This is my spot. This little nook in the couch that must be the most comfortable and convenient seat in the house.  I try to do everything from this spot.  I watch television, knit/crochet, drink tea, journal, participate in Zooms, but the one thing I can NOT seem to do is write more than four sentences on any active story or piece. I mean if the television is on or if I’m looking at something on the web. And try as I might, cannot do real creative writing work from this spot. 

Do you have a space like this?

You know, it just occurred to me, perhaps I should respect this place for what it is…a place of rest. I mean I do have a whole office. Go figure.

Eryka

I went to my aunt’s house last night to pick up some toilet paper. I have tried in vain to buy my own for weeks with no luck.—let me just say, we have had shortages of vital services in this country before, like the gas shortages in the 1970’s but I have never-ever seen a run on toilet paper before. But this is a story for another day.

Anyway, when I walked into the house, I expected to see my aunt at the kitchen take with her grandsons walking back and forth with their faces buried in their phones. But this time, no one was there.

I found them in the in the dining room playing a board game. They were playing the game Sorry! to be exact. I’ve never seen black people play this game. Okay, I’ve never seen anyone play this game, but game night is a serious thing in the community and a certain level of “stank” is required when you execute dominating moves. Like playing spades, dominoes, or bid whist. If we can’t hear you playing—then you aren’t really playing.

Last night, my young cousin demonstrated the most remarkable Sorry! technique. He would flick his opponent’s piece off the board rather than placing it back at the starting circle. This was in addition to the traditional shit talking.

But no one was on the phone or looking at the television. No screens at all. Just a family enjoying each other’s company.

I watched and held my aunt’s dog Pepper on my lap. I was glad to see that family time still exists…I hope to play next time.

Eryka

Yesterday, a stranger sent me a surprising (and much needed) compliment on my writing. He encouraged me not to quit writing—said I should share more of my work.

I can’t tell you how much I needed this. I was ready to give up writing completely. I felt like it was going nowhere then out of the blue a stranger gives me the nudge I need to keep going.

Isn’t life wonderful?

Eryka

I find I cannot wait any longer for condition to be perfect for writing. I must write. My right-hand hurts terribly from writing those emails all day at work. The copying, pasting and all the scrolling takes a toll on my hands (I started to work the mouse with my left hand) so I find I don’t write anymore because I’m waiting for the pain to abate. But I can’t wait any longer

I’ve started using the dictate function in Microsoft Word 365. I’m using it right now and I must say it’s pretty good! I’m not especially close to the computer, I’m not shouting, and I’m not slowing down my rate of speech or anything!  what I’m saying and it’s appearing on the screen. Punctuation is an issue of course because I must remember to punctuate my speech. I mean, nobody walks around saying “I had this thought comma.” but if that is what I must do, then that is what I must do. There is so much swirling around in my head I must get it out. Plus, and I feel like such a **** for not doing it!

 OK why did Microsoft just bleep out the word **** Microsoft spell the word **** Microsoft will not spell the word **** this is so funny! Microsoft refuses to spell out a swear word let me see if There is a work around because if I’m going to use this for writing I’m going to be saying some **** damn and ***** all along the way!

Media reports portray Nipsey Hussle as a rapper, entrepreneur, and former gang member.  But he was more than that.  Hussle, Ermias Asghedom, was a peace maker, healer and community leader who encouraged rival gangs to put aside their differences and was trying to turn them into a coalition to build his vision: “Turn Slauson into Venice Beach.”

In an era where raps about drugs, murder, hoes and depreciating assets are the normalized and profitable, Hussle used his platform to spread sustaining values like hard work, fidelity and true wealth creation. He bought derelict lots and stores and turned them into profitable businesses that provided kids a way out of the gang life.

I encourage my brothas to take up the mantle of Ermias Asghedom. Don’t let it fall into the dust. Keep pushing for unity and progress despite the pain.  

Stay Strong

Eryka

I’m awake and I have mixed emotions about this.  I have decided to commit to my writing and that means a writing schedule, something I have never done. I want to write every day and the only way I can do that is to get up at least an hour earlier. So here I sit at 7:35 a.m. stumbling through this because I don’t have the wherewithal to work on my current WIP.

But this still counts as writing and it still counts as a writing schedule so there you go. 

Eryka

I feel good today!  While I didn’t get up early like I wanted to, I did go for a walk around my complex and that has warmed my blood and my imagination.  I love living amongst all these trees. Scientists have recently “discovered” that trees have a consciousness and form vital relationships with the trees around them.  This is not news to anyone who has spent any real time surrounded by trees. IMG_1770

The trees around me take special care of each other and the life forms that depend on them, including me.

I didn’t realize today was Daylight Savings Time until I saw it on a friend’s Facebook post. That’s how I knew. I woke up this morning none-the-wiser and I found that terribly sad.

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When I was a kid, Day Light Savings time involved planning, coordination and the participation of the entire household.

First, someone had to *remember* that it either the start or the end of Daylight Savings Time and make sure that everyone remembered. Then everyone was assigned to the clocks in a given room: Kitchen, living room, den, bathroom, bedrooms. etc.

My favorite room was the kitchen because I got to stand on a chair to twist the spindly knobs on the stove. It was special handling you see. No buttons to push or hold down until the correct digitalized number appeared. the stove clock required delicate, patient fingers that would stop two pips before the quarter-hour.