I have recently rekindled my interests in one of my old passions. I used to crochet all the time and last week I picked up a needle again. Only to discover to my chagrin that I have forgotten everything! I was trying to work on an a pattern and I could remember simple stitches and how to read the damned thing I was so frustrated. I have a huge basket of yarn and I wanted to make my niece a blanket but felt like I was floundering. So I decided to go back to basics. Go back to practicing my stitches and then building back up to reading patterns and give myself some patterns to work on. So for the moment I have shelved the blanket and I will going to find a stitch pattern I like better to do her blanket with. Also I have a friend who is having a baby in the summer and I want to do a couple of things for her. Last night I did two swatches, simple and easy. I did single stitch and a double stitch. I will do triple stitch and I want to do a stitch that has some nice texture to it, haven’t decided yet and then do a granny square pattern (fingers crossed)
I got my first rejection letter yesterday and of all the things to feel, I felt excitement. I usually write for myself and I am very sensitive about my work so I rarely share it with anyone. This year I decided that I was going to submit work to writing and essay contests and put myself out there and I submitted a piece to Creative Nonfiction. The topic was “The Dialogue between Science and Religion. I enjoyed writing it and I bummed it wasn’t chosen but it has sparked an interest in me to keep going. You lose 100% of the chances you don’t take as the saying goes, so I’m gonna shoot my shot!
So this year I am making a return to the things that I miss. Life can get in the way but I don’t want it to interrupt the aspects of my life that I enjoy and as a result, I am making a return to my DIY projects that I enjoy. My first project is making infused oils. I am super excited about this one because it’s a new one for me. I have in the past made lotions and even some body oil mixtures but I wanted to see if I could create my own scent and also use these in my own body oils. I want to experiment and see what I can whip up. I purchased some smaller mason jars, rose buds, lavender, almond oil and sweet apricot kernel oil to start.
As many people do on the new year, I made a few resolutions. I promised to practice patience with myself and my creative endeavors. But in practicing patience, I also have to take the time to tend to my writing as I would a plant. So I planted some seeds. To remind myself of what happens when you practice patience and consistency. Eventually you will see the fruits of your labor and accept your harvest. Putting in the work on a regular and consistent basis will manifest my dreams. So these seedlings are my reminder.
I planted a few seeds that I purchased from seeds now online. These seedlings are the only ones that have sprouted so far. Going clockwise starting from the top left hand corner: there is thyme, basil, spinach and tomato. Its winter and I live in an apartment in NYC that doesn’t get the best lighting. So I purchased a lamp with a blue tint that apparently is specially made for plants and as you can tell they are doing well. I used little pellets which are great, you put some water on them and they expand and you can drop the seeds right in and that’s it. I placed each pod in a cup and every day I drip a little water into the cup not directly onto the pod. Sometimes doing that will uncover the seed so I allow the pellet to absorb it from the bottom instead. Altogether I planted 9 seeds, one was a tiny rose plant that I purchased in Target with its only mini terracotta pot. I haven’t seen anything happening there yet but will share once it does. I also planted parsley, oregano, lavender and rosemary.
This light also works wonders for my other plants as well, I notice some new leaves coming into my other plant babies that were not there before and so if you have plants that need direct sunlight these lamps are a great fix.
Happy New Year sugar babies!! 2017 is going to be an amazing year. As the kids say it’s going to be LIT!
It’s a time for new beginnings and resolutions; there are a few things that I want to work on this year. I won’t bore you with the details but I will be posting about it as the year goes along.
Last night I met with my writing group and with the holidays and everyone’s busy schedule we have been unable to all meet up. There is always one person missing so tonight the fab 5 was in full effect. We have some amazing plans for this year concerning our writing and I am amped to get it started. Won’t give away anything just yet but we are going to work. We met at The Grey Dog in NYC to hammer out the details of our work for the upcoming months and planning and alot of wine and food.
The food there is pretty good. They have soups, sandwiches, nothing too crazy. I ordered hummus toast on sourdough, hummus and chickpeas with spicy kale and sweet potato fries and it was tasty. They have happy hour up to 7 pm and you can get half off on a bottle of wine. BUT beware if you arent at that register by 7, they won’t honor the happy hour prices no matter how long and slow their line is which is a bit off putting. One my group members brought a bottle of coquito which I love and I got my own bottle so this weekend is definitely going to be litty! And we planned for the coming weeks, what writing we will be doing and set up a structure for our work. Lately we have been doing more socializing than writing but it’s all in good measure because when I leave them I always feel so relaxed and inspired that I am usually ready to write right away
Last night was my first class at Gotham Writers. Fourteen writers with a story to tell. Our introduction was simple – write the working title of your novel, the flap cover description, the time period and the piece of music/art that best accompanies your novel. And let me tell you some of these people are oozing with talent and I love it. I cant wait for the opportunity to read their work and to hear feedback on my own. Writing is a solitary affair and to have the opportunity to share and exchange ideas is golden. It makes me happy. Its like book club but with your own work.Music rules my world, I am always humming some sort of tune in my head. The tune for my working novel is Ledisi’s Pieces of Me. Take a listen:
I love this song so much it says so much about who I am as a person but the characters in my book are fragmented each shaped by their past in some way that directly affects their present in seen and unseen ways. I am sculpting the pieces of my characters, finding new ways to reveal their back story and their struggles. My previous drafts have been more about pouring out the emotion and motivations for each of my main characters and now I want to present it in a less straightforward way but I want their pain to be felt. I want the emotion to be palpable. So I have to be get all in my feelings to do it but I am prepared to do that work.
This go round of classes isn’t as daunting as the first because I have my tribe in tow. Three of the four members of my writing group are in the class with me. We have been boothing all summer damn near and we know each others work and what we need to work on. Low-key I’m scouting to see who would fit into our little group and who can give us fresh perspective. I’ve already spotted a few writers I am already gaga over after hearing the synopsis of their working novel. After class we went for drinks and appetizers and reviewed. After some good food and giggles…or laughs we have a man in our midst and men don’t giggle….we parted ways. In my head I always have a tune. I walked a bit down to Herald Square and looked up and saw this beauty and the song to accompany it…..what else Jay Z’s Empire State of Mind.
In New York
Concrete jungle where dreams are made of
There’s nothing you can’t do
Now you’re in New York
These streets will make you feel brand new
Big lights will inspire you
Cheesy I know but ahhh…..I had a good day.
Hope you did too.
So to all the writers and creators what are you working on? and whats the music that accompanies your piece of work? Lemme kno!
This summer our writing group met with a skeleton crew, as people were traveling and busy so we had a dinner to celebrate and to reconnect. These guys are so amazing. I don’t think they understand how much their presence and encouragement on all things, not just writing leaves such an impression on me. They are supportive and critical all in the same breath. They force me to work, to think and to challenge myself in ways I didn’t know possible. The end of this month we all registered for another writing class which is how we originally met. A novel writing class which is just whew…nerve wracking to say the least. There are 2 of the 5 of us who are well on their way to a complete novel. One who has a full completed piece and we are encouraging him to submit his work for publication. No one can really understand how hard it is to put your work your for critique, especially when for most of us, the things we do write are so very personal. It’s like someone attacking your baby…..like Eykah Badu says. I am artist and I’m sensitive about my shit!
The work itself is the reward though. And knowing that people connect to what you are writing trumps it all. The challenge this month is to submit a finished piece of fiction…a short story to a competition. So here it goes.