I have a friend who is quite an accomplished writer. This friend has won the shiniest of awards, pranced the most celebrated red carpets, and partied with the likes of people I've cut out of magazines and pasted on vision boards. When we chat every now and again about projects and progress, it tends to go something like this:
In the words of [The Amazing World of] Gumball... What the what? Does my friend realize how much effort it took me to whittle the wood of that paragraph / page / scene / act / draft / edit / revision / project? Can a sister get a "great job!" or a pat on the shoulder and a gold star sticker? Does he realize that I don't have the luxury of my days to devote to writing and all of the research and reading that gets done to complete these paragraphs / pages / scenes / acts / drafts / edits / revisions / projects? I have my lunchtimes and breaks; my after-school-before-I-pick-up-my-son moments; my sitting at my mother's bedside moments; after reading bedtime stories moments; my son is asleep moments; after washing dishes, before doing laundry moments; my just before I pass out from a long day moments... to write. Does he understand this?
Yes, he does. And he argues that there is no time for the kind of sentimentality displayed in that last paragraph. #aintnobodygottimeforthat If there are 1000 ways to break into the film business, because of that last paragraph, I need to find way number 1001.
Any third grader should be able to regurgitate the life cycle of a butterfly. In the simplest, internet search result terms - thanks to EnchantedLearning.com, the life cycle of a butterfly is defined in four stages, as follows:
"Grooven'" is the fifth stage of the metamorphosis of the butterfly.
I love it when I have long-anticipated the coming of a thing... and it arrives! Detroit finally hits theaters today and I am really looking forward to seeing it then chatting up folks in reaction to it. Admittedly, I don't know a whole lot about the events during the summer of 1967, which inspired the film, but I am intrigued.
And talk about CASTING! John Boyega, Anthony Mackie, Algee Smith!!! Not to mention the dynamic writer-director duo of Mark Boal and Katherine Bigelow are at it again with this one. Let's hope this holds the same magic as what they created together in the films The Hurt Locker and Zero Dark Thirty. It will be interesting to see how the telling of this story through diverse perspectives is portrayed.
Synopsis: In the summer of 1967, rioting and civil unrest starts to tear apart the city of Detroit. Two days later, a report of gunshots prompts the Detroit Police Department, the Michigan State Police and the Michigan Army National Guard to search and seize an annex of the nearby Algiers Motel. Several policemen start to flout procedure by forcefully and viciously interrogating guests to get a confession. By the end of the night, three unarmed men are gunned down while several others are brutally beaten.
One of my favorite things to do is people-watch at coffee shops. I sit and sip, quietly and curiously witness the gestures of lovers before or after a fight as they conceal greetings or gripes with glares, grins, and guffaws. A mother scolds her child for being a child at inconvenient times. People greet dogs with kindness before their owners. Even "curious-er" are the actions and behaviors of folks on social media where we shrink behind screens to grow more of whatever lurks within us; brave, cowardly, intelligent, ignorant, curious....
At times, I feel very clear in my position as social anthropologist. Maybe as a writer, it is an intuitive thing. As I craft "believable" characters, I study the nuances of humans and our behavior in social situations. Makes sense, right? Recently, I have become most interested in watching the people who are watching me. The "friends" and family with whom I am connected online who take the time to "Like" and "Love" my momentary headlines. When I post (especially an accomplishment) on social media, I am fortunate (and extremely grateful) to realize various forms of love, kind words, good energy, and support extended to me as I journey and process.
Interestingly, though, there is the idea that I keep "finally arriving" to the great destination... SUCCESS! (Whatever that means.) To be honest, I am usually so busy with the work of what it takes to set and accomplish a goal, figure out the next steps, or assess what I need for the climb, I often lose sight of the moments people applaud (or turn their lips up to) as some great fete. Please make no mistake... Each step on this road to wherever I land has been taken with great humility, courage, prayer, and determination to continue DESPITE the unrelenting and insecure voices in my head. When I can't beat those voices, I write about 'em. (hence the t-shirt). Then, I grab a glass of something delicious and red, or nibble a small square of some savory dark chocolate decadence, and I remind myself that there is no landing; there is only the journey. It is long and it will challenge everything I believed about myself. And it is beautiful and worth it.
I am grateful for the stamina and strength that I have gained from the process and the things that I have learned about myself and the world, from the process. But, dear friends, it is a process. And I am still in it. (Jenifer Lewis... I'm still holding the line!)
Thank you for the fuel of your Love. I Am because We Are.