Thursday, May 28, 2009

Literary Inspiration...

I go to these events alone... events such as concerts, theatres and lectures... not because I do not have someone to accompany me but because there are times when I like to experience things on my own.

Last night I had the pleasure of listening to a lecture between authors and close friends Danzy Senna and Rebecca Walker. They spoke about their books, the influences for their works and they spoke of family. These talented women have both written remarkable memoirs about their childhoods and life journeys.

Danzy Senna

It was stimulation for my literary mind.

Rebecca Walker

Danzy Senna has written a memoir Where Did You Sleep Last Night?: A Personal History and Rebecca Walker's memoir is titled Black, White, and Jewish: Autobiography of a Shifting Self. As a result of these women exploring their childhoods and writing such in depth stories about their family, it has caused friction, even estrangement.

I write poetry, fiction and I dabble with a little mystery but I haven't delved into memoir writing.

My mother gets angry when I attempt to do a family tree telling me that I going to find something that I won't like... when in reality, I may find something that she didn't know or something to disturb her perfect idea of the "family history". My father on the other hand would probably not object... mostly because he's a nonobjective man but mostly because of the discovering of facts, he too may find some of his truths...

The dilemma with memoir writing is deciding just what truth to include. Perception, memory and one's feelings all play a part and that's where the problem lies. My version of a memoir will be completely different from one that one of my siblings may write... same parents, same household but so many different encounters...

But what Danzy and Rebecca realized is that they wrote their memoirs in spite of what their parents would say or feel but because there were personal stories inside that needed to be free, stories that would reach out and touch those with familiar lives, stories that will inspire.
While I'm not inspired to write a memoir, I don't know where my writing may lead. There are traces of me throughout my fiction, which I plan to post here one day...

“Writing is a form of personal freedom. It frees us from the mass identity we see in the making all around us. In the end, writers will write not to be outlaw heroes of some underculture but mainly to save themselves, to survive as individuals.” --Don Delillo

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Getting to Know Me

Tagged...Getting to Know Me

I was tagged by my blog sister Kay C The Quietstorm...


1.) Respond: answer the questions on your blog.

2.) Replace one question that you dislike with a question of your own invention, add one more question of your own.

3.) Tag eight other people.
If you are a repeat visitor to The Storm, you already know I don’t do chain letters, and never tag anyone but feel free to participate and let me know when you post your answers!

What's your current obsession?
Taking steps daily to meet each one of my goals...

What's your must have fashion need?
Big ole fashionable bags and peep toe shoes...

What are you wearing right now?
Turtleneck (short sleeves), a vest, black slacks & boots...

What's your favorite food?
Soul food!

What do you do for fun?
Listen to music, dance around, take long walks, read...

What made today special?
I woke up with a smile on my face...

What would you like to learn to do?
Sew leather bags, shoes and other leather goods...

What's the last thing you bought?
Music off of Amazon... *Chrisette Michele & Eric Benet

What are you listening/watching right now?
Eric Benet singing about my chocolate legs...

What's your favorite weather?
Sun shining, blue skies, medium heat and faint breezes...

What's your one goal in life?
To live and abide by truth and love...

What do you think of the person that tagged you?
She is a strong and talented woman. I appreciate her journey for love, truth & freedom...

If you could have a house totally paid for, what would it look like?
My house will be colorful, playful with a lot of wide open spaces...

What would you like to have in your hands right now?
The keys to a car to visit him...

If you could swap lives with anyone in the world for one day who would it be and why?
Not a soul. Life is hard for everyone! However I would love to have someone I can trust and love and then connect our lives making 2 lives better...

If you could go anywhere in the world for the next hour where would you go?
I would like to spend the next hour with a special someone but an hour isn't enough... so I'd love to go sit at my Grandmother's grave. We chose a plot that has a dynamic view. Simply awesome. I'd like to go there, take in the view and have a chat...

What language would you like to learn?
Because I live in NYC, I would like to learn Spanish fluently...

What do you look for in a friend?
Big hearts, big shoulders and neutral mindsets...

Who do you want to meet in person?
Oprah Winfrey. Not the Oprah on TV but the take your heels off, flex out them bunions, let's sip sangria and talk about life Oprah...

What's your favorite type of music?
I'm open to all genres but Soul, Reggae & Calypso music are my faves...

What's your dream job?
Creating beauty... beautiful clothes, beautiful stories, beautiful hair, faces... changing lives...

Describe your personal style?

What's your favorite t.v. show?
Grey's Anatomy. Then The Closer, House, CSIs, Criminal Minds, Ugly Betty and Rescue Me follow...

What's your favorite dessert?
Cho-co-la-te Anything!

What's your favorite makeup brand?
Vaseline. Petroleum jelly with a little mascara and lips gloss ala drugstore brand...

What's your all time favorite perfume?
Carol's daughter's Groove...

What's something that you don't currently like about yourself?
Emotional instability. I want to learn to trust and bask in the moment...

What's your fondest childhood memory?
One Thanksgiving when all my family came to NY and my mother cooked a feast. Everyone was there my cousins, my parents, my brother and my grandfather who had me laughing so bad that it hurt...

What would you do w/a major lottery winning?
After I set up everyone I love, I'm changing my name and address...

If you had to pick a song for your funeral/memorial service, what would you choose?
She's once, twice, three times a laaaadaay!!!! by Lionel Richie

If you could change one regret you have in life, what would it be?
Those times when I wasn't assertive, when I put other people's wants, desires and needs above my own...

If you could ask God one question, what would it be?
I talk to Him daily, I ask Him a lot of questions all the time and right now I have none so I think we're good...

Here's the part where I tag people... I ain't! Should you come by here and see the tag and you wanna participate, feel free. I'll be blogging 'round to see who took up the challenge.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Mr. Walter Ellis Mosley

Dear Mr. Mosley,

I want to apologize to you in advance. If I were to walk down the street and happen to see you, I may just haul off and slap you. Or I may run, jump up and wrap my legs around you. I am upset, appalled, simply taken aback by you. You’re awesome!

You had me at Easy. Devil in a Blue Dress hit the scene and I was hooked. You couldn’t put out a book fast enough. I am as devoted to Fearless as I am to Easy and to Socrates Fortlaw. You’re not a bad fiction writer neither because I adored the writing style for The Man in My Basement and you’ve even dabbled in science fiction, not bad sir.

So that’s mysteries, fiction, science fiction…

Please explain something to me Mr. Mosley… nah, I think I have to call you Walter on this one…
WALTER!!! Who in the hell told you to dabble in erotica? WHO? You’ve got a lot of effing nerve!
(This is probably where I will attempt to slap that damn hat right off of your head)

I have been reading Killing Johnny Fry: A Sexistential Novel… Okay I’m a little late… it came out in 2006 but what were you thinking? I get you, you just know that you are so great, so wonderful that you can write and whip the hell out of any genre of your choosing? Well that’s exactly what you’re doing.

You’re dead wrong - I mean really wrong for this. I can’t read the book on my way to work because I’ll be all hot and bothered on the train and you know the people in NY are nosy, they wanna read what you read. Of course, I ain’t ashamed of what I’m reading but that will be an extra hot and bothered person on the train. I can’t read the book at work, in the quiet room where I usually lay back, chill and read because I just may get a little too damn comfortable.

So that leaves the home. Preferably the bed… so I can handle mine.

But see it was the title that confused me… Killing Johnny Fry… I thought it was a murder mystery and the sexi…. That is not even noticeable okay?!?! You got me Walter. I saw your name, I know I can never go wrong choosing your title but you got me.

And I just had to let you know… that if you’re ever walking down the streets of New York City… WATCH YOUR BACK!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Message From The Universe

My wish for you is that you succeed beyond your wildest imagination. That you find love in places that astound you. And that you have friends who call you "just because”. I dream that you go barefoot more than you wear shoes. That you play as hard as you work. And that you laugh more than you cry. I want you to set the bar high, but not too high. To reach for the stars, but with your toes on the ground. And to never, ever stop dreaming. But most of all I wish for your happiness.
And these dreams of mine are what started it all.

The Universe

Friday, May 8, 2009

Pre-Mother's Day... My Mother's Heart

Happy Mother's Day to all mothers, surrogate mothers, grandmothers who have stepped in or stepped up, foster mothers, adoptive mothers... my hat goes off to YOU!!!

I received Mother's Day flowers today from my ex and his daughter... It is a privilege and I am honored to embrace his daughter as my own. After all that we've been through, that is one relationship that has remained.

Mother/daughter relationships can be beautiful and difficult. As I've gotten older and become more independent, my relationship with my mother has dramatically improved. I've always been independent with my own mind and ideas, even when my mother tried to impose her ideas on me.

For instance, she convinced me when I was younger that I was afraid of the dark so she put a soft pink light bulb in my lamp at night so I wouldn't be afraid. I was maybe 6 years old. This lasted f-o-r-e-v-e-r. However, in the middle of the night some years later, my mother woke up to find my room pitch dark. I turned out that soft pink light and never turned it back on. My mother knew then that she was raising a leader and not a follower. Plus she always knew that I was never afraid of the dark. And I kept the light on for so many years simply because I didn't want to hurt my mother's feelings.

Going back to mother/daughter relationships... sometimes they are enemies and sometimes they are the best of friends. I've experienced my mother being jealous of me and I didn't like it at all and I've experienced my mother as my biggest cheerleader. My mother is very frank. She calls it "keeping it real" but sometimes it's downright hurtful. But I'm thankful that I know my mother's heart.

My mother had 2 sickly children 11 years apart. My brother suffered severely from respiratory illnesses throughout his childhood. My illnesses were much milder but I'm sure that with the eleven year gap my mother must have asked God "Why Me?" over and over again. Especially since she gave birth to both of us as a single mother. She stayed up plenty of nights, walking the wood floors, pinching pennies and gave all that a mother could give.

To this very day, my mother treats us like the children who still hang onto her apron strings although we're grown and living our own lives. She worries about her son taking his diabetes medication and about her daughter's slothful return to Weight Watchers. She questions and probes, annoyingly, yet lovingly and I appreciate her for it. She wants her children healthy and whole. She wants what's best for us.

Louise Hay who wrote "You Can Heal Your Life" believes that we choose our parents.

"Each one of us decides to incarnate upon this planet at a particular point in time and space. We have chosen to come here to learn a particular lesson that will advance us upon our spiritual, evolutionary pathway. We choose our sex, our color, our country, and then we look around for the particular set of parents who will mirror the pat-tern we are bringing in to work on in this lifetime. Then, when we grow up, we usually point our fingers accusingly at our parents and whimper, "You did it to me." But really, we chose them because they were perfect for what we wanted to work on overcoming."

I'm not too sure exactly why I chose my mother but I'm grateful for the wonderful woman, mother and grandmother that she is.

*Artwork by Kadir Nelson

Friday, May 1, 2009

A night of... R&B... Hip-Hop... Jazz

she approached the stage as the band played the music to...

i looked at my reflection in the water / thought what an unlikely pair / closed my eyes, held my breath, plummeted down,down,down / and anchored myself there

can't tell how long i've been / in the company of gills and tails / i think i feel my skin
growing scales

can i come up for air / can i come up, can come up

i'm gettin' eaten up down here / i'm just not built like them / the big fish have a monopoly
the little fish get buried in the sand

this here world i'm in / sucks your life out, leaves you comatose / take back your salt and fins
send me a lifeboat

i look up at longing at the surface / hypnotized by the way the sunlight seems to ride each ripple / and they do a dance / every ray becomes a beckoning hand / i miss the sweet taste of oxygen / i mistook this for the promised land

"Gills and Tails"... the song that mesmerizes me... and causes me to belt out the lyrics...

she sang the one song that i listen to daily, "Weather". she belted out "Tell Me" from her days with Groove Theory and melted my heart with "Make Me Whole". i wanted to get up and dance as she sang "Bravebird" and shake my hips to "Trouble". we went back to 1999 with "Get Up". she sang "Magic" directly to one of her fans who traveled to NYC all the way from Tampa, just to see her. she paid homage to the greats with "Pop Life" by Prince and "All I Do" by Stevie. she graced us with 2 new songs and passed the mic around to the people in the crowd, including her 10 year-old daughter who has a voice on her. her oldest daughter took to the keyboards and sang Radiohead's "Everything in its Right Place" and she sang back-up for her.

it was my first time seeing Amel Larrieux, the songstress, the poet, the woman behind the voice that has captivated me for years and i left B.B. King's Bar & Grill elated. the venue felt less like a club but rather like i was sitting on the edge of Amel's livingroom couch. she wasn't the perfect performer. she forgot the words to a song or two. the notes weren't perfect to every song and band wasn't the tightest knit. but there was perfection in all of that imperfection, it was the most perfect performance i've seen in the longest of time. Amel's voice is simply angelic and it's impossible for that to be heard through earphones. i was blessed by seeing and hearing her live.