MY LOVE- Richard Bruce Nugent

This week, I have been revisiting an academic paper about, quite possibly,my favorite literary era; The Harlem Renaissance. In doing so, I have been looking at some of the lesser celebrated authors and poets of the era. Today, I’m sharing the work of artist, writer and poet Richard Bruce Nugent, who was the roommate of novelist, editor and playwright Wallace Thurman. Nugent was a flamboyant bohemian who eschewed the popular style of dress.    

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My love has hair
Like midnight,
But midnight fades to dawn.
My love has eyes
Like starlight,
But starlight fades in morn.
My love has a voice
Like dew fall,
But dew-fall dies at a breath.
My love has love
Like life’s all,
But life’s all fades in death.

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Update and New Plans

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Happy Monday! Okay, first let me give you an update on my NaNoWriMo project. Last week, after my failure post I managed to catch up on my story and I was happy for about 24 hours. That lasted until I realized that catching up didn’t really change much at all. Therefore I have given myself permission to put the story to the side and focus on other things like studying for the GRE, preparing for the end of the semester and doing some much needed work in my home office.
I am still writing on my NaNoWriMo story, the thesis project and some poetry. I also plan to begin working on polishing a piece that I wrote during grad school just to keep my skills sharp.
I’m looking forward to these projects especially to cleaning and organizing of my office. I have a brown metal desk that I salvaged 10 ten years ago and I’m planning to paint it and make a cover for my office chair (maybe). I am not however looking forward to studying for and taking the GRE. I’m normally a great test taker but I am worried about this one and its ability to make it difficult for me to get into a good PhD program. Has anyone else abandoned or altered their November plans? Anyone have GRE advice?

Falling in Love Again

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So tonight I am revisiting an old project, my thesis which was a novella entitled Tasting Salt. It has already messed with my emotions and I’m only on the eighth page. While reading it, I was reminded of why I love it so much, how much of myself I poured into it, and why I want to make it novel length. Writing that project let me know that I was capable of finishing a fiction project. At the time, it was the longest piece I’d ever written and although some of the story resided in my head it was sometimes hell to get it onto paper.

The story is a coming of age tale even though the protagonist is already an adult. She’s trying to deal with the loss of her grandfather who was the only father she’d ever known, a mangled love life, damaged relationship with her older brother along with the emotional upheaval and family craziness that typically ensues after a loss. Equally important is the rural Northeastern North Carolina setting which is where my father’s family is from and where my mother’s family has lived for over 40 years. The house above is a real home outside of the town and inspired the estate that is at the center of the story.

Tasting Salt had a few other incarnations but this final version was inspired by the loss of my own maternal grandfather, who is reflected in the character, but it is so much richer for me now that I have endured other losses. Those losses are of people who also inspired characters in the story. The novella also means so much to me because my mother read it, she loved it even though I obsessively assured her that the mother in the story wasn’t her and she was proud of it.

Already on my list for next year is some tweaking and revising of the story and hopefully I’ll be able to shop it or self-publish.

I HATE FAILURE

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I dislike failing at things although I know that we can’t succeed at everything in life. I have failed many times in live and I like to think that those failures have informed the woman that I’ve become. I’ve lost at plenty of things, lost men that I thought I loved, lost people that I really did love, lost a bunch of my writings many times. I know how it feels to fail and to lose. But none of that changes the fact that failure burns; it is worse than the roughest bout of GERD or acid reflux.

I say all of this to lay the ground for my latest feeling of failure. NaNoWriMo…yes, the annual writing event that I was so excited about a mere thirteen days ago. I keep looking at my story and it is nowhere near what it was supposed to be. I feel like everything that I’m writing is pure garbage and that I am never going to finish the story. Never! This is the first time that I’ve ever felt this way about anything that I’ve written during the month of November; possibly with the exception of my thesis. I lost a bunch of words on the first day and that impacted my ability to create but…there is just a never ending cycle of negative feelings whenever I sit down to try to further the story. I wonder every day if I should have chosen a different story for this year. I have several others that I could have tackled but maybe…there are a million things that I could have done differently but I am still committed to this story. Not more than ever but I am determined to succeed at getting at least 50,000 words written on it even if I hate it when I’m finished. At least I’ll have something to revise. That’s good enough for now.

So I’ll bite back these feelings of failure and trudge on. Here’s to writing 2000 words a day to catch up and hopefully win NaNoWriMo.

Poem No. 10- Sonia Sanchez

I am currently swimming in the deep waters that is Jill Scott’s July 24th release Woman.  I am love! In deep, complex, convolutedly complicated love! Needless to say, it has joined every playlist on my phone. Every single one.   I write all of this to say that my deep affinity for Ms. Scott’s work has long influenced my own poetry but it now affects the way that I read the works of others. While I was searching for a brilliant piece to share today I ran across this poem by the amazing Sonia Sanchez and I heard Jill Scott singing it, reciting it, breathing it.

I love a good storyteller, someone who is able to wrap you in a cocoon of words and emotions. Both of these ladies have managed to keep me warmly entertained on this blustery autumn day.

I hope that you enjoy.

create stories

You keep saying you were always there
waiting for me to see you.
you said that once
on the wings of a pale green butterfly
you rode across san francisco’s hills
and touched my hair as i caressed
a child called militancy
you keep saying you were always there

holding my small hand
as I walked
unbending Indiana streets i could not see around
and you grew a black mountain
of curves and i turned
and became soft again
you keep saying you were always there

repeating my name softly
as i slept in
slow Pittsburgh blues and you made me
sweat nite dreams that danced
and danced until morning
rained yo/red delirium

you keep saying you were always there
you keep saying you were always there
will you stay love
now that I am here????

Happy NaNoWriMo!

keep calm and nanowrimo

“There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed.” ― Ernest Hemingway

So I will not be bleeding at the typewriter but the notion is still the same. I will be pouring blood, sweat and tears into a new story this month and I am excitedly terrified. Over the next 30 days, I will be attempting to write at least 50K and although I’ve been successful before; I begin each November terrified that I won’t be able to finish. I spend the rest of the year trying to convince myself that if I can write that many words in November then I shouldn’t confine that to one month of the year.

For all of you who are joining the fray and trying to get your 1667 words today, I wish you well. Here’s to a great and prosperous November!