Yesterday was National Selfie Day. I ran into some snags getting my selfie posted on Instagram, so I’m posting it now. Lately, I’ve been accompanying pictures on Instagram with the backstory. The backstory for this picture got too long to post there, so here are the selfie and the story.
Thirty four years ago, after Mayflower trucks pulled out of Owings Mills, carting the rotting carcass of a once-proud Baltimore Colts franchise out of town, many around here knew that even if Robert Irsay took the team and the history out of Baltimore, so long as the team wore blue and white, a horseshoe, and called itself Colts, there was no way to ever take Baltimore fully out of the team. Baltimore gave the team that name, a nod to the history of horse racing in Baltimore, embodied in the second jewel of racing’s triple crown, the Preakness Stakes.
In the late 90’s, I was a mid-20’s-aged aspiring writer (among other artistic interests). Emphasis on aspiring. I had zero direction. No degree, no formal training, certainly no MFA. I’d had a passion for writing going back years. I was a rapper and poet by late in middle school and into high school. Most of what I wrote, outside of school and rapping around the way, ended up in the drawers and closet in my bedroom. A few of my poems saw the light of day, long enough for me to read to this girl or that girl over the telephone, a plus in courting; I was chubby, so to say. I needed every advantage. In 12th grade, I joined a Black student organization. Creative expression became an important component of the group and we did a few readings. I did my best to get over my shyness, my reluctance to share what I was writing. I thought I was starting to come into my own creatively. I started nursing dreams of making a career out of my creativity, or at least my strong proclivity towards the humanities.
First post of the year. I didn’t mean to wait this long to post something here, but I kept waiting and waiting and here we are. No particular reason. So, Happy New Year. Lots going on in my life, lots of changes, but I’m rolling with them. And then some. And I’m still here. Just as the fourth Nor’easter of the year hits.
I went full-speed ahead with a yes when my sister asked me to look at her book-in-progress. Or, to say it more accurately, we did not ourselves settle on a specific word to describe what I would be doing. I figured I’d do what I usually do in these situations, some mix of proofreading, copy editing, line editing, and maybe rewriting a thing here or two (though at this stage, it was pointless, since she’ll be doing a lot of rewriting herself). It’s what I often do when I look at something for someone, depending on my relationship with the person, when we haven’t agreed upon exactly what I’m doing. Since it was my sister, I thought I’d try to just be as helpful as I could be.
I sit in a plastic chair on the porch.
One third of day four is in the books down here at the Chesapeake Writers Conference. I’m dividing the day into 3rds as we’ve only had the craft talk portion of the day, even if it wasn’t exactly that. That and why I’m posting early will be explained …