As you all recall, Toni Morrison was the subject of a Words of Wisdom post from July 2018. In that post, I shared some of my favorite quotes from her, and I commented on how her words sweep me up every time I open one of her novels. Her encouragement, to write the book that we want to read, is one of my biggest inspirations behind my own writing practice.
It broke my heart to hear that she became an ancestor on August 5, 2019. As much as it hurt to know that I’d never be able to tell her, face to face, how much I love her writings, I believe that she had done her work, and deserves her rest. So may she continue to rest, and may her words continue to inspire us to be better versions of our selves.
If you aren’t already familiar, now would be a fantastic time to acquaint yourself with some of Ms. Morrison’s work. My favorite is probably Sula, but The Bluest Eye and Beloved are also fantastic reads. Her last novel, God Help the Child, has gotten great reviews (I haven’t read it yet, but it’s on my list).
I also saw a book of Toni Morrison quotes that I’m adding to my wish list. It has 365 quotes: perfect for daily reflections.
Such a beautiful cover
How fortunate we are that we get to enjoy and learn from Ms. Morrison even as she rests eternally! I hope that you check out her works for yourself!
Hi friends! I’m so excited to do this post, because this relates to a post I shared a few weeks ago ago about the book Get It Done by Michael Mackintosh. I selected a project for February that should put me significantly closer to my overarching dream, while allowing me to practice and perfect the goal setting routine that I’ll use going forward.
The goal I’ve selected for February is to finish one of my books. This is a book I began working on last year, and while I’ve made significant progress, I could stand to do more as far as moving this project along. Just for clarity, this is not my NaNoWriMo project (that’s going on the backburner for a bit). I’m still working out a few details related to accountability as I write, as well as chunking down the work so that I can easily accomplish the most necessary tasks. That being said, I’m looking forward to finishing my manuscript by February 21st.
So over this upcoming weekend, I’ll be outlining the tasks to be completed in preparation for February 1st. And then, on the 1st, I’ll begin the challenge. I am so looking forward to sharing with you all how things progress as I accomplish this huge goal for my year.
That’s it for today and I will be back on Monday. I hope you all enjoy your weekend. Take care!
Hi friends! Happy Wednesday to you all. I wanted to quickly stop in and give you all updates on the publishing of my first book.
As you all know, I finished writing and editing my first book earlier this year. So after moving past my own internal resistance, I forged ahead with publishing. I’m still learning about Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) and tinkering with the format of the book so it renders the way that I want. Right now, the pages don’t look like how I want them to look; that is unacceptable. I’ve done too much work on this project to drop the ball and get sloppy at this stage. Once I get the formatting right, I’ll be well on my way.
Between the blog and my book, I’ve been busy
There’s a lot involved with taking a book from idea to published, but it’s been an educational process. I’m proud to make it this far, but I have to see this through to the end before I’m truly satisfied. If you’re inclined, please send me good publishing vibes! I’ll keep plugging along, and I’ll keep you all posted on what’s happening as I go through the process.
Take care, and I’ll talk to you all tomorrow!
Happy Thursday, y’all! This has been quite a November to remember. . . I’ve been working on a lot of projects, and as a result, my writing suffered this month.
Of all months for my writing to suffer, it happens during NaNoWriMo.
I didn’t meet the 50k goal for NaNoWriMo 2018. I got to 20k, which is still impressive, but nowhere near what I intended for the month. So I’m frustrated with myself right now. I wish I could have rearranged my affairs so that I could pour more time into my writing, but the truth is, this just wasn’t a good month for it.
One of the things I’ve been actively working on is being gentle with myself. No one is more disappointed in my failings than I am, so if I am going to own my shortcomings, I also have to give myself room for grace. I’m at a point where I’m doing the best that I can with everything that I do but it doesn’t always turn out how I want it to.
And that’s okay.
On the upside, I haven’t given up on this story. I’m still going to reach my 50k words and when I do, I’m going to rejoice! Until then, I’ll keep plugging along.
Enjoy your day, loves! I’ll talk to you all tomorrow.
Happy Thursday, loves!
I’ve spent the past 7 days doing everything but writing. Yes, you heard me right: I’ve typed ZERO words this week. I feel a little nervous about hitting my goal of 50k words, but I’m respecting my creative cycles and remaining optimistic about reaching my goal before the end of the month.
So what does that mean? I need to average at least 4500 words a day until November 30th. That’s a LOT of writing, but I’m up to the challenge. I’m determined to get to 50K!
Pray for me, y’all lol! Seriously though, if you can send some creative vibes my way, that would be great. I’ll do my part and type, type, type: even if I don’t have an idea where exactly I want the story to go. I’ll have made some major progress by my next update: I can feel it!
Today, I’m babysitting a few of my favorite munchkins, so today’s post will have to be a brief one. They’re keeping me busy today LOL!
I’m making my 2019 plans and I realized that I really want to do a writer’s workshop/retreat. I haven’t ever done anything like that before, so I’m eager to give it a whirl. I think my writing would benefit from a vacation/trip dedicated to it. I know that my writing is better when I am in a different environment, so a retreat seems like a natural choice.
I did a quick search on Google and found this list of 37 (yes, 37!) writers retreats that occurred in 2018. I figure that these will be the same in 2019 as well; at very minimum, most of these retreats are probably recurring. I also found this list with 8 more retreats (I only saw one retreat that was a duplicate from the list of 37). The 40+ retreats on these lists have a lot of options at different price points, and all of them are centered around creating better writers.
If any of you’ve done one of the retreats listed, please tell me all about it in the comments below! Also, if you know of a different retreat that isn’t on either of the lists, PLEASE tell me all about it! I’m still deciding which one would be best for me, and I could use some input for anyone that knows more about them.
Enjoy your Sunday (I know that I am!) and I’ll talk to you all tomorrow!
“Never be afraid to sit a while and think” – Lorraine Hansberry
Talented, intelligent, and gone too soon: Lorraine Hansberry was an award-winning playwright and activist. She, like many other Black American writers during this time, captured the smoldering inner turmoil and external conflict of ambitious Blacks living in pre-Civil Rights America.
I recently came across a photo of Lorraine while looking up information on another writer and, as always, I was drawn in by her soulful eyes and sweet smile. Behind her wholesome beauty was a gorgeous brain: her writing talents got her critical acclaim and earned her the spot as the youngest playwright to ever have a play produced on Broadway. She is also the youngest winner of the New York Drama Critics Circle Award.
I really resonate with her thoughts regarding the path of the creative. Embracing her talent meant encountering feelings of loneliness, over-familiarity with the lows of life, but also an undiminishable hope in a more beautiful and brighter future. Her positive view of life inspires me tremendously.
“I wish to live because life has within it that which is good, that which is beautiful and that which is love” – Lorraine Hansberry
(Photos courtesy of AZQuotes and Pinterest)
I can barely contain my excitement. It’s NaNoWriMo, or National Novel Writer’s Month, for those that have never heard of it before. This is possibly my favorite month of the year, because no other month gathers so many writers together to churn out a novel within 30 days.
Now, a novel written in 30 days won’t necessarily be the next great American novel, but the main thing is to get into the habit of writing daily and capturing your creativity in words. So many people want to be writers, yet, they never can quite get their time or support network together to undertake the task. So their great book remains unwritten and inside of them. It’s tragic, really: how many of us were changed by something that we read? Imagine how many additional life-changing moments are out there, sitting the recesses of someone’s mind.
NaNoWriMo is especially beneficial for me because I love having a clear goal that I can work towards. 50,000 words in one month? Lofty goal, for sure, but completely possible. What’s really great about NaNoWriMo is that there are Meetup groups that form specifically to support one another during this month. I may attend a gathering before the month is out.
Are you all participating in NaNoWriMo this year? If so, please let me know in the comments below!
“A star dies in heaven every time you snatch away someone’s dream” – Gloria Naylor
I first became acquainted with Gloria Naylor’s work when I was a child. My mother, aunt and grandmother all loved the mini-series, The Women of Brewster Place. They skipped past any parts that were too mature for me, but I distinctly remember certain parts of the heart wrenching story of a group of residents living in low-income housing. I was far too young to understand what the movie was really about, but I remember being in awe of the beautiful women on the screen.
Years later, I learned more about Naylor herself, and I was inspired by her story. She had a sheltered childhood and finished college later in life (at the age of 31), and fell in love with literature while in college. Inspired by some of my heroines, like Zora Neale Hurston, Alice Walker, and Toni Morrison, Naylor decided to write about the experiences of Black women, and from this came her novel, The Women of Brewster Place.
Naylor’s body of work is not very expansive but it’s key in capturing the essence of the period: her stories reflected urban experiences for Black women in the 1980s and 1990s. The works would probably come across a bit “dated” at this point, but that doesn’t minimize their importance. I intend to add some of her books to my personal collection, as I’m inspired by the bits of her writing that I’ve read so far.
That’s it for today. I hope you all have a great day, and I’ll talk to you tomorrow!
(Photos courtesy of IZQuotes, Washington Post, and Pinterest)
I’m really surprised that I hadn’t written about this incredible author before, especially since she is one of my main inspirations when it comes to my writing. I haven’t tried my hand at science fiction/fantasy, but reading Octavia Butler’s work always makes me want to give it a whirl.
Butler willed her success into existence. Some of her papers show the affirmations that she wrote, encouraging herself along the way. While working an assortment of temporary jobs, she would wake up early to write. Her writing effortlessly weaves fantasy with contemporary issues like politics and power struggles around age-old dividers such as race, gender and sexual relationships. Her characters – multidimensional and transcendent – stay with you long after you finish her books.
I’ve read several of her stories, starting with Mind of My Mind though, knowing what I know now, I would have started with Wild Seed, my favorite book by Butler. Wild Seed is an origin story, which describes the long history between Doro and Anyanwu. This story sets the scene for the subsequent novels. These two powerful beings struggle with one another through centuries, until they have a final showdown that end their tug-of-war.
I love how Wild Seed takes readers through Anyanwu’s growth into an empowered woman. I love reading about Doro’s calculated nature and how everything he does is part of his master plan. And most of all, I love how well-developed the characters are and how they navigate their dysfunctional symbiotic relationship. I found myself questioning my own journey to empowerment and self actualization while reading Wild Seed.
On today, which would have been Butler’s 71st birthday, I’m sharing a few of my favorite quotes. I hope you enjoy!
(Photos courtesy of BlackMattersUs, JenebaSpeaks, Pinterest and ForReadingAddicts.co.uk)