Project Blacklight: Goals Review

Good day, everyone!

Can’t believe we’re halfway through the year. I think time tends to go faster the older we get. But maybe that’s just me. Anyway, I figured I’d take the time to reflect on what I’ve done so far and review my goals. Sometimes, I go through my journals, reading the entries, reflecting on my thought processes. I don’t think I could ever create a book based on my entries alone. I don’t have stacks of journals I’ve collected over the years. And now, with a journal app on my iPhone, it kind of makes buying composition books obsolete. (Truth be told, I got tired of my daughter scribbling in my journal. It’s my fault.) So, let’s look back and evaluate where we are so far. Continue reading “Project Blacklight: Goals Review”

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Write Everyday, Even If You Hate It

There are days I hate writing. It’s a wonder I get anything done. But it is those days where I have to push through and remind myself why I do what I do.

A Writer's Path

Pen

For the last three weeks, I was forced to write everyday in order to complete a presentation for an English symposium and to complete my creative writing portfolio for a public reading (each are requirements of my major and emphasis). The problem initially was my lack of enthusiasm. I have, in the past, written not based on routine or discipline, but because I like writing and I enjoy it immensely.

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How to Write With All Five Senses

I often forget using the senses is vital to make writing pop. After reading, I will definitely try to incorporate more into my work.

A Writer's Path

Smell

Description With All Five Senses

This might be a little grade school for some of you. Or you might think it’s a little grade school. Frankly, I think we could all stand to be reminded. So there you go.

When you are describing something, it looks a certain way. Yes indeedy. We get that. We got it three paragraphs ago. We got the visual flavor of this city through your description of Corinthian columns, crenellated parapets, vast marble blocks that take twelve oxen a week to tow anywhere useful.

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The Man in the Mirror

When you look in a mirror, do you like what you see? Are you happy? Or, do you wish you were different? Are there certain things that you want to change? There comes a time when you have to take a good, long look at yourself, stop lying, assess what you have, and figure out what you want. Some people call this a “‘Come to Jesus’ moment.” My moment is here.

It came to my attention that I haven’t been forthcoming and honest about myself and what I want to do with my writing and this blog to my audience. It’s nice that I get thumbs up and comments, that my Twitter followers respond to my tweets, and I get likes on Facebook when I post. The feedback is nice and positive, but I know real life is not all roses and sunshine. There are people who do not understand what or why I write. There will be cynics that will slash anything and everything I do.

I experienced such a moment where someone close to me questioned my last post, a short story I wrote about what happened after a wedding took place. The person didn’t understand what the story was about. I had to explain the plot and why I wrote it. It then became a question of why I write and who I am. At first, I felt hurt and betrayed. I felt like shit. I felt like this person who was supposed to be friend stabbed me in the heart, twisted the knife, and left me to bleed out. But I pulled out said proverbial knife, and took some time to think about the conversation we had. It still stings, but I understood what the person was saying. I wasn’t being truthful in my writing. I wasn’t being truthful to myself. This person was the only one to call me out on it.

So, I am writing this post to show my audience my reflection, to show what I see in myself, and to be completely honest with myself and to those who follow me. Here goes.

I am an African-American male who loves writing. I took Creative Writing courses in college and graduated with a Creative Writing degree, but haven’t consistently wrote in years. A year ago, I made the decision to truly pursue this career. But I was unaware that the game has evolved. I need classes to catch up and evolve myself as a writer. I don’t have a group or person outside of Twitter or Facebook to look at my work and give me an honest critique. I don’t have a mentor to guide me through the writing process. I have no ideas in writing a novel or craft a really good short story. I have no experience in marketing a book, finding an agent, or whatever else is needed. I feel lost in this writing world, and need people to steer me in the right direction, or at least lend me a compass. But I want to become a better writer, and just call myself a “writer” just because I post something on a blog or write something that will never see the light of day. I want to write because I have a passion for it, and I want others to experience what I feel in my heart.

And while I’m on the subject of being real, here are some other things I want to share. This is hard, but I want people to know the real me. For starters, I have bipolar disorder, Type I. I was diagnosed with the condition in 2005. I tried different methods and medications, but found a combination that works. I see a therapist once a month, a consistent one in over two years. Second, I work a full-time job at a national retail chain selling cell phones, TVs, video games, and other electronics. I like my job, and I’m writing stories based on those experiences. Third, I like playing video games in my spare time. I know, I should be writing, but I enjoy times of controlling other peoples’ fate, as it is. Fourth, I am a husband and a father to two wonderful kids. I don’t always enjoy being around them, especially when they’re screaming at the top of their lungs. Outside of that, I love them. Fifth, I am a Christian, though I really haven’t been putting it into practice. I don’t read and pray as often as I should. It’s not a way of life, but I am working on it. And I think what’s important is that I’m working on the things that matter, like being a better father, being a better husband, not letting my diagnosis dictate who I am, finding things that make me reasonably happy.

Well, this is me. Good side, bad side. We all have both. I feel like I unloaded weights off my shoulder and dumped a lot in front of my audience. Whether this post will be received with praise or with venom is not up to me. I did what I set to accomplish. I hope that my audience will appreciate what I’ve done. If not, so be it.

The Union

Short Story Prompt 9

This is for the Short Story and Flash Fiction Society contest. This is my first entry into their contests. I hope it goes well.

Nadia and Chase stood in the gazebo, him with his sky blue eyes, hers copper-toned. The glints in their eyes danced. It was the same look they had after their first date, and again when Chase proposed. Now, it was official. They could start their new lives together. Chase wrapped his arms around her waist, but Nadia pushed them away. Instead, she grabbed a bottle from the floor and pressed it close to her chest.

“It’s time,” Nadia said.

“Are you sure you want to do this? We just got married,” replied Chase. “And what if someone asks?”

“Well…we’ll say it broke on the flight back. I’m sure someone will replace it for us.”

Chase glanced at the vase, thin at the neck with an oblong bulb. It was full of sand, pink and green, their favorite colors, mixed together. Chase grabbed the vase from her, clutching the neck. He sighed.

“All right. Let’s go.”

Nadia and Chase kissed, then walked to the shore. The sun, drifting into the ocean, tinted the sky a rose and amber hue. The wind howled, lifting Nadia’s train and tossing her pale white veil and flame-red hair. They shielded their eyes from the sand shooting up. Nadia lifted her feet and took off her slippers. Chase slipped off his loafers and pulled off his dress socks. They were calf-high into the ocean. They turned to each other, giving off the same starry-eyed look as before. Nadia’s “it’s okay” was silent, as was Chase’s “thank you.” He pulled the cork from the vase and tipped it over. The sand fell fast and flew faster as it caught the wind. Chase sniffled. Nadia caught a tear running down her cheek. After the last of the sand flew, Chase threw the vase into the ocean. It tossed and floated further from the shore. They walked back toward the gazebo. They did not care the tuxedo and dress were ruined. They kissed again.

“Do you think Emily would be happy?” asked Chase.

“I do.”