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#31DaysofO — Writing Challenge

December 1, 2014

I have to put it out into the universe.

That universe!

I am, I have been, writing a new story for some time now. And I feel like, although its chugging along, I really gotta set up a goal for myself. You see, one day I was writing in my room and I was inspired by an incredible photograph from an artist named Eboni Sade’ (a dooooooope poet) …

this is O

Photo from The Mind of Eboni Sade’ blog

and I’ve been painfully sculpting a plot from this image. Science fiction has been a love of mine for sometime and although I’ve only heard of the term Afrofuturism about two years ago, I feel as though the direction of this story combines many of it elements: peoples of African descent propelled in outer-space, creating and defining their future, fusing magic realism, ancient wisdom and advance technology in a world beyond the now. And I’m re-imagining this story as an epic poem. It’s called O. And I’ve been working on it for a long time. Long enough to commit to page (or in this case, to blog) that I must complete the first draft already. Long enough to have shared excerpts of O at shows like last year’s Neo Griot Diary (and make a promise to have it completed by January 2015, why do I make promises like that?). Long enough to experiment with musical influences, even creating soundscapes that could complement the piece.

The only thing worse than a writer talking about writing, is a writer talking about how she’s thinking about talking about writing. So December 1st I will challenge myself to write O. I didn’t think it’d have to come to this, but it has. #31DaysofO is a commitment to get that draft done for my self appointed deadline, think of it as a NaNoWriMo except a month later and with poetry. Everyday I’ll do it. I’ll post a bit about what was written. I’ll hold myself accountable on my own project. It sounds weird but sometimes we artists have to put in a lot of work to get down and do what we want to do. I’m testing my discipline. I throwing it out there. I’m jumping the gun with #earlyresolutions and making this one count.

Follow me on Twitter for my progress, set-backs and mini-victories as I wrestle with my process.


Here’s a warm up:

never once had she’d imagine

enough water to reach

above her head,

never once had she’d heard

that song yet she’s already mouthed

all the words.


not the first time

but the first time she fully acknowledged,

the first time she couldn’t deny

this ability, ancestral transference

as obvious as a tumor on her heart.


no scientific evidence could explain

how she knew songs, images, languages

from seven generations past

but she did,

and when confronted with ancient knowledge

her body would recoil from the impact,

would rejoice with the reconnect,

would relinquish her present fears

and prepare her for messages

from those before her.


Wish me luck!!!


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