Author Archive

Dear Aliya: Where Do You Find Inspiration To Write?

October 19, 2009

inspiration.jpg (JPEG Image, 430x306 pixels)

I’m typing this on a flight to Dallas. First time using in-flight Internet. Sweet!

So, this morning, I got a tweet from MissCocoaLuv.


It’s a great question and one I hear often from writers.

I can’t find the time.

I can’t find the space.

I don’t know what to write.

Warning: Harsh words ahead


Ugh. Part Two.

September 14, 2009

Still writing.

Still editing.

My hair is oily.

My face is breaking out.

I haven’t had a sensible meal in three weeks. Neither has Tog.

The dog’s peeing all over the house because he’s not getting enough exercise.

My TWA is linty.

I have 42 voicemails that I haven’t heard.

My cell phone is about to get disconnected.

My emails are overflowing. And unanswered.

I have 54 Facebook Friend Requests.

When I drop Tog off at daycare she asks, “who picking me up? Gramma? Dadddy?”

I read my edits in one hand while I’m rocking her to sleep at night with the other.

I have to go over the final manuscriipt of Frank Lucas’ Original Gangsta by the 17th.

And I shill for Yummy’s on a daily basis and provide weekly reports on our progress.

Until my world makes sense…



September 8, 2009

I’m petro.

Scared stiff.

Deadline for handing in edited draft for No Tea For The Fever has now officially passed.

I’m not done.

I need to get done.

I’m very very happy with the progress I’m making. I open my laptop, fall into this frothy world with these flawed men and women and have a ball.

Alas, I must buckle down for real. And get it done and handed in to my editor.

So, I’ll be back.

In the meantime, Haftime will be tweaking the design of the site, (right, Haf?), The Ombudsman will be patiently waiting for me to get back to blogging so I can be ripped apart for talking about my dog too much. We’ve got a great entry for Tech Support and two cute Fashion Friday entries with Little Miss Brown. And fun with poetry with Stacia Brown.

But until my edits are done, au revoir.

Oh. If you see me on Twitter/Facebook/Tumblr, do me a favor and send me a reply in all caps that says: ALIYA GET BACK TO YOUR EDITS! NOW!


The Ombudsman Speaks: Week In Review

September 5, 2009


Three years ago, I hopped on a plane to London to go visit my home-girl who was studying abroad.  She told me that we were going to hit up this club to listen to some poetry. On a whim, I put together a piece to perform – something I had never done before.

Much to my chagrin, they called me up to read first. I cleared my throat, took a deep breath and dived in.  When I was done, the entire room was clapping. Women were teary eyed and dudes were nodding, “this kid’s pretty good.”

Flash-forward five months, and I’m still reeling from all the London Love.  So I decide to read the exact same poem at an open mic event in Chicago.

They called my name and I walked confidently to the microphone. I cleared my throat, took a deep breath and dived in. When I was done, it was so quiet you could hear a rat pissing on cotton.  The host, realizing I was finished (and mortified), started a loud, phony clap to let everyone know I was done and…well…that they should clap too.

I stepped down off the stage, pulled my Kangol down over my eyes and never wrote/performed a poem ever again.

When I saw ASK debuted a new column called “Poetry Sundays with Stacia,” I grumbled.

Poetry? Really?

Do we have to read this?

But then I realized: I’m bitter.  I let an uppity group of faux neo-soulers steal my thunder.  Poetry. Spoken word. It’s all great stuff.  Maybe it’s time I reopened myself to the possibilities of what a great poem can provide.  Inspiration? Clarity? Entertainment?

Poetry Sundays with Stacia: Not sure I’ll love it. Probably won’t hate it. But I’ll definitely read it.

I know one thing, If ASK tumbles for me one more time, I may scream.


Yay or Nay with Little Miss Brown: Shydel James

September 4, 2009

Fellas. It’s your turn.

Meet Shydel James. By day he’s an analyst at New Jersey Transit. By night, he’s an actor and a freelance writer.

Oh. And when he was 16, he was a student in my African-American History Class at Clifford Scott High School in East Orange, New Jersey. He was the class president. I was the class advisor. We go back like that.

Oh. And he’s been my personal assistant for three years, doing everything from calculating my expenses, additional reporting for my stories and faux-sitting Tog. (Faux-sitting means her ass better be already asleep when he gets there and I better have some snacks and cable television at the ready for him. And if she wakes up, oh well too bad. And no diaper changing. Ever. That’s faux-sitting.) And he doesn’t transcribe. Ever. Will just straight up say, um, no. not doing it when I tell him I need it done. Even though I pay him. What is that?!

Anyway. Del is a snazzy dresser. Even as a teenager. I liked the way he put things together but I’m curious about what Lil Miss Brown, (and all of you), will have to say about his style.

Herewith, Mr. James’ steelo this week. And Miss Brown’s thoughts. Enjoy.