“I Am A Writer”

“What do you do?” he asked aggressively.

“I was a sales associate at Kohl’s.” I answered honestly, “but now, due to a chronic back condition, I’m unemployed.”

“Oh. I thought (fill-in-the-blank-acquaintance) said that you were a writer.” He chuckled nervously, clearly perplexed.

“I am a writer,” I insisted. “You asked what I do, not who I am. I did not chose to write, merely what to write; the words come of their own accord. I am as much a writer as I am Black and female; writing is a part of me.”

“Um….ok…” He drifted off, clearly unsettled by my seemingly insane response.

I knew that I must have sounded like I was on low-grade pot, but this is the truth. When I am published by a major house, when I earn enough with my writing to live off of, I will tell people that I am a novelist; that will be my job title. Until then, I am whatever freelance or part-time work I am doing. And I am a writer. I am always a writer.

Adagio: Secret Garden

This little piece of perfect bliss is reason #572 why I’ve always wanted to learn to play the violin. What I love about this piece the most (and there are so many things to like) is how powerfully it reinforces the fact that words are not always necessary to make a point, to make you feel, to capture your heart. Your soul will move in time with the strings and you will experience the joyous melancholy of this wordless ballad whether you want to or not.

The Beauty of Words: Part I

Writing is so very cathartic. Sometimes you want to throw yourself into someone’s arms, to taste life, to travel to places unknown, and the words that you place on paper are the closest that you’ll ever get to experiencing all that you want to, all that you need to. And sometimes, it’s enough. It’s enough to write about that which you’ll never feel, never know, because you understand that when someone else reads them, your words will fill them with such light, such joy. And that is true beauty: to be able to move someone that you’ll never meet and with your words, bond with them for life. In the end, the mission has been accomplished. Your words were just the middle-man.

Swing Sets

I love swing sets. They may be simple but to me, they are one of the most freeing things on Earth. When I was a child, I would get on a swing, use my formidable core strength and just kick/push to a target in my mind’s eye. I’d feel the wind on my face, ruffling my hair and feel as if I were flying. As an adult, this hasn’t diminished. Often, I will drive by playgrounds that are void of swing sets and think what an abomination they are, a bastardization of what a playground should be. The see-saw, the jungle gym, even the slide, don’t make you feel free. And isn’t free what everyone should be?

Phone a Friend?

What really knocks me out is a book that, when you’re all done reading it, you wish the author that wrote it was a terrific friend of yours and you could call him up on the phone whenever you felt like it. That doesn’t happen much, though. -J.D. Salinger

I have wished this of many authors in my life but never as poignantly as I feel it now for Michael Grant. He is the writer of the YA fiction series Gone, a collection of books which will reach their conclusion this April but one that is so exquisitely crafted that even as I voraciously read every word of every book thus far, I agonized as soon as it was over, missing the excitement already. The books are like great sex: you almost don’t want to orgasm, if only to have an excuse to never, ever stop. As a writer for teens and children myself, the breath-taking way in which this man weaves a story, in a manner that never underestimates or diminishes the intelligence or emotions of young adults, makes me proud and more than a bit envious. I want to make love to this man’s mind and I don’t even know him! Sadly, he is married, and to none other than the writer of one of my favourite book series as a child (Animorphs), Katherine Applegate.

Mas y Mas: Robi Draco Rosa ft. Ricky Martin

3 important facts about Robi Draco Rosa:

1. He and Ricky Martin were in Menudo together.

2. He wrote “She Bangs” and “Livin’ La Vida Loca” for Ricky, both of which became #1 singles while Robi himself never achieved such success in the States.

3. His crooning is just as sexy in English and you will full appreciate my shock at his seemingly schizophrenic songwriting ability when you check out his English version of this song, “Crash Push”. In any language, it is a lyrically and melodically genius piece of music.

Overcome: Better than Ezra

I love everything about this song. The melancholy yet yearningly sincere vocal dips and dives, the lyrics that evoke such hope, heartache, passion and longing, the poetry that is laced with the sound of a guitar that is honey dripping off of a spoon. I love the beauty of this elegantly crafted gem. This song is what auditory orgasms are made of.