bloggingcreative nonfictionfilmhip hopmemoir

Seasonal Shifting

I am back from the trenches. A lot of my personal woes have been too close to the heart to share with this crowd, or even Facebook for that matter. Work and parenting are certainly testing my limitations and motivations. I ask myself often, Why am I writing? Blogging ain’t paying the bills! I think about other work to make money to survive and buy stuff for the kids. Oh, the kids are getting bigger and need more stuff. I need to make more money!

I collaborate with a great group of people who are passionate about film and loyal friends as well. We continue to develop scripts and ideas that we hope will one day soon sell in the marketplace. The last five years we have all experienced the challenges of balancing parenthood, art and work. Since the hands on practice of filmmaking is on hold, we have all relapsed into our creative cocoons. They write screenplays while I focus on personal narratives, poetry, and developing a new old outlook on an old love: hip hop. The past few months I’ve had the opportunity to practice my photography skills with my DSLR instead of my phone camera.

The other day my sister comes over. She picks up a book I put together on Shutterfly, sitting on my coffee table. She can’t believe the beauty of the photo selection. “You took these?” “Yup.” “You’ve still got those pictures from the riots?” “Yeah.” I’ve been wanting to make a book from those photos for a long time. I admit that I have anxiety about starting projects that don’t require the hands on support of fellow visionaries. This is something that would carry my name on it. Sole credit. “What will it take to make the book?”

Dreams. promises. I try everything and I don’t give up. I write because I set things in motion from the words that stir from my fingertips. A person can think of what they want to do, but until those thoughts materialize as words and those words become actions, ideas will be the house of dreams and unkept promises.

Winter is coming quick. I set that as the deadline for a rewrite of my memoir. I’m going to smash a few pages out while I’m down from work these next few days. A friend sent me back notes on some poems I’m getting ready for publication. I want to work on those. Tomorrow isn’t promised. My buddy is going to show me how to shoot stars in the desert at the end of the month. It feels good to be back on this page.

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Friends & Situations

Hey. I’ve been absent for a while. April was a month of fluctuations and adjustments. I had to get used to someone sleeping on my couch for one. I had a couple of house guests last month at different times. The first was my pregnant friend from Joshua Tree who stayed with me while the AWP Conference was in town at the start of the month. For a woman with a torn abdomen and a broken pinky toe – AND 8 months preggers – she could move around!
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We had an adventure riding the Metro Expo Line from downtown, where we discovered that the benches had been removed from the underground station at Pershing Square. My guess was that it was so the homeless would have no comfortable place to sleep out of the elements. We had been on our feet almost the entire day since 10 AM. It was 10 PM when we made the discovery that we would be standing at least another half hour, as we waited for our train to arrive at its Sunday night scheduled time. I was glad that we went to a yoga workshop in the afternoon, or else our attitudes and our spirits would not have been appreciative of all the information about publishing, writing and networking we gleaned from our excursion.
When we got back to my apartment, we were starving. It was a chance for me to practice my vegan cooking skills. I made cornbread for the first time with no egg. She even had the nerve to put me on blast on Facebook, for making something so delicious!
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House guest number two was an ex-flame who was in transition moving from one living situation to another. It was then that I learned about the new recent ex-boyfriend that she got with after me. She and I remained friends after our “situation,” but she never mentioned the new guy in any of our conversations over the phone or in person. I do remember that we were kind of out of touch between the holiday season last winter and her birthday in February. I knew that she was planning a trip to Florida for that occasion with her girls. While she was staying with me, she showed me pics of her in the club and just hanging out, and then she showed me pics of her in the Bahamas having a great time.
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“Oh yeah, that was a special surprise that I didn’t expect,” she told me. I could only guess that it was a gift from the new guy. And now there she was, couch surfing in my living room, caught between situations.
After a week I helped her move into her new place: a room in a house not far from me. When she left she said that now that she’s closer, that we could spend more time together, as friends of course. Of course. I wouldn’t stand for being involved in another “situationship.”

All said and done, I’m glad May has arrived. In just about an hour, I’m poised to be a guest on another radio show, this time talking about the writing craft. I hope May brings the flowers that April showers promise, but the weathermen promised El Niño this year too, and I was dreadfully disappointed. I appreciated the few drenchings we got in this portion of Southern Cali. I just hope that it was enough to irrigate my mind and allow some creativity to sprout from this fertile brain.

Catch me on KPFT.ORG/LISTEN today at 11am PDT.

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It’s A Blog’s Life

Whoa… where have I been? Living life and not stopping to take notes, that’s where. My time has been preoccupied with managing this writer’s life. I believe that the mind can take you wherever you want to be, and right now my mind is tripping.

I didn’t think that I’d get back to a place in my career again where I could turn down jobs because I was already flooded with work. This past week, I was able to negotiate a deal with one company that would guarantee me double the rate I made before getting my degree. So rather than turn down a job, I just gave myself a raise. The power of words is strong indeed.

The work that I’m flooded with is blogging for another site. It pays a lot more than blogging for this site I tell you, but one day that will change. I’m learning a lot about the blogosphere though, like the purpose of blogging, and sharing with other bloggers and asking questions and making comments. I’m also learning that capital letters and triple exclamation points are great attention grabbers. Anything with a hashtag is sure to get some shares.

The plan is working though. I’m getting my name out there again in the publishing world. I saw one of my first professional blogs up on the web today. One of the blog managers said that it was getting a lot of shares in a short span of time, and that’s good news for the team. It’s great news for me because LOUPY D is getting some action!!!

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AWP 2016, Los Angeles or Bust: A Packing List

I’m glad this conference is happening in my town!

BREVITY's Nonfiction Blog

awpSome helpful packing advice from Brevity assistant editor Alexis Paige:

1. Combat Medic Kit.

If, like me, you suffer from both actual and imagined illnesses, you will want to be prepared in case of a blowout at the book fair, a paroxysm in panel, or (god forbid, crossing myself just in case) an embolism in flight. Make sure you pack the essentials: vitamin-C, pain reliever, prescriptions, antacids, Calamine Lotion, antiseptic, anti-diarrheals, anti-anxieties, anti-inflammatories, anti-psychotics, tourniquet, epi-pen, staple gun, and emergency flares (better safe than sorry). In case of emergency, you can find me, my kit, and my hypochondriac’s diagnostic wheel at the Brevity table in the book fair.

2. Toiletries.

Red lipstick, moustache wax, pomade, cigarettes, mouthwash, flask, sunscreen, hair brush (?).

3. Snacks.

Leftover jellybeans and Peeps (which double as action figures for book fair dioramas), cigarettes (or nicotine gum), gum (nicotine gum), energy drinks, coffee (instant…

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