Lena, Issa & Inspiration To Do Some Screenwriting

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I took a little break last week, but I’m back y’all…

So this weekend I had tagged along with my husband to visit a relative of his in the ICU at a hospital and since we had our son with us, I sat in the waiting room while he visited with her.

This waiting room was so quiet and peaceful. There were no TV’s and no vending machines. We were pretty high up and there was a beautiful view out the big bay like windows. With my son occupied I searched for a magazine on the table that interested me.

I really don’t know when the last time I picked up an interesting magazine article that really intrigued me. Let alone get a chance to just sit down and read something for my age group (things have been so hectic lately.) Then I came across the April issue of Vanity Fair with Lena Waithe on the cover.

Now, yes I admit I’m late being “in the know”…

I had heard of her online tied to Aziz Ansari’s “Master of None”, but honestly I didn’t finish the 2nd season of that show (started it, but never finished).

Then I heard her name mentioned again, winning an Emmy and that she had wrote the show, “The CHI” on Showtime. I mean her name has been everywhere!

So I picked up the magazine without hesitation. I begin reading the article, but only was able to finish part of the first page of the feature article about her, before my husband came in to the waiting room and said he was ready to go.

I looked at him and told him what I was reading to which he replied, “Just take the magazine.”

I didn’t want to take the brand new issue of the magazine from the waiting room, I mean what if someone else wanted to read it. If it was a few months old I probably would have snatched it, but yet I digress…

So, in short I went to 3 different stores in my area to track down this issue…

I had to read the rest of the article!

The writer of the article Jacqueline Woodson did an excellent job. I love Lena’s candor. She’s definitely and inspiration. Currently, I have only stuck to what I know which is story telling in fiction format as a novel. But as I binge watched “The CHI” finally this weekend (shout out to Xfinity for the 3 month free subscription to Showtime), I began to be super inspired by the writers of this show!

I am still working diligently on my second novel, but now after reading this article and seeing this show, I am really inspired to do some screenwriting! Also, after reading another favorite of mine, Issa Rae’s book earlier this year these women are so inspiring for a young writer like myself!

Has anyone else seen “The Chi”? What do you think about Lena Waithe’s projects she has written for? Has anyone done screenwriting? Any advice?

Let me know in the comments!

Until next time…

Nicole Alicia sig

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HBO’s “King In The Wilderness” Review

HBO's _King In The Wilderness_ Review

 

I have always been into African American history as long as I can remember.

My grandmother and Great Aunt who was a school teacher, was really big into educating the youth in the family and making sure we knew our history.

I remember sitting down and watching documentaries on PBS with my Dad as a child and teen. They weren’t as interesting to me then as they are now, but I definitely found it interesting. My mom exposed me to different African American films she had watched coming up like “Watermelon Man”, “Carmen Jones” and “Raisin In The Sun”.

Growing up in the suburbs or Kansas City, Missouri in a predominately white school district African American history, was skimmed over.

Sure we did book reports on black historical figures (I distinctly remember having to do one on Zora Neale Hurston, how ironic is that, since she’s one of my favorite writers now) and usually doing it in the month of February was a usual occurrence, and then left alone the rest of the school year.

Since my maiden name is King, I was often asked if Dr. King was a relative of mine. To which as a child I contemplated momentarily and then replied “I don’t think so?!”

I went home and asked and my parents had a good, good laugh about the question their 2nd grade daughter posed.

In general I knew everything on the surface about this man, everyone put on a pedestal as a great civil rights leader, in fact THE civil rights leader of the 60’s.

In 2006 however, I had a chance to visit The King Center in Atlanta, GA and was blown away!

It gave so much more depth and perspective for me, a young lady who had only really learned on the surface about the civil rights movement and listened to the stories of my mom and dad who lived through the time in history.

Last week on April 4th was the anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King’s assassination.

I just watched this HBO documentary last night and WOW!

It was so emotional. So heavy!

I literally couldn’t go to sleep for awhile I was so wound up.

The documentary gave such a unique prospective of what he was like, what his likes and dislikes were. It was so personal. There was a lot of interviews from his friends and unseen footage.

It really made me feel, empathize and learn what stress, what sadness, what anger, what strength it took to do this work and all the other different emotions that this great man would have been going through.

He was a man, with feelings and aspirations, a wife, kids, a mom, a dad, siblings just like anybody else. He smoked cigarettes, wasn’t perfect, liked to laugh and liked to joke around with friends.

This documentary definitely was one I had been looking forward to seeing for awhile. Like I said last week in another documentary review, I love love looking in to other peoples lives. It gives me motivation and a different perspective.

Also, in this day in time it’s just nice to be reminded of such a powerful person that many of course know about but to hear it told in a different way is so valuable!

So in short this was EXCELLENT!

If you haven’t seen this documentary, definitely find a way to watch it!

 

Until next time…

Nicole Alicia sig

The Up’s & Down’s Of Being A Stay-At-Home Mom

The Up's & Down's Of Being A Stay-At-Home Mom

 

First off let me say that my journey to motherhood was to say the least a rough one.

I will save the details for a later post but in short we had several losses (3 to be exact) before we had our son RJ. I went into labor with him at 34 weeks and 5 days after a 3 1/2 month stay in the hospital. So he is our miracle baby.

We had our son in 2014 and financially I wasn’t able to stay-at-home and really I was heart broken. I had to leave our 3 month old, tiny 6lb bundle of joy with people I barely knew.

Fast forward, to October of 2015, I was laid off from a job I had worked at for 3 years. I thought this was going to be a company I’d work for, for the rest of my career.

The first week was an adjustment, to say the least.

I was in limbo whether to continue to stay-at-home or search for another job (we had no clue how it was going to work, but were willing to work together to make it work). After my husband and I came to the mutual agreement that I could be a stay-at-home mom I just took it from there.

Being a mother just in it’s self is a roller coaster ride!

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I prayed for this! I can’t say I’ve loved every moment of it because it’s rough some days.

When it’s cold out or when I’m inundated with work, sometimes we have to be in the house all day and that’s hard.

Often times, my husband can’t talk on the phone at work and all my friends are at work. So, conversation with my son maybe all I get until my husband gets off work. (He is interesting, bless his little heart…but sometimes I need a grown up to talk to)

Sometimes, your day runs perfectly smooth. You go to story time, do a little play date, get some clothes folded and put away…other day’s your house looks like a tornado ran through it and you just cleaned up yesterday!

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Although I do admit to taking breaks in bathroom, just to get a moment to myself, it’s all been worth it!

I’ve been at home with my son since he was around 18 months old. Now, I know this isn’t for everyone, believe me. One of my friends only stayed at home for about 9 months after giving birth and said she nearly went crazy staying at home.

It takes patience and organization, oh and naps, YES, you gotta have those some days.

So, here I am nearly 3 years later, one novel published, an awesome blog following, working on my second fiction novel, with two businesses of my own and living life to the fullest with my husband and 4-year old.

Until next time…

Nicole Alicia sig

Netflix “Rapture” Series Review

Netflix _Rapture_ Series Review

I don’t get to binge on Netflix very often, but this weekend I able to.

I love watching bio’s and docuseries.

Specifically musicians, really. This one was a great series, because it was done on some of my favorite rap artists.

Not only that I was also enlighten on some artists I was familiar with their story like Dave East and Nas. But, then they also told so wasn’t very familiar with like A Boogie with the Hoodie, G-Easy and Logic.

I guess the reason I find artists lives so interesting, is that I am an artist myself.

Looking into someone else’s life and seeing how they do things and what they’re work ethic is make me want to pick up what I’m doing and take it even further.

The consistent line throughout this entire series with every artist is “love”,  “passion”,”ambition”, “drive” and their mothers and/or parents.

Speaking from experience, when you’ve lived in poverty, it’s something in you that tells you, you can do whatever you want if you just work hard.

It’s really something to see someone who came from such unfavorable circumstances,  be able to pursue their dreams.

Have you watched any of the series? What did you think?

Until next time…

Nicole Alicia sig

 

 

Writer Struggles: Take 2

Writer Struggles_ Take 2

Happy Monday eve readers,

I am struggling…

I’m fine physically, but mentally I have been doing a horrible job at keeping up with my writing routine and blogging.

I try to blog consistently on nicolealiciawrites.com, Monday’s and Wednesdays. I think last week I only did one day.

My goal at the beginning of January was to at least have the rough draft of my second novel knocked out.

Fail!

I am only about 40 pages and 15,000 words.

Trouble is I have been so distracted with my other businesses. I have to find a way to get back on track.

One may say this is writer’s block, but I know it’s just lack of focus and inspiration.

What do you do when you fall off track? Comment below!

Until next time…

Nicole Alicia sig

3 Tips To Survive Networking Events For Writers

3 Tips To Survive Networking Events For Writers

If you’re a writer like me, you’re most likely and introvert.

I know all of us aren’t, but for the most part we are.

We were kids who liked playing make believe, writing stories about non-existent worlds or characters who only existed in our minds. Then we became adults and that same thing carried over. Now were fiction writers, writing about complex characters who sometimes exist in made up worlds.

Cool, right?!

Most of us writers would rather sit at home with a glass of wine, and our laptop than go explain to a group of people what it is that we do and what that book we wrote is about.

Coming up this month, I have two different opportunities to  attend networking events. I am not only a writer/author, I am also an entrepreneur. In addition to being an author, I also sell handmade goods and vintage items on Etsy.

However, I usually avoid networking events like the plague.

I mean it’s not that I don’t like people…it’s just I really hate being put on the spot!

I get all twitchy, figit-y and uncomfortable in large social scenes as it is. I am getting better at it, but to have to speak or be put on the spot I get sweaty and sometime my mind goes blank honestly.

My husband is the total opposite…he is a social kind of guy. So I went to him and told him about my slight social anxiety problem and he gave me the following tips that I thought I’d share with you all…

Don’t think about it so much- My husband tells me that I often overthink stuff. But he gets my personality. I’m just naturally shy. But getting out amongst actual people is a great way to meet others that do the same thing you do. If you don’t think about it so much and mull over it and (try to find silly excuses like I did) you’ll just “Do It” like Nike.

Put on your heels or flats and give it a go- dress up, make it fun! Be yourself! If some ask a difficult or annoying question try to be personable and just answer to the best of your ability, then laugh about it later. You can never beat yourself up for being YOU! 

Try and relax…enjoy some good ‘ol real human interaction – It’s difficult for some of us. Online is easy! But there’s nothing like seeing a persons actual reaction on their face when you tell them what you do.

Do you like networking? Social settings?  How do you handle it? Comment!

Until next time…

Nicole Alicia sig

 

 

 

My Worry For Tomorrow’s Generation

My Worry For Tomorrow's Generation

I don’t normally like to voice my opinion on things in the news, but on this one I had to.

When I was in school, I generally felt safe. Aside from the one time someone threatened to fight me, I went to school with no worries that physically I would not be harmed.

I went to schools in the suburbs of Kansas City, Missouri.

I guess they call them “urban” schools now, but what ever.

In middle school, I saw a pretty violent fight where this girls head was thrown into a window and her nose bloodied. That was the worst thing I had experienced as far as violence.

We had bomb threats against our school regularly, but no one really thought much of it.

We just assumed it was a student trying to get out of taking a test or a disgruntled parent, whose child had been suspended.

We did fire drills and tornado drills on the regular, but that was it. Now in school, a nephew of ours tells us they have active shooter drills? I guess he’s been having to do this since he started elementary school.

When I was in high school, Columbine occurred somewhere around 1999-2000, when I was a Sophomore. Incidentally, this guy who always wore a trench coat to school all the time, I’m talking way before that incident occurred was asked to stop wearing it. He meant no harm, it was just part of his “Goth” style.

Even after Columbine, I felt safe at school.

We had security guards that we knew, on a first name basis and were often the reason many of the students stayed inline. They made an effort to get to know the students, know about their home life and even maybe lend a dollar or two to those who didn’t have lunch money or wanted to get a snack cake or candy from our student concession stand.

But now, almost 18 years later ( I graduated from high school 2002), violence seems to be the norm sadly.

As a parent, I worry. When I drop my  child off at school will I see them alive again.

Here recently, I read about a girl from Alabama who was shot in class by a student that apparently had nothing to do with her.

Why?

But, then sadly last year here in a suburb of Kansas City called Lee’s Summit a girl took her own life.

I’m not only saddened, I’m sick!

In only a few months my son will be starting school.

What is this sickness in our world?

Is it a problem with the parents or lack there of? Do we blame society? Do we blame laws? Do we blame children individually?

Today, I hear kids are walking out of school here in Kansas City to protest the whole Florida shooting that occurred last month…and this is right of them!

Not writing this for views, but rather to try and express the upset and shame and worry I have for the generation to come.

Until next time…

Nicole Alicia sig

 

Be Your Own Fan Club

Believe In Yourself

When I started writing, for some odd reason I thought I would have this cheering section. Like really…

I assumed since I was blogging, automatically readers would come to my blog.

The biggest misconception in all of this, was that I would have the full support of at least friends and family.

This turned out to be the biggest lie of them all, that I told myself.

When you are an artist or a creator, or do things that are different from the norm, most of the time you’re not going to have support you think you’ll get.

Well, at least not in my experience.

I had so many people ask me the question, “You still doing that blog thing,” or my favorite “Hey, how are those book sales coming?”

But, when it came down to my first book being published some friends and family who said they would support me by either reading it or buy it, didn’t.

That’s why I decided along time ago as a writer and entrepreneur, in all the other endevours that I do, that I, myself have to cheer myself on.

If you wait for people to cheer you on, especially your own family and/or friends…hate to tell you, but you’ll be so disappointed.

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If no one takes you seriously about writing, opening a business or whatever…please take YOURSELF seriously.

I love my readers!

95% of you all I don’t know, but I thank YOU for your support and your continued feedback!

Have you ever relied on someone to cheer you on and they didn’t? What happened? Were you surprised? How did you feel?

Comment below…

Until next time…

Nicole Alicia sig