Lost to History – Unfamiliar Faces: Latasha Harlins and Deadwyler

The PBS Blog

Rodney King. It is a name that rings all too familiar in the history of Black America. Latasha Harlins however, is a not so familiar face.

Latasha Harlins

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Latasha Harlins died 13 days after the beating of Rodney King on March 16, 1991 at The Empire Liquor Market in South-Central Los Angeles with two dollars in her hand. After attempting to purchase a bottle of Orange Juice, Latasha and Korean Store Owner Ja Du got into a verbal and physical altercation. Du thought Latasha was trying to steal the $1.79 drink, which lead to a fight. Latasha struck Du and the two mouthed words before Harlins turned to walk out the door but it was too late. Ja Du pulled the handgun from behind the counter and shot the teen in the head. The entire ordeal was caught on tape and Latasha died instantly. She was 15 years old. November…

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Review: The Free State of Jones

 

I saw the movie, “The Free State of Jones” today and came away with mixed feelings. I did not see the film untainted because I’d read  reviews and knew their takes before I saw it for myself. One take lambasted the film as yet another where the white savior saved the otherwise helpless black folk from their despair. I didn’t feel that way because the black folk never really got saved anyway and mostly reverted back to a similar life than when in slavery, with a different name. Those that survived anyway.

jones blacks

Another take was that it was the true story of a Union stronghold in rural Mississippi that never gets told. While the Free people of Jones County had a common enemy with the Union soldiers. They were hardly allies and got little support because the geographic area had no strategic significance.

I can see that those that don’t know their history might rally behind the hope offered by the Republican Party vs. The oppression offered by the Democrats. They apparently don’t know that today’s Republican Party more closely resembles yesterday’s Democrats, as they have since the passage of Civil Rights legislation and Voting Rights legislation of the 1960’s. As entertainment, the movie works. As art it works, assuming one of the purposes of art is to create discussion. Where the film absolutely doesn’t work is as an accurate portrayal of history.

jones black man

 

“Free State of Jones” makes Newton Knight out to be a hero. To do so required they omit the history that would taint his legacy. They don’t mention that after his second (and black) wife Rachel died, he fathered children with his daughter George Anne. He led a community of not only interracial mingling but more familial mingling where the children of Newton and his first wife Serena married the children of he and his black wife Rachel. These are not the stories that tend to be seen as heroic, so they were omitted.

jones and rachel

The movie is a story, heavily disputed by many as conflicting books have been written and few facts are known. Even the subtitles giving the history of Jones County and the American Civil War are at best misleading, because of what they do not say. They tell us about reconstruction and blacks getting the right to vote. They fail to mention the Compromise of 1877 which led to the Federal troops that enforced reconstruction leaving, basically ending it as Jim Crow became the new law of the land.

For the purpose of the story, Newton deserted the Confederate Army to bring his dead nephew home to be buried. Whatever his reasons for desertion, they were not that. The story suggests Newton joined the Reb’s because of conscription which forced white men to join the Confederate Army when in fact he joined of his own free will. His causes of equality and freedom for all men are suspect when compared to some of the reports of his life.

jones nephew

If your motive is a couple hours of entertainment, and you don’t mind a bit of gratuitous violence, by all means go. If you’re looking for an honest portrayal of history, you’d be in the wrong place.

All Around the World Same Song!

With regrets to Digital Underground and its song with the same title, the song is the same all over the world. We’re watching Britain adjust in both horror and glee as they realize what they’ve done, and make no mistake. They did it because of racism.

english defense league

Oh they called it other things. They called it “Nativism”, “British Exceptionalism”, “Britain First”, “Nationalism” and the overreach of government. They were  particularly upset by the EU’s unwillingness to let Britain arbitrarily write different immigration rules to exclude primarily African and West Indian emigre’s. The only thing remaining to be said (which some did say) was Make Britain White Again to make one feel right at home.

Russian racism

It would be easy as Americans who generally show little concern for or knowledge of the rest of the world, to think of racism as local. Some have declared racism actually over, and are steadily rewriting history to suggest it had never really been. The reality is much harsher. Racism is now, as prevalent as ever before, just sneakier. Slavery begat the Slave Codes which begat Jim Crow which begat Voter Suppression which begat Citizens United. Every attempt along the way to improve things with a Civil Rights Act or Voting Rights Act or Affirmative Action Program was later weakened or undone by the Congress, lower courts and often the Supreme Court which lets primarily older white men interpret the law of the land.

voting bline

In Britain, the Brexit vote to leave the EU was almost all about immigration without regard to what else they say. Britain went from 7% minority to 14% in what seemed to it’s citizens to be less than a heartbeat. White nationalist’s voices grew louder and louder. Especially as minorities were no longer content to stay in their designated locations in major cities. These voices are not limited to Britain and the United States but are growing everywhere that once considered themselves white countries like France, Germany, Canada, Russia,Australia and more. Racism was the basis for Colonization which countries like France effectively continue, deriving great revenue by collecting alleged debt from their former colonies. Make no mistake that the “Nationalism” growing in the white world really means something else.

Soccer racism

America you’re not alone, just perhaps a bit more sophisticated about it.” When your conservative leaders cry out, “American Exceptionalism”it’s racist. When they chant, “Build a Wall”… racist. “Make America Great Again”, you know what they’re saying. So now America, you can watch what happens when a country bites off a nose to spite its face. In November will you do the same?

Trump-rally-Getty

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For How Much Did You Sell Your Soul?

 

While I will highlight Republicans in Congress, make no mistake, Democrats in Congress are complicit in this state of affairs. When 90 percent of Americans want background checks and most want bans on assault weapons. When almost 100 percent of the country wants something to be done to reduce mass murders by people that have no problem getting a gun. Why can’t our representatives in Congress make this happen? Truthfully we know the answer, Congressmen and Senators have either sold their vote to the NRA or are so afraid of the NRA that they bow to their every whim.

Paul Ryan

Paul Ryan… what was the price for your soul? Was it the $36,800 in campaign contributions from the NRA? Was it them allowing you to stay Speaker of the House and maintain your Presidential ambitions? You, of course know the NRA wields enough power among your fellow members that they could have you removed at any time.

Mitch McConnell

Mitch McConnell… was it the $26,300 you received directly from the NRA? Does being Senate Majority Leader mean so much that you’re willing to do nothing while more Americans die? Precisely because you did nothing.

The latest rationale for House members not to vote is allegedly the protection of American’s constitutional rights. That they shouldn’t undergo the inconvenience of a hearing should they incorrectly be on the no-fly list. Because people are placed on the no-fly list without due process, it would be unfair to keep them from getting a gun for that reason. Why I know that’s not the real reason, is that Republicans don’t advocate the repeal of the no-fly list altogether with its lack of due process. They recognize the importance of keeping Americans safe. Except from guns.

Republicans say this is a terrorism issue while Democrats want to make it a gun’s rights issue. How hard is it to see that it’s both? Isis and Al-Qaeda tell people to go to gun shows and buy guns to kill Americans. You Congress, ensure that they have that ability.

I want to know for what you sold your soul, so that I can see how much you value the lives of our citizens. Is the cash or power you receive from remaining in elected office worth ten lives, fifty, a thousand?

If what stands in your way is due process, work it out, I’m sure I could given the chance. If it’s partisan politics, get over it and put country first. If it’s because of payments from the NRA or fear of their power, you deserve to rot in hell for not giving a damn about the rest of us.

The Little Sister

 

 

I survey my kingdom from the throne

Many have gathered today in my honor

It is my date of birth and they come to pay homage

Kendall two

 

They come from near and far

Regal costumes were worn

I myself wore a red cape

And a hat for a crown

 

Until this point, I’ve always been the younger sister

Still younger technically but now I’ve come of age

Make no mistake I love my big sister with all my heart

Nobody messes with her without dealing with me

She’s Four

I’m now Three

kendall and gabby

 

I think I’ve always been aware

When I was born I knew my mother and clung to her

jessica and kids

My father took more getting used to as he kept going off to this thing called “work”

But he always came back

After he changed enough diapers and fed me, I let him into my world too

alan and kendall

 

When I was young I acted as a child

Now that I’m three I take my place in the world

Still the Little Sister

But also an independent force

That must be reckoned with

 

 

 

When Your Son Becomes a Father

 

You were there at his birth. You raised him as a child. And now he has become a man and father. As Father’s Day approaches. The true gift is being able to live vicariously through one’s children. I have two daughters’ and a daughter-in-law as well. They all three are outstanding mothers, putting all that they are into their seven total children, all girls. Perhaps on Mother’s Day I will discuss them, but today I speak on my son… the father.

I watch him now in the same way I observed his soccer games in his youth. While his mother was screaming, “That’s my baby!” I was normally quiet, yet watching his every move. He was an outstanding soccer player, generally the leading scorer on his teams. He had size, strength, and speed. Most importantly he had character.

He generally played over his age group which called for him to demonstrate a little more maturity than he otherwise would have. That didn’t stop him from being just a kid sometimes. In one rainy game there was a huge puddle in one area of the field and during a pause in the action, for no particular reason he jumped and stomped with both feet in the middle of a large puddle spraying water everywhere. I will encourage his children to do the same.

alan soccer

He was always responsible. Headstrong at times, he could not be punished into compliance, it took negotiation. At various times during his childhood, he had to be given privileges back so that something could be taken away. Even in those times he was respectful and soft spoken. I remember thinking, one day you’ll have children and you’ll see! He now has children.

Somehow, seemingly instantly. He gained a maturity I know I didn’t exhibit at that age. He was tall, athletic and handsome (he’s still all three) yet he proved capable of self-control in an environment with options. He handled himself well in relationships and learned from mistakes much more quickly than his father.

I first met his future wife as I was taking my youngest daughter to college in New Orleans, passing through Tallahassee where my son was in college as well. We met at a restaurant and he brought his girlfriend along so that we could meet. He and his sister were as close as any two people in life and they spent that lunch almost exclusively in conversation with each other to the exclusion of the other two present. The siblings love each other dearly still, but now his wife is properly in the lead place.

alan and jessica

I remember the day he came to dinner and asked if he could see me privately. We went into another room and he explained that he was ready to take a wife and wanted my blessing. He talked of how they loved each other even when they had nothing, and he was certain their love would only grow stronger. He was logical, concise and confident. I gladly blessed the union with no regrets then or now.

Then came the time, they announced a child was on the way. It was slipped into the middle of a conversation and they watched as the news sunk in. I was not worried that he was ready for the responsibility because that was perhaps his greatest strength. He was to become a father.

alan and jessica cute

One day in late November, a call came that they were headed to the hospital. It was way too early, the baby was premature. My own experience with premature children was mixed. I was a premature baby though one would never suspect it to see me now. Another child of mine that would have been a girl didn’t live. Attempts were made to delay the birth as long as possible to give the baby a chance but to no avail. Both of these were on my mind as I went to the hospital, determined to be there either way.

Family gathered in the waiting room. My son was in and out but mostly back with his wife as doctors were making decisions as to how to proceed. Their child was further along than the one I lost and there weren’t the deep concerns about life and death but they were concerned about the development of the lungs and wanted to delay the birth also. Ultimately, not long before Thanksgiving, a small healthy baby girl was born. She spent her first days mostly in an incubator. The baby stayed in the hospital for a couple days after her mother was released. The parents resisted the urge to kidnap their child and were finally able to bring her home. My son was now a father.

alan and baby gabby

I watched him as a father, in the same manner, I had watched him play soccer. I didn’t tell him what to do but if asked would offer my opinion. Fatherhood was a more severe test of character than soccer ever was. It, like other things, doesn’t create one’s character, it reveals it. Having a child is a test of patience and priorities. It’s a combination of love, fears, frustrations and incredible rewards. He and his wife have handled them all well. I’m sure not without growing pains but love and faith in God see’s them through. Several months later, in the midst of another unrelated conversation. An announcement about a new impending birth was made. This one went with less drama and now he stands alone in a household full of women.

alans women

My son and his wife have found their own way regarding how they raise their children. They have a partnership with roles. They each sacrifice in different ways. If he were to come to me and ask as he used to after his soccer games, “What do you think?” I would respond as follows:

  1. Embrace every moment: For all the things you’re striving for. The business you’re starting and plans for your family. Don’t let the small moments with your children pass you by. They go so quickly. Fatherhood is more than the responsibility you carry so well. It is also joy. Each hug, each time those girls run to greet you. Remember it all because those times are as important as the milestones.
  2. Maintain your own identity: In addition to the roles you have taken on as father and husband. There must be room to be you. Maintain some separate interests, friendships, and family relationships. A heightened sense of self will allow you to be better at the roles that if allowed would define you.
  3. Make time for your marriage: Work, children, and other responsibilities will consume 100% of your time if allowed. At least one of your babysitters sees those calls to give you some time, not as a burden but as an opportunity, so feel free to call.

I have no further advice. You’re doing just fine on your own. Parent’s want better for children than they had for themselves. They want their children to not only do well but be well. You have become a wonderful man and Father. I’m very proud. Happy Father’s Day!

 

Dad

 

Fee Thomas at feethomas.com

Many of you may have seen the poems I posted on behalf of someone special with no forum of her own. I posted a few of my favorites which can be found here:

https://enigmainblack.wordpress.com/category/poetry/fee-thomas/

Fee now has her own blog and a place to share the words that captivated me. I wish her much success and I look forward to seeing more of her week!

Go check her out at feethomas.com

Enigma in Black

 

“When I write there is no thought. It is complete invocation of Spirit and heart. I write, simply, because I cannot stop.”  Fee Thomas

 

 

 

 

I Can’t Watch the News Today

 

 

I’m normally a news junkie. National news, political news, local news. If I watched the news today I could get it all in one after the Orlando shooting.

orlando shooting four

 

I used to live a block from the club where the shooting took place. It was an eclectic neighborhood. A combination of older homes built in the mid 1900’s and newer homes and condos with a Mediterranean flair. Less than 2 miles from downtown, there was an air of gentrification along with elderly homeowners that had watched the neighborhood change with the times.

orlando shooting neighborhood too

Thru an otherwise quiet neighborhood runs Orange Avenue. Lots of shops, a major hospital a few blocks away, a gym and immediately across from the club there’s a Wendy’s and on another corner a Dunkin’ Donuts. I confess I used to walk to both far too frequently.

Dunkin Donuts

The nightclub “Pulse” was a neighbor too. I admit the music was loud, carrying thru the neighborhood on weekend nights. Dance music, house music, and sometimes salsa. I imagine the noise may have bothered some, to me it was just part of the weekend on my block.

 

There wasn’t enough parking in the Pulse lot. Club goers would park on the neighboring side streets including mine and it wasn’t unusual to bump into patrons on their way into the club. I didn’t see many on their way out as the club let out late. They were generally very polite, they asked if we minded if they parked in front of our house, and incidentally they were gay.

Orlando shooting neighborhood

I won’t watch the news today because I don’t want to view the endless speculation that accompanies these things. They’ll guess as to motive, some stations will steer the conversation to radicalism instead of homophobia. They’ll bring on experts, comments from politicians, tweets from Trump. Someone will blame Obama.

The NRA will close ranks and insist that guns for everyone, everywhere is the answer. If only there were more “good guys with guns”. Others will call for “common sense” gun reform and background checks but they’ll ultimately be ignored. They will speak to survivors of previous shootings. They’ll speak to witnesses and relatives. There will be tears. The cycle is predictable and goes on and on.

orlando shooting witnesses

I was in Atlanta when the bombing took place during the Olympics. I’d been near the location a couple hours before the blast. I was in New York when the twin towers came down. When I saw the hole a year later I was numb. I’m not afraid for myself, I know there are yet things for me to do so I worry not. I do fear for my children and grandchildren. What kind of country do we live in? What kind of world? I learned Facebook has an app to let people know you are safe when there’s a shooting near you. What kind of world?

When I was young. I could ride my bike or take the bus all over town. During the summer I would leave my home precisely at 9 in the morning, to return only for food or before the street lamps came on. I felt safe. It was safe. My children’s children will not know that kind of freedom, nor safety.

I won’t watch the news today, maybe not tomorrow. I know what they’re saying. They’ve said it all before.

Dear God…

Dear God…

I wish I’d thought to write to you previously, it only seems natural to wish to organize my thoughts in conversation with you. You already know my heart but perhaps by writing and clarifying my thoughts I can learn a bit more about my own.

First, let me thank you for carrying and keeping me in spite of all that I have done and the times I neglected our relationship. In the worst of times and circumstances, you always came through and let me know that you weren’t finished with me yet. You have given me signs and wonders, you literally saved my life on more than one occasion but I came at some points to take your favor for granted for which I am sorry. You’ve shown me that despite whatever skills I might possess (gifts granted by you) that I cannot make it on my own and that it is only by your grace that I can reach the heights you have planned for me.

I want to acknowledge that I am a sinner and that pride has often been my downfall. I have cared too much about the perception of others and wanted them to think highly of me instead of trusting them to accept me for who I am. In my arrogance, I believed that things I accomplished were due to me and not because of you. I have failed in two marriages because you were not a partner and I recognize now that not coming to you in prayer and conversation was to fail to utilize the greatest resource available.

I wish to forgive those who I feel/felt have wronged me. Not that they are without fault, I now recognize that they are no more guilty than I of acting in the flesh rather than the spirit and that only thru You and trusting in Your divine guidance can true happiness be attained.

I believe you have promised me a fantastic chance to serve your purpose while here on earth. It is my faith in this promise that has carried me during some bad times because I know what you have in store for me. I recognize that this blessing is not the culmination but the beginning of my service to you and I will do my best to carry out your plan as I understand it. Your servant has told me to plan for this blessing and I continue to do so with every waking day. I ask you to help me focus on your will and not stray too far afield with my own desires, recognizing that they may not always be the same thing.

I believe myself to be ready, I thank you for all you have brought me thru which has added humility to the gifts I possess and a bit better understanding of the human condition and what I might be able to do to help others… on your behalf.

The planning is not over, and I will try to remember to pray on each step along the way to both seek your favor and stay on the path you have for me. I feel a lifting in my spirit just from having written these words which are achieving the desired result while barely touching on the subject that was vexing me. Nice talking to you God, I’ll stay in touch!

How Much Do I Owe My Readers?

 

I will ultimately get to the point of answering the question, “How much do I owe my readers when I blog about topics like relationships and dating?” Let me first say that I’ve written a romance novel that I’m trying to get published that is quite different than what I normally write which is politics, history, family and more politics. I have a writing coach that has seen me through the arduous task of editing the book so she has come to know what I think and feel about a variety of subjects related to love and she has encouraged me to write more in that vein. When I say encourage I would like to say assign but that would be a little harsh, she invites me to consider that which she wants me to do. If I hesitate she temporarily lets the subject drop, knowing she’ll come back to it in a different way. She’s relentless.

She means it all for my good. She wants me to “build a fan base” and “have a platform” which will translate to people wanting to read everything I write and buy my book when it comes out so I see the logic. She “suggested,” I write a piece for the “Good Men Project” that she thought might serve me well. Having run out of excuses I agreed to look at the site and have something ready the next day so I came back with this:

 

“When You Don’t Know What You Want

Sometimes you know far more about what you don’t want in a relationship than what you do. I have a theory (you’ll find I have many theories) that people are somewhat defined by their greatest pain and that they will do much not to repeat that hurt. While not always perceived to be true, men can come out of failed relationships just as hurt and damaged as women, although pride may well keep them from saying so. These are some of the things men do after it’s over:

  1. Time Out – Some men will simply avoid relationships for a period of time while they prepare themselves to get back into something serious. This could entail total avoidance and abstaining or could allow for meaningless sex, requiring flight at the first sign that things are getting crucial. It may be impossible to correlate their actions and words with their ultimate deeds because these men may be extremely romantic. They are quite capable of being tender, holding and caressing which they do not because they are in love; but because they love the feeling associated with being able to make their partner feel good. They might be affectionate lovers, but not want to spend the night or be there for breakfast conversation.
  2. Trying to Get Her Back – This man isn’t content with the resolution of the relationship and won’t be satisfied until he’s done all he can to get her back. Phone calls, flowers, apologies… promise of change. I have another theory that you never truly know someone until you live with them, or until you break up. For the person on the receiving end of this possibly unwanted attention. Being nice can easily be construed as giving hope, so firm and clear is the way to go if you don’t want him back. He may dwell in a dystopian reality imagining how wonderful your relationship was and how perfect it will be again, if she would only take him back. This is a period not unlike madness and while it often eventually fades as reality sets in. Be wary!
  3. Serial Monogamy – This man want’s to be in love whether to prove he can move on or to duplicate feelings that translate somewhere to self-esteem. He moves quickly, fast to express his “love”, assuming without discussing, wanting the shell of a relationship without establishing a core. While it’s possible he will accidentally find his soul mate and come to have true love, the likelihood is small.
  4. Man-Whore – I heard this expression just yesterday and am taking some unexplainable pride in now using man-whore in a sentence. He’ll literally do anybody because he is at least temporarily equating conquest with success. I suppose one good thing you can say about this fellow is that he is not limited by shape, size, race or any surface considerations. Getting you in his bed or yours is sufficient. He walks the thin line between not wanting a relationship and having the ability to go back for seconds and thirds.
  5. Looking for Love – This man wants to get married and considers marriage his natural state. He has a list of criteria and begins checking off items on your first date as to whether you will be a good spouse or perhaps a good mother to existing or future children. He has high standards, perhaps impossible, but because he’s at least willing to be serious about love and marriage, women might contort themselves in an attempt to live up to his expectations. Others may perceive him as a “good catch”, placing shade on the woman who he didn’t appreciate. When you meet this man he is from day one drawing up a marriage contract that he will expect you never to deviate from without it being considered bait and switch.

All of these men are capable of change although recognition of the need to do so may come slowly. If you are relying on your ability to change them or see them much differently than they actually are. There may be some self-examination required on your part. I submit that there is hope from a seemingly unlikely source; the man who doesn’t know what he wants.

The man who doesn’t know what he wants has achieved some level of enlightenment and is willing to consider the fact that none of us (including himself) is perfect and is willing not only to accept but perhaps find endearing some of the flaws you both possess. He is more likely to be honest than the man following a more proscribed agenda. He is more likely to value communication than he that is more goal oriented whether it be sleeping with a woman, marrying her, or putting another notch in his belt. To the man who has realized he doesn’t know what he wants I have a few suggestions:

  1. Don’t Settle – This man often knows very much what he doesn’t want and often having is not so great a thing as wanting. Time spent with someone you know you don’t want, is time you’ll never get back. You can also be blocking future blessings by not having space for that potential soulmate because you elected to chose a cellmate simply for companionship.
  2. Be Honest – You don’t need to have it all together in terms of knowing what you want. Men work so hard at trying to be what they think women want that they create a character much different than the real you. Honesty is sexy! Your fear that women will reject you by saying you don’t know what you want is misplaced. Those that do are perhaps so rigid in their specific needs that you can consider it part of your screening process. They simply self-deported (thanks Mitt Romney for that contribution to the lexicon).
  3. Self-Assess – Lingering in a perpetual state of unawareness is not acceptable. Women will work with you if you are working with them. If you aren’t challenging yourself to narrow the parameters of your choice, then not knowing what you want becomes an excuse. It’s simply not caring enough to work it out. Assess your experiences, what have you learned? I’ve been married twice for extended periods of time. It is not possible that I have learned nothing thru that experience whether it be about my partner’s behavior of my own. What are you unwilling to endure? Will each new possible romance accept you for who you are or do they require you maintain a facade? You can never know how they will react to the real you without sharing the real you.
  4. What is Your Greatest Pain? – I began by saying that people will go to great lengths to avoid repeating their greatest pain. I extend the challenge to not only discover your greatest pain but to relate it to someone with whom you believe might just be what you want. It will require an openness and honesty most uncommon, but the potential reward is far greater than the possible loss. If you and your prospective love can share with each other what you have learned about relationships, how you’ve been hurt and how that has informed your decisions. You’ll be on a road that could take you not just where you desire but to a greater love than ever imagined.

So much about finding a partner is based on chance. We meet people and accept and reject sometimes in moments, based on the skimpiest of evidence. Should you meet someone that doesn’t know what they want, I submit they present a world of possibilities.” So don’t reject out of hand the man who doesn’t know what he wants. Instead, if interested, consider it the starting point of a conversation.”

 

Having given her the piece, I thought I was pretty much through and when she initially read it she liked it which theoretically meant I was off the hook. The first sign I wasn’t through was when she sent me a message requesting we “read thru the article”. Reading thru the work which is basically me reading aloud what I’ve written is a valuable editing tool because it’s easy to spot some of the grammatical errors and tricky sentences once you say them out loud. I am the “King of the run-on sentence” and I know the end result will be a better product. I also knew she wanted to suggest some changes which she will help me discover while I read.

 

Let me say that my writing coach is sometimes the worst writing coach in the world. If she calls and asks me what I’m doing and I reply, “I’m writing”. Most people would look at that as a sign that I’m busy and request a better time or make the conversation brief. I think the words, “I’m writing” is taken as a personal challenge to extend the conversation as long as possible and keep me from engaging in the activity she’s supposed to be supporting.  Other times however, her ability to deconstruct a piece and see what’s missing is amazing and I know that my novel is ten times the work it was when I initially sent her what I initially wrote. The bottom line was that she said for me to write a piece like that in this particular forum, I needed to basically pour out my soul. She wanted to speak of my personal experiences and relationships and what I’ve learned, what mistakes I’ve made and what I would do differently. I tried to explain that, “this is why I write fiction”. I choose to draw on all my experiences to make complex characters that are realistic. If one wants to surmise that those are my specific experiences they are welcome to infer but I still have maintained some semblance of privacy.

She told me that I was welcome to make any choice I wanted but if I wrote for that forum I owed the readers more of myself. As you can see I chose to publish this piece in my own Blog and save the Good Men Project or other similar publications for another time. Perhaps someday I’ll write about me instead of stuff, but for now, I dole it out a bit at a time. I am after all named Enigma!

babs one

 

 

For anyone who wants to contact the worst writing coach in the world (except when she’s the best). She’s Babz Rawls Ivy at mediababz@gmail.com