Writing from marginalized people’s POV

I get nervous about the notion of writing “from the viewpoint of marginalized people.”

Jaquandor informed me:

There’s a lot of discussion in the writing world about the extent to which white people should attempt to write from the viewpoints of marginalized people. Do you have a view on this? Should a white person write, say, a fictional memoir of a slave in Mississippi?

I was unaware of the debate, and I’m rather pleased by it, though diversity should be more than a marketing trend, but a way to get more voices in the marketplace.

This answered is colored (pun intended) by the fact that I lost a friend in 2016 Continue reading “Writing from marginalized people’s POV”

Drama: waiting for the bus

At that point, I’d stopped thinking about her until she rapped on the glass of her porch.

cdta_bus_10_downtown_albany1) This happened a couple months ago: Getting out of church, I had just missed the previous bus home by seconds, and I had a 20-minute wait, so I sat to read a newspaper in the bus kiosk. There’s a young woman sitting nearby, 20ish, reasonably attractive, and either Hispanic, light-skinned black, or maybe Italian.

This young white guy comes over to her, detailing some mournful story of woe, noting how he “needed” someone to talk with. “Could I talk with you?”
Continue reading “Drama: waiting for the bus”

P is for People songs

Plastic Jim by Sly & the Family Stone borrows from Eleanor Rigby by the Beatles.

peopleI had all these posts for Round 15 lined up, either odd words or 70th birthdays, except for a few. After I mucked it over a good while, I said, to no one in particular, “I’ve got nothing, people.” Then suddenly, I did. Songs starting with the word People in the title that I own.

One must start, naturally, with People by Barbra Streisand, her signature song from Funny Girl that went to #5 in 1964 on the US Billboard singles charts. “People who need people are the luckiest people in the world.” Is that true? I was rather fond of the cover version by Nat King Cole) that only went to #100 that same year.

A lot of People songs are inspirational. People Get Ready by The Impressions, featuring Curtis Mayfield, went to #14 in 1965, but was an anthem of the civil rights movement.

People Are Strange by The Doors, #12 in 1967 Continue reading “P is for People songs”

Listen to my little pep talk, instead of what that person said

When someone, or several someones, say and do stuff that I think is crazy, I can yell and scream at them, but I have found this to be singularly unhelpful in getting rid of my frustration.

Reprinted from my Times Union blog.

I’m riding my bicycle to work earlier in the month, obeying all traffic laws. When I get onto the main drag, I heard this yelling behind me. There was this yahoo in the shotgun seat of the car, screaming some unintelligible thing to me. Well, not exactly IN the seat, but with his torso halfway out of the window. It wasn’t angry yelling, it had the mocking, and somewhat crazed tone of Woody Woodpecker. Since I wasn’t in the car’s way, I can only surmise it was some sort of comment about… well, I’d be speculating.

This isn’t the first time this has happened. Continue reading “Listen to my little pep talk, instead of what that person said”

20 to 25 People (or So)

So that’s 25 to 27 people.

Here’s something I dumped on Jaquandor – he’s still thinking about it: “Come up with a list of the 20 (or 25) most important/influential people in your life. I’m particularly interested in those people who may be out of your life now (a music teacher, a lost friend) who you look back and see their impact.”

So, with no disrespect to those not on the list who I love dearly, here’s my list:

My parents
My two sisters
My paternal grandmother, who was my first Sunday School teacher. She also taught me canasta, the first “grown up” card game I ever played.
My maternal grandmother – my sisters and I spent every day after school with her as well as most of the summers
Great aunt Deanna, her sister Continue reading “20 to 25 People (or So)”