Last week I attended a video release party for a local rap artist named Purple Queen. It was held at a little dive bar near my home that has recently put a stage in the back room and is showcasing local musicians. Everyone who came out to the party was friends, contributors to the project, and other local rappers showing their support.
Her new song is called “Giants” and the hook says, “How you root impacts how you grow.” (Watch the video here.)
It reminded me a lot of my experience at KGB Bar in the East Village two years ago when I flew out to New York for one day just to hear a short story I wrote read by an actor there for the online publication Liars’ League NYC. The local support was strong. Other New York City writers showed up just to connect and cheer on other writers.
I loved that feeling and didn’t realize until Purple Queen’s release last week that I was missing that in my literary life. And the thing is, the Twin Cities have plenty of these types of events for writers just like myself. It really renewed my interest in finding that community—those roots—here where I live and using it to help me grow as an artist.
In May I:
- Wrote: About 3000 words between two new short stories
- Read: The Hangman by Louise Penny and started The End of Everything by Megan Abbott
- Met with a lawyer friend of mine to go over funeral law and insurance fraud to help solidify one of my mystery character’s backstory
- Realized I had no clue about another mystery character’s backstory so I’ve started doing the character development exercises from the book The 90 Day Novel by Alan Watt
- Shopped an unpublished story around to two paying markets; got rejected from both
- Applied to the Loft Literary Center’s Mentor Program
In June I hope to continue shopping at least two short stories for publication, read another couple of mysteries, and begin re-outlining my mystery with the insight I hope to gain from these character development exercises. May saw me come out of my winter slump. In June I hope to be up and running fully!