NaNoWriMo Diary: Week #4 [Finale]

Dec 2, 2014

Writing 50,000 words amid the chaos...

Time is up.

National Novel Writing Month is over.

I sadly didn't finish my 50K word goal as I only got to 40,640 words (so close and yet so far away...). Still 40,640 words is pretty darn tooting good for someone who began the event without an outline and without a true idea of where the story was going, so for that I'm quite pleased at myself for that.

It means I'm getting better --- and that's always good.

November was a rough month. My grandmother passed away during the second week, and the third week saw my parents and myself dealing with funeral arrangements, in-coming family, and just mentally grieving.

I had more thoughts about my grandmother than I had for Pearl (my story's main character) and her story, but somehow, in-between the pain and constant back-and-forth, I managed to pull myself together in the last week and let Pearl and her acquaintances speak, with some plot twists emerging here and there that kept me interested. Oddly, I was never bored working on this story. Sometimes you get to dull parts and you skip them and come back later, but every time I sat down to write on it, I was enjoying myself. I feel bad for that considering the dire circumstances I was personally dealing with, but I'll take into account Anne Frank's words, as she said that with writing "my sorrows disappear, my courage is reborn." So true.

My grandmother was on my mind, still on my mind actually, and some of that anguish (anguish that I'm not ready to share at this point and time as I'm too close to it at the moment) whittled its way into some of the draft, and that was catharsis for me.

Wedding Bells

Dec 1, 2014

It seems like a rite of Pinterest passage to have a wedding board, and after much fussy resistance --- I have one now. No, I'm not getting married (that is if Chris Evans gives me a call...), and at current weddings and the act of participating in them are the furthest from my mind, so consider this board 'Pinterest Peer Pressure' as Pinterest has got jokes thinking that with every pin I expand on I want to look at wedding pins. Then again, I always did like wedding dresses and baby's breath...

Yet, knowing me, what I have culled isn't the typical wedding board littered with DIYs on how to make swan place cards out of parchment paper and endless photos of garden receptions. Don't believe me? This is some of what I've posted so far...

top: Solange going for adventures in paradise Minnie Riperton at her November 16th wedding reception.
middle: (l) Dawn Silva and Lynn Marby of The Brides Of Funkenstein (r) Tequila Sunrise inspired shoot via Junebug Weddings
bottom: From 'The Black House' photo series (1973 - 1976) by Colin Jones

If you want to follow the board, click here.

NaNoWriMo Diary: Weeks #2 & #3

Nov 24, 2014

Writing 50,000 words amid the chaos...

For this entry I decided to steal a thread idea from one of the NaNo forums. The idea is to write to yourself in the voice of your character, because well, characters do tend to have a life of their own, especially when they're being unleashed for the first time.

For background sake, my current NaNo entry is about a woman dealing with the death of husband, but in the midst of that discovers a sinister secret about her past. The time period is after the Vietnam War, with a focus on the drug and dance fueled disco era of the late 1970s. That's all I'm going to say for now, as I'll let my character do all the talking....

Assemblage #1: Plath, Curves & Comets

Nov 14, 2014

AT&T Ad from 1967 (via Tumblr)
A collection of curiosities, irks, and thoughts...

I haz opinions, and yet, I don't always want to dedicate a full post to these thoughts and findings. This is where the 'Assemblage' series comes in as it aims to fill in the blanks and give me ample room to share links and air out the words rattling in my brain about various topics. I have a similar post series for my Audio Diva blog where I pool five recent songs and/or music trends, and welly wells, I just decided to do it here. For now there isn't a set number of items or a set word length, so just dive into the mix....

Lupita Nyong'o & The Redefinition Of Beauty

Nov 11, 2014

When Lupita Nyong'o won the Best Supporting Actress Academy Award for her role in 12 Years A Slave, I let out a sigh of relief and smiled.

The Kenyan-Mexican actress became the talking point of almost every media outlet once word spread about her compelling performance in 12 Years A Slave, and from there her popularity escalated. Every corner of the media became plastered with her visage --- from dedicated Tumblr pages, to articles articulating her on-point acting performance, to talk show appearances showcasing her infectious charisma, to fashion editorial spreads and fashion critics alike going mental over her impeccable style --- Lupita Love was being spread all around.

In the last month, she was named the new face of the lush LancĂ´me line and was chosen as People Magazine's Most Beautiful, high honors that kept her aura aglow. Lupita fever has certainly arrived and in the heat of heat --- believe me --- I caught it. Almost immediately I began to adore her 'carefree Black girl' attitude, and her keen fashion sense (she's like the Millennial version of Audrey Hepburn for me), which has in turn pushed me into sharpening my own style game. She is my new best friend in my head, and I'm not alone in that thought, so don't give me that look.

It's no lie. We all have a tendency to gravitate towards someone who can come along and bring a uniqueness to the shifting our cultural paradigm, and it's safe to say that Lupita Nyong'o cultivates that ideal, so much so that it'll be just a matter of time before we get to see more of her --- or will we?

Now that Nyong'o has become the hottest tamale in 2014's warmer, her image has come under scrutiny, becoming the focal point in numerous fiery discussions about her and about women of color and their personal brand of beauty, and not all of the brouhaha has been bubbling sweet.

NaNoWriMo Diary: Week #1

Nov 8, 2014

Writing 50,000 words amid the chaos...

I did something weird this NaNo year: at the last minute I decided to write something completely off the course of my initial plan.

Since I'm a perfectionist when it comes to my work (my life, not so much), I like to plan ahead. I like to have some sort of map, some sort of skeletal outline before I begin something. I sometimes spend so much time writing out character quirks and describing the settings my characters will be wandering in that the initial writing doesn't get done. Cue Writer Leopard.

Like normal I spent most of October going over one WIP that needed a little more 'umph', deciding that this was going to be my NaNo entry for the year. I prepped the character list. Fixed the chapter outline. Set up a "story parts" document (a word doc of story events and dialogue that pop into my brain and don't fit with rest of the narrative just yet, but will be returned to later upon revision). The whole storytelling wonder enchilada was all mapped out and ready to be utilized as my own personal tour guide to keep me focused and on-track while writing.

Then on November 1st, I sat in front of my computer and was all ready to write this ah-mazing story that I had laboriously planned out for a good month, and well, I had nothing...absolutely freaking N-O-T-H-I-N-G.

No drive to write it. No passion to play around with words. My brain had pooped out. The worst was when I tried to 'summon' the characters and their voices...and they were dead silent. Little fuckers. Maybe I was hung over from all that Halloween candy, drunk on the saccharine, but I was just not enthused.

Then, out of nowhere, I heard the knocking.

Crossing Boundaries & Oversharing With Lena Dunham

Nov 4, 2014

I had little to no opinion about Lena Dunham till this past weekend. Sure I know of Dunham, she's supposed to be the "voice of my generation" even though we do not speak the same lingo and come from alternate universes, but she apparently speaks for me because the media tells me so and we happen to be the same age. Sure, I know of Girls, the hit HBO show that she produces, writes, created, and employs her friends on, and of how she's supposed to be this super unapologetic rebel rouser who is tellin' your 20s selfish phase it like it 'tis because she sheds off her clothes and accepts her flaws on camera and is ~edgy~ in all the right girl power doses. I know of Dunham, and while I appreciate her existence of being a woman who is doing her thing and doing it her way, I'm really 'meh' about her.

Yet my ears perked up when the Internet exploded over the weekend when website Truth Revolt discovered some bizarre and highly problematic lines in Dunham's recently released memoir, Not That Kind Of Girl: A Young Woman Tells You What She's "Learned". Of the findings, there are passages about Dunham describing a time where she at seven years old explored her one-year-old sister Grace Dunham's vagina. From there the over-sharing circus began....