Sunday, August 21, 2005

Let the beatings commence.

I played hooky and went to the Missouri Black Expo yesterday and I only got half a chapter written for the day. The pressure was just too much! Apparently, the entire city is conspiring against me and taunting me this weekend, just because they all knew that I would be stuck inside writing. So what do they do? They bring an entire concert series for the weekend and put it on the levee, which is like right around the corner. And to rub salt in the wound, the end it off with like a twenty minute fireworks that I can't help but hear and feel because it's like an earthquake, every night.

Then there are the baseball games. First Arizona, and now the New York.

Then there's the Missouri Black Expo. I always know a few of my book friends are going to be there, book storeowners, and readers that I could promote to (salivating at the thought). The Hip Hop Summit was there as well.

Well, it all got to be too much for me. More than my guts could fathom. I left my laptop with a half written chapter, promising it that I would just take a small break and that I'd be back to finish up. Then I got on the other side of the door and thought, "Sucker!" as if I had told one of my high school teachers I was going to the bathroom, then proceeded to head out the front doors and to the streets (not to say that I've ever done this before. Okay, maybe once. But it was with friends, so I was heavily influenced and under duress.).

So I went and talked to fellow St. Louis author Brenda Hampton and one of her authors. Also saw Tia Dionne and Anthony Carr, authors from Chicago. Of course I saw and chatted with a few literary supporters in the area. Met the publisher of Who's Who in Black St. Louis (networked, of course, so that I could be included in the next edition). Then I sat in on two panels with the discussion topic "Black America Today." Omar Tyree sat on the second panel.

Although I didn't attend, one thing that really impressed me was the Hip Hop "Financial Matters" panel (not the exact name). The panel included Russell Simmons, local hip-hop artists Nelly and Chingy, and a few others. The were able to bring out 4,000 young people to discuss personal finance. They gave these kids workbooks and taught them about balancing accounts, saving, investing, their credit and FICO scores, how to buy a house, and more. They were teaching these kids what to do with their money when they obtained money. I just thought that was the greatest thing. It's great to see the hip hop artists using their power over the young people to teach them something that's going to make their lives better. And just seeing all those kids... It was such a beautiful thing.

Okay, the goal today is to finish the half of chapter from yesterday, plus another chapter. The countdown is on. I should be finished with the first draft in nine days.


Jill Sun Aug 21, 10:30:00 AM EDT  

9 days? I have 9 days to finish my book ... I'll race you!

Cherlyn Michaels Sun Aug 21, 10:41:00 AM EDT  

Awesome Jill!!!
It's on!!!!

Suzanne Sun Aug 21, 02:19:00 PM EDT  

Hey, I think the expo could justify as work if you were going to network with other writers there!!!

Court Mon Aug 22, 04:01:00 AM EDT  

lol, it's good you guys can motivate each other. I agree with Suzanne. Even though some of these authors (im impressed by the way) may be your buds, it can be viewed as 'working' since you are networking. ;-) Good luck with your deadline. You can do it!! I love to see women doing the darn thing!! It's very inspiring.

Court Mon Aug 22, 04:03:00 AM EDT  

Oh and it's awesome about that financial segment for young adults. I really wish that this was emphasized 10 years ago. Maybe it was, but I just wasn't in that type of environment. At any rate, I hope they listen and really apply these lessons to their lives.

Cherlyn Michaels Mon Aug 22, 09:33:00 AM EDT  

Hey Suzanne,

You know, I'm feeling you on that answer. I agree! I do a lot of networking while I was there, so it was mostly literary related. :-)

Cherlyn Michaels Mon Aug 22, 09:36:00 AM EDT  

Hey Court,

Yeah, I think that motivation thing works too. Yesteday, I wrote a chapter and a half! Thanks for your words of encouragement too.

Yeah, with all the music videos that focus on money, cars, houses, designer clothing, etc., it was great to see these guys hit the youngsters with financial reality. Even if they came out just to see Nelly and Chingy (the draw), hopefully they left with something they'll apply later. Maybe it's done elsewhere, but I had never seen anything to that extent being put on by entertainers. It was awesome.