A Heightened Awareness Yields Great Creative Content

A Heightened Awareness Yields Great Creative Content

When in writer's delivery mode, I need content, valid content, and a series of visuals to connect it together.
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This fall, I am taking a creative non-fiction course in the professional writing graduate program I am enrolled in. During the semester, each student will be working on a project that is a collection of essays surrounding a main issue or theme. We've had to choose our topics and explain why we are interested in writing about them, and how personal the essay will be. Also, how much research is needed to get the project complete in 16 weeks.

Well, I must say the idea of creating non-fiction work is both exciting and equally scary. As a writer working to develop my craft and express myself as best I can stylistically, this feat will be very difficult. But difficult is okay because that will help me achieve what I just mentioned.

There are a few things I do when working on a literary project. Actually, I do these things all the time, but if I want to get prose down on paper, I do them with a more keen perspective. For example, yesterday I attended a small festival in a part of Baltimore city called Locust Point. The area is in between the city's harbor and interstate I-95. When I read about the festival happening this weekend on Baltimore Magazine's website, I thought it to be a small coincidence. A coincidence because in the pages of one of the books I'm reading, "Not In My Neighborhood: How Bigotry Shaped A Great American City," mentions how Locust Point was once one of the most racist parts of Baltimore in the early 20th century. The author, Antero Pietila, a Finnish man who arrived in the United States in the '60s, writes about how the town once participated in an "all-white after sundown," a policy that required blacks to leave the area after dark. A public figure even boasted that if a black person were to move into the neighborhood, they would lose their life.

Although these ridiculous policies were not official law and existed nearly a century ago, I pondered just how much Locust Point has changed socially since then. As I entered Latrobe Park past an Under Armour sports field, I scanned the crowd of people mingling at the festival. There's a dog park and children's play area to my right. I looked forward again noticing nearly every one there was white. A few blacks and other non-whites were scattered amongst the crowd, which really were small groups of people congregated in a small space. I noticed the blacks were with a small group of whites; it didn't appear like they came in their own group. In other words, they appeared to be guests or mere acquaintences of their white peers. It was a hot day, and I just wanted to get some sun and fresh air for a bit. I did just that and maybe a little bit more.

Continuing in to the festival, walking past food vendors, beers ticket sales booths, and other sales vendors, I took notice of the people selling and advertising various goods. Most were local artists and businesses there to expand their brand. I realized they too were white. I felt at ease walking through, browsing jewelry, an acupuncture practice, and organic juices sole in select stores throughout Maryland. I noticed a lot. I noticed the whiteness.

Normally, I'd just go out, grab a beer, enjoy a live band and soak up some sun. But I am in writer's delivery mode. I need content, valid content, and a series of visuals to connect it together.

This is one of the things I do, as a writer, when I'm conjuring up new work. I see everything, I notice most things, and I think of the potential story that gives reason to what I'm seeing. From my research to date, I can confidently say Locust Point has some of the century old social and racial residue lingering in the air. Much of the city does, so it comes as no surprise. But that's a story for later...

Cover Image Credit: https://www.pexels.com/photo/person-hands-woman-pen-110473/

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A Letter To My Go-To Aunt

Happiness is having the best aunt in the world.
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I know I don't say it enough, so let me start off by saying thank you.

You'll never understand how incredibly blessed I am to have you in my life. You'll also never understand how special you are to me and how much I love you.

I can't thank you enough for countless days and nights at your house venting, and never being too busy when I need you. Thank you for the shopping days and always helping me find the best deals on the cutest clothes. For all the appointments I didn't want to go to by myself. Thank you for making two prom days and a graduation party days I could never forget. Thank you for being overprotective when it comes to the men in my life.

Most importantly, thank you for being my support system throughout the numerous highs and lows my life has brought me. Thank you for being honest even when it isn't what I want to hear. Thank you for always keeping my feet on the ground and keeping me sane when I feel like freaking out. Thank you for always supporting whatever dream I choose to chase that day. Thank you for being a second mom. Thank you for bringing me into your family and treating me like one of your own, for making me feel special because you do not have an obligation to spend time with me.

You've been my hero and role model from the time you came into my life. You don't know how to say no when family comes to you for help. You're understanding, kind, fun, full of life and you have the biggest heart. However, you're honest and strong and sometimes a little intimidating. No matter what will always have a special place in my heart.

There is no possible way to ever thank you for every thing you have done for me and will continue to do for me. Thank you for being you.

Cover Image Credit: Pixabay

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15 Thing Only Early 2000's Kids Will Understand

"Get connected for free, with education connection"

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This is it early 2000's babies, a compilation finally made for you. This list is loaded with things that will make you swoon with nostalgia.

1. Not being accepted by the late 90's kids.

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Contrary to what one may think, late 90's and early 00's kids had the same childhood, but whenever a 00's kid says they remember something on an "only 90's kids will understand" post they are ridiculed.

2. Fortune tellers.

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Every day in elementary school you would whip one of these bad boys out of your desk, and proceed to tell all of your classmates what lifestyle they were going to live and who they were going to marry.

3.Bunnicula

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You could never read this book past 8 o'clock at night out of fear that your beloved pet rabbit would come after you.

4. Silly bands.

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You vividly remember begging your parents to buy you $10 worth of cheap rubber bands that vaguely resembles the shape of an everyday object.

5. Parachutes.

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The joy and excitement that washed over you whenever you saw the gym teacher pull out the huge rainbow parachute. The adrenaline that pumped through your veins whenever your gym teacher tells you the pull the chute under you and sit to make a huge "fort".

6. Putty Erasers

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You always bought one whenever there was a school store.

7. iPod shuffle.

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The smallest, least technological iPpd apple has made, made you the coolest kid at the bus stop.

8. "Education Connection"

You knew EVERY wood to the "Education Connection" commercials. Every. Single.Word.

9. " The Naked Brothers Band"

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The "Naked Brothers Band" had a short run on Nickelodeon and wrote some absolute bangers including, "Crazy Car' and "I Don't Wanna Go To School"

10. Dance Dance Revolution

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This one video game caused so many sibling, friend, and parent rivalries. This is also where you learned all of your super sick dance moves.

11. Tamagotchi

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Going to school with fear of your Tamagotchi dying while you were away was your biggest worry.

12. Gym Scooters

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You, or somebody you know most likely broke or jammed their finger on one of these bad boys, but it was worth it.

13. Scholastic book fairs

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Begging your parents for money to buy a new book, and then actually spending it on pens, pencils, erasers, and posters.

14.Go-Gurt

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Who knew that putting yogurt in a plastic tube made it taste so much better?

15. Slap Bracelets

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Your school probably banned these for being "too dangerous".

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