Creativity, Covid-19, and Closure

Hello, fabulous people on a Friday!

I don’t know where to begin, so let’s start with some good news!

I’m currently reading Tristan Strong Punches a Hole in the Sky by Kwame Mbalia.

C'est Moi_Tristan Strong Puches a Hole in the Sky

I will be writing a review and most likely publishing it as a video on YouTube (#BookTube) provided that I am successful with swaddling my terrified and introverted self in a straitjacket or placating her with wine or sweets. I read sections of it as a bedtime story to my middle son. He’s enjoying it. I’ve tried to make the voices — even Tristan’s — as I channel my own version of Regina King’s Huey Freeman, and Gum Baby’s voice is especially fun to make because it’s high-pitched and her choice of words is endearingly cheeky!

If I were to pick voice actors for this movie (oh yes, there must be a movie), I’d choose Michel’le “You Can Call Me Nicety” Denise Toussaint for Gum Baby. I used to jam to all of Michel’le’s songs back in the day when I was a young gyal. My favorite song is “Something in My Heart”.

Here’s a taste (notice how her singing voice differs from her speaking voice — so cool!)

I could go on and on about Tristan, and so I shall. Tristan’s voice (personality, goals, perspective) is solid. You can’t help but adore his sense of humor and dedication.

Speaking of dedication, last month I completed the Highlights Foundation Summer Camp in Writing Fiction.

Highlights Foundation_Summer Camp in Writing Fiction 2020Here’s my mentor!!! 😀Kwame Mbalia_Highlights Foundation Mentor

In between reading (yay!), completing essential training for returning to teaching (whoaaaa! ahhh! achooo! ughhh!), I was able to finish a second and more polished outline for my YA urban fantasy, Monster Rehab, and sent it to Kwame for feedback. I’m looking forward to working with him, and I hope that he enjoys this story — especially my loving winks to humorous lampshading as revealed in my the quirky and weird pun-ny titles I developed. For example, one of the titles (toward the novel’s ending) I brainstormed is “Hell Hath No Fury Like Deus Ex Machina”. 😉

One of my Facebook friends (John is a talented comic book writer; check out his work here) asked me THE QUESTION — you know the question I’m talking about; it’s the one that triggers us into falling prey to anxiety-induced pupil dilation, which leads to foaming at the mouth,  and reaching for the nearest bag of chocolate-covered almonds — wait, what? N-no? Just me? Okay, shall we move on? Great.

Anyway, some authors freeze up when they hear that question. Heck, even if they have practiced their elevator pitch in front of a mirror and mastered it, there may still be some stumbling in the delivery.

Behold the stumbling!

Monster Rehab_Facebook

In the meantime, I’m worried about returning to school for several reasons. So many people have died, are dying, and those who survived are still struggling to recover from the apparently chronic and debilitating side effects. I think it’s wrong that some states and districts are treating teachers, students, and other stakeholders such as bus drivers, parents, etc like guinea pigs. It’s infuriating and wrong, and I feel so powerless because thus far I have been unable to do anything to rectify this tragic turn of events.

R.S.A. Garcia, friend, writer, and self-pity party slayer lent her ear to me when I needed to vent and weep. Check out her work here. I met her through a mutual author friend, Allan (more on him later) and I’m so glad he introduced us.

Allan Dyen-Shapiro, friend, writer, and teacher shared his sage advice on a new-to-me writing group, Codex Writers Group, where writers can receive additional literary criticism in a safe space. I look forward to sharing my work there since I finally qualified as a member! Woo hoo! Visit the site and you can at least take a peek at the group’s daily, random quotes — some of them have me chuckling and chortling like a little piglet. Today’s did not disappoint:

Codex Writers Group

José Pablo Iriarte, (check out his work here), is another friend and fellow teacher (teachers and writers — I love the company I keep!) who gave me some much needed advice: writing begins with forgiveness. He had learned about this powerful confession and ode to life-saving self-care, reality-checks, and the guilt that writers often burden themselves with from urban fantasy writer, Daniel José Older. In a future post, I hope to share more of my thoughts on Daniel’s inspirational writing advice post, “Writing Begins With Forgiveness: Why One of the Most Common Pieces of Writing Advice Is Wrong”. I invite you to read it, too.

The closure I’ve chosen to grace myself with is that life is too short to be silent and passive. I will continue to write and submit my work. I will continue to work hard, persevere, and have the faith and courage to witness my dreams manifesting into existence.

Colorful butterflies in lavender field.
Pixabay iStock photo

One. Day. At. A. Time.

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