Category Archives: Writing
The distinct smell of National Novel Writing Month is in the air, wafting curls of pumpkin spice-flavored coffee, donuts, and fear dancing in the four winds. All of November, local coffee shops morph into coliseums, where literary warriors compete against the clock and indirectly with each other. It is a feat of near mythical challenge: find a way, everyday, to pour out the novel of your dreams from head to hard drive. Only the best of the best compete, but very few complete the challenge. Myself, a three-time winner of this global event, I gotta tell ya…
…I think I’m sitting this one out.
Normally I excel in short deadline situations, but after this last hospital stay, I’ve finally learned to not take life too seriously. And I think the essence of it is, the right mix of passion and mystery is just not in me right now.
But I will miss the gatherings (“I hate people, but I love gatherings!”)♤. I’ll miss the interactivity on social media during NaNo; I’ve made several friends all over the globe these past times.
Perhaps I’ll visit the write-ins, be a cheerleader or something. Yeah! My contribution this year will be words of encouragement. I shall motivate by slamming my hand loudly on the table top you rested your head on, then scream, Kinison-style, “GET BACK TO WORK!!!” into your earlobe.
Yes. I will be a NaNo cheero. No, I will not novel. And that is okay.
♤: Name that movie!
Inside this anthology you’ll find yours truly in both prose and poem form!
The story I submitted is from the perspective of a social predator locked in a holding facility, terrifying residents and staff alike. Oh and the evil person happens to be female ;)
There’s three poems dedicated to women in the throes of mania, circumstances varying but each known too well in modern society. I consider A Coterie of Diamonds a forewarning to readers…if you push a woman too far, prepare for major consequences!
Thanks be to Thirteen o’clock Press for publishing my art, my 2nd antho feature with this press. Support your favorite indie artist and many others by purchasing through Lulu.com :D
I did tell a long distance friend once that if my blog goes more than 3 weeks without a post, it’s a sure sign I’m dead. :D
Haven’t been able to keep my regular writing schedule due to my laptop failing. I have enough motherboard life to collect my master files. Pics I don’t worry about; aren’t they already in WordPress? So to keep up with my proof of life promise, I’m using the tablet today; apologies in advance on formatting. The laptop issue I saw a’comin’, but what comes next, completely thrown off!
Labor Day Cimmi Red took a Hulk Smash! to the roof and the windshield by a large tree branch. My insurance company gave me a Toyota Corolla to drive for five days. As I cruised about, I left the radio low so I could listen to the whoosh! of the wind sliding over its aerodynamic curves. Pretty and fuel-economical as it was, the Corolla’s pick-up was laughable! Meeeeeeeeeee…
Cimmi and her growl is back, new roofed and windshielded, and I’m pleased with the repair, although the deductible could have paid for a new laptop. And then I could migrate my work files. Then I could install Scrivener. Then I could update my website. And then and then and then…
I can’t dwell on what I have no control over. So I’m reading Lisa L. Kirchner’s novel, blazing trails with long walks, and planning my next life-adjusting chapter..
We’ll save that for another blog… ;)
I have always been in love with O’Shea Jackson. The way he carried himself, that street-borne braggadocio mixed with literary genteel, a marred Dionysus not outdone by our screwed up society. The crushing weight of discrimination, heavy to bear, yet O’Shea kept his shoulders up, his head high, never quite frowning. Bothered, but not broken. His Jehri curl, perfect.
Cradled face on twin bed as my heart sighed towards the telly, ankles crossed, marking the beat for Straight Outta Compton. The rest of the clan: Eazy-E, Dr. Dre, Yella, MC Ren, they were alright, but not the focus of my tween attention. Ice Cube was bad, but not bad meaning bad…well, you know the rest.
Of course I went and watched the documentary this past weekend, of COURSE I did! And please, whatever is causing you to be scared to go, don’t believe the hype. It’s just like Coal Miner’s Daughter. A story of struggle against the status quo, of artistic starvation, of personal definition. The moment Loretta Lynn decides to write and perform a song about birth control, wanting to take back womens’ right to be a human being and not society’s brooding sow, she is forever marred. Instead of being recognized for her bravery in speaking out for the oppressed, she is demonized; her music, considered dangerous.
As I pass the movie lobby poster making note of ‘the most dangerous group in the world’ or whatever, I smirk at the thought of, who labeled N.W.A. as such? They certainly didn’t. What they did with Fuck The Police was utilize momentum to take back the right to be acknowledged as human beings and not society’s kicked down domesticated dogs. There was a scene that was so agitating for me I squeezed my man’s hand really hard, then realized he was angrily squeezing mine back. Damn right, fuck the police, we both expressed in pissed-off embrace.
I knew I was going to cry once E got sick. His voice, his crowd command despite his tiny build, reminds me of my monster days. I let the tears flow then broke a selfish smile at the thought: “I bet you would’ve liked I Blew Up Juarez, E.”
Straight Outta Compton the documentary did everything right. Honored Eazy and Dre; made me smile as I learned more about my tweenage boyfriend’s skills as a writer.
I had my demigod Oprah’s ‘a ha!’ moment at an early age, listening to West Coast rap albums, following Ice Cube’s skyrocketing career, putting into practice what Cube was extolling: people are out to placate, not celebrate, dark individuality. My a ha was realizing everything is not unicorns and rainbows, and I’d be lying to myself if I even attempt to write prose or poetry without darkness. After all, that’s the point of “gangsta” rap: tell the ugly truth, expose the pretty lies.
Great documentary; I will likely own it once it’s out on Blu-Ray.
My mind is so bored. I wish to be inspired. Help me!
I’m having a hard time working through contemporary fiction novels as of late. Once the story gets going, I feel less involved and more talked down. Once the story reaches it’s epoch, I feel a, ‘yeah, so?’ instead of an investment. Endings leave me thinking, ‘and so…now what?’
These modern day stories are yawns. Where’s the wisdom? Why so much celebration of ‘why me’? Have we completely eradicated the fundamental purpose of storytelling, that is, to impart wisdom among our community then carry forward as knowledge-empowered people? It feels like that to me.
I won’t divulge which authors I have been reading nor titles, because that wanders into the role of “book reviewer.” I respect you are a person of intellect, capable of free will and imagination who can make decisions (such as whether a book is good or not) on your own. I will let you know these books are all modern setting (20th century to now), modern language, modern places, fictional stories, and have either received international acclaim or blockbuster movie status.
I feel it undeserved.
In every contemporary fiction work I’ve read lately, each author has demonstrated a promotion of the Why Me, and some successfully demonstrate some movement beyond the Why Me. To those writers I ask, could you teach us how to move beyond the Why Me? Just because you can voice it through character and exposition doesn’t mean you’ve provided a resolution. For me, I feel nothing is out there which is helping us move beyond the fears of our ancestors. Some writers attempt to move us forward but only within the afterward or in book release interviews. Never in the work!
When I digest a contemporary modern day fiction novel, I frame the question, “what does this author want me to know?” The award-winning, movie rights selling authors I just read want me to know:
- White people are scared of Black people
- Black people hate other Black people
- Women rather keep silent
- Men are afraid no one likes them
- Americans know there is a struggle and I have the right to say, “Oh yeah, I feel that way about that issue too!”
- Other nations hate Americans
The authors I despise most are those who write deeply on the cruelties of racism, as opposed to writing deeply on rising above racism. Within more than a few novels, I sensed the writer was at a pivotal arc during composition, leaned back in his/her writing chair, vigorously tapping the tip of a pen to his/her tightened mouth, plotting: “If we actually solve racism, then there can’t be any money made on racism, now can it? Why solve it when I can get rich exacerbating racism? Huzzah!” Then he/she takes off rabidly composing the next New York Times Bestseller. To me, if all you write about is racist activities, novel to novel to novel, then you must LOVE racism and want to keep it going! If you’re not a racist, can you demonstrate for the racist rest of us how to grow beyond it in modern times? No? Then stop writing about it. You’re not helping.
Okay, that was a slight rant.
Storytellers, I challenge you to promote the What If? If you wish to demonstrate strife, give us an experiential aspect, not your dream world aspect. I would like to experience writing in which the author has actually taken the time to do leg work, meaning, put yourself in the shit you want to write about. It’s clear with many of these contemporary works the writer did no more than conduct a few interviews and watched some classic movies. Get in there! Wanna write about prison life? Go to prison. Seriously. Go to prison. Don’t want to do that? Don’t write about it.
I guess my complaint is…I’m reading fiction suited for people who would rather live active lies then push beyond, excel and make better their surroundings, their community and the cultures they associate with. I’m reading works where I’ve been intentionally excluded as a member of the audience. Here is where I enter a plea for help. Help me locate contemporary/modern era novels which offer clear examples of how one can move past common hurdles and function in society. And please, oh sweet Venus please, leave the racism-celebrating volumes out. They bore me.