” and “Louva” definitely steal the scenes. And speaking of them, they’re so important to the story, I gave them their own titled chapters, which are VERY important to the story. We really get into Louva’s mindset and her deep, dark psyche. And as for “Doris,” that’s REALLY something else. I love the title of her chapter. I love the fact that she goes on a rampage. Because of that chapter, I suffered from writers block. I had to revisit it at a later time and move on. I’m glad I did because it turned out to be so great. I let that puppy simmer. Also, her chapter is the longest. I love the titular chapter, “Friends Close, Coworkers Closer.” I love the dialog in that one and I love the roles the characters are playing at that point. I swear, it’s like a show! Hopefully one day it will be. I yearn for the day where I see the caption, “Based on the book by Otter Holmes.” Then MAYBE I could die.

The cover. The cover I wanted completely redone. While promoting There’s Something in the Coffee, I met some rad people in Portland, Oregon. That night was magical. LOL. Portland and that trip was magical. LOL. [Inside joke with myself]. I met a group of people. We were all strangers basically in town for some specific reason for a short amount of time. What was all the more interesting was that I met “Derek from Seattle.” Not only is the main protagonist, and on occasion anti-hero and one of the many on-again villains the story has to offer, named “Derek,” but he is from Seattle. It was so iRONic. Like literally. I wanted to be like, tell me everything about you. He was a looker, too. Talk about life imitating art, art imitating life. I’ll just say it was Dionysus talking to me… I shared my story, as we all did, and there was a guy and a girl there who gave me ideas on how to make my book cover more interesting. Basically the way I interpreted it was, we judge books by their cover and make yours eye catching, and then it hit me. I knew exactly how I wanted the cover. I had already knew what I wanted to do with the cover, but these magical creatures in the land of books gave me a push in the direction I needed to head into. I wanted the cover to share what the story is about, even more than just a black rose. I wanted the cover to have sex appeal. As for its backside, lol, I wanted to keep that. In a sense it stays tied to the name ‘diary,’ and I still got to keep the black roses, because after all, the black roses are FINALLY explained in this volume. I like how there is a sense of mystery attached to the story, too. There’s lots of questions to ask and edginess. There may be only one recipient to the infamous bouquet, but there could be many senders; and then, everyone becomes a recipient.

I love this volume because I got to exercise my skill, channel A LOT that I learned studying English, create my own soap-opera – dramalike show [in a book form for now], and also channel the great Shakespeare. I see “Louva” as my “Shakespearean” character. She has some of the best lines/ quotes. She speaks a lot in rhetoric, for those who notice and know it. “Looking Louva” is one big [direct] gift to English and Shakespeare. I love how thematic the book is. Aside from everyone being on the same payroll in a hostile work environment, the one thing they also share is they all say the same thing. I’ll leave that to you, the reader, to figure out. “All is Fair in Love & War” is pretty up there. Look out for the alphabet part. That’s when I knew I was having fun with English.

There isn’t just scandal, revenge, drama, & betrayal, there’s a little of romance, courtesy of Madeline and Howard. Then there’s bad romance with the Derek, Emily, Pasqual love triangle. I mean, who gets in a love triangle with their boss and his mistress?!? I have to admit that is one messy situation. There’s lots of power struggles. Power is at a height in the office. I love the way I get to define people getting close and eventually becoming friends in the workplace. There are some light hearted parts, especially towards the end when some of the characters take a little trip BUT it’s not like the ending of the first volume. And obviously with scandal comes sex, or rather, with sex comes scandal. I swear, the sex scenes are bound to give any reader an erotic reaction, and believe me, that was all intentional. I’m a very detailed person and I tried to make everything as clear and vivid as possible. There is, however, a sense of mystery going on, especially with the black roses. I LOVE the All Hallows Eve chapter! That’s so thematic! It really is hard to say which is my favourite chapter. “Who’s Afraid of the Big Bad Doris” is pretty up there. I LOVE the twist at the end, end; the finale. It’s a good way to close the second volume and open the third. The ending definitely underscores the entire story. The ending to volume one was good, but this puts it to rest. I wanted to keep on writing, but I was like, leave it for the third! We all get to see the violation of professional life and personal life in more than one work environment.

2 parts, 33 chapters. I had to have my ‘part I’ and ‘part II.’ I busted hard when I saw the table of contents because I was like, how dramatic, part I and part II, but it’s EXACTLY how I wanted it. I love ‘parts’ –pun intended. LOL. Part I is different from part II. The original subtitled was called Know Your Coworkers, but then I came up with Friends Close, Coworkers Closer, which sounds a lot better and juicier. Another thing that I love about The Cubicle Diaries is that it is a story that is relatable to anyone, especially to those in an office work environment. The concept of employment is relatable in general. It all starts off by getting to know your coworkers, because after all we do spend all day every day together and we all have to earn a living, then we vent to each other when another coworker or boss or some stupid SOP gets in the way of our functioning, then we go to lunch and confided in each other when people aren’t eavesdropping on us, then we obliviously establish a personal relationship. Then we hit up happy hour or celebrate someone’s birthday because God forbid we don’t. And how annoying and stupid is it to diss your coworker knowing that you see them all day every day?!?! The people who crack me up are the ones who have the nerve to be mad at you for you being mad at them for something shady they did. Then, especially for those people, you have to make it clear that, bitch, we’re not friends, we’re coworkers. I don’t like you. I’m basically paid to keep it cool with you, but ultimately, I don’t fuck with you! It’s them who make it awkward. Fuckin’ weirdos. Speaking of ‘fuckin’,’ there are a lot of ‘f’ bombs. LOL. Anyhow, back to how one can relate to The Cubicle Diaries. Then we start getting drunk, and for some of us get high, lol, and confided in each other some more, and then some of us start hooking up and then we learn to get each other’s back and then eventually learn to watch our back because after all, business is business and we came to earn money and not friends. It’s a vicious cycle and we all knew we should’ve never mixed business and pleasure but we did it anyways because some of us are only human. We’re all guilty and we’re all villains. The Cubicle Diaries is full of villains, even our beloved little “Derek Johnston.” The Cubicle Diaries also has the boss no one wants, “Doris,” the boss everyone wants, “Simon” and maybe “Pasqual,” office politics, favoritism, and everyday habits we all have, especially when it comes to work. The one thing The Cubicle Diaries has that not everyone or every book has is originality. I also focused a lot of creating iconic quotes for the characters.

One of the major characters that’s not always mentioned out loud “directly” as you would say is Los Angeles. This isn’t just a gift to English, because I channeled A LOT I learned from studying it –Shakespeare– it’s also a gift to LA. I basically paid homage to my native land. We may be parted at the moment, but that does not mean I don’t [still] love it.

I swear, no matter how many times I’ve read it, edited it, WROTE it because yes I lost the first draft, I still get a huge bust out of it. I’m so proud of it. Don’t worry, if you didn’t read part I, that’s OK because part II feels in a lot of the blanks and catches the slow pokes up to speed.

So do yourself, and me a favor, go buy my book. I promise it is worth every penny, even the tax. What I’m even more proud of and excited over is that once everyone is done reading this book, they will definitely learn that we should definitely, especially in a world of business, keep our “Friends Close, Coworkers Closer” and that scandal in the workplace can be toxic.

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