Atlanta, Atlanta Flood, Blue Lines, Disney, Einstein's, Hands On Atlanta, Jay-Z, Leonardo Da Vinci, New York, Oprah, Sforza Horse, The Young & The Restless, Wolfgang Puck
“What are you looking for?”
A simple question that opened a story I wrote as a project some 9 years ago. Happening to come across that story may have helped me in some ways (I used it as a sample of writing, for a project that was mentioned to me), but still I must ask, what am I looking for? The writing of this specific blog entry has been very hard in trying to tie down a subject and have it directly relate to my moving from an “aspiring writer,” to being a writer.
In writing, so many different thoughts on specific subjects crossed my mind, but I could not draw the link between the goal of the blog, and those subjects…thus I’ll just list them to give them mention, and get to the subject that a friend mentioned in theory, and I had to sleep on and create my theme for this edition.
Here we go, I thought of mentioning my High School reunion, and speak on renewing relationships and the such; I thought of speaking on a work I had completed as practice in 1999, and how it made me think of my “situation” at that time; I thought of mentioning my dear friend Myla Windham who passed 10/1/98 as Thursday would make it 10 years; I thought of mentioning the two manuscripts that I am working on now, and how the arbitrary naming of a character in 2006, echoes something different today in 2009; or even speak to how it is much harder to write a story based on someone else, and not myself; finally, I thought to mention how I kind of feel empty that I cannot fire up the computer and work on Blue Lines and how in some ways I feel empty that the bulk of that writing process is over.
But rather than speak to those items that I felt I could not fill an entire entry with, I’ll mention yesterday 09/29/09.
The day started as any normal off day, well off day without Blue Lines, or days that my mother likes to term “Mommy/Son Days.” Her initial plan was to go to Hands on Atlanta to volunteer to help in flood relief. She chose “Hand” because she had worked for them part time in the past as something to do.
Mommy/Son Days usually entail us spending time together (beginning in the early A.M., talk about no sleeping in on an off day), most likely going to eat something, that I SHOULDN’T be eating for lunch, and her rushing back to my house, or her taking off home to catch “The Young and the Restless,” at 12:30PM.
Yesterday was different though, after the early morning arrival at my house, we proceeded to “Hands,” and gathered information based on a “Disney” project being completed in 3 cities including Atlanta and Chicago. En route, I had remembered that I had told my Mother about Jay-Z’s “Empire State Of Mind.” Now she is not one for Hip-Hop, Rap or anything that she deems as such…I knew that the song would tug at her heart strings since she has yearned to return home to New York, since she left all those years ago. Believe me, she lets you know that she wants to go back EVERY DAY. Needless to say the lyrics of Alicia Keyes’ chorus prompted her to have me play the song thrice, and give me instructions to have that song added to her iPod.
After leaving “Hands” we decided on lunch at Wolfgang Puck…that did not happen, let’s say you can’t eat a closed establishment. However, I had a backup plan, Einstein’s (Formerly Melvin & Elmo’s in Georgia). Now, reiterating how I stated that my Mother longs for New York…she also maligns Atlanta any chance she gets and draws comparisons between the two, therefore I drove the most circuitous route to help her appreciate where she is now. In doing so, as we left the now defunct Wolfgang Puck, and headed to Einstein’s I decided to drive by the High Museum where we saw the Leonardo Da Vinci’s Sforza Horse displayed in their courtyard, in anticipation of the showing of his work. My mother was taken back, and amazed, 1) she did not know about the display; 2) because of her love for the arts. For myself, one event that made me sit back and marvel at the items that we create, I stood back to take a picture…that I eventually was unable to capture with my Blackberry aka Mini-Me, but looking upon this sculpture, my Mother was standing on the other side, and I saw the scale of how small she was in relation to this grand work of man.
This reminded me of the feeling I have had when I have a printed copy of Blue Lines in front of me, or look at the page count on my computer. To actually see that the effort you put forth (340ppg.) is something that you honestly could not envision while you (I) plugged away just putting my story together, just on some small scale being able to see how great the efforts of your hard work can be.
We finally made our way to lunch, and while there I was asked a question, and given two comments that put many things in perspective for the day. Upon check out I was asked, “Is that your Mom?” To which I answered “yes.” And then she continued, “I wish I had my parents, enjoy them.” I almost answered, to lessen the blow that it may have had to the woman there, that I had only known one grandparent, but I relented because it would not have added to the conversation. I took in what she said, and appreciated it. Also, while we ate, another woman walked by and asked my Mother whether I was her son, and said that she saw the resemblance.
Needless to say, we proceeded back to my house, and guess what was on…”The Young & The Restless,” was about to come on, since the time had been changed to 3:00PM, I decided to clean and stay around, purposely missing “Y & R.”
Briefly after, my Mother headed home, and watched last week’s O interview of Jay-Z and realized that I need to work on my home office, and put up items that I am working towards or that give me inspiration to reach my goals of becoming a writer. So it’s time to get the Cover of Blue Lines blown up and framed.
Thank you TJ for helping me find direction for this weeks late, overdue blog.
The manuscript Blue Lines is a fictional period piece, written by Kenneth Suffern, Jr., that takes place at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill between the years of 1997 – 1998. Loosely based on true events, and experiences during that time, told through the eyes and voice of the main female protagonist, a freshman first attending the school.
Always feel free to give your comments, and/or suggestions.
Kirsten Shelton said:
Myla is my sister and I just came across this article after doing a google search on her because i never stop missing her or thinking of her. It’s so touching to know that others have fond memories of her still, even though i know this article is 3 years old. i’m not sure which of her friends you are, but thank you. This just made my day a little better. 🙂
Hi Kirsten, wow your comment shocked me today, though it was very nice to read.
When I was young, and moved back to Atlanta I met and worked with your cousin, and through her met your sister Myla. I still feel very lucky to have met her, and for a broke college student that visited Tower Records regularly, it was cool to get insight from another music aficionado and another New Yorker in Atlanta. I will try not to go too deep, but I slowly lost contact, and there was a moment that I thought something bad had happened, though it was regarding another Myla. When I found out of her passing years later, it was hard to take, being the moment I had happened at the same time. Again, I was very lucky to have befriended her, and I had to pay some respects to my friend.