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!