Another NaNoWriMo Letdown

It’s official, I think I’m giving up on NaNoWriMo. Last year I attempted to come back after an epic meltdown in 2015 and a failure to compete in 2016. I had most of the story planned out and knew all of the major moments that would take place but…I just wasn’t interested in the characters. And some random person popped up and she threw the entire story off. All the way off! 

So as a way of still working during November, I went back to a story I’d started and shared with you before. Only to not have anywhere to go because I’d been focusing on the other story for quite a bit. Suffice it to say, I was a bit upset by this turnaround especially since I started out so well. 

In the intervening months, I had to think about whether it’s worth it for me to continue setting myself up for failure. And last week I decided that it wasn’t. I don’t have to participate in NaNoWriMo in order to be a productive writer or to complete any of my novels. 

As of now, I am over NaNoWriMo and I’m okay with that. 

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Buying New Poetry

One of my big life goals is to create a significant poetry section on my bookshelves. As a lover of poetry, I was shocked when I recently realized that the only poetry books on my shelves are those that were required from various classes; if you don’t count the William Wordsworth volume that I managed to snag from a used bookstore. My winter reading list features several poetry volumes but I have made little inroads on that. However, I did make a recent poetry purchase. It was Black Girl Magic by Mahogany L. Browne. I love it so much that I want to purchase another copy to donate to my local library.

Although it’s technically only one poem, it is really amazingly powerful and I strongly suggest reading it.

I’m going to share a small list of books that I plan to get in the next four months or so. I’m hoping that because I plan to buy these from Amazon that it will make them start recommending more books for me. A few of these are books from a few of my favorite poets and some come highly recommended.

milk and honey -rupi kaur

Don’t Call Us Dead-Danez Smith

The Essential Rumi-Rumi

Night Sky with Exit Wounds-Ocean Vuong

This Is My Beloved- Walter Benton

I’ve Been a Woman: New and Selected Poems- Sonia Sanchez

The Collected Poetry of Nikki Giovanni: 1968-1998- Nikki Giovanni

The Complete Poetry- Maya Angelou

Electric Arches- Eve Ewing

(and I must have) The Collected Poems of Lucille Clifton 1965-2010

 

Please feel free to share any recommendation for poetry books. I am serious about growing my collection and reading more poetry.

 

Here It Is-Alice Walker

Alice Walker is such a prolific novelist and essayist, much like Toni Morrison, that I often forget that she writes poetry. As I’ve said before, in my opinion, Walker is the ultimate multi-hyphenate and I love and admire that. Someone shared this piece with me yesterday and I immediately knew that I wanted to post it here. I think that the beauty of someone who loves words and is talented in their use is that they are able to paint such beautiful, evocative pictures that it translates no matter what they write.  Please enjoy the poem and the awesome pic that accompanies it which features Alice Walker, Toni Morrison, June Jordan and the late Rosalind Cash.

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Here it is
the beauty that scares you
-so you believe-
to death.
For he is certainly gorgeous
and he is certainly where whiteness
to your disbelief
has not wandered off
to die.
No. It is there, tawny skin, gray eyes,
a Malcolm-esque jaw. His loyal parents
may Goddess bless them
sitting proud and happy and no doubt
amazed
at what they have done.
For he is black too. And obviously
with a soul
made of everything.
Try to think bigger than you ever have
or had courage enough to do:
that blackness is not where whiteness
wanders off to die: but that it is
like the dark matter
between stars and galaxies in
the Universe
that ultimately
holds it all

together.

 

When Planning Fails

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Every year, my blogging plans are really basic. They are to blog every week each month. This year, I wanted to do that and to provide some new posts that would be interesting and give you an update on what’s been going on in my world. Well, as the above quote implies…

I don’t really have any logical explanation for not blogging. Although I have been planning several different things in addition to teaching a full load at this point, I still have time to post. In December, I even created a list of my first six blog posts for this month. What I have failed to do is plan beyond that. I only had that list. I usually plan out my posts, try to start typing them up and to get them edited before they’re posted. I have failed to do that and I will be working on getting back on track with my batch blogging this week.

I typically post at least three to four times a month and I realized last night that I have only posted once this month. That’s a terrible precedent to set for the first month of the new year and I plan to do better. In order to make up for those missed posts, I will be posting at least three times over the next week or so.

I hope that you are all doing significantly better on your goals that I am.

Snowed In…

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Yesterday a snowstorm hit part of the East Coast and surprise of all surprises, my part of North Carolina got quite a bit. As someone who grew up in snow, I am excited about it but also staying in the house. The semester doesn’t begin for me until Monday so I’ve been relaxing. I spent the day watching the Kingsman movies and sleeping off what I hope are the last bits of a nasty cold. Tonight, I plan to finish reading Michael Connelly’s The Late Show and watching the newest episode of Chicago Fire.

I also hope to get some writing done tomorrow on one of the new pieces that I hope to finish this year. Hopefully, I will be sharing new fiction next week.

New Year, Same Crap

Hi everyone! Happy New Year! I hope that you enjoyed your holidays and got the chance to overeat and relax. I took the time to be lazy and to work on a long overdue purge of clothes, old work from my past grad programs and from past semesters. 

I also started working on my winter reading list which I can already tell is going to go deep into spring because I keep adding new books. In fact, I just added Gabrielle Union’s We’re Going to Need More Wine and Ashley Farley’s Sweet Tea Tuesdays to my Kindle today. In addition to the two Michael Connelly books that I checked out of the library. 

Since we are firmly in 2018, I wanted to take a quick moment to share a few of my goals for the year.

  • I am gearing up for the new year with a commitment to building a brand for this blog and expanding it. That’s one of my major goals for 2018. I’ll be posting about that later this month.
  •  I also hope to recruit some guest bloggers or to feature more original poems from new poets. Another one of my goals for the year is to read more poetry. 
  • In that vein, I ordered a new book at the end of the year Black Girl Magic by Mahogany L. Browne and I am eagerly awaiting its arrival. 
  • Lastly, as you can see from the attached picture I am also working on some new story ideas. So one of my immediate goals is to spend more time at my desk working on these ideas.

Please let me know if you’ve set any specific goals for the new year and how you’re planning to tackle them.