Monday, September 28, 2009

This Past Weekend I Walked for Lupus & Today, I Became a Hip Hop Artist, LOL

So, this past weekend, I walked for Lupus with my partner. There hasn't been a new medication designed for Lupus in over forty years and the disease impacts women of color on far greater scale than white women, so, supporting the cause is a no-brainer since it hits close to home, but, my partner's mom is also a survivor. We went to Baltimore for the walk and I wrote about it in my column. Read it HERE.

After the walk on Saturday, there was a deluge of rain that fell. Thankfully we avoided it during the walk, but I still had rehearsal that evening. I had to rehearse for the upcoming show on Oct. 4, a benefit for the documentary Seen But Not Heard by Cyrille Phipps. Then we have the gig on Oct. 10 @ the Green Festival.
Driving in the rain was no fun. I had a ball at rehearsal though, after getting lost to Gary's house. Gary is accompanying me on guitar for both upcoming gigs and my buddy Angela Shaw is helping with backing vocals. I had the best time with them on Saturday. We re-tooled a couple of covers and worked on an original Gary penned that is really nice. Two of my originals transformed for acoustic sound so effervescent and free as acoustic pieces. I feel like I'm renovating myself and its awesome.

In a moment of synchronicity, my partner and I went to the movies the next day and visited the book store after the movie and he wound up purchasing the "Artist's Way" for me. I have begun reading it and I can say that it truly affirms my current journey as an artist. I am sooo inspired.

On a funny note, I checked the Green Festival program today, grabbing one from the stacks they have in the building that houses the City Paper and WPFW ( I do news @ WPFW on Mondays) and I found that I'm listed as a hip hop artist. I thought that was hilarious. WTF? Maybe they thought I was Queen Latifah (who used my first name in her show Living Single). Who knows, but way funny nonetheless. Maybe we should prepare a rap just in case.

Friday, September 25, 2009

FreeSoul @ ArtSpring

I will be at the store ArtSpring on Saturday, October 31 to sign copies of the book Liberated Muse Volume I: How I Freed My Soul (June 2009) and hosting the afternoon which will feature performers Ne'a Posey, Gary Young, Sadie Flick and Quineice Clarkson. This is on Halloween, so I have fingers crossed that folks will come out. We have some things planned for the kids. Trying now to see what artists want to help with the arts and crafts table. I'm thinking teaching the kiddies how to make witch dolls. Hopefully artist Sherry Burton-Ways, an incredible doll artist can lead this project, but, if not, I'll have to pull out the rolodex. It should be a great afternoon.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

My Playcation Begins in Less Than a Month!

So, I'm beginning the next phase in my Artist Life by facilitating playacations for aspiring writers. I chose the name/term PLAYCATION as opposed to workshop because the fun and educational facet of the session will resonate more than the notion that this is "work".

The key to allowing yourself be creative is attaching your spirit to that part of you that enjoys the artistry in you and finds your artistic and creative side to be fun, bold and interesting. When that is taking place, you are engaging in play all day, forget about that work stuff-- even if you are at work.

When I have 9-5 jobs, I always begin the job by assessing first thing where can I infuse my own creative spirit. It's not about changing anything that is already in motion-- its about finding the space that will allow you to breathe, literally. When you recognize you are a creative being, finding space to be creative is akin to finding space to breathe.

My playcation series for creative writers begins in October. I really hope that you sign up if you are:

-struggling with finding ways to incorporate your creativity in your 9-5
-working on a writing project or thinking of a writing project you'd like to begin and would appreciate learning ways to get started or get over the hump
-interested in learning how to self-publish and/or look for a publisher
-looking for ideas on how to manifest your Artist Life as a writer

Please contact me at LiberatedMuseProductions@gmail for a registration form.

Coverage in S.O.U.L eMag-- thanks PurpleZoe

PurpleZoe, blogger of one of the best blogs around-- Ultraviolet Underground-- interviewed me a couple of months ago for a piece in the urban online zine S.O.U.L eMag. The article talks about my work with Liberated Muse and the Saartjie Project. You can read it HERE

Friday, September 18, 2009

October 2009 Appearances & Birthday Bliss

Today was a wonderfully busy day as I ran around handling things to make today a memorable birthday for my baby girl who turned six today. In between handling "Mommy business" I threw in a rehearsal with musician Gary Young for the upcoming shows we have in October.

First and foremost, Gary is no joke when it comes to talented artist. He has been a staple in the book tour we have for the book Liberated Muse Volume I: How I Freed My Soul, performing with my former bandmate, vocalist Quineice Clarkson during acoustic sets and performing with as bandleader of his own band when we take the show to our favorite spot the Potter's House. Gary plays multiple instruments and is basically self-taught with strong songwriting and charting skills. His ear is superb. Check out his work HERE.

We worked on a set list today but spent a lot of time catching up and just chatting like we used to do when we were in college together at UMBC. Even back then while he studied engineering, I remember Gary in his room strumming on his guitar while his roommate schooled me on why he couldn't stand Nirvana which was a popular band back then.

I am excited about a cover of Amel Larrieux's "Get Up" that we are going to do acoustic style and really enjoyed working on a piece Gary wrote, titled "Seeds". We have a lot more work ahead of us, but today was a great start given the short amount of time I had to rehearse before I had to hightail it to my baby girl's school for her in-school birthday party. I have a cold (fingers crossed its not pneumonia again-- had it in May) as well that has really been bothering me all week.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Past Weekend Was a Blast

I had a really good time this past weekend. It began with our Liberated Muse production-- A Celebration of Freedom. The event, held at the Potter's House in DC was part of our book tour for Liberated Muse Volume I: How I Freed My Soul which was released in June. The evening was accented by phenomenal talent and the debut of our art exhibit. I was the host and my friend, who is also a member of, Sharon Burton, was curator of the exhibit. My life partner Hook and I were at the Potter's House early on Friday helping Sharon hang the art from the artists in the exhibit.

Here are some vids from the evening:

On Sunday, my family and I checked out the Adams Morgan Day festival. Read about some of the things we saw HERE

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

The Songwriter's Soul Kitchen w/Vinx in GA

So, during my labor day weekend, I traveled to McCrae, GA to participate in the Songwriter's Soul Kitchen retreat.

Led by international jazz soul singer Vinx, the retreat is intended to guide songwriters through activities that encourage creating song magic. It was a pleasure meeting author and former talk show host Bertice Berry during the retreat. She is working on projects to help folks heal and grow spiritually. Other participants included the singer Heston and other performers who have varied degrees of songwriting experience. In down times, I was able to write privately, working on pieces for my upcoming CD and the upcoming season of the Saartjie Project.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

ArtCast w/ Sharon Burton

Today is hump day and has already started in a flurry of activity. I am scampering around to prepare for an 11am meeting for an upcoming contract while packing for my trip to Georgia tomorrow to take part in the Songwriter's Soul Kitchen, a four-day retreat on the estate of jazzy soul legend Vinx. Can't wait.

As I was beginning to shut down my computer, I came across the link to the podcast I did earlier this week with Sharon Burton of Authentic Art Visions. Check it out HERE

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

First Booksigning with a Class

I had the priviledge of being asked to come in today to a class in southeast DC to do a booksigning and share my story about what led me to putting together the book Liberated Muse Volume I: How I Freed My Soul. The class was filled with adult learners who were engaged in classes to earn their GED and build skills in literacy and math. The class was awesome to be with and really made me feel welcome. I felt so humbled in sharing my story and spreading the joy of the arts! What made my heart swell was when they asked me to come back to the class to teach a lesson in writing!


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