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Writers Detox

Perhaps

Perhaps its that I’ve not yet discovered how best to master my craft–not that i’ve lost my passion for it…

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A Writer Ignoring Her Calling

Have you ever questioned the legitimacy of your talent? Wondered if you’ll ever make it beyond the point of “just good enough” to exceptional? Have you ever wondered if the creative path you’ve journeyed is even the right one. I for one have many doubts about my own path.

For the last 18 years I’ve had it stuck in my head that I would someday be an Author. That writing would someday be my full-time profession.

It seems like an incredibly risky step to take. I am young yes, but completely beholden to college loans and other lovely “adult-y” responsibilities.

I find myself growing irritable knowing that I am not writing at the level that I should be, and that I am not in reality living my dream-job. I am passionate about writing, I have wildly creative stories that I’ve yet to pen. Add in the random bouts of writers block and just try to imagine my frustrations.

Essentially I am ready to take the first steps in chasing my dream. But I am not sure how. I do know for certain that I will need two things:

  • A mentor
  • To fully immerse myself in my craft in order to grow

As with any writer or creative being, I am scared of the prospect of failure but I cannot fight the calling. I need to write.  Writing will be my full-time one way or the next. My passion will become my profession.

Creative Funk

poetry-writers-block--1024x682I’ve found myself in a bit of a creative funk. How do I climb out of it this time?

Under Construction

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Pardon the mess as I attempt to give the blog a new more “trendy look.”  Please feel free to offer some suggestions on the most user-friendly/ aesthetically pleasing sites.

🙂

Emotion and Creativity

I want to think it’s completely ok to be ruled by emotion. That my creativity does not move in sync with my emotional stability. How do I maintain the balance when the line between the two is so blurry?

Speaking About The Future In Hushed Tones

Dear future college graduates,

You are not alone. I too am scared, scared of the prospects of the “real world”. I’m right there with you, scared of life without a set meal plan, without the daily routines we’ve grown so accustomed to over the past four or five years. Yes, I’m scared…. Right there with you.

So how exactly does one traverse this almost entirely new terrain, aka the great big “real world”? Do we tip toe into it gently? Do we dive in head first? Or do we hold our precious  degrees close to our poor little hearts (college will leave you dirt poor—literally) as we hope and pray employers (in the fields we have practiced, of course) see the potential we have so long seen in ourselves, and hire us—fresh out of college and all.  After all, we did work four-five long and hard years to prepare for the real world.

So how exactly do we do this thing? Do we get a flashy neon sign reading “recent college grad for hire” as we stand on a busy sidewalk or do we huddle in a corner screaming, “ I have a degree hire me please” ?

Sirs and madames, I AM SCARED TO GO OUT INTO THE REAL WORLD. Somehow the little (yet helpful) advice that college career counselors have given me during the course of my academic run seems a tad bit outdated, and leaves me feeling wholly unprepared. Though I’m nervous and scared, which really is the key theme of this post, I am optimistic. I am sure I will figure it out. I always do, and I have faith that you will too.

Now as I end this post and continue to speak about the future in very hushed tones, I know you’ll be right there with me; and as we progress, our voices will become a little louder, more confident. Heck, soon enough we’ll be using our outside voices as we discuss our amazing futures.

You can do it! We can do it! Good Luck, I will keep you posted about what happens next on my journey to graduation, and life there after 🙂

Patron saint Francis de Sales, I pray thee send your guidance as I continue my musings.

Share with me, I would love to hear your views 🙂

Winter Vacation Update

Great news! I Shaneice J.P have successfully completed another semester, woo-hoo!  My excitement is building as I await the spring semester, and the last few weeks of my college career. It was challenging few years, yet it was highly rewarding . I would not trade the experience for anything. I would not have done anything differently –other than maybe NOT take Physics, Chemistry and all that Jazz.

So now that I am on my academic break, I’ve got a lot of recreational reading factored into my holiday schedule.Here are a few of my picks:

  • E.X Giroux’s A Death of A Dodo
  • Mollie Hardwick’s Charlie Is My Darling
  • Elle James’ Fifty Shades Trilogy

I know some folks might judge me for Fifty Shades being on my list, but I must say I do enjoy the books and what the author managed to accomplish with them.

Anywhoo–I must go now, expect some updates for my reading list—also, I am working on the second chapter for my novella, as well as a short story. I will chat with you all soon, and as always thanks for your continued support 🙂

Thriving Under Pressure

So was just sitting around trying to figure out what to do next for my blog, right. Until I found myself frustrated. Frustrated–because I ‘m barraged with all these great ideas but can never find enough time to develop them. I go so irritated. Irritated enough that I threw my notebook (the one with all my ideas) to the ground.  I huffed and whined to myself “why the hell did I choose writing?”, and you know what? Right there and then I got steamrolled by realization. The realization that I didn’t choose writing, writing chose me.

I’ve never really had time to think about this before; I’ve always thought “well since I’m ok at writing I may as well get a degree in it”. I’ve never thought about the passion that drives me to be so dedicated to writing– that is until right now.

I guess it’s all the pressure I’m under right now that’s got me thinking much too hard about my writing. I’m merely  months away from graduating college and the “what will writing do for you?” question has been tossed at me far too times already. It’s the pressure of writing to the best of my ability, and being mindful of all the other talented and more experienced writers that has me under pressure.  It’s thinking maybe I’m not ready to do writing full time yet that has me under pressure.

Even as I battle these insecurities I hear the reassuring little voice in the back of my head coaching me onwards, shouting “you can’t give up, you won’t give up”. And I know it’s true. I can’t and won’t give up Countless times I’ve crumpled my paper and thrown down my pen just to pick them up again. And that’s how I know I can’t walk away from passion. I can’t walk away from my passion. I didn’t choose writing chose me.

But that’s it for my informal little ramble. I just needed to detox, “let me hair down” a bit, –now that I’ve written I feel loads better 🙂

Well then catch you next time  🙂 don’t forget to explore the blog ,subscribe and share 🙂 Toodles !

Father Time has not been good to me–busy, busy, busy…

Hey folks,

Again I find myself swamped by course work. I have a few projects i’m working on for the blog, but I haven’t had time to do anything outside of school assignments. I trust you folks won’t mind the delay in my postings, its my senior year and I really REALLY have no space for slacking. I understand that it is my responsibility to balance these things and i’m trying my best. After this weekend hopefully the pace of things will slow down a bit.

Thanks for always being so understanding and again I must say that I am truly am humbled by your continued readership– the blog is fast approaching 2000 views, which I think is impressive considering November 11th will mark its 2 month birthday (woooo-hooo!).

🙂 In the meantime, you can check out some of my short stories and the amazing poems contributed by my featured writers 🙂 toodles !

A Story with some patois in the mix

Guys, i’m working on a new short story where i’m writing it with a mixture of standard English and my local dialect —Jamaican Patois(Patwa). I’m extremely excited yet nervous at the same time, I’ve never written anything in my dialect except for facebook statuses and text messages. I won’t say much more — I just hope you guys will like it when its done.

But i’m so nervous!

I just wanted to highlight a bit of my culture through my writing as a lot of the values I hold dear come from my cultural experience and upbringing.

Well that’s my update for now 🙂  See ya when its done!

Ngugi Wa Thiongo’s A Grain of Wheat

My reading list is really just me sharing some of the books of interest that I have read. This is in no way a formal book review. These are just my thoughts what I’ve read and my interpretation of it.

Now folks I won’t be the one to lie to you and say that I generally enjoy my classes’ choice of assigned reading, as a matter of fact I never do. The joy of discovery is surely wiped away once I learn that reading the book is “mandatory” or my class grade “depends on my understanding of the text”.

Needless to say my initial opinion of reading  A Grain of Wheat  for my Post-Colonial Literature class was less than pleasant. Well not that it matters now it was a great read.

A Grain of Wheat chronicles the struggles of the people of Thabai Village- Kenya (I am not sure if the name of this village is fictional or not)  and specifically highlights the internal struggles of three former friends Gikonyo, Karanja, and Kihika–a resistance fighter who was betrayed by one of his two friends. Both Gikonyo and Karanja carry the weight of betraying their close friend to colonial powers, ultimately betraying their own people.

The story addresses some of  the effects that European colonization had on Kenya before and around the time that it finally gained Uhuru freedom/Independence.  The author employs a style in which he mixes fiction with historical facts– which at times is quite hard to follow, and uses flashbacks to take his readers into the heart of the people’s struggle.

I must say this was a difficult book to read, even with some knowledge of colonialism to put it in context. However, I will suggest this book to the individual who is looking for something much more than a good read.

I won’t give away anything more about the story, if you’d like to read this book i’m sure you can visit your local library, buy a copy or get an e-copy.

Well then friends 🙂  happy reading.

What’s Coming Next?

I have a lot of new material to share with you kind folks, but I shall have to put sharing them off till after the weekend.  I’m currently studying for a couple of midterms 😦 the good news is:  these exams are all scheduled for this week, so i’ll  be much more hands on with my blogging after the “storm passes”.

What to expect next:

  • Writers Detox- A piece on staying  organized and balancing work, school, social time etc.
  • The Daily Life– What inspires me to write my stories and some background on my writing process.
  • Short Stories– I’m currently working on a few shorts, release dates are to be determined.

And above all thank you all for reading and sharing you feedback with me through comments, email, twitter etc. I appreciate it greatly and hope to continue providing you with the good reading material. Also, I would like to thank this month’s contributors/featured writers: Ms. Carleen Colin and Ms. Lashuntrice Bradley for such beautiful pieces.  Thank you all and please visit again soon — don’t forget to subscribe 🙂

The One Month Mark

Exhibit A: Excited Face (humor me)
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Happy one month to my blog! woo-ho! OK so it may not be as big a deal to you all, but for me its a great achievement 🙂 As some of you may already know, I made the transition from Blogger to WordPress exactly thirty days ago, a transition that I don’t regret. In the month that I’ve here I’ve met some really cool, insightful and amazing bloggers. Long story short, I love it here! Seriously i’m happy, thank you for your continued support. Visit again soon 🙂

Sincerely,

Shaneice P.

Hanging In The Balance

Is there a signal I can send out that might get a distressed writer some assistance? If so please, I pray thee let me know how. There’s just so much to do and not enough time to get it all done. It seems even with some degree of time management my issue seems to continue. How do I balance it all? Though my issue may be trivial compared to others, i’m finding it increasing difficult to divide my time between all the different activities that I take part in.

I commend those of you who’ve managed to maintain this delicate balance, lord knows its a real challenge. I’m caught between writing for my blog–my baby and writing for school. Its seems whenever I have to attend to my less than desirable school work, that’s when really great ideas hit. Fellow writers i’m positive you know how hard it is to walk away from your pens, computers, type-writers even (you know,If you like the fancy stuff) when you’ve gotten a great idea. Its very hard.

So my question to you all is, how do you folks manage to maintain balance in your daily lives and still find time to be creative? Do you folks have some sort of system, or do you just go with the flow of things? Feel free to engage in conversation with me in the comment section. Suggestions and tips on how to deal with this issue are more than welcome.

Thanks for reading!

We like grammar—Write now, edit later.

Now let’s be real, if you’re a writer like myself, I’m sure you don’t spend your every writing moment searching for grammatical errors, and trying to make you’re writing a perfect masterpiece as you go.  Well, I’m here to ruin your moment or “whatever”, but I don’t care too much for grammar when I’m in the midst of “a big idea”,(of course on average I do care, but not when that big idea hits) c’mon admit it, you know where I’m going with this.

Yes, that big idea that came to you while sitting through that good awful class (which shall not be named for the sake of well, nothing), that big idea that you had to write down before it slipped away into the holey sponges of your over-crammed brain, yes we’ve all been there, and if by all I mean me, then I guess I’ve been there way too many times.

The point is, when you hit that good creative vibe, you don’t want to stop, you just want to keep writing, you feel the freedom in the pen and you just can’t stop to think of good ol’ grammar. I imagine you’re reading, bobbing your head up and down as you concede, “true my knowledgeable friend, ‘tis true.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that grammar isn’t important; I’m saying when you’re experiencing a creative  surge it shouldn’t necessarily be at the front of your thoughts (if it is, kudos to you). I know the importance of grammar. Moral of my chit-chat, write now, edit later (if and only if that works for you).

Thanks for reading, catch you next time. Now feel free to pin-point all the grammar crimes I’ve committed. I’m sure there many and not far afield, hehehe. When I make edits I’ll be sure to seek forgiveness from the grammar and mechanics gods.  🙂

Kresley Cole’s Dark Needs at Night’s Edge

Since you’re reading, I certainly won’t keep you long. A couple months ago I finished reading Kresley Cole’s Dark Needs at Night’s Edge from the Immortals After Dark series and I must say she did a fabulous job on this book. I mean, I’m not going to go into specifics (because my ultimate goal is for you to go discover the joys of reading– I want you to really want to know what this book  is about and get you to go hunting in the library or online for it, I rented this book at the library then found a copy at Saver’s and bought mine there). Of all the books on my personal reading list, this is the one I always want to re-read. Its just a great read in every way. A paranormal love tale with a twist.So far I’ve read it four times 🙂

Long story short, I was positively caught up in this strange yet enchanting paranormal romance. Whether I stayed only to figure out how a relationship between a complex prima-ballerina/poltergeist,Neomi Larress and a devastatingly handsome/raging-mad vampire, Conrad Wroth would unfold. And trust me  friend,their story was as complex as a poltergeist and mad vampire falling in love could be. Or if I stayed only to see how a fallen vampire, as mad as Conrad Wroth could possibly regain sanity. I haven’t figured any of this out yet. I do know however, that I loved this book. I intend to read other books by this author and other books in Immortals after Dark series.

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Writer’s thrive on encouragement. So it’s always beautiful to see friends encourage their pals to keep up the good work. Often times, that little push is just what they need. So for all you writers “out there”– keep up the good work, keep writing! 🙂

“I learned never to empty the well of my writing, but always to stop when there was still something there in the deep part of the well, and let it refill at night from the springs that fed it.”- Ernest Hemingway

Solitude

In absolute solitude I sigh. Everything feels so drab, lifeless and at other times daunting.

Silence travels in echoed whispers along the lonely corridors of my soul, threatening to take me to a place so deep, dark, and by far worse than isolation’s own self. I despise solitude. I loathe the way it makes me feel. I shiver in disgust when I feel it creeping up, threatening to bury me in a shallow grave of loneliness, desertedness, and depression. In solitude I find myself. I find my thoughts, my energy, my entire life force being dragged into an abyss, my emotions spiraling out of control infinitely.

Secluded, my thoughts go into overdrive. I think of the what-ifs, the what-has-beens, and the what-is-to-come. Though being alone is a relief at times, just being in solitude for long periods of time force my thoughts astray. You know, to that little place I’d never want to be on average. Thoughts of career objectives, expectations from those around me, and thoughts of the big scary future plague me. I am burdened with glorious purpose (Sorry I couldn’t exactly pass up the perfect opportunity to throw in a quote from Loki :)) Any-who, yes, as I was saying; These lonesome thoughts aren’t always welcome. I always find a way to snap back into the present, writing happens to help a lot.

One thing I’ve learned for sure, my perception and observation “skill” are heightened by solitude. Minute details that wouldn’t normally be bothersome become glaringly obvious. Seriously, everything turns into the proverbial “elephant in the room”. I  just can’t not notice whatever it is. These elephants drive me to an even higher point of contemplation…..perhaps a more accurate word would be annoyance. Oh ok, say, I just noticed a dent in my door. Now i’m looking around consciously seeking out more evident/less evident flaws, the how did it get there?, when did it get there?, who put it there? and why have I never seen this before‘s up even as I try to not think too hard about them. That, my friend is the work of solitude.

At night, its the worst really. I get caught up in the rapids of my lonesome thoughts, and lord-y they’re nothing to be reckoned with. I mean its really not all bad– I did get this pretty nice free-write out of it.

I’m sure by now you’ve noticed that this moved from what started out as a short piece, into more of a free-ramble. (It happens, and when it does it tend to go with the flow). Now I must go. When I return I shall have a good short story for you all 🙂

Thanks for reading my ramble.

Freewriting

Free-writing. How can I possibly explain the concept of an action as amazingly beautiful as writing without a second thought? Personally, I hope every creatively inclined person “out there” who puts pen to paper, finger to keyboard (or whatever your personal preference) considers free-writing as a taste of Writer’s Heaven; their own Utopia, if (and only if) the idea doesn’t seem to far-fetched.

Writing should not always be about achieving perfection, it should be solely about expressing one’s self in a manner that is effective, relate-able, and riveting. I’m a big believer in the good that free-writing can do. Why? Free-writing allows writers to freely express themselves completely and creatively without having to think about all the technicalities that go hand-in-hand with writing (grammar, punctuation, and all that good stuff). Free-writing is just what its name implies, freedom in writing.

Just like the average doubtful Thomas, or in my case doubtful Shaneice, I recall questioning the effectiveness of free-writing, until I decided to test it out for myself. I decided i’d write about a random topic without thinking much of grammar, spelling, errors or any other technical detail. I did that, it was eh, “meh”. So I went ahead and wrote another piece which was more planned out, and resolved to compare the outcome. The results really surprised me; I couldn’t believe that the piece I wrote using the free-write technique was decidedly better (and one hundred percent more creative) than the other. The ideas that i’d initially had for both pieces were the same yet the different techniques used resulted in completely dissimilar outcomes. The one that was planned, inevitably had next to perfect grammar, great organization and good word choice, yet it was lacking in creativity and dimension, the piece seemed dry, flat and lacking in both originality and spunk. On the other hand the free-write piece was raw with creativity, big ideas, and fresh new viewpoints.

I enjoy free-writing because it gives me free reign of my ideas, I write first then think/edit later.  I don’t have to pre-meditate what to write, I just get to write. It allows original ideas to come through and my creative juices to flow more easily.What’s more important to you? Writing a good, creative piece, original piece, that can be edited  for grammar and mechanics at a later time, or would you rather writing a piece with perfect grammar, mechanics and spelling; yet lacking substance and creativity? I’d choose to free-write. No ifs, no buts, no maybes.

For those non-believers, namely those who discourage free-writing. I will boldly defend my stance. I suggest you not dismiss the technique until you’ve at-least tried it. Imagine how good it feels to write freely without stopping to gather thoughts, or to edit, not losing zest, or those great ideas that are so quick to fade with deep thought. Then think of reviewing those same raw thoughts,discovering originality and a knack for writing that you’ve never quite thought you were capable of. You really won’t know how great it feels until you’ve tried it.

I’m sure every writer would love only to present their masterpieces– their most creative and original works; If free writing can help you achieve that why not embrace it?

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Don’t let it be so! 🙂

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