It's unreal the number of notes that were passed in class between Glendaliz Camacho and myself between 6th and 8th grade. Not only the number of notes but the sheer volume of the written exchanges. Since then she's been published numerous times and is working on her short story collection ("La Baca" still thrills me) and will be included in an upcoming anthology. She's been a huge supporter of my blog and has wielded the red pen against my words.
This is the cyber-version of passing a note -- Glendaliz asked me if I'd like to participate in this blog tour. It's good timing since my focus lately has been everywhere. Not in a bad way. Just that there are quite a few projects I have going on right now that are at different phases of development and taking some time to think about only my writing is needed.
Can't fight fate. We were destined to be writers.
What are you working on?
I'm working on some stuff.
I work to maintain this blog and it's many focuses -- the personal writing, the sex, dating and relationship writing, body image, rants on the idiocy of society, Ask Abbie, the guest posts, NY posts for my Native Creative Concierge business, Planet of the Apes -- there's a system to my Random Musings.
I want a syndicated writing gig - a column. One that I get paid for. I need to do more work on getting that.
The 5th anniversary edition of The Darker Side of Lust is also on my To-Do List.
How does your work differ from others' work in the same genre?
I need to get better at reading other writers. I used to read a lot. I don't know what happened but in recent years I got it in my head that I wouldn't read while I was working on something of my own because I didn't want to be influenced by what I read. Well, shit, if I'm always working on something when am I gonna read? No bueno. I'm sure there are countless others who chronicle their sex lives, comment on the current social climate, orgasm on the page when they write about a meal they've had, explain health and fitness concepts, pen erotic tales et al. Some are brilliant, poignant, astute, hilarious, horrific. I don't know how my work differs from all the rest. It's mine. That's the major difference. I do know I write things as they are. This is certainly a question I need to revisit in a few months or years.
Why do you write what you do?
I enjoy reports. I enjoy recalling what went down where. I write my New York-centric posts for my business and to keep my blog readers in the know -- here's what's going on in NY or about NY and also here's my opinion on it.
I write about health and fitness because there are so many myths and fallacies that are doing more harm than good. I write to educate.
Fiction is fun for me to write. So I write that for enjoyment. What adventures can I get my characters into? What "drama" or "issues" can they work out? From the time I was in elementary school I would write stories that I wanted to read. My protagonist was always a young Black girl -- some reflection of me -- doing the most. In the first feature-length screenplay I wrote, same thing -- a Black woman lead who was stealing files from the police, driving a pick-up truck, jumping off cliffs in the woods, escaping a log cabin engulfed in flames and identifying opium plants (poppy seeds). I write what I want to read, what I want to see on TV or in film, what I'd like to experience.
As for the personal blogging, blame that on Sex and the City. I, too, fell into the trap that I could have Carrie Bradshaw's life. Date, fuck, get paid to write about it. I'm older now so things have changed. It's still fun -- whatever you choose to believe it is -- but my writing has a different focus. I still protect the guilty and the innocent while telling my story. Now my relationships, no matter how brief, are more meaningful so it's less about the sordid details and more about sharing the lessons learned. And I continue to learn about myself. That I will share. I've kept a diary or journal in some form since junior high school so I've always been one to write what was going on in my head and heart, unfiltered. I didn't plan on writing about sex or my sex life for public consumption but it happened.
Own your shit. Tell your own story. That's it. You got something to say? Write it out. It makes everything else in your life run smoother. I stand by that.
How does your writing process work?
What process? I wouldn't call myself a disciplined writer. When I have time and feel like writing, I write. I write in bed. As I was drifting off into a blissful nap on the subway an idea popped into my head and out came "Two Way Threesome". I write in a notebook. With a pen. In cursive.
With freelance assignments, I've never missed a deadline but I don't know how much l like them or need them. I'm aware of the importance of being timely especially with event-based writing. But even when I'm writing about events, it's very free-flowing. I love to freewrite. I think the editing process is a lot easier if you have a hunk of writing to work with.
Who's up next? I invited 3 fabulous ladies to share their writing processes. All are women who I would say feel life as well as live life.
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