Jamie (of Black Girl Nerds) and I discussed Summer and Fall TV over on the Black Girl Nerds Podcast, including chats about Mr Robot, Vixen, Arrow and the Stephen Amell mess, and the ridiculous Sleepy Hollow/Bones crossover we’re all confused about. Take a listen!
Last week, Black Girl Nerds did a special Thursday night podcast with none other than Cree Summer, from A Different World and maybe every 90s cartoon known to people in my age group. It was an honor to speak with her, she’s well known for her voices but even just her natural voice is soothing. She was really kind, felt connected to the Black Girl Nerds “tribe” and basically invites us to hang out with her in Hawaii at HawaiiCon (if anyone wants to book my airfare, I’d totally do it!).
I grew up on Cree’s voice, including: Atlantis the Lost Empire, Tiny Toon Adventures, Rugrats, and Batman Beyond. A personal favorite? Danny Phantom. Long lost cartoon that I wish I could rewatch? Histeria!. Then later, after college, I finally caught up on all of A Different World, which helps revitalize my desire to write something like that for television. Cree’s career was unconsciously an influence for me without me even knowing she was involved in those projects.
I did another podcast this week with Black Girl Nerds, this time featuring author Daniel Jose Older, whose book, Half Resurrection Blues came out last week. He was very insightful and open about his writing process — offering many great pieces of advice — which I found very encouraging as a writer.
On finding your writing process:
“A lot of what being a writer is, is finding out what your process is and not doing somebody else’s.” He says that even when you’ve found your process, it can still change, depending on your life at the time and what’s necessary for you.
On the realities of being a writer:
“I believe really strongly in taking days off, even when you’re deep in the throes of trying to finish a project. You have to live. You have to be alive. And you have to pay your rent.”
On the advice to “write every day”:
“I’m a big advocate of not feeling like you have to write every day. If that’s your process, then awesome. But that’s not everybody’s. And what really happens with that advice is that people start feeling guilty, shameful, and they don’t write every day and they feel bad about it so they have a really unhealthy relationship to the blank page or the project or whatever. You can’t sit down at the writing desk feeling guilty already! You have to forgive yourself before you begin writing otherwise you’ll be cramped. You’ll just be mad at yourself — that’s not a good place to write from.”
You check out the full podcast here, where Daniel gives more amazing advice on being a writer, the ways in which we should and can use sci-fi/fantasy to discuss power and control especially with regard to racial and economic injustice, and the books and cultures that inspire his writing, but these two quotes above especially stuck with me.
Maybe it’s because I am a chronic procrastinator (most writers are — but I feel like I really take the cake), but I don’t think writing every day is my process. I certainly need to write more, and I need to overcome at least a basic level of sitting down and writing for more than an hour or so at a time (also, I need to make writing more than chronic outlining, though outlining definitely is my process), but it’s encouraging to know that writing every single day doesn’t have to be my process. Because there is a level of guilt or reluctance to sit down. And when you’re in that mindset that you’re “forcing” yourself to write, that often makes the words come harder, because you’re so distracted or you don’t want to be sitting in that chair (even if it’s a bungee chair from Target).
I need to write more, but if I don’t every single day, I’m not failing as a writer. It’s just not my process. I think I am getting closer to what my process is (it involves my shiny new iPad Mini), but it’s good to hear again (because I’ve of course heard it before) that your process doesn’t have to match what the books say or what anyone else’s process is. In the end, as long as you get the work done — and being reasonably happy and healthy during the process might also be nice — then that should be what matters. Your writing process just has to be for what you need, as a person, as a writer, for your genre. So I’m going to keep finding my process, but if I don’t work on my spec script today (I totally did, so HA!), I shouldn’t be harder on myself or feel guilty. That, as Daniel said, develops an unhealthy relationship with the blank page. Writing is hard enough and full of negative emotions based on how inferior you’re feeling, how your words aren’t flowing together, how plotting is SO HARD. When you are able to sit down and write, you shouldn’t be worried about if you didn’t write yesterday. You had other things to do (like pay rent, or get some much needed rest). And as they say, write forward. Work on bettering your writing and your process so that you WILL want to write everyday — no guilt necessary.
I’ll stop blathering, I feel like I’ve stopped making sense. Listen to the podcast, read Daniel’s book, ask me if I’m writing, but don’t expect guilt if I haven’t been. (You might get a little guilt.)(And I should’ve been writing recently at least.)
(Ok, I’m really done now.)
This week, I had the awesome opportunity to once again join the Black Girl Nerds Podcast, whose guests for the week were the kids from ABC’s hit new sitcom black-ish. Three out of four of the kids were able to join, Miles Brown, Caila Marsai Martin, and Marcus Scribner, while Yara Shahidi was unable to join in due to travel conflicts.
It was a fun podcast. The kids are all super polite, eloquent, funny, and really self-assured. They had us adults talking and listening re-evaluating our lives! They really know their stuff and know how to inspire people (Dream Big, Inspire Many! as Miles likes to say). They have a lot of fun on set and it seems all three kids had great Christmases. I am so glad the world is theirs and they are such good kids to represent the black kids watching them on TV. They will be a great inspiration to so many young children watching black-ish, the way the Huxtable kids or the Banks kids or the (for older viewers) the Hillman kids were for the young viewers watching them. Marcus, as the oldest, especially. He wants to go to Stanford to be a Journalist! He’s already got really academic aspirations and seems smart, and confident yet still nerdy. And humble, all three sounded extremely humble and just happy to be where they are. It was a great conversation and I feel so inspired having spoken to them. Listening to them will make me like black-ish even more because I know such great kids are behind their characters.
Listen to the podcast here. I’ll be back on the BGN Podcast next week with author Daniel Jose Older, author of a novel coming out this week titled Half-Resurrection Blues. Then I’m on a podcast hiatus for a while. Maybe.
Looks like podcasting is an official part of my life now. Before last month’s live podcast with Black Girl Nerds and Eric Dean Seaton, I’d never considered being a part of a podcast before. How would I even get involved? But one thing led to another and here I am doing a second podcast/show with at least two more slated for January! I seem to be on a roll!
On this show, for The Nerds of Color‘s weekly “Hard NOC Life” series (great title, right?), I get to virtually meet some of my fellow writers and fans over at the Nerds of Color and we talk about this week’s amazingly epic crossover between The Flash and Arrow, definitely two of my favorite shows this season. I’ve been writing recaps for these two shows for the last few weeks (barring the weeks when my TV broke, where Christelle and Keith took over), so it was great to verbally talk about the show in a cool format with other cool and level-headed fans who are equally passionate about the shows.
So if you want to see me talk about The Flash and Arrow, their trajectories this season, where I think they’re going and other nerd/TV things, watch below!
Or click through here: Flash v Arrow: Dawn of Just Awesomeness | thenerdsofcolor.
Podcasts are kinda fun! And my co-hosts were very easy to talk to, Keith had to cut our 2 hour conversation down to the hour and nine minutes presented before you! I’m glad to be getting more opportunities to meet new people and express my opinions. Maybe I have a future in TV criticism!
I joined my first ever podcast this past Sunday with Jamie from Black Girl Nerds and Eric Dean Seaton, a TV director and graphic novel author. Since Seaton is a TV director, we talked a bit about that as well as his graphic novel series Legend of the Mantamaji, which stars a black superhero.
I was super nervous, but I’d met Seaton briefly at NYCC, where he successfully sold me the advanced three-pack of his graphic novel, and had prepared questions in advance. Seaton worked on a lot of great shows like Living Single, Smart Guy, and That’s So Raven. He currently directs for quite a few Disney Channel original shows, including Austin and Ally, and has done a few “grown up” TV shows as well. It was great to speak to a black director, as that’s just another arena where people of color are underrepresented. He was super easy to talk to and very forthcoming about his experiences in both television and publishing. I really enjoyed myself, learned a bit about television, and did something new (hard for introverts like myself to do).
Click through if you want to listen; I’ll be doing some more next year!