Thursday, September 23, 2010

Creative Writing Class Series #2

Walking down a gum-strewn sidewalk, cracked and weary, she heard a glass bottle shatter behind her. Several drunken men erupted with laughter. One of the men had thrown a bottle at her and her friend but his stupor skewed his aim. She considered how much more terrifying drunk white men were to her than drunken black men. When white men were under the influence, their actions were unconcerned. They knew little about any consequences that might come about if they were to hurt someone or damage property. Rather, they embraced their mental vacancy and encouraged others to join them in destruction. At least that’s how Anastasia saw it. And felt it, as she increased her speed and clutched her friend’s arm more firmly.

Her friend of course was also drunk. Stuck in her own merry nightmare of insanity and liquid courage. She was mumbling to herself. It was dark and it was Spring Fling and Anastasia knew that drunk black men in college were loud but they lived with the knowledge that any wrong move could take away whichever future that they could have hoped for. It was a social handicap and they were subconsciously limited, though they still got all of the reputation. White men, however, would take action. Theycould take action. They were following her now and she wished her friend would pick up her feet so she wouldn’t have to put so much effort into dragging her. It was late and Anastasia no longer felt like babysitting, no longer felt like being the “exotic” black girl in a school filled with whites. She wanted to sit in her room and read or do homework. She wanted not to be scared of the boys steadily following her.

Finally, one wish was answered as the boys lost interest and wavered around a corner to find another muse.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Creative Writing Class Series #1

I'm in a class so if I like my piece, I'll post it on here. The assignments can only be 200-300 words that's why they are so short. I don't have the actual prompt for this first one but when I find it, I'll update this post. Welllp, here it is:

I can’t say that I ever trusted her the way she would have liked. I was her daughter and she my mother biologically; that was about the extent of it. People said that we must have been close the way I used to drop everything and run if she called. I’m not sure if it was necessarily closeness, or more like what I knew was an obligation I had to my matriarch for bringing me safely into this world. She had not, after all, drank or smoked to the point of rotting my fetal brain before it ever had a chance to develop. She also had not declined to feed or cloth me at any times after she had birthed me. It was this kind of love that made me happy to stay in the house if she needed me while all my friends were out together, only for her to fall asleep minutes into a movie night. And her general concern for my well being that made me content to get her random, last minute, non-refundable plane tickets only to have her change her mind at an even later time knowing that the dollar over minimum wage that I was making per hour was not exactly high rolling and I still had bills to pay. It was my pleasure and the least that I could do now that I was in college.

“Caroline!” she’d say persistently anytime she wanted something and I looked as if I might not oblige immediately. She lit her temper and her face would contort. “You never…” and her list would begin of all the times I had slighted her, embarrassed her, and forgotten her. The list undoubtedly was short, but her tone made it crucial. So I’d forget my plans, loan her money, give her something or all around subject myself to experiences I would otherwise avoid. But at least I knew she’d sacrificed to raise me well and therefore I could sacrifice to keep her happy.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Songs of A Childhood: Words to My Mother

There's something peculiar about memory and thoughts... I've been having an intriguing snail mail correspondence with a great friend of mine from school. One of the topics that I thought about was memory, thought and how they work together. With thoughts, as soon as you think them up, you immediately begin to forget them. This is exactly what I wrote:

"I will attempt, as best as I can to type exactly as my mind thinks. There is only the slight issue that as I type, no matter how fast, I am already forgetting some of the reactions I had to the beginning of your letter. And as more time passes I will continue to forget. Not completely of course, but the details will lose focus and the memory will never be as sharp as they were in that instance."

We can talk about what kind of letter this is for us but that's beside the point lol. The idea is that there is nothing that I can think that I will remember word for word later on. Even if I try to type as I'm thinking, I'm steadily forgetting at rocket speed and the things that I end up writing are simply crafty works of a human's faulty memory. I originally wrote this post away from my computer so I didn't have the added benefit of fast typing. All that you see now is the best my memory can give me as affected by the type of person I am, how "good" my memory is, and the other memories and thoughts in my mind battling for space in the forefront. So here's a copy of what I wrote down on Sunday when I wrote this:

I give you that introduction because I'm at church now. Aside from the obvious folly of writing this instead of listening in church, I think the ending moral will end in an upstanding theme. I had to write this down because, speaking of memory, I've been burned before by the inevitably negative equation of an infinitely diminishing thought and an irreparably porous memory. I was determined today to get this down. Ironically, in this long intro-turned-prologue, I am still forgetting, so let me get right to it. [two endings to my intro? hmmm..]

Today at church a song from my childhood came up in praise and worship and triggered a vivid memory from my toddler years in California. Not only California, but Inglewood. A place I lived before I moved to Gardena, CA at about 5 years old. So you can imagine that I'm surprised at 19 years old that I'm remembering something from when I was 3 or 4. It's a nod to music's powerful ability to improve and catalyze well-preserved memories if they can be directly related to a certain song or artist. Alas, that's for another post.

So the song goes something like this:
He's bigger than all my problems, Bigger than all my fears,
My God is bigger than any mountain that I can or cannot see.
Bigger than all my questions, Bigger than anything!
My God is bigger than any mountain that I can or cannot see.

I tried to Youtube it, but all the songs were a little folksier than how Nigerians apparently sing it. Anyway, my mom used to sing this song to my siblings and I when we were younger. She'd bounce us on her knee and we laughed and giggled as her words pierced [and if you ever heard my mother sing, you know this is not just a cliche use of the word pierce, her singing is high and it pierced] every invisible fear in the small room. She was soothing and we were toddlers. So let me play again with memory: That's all I can remember. That is the simple vivid memory that came to me when my church moved to this song. I wasn't especially sad or happy at the memory at first. Just intrigued and nostalgic. But memory is never that easy. Now that I'm nineteen and not three, I'm getting a clear picture with details that are unquestionably cut out. One, because despite the clarity of toddlers, I did not and could not understand everything going on at that time. Now that the memory has come up again, I'm forced to rethink it. That song is not necessarily the most upbeat, happy-go-lucky song for children. It's soothing for me now and it was soothing for me then. But the reactions were for completely different reasons.

My mom's been through a lot and around 3 and 4 was just the beginning of a long time of struggle for her. Single mother, 3 babies, just immigrated from Nigeria and just separated from a bipolar husband. For all intents and purposes, she was alone and about to embark on a journey that she had no way of predicting its outcome. All the while she was leading three oblivious kids and hoping to God that they were always fed.

And here's where the song comes in. When I was a child, I didn't even listen to the words. I just liked that my mom sang it to me and that she seemed to be comforted by it and so I was comforted by her. But now, I realize how much is in a song. What type of memory my mom must have had attached to that song to make it a lullaby for kids in her time of struggle. How she must have had to hold on to those words and really believe that God is bigger than ever struggle. Those that she can see right in front of her and those that she can never know but are still there. Realizing that type of power in a song that once held such a basic meaning is strange for me. And I'm sure if any of you have ever had that experience, you'd find it intriguing as well.

What I do know for sure is that, realizing how my mom felt at that time begins to change a lot of old memories to try to make them make sense with my new knowledge. Life may have (thankfully) been easy for me, but there were a lot of sacrifices my mom made and a lot of times that she was not positive whether or not we would make it to the next day. I thank God that he is indeed bigger than all our troubles. Big enough to form my memories of youth in a positive light so as not to be hampered and brought down by the issues of adults. And big enough to show me that the song remains just as true now as it was back then.

Saturday, July 31, 2010


After 3 posts, I have apparently decided that I will not keep this blog as anonymous as I originally planned. Since there is not always true value in anonymity, I'll put my link of my Facebook/Twitter so that people have a chance to happen across it. It's still a personal blog but I guess I have grown the courage to welcome criticism on any post if someone feels compelled to write some.

With that said, I reread my other three posts and I supposed I should pay more attention to grammar....yea perhaps that will work.

Enjoy =].

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

My Man In Writing

I don't know what it is about going to new places but it always makes me think about the type of man I want in my life. Maybe its the idea that I could find him any random day and in any random place so I'm looking for hints as to what I should pay attention to. But here he is (or at least my relationship with him):

Listen baby,
Look me in the eye and tell me that you love me.
Not just because you mean it, but because you simply can't help it.
Let the words slip out of your mouth when you're not thinking,
And slide off your tongue like water.
Let them drip onto me,
Reminding me that you're here

The truth is, you don't have to tell me. I know it.
I can't take my eyes off you.
So one more time, look me in the eye.
Otherwise I'm just staring,
Staring at you, but not with you.

Hide me in your chocolate irises
I promise I won't blind you.
Wrap me in your dark arms,
Think of me as the energy you need
I swear I won't cut your strength away.
I just wanna love ya.

But you know it, don't you?
What everyone else doesn't
That every great man always knew his great woman was behind him
So he didn't sacrifice time looking back to check on her.
Because when the home stretch was close by
In any struggle, on any track,
Only the weak looked back and the rest passed swiftly.

So look me in the eye for the last time,
Take me in and don't forget my face.
Think of me when you're just that close
But don't you dare look again.
Because I'll always be here
And you know it.

Monday, July 19, 2010

A [brief] Contemplation of Fear

I haven't decided just what type of style of writing that I want to use on this blog. So for now, I will use whichever I want at the time until I settle into one I like. I think I will take this one a bit more creatively. I'm not sure though:

Sometimes I sit at the table and I wonder if the things that I do truly matter to what I become in life. I sit staring at the wall, staring at a closed window, staring at nothing and everything all at once and wonder if where I come from has anything to do with where I go. If the caution I take so tediously is truly necessary to ensure my "success". And after I think that, I consider what success is. Who succeeds and why? Which success is more compelling? The rags to riches; the American dream; the hard work brings good rewards type of success? Which is success in its truest form? Is the success of a sculptor who lives with her partner in a small studio painting her heart's desire everyday and few times sharing that heart's joy with others for small prices the same as the success of a big company CEO who never worries about a bill or a shopping spree or a single dime but has little time to consider any other passion but that of their company?

[start of new form apparently]
There's a Law & Order episode and the guy plays an author and describes some colleges students as those of "minuscule minds with overblown ambitions". I have to say that that quote is intriguing because right now I feel that that describes me perfectly. Not to be self-deprecating or anything, but I have the ambition, the want to be a great writer; a passionate writer, but I don't nearly take the actions necessary to fulfill that ambition. Luckily, I've taken a step with this blog. But I will say that this post is titled for a reason. I believe that I fear so many--too many--things for my own good. One of which being that no matter what I write, it will be minuscule in value though I would have attached an ocean of ambition to it. That I have faith in a piece that no one else does. I fear not being able to tell the difference between an unappreciated work and a piece that is truly lacking. I'm pretty sure that my previous paragraph is juvenile but at least I am aware. The more that I write, the more I will improve, the more comfortable I will get and the more others will have faith in me.

I guess I'm writing this because, like I said, this blog is available to everyone even if nobody is reading it. The advice is as much to myself as it could be to any other novice author who needs to decide whether its worth putting oneself out in the public eye for public criticism. So, whoever you are, take it or leave it. But I'm trying to figure out how to stop letting fear stop me from doing what I want.

Saturday, July 17, 2010


I suppose this is the beginning.

So I'll tell you a little about me. I wish I could do everything better than I can now and I wish I knew that I already do some of them extraordinarily. I hesitated to make this because I sometimes suffer from middle child syndrome and therefore refuse to do anything a sibling of mine has done. But, alas, I guess I've gotten over that little technicality and have moved on to become a writer. Full blown and anonymous. Though I'm sure you know me already, which would nix all that anyway.

I want to say that I've had a long-term, on-again-off-again, dispute with literature and have finally come to the realization that I am willing to try to make things work. Therefore, I am going to try and write on here as much as possible. If anything, it is simply to practice writing. I sure that I am the only one standing in my way of writing. I'm a procrastinator. And I swear up and down that if I just take a class, I will be fine. I'll be forced to write and my dreams will take shape when that time comes...not quite now, but sometime. And I'm convinced that I've been telling myself that since I was younger and I'll psychoanalyze myself later on to try to figure out why. But at the end of the day, I don't always do what I planned and its always a shame.

But anyhoo, I'm positive that I will at one time--several times--in my life be incredibly well-known (dare I say, famous?) for an original, creative piece that I wrote and submitted without fear of consequence or reactions. Just letting you know. You got it here first.