Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Letter to Young Reem

You know, if I could go back in time, I wouldn’t change anything because everything I’ve been through has made me the man that I am. However, that doesn’t mean that I don’t have regrets. I’ve just learned how to live with them because it’s pointless to dwell on things you can’t change. Some of the mistakes I’ve made still make me shake my head in disbelief. As they say, in hindsight, your vision is always perfect. If I could write a letter to myself, it might read something like this……..

Dear Young Reem,
                    Things didn’t turn out as bad as you thought they might. Trust me, I smile every day. I’m writing you this letter, not for you to change the steps you’ve taken or the mistakes you’ve made. I just want to let you know how to deal with them better. You hold yourself responsible for too many things that have gone wrong. I want to tell you that things will get better as soon as you stop taking everything so seriously. (I know, it’s the Capricorn in us) Still, you have to learn how to control that kid. Those fits of depression are no good for you. For now, don’t feel bad that people don’t see things the way that you do. Later on, they’ll love you for it. Stop trying to be perfect. If that’s what you put out there, then that’s what they’ll expect you to be. As soon as you embrace your flaws, you’ll be free. Don’t ever feel guilty if someone says they love you and you don’t feel the same. Never say it back just to alleviate guilt you shouldn’t even be feeling. Also, never give a person anything when they give you nothing. There will be people who get upset with you when you learn this. Laugh at them and then dust the dirt off of your shoulders. (Leeches don’t want to die of thirst so it’s to be expected.) Don’t keep people around that you know you will eventually fall out with. Avoid nonsense ….EARLY. Keep an open mind. In time, you will learn to be a better judge of character. Experience is almost always the best teacher. Every single thing that bothers you now will be something to laugh about later. Trust me.

                                                                                                                   See you when you get here.

                                                                                                                   The Reem you will become

PS, Give anybody who’s against you the middle finger, right before you grind them & their whole entire movement to dust.

The Prerequisites of Perdition

By Keith Kareem Williams

The Countdown to the Deadline           
7 Days to Write

First, I’d like to thank my co-authors for their grace and mercy. They extended the deadline for 1st drafts when I was the one dragging. Thanks for believing in me and my wacky creative process.

Creating a short story has been more difficult than I anticipated because I’ve grown so accustomed to having much more space to work with. A full length novel grants me ample space for character/plot development, and conflict resolution etc. At this point, I have a new respect for authors who specialize in short stories. This project has come close to driving me insane on more than one occasion. I’m also certain that “The Prerequisites of Perdition” and sleep are sworn enemies.

When DK Gaston, KR Bankston, Elizabeth LaShaun and I made the official announcement that we were going to create this anthology, I was filled with excitement. I respect those authors’ talent greatly so I found myself feeling like a kid on Christmas Eve with huge presents labeled for me under the tree. Before long, that wore off and I realized that I didn’t have a story to write. I have a super-secret, spiral journal with ideas but none of them were outlined or designed to be short stories. To make things worse, my mind was completely submersed in the creation of my 3rd novel, “Monsters, Mirrors & Smoke.” I was trapped and I found it almost impossible to pull my mind or my energy away from it. Fortunately, I wasn’t completely lost.

Years ago, I’d written two paragraphs of a story I’d dreamed up about a depressed woman who almost let her children die on purpose. It was titled, “Dark Mother” but there was a problem. It was still only an idea and I had no idea what to do with these two paragraphs, written so long ago. Then, for the first time since I’ve been writing, an unfamiliar feeling overwhelmed me. Fear crept into my mind and caused me to doubt whether or not I could re-create the magic of the ink where I transform almost nothing into something memorable. Even now, I’m not certain that I’ve accomplished that. (I’ll leave that for the readers to decide.) However, I can finally say that I am proud of the story I’ve written. The process has also taught me a valuable lesson about creating these stories.

The biggest flaw in my creative process as an author is self-criticism. I’ll spend days re-writing a single, hand-written page. I’m always satisfied with the end result but the same could be accomplished by letting the work flow and then revisiting it at a later date. This was an important obstacle for me to overcome, just to become a more efficient author. I usually can’t keep up with the stories that I dream up because it just takes me too long to write them. I think I’ve taken the 1st step to having better time-management skills when transferring my thoughts to paper. (It does get confusing at times because I’m not completely sane.) But, if I plan to be what I know I can be, consistency is one of the keys to achieving that.

Thank you, the reader, for listening to me ramble. Be ready. This anthology is going to be amazing.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Blame Game

Whose Fault is it Anyway?

I guess the question would be, “Whose fault is ALL of this?” in regards to how some of my past relationships have gone sour, withered and died? Well, I never run much or been afraid to answer the hard questions. I’ve always embraced my imperfections and my humanity even when others haven’t and did everything but verbally proclaim their perfection. Because of this, I’ll take the blame solely on my shoulders. Why not? If you let them tell it, it was my fault anyway.

Through the course of our relationship lives, we’ll ALL encounter people who will hurt us. Every hurt will leave scar, some deeper than others. Some completely blame themselves while others blame everyone else for things falling apart. The reality is never to the far left or the far right. Truthfully, it’s usually somewhere in-between. After the smoke clears in the war games that are relationships, the dust settles and then, the walls go up.

As people become jaded, they build walls and swear to never let anyone ever get close again. Every disappointment only makes them add bricks and defenses. Before they know it, the wall isn’t serving the purpose they built it for. What they create is their own prison. The beauty of it is that they don’t even need guards. In graffiti written on the outside is name of every person they blame for everything that ever went wrong in their lives. Most of the time, you’d notice that they’ve never added themselves to the mural of misery.

There was always something you could have done to improve a bad situation, even if that meant leaving it alone completely, at that moment when you knew that you should have. Everyone has stayed for the wrong reasons when the right reasons to leave outweighed the madness. Most people rather stay than risk the scars that are always left after the wound heals. Circumstances usually force them out of their situations. Then, fear takes over and walls get built.

All I have to say is this:
While some of you build walls and hide your hurts on the inside, I wear my wounds on the outside with a smile. I take pride in showing off the wounds to let people know that I did heal. It’s better than letting my life bleed out while I hide myself behind walls. I come across people who choose to imprison themselves all the time. Yeah, I could toss grenades and eventually make a hole big enough for me to stay but I choose to say goodbye. As I make my exit, here’s another brick for your wall.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Kanye West - Blame Game Ft. John Legend (Full Version)

I heard this on a mixtape and HAD to make it the song of the week. Stay tuned and check back later for the blog update that goes along with the song.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Latest News: Sometimes Brooklyn, Mostly Mars

As some of you already know, I’ve been working on something a little different lately. I’m in-between novels at the moment and I’ve been receiving requests for fresh material. I realized that what many of my readers are waiting for is a deeper look at who I am. Of course, I leave pieces of myself inside every novel that I write but since I’m not quite ready to release Monsters, Mirrors and Smoke, I decided to accomplish this in another way. This spawned the idea for Sometimes Brooklyn, Mostly Mars.

Inception, Reem After Dark (Seduce you), Mars, The Grind, Haunted, Goodbyes, Write or Die, Power, Tributes, and Visits to Venus are the chapter headings that I have so far. Basically, this book will be a compilation of all my favorite Facebook status updates, Tweets, blog posts, short pieces and thoughts of 2010.

Putting everything together and organizing it all under the proper headings has been a task in itself. It has also been interesting for me as I get a chance to reflect on what my mentality has been. (It’s official, I AM crazy) LOL. At times, I’ve really been way out there. At others, I’ve been incredibly focused. All the same, it’s all been part of an interesting ride. As I look back, I wouldn’t change a thing.

What’s surprised me the most on this project is the varying lengths of the chapters. It shows how certain feelings have dominated my psyche. “Goodbyes” happens to be one of the longest. I was surprised to discover how many people and things I’ve let go of this year. But, as I read each passage, I knew that I had made the right decision, every single time. It is what it is, and I always let it do what it does. All I know is that I will always do what it takes to keep me smiling and moving forward. All I can do is hold onto the right things and let go of the wrong ones. Hopefully, all that will be left is just a better me.

If you happen to be reading this and you happen to be one of the people I said goodbye to, I won’t apologize because you know why I walked or had to turn my back. I never meant to hurt your feelings but, I can’t worry about how you feel when you were trying to impose your negative emotions on me. I’m not a drop-off box for your past pain. Or, maybe you might have just been a leech or parasite. I can’t have that either. Growing up, I’ve learned to let go when I’m supposed to. (And I’m quite grown) And to be honest, some of you just aren’t good people. Why have you around when it’s only a matter of time before you do something that I wouldn’t forgive?

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

They ARE Me and I AM Them

What most people know about me is that I’ve written and published two novels. The first was titled WATER FLOWS UNDER DOORS and the second was called OPEN SPACES. From the feedback I’ve gotten, most of my readers love my unorthodox descriptions, metaphors and plots. They say that they were absolutely captivated by my characters but, that’s all been documented already. Let me tell you something that not many people know.

I’m proud to have given you heroes to love, cry for and adore. Readers have often asked me if these heroes were based on aspects of my personality. I always answer truthfully and admit that they were. Sometimes, they get a look in their eyes as if they’ve been struck by me just as they were taken by the leading men I penned onto their psyche. Many times, they then go off on rants about how much they hated the villains, and the monstrous men I created. What’s always amazed me is that they’ve almost never asked where I found the inspiration for these beasts. Most times I’m relieved when they don’t. It never occurs to them to inquire. They believe that these antagonists are just figments of my vivid, overactive imagination. Oh, how I wish that that were true. If my world had been perfect, it might be but the life I’ve lived makes it unlikely. The truth is that all of the evil, wicked, ruthless men are pieces of me as well. It’s therapeutic for me to purge myself on the paper. The ink from my pen is like a serum that keeps Mr.Hyde at bay. I rather write about them than become them. I’m a better man because of it. I can look at them in the chapters as if I was looking at a distorted image in a broken mirror. With words I describe things I’ve done or thought about doing. I’m just glad that I found a way to bind them to the paperback spine and between book covers.

So, the next time you read about young Tyler falling in love with Tracy, or troubled Sedari struggling to save his marriage with Mika, and you happen to think about Keith Kareem Williams, please remember this: The fire that burns in Remy’s eyes and his twisted love for Tracy is mine. The ruthless determination that fuels Lee’s desires for Mika is also mine. Re-read those stories and when you shake my hand, I’m sure you’ll look at me differently.