Monthly Archives: August 2011
Most people in my generation can say that they have achieved more than their own parents. Some of us have better paying jobs and more education based on the hard work and sacrifices of our parents and relatives. It stands to reason that we in turn are in a financial place to provide more for our kids than what we had growing up. Speaking for my own kids, they have cell phones, iPods, Nintendo Wii, a family desktop computer, etc. And it goes beyond material things. We chose where we live in order to be in a good school district. They don’t really know what it is to do without something that need. They have never been hungry. That’s a good thing. Every child should have access to medical care and good schools. Every child should have their needs provided for and get to have some of the things they want. But what is too much? If you give your kids everything, how will they learn to appreciate what they have?
My husband and I try to make sure that our girls know that they are fortunate. We try to instill in them a work ethic and to understand that nothing in life is just handed to you. We try to make them understand that you have to work for things that you want. I hope the lesson is getting through. I enjoy being able to spoil my kids. I just don’t want them to turn out rotten.
What I’m listening to: “If You Don’t Know Me By Now” – Teddy Pendergrass
What I’m reading now: “The Last Days of Ptolemy Grey” – Walter Mosley
This is not a movie review.
Sunday afternoon I went to see “The Help” with my mother and sister. I don’t want to talk about the merits of a white author telling a Black story. I don’t want to discuss the politics of Black actress still playing maids in 2011. (Although Viola Davis and Octavia Spencer were simply awesome!) And I don’t want to focus on the historical inaccuracies in both the book and the movie.
My take away from the movie was the strength of women. Black women in particular. These women encountered injustice, racism, slights, cruelty and plain evil on a daily basis. Yet they still got up and took care of their children and the white babies in their charge. They went to church, looked out for their family, friends and neighbors and paid their bills. In short, they survived.
Fast forward to today. Opportunities are endless. We are no longer the help unless that is the career we choose. We can run corporations. We can serve in Congress. We have the power to run the world. Yet too many of us give that power away. We give that power away through bad decisions, giving in to our circumstances and losing hope. We give that power away by being afraid.
Whether you are a fan of Beyoncé’s or not, you have to give her credit for sounding a rally cry for women. I belive that women do run the world. We birth and raise the babies. We take care of and empower our men. We hold it together for everyone around us sometimes to the detriment of ourselves. We not only survive. We effect change.
I enjoyed the movie “The Help.” It may not have been a perfect depiction of the civil rights era but it is a perfect depiction of the strength of women. I was reminded me of the power we possess.
This article is so profound that I had to share. Please read and enjoy.
I was a huge Aaliyah fan back in the day and cried like she was my sister when she died. This article from the Root.com is a heartfelt tribute to “Baby Girl”.
I think I have a handle on things. As I’ve mentioned before, finding time to write with a full-time job and family can be hard. Most of my writing time has been regulated to an hour at night, 30 minutes at work and the weekends. That made for slow progress. In the past, I would get up an hour earlier so I would have uninterrupted writing time. That’s not working this time. Now I have a new plan. I have changed my work hours to a four-day work week which gives me a full day off. Since the kids are back in school I have the house to myself. We’ll see how much I can get done in a day.
On a related note, I am having a good time writing short stories. I subscribe to the Lifewriting Tips by Steven Barnes. One of those tips revolved around the notion of training or exercising your writing muscles. They only way to get good at something is to practice. Short stories are an excellent vehicle to “practice” story telling. Taken from Steven’s Free Online Writing Classes about short stories: “This is Basic story telling, a “Sprint”, with no time to rest. In many ways the essence of the story form. Educational as hell, and also quite confrontive. Many people avoid it, but the short story remains the method of choice for developing professional-level skills.”
My goal is to have a “Story Soundtrack” story at least once a week. As far as the novel goes, I am on chapter fifteen of edits. The longest journey begins with just one step, right?
What’s Playing on the iPod right now: “Smile” – Kirk Franklin
What I am reading now: “Mogul” – Terrance Dean