Nanowrimo 2017-Day 1

I just completed my Nanowrimo Day 1 goal. Actually I EXCEEDED it by a whole 227 words and yes I’m patting myself on the back because I know there will likely be days where I barely hit one thousand words in a day so: YASSSSS to small wins.

 

We were (AB and I) invited to a housewarming party. She reminded me slightly before 4pm about the 6pm invite and originally I was going to do a 1K1Hr at 6pm. Normally I would have taken a whole nap before going out but this time I took a 20 minute rest and sat down to write.

I used Dr Wicked’s Write or Die and didn’t really have any issues getting the words out once I sat down and turned off my WiFi. 

N-T-Ways I’m in the car now headed to the party so I’m signing off but if you’re a writer and are writing today my wish for you is that the words flow like water through your finger tips onto the page. 

XO Peeps #GetErDone 
S/N: I know my nails are off brand but I had to do them myself until I could get in to see Daisy on Friday. (Mind ya business)

When The Driver Says Fxck Your Life and Means It.

I’m in a shuttle traveling from NYC to Stamford CT. The driver is rude or maybe he’s just “I don’t give a fuck about you.” but whatever it is I’m impatiently counting the seconds until I get out of his vehicle. Weirdly enough I’ve heard him be rather nice to customers who call and request his services over the phone even using his professional -read white- voice.

He drives like Fuck your life is his motto. Within the first 5 minutes of being in his death vehicle I began praying to all of the ancestors and all of the Gods. ALL OF EM. Especially when he said Fuck the bus and just drove in front of it. 

(In case you can’t tell what you’re looking at the red and white stripes are on the bus mirror that he drove in front of who had the right of way.)

His breath smells like when you leave organic waste in your trashcan for too long and it gets wet. Which isn’t the only reason that I’m happy he’s not a talkative friendly driver but it’s at the top of the list. But when he blows his breath at the other drivers my life passes before my eyes. He’s an angry driver so this has happened quite a bit on this 50+ minute drive. 

I guess he is who people are talking about when they say “Rude New Yorkers” he eminates his rudeness from his pores. I knew it from the second he walked up to me at the airport as if the mere fact that I needed his shuttle (which he gets paid for) was the entire bane of his existence. And though I HATE not tipping people it’s not looking good for this dude. And although I REALLLY dislike tipping people who treat you like they think that you’re not going to tip in the first place brother man from the dumpster has like 20 minutes to at least act like he has some customer service or imma have to keep my pennies in my purse. 

My travel day has been pleasant up until this point but now I’m really wishing I would’ve bought some Tequila in the airport. 

Mantra for today: That was then this is now. The past is the past and the future is everything.

On Taking A Break

Lately I’ve been feeling really overwhelmed with the state of the world. I’ve always been really sensitive about what’s going on in my community and in the world. Like most little girls I planned to change the world by solving some major human problem when I grew up. Fast forward to now and I can honestly say that I am doing the work. On a daily basis I am making strides to help solve issues in my community.

The work of an activist of any kind can often be emotionally tolling. Many activists suffer from burn out, nervous breakdowns, and even suicide. So it’s very important to take time out to relax, treat yourself and get your mind focused. Which I’ve been trying to do since Girl Talk in The Park was completed. The event was a success but very challenging and heavy to pull off.

Except, my social media accounts don’t really allow for mental breaks. I’m constantly bombarded with the ills of the world, America in particular.

I don’t watch the news because it is inundated with the negative aspects of what humans do to each other. For many years this has been my stance and my salvation. Besides most of the news stations don’t really share the news. When’s the last time you heard a real report about global warming?

All of the stations seem to share the same things that humans seem to love, Donald Trump, Kim Kardashian, Kanye West, and Police Brutality. Throw in racism, children being arrested for being children, and any new technology that’s on the horizon and you’ve got yourself a piece guaranteed to bring in the ratings.

For me, That’s what my social media accounts have begun to look like, click bait. High interest topics designed to elicit a reaction. And honestly I’m cool with it. I strongly believe that people should share what they want to share on their accounts. However, It doesn’t work for me. I don’t always want to read about the horrors of the world. In fact I would much rather go back to the days when people filled their pages with pictures of their new babies and their latest vacations. Anything to get me away from the many many social media activists. People who sit behind their computers and thoughtlessly share pictures and videos of people being horrible to each other. Who share news articles about politicians being straight out racists without talking a quick jaunt over to snopes to verify that tmz- anything is a bootleg version of The Onion. All the while being noticeably missing from doing the actual footwork in their community. I.E. Tampa peeps what have you done about the widening of 275?

I’m not judging… just asking

So I’m taking a break. I won’t be back on my personal Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter Accounts until May 1st and prior to that I’m going to go on a massive unfollowing spree. More than likely if you share fight videos or old news about something the KKK did ten years ago claiming it happened last week,  we’ll still be friends but I just won’t have your shares clogging up my news feed.

I’m also going to take the time to work on my novel, take lots of naps, work on my house, spend REAL and PRESENT time with my family, go to the beach, and read sooooo many books. If you have my number I hope that you’ll reach out to me and connect with me in the real live world.

In the mean time I wish you peace, love, and loads of laughter.

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Adrien

12 Commandments of Happy Adrien

Cleaning my office I found a list of commandments that I created for myself while reading  Gretchen Rubin’s The Happiness Project. I’m posting them here because I find a lot of inspiration from others and maybe you do too.

  1. Be Adrien
  2. Let it GO!
  3. Act they way you want to feel.
  4. Do it not.
  5. Be Polite. Be Fair.
  6. Enjoy the process.
  7. Spend Out
  8. Identify the problem.
  9. LIGHTEN UP.
  10. Do what needs to be done.
  11. No calculation.
  12. There is only one life. LIVE IT!!!

Taking Flight

It’s 8:09am and my flight just boarded to my first official writers conference.

 The fact that it’s LGBTQ centered makes me think of intersections, a topic I’ve been pondering quite a lot lately. I am so many things that intersect at  so many intersections.

I bumped into Sheree at the airport. She has been dragging me along for the last couple of years, urging me to write, urging me to publish, urging me to realize that there is power in words, that my words have power. 

She helped me to understand that this writer’s life is not easy and that if I wanted it I would have to actually do the work. 

So I’ve been doing the work. Unlocking myself. Gaining a sense of self confidence that is required to embark upon this journey. And I’m on it. 

 So it’s 8:14am and I’m sitting on this plane feeling like my life, my #writerslife is finally taking flight. 

Adrien’s Adventures in Home Ownership 07.18.15

I did it!!!!

Last Thursday I achieved one of the things that a large number of Americans want to achieve: I purchased my first home. It’s been a very interesting process. I’ve had what seems like millions of conversations with various home owners and none of those conversations prepared me for this journey. It has been surreal.

Today was moving day. I can’t even count the amount of times that I have moved over the years but moving into your forever home has a vastly different feel than the feelings of moving into a new apartment. I woke up at five am and begin flitting through the house excitedly while I waited for my movers to arrive.

Moving day taught me a few things:

No matter how much you prepare you will forget something.

– Usually one of the most important things on your list. In my case it was the power drill which I really needed to drill the legs onto my new couches and toilet bowl cleanser.

There are some amazing people in this world.

– The College Hunks who moved my junk actually took the time to help my son assemble our mailbox before rushing off until their next appointment. My electrician helped DJ assemble the couches after discovering that we didn’t have a drill. He moved the power cord for the stove so that he could push the stove back making it flush with the wall. He also made the stove level after discovering that the Sear’s delivery men basically dropped the items off, did the bare minimum, and high tailed it out of here.

Some people are only looking to do the bare minimum.

– I  had two deliveries from Sears today, a mattress for the master bedroom, and a refrigerator and stove. Both times the delivery guys came in, placed my items down as quickly as possible, and jetted out after getting quick signatures. What they don’t know is I had planned to tip all of them. They didn’t get the gratuity because they didn’t deserve it but also because I barely had time to ask questions before they ran away. Maybe they had busy schedules. Maybe they wanted to get home to their families. Either way a few extra minutes would’ve equaled  a few extra dollars in their pockets.

Those dollars ended up with the most deserving person though: My electrician. I forgot to mention that he straightened my doorknob (unscrewed the knob and made it level) because it was slightly off-center and “Getting on my last nerve. You may not notice it but I do.” There are definitely angels on this earth.

FLEAS: I have found at least six fleas in this house. I know they didn’t come from the new furniture. We noticed a few before the deliveries started arriving and kind of brushed it off but after everything was situated and we sat down to eat we noticed a few more. We don’t have carpets, or animals, and we didn’t have any at the other house. I also didn’t notice them during any of my walk throughs, during the inspection, or any of the other times that I have been to this house. I have no idea where they came from but I do know that I can’t call the office and request pest control. I am officially maintenance, security, pest control, the manager, and all other duties that arise.

*CHALLENGE ACCEPTED*

Lastly I was reminded that if you don’t freak out at the first sign of trouble you can think clearly and the Universe will provide for you as it always does. I needed to be at both houses today on three different occasions and between pushing the car to the speed limit, awesome repair and installation people, and great timing I managed to meet every delivery person, be here long enough for every installation, and manage the movers at both houses. Most of these things were happening at two places simultaneously.

*Cues I am a God*

Stay tuned, I’m tired and I feel like I’m rambling but I plan to keep you guys updated on this home ownership journey.

Special Thanks to College Hunks Hauling Junk, Wayne the electrician, and Verizon for the superb patience and way above and beyond service. And to Kelly Parks of Keller Realty for the gift card that helped me purchase my stove and refrigerator.

Also to my neighbor slash homey/lover/friend Mo for coming through with the flea bombs. Something tells me where there are six there are more.

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My plant Alice. I named her after my great grandmother. Keep your ancestors close. They help ground you.

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College Hunks do more than just haul junk.

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How many people does it take to put together a mailbox? At least five.

Wayne the electrician.

Wayne the electrician.

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New fridge and stove from Sears Outlet.

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DJ would you like to use a drill?

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Delivery equals bringing items to your home and plopping them down as quickly as possible. -Note to self ask what that delivery fee covers.

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Wayne The Great

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These Hunks were awesome!

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DJ unloading the car.

MOMA Nights

TAMPA MOMA

On the night that your fiancée waltzes in to your bedroom, sits down across from you, and says the dreaded four words “We need to talk.” then after much terrified prodding and the most horrible pregnant pause of your entire life follows that statement up with “I’m not ready to be married.” You will think that you’re going to die. In fact you will carefully consider that option. After all the beer bottle that you’re now drowning your sorrows in could easily be broken and you could use one of the shards to slit your wrists. But this is not really a viable option. You’re an adult woman and this is not your first rodeo. You are after all once divorced and you know that this too shall pass. That the sun will in fact come out tomorrow and unfortunately (or at least it seems) this is not where your story ends.

You won’t sleep well. This could be from the fact that you went to bed at seven pm or it could be from the fact that you’ve just lost a piece of you. It makes sense that when such a huge part of your life, something you’ve looked forward to, and worked so hard for falls apart without much advance notice, that you will be restless. This is when you must make the decision to be ok.

So you get up out of bed at the butt crack of dawn and make the brilliant decision to go for a walk. It’s not very surprising that you walk the three miles to downtown Tampa in a fugue state. You barely even acknowledged the six homeless men who yelled out to you when you made your way past Curtis Hixon Park. Even right outside of your neighborhood when you’d made it to Kennedy and that police officer had pulled you over (is that the term for when you’re walking?)  and asked where you were headed after demanding your identification; even that was surreal. Hell you weren’t even scared though you should have been; Mike Brown isn’t even cold… for that matter neither is Yvette Smith. But you weren’t, you just handed him the ID and waited patiently as he ran your name, came back, passed you the card, and urged you to be safe.

Maybe you knew that you were headed to the place where you thought you had solidified your future. You weren’t surprised when you ended up there. Was it fate that made the lights the same colors that they were when the proposal happened. You know they’ve since changed. That one night you went to the festival they were yellow and red. But the worst night of your life they were the exact same color as they were on the best night of your life. Pink and blue. Like the colors that parents choose to bring their newborn babies home in. Like the colors of Easter eggs. Like the color of your favorite sky.

And was it fate that made that damn Rihanna song come on. As you were sitting there trying to figure out if this thing that you had declared to be art on the best day of your life was actually art on the worst day of your life. As the lights changed from pink to blue and the tears flowed and Rihanna sang about how she wanted him to stay then Taylor Swift burst in saying how she couldn’t make him stay and how players were gonna play play play, was that part fate? I don’t think you ever even figured out if it were art. When you paused the song and looked it up Google defined art as“the various branches of creative activity, such as painting, music, literature, and dance”. Wasn’t this creative? This massive square brick structure with the beautiful lights that changed color from time to time. This thing that housed art. Was it in fact art? Aren’t the lights so pretty though? Even if it’s not art?

I don’t think you figured it out, whether it was art or not because you couldn’t get rid of the feeling that your heart had been simultaneously snatched out of your chest and shoved down your throat at the same time. You thought you had a partnership… That you were working towards creating/ building a life together and now you realized that you’re not. Well, you didn’t realize it as much as you had been informed of it.

Why did you come here? To bring back the memories of how shocked and happy you were when she pulled you to the front of that crowd of dancing people because your song was playing. You were so into trying to mimic the dancers moves and singing how you wanted to dance with somebody who loved you that you missed your entire family sitting all around you. Your dad was actually sitting at a cafe table right next to you when she turned you around and got down on one knee. You didn’t see him there though because you were having fun and you were in love and she, the woman of your dreams was asking you to marry her. And everything was beautiful. After you said yes and danced some more with your friends and family and you’d cried happy tears in this same spot in front of this brilliant piece of art. She’d asked if you wanted to go inside and you’d replied “No.” “Don’t you want to see the art?” she’d asked looking down at that huge diamond that she’d just placed on your hand and you’d turned her around so that she could see the lights on the building and asked “Isn’t this art? Aren’t we art?”

Now you remember why you came. When she was telling you how now just wasn’t the right time, and saying how it wasn’t you it was her, and how her job was going to require her to travel more, and her brother needed her, and how maybe one day the timing would be right, you had made the decision to come here to kiss forever goodbye in the same fashion that you had kissed it hello.

So, On the night your fiancée waltzes in to your bedroom, sits down across from you, and says the dreaded four words “We need to talk.” then after much terrified prodding and the most horrible pregnant pause of your entire life follows that statement up with “I’m not ready to be married.” When the news you are hearing is flowing over you like the suffocating heat of a hot August afternoon there are two things you can do. One, you can totally come undone. You can take out every single pin that you have stuck in you, peel off every piece of tape that you’ve stuck to you, remove every staple, and dissolve every ounce of glue that you have ever used to hold your being together and you can lose it. This is a totally acceptable option. Or Two: you can go to the place where you thought forever was cemented in stone and you can kiss forever goodbye and you could even cry but you could make a vow to not let this destroy you. Either you fall apart, or you stand up, you insert steel into your spinal cord, look over at that big beautiful piece of art and you say “What’s next cause I’m ready?”

Cold Hearted

Cold Hearted

Shawna picked up the paperweight from her bosses desk and examined it more closely. It was a gray stone heart no bigger than the palm of her hand with a beautiful face etched into it. She could tell that someone had taken their time and created the peace out of love. The face was so realistic. The eyes looked as if they were looking through your soul and the set of the rest of the face looked as if someone had deeply disappointed it. She started to rub her finger down the bridge of the nose and dropped it when the nose seemed to twitch at her.

“Oh crap.” She said loudly bending to retrieve the piece of art from where it’d dropped under the desk on the hardwood floor. She prayed that it wasn’t broken and had just managed to grab it from under the desk when she heard someone clear their throat behind her. Jumping up from her space on the floor she stuck the paperweight in her back pocket and adjusted her pants.

“Can I help you with something?” Lucas asked walking towards her and stopping just close enough to invade her space. “I’m sorry I came in to give you this message and dropped my pen under your desk.” She answered passing him the piece of paper from his desk.

He took it and stood there looking at her hands questioningly. She felt her face redden as she realized as he had that her pen was on his desk. She grabbed it and murmured “I swore it rolled under the desk. Sometimes I’m so blind.” before rushing out of his office straight in to the nearest bathroom then locking the door behind her.

“Why did you take me?” a muffled voice said from inside her back pocket and she nearly jumped out of her skin. Thinking that she was imagining things she reached into her pocket and pulled the heart out. “Thank goodness you took me out of there. Your trousers are way too tight.” The voice said angrily. She wanted to throw the thing in the trash she was so freaked out.

She sat down on the toilet holding the thing up to her face so she could examine it more closely. “Am I crazy or do you really talk?” she questioned. “The answer to your question is both. Now take me back to where you found me right now.” The face said glowering at her. “How is this possible?” Shawna said more to herself refusing to believe that the object was talking to her. “Do you really wanna know? Put me close to your ear.” The voice said quietly.

Shawna lay on the cool bathroom floor wondering how she could ever get her body back. Her mother had always told her that curiosity killed the cat and while she wasn’t dead she figured she may as well be as she was doomed to spend eternity staring through the eyes of a cold heart.

UnknownEbb and Flow by Calaan Rae

A Sunday in August

Eight years ago I met the love of my life. We became really good friends because in my head I was already with the love of my life. Throughout the years Ashley and I would remain friends going on occasional dates to catch up in between whoever was our most recent or current love of our life. Last July she called me and wanted to know if I would date her exclusively. I was excited but I didn’t think it would pan out to be much more than a few dates where we would catch up, enjoy each other’s time, and decide that now wasn’t OUR time; again. We would remain great friends and I would complain to my two best friends how I couldn’t find true love because no one would ever compare to Ashley. She was the ruler that everyone needed to measure up to. Honest to a fault, funny, sexy, and so positive. She made me better.

So much for great expectations and all that jazz. In her head this was our time and I would be her wife. I found out that we were in a relationship in my sleep as she told some guy that I was her partner. Excitement of what this time was for us began to set in. I told to myself OK it’s finally happening, I’m in a relationship with Ashley and life is grand. We move in together, we begin to build a life, and I am as happy as a bee on it’s favorite flower. After a while we begin to discuss marriage and I know that a proposal is coming soon. In fact being the control freak that I am, I have decided that the proposal is going to happen when we go to Italy for vacation.

My best friend and I begin to concoct a plan where I’m going to look perfect the entire time; my nails are going to be perfect, my outfits are going to be perfect, and I will never be without lipgloss. (A girl must always be prepared for the marriage proposal by the true love of her life.) I’m planning with my best friend how to be properly prepared for my proposal while Ashley is planning with my best friend how to throw me the perfect surprise proposal/engagement party.

So much for plans and all that jazz. My hair was perfect; before we spent a day at the beach and any natural haired woman who gets her hair straightened will tell you that the day at the beach is the end of straight hair. My nails were ok but they were far from perfect but this was fine by me really, because all that I had planned for Sunday was Brunch with some of the people from her networking group. So after the beach in go the two strand twists. A twist out is perfect for brunch… I should’ve caught on when she kept asking me what I was doing to my hair, what I was wearing, etc, etc… but I didn’t. As a matter of fact I didn’t even catch on when the people started dancing to OUR songs in front of our table. I totally believed her when she said that they did this often.

I’m glad that I didn’t know, that I wasn’t in control and properly prepared, img_2316that my hair wasn’t perfect, and that I totally would’ve worn a different outfit had I been aware. And I’m glad that it happened on a Sunday in August amongst all of my sneaky friends.

 

Photo Credit: Christy Marie Photography

Video Credit: Rokosz Studios

Poetry and Other Such Things

To my Uncle Otis who taught me that broken and repaired things are stronger than the original

I see you
Notice the way you managed to make a way out of nothing
Allowed this country to tear you in two
punch rocket holes in your soul and still manage to avoid being another man standing on the corner begging for dollars with “Help a veteran signs”
Can’t imagine that this was easy
Not easy like raising another’s child
Not easy like trying to steer black boys straight when the world is crooked
Not easy like burying someone you’d put your all in to while expecting them to out live you
Not easy like repeating the cycle
I see you 10487444_261613754027876_7712151747494812132_n
And I wonder if it’s hard for you
Harder than the trauma that exploded your torso
Harder than returning to a country who begged for your representation
While never planning to represent you
I see you like I saw you then
The first time I realized that this country is built on the backs of the souls of those broken and repaired
The first time I realized that the strongest souls are those who were once broken and are now repaired
3/22/14 ADJP