Hello November

I am super enthused about November this year! I’m usually pretty neutral on this month, as I am with every month that is not December, but this year, I am so excited for it.

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One special thing is happening this month which I will share once it does and that’s a major part of why I’m so excited but I’m also thrilled because October is over and with it went one of the most stressful parts of my final year in law school. A little over a week ago, I advocated in my mock trial!

[you do two per year- one as instructing counsel and one as advocating counsel. You get paired with a partner who will be your co-advocate and co-instructing for the two trials. Advocating counsel does the talking- opening/closing speeches and questioning of witnesses, addressing the Court etc; Instructing counsel takes careful notes for and helps advocating counsel while the advocates are on their feet . There are more duties leading up to the actual trial but I’m speaking of duties on the day of trial.]

Me and fellow counsels for my mock trial. (Not pictured- the stress we just got off our backs)
Me and fellow counsels for my mock trial. (Not pictured- the stress we just got off our backs)

I am so relieved I can’t even put it into words.This was legitimately one of the things I dreaded most about my time at the law school, particularly since I don’t plan to litigate (that’s a story for another time). To get it out of the way- especially so early in the year- was a blessing!

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Just mocked a trial bout a week ago…|process was kinda stressful but I did it though(8) Source

I felt so free afterwards, you’d think I was done with school but it was something remarkable to face one of my fears and see that I could come through with little bruising (and 6 more grey hairs but who’s counting).

I now feel less guilty about reading non-law related material and more importantly about writing. I feel unrestricted in pursuing my other interests and discovering new passions.

On the writing front, I have decided that I need to really look at it like a job and treat it as one since I want to have a career as a writer. This becomes funny when I connected it to a conversation I had with Mr. D. The conversation led to me taking a stroll along the internet and finding this little gem. It brings new meaning to “dressing for the job you want” and I must say I love it.

Great minds, I tell you. Source
Great minds, I tell you.
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Does your dream job have a particular dress code? Is it a selling point for you? Tell me in the comments.

With this, I bid you Nasmaniacs adieu. I hope November is fantastic for all of us.

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Until next post!

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Minding Yendi’s Business: A How NOT To

I have seen the references to the article and ignored them. I have seen the references to the Facebook and Instagram posts and ignored them. Then I saw the tweets saying that due to the fact that Yendi Phillips was very public about her romance with Daniel “Chino” McGregor, we are now entitled to all aspects of her private life including knowing what happens with regards to her minor child. Now let me stand firmly in my view that I do not support this.

My friend Ricardo Brooks wrote a post title “Yendi has no right to privacy and unfortunately neither does her child”.

Now, this approach taken that has Yendi having her right snatched from her is one of the highest level of entitlement. Apparently, because Yendi is famous and decided to share the story of her relationship that led to the making of a child, we are now entitled to know everything regarding Yendi and said baby henceforth. Excuse (every single one of) you?!

If I decide to tell you about everything in my life but the way I like orange juice, you are NOT entitled to know the way I like my orange juice. If I tell you about the way I like all forms of fruit juices up to November 2014 and I decide to stop telling you about the way I like fruit juices after November 2014, you are not entitled to know about the way I like fruit juices after November 2014.

I use very simple examples to show you that you are not entitled to know anything about me and my personal life, even the simplest or most trivial, regardless of what I have shared with you in the past. This is applicable to everyone.

Everyone is entitled to say “stop”.

Everyone is entitled to say “no more”

Everyone is entitled to say “I wish to share only this and no more of myself”

If you feel like someone somehow lured you into caring about their life and now you are hooked and crave more, that is absolutely Read More

August Favorites in September [Video]

August was very good to me. And I tell you why in this video.

It took a month to finally edit and then upload this and it took a couple more days to post it to the blog. I have GOT to do better. But to be fair, I had some technical issues with my pc and that accounted for some of the delay. Anyhoo, here are four of my favorite (read: favourite) things or moments from the month of August.

I hope you like it!

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Book Review: Salsa Nocturna

This book is the best introduction into the genre of urban fantasy any reader could have.

It is clear that Daniel himself has his feet planted steadily (no shade to Carlos- get the book to get it) on both sides of the world of the living and that of the dead. He ushers us into the world of Salsa Nocturna so realistically and seamlessly that I was left feeling like this was the norm. The best part about the way the writer tells his stories is that while there are the usual ghostly characters who have unfinished business and who seek to cause mischief or harm to those of us who are living, he also writes about those who seek to do good, to bring justice to the living who are leading unjust lives and those who just want to be present among us because they want to maintain a connection with life. He makes the afterlife seem less scary. I was comforted by so many of these stories.

I was drawn in by the characters before I even got back stories and when their snippets of their histories were shared, I was even more captivated. Let me be honest, I was not in love with all of them- some are on my list of Permanent Side Eye Recipients and I’m not talking about the clear villains of each story.

I live-tweeted my thoughts while reading the first few stories because I was in a world of bewilderment when I read about Carlos’ and Gordo’s approach to the spirit world. I would not be in a crew with these two men because their idea of recreation did not align with mine and I was super okay with that. Skin Like Porcelain Death is that “WHAT THE HELL?! OH HELL NO!! NAA! BIND IT, LORD!” story for me. And as you continue reading, you realize that these stories are all actually linked to each other somehow, making this so much more than what you thought it would be at the beginning. The book became more than just a collection of stories put together to make me gasp and squirm and throw my hands in the air in judgmental frustration. At some point, before I even noticed, the stories began sticking to me- they connected. Protected Entity and Red Feather and Bone are my favourites, if I have to choose. They took me through a roller coaster of emotions for which I was grateful after reading. My favourite quote comes from The Collector (which you can read or listen for free here) but I’ll leave you to guess what it is.

Another one of the best features of his writing is that each story had a believable and necessary ending. Necessary, to me, in that the characters sometimes get what they want and when they don’t, it serves to carry the larger picture along in such a wonderful way, the reader is left satisfied. The ending of the book leaves you wanting more without having a cliffhanger. Story lines are resolved while possibilities for other story lines are masterfully created.

The one downfall of this book for me is the fact that there was not even one Jamaican present. All this duppy talk and not one o my people enter the mix? No sah. Do better, Mr. Older. But I won’t hold this against him too much as I’m sure he will indeed do better with his future books.

I recommend getting your own copy of this book. You’ll be glad you did.

And the best part of all- there will be more! Daniel José Older has written the PREQUEL to Salsa Nocturna called Half Resurrection Blues and it’s available for pre-order now and will be out January 2015 (that’s in just a few months! Eek!)

If nothing else makes you want to buy it, look at this sexy ass cover. JUST LOOK AT IT! Scrumptious!

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I do hope you like it and feel free to leave your thoughts.

Get your copy of Salsa Nocturna: by clicking here or by clicking  here

Pre-order Half Resurrection Blues: by clicking here or by clicking here

 

Until next post!

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Writing: The sixth sense and how to tap into it

It’s 6 am on a Saturday and my muse thought now was the best time to have a conversation.

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I have not written in a while. I go several periods where I don’t write for a while.There are several writers who hold tight to the notion that we must write everyday to be real writers. This Salon article quotes an acclaimed writer saying such. I had several thoughts just from the heading- why is there always this pressure on writers to write now, to write today or to write everyday? My issue is decidedly really with the last one. Some ideas are best put down as soon as possible and sometimes we have deadlines and apparently there is something to the thought that it’s better to put down the garbage words you have now on paper so you can clear the way for the good stuff later. But there is also value in taking breaks, in mulling over before putting words to paper. For some, following a story means moving away from the writing  desk and letting that story lead them to the final destination before documenting the journey.”Write when you’re ready to write”- Daniel José Older does a great job of leading a conversation about the harms of feeling like you have to write everyday. The conversation is Storify-ed here and I think it’s an important one for all writers to see.

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The problem with feeling like you have to write everyday is Read More

tessanne chin the voice

Dear Tessanne Chin… The Voice is not enough

Dearest Tessanne,

I know this may be a trying time to be writing this letter but I come to you earnestly because this situation needs to be turned around as soon as possible if we are to salvage it. I will make this short and simple. You may take my words with as many grains of salt as possible; you may also ignore them completely. But darling Tessanne, winning The Voice was not enough. Read More

Calling all hearts: Help needed for a friend

Hello to my lovely readers. Today, I have an appeal to make to your hearts that requires some appeal to be made to your….pockets. I wouldn’t do this if it wasn’t a worthy and necessary cause.

Yan

My friend Yanique Levy is in America enrolled in a Clinical Psychologist program at Nova Southeastern University and she is doing stellar work academically but she has hit a rock financially and she is in need of assistance to continue on her journey. It took a LOT of work to get her where she is and if she has to drop out, it will be a major setback and heartbreaking outcome after the financial sacrifices made thus far. I have seen firsthand how dedicated she is about Sports Psychology. I assisted her in her work with The Immaculate High School track team and the Waterhouse football team here in Jamaica and the bond she created with the members of those teams along with the growth that took place in their mental and physical performance was enough to have me want to do the same.

I know we’ve all hit hard times and money is tight but every little bit counts. I am asking and Yanique is asking for your help by donating to her Fundly account. The deadline is this Friday, May 16 so I hope we can make some major progress with this by then.

There is more information about Yanique and how to donate once you click the link and I really hope you do.

I’ll place it here as well: https://fundly.com/help-yanique and hope for abundant blessings.

Thank you for reading and especially thank you for donating if you do.

Much love,

Nas.