A Heavy Heart

A Heavy Heart

I am very guarded.

I share on social media, but not usually alot about my personal life. I figure if you know me you know me. But most on here get to know me by reading my blog mainly…so here it goes.

Last week for me was a very confusing week. My heart was very heavy.

I lost a younger cousin to Cancer who was just 27. Although I had not seen him in awhile, I was remembering when he was a baby and a toddler and it just saddened me that this sickness had taken his young life. Thing that bothered me the most was this was now the third cousin on that side of the family that I had kind of grew up with that had passed that was under the age of 35.

Then there was the suicides of Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain.

I was familiar with both persons work and like a lot of others, I would have never guessed this.

For some reason, death even when not knowing a person directly is odd for me.

I start questioning the meaning of life. The why’s and the how’s for some reason.

I am not sure what to make of it.

I just feel for each family member who is experiencing loss, whether sudden or expected.

Grief sucks, loss sucks and it hurts.

 

 

Until next time…

Nicole Alicia sig

 

 

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What To Write

What To Write

As Fiction writers, we usually have ton’s of story ideas.

I know I do.

Sometimes I have trouble focusing on just one story at a time.

Has this ever happened to you?

I was set on writing my second Novel and I still am…but lately I’ve been writing something else on the side. A non-fictional piece for some reason I’ve felt I just had to flesh out a really rough draft outline of (or at least the part that was on my mind).

I’m definitely still working on writing Novel #2, but just wanted to know if anyone out there could relate.

Do you work on main pieces, but have a “side piece” story your writing at the same time?

Is it a bad idea? Good idea?

What do you think?

 

Until next time…

Nicole Alicia sig

Falling Off The Path

Falling Off The Path

 

At the end of last week, I had sort of a melt down. By Friday, I felt I had accomplished very little and what I had accomplished, I still didn’t feel somehow that it was enough.

I pre-plan, typically every Sunday before the week starts.

Some how last week things were just off.

I like my house to be a certain way so I typically clean up everyday in some form or fashion. Although I have a horrible habit of washing clothes and then throwing them in a pile in my bedroom until they can be folded (Ladies, if you have any suggestions on how to tackle this problem, let me know).

I could easily blame my disorganization and lack of ability to stay on track, on my 4-year old son and my dog. But, I won’t even go there because I am a great multi-tasker!

I can typically have a load of clothes washing or drying, be cooking breakfast, planning for dinner and answering emails or messages at the same time. However, last week I just felt tired mentally.

I mean I only worked on Novel #2, twice last week. (Once, really because the second time I just opened it and looked at the screen for 5 minutes and determined that I wasn’t going to write anything today anyway).

Later, Friday morning after a good 5 attempts to just get something done work wise, I message my husband in frustration and told him that I was feeling overwhelmed and tired.

Because he is the good man that he is, he offered to take care of everything for me this weekend so I could regroup. That evening I ended up with a headache so bad, I went to bed around 7:30 p.m. that night and didn’t get up until nearly 8 a.m. Saturday morning (talk about I wasn’t listening to my body).

I think I was just really mentally exhausted!

I think sometimes, we as women try to do any and everything and in the end, we end up exhausted.

It’s Sunday again, and now that I’ve had a few child-free hours to regroup, I feel ready to conquer whatever life throws me this week.

Have you ever just needed a break?

Let me know down in the comments!

Until next time…

Nicole Alicia sig

What’s Your Story?

What's Your Story_

Everyone has a story.

Some people have many.

Some, not so many depending on how long they have been on this earth and the things they’ve experienced. By now you know I love writing (obviously), but I also enjoy history.

I love listening to other people (who have something interesting to share) and history in general.

No one person’s story is the same as another’s.

As I begin to really dig deep into doing research for my second novel, I am beginning to ask family members and other elders about their stories and lives.

I love reading about history, but it’s something to hear how it really was…not the text book version, and listen to it from a person first hand.

A lot of heritage and stories of our families history is often either left out or untold. A lot of truths are dying and being sent to the grave with those who pass who really have so much to tell.

Usually the fun part about it is, older people have many many stories to tell. If you ask. (Sometimes…)

If you’re around someone 70,80 plus just ask them “what was life like when you were my age..” Most the time they are more than willing to share.

If you have the time that is…you may just learn a few things.

Until next time…

Nicole Alicia sig

Reminiscing on Old Kanye

Reminiscing on Old Kanye (1)

Back in 2003, when “College Dropout” came out I remember it distinctly I was ending the end of my sophomore year at MWSU @ in a little city in Missouri named St. Joseph. Around 4pm, Monday thru Friday I tried to be in my room to watch a show  called “106th & Park” on BET came on everyday about 4pm. They interviewed all the hottest artists.

Prior to the song, “Through The Wire” I wasn’t familiar with who Kanye West was, but oh when I found out I was so in love with his music.

I mean everyone had that CD on campus, whether the original or the burnt CD (sorry yes we were bootlegging with our poor college butts). Before streaming burning CD’s, that’s all we had until I think IPOD’s came out in 2005.

Kanye came in like a force, part of the Roc-A-Fella crew with Jay-Z, so he was automatically alright in my book. Seeing that Jay-Z was one of my favorites for sometime now ever since that MTV Unplugged album I had copped in Chicago on a band trip.

Kanye was so relatable, speaking of struggles of finding your way in the world but often putting a comical spin on it. Kanye had a certain style that was contagious also. He made Polo’s cool again. Remember that?

College Dropout through Late Registration was such and intricate part of my college career…literally the soundtrack to my College Career. (I kept all three albums in rotation on my little MP3 player)

Who can forget the “Broke Phi Broke” sketch on “Late Registration”!

Then when “Graduation” came out around 2007, I had moved on into another part of my life. I had just graduated College. My now husband, then boyfriend where dating and used to ride to that CD so much we had to buy another copy because the first one was so scratched it wouldn’t play good anymore!

You see Kanye West’s earlier body of work was the sound track of so many people’s lives, including ours. Often time we don’t separate an artists work from their personal lives, because that’s how we get to know them is through their work but how they conduct them selves outside of music is also important.

For me, in light of his recent antics I just feel ye’ has  lost his way. Mainly I think the passing of his mother broke him somewhere deep inside…understandable…but sadly he’s never been able to come back to us.

He’s had his outbursts, but that’s typical Kanye isn’t it?

In closing, not only does it hurt me that he’s some how turned his back on his culture in a way, but really once he said “slavery was a choice”, I really felt sympathy for him. His recent releases just make me raise and eyebrow.

Will I ever look at one of my favorite artists in the same way ever again, likely no.

We love you “old” Kanye, and thank you for your body of work pre-808’s & Heartbreaks! We hope you come back to your senses soon!

Until next time…

Nicole Alicia sig

Graduation Season: Decisions

Graduation Season_ Decisions

This comes around every year…

Well twice a year, if you graduate in December from College (like I did).

I have a little cousin who is about to graduate from College in May,  we’ve had several different discussions on post grad life. I thought I’d share with you what I shared with her about my experience and some things I wished I had done differently.

So here I am, a post grad 12 years out of the academic game with my undergraduate degree in Business Administration with an emphasis in Marketing.

When I graduated from College and while I was in College, I had a through or what I thought was a very solid plan. Marketing was interesting yes and so was Business (I originally started out in IT/Programming, but that’s another story in it’s self) had my mind set that I was going to graduate and BOOM get a job.

Well, it didn’t quite happen that way….

I had worked for a small credit union as a paid intern most of my College life on breaks and worked in the administrative office of the school district downtown in St. Joseph, MO in the city I attended College. I also worked on campus in various offices so I thought I had some pretty good administrative experience and tie that with the degree, I thought I was guaranteed employment.

Let me tell you I had been searching for a job since the September before I graduated December 16th, 2006 and didn’t end up finding a job until late January 2007.

Let me tell you the struggle was very, very REAL!

Moral of this story is not really about work. Well it is, but it isn’t.

It’s about going for you dream(s)! And I say dreams, because I feel like it’s okay to have more than one!

I know we here this a lot of time in graduation speeches, but IT IS REAL.

I was groomed that going to College and getting a degree, in a high paying field was what you did.

I didn’t really discover what I truly loved to do, until I was a Junior in College and it was a bit late to change majors because I would have added a year of schooling to my plan, which sadly at the time I didn’t have the patience nor the money to do.

I’m not preaching to go ALL in…

Please don’t do that, unless you have a backup plan to your backup plan, by any means! Or unless you have a good safety net (i.e. parents with deep pockets or you’re a trust fund baby).

You here these success stories about people who just decide to drop all that they are doing and jump off the cliff….not wise to do, but if you think you can by all means!

Graduation is often a step into the “Real World”….

Maybe you’ve been taking care of yourself since you graduated High School, I’m not sure what you’re circumstances are. But, if you don’t already have a job and you’re about to graduate this is a good time to really, really go for what you love.

Often in conversation with about to be grads or fresh grads I hear a common tone….”I am going to apply here and get a job and life is going to be GREAT!” (to which I snicker and try to hold my laughter in)

Money is great…I’m actually a big fan of it, it allows me to do a lot of different things. However, if you’re not happy at that corporate 9-5, the first few years will be tolerable and then you’ll become miserable.

Who likes to be miserable?

Hopefully, you’ve done some serious soul searching prior to your graduation date. Really I hope you started before you went into the degree program you chose, but it’s not too late if you haven’t. It’s hard, believe me I’ve been there.

Decisions, Decisions I know.

Just like I told my cousin…take from someone who had to learn the hard way!

Until next time….

Nicole Alicia sig

 

Lena, Issa & Inspiration To Do Some Screenwriting

nicolealiciawrites.com (1)

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

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