“If I can just publish a poem per day and rely on my writing as a way out I’m sure that I’ll get through this last semester.” –SA

Those are the words I whisper to myself as my skinny black body and Afro goes into each classroom trying to fulfill expectations. As I walk around job to job to pay off all the things that are due, and as I run my own business during the wee hours of the night, nights where most of the time I’ve only gotten four hours of sleep (if that) at a time I find myself trying to conform.

I realize that being a black woman comes with standards that most can never fulfill if they were to walk in my shoes for two hours.

Being comfortable is a privilege.

So, what have I chosen to do? I have chosen to rise and stand up to all adversity that tries to keep me down, to speak to another black woman through my writing, and to rely on my words as a crutch. I’ve chosen to publish Hurdles , pay attention in class, and then clock in. Allow me to weave the reality of my words together in order to teach you something about privilege.

img_4412

Continue reading “An Explanation of ‘Hurdles’ & The Strong Black Woman Schema”

Intro

Ah! I’ve been itching to do a book review for a while now, but I’ve been binge reading! These novels were an entertaining four-in-one combo that will take you for a ride, I have so many thoughts. Allow me to share them with you!

I took the time to create a YouTube video that glances over the novels in their entirety if you don’t want to read an in-depth description of what I got out of it. Feel free to watch my video below because I’ll give you insight on what we consider as Urban Literature, the things that Granger decided to include in her books, and how we can use Kindle Unlimited to find our next read.

I won’t tell you too much, but overall For The Love of ATL by Desiree Granger is about young adults around the ages of 20-25 who either live near or on a college campus in the middle of ATL. She writes it from rotating first-person point of view in order to highlight all kind of controversy that occurs within black culture, more specifically, inner city Atlanta, Georgia.

In the video, I didn’t do go into too much detail about some of the characters that this entails, however, you can read more below.

I’ve included a talk that Desiree has on her channel where she tells you more about her books. Apparently, these are the very first books she’s written and they comprise of a series which leads itself into other works that have been more recently published. She has her own publication house and has been featured in stores. So, if you’re the kind of reader that wants to follow the growth of an author this is definitely an amazing opportunity for you.

Continue reading “Book Review/AOTD: For the Love of ATL Books 1-4 by Desiree Granger”

Whether you’re reading or writing a novel it’s important to love what you’re doing. When you’re reading a novel, enjoy the plot, understand the characters, and live in the setting even if you never left your bed. But, if you’re writing a novel then that’s a different challenge, but still conquerable, nonetheless. You just have to well… keep writing. What happens when you just. can’t. finish?

Continue reading “I can’t finish… this book, what now?”

As of lately, I’ve been taking my time to get to know different writers in order to network and trade ideas. It’s been really fun learning about the various kinds of things that writers are creating. This writer, Shea McGee, I met on Twitter. I invite you to follow her because her work is amazing. I was given the chance to read her first novel, Voices on the Air, and I’m here to not only review it but also her style of writing.

Continue reading “AOTD: S. L. McGee’s Voices on the Air”

As a writer in this day and age, we often think that we don’t have all the time in the world to come up with all the things we would like to share with others. However, I challenge you to rethink that philosophy.

If you believe that you don’t have enough time then you won’t have the time that you need. But, if you just place yourself on a timer and give yourself the goals then you will accomplish a lot more than you think. I’m going to tell you 3 ways to remain a productive writer in 2018.

Continue reading “How to Remain a Productive Writer”

Some of the greatest books that I’ve read lately have a lot to do with politics, but not in the sense of what you may be thinking of (guns, wars, policies, and officials), rather in a different way. I like to define these books as being “woke.”

I walked around saying, “I hate politics,” but I have to admit, for a long while I was ignorant between the difference of hard news and political socialization among people. I thought it was all the same when in reality I just don’t have a liking for the way that journalists are taught to publish their opinions in newspapers and throughout media (a different conversation for another day.)

However, I’m here to help you redefine politics. Instead of thinking about bombs and wars consider the fact that it is the social topics that surface in our day to day conversations. That’s it, it’s just that simple. When you comment on the way a celebrity dresses or acts you’re making a political statement.

We can’t dislike politics because everything is political, the way that we access and process information is a form of politics. But, I’m here to talk to you about the political socialization through novelizing.

Political socialization is a means of communicating social justice topics through a form of media. Usually, these socially charged messages are backed by a bias which we then subconsciously learn. When you’re politically socialized you’re introduced to politics through a medium where an implied belief was already attached to the message, whether you agreed or not.

There are many, many novels that do this and it’s why young adults love a good dystopian novel. The thing that scares us the most has nothing to do with vampires, zombies, or ghost, but everything to do with the “what if” portions of our psyche that is curious about what’s to come. That portion of our world matters the most because it deals with the politics of our everyday life.

As novelists, we have you drawn to our work when we use politics in order to either make you confrontational and wanting to activate change or see something through a different lens. I argue that the best novels always have something political to say.

You can take these books off of a shelf eighty years from now and they will still be relevant, why? Because they commented on something about ethics and morale which govern the way that humans create laws, policies, and change. In that sense, a novel will never be old or “out of date” because it lives in an eternal state of being.

The next time you pick up a book, ask yourself, why did this writer write this today? And, what you will find is that the context of the book changes. Whenever I read something by a friend or off of the shelf of the library I’m always engaged with the larger conversation.

I always wonder if the politics of the book was to make me reconsider something or highlight a certain parameter of politics that I hadn’t thought of before. I invite you to ask an author, why did you take more than twenty-four hours of your life to write this specific story? What are you politically socializing me to believe?