Thoughts – A Midnight in Paris & Feast of Saints

Hello there, my darling public!

I once again, want to apologize for my lack of interest in this blog. I assure you that is has nothing to do with my interest in writing diminishing, but more so my need to try to fill some voids going on outside of my literary pursuits.

Any how, I came on here to say that I finally watched Midnight in Paris. And (much like the reviews I’ve been given), I feel like it is a movie that writers (or those who would like to be writers) should watch it or at least could probably enjoy it.

I found myself taken in by the movie, as I too, believe that I was somehow born in the wrong decade. I find myself wishing that I was born in the early 70’s. Not because of any literary revolution, but because of my sincere enjoyment of 80’s pop. But, I digress. I do in fact also feel that I should’ve been born earlier…maybe even in the 50’s and 60’s, when literature was more than just a word, but a lifestyle. When magazines were booming and taking poetry and short stories to add to their pages and not just ’10 new ways to liven up a blow job.’

Yeah, I sometimes think that maybe, just maybe, if I had lived back then, I would’ve definitely succeeded. Obviously, under the pseudonym of a white male, because lets face it…civil rights was on its way in then. But maybe even aside all of that, I would’ve been a pillar in the ‘black’ community and a literary paradigm.

But like Gil, I do love the 20’s. While it was a RAGE in Paris, in Harlem, names and literature and poetry was oozing out the cracks of the city streets and an articulate, intellectual class was cashing in on the need for a new voice and all over Europe, movements were being made! I have to admit, I did get some goosebumps seeing Zelda, Scott, Hemingway, & Stein on the screen and wondered what it would’ve been like to see Duke, Zora and Ella and Billie and Langston. And to hear that jazz and see Josephine and indulge in booze and Brick Tops and jazz and words. To feel like words are just as alive and buzzing as the night…

Now, it doesn’t feel that way. But I guess you have to make that feeling I suppose…

Anywho, I don’t know if I told you all that I had an idea for an ahistorical story of wealthy african americans and lo and behold, I saw the preview for Feast of All Saints on TVONE. 

I couldn’t believe it. There it was…a story about high society African-Americans. Then, I wiki’d it and found that it’s about half & quarter black negroes engrossed in sensuous love affairs in pre-civil war Nawlens (New Orleans). I’m guessing that it’s probably based on an actual group of freed negroes in the south. Any how, seeing that kind of renewed my faith in writing that story…if Anne Rice can write it, right? Mine would be set in Europe though. Something’s sexier about things in Europe.

But, I’m hoping that I can power through the writing. I haven’t pounded on keys like this in a while, and with trying to find writing related work and not getting a shot, it’s been weighing down on my ability to get my stories out. Speaking of which, I failed my personal deadline to finish my novella. I got so consumed in everything else, that I honestly didn’t think to add a couple of lines to it. I gave myself another unrealistic goal of April 15th, but I think I’ll shoot for the end of the month. After some coming engagements that are approaching, I should be back in the swing of things…should be anyhow.

Well, thanks for reading! =)

W/love,

-Alja

Day 18 – The Challenge

Somewhat exciting news! A friend of mine (whose tumblr you can find here), put me on to a contest she came across and told me “DO IT!”

It’s a literary contest with a cash prize of $500.00 as well as publication in a literary magazine. First I gotta submit a really great piece and then if I’m selected again, I gotta do a live reading in Williamsburg (Brooklyn’s hub for the ‘creative soul’) and then get chewed up by live judges who can deem me the winner or not. I’ve never really performed any of my pieces live before, except for the occasional excerpt in my creative writing classes in college.

There were also two novel writing contests that I thought a lot about, as I have said that I wanted to be a published author. The first contest calls for a novel submission, but I would have to send in at least 5,000 words by Jan 23rd and produce a fully finished novel of at least 50,000 words if my piece was selected.  While I could send it about 5,000 words, I can’t finish a novel that quick. As much as an advance of $15,000.00 sounds like a break into the world of authors, I just wouldn’t have the time. The fantasy novel that I have in mind is only at about 17, 600+ words so far, and that’s with some edits and plots lines written in between the text (I have a crappy memory at times).

But the second contest I learned of asks us to create a novel or novella, for a prize of $5,000.00 and a review by a Penguin publishers editor! For this one, I’m up to the challenge. I figure I can shoot for a novella….which is anywhere between 10,000 words to 70,000 words (according to Wikipedia which I think is incorrect on the long scale).

One of my long “short stories” is already at 10,000+ words and it hasn’t really reached its climax yet. So here’s the challenge: to finish a novella of a proposed min of 18,000 words before March 3rd.

Now, I would like to say I am going to start tonight, but that would be untruthful as I am trying to fight a cold with the strength of G_d because of my many soon-to-be run-ins with kids this weekend. So I will shoot for tomorrow night.

So that’s about 50-51 days, with a minimum of 160 words a day.

Sounds easy enough but considering that I have to edit this sucker, do updates, and random additions to my fantasy novel (which MUST be completed before the end of this year)  and brainstorming on my AE story, this may be hard.

Did I mention I have a day-time job too?

Let the games begin! Wish me luck!

w/love

-alja