I have been busy working on a few projects. Hopefully you will hear more news about them soon. In the meantime, I invite you to listen to a few Thoughts On A String podcasts “Opinion Vs. Fact”, “When You Can’t Split That Board”, “That’s Not How it Works” and “Political Idedologies WILL Impede”. Please take time to listen and share your thoughts if you like of each podcast you hear.
The subject of suicide is not a pleasant one to talk about, but Charles shares his thoughts on a final act which robs everyone, including the person who commits it. Hopefully the advice shared in this edition of the podcast will help those in need. #suicide #youarenotalone #wearerooting4u #live2Bgreat
We celebrate the first day of Spring by presenting the podcasts you see before you. Please let us know how you feel about the subjects if you’re so inclined and if you like, subscribe to Charles’s channel.
Back in our days in the North Bay city of #Vallejo, Charles was invited to speak about the mobile bookstore on VCAT’s Arts in Action hosted by Shaaron Fox. In the interview, Charles talks about the creation of the “mobile bookstore” at the time, sharing what books he sells, how he gets them and other projects he was involved in. If you enjoy this blast from the past like we do, please enjoy the interview. #chatmonbooks
The late, great Megan Willingham speaks with Charles in this interview in 2003 about his two books, The Depths of My Soul and The Voices of South Central. Charles shares a few poems from his books, describes his experience as a published author and a surprise guest joins Megan and Charles for the interview.
It’s been nearly ten years since our departure from the North Bay area in California.
It’s been a good move, but there’s one thing that lightly offends us.
No mention of our presence anywhere online! (you know where to find us, of course!)
You would think, a major city such as, excuse me – what’s the name of that city again? – you think that city without a bookstore for years would have at least mentioned us once or twice. We even established our presence in a farmer’s market for crying out loud! Heard from a lot of folks who passed the time discussing politics, city issues, etc. Hardly any books sold by the same folks who stopped by to ‘pass the time’.
Even no one remembers our efforts during our time there. Wow!
Let this be a lesson to you future and present bookstore owners, be as loyal to your base as you hope they are (or in our case, were) to you.
You always tell when it’s just lip service and when their support is sincere.
Take care former city in the North Bay we set up shop in. See ya!
2018 has already started to be a year of hard choices and challenges. I should act as if I should care, but I really don’t. Whatever is going to happen will and whatever doesn’t, nothing to get excited about. It is all about the Storm, though…..
Let’s get to the main event; The Story of Shontell. This is a poem that is part of Storm over South Central, the anthology coming out this year. I’d like to share more of Shontell’s story and why it’s important for her tale to come out. You may state a Black man has no business writing about a young Black girl, but as a teacher who has met many Shontells over the years; this is very much my business.
As a ‘conscious’ writer or as someone who writes about South (Central) Los Angeles, I must be honest and present the positive as well as the negative of what goes on in the neighborhood. In 2003 when The Voices of South Central was published, much of the poems I wrote about were a reflection of what Iâve seen, heard and experienced as a teacher, a volunteer counselor for my local YMCA, a resident of the community. So I know of what I write about here.
There is a Shontell in each of our lives. She’s faced so-called ‘directionless dudes’ who left her nothing but a bloated belly and a newborn in their wake. The reality of writing ‘conscious’ poetry is to touch on the subjects we’d rather not discuss or talk about. To keep them private as we celebrate Black Girls Rock and Black Girl Magic. Shontell may eventually have her day in the sun but as the poem will show, that day is a far off. We men have to be more disciplined when approaching a young woman like Shontell and display our gentleman-like qualities to them or better yet, practice before you approach.
Women want a real man, and when they say that from their lips, they want a man young or old, to have a depth of knowledge, able to speak clearly and concisely about what’s on our minds, to prove our passions aren’t restricted in our pants but rather what do we have to advance ourselves and hopefully a woman who takes a chance to build a life with us. It’s no mistake Black women are in the media doing big things now. It’s not because we Black men have failed, but there haven’t been many of us who tried and succeeded past the street-like attitude we’re content to remain in, our social quicksand, so to speak.
Of course, we Black men have heard this before along with the criticisms that devalue our worth in this society. This isn’t to place the blame squarely on those directionless dudes, but to acknowledge Shontell is in the predicament she’s in merely on her choices with the men she’s fooled around with. You and I make choices that affect our lives believe it or not. Whether or not we stand our ground or run away from those decisions depends on each of us. Shontell made her decision in the poem as you will find out. It is a life choice many of us rich or poor, Black, brown or white either has made or will make. The Story of Shontell is a poem that I hope book clubs, schools, libraries and readers will give great pause and consideration for discussion. It’s time we deal with the Shontells in our lives. Not to learn or criticize their example, but to take the time out and show them how much we love them without prejudice, to be by their side if help is needed.
In July, Charles started his series of podcasts based on topics from his blog, Thoughts on a String These thoughts are Charles’s musings on the world we live in, plus an opinion or two of the state of the writing business. For this first entry, we present the first three TOAS entries: The Opinions Expressed….., Cancel Social Media, and Rely on Faith. We hope these musings provide food for thought as we enter into a brand new year.
For more TOAS and poetic content, be sure to subscribe to Charles’s YouTube channel.