Tag Archives: Writing

New writings

Hello followers!

I have been away for a year, writing, living, trying to stay positive. I’m going to try to come back here and create new content, in the meantime check out some more of my personal writing on my Tumblr here.

Thanks!

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My Tumblr

On this blog I rant about pop culture, music and books but on my Tumblr is where I post fiction snippets and poetry. (Plus some photos, gifs and quotes to keep me going.)

Please check it out, post a comment, tell me what you think.

Akosua.

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Fear Means You’re Alive

“Fear means you’re alive,” is a tweet written to me written by spoken word artist and writer Bassey Ikpi last week. I tweeted her asking for advice for a writer who wants to move to New York City. Moving to NYC has been my dream since I was twelve years old. As I get older, the dream is starting to weigh heavily on my shoulders. I know that it’s something I have to do. Even if I don’t end up spending the rest of my life there, I want to be able to look back and say that I lived there for a period of time. It’s probably the number one thing I want to do before I turn thirty.

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Fifty Shades of Grey – My Review

I only picked up Fifty Shades of Grey by E.L. James because of the hype. Usually erotica isn’t my thing, Twilight fan fiction is definitely not my thing. But I like to know what the hype is about when it comes to books, and I do enjoy reading erotica once in a while to get a good laugh.

But I’ve never, ever, read a book like this before.

People warned me that it was bad, but I had to see for myself. And it was pretty bad.

I don’t usually read erotica, but I consider myself an expert in romance novels. What I love about romance novels is being able to relate to the female lead character and fall in love with the male love interest. When they¬† have sex for the first time it’s emotional and beautiful because they love each other and are expressing their feelings. Fifty Shades of Grey had none of that.

First of all, the writing is horrible. That’s one of the main criticism of the book. The main character Anastasia is supposed to be 21, graduating university, but the way she speaks it sounds like she’s sixteen. It makes sense, since the book started off as Twilight fan fiction. So when she and Christian are having this hardcore sex, it seems like this is a really young girl and that makes it so not sexy. The author is British, these characters are supposed to be American, but everything they say sounds British. I kept forgetting that they were supposed to be in Seattle and not London. And if I ever see the words “Jeez”, “Holy shit” and “Crap” ever again, I’ll scream. At least one of those phrases were on every page. Every. Single. Page.

Christian, the love interest, was so not sexy. I was more interested to find out what happened is his life to make him not want anyone to touch him or for him to enjoy torturing women. You know you’re reading a failed erotica novel when the sex scenes do absolutely nothing to you. Nothing at all. I read the sex scenes either laughing at how stupid they were or cringing at how gross it was.

It was disturbing that Ana didn’t even want to do all the things that Christian wanted her to do, but decided to do it because she didn’t want to lose him. She was weak and needy and I couldn’t relate to her at all. The characters were so one-dimensional (and a little stereotypical when it came to best buddy Jose Rodriguez) I didn’t care what they were doing. I didn’t want to read endless pages of emails between Ana and Christian. Is this what’s considered good writing now? If so, it’s a little bit scary.

At the bookstores, this novel isn’t even shelved under erotica. They put it in general fiction, which is crazy. I’ve heard women have read it three times and seen women spot it in the store and sprint towards it. I don’t understand the appeal.

If you wanna read it, borrow it from the library or a friend. It’s so not worth the money.

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Black Fiction Haul

Every February I do a black fiction haul. I go to a bunch of different bookstores in my area, check out their black authors table and buy some new stuff. This year, I didn’t get a chance to hit every store I wanted, because school has completely taken over my life, but I did buy a few books and have been reading non stop. It’s amazing how much fiction can be read on the subway. Here’s a list of a few of the black novels I’ve read within the past few weeks.

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That Feeling….

I’ve been in school for about a month. It’s been such a huge adjustment. I’ve literally gone from doing nothing, to having to manage my time to make sure I get everything done. But besides the school work, I’ve started a new story and I cannot stop writing.

Before school started I was working on two novels I’ve been working on for a while, probably over a year. I finished the rough drafts of both of them. Once that was done, I had that empty feeling I always get when I don’t have a story on the go. One night a few weeks ago, an opening line popped in my head (which is kind of how I start all my books) and I jotted a few things down. Now I’m in the thick of it, getting to know these new characters and finding out about them.

It is the BEST feeling. I’m writing and my mind is racing, trying to figure out what’s going to happen, why these characters are at this point in their lives and getting ideas of where I want them to go. When I’m not writing, I’m thinking about them, imagining the next scene in my head. I just want to dump all my ideas on to the page.

I’m working on another teen story. I really liked my first one (even though it needs a lot of work) so I wanted to try again. It’s in third person, about two teens who go to a performing arts school and how they fall in love. I’m very early in, but I really like my characters. If I don’t, I usually don’t finish the story.

Recently, I read “On Writing” by Stephen King, a book that I’ve been meaning to pick up for a while. I absolutely loved it because we write in the exact same way. King says don’t worry about plot, or outline every little detail of your story, focus on the characters and just write. He says he writes a rough draft in about a month, because he gets to the point where he can’t stop writing and needs to get everything down quickly. I do the same thing. I’ll never forget when I wrote my favourite novel with my favourite characters, I was in a state and finished that rough draft in 2 months.

Not saying that I write as good as Stephen King, but it freaked me out that pretty much all his suggestions about fiction, I’ve done naturally. I write like a maniac, my stories are character driven and once I finish my first draft, then I go back and change things around.

This is not a good state to be in when I should be focusing on school. And I am focusing on school! But since I was 10 years old, I’ve focused on school and had a story on the side to work on in my free time. It’s what feels right.

Sometimes this passion feels like a curse.

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Fiction, Again

Since 2011 began, I haven’t been writing. Lots of things have been going on, I’ve been distracted, I’ve felt like giving up, my confidence has been majorly shaken. Every time I’ve tried to write, I feel doubt, like what I’m writing isn’t good enough, that it’s stupid and juvenile and no one would want to read it. This belief is something that I can’t shake, and I miss writing so much.

However, recently things have started to change. Maybe it’s because I have a kick ass idea, or that I freaking missed my characters, but I’m slowly starting to write again. It feels so damn good to lose myself in my words, and be reunited with characters I’ve been with for years, and meet brand new ones. I’m not saying that my confidence has come back, it definitely hasn’t, but I’m getting back to how I used to be. I’m remembering my dream again.

This week, Oprah did a two-part interview with James Frey. His book, “A Million Little Pieces” was picked as a book club pick in 2006, and caused controversy when it was proven that the majority of the book was made up and not a biography like everyone was lead to believe. He came on the Oprah show in 2006 and the entire hour was Oprah expressing how angry she was that he lied. It was a huge story. In no time he was on top of the world, and then he was the most hated. He’s published books since then that have been pretty successful, but he’ll always be known as the guy who duped Oprah.

In the interview that aired on Tuesday, she asked him if his confidence as a writer had been shaken after everything that happened. He didn’t even think about it when he said no. He said that when he wrote “A Million Little Pieces”, he was just locked away in a room, believing that he was going to write a book that would change people’s lives. After the controversy, his faith never wavered, and neither did his belief that he was a great writer.

That was such a powerful comment to me. This coming from someone who lived every writers dream, his book was chosen as an Oprah book club pick, only to have her shame him in front of the world, and he still believed that he was a good writer. He didn’t give up on writing. That’s huge. I took a writing class where they looked critically at my work, and honesty told me what I need to work on and I was ready to quit. If James Frey could keep his head up and keep writing, so can I.

It’s only been a few weeks, but I’m going to remember the faith James Frey had, and apply it to my own life. I used to have that faith. I used to believe that it was just a matter of time before my book got published and Oprah would have me on her couch, gushing about how much she loved it. I don’t remember when that went away, but I need to get it back.

I can’t give up.

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