“I think the novel is on the way out, ” Norman Mailer once said. “I also believe, because it’s natural to take one’s own occupation more seriously than others, that the world may be the less for that.” Mailer may have been right, but I’m going to write my novel, anyway.
She travels the road in solitude. A life well lived. No regrets. Only wisdom, and those hard-won lessons learned. Children…her legacy. Her heart has grown pure over time, filled with love for a man whose voice is soft, steady, seductive. Her feet quietly pound the pavement as the road unfolds in front of her. She isn’t boastful. Just satisfied she’s winning. She keeps her eyes on the road one step at a time. There is no looking back.
A Very Talented Artist
Her name is Ada Ezenwa-Autrey. She is both a friend and an extremely talented freelance artist from St. Louis, Missouri. When I wrote the short story, Warren Johnson is Standing Here, I knew I wanted an illustration to accompany it. Ada read the story, and understood the two worlds, the contradictory space in which the young men in the story occupy. The man in the illustration could be Warren, David or any black man who has experienced social invisibility. You may find the illustration HERE. Support this talented artist. Contact her at Adaezenwa@gmail.com Or explore her awesome artwork on her Instagram account: Graphite_Maiden.
“When I was satisfied with where I was in the river, I bent over with the mouth of the urn barely in the water. The clear fluid trickled into, and out of the urn, taking my baby with it. My daughter’s ashes appeared to fly on the tail end of the soft breeze for a moment, settled on the current, and flowed downstream toward the confluence. From there, she would be as free as the water. I waded back to the dock, climbed upon it, and sat the urn down carefully.
“You need to get warm,” said Adrianna. She got to her feet and came toward me with a blanket she brought from the cabin. I rushed past her to the other side of the dock that stood over one of the river’s many pools, and dived in. My body sliced through the water with the same agility as when I was fifteen. When I surfaced, I began to swim. One lap. Two laps. Three laps. I began to run out of steam by the eighth lap. Still, I wasn’t ready to give in to the pain growing in my chest as my lungs fought to keep up. I was screaming inside. I just wanted to swim and think of nothing except my body in the water.”
Writing My First Novel
This Story Has Been Floating Around In My Head For Over A Decade
I am a practicing Catholic. Like everyone in St. Louis, Pope John Paul II intrigued me during his brief visit to the city in January 1999. I was struggling with my faith in both the Catholic Church and God. However, being in close proximity to the Holy Father – a man of true faith – challenged my beliefs. The story that began to take shape in my head, was developed during a time, for me, of great confusion and elation.
My protagonist has become more concrete over the years. Her name is Juliette Margaret Boisseau. It has been an absolute joy to write about her. Visit my Novel Ideas page often, and follow her journey, and mine, as I complete my first novel.
Dave Chappelle is one of my favorite comedians. He’s earned his place alongside Carlin, Murphy, Pryor. I’ve always liked comedians with a political edge. That is their job, to make us feel uncomfortable. Now he’s in trouble, but perhaps not for the reason that’s being paraded before the media. Perhaps the real reason Dave Chappelle is being maligned is for the same reason Michael Jackson fell from grace, and other black men who dared a king’s reign in popular culture: racism. Check out my September 13, 2021 blog for what I think is really going on.
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