faceless man pinning memo papers on noticeboard


I’m following the #dosummerwrite prompts from the Instagram account Well-Read Black Girl (@wellreadblackgirl) to bring a more mindful approach to my writing practice, both personally and professionally. My novel Guardians of Masks and Memory is available now! (I’ll do a post about that later as there are lots of feelings to be processed.) Even though the first book is done, I need to re-evaluate and take stock of where I’m at as a creative at the end of such a big milestone. Here’s the prompt:

Moodboard: Any creation first starts as a seedling of thought. Pool together your artistic vision with a collage. Feel free to get messy and creative (i.e. draw, paste magazine, cut-outs, draw pictures!) to make your own inspirational collage.)

When making this moodboard, I focused on colors schemes that spoke to me, as well as actions/hobbies that are dear to my heart. Many of the images have a sort of quiet, magical, neon effect about them. It’s as if the images are not loud statements, but simple, quiet meditations. Interestingly, one of the ways I maintained sanity throughout the writing, editing, and cover design process was by reading other people’s stories, mostly through audiobook format. It was a double-edged sword given that my thoughts sometimes wandered to “maybe I should have done something like this in my story” or “do I sound as legit as this author?” Yet, for the most part, I was able to shut my brain off and just let another storyteller’s world wash over me whether that was the inventive work of NK Jemisin or the magical teenage dream of Tokyo Ever After by Emiko Jean.

The two images of the black girls in the upper left-hand corner are really special to me for the fact that they are simply just quietly existing in their beautiful color-schemed spaces. Sometimes, it’s just hard to sit and exist in your space and quietly claim your magic for yourself. Not for a revolution or calls for equality, but simply to acknowledge your own colorful sparkle. It’s kind of like what Toni Morrison said about racism being a distraction. She spoke of how people that face racism spend so much time trying to explain their reason for being by proving that they have culture, literature, art, etc. Yet, there will always be one more thing that you have to prove. I for one, accept that these demands to explain myself and my people will be neverending and want to encourage other people of color, especially girls of color to take some time to put down the picket signs and appreciate/love yourself in your space. That way, you will know the greatest love of all and you will be able to have your mind right enough to continue the fight because of course we should still physically and metaphorically march to make the world a better place, but we still have to breathe.

The images of the aquarium and the ocean speak to me because I’ve always found marine life fascinating and because the ocean is one of those places where the world feels peaceful, infinite, and it makes me remember how small I am. The beach just draws me in and I’m not really sure why. Is it just because I love the ocean or is it because it’s a sad milestone for my African American ancestry? Maybe it’s a little bit of both. Anyway, I was able to have one day at the beach this summer (socially distanced of course) and I greatly appreciated it. I’m definitely one of those people that could walk through the waves, read a book on the sand, take a ghastly amount of pictures, or work on my next novel…😏If I had to choose a different dream to follow, I probably would have studied Marine Biology and worked in an aquarium. I can’t get enough of ocean documentaries and my favorite parts are the coral reefs. It’s like a colorful marine metropolis.

The image of the computer in the center refers to how I try to keep my workspace chilled out and a little magical. The enamel pin alludes to how much I love collecting pins. I don’t have a humongous collection, but I like to use pins to speak on my personality, things I love, or mementos of events, like when I visited New York City for the first time. I bought an unreasonable amount of pins from the MET, but there are no regrets here. It also helps remind me that it actually happened. The image of the girl singing and the neon sign speak to how much I love taking in music and singing. I did chorus in high school and choir in college, but at the moment I hold private concerts for the knick-knacks on my desk😄. Even beyond enjoying music, my stories typically start with music. Guardians has its own playlist and right now, it’s not in any particular order, but you can listen here.

Thank you so much for indulging my moodboard and I encourage you to take stock of how you feel and make your own moodboard too! I personally used Canva to make this one. Also, if you’re looking for a new story to read, please buy a copy of Guardians of Masks and Memory on Amazon and if you want to see what you’re getting into, you can read Chapter 1 for free on my Buy Me a Coffee page. Let me know what you think!

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