December 31, 2014
2014 In Review (simplified in a questionnaire – Tumblr is the real MVP for posting this so I didn’t have to write an essay.)
1. Describe your year in one word
2. Describe your year in three words
a. Loss, Gains, Wins
3. Describe your year in one sentence
a. Finally, I made the choice to get out of my own way.
4. Describe your year with song lyrics
a. Couldn’t if I wanted to.
5. Describe your year with a quote/quotes
a. “Love is a battle, love is a war, love is a growing up.” James Baldwin
6. Best memories from 2014?
a. Watching my teenager come into herself.
7. Worst memories from 2014?
a. January 1st thru January 9th. R.I.P. Aunt Wendy
8. Biggest surprise in 2014?
a. It wasn’t a good one so I’ll spare you.
9. If you could change one thing about the past year what would it be?
a. The wasted time
10. If you could relive one day from 2014, which day would you choose and why?
a. The day I didn’t notice that something was way more off with my loved one than I ever could have imagined. Why? I failed her.
11. What’s the strangest thing that happened to you in 2014?
a. Oh boy, I can’t write that here…just know it was stranger than a motherfucker so I bounced.
12. If you got the chance to relive this year would you do it?
13. Describe your year with pictures/drawings
a. Google + actually did a great job of that even though I’m side-eyeing the invasiveness of having my pictures consolidated and emailed to me out of the blue. *shrug
14. Who were the most meaningful people in your life this past year?
a. Family and Squad
15. Did any major life changes happen to you in the past year?
16. Who’s the coolest person you met in 2014?
a. I met 4 beautiful (inside and out) women this year. 3 out of 4 of my brotherfriends met their S/Os in ’14 and the other became a married man this year. Also, Frank and Meg…met a lot of good people this year.
17. Any regrets concerning the past year?
a. Sure, doesn’t everyone? I’m not dwelling though
18. What is the most memorable thing that happened to you in 2014?
a. Didn’t I already answer this? Uh, Pass.
19. Would you say you had a good year?
a. It was good.
20. What’s the greatest achievement you made this year?
21. Name one meaningful song for every month of the past year
a. Wtf? The way my long-term memory is set up…
22. What’s the best thing that was said to you this year?
a. “I’m sorry”
23. What’s the worst thing that was said to you this year?
a. Doesn’t matter, I’m over it.
24. What’s the best gift you received this year?
25. Best book you read in 2014?
a. It was a re-read but “Another Country” by James Baldwin
26. Best tv show you watched in 2014?
a. Eh. Fuck TV
27. Best movie you saw in 2014?
a. “About Last Night” it was simple, funny and had brown people in it.
28. Best song you heard in 2014?
a. I by Kendrick Lamar
29. Most boring day of the year?
a. Days are only boring if you’re boring.
30. Saddest day of the year?
a. January 5th
31. Scariest moments in 2014?
a. Just yesterday, actually (12/30)
32. Share the best picture you took in 2014
a. That would make me have to leave this page and once I do that…A.D.D.
33. Share the best drawing/painting/other artwork you made in 2014
a. Read answer 32.
34. Did 2014 meet your expectations?
a. I guess
35. What’s the most interesting experience you had in 2014?
a. On the Run concert with my love
36. Would you say you’ve changed during this year?
37. What’s the bravest thing you did in 2014?
38. What’s the hardest thing you did in 2014?
a. Walk away from certain family members and friends
39. What’s the most impressive thing you did in 2014?
40. What’s the kindest thing you did in 2014?
41. What’s the most honest/dishonest thing you did in 2014?
a. Honest: Called up the squad “I need my brothers, when can we meet?”
b. Dishonest: Not speak on disappointment, pain, hurt.
42. What were the biggest events in your life in 2014?
a. Waking up
43. What songs do you think will make you remember this year?
a. D’Angelo’s whole album…specifically: Ain’t that Easy, Betray my Heart, Really Love
44. Did this year teach you anything?
45. What do you expect from the New Year?
a. Whatever I make it.
December 29, 2014
It’s been 24 days since my last confession…ha. I’m bad at updating — keeping folks updated with my life, just busy living, but here’s a lil something:
Things have been good, all things considering and for me that simply means I’m still here, breathing, loving and being loved. I’ve been reflecting on 2014 these past few days, perhaps I’ll share a summarized version here. It’s deeply personal and I’m not the biggest proponent for laying all cards out on the table for folks to see. I’m a Scorpio after all, there’s always going to be a bit of mystery.
Accountability time: Chapters 6 & 7 will be on the site December 31st. That will only leave one chapter left to post – officially ending Part 1. The completed book will arrive soon after and than the unveiling of another creative writing project in the works.
Thank you all for reading and coming back for more. The support is appreciated.
December 5, 2014
“No idea comes to you without the ability to realize it.” Yasiin Bey a.k.a. Mos Def
This quote speaks mountains to me. The ideas stored within and the determination to see them all actualized is all I think about. How are you realizing your ideas and concepts? I hope with lots of belief in self and hard work.
Hear the full interview in the ‘Daily Muses‘ section.
December 5, 2014
Sometimes its raw…
Reflecting on the importance of my work has almost become a mantra of motivation to myself.
“This book is important. It’s the story I wish to read. It’s the narrative that deserves to be heard. It is my duty to create this work.”
Spirit of the Movement started a few months after knowing that my daughter was making her transition from the spirit world (no correlation to the title) into the living. From inception in 1999, I have started, stopped, started, stopped, completed, paid an editor and started “Spirit” all over again no less than 10 times.
I’ve had so much self-doubt about my voice, talent, ability, the narrative of my characters and the importance of this book that I’ve given up on it as often as I started.
“No one reads anymore, anyway.”
“The movement is over.”
“Why can’t I write about romance or something else less political?”
The most powerful books I’ve ever read about the movement (acknowledging that I haven’t read them all – not even Angela Davis biography or Huey P. Newton’s) have been Assata, A Taste of Power, This Side of Glory and several others. All are autobiographies of significant and known figures of the movement, “what could I possibly contribute?”.
Then I thought about the children, like Birdie Africa a.k.a. Michael Moses Ward (R.I.Power 9/20/13) and read the Children of the Movement written by John Blake…their stories spoke to me.
No matter what I did to sabotage the writing of this book, it WOULD NOT die…the characters, though virtually fiction…will not – would not leave me alone.
And here I am again…letting them lead me (this time) to the end – surrendering, trusting, and respecting the people, words and determination of this griot style of expression.
Recently, I watched “Free Angela and All Political Prisoners” and can’t wait to see it again with my teenage daughter. I want her to see what strength, pride, “womanism” and black power and nationalism looks like when not sullied by misogyny, sexism, homophobia and transphobia/misogyny. Its my commitment that my readers will also find that within Spirit.
Throughout the documentary I swelled with pride, raised my fist to the ancestors and shouted “All power to the people!” It captured my truest sensibility as a person of the Alkebulan diaspora; that we will forever and continuously rise. It’s in our DNA, evident in our recent outrage pouring into the streets after the Mike Brown and Eric Garner non-indictment decisions in Ferguson, MO and Staten Island, NY.
This bold force of humanity is the very essence behind this work (and a new creative project coming soon) – I have one very pure intention: To seduce the quiescent revolutionary out of their internal and external refuge.
In the power of revolution, I salute my brothers and sisters aware of the continued struggle and determined to battle our way above and beyond.
November 19, 2014
- Chapters 1-5 are now available Spirit of the Movement
- New poems in the Poetry section
- Social commentary: That Street Harassment Video – another look
November 18, 2014
So much to say…so many great things manifesting in my life at the moment. Just need to get my thoughts together and I’ll let you all in on the goings-ons.
For those who consistently visit this site, read my work and provide feedback both on and offline.
November 7, 2014
Eliminating the noise. Believing in self. Triumphing over the bullshit. Motivated to the finish line. Things are great right now. Truly. A year older. Squad on deck, family on fleek. Y’all don’t hear me–but you’ll see.
October 24, 2014
Accountability…cuz If I state it – I must do it: 3rd Chapter of Spirit of the Movement up by mid-November.
Birthday is in 4 days and since I’m all in to haikus these days, I’ve summarized the impending birth date:
Bald eagle eyes its doomed prey
Like death chasing age
Contrary to the poem heh, I’m actually happy and grateful for the next level in life. Black man living and growing in America and I’m still here. Fighting the good fight baby!
September 16, 2014
So I’m re-reading Song of Solomon by Toni Morrison, this time with my wife’s help.
My wife a.k.a Eryca, a former English major, added quite a bit of books to my already substantial collection when we moved in together over nine years ago. On rare occasions we get into a mildly heated debate regarding who owns what (just in case…).
Luckily, a lot of the books are easy to figure; for my books the determiner is either the topic or my name sketched on the top of the pages. When it comes to Eryca’s books, one doesn’t have to pull them from the shelf to know which are hers – like paper porcupines, colorful post-it notes, paper clips and note tags stick out from the pages.
For years I’ve scoffed and teased her, “You’ve messed this book up, how can anyone be expected to read this now?”
I am only now learning just how valuable Eryca’s penciled questions and inferences dousing the pages of her old assigned books are. As a couple we have our share of differences that balance the other. At times I can be our sensible mind and she, our critical/analytical mind.
Back to Song of Solomn (which happens to be Eryca’s copy from college), when I picked up the book last week I shook my head in judgment and contemplated buying a new copy because, “how in the hell was I supposed to sift through the plethora of notes inconsiderately layering the pages.”
The cheapskate in me decided to press on and work with what I had. Several notes in of lifting post-its and trying my best to ignore the scribbled words while mumbling under my breath about how distracting they were, I started to pay attention. There is a character in the book, who is the daughter of the main character and about 85% of the time her name is mentioned its written “Magdalene called Lena”. “Why do they keep repeating, we got it the first time,” Eryca’s note says.
It’s a simple and justifiable question; however, I never thought to ask why. Eryca’s note forced me to think and not just read the words on the page. That’s kind of a no-brainer for most writers, I know, but for me I’d much rather be seduced by the words than have to think too hard about word usage.
After reading the written lines and Eryca’s question a few times I theorized that perhaps Toni is crafting her writing style. After all, it was her third book and she was still making her mark in the literature world. Anyone who has read her title’s Beloved, Sula, Bluest Eye, etc. knows that Toni’s prose is distinct and authentically hers. This may not be the answer but the point is it forced me to think and read critically and more importantly begged a personal question regarding my style and standards for writing. That’s exciting and I have Eryca to thank.
I am eager to read and contemplate Song of Solomn through Eryca’s mind and in turn become a better reader and writer because of it. Thanks babe.
August 15, 2014
Not sure what it is (actually I know exactly what it is…feeling raw, open, vulnerable and expressive) but I’ve been writing a bit of poetry over the last few days. Had to take down the statement on the poetry page: “I don’t write poetry anymore…”
Read at will here.
Peace. No really-I wish you peace. Be peace!
August 12, 2014
I am sad today and it has everything to do with a boy in Ferguson, MO, a young man and father in Beavercreek, Ohio and grown man and father in Staten Island, NY all murdered by police…all within weeks of each other. Injustice. Pain. Resistance. Warfare. Writing the outrage is helping. Yet I can’t help but feel the hurt.
Speak their names. R.I.P
July 27, 2014
Okay, so it took me a little longer than mid-July to put up the second chapter but it’s there now. You happy? Moving forward. Working on Spirit and a few other projects I’ve been wanting to start AND finish. Will keep you posted. In the meantime get into Chapter 2 – Spirit of the Movement Chapters 1 & 2. Enjoy. Peace
July 6, 2014
New design for the site. Writing…writing…and writing some more. Peace
July 1, 2014
Today is go live day (also my wife’s birthday – Happy bday my love).
I have kind of fallen behind in my writing and editing of Spirit…admittance + accountability = cut the shit already Talib. It won’t affect the timelines for the site but Ol’ Young Jeezy! I must catch up.
June 26, 2014
So…writing a synopsis is harder than writing the damn novel but I digress…synopsis is done, for now.
Nothing is final…nothing is final until Spirit is being published and sold. I’m just working on the foundation piece by piece.
I read an article on procrastination today…Why You Procrastinate, and How to Stop It. Now. Incidentally, this article can not help me be less of a procrastinator but the strong will I have to believe that I can and want to do this here thing is working well so far.
June 20, 2014
Just know that I am meeting my writing goals. It’s all behind the scenes for now as this site allows me space to present my writing and hold myself accountable towards my goal of completing Spirit.
The site will go public July 1 (currently only close family and friends have access) at that point you can expect to see the next chapter of Spirit in mid July. I will also rotate out the other sections with additional selections of my work, i.e., essays and short stories.
June 12, 2014
Why I’m putting myself and work out here unedited and open to critique…accountability.
Creating a public space for my writing is something I’ve wanted to do for a long time.
For me, this site is an overcoming, in a sense. I’ve been published in magazines, newsletters, sites, etc. However, I’ve never been consistent with writing or publication.
For the first time, I’ve worked up enough gumption to move my words pass my C: drive and it feels good…or at least, it feels like I’m moving forward and in the right direction.
June 8, 2014
I am writing…spending hours out of my day when I am normally doing something else wildly unproductive. I am here and feeling like a boss.
June 7, 2014
This morning I awoke thinking about my work so far and how I still believe it to be a repressed expression of the type of writer I long to be. Not necessarily with Spirit because I actually reclaimed that story a long time ago from my fears and doubts. However, those same feelings remain in my efforts to write with authenticity and courage. Writing is an ongoing effort to defy my cowardice acts of distraction and procrastination. Those may seem like harsh words but its actually my own affirmation to do better and respect my abilities. This public site is courageous. This writing is my personal revolutionary act. I am working to be present and productive in this space and at this time. Thanks for reading.
June 6, 2014
Almost finished Go Tell it on the Mountain by James Baldwin before that I read Another Country. The next book is Toni Morrison’s Song of Solomon.
These are all re-reads, of course, that are worthy of reading again and again as the years pass and my depth of understanding and appreciation of creative writing shifts and matures.
June 4, 2014
Day 1: No random thoughts for today. Check back soon.