March 9

My Top 4 Writing Inspirations

I. Music

Suffering from writer’s block? Some good music usually has me moonwalking back to my laptop!!!

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II. Reading

Reading books usually gets my creative juices flowing. Downside: it takes time away from the wife!!!

via GIPHY

III. Life Experiences

It’s nothing like having a shitty day and you finally get to go home and write about it!!!

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IV. Alcohol

I don’t usually drink and write, but when I do…MASTERPIECE!!!

via GIPHY

 

March 2

The Less Fortunate: (Short Story)

The calmness of the early morning atmosphere is one of life’s greatest pleasures. Trees sing and leaves dance—Mother Nature watches. She sets the tone for the day—we watch her. As the moon fades, she embraces the dawn of a new day—a rebirth—something that many of us living are in search for. We tend to always look for the sign. We seek that shift in luck or that desire to reach for heaven’s bended ear. We speak through our actions—belief. We listen with our soul—faith. What happens to the speechless or the deaf? Who will speak or listen for them?

I open my eyes as my mind continues to drift. I’m surrounded by beautiful landscapes to my left and unappealing structures to my right. My mind drifts again. As I stare at multiple reflections of myself in a cracked window, various thoughts begin to scatter within my mind as if each image is thinking something different.

The sun is beginning to yawn. A crisp chill kisses the nape of my neck—I shiver. At this moment I can’t help but to feel desolate. The frigidness of the wind interrupts the usual warm feeling I’d get from my morning coffee. It’s far from the caffeine riddled pleasure I used to enjoy. As I continue to stand in line, my legs lose strength. I still reek of yesterday’s odor. My sense of smell is in a state of confusion. There is a fellow man behind me, whose breath smells of halitosis and mouthwash.

As I look in front of me, I notice a woman with three children. She is as dark as the early morning sky. Her paunch is displayed, overlapping the elastic of her sweat pants. Her eyes are puffy—underlined by dark circles. Sometimes a person doesn’t have to utter a word. You can read their story by their eyes. I wonder when people look into my eyes, what story are they reading. The woman looks as if she can’t be any older than my youngest daughter. It is hard as a man to stand in line for hours at a time. I just imagine how tough it would be if I had one toddler in my right arm, infant in my left, and a pre-school kid tugging on my pants leg.

There is some commotion going on at the front of the line. This must be a signal that they are finally opening the doors. The man with the pungent odor turns to me and says, “It a looks like they finally finna let us in.” I nod. He begins to wobble as if his legs are made of jelly. Still struggling to stand upright, his round head, covered with several strands of gray, begins to sway back and forth. His skin is pale—no tan. The neck of his untidy t-shirt is just as outstretched and wrinkled as his skin. I notice the tattoo on his right forearm which reads, This is the Army. “So you’re an Army man?” I ask as I turn my head opposite his to avoid his early morning stench. “Yes I am. Yes I am,” he replies with an expression that let me know he is about to tell me his entire life story. He places one of his stubby hands upon my shoulder. Patches of discolored skin covers his hand. Still wobbling he says, “I fought for this country. I risked my life for this country. Now I is a standing in line begging for scraps in this country.”

I immediately thought about my Uncle Charlie. He fought for a country that didn’t fight for him. He died in the Vietnam War. He didn’t necessarily have a physical death, but a mental one. Some say if you’re mentally dead you might as well be considered deceased, because you’re a lifeless spirit. I take another sip of my coffee. “I’m sorry to hear that sir,” I say with an absent expression. I hear a noise up front. I lean slightly to my left, adjacent to the beautiful landscapes, to see if the line is moving. I then shift a step to the left. I’m immediately blinded temporarily by a sudden strong glare. I fall back in place. “Happens every time,” the old man says. With a rather pitying look set on his face, he continues, “This is your first time—isn’t it?” I guess this is evident by my curious eyes.

“Yes,” I admit with a little reluctance.

“Well partner—everything you do in life was once a first,” he says.

It takes me a minute to understand the meaning.

More commotion peaks my interest and anxiety begins to set in. Why am I here? I ask myself. Better yet—how did I end up here? I look behind me, pass the old man. I see now that the line is longer than when I first arrived. I see an elderly woman with doleful eyes with a long scarf protecting her flesh. I see a man with pants soiled from remnants of Mother Nature. He’s holding a sign—Please Help. I see a boy with neat coils atop his head, dressed elegantly, and shifting from side to side with his boyish hands hiding within his pockets. I see another old man with a face as if it’s been dipped in ash. No teeth to give him a reason to smile. I exhale. I begin to think that I no longer belong here.

“Pride is something else,” the old man says to me.

Confusion is setting in. He begins to laugh a little. A bottle drops from underneath his sweater. He looks at me with a slightly grave look. “So, you’re judging me now?” I don’t answer. I conclude that his jelly legs are due to the almost empty bottle that now lies on the ground.

“This is all part of the script. We’re all actors in the movie of life.” he says. I turn around to avoid further conversation.

At that moment I hear what sounds like a band—nothing but horns. The woman with the three kids turns to me and says, “Looks like someone has received their wings.” I look behind me as if her words weren’t directed towards me.

“Yes indeed,” the old man says.

I reach in my pocket to pull out a folded piece of paper. I read to myself and mumble, this looks like the right address.

“Don’t worry son. You’re at the right place,” the old man says.

“What is this place?” I ask.

A huge smile spreads his round, now beatific looking face. “You’ve finally asked the million dollar question,” he replies. He again places his hand upon my shoulder. Our eyes catch each other. “Sir—I just need any spare change you got. My daughter is graduating today. I haven’t seen her since she was a baby. If you have it in your heart, can you spare me some fare?”

I immediately have a case of déjà vu. It can’t be, I say to myself.

He smiles and nods. “But yet it is,” he says.

“I remember you.” I say then continue, “I gave you one-hundred dollars that day.” I scratch my head. “That had to be more than twenty years ago,” I say. This can’t be true. “You look the same.”

He nods and says, “And what did I tell you?”

Remembering it like it was yesterday, I reply, “You said that I would be blessed beyond measures.”

He smiles and points to the front. The line has moved up. I walk forward. I turn around and look at those behind me again. This time more faces become familiar: The elderly woman with the doleful eyes—I gave her that scarf, the man with the ‘Please Help’ sign—I bought him lunch one day, the boy who was elegantly dressed—that is my old suit when I was a boy, the man with no teeth—that’s the guy we took Thanksgiving dinner to when I was just a boy.

The old man points forward. “You’re next in line.”

I close my eyes in an attempt to make sense of it all. Paranoia kicks in. I hesitate. The gate before me is made of pearls. Clouds acts as steps. “Am I dead?” I turn to ask the old man.

“Not at all,” he replies.

“What is this place? Who are you people?” I ask, frightened by the experience.

No longer wobbling, he says, “This is home and we are—the less- fortunates. When I told you that you would be blessed beyond measures—this is it.”

“But I don’t understand.”

“It’s your turn son. You are now a less-fortunate.”

“What does that mean?”

“All your questions will be answered when you get your wings. You will then venture earth to test the will and kindness of those who inhabit the world. Now go—accept your mission.” He points forward again and I disappear amongst the clouds.

 

 

 

 

March 1

15 Women Writers That Should Be On Everyone’s Bookshelf

Maya Angelou
Maya was the definition of a writer should be. Not only was she skilled in the literary arts, she used her talent as a means to uplift and enlighten. I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings is one of her more popular works. (Photo courtesy of mayaangelou.com)
Octavia Butler
Octavia was the first science fiction writer to receive the MacArthur Fellowship. She has 2 novels to add to her collection: Kindred (1979) and Fledging (2005).
Toni Morrison
Winner of the Pulitzer Prize for her work, Beloved, Morrison is one of the most prized writers in American literature. She also was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature. (Photo courtesy of dailyprincetonian.com)
Angela Davis
This academic scholar was one of the most influential writers that used her voice as a weapon to challenge a broken system of injustice. Her autobiography, Angela Davis: An Autobiography, has shaped the minds of many future leaders of change. (Photo courtesy of syracuse.com)
Zora Neale Hurston
Best known for her novel, Their Eyes Were Watching God (1937), Hurston remains a literary legend. Her descriptive dialogue of the African American experience was one of a kind. (Photo courtesy of biography.com)
Alice Walker
Walker’s literary talent stretched far: novelist, poet, short story writer. She too was an activist in her own right. She is mostly known for her novel, The Color Purple. (Photo courtesy of literarylandscapes.as.va.edu)
Assata Shakur
Like Angela Davis, Shakur was one of the pillars of activism during the 1970’s. Her autobiography is considered by many to be one of the most prolific books that deals with race and legal issues in the United States of America. (Photo courtesy of atlantablackstar.com)
Nikki Giovanni
Nikki is one of the most well-renowned American poets. Social Injustice sparked Giovanni to use her talent as a weapon to fight. Her work spans over nearly six decades impacting millions in the process. (Photo courtesy of www.vt.com)
Ida B. Wells
This leader of change played a major role in the Civil Rights Movement. Like others during this time, she used her talent to document the trials and tribulations of the African American experience. Her most popular work is Southern Horrors and Other Writings. (Photo courtesy of gaurdianlv.com)
Shirley Chisholm
Recently Chisholm was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom. This life-long educator literary works includes two autobiographical books: Unbought and Unbossed and The Good Fight (Photo courtesy of history.com)
Lorraine Hansberry
Hansberry was the first black woman to write a play to be performed on Broadway. She is mostly known for her work, A Raisin in the Sun. (Photo courtesy of gvshp.org)
Sister Soulja
Sister Soulja is an American novelist that is mostly known for her literary work, The Coldest Winter Ever. Soulja also uses her voice as a means to address the social issues that plagues communities across America. (Photo courtesy of time.com)
Phillis Wheatley
Wheatley was the first African-American female poet. Her influence on the landscape of poetry can be seen and read from artist of today. (Photo courtesy of gotheretoknowthere.blogspot.com)
Terry McMillan
This New York Times bestselling author notable works includes: Waiting to Exhale and How Stella Got Her Groove Back. (Photo courtesy of cnn.com)
Michelle Alexander
Author of The New Jim Crow, Alexander has been setting the scene on fire with her advocacy for civil rights. The “mass incarceration” epidemic is something that Alexander is continuing to bring awareness to through her voice and pen. (Photo courtesy of billmoyers.com)
February 24

Review: LATIBAH Theatre Ensemble’s ‘Dialogue with my Soul’ is “refreshing” and “dynamic”.

This past Sunday marked the 51st anniversary of the assassination of Malcolm X. I recently had the distinct pleasure of seeing the LATIBAH Theatre Ensemble’s performance, Dialogue with my Soul…the Gathering (Women of Malcolm X). Kamit Natural Foods was the perfect venue as it reinforced one of Malcolm’s primary objectives: the support of black owned businesses. When I first entered the venue, I was immediately absorbed by all the cultural significance: pictures, art, artifacts.

Latibah- Dialogue with Soul

The set was brilliant, yet simple in its approach. There were simply 2 tables that had pictures and memorabilia of Malcolm, a phone, 2 chairs, and a set of hand drums. Each prop was uniquely used by each of the performers throughout the play.

The program started with a warm and welcoming message and libation (honor our ancestors), followed by a collective, Ashe’. Next the audience was entertained by listening to a harmonica rendition of Curtis Mayfield’s, People Get Ready.

At the play’s start, Louise Little (Makeba Mobley) is inside a mental institution refusing to take her medicine while letting the world know that she is not what the world considers her to be—crazy. She takes you on a breathtaking trip of her emotional heartbreak by a system that murdered her husband, took her children, and ultimately punished her for being a proud black woman.

Latibah- Dialogue with Soul Louise Little

(Makeba Mobley portraying Louise Little)

Laura (Ryeshia Spradford) then mesmerized the audience with her feelings towards the abandonment she felt when Malcolm walked out of her life. The pain Malcolm caused, eventually led to her self-destruction: prostitution and drug use.

Following Laura, Ella Little (Coleystine Beane) electrified the audience with her wit and humor. She discussed taking in Malcolm at the age of 14 and watching his evolution of becoming the man he would ultimately become. She mentioned that Malcolm always said that she was “the most elegant woman” he had ever known with her “black skin.”

Betty Shabazz (Naomi Winfrey) then graced the stage and started with an emphatic, “I don’t know how we gonna make it without you,” as she began doing laundry. The power in those words immediately sent chills throughout my body. She shared intimate details of their union such as Malcolm calling her his, “Apple Brown Betty.” Betty (Naomi) talked about how she would always look at a map during Malcolm’s travels. The apex of the play was when she said, “I can’t find you on the map anymore,” as she held one of his shirts, smelled it, and proceeded to put it on.

The play concluded with Attalah Shabazz (Sankofa Baba) sharing details of the hurt and pain caused by the loss of her father. The treatment the family received, after Malcolm’s death, from people they considered to be friends and family was a painful reality. I could actually see the tears flow from Attalah’s (Sankofa) eyes.

Latibah- Dialogue with Soul Attalah

(Sankofa Baba portraying Attalah Shabazz)

I have to admit, each actress put on a phenomenal performance. Each level of emotions the human body can muster was on full display throughout. The LATIBAH Theatre Ensemble put on an amazing show. From the props to the costumes, it all was well designed and you could tell that the performance was well thought-out and heartfelt.

There was a brief post-show interactive discussion. The discussion was centered on the variable lessons we are to learn, as well as how these lessons can apply to ourselves, our families, and our communities. The five lessons were: responsibility, acknowledgement of your history, loving yourself, speaking the truth and raising proud kids. Ultimately, it’s time that we restore the village.

I strongly encourage that you check out this production whenever you get a chance. We’re always reminded of the negative aspects portrayed by the mainstream media of Brother Malcolm. It was refreshing to hear who Malcolm really was from the lips of the women who knew him best. Please support these great women by reaching out for future showings. Information for LATIBAH is listed below.

Naomi Winfrey- LATIBAH Program Director

LATIBAH Collard Green Museum

P.O. Box 33301

Charlotte, NC 28233

(980) 254-6225

www.LATIBAHMuseum.org

February 22

The Black History Experience

Black History - Feb. 20th (3)As Black History Month (BHM) for 2016 is winding down, I can admit that this has probably been the most active I’ve been during this time of year. When I mean active, I mean actually doing something beyond the norm of watching a MLK movie, binge watching black television shows, researching Kwanza, or searching for how many black films are being showed on the premium channels (I know it’s not just me).

This past weekend, one of the things that I decided to do was participate in the Black History Experience. This exhibition presented great details of our rich history along with some talented people in the community. The showcase included a fashion show, vendor expo, spoken word artists, musicians, and food.

It was a free event for the community and a great way to help create that village atmosphere a thriving community needs.

Here are a couple of highlights from the event:

The Black History Experience- Art5

The Black History Experience- Art       The Black History Experience- Art2

The Black History Experience- Art3       The Black History Experience- Art4

(Guns From The Civil War)

The Black History Experience- Civil War      The Black History Experience- Civil War2

 

February 21

Treat Your Taste Buds to a Taste of Liberia

In last week’s cultural cuisine expedition, my quest led me to experience a taste of North Africa in Charlotte’s eclectic Plaza-Midwood neighborhood. This week my taste buds longed for an exquisite cuisine from the western part of the motherland. In my search I was able to find the crown jewel of West Africa on Charlotte’s Northside.

Zoewee's- SignZoewee’s Restaurant is considered to be one of Charlotte’s premiere spots to grub down on some fine West African cuisines. This small, yet comfortable, venue packs a major punch in flavor and pure nom nom sentiments. As soon as I walked in I was pleased to hear Bob Marley singing, “Don’t worry about a thing…because every little thing is gonna be alright.” That song does something to my soul every time I hear it. As I looked around the venue, I was greeted by warm and welcoming smiles as patrons laughed and talked in intimate settings. It all reminded me of my grandma’s kitchen.

When I was seated, I looked over the menu to see how I would begin my new experience. I must admit, it was hard for me to choose between the abundance of quality dishes that was before me. I once again decided to go with a variety of dishes to capture the full Liberian experience.

To kick things off, I ordered an exotic looking drink: Jamaican Ginger Beer (I thought it was an alcoholic beverage)

Zoewee's- Jamaican Ginger Beer

After taking my first sip, I immediately knew it was a taste I’ve yet to experience before. It was kind of creamy with a sweet and tangy kick to it. The ginger will leave a slight burning sensation at the back of your throat. Overall, the taste was unique, but it does pack a lot of calories at 225.

First Main Dish: Potato Greens (Vegetable Oil) with Rice

Zoewee's- Potato Greens (Vegetable Oil) with Rice

In Liberia potato greens are considered to be staples in the culture. For those that are not familiar (including myself), potato leaves are the leaves of the sweet potato plant. It’s a green vegetable that contains: iron, calcium, and zinc. When I was coming up, I always thought greens were to be exclusively eaten with cornbread. They have always been the perfect complement to each other. I have a new perspective on things now. I’ll admit I was a little skeptical to be eating greens with rice. But after my first taste, I realized that I couldn’t have been more wrong. I will say this with all sincerity: Best—Greens—Ever! The smoked turkey was tender and seasoned to perfection. I don’t think I can muster enough words to say how delicious this dish was.

Next on the list: Fried Croaker with plantains and seasoned rice

Zoewee's- Fried Croaker with Plantains

There was no way I could complete my Liberian experience without eating some fish, plantains, and rice. These are staples in the Liberian diet. The golden brown texture of the croaker matched the beautiful aroma it presented. This dish too was splendid. The plantains were fried to perfection. The blended flavors of the plantains and rice were the perfect marriage. I added a special seasoning that was brought out with the rice that added an extra kick to it. My taste buds danced to the beat of the reggae music flowing through the speakers.

 

Overall, the experience was relaxing and very feeling. It’s great comfort food for you and the family to enjoy. The staff was excellent and friendly. I loved the family atmosphere. As I stated earlier, it’s like sitting in your grandma’s kitchen talking and laughing with all your cousins. This is a must stop for ALL Charlottean’s.

In the words of my man Bob Marley: “This is my message to you…you…you.”

 

Zoewee’s Restaurant

4112 N Tryon St

Charlotte, NC 28206

(704) 559-9503

 

 

February 14

A taste of Morocco in the Queen City

In this week’s cultural cuisine expedition—me and mi familia decided to experience a taste of North Africa. In our search we found a cozy Moroccan restaurant nestled in Charlotte’s eclectic Plaza-Midwood neighborhood.

Ajbani-DecorAjbani Moroccan Cuisine is considered to be one of the finest Moroccan restaurants in Charlotte, NC. Upon our entrance–this claim became evident. We were immediately entrenched in the experience as the sweet aroma stewing from the behind the counter was complimented by the vibrant and inviting color scheme.

As we were looking at the menu, a lot of items piqued our interest. We decided to go with a variety of dishes to capture the full Moroccan experience.

 

To kick things off we ordered a little appetizer: Brochettes

Ajbani- Chicken Kaboob

This Gluten Free dish is Kebabs marinated and grilled with Moroccan BBQ style. It’s served with a Harissa yogurt sauce.

 

Next on our list: Berber Chicken

Ajbani- BerBer Chicken2

Berber cuisines are staples within North Africa. Couscous is a dish that is enjoyed worldwide. It’s the perfect companion to complete a Berber cuisine. Our initial reaction of this dish was that of one looking at a piece of art. The bright colors alone made this dish look appealing, however it was the taste that ultimately won us over. Who can turn down roasted chicken and vegetables in a creamy sauce of saffron with cinnamon and garlic? The olive and orange salad that topped this delectable dish added that extra “it” factor. Oh and how can I forget about the couscous?

Following the Berber Chicken was a little tajine dish: Spicy Lamb

Ajbani- Lamb3

Tajine is also a Berber dish that is common in North Africa. This tender lamb was rubbed with a blend of spices, and then braised with onion, carrot, okra, and apricot. It was topped with a house-made preserved lemon.

Our last main dish is considered to be a Moroccan favorite: Chicken with Preserved Lemon

Ajbani- Lemon Preserve Lemon

This is another dish within the tajine family tree. The chicken breast was marinated and braised with a lighter blend of root vegetables and olives. This dish is also gluten free.

After we stuffed ourselves with pure deliciousness, we just had to try some Moroccan dessert: Baklava

Ajbani- Baklava

This tasty treat was a layered dessert of pistachio, honey and phyllo dough, with notes of clove and cinnamon. It kind of reminded me of a remixed version of pecan pie. Good taste—I’ll recommend it.

Overall, the experience was worth the admission ticket. If you’re health conscious, this is a great place to make part of your regular eating regimen. If you’re not too concerned about your healthy food intake, this is a great alternative for you as well. Even though it’s “healthy” you won’t lose out on “great flavor”.

Is there a better way to close out a meal such as this than by washing it down with some mint tea?

Ajbani- Mint Tea

 

Ajbani Moroccan Cuisine

2903 Central Avenue

Charlotte, NC 28205

 

February 7

As I mature, so does my taste buds.

Black History MonthThis year to celebrate Black History Month, me and mi familia decided that we would do something different. Since we take pride in celebrating our blackness 24-7/365, we wanted to make this year more of an experience. One of the things that we decided to do was to experiment with some exquisite meals from various cultures of African descent—every weekend. Whether we patronize a restaurant or put on the ol’ apron and oven mitts—we will engulf ourselves in some culturally delectable dishes.

This past weekend we decided to try our hand at cooking a popular and tasty Caribbean meal: jerk chicken with plantains, coconut rice and beans. I will admit that the shopping for this meal was an adventure on its own. One of our first destinations was to visit one of the local farmers markets in the area to find some exotic fruit or vegetables to go with the dish. To our dismay, the lot was as empty as church during football season.

Church

We ended up at a local grocery chain that caters to a variety of cultures. The first item on the list was to get the plantains.  Let me start this by saying that I for one was not a huge fan of plantains. I tried it before and it wasn’t something I wanted to subject myself to again. After surveying the aisles, we finally landed on these banana-looking vegetables: some green, some yellow, some black. Upon our research with learned that the different stages of the plantains delivered a different flavor: green (starchy vegetable) and black (sweet side dish or desert). We decided to go with something in between.

Plantains

Now was the coconut rice. Some of the ingredients we used consisted of: coconut cream (good for smoothies), bouillon cubes, habanero pepper, rice and kidney beans. Instead of getting the traditional rice in the bag, we had some fun packaging our own. There wasn’t much to it after that. However, once we started to boil the coconut cream, the sweet smell was rather delightful. My taste buds began to immediately dance.

Coconut Rice

The main dish (jerk chicken) was something that I’ve had before, but again it wasn’t something that I yearned to try again. Here are some of the ingredients that put the jerk in the chicken: cayenne pepper, all-spice, cinnamon, thyme, garlic, onion powder, brown sugar, paprika, salt, black pepper, ginger, cloves, coriander and crushed red-pepper.  Seeing all these different shades of spices on the chicken was like looking at a piece of artwork. We were pleased with the final product.

Jerk Chicken

When it was time to eat, I sat in anticipation. I didn’t really know what to expect. As I mentioned earlier, I wasn’t a huge fan of neither plantains nor jerk chicken. When I took my first bite of chicken, it was pure heaven (even though my mouth burned like it was hell). To my surprise, the plantains weren’t bad either. To be honest it was quite delicious. The combination of the two was like the perfect couple. The texture of the plantain was firm and soft (almost potato like). The coconut rice and beans added the balance that was needed to complete this meal. The sweetness of the coconut added a nice smooth taste which complemented the spiciness of the jerk chicken.

Carribean Meal

Overall, the experience and taste was well worth it. I’m looking forward to next week’s adventure. Stay tuned!!!

 

 

 

 

January 31

Experience Life Through Writing: I sit patiently…

Train 301

Six, Seven, Eight—I count as each fallen leaf flutters only to wither and die. The wind is silent. The sun is falling. I sit patiently. I anticipate the slight rumbling underfoot—earthquake like. My cup dances atop the table. Window’s sings with vibrations. Pictures shake. Glasses rattle. Coins roll. Hands are hiding in pockets. Thumbs twirl. Newspapers snap. Fingers maneuver over the latest gadgets. I sit patiently.

The clock ticks. Shadows now cast over our heads. The moon is saying farewell to the light. Shirts no longer tucked. Ties loosened. Cigarette smoke fades with the chatter among its host. Yet, I sit patiently. Lipstick marks are tattooed to shirt collars. Wedding bands exist—some hidden. Worry, fear, anger, sadness and joy mask the variety of faces. Eyebrows furrow, dance, tilt and curve. I sit patiently.

I can hear it calling and feel it coming. Legs stretch. People stand. Eyes wander. Mine closed. Mind opened. I wonder. Where has it been? Where is it going? Silence is broken. Rails wrapped by fingers: stubby, short, long, skinny. My skin is alive. Something thunderous is heading my way. Light breaks the dark. It calls again—screaming. Its face now in full view: grimy, rustic, shiny, hard. I stand. Walk. I sit patiently.

Now on the inside: new atmosphere, different faces, various reasons, and many unknowns. Laughter is in the air. A sense of calmness is the mood. Through the windows; images arrive and immediately becomes memories. My mind drifts: relaxed, free, thinking, growing.  I sit patiently as I count—three, four, and five.

January 23

Writing is the best therapy…

Writing TheraphyThe wonders of writing: enchanting, captivating, charming, appealing and engaging. As writer’s we all try to create that moment. That moment etched in time when our work will be considered worthy to be shared with the masses.  I’m sure you’ve heard the old cliché that steel sharpens steel. It’s no different for writers. As writer’s we are in essence creators. Creator’s breeds creativity. Often, I find myself immersed with the pressures that life tends to bring: bills, responsibilities, unwarranted stress; the things that are reserved for adulthood (why did I ever want to rush this process). Needless to say, I get a great sense of rejuvenation each time I’m able to put my pen to pad or fingers to keys.

My creativity thrives in the most awkward situations. As my heart rate increases, my mind slows down. I’m able to grasp all the minor details that we tend to take for granted: sounds of a door opening, laughter escaping the lips of our loved ones, wind teasing our skin or the whisper’s of Mother Nature.  With this precise attention to detail, I’m able to transfer these thoughts into my works.

I will be honest and say, that this has not always been the case. When I completed my first novel in 2013, I felt a sense of accomplishment. I was able to fulfill a dream that I wasn’t always sure would come to pass. While I received great praise for the project, I was still not satisfied. I was still growing—just reaching the surface of my potential as a writer. I’m at the point now that I feel my journey is really about to begin. My mind is fresh with a new perspective as it relates to literacy. Now when I write it’s free-flowing, effortless, natural—not forced. The pieces of the puzzle are easier to find now. My mind becomes clearer. I can close my eyes and capture the sounds around me. I’m at peace, still, calm, and resolved.

No longer do I concern myself with the things that we cannot control. I have to remind myself that I’m a creator. And as a creator, I have the ability to write my wrongs. It’s no different than sitting on a couch with your thought’s weighing heavily on your mind, while you attempt to express those feelings to a therapist or psychiatrist. When you write, you are one-to-one with self—just you and your thoughts—alone. Alone in a world that can be full of dark skies, but we know that the morning can bring a ray a sunshine. So as I continue my journey through life, I now have a greater appreciation for it. And I can thank writing for that. It’s my therapy, solace, peace and validation.