Saturday, January 28, 2012

Forgotten


24 hours in a day and I can't even get a second of your time
Am I not worth a minute or two?
Reserved durations for nonstop consummation
Just me and you?

Instead it's
Drive-by moments and casual nights of love molding
I'm beginning to wonder if you're
Thinking of her when it's me that you're holding

If I'm not worthy of your ticks and tocks
Then return the key to my heart's lock
and let me breathe again…
I tried to be your trusted friend
but you refused to let me in

Whether filled or spare, my time was never bare
Though you were rarely there…
Just a figment of your flesh
as you pleased me less and less
I didn't ask to be invited into your mess
Still I resided in your troubled nest

Now I'm picking up the pieces of the pain you left me with
While someone else is enjoying the privileges I used to get

I guess my loyalty and commitment to us just wasn't enough
You wanted more than I was willing to give up
Yet all I wanted was an ounce of what you hold inside
The opportunity for us to climb and become more
than what I dreamed I'd find…

I wish you could say the same if the tables were twisted
Told you if I had to choose I'd risk everything that I have to lose
and you dismissed it

You murdered our love and stripped it of every remnant
Now, I can't fast forward the digits
So I rewind to define the effects of your wrongs
and every time I feel the urge to pause, reminisce,
and prolong this heartbreak song
I'll be strong
and remember exactly why I decided to move on

Forgetting you will be hard at first
but someday I'll get up from this hurt,
shake off the dirt and realize how much I'm worth
and I'll no longer have to beg for your time
While your days are full of loneliness
There will be happiness in mine 

You'll regret the day you let
me fly...

I'll spread my wings as they become tall, smile as I recall
the times you caused my fall
and a new face will take your place
as the seconds, minutes, hours pass away

Disputing the obvious initial assumptions, this poem was primarily inspired by the main character of my novel, Dearly Beloved Sistas. While struggling to develop my storyline and various plot elements, I came to the conclusion that in order for my first novel to be a debut success, I cannot be afraid to share my personal pains. I've hit some writer's blocks these past few days, mainly because I've tried so hard to separate my real life experiences from my fictional ideas.
Much like myself, the main character of my novel, Sheila, is a caring, loyal and faithful dreamer who simply wants to be loved. As she endures the neglect and abuse from her husband, Carl, she firmly holds on to the memories of their blissful past while hoping that he will someday change. Ignoring the concerns of her mother and closest friends, she continuously puts her life on the line for love. When the time finally comes for her to make a crucial decision, Sheila is forced to determine how much more her heart can tolerate.

Notes from My Interview with Bestselling Author Brenda Jackson

I recently interviewed Bestselling Author Brenda Jackson and she gave me the following advice: “Believe in yourself and believe anything is possible. Don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t do it, and don’t get discouraged by rejection. Stay dedicated, continue to learn about your craft, and seek advice from other writers. Just go after what it is that you want." We briefly discussed the basis of my novel during our hour-long interview and she encouraged me to focus on character development instead of plot development, “because your plots are going to constantly change, but you want your characters to live on.” I will be spending the next few days of my novel writing journey expanding Sheila's distinctive strengths and weaknesses. Thank you, Mrs. Jackson. 
Bestselling Author Brenda Jackson Proudly Showcasing her Novel "A Silken Thread"
(which was recently nominated for an NAACP Image Award in the Outstanding Literature: Fiction Category)

P.S. My iWrite4orU T-Shirts are On Sale Now!
"When your stories become your life, your life becomes your stories."--LRW


*Music is Life... Poetry is Love*

Monday, January 16, 2012

#WriterGrind Defined


“Naysayers are often the primary inspiration for accomplishing life goals.”—LRW



7th grade - my dream was to join the WNBA and become the next Cynthia Cooper. 11th grade - I retired from basketball, along with Cynthia Cooper, and decided that I’d be more successful as a Psychologist. My freshman year at FSU I took a beginner psychology course and ended the semester with a D on my grade report. I then declared Mass Communication as my official major and planned to become a TV Reporter. After completing 12 hours, my advisor gave me a sheet of paper that was filled with an extensive list of professional writing positions and encouraged me to change my major to Creative Writing. All because more than one person told me that writing wasn't a “real” career, I continuously deferred my dream of someday becoming a famous author...  

My official writing career began in January of 2008. As the designated Hip Hop and R&B Music Columnist for Noletalk.com, I was assigned the task of conducting research and formulating biweekly articles, summarizing artist backgrounds, fan base, and sales potential in 500 words or less. I began using my *Music is Life... Poetry is Love* slogan in this column.

When I graduated from FSU in December of 2008, I reached out to various publications in Jacksonville and surrounding areas. In March of 2009, I was offered a position with White Publishing Company as an Editorial Intern. My first article, "Thank You, Come Again", was published in the March/April 2009 issue of 904 Magazine. When my assignment ended in June 2009, 13 new writing samples were added to my portfolio.

Ella Joyce and I
   
EU Jacksonville Newspaper was one of the many publications that I reached out to in early 2009. I was assigned my first story shortly after my internship ended in July of that year. I interviewed local actor and playwright, Darryl Reuben Hall, and wrote an online piece about his stage play, Reality CheckI interviewed him again two years later and he introduced me to actress, Ella Joyce, the featured guest at his 4th Annual Stage Aurora Black Arts Festival. I'm still proudly contributing my writing talent to Northeast Florida's largest monthly entertainment newspaper.

Although I was making progress, I still wanted to expand my reach and diversify my portfolio. In March of 2011, I decided to send some of my newest writing samples to another local publication. I was confident in my attempt, however, the Editor responded with:

"Thanks for making contact. I've looked at some of your clips, and while the subject matter is solid, the writing style is not one that we use at (name of publication). We aim for magazine-style, mostly long-form journalism, heavy on anecdotes and vivid language. For the most part, your clips lack objectivity, and read more like advertisements, or promotional pieces. I would not run these pieces without requiring a major rewrite. If you want to work a story on spec, I'd be happy to give you a shot, but I can't guarantee using it. I apologize if this sounds abrupt; I'm just trying to be frank."

I was used to this type of criticism and rejection from my anal and extremely particular English professors, but to have an actual publication reject my writing was an instant wake up call. I became very discouraged and almost gave up on my quest to work full-time in the writing profession...   

3 months after receiving that email, I was hired as an Editor for the #1 online marketing and website design company in the world. Two months after that, I started my own writing company, iWrite4orU, and I am currently working on my first novel. Additionally, on Wednesday of this past week, I received an offer to do some freelance writing for The Ponte Vedra Recorder and First Coast Register.

Just when I thought things couldn't get any better, inspired by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s dream, I made the decision to reveal the title of my novel, Dearly Beloved Sistas, in my latest (L)ife.(R)eality.(W)isdom video blog post on his birthday. Two hours before posting the video, I emailed Bestselling Author and Jacksonville native, Ms. Brenda Jackson. Instead of simply responding to my email, she called to congratulate me on following my dreams and starting my own writing company. Those few words of encouragement motivated me to continue pursuing my #WriterGrind movement, regardless of how difficult or discouraging the journey seemed to be in the beginning. I plan to interview her soon.

#WriterGrind: a strategic quest to accomplish various writing objectives while striving to conquer the demands of authorship.

Today is Day 17 of my novel writing journey. In 349 more days, I will hopefully be wrapping up my final editing stage and preparing for publishing and promotion. By the summer of 2013, I will be >this much closer< to accomplishing my goal of becoming a Bestselling Author. My #WriterGrind is no longer just a dream... it's now my reality.

"Dreams become reality when sacrifices become obligations."--LRW

*Music is Life... Poetry is Love*  

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Disposal Proposal

"So you wanna marry me?"


As much as I try to avoid watching reality TV, I just can't fake the funk. I'm a celebrity junkie. Yes, I admit it. However, my unofficial Entertainment Journalist job title justifies my addiction. It's my responsibility to stay in the know about popular events and happenings. 

When I first started watching Love & Hip Hop, I wasn't impressed at all. Similar to my opinion about Basketball Wives, a part of me believes that VH1's main goal is to expose and exploit the classless, ghetto, and embarrassing weaknesses of Black women. My opinion hasn't changed. However, while watching last week's episode of Love & Hip Hop, it was somewhat altered. 

I realized that even though these women are exposing themselves for money and fame, the issues that they deal with are everyday occurrences that real life women can relate to, such as: repeatedly dealing with unfaithful men, self-esteem and confidence issues, career struggles, and much more.

Expanding on the above mentioned theory, while the cast was gathered in their usual scripted conversational scene, Teairra Mari posed the following question: "When is the expiration date? How long are you willing to wait for a man to grow up?" The most talked about cast member, Chrissy responded with, "you'll know when you're tired of it", and begins to cry as she attempts to rationalize her fiancĂ© Rapper Jim Jones' actions. 

And then... 

Jimmy surprisingly arrives and interrupts the conversation to start a false argument, proceeds to pull out a gigantic ring, and pops the question... in the most gangsta, laid back, and smooth manner. Chrissy's tears begin to flow again and she looks at Jimmy and says, "You gotta put it on my finger."

Pause.

As Ed Lover would say, "C'mon Son!"

Rewind.

As those of you who follow the show may recall, last season the roles were reversed. Chrissy proposed to Jimmy with an equally shiny ring, that he ended up losing... she then replaced the ring and continued to deal with his egotistical ways, even though she was constantly fighting against his inability to commit after seven long years... along with tolerating the frequent disrespect from his mother.

Some may believe that Chrissy's ride or die loyalty was worth it because in the end "she got what she wanted". However, she technically begged Jimmy to commit to her. And although he obliged, who's to say that it wasn't a skillful tactic to stop her from leaving? 

"The fact that my Jimmy knew it was time to do the right thing was priceless," she proclaimed in her testimonial spotlight towards the episode's ending. Indeed it was, Chrissy... but we all know that love don't cost a thing.

Did Jimmy owe Chrissy the honor of at least getting down on one knee and showing some sensitive form of emotion? Why did it take Chrissy's threatening to leave for Jimmy to show his appreciation for all that she's been through? Why do we as women allow men to treat us unfairly for long periods of time instead of finding the strength to leave and opening up our hearts to a man who will treat us the way that we deserve to be treated?

Speak on it...

  *Music is Life... Poetry is Love*




Tuesday, January 3, 2012

2012 Bucket List


"If you always do what you've always done, you'll always get what you always got."


My New Year's Resolution for 2011 was to find a church home. God led me to join All People International on Easter Sunday. My New Year's Resolution for 2012 is to start and finish my first novel. I'm aiming to write one page per day every day this year so that by 12/31/12, I will have typed roughly 366 pages... give or take a few non-creative days. I have already completed 8 pages, an average of 4 pages per day so far. #WriterGrind...

While preparing myself to achieve the above mentioned goal, I realized that there are many other things that I would also like to accomplish this year... and since the world is going to end soon (sarcasm), I figured I should take advantage of the opportunity to do 12 things that I've never done before, things that I've put on hold, and things that I said I'd never do. Check out my random bucket list below:


1. Get on a plane.

2. Ride a horse.

3. Change a baby's diaper.

4. Volunteer at a homeless shelter.

5. Wear high heels and a dress for 7 days straight.

6. Take a road trip to Miami and Atlanta.

7. Perform one of my poems at an open mic Spoken Word event.

8. Cruise to the Bahamas.

9. Complete the requirements for my Professional Teaching Certification.

10. Attend at least 4 Jaguars home games.

11. Spend a day riding around on the JTA bus system. 

12. Donate blood.

"2011 was my year of progression. 2012 will be my year of triumph."--LRW

*Music is Life... Poetry is Love*