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To be a Straw Hat

By Emel Saat

A young woman graduated from college and has no idea what to do with the rest of her life. No one will hire a nobody with no experience and a lot of time on their hands. Spiky (her nickname), tries to find her way in life while many odds are stacked against her, such as a lack of income, the lack of experience, her friends not understanding the entrepreneur life, society's definition of being an adult, and the struggle of being her own cheerleader.


Updates every Friday

About the author:

Indie Filmmaker/Writer/Entrepreneur

Twitter: LuckyDaruma7

Based on a true story. Names and some things have been changed.

This is dedicated to my friends, family and fellow lost souls who struggle to be happy. You've gotten this far, you can keep going. If you want to make a change in your life then I say, "Go for it!"


Author's Note:

*Read the Author's notes when you see "*" so as not to be confused.

*The poems will switch back and forth from the main character to the narrator. 

*Updates every Friday





Author's Note: Some inspiration came from the children's book "The Little Red Hen" by Paul Galdone

The Little Red Hen's Bakery

I feel the light

I see the stars

Only distance makes it far.

An empty stomach full of potential

but I can never fit their credentials.

When I finally know what I want

It's not what they're looking for,

Walking away

I find my own door.

Sweat on my brow

And my hands are numb.

But through all weather I move

Until I am done.

Not everyone I meet is friendly.

Maybe most are lazy,

But they all agree my ideas are crazy.

They say I don't have guts, resources or brains.

Listening to it all is a pain.

I'll admit,

I say they're right.

Though, only to their faces.

Behind their backs their voices are long gone.

I know where I'm going, and I am going places.

Right now it seems I can't sit still

From idea to idea my brain is filled.

I want to swallow knowledge

And experience all this world has to offer

As if it were a big whopper.

To learn a language or two

To feed a few

Or a million

Or maybe a bajillion!

To learn to dance free and to the beat

To sing out loud!

Sit here, front row-take a seat.

To learn to defend myself and look kinda cool.

Don't worry,

I won't kick you into the pool-

I'll push you in!

We'll laugh until our abs hurt.

I want to travel the world until my feet are burnt.

To hear stories that will make my eyes go wide,

to make my mind expand,

to be amazed at the world we live in

whether it was magic or planned

beautiful or hateful.

For sure, my life will have connected dots,

like the Mac computer's pops.

You know, Steve Jobs?



Who needs a job?

"Not I" Said the Little Red Hen.

"I'm the boss of my own bakery."



Note: Updates every Friday

1) After Graduation 


I did it. 

Every show and movie on my list is checked off,

My mom returns home from work. Her eyes pinch.

Setting down her bulky backpack she scoffs. 

“You haven’t moved an inch.” 


Feeling a slight chill I zoom.

I snatch a blanket from my bed.

Before sitting back down in the living room, 

A yellow leaf smacks the window. 

It fills me with dread. 


Note: Updates every Friday

2) Grab a Laptop and Gather Round


Three lost souls sit on the living room floor. 

With deep concentration typing on the coffee table.

Four hours pass, maybe more...

The search for jobs becomes a fable.


One Spiky Haired graduate lies down on the rug.

"There's nothing to pick!"

"5 years of experience, straight out of college,

for a 6 month internship!


The Red Sweater grad replies,

"What about being an audience member,

a dog walker,

or a house sitter this November?"


The young ladies gather round.

"Whaaaa?!" is their only sound.

Red Sweater spins her screen to show the others.

"It's all on Craigslist," she coos like a mother.

Note: Updates every Friday


3) Craigslist: Extras Wanted


Spiky hair is welcomed by a kid.

A 17 year old kid. 


She is given a short script 

and is told to wait. 

Little did she know that she took the bait.

The only free seat is in front of a blasting radio. 

"Don't worry chikas and daddios,

this New York City rain will skittle away..." 


As time wore on Spiky's blatter became a tipping bucket.

The kid is no help, and a curse slips out. "Shuck it!" 


It is finally Spiky's turn.

Everyone before her had taken forever.

She gets up and her nerves churn.

The kid who leads her has a look of “Whatever.” 


The pressure from her insides

and the nerves to say those lines.

She cannot say them without the script. 


When she finishes

The woman behind the desk holds up some papers.

"For this price, I can give you a list of agencies," 

She said with an urgency. 


Spiky, confused but went along with it anyway




And just like that, the next person was called in.

Note: Updates every Friday


4) If Only I was a Straw Hat


There is a crew I wish I could join. 

Some pirates with strong personalities. 

They laugh and go on big adventures,

Freedom is at the captain's core center. 


Their captain is a simple dude, 

Who gets caught in a lot of feuds. 

He only wants three things.

Adventure, freedom and friends.

It’s a story I think should never end.


The crew are friendly people.

They save towns and countries,

But are seen as bad people.


They are hated at first

From their bad reputation in newspapers.

Then they beat up the pirates 

Who are power chasers.


They win at the end of every fight.

The captain fights for his friends

With all of his might. 


Everyone calls the crew

“The Straw Hats.”

What I wouldn’t give 

To be called that.


Of course it’s only a show,

A make believe, 

A fantasy...

It’s a mighty fine story though.

Note: Updates every Friday


5) There’s Not Much Else to Say 


"*One Piece" fills my days.

G-mail has nothing for me.

I am frustrated. 


*One Piece is the pirate show in poem

Note: Updates every Friday


6) No Response


There are no new emails.

There hasn't been for the past few weeks. 


The morning might as well be the afternoon.

Dinner might as well be breakfast.

Time might as well be still...but it won't.


Spiky rests her forehead on her dresser.


There's nowhere to go outside.

There's nothing out there to do.  


Outside might as well be inside.

Note: Updates every Friday


7) Old Expectations, Make Way For the New

Three old friends walk through the city streets.

Unsure of what to eat.


None of them make any money.

Spiky avoids stepping on a stuffed bunny.


None of them know what their futures hold.

Graduating college makes them feel cold.

Frozen to live in their family's' home.


Around 20 is when life is supposed to start.

To have a career, have your own place, 

and for someone to be a part of your heart.


Back then their parents were considered real adults.

Being a "20 something year old kid," is today's insult.


The stress of expectations brings these three down.

They draw circles on the ground.


It's the same thing every time they get together.

In the drenching rain, sunny days or any weather. 


From the outside they look depressed,

but they're doing what good friends do best.


Coming together to have a support fest.

Note: Updates every Friday


8) An Internship?


In the elevator all I can think is

"How do you talk to people again?"


Three of us wait in a glass room, 

waiting for our interview.


Someone jokes, "Maybe we'll have to fight each other."

My insides flutter.

Some kind of courage makes me say "Like in the Hunger Games?"

The third mimed a bow and arrow pretending to take aim.


We laugh.


The CEO comes in.

We answer her questions one by one. 

She accepts us all. It feels like my first win. 

There is no pay, but this might be fun. 


I applied to be their filmmaker

and ended up one of their article bakers. 


It took some time, 

but I was able to change her mind.

Sometimes being bad at something (like articles)

Can make people kind.  


I became one of their new cinematographers!

Note: Updates every Friday


9) Interning at a Start-up


Once a week they have a meeting.

For events, Spiky brings her camera. 


After a while

the excitement depletes... 


People are 2 to 6 hours late. 

No one has ideas to debate.

And not one person is paid.


What kept them there

is what the CEO displays.

A platform showing talented artists.

And those who are being made.  


Spiky stays to work on her craft.

It was better than being home

letting time pass. 

To be around someone ambitious 

was a nice contrast. 


For in the adult world 

Many are waiting to crash.

Note: Updates every Friday


10) All They Think About

A trend is hanging around.

A fashionable fear,

a scare, beware

the familiar sound. 


Spiky and her friends sigh together.

"I'll die alone." These silly birds of a feather.


What makes them silly is the obvious.

We came into this world alone,

We leave this world alone. 


At the author they groan,

"But throughout our life we cannot be alone!"


Their chins rest on the wooden table. 

Their heads roll side to side,


Unaware of the sticky table top. 

They fill the air with talk.

"There are no good guys

who consider a date a nice summer walk."


Even though 

These ladies have their lives to figure out.

They cannot help it.

Being alone is all they think about.

Note: Updates every Friday


11) It’s Time to Make Some Money


In a few buildings

Flyers she pins up. 

A mother calls her,

Spiky almost throws-up. 


She got a job 

To watch a 7 year old. 

The little girl is pretty bold. 


With lots of energy and imagination.

Spiky stays calm and patient. 

At times she tells the girl, “No!”

And “Wash your bowl.” 


Back and forth 

They persuade one another.


Through the running around,


And Spiky’s few achievements,


Somehow and some way

The little girl likes 

Whenever Spiky comes to play.

Note: Updates every Friday


12) A Producer (Miss P)'s Assistant

Through college and Facebook connections
Spiky finds something in her field.
Something to add to her resume collection.


It is a part-time that pays!
But the excitement fades. 


There are many mistakes
that end in shouts. 
On the train home that's all
Spiky fixates...


When with the producer
Spiky's stomach twists,
and her lunch has no taste.  


A topic Miss P loves to bring up,
is her assumption of how Spiky grew up.  


"You are a quiet female mouse
who's never left her house.
When I was your age
I traveled away. 
You need to experience dirt and sports."
She asks Spiky, "Which director do you support?"


"Federico Fellini and Steven Spielberg," Spiky replies.
"Ugh, only male directors!" Miss P outcries.


Spiky has no words 
for many of these responses. 
Miss P is so confident in her imagination. 
In Spiky's eyes, there is no admiration. 

Note: Updates every Friday


13) How they Put the “Up and Coming” Down

It is the afternoon

Spiky's break is soon.


From out of the blue, 

"In film,

what is it you want to do?"

Asks Miss P. 

Spiky turns, "I don't know, I'm still new." 


"Definitely not a producer," she achoos.

"I-I have a script 

that was chosen from more than a few.

It won first prize out of three other classes."

Miss P. set down her glasses.

She asks for more. 


As if Spiky's story is in a cup,

she pours.


Miss P. was slightly impressed. 

"To make that, would take a lot of money,"

hoping Spiky would get depressed. 


A smile creeps as she adds,

"You would need a lot of skill." 


Spiky sits still.

She feels the spikes in her gut.

She keeps her mouth shut.

"You don't know shiz Mizz P."

Note: Updates every Friday


14) Not Where She's Meant to Be

With all that's going on,

The babysitting, the two internships and so on.

Spiky is lost.


Nothing she does feels right.

She is under the wrong spotlight

for what she wants out of life.


As what feels like forever,

When it has only been a couple months.

She quit the assistant producer's job.


Spiky's stomach was in too many tight knots.

Now she is free

and no longer felt like a mistreated prop.

Even though the money was better 

than her other works,

Her psyche was feeling a lot of probs*.


With some reflection,

an old thought resurrects.


"I should-

I will work for myself." She corrects.

Note: Updates every Friday


15) Halloween: There Are Some Things We Can't Explain 


I ride the train as a pirate.

The weather felt like minus.


My friends and I meet.

Red is a bat and Petals 

A ghost under a sheet.


Off into a haunted mansion we go.

Maybe this will be a ghost show.


Along the ghost tour

There was a whiff of smoke.

“There was a fire here that killed a bloke,”Our tour guide says.

Red and I glance at each other.


Petals' cell phone dies.

From a loud BONK some people cry. 


We're out of that place

There is a change in Petals' face.

Her phone resurrects 

back from the dead!


We wait for the train and talk about our lives.

Red asks me, “What will you do to survive?”

“To survive this world I’ll work for myself.”


Red giggles as if it was a silly thought.

Working for someone is not in my story's plot.


In silence I stand.


It's okay if some people don’t understand. 

Note: Updates every Friday


16) Start-up: A Sad Goodbye


I don't know why I stayed as long as I did.

There is so much potential.

But only the leader's strong spirit is evidential.


The team is at a loss

while at the same time

they say, "You got it boss."


Their motivation 

and determination is not there.


I did my best.

The CEO loves my work!

That is the internship's only perk. 


I say goodbye and hoped her the best,

because another project was brewing 

and it will be a big test.

Note: Updates every Friday


17) What Spiky Wants

Okay Spiky, the readers are asking.

What part of life will you be attacking?


"Attacking?" She asks, confused.

What is your life's muse?

What do you want to do?


**"I want to swallow knowledge 

And experience all this world has to offer

As if it were a big whopper!"

How? Besides fil-



"-I will become a great writer/director,"

She says as if it is sweet nectar.


Spiky, it takes a lot of money

and the list goes on.

Stop sounding funny.


She leans in,

"Between you and I,

I know no one will give me a shot.

But darn it, I am Spiky Dot.


I'm not going to wait for others anymore!

Life is short and my life will not be a bore."


Before more can be said

She goes into her room without dinner's bread. 

Late into the night she edits.



*A stanza from the prologue

Note: Updates every Friday


18) The First Step  


After 30 minutes the little girl falls asleep.

In the living room Spiky props up her feet.


With her short script in her lap,

There were a few things her story lacks. 


She scratches out words and lines,

Aiming to make her work shine.


The parents arrive and give her thirty dollars.

Spiky’s script now has no problems.


Her next step is to find someone to read her script 

and who understands story.

She says to herself,“Hmm maybe I could try Cory.”

Note: Updates every Friday


19) A Cold Critique


It is late and there is nowhere to go.

The two sat on a cold bench with snow. 

Cory held the script and read it in silence.

Spiky wishes she was on a warm island.


Her fingers are frozen numb,

Waiting for Cory to be done.


He looks up, “This will be your first film?”

“Yes, my first real film.”

“It’s ambitious.”


It’s nothing compared to my feature film,

She thought.


He wasn’t being vicious. 


Cory states what needs to be fixed.

Spiky writes it all in a short list. 


At the end of the critique he asked a question.

As if this was an intervention.


“You said you want to work for yourself?

What happens when you want a job later?”

Spiky replies, “You sound like a hater.”


“I’m being realistic. 

One day you might need to make money.

Having a gap in your resume won’t be sunny.”



I live at home, I have no boyfriend, and I have no job. 

I have all the time in the world, and nothing to lose.”

Note: Updates every Friday


20) Please God, Please


Don’t think Spiky doesn’t have a plan.


Her short script won first place in her class.

She needed more recognition for when people ask,

“Why should I work with you?


She learned some things from Professor Drew,

“You need a producer to work with you.” 


If Spiky gets accepted to festivals with her script,

She could find a producer to sail this ship.


She scrolls through the list of screenplay/film festivals.

Will they think her script is acceptable?


It’s completely crazy Spiky has to pay,

For the art she worked on for days. 


With her babysitting money she submits to a few.

She prays to God as she clicks “Pay Now.”

All that is left is to wait 6 months for news.

Note: Updates every Friday


21) Going to the Gym


There’s not much for Spiky to do,

But wait for fate.  


In the meantime,

She tries to work out with Petals.

At least once a week, 

To be as fit as a kettle. 


Petals talks of going back to school.

As she does, they both reminisce of routine. 

Taking classes, being around other students,

Having some kind of deadline.


Walking to the gym they sound like fools.

They can do anything in the world,

And they’re thinking about school.


Of course for some professions,

They call for more education.

Especially during this job recession.  

Note: Updates every Friday


21) Going to the Gym


There’s not much for Spiky to do,

But wait for fate.  


In the meantime,

She tries to work out with Petals.

At least once a week, 

To be as fit as a kettle. 


Petals talks of going back to school.

As she does, they both reminisce of routine. 

Taking classes, being around other students,

Having some kind of deadline.


Walking to the gym they sound like fools.

They can do anything in the world,

And they’re thinking about school.


Of course for some professions,

They call for more education.

Especially during this job recession. 

Note: Updates every Friday


22) I Can Do This


I made a list.

And checked it more than twice.


A list of all eight places

My script was sent to.


For a while, I got numb emails.

“Thank you for entering

Our screenwriting contest…”

There was no point in reading the rest.


Failure is nothing new. 

Nothing my brain needs to chew



But today.

For the first time,

I do not know what to say.

But LA!


“A small screenwriting competition,

Aaaallllll the way on the west coast

Chose me as a *finalist,” I choke.


There’s no way I’ll be able to attend

The award ceremony.

But for once I felt matrimony.


What I love is what I do.

With this future 

There will be fruit.


It will take some time,

But with this small win

Is where my confidence begins. 


*Screenplay competitions usually have a few finalists and one winner 

Note: Updates every Friday


23) Another One for the Records!


An email from the Nantucket screenwriting competition.

Which is known in the indie film community.

It was suggested by a Professor 

When Spiky looked for fests stupidly.


The mouse’s arrow hovers over the email.

This could be a win, it could be a loss.

“Let’s do this fast and then get apple sauce.”


She opens it with a high pitched yelp.

Her eyes close and she may need help.

Spiky takes a peak at the first word.


Sometimes one word is all it takes.

To know if your dreams can be real

Or fake.




She reads on, “Your script is one of the finalists.”

Spiky made it through the first round!


Round two will be announced at the festival,

*Where the winner winner gets chicken dinner.


The festival will be in Massachusetts.

Which isn’t too far.

The whole family could drive up in their car. 


Maybe Spiky can go there and find her producer.

This trip is going to be super. 


*Not literally 

Note: Updates every Friday


24) The Nantucket Film Fest Schedule


In high spirits, 

Every few days I kept an eye out for updates. 

Today, they sent the event schedule. 

Down the movie titles I land on some fate?


The film I assisted Miss P on will be showing as well. 

Many feelings swirl in incomplete sentences. 

With all that has recently happened I cannot dwell.


It would be very easy to write a “HAHA!” 

Email to Miss P.

Or “I’ll see you at Nantucket Miss P,”

Or “They love my script, Miss P,”

Or “My film is going to happen Miss P,”

Or “I’m on my way to the top Miss P,”

Or “You were completely wrong about me Miss P!”

And then end it with more HAHAHAHAs!



I could do that.

But God would make 

Me land on my butt flat.


There'll be a day when Miss P will see me in an article, 

On tv, YouTube, or some interview. 


She’ll see how happy I am 

And reality will hit her like “BAM!”


The new generation of filmmakers are here. 

Note: Updates every Friday


25) Before the Big Day


It took 6 hours to get to Nantucket.

On the small island the family is excited.

The mom sees Spiky’s shirt is out,

“Spiky you need to tuck it.”


Spiky does as she is told.

She is dressed in business casual.

This town is very old.

They see a tour for the supernatural.


They walk through the streets.

This whole situation is amazing.

Spiky can’t pick up her feet.


She cannot be more thankful

To be accepted. 

Along with filmmakers with talent.

She could sing a happy ballad.


The family watches some indie films.

A man with gills, a teenager hiding pills,

A documentary on Indian landfills. 


It isn’t until tomorrow 

The screenwriter winner will be announced.

For now Spiky will enjoy 

This film is about a character in a joust.

Note: Updates every Friday


26) The Most Important Brunch in Spiky’s Life


It’s the big day!

Spiky’s parents take a few pictures

In front of the list of finalists’ display.


Sadly her family can’t come with her.

Her siblings are impatient to look around. 

The family says “Good luck!”

Her siblings are gone in a blur. 


Again, in business casual

Spiky takes a deep breath in.

Let this memorable day begin!


Spiky walks into the fancy restaurant.

She presents her special pass.

She is led to a large tent of high class.


She sits at a large table nearby.

Spiky enjoys the scenery.

The place is beautifully lit 

With the help of the summer sky.


Surrounded by talented filmmakers,

Who all seem to know each other?

Spiky is the youngest indie makers.


She pulls together scraps 

Of knowledge of being social.

For the past 5 months

She’s talked to 6 people in total,

In person... 


Somehow and some way

Spiky finds herself talking

To those at her table.

She tells them of her film.

Her words are sturdy and stable. 


They exchange business cards

Giving each other best regards. 


Everyone gets food on their plate.

Spiky remembers her so-called “fate.”

She hasn’t seen Miss P at all.

Shrugging her shoulders

Spiky enjoys her milk shake. 


Someone goes up to the podium. 

Everyone quiets down 

And turns around. 


The man gives an introduction

And explains the greatness

Of writers in film.


Now it all comes down

To the winner

Who’ll get a few figures

To put their script on screen. 


Spiky leans in.

She somehow made it 

Into the top three.

She just might win?


The guy announces “Nick Finn!


Everyone including Spiky claps.


She could not feel sad

Seeing the look on Nick’s face.

His smile was big and bright.

He’s not someone you’d want to fight.


At the end of the announcement 

Spiky knows she has to be a good player.

You know, 

Like what soccer players do

At the end of a game.

Though losing was a shame.

She shook Nick’s hand and said

“Good game.”


Well, more like, “Congrats.”


He somewhat recognized Spiky

From the finalists photos online.

Yet, he’s a little confused

of who this kid is,

But he said, “Thank you.” 


Spiky leads herself out,

From the fancy place. 


To be this close to an opportunity 

Feels like a win for Spiky.

She did not succeed now

but she knows,

She’s going to get there 

and strike a winner’s pose!

Note: Updates every Friday


27) One Step at a Time


She was at the festival for a few days.

Spiky’s wallet became empty.

Her business cards were all given away.


Back at home she reaches out to those she met.

One of them may know a good producer

She bets. 


One day, two days, three days pass.

Alas, not one replies back. 


So Spiky thought hard,

“Who do I know who can do this job?”

The apartment door opened and closed.

Spiky yelled out, “Mom?”


She jumps out of her seat.



Her mother would be great.

She’s organized, is never late,

On the phone she’s a pro,

And she can handle finances.

Why not so?


Spiky runs to her mother and asks,

“Will you be my producer?”

Her mom smiles and says,

“Yeah, that will be super!”


With weight off Spiky’s feet

She skips around in big leaps.


One step at a time.

One step at a time.

Note: Updates every Friday


28) Why did Spiky go to School? 


Without any money to get this film started,

Spiky has no idea what to do.

Besides that her mother is stuck to her job

Like glue.


Spiky slowly falls into routine

Of being stuck at home.

She becomes trapped in this dome.


With no one to guide her, 

With no mentor help her,

Days become a blur.

Note: Updates every Friday


29) I Feel Stuck


I spend my days talking to Red and Petals.

We sit on park benches lost in the adult world.

Having a job and your own place is a metal. 


Besides babysitting and watching One Piece,

Young adults on social media tease. 


They get to travel around, 

eat nice food and wear crowns.


Trapped at home I go to my father.

“I don’t know what to do with myself.”


“How about a project?” he offers.


He leads me to his computer.

“Have you heard of these?

Tiny homes are spreading like a rumor. 


The way rent is rising

And wages are stagnant,

This will be the future.


If I could make them 

And sell them, our family would be set.”


As he scrolls through photos on Google,

And YouTube videos, 


I know who will like them...millennials. 


My father has had many ideas,

Where projects lead nowhere. 


This was because his partners all sucked.

Maybe with the right one he would have some luck.

With time on my hands and right now I’m feeling stuck,

I said, “Let’s build one.” 

Note: Updates every Friday


30) Glad to Be Moving


Maybe this whole thing is crazy

But my world doesn’t feel hazy.

There’s a goal I can fallow,

And I’m not doing this alone.


My dad bought the base,

And we got an investor. 

My brother, dad and I 

Put on our game face. 


It’s a 15 minute walk 

Through a burning summer.

Many would think this is a bummer.

From the train station to a workshop

That took a month To find. 


We work everyday,

My brother on the weekends. 

Building a home brings a new perspective.

We’re all moving towards the same direction.


My hands are busy,

There’s no stopping this sweat.

My mind is fizzy,

With the past and with the future. 


If we can sell this tiny home,

I’ll use my share for my film.

I’m making it. I definitely will.

Note: Updates every Friday


31) It’s Taking Longer Than Expected


The rain has turned into snow.

For Spiky’s hands the cold is their foe. 


It’s difficult to wrap her hands

Around a 2x4.

She runs into the tiny home

Where there is a heater on the floor. 


Her dad works hard.

The family has gotten pretty far.

They build the bones, the walls

And put in styrofoam. 

With the sidings it’s starting to look like home. 


Because they work everyday,

Spiky had to quit babysitting.

The 7 year old and Spiky, 

Sadly can no longer play.


Throughout the day there is so much to do.

Though at the same time things moved slowly.

Spiky wants this home finished wholly

And as quickly as possible. 

But they can’t control everything, thus it wasn't plausible. 

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