Hey look! It's me moderating the hell out of the graphic novel panel at Write To Publish. Thanks to Mark Russell, Shannon Wheeler, Leia Weathington, and Susan Kirtley for being such gracious panelists. So much knowledge and skill here, and the discussion was really lively. I feel like I learned as much as the people in the audience, and in the end I got the chance to trade a signed copy of Crow in the Hollow for a signed copy of Leia's The Legend of Bold Riley. All and all, a great experience.
Check out the new issue of Pathos Literary Magazine! There is some really great work in here, as well as some contributions by yours truly.
When I lived and worked in Nashville, TN, I was having a tough time making ends meet. Josie and I had moved there right after college, and things weren't working out as smoothly as we had thought they would. Even when I got a graphic design job, and Josie was working at a care facility, money was tight and morale was low. However, at my job there was a gentleman that I worked with named Jerold, and he became a friend and mentor to me. We would have long discussions about the everything from TV, to culture, and even the meaning of life and existence. Sometimes I would work the night shift with him, and he would grill us jerk chicken in the back of the building while I told him about my book projects and artistic aspirations. He was always so encouraging, and interested - and he went out of his way to make me feel like I had a grand future ahead of me if only I would abandon the doubt I felt in myself. Our time in Nashville ended on a bit of a sour note, but I've always remembered his friendship fondly, and keep his belief in my potential close to my heart. It really inspired to keep working toward my goals, and I always promised myself that I would take the positive energy he always shared with me and pay it forward. So for anyone who is reading this that has put aspirations and dreams to the side - PICK THEM UP! You have a destiny, and sharing your passion and gifts is part of that. The world needs the love that you possess - it is the meaning for you existence. I think that we all were meant to share the power inside of us. I've always respected the faith and beliefs of others, and no matter if you pray to God, Allah, Yaweh, or find your spiritual inspiration in nature or the universe as a whole, I think that there is a grander purpose out there for all of us - even if that purpose to inspire just one person. Faith and belief can literally change the world, so make that change a positive one. So hold on to your dreams with all of your might, and create where ever you can. The act of creation is the closest we ever get to the divine.
(Brian drops mic, and slowly steps down from the podium.)
Check out my new illustration inspired by S. Renee Mitchell's event, My Black Sons and Daughters Are Worthy. #myblacksonsanddaughtersareworthy
What a great event! Josie, me, and the kids attended the Black: Genus, Genesis, Genius art exhibit put on by the Black Creative Collective, of which I am now a member. We enjoyed a wonderful variety of spoken word poetry, folk art, photography, and illustrations (my work was displayed as well – so cool!) It's great to be amongst artists with distinctive voices, and share in the celebration of our black heritage.
Rounding out our day of art and black celebration, the fam attended My Black Sons & Daughters Are Worthy, a collection poetic recitations and interpretive dance. We had a great time, got a family picture taken, and shared an ice cream sunday with sprinkles! The night ended with an uplifting hip-hop show, and we all got out on the dance floor. Swanny was tearing it up! Thanks to all of the creative and kind people involved in putting on this event, as well as the business that contributed to it's success. FYI: Josie wrote a poem for the occasion, and it was chosen to be performed! She is so talented.