• Voice,  Writing

    Dead End: When the Story Feels Stuck

    Sometimes, we have a story to tell. A story that is dying, begging, pleading to come out. A story that insists on being told. An experience or reflection that is too powerful not to share. But telling stories isn’t always that easy. Sharing voice, as simple as it seems, often comes with complications, rough roads and dead ends. Sometimes, the story just gets stuck. I’m currently working on a book that is requiring me to delve deeply, to share things I’ve never shared, to write things I never thought I’d have the courage to write, to share my truth while revealing the mistakes of another. That scared me. I was…

  • Uncategorized,  Voice

    The Strange Freedom in Voice

    Sharing your voice is liberating. There is an indescribable exhilaration that comes from self expression. But there is also a strange twist to this freedom. A writer’s voice is shaped by her life experience. Everything she writes has some connection to an actual event or emotion. In writing, sometimes the painful world of reality is brilliantly fused with the controllable world of fiction to shield and protect the author from confrontation… confrontation of self, confrontation of fears, confrontation of hurt, confrontation from others. When the fictional world has secret ties to the author’s reality, the author is able to share private truths while avoiding complete vulnerability, thus guarding her heart…

  • On Being a Writer,  Passion,  Purpose,  Voice,  Writing

    And, “Yes” never felt so good…

    A week-and-a-half ago, I received an unexpected message from friend and author, Kwame Alexander. He was spearheading the Burke High School Teen Empowerment Conference, “Write Your Story,” and he needed fellow writers and artists to design and lead writing workshops for the kids. He asked me if I would consider being counted among the immensely talented individuals who were already slated to share their gifts. I stared at the message, certain I had read it wrong. Kwame–2013 and 2012 NAACP Image Award Nominee for Outstanding Children’s Literature, author of seventeen books, a man who rubs elbows with literary giants–wanted ME to be a part of something so impactful and poignant?…

  • On Being a Writer,  Passion,  Purpose,  Voice

    …I Guess I Always Knew

    I’ve always had dreams of writing. I recall a personal conversation I had with myself as a teen. In that conversation, I promised myself I would some day have at least one piece published. I didn’t care if it was a column, an article, a poem, a novel or a short story. I just wanted to be published somewhere, at least once, before I said goodbye to this life. I wrote a great deal of poetry in my teens and early twenties. I had notebooks and folders filled with it. I was really feeling my poetic vibe. It felt good. Fulfilling. Meaningful. I was a gifted writer. I don’t say…