My first and middle name. My pen name. I was named after the famous impressionistic painting called Water Lillies by the artist himself. My mom saw it at a garage sale when she was pregnant with me. She was eighteen, still in continuation high school, suffering the abuse of my bio dad who later went to prison for felony drug trafficking charges. I’m one of those stories you read about where someone rose above the odds, a flower bursting through the concrete. My secret; follow the pull inside of the heart. Do whatever it takes to get to where it’s leading – no matter what it takes.
My origin story and early childhood upbringing have profoundly influenced my relationship to the world, though my intimate understanding for those who are unseen derives from my close relationship to my grandmother who helped to raise me. It is at the core of my voice, and a sole source for my motivation to live; to fight for better and strive for good. My grandmother was relocated to the US by her family and made to endure back breaking farm labor – she ended up in California to pick grapes and cotton. This was at a time before a law was passed that prevented garden hoes from being under a certain length and work done with them prior to that could be considered slave labor.