0 comments on “#BlackHistoryMonth Treat: How Playwright Lorraine Hansberry Inspired My Novel, Love’s Troubadours”

#BlackHistoryMonth Treat: How Playwright Lorraine Hansberry Inspired My Novel, Love’s Troubadours

LT-ALandLorraineHansberry

My debut novel, Love’s Troubadours was inspired by a speech given by activist and playwright Lorraine Hansberry in February 1964. She spoke to a Harlem-based group of aspiring young, gifted, and African American writers about the power to love in America. In her remarks, Hansberry stated,

“O, the things that we have learned in this unkind house that we have to tell the world about! Despair? Did someone say despair was a question in the world? Well then, listen to the sons of those who have known little else. If you wish to know the resiliency of this thing you would so quickly resign to mythhood, this thing called the human spirit … Life? Ask those who have tasted of it in pieces rationed out by enemies. Love? Ah, ask the troubadours who have come from those who have loved when all reason pointed to the uselessness and foolhardiness of love. Perhaps we shall be the teachers when it is done. Out of the depths of pain we have thought to be our sole heritage in this world-O, we know about love!”

She referred to African Americans as troubadours, the descendents of people who used the power of love to live through and overcome despair and insurmountable odds. She went on to urge the audience to seek wisdom from African Americans because of their capacity to love.

I first read about Hansberry’s speech in Salvation by bell hooks in 2001. Salvation discusses how African Americans have used the power of love to transform their lives and communities. hooks’ writings caused me to question how I could use my gifts as an artist and writer to promote love as a healing tool in the lives of individuals and communities in America. I answered that question by writing Love’s Troubadours, a novel that tells the story of Karma Francois, a 30-something museum curator and yoga teacher who loses her job, discovers family secrets after a loved one dies, and begins a healing journey as she relocates from New York City to Washington, DC. Learn more about her in the video below.

Karma learns many life lessons as she comes face-to-face with the choices she has made in her life and relationships. Watch the video below and learn about some of them.

Throughout her journey, she uses journaling, meditation, mindfulness, poetry, spirituality, therapy, and yoga to heal and love herself. Hansberry’s wisdom on mindful living inspired the way I wrote about Karma’s healing journey:

 “I wish to live because life has within it that which is good, that which is beautiful, and that which is love. Therefore, since I have known all of these things, I have found them to be reason enough and–I wish to live. Moreover, because this is so, I wish others to live for generations and generations and generations and generations.”

Watch the video below and learn how Karma’s healing journey transformed her idea of love in her life.

After reading Hansberry’s book, To Be Young, Gifted and Black, I made a conscious decision to use my novel’s characters to celebrate the beauty and diversity of people of African descent. Watch the video below and learn about the diverse characters.

 

Listen to a chapter excerpt from Love’s Troubadours that illustrates the diversity of African Americans when Karma walks into Mocha Hut, a coffee and tea café in her U Street neighborhood, and eavesdrops on a conversation.

 

4 comments on “My Digital Diet for the Week of April 9”

My Digital Diet for the Week of April 9

Writing a book is a magical and messy process for me. My blog gives me the space to share how the process impacts me. Last week I came to some conclusions about my time online. I realized I need to set deeper digital boundaries.

Photo Credit: Leigh Mosley - http://www.leighmosley.com

Today I came up with a schedule I think I can live with for the next several months. Here’s my digital diet for the week of April 9.

  • Check my smart phone for email, texts, tweets, and Facebook posts in the evening.
  • Leave my smart phone at home during the work week unless I am meeting someone in person and/or travelling.
  • Post one blog per week on WordPress and Tumblr.
  • Use Pinterest two days a week (no more than 1 hour).
  • Tweet on Twitter on Digital Sisterhood Wednesdays (end tweeting by 9:00 pm).
  • Post on Facebook and Google+ two days a week (that includes Digital Sisterhood Wednesdays).
  • Use Flickr, YouTube, and Vimeo when I have photos and videos to upload.

What do you think about my digital diet?

Have you ever unplugged from your tech life, gone on a digital diet, or taken a digital sabbatical?

What did you learn from your experiences?

Any tips?

0 comments on “Good Friday Positive Inspiration for My Writer’s Soul from Kelly Rae Roberts & Brene Brown”

Good Friday Positive Inspiration for My Writer’s Soul from Kelly Rae Roberts & Brene Brown

Happy Friday!  Happy Good Friday! Happy Early Easter!

How is your day going?  I hope it is treating you well.  Mine started with a confession and a double dose of positive inspiration for my writer’s soul.

Here’s my confession: when I write books, especially memoirs, I have an opportunity to really explore some deep parts of myself.  Sometimes the writing journey can get emotionally draining, scary, and overwhelming.  When that happens, I look for positive inspiration. Today I reminded myself to slow down, breathe, and look for some positive inspiration.  Guess what? I found two great sources.

Photo Credit: KellyRoberts.com

Artist Kelly Rae Roberts’ April 5th blog post was the first source of inspiration.  Roberts’ post about the benefits and pitfalls of an online life reminded me I need to continue taking great care of myself by setting more boundaries on my online life.  In short, it’s time for me to revisit my online boundaries, establish a new schedule for going online, and have a more consistent practice of daily and weekly UNPLUGGING (my digital sister and friend Danica Kombol calls it a digital diet).

Photo Credit: Brene Brown photo from The University of Houston

My second source of positive inspiration came from a YouTube video featuring storyteller/researcher Brene Brown’s TEDx Houston Talk on the power of vulnerability. Click here to watch the video.  What a game changer!  It’s making me dig deeper into my Digital Sisterhood book writing journey. I’m so grateful for Brown’s talk, the power of connection, and the belief and acceptance that I am enough as a spiritual being having a human experience as a woman, friend, daughter, sister, author, artist, coach, yoga teacher, innerpreneur, speaker etc. etc.

So what positive inspiration have you discovered lately?

How do you keep yourself inspired?

Any plans to unplug, set boundaries on your digital life, go on a digital diet (check out Daniel Sielberg’s The Digital Diet — great tips), or take a digital sabbatical (similar to the one Gwen Bell talks about in her book Digital Warriorship – fantastic book I read in 2011 — had a chance to participate in Bell’s BlogHer 2011 workshop — awesome experience)?

0 comments on “Ananda’s March Digital Sisterhood Book Project Update (Video Blog)”

Ananda’s March Digital Sisterhood Book Project Update (Video Blog)

Photo Credit: Ananda's Stack of Writing Goodies

Happy Last Day of March!

I hope this month has been a good one for you and your family. It’s been a wake up call for me and a time to get real about where I am in my writing process for my Digital Sisterhood book.  This morning I made a video update on my writing process so you would know exactly what I have been doing since January and what I am planning to do in April. See the video below.

What do you think about my writing process?

Enjoy!