I purchased my journals for 2018 and got them in the mail today. I’m so in love with them. Shinola Detroit had free engraving and I believe free shipping for the holiday season. I had to have them engraved because… who doesn’t like personalization. The pages are lined and thick so when I go ham between the pages with colored markers it doesn’t seep through to the next page. Which is such a major plus to me. I like to write in color, staple, paste all sorts of things in my journal and the pages hold up so well. And then, for me the hand written thank you note….ahh the devil is in the details. I have had a few colors and these two are my favorite thus far.
My first Shinola journal, I purchased from a shop located close to my job and when I went back to purchase a new one, I was speaking to the clerk and he told me that he had a friend whose father had passed and his father had kept a journal before he was even conceived. When his father passed passed he read through all the journals. His father had chronicled 30+ years of his life, taking the time to write something each and every day, even if nothing spectacular happened. He noted it. He was able to see all the things his father went through, and their similar struggles and got lessons from his father even though he was no longer around. There is something so priceless and special about that. A written word is infinite and holds such weight especially to those who are bare and transparent between those pages.
I have been pouring myself onto the pages of my journal these days. More now than ever before and it feels good to look back and see all the things that have happened, challenges I have worked through and truths about myself….and the work I have been putting in. It makes me proud of myself, that I am always striving to be the best version of myself. Even if its not always in ways that can be quantified and qualified to the outside world. I have been working on my interior, the part of me that counts the most. And at the closing of this year I can honestly say, I am strong as fuck.
How do you journal? What do you write about? What do you explore? Chronicle?
I have been thinking a lot about sharing my writing, experimenting with form and content and playing with different methods of writing and sharing it. EEK the scare of it all. I have content that I want to share and ideas I would like to discuss and I want to be extra and add some flair to it. I am working on character profiles, on the idea of slipping into the mind of my character and speaking as though I was them. It helps me understand the character I am creating, their motivations and attitude towards life and then subsequently what action they would take. I am writing character sketches. I want to discover a character that I fall in love with and will want to weave into my work. How to describe them through actions as opposed to words and when and how to use those words when necessary.
Tonight, I feel like electricity is running through my veins; hot and bright it was zipping around and setting my skin on fire. There was a warm swirling feeling of air in my belly and I felt the energy of the eclipse all around me. The air was palpable, taut, familiar and comforting like a cloud lifting me to places I dreamt of. Where the dreams that live inside are peeking out into the sunlight and bursting with the fullness of wanting to share this journey called life. It was as if a doorway had creaked open silently and slipped shut as though something or someone had slid through and stepped out into the light. It is an awakening, the flames that lay inside smoldering but kept low by the winds of changing priorities and life but are always in the front of the back of my mind and were ignited. Today reminds me of how miniscule I truly am watching the moon blocking the earth from the sun. We are suspended in air floating in the ether grounded but yet soaring free and as a result I should mimic the earth and be in constant motion ebbing and flowing as well. Life is about movement and progression.
Painting was something that I loved to do. On the weekends, the easel would call my name, drawing me out late into the night and I wouldn’t retire until the sun dawned the sky. During real life, I have a 9 to 5 and it takes up all of my days, sapping my energy and not allowing me to commit time to the art that I love. The energy builds up within me and I feel the rush and the desire to breathe life into something because it breathes life into me. There is no greater feeling than to start with a blank easel and create something from the first line to the last dash of color. It’s never perfect enough, it could always be a little bit better, but when it’s done you can feel it. A slight feeling of gentle satisfaction. I started with my home, an old refurbish school bus whose appearance from the outside belies its size inside. I painted her green, purple, yellow and blues, radiant and dancing along the side. She dances with energy and spirit and it is a representation of me, my spirit and my energy in motion and tonight because I am moving, I parked my magic school bus for a while to sink into the energy alive around me.
My lesson this week is to get out of my own way. In one way or another this message has been presenting itself to me and it has been resonating with me on so many levels. I tend to be in my head about a lot of things. Thinking of different ideas and artistic endeavors that for the large part remain untapped or unexplored for varying reasons. The major reason, I am ashamed to admit is fear. Somewhere in the back of my head, I am fearful that my creation or expression will not be received in the right way or that I will be revealing too much of myself and my private nature cringes at the thought. I have been working through some content in my head, but for the large part it has been in my head. Which needs to change. It’s about to be a journey down the rabbit hole my friends; with with many twists and turns and seemingly unrelated topics, might just be plain random at times but there is a point somewhere.
I have been in contemplation about life. What motivates me? What do I want and need in my life? What makes me happy? What makes me sad? My mind constantly going over my life and putting events into perspective. What do they all mean to me at this stage in my growth process? My wheels are decidedly turning and I can feel a shift in my life…call it maturity, call it growth…but I am curious to know how many people ponder on these things and what their outlook is.
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!
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!