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Seriously Detrimental…and Other Flippant Shit

So, here’s the thing…this year I’m making NO resolutions. Why?  ‘Cause every time I-do, I break ’em. (Read that in southern and you’ll laugh)

i.e. I tried to psych myself out and  make an end of the year resolution that would just carry over to this year, it was fairly easy, one that said I would blog every day. Totally attempted to for three days. Went strong. Rocked. Day four? It all went to pot. Not the drugs, stupid. That’s a saying from the ultra southern (read country) women in my family.

So yeah, no resolutions. Why? Because I’m tired of lying to myself and I’m tired of silly internal failures.

I take those things to heart.

This year, I win life. No resolutions. No failures.

Only took me thirty-two years but I got it. Got it good, too. And with no hands. Damn right, I did. Thanks. (Insert sassy head nod and long eye-blink)

Digression

I get the whole new-skin of it. New year. New chances. Different outcomes. Etcetera, Etcetera.

Sidebar: Listen, was that a little pretentious of me to spell it out? Yes. Who cares.

Anyhoooo, like I said I get it. I get that we all revel in the chance to start over, but here’s the thing, do we really ever start over? Do we really ever completely begin again? You know, brand spanking new? I do NOT think so. Unless one of you bastards have crawled back into the uterus and demanded a do over, let’s move along. So yeah, no, no starting over. We can try again, yes. We’re always welcomed to try again, give it another shot, whatever “it” may be. And I will, I will continue to try until there’s no tries left.

i.e. If like I’m on world 8-4 or 8 and that’s the last world in the game (read life) and Jesus is all like, “Well, you didn’t slay the dragon, so you’re done now.” (Read that in a sanctimonious Jesus voice and you’ll laugh and get it) then I guess all my tries are over. I imagine I’ll be okay with that. But then, satisfied is something that I’m no longer willing to be or accept so I also imagine that there will be some sort of Jesus-Me debate…not saying that I’m going to win, but like for real, I think I could give it a good go. Is this sacrilegious, smite-worthy, and/or blasphemous? Yes. You sure? Yikes. *commences to rectify*

Side bar: Jesus, listen, I’m a writer, I’m colorful. No harm, no foul. K? Thanks…oh yeah and Amen. *looks around for determined lightening rods”

Digression.

No resolutions was what we were talking about, right? Yes. Good.

So yeah, no resolutions, only a very resolute promise to myself to continue to try. After all, that’s all we can ever do…right? (I think you get it.)

Happy New Year!

 thCA7PH73W

 

Vive Sine Paenitentia

Res Ipsa Loquitur.
~Uncaught Recidivist

Note: Refer to the unedited part of this blog.

Note again: Soon I’ll stop giving a damn and let you correct me all willy nilly, you pretentious, good spelling, grammar having, no-editor-needing, no-proofreader-needing, snobs.

Note again, again: And I’ll still love you just the same.  

 

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Soundtrack

Soo…is it weird that my manuscripts have soundtracks? No. I didn’t think so, because I know for certain that I’m not the only writer (published or nearly-published) that has these. (Insert sassy neck and eye roll) Thank you.

Today there’s no sexy pieces to relay because I’m not feeling very, you know, passionate, and after last night’s stink of a disaster into the foray of trying to express exactly what the hell I wanted to say, on the blank screen, that sat in front of me, teasing and taunting; I found myself wondering if the feelings that I had after, you know, not being able to write, were normal? I posed the query to twitter and a good writer-friend and newly published author of Goddess of Legend, Ms. Erin Ashley Tanner, answered with something that made me laugh and feel tons better about the mood and malady that had encroached upon my being.

Felt tons better.

Anyway.

Her response (see them here @erintheauthor or @licitrecidivist) lead to the aforementioned questions, book/writing soundtracks or playlists, do you have them?

Every manuscript that I have ever written (accepted and rejected) has a soundtrack…not because I plan on encompassing them into my marketing plan or the like (but hey, if there’s a sell there, then I’ll encompass my ass off), but because they absolutely help.

There are days when I’m in an extremely delightful mood and my story causes for sorrow, and no matter how hard I’ve genuinely tried to get to that sorrowful state, because yes, I have to be there, I have to become the hero or the heroine and experience the pain that I’m trying to relay, sometimes there’s even tears, I can’t get there by just wanting to. (long sentence, whatever, I’ll refer you to the unedited part of this blog’s tag line, thanks (more sassy next rolling and such))  

Don’t judge.

The reason? I feel like if I’m crying then at that point in the tale, my (potential) readers should be too.

Salient, indeed.

There are also days that I’m feeling a little down, and no matter how hard I try, I can’t buck up,  and I really need to because at that point in my tale, my hero or heroine is about to experience overwhelming joy. And, I have to be there, I have to experience that joy that I’m trying to relay, sometimes there are even tears—happy tears in this case—and I can’t get there by just wanting to.

Don’t judge.

The reason? If I’m overwhelmed with joy by just writing these words, and if I can feel what the hero or heroine is feeling at this point, then my (potential) readers should be able to too.

Salient, indeed.  

There are times as well, when I’m feeling anything but sexy. Yes, you guessed it, I’m at that in the story where there’s some sexy time coming up, and damn right, I’ve got to be there too. I’ve got to feel what my characters are feeling and I can’t get there by just you know…wanting to.

Don’t judge.

The reason? If I’m pressing my thighs together, panting slightly, flushed, and my nipples are a tad puckered…then I sure hope like hell my (potential) readers are feeling some of the same things.

Salient, indeed.

All of that to say, I have help with getting there and it comes in the form of music for most of this, the last one (feeling sexy and such) well, there’s a little outside help there, but that’s a blog for another time.

The point? 

Music, music helps with a lot.

As mentioned in previous blogs, when I went off to college, I majored in Music Education and was there on a music scholarship, all of this before realizing that yes, I love music, but it wasn’t what I wanted to do, not professionally anyway. Anyhoo, during the two years of undergraduate course work in Music Education, which basically if you’ve taken these two years, you’re pretty grounded and rounded in the field, not to say that you don’t need the last two and half to make your professional studies complete, it’s just that, with these basics, you’re good to go.

Digression.

During that time, I was afforded the opportunity to learn about different styles, genres, etc, and how they affected and effected the soul. All that I learned is true. It does and it can change you, and I’m thankful for that experience because knowing that, knowing that all I had to do was pop in a CD, plug up the iPad/iPod or what have you and tune to a piece that’ll change my psyche has helped tremendously in my writing.

Why?

Because when I’m delightful and I need to cry, (especially if it’s a scene of reminiscing about a bastard that’s broken my heroine’s heart) I can pop in Melanie Fiona’s And It Kills Me or Monica’s Ring The Bell and get those tears flowing, not because the songs actually makes me cry, but those song take me back to a place where I’ve been, and that place makes me cry.

Why?

Because when I’m feeling a little down and need to buck up, I can queue Beyonce’s Get Me Bodied, or Check Up On it, Brandy’s Sitting on Top of The World, Biggie’s Hypnotize (don’t ask why these songs make me happy, but they do, I guess it’s because they’re all fun) or Robin Thicke’s Blurred Lines, and then suddenly, I’m up dancing and feeling loads better than before.

Why?

Because when I’m feeling not so sexy, I can pop in, Bed, by J-Holiday, Tamia’s, Can’t Get Enough, Trey Songz’, Neighbors Know My Name, Wale Feat. Juicy J and Nicki Minaj, Clappers (Don’t ask), and the next thing you know, I’m seat-dancing and having sexy thoughts. Lots of sexy thoughts.

All of that explaining and such, because I wanted to know what your soundtrack is, if you have one (because I think it’s dope if you do, definitely leave it below in the comments or tweet me), and if you could tell from mine (see below) what my story is about….just curiosity and also fulfilling my pre-new year’s resolution of blogging everyday. Also, I think that with each new project, I’m going to post what I’m listening to.

*shrugs*

Now Playing:

1. Alicia Keys – Girl on Fire

2. Beyonce – Best Thing I Never Had

3. India Arie – Brown Skin

4. Neyo – Can We Chill

5. Jay-Z – Encore

6. Beyonce – Get Me Bodied

7. Gyptian – Hold Yuh

8. Ryan Leslie – How It Was Supposed To Be

9. J. Holiday – Bed

10. Rihanna Ft. Drake – What’s My Name

11. Nat King Cole – When I Fall in Love

12. Rihanna Ft. Mikky Ekko – Stay

13. Toni Braxton – He Wasn’t Man Enough For Me

14. Nelly Ft. Avery Storm – In My Life

15. Justin Timberlake – Mirrors

16. Tamar Braxton – Love and War

17. Kelly Rowland – Motivation

18. Ryan Leslie – My Addiction

19. Ludarcris Ft. Diamond, Trina, and Eve) – My Chick Bad (Remix)

20. Wale Ft. Chris Brown and Fabolous – Pretty Girls (Remix)

21. Brandy Ft. Chris Brown – Put It Down

22. Southern University Human Juke Box –  V.S.O.P. by K. Michelle, arrangement

23. Beyonce – That’s How You Like It

24. Morgan State University Magnificent Marching Machine – Do it

25. Elizabeth City State University Marching Sound of Class – Couple of Forevers by Chrisette Michele, arrangement

26. Elizabeth City State University Marching Sound of Class – War (Vikings’ Version)

27. Elizabeth City State University Marching Sound of Class – Love and War by Tamar Braxton, arrangement

28. Tinie Tempah Ft. Emeli Sande – Let Go

29. Tinie Tempah Ft. Kelly Rowland – Invincible

30. Wale Ft. Tiara Thomas – Bad

I totally wanted to link the YouTube versions of these songs, but I promise you that I don’t feel like it, so just look them up yourself, if you have a chance. Anyhoo, so tell me whatcha think?

Vive Sine Paenitentia

   Res Ipsa Loquitur.
~Uncaught Recidivist

Fear…and other surly irascible shit…

 I have learned over the years that when one’s mind is made up, this diminishes fear; knowing what must be done does away with fear. ~Rosa Parks

See, here’s the thing…fear is a bitch in heels.

It’s the one intangible force that can stop any and everything it chooses, better whatever thing chooses it. For a while, I chose fear because it was easier to own that, than to own responsibility, obligation, moral validity, values, humanity, and any other adjectives that fits the synonymic phrase. I fancied myself for many years, a pretty brave girl—one would have to be to still dream when her dreams should’ve been deferred—but it turns out that I wasn’t as brave as I thought I was.

The lack of bravery came in the form of caution.

I wanted to be cautious not to overstep boundaries, not to do something that would rub the grain, because being raised in a household that celebrated realism and not romanticism that’s what I was told…well, at best, led to believe. There was a path that one followed; grow up, graduate high school, off to college—graduate, get a job in the majored field, find a respectable husband, get married, have kids, live stably.

That was the formula.

I didn’t follow it per se, but I put forth good effort.

And that was the rub.

At every turn I failed; sometimes miserably, sometimes successfully.

It wasn’t until recently that realized that I kept on with my recidivist-like antics because I wanted to, I sincerely wanted to swim with the current, but there was a part of me that just couldn’t.

It didn’t feel right.

It wasn’t who I was.

But, I didn’t act on the feeling, I acted on fear. Fear was what kept me trying to do what “they” said and trying to do what was “right” and “good” but it was to no avail.

The current called, I answered, and have been struggling to stay afloat every since…and I’m completely freaking happy.

As Ms. Parks, stated, “Once one’s mind is made up, this diminishes fear, knowing what must be done does away with fear.” So true, Ms. Parks. So true.

There was a reason that reading made me happy, there was a reason that my English and Lit classes were my favorites and it had nothing to do with wanting to teach it.

It’s the reason that when I hear a new word, I get tingles.

It’s the reason that I listen to people’s conversations and hope to turn them into a story.

It’s the reason that people intrigue me, not in the wanting to be friends sort of way, in the you’d make a good character sort of way.

The reasons why I idolize, Tony Morrison, Jamaica Kincaid, Rochelle Alers, Brenda Jackson, Darrien Lee, Sylvia Plath, Ralph Ellison, Ernest Hemmingway, Zora Neale Hurston, Sandra Cisneros, to name just a few—there’s so many more—but it’s a reason for this, and the reason is, the written word. It’s sexy, it’s provocative, it’s erotic, it’s nurturing, it’s a feeling, it’s a untouchable emotion that only others like me could identify with, it’s the reasons, that I just couldn’t follow the rules.

And for the first time in…ever, I’m okay with that and I’m not afraid.

I’ve spent too much time wondering how the mentioned iconic authors spent their time before writing, while writing, after righting, and never once, NEVER ONCE, had I imagined that they spent it in fear. Perhaps there was a tinge of something that every author I’m sure gets when they send a new work out into creation, or perhaps there was a tinge of something before they were published wordsmiths, but I can’t imagine for a second it was fear. And if it was, then that’s the type of scared I’d like to be. That scared led to great stories, like The Bluest Eye, Girl, Sweet Dreams, Whispered Promises, Been There, Done That, The Bell Jar, The Invisible Man, The Short Happy Life of Francis Macomber, Dust Tracks on a Road, and The Family of Little Feet. These author’s and stories have been published, sold, viewed, and reviewed by millions and yet that’s not the reason that I idolize them, or the reason that I have to be who I am,  it’s because these stories have stayed with me and I haven’t been able to leave them. They mélange of authors have published many more, but these stories made me want to be in the world they created.

In The Bluest Eye, I identified. I never wanted a baby doll for the sake of having a baby doll, I wanted one because apparently that’s what I was suppose to want. I envied the protagonist for having the courage to feel what she wanted and not what she thought she was supposed to.

In Sweet Dreams, I wanted to leave my thoughts/dreams in a journal, in a cab, and have someone pick them up and want me because of them…oh yeah and I completely immersed myself into learning the Garifuna language— like the heroine, oh and planning a trip to Belize. In Whispered Promises, I wanted my knight in shining armor to be gruff and tough but tender like the Hero. Too, I love the name Dexter and I can’t shake it.

In Been There, Done That, I wanted to believe that life gave you do overs even when in the first go ‘round you got it right. Because of Mrs. Lee, I do believe that.

The Bell Jar showed me the emotional inside of a young woman coming of age, when at the time of reading this tale, I was coming of age as well. My parables don’t compare to hers, but it was refreshing to have the ability to understand. Though Ms. Plath is no longer with us, I certainly appreciated the work.

The Invisible Man, made me laugh…wait before you judge me, I meant the first chapter of the book, known as the Battle Royal made me laugh. The reason being was because I felt like an idiot for having such an audacity to be afraid when there were people of yesteryear that looked like me that faced adversity far worse than “To write or not to write,” and there I was at the time deciding what type of career I wanted.

I chose wrong then, but thanks to the like of Girl, by Jamaica Kincaid, I’ve made the turnaround. In that short story/poem, it was there that I learned to be the woman that I was going to become, anyway.

In The Short Secret Life of Francis Macomber, I laughed as well, the stupidity of Mrs. Macomber and Francis was overwhelming, but the lesson was ridiculously great. I won’t bore you with what I learned, because Hemmingway is definitely a topic for debate. There are several things that you could take away from the tale and perhaps on another post, we’ll delve into it, but for now, you can think of what you’d like to say when I present the court with MY truths.

In Ms. Hurston’s, Dust Track on a Road, I was for the first time aware that I should be proud to be colored. Black. But not downtrodden because of it.  Not that I was ashamed or down before, but until that tale, I hadn’t fully embraced it, now, I’m too busy sharpening my oyster’s knife and I’m so very thankful for the idea brought to me care of this wonderful work.

And in The Family of Little Feet, I understood all too well what those high heels meant to the little women in the story and I identify all too well of just what those high heels propels us—women—to do in life. <That’ll be up for debate a little later.

So you see, these stories did something to me personally, touched something inside of me and hasn’t let go and that’s why I can’t, I can no longer allow fear to keep her herculean-like strong hold on me. I need with a vengeance that rivals the neediest to be in that number, not because of the success, not because of the fame, not because of the money, but because I have stories to tell, and I’m proud to say that I’m no longer afraid to open my mouth.

I now own the responsibility and obligation that I have to inform my little one and ones to come that it’s okay to do what you REALLY want to do.

I now have moral validity and values that life has given me, and with that, I’m able to relay to you real characters that are well aware of the human process…I hope.

Until then…

Vive Sine Paenitentia

Res Ipsa Loquitur

~Uncaught Recidivist

As for the other shit:

  1. What the hell is going on in the world…Lena Horne is dead? Seriously, these old cats are dying left and right…RIP Mrs. Horne, I absolutely adored your work and my favorite until this very day is “Stormy Weather” listened to it with my grandmother (RIP baby doll)

My favorite quote by Mrs. Horne: “It’s not the load that breaks you down, it’s the way you carry it.”

    2.    What the hell else is going on the world…Bus Driver’s letting kids duke it out in the yard of her house.  

            This whole earth is going to pot!

 

 

Righting Wrongs You Can’t Undo…and other hyperboles

  this is how you set a table for dinner; this is how you set a table for dinner with an important guest; this is how you set a table for lunch; this is how you set a table for breakfast; this is how to behave in the presence of men who don’t know you very well, and this way they won’t recognize immediately the slut I have warned you against becoming; be sure to wash every day, even if it is with your own spit; don’t squat down to play marbles—you are not a boy, you know— don’t pick people’s flowers, you might catch something; don’t throw stones at blackbirds, because it might not be a blackbird at all…

Girl, Jamaica Kincaid

Like the little girl in this poem/story, I was warned. I was warned of a lot of things. I was told not to do a lot of things, and I listened to most of them. Most of them I didn’t. I have suffered the consequences of my actions, and I blame not a soul because of it. However, I’m learning in this process of…growth (I guess we’ll call it that) is that though you’re in a new space, in a new vibe, in a new feel, the person(s) that you wronged, or didn’t help, or lied to, or didn’t believe, or didn’t want, or didn’t love, may not be there and you simply can’t right that wrong. Even if it was a wrong you’ve done to yourself. Most of the time people that want to gloss over facts, rearrange history, make themselves feel, better tend to not want to hash up the past. Well, that’s exactly what I want to do, I’d like to go back and tell the old me that I’m sorry, I’d like to tell some of you that I’ve hurt, inadvertently and advertently, that I’m sorry and I’d like to fix a few hearts that I somehow managed to break, but I can’t. However, if my world was perfect, if my life was perfect, if things were just, I’d start off by saying the following:

 

Dear_______,

I apologize for leading you to believe something that wasn’t true. I apologize for leaving you when you needed me the most, I apologize for not understanding you, I apologize that I really don’t mean any of  this.

 

You heard me.

I don’t believe any of it.

To go back and right a wrong means that you get to rearrange history, and I know we’ve all seen the movies or cartoons or stories what-have-you about changing one minor fact and it possible rearranging your whole life.

I believe that to be true!

I believe that every heart I broke, every person that I hurt, and every person that has hurt me and broken my heart has helped shaped me into the character that I’ll become. And like the girl that Ms. Kincaid so avidly illustrated, I’m inclined to believe that there was a good part of the “Warner” that knew she (the girl) would do the things warned against and while I don’t have literary proof, I’m willing to bet it made her a pretty special little lady…I’d bet the farm, and so, I choose, with all of my might to dismiss all warnings now, and just be.  The ones that I thought I listened to, I now renounce them and the ones that I know I didn’t listen to, I’m thankful. And I am forever grateful and you should be too! I’m so damned excited to get to this next chapter in my life that I don’t know what to do, because as a hopeful fiction and romance “penista” (Yeah, damn it, that’s a word…MY word. DON’T steal it) I’m conditioned to believe in happily ever-after endings and once upon a time beginnings. The first chapter of my tale started out perfect. There was drama, lust, lies, deception, peace, good sex, bad sex, all the stuff that Mrs. Ellis, my 9th grade English Teacher, said made for good foreshadowing. And I gotta say, I can’t wait to see what’s next. Stay tuned…

 

Vive sine paenitentia!

 Res Ipsa Loquitur

~Uncaught Recidivist