This is a reason enough to read! What are you reading? The best writers read and the best readers write…. at least that’s what I’ve been told 🙂
“What was I thinking?” was the question I asked myself quite often over the past four months. This was how I felt…
I knew I was there! I knew I was sitting there and reading and walking around and driving, etc. Sometimes it was crystal clear and other times everything was a blur! But when I say I underestimated how much energy would be exerted working full-time and going back for future PhD studies…
shot it short,
miscued my intuition
I WAS BUSY!
A good busy. A purposeful busy. A busy that was full of intent but absolutely overwhelming at times. But I went back in searching for a language that boxed black women writers (in particular playwrights) within criticisms and criteria that hindered expansion and an honest representation. I chose Clark Atlanta University and their Africana Womens Studies Department.
I went into the program wanting to study black women in fiction literature. But decided to look into researching black women playwrights instead. Besides, theatre is my first love and this would give me a chance to honor the art form that got me started.
Last fall I also entered my second year of teaching elementary English Language Arts (ELA). So I confidently entered my fourth career change! But educating children during the day, on various learning levels, and then going to school in the evening until 7 and 7:30 p.m. could’ve taken a toll. And least we not forget the three teenagers living in my house!
Organization was crucial and kept me afloat. Sleeping when my body said “lay down” and closing my eyes when I was seeing double aided in my relationship with sanity as well. 🙂 After a decade or so being out of school, I managed to pull off some incredible grades! And on top of that, I put my money where my mouth was by setting an example of time management and effective studying skills for my teens.
I am reading this jewel of a book this morning for one of my classes. (ok… it’s Saturday so I am doing some work around the house so I have the audio on as well)
There are so many jewels that I am coming across in this text that I want to share some. Enjoy 🙂
“I learned to love my son without wanting to possess him and I learned how to teach him to teach himself.” – Maya Angelou
“I am convinced that people do not grow up. We find parking spaces and honor our credit cards. I think what we do is mostly grow old. We carry accumulation of years in our bodies and on our faces, but generally our real selves, the children inside, are still innocent and shy as magnolias.” – Maya Angelou
“Some entertainers have tried to make art of their coarseness. When they heap mud upon themselves and allow their tongues to wag with vulgarity, they expose their belief they are not worth loving.” Maya Angelou
“The ship of my life may or may not be sailing on calm and amiable seas. The challenging days of my existence may or may not be bright and promising. Stormy or sunny days, glorious or lonely nights. I maintain an attitude or gratitude. If I insist on being pessimistic, there is always tomorrow.” Maya Angelou
I am re-posting this for those who have goals of leaving their full time jobs going into the New Year. I did it…
Just like in the movie, “Donnie Brasco”, Al Pacino’s character knew what “get sent for” meant. He had dinner with his wife, put his jewelry and money in a box and told her not to wait up for him tonight. I knew my last day of employment was coming. I could feel it. I could sense the detached nature from the next level of management. The comments of “I’ll call you right back” turned into “I’ll contact you in a few days.”
It had happened. Just like the laws of nature said it would! “All that we are is the result of what we have thought.” Six months earlier I had lunch with two of my colleagues and showed them copies of my poetry and short story book. They were floored! I went on to tell them that prior to me moving to Atlanta to take on my sisters children, I lived my life as an artist. I felt relief as I confessed to them that I am a writer of many facets. Now caring for a family, a ‘sure bet’ check is what I needed to settle into my new role as a parent. During our lunch together I shared with them that I would be leaving our employer before the hectic holiday season arrived to once again pursue my life as an artist. I showed them a countdown widget I downloaded on my cellphone that festively displayed how many more days I had left. They were shocked but very happy for me. I now had support from two women whom I admired and trusted.
I owed this same conversation with one of my managers who I’ve worked with since my first day with the company. A brilliant talent and inspiring leader, she worked her way through several positions in the company and excelled at them all. I brought her copies of my book and shared with her that was the “real me”. She was not surprised! She told me she could tell I had something else to me because of my colorful emails I would send out to the team about contests, etc. Since she had been with me from day one I wanted to let her know of my plans of leaving so she wouldn’t be blind sighted. To my surprise, she had plans of leaving too! As a matter of fact, I had to almost beg her not to leave before me and ask if we could agree to leave the same month. Wheesh! She agreed.
It’s a poem if the words can live without you.
If the allegory can make blinding light shine from tombs
breathe them back to – reality.
It’s a poem if,
there are possibilities for similies linking people
from fallen walls to picket signs
drawing scents of lemons
shake hands of farm girls to vegetarians
likening poetry to biblical days
with your comrades
logging different chapters
forcing the community for just one night
directly into the sun
That’s a poem.
Many people will read this and immediately begin to think from a religious perspective and ignore the transformation that can be experienced from this mantra.
The politics of religion is about mind and crowd control, not freedom or spiritual growth. And perhaps this is where the frustration begins. Instead of viewing the glass as half empty people will view it as constantly starting over.
Those hard times are where you are burning to rise. Where you should allow yourself to come undone. Only to give birth to yourself again. Think differently… think spiritually.
Ten years ago today I released my first book, “Mississippi Window Cracks”. Wow!
I literally drafted the book after spending a few days visiting a friend in Jackson, Mississippi. From the energy of the historical places to the scent of the zesty magnolia trees to the delicious southern cuisine… I had a lot to write about!
“Mississippi Window Cracks” is a collection of six short stories and three prose pieces. Here is a breakdown of the book:
The Untimely Flight – A story of two women with a chance meeting in the airport traveling to different locations. One is on a business trip and the other reuniting with her family after abandoning them to follow her dreams some ten years prior. Their meeting is purposeful yet brief. Just as life would have it.
The Auction – “For Mothers of wombs that drum life and dance the promise of tomorrow, I pour this libation. For the victories of liberation and paths of freedom you laid before me, I walk today for you.” As a child, one of Angel’s childhood stories told by her grandmother was that of Hathor and Tehuti. An ancient Egyptian story told about the Goddess of beauty and the messenger of wisdom. It has been whispered that the legendary Odu family in Mississippi carries the spirit of these deities, Angel and her brother Country. She is here to persuade her brother to come home to his god-like self and maintain the balance in the world.
Return to Ruins – A prose piece in reference to the slave plantation called, The Windsor Ruins.
Summer Love – A steamy love story about a young woman working as an intern in Yazoo City, Mississippi. She falls hard for a local radio DJ who spins more for her than the hottest tunes.
A Prose for Medgar and Myrlie – “Her bladder was full of miles like her mother’s. She watered the ground with chocolate auburn. The spices enticed the clouds to cry and capture the streets. She met him where the sun sat in the fire pit. Her kissed her hand to summons a feather so she wouldn’t doubt his words. His eyes were complete like the turn of an owl’s head. Her fears poured from her spine like pureed apples. The preacher announced their commitment where roads met corners with mirrors. He hung their picture in a birdcage to catch time. He told them not to be afraid.”
The Grass is Simply Green – Nia and LaDonna are best friends who have ventured lessons in life together. Now, together they face reproductive injustice as one yearns to start a family. Together they stand as long as one of them holds a secret from the other.
A Prose for Fannie Lou Hamer – “If you see her. Tell her you remember. Her protected skin that matched night. Unafraid. Sleep patterned to that of bats. Called upon. Like Nut and Shu. To uphold the heavens. Keep young mouths breathing. When tempted to swallow swollen faith. She followed the dust and escaped through vents.”
Southern Betrayal – The story of a woman scorned by love. She travels to a voodoo/root shop to see if the potions really work as she seeks revenge on her ex-love.
When Chris Met Katrina – Hurricane Katrina devastated Louisiana and parts of Mississippi. Like thousands of people who stayed to “wait this one out”, Chris does not evacuate his childhood home. The storm passed as he suspected but the waters began to rise from the storm drains and flood the streets. This is the day Chris met Katrina.
I suppose authors do something special when their books have anniversaries and what not :- / so I am offering autographed books with FREE shipping of “Mississippi Window Cracks”. I only have a few sitting around my house. I hope you enjoy it!