6 to go

Personal Narrative
I've been 40 for six months! Yesterday was my half birthday. We have to blame Sojo and Sam for this whole half birthday thing. They are the ones who introduced me to the concept, and it took a few years before I actually paid attention to the calendar and remembered my own. But this year, finally, I did, and so happy half birthday to me! Some days it seems I haven't accomplished much this year, but as I sit and reflect, I have to admit that's impatience talking. I've gotten new opportunities at work and landed some interesting freelance contracts. I've made strides in my creative projects and midway between my birthday and my half birthday... [caption id="attachment_3044" align="aligncenter" width="400"] Me and Blue in NYC at an impromptu engagement party.[/caption] I got engaged. *shimmies*…
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Old Snippets

Personal Narrative
I'm organizing. This is one of the first steps in my creative process. It's resistance, or maybe it's preparation for creation. All I know is, I can always tell how serious I am about writing by how much I suddenly have to clear off desks and organize files. Ha. Today's resistance-preparation is clearing out some of the random notes I've written in my computer's Stickies app. Some of these are a few years old and most of them are interesting. The one I've pasted below was written on Christmas Day 2012. At first I had no idea what was on my mind, but on second thought, I was pretty sure it was about love. It was stream of consciousness so this is unedited. Maybe I'll expand it, revise it, or something. Maybe not.…
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Relax

Personal Narrative
Relax. It made me tense because every time he said it, I thought I was already doing it. He, Daddy, insisted I wasn't. Squeezed beside him in the dark brown easy chair, we'd while away the late afternoons. He'd finish a cigarette while watching sports or news or whatever was on that time of day. Our legs stretched out, fully reclined, his head back and eyes closed, voice like a hypnotist, urging me to relax. I am relaxed! I'd protest. I'm relaxing! No, he'd disagree in that same quiet trance. Relax, he'd repeat. And on it went day after day. As the years passed, sharing the easy chair became more of a challenge. My petite build was now too much for a chair designed for one. His admonitions to relax fell…
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So long, farewell.

Personal Narrative
Thought about my daddy this morning. Not sure why he came to mind, but he's always welcome. This morning's memory was of his goodbyes. He never said goodbye. I can't recall a single time he actually used the word when departing. Whether we were separating for a couple of hours, or a couple of weeks, he always said the same thing: "So long!" He'd smile showing all his teeth, although the smile didn't quite reach his eyes. We'd wave, go our separate ways. I always did a double take, as if somehow a second look would ensure so long really meant it was time to go, but only temporarily. Remembering it now makes me as sad as it did then. I think I asked him once, about why he never said goodbye.…
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Healing. An excerpt.

30 Day Blog Challenge
This is stream of consciousness from my efforts at NaNoWriMo last fall. This is fiction. I wrote 1,000 words a day for 30 days. This excerpt was selected at random this afternoon. This is raw data. For better or for worse, it's unedited. I finally arrive and set up as close to the ocean as possible. Only a few people are out. I stretch out my sheet and lay my belongings on top. I quickly strip down to my suit. It’s a simple black bikini this time, and I'm aware of a few appraising eyes glancing at my glutes. I tie my hair in a messy knot atop my head and stride toward the ocean. I sigh as my feet, right first, then left, touch the cool, clear water. The bottoms…
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Truth or dare

30 Day Blog Challenge, Personal Narrative
From Joshunda's interview with Pearl Cleage: A dual history of bias and internalized oppression has kept most black women from publishing their memoirs or journals, Cleage adds, for fear of emotional and economic reprisals. "After slavery ended, black women continued to put forward the idea that we were good, sexually responsible women, going up against the racist stereotypes that came out of the madness of slavery," Cleage says. "But there was still the fear of being too honest around white people. I don't feel that's a legitimate feeling for me. I'm going to tell the truth to whoever is in the room." When I read truth, I feel courageous and emboldened. Powerful. Magical. Writing the truth, however, is altogether different. But when I do, that's when folks nod. Say, I felt…
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TED Talk Tuesday

30 Day Blog Challenge, 30 in 30 April, Writer's Craft
Although I haven't seen it in over two years, this TED Talk has been on my mind the past few days. That means it's time to take another look. Elizabeth Gilbert is a writer, most famously known for Eat, Pray, Love. She quips early in the talk that it's quite possible her greatest success is behind her. Even so, she was born to write, and she wants to keep writing. Creative minds beset with the pressure to create and achieve outward measures of success are at times overwhelmed or downright tortured. Sometimes to the point of being unable to continue with their work. In the darkest cases, they are unable to continue living at all. Said Elizabeth, "I would prefer to keep doing this work that I love. And so,…
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Probability, Possibility and Change

30 Day Blog Challenge, 30 in 30 April, Love
I believe in the potential for change. Change is, after all, one of the few constants in life. Even at the cellular level, there is always change. Birth, aging, sickness, death. Rebirth. Change. I'm speaking about it in grand terms, but what I'm really talking about is the potential for individuals to evolve. To shift in attitudes, ways of thinking, and behaviors. To learn new things and be affected by them. Ultimately, I believe in the potential of humans to be human. ...humans are always evolving (Freire). Not in the sense that humans are some how deficient, but rather that they, like plants, continue to seed and bloom and remake themselves. To live is to grow. Stagnation is, in effect, death.  ~Nicole D. Collier, In Defense of Inquiry Earlier today…
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Impossible is nothing

30 Day Blog Challenge, 30 in 30 April, Love
"Why, sometimes I've believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast." The White Queen, Alice in Wonderland What impossible things do you believe in? I believe in the power of telekinesis. I just haven't mastered yet. I also believe I can levitate under the right circumstances. I believe a well-written work - be it essay, play, poem, and so on - can change your whole life. It can cause you to think differently, pay attention to something you've never noticed, open your closed heart, or take action. It can cause you to dance, cry, or be a better person. I believe in the transformative power of love to change a family, a community and a society. People can treat each other better: use more loving language, choose more loving actions, advocate…
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The deeper business of being beautiful inside.

Love, Politics, News & Notable
Blue and I saw 12 Years a Slave as soon as it was released in Atlanta. The film was stunning. We dined afterward and talked for hours about the the movie and the myriad topics it inspired: slavery, racism, privilege, wealth, the power of story, literacy, critical literacy and public schooling. We discussed the stories that get told or lost. We noted, with a healthy dose of cynicism, who "history" deems worthy of remembrance. We retold scenes to each other. Relived predictions, twists. What made us look away, hold our breath, or more tightly to the other's hand. The writing, directing and performances were brilliant. And yet as moved as I was during and after, it was Lupita Nyong'o as Patsey who brought me to tears: Patsey broke my heart…
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