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Showing content with the highest reputation since 11/07/2022 in all areas

  1. 'Discharged from hospital to recuperate at home after a bout with covid flu. That was no fun. Interesting hospital experience, however. Tended by a flurry of nurses, many of whom were effusive gay men, along with Hispanic cha-chas, misled by my Spanish first name. Indian and Asian doctors, of course. Sistas shuffling round, tellin' me, "you gonna be OK, momma." A very interesting pecking order at this state of the art medical center right around the corner from where I live. Prognosis is OK, all things considered which means my age is a factor. Whatever. If anybody watched the Girot Awards on CBS last night, as black folk, we should've been encouraged! Hope everybody had a nice Thanksgiving. 90 is a lot of months away but, I'm tryin to hang in. Luv ya all! Jeeze, this really came out big!
    5 points
  2. “A complete nincompoop, racist…” or “America’s only hope?” Well which one is it? These views are on the complete opposite side of the spectrum. I don’t think either is true. Starting the debate from these positions is bound to be unproductive. @Stefan the man was the governor of a state and he was a heart beat away from leading the entire country — by definition he is a leader. He is clearly intelligent on some level given his resume. We may disagree with him politically, morally even, but questioning his basic intelligence is extreme and bound to lead to to false conclusions about the man.
    3 points
  3. Look who popped up across my Youtube screen yesterday...... At first I thought it was some brother running for Mayor or a member of Biden's Administration until I looked closer at the name. Troy you're looking kind of professional up in this video. Looking like you know what you're talking about...lol. I wonder does the Wall Street Journal know you like WE know you....LOL.
    3 points
  4. In an Astrology treatise at the end it said Astrology is not for everyone. A person should be of good moral character. Both Mayans and the Hindus revered Astrology. Astrology had both spiritual and every day application. Can you imagine conducting life without a time piece or a watch. There's more information about John Dee than Edward Kelly. John Dee was an astronomer, Astrology, adviser to Queen Elizabeth, a map maker, polymath, alchemist and possibly spy. Edward Kelly was able to scry which is like crystal gazing. I don't know occultist revere John Dee. The Enochian Language is one of the most powerful esoteric techniques. Which involves talking with the highest of Angels. It was thought that the language that Adam spoke was magical. Naming the animals also gave you dominion over them. So if you name a building or a person then clearly you have power or influence over the nomination. Also naming of a child is a big deal. The name has to fit. There may be exceptions but I feel in general that to be the case. I had recently read the John Dee had an obsidian mirror. That was of Aztec origins. https://www.archaeology.org/issues/459-2203/digs/10338-digs-england-obsidian-mirror The Aztecs used obsidian mirrors of this sort to divine the future The fact that it already had Aztec associations of divination and being able to see what’s not immediately apparent was seized on by John Dee and added value to the object from his point of view.”
    3 points
  5. @Mel HopkinsWhat I was most recently trying to do is to project my dreams into the future where the PowerBall drawing had already been held and the winning numbers drawn. I had a pad and pencil at my bedside so when I woke up after such a dream, I could write the numbers down. Of course, none of this makes any sense to anybody who isn't crazy like me and - I just engage in all of this nonsense to indulge my fascination with quantum leaps. @Delano I think I am more interested in the answer to whether or not time is on my side. And you are right. I do feel as though I'm no longer of this world, and @ProfD I will be drifting in and out of the cave of my mental hibernation to check on my earthly realm while awaiting for my time to run out. I feel very strongly that we are witnessing the beginning of the end of America's failed 200+ years experiment with democracy, and that the fall of the American Empire as we know it is imminent. The Republicans are going to prevail and turn this country into a fascistic hypocritical evangelical theocracy. Elections will become mere formalities and it will all be "their way or the highway". @Troyimo, the Democrats will have mostly themselves to blame for this. They've overestimated not only the intelligence of the American people, but their integrity. Average voters are not really interested in the welfare of their fellow man. They want to be able to discriminate against other races, reject immigrants, make fun of, and sexually harass each other while leading the best life that materialism has to offer. You know; the American dream. Preaching political correctness, imposing the cancel culture and forcing the lbgt and BLM agendas down peoples' throats will be what contributes to the defeat of the naive idealistic Democrats. RIP I think black survival under a Conservative Right regime may have a lot to do with just staying in one's lane. I don't anticipate being around to endure what eventually lies ahead, however. After 90, all bets are off. Of course, i would have nooo problem with being wrong about these predictions!
    3 points
  6. I knew it was a scam all along. All "crypto currency" is, is a trap to get you in not only financial but LEGAL trouble. Look at the name "crypto". A crypt is a GRAVE . Why would you invest your money in a damn CRYPT???? Man, some of yall will let these White folks talk you into ANYTHING.
    2 points
  7. I hope he runs again and I hope the Republican Party nominates him. He's great for exposing not only the racists among the Whites, but the sell-outs who support him among AfroAmericans. I didn't realize so many coons and sell-outs actually existed among our people UNTIL he became President! It's like Trump came on the national scene and his presence activate the COON GENE in some of these fools. "The coon's plugged in. Now hit the switch!"
    2 points
  8. Blues Highway is a work of historical fiction based on black men who worked the railroads as Pullman Porters. Their story shapes a family's come up during the 1950s-1990s.While Pullman Porters were once widely popularized as symbols of American luxury and service on passenger trains, their contribution toward forging a layer of black middle class prosperity is even more remarkable. In many ways, the day-to-day lives of their children, Janet and Frank, reflect larger stories of success and independence derived from a bit of derring-do. Insightful readers will be drawn to the stories of Pullman Porters themselves, as well as the cities and black communities they help create. This book should inspire broader audiences following the launch of the Pullman National Monument in Chicago in 2020 and the explosive interest in the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History & Culture in Washington, D.C. Synopsis Janet grew up with a talented mother, an inventive father, and a secret road to success on Chicago’s South Side. Frank excelled in basketball but he couldn’t escape obligations to repay a critical family debt. The origin story of the business and railroad ties of Sidney and Frank Sr. weave a complex web of invention, deception, illicit funds and forged identity. During Sidney’s flight from Jim Crow terror, he changes his name and fortunately finds Lula as a life partner, a bond sealed by the birth of Janet, their only child. Lula leaves her singing act, known as the Brown Sugar Sisters, and starts a pie making business in Chicago. In their bustling barbershop, Janet comes of age in the 1970s, leaving behind her mother’s small pie selling cottage industry. Frank Jr. joins them after learning that his birth mother was once a lover to Sidney, who funded his infancy in New Orleans. Frank Jr. gives up his basketball ambitions to help pay down his family debt to Sidney. He learns the barbering trade while at the same time, Sidney schools him in how to finance the business and keep its ties to a numbers running outfit that initially invests in the shop. America’s history of the black men who worked the railroads as Pullman Porters and their legacy is seen in their family saga, weaving between their roots in the South and their come up during the 1950-1990s. After my early career as a journalist at the Chicago Sun-Times, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, The Wall Street Journal and Ebony South Africa, in 2006, I began teaching History and English Literature in Oakland. I took up writing fiction and poetry with support from the Bay Area Writing Project at the University of California-Berkeley in 2013. Excerpts of this manuscript appeared in its Digital Paper. In 2019, an early manuscript was named as a semi-finalist in Hidden River Arts inaugural Tuscarora Award for Historical Fiction. Working with Marlene Connor Literary, the manuscript has been edited, expanded and retitled Blues Highway. The novel has gotten a hearing at book signings in Chicago and at Oakland events. Carla D. Williams ISBN9781669840961 August 12, 2022--publication date
    2 points
  9. I'm starting a major overhaul of the AALBC website. The designers felt it was time for a logo "refresh." Here is an option I'm currently considering. This will be the 4th logo change in 25 years. Here are the previous logos. The logo will inform the look and feel of the new design, so it is important. I considered more radical redesigns but rejected them, as I did not want to stray too far from the current design and make the brand unrecognizable. Let me know what you think.
    2 points
  10. The World is 90% what you make it....The problem is we often do not realize or know what we are making. The World is not what we want it to be....The World is what We Are - Reflected. In a Nutshell You are what has your ATTENTION. Whatever you commands most of your ATTENTION creates a PERCEPTION of what IS Your PERCEPTION informs your PERSPECTIVE PERSPECTIVE becomes MINDSET. MINDSET creates INTENTIONS which leads to ACTIONS/INACTIONS - Reactions
    2 points
  11. 2 points
  12. Back in the 1980s, Irene Cara burst onto the entertainment scene. She was a cutie pie too: https://www.npr.org/2022/11/26/1139275959/fame-flashdance-irene-cara-dies She has passed away at the age of 63. Thanks for sharing your talent. RIP Ms. Cara.
    2 points
  13. The purpose of the right-wing in trying to INSTALL Herschel "The Walking Zombie" Walker into the Senate, is to DESTROY the powerful and growing Black economic and political base in Georgia. The right-wing racists are looking at the Atlanta area, which is probably the largest concentration of Black wealth and socio-political power not just in the United States but maybe even the Western Hemisphere....and they want to BREAK it. But they can't do it directly because we'd recognize it and push back. So they get one of their dogs...one of their puppets.....to act as a MASK while they will be the actual powers behind him pushing for the destruction of Atlanta's Black political and economic base.
    2 points
  14. False sense of power! Well said! I am not speaking agains the Black elected woman, though, but in general I think what you said, @Pioneer1is very interesting. Yes, I hope that her presence will help AfroAmericans be better represented there! However, I am a little pessimistic. Absolutely. I believe that angle will be used against us, though no matter who is elected, but yes, racism did become worse when Obama was elected. What a paradox. The signs of oppression. But no, I don't believe that AfroAmericans give up easily, however, our unwillingness to force change is due to so much oppression and despair. I could care less was a racist like that man could predict. The fact that AfroAmericans have been so marginalized has been predicted long before him. And furthermore, any analyst could have seen that coming due to how the modern world was able to form with the aid of technology and cannons and gun power. However, change is inevitable. I believe that people of African descent need to take in accountability of our past mistakes and look forward to improvement and opportunity. We should not be entertaining racist ideology about our present predicament so much so, that we cannot see that other non-African people also are human and suffer too. The future is bleak for all humanity if we don't look for positive improvement. Keep hope alive.
    2 points
  15. It's more propaganda designed to keep Black people buried in the Church and Bible. Every generation or so they come up with a "new" recipe to keep Black folks tied up and going in circles thinking Jesus is on his way back and if we just "hold on a little bit longer" and wait and recognize our true greatness.....everything is gonna be alright. Just like that image of the sister in the video with that patient serene smile and glow on her face. Meanwhile Crack, AIDS, mass incarceration, violence, etc....has been plaguing the community for the past 40 years or so, destroying the lives of MILLIONS who haven't lived to see Jesus come back or Negroes turn "back" into Hebrews.
    2 points
  16. @DelanoThis subject is quite provocative. Language is a tool that has always intrigued me. it is what defines and condenses life, serving as a vehicle for driving it. It also facilitates the preservation of knowledge and enables communication between individuals although it does not necessarily put them on the same page. Then, there's how it is possible to weaponize language, and how certain words and phrases are loaded with energy that can trigger an effect on people. Consider the word nigger and how much power it exerts over black people when uttered by a white person. Use of the word love is also packed with potential, able to transform or even heal when declared or pledged. It makes sense that extraordinary souls could and did convert and preserve their magic in the archives of a script that reveals secrets. Language is the glue that bonds humanity together. It is divine. I have experimented with chanting which is inarticulate language, - sounds that simply flow and vibrate and, when paired with intense visualization, can even make images materialize. Music is also a form of language; it speaks to your emotions. I was also very interested in the reference to mirror magic. I have experimented with it, simply standing in front of a full length mirror and holding a hand mirror up to it. Looking at the reflection of myself being reflected in the other mirror where I saw infinite images of myself going on and on. Eerie. What was on in my mind during these sessions may have also been projected into eternity. These are things that just came to me to do during the course of living my life. I sorta believe that my interest in the occult may have something to do with my surviving much longer than i should have considering how little attention I have given to preserving my health and safety. I think this along with some of the things I practiced with pyramids and crystals have also contributed to my longevity. So here I am. i have no idea why i am still walking around, having changed very little over the past 50 years. But i grow more weary by the day. And I am adrift in the universe. You are my Oracle.
    2 points
  17. @Pioneer1Pretty much describes your critique of Dave Chappelle's SNL opening monologue. Dave actually has nothing to prove or an obligation to justify his sentiments about Kanye and Kyrie, whatever they may be. And he certainly requires no advice from anyone because he's definitely his own man and has demonstrated he has staying power. As a comedian, his goal is to make the audience laugh. And that he did.
    2 points
  18. IMO, electing Rep. Karen Bass to be Mayor of Los Angeles will not adversely affect AfroAmericans living there. We should hope that a Mayor Bass could implement policies to help and inspire disenfranchised AfroAmerican Los Angelinos to do better for themselves.
    2 points
  19. The short answer is yes. The *hard* work of getting an education helps with navigating the system of racism white supremacy. A handful of folks who f8ck up may be thrown to the wolves. But, as long as someone is making money from their labor more folks are able to *succeed* relatively speaking.
    2 points
  20. Oh D*mn, this comment caught me off guard. I laughed to the point, I caught a cramp. @Cynique It's too late to change your style now...
    2 points
  21. I've never heard of this book! @TroyBut now, I do wonder about its' content. But Minister Farakhan spoke in favor of Kyrie and Ye, however, I think it would important to know what the book highlights. But I do have an opinion due to the response about the title of the book in that it seems to suggest that the book is about how the Original Hebrews have been 'ERASED' from their identity due to White Supremacy. And Whenever Black people speak about this issue, they are completely attacked because this TRUTH goes against the modern reconstruction of racial categories and White Supremacy. I also think that many Black Americans who claim that they are the Original Hebrews do so, by also speaking against European Jews [i.e., White Jews] and say that they are not real Jews, and this causes a lot of problems and gives White racist a justification for WRONGFULLY ACCUSE Blacks for being anti-Semitic, when the real problem is that Black Americans have been denied the truth byway of our American government and American educational system, and therefore, their statements against the European Jews is due to being miseducated. To say that the European Jews did not endure the holocaust is unbelievably wrong and should never be said by anybody. And, if the book suggest this, that would be wrong but again, I'm not sure what the problem is with the book, I just know that some Black people say things that stem from miseducation. Like any 'KINDS' of people that define themselves as being 'White', 'European', 'Caucasian', 'Egyptian', etc., they ALL originate from AN ORIGINAL BLACK AFRICAN ORIGIN, therefore, this would be the same when it comes to 'European Jews' as well. Their origins are from Black African Hebrew Israelite origins, and so, if they say they are Jews, there shouldn't be a problem with that in regards to ancestral origins. But a lot of contention about European Jews' identity actually stems from a factual and historical event again, due to the modern reconstruction of racial categories, and European 'White Jews were given specific privileges during an intense movement to genocide the Original 'Black' African Jews and Hebrew Israelites.
    2 points
  22. Absolutely not. Just letting you know we totally appreciate everything you deliver from your chair at the table.
    2 points
  23. You guys are cramping my style. is this your way of trying to make me act nice?
    2 points
  24. Stop fishing for compliments. You are the star that we all look up to, your presence is appreciated and your absence is noticed. Ah!!! So true!!! Thanks @Delanomy feeling exactly.
    2 points
  25. It's from the heart.
    2 points
  26. On this we can can agree
    2 points
  27. AfroAmericans should be using their platforms to address 1) America's original sin (slavery) and 2) reparations. That way, AfroAmericans won't have time to get caught up addressing any other group of people. AfroAmericans should be able to 1) outline the problem, 2) formulate an agenda and ) focus on a solution. AfroAmericans from all walks of life but especially celebrities, athletes and entertainers should wear clothing and record music about slavery and reparations. i believe that would force America to talk about and deal with it especially when their kids start asking questions.
    2 points
  28. Anything is possible but some aspect of our identity is bound to be influenced by the community especially in which formative years are spent. Over time, some people mature into an identity that may be less reflective of the community in which they were raised and/or spent a majority of time or belong. Environmental factors play a huge role in human development and identity too.
    1 point
  29. Why would a religion that comes from God need to "evolve"? God is perfect, so it would seem to me any religion given to us by God would be perfect also. You don't "evolve" from perfect. You can CHANGE from perfect. You can DEVIATE from perfect. But you don't EVOLVE from perfect. MAN'S religions evolve..........
    1 point
  30. If. Democrat. Hakeem Jefferies. Is. The. Minority. Leader. Speaker ,,He. Should. Talk. About. Sending. Billions. To. Uplift. Poor. Inner. City Communities. And. Schools. ..The. Black. Democrats. ,Are ,Happy. To Support. Sending. Billions. Of. U. S. Money. To. White. ,,Country. Ukraine. .Hakeem Jefferies. Should. Organize. ,Kwanzaa. To. Uplift. Black. Communities. ..Black. Democrats. Ate,Controlled. By. White. Democrats. Like. Republicans. Are,Controlled. By. Trump..........Herschel. Walker. Is A. Lying. Idiot.,Pastor. Warnock. Is. A. Slave. Plantation. House. Preacher....Preacher. Warnock. Not. Talking. About. Church. ,Corruption. Preachers. Raping. Children. Murdering. Their. Wives..Stealing. Church. Money. Buying. Cars. Stealing. Church ,Money. To. Pay. Car. Payments........Black. And. White. Political. ,Are,Corrupt. ,Vile. Liars. ,Preachers. Worship. Money. ....
    1 point
  31. How about a head that reflects all the colours of Blackness
    1 point
  32. Looks like Rep Karen Bass will be the 1st female Mayor of Los Angeles. Her opponent spent $100 million of his own money in a losing effort. Hopefully, Mayor Bass will be able to make a difference in reducing crime, homelessness and unemployment in the city of angels.
    1 point
  33. @Pioneer1, American troops are not directly or indirectly involved in nor being threatened by the Ukrainian/Russian dust-up. Just as I'm pro-AfroAmerican, I'm also an American citizen to the core. I know this raggedy azz country (United States of America) could be a lot better but there's no other place on earth I'd rather call home. That doesn't stop me from calling balls and strikes. That dust-up is not our problem until or unless POTUS PJB puts us in it. He won't. It's all political.
    1 point
  34. It's not the question I'D ask....lol....because I already know the answer to it. Just like Forbes and Trump and others, it was GIVEN to him...or at least he was ALLOWED to accumulate it unencumbered by rules and restrictions that the average Black man would have encountered. I'm impressed by Black billionaires, but not by White ones. I know most of the time they didn't get their money from talent and shrewd business dealings, but they were "bestowed" it by the White racist system for a particular purpose. Just like poor homeless and broke ass White folks are in THAT position for a particular purpose. It all goes to serve the System of Racism that they have established. Now if I had that much money I WOULD rather use it to buy up a small city than to buy Twitter, Instagram, or any other social media platform. Or better yet, build my own from scratch.
    1 point
  35. NATO should have attacked Ukraine for its attack on Poland. Then it could have annexed it.
    1 point
  36. Because we are AfroAmericans, identifying, carving out and codifying our culture does not have to be a tall order. Codification begins with knowing our history here in America and the fact that we identify as Black as a tie that binds us together. It's true that AfroAmericans have comingled with other cultures. Some of our people can be all over the place in that regard. But, there's already quite a few things AfroAmericans identify with that are unique to us. We need to built on it. The great that about this period in time and technology is that codification can happen very fast. Just a matter of 1) wanting to do it and 2) taking advantage of the resources available.
    1 point
  37. @richardmurray, the GOP field of candidates will probably also include folks like Larry Hogan (MD governor), Mike Pence (former VP) and Mike Pompeo ( former secretary of state) to name a few. Still, either dumb (DeSantis) or dumber (Agent Orange) will top the GOP ticket. Reality might refute my opinion but the internet will not disclaim my position.
    1 point
  38. @Pioneer1 I guess the problem in catching the sarcasm in your title is that most people expected Twitter to be different under Musk -- mostly worse. Were you trying to imply that people would think it would be different, but that nothing has changed? I suspect I'm the only one in this conversation that uses Twitter and I go in there with blinders and post things to promote AALBC and react to any comments. The only recent exceptions was to find Kyrie's "antisemitic" post and look at Musk's page. Both activities were a waste of my time,,.
    1 point
  39. Yep. I think you clipped that Kanye quote about slavery from your signature right before he put his feet in his own azz and then his mouth.
    1 point
  40. Agreed. But, with the understanding that: 1) AfroAmericans do not have true allies among other people. Every interaction with non-AfroAmericans is a business arrangement at best. 2) Here in America, White folks use other people of color as a buffer between themselves and AfroAmericans. It's their way of never having to deal with America's original sin (slavery) and reparations. 3) White folks are more comfortable with Latinos being the new working class. As a result, the white power structure will allow Latinos to thrive in non-white communities. 4) No different from allowing Asian businesses to thrive in AfroAmerican communities. I cannot speak for any other group of Black folks. But, as an AfroAmerican, I believe we need to unify, codify an agenda and pool our resources (collective wealth) in order to exercise our power on all levels.
    1 point
  41. LOL! Yes, but this girl is too young to have that much hate on her own. This is learned behavior, imo. Someone put their demons in her.
    1 point
  42. Yes! @Delano! I forgot about that key point and, you have a talent on this very subject regarding 'numbers'! The ancient scriptures do say that Enoch of the Southworld lived to be 365 years and I remember that did strike me as significant. You know, I think the ancient Mayans built pyramids and one might have had this theme of 365 steps, etc. and I wonder if this has anything to do with the cycle of the sun and more.
    1 point
  43. Chev STOP right there. West Africans??? All West Africans come from where!? Come on. I'm not 100% sure but based on my research the various ethnic groups of West Africa migrated there originally from the Kemetic Empire (Ancient Egypt) in North Eastern Africa. The Dogon, Wolof, Yoruba, and others certainly have a lot of linguistic, religious, and cultural traits that are known to be ancient Egyptian in origin. But yes, I absolutely agre in that Igbo people are definitelc connected to being Hebrew Israelites. I also agree that not all are Hebrews but, All African people are intermixed with each other and this is by design from God Almighty. Hmmm...... Not sure "all" African people are intermixed with each other and definitively not sure that God designed it this way. But certainly most of us here in the Americas are mixed. Not only with White and Native American but mixed between the various African tribes who were forced to live and work together despite cultural differences. "our people" meaning Blacks, Negroes, Hebrews, whatever, is not a problem because we are trying to sift through a lot of miseducation, however, the problem is foreign people who INSERT themselves into ancient African script is more of the problem. True. Infact, there is actually a group of zealot White people who claim to believe they can HASTEN the return of Jesus by reading the book of Revelations like a script and actually plan and plot ways to play out the various scenarios in the book. Like sending comets to Earth and poisoning 1/3 of the water. They believe if THEY make those scenarios happen then the prophecies will be fulfilled and Christ will come down. But until the ancient scriptures are dealt with properly, confusion will continue. Maybe it's time for NEW scriptures.
    1 point
  44. Yes! Okay @Pioneer1STOP right there. West Africans??? All West Africans come from where!? Come on. But yes, I absolutely agre in that Igbo people are definitelc connected to being Hebrew Israelites. I also agree that not all are Hebrews but, All African people are intermixed with each other and this is by design from God Almighty. We are all intermixed, all African people, and for those of us who know are base origins, that is a good thing. "our people" meaning Blacks, Negroes, Hebrews, whatever, is not a problem because we are trying to sift through a lot of miseducation, however, the problem is foreign people who INSERT themselves into ancient African script is more of the problem. Yes, agreed. Being forced into false Christianity and mistranslations as slaves is a huge problem. But until the ancient scriptures are dealt with properly, confusion will continue.
    1 point
  45. IMO, you didn't miss anything noteworthy from the debate. Useful idiots is a good way to describe many of these Black parrots and boot-lickers on both sides of the aisle. Because there's no Black agenda to which poliicitians can be held accountable, they're just regurgitating the same BS talking points authored by white folks.
    1 point
  46. I'm not a Twit either and have no horse in the race but I didn't expect Twitter to be any different under new ownership.
    1 point
  47. Considering the number of AfroAmerican politicians we've had from past to present including a POTUS, I cannot help but to wonder why none of them undertook championing an effort to change the 13th amendment.
    1 point
  48. Against Mythologizing the Practice of Writing from Amber Sparks I suppose I started writing because it was the easiest way to dump out my imagination and play with it. There were few costs and no barriers to entry, no special tools or equipment or collaborators needed. When I was little and bored, all I needed was a pencil and paper to sketch out an escape plan, another world in all its intricacies and details that I could fly to when I needed it. I could create the friends I lacked in real life on the page. I could pour all my negative feelings into some truly gnarly villains. It was easy, free, and completely satisfying, whether I was writing for five minutes or five hours. I had this easy, casual relationship with writing up through college, largely because I didn’t think of myself as a writer. I was an actor and a musician with a bunch of retail jobs; writing was something I just did for fun, not something I was. So nothing was attached to it, no identity, no expectations, no fanciness. I wrote in the car on vacations, in the breakroom at work, in my notebooks during classes. I wrote and wrote and wrote. But at some point after I started submitting and publishing stories in my late twenties, and met writers, read blogs, did workshops - I started to notice those expectations creeping in, a slow set of mythologies that started to grow in and around my writing practice. For the first time, I started thinking about writing as a deliberate practice, and not just as an almost automatic action. I think this happens to just about every writer at some point between writing for fun and writing for serious. I don’t mean the practice of editing your writing and looking at it with a critical eye - that most likely started when you were young, and obviously if you studied writing or edited a magazine or became a teacher, the practice of critically examining your own work deepened, which is a good thing. No, I’m talking about that other thing - the mythologies around what it means to be A WRITER, to practice and perform the act of writing itself. For example! Every few months, another of those “what my writing day is like” interviews with some famous writer starts circulating on social media, and it usually goes like this: “10 am, emerge lazily from my beautiful French country bedroom wearing a flowing robe that smells slightly of the sea; 11am, sharpen fourteen Blackwing pencils by hand while watching the foxes outside my window feed their young; noon, harvest the day’s honey from my hive of bees while thinking slightly about the characters in my next novel; 2pm, write my ass off; 5pm, drink a glass of port on the veranda while listening to the gentle saw sound of the cicadas and thinking about the impossibilities of life” etc etc. People unusually share these interviews with a screenshot and a comment reflecting wistfulness or jealousy or aspiration or all three. “ME SOMEDAY” or “THE DREAM,” they proclaim, harmlessly enough, while not realizing that these interviews are being woven into their own internal writing mythologies. A real writer lives in the country! Sharpens fresh pencils! Wakes at 10! Keeps bees! And these notions about what a writer is or should be, and what kind of idealized conditions create truly great writing, start subtly to grow around the writer, like stupid vines, and complicate entry into the once simple act of writing itself. Suddenly the writer who has written on their phone on the subway commute, the writer who scribbles on scraps of paper between diaper changes or shift changes - the writer who doesn’t have a practice of their own, or a room of their own, or even a desk of their own, and has never needed one, starts to feel a sense of inadequacy. They must not be a real writer, because they do not take to an isolated cabin for weeks at a time to write, or have a sacred office space with special writing music and office hours to boot. There’s nothing inherently wrong with interviews with very famous and established - usually financially secure - writers, about how they write. That stuff is interesting to know! We love to hear about what kind of pens or pencils or software or notebooks others use to get the job done. It’s fun to read. The real problem happens when early or mid-career writers start to internalize these practices and become aware of what they then perceive to be lacking. Because here’s the thing: most of those interviews are with writers who are older, who have already achieved outsized success, both professional and financial, whose children are grown and who are no longer caring for elderly parents. These same writers almost certainly did much of their own best and most urgent writing while working a day job or three, while raising kids, while riding the Metro and running errands, while living in tiny studio apartments in a crowded city. The way that most writers throughout time have written - through necessity, through poverty, through children crawling on their laps and demanding their attention, through whatever it takes to access that imaginative fire. I would gently suggest (and I tell myself this, everyday!) that these mythologies aren’t really about the practice of writing at all. These “how I write” pieces, for example, have almost nothing to do with being a writer, and the reasons they’re shared have very little to do with being a writer. They’re actually about the dream of being freed from economic anxiety and the wheel of capitalism, and from the various demands on us from our families and loved ones. They’re a dream of “being just a writer,” which is less a dream about writing than a dream about leisure. I see it everyday - despite almost no fiction writer making a living being “just a writer,” emerging writers and mid-career writers alike have made this unlikely reality their goal. It’s no different from planning on winning the lottery as a retirement goal. And I think it not only leads to disappointment and heartache - I think it also leads to less writing. And there comes a point, or at least, there certainly has for me, where you have to start hacking away at the thorny forest of your mythologies (sorry to torture this metaphor) and find the pencil and notebook and the five minutes inside that were all you once needed. That’s your enchanted shit, not the country house and the pencils and the kudzu. It’s not a lesson to be learned just once, either. It’s a lifelong struggle, I’ve found. As a writer, I constantly fight the feeling of “if only,” feeling I could be a brilliant writer if only I had more time, more space, a real desk, a retreat in the woods. I realized, when talking about my last book in interviews, that I wrote most of it on my phone on commutes and very late at night, when my baby was asleep and I was wide awake. I had that fire in me then, and it blazed its way onto the metaphorical page despite my lack of time, or sleep, or solitude. It was the closest I had been in a long time to that deep mystery, that almost primal urge to tell stories that writers seem to be born with. The ur of writing, to be an asshole about it. This last year and a half, we’ve all had plenty of opportunity to experience the frustrations of not-writing, as family obligations increased or loneliness encroached, as escapes (even just to coffee shops) became impossible, as illness and sadness and anxiety stood guard at the door, and our writing practice narrowed to very small windows in time and space. For most of us, the dream went from “spend all my time writing” to “ spend any of my time writing,” and a lot of us lost a year plus of our practice entirely. I’m not going to spin the pandemic as positive in any way - fuck that - but I do think after emerging from the worst of it here in the US, my expectations for what it means to be a writer have changed. I had a disappointing experience last weekend, with a weekend writing retreat I had planned for myself cancelled unexpectedly. I found myself instead where I have been all pandemic, in my apartment bedroom, my child running in and out, writing on a lap desk on my bed. But somehow, I got on with the writing, and somehow, that old feeling, that love of story, that sense of following my characters into the rabbit hole and getting lost with them - it all came back to me and I was no different than me at six or me at sixteen, not being a writer or a Writer, but just spending the time I could with an imaginary world I made. Which is pretty much all I’ve ever wanted to do. https://ambersparks.substack.com/p/against-mythologizing-the-practice?utm_source=Sailthru&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Lit%20Hub%20Daily:%20June%2011%2C%202021&utm_term=lithub_master_list
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