Friday, February 3, 2012


pas·sion·ate  (p sh -n t) adj.
1. Capable of, having, or dominated by powerful emotions: a family of passionate personalities.
2. Wrathful by temperament; choleric.
3. Marked by strong sexual desire; amorous or lustful.
4. Showing or expressing strong emotion; ardent: a passionate speech against injustice.
5. Arising from or marked by passion: a teacher who is passionate about her subject.
My family. Reading. Writing. These are a few things that I am passionate about.  I come from a HUGE family with ties that bind us together in a formidable way.  We were raised to be there for one another, no matter what and, despite the many problems a big family brings, I’d say we do a good job at doing just that.  In addition to a great love for my family, I also have a voracious appetite for reading.  My closest relatives and friends will attest to the fact that I will read just about anything, anywhere at anytime.  I’ve learned so much about life, different people and various cultures through reading. From a ‘boring’ medical publication to a fuzzy little children’s book to an all-night-read Oprah Book Club pick, I will find something interesting about somebody’s written words. While in college, I discovered I had (or developed?) a talent for writing. I really liked English class and having a fun, engaging and encouraging professor only made it better.  One of our requirements was to keep a journal filled with random, personal writing, as well as some entries based on an assigned topic. Through this exercise, writing became my preferred outlet to deal with emotions that I didn’t care, or wasn’t able, to share with anyone.  Journal writing turned into poetry as I dealt with a particularly difficult situation within my relationship at the time.  I don’t think I sat down with the intention of writing a poem, the words just came to me.  When I read it to my friends, they said, ‘YOU wrote that?!’  I was like, ‘Uhh, yeeeaahhh,’ not thinking it was all that good.  At best, I thought it entertaining and would be something I’d look back and probably laugh about.  But, thanks to my girls, that poem was the first of many as they nurtured that seed with much support and encouragement.  Throughout the years since, I’ve written numerous poems, short stories and even have a few novels in the works (currently ‘on ice’ but that’s a whole ‘nother story). 
Not long after I was home from college, a poetry movement began in my area.  I attended a show one night and instantly felt inspired to share my work, as well.  I mustered up the courage to eventually go on stage and publish some of my poems in local news & magazine publications.  I received nothing but positive feedback which, of course, led me to want to write……and share…..more.  I started to take myself a little more seriously and I worked on improving my skills.  As with most writers, my motivation for writing ebbs and flows.  Inspiration comes from many things and shows up at any time (for me, mostly during times when I should be working or sleeping), but sometimes it doesn’t show up at all. In recent years, my writing hasn’t been frequent and though I’ve been invited to perform at many shows, I haven’t felt the desire to partake.  That is, until tonight.
Tonight is sure to be a night filled with passion as I grace the stage, and other talented poets, singers and musicians take the stage, at a spoken word showcase in my hometown.  The show, A Love Jones Open Mic Extravaganza is being hosted by a group of awesome spoken word artists called The Collective.  They are serious about their craft and they are eager to put on a great show.  I can’t wait to see them perform. As for me, it’s been a long time since I’ve shared my poetry onstage and though I’m not a virgin to the mic, I’m nervous like it’s my first time.  I’m excited too, though. I’ll be in great company, with my family and friends in attendance, as well as the other artists (who have respect for me and my work) but I know they’re expecting great things from me.  The poems I have planned for tonight are pretty good, if I must say so myself.  Whether or not I will meet everyone’s expectations is yet to be seen; and though just getting up there will be good enough for me, I hope I can deliver for them.   Wish me luck!  J