Fragile

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This is an old poem but I have recently been tinkering with it again. It was not written based on a personal experience but stems from the feelings of a very close friend who was stressed on 9/11 because she couldn’t get in touch with someone she was in love with. As survivors of that moment, I’m sure it is easy to understand. They were both in New York; I was in New Jersey and just happened to not be on campus at Seton Hall that day.

As we spoke her nervousness and anxiety was evident. I knew that I wanted to capture it and to make it as simple as possible. So I hope that the emotion that spurred its creation is evident.

Fragile

On the days when I just want to
put my arms around you;
to ensure myself that things
are really okay and that you’re
safe enough to make it another day
there is no consolation, no substitute for seeing your face
even hearing your voice is not enough.

Because my love knows no bounds
this distance means nothing.
When I need you,
I simply need you.
And I cannot bear the thought that when the chips are down,
when you really need me,
the only way to satisfy that is through fiber optic communication
and like Incubus, I “wish you were here.”

I need to look into your eyes, rub my hands over you, hold you, and feed you.
Only that will satisfy my heart’s curiosity.
Surely, it will know with just one look whether
your voice was lying.
Because the heart knows
Everything.

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Writer’s Bucket List

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I have decided to add a resources type of page on the blog and thought that my writer’s bucket list would be a great place to start. Some of these items were on another list but I was motivated by an old article in Writer’s Digest. Inside of another article there was a Writer’s Bucket List and I wondered what I would include on mine.

They suggested some things that I just couldn’t put on my list; like reading Shakespeare which I already subjected myself to and have yet to recover. Their list also contained attending a writing conference; I have already done that so I put specific conferences/ festivals. I have completed a novella and I hope to finish a novel this year. I also hope to participate in National Novel Writing Month this November if I can get some friends to join me. My favorite number is twelve so I thought that would be a good number to begin with. I plan to expand this list as I get new ideas. I hope you all enjoy it and please let me know if there are any suggestions.

Writer’s Bucket List

1.) Publish a short story
2.) Be published again
3.) Be a productive writer
4.) Attend the San Francisco Writer’s Convention
5.) Publish/Start working on anthology Colour: stories by women of color
6.) Attend the Brooklyn Book Festival
7.) Meet some of my favorite authors(romance and mainstream)*
8.) Participate in NaNoWriMo
9.) Teach workshops/writing camp
10.) Freelance for money
11.) Write and publish an essay
12.) Write a novel

Can a Shoe Obsession be Sensual?

To be sensual, I think, is to respect and rejoice in the force of life, of life itself, and to be present in all that one does, from the effort of loving to the making of bread.
-James A. Baldwin

I adore this Baldwin quote and wanted to write something inspired by it. So I tried to think of something that makes me feel sensual and present and noticeable; something that I am comfortable enough in to go about the daily activities of life in. So the following poem is about shoes, specifically high heels. I have had a lifelong obsession with shoes but for me heels are the best.
So this poem is dedicated to the heels that I love and the friends who do not try to put me on shoe restriction.

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Ode to Sexy Shoes

With you I change my walk.
I stalk,
every surface as if it’s a runway.
You cause me to wear
confidence like the sexiest
dress.
With you I am
strengthened.
I stand a bit taller,
my body is more at ease.
With you
I am balanced, more comfortable, and graceful.
While others might not like you
And think you’ll cause them pain.
They’re entitled to their opinion
But I am positive
that you’ll never hurt me.
No matter your height
There are no missteps.
You make me feel sexy in ways that
Only songs by Prince and Lenny Kravitz should.
I am a smaller, less confident, uncertain version of myself without you.

Breaking the Lock of Writer’s Block

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As a writer, one always encounters a bit of writer’s block. I am a cyclical writer; when inspiration hits I am writing. I will plot characters, write dialogue, plot the story, or nearly write an entire poem in one sitting. I know other writers who say that they manage to avoid the bonds of writer’s block by writing every day. I am not that kind of writer. Although one of my goals is to have a daily word count, I have not yet accomplished that goal on a daily or even weekly basis. I do write a lot on paper though but I don’t normally count that.

Lately, I have been experiencing a bit of writer’s block. Not because I don’t have ideas or dialogue or even want to write but because I am not committed to forcing myself to sit at the computer every day. I write for class of for this blog but it has been a bit harder sitting down to focus on my fiction.

So this week I decided to do a post on how I deal with writer’s block or when I just need to jumpstart my writing since I am always striving to come up with new ways to spark my willingness to sit down and write. I hope these are helpful and please leave a comment if you have any tips that you find successful.

1.) Writing Prompts. As a student of writing programs I was introduced to Brian Kiteley’s 3 A.M. Epiphany and 4 A.M. Breakthrough. These books are wonderful; I cannot tout their helpfulness enough. I guarantee that you will find a prompt (or several) that will encourage you to write. These books stay on my bookshelf in arms reach so that I can always have help in fingertips reach.
2.) Revamping a Character. Change it up. I have had characters change on me from their inception to the moment when I start putting their story down. I have also had characters change mid tale. This happened to me in a class when a story was being workshopped and several of my classmates read the story and a got a different feel for the character than I’d intended. They thought she seemed gruff and a bit condescending. That was never how I wanted her to be so I immediately began to rewrite some of her dialogue and her interactions with other characters.
3.) Start Small. One of my favorite short pieces started from writing prompt so what I mean by starting small is to give yourself a word count. I am a new fan of flash fiction but I always shied away from it before because I couldn’t imagine writing an entire story in 300 words but the beauty of starting small is that you can always expand the piece; perhaps by inserting chapters or starting a new chapter or making it into a series.
4.) Expand a Situation/Real Life. I am always getting ideas from my life or my friends lives. I honestly believe that my friends are in my life to give me something to write about. No matter whether it’s comical or serious; they always provide a story for me to tell. Whether from a small encounter or a situation that you want to reimagine use that to start or plot a story.
5.) Take a Movie Break. Now I don’t mean stealing ideas from movies; I would never advocate stealing someone else’s hard work. What I’m talking about is taking an idea from something or twisting a concept. I just recently got an idea from watching Stepmom, which I think is a great movie. My idea turns the concept on its ear and I hope to showcase some of it here soon. What’s a movie that you could tweak?
6.) Let them eat…whatever. I am a huge fan of authors like Diane Mott Davison, Joanne Fluke, JB Stanley, and Laura Childs. As a foodie, I love books that incorporate recipes or have characters who create mouth-watering dishes. In reading those books I feel like I am able to combine two of my lifelong loves; eating and reading. It makes me feel like the ultimate multi-tasker. If you have a favorite recipe or dish think about what type of character would have created the dish or base your character off of a family member, if the recipe was handed down.

Poetry…

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Poetry is the rhythmical creation of beauty in words.
-Edgar Allan Poe

I think that I have mentioned before that one of the items on my 2013 list of Writer’s Resolutions is to attend more literary events including book signings, writer’s conferences, book festivals, and readings. For me it is important to socialize as an author, not just to network but also because being a writer is such a solitary existence.

Yesterday I attended a poetry reading at a local bookstore. The event was part of the celebration of National Poetry Month and it was wonderful. I was especially motivated by another poet there. She was 83! An 83 year old poet, and the wisdom and beauty of her poetry was simply amazing. She covered a wide range of subjects in her pieces and I can only hope to still be alive and creating at that age.

I read a couple of pieces and although the crowd was small it was a great experience. My courage was bolstered by makeup and my word nerd t-shirt. So I am already looking forward to doing it again and possibly putting together my own poetry reading soon.

I hope you’re all enjoying your weekend.

I Want to Write

I Want to Write

I want to write
I want to write the songs of my people.
I want to hear them singing melodies in the dark.
I want to catch the last floating strains from their sob-torn
throats.
I want to frame their dreams into words; their souls into
notes.
I want to catch their sunshine laughter in a bowl;
fling dark hands to a darker sky
and fill them full of stars
then crush and mix such lights till they become
a mirrored pool of brilliance in the dawn.

– Margaret Walker

The above poem is by author and poet Margaret Walker. I remember discovering her work as a freshman in college. There was a special feeling,being engrossed in her book Jubilee. At various times in my life I have experienced writer’s envy; meaning I have been jealous of what someone else has written. It happened when I read Toni Morrison’s The Bluest Eye and Song of Solomon, when I read The Color Purple and it happens every time I read To Kill A Mockingbird. One of the reasons that I love this poem is that she manages to capture her inspiration for writing and she does it so beautifully. I have a poem similar to this trying to describe my writing motives.

As I struggle to create new poetry this month I realize that writing gives me the same type of relief and happiness that reading does. It relaxes me and sometimes I can’t believe that I created something so beautiful. I hope that Walker’s poem inspires some of you or that you just enjoy it.
Happy Writing!

National Poetry Month

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Happy National Poetry Month! If you are a reader, writer, or lover of poetry please support it this month. There are many poetry readings going on across the country and Writers Digest has the Poem A Day poetry challenge which is open to everyone. It provides daily prompts to inspire the creative process.

No matter how you choose to celebrate the month please make sure that you do. I hope to write some new poetry this month along with sharing a few pieces from some of my favorite poets.

Enjoy!