|This port contains my musings on writing and life in general. And yes, it is one hundred percent real. I pull no punches, and I co-sign no one. Enjoy.|
|So I'm back from my first writer's conference. I have to say, it was so stressful critiquing everyone else's work that by the time it came around for a draft of "Visionary" to be critiqued, I was too exhausted to care. Spending two days breaking down manuscripts to their bare essences is not something I'd recommend for the weak of heart. And I'm pretty sure the hearts of the vast majority of people in my writer's group were broken.
I got a decent review from the critique leader and my fellow workshop attendees, which is what I expected. There were some things pointed out to me that I can definitely fix. As for some other comments made about the subject matter involved...meh. I'll chalk that up to general ignorance of magical realism and lack of personal imagination. Overall, I had a constructive weekend.
It was good getting away. I stayed at a great hotel, with great customer service, and free brew-it-yourself coffee/tea in my room. The Sleep Number bed that I slept on left a lot to be desired. I can understand that different hotel chains want a great gimmick to get travelers to stay at their hotel, but The Sleep Number bed has got to be one of the most overrated mattresses ever made. No matter how soft or firm it was, it just felt hard to me. I guess I'll have to make sure the next hotel I stay in offers regular mattresses.
I am definitely looking for another writer's conference to attend, hopefully one that's longer than a weekend, and with more of a concentration on scifi/fantasy elements. Until then, I will continue to write on!
|Today is my writing.com birthday. Ten years ago today, I joined this site in order to start improving the quality of my written work. And I have not been disappointed. My "voice" has evolved over the years, from willful rage to a kind of mellow self-awareness. I've come a long way from "Hopes Of A Teenage Corpse" which I wrote at age twelve, to "Visionary", my newest
I have another reason to celebrate. This morning I will be attending my first writer's conference. Although I've received feedback from many people on this site, attending this writer's conference is the first time I will be receiving feedback from authors. It's a very important step towards getting published. I could self-publish now, at any time really, but I want to make sure my work is polished enough to sell well, and perhaps attract more traditional publishers when the time is right. Wish me luck!
I would not have made it this far without all the feedback from my felloe writing.com members, and other users online who have stumbled across my port during the past ten years. A humble and sincere thank you is due to every single one of you.
Don't worry! I'm not going anywhere. I will still blog here, and post my work in my port as I have always done.
Again, thank you. :)
|I have an unusual wake up routine. I rely on the alarm app on my kindle fire to play a loud song to rouse me from my sleep, and then I stand outside on the cold concrete of my porch and stand there until I'm no longer tempted to go back to sleep.
What? I know I'm weird. But that's why you find me so entertaining, right?
Anyway, the other morning I stepped on something hard and squishy. My porch is home to various little frogs during the early morning hours, so I knew what I stepped on immediately. I turned on my porch light and saw the little quarter-sized frog thrashing in agony. My first instinct was to kill it and put it out of it's misery, but something told me to stop and let it be. Since I'm a sucker for animals, and I hadn't wanted to hurt it anyway, I decided to leave it alone.
I hate hurting things, so that little frog was on my mind for the next few hours or so. I avoided looking at the area of my porch where the frog was, when I stepped out of my home to go to work. I didn't want to think about it.
When I woke up the next day and I stepped onto my porch I noticed a little frog hopping a little bit faster and quicker than the others. It was the frog that I had stepped on the day before, none the worse for wear, though it was a little wiser when it came to being in my way.
That frog made me think. How often do people give up on hopeless causes realizing there is nothing they can do? How often do people give up on others they consider damaged beyond repair?
|These songs make me want to party! Wooo!!!
Again, these are in no particular order.
1. Drop It Low - Ester Dean(2010)
2. Bullet With Butterfly Wings - The Smashing Pumpkins(1995)
3. Let Go - Sharon Bryant(1989)
4. Only Girl(In The World) - Rihanna(2010)
5. Object Of My Desire - Starpoint(1985)
6. Be My Lover - La Bouche(1996)
7. Can't Wait - Five Star(1986)
8. Evacuate The Dancefloor - Cascada(2009)
9. You're A Jerk - New Boyz(2009)
10. Superstar - Kimberly Cole(2009)
|I have a list of songs that I turn to when I'm feeling down. I try not to wallow in misery, so I pop in my headphones and choose a couple of these songs to help me get my shit together. These songs are in no particular order, and cross all genres, btw.
1. "Do My Thing" - Estelle ft. Janelle Monae(2012)
2. "Goodbye" - Kristinia Debarge(2009)
3. "Like Me" - Girlicious(2008)
4. "K.I. Feeling" - Killer Cuts(1994)
5. "Tusk Theme" - Killer Instinct Gold soundtrack(1996)
6. "Step" - Kara(2011)
7. "Hard" - Rhianna(2009)
8. "Somebody That I Used To Know" - Gotye(2012)
9. "Titanium" - David Guetta ft. Sia(2012)
10. "Whataya Want From Me" - Adam Lambert (2009)
11. "Let Go" - Frou Frou(2002)
12. "Music For Love" - Mario(2008)
13. "Gotta Tell You" - Samantha Mumba(2000)
14. "If I Ruled The World" - Nas feat. Lauryn Hill(1996)
15. "Closer" - Ne-Yo(2008)
I'll make another list of songs that get me hyped later. :)
|...than hypocrisy and prejudice. Unfortunately, these things seem to go hand in hand today.
It seems to me that the most prejudiced people are usually the most dishonest. Like so-called church-going "saved" folk who go to the club on Saturday Night/have pre-marital sex/etc. and then look down their noses on everyone who doesn't go to church. As if these so-called Christians are any better than the "un-saved"!
In the brief time I was involved with the black lesbian community in my nearest city, I observed a few things that really stood out to me:
1. Most of them had children, at least two or three.
2. They seemed to be disgusted by bisexual women, even though the vast majority of them had slept with men.
3. Very few of them were out to family members.
4. Mediocre activism in their community
I don't understand the hatred of bisexual women. So they like both. So what? Would lesbians appreciate it if their sexual preferences were called into question because of their children and/or marriages? Annoyingly of all, some lesbians actually call bisexual women confused! Really? Aren't these the same arguments made against homosexuals? Do they not get the irony of making such ignorant statements?
Secondly, why claim to be a lesbian at all if you are over the age of thirty and you're not out to your parents/children, and yet you see them regularly? Honestly, that's probably my worst pet peeve in the lesbian community. There are young people dying because the older generation of lesbians is invisible. And they're invisible because they want to "have their cake and eat it too" by relying on their assumed "straight" status to remain acceptable in mainstream society. I think this is the most hypocritical move of all. I put myself at tremendous personal risk both on the job and in my family by coming out, because I wanted to be honest. I didn't want to be ashamed of who I was after I had worked for so long to define myself. Thank goodness my journey to freedom didn't result in suicide because I didn't have any proud black lesbians to look up to. For many women and teenage girls in my place, it has.
The last, and most crucial aspect is the mediocre activism. The only time I can remember the black lesbian community coming together to do anything is for the parties at PRIDE, and surprisingly enough when a non-discrimination bill was up for public forum about a month ago. Obviously you can't stop people from discriminating against you if you're in and out of the closet anytime it suits you, and if you reject help from your allies, the bisexuals and the transgendered who put the BT in LGBT. The ironic thing is that these same lesbians meet regularly to discuss books and play sports, but yet they don't put the same amount of effort into working for their own rights, or being open enough with their so-called loved ones.
Thankfully, the BS you see listed above only applies to the shrinking number of older black lesbians that I've come across in a small southern city. I intend to meet a lot more lesbians as I get older, and I'm sure they all don't have the same outdated attitudes. I just don't understand the kind of behavior I've witnessed, nor do I endorse it.
|...I don't talk to my extended family much. Everyone does their own thing in family, and due to past circumstances, that's fine by me.
Anyway, by some unfortunate family incident that dutifully required us to pull together, I was in my uncle's garage chatting with my cousins and uncle.
I briefly told my uncle that I was writing a book, which he seemed a little taken aback by. He then proceeded to give me something I've heard over and over again from people from all walks of life: I'd like to write a book, but I don't think anyone would be interested in what I have to say.
My uncle may not be my favorite person in the world(few of my family members are), but I think his life would make a great story. A former troublemaker who joined the military, and became a family man. In a time when everyone is being labeled as unfixable, and permanantely troubled, I think his story would be excellent. It's a shame he doesn't see it that way.
On that note, I think everyone has something important to tell the world, no matter how insignificant it is. The problem is, few people realize it.
|I'm not a huge movie fan, mainly because I prefer tv shows, but here are a few of my favorites:
Triangle(2009): A thriller/mystery onboard a strange boat off the coast of Florida. The real meaning of the movie has been debated for years on imdb message boards. To give you any more details would ruin the movie.
Mulholland Drive(2001): David Lynch's masterpiece about the underbelly of Hollywood, played out with colorful characters who may or may not be who they think they are. Starring Naomi Watts and Laura Harring.
The Fifth Element(1997): A superhuman women is re-created to save earth from the threat of a dark planet. Bruce Willis, Milla Jovavich, and Chris Tucker star in modern sci-fi classic.
Flashdance(1983): Classic dance movie that is still inspiring people today. Jennifer Beals stars.
The Sensei: Feel good anti-bullying movie that kicks butt. Starring D. Lee Inosanto.
Fight Club: Charasmatic man starts a fight club that revolutionizes the world. "The first rule of fight club is: you do not talk about Fight Club." Based on the book by Chuck Palahniuk and starring Brad Pitt and Edward Norton.
Demon Knight: A Tales From The Crypt feature film about the forces of good vs. evil. Typical demon vs. human story, but told in a unique way with awesome characters. This isn't a typical slasher film, and I would have loved to see this turned into a series. Oh well, at least it's on DVD.
Ritual: Another Tales From The Crypt feature. It's about a sick man suffering from what appears to be a voodoo curse in Jamaica, but not everything is as it appears. Tim Curry is deliciously funny in this, and Kristen Wilson steals the show.
Silent Hill: Loosely based on the video game series, this horror movie involves the trials of a mother trying to find her adopted daughter in an old abandoned mining town. This is probably the only video game adaptation that doesn't suck.
What Lies Beneath: A sadly forgotten thriller from the year 2000. Michelle Pfieffer stars as a woman who believes her next door neighbor is a murderer. Unfortunately for her, murder is closer than she thinks. Harrison Ford plays her husband.
The Uninvited(2009): A teenage girl returning home from a mental institution is shocked to discover her widowed father is marrying a woman with a mysterious past. Based on the Korean film "A Tale Of Two Sisters". Starring Emily Browning, David Strathairn, Elizabeth Banks, and Arielle Kebbel.
|I'm at a certain age (ten year class reunion time!) when some people start listing their regrets. I wish I would have done this, I wish I would have done that, blah blah blah ad naseum.
Quite honestly, I don't have any regrets. I've made mistakes, sure; stepped on the toes of my nearest and dearest, and everyone else.
But I have the proper perspective that comes with taking the unique path that I've chosen for my life. I haven't wasted a lot of time with unnecessary people, because I've recognized the freedom in letting go. I haven't been fired from any job I've ever had because I've had an incredible work ethic. And I have always been grateful for the life lessons that people teach me, albeit unconsciously, on a daily basis. Most of all, I don't regret one page of the 1500+ pages I've written over the years, regardless of the quality of the work.
Am I completely happy where I am right now? No. I'm not writing professionally, I'm still a few years away from owning my home, and I'm currently single. But these are things that will change with time. Not because I wish for these things to happen, but because everything I work hard for, I eventually get.
|This year, I've read more books as an adult than ever I ever have before, thanks in part to the convenience of my six-month-old Kindle Fire. Here's the best of the best that I've read in 2012(so far):
1. The Pillow Book by Sei Shonagon : This book is a Japanese classic for a reason. If a book like this was made today, it would be part diary, part Miss Manners column, and part TMZ. While the author comes off as a snobby and pretensious, her poetic insight into the world around her balances it out. While the novel drags in places, and it's obvious that it's been altered from it's original form, it is definitely a good read all around.
2. Dry by Augusten Burroughs : The fictionalized account of the author's struggle with drug addiction, love, and work at a New York ad agency is a darkly comedic waltz played out in some 293 pages. There seems to be an undercurrent of seething honesty, even in the more embellished portions of the book, which is refreshing in a time when memoirs seem to be more concerned in painting the author in the best possible light rather than revealing the subject's true experiences.
3. Black Market Romance by Zola D Wadsworth: This book is pretty out there, I don't advise you read it unless you like sci-fi, since it involves a group of humans and their love of extraterestrial lizards. Nuff said.
4. Introvert Power by Laurie E Helgoe, PHd : This book reveals the strengths and weakness of introverts, with quotes from famous and not so-famous introverts. Her insight was amazing! I was impressed by all the research she pulled from people today, and people from history. This book is a very empowering read for introverts, and for the rare extrovert who wants to understand how introverts think.
5. Griots: A sword and soul anthology edited by Milton J Davis and Charles R Saunders : A few of the short stories aren't very good(namely the first two), but the rest are gold! This book contains African-based fantasy characters, which is a rarity in the fantasy genre. It was a real treat to read. My favorites were "Skin Magic" , "The General's Daughter" , and "The Leopard Walks Alone" , and "The Three-Faced One" .
6. Night's Kiss: Lesbian Erotica by Catherine Lundoff : The title is self-explanatory, lol! This well-crafted anthology of short stories that explore the darker side of love and sex, is evenly well-done all across the board. The most unique story in here is "Planet 10" which was a surprise and a half when I read it, along with an interesting take on Jack The Ripper with "An Incident In Whitechapel".
7. Strangers by De Jay : This is a lesbian romance against the backdrop of a car wash. Complicating matters are rough pasts, inherited children from estranged family members, unresolved relationships, and more. This book is a lot deeper than I expected, and although there are bits and pieces that seem a unrealistic, the characters have layered personailites and issues that are truer to life than the characters in most other books on the market today. This is an excellent book, and I'm looking forward to reading more by this author.
As you can see, my reading tastes are very diverse. I'm currently reading Sheryl Lee Ralph's autobiography, along with Affinity by Sarah Waters. Whatever I read after these two, is anyone's guess!