P / P Excerpt: King Richard II with Commentary

Photo Credit: Prisoners of Eternity

“Richard II: The Boy who would be King”

[P / P Edit One] Editor’s Note: In my life, Shakespeare’s writing is essential when it comes to building, training and understand the root of writing the key element of a story. It is not about color, origin, race of creed, it is about learning how to be a great Western writer. It is also great to simply be spectator of Shakespeare’s plays and how they influenced the world. There is nothing wrong with that. But as I worked on manuscripts over the years, Shakespeare’s output and collection of writing has crept up and returned again and again, becoming a foundation when I begin to write in a voice and language that has a breadth, emotional width and situational range.

Should my and everyone’s work be inspired by Shakespeare? Of course not, anyone can pick and choose when they are ready to delve into the poet and playwright’s work and furthermore, choose what style they want to use when researching and reading to prepare to personally write long form.

Below is a passage from King Richard II. It jumped out at me and challenged me as I have been transcribing passages by hand from the play for the last couple of months. It was challenging because this passage is long and the book is pocket sized, so the type it very small. It took concentration to complete. This is the first time I have typed a transcription from Richard the II.

King Richard is one of Shakespeare’s tragedies.

King Richard II

Act V

[Scene V. Pomfret Castle.]

Enter Richard alone.

______________

Richard. I have been studying how I may compare

This prison where I live unto the world;

And for because the world is populous,

And here it is not a creature but myself,

I cannot do it. Yet I’ll hammer it out:

My brain I’ll prove the female to my soul,

My soul soul the father, and these two begat

A generation of still-breeding thoughts;

And these same thoughts people this little world,

In humors like the people of this world,

For no thought is contented. The better sort,

As thoughts of things divine are intermixed

With scruples, and do set the world itself

Against the word, as thus: “Come, little ones”; Continue reading

P / P Master Class Four: Open Up

Photo credit: Heart Chakra by Art by Adelaide

Editor’s Note: It took me four tries to write this P / P Master Class. This published piece is on the heels of writing a free writing session entitled, “Take Time (open up.).”

“Take Time (open up.),” was written after hearing the song, March 14. A song I didn’t notice at the end of the album, Scorpion. I thought the record ended with “Final Fantasy,” but I found it after digging into the album for some time. This is how you become a Master. You dig in and listen because anything that is well crafted will a) teach you how to craft your own work b) teach you to never underestimate art. I like the album “Father of Asahd” as well. 

When you dig into art and listen for days, weeks and months, your thinking becomes clearer, thoughts come to your mind, you’re reminded of memories and finally, you’re convinced because it’s ok to open up because someone was brave enough to do it before you ever had the notion to do so. You begin to attain the ability to tell the unadulterated truth of your vulnerability, your innocence and your heart.

This Master Class piece is about guts. You don’t always have to spill them but you’ve got to lay them on the table and bring them with you everywhere you go.

P / P Master Class Four: Open Up

Your most painful moments will eventually become your most fruitful writing processes.

Writing, creative work and working as an author is not just about how you craft sentences. It is about being able to be as transparent as possible. Being a writer is a solitary job. Yes, there are teams who write songs and textbooks, but for the most part, you’re on your own. You’re job is to do something alone. It is what it is. So, when you’re trying to write while going through a deeply painful or traumatic time in your life, you’re going to feel extremely lonely. Most writers like to be alone. There is a difference between being alone and being lonely. Being lonely and hurt can inspire your most vulnerable and valuable pieces of writing.

You’ve got to choose what you fill your mind with.

If you fill your mind with Bugs Bunny cartoons, you’re going to think like Bugs. I know that sounds silly, but some people love cartoons and that’s ok. I have to reiterate this simple concept because you cannot truly open up unless you live in a state of mind where you are modeling yourself after a lot of information, which in this case, would be artists who are honest, forthright and well-articulated. If you don’t, you’re going to eventually get clogged or what many would say, “blocked.” Continue reading

P / P Essay: The Blessing of a Sense of Humor

Coates with his son, Samori, in the summer of 2001. Photograph: Ta-Nehisi Coates via The Guardian

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It’s been a tough few months and there’s nothing funny about being a woman of color who struggles with the external pressures and intimidation of life.

Nonetheless, I had my first funny dream in a long time this morning.

The last time I saw my best friend, she told me, “You used to be so funny, light-hearted and goofy,” (I don’t take being called “goofy” as an insult. I like to make my friends laugh.) She continued, “you used to have a light in your eyes and it’s not there anymore.”  At that moment, I heard her and I knew what she meant, but I figured back then, life has good days and bad ones – not to belittle anyone who has experienced any sort of loss or tragedy.

Trauma will do that but this morning, I had a sweet, funny dream. I don’t remember what the dream was about but I woke up remembering who I was, who I am, and the pain others have caused me, the intrusion, the insults seemed to roll off my back at 5 in the morning while I had to deal with people outside my window, taunting and enjoying the peril of my discomfort…before my first cup of coffee. Because of that dream, my heart was light as I changed out my filter, filled my coffee maker with espresso, and then fixed the curtain that keeps falling down in my office. My day to day felt a little nicer, and it came from me – not a compliment, not a phone call or a cool opportunity.

Get over yourself, Jordannah.

All I have is myself. If I get over that, me, what is the point of life? What would I do? The outside world, the world around me, Between the World and Me (shout out to Mr. Ta-Nehisi, another Baltimore born author who grew up understanding what I understand, and probably lives as an adult author knowing much more).

My very simple point is that my subconscious, without being direct, without giving me some deep message and booming male voice relaying some heavy prophesy or decree telling me about my future, simply made me laugh.

And I needed that. Continue reading

Publik / Private 2017 Reading List

I used to think I was good at writing introductions. Now as the years go by, including this one, I cannot announce that I doubt my choices, cadence and intuition when it comes to my writing, but after writing so many introductions, so many lead sentences, so many year-end pieces, I find it important to reflect on exactly what it is I mean to say…every single day.

Some say to become a better writer, you need to read. I agree with that and more times that not, I like to read more than I write. Reading helps me form my thoughts. Books help me expand my theories and learn about history. They help me speak with vigor and knowledge on topics I’m called to lecture on…but more importantly, they help me slow down.

When I read I can escape the fast paced culture of American urban living. I can take time and head to a library or a bookstore and not have to talk. I don’t have to answer and retort, I don’t have to smile or become angry due to an engaging conversation. I don’t have to explain myself. Continue reading

P/P Column: The Book Tour Diaries – #1 The Night Before the West Coast

By: Jordannah Elizabeth

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February 15, 2016

It took about 5 seconds for me to remember today’s date. My body crashed around 5 pm after having a long conversation about historical and systemic racism and sexism in America in comparison to my personal life and the global experience (that I have only read about)… and my book, which was the point of the interview but went by the wayside in the interest of broad life affirming topics. I woke up a few minutes ago. My body is still tired, my mind cloudy, I work too much and all I’ve been hoping to do is find time to write.   Continue reading

P / P Q&A: Author and Poet Cecilia Corrigan

Written By: Skyler Warren
Forward and Edited By: Jordannah Elizabeth

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“In this epic love poem, the human narrator falls in love with a chatbot and, throughout the book, tries to figure out if the other can truly love the narrator back. The narrator goes from feeling vulnerable to making the leap into virtual reality to spend time with their loved one.”

~

Cecilia Corrigan is an accomplished New York City based writer and poet who has a new published collection of poems called, Titanic. After a prestigeous stint working as a writer for HBO, Corrigan now focuses on her published work that reflects her fascination and interpretation of the world through her creative perceptions.

We’re always interested in learning about and from writers and artists who maintain innovative and post modern ideas about how our social and cultural world presents itself to us. It gives us a chance to see a new angle on art that we may not have seen without learning of another creative professional’s unique experience.

Technology is a focal point in popular culture and Celicia’s her new book. We had a chat with her to get a better understanding of why she and her readers are so connected with television, popular culture and the idea that can one can have a love affair with their computer: Continue reading

Publik / Private Interview + Mixtape #11.11: Joel Gion

Mixtape Curated By: Joel Gion
Written By: Jordannah Elizabeth
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 Photo by: Raynie Alexandria Vratari 
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PUBLIK / PRIVATE MIXTAPE #11.11 ~ JOEL GION MIXTAPE

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We have so many years on this Earth and only have one life to live. I am glad that in my during lifetime I can say I have interviewed Joel Gion. Gion can be considered the sweetheart of the now prolific, internationally adored rock and roll band, The Brian Jonestown Massacre.  He’s been the loving saving grace, the purveyor of astoundingly timed, humorous one liners and a cherry blossomed persona that could sooth any fan from the panic of star struck nervousness. I remember in my younger years, he walked passed me at a show in some city (I’ve seen BJM a number of times, never in the same town), and I quietly said “I love you, Joel.” out of pure innocence and admiration, and he turned around before he walked backstage and blew me a kiss. Continue reading

P / P Introspective: Blogs I Live By

Written By: Jordannah Elizabeth

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I’ve been a blogger since I was about 11 years old. Long before Friendster, Myspace and Facebook emerged; the internet was a secret hiding place for intelligent introverted (young, nerdy) writers and graphic designers to express themselves without the drama or disdain of the outside world…or trolls.

Reading and writing are activities that sculpted my identity as a child, and they continue to morph and mold my personality and lifestyle as an adult. I was not a great student. I was moody and strange and very quiet. My parents were divorced and although I had brothers and a circle of friends, I have always experienced a loneliness that only words could heal. I scribbled in notebooks and journals, writing short stories, poems and songs by hand, but when I discovered the internet in 1997, I became completely enamored and wanted to know everything about it.

I learned how to create an email account, and designed “do it yourself, java and template based websites on webspace providers like GeoCities, Tripod and Angelfire. As I got older, I taught myself HTML and my mother bought me domain names so I could own, design and write my own “webjournals”. I cracked codes to Photoshop 5.5 and Paint Shop Pro 7, and built and designed my own web-world in the midst of the pioneering internet nerds that are probably currently making a living, being just that. Continue reading

P / P Interview: Gregg Foreman of Cat Power

Interview By: Jordannah Elizabeth

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I met Gregg Foreman at a Pink Mountaintops show a couple of months back in San Francisco, CA. Of course, I’d been hearing his name for years as we have a number of mutual friends and acquaintances. After the show, I said my goodbyes to everyone and Gregg was very kind and sweet nurtured. Because of his kindness, I thought it would be nice to learn more about his history, and to share it with all of you.

Gregg is an underground legend. He contributes his unique sound to a plethora of your favorite post modern psych, shoegaze and alternative bands. He shouldn’t only be a household name to musicians and promoters who have lived in L.A. (I am one of them), and international shoegaze and psych connoisseurs. His influence should touch the lives of anyone who has a taste and desire for great music and true rock and roll composition.

Foreman is best known for his work with Cat Power, which should genuinely answer any of your questions in regards to his relevance in contemporary music history, but again, take some time to learn a bit more about him. I was personally convinced to learn more because of his big brown eyes, but that probably won’t win everyone over. Continue reading

P / P Interview: Kirpatrick Thomas of Spindrift

Written By: Jordannah Elizabeth

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Kirpatrick Thomas is an original member of the brilliant desert psych western band, Spindrift. If you’re into the explosively popular underground neo psych genre that stretches across every continent on the planet, particularly North America and Western Europe, you’ve heard of Spindrift.

I asked Kirpatrick Thomas about his perspective on being an underground rock hero, his career, which includes a massive publishing deal and his relationship with up and coming bands. He was open, endearing and humorous. We’re always excited to talk to our favorite musicians! Check out what he had to say: Continue reading