DECEMBER comes earlier this year. Advertising was bumped up to the beginning of October where I live, with merchants’ holiday decorations, to gift suggestions, to those little Christmas jingles stuffing your ears with sounds of the coming—December 25th, two months away! Trees downtown strung with twinkling lights the beginning of November and store window displays earnestly competing with Macy’s (which takes up a whole downtown square block). A gigantic decorated tree displays in the center of downtown. Continue reading
Grateful: Feeling or showing an appreciation for something done, received, or to someone… English Oxford Living Dictionary
Years back, I was on my way to lunch in Hollywood with a woman I’ve known for now, nearly 30 years. Our friendship was oil and water. There were times when it was easy being in her presence, and times, when the conversation was a lecture and criticism on her part. To be honest, after much contemplation, I sank our friendship. It became difficult for me to be a passenger in such murky waters. Continue reading
I need to get rid of wearing-me-down-baggage with the onset of October and the fall season. Seeing that I’m not a person who makes New Years’ resolutions, I take this time of the year to recharge and access for that last sprint before December 31st.
I once read: “It’s not how you start, but rather how you finish.” Looking over the past months leading into October, there’s been laughter, shock, happiness, sadness, enlightenment, and plagues of stagnation. Continue reading
I thought about August, my mother’s birthday (August 20th), and wondered in the wake of the death of Aretha Franklin (August 16th), John McCain (August 25th), and Neil Simon (August 26th)—how would Mom, an avid reader, listener, debater, and appreciator for the arts, politics, and music—would have thought about three people, in her lifetime, that caused Mom to sit up and take notice. Continue reading
Waiting and waiting for a response from an agent is A WAITING GAME COCKTAIL MIXING INSOMNIA WITH DOUBT.
After getting the first and quite personalized “I encourage you to not give up,” I realized that I was in good company. As Harper Lee said, “I would advise anyone who aspires to a writing career, that before developing his talent, he could be wise to develop a thick hide.”
So, I share—I’ve submitted my query, submitted my synopsis, and first 10-15 pages. While I waited to hear back from a wonderful agent (I researched) who was looking to grow their clientele list, looking for women’s fiction, looking for page-turning stories—I kept writing. Continue reading
Not long ago while I was on the bus, a small group of teenagers sitting in the back were having an exuberant conversation about classes, music, sports, an upcoming party, prom, college, and friends. Normally, these words alone, spoken by African American teenagers about to face the next phase of their lives—-would generate a positive reaction. Yet, as their dialog was consumed with, bitch, niggah, whore, fuck, shit, goddam, motherfucker, asshole, sonofabitch, punk, and many more (you get my point) colorized words—I looked about me and saw the cringe of disgust on so many people. I couldn’t take it anymore. I wasn’t in the mood for an altercation if I spoke, so I exited into the heavy downpour and walked my last two bus stops and 3 more long blocks to my home. Continue reading
I started taking music lessons in the second grade. By the time I was in high school, there were three instruments I knew how to play: flute, clarinet, and the oboe. When mixed with modern and jazz dance lessons, I’d say music was my heart’s beat. Although, I think Mom had another motive. . . keep me busy and way too tired, so I wouldn’t gain membership into our town’s teenage pregnancy club. Fortunate for me, Mom’s plan worked, and I exchanged one life-altering decision for another—music grew inside of me instead of a baby. Continue reading
The creative writing group I belong to had an assignment. We were to use these words: Solitary Rose, No Serviceable Parts, Rain, and Church, and write a story of at least 800 words.
I took a risk and wrote a story in a dialog from a child’s point of view. My peers loved it. It was fun polishing off my voice and reading my story in a dialog quite different from my own. Continue reading
My days are full.
My thoughts are even fuller.
My energy is low.
But THAT’S OKAY.
Somewhere in my adult life, I’ve come to believe goals exist to add purpose and structure. And I’ve whispered, “God, give me strength.” Continue reading
Many things give me story ideas. The obvious is PEOPLE WATCHING.
Listening to dialog, whether it’s in a restaurant, on a bus, or at a coffeehouse—my ears and senses are wide open for the way a person walks, the tone of their voice, their clothes, the topic of conversation, and, of course, the emotions locking into their face. I press play on my imagination to record what I see and hear. Eavesdropping is the best way to find story lines, infuse a character description, or spice up the story’s dialog. Continue reading