As a writer, throughout the years, I have been inspired greatly by my grandmother’s vivid life in politics and interest in the arts. In was common for politicians such Congressman Julia Carson (aunt) or Jesse Jackson and various artists to frequent my grandmother’s humble home for networking, food and fun. Such events never resulted in a dull moment, and my grandmother made life itself, is an inspiration. It was my grandmother who taught me my love for reading and writing, and by the time I was in elementary school, it was very evident that my calling would be within the arts. When other children were playing, I was in the corner drawing/writing mini comic books and stories. Much to my grandmother’s amusement, as well as patience, the only times I got in trouble in school was when I was talking or writing when I wasn’t suppose to. Since then, I find inspiration as a single mother and single spirit.
What is the hardest thing about your creative process?
The hardest thing about my creative process is the balancing of time with creative energy. Seemingly cursed at times by the writers God, when I have the time to create, nothing seems to manifest. However, the moment when life carries me away, I feel as if my head will burst from all the words and story concepts running like a hamster on my mental wheel.
Do you work every day, or only when inspiration/opportunity strike?
Because I lack some discipline and my schedule varies, I don’t have a working daily writing schedule as I should. I often envy other writers who work consistently daily, and perhaps with less pressure in doing so. However, my insomnia filled nights are a veiled blessing as I get the majority of writing done during these times in bulk, sometimes twenty pages. Sometimes it helps by just sitting down and making myself write when I’m not inspired, but more often I write better when in the zone uninterrupted. I’ve been working on developing a more healthy, stable working writing schedule that I can stick to…hopefully.
How do you feel about the current art market/art climate?
As an African-American Woman Writer, I have mixed emotions about the current market climate with the emergence of substandard literature and art that has more commercial appeal than actual artistic empowerment or quality.
If you could change one thing about the art world today, what would it be?
If I could change more things about the art world it would be to ensure our children a place in the art world by consistently promoting art as essential in schools (especially inner city/low income public schools where many art programs are being cut when arts enrich other academic areas in a child’s education).
Talk a little bit about your current project and why you decide to embark on it.
My current project is the screen play to my debut novel, “Timeless: Through the eyes of a Poet”. Originally, I was working on a poetry book in 2002 when I began developing a concept which combined my poetry with narrative prose, and the story evidently became Timeless. I have been actively seeking publication for the novel since 2009, while pitching the screen play to indie film producers. I have a one act play, “Reflections” that is completed, as well as I a working treatment/concept I am writing for film titled “Dog Tags”.
How does being a woman impact your work?
Being a woman impacts my work because of the insight and life I write into my story lines and/or concepts. It is my goal to write stories that women can relate to and be inspired by. I hope to bring the spirit of courage, culture and over coming adversities.
If you had the opportunity to address a group of young girls, what would you say to inspire them?
My motto is “To dream big is to dream HARD”. I believe that writing is therapeutic, essential to mobility in life, as much as it is entertaining. In working with a group of young girls/women, I want to encourage them that nothing is impossible for God and a disciplined mind. Be a dreamer, dream as hard and as much as you dare, but be willing and able to put forth the steps to make the dreams reality. As an artist of any medium, if blessed with gifts, use them. As they say “work like play and then play like hell”.