creative nonfictionhospitalwriting


This time last weekend, I was laying in a hospital room with an IV stuck in my wrist. The diagnosis was diverticulitis, the big bad wolf version of tummy aches. My sigmoid colon was so infected that it had swollen shut, so nothing was passing through. I first felt ill shortly after working on a behind-the-scenes shoot Thursday night. I told my DP and audio guy that I couldn’t wait to get home after the shoot. My stomach was tight after snacking all day on popcorn and cashews. Healthy alternatives to chips and candy when you must snack, I believed. The show producers hired a food truck to serve free burgers and fries to the cast and crew. The guys were smashing down on the delicious burgers and telling me how good they were. I’ll just get one to go, I thought. I ordered a turkey burger and fries. Fresh off the grill later, my order came up. I opened the to go container to eye my prize. The smell of burger washed over my face like it was the smell of gastro-heaven! I sat down with my crew, and before I committed myself, I asked them,”Is it really that good?”

“It’s one of the best burgers that I’ve ever eaten, which is saying a lot for a veggie burger,” said the vegetarian cameraman.

“This beef one is awesome,” tweaked the wiry soundie.

Those validations became my reason to at least have one bite of the turkey wonder chillin’ under the lid of my to-go basket.

5 hours later…

(To be continued.)


Life as an Artist

Most of my posts have been fairly long, but this one will be short.

I will let this picture speak for me this evening because it speaks a thousand words.

Thanks to everyone who has supported my blog. Your clicks and shares mean a lot to me. And thank you to those who have reached out and told me that my words have inspired them. Tell a friend… you ignite my passion and warm my soul!

hip hopliterary journalmusic journalismonline educationvirtual classroom

Transmission Complete

It’s a big day for me. My online class is up for the offering. It starts October 25th. I’m in the middle of preparing the syllabus and I think that it will be an interesting course for anyone who writes creative nonfiction. It will be nice to teach again; it’s been over ten years since I’ve been in a classroom. The major difference is that this is a virtual classroom. The coolest thing about online education is that you show up to class when it’s convenient for you. As long as you meet your deadlines and participate in the discussions, you’re okay. I did it for two years of grad school, so I’m really looking forward to the experience being the online instructor this time.

Also today, the official announcement goes out that I am an assistant editor at the online literary journal Drunk Monkeys. At last! I’ve broken the digital barrier and now I’m writing for an online magazine. It seems like this blog came just in the nick of time, to chronicle the bridging of the gap between where I left off twelve years ago in my career, and now. I made a little money in between working in the film industry, but somehow the appeal of being a near broke starving artist, working for pennies and cred, is alluring. The feeling is always “this is going to lead to something great!” In the meantime, I’m wondering if they’re gonna turn off the lights because my payment arrangement is a few days late. There’s a sick thrill in relishing in these types of opportunities. I’ve lived with the same kind of hunger since my first article was published in 1991.

I didn’t know where my literary efforts would lead me, but I did it again and again, and man did I have some memories behind a lot of those articles and encounters: interviewing Notorious B.I.G. the night before his first album Ready To Die dropped, snapping photos of Tupac performing at the record release party for 2Pacalypse Now, his first album, interviewing the entire Wu-Tang Clan, to name a few. I was broke, but happy. My grandfather told me back then, as long as you have a roof over your head, clothes on your back and food to eat, you’re doing alright. I’m still doing alright, and my sons seem to be pretty happy when they’re at my apartment playing on the Xbox and eating homemade ice cream.

It’s a hustle to keep this dream alive and make it grow in the process. The digital age is still a new landscape to me. I’ve peeped it out through virtual binoculars and I can’t even see the horizon, which means that there is plenty of ground to build these dreams into realities, just like the artists I knew in the analog age, some who didn’t make it this far. Their inspiration and belief in the hustle gives me reason to keep reinventing the hunger that I felt back then and use it to feed the muse.