Gray City

NaNoWriMo has been consuming all of my writing time. Luckily for me, I have a reserve that I can post from. Like I’ve said before though, I like to post what I am feeling at the time. Since I have nothing readily available that reflects what I’m feeling — an ambitious drive to rearranged the alphabet into a glorious translation for readers to enjoy all over the world — I’ll just share a poem that I wrote to describe a day such as this one.Read More »

#NaNoWriMo2015

At the end of last month, I made it my business to reacquaint myself to the consistency of blogging that has gotten me into the rhythm of writing — then I realized it was November!

November is National Novel Writing Month. If you are a writer, blogger or journalist of any sort, you probably already know that.

However, I’ll tell you what I did not know. I did NOT know, how much prep time you need to start. This is my first year of participation. This is day two and I just finished prepping. That leaves me about twenty-four days to squeeze out 2100 words each day. After that I’ll edit and read over it for the final four day days.

I have hours of time already allocated to other activities, meetings, work and church every week. So this really will be a challenge for me to complete. I feel up to it though. On top of that, I will continue to post to Perspective Park, even if it just once a week. It will be short like this post tonight. I will probably be unedited as well 😳…

I’m sorry. Editing takes time.

Shout out to @AlisonStine for the encouraging tweets. I almost backed out!

Wish me the best as I hope the same for you in the month of November!

FINALLY!!!

Don’t get cute! I can hear you now: “Finally you’re posting something!” That’s besides the point though. I’ll get to that…

A few weeks ago, I was talking to a fellow blogger concerning her blog. While talking, I guess I must have made a comment describing myself as a writer. Her response was, “I wish I was comfortable enough to call myself a writer.” This comment threw me for a loop since I considered her to be a more established writer than myself. How could you be a writer, and not be comfortable calling yourself one? I guess the answer would be confidence… The fact that you actually believe you are a writer, and not just a person writing.

This conversation actually made me wonder if I had been giving myself too much credit.Read More »

Why Blog?

You ever been late for class and try to sneak in without being noticed?

That’s what it feels like when I start to post to this blog after a hiatus.

Well, since there’s no back door to the Internet, I’ll just come on in and ‘fess up: I’ve been whoring my writing out for money! 😭 There! Are you happy now? And sometimes I’ve even done it for free! For mere experience! One day I’m going to make someone a very happy editor, and they won’t care about my past! They will appreciate me for the artist that I would have become.Read More »

Week 26 Recap

With this week at a close, I’m going to attempt to give race issues a break for a while to cover some other stuff that I’ve been working on since before February. It is not that I have run out of topics on the issue, but because there is a lot more to my interests as a writer. I want to share, ask, and explore the blogging community as a writer too; and not just use it for bringing attention to what is the most obvious and overlooked problem in America. For example, I have seen more support and awareness driven towards the NCAA March Madness tournament than I saw for Black History during the month of February. I say that without any bias as I am a sports fan and black man. This also speaks to the profit-driven culture of our country. I am not complaining though; it is what it is, and all we can do is play our part in changing things for the better.

Last week though, I shared my experience in marching at the 50th Anniversary of the March at Selma. As pro-black as I am, I do not rush to every single event just because it bears the image of Black American rights or justice. I have to be thoroughly informed on the purpose of the event, organizers of the event, and whether or not I personally feel that it is for a just cause. Well, this march was to commemorate the pain and hardships that went into granting voting rights for Black Americans; a feat that changed the course of justice for our people from that point on. I had to be a part of it. I described as much as I could of it in #Selma50: To The Bridge. One part that I left out though was the exchange of money from black hands to other black hands. It was so refreshing to see our people spending money amongst ourselves via the hundreds of vendors there. I feel as though that is a major downfall within our communities — we spend the more money than any other people, but over 90% of that money goes outside of our own business. Seeing the unity among the people that day though gave me hope that things will get better. You can never lose hope; and if in fact you do lose it, you will have find it again if the cause is great enough.

Wednesday, March 12th, I wrote added another encounter to the Thirty Seconds Ago… series. I honestly thought I was done with that and considered removing it from the blog altogether. However, as long as I am me, weird stuff is bound to happen. I mean, weird stuff happens to everyone, but I seem take a large percentage of everyone else’s occurrences (keep in mind, to maintain a reasonable level of dignity, I do not share everything). Well, in Speechless, I described how I was saluted with the black power fist… by an Asian man. It was definitely a first; I had not even been greeted by another brother in that fashion. Interestingly enough, I heard that he was married to a black woman. I feel that I have a right to ask and confirm if you take into consideration the awkward place he put me in… I just haven’t figure out how to do it yet.

Me: Good afternoon.

He: ‘Sup.

Me: So… Married to black lady, huh?

He: …

That is all for now. I hope everyone had a great Monday, and hope that you have a great week going forward. Thank you for reading and being open to my perspectives as I try to make sense of the some of the unnecessary issues surrounding us all. Until next Sunday (or Monday), try to share perspectives, show compassion and spread the love.

Blogging vs. Journaling

Brother: What’s up Red? I just read Country Guy, City Life; I think that was favorite post so far.

Me: Really? That one didn’t seem to go over well.

Brother: Well I can kinda see why though. I think I liked it because I know Atlanta, Alabama, and you. It was really personal. More than likely if someone reads that one, they’ll be thinking, “Why would I leave Atlanta to go to Alabama.”

Me: Ahhh… Gotcha. Didn’t see it like that.

When I first started this blog, I quickly realized that blogging could easily turn into journaling. That is not what intended to do. In fact, that’s my biggest issue with a bulk of social media activity — “Who cares?!” is what I ask when I scroll past a check-in, relationship update or a picture of your dinner. Of course you will post random pics of you and yours friends and spouses at different locations and festivities, but I should not be able to account for nearly every waking moment of your day. Some parts of your life should remain exclusive, and not just the emotional death that over-posting is sometimes used to mask.

However, after I started blogging, I felt as though I had found a social media that works for me; one that would be a bit more difficult for me to critique. There had been many occasions where I had scrapped an essay because it did not meet the criteria that I had set for the purpose of the blog. If it doesn’t share a constructive outlook on life, or concerning something of literary relevance, or even the occasional comedic relief, I deny it. So when I received this criticism from my brother who is currently attending college in New York, it forced me to reevaluate the post. As he explained it to me, “The students up here know very little about Alabama, but Atlanta is way more popular than you might expect… And besides, they don’t know that 99% percent of our family resides in Alabama. It’s a really personal post, bro.”

When I went back and read the post, I could tell that most of it came from the frustrations of my own monotony combined with the pageantries that are city life. It was something the was written predominately personal emotion that pertained only to me and the way that I was feeling at the time. I had, metaphorically speaking, posted my dinner to Facebook. That should be a testament to the subtleness of blogging though. It’s a very relaxing (and productive to a career writer) way to keep the wheels of creativity going, while networking and learning through others. But if sight is ever lost of your purpose, you can begin to treat your blog like the ever trusted pages of a diary and forgetting the presence of an audience. And you know what happens next? You’re a weirdo with a webpage, that’s what happens.

Kidding…

If your blog is not meant to be personal, it takes a bit of diligence to ensure that it doesn’t happen. It’s another curve that I had to learn and I think that it would be unfair for me recognize something and not share to others who may fall for the same thing. I read a few blogs from beginners like myself to see where, I could improve and I found that it is not to uncommon to see the patterns of posting something that lacks relevancy. Then on the other hand, the blogs that are in fact more personal to the author are usually exceptionally good. That is just too much exposure for me. Like I described in Writing and Schizophrenia, sometimes the person in real life, is not ready to be shared with the online world of strangers. It’s a fear that most writers share — but if you ever want to get over it, start blogging.

Week 18 Recap

After week 15, I took moved took a few weeks for the holidays and another just to recap the prepare for the new year. So instead of just returning as if I hadn’t taken a break, I started last week with an introductory post, “I’m Back“. In it, I talked about my comfort level that I had developed in the previous months. That comfort has allowed me to become more liberal with my own personal styles in blogging that I had subconsciously been neglecting since I started. It was not until my time off and reading other blogs that I noticed that your style and content is what brings appeal to your writing. It sounds elementary, but when have never wrote to consistently engage an audience, it takes a lot of getting used to; a lot of adjustments.

On Wednesday, January 14th in “Complimenting Arts, I covered how it may be to an artist’s advantage to have another craft that could compliment and strengthen the primary choice of expression. Most artists develop that supplemental craft early in practice as I believe it comes naturally. For example: a singer who dances, or a painter who sculpts, or maybe even a poetic architect. The reason I advocate this is because I know personally that sometimes one medium of expression does not always fulfill all that is felt. Sometimes a painting or photograph shows all that needs to be said and more. On the other hand, a photograph or painting can be to open to interpretation and the words of a writer are needed to direct what the eyes are seeing. I’m not saying that it is a necessity to do anything more than what you enjoy, but I do believe that it will strengthen the quality of any person’s creativity.

Friday, January 16th, I wrote about the negative effects of writing rituals. I know people, myself included, who have to do there work the same way, every time, under the same conditions. Now the good thing is that you will rarely have a problem with consistency; the bad things is that your work will probably start to show those same stagnant patterns. How can something new come from the same environments. And how can the same environments provoke a new mode of thinking, or creativity? Sometimes you have to do things differently to get new results. No one ever wants to become synonymous with predictable, or repetitive, or the dreadful BOOORIIIING! I suggest that if you don’t want produce predictable, don’t be predictable. I suggested a really good interview that I thought would provide some good advice as well.

Well, I apologize for another late Recap. If things go as planned, I should be able to produce another post tonight. I’m looking forward to the upcoming weeks with my new perspectives on style, complimenting arts and refusing comfortable habits. These should come in handy (especially next month) in getting my point-of-view across. I want it to be very clear going forward the my perspective does not imply correct perspective, as I will probably be more direct and more opinionated. I believe that if you feel a certain way about anything, you should be able to explain why… and that may be interpreted that what one is saying is fact. I am always open to new ideas or conflicting thoughts. I also try to be very careful of what I do say; the only thing worse than a know-it-all is a know-it-all that is wrong and unwilling to listen. An uncle told me a few weeks ago, “Make your words short and sweet, because you may have to eat them.” I laughed, but took it to heart.

As always, try to show compassion through an open perspective in order to spread a little love.

Writing Rituals (or Restraints)

After I get home from work and before doing anything else, I go to the same chair at the dining table. I place my bag in the same spot next to the chair; laptop in the same spot on the table; then notebook on the righthand side; pen next to the notebook, and headphones to the left of the laptop.

After the setup, I then take care of whatever household things I have to do before writing; Whether it be cleaning or errands or whatever the case may be. I have to setup everything the same way, everyday to be in the zone. To make matters even worse, once I do sit down to write, I do so with my phone added to the left side — and on the right, a pile of Planter’s peanuts on a half-folded paper towel and a beverage. It’s a system — a ritual — that must be in place in order to accomplish that night’s task.

It’s also a load of crap.

How have I brainwashed myself into thinking that I need everything to be the same before I can accomplish anything? How have peanuts — PEANUTSbecome a necessity in a writing routine? (Now just because there isn’t any legitimacy to the issue, doesn’t mean I’m giving the peanuts up… I like them… especially when I’m writing.) The issue isn’t the peanuts though; the issue is the fact that if I run out of peanuts before writing, I will halt my work to go to the store and buy more. That’s ridiculous!

After reading an interview of South African writer, Vuyelwa Maluleke, I promised myself that I would break from the rituals. The interview was conducted by a Geosi Gyasi. This is was the altering part of the interview for me:

“Geosi Gyasi: When do you often write?

Vuyelwa Maluleke: At night, on my floor. But I’m trying to not fix conditions to my writing just so I don’t feel like that is the only time I can write. So the other day, I sat in a coffee shop, and wrote there, early in the morning and something came of it which was surprising and fruitful.”

No one wants to be mundane. However, working on a mundane routine could easily cause mundane results. It is so easy to sit in a familiar place where the distractions are low. You tell yourself that you will get so much more done that way. That may be true, but at what cost? Sometimes a different scenery is good for the imagination and creativity boost. If I sit in the same place surrounded by the same things every time, I could equate that with sitting in an all white room with no windows. Since everything is familiar, it all becomes invisible in a way. I don’t trust my imagination to produce its best thoughts in a room where everything looks the same, smells the same, and feels the same day in and day out; you have to change things up a bit.

Sneezing, laughing, yawning, things dropping, dessert and coffee smells, and uncomfortable temperatures — GEEZ! Take me back to my own dining room table with my peanuts!

I have to get past that though. I could take advantage of so much more time, because I’m not always in that spot. I’m not alone though. I’m not the only crazy writer, and I know I’m not the worst case either. At least I’ll admit it; the first step to recovery. I have to learn to tame my thoughts and focus on the task at hand. Now if I try writing outside of my, maybe three, familiar elements, I will end up with a bunch of notes, scribbles and random paragraphs — at best. I have to, can do and will do better in removing those imaginary restrictions. The liberation is a necessity, because no one wants to be mundane.

Before coming across the article in the Flipboard app, I had never heard of Gyasi or Maluleke. Since then I have followed Geosi Gyasi, who provides excellent interviews from writers around the world. They provide great and realistic insight to amateurs, that I feel would be extremely useful if taken to heart. Vuyelwa Maluleke writes very passionate and heartfelt stories and poetry that has a unique style that I have found very enjoyable. If you get the time, look into both of them; really good stuff.

And if you were wondering… I’m at the dining room table now… The next post will be written elsewhere though.

I’m Back!

I feel like someone who ain’t showed up for work in three weeks, and then shows back up like they ain’t been missing.

Me: Hey, how’s everybody doing?

[Crickets]

Me: Anybody see the game this weekend?

[More crickets]

Boss: You’re fired.

Me: Thank you for the opportunity.

Boss: Get out.

No but in all seriousness, over the Christmas and New Year’s holiday weeks, I just enjoyed some fun time off with family in and out of state. I was literally back and forth between Atlanta and Alabama so much that trying to keep any type of schedule would have been too difficult. Last week though, I started missing blogging. I think it’s safe to say that I have found a medium of writing that suits what most of my friends have diagnosed as acute ADD and provides a channel to an audience that I would not have otherwise had. If you are a follower, of Perspective Park, you should know by now that I am ever so appreciative for anyone who takes the time to stop by and have a peek. It means a lot. So thank you all.

In the last few weeks, I’ve had a chance to read quite a few things. Some of which, helped me remember style. When I started this blog, I was so concerned with being grammatically correct that I left a lot of me out of what I was writing; a lot of style. I had a chance to read a few other blogs (some of the bloggers who follow me) and I was extremely impressed by their styles. When I looked back and read some of my own posts, I felt as though some of them were written too uptight for their topics. I am not neglecting them or saying that they were bad because I won’t post anything that I would be ashamed to claim as my own. That’s like dating someone that you can only hang out with at night… on the other side of town… while making her wear a disguise.

Me: Hey put these on.

Girl: It’s dark! I don’t need shades!

[Crickets]

Me: Well give them to me.

Now, I’ve never done that, I’m just giving an illustration. I’m an excited talker. I don’t normally talk a lot, but for those who know me personally, know that when I speak on something that I’m passionate about, it comes out in my hand gestures, my vocal patterns change and I start stuttering like a drumroll. I would love it if I could learn to relay that same passion through blogging; but I can’t do it without personalized style. I like to laugh, but I have a lot of things that I take very very seriously. I want to be able to blend these in my writing. I believe I can; even if I have to add excerpts for illustrations.

I have faith in myself as a writer. Not because I know all of the rules and always follow them though. I have faith in my content, and my ability to convey what I need to say and for what I need readers to understand with proper word choice. Simple as that. I believe good writing is being able to get your point across or your story told as simply as possible. If a reader is confused after reading something that I wrote, it is no fault of theirs’; but mine. All that I lack though (because I’m far from perfect), I will gain through practice and the grace of God. If I then incorporate proper word choice with the style that is Reggie Rich, we will end up with something either really good, or really crude. Either way, we’re going to find out in 2015.

I’m looking forward to what’s to come this year. My theme for this year is, “Life is Simple”. We have a tendency to overcomplicate so so much. I actually put the lifestyle into practice last year but will be building on it this year. I have a lot of things already noted out on what this means to me and how it has been beneficial to me recently. I believe it can be beneficial for a lot of people everywhere. Like I always say though, this is me and my perspective.

I’m back. We’re back. Perspective Park is back online with a more direct purpose, and a broader range of getting across. I believe I’m capable of bringing enjoyment, or at least a different perspective to anyone who checks in, so stay tuned to see if I can.

Words

My pen stopped working on me.

I don’t think it was out of ink;

It just stopped working.

I had a pink colored pencil

And an elusive thought.

So I did what I had to do.

I started banging away at my pen.

I can’t take pink pencil seriously.

Even if the words are my own.

Shake, bang, scribble — nothing.

Shake, bang, scribble — nothing.

Shake, bang, bang, bang — splat!

All I wanted was to get out a few words,

But I could be happy with this.

Besides, I forgot what the others were.

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