Coffee Rhetoric: Writing
Showing posts with label Writing. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Writing. Show all posts

April 19, 2013

Taking the FREE out of Freelance


I've wanted to write this post for a while. I didn't know quite how to go about broaching it, and anyone who follows me on my personal Facebook account or Twitter, knows that I've made my feelings clear about how freelancers—writers, artists, musicians, or  whichever other discipline—are treated by those seeking their services.
Since I’m navigating life as a struggling writer, I’m only offering the perspective of one.  

Despite what you've seen on Sex and The City, life as a freelance writer isn't replete with luxury shoe shopping, cosmopolitan cocktails (hate those, but there is copious red wine swilling though), or afternoons spent typing away in a spacious NYC apartment, clothed in boho chic designer duds. I'm sad to report that Carrie Bradshaw has led some of you hopefuls astray

Unless a writer pens the type of controversial work that guarantees site hits and causes popular digital (or print) magazine editors to produce créme de la leche in their undies, and (thanks to a trust fund) has the luxury of writing about fumbling through a well orchestrated hot-mess life of privilege, sex, drugs, narcissism, rock & roll, and manages to reap the rewards of a lucrative book deal advance from a well-known publisher, it’s not easy.  

December 22, 2012

These and Those: Holiday Update


It has been a spell since I've logged a proper blog post. I know, I know. I was (and am still) hoping to make some vanity changes to the blog, to ring in this New Year, once I figure out the logistics. I've also been on somewhat of a mini-break from blogging.

(Very valid) excuses: I was sans a laptop for a minute because my old, crotchety one finally sputtered and died on me. It had literally been hanging on by a proverbial thread... wires would be a more apt description. Duct taping the screen to its keyboard simply wasn't passing muster anymore. It was a slow moving, perpetually freezing, memory waning piece of junk. I cringed at having to take it out in public to work on. Needless to say, in its final act of defiance it declared, "F*ck yo' couch!" and went bye-bye for good. It took some maneuvering to transfer my work off of it, but my (very necessary and relevant) files were saved and re-loaded onto the newer laptop... thank goodness. 
I've also been trying to work through a massive writer's block. A lot is going on in the world, most recently the tragedy that took place in Newtown, CT. Honestly, there are no words I could have written to sum up my thoughts on the tragedy, so I've opted not to publicly share them via social media. I will say that local (Connecticut) media, for the most part, has been respectful and protective of the victims' loved ones, and I think that it's definitely warranted and needed, to enable them to grieve and make sense of it in peace... especially since it's so close to the holidays.

That people have been making it a habit of using these sorts of tragedies to spew vitriol, make racist comments, peddle religious and political propaganda, or make it about themselves, on social media and other public platforms, is vile. Awareness, recognition of others' humanity, and courtesy seem to be disintegrating and I'm not here for devolution and ignoramus behavior... at all. I don't write things or engage others in discourse with an expectation that they need to agree with me; but people will rant (often on my social media platforms) about "Free Speech!" and say something particularly inflammatory, unfounded, and trollish, then scoff at others for being "too politically-correct" when they're called out because they think that will somehow insulate them from being critiqued, challenged, or from accountability when they spew nonsense. Not here for it. I'm old and have officially run out of patience for people who display off-the-chart levels of ignorance and who have a propensity for public stunts-and-shows or histrionics.

In short, my thoughts are running cyclical like a Mobius strip and filtering them into a cohesive blog post has proved to be a bit challenging. I'm also working on a few other writing projects (while drinking copious amounts of coffee of course) that have been usurping some of that creative-thought energy, psyching myself up so I can work towards meeting some personal goals, and have been surely and vehemently trying to steer the conversation away from that topic that shall not be mentioned again, since that is not the crux of what Coffee Rhetoric is about (but has suddenly become synonymous with). 

I'll be returning to my regularly scheduled blogging program after the holidays, and am looking forward to spilling open once again. 

In the meantime, here's wishing a safe, productive, fun, and reflective holiday this season to you and yours. 

August 19, 2012

Chimamanda Adichie: The danger of a single story

During a TED conference, Chimamanda Adichie shared how she found her authentic cultural voice and spoke about the dangers of only hearing a single story about a person or country. Having grown on a university campus in Eastern Nigeria, Chimamanda read a lot of British and American children's' books. As she began to write at a young age, Adichie penned stories not unlike those she was reading; in the following clip, she relays how learning about other African writers changed her perception of literature and helped her identify with and write about people, like herself.
"What this demonstrates [I think] is how impressionable and vulnerable we are in the face of a story, particularly as children. Because all I had read were books in which characters were foreign, I had become convinced that books by their very nature, had to have foreigners in them, and had to be about things with which I could not personally identify." Adichie explained.   








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March 30, 2012

Coffee Buzz: Tastemakers Soul Hartford, The Written Word


Every month, promoter and DJ of the radio show "Reflections", broadcast on 90.7 WTCC in Springfield, Massachusetts, hosts a networking event and industry showcase called Tastemakers Soul Hartford at Vibz Uptown, here in Connecticut. 
A panel of local movers and shakers convene for a panel discussion on the myriad of interesting topics and the opportunity to interact with like-minded individuals, hear great live music by independent and/or up-and-coming artists, and to browse a wonderful collection of handmade wares set up by jewelry makers and other artisans. 

It just so happens that yours truly—(Who? Yes, me! ) – will be featured on an upcoming panel in the company of other talented poets, editors, industry insiders, and writers including Spoken word artist and Publisher of S.L.A.M.M. Magazine Lenise “Nu Nuu” Smith, Carla Jervey of WQTQ FM in Hartford, and Kevin Harewood—Author of "Make Your Move-A Guide to Releasing Your Music Independently" and Industry Executive for boutique agency, Yeagency, discussing “The Written Word”. 

The event happens Sunday, April 22nd, 6pm – 10:30pm at Vibz Uptown at 3155 Main Street, in Hartford. For more information, visit the Tastemakers Soul Events Page on Facebook.  Hope to see you there!

February 16, 2012

In Which I Share in Earnest: The Uprising

 My writing prowess isn't just relegated to essays, blog posts, and articles. For years-- well before I delved further into the world of print journalism, blogging, and freelance writing; I was a prolific short-story writer. Short-story fiction is my first love and I haven't done nearly enough of it lately. 

I dabbled in poetry, participating in half-hearted public readings at open mics (I'm not a performance artist by any means), but I've always had an affinity for writing prose. Every now and again I dust off an old piece of work and put it through a series of revisions with the intent to self-publish. The Uprising, perhaps my favorite Pièce de résistance, is no exception. It's a story I've always aspired to have published as a novella since conceiving and writing it while at college. 

I rarely share anything I've written within the realm of short-story fiction via the Blogosphere and have an inkling to do so now. 

In observance of Black History Month, I've decided to release the prologue to The Uprising.
Perhaps if the mood strikes me, I'll share more.   


**Also, check out Dolen Perkins-Valdez's compelling book, Wench. I recommended this before however, I'm currently re-reading it for the third time and it's what prompted me to share an excerpt of my own work.


Read The Uprising...