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.