Nicole Alicia’s Top 10 List of College Movies

nicolealiciawrites.com

In my debut novel, “Drama University” I take my readers back to the early 2000’s before anyone knew what a Facebook was and before cell phone’s were “smart phones”.  Not only is it a time period where my main character Melody attends College, but it was also when I started College as well.

If you are currently attending College or have graduated…you know we like to reminisce on the “good ‘ol” days (Goodness, I sound old but whatever).

So while many of you are either about to be on winter break or just want some good movies to sit back, reminisce and laugh…

Here’s some a list of my Top 10 list of College movies:

  1. School Daze. I’m a definitely a Spike Lee fan. This movie is my favorite, not only because it has Jasmine Guy from my favorite College TV show a “Different World” but also because it was my first exposure of seeing what black sorority and fraternity’s (although a complete exaggeration) was like.\
  2. Love & Basketball. Although this is more of a coming of age story, I think the College part of the movie is very relevant. Plus, I love Sanaa Lathan!
  3. Drumline. Matter of fact, I saw this at the movie while I was in my first semester of College in 2002. The original I love and have seen more times than I care to count. Plus, who didn’t love Nick Cannon back then?
  4. Dear White People. A great film about the different types of people you may encounter on campus, mixed in with a story line about how racism often plays a part on campus and how students often trying to portray being someone they’re really not.
  5. Higher Learning. The ending always makes me so mad, but it’s so nostalgic to go back to the 90’s.
  6. House Party 2. A classic. I really don’t know what else to say!
  7. Burning Sands. I enjoyed this one and as the former girlfriend of a black fraternity member, I found it to be spot on from what I was told these young men experience while “on line”.
  8. Stomp The Yard. Another film focusing on black fraternities (although fictitious), I love the story line and the story. Columbus Short was a snack, was he not?! LOL
  9. The Great Debaters. Although I’ve only seen this film once, I do remember it has many life lessons and teachable moments in it. You have to really sit down a watch this one.
  10. How High. It’s a really goofy movie that makes me laugh every time, because it’s just so ridiculous. Plus, who doesn’t like comedy!

And that’s my Top 10!

What are some of your favorites?

Until next time…

-Nicole Alicia

 

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Friendship Is…

Friendship Is...

Hard. Interesting. Fun. Exciting. Tough.

“Friends? How many of us have them?”

A question posed by one of my favorite old school rap groups Whodini.

TLC asked, “What about your friends?”

These are such interesting questions.

But for real, there is a common theme you will see through out my debut novel Drama University. I loved school! Not all for the academics, though. I mean I was interested in certain subjects, but really school was about the social aspect for me.

I woke up excited thinking about what my friends and I were gonna do that day, when we went to play outside at daycare or at school. Later on in high school, it was really about friends. I have always been shy. I am just now realizing I am and have always been a bit socially awkward.

Social situations often make me nervous.

Even if it’s people I’ve known for years.

I’m an introvert at heart and really am just now coming out of my shell. Just a bit…

Many times in my writing, I write story lines dealing with friends or friendships among different types of characters.

Now days, as an young woman in her 30’s I find it  hard to connect sometimes.

I mean I’ve been out of school for almost 10 years and high school coming up on 16 years, I think it is. I only have one friend I have stayed in consistent contact with since middle school.

School provides a very unique setting where you’re around your peers all day long, all the time mostly. In life as an adult your not constantly surround by your friends. People have jobs and kids and a million other responsibilities and sometimes it’s just down right hard.

I love creating, dissecting and looking into my characters lives and structuring how they interact. I think it’s important to bring to the forefront the good and bad aspects of female friendships. As girls/young women I believe we often share something sacred and special.

Friendships have always been a struggle for me and I’m just now examining why in my 30’s. I have found that I am quick to cut people off and I’m working on that.

We all need that one true person to go through life with!

How do you see most friendships about girls/women written in literature today? What do you think about the portrail of friendship in novels? Do you have a favorite duo?

Comment below!

Until next time…have a blessed weekend!

-Nicole Alicia

 

Why Drama?

Why Drama-

The title of my debut novel is Drama University.

Some of the drama that the main character Melody experiences is avoidable and some isn’t.

The title of the book was actually mulled over for years.

The main character is in a few different sticky situations and has some things happen to her that were well…drama filled.

I can relate to my character Melody, I too have experienced some un-needed, probably could-have-been-avoided-in-the-first-place drama. Then there’s always that which you perhaps didn’t even see coming.

But if life were that cut and dry and we could avoid everything adverse, nothing would be worth it.

I’m not saying you don’t NEED drama in your life at all. In fact, I believe a little bit of drama or adversity builds character. But, I’m talking about that blood pressure raising, un-needed, unnecessary type of drama that just gives you a headache, girl. Do you know what I’m talking about?

I don’t know about you, but I try to avoid drama at all cost now days. You know why?

Drama spells out negative energy! I like to stay as far away from negative energy as possible.

I do this by avoiding those types of people, who are opposite of me and just really love drama. They need it. They have to have it. If they don’t, they go crazy.

Sorry not sorry, I myself am not here for it and don’t have time.

When I think of drama now days, I think of a type of TV or movie show I like to watch. I like to watch it, but I don’t want to be involved in it.

Oftentimes we can see it coming down the road and that ladies is when we probably should just get off that road and make a U-turn to go back the other direction.

What do you think about drama? Do you like it? Do you avoid it?

Comment below!

Until next time…

-Nicole Alicia

When Is It Time To Let It Go?

happy valentine's day

Disclaimer: This is not an advice column! I’m simply sharing my opinion and my experiences.

The main character of my debut novel “Drama University”, Melody is in an on again off again relationship with Xavier. She doesn’t know how to let go or even if she should let the relationship go. With all the other short lived relationships she’s  been in, there have been some clear signs to let things go. But not so much with Xavier. They have history.

Much like my character Melody, I also have had relationships where I just didn’t want to let it go.

It hurts!

Often times there is this uncomfortable grey area. Nothing is defined and you’re feeling vulnerable about the situation. Maybe even insecure.

I get it!

With one particular relationship I was in a long time ago, there were several different periods and breaks we took. However, somehow we kept finding ourselves together again and again.

Ladies, he was handsome! He seemed to have everything I was looking for in a boyfriend, at first. He was very kind, polite and a total gentleman. As time went on though, things changed. The person I had met years before started changing.

Long story, short in the end, I ended up heart broken and resentful that I had been with this person so long. In the beginning after the break up, I was very bitter and angry. He made one last attempt to keep the line of communication open with me, but I shut it down once I found out he was talking to other girls.

Once I got over the anger I felt from the break-up, I was able to learn from what I had experienced.

So here it is…Here are Nicole Alicia’s signs of when it is time to let it go…

If he doesn’t share the same morals and values as you – Differences like this may be cute at first…at first. But, In the end if you aren’t on the same page as to where in life you are spiritually and morally, it won’t work. You can compromise all you want, but often it doesn’t matter.

If you find yourself trying to change him – If you’re trying to make him into something he’s not, good luck girlfriend! Typically how you are at 20, 21 is how you’re going to be…morally. Do not go into a relationship thinking you can “upgrade” him or mold him into what you want him to be. It rarely works! If it does, it’s liable to backfire on you big time.

If you’ve asked him not to do something that really bothers you, but he’s still doing it – typically this mean he doesn’t respect you. Enough said on this one!! Take it how you want. I’ve had both ways. It’s a total difference, when someone who says they love you makes an effort not to do something that you don’t like, versus someone you express you don’t like something and they say you can take a hike ’cause they ain’t changing…believe them if they say it!

Believe me, I know you’re saying it’s not that easy Nicole!

I never said, it was easy. I know things are never this cut and dry when it comes to relationships.

I could write a whole other post on how difficult it was for me to let go in some relationships. For me, the longer I was in a relationship, the longer it was going to take to get over it.

Recognize, some of the signs and then decide, is this really worth it? Trust, I wouldn’t be sharing if it wouldn’t benefit you in the long run!

What do you think? Have you been through this? Do you agree? Disagree?

Comment below!

Love and Peace, until next time…

Nicole Alicia

 

 

 

“Drama University”: The Backstory

My Debut Novel -Drama University-- The Backstory

I’ve been working on this novel for about 10 years now.

That’s a long time!

Yes, I know!

The story behind this novel is simple. I discovered I really loved to write and others liked to read my writing back in college in 2005. I had been going to school for Computer Science initially and ended up changing my degree to Business Administration a year into it.

Once I was about a junior, I discovered that, hey maybe I should go for an English degree or Journalism instead. Unfortunately, it would have taken me another year to complete a degree if I switched and I just didn’t have the patience or money to change majors.

So about a year after graduation, I got the idea to start writing a novel. I had written short stories and poetry mostly before and that. I was reminiscing about some of the crazy times I had in college with one of my friends one day. He suggested that maybe I should write a book. At first I frowned at the idea. I couldn’t picture myself writing a memoir of some sort.

I figured I let the idea simmer and think on it. So I started writing in a journal initially and then moved to a notebook. I started writing first about a character who I thought about who went through a series of events and difficult relationships while in college. I then wrote about my antagonist and started an outline from there.

I worked 8 hours a day then at another company. I would come home and write before bed. Sometimes if I got up earlier, I would write before I had to be at work at 8 am.

Being a part-time writer, I also had my own blog since 2007. I took about 5 years to write the entire manuscript. I have done at least 5 self-edits on this book alone to get it to sound how I wanted it.

A lot of people have asked me, “Is this the same book you started writing a long time ago?” to which I explain yes. During the last 10 years I have had a ton of life changes that occurred. I got married, suffered 5 miscarriages, had a child and changed jobs 3 different times.

The idea of becoming a full fledged writer wasn’t even a thought, when I became a college graduate in 2006.

I am glad this friend planted this little seed in my mind, and I ended up using it to write what is my debut novel, “Drama University”.

I pray you like it.

It’s been in the making a long time!

Read Novel Excerpt #1 & Novel Excerpt #2 from “Drama University”!

Friday I’ll be revealing the cover for the book.

P.S. I love comments, so write something below!

Until next time…

-Nicole Alicia

Novel Excerpt #2

Novel Excerpt #2

This excerpt is taken from Chapter 2 of my upcoming novel, “Drama University” soon to be released on November 14, 2017. Pre-ordering will be available soon! Sign up for my mailing list (Click here to sign up) to stay informed on what’s coming up next from writer Nicole Alicia!

“Hold on,” I breathed into the receiver. I dropped the phone to go shut off my alarm so I could hear. “H-h-ello,” I managed to answer, now out of breath.

“Hey, what’s up?” A low voice, replied.

“Um hey. What happened to you? Why didn’t you call yesterday when you got up here? I called you. Everything go okay?”

Being startled awake like that I had near forgotten about yesterday. But I was wide awake now. “My bad Mel,. I was movin’ and I didn’t get up here til’ like 8 last night.”

“Aww, I see. So you couldn’t call and tell me, huh?” There was a long pause before he nonchalantly replied, “It was way too late, I knew you was sleep anyways.”

I let the brief awkward silence sit there between us.  

“I’m sorry baby, I’ll not forget next time.”

I rolled my eyes and got up out of the wooden desk chair I was sitting in.

“Yeah whatever,” I said reluctantly.

“So, I guess I’ll talk to you later, ‘cause were supposed to be in the Student Union at 9am for orientation.”

“Yep, see ya later, love you,” he said sweetly.

“I love you too.”, I said back and hung up.

I exhaled and slowly breathed out all my frustration from yesterday. I was relieved now.  

As a freshman, the school requested that you arrive one week early from the “upperclassmen” for freshman orientation. They had tours of the campus, classes that taught you everything you needed to know about the school and college life. Orientation was called “Getting the Most out of Your College Experience” according to the pamphlet that came in the mail with my room assignment. In the informational packet I had read in the mail, it just looked like all it should be called, where to go for this, who to go to for that, what residential life was like and on and on. But, I guessed that was too long of a title for it.  

Before I left home I went shopping to gear up for the whole first week of orientation and my first week of college. I planned out every outfit down to my shoes and accessories. I was hell bent on dressing as cute as possible. I didn’t really have a thing for clothes. I was never the best dresser. I just kinda went off what the other girls wore and did my best. The whole thought of having to be out and about amongst my peers, students I had never met before kind of made my stomach feel funny though, but I was definitely excited though.  Although I would say I was quiet, I was going to let my clothes speak for me.

Hoping to blend in since I was way taller than most females my age and had been since about 6th grade. At 5’7, and 120lbs the only thing I was really worried about was standing out like a sore thumb. I was always being teased in school, but I was hoping since this was college, things would be different. You know, a more mature crowd.

After getting dressed, I grabbed a Rice Crispy Treat and a Capri Sun out of my stash and  headed over to the Student Union about 8:50am. I entered to finding a ton of students lining the noisy, atrium. Certain students were holding up signs that read in big bold letters, A-F, G-L, M-R, S-Z some were shouting the group of letters they held up on their signs. I hesitantly maneuvered through the crowd until I was sort of close to the sign that said S-Z. I tried to stand closest to the outside of the group of students standing there. There was a group of about 100 plus students standing around a guy with brown hair, wearing a black polo with the school’s logo in the corner of the shirt.

Some students were conversing with each other, others stood there looking around with that lost look on their face. Which was probably how was looking also. I grabbed my phone and pretended to look occupied, which I thought may look better than looking around lost and clueless. After about 15 minutes of standing there, our group started to move toward the doors headed out to where the rest of the campus was.

Time was dragging that day.  I had occasionally seen Xavier and his best friend, Mark on campus with their group between sessions and in passing breaks in between the “informational sessions” the first day. He would nod what’s up, and I’d throw up my hand and give a cute little wave every time.  X was looking fresh, as usual. I didn’t mind telling my newfound acquaintances when they asked who that was.  

He had one of the new red Marc Ecko shirts on I had bought him this summer, with some new white Nike Air Force 1’s and crisply pressed khaki shorts that hung so low, all you could see was his socks and shoes. His hair was freshly faded, with his one diamond earring shining. My eyes moved from his feet him up as he passed. I took a mental picture just to save in my memory for later.

It was funny, his crew all pretty much dressed the same too. Somehow they had managed to all end up in the same orientation group. All four of them grew up together and went to the same schools together up until Xavier moved and started going to my school freshman year. Mark was Xavier’s best friend since kindergarden. I was introduced to Mark officially about a year ago. Xavier and I had just started back dating again, after breaking up for only the second time. We went on a double date with him and what I liked to call his “girl of the week”. Mark was comical and a so called “player”. He had all the flash and flair that a 17 or 18-year-old girl would be attracted to.

Since I had known, Xavier he talked about his boy, Mark.  He was about the same height as Xavier, mahogany brown skin, with light brown nearly hazel eyes. He was clean cut and I had never saw him anything but designer brands. He always had a different girl every time we double dated with him, which was basically every month. Mark was obviously, a firm believer in the phrase, “exploring your options”. From what Xavier had told me about him, I could see why. He was spoiled rotten by his wealthy parents and was the baby of the family. It was very plain to see he got what he wanted basically.

Anthony and Craig I knew little about. I thought I once overheard Mark say in conversation with Xavier that “Anthony was spoiled too.” Mark was cool with me. His personality was goofy and he was definitely a comedian. When I came around the other guys, barely nodded to acknowledge my presence. I figured they could give or care less, who I was. Mark always joked around with me winking and waving, which always caused X to punch him in the shoulder, and say “Aye, man that’s my girl!” Which I in turn, smiled and we laughed together about.

Every time I would see Xavier and his crew on campus, Mark is always be talking to some girl while Xavier tags along behind him.

Sitting and listening to all these professors, administrators and upper classmen talk for hours and hours in orientation was exhaustingly boring. All I was looking forward to right now was the end of the week there was supposed to be a party. I hadn’t heard or seen much of Xavier except in passing this week.  It was Thursday night already. I had been calling his room most nights and getting no answer. When I’d call his cell, he would say, “I’ll hit you back in a minute.” Which wasn’t happening.

I was trying to play it cool though. We had been so close our last semester of high school and over the summer months. Talking almost every night, sometimes just sitting on my back porch and talking, until midnight or I had to come inside. I was starting to have flashback scenes of “Love and Basketball” flow through my mind. I fantasized that things would be different this time. I mean this was only the second time we had broken up and started dating again.

What Was Life Like Before Social Media?

Life BS & AS (Before Social Media & After Social Media)

What was life like before social media?

Many of us probably don’t even remember. I know sometimes it’s hard for me to recall?

As a mother, I now envision some of the conversations I will have with my son. I imagine one of the things we will discuss largely is “how things used to be”. You know like most parents who sit back and reminisce about the good ‘ol days with their children (I know mine did)!

My debut novel “Drama University” coming this Fall, takes place in the early 2000’s, before social media even came about.

Allow me to take you way back.

Back before we even knew what goes down in the “DM’s” or what the hell a “selfie” was.

Back in my day, all we had was “Black Planet”. A place to create a profile and message folk back and forth from all around the world. Basically, a the first “Tender” for black folk. In fact that may have been the start of it all.

Then there was something called Myspace. Remember, Myspace y’all? It’s like a blip in my memory now.

If you wanted to talk to someone half way across the US, you could use instant messenger on your computer. Later they did come out with some sort of video chat on the computer too.

msn logo

Before Facebook and Myspace, we passed notes back and forth in class in high school. If a guy wanted your number at a party, you wrote it on his hand or a piece of paper. In college, cell phones were really just becoming a “thing”! I remember the first little phone I had with a color screen and a camera on it. That was huge deal! I really thought I was ballin’!

The first cell phone was a Nokia 5110! The phone you could change to outer shell to, you know the phone that you could play that game “Snake” on and it had a green back-light.

old school phone

Anyways, back then phones where good for one thing, calling and text messaging. Who would have known that 15 some years later, most people would quit using LAN lines and just have a cellphone? I mean I can probably count on one hand the amount of people that have a LAN line in their house now.

In high school, if you wanted to reach your boyfriend and he wasn’t home you had to wait for him to call you back when he got home. I remember paging one of my boyfriends and he called back from his granny’s house. That’s just how things worked back then.

If you wanted to take pictures of yourself or your friends you had to use an actual camera, wait and then go get them printed at your nearest drug store. Now everyone can see where your at and who you’re with, with a click of the post button.

I began college in the fall of 2002, much like my main character Melody Thomas in my upcoming novel.

Things were way different back then.

Now it’s so much easier for these guys to get caught up! But that’s a whole other blog post for another day!

In 2005, a friend who attended CMSU (UCM or University of Central Missouri) had told me about this thing called Facebook that everyone at her school was on. I went on the site and our school hadn’t even been added. Matter of fact, It didn’t end up being added I don’t think for probably another 6 months!

Facebook, as we know was the leader of this thing we now call social media. Now you could see who your boyfriend was friends with and what girls were writing comments on his page. I know this sparks a whole other discussion about relationships and social media.

I have to admit, life was so much simpler back when we couldn’t see into that ex’s life with a click of a button.

What do you remember about life before social media?

Comment!!!

-Nicole Alicia