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!
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.
I am exhausted but effervescent. I met with my writing group last night at Souvlaki GR in Columbus Circle. We usually meet once a month, and we have been keeping with our commitment to do so but the summer brings traveling and all summer long we were missing at least or more member. This was an opportunity for us to all meet. We ate, we drank, and we talked. We are taking another writing class at Gotham Writers in a few weeks. We met in a Gotham class, fiction writing I and now we have decided to take novel writing II. Now, none of us took novel writing I and so we are all a bit apprehensive but excited in the same breath. I have had this idea of writing this novel, the idea has been in my head for the longest and my first class in Gotham I had to decide between novel writing and fiction writing and decided to go with fiction writing. The ultimate goal (which I am flinging into the atmosphere/blogosphere) is to write a novel. It’s such an undertaking but the formal structure of a class will allow me the chance to focus more on the novel structure. Afterward, I walked down towards Times Square and felt so positive about meeting with my group and the upcoming class and the space I am in. It felt hella good. I got on the train and started writing a new story that I had fermenting in my brain for a few weeks now. So I have 2 stories on the mill.
I have to say the past week or so, I have been writing and jotting things down my brain has been on a creative overload. I am chalking up to the moon and mercury’s retrograde period. I have been writing but doing a lot of reflecting and things are just manifesting around me in a way that is surprising and almost a little creepy If I am being more specific, I have been extremely emotional and writing from a place of pure emotion has made the things I have been working on lately just vibrant. I can feel the emotion when I read it back. I had 2 of the girls in my writing group read a few things and they were like wow. I usually dread retrograde periods because I can be so impulsive and all over the place but surprisingly I have been able to focus my energies into my work which is soooo nice. I am again looking forward to the class but of course I know that once the work starts to pile up that will be short-lived .
I am writing this post at the apex of the full August Moon. A sturgeon moon, this one is a special one. Rare. And above all else beautiful. It ushers in a period where the harvest is full, ripe and ready; fruit heavy in its abundance. This is the time for self-reflection and introspection. I have been journaling as of late, jotting my thoughts down and I want to share them. It seemed like ages ago, I had a blog called Slow Metamorphosis. An ode to the changes I was going through at that time. It was the time that I decided to cut my hair off and embrace my natural hair without a relaxer. I had tried it a few times before but it didn’t stick. I discovered a community of people who were doing the same things on a site that I am not even sure exists anymore called Nappturality.com. The site taught me about my own hair, which crazy as it seems up to that point, I didn’t even know what it even looked like. I cut my hair off, panicked, braid it up and then finally sat in the barber’s chair and buzzed it and started from scratch. I was….. scared and excited. I fotki’d and blogged and shared with women that I didn’t know and now I look around and everyone is natural. Almost but it’s definitely the takeover and I love it. It’s all a journey isn’t it?
I have been taking stock of my own personal journey. This past year has been a trying one. I suffered some major upsets in my life. I have recounted things over and over in my head. Trying to dissect meaning and to garner information from some of the things that I have happened. There will perhaps always be missing pieces to the puzzle but the only thing I know through and through is me. And where I am. I have to look at myself and I am pleased with the person I am and the person I am becoming. I am strong. I am renewed and more confident in myself. I have learned to trust my own voice, my own spirit, the precision of my own intuition and the power that comes with tending to One. There is magic in solitude and separation. I embrace it all because solitude is transformative. It brings you back to your purest essence.
I could wax poetic about life and its meaning but I don’t know. None of us can say we do. We all want the sweetness of life, the things that make us happy and content but there will be peaks and valleys, his and los. The most precious stone was once a piece of carbon enduring endless amounts of pressure before it transformed into a diamond beautiful, rare and perfect. Job exclaimed after the trails in his life that he came through the fire and was found to be pure gold. A metaphor so simple and yet so profound. We will find that if we compare ourselves before and after any tumultuous time in our lives we emerge stronger. Hardships make us strong, they force us to tap into the parts of ourselves that being comfortable makes us forget. But the beauty is, it reveals that all the things we need to succeed and to shine and be pure gold are already inside of us. For some it takes a lifetime to really learn that; what we search for are the things in this world are elusive and abundant, they are intangible having no real ability to be quantified and qualified they just are. Here’s to holding elusive pleasures in the palm of your hands.