The Bridge to Freedom

nikewrites:

Happy Thursday! Today’s #TBT piece is about the past. There are many who say we should forget this period of history because it was ugly and is painful. It’s important to continue to tradition of passing the stories from one generation to the next.

Originally posted on Nikewrites Blog:

Grand-daddy always told us stories
Of his days as a slave and a share cropper.
To look at him,
You would never know
That he could be forced to submit
to someone who claimed ownership over him.
He was a tall, muscular man
Who walked with his shoulders back
And his head held high.
Proud.
Who could rule over him?
But it happened.
He was pulled away from his wife
And children,
Sold to another home,
Miles away from the ones his loved.
He was made to work in the fields,
In the heat,
With a sack to collect the harvest
Over his shoulder and his back bent.
He told us that the work was hard.
The overseers were harder
And would walk the lash across his back
Until his shirt was tattered,
And the flesh on his back opened up,
Leaving crimson stains
On the fabric.
He said,
“You…

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The Lash

nikewrites:

It’s been a busy summer and I have neglected you all for to long! But I am still here!

It’s Throwback Thursday! You know what that means! I pull something from the archives to share with you all! This piece is one of my favorites. I thought it was worth sharing again! Enjoy!

Originally posted on Nikewrites Blog:

We stood face to face
Smiling.
Laughing.
Talking.
Taking in every detail
Admiring every feature.
Romantic multi-tasking
At it’s finest.
Our eyes
Fell on each other’s lips
Often in that short
Conversation.
Not wanting to seem
Forward
We quickly diverted our eyes,
Laughing nervously,
Looking away
And then back at each other.
Then you saw it
And made your move.
You pulled me close and whispered,
“Don’t move,”
You puckered your lips,
And gently blew the stray lash
Off my cheek
As if you were performing delicate surgery.
And then,
You stole a kiss
And my heart
In one swift, smooth motion.
Then you stepped back
With a look of satisfaction on your face
And smiled.
I smiled
And looked away
Shy
As if it were the first time I’d been kissed
And quietly hoped
For another lash to fall.

 2011 Nike Binger Marshall

Bone Necking by Leroy Campbell

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The Living and the Dead

nikewrites:

Today is Throwback Thursday, the day I share a post from the past!

I don’t know why, but I have been thinking a lot about my grandfather lately. He passed when I was just a kid. I found several pictures of him when I visited my parents last week and took a few snapshots of the pictures. I still miss him. He would have been head over heels for his great-granddaughter! I know this for sure!

Today’s throwback post isn’t exclusively about my granddad, it’s about the what happens after death. I’d love to hear your thoughts and stories.

 

Granddad

Granddad

Originally posted on Nikewrites Blog:

Death is a hard sounding, very final, very cold word. Most of us learned to fear that word at a young age. Many of our parents try to shield us from it. It was a topic discussed in hushed tones as if it were some kind of scandal. Our earliest understanding of death leads us to characterize it as the enemy of life, when it really is a part of life. I don’t recall having a serious fear of death as a child, although I know I did have a fear at one time. I can’t honestly say that I don’t have any fear of death now. Human nature causes us all to wonder about the when and how our lives will end, but aside from that unknown, I accept death as a part life.

I recently watched a documentary on PBS called, “The Undertaking.” It made me…

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Things Lovers Say

nikewrites:

Well, it’s Throwback Thursday! Time for me to share a piece from the archives! I smile when I read this particular piece. As much as this can be read as poetry between two people in relationship, it’s very much a piece about a one-on-one relationship with God. These are my own words coming back to convict me! How do I expect a relationship with God to work, if I’m not giving Him my time and attention? :)

Originally posted on Nikewrites Blog:

How can you say you are lonely

When I’m standing right here?

I try to have conversations with you all the time

But you just ignore me.

Sometimes say you’ll listen

But most times

It’s just lip service.

I’m not asking for much,

A little time,

A little attention,

But you treat me like a genie in a bottle.

You think, if you rub me the right way

From time to time

I’ll be satisfied

And give you whatever you ask for.

Sometimes I do it

Because I love you

And I want you to have the best.

Sometimes it’s a test

To see if you will say thank you

And reciprocate.

You usually don’t.

When you do

It’s just you being polite

Or glad that I got your butt out of trouble

One more time.

I should leave.

But I promised you that I wouldn’t.

You make me feel…

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Maya Angelou

I needed a day to process the news that Maya Angelou passed away. Of course, I know that nobody lives forever, but it didn’t stop me from hoping she would always be around. I wanted to meet her and sit at her feet and listen to whatever wisdom she chose to bless me with. That opportunity is gone.

I regret that I wasn’t able to make it to the University of Delaware last year when she came to speak. I loved listening to her speak! She chose her words very deliberately. She didn’t rush. It seemed to me like she saw all the possible words she could use hovering in her mind, and would pluck the perfect word and drop it into her sentence. I marveled at her ability to say things in the most perfect way. She had a brilliant mind.

I read her books and poetry as a teenager and was amazed by her story. I thought she was bold and courageous. It takes a great deal of courage to share the deepest details of your life with people you know. It takes a greater deal of courage to share, not just to good times, but some of the darker times of your life with the world, in writing. That’s bold. (Memoirs are not an easy thing to write, especially if some of the key players in your life story are still alive!) I appreciated her openness.  I was amazed that one person did so much in her life. She travelled, she sang, she acted, she danced, she raised a child, and became a teacher. She was open to life! She LIVED.

I cannot recall which book the quote below was in, but I adopted it as a good way to handle life.

“Hope for the best, be prepared for the worse. Life is shocking, but you must never appear to be shocked. For no matter how bad it is it could be worse and no matter how good it is it could be better.”  - Maya Angelou

Her passing isn’t a total surprise. As I said, nobody lives forever. I’m glad to hear that she still writing, her mind was still working and she was still active until she passed. She lived, and I am so grateful for that.

Rest In Peace, Maya Angelou.

Maya Angelou April 4, 1928 – May 28, 2014

Maybe He

It is Throwback Thursday again! Today I am sharing a piece I wrote in 2009. Read it. Think about it. <3

 

Maybe He

Maybe there was another way out,
but he didn’t know it.

Maybe he could have asked for help,
but he didn’t know how.

Maybe if he knew how to unbury the pain,
he would have discovered his voice.

Maybe he would have understood,
it’s ok for a man to be vulnerable.

Maybe if I told him
all of the wonderful things I saw in him,
he would have opened his eyes.

Maybe he would have opened his heart
to let me examine his brokenness.

Maybe.

Maybe not.

Maybe it’s just like his letter said-
he didn’t want to fight anymore.

Maybe if he reached out,
maybe if he fought one more time,

Maybe if he had the will to live
he would have heard me say,

I love him.

black-woman-crying (1)

http://www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org/

My Writing Process

 

I was invited by my little sister doing big things, author and entrepreneur, Ms. Tiffany Christina Lewis, to take part in this blog hop! I’ve never blog hopped before, so this should be interesting! :D Today’s hot topic is: What is your writing process?

Let’s dive right in, shall we?

What are you currently writing?

Homework. Yes, homework. I’m taking a class on writing, of course! Just because I have published a book and written a gaggle of short stories and poems, doesn’t mean I have mastered the skill of writing. I can always learn more! Since I like the class, it doesn’t feel like a dreaded task (like algebra), it’s fun and I’m getting a lot out of it!

What makes your work different?

This is going to sound a little corny, but I think my work is different because I don’t just write a poem or story to tell you what happened. I write to make you feel and relate to the character or situation. It’s not as deliberate as it sounds. I don’t say, “Today, I shall write about anguish!” My stories, are usually driven by questions like, “what would you do if ‘xyz’ happened,” or, “I wonder what ‘xyz’ person would do in this situation.” I find inspiration in life stories from the news and documentaries, and turn them into the answers of my ‘what if’ questions. For example, my short story Douglass, was inspired by a man who used to stand across the street from my house. He struck me as a less than savory fellow. He wasn’t homeless, as far as I knew, but he looked the part. He could have been a millionaire for all I knew. But I wrote the story from his point of view. Readers had great responses to this story! They related well to the main characters and considered how they might or should react in a similar situation.

Why do you write what you do?

I have no idea! :D  The truth is, I don’t write with a genre or specific style in mind.  When I write poetry, I tend not to write in rhyme because I’m too darn lazy to put straight forward thoughts into rhyming couplets! If I find a rhythm in what I’m writing, I go for it. It it happens to rhyme, I consider it a bonus!

When it comes to the short stories, again, I start with the questions. It may turn into dramatic fiction, or something with a paranormal twist, like my story The Rotten Courtier. My friend and fellow writer Don Miskel hit me with a “what if” and I ran with it!

What is your writing process?

I don’t have a formal process, but I probably need something more structured so I can do more writing! But, as any writer will tell you, story ideas will come to you at THE  most inconvenient times, like when you are just getting into REM sleep. For this reason, my bed is my office! No lie. Pens, notebook, pencils, cell phone are within a few inches of my bed. The Evernote app is my friend! So is the Dragon Dictation app. Without those two tools, so many great ideas would have been lost to the Sandman forever! There have been many evenings when I have been awakened by a great story idea or poem, and recorded those thoughts in Dragon and copied them into Evernote or a new document on my phone, to finish when I’m not so sleepy. If you are a writer and you don’t have those tools, go get them! I’m telling you the truth, they are LIFE CHANGING! I also have several books of writing prompts that I refer to for inspiration. Those books are priceless when I’m having an “idea drought.” Between the books, and interrupted sleep patterns, I usually have something to put on the page or a blog post.

When it comes to putting words on the page, I don’t outline…at first. I just write. I tend to think in scenes – interactions between characters. I don’t worry too much about how that scene came to be. I fill those detail in later. The previous details, the back story, is where I usually get stuck, so that is where I begin to outline! This is the method I used to write Spreading Ashes. This story was inspired by a documentary on forgiveness. My questions were “How do you forgive a parent for leaving you? Is it possible to welcome them back into your life as an adult and if so, how?” I wrote “the answers” to those question and discovered how the main character felt about both of her parents. Then I outlined the back story of her parent’s relationship, and a little on other family dynamics to pulled it all together.

As a process, it’s a little backwards, but it’s what works for me. It takes me a while to produce a finished product, because I get so hung up on little details, but I aim to produce something realistic and relatable that readers will enjoy and hopefully, share with others!

And there you have it – my writing process in a nutshell!

Up next on this blog hop is my other sister of The Mighty Pen, Ms. Katrina Gurl!! She is a MASTER networker! She is the owner of Steamy Trails Publishing. She always has something brewing and is always willing to help an up-and-comer get published! Keep your eyes peeled for her post about her writing process! I know I’ll be taking notes!

To my little sister of The Mighty Pen…you said I’m a “writing mother”…..awww! I just know you are going to be a smashing success! Love you, sis and thank you for choosing me as your next! It was an honor! <3