Television as Motivation

•September 15, 2009 • Leave a Comment

I have been watching Making His Band. I’ve grown to love this season, because it is focused on musicians. Musicians have real talent and motivation: they had to learn to play the instrument and either they practised or didn’t. There is no faking knowledge of a musical instrument as you might be able to with rapping or singing.

I was watching Episode 6 online. Last episode, Diddy had given his new cd, “Last Train to Paris” to the band members and they were not focused on learning it. It was understandable- they are all young and no specific challenge had been laid out for them. Diddy made a surprise visit to the house and no one was prepared. And it scared them into working hard.

I felt inspired by that. That is the way I used to strive for what I wanted. I used to have a goal and tear away at it like a pitbull until it was achieved. I want to go to this college? I am going to work hard at my grades and join every extra-curricular activity I can to enhance my application. I am going to seek out alumni in my area and make sure I have my own personal cheerleading squad for the admissions board. I want to be a lawyer? I am going to read caselaw till my skin breaks out and my hair turns gray. I am going to leave nothing to chance.

Ever since my graduation from law school I have lost that drive. I had a series of jobs where I was unhappy and felt I had no future. Then the recession hit, leaving me feeling lost and without a goal. I don’t know what to strive for. I have always wanted to be a writer, but what does being a writer actually mean? Do I want to be a journalist? A hardcore blogger? A columnist? A novelist? Write essays for publication? I have skills in all areas, and I have no idea what to cultivate, what would make me happy. And where do I look for opportunities, in a market that seems as if it has none? So I am just meandering, writing of course, but with no clear direction.

Being a writer is amorphous. Not easily defined. And I have no idea how to proceed when the goal does not have clear and easy steps to help achieve it. I have a creative mind, but I am afraid. And I’m not quite sure what to do about that.

Seeing this episode, gave me a bit of that old spark back. It made me think about what motivates me and what moves me. What will make me happy. I still have no idea what I want to do, what direction I want to go in. But I am trying to write hard core again. Sit at this computer for hours and pound at the keys. The ideas are flowing like water. And in a strange way, television brought me here.

Here is the episode: Making His BandMTV Shows

Moderation & Randomness

•September 14, 2009 • Leave a Comment

I need to stop complaining about how little I post here. Some of my favorite blogs put up new entries sporadically at best. What Men Are Thinking is one of the most insightful blogs that I have read to date. But they do not post every day. I peruse their archives and re-read occasionally. They drop so much knowledge with one entry that it is easy to miss some of their gems upon first read.

I am a procrastinator. I have accepted this long ago, and have been trying to combat it ever since. The Procrastinating Writers Blog has been a huge help. And this entry, is a lifesaver, for all you fellow procrastinators out there…

There are these trees on my blocks that are shedding acorns and the process is violent! I hear each acorn fall hard, on the sidewalk, on cars parked outside. I wait with bated breath for the sound of shattering glass, but it never comes, thank goodness.

Football season has officially begun! *fanfare* Break out the buffalo wings and put away the summertime Sunday parties! Woo-hoo! LOL. HQ loves her football and has officially entered her own personal version of heaven! LOL. Wonderful showing by the Giants today. Let’s go Big BLUE!

Privacy

•August 13, 2009 • 1 Comment

Privacy has become such an amorphous term. You don’t want to have everyone picking over the intimate details of your life. But is anyone really that special? What is a human life? Aren’t the stories we see, the lives we are living just variations of the same stories that have always been? Is it so important that we keep everything to ourselves and no one know our innermost thoughts and feelings?

Isn’t anonymity a facilitator in making us disappear? I believe that humans fear oblivion and extinction. We long for validation and admiration from our peers, to make a mark on the world, become immortal. But if no one knows anything about you, how can they remember you?

I’m reminded of an ANTM models comment “you have to put yourself out there”. And I do believe that is an unavoidable component of success. Whether you are talking creatively or in the business world, people like to get a sense that they know something of the essence of you. It is apart of the process of human connection.

But the floodgates are open. We have no idea what balance could or should look like. The internet has thrown privacy on its ear. The truth is, if you want to participate fully in our “modern world”, you must be somewhat technologically savvy. If you have a presence on the internet, even just as a consumer, profiles, cookies and flash are compromising traditional notions of privacy. It is what it is.

And yet, it is opening yourself up to potential criticism and ridicule. Judgments of your character and life choices. And people can be so brutal these days. Because privacy is lost, people feel free to say whatever whenever they want about each other’s lives. We have lost of sense of decorum and kindness. And that is scary.

I’m just trying to figure out how much privacy is too much.

Video Killed the Radio Star

•July 2, 2009 • 1 Comment

For some reason, that is the song that comes to mind when I think of my current dilemma. Except it’s more like “Twitter killed the Blogging Star”.

The truth is, my blog seems less necessary now that I have built up this amazing circle on twitter. It’s instant gratification. And everyone knows how New Yorkers are addicted to that.

For instance, when I finished reading “The Time Travelers Wife” by Audrey Niffenegger the other day, I could have written a long entry about how wonderful the book was. How engrossed I became in the storyline. How I admire the author and how her success makes my fledgling attempts seem that much more like childish dribble. Instead, I twittered:

recently finished reading “The Time Traveler’s Wife”. One of the best I’ve read this year. It’s up with “The Stand” and “Wraethu” for me.

Short. Succinct. Capable of garnering an immediate response. There is a lot of power in 140 characters. A discussion that could carry on through several days if I allow it. About books, other momentous works of fiction and how one feels when one finishes reading something that touches one’s life.

Immediately, the blog doesn’t seem good enough. Fast enough. Communal enough.

Ultimately my blogs will always have their place. I couldn’t stop keeping one if I tried…it has been 8 years already. Entries like “Why Do I Call Myself The Haitian Queen” will always need a home. Yet I find my blog entries few and far between. I only come here when I really have something to say now. And I am finding that is not a bad thing at all.

R.I.P., King of Pop

•June 26, 2009 • 3 Comments

Here are some of my most recent tweets about Michael Jackson’s death yesterday:

  • in reply I loved Luther, but I GREW UP on Michael. Literally. There is a song of his to define each stage of my life thus far…
  • 50 years is too young. All I can think of is how his closest friend when he was 5 was a mouse. THAT makes me sad…
  • It used to frustrate me when my Dad would dismiss every up & coming artist with “Oh whatever. They are just trying to imitate Michael”. LOL

And about Farah Fawcett:

  • I’m sad about Farah Fawcett too. How I used to LOVE Charlie’s Angels!! My shock when I realized that Charlie was Blake Carrington/Dynasty.

Listless…

•June 18, 2009 • 2 Comments

Sorry folks. Maybe it is all this rain. Maybe it is the fact that I am staring at 60 degrees in June. I don’t know. But I feel listless. Colorless. Boring. Bored. So bored in fact, that I have no where near kept to my “1 post a day” self-challenge. Which is unlike me. I usually rise to a challenge with a gusto. But not this time.

*sigh* Back to the drawing board…

Why do I call myself “The Haitian Queen”?

•June 12, 2009 • 2 Comments

Most people on the internet know me as Brick and I still answer to that pseudonym. But in the last 4 years I have taken on the pseudonym “The Haitian Queen” or “HQ”. People often expect my blog entries and discussions to only be about Haiti or the plight of 3rd world/developing countries. That is not the case. So why the name?

My entire family on both sides is Haitian. I grew up visiting Haiti regularly, steeped in Haitian culture, required to learn to speak Kreyol and French in order to communicate with loved ones and navigate the country of my ancestry. Being Haitian has always been a strong part of my identity. I am well educated. I travel a lot- visiting Trinidad every year is just the tip of the iceberg. I have lived all over the world.

The world perception of Haiti/Haitians is very narrow. People always talk about “the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere”. Those who are more enlightened may mention that Haiti is the first black republic. I may hear a bit about the indomitable Haitian spirit.

But there is so much more to us than that!

Haitians are passionate, intelligent, dynamic. Artistic and creative. Haitians come to America and learn English within 6 months, own their home within a year. Haitians love to talk about politics and the world.

And so I call myself “The Haitian Queen” not to signal the types of topics that I intend to discuss here, but rather to signify that I am a representative of this amazing little country that could. I want to expand people’s views of what being a Haitian entails, what Haitians really are. I remember how it felt to be surrounded by Haitians in college, at some of the most elite institutions in the United States. I knew they were Haitian. Maybe it was the way they said a certain word, or that french-sounding surname. But no one else did. It was knowledge that we held amongst ourselves.

It is time to come out of the shadows. It is time to represent and be proud of this little country from when we have all come. I represent only part of all the things that Haiti is: amazing, not easily grasped or defined. I am here!