Friday, December 16, 2005

Living Within My Muse

When I'm alone and quite lonely, I write....I open my mind and pour out my feelings on paper. Deep inside, instrusively and with long arms I reach, feeling for something to grab ahold of to link and legitimize the psychological effect of philosophies culled from experience. Write now, I feel as though I only want to communicate via my pen....with it indeed being mightier than any sword! I fight my battles with words, and use metaphor to be as descriptive as I want to be. My vernacular is the freedom of speech that allow my intelligent quotient to define who I am, where I want to be, and with whom I want to coaleasce with.

Living within my muse, means finding semblances of eloquence to retain flairs of dramatic interlude to keep my sanity, and temper my bipolar equilibrium. It also gives me all the faith, freedom, and fortitude to create my own space and write essays that are profound and be able to move and be removed when it's time to reinvent myself. Living within that same muse is observing from afar and gathering steam for the stretch run, hoping to cross the finish line with a book! Ask me my name and I might tell you to call me what you want, as long as you see me for what I am.

Monday, December 05, 2005

My Encounter with Author, Octavia E. Butler

After twenty two years Miami’s version of a book fair, with all of its international flavoring drawing from South America, the Caribbean, Mexico and parts of Europe you’d get a delectable mix and quite a different spin than others. This year, the modus operandi didn’t change but a few alterations were at the fore. I wondered and worried whether charging an entrance fee would curtail the most diehard fan to think otherwise, or if our topsy-turvy year of weathering several hurricanes had finally took its toll. From my observation, attendance definitely was down and it seemed on the surface at least that perhaps there people would be reluctant to buy a book in lieu of protecting further against the ravishes of yet another hurricane looming somewhere off of Cape Verde heading our way. You see, our hurricane season isn’t officially over until the first of December! This notwithstanding, Hurricane Wilma shut our offices down for a week, but the facilities made it though the storm without any major damage. The fair went on and we were able to enjoy another all-star cast in the African-American persuasion from the likes of Terri McMillan, ReShonda Tate-Billingsley, Martha Southgate, John Hope Franklin, Zane, Octavia Butler, et al. Readings, panel discussions, book signings, and the after parties were all the rage as all of the authors made themselves available. Octavia Butler journeyed all the way from the Pacific Northwest to give us a try, and what time we had in her presence. I was the room host and moderated her session, as well as introduced her. I give my account of that experience below:

The Butler did it!

The science of fiction can truly be misleading…and I saw her long before I would approach this statuesque woman formidable in her stead, and quite imposing to boot. Pure fact has ways of hitting you square in the face with reality. Bushy Afro hairdo and all, her seemingly conservative dress and simplistic demeanor wouldn’t begin to defy the eloquence and wit she would later exude. More on that later. As I neared my subject, I wondered how would I present myself, and what would I say. All I knew was that I was assigned the task of being a liaison between author, book fair and the audience during her stay at this formidable literary event. Here I was quite a few hours early (by design) endeavoring to escort her to the hospitality suite that was the designated area where authors had the chance to mingle, rest, and gather their thoughts before being ferried to their respectful literary sessions. As a longtime volunteer with this being my eleventh year doing so, I still find time to be awed by the electricity of so many people – all for the love of books!

The Miami Book Fair International is a prestigious event, and considered to be the granddaddy of them all, requiring volunteers as well as staffers to adhere to protocol and represent. All of us are required to avail ourselves wholeheartedly to the betterment and success of each yearly offering. This is our 22nd year, and my bailiwick and penchant for volunteering will never diminish. When I found out that I was given Octavia E. Butler, I took it with a grain of salt and turned my thoughts to other pending matters. ‘Out of sight, out of mind’ I told myself…until it dawned on me the task I had before me, to soothe the crowd, filibuster as needed, and keep the throng at bay with chatter becoming a Room Host who was expected to ‘moderate’ and coddle. “Surely I can handle this”, I implored as the time neared for me to turn my attention back to the matter at hand as I slowly made my way to her. My knees began to wobble, my heart pounded with nervous energy and the adrenalin flowed profusely in the form of sweat from my brow, but I trudged on. Didn’t I do quite well in performing the same tasks for the likes of Toni Morrison two years ago, and meeting Walter Mosley for the very first time in 2001? I’m admonishing myself and trying to be convincing to my own lukewarm ego. After all, I truly would be in the company of an icon, a literary diva and a force within her genre that command respect…all I’d have to do was stay composed, I mused to myself.

“Excuse me, may you be Octavia Butler?” I stammered realizing that she was almost as tall as I was! She gave a pregnant pause all of 3 minutes before answering, “I have been for the last 58 years, and who wants to know?“ Without missing a beat because by now my heart was way down in the feet, I managed to introduce myself….and sensing my discomfort, she laughed heartedly and said, “relax, will ya. I AM Olivia, and I’m just an ordinary writer that happened to have written a few books that someone has believed in over the years.” With that, I escorted her to the place where she would be holding court oblivious to the many gawking fans and curious onlookers, wondering what I could say next to carry the conversation. As I mentioned, I was early. I wanted to meet her beforehand to engage her in conversation to see how would be the best way to introduce her. When I asked, she said that she didn’t care one way or another as long as I didn’t mention that she’d won the McArthur family’s 1995 ‘Genius Award’. Fearing stupidity would render my next and obvious question obsolete; I decided not to ask why. Just to be on the safe side, I found a little ditty online that I felt would be appropriate and light enough for a good intro. What made my find such an enamoring muse is the fact that she quotes in an autobiographical sketch the perfect sound bite for a good segue for me:

“I'm a 58-year-old writer who can remember being a 10-year-old writer and who expects someday to be an 80-year-old writer. I'm also comfortably asocial -- a hermit in the middle of Seattle -- a pessimist if I'm not careful, a feminist, a Black, a former Baptist, an oil-and-water combination of ambition, laziness, insecurity, certainty, and drive.
I've had twelve novels published so far: Patternmaster, Mind of my Mind, Survivor, Kindred, Wild Seed, Clay's Ark, Dawn, Adulthood Rites, Imago, Parable of the Sower, Parable of the Talents, my latest Fledgling, as well as a collection of my shorter work, entitled Bloodchild. I've also had short stories published in anthologies and magazines. One, Speech Sounds, won a Hugo Award as best short story of 1984. Another, Bloodchild, won both the 1985 Hugo and the 1984 Nebula awards as best novelette. Parable of the Talents won the 1999 Nebula for Best Novel.”

The discussion went well…so well that I hated to end it, and was castigated in a jovial way for not being considerate to her fans afterwards! Lively and upbeat, the questions flowed. Sharing the stage with her was Latin writer, Luis Alberto Urrea. Urrea, no slouch himself in the Hispanic literary world was a 2005 Pulitzer Prize finalist for nonfiction and member of the Latino Hall of Fame, but when paired with Octavia Butler he made the best of it and, frankly added comedic relief to a situation that could have gone in a different direction. Long after the discussion, and after every book was signed from the long lines, I surveyed my time and didn’t feel at all like a Fledgling (her latest book), and somehow felt that the Butler not only knew, but also winked!

Friday, October 21, 2005

Friendship Lost...Was it REALLY Meant to be?

All is not well in my camp. This past week I lost a friend. And I can truly say that the fault is not mine. Suffice it to say, when circumstantial innuendo is allowed to hang on the surface and one fail to go deeper for clarity and better understanding, it not only clouds truth, but surely leaves one of us much worse for the wear. Inasmuch in these trying times where tenets are forged to galvanize stability there should always be room for keep those that are deemed worthy of platonic commaderie close at heart and embraceable. I've always felt that there's no excuse for not permeating a meeting of the minds to settle any disparaging differences for the betterment of the relationship in coming to one accord.

In my case, I did nothing but tell the truth and it came back to slap me smack in the face. My so called 'friend' only looked on the surface and made the decision she felt she had to make. You see, this happens only if you've made up your mind despite options to think otherwise. To my chagrin, and at the expense of our friendship, I continually ask myself, "was it meant to be"? Not one to cry over spilled milk, I shed true tears with this one, because this was not ordinary friend. Sharing much, and seemingly to come together despite a few character differences, we spent time talking trying always to find common bonds of ambiance.

You see, Deborah (I'll call her this to protect her 'innocence') and I met online. For a year and a half we took pains to get to know each other despite the mileage between us...and given the set of circumstances where you never throw caution to the wind, we thrived. We even progressed despite being told that it wouldn't last. I've second-guessed myself wondering did I do the right thing in expelling her from my life?Will my conscience and consciousness suffer with her absence so evident of circumstances gone awry? My best defense was, and is to embrace the fact that I don't need to lie at this stage in my life. Or, that there wasn't any ulterior motive for my actions save to make sure that if push come to shove that I'm convincing in my explanations.

Was it really meant to be, to lose like this? I stand my ground and will chalk it up to fate. I've moved on, but I know there is space reserved in my psyche that will allow me to think 'what if', coulda, woulda, or even shoulda. Now that I'm allowed to shuck the burden of guilt, I surely can lament that it shouldn’t have ended this way, that in the face of it all, REAL friends would have found a way for common ground to prevail. I would be remiss at this point if I didn't revisit essays I've written in the past extolling the virtues of true friendship. Going there, I would recall my ditty on what it takes to be a 'Friend for All Seasons', or to reminisce on saving face and send my 'Epistle to A Friend' and call it a day.

I trudge on looking for more opportunities to allow Agape love to order my steps in gauging good ties to equal parity, where mutual respect is one of many ingredients to stay the course to define what friends should truly embody. I still give a toast to Deborah, as I wish her well, and will miss her terribly...and if either one of us should allow ego to subside for a minute, just maybe we will hook up again in a Providential way to save face and shame the devil. Keep your head to the sky, Deb...there's an upside to your being that will manifest success for you.

Your erstwhile friend,

The Jackal

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

A Novel Idea Coming to Fruition -- At Last!

I’ve finally started writing my first novel. Yeah, yeah, the bullet has been bitten and I’m taken the plunge. I’ve been provoked into writing for reasons I can't ignore, and for having the opportunity to let others share my opinionated views and the wherewithal for writing a good story. I do realize though, that the publishing industry is a ruthless business that often do not give best returns on investments if one is not prepared for rejection and rewrites. Am I ready? You betcha! Why now? Because it’s TIME! Robbing Peter to pay Paul has been manifested in stealing time from my other priorities for the sake of literal notoriety, and a chance for me to say the book in me is being produced. Yes, sneaking away from my desk at work the manuscript clutched tightly to finish “this last chapter” only to have it turn into the next chapter, and the one after that, until it’s time to go on to the next rendezvous in life. Everyone is wondering without words whether temperance and perseverance will suffice enough for me to allow this quest to become more reality than imagery.

Oh, but do I have a surprise for those who doubt! When, and should I falter, I will have at my side the trials and tribulations of Ernest Hemmingway, who after countless rejection letters and setbacks stayed the course and wasn’t worse for the wear by producing remarkable work. I still see myself some 20 years ago as a Sophomore in high school reading The Old Man and the Sea, being that man between those pages committed to an idea and never stopping until the task is done and all storms weathered. For all of these reasons and many more, in my quest to take this idea from book to shelf.

I admit to being a greedy reader, and a voracious writer. I believe too, that the least I can do is bridge gaps to help my fellow writers realize their dreams of finally getting up and over the proverbial chasm that separates publishing success and a wannabe novelist with grandeur hopes of a six-figure income. The Romer Review will continue to be the vehicle for that journey to manifest itself relative to it’s mission statement
( I believe in the power of a good story told simply and presented elegantly and with panache, and for that reason, I know that I will continue to allow the craft and the muse of the literati to guide and propel me toward my lofty aspiration to not only just belong, but to command respect! Keep me in your prayers, will ya?

Monday, October 10, 2005

I Remember New Orleans the Way It Used to Be

She was older by far than any of her contemporaries in the region. Multi-hued and culturally diverse, she was hot, spicy and full of panache. You might say that she was a seductress that invited you to all of her wily charms, opened up and gave you all you could bear. Bared it all she did on many occasions, as she alluringly dared you to whet your appetite, when she wanted to be more than what was seen on the surface! They called her the Crescent City, the Big Easy, Sin City-- I called her whenever I needed rejuvenation and vivacity. Ah yes, New Orleans! New Orleans, the way it was known had enduring appeal found in the alchemy of unlikely combinations, where different rules applied, especially under the cover of darkness. I remember that fun place, that erudite City of the South, where beads meant something, imagery everything, and egos nothing. Will she ever be the same? Can she bounce back and give us that which we miss so much? Will we be able to afford her? Questions, queries, and quests are about us as we curse Katrina, and regret Rita.

Yes, I remember Royal Street, that paragon of priceless art, artifacts, and antique wonders! ... And Bourbon street and the rest of the French Quarter was more than mere memory -- it defined presence and perseverance, where Preservation Hall presented much more than joyous jazz and nostalgic sounds that Louis rocked to in his hey day. It was cajuns, creole, and somewhere in between, where the distinct cuisine of favor and flavor was the ultimate sense of belonging that beckoned me. I remember and miss Antoine's, Cafe Du Monde, and the taste of real hot sauce!

Oh, Katrina you wrecker of dreams, drama and desire, why so demonstrative and destructive? You ruined it all, and had help from our inept government and pathetic president, but you MUST bounce back, and with those who were left homeless and incapacitated....and I know you will. I remember you in great detail, New Orleans. The essence of music was your legacy, your cuisine your calling card, and certainly your reputation gave you notoriety. Give it back to me, and in a hurry!

The Writer, The Wisdom, The Woman -- Introducing, E. Claudette Freeman

Every so often along comes a talent so defined and diversified you try to draw parallels, and for no other reason than to chalk it up as unique, you’re resigned albeit reluctantly to give this talent her just due. This is because you want more and demand more from authors who are bubbling just under the radar. You realize that the writing is genuine and comes profoundly from the bowels of self, giving new meaning to originality. Her name? E. Claudette Freeman and she has arrived, ready to expand your horizons and give you new hope to literary fortitude. Who in the hell is this E. Claudette Freeman you ask? Sit back and take it all in. She’s everything you imagined, but was afraid to assume!

E. Claudette Freeman is …….. Co-author of the nationally-toured production of CHARCOAL SKETCHES, a biographical dramatic performance produced and co-authored by Bhetty Waldron on the lives of Zora Neale Hurston, Augusta Savage and Mary McLeod Bethune. Performed as a one woman show, and one woman with Chorale.

The author of PIECES AND ME: A Collection of Life, a gathering of short stories that deal with various relationships. Published by Imagine Graphics of South Florida, the book is available in Black-owned bookstores across the country and on the Internet at,, and other sites. The author of six stage plays {two placing second and third in the Loften Mitchell Playwrights Festival, in 1994 and 1995 respectively.) The plays are:

FROM THE PORCH - Commissioned by the Miami Sports and Exhibition Authority and narrated by actor Danny Glover, this historical piece traces Black history from enslavement to the contemporary hip hop era. Told through the voice of a narrator, the piece is accentuated with dramatic vignettes that colorfully relay various timelines.

THE SLUMBER PARTY -- Self-produced in March 1995, this play centers around a night of secrets revealed when five life long friends get together for a sleep over. Tales of sexual orientation, abuse and loneliness unfold like pages from a diary. (Second place 1994 Loften Mitchell Playwrights Festival, staged at Barry University‘s Broad Theater, March 1995)

REMEMBERIN' PAPA -- Is an emotional story of the relationship between and aging father and his three children, and how the unresolved issues of childhood affect them when their father dies suddenly. (Third place 1995, Loften Mitchell Playwrights Festival)

THE PORCHES OF HOME --Is actually a collection of four pieces in one. It is small town tales that invite the audience to visit the lives of several of the town's people. These stories deal with a daughter tired of small town life, family superstitions, the memory of a painful death, and the curiosity of a teenager.

THE TEARS A SISTER CRIES -- A look at the raw dialogue of three Christian women about sex, relationships and the issues allowed and encouraged in relationships. (Staged African Heritage Cultural Arts Center, October 2001)

THE WAY MY MAMA LOVES ME - A story of unspoken emotions, unspoken pain and the tormented relationship between a mother and daughter. (Staged Florida Memorial College, October 2000, Vision To Victory Center, January 2001).

E. Claudette Freeman is also the author of a series of poetry and inspirational E-Books under the imprint, E-Inspirations: IN MY DARKEST HOUR, EVOLUTION OF A DARK CHILD, THE MORNING HOUR and DADDY'S GIRL/MY FATHER'S CHILD

She is a former student/artist-in-residence of Ntozake Shange, who personally chose Freeman to participate in an intense one month writing enhancement session. The author, erudite in her prolific writing style is recognized as rising star, and one of the most prominent African American female writers of the 20th Century by the African American Cultural Arts Coalition and the Pan African Bookfest of South Florida.

Sunday, October 09, 2005

Notes on a Napkin Voume I, No. 1

Slavery is NOT Dead: The Plight of Three Lost Boys From Sudan!

Modern day slavery is alive and thriving in the 21st century. In many instances there's no varying degree of atrocity than that of social inequity where freedom is snuffed out and stiffled, and free-will is fleeting. Human bondage, no matter how the script is written, is a sordid affair that has shown its ugly head through the annals of time. Whole races and cultures have been obliterated because of it. Every so often I think of my ancestors and what they went through just trying to unshackle the chains and lighten the yoke of oppression. I've read a series of articles, books, and reports of several factions still feeding the institution. Now comes a poignant, yet harrowing experience involving our precious children, one which should make you stand up and scream!

Northern Africa, the Sahara, and Sudan has systems in place rife with all the ingredients, and very little escape. Civil wars and rumors of like wars are commonplace where raids for women, and children, especially boys are relished to fuel the fire. In Sudan it takes on dire proportions that has the world watching with a third eye, wondering how much and how long can they continue to exploit and extinguish young boys that will never see manhood. The story of The Lost Boys are told ( in detail with a published account of how three made it out to tell their story, and if you're compelled to do something as I plan to, click here:

Saturday, August 27, 2005

The Jackal's Ligitimate Presence

From time to time people inquire about the drawing of the Jackal that serves as the mascot for The Romer Review. The ancient Egyptians were the scholars and innovators of their day and in a class by themselves. I'm a student and an enthusiast of Kemet and the benefis of Sankofa. Anubis, the Egyptian god of the underworld and chief preservationist of knowledge and literature lore, served as an ample and revered diety in providing them with wisdom and wit. It is this mantra that I wanted to have emulated as I embarked on a journey to likewise educate the masses, broker information, and supply those that want to be taught. The Jackal serves this purpose and purport to allow books and all things literary to legitimize his presence.
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A Likeness for the Record

Cyberspace is this vast and nebulous nexus that has vigorously changed how we do business and interact with anything having to do with research, and just finding things! The world wide web uses computers to be the vehicle in navigating, and as I was doing just that, lo and behold someone comes around with a camera with candid intent and snaps a picture using the proverbial "cheese" utterance. Never wanting to be caught taking one where 'just as you are' render you as is and unprepared, I grinned and bore it. So now, there you have it, a picture of yours truly to finally personalize this blog with some vestige of a likeness for reference.


Friday, August 26, 2005

Oh, Katrina!

A woman's wrath borne with fury and unrelenting force was experienced in paradise. Vulnerable and caught unaware, we're now able to pull our drawers up and render a feeble smile. Her name was Katrina, and she came rushing in town with her eye bent on destruction without a care in the world. She found me in a melancholy mood, blue and bleary awaiting the angst and anticipated havoc that helps to embellish others like her with the same mindset. Who set her to flowing before she got to us?

Oh, Katrina, I knew your type. You were just another upstart female eager and willing to prove that you had status and belonged. I had no choice as I watched, waited, and wondered just how you would manage to add your name to the lore that is par for this region this time of the year. The wind and rain notwithstanding, I shook my head in disgust with the aftermath of your evident destructive path before my eyes. You turned roads to rivers and gave new meaning to up a creek without a paddle. Uprooted trees, flooded streets and homes, power lines crackling with live electricity for shock value, and chaos running amok -- that was you at your best, or worst depending to whom I talked to.

I saw lines of anger creased ever so deeply in the faces of people who are still shaking fists of anger at you. Yes, we're soaked, stunned and so sick of you Katrina. You've snuffed the life out of 7 people here in South Florida, left thousands homeless and without power, and we wonder as we wander -- is it justice or just us? Yes, you found me despondent and dejected, but not for long, and certainly without my pen...for I wrote you out of my mind and communed with my neighbors to rebuild. I didn't throw caution to the wind, but chalked it up to the fickle finger of fate.

Oh, Katrina...don't gloat as you should know that we are resilient and relentless to get paradise back. We curse you and are caustic to your uncaring ways, but we are learned and DO remember your cousin Andrew. Good riddance, you bearer of ill-wind and reigns of terror. I defy you and no worse for the wear, because Hurricanes like you always manage to die anyway!

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Sharing the Muse

Today was a good one! Summer in the tropical bliss that is Miami gives new meaning to warmth, and an ideal setting to be just write. What good is it to go through life without sharing your views and writings with someone who is congenial, compatible and cognizant of what you stand for. I have an author friend who colors my world and give me insight and views of her panaromic passion for writing. We share long distance calls and e-mail, but retain affinity for close introspective musings.

I heard from her as she too, is basking in her version of idyllic paradise...she of the longing to be legitimately taken seriously, and to write without reprimand and without censure. Isn't this the very voice of most writers? There are many times when I want to trash deadlines, fire my editors, defy industry status quo, and just write to be right in my own idiosyncratic way. Then I think of my friend, so talented and taunting in her brazen way with words.....Thank you Darlene, for you are truly a blessing and Godsent!

Friday, July 22, 2005

A Query and a Response

Adults are constantly challenged by young folk who are increasingly looking toward them for role model advocacy and mentorship. The intelligence quotient and knowledge base that we give and leave them with as we embark on shaping minds and steering courses will go a long way in their growth. I tell my grandkids and siblings that what you read is so important in the grand scheme of things. My immediate challenge was brought to the surface as Aaliyah recently asked me a question that I answered with great enthusiasm. Aaliyah is my oldest grandchild, who herself is an avid reader and far-exceeding student. Her question: “When did you start reading, and why is it necessary to read anyway?” I looked at her bemused, knowing that this was one of her many trick questions to prolong our time together. Acquiescing to the game, I tried my best to allay fears that reading was not as automatic as it has been for her. I decided to make good on an earlier promise to give reasons for little people of color to stay the course and allow books to be the progenitor of their own knowledge base.

Here is what I told her:
“My first encounter with books began with a question mark, and continues today emphatically as an exclamation point! I cannot remember the first book I read, nor can I recall how many, but I do profess to have an on-going love affair for the written word. I’m an essayist. I write with spontaneity that starts innately and flows outwardly with cascading force. As such, when I was quite young I was in awe of the librarian of the elementary school I attended. Of course, she was the first who impressed upon me the many virtues of reading. Writing prowess came much later. Mrs. Kimbro was her name. An erudite and taciturn women who embodied a no nonsense persona who rarely smiled, she commanded attention and dominated any space she accumulated. This revered librarian was indeed special, for she instilled in me a profound respect for books that has served and educated me through out my life.

Reading is fundamental and requires discipline. Oftentimes it can define you in ways you’d never imagine. It’s the basic fabric that weaves my soul and invigorates my mind. We as individuals are stimulated by many things and influenced by circumstances relative to experiences central to certain nuances…and today we’re STILL wondering why Johnnie can’t read, or won’t read. Too many young people are missing out on the pleasures and opportunities that come with reading. As an inquisitive child thirsting for knowledge, Mrs. Kimbro constantly challenged me to understand what I read long after the Lord called her to do the same in heaven. It has been my contention that it’s familial in nature and should have beginnings in the home. Parents can do a lot to nurture and prepare their children for the world of books. For some, it comes down to the lack of interest (in reading), and yet for others, it’s definitely a lack of ability. The latter is my greatest concern, because ultimately it harkens back to the genesis of the problem – apathy and an uncaring disposition. I will always query myself to the tune of, ‘Are parents doing all they can to expose them to all things literary…and, are our schools providing the best curricula of inclusion for more reading?”

I’m concerned too, about this stated lack of ability to read exponentially for greater enhancement. Children should have as much access needed to perpetuate acquiring knowledge to expand wisdom. Lack of interest on the other hand, should equally be foremost in our minds as catalysts to be continually involved to elicit solutions. As learned adults we can endeavor to make a difference by becoming involved, and personally, I’ve committed myself to enmesh myself totally to literacy efforts in my community. My non-profit organization is making inroads for legitimacy and clamoring for high visibility. I’m embracing book clubs to avail themselves to area elementary and Middle schools to champion the cause of reading as a serious paradigm for cognitive results. I often think back to selected instances of my past where reading spared me the pain of being lost in my own darkness. As early as I can remember, I likened it to my dawn of awareness where those books that Mrs. Kimbro instilled me to read as being the first day of my life”

As I finished my spiel, Aaliyah looked at me with those plaintive and pleading eyes and implored me to stay the course and not waiver in my quest to be a force in this journey. Inasmuch as I wanted her to stay, she gently told me that she had more books to read and an essay to write…it was then, more than ever that I realize that another bibliophile and book worm is on the way -- Look out world!

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Reading and Writing for Legitimacy

I've always felt that reading is so essential to life. One learns from giving the mind an opportunity to absorb knowledge and to assimilate wise interpretative analysis of what is read. Thus, books have been a part of my life for as far as I can remember. I would image ennui to be an unwelcome nemesis to anythng of good bearing if this couldn't be definitive of all that is. I legitimize my existence by continually feeding my mental capacity and expanding my intelligence quotient. With this firmly in mind, I can honestly say that in life no matter what the circumstance, there comes a time where that very mind works overtime, and I want to continue retaining that which is memorable and tangent. The writer in me is strong. I'm rejuvenated to prevail and prosper by retrieving my proverbial pad , as words flow where critical thinking modules create opinionated views that are none but my own. I constantly challenge myself to be responsible and responsive to elements that define presence to elicit good comment, and to be adamant in what I believe in.

Conviction fortify logic when there's ample proof beyond reasonable doubt not to sway away from originality. This is where the creative spirit gains momentum and adrenalin is rushng to the fore to pronounce a new burst of energized effort, where all things literary makes me feel alive and worthy of my talent. Privileged and passioned, I write...and thirsting for knowledge, I read. It's when I combine the two that I'm focused and dangerous as the muse mingles with the magic of wit and wisdom -- real or imaginged! It's moments like this when I'm at my best, with pen in hand, literally.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Why a Need for me to Blog

Thank God for the internet, that world wide web of cybernetic mélange, that is allowing all of us a chance to exercise yet another journalistic endeavor to exploit giving viewpoints, and writing them down for others to see and comment on! It’s because of the wide range of material that is readily available online that blogging has become such a phenomenon. I’m a writer, and what better way to stay connected to that which can be documented as keepsakes. Why have I decided to blog? That’s a long story, but I will attempt to give insight for the insatiable urge to document dialogue and continue having as many mediums possible to write it down, and rewrite as needed. This is the life of a writer...changing scenery, redefining setting, creating backstories, rearranging plots, and giving color to character makeups. But this blogging thing -- ah, the creative juice flows once again, and often!

The contents of which I will share in blogging will be more testimony to my idiosyncratic penchant to detail those things that are personal in nature, but generic to those that can identify. With that in mind, I’m looking forward to you readers giving reciprocal comment and empowering synergy to embrace and impart individual opinionated views. As a writer, and more so as an essayist, I have a lot to talk and write about. I currently express my views in several venues as a freelance writer both offline and online. You may know me from my column, “Views from the Catbird Seat over at, have visited where my writings are archived, or as the Editor and Founder of The Romer Review, I feel that I’m blessed because writing comes so natural, and He has allowed me to voice opinions that may be of help to someone else. I long to hear from you. Nevertheless, I find it to be an insatiable need to document those ‘genuine jewels’ that tend to tug at heartstrings and render you helpless and yearning to share what’s really on your mind. Spontaneity fuels my writing acumen, and gives new meaning to spur of the moment articulation. The need to blog and the urge is ever so strong!

Now, here is what to expect from me as I blog into your hearts and minds: I will put into place occasional pieces of a mosaic that speaks to all things literary and about Afrocentric mettle. You will get my ‘Notes on a Napkin’ – small vignettes that are lingering and lurking as issues that are so prevalent to us as a people of color. These are the tidbits that may get lost among the debris of life at the expense of the weightier topics that tend to dominate. I will comment on the Quips, Quotes and Anecdotes that are drivel to things that are part of the vernacular dominate to our leaders of today. Live! From the Literary Lounge will also be a staple…and from that room will come subjects dear to us for topical discussion pieces. Whoever steps up on that stage will have the spotlight to bring opinion to the forefront for conscious value. Finally, you will experience a few other things that I have in store to make my blogging experience such a different journey through journaling. I’m blogging because I have to get some of this stuff cooped inside of me out and in the open. Blogging will be added to my bailiwick and as a muse. Stay with me, and let’s ride together!

Monday, July 11, 2005

I Am, Who I Am!

7/2/2005 10:22:17 PM

Today is the first day of my web logging experience...and I'm new to all of this. Blogs as they are so affectionately called, are inquisitive by nature and willing to be as sassy as needed to illustrate points for effective commentary. I’m no different than anybody else wanting to be exposed exponentially. I want to open my world to new and exciting things and be par for the course of my written acumen. Who am I you may ask?

I am quite a bit of everything but not enough of anything without something to allow prominence to illuminate the things within me. I am a creator, an educator, an adventurer, a dreamer even... I approach the world with the eyes of a visionary, the ears of a virtuoso, and the soul of a writer. Colors reinforce my life as I see the spectrum of many hues where others see only surface matters. I see passion and possibilities when others see only problems. I love the four seasons and the simplicity of life and the joy of a good friend. Sunsets, sunrises, and a good book are sources of inspiration, as well as a good loving woman, great sex, music to soothe me, a jazz joint with a good view, and my grandchildren.

I love to write; Essays are my wellspring, and poetry is an open book to my creativity. Words are pawns that I use to articulate feelings like a slow moving river without rapids but full of reason. The confidence I exude is sometimes mistaken for arrogance. At times moody and outspoken, I'm a sponge and a seeker of knowledge, and I take discernment seriously. Walter Mitty is a true friend and share my space. I have no choice but to smile often, laugh easily, and emote when necessary. I love what I do. I’m who I am, and what I aspire to be. I'm good at the things I can control, and dismayed at the things that control me. I learned to educate myself through reading, learned to create through writing, and learned to believe through faith in Him who strengthens me. I am -- my mother's son and my Father’s child!