Dealing with Work Chicanery #SOL23

slice of life logo

The chicanery at my job is at an all-time high.

You may be thinking, “But Akilah, how is that so when you’re not even at work and on sabbatical? And why chicanery and not shenanigans or tomfoolery?”

I’m so glad you asked.

graphic with the Merriam-Webster of chicanery on it
Continue reading “Dealing with Work Chicanery #SOL23”

11 Random Things #SOL23

slice of life logo

A lot has happened since my last, non strictly a reading update post, so here is a catch-up post in list form, mostly about hanging with friends.

Continue reading “11 Random Things #SOL23”

It’s Monday & this is strictly a reading update #IMWAYR

It’s been so long since my last update because I have been traveling a ton, so this will be strictly a book update. To the books!

Continue reading “It’s Monday & this is strictly a reading update #IMWAYR”

It’s Monday & I’m learning about WordPress #IMWAYR

I have a paid WordPress account, which renews soon (or expires soon, given your outlook) so I have spent the past two days looking over the features of the different accounts because I have been thinking of upgrading, and y’all. Y’all. WordPress has really stepped their game up! There are so many things you can do using just the free version that I didn’t even know about. Donations! Polls! Some other things that I can’t remember that I should probably write down so I don’t forget! I mean, there’s a lot happening.

To be fair, all of this probably has been happening, I just never had the time or wherewithal to investigate.

Continue reading “It’s Monday & I’m learning about WordPress #IMWAYR”

It’s Monday & it’s the last day of my residency #IMWAYR

My Joshua Tree residency is officially over today, which means I’m headed back home. I had plans to go to the park last week because the weather was supposed to break, but I had a family issue to deal with so plans got disrupted because I had to take a week off to travel to the East Coast. I also didn’t get a chance to make it to the Integratron sound bath, which I was really looking forward to. The thing I’m most upset about missing is the reading I had scheduled as part of an open studio.

Cute graphic, tho

A friend of mine suggested I maybe do something on Zoom instead, and I told her I’d think about it. Needless to say, things have been a little off-kilter since I wasn’t planning to be away for a week, and it honestly took me until about Thursday (Oct. 5) to recalibrate even though I got back to Joshua Tree on Monday (Oct. 2). I mean, I planned to finish posting my Instagram series touring my facility before I left and that’s just not going to happen.

However, I am not one to focus solely on the things I didn’t get to do. Going back to the East Coast meant I got to catch up with a lot of people I haven’t seen for years. When I got back to California, I managed to make it to a SAG-AFTRA picket since I had to fly into Los Angeles. Once back in Joshua Tree, I went to see the Giant Rock (favorite Google review: “It is indeed a giant rock”) and the Crochet Museum; I bought a crap ton of souvenirs; I did some night sky gazing; and I wrote a whole, whole lot.

So even though I lost a week, I still had six solid weeks away from all of my responsibilities to just focus on my writing, and it was glorious. The project I proposed for the residency was a short story collection based on genealogical research, and I made a lot of progress on the research portion of that and the idea for the collection is taking shape, though I still have a ton more to do. Surprisingly, I spent most of my time here working on a novel idea I’ve had kicking around in my head for eons. I would say I’m about 85% done with the first draft of that, which feels like a miracle to me.

When I first got here, the directors of the residency told me “The muse is here,” and I could not agree more. I have gotten so much writing done here, and I’m excited to continue the work when I leave. I don’t think I can adequately express how grateful I am for my time here.

Oh, and if you’ve ever thought about doing a residency, applications are open for the next cycle, so APPLY.

I took an inadvertent break from rereading books because (a) I needed to read the last (*sob*) Melina Marchetta book about Francesca and her friends (SO FAR–I am hoping at least two more will come) and (b) my hold for the latest Meg Cabot came in and your girl definitely needed the levity. Onto the books!

Continue reading “It’s Monday & it’s the last day of my residency #IMWAYR”

JTHAR Day 8: Meeting the Moon

As part of my time at Joshua Tree, I am doing some genealogical research, specifically looking into Native American and African American traditions and how they overlap. My first stop was Wind Walkers Medicine Wheel, which offers several options for engaging with Indigenous spiritual traditions, including the medicine wheel (obviously, hence the name), guided meditation, and a full moon ceremony among others. For my first visit to the wheel on August 30, I participated in the full moon ceremony and then the following week, I participated in a guided meditation to meet my spirit animal and animal guide. In this post, I’m going to talk about my experience with at the full moon ceremony.

Continue reading “JTHAR Day 8: Meeting the Moon”

It’s Monday & I’m still reading books on craft #IMWAYR

This past week has been full of ups and downs which I haven’t even begun to process yet beyond what I finished reading, so this will be strictly a book update post. I’m still reading books on craft and rereading books that are similar to the project that I’m working on. Also, I’ve decided to try making my graphics in Adobe Express instead of Pic Collage this week. It was easier in some ways, harder in others. I still don’t know that I’m satisfied with how these graphics look. Oh, well. In the meantime, to the books!

Continue reading “It’s Monday & I’m still reading books on craft #IMWAYR”

It’s Monday & I’m feeling craft-y #IMWAYR

I talked to my 86-year-old great-aunt yesterday who told me she was bored out of her mind two years ago, so she started taking a playwriting class and since then has written three plays and had two of them produced with the third debuting in November. Also, she’s going to act in the third one and directed all three of them. So, if you’re thinking it’s too late for you to pursue something, I say please reread those two sentences.

I’m still in Joshua Tree, a new post about that forthcoming. In the meantime, here are the books I finished since my last post. I have decided to listen to books on craft while I’m here, so you’ll see a bunch of those. And the lone Sara Zarr book means I can link up with the kidlit IMWAYR group 😀. Also, it took me approximately thirty years to make the below quote graphics (all that resonated with me and especially my time in Joshua Tree so far), so please applaud.

Continue reading “It’s Monday & I’m feeling craft-y #IMWAYR”

Book Review: Everything’s Fine by Cecilia Rabess

I had so much to say that I’m making this a separate blog post and not just a Goodreads review, so let’s get into it.

I’m actually glad I read the reviews for Everything’s Fine by Cecilia Rabess before writing mine because it’s a nice, current reminder that liberals are often fervent censors just like conservatives–telling people not to read a book or saying that a book shouldn’t be distributed based on what they THINK the book is about. Because, whew child, the number of one-star reviews by people who haven’t even read this book–a process called review bombing–is staggering.

The biggest complaint seems to be that the book is not a romance, though it is marketed as one. Where? Because the synopsis says the two main characters (Jess and Josh) “start an electrifying romance” and the book is therefore tagged as romance? I mean, I guess, but I would say that–even if that were the case–the cover makes it very clear that, though it’s a love story, it is not a romance novel because there is nothing about that cover that hints at a guaranteed happy ending.

Continue reading “Book Review: Everything’s Fine by Cecilia Rabess”

JTHAR Day 1: Meeting God

picture of a Joshua tree with the blog post title at the bottom

I am officially on sabbatical AND I somehow forgot to announce here on the blog that, as part of my sabbatical, I was chosen to be a Joshua Tree Highlands Artist Fellow! So I am writing this from Joshua Tree. Hello.

I may have forgotten to announce it here because it was very much announced at work and on the JTHAR Instagram, so you know how that goes.

My residency was scheduled to begin Aug. 21, but a little thing called Hurricane Hilary happened and because of road closures and flooding, I was unable to drive up on Monday. But! Roads were clear Tuesday, so I was able to drive up then. Since Tuesday was spent traveling, unpacking, getting situated, and buying groceries, I am calling that Day 0.

I also made some walkthrough videos that you can see on my Instagram.

(Although now that I think about it, I guess Tuesday was Day 1 since I did do some creating and writing to make those reels. Hmm. I dunno. It doesn’t feel like I started until yesterday, though, because I hadn’t fully retreated, if you will. So! We shall carry on.)

Continue reading “JTHAR Day 1: Meeting God”