The Spaceship (Prince Dream #1)

Sunday, October 9, 2016

Last night I dreamed I was a terrestrial time-traveler.  Well, not really time travel, it was like we could move from place-to-place by going to sleep in what appeared to be a motel room.  Different rooms, of course.  I say “we,” but I don’t remember who the others were.

The last time we tried to move there was a five-year-old little girl with us. She was wearing pink footie-pajamas and had a melodious laugh. She reminded me of every little girl in my family–including me.

We were staying at a bed-and-breakfast run by this older couple somewhere in the county.  It was quite lovely with vintage handmade furniture and objets d’art past from mother to daughter and then again. We tried to move that night, but it didn’t work.  I woke up early and discovered people were out of their beds. You see, we had to be in bed for the move to work.

I found the little girl lying happily under the bed singing songs and eating candy.  She had an amazing story of her own to tell.  She said someone came to her in the night and took her up on a big ship and had her sit in a little chair. The beings were really big, too big to sit in chairs.  She described them, but I forgot what she said. They asked her a lot of questions, gave her candy when they finished. They tried to put her back on the bed but missed a bit.  She thought under-the-bed was interesting so she stayed there checking it out.

We tried to move again the second night.  I kept the little girl with me in my bed to make sure she went to sleep.  I checked on the guys before going to bed.  They were there as well, not sitting out watching the stars like the previous evening.

That night, the room started to shake and furnishings were lifted into the air.  The heavy bed slid across the floor, mirrors crashed to the ground or was it the wife’s great grandmother’s Havilland china? The men came to our room to make sure we were ok, especially the little girl. We continued our ascent into the air as a group.

Then out of nowhere, Prince showed up.  Yes, the Prince. He was young with feathered hair like the cover photo of his second album, Prince. I don’t remember if he was wearing a shirt or not. He asked if we had anything better to drink that whiskey. I gave him an apple; he seemed to be happy with that.  He asked how we were doing.  Then said everything would be fine once we got into some better clothes.

Chatting with him made us forget the fearfulness of our current situation.  In fact, we were now looking out the window at the people below.  It appeared we were on a ship—a spaceship to be exact.  It was one of the big round ships with steam-spitting values and rust spots, but it got the job done.  I looked back at Prince to tell him what I was seeing but he was sitting in another row far behind me, headed in a different direction.  I signed that I loved him. He signed back that he loved me too and then he signed that he loved the world. Then his ship or his part of the ship, went way.  He went away.

Thoughts:

This dream was quite comforting. I was glad that to see Prince again.  I was surprised to see him, exceeding grateful for his presence.

 

©2018 Joy of Eryka

Inner Memphis…

Last Summer

I met Eso Tolson and Siphne Aaye last summer. Artistik Approach performed at Spillit the same night I told my Prince story.  After the show, we were hanging out and I noticed his shirt said, “Embrace Your Inner Memphis.” He told me it was his own design and told me the story behind it.

EYI_2017_Header_4
Go get a shirt!

 

I was still adjusting to living in Memphis and I couldn’t fathom embracing it. So when he suggested I buy one of his shirts my response was a crisp, “Hell No.” I’m sure folks could see snowflakes. Eso laughed it off and then we all went to dinner.

Last Friday

I went to the Choo Restaurant to check out Siphne’s latest mural, Connected. It is a series of train and travel-related vignettes on the side of the restaurant facing the tracks.  I can’t wait for the unveiling! Eso was there, along with Darius B. Williams and Averelle Mondie–the very same people I met that summer night.

While I was hugging Eso’s neck, I asked: “Do your shirts come in a ladies’ cut? Unisex shirts make me look like a linebacker.”  I am quite sure I heard the Universe giggle.

Eso suggested I stop by his table the Connect901 Holiday Pop-up shop and try a shirt on

 

Inner Eryka
Photo Credit: Darius B. Williams

 

before I asked him to special order one for me. I did and I loved it!  I bought a large shirt, then graphic designer Ryan Stewart cut the shirt on me.  I call it the “Chopped and Screwed” version. It was such an amazing experience! I felt so beautiful. Then Darius B. Williams went and snapped the fly ass picture of me and it was over! You couldn’t tell nothin’ me anything for the rest of the night.

 

 

Inner Eryka

I suppose I have embraced my Inner Memphis. My family is originally from Memphis.  My first memories of life are in this city.

My storytelling roots were established in a wild strawberry patch thriving on the rhymic hum of my granddaddy’s air conditioning at the house on Brantley Road. It was one of the first places I visited when I returned to Memphis in 2015. FYI, you do not want to show up *unannounced* at a house in South Memphis waxing nostalgic about how your grandfather poured the driveway and raised three generations of your family in that house. Just don’t.  I’m sure I didn’t get my ass kicked because I had my very pregnant cousin and her baby in the car.

I rediscovered my strength and my voice here. Memphis demands your best if you want to thrive on her shores. I’m up for the challenge, are you?

Eryka

 

Day of Thanks

I spent Thanksgiving with my uncle’s family this year and we had such a great time. It was good to see my cousins again. My aunt Diane is the best cook on the planet!

IMG_1130

I ate so much food, I nearly fell asleep at the table!  Then I took home two plates of food, so I have been in a food coma for the past few days.  So it’s back to green smoothies, kombucha and baked chicken for me!  I was so focused on eating I forgot to take pictures! But here is a picture of my smoothie.

 

 

Sooo…Sleep Writing?

About a month ago,  I scribbled some numbers on a piece of paper while I was asleep.  I thought it was a dream–the urgent search for a pen write down an important number someone had rattled off to me. I’d forgotten about it until I was on the phone with a colleague this morning and they said the could never find a pen when they need one.

I checked my room when I got off the phone.  Sure enough, I had scribbled the number 1185275 on an article about the sleeping habits of jellyfish.

Now, I’ve heard of automatic writing, but sleep writing?

TIL: Poetry Behind the Veil

Last night on Cambly, I met a poet, a real one. He was born in Saudi Arabia with passion and agony etched on his tongue and a hole in his heart. We spoke for an hour through the veil of a black video screen–as many people from the Kingdom do to preserve modesty in the nakedness of the Western World.

He shared his poetry with me English, then in Arabic. His work is patient and melancholy like a desert wind. It aches of  life observed but not lived.  It bleeds beauty.  He prefers classical Arabic words to modern ones. Says the modern words don’t have the same feel. He is right.

Unfortunately, I am one of a handful of people have ever heard his verses.  As a child in he frolicked in literature, dreaming only of poetry. When he turned 16, his parents told him he was to be a surgeon. Poet is not a profession, they said. So he went to medical school. He would scribble verses in his journal or on his phone. He would discard most, other he’d forget…he was a surgeon after all.

But his body began to crack under the weight of his drowning spirit. He is still in the medical field, but no longer a surgeon.  He sounds happy about that. He is writing more poetry now; he shared those sparse verses with me with the intention of deleting them as well.

I begged him to save them, perhaps publish them in English under a pseudonym, so his family wouldn’t freak out.  He agreed to keep them, but that was all. He sent me a link to the song, the Coffee Cup Reader, which an essential song in Arabic culture. This is the short version, the full version is about more than two hours long.

Needless to say, I am quite interested in learning more about Arabic poetry and perhaps learning Arabic as well.  I think it will make me a better writer.

Eryka

NaNowrimo Week One

Hey Y’all,

The first week of  NaNoWriMo is over and let’s just say my progress has not been great. I’ve been working hard to finanowrimonish this creative nonfiction piece called “Salvage” while battling an upper respiratory infection.

However, I have worked on my novel. I’ve added maybe 50 words to it. Yikes! Even calling it a “novel” is daunting for me. Makes it feel so massive and unwieldy. I feel like getting my mind around it and developing each scene into the full and robust images in my head is damn near impossible.

Okay so now we’ve got that little freak out out-of-the-way, it’s time to get down to business. In truth, I am not as concerned about hitting 50,000 words this month as  I am with developing better, more productive writing habits and learning to use writing tools like Dragon and Scriveners.

By far the most important thing for me is to develop and maintain a writing schedule. I don’t have a dedicated writing time: I squeeze it in between work and other “important things” I have to do.  That needs to change.

So I will get up an hour earlier ( then two) to write in the mornings before I do anything else, except make a cup of tea of course.

As I said finishing Salvage is the top priority, but I will make more progress on the novel.  It’s really time for it to take center stage anyway.

Eryka

Nanowrimo 2017 Prep

Note: I wrote this last week, but held it back it because I didn’t consider it good enough to post. I do that a lot with my writing. So one of my goals is to get out as much content as possible and let it speak for its self.

Hey Y’all,

It’s just a week away now. Nanowrimo. I’ve registered on the site and am gearing up to finish this really long fiction story that is so dear to my heart. I’ve cleared a few things off my plate in anticipation of the commitment needed to write 1500+ words per day.  I’ve let go of a part-time job and I am wrapping up a personal essay I started last year but put aside because of the emotional strain of it.

In fact, I should be working on said essay right now but I am at one of the sticky parts so I’m about Nanowrimo instead. Is that simply a redirection of energies or procrastination?  Not sure, but I wanted to talk about procrastination anyway, so segue…

I procrastinate. I decide either a task will take too long and must be done later or won’t take much time at all and well…I can do it later. Perhaps it is a function of our multitasking society. Or maybe I just have commitment issues—I don’t want to stick with one task too long for fear I won’t get to something more important.

So I was quite grateful for the email this morning from Novel Now about how to stay focused and in procrastination. Novel Now is one of my favorite writing sites and lots of great writing tips and insight on how to push forward with this long-term project that I’m working on.

Eryka

TIL: The Power of Poetry

imagesI’ve often wondered how Iran held on to its language and culture after the Arab invasion in 633 AD. Arabic is the dominant language throughout the Middle East, yet somehow Iran still speaks Farsi and held fast to its culture.

Well, I learned how this was possible last night. I was on Cambly talking to a student from Iran and he told me the story. He said that while Iran did adopt the Arabic writing system they kept Farsi shahnameh 1as their primary language because of a poem called the Shahnameh.

 

 

The Shahnameh, which took Persian poet Ferdowsi 30 years to write, is the longest epic poem written by a single author in the world. It details the history of the great Iranian kings. It is written entirely in Farsi and is held with such national pride, that after the Arab invasion, the Persian people clung to this poem as a pshanameh for kidsart of their national identity and some say it is the sole reason that the Farsi language is still in existence today. While they did adopt the Arabic writing system, they were not letting go of Farsi because of the Shahnameh.

Children are taught to read and write using the Shahnameh. Older students memorize passages from it.

Power to the poets y’all. Power to the poets!

Eryka

 

Bilingwool

a place to speak both knit and crochet

Richar

De nenhum lado de todo. De todos os lados um pouco. (Drexler, J.)

Cambly Blog

Practice English with a Native Speaker

Commonplace Book Blog

Creative Nonfiction, Writing, and the Pleasures of Reading

Everyday linguistic anthropology

Jena Barchas-Lichtenstein

(I am because you are)

Trying to decolonise my mind

%d bloggers like this: