Tag Archives: Writing101

Writing 101 – Day Twenty

Today’s Prompt: Tell us the story of your most-prized possession.

It’s the final day of the challenge already?! Let’s make sure we end it with a bang — or, in our case, with some furious collective tapping on our keyboards. For this final assignment, lead us through the history of an object that bears a special meaning to you.

A family heirloom, a flea market find, a childhood memento — all are fair game. What matters is that, through your writing, you breathe life into that object, moving your readers enough to understand its value.

My writing journals are probably THE most important things that I have. If there was a fire they would be the first things I’d grab along with my identification. I treasure them because they contain pieces of me. Not many people hand write anything anymore. I have very rarely allowed anyone to read them although I will share typed copies of the poems I have written. I have personal notes I have written in the margins that I just don’t want to share. Some things I just keep close to the vest. I love the way the pages smell when I open them. At times, I run my fingertips along the page to feel the way the pen marks have indented the pages. I can tell what my mood was when I wrote the piece according to how deep the grooves are in the paper. I can recall what I feeling when I look at the words on the page. I feel like my energy is inside these journals. When I am lacking inspiration, I will often pick one at random and thumb through just to see where the pages land and read. Looking back helps me remember how far I have come in my writing. My journals have souls.

Writing 101 – Day Nineteen

Today is a free writing day. Write at least four-hundred words, and once you start typing, don’t stop. No self-editing, no trash-talking, and no second guessing: just go. Bonus points if you tackle an idea you’ve been playing with but think is too silly to post about.

I have basically been listening to Kendrick Lamar for two days straight. A total of 90 songs. I started because hearing about Baltimore City angered and enraged me. I stayed on social media yesterday because I wanted to stay in the know. I wanted to share my thoughts. I wanted to make sure people understood what privilege really meant. In the face of the Baltimore City uprising which ironically days before the anniversary of the L.A. Uprising of 1992, I just wondered how many people would really understand what was going on. I mean what’s really going on. Just pull out Marvin Gaye’s “What’s Going On” album and play it in the background. It is no coincidence that the same thing Marvin sings about is happening right now. I feel ever single word sung on this album. He is speaking every single emotions felt. That album is still relevant. Seeing still photos from those who live in Baltimore showing what things really looked like in their neighbors gave me pause. I thought back on April 29, 1992. I recall sitting in my studio apartment off Normandie Avenue and Manchester Boulevard. The Rodney King verdict was handed down. Not guilty. The result was chaos in my city. Chaos came to my neighbor. I remember the sky was so thick with black, billowing smoke in all four directions. The sounds of sirens screeching all around. There was buildings on fire. People were in the streets some were chanting and others were running to and fro. I felt like this was the end. At the time, I was a single mother with a three year old daughter. I didn’t really know what I should be doing. I didn’t know if I should try and leave my neighbor or stay put. In the midst of trying to make a decision, gun shots rang out. I sat with my daughter on the floor. I couldn’t call anyone because there was no dial tone. The power was out as well. How in the world would anyone know that I was alright? As night fell, fear began to settle in. Every sound, creak or rustle was amplified. I could hear people running up the alley behind my apartment. I wasn’t in any immediate danger. We had food. I had a flashlight. I was afraid to sleep. I was angry too. I cried. What’s a black life worth? Apparently nothing. I just couldn’t understand how in the world those officers got off. There was a video of them beating him. They are always beating us. They have been beating us since the beginning. They have been beating us since they brought us here. They have been killing us because they can. Keep your muthafuckin’ hands to yourself!!!! It is because they are privileged you see. Their perceived entitlement gives them power to rule over us so it seems. I can only go by the things I’ve seen. “You can have your opinions but you can’t have your own facts” as Talib Kweli says. No one asked you to bring us here. You hate our melanin. The seed of rage that you’ve planted within us is growing. The explosion is coming. Revolution is coming and it won’t be televised like Gil Scott said. Revolution, revolution, revolution. Your hate is being magnified and you won’t be able to just conceal it or stuff it in a dumpster. The magnifying glass is exposing the dark, dang, horrific things you have done. Nothing you do is accidental. You only change the narrative because you’ve been exposed. You aren’t sorry. You aren’t empathetic. You do not care about us. We keep asking for peace. We’re never gonna get it from you. We need to act. Do something. Anything. You cannot ride the fence on this. You cannot be silence. Your silence is an answer to the question. What are you going to do??