The Unwritten Commandments of Writing

I love writing because there are no limits to what I can create. If i can dream it, I can write it. For me, there are few joys greater than when I have an outrageous idea for a story or character or setting or all the above and then write it out on the page; the feeling is priceless.

The only limits are the ones I create for myself.

But I have discovered that there are rules to writing. I call them the unwritten commandments of writing. These commandments aren’t talked about often. Or maybe I should say I don’t hear them as often as I think we should. I wish someone would have shared these commandments with me when I was a young writer. Maybe it would have changed how I thought about the craft of writing.

The unwritten commandments of writing are simple: WRITE and FINISH.

1. Write

The first commandment that all writers must follow is that you must write.

As a writer, if you are to be called a writer, you should write. No ifs, ands, or buts. In basketball there is a saying: “Shooters gonna shoot”. Well, I would like commandeer this concept and apply it to the craft of writing. “Writers gonna write.”

Writing, for writers, is everything. It is the air we breathe, the sun on our faces, and the nourishment we need for our souls. Writers need writing to live. It is how we stay sharp; it is how we improve our craft. Writing is how contribute to society. Writing is all, for us.

“writers gonna write.”

2. Finish
The second commandment is to finish.

When I was a child I can’t tell you how many stories I started; they are innumerable. When I said I was writing, I meant I was starting a new story, only to hate the idea so that I could start a new one.

I wish someone had instilled in me this commandment. to be a writer, you not only start writing, but you also finish writing. because as we learned in grade school, writing is rewriting; if you never finish, how can you rewrite?

finish what you start!

I am committed to writing and finishing. Maybe I am being too rigid. But for me, as I have incorporated these mantras into my thinking it has helped me to adjust my thinking when it comes to writing and how I can continue to improve my craft.

Let me know in the comments!!!!

Do you have any written or unwritten commandments of writing?

 

***

I appreciate you taking a few moments to read this.

I wanted to briefly share with you something that I have written and finished.

my first collection of poetry entitled

SHATTERED THEORIES OF I 

is set to be released September 1, 2017.

I would love for you to be one of the first 

to pre order your signed copy here.

Thank you so much!  Your support means

everything to me!!  

I LOVE YOU!  BE WELL!

 

 

 

 

all to find me

all to find me

    i search labyrinths

  of emotion

for any sign

  of Life.

 

all to find me

    i wander a maze

  of uncertainties

to rediscover the soul

  i lost.

 

all to find me

    i brave enemies

  new and old;

familiar adversaries

  that feel like home.

 

all to find me

    i scrape at

  walls of fear,

dark as hate

  — until i remember;

 

all i need to find me

    is stillness

  is silence

is Love

 — but until i remember;

 

i risk everything;

 

ALL TO FIND ME.

 

 

 

 

Thank you for spending some time with me and my words.  

My prayer is that it inspires you in some way.

I wanted to let you know that my first poetry collection, entitled

SHATTERED THEORIES OF I,

is scheduled to be released

on September 1,2017.

I am so excited about this and

I would be honored if you would consider

pre-ordering your signed copy!

Here is the Pre Order link

Thank you so much

for your support!

It means the world to me!

Love and Blessings!

Wonder Woman Is OUR Hero

Wonder Woman Is OUR Hero

Wonder Woman was an amazing movie. I saw it on opening night and I plan to see it again while it’s still in theaters.

Granted, I am a massive DC Comics fan so I admit there may be some bias on my part. However, I contend that this movie is groundbreaking. A statement was made by DC with this film and I laud them for their courage.

I read and write speculative fiction for various reasons. One reason is to explore the concept of heroism.

What makes a hero?

How should heroes behave?

What qualities do heroes possess?

While watching the movie I was struck by how Wonder Woman, in this film, answers these questions.

I won’t give anything away about the movie because I hope everyone goes and sees it. But I want to talk about this movie made me feel.

It made me want to be a hero. It made me want to do what no one else was willing to do. The movie — the character of Wonder Woman was inspiring because there were moments when she would do what everyone else told her not to do — what everyone else was afraid of doing.

 

At first it sounds cliche. But it was powerful to see a woman doing it. Because women do this everyday, in every area of life. Women are holding out homes, communities, and societies together when no one else will. When everyone is talking about how hard it is to do that and how hard it is to do this, women are doing it.

Leadership is about going first and pioneering; but it’s just as much about inspiring other people come with you. It’s reminding people of their power and capability. Wonder Woman does that. She inspires the people around her to see their value and to bring that to the table.

It can be the people we overlook that have the most power. We live in a society where women are overlooked — and have been for as long as history remember. But history also remembers the numbers of women who have changed the course of the world with their accomplishments. (It makes me wonder about women that history may be hiding from us.) The strongest, most capable person in this movie was Wonder Woman. But no one was aware, initially, because no one could see her — no one chose to see her.

And as strong as she was, I was struck with another idea: We can all be heroes regardless of out religion, gender, race, etc. Because heroism isn’t about external power; heroism is about internal fortitude. Heroism is about the decisions we make because of the principles of integrity within all of us.

These are I only a few of my thoughts regarding Wonder Woman and how excellent this movie is. Please go and see it. Let me know what you think.

Wonder Woman isn’t just a woman’s hero, she is our hero.

 

 

Some thoughts on The NBA Finals and Racism

Some thoughts on The NBA Finals and Racism

I am not thinking about the NBA Finals. Game 1 starts tonight between the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Golden State Warriors. Third year in a row and the biggest names in professional basketball on the brightest stage.

It promises to be epic.

And I feel the need to talk about racism.

About a day or so ago, Lebron James’ Los Angeles home was vandalized. They sprayed the word NIGGER on his property. I was going to say the N-word; however, I believe we need to feel it. We need to stop shying away from the realities in front of us.

Only through acceptance can we reshape our reality into what we want.

Lebron james is arguably the most recognizable athlete in the United States, if not on this whole fuckin’ planet. He is friends with presidents, CEOs, celebrities, etc. Royalty make special trips to see this man play basketball. Lebron is a budding philanthropist and businessman that is in the process of building an empire of which I am not sure anyone has seen before. He is known as the King; he is hailed as the savior of, not only the Cleveland Cavaliers, but the city as a whole.

No one is exempt.

Lebron James is not exempt.

His family is not exempt.

They have been victimized by the ills that have plagued this country since its inception. I said I wanted to talk about racism but I don’t think that’s our problem — I used to.

The problem is hate.

Here is the thing about hate: Hate doesn’t care what color your skin is. Hate doesn’t care how much money you make, who you know, or where you came from. Hate will always find something about you to hate. Fuck reason and logic. It doesn’t have to make sense; it will do what it does.

Hate is good at being hate.

…and so the saga continues.

The conversations ensue. Some are angry and some aren’t angry enough. And no one understands. Sure we understand our own perspectives but the other side (we still think there is an other side) remains obscure.
So I am done talking. I want to communicate. Talking is about me; communicating is about us — it is about WE.

Can we communicate our respective agony with one another in a way we understand each other? Can I hear the dialect of your heart over the words of your speech?

Racism is real; race is an illusion. They both are inventions of hate. And the only way we win is through Love, Compassion, and Forgiveness. We will never win as long as it’s us against them — as long as it’s us against them, we have already lost.

To The King:

Thank you, sir.

Thank you for your sacrifice. Thank you allowing yourself to be the catalyst by which we can continue to have healthy conversation. It cannot be easy to be in that position. The possibility of your family being in danger of becoming victims of this hate.

I pray wholeness, light and balance on you and your family. I pray outrageous blessings and unconditional love on you and yours.

Good luck tonight and for the rest of the Finals. I am going for the Warriors but I never have been perfect. It is what it is, right?

Love you, Brother.

The Voices

Today I envisioned myself performing on a stage.

It was a stadium, sold out, packed with screaming people. The people were screaming for me — not just me; they were screaming for my art. They were screaming for the pieces of music and poetry that I wrote. They were lost in the pure ecstasy of experiencing my words — live.

It was glorious. I wanted that. I still want that.

And then the voices began.

They never scream; they always whisper. I suspect it is because they know it would be too easy reject. Sudden movements and loud noises cause our fight or flight reflexes to engage. The voices are intelligent enough to know that I have to believe they are my friends in order for me to listen to them.

So they whisper sweet nothings into my soul. Sweet nothings that are meant to bind my wings. They make me believe that flying is impossible when I was made for the sky.

“Impossible.”

“You are too old.”

You are too ugly.”

“You aren’t talented enough.”

“There are other who are better than you.”

“Who will pay to see you.”

The voices say this; they ask me that.

Anything can be used to disqualify me from relishing in the idea of what I want to be — what I could be. It is all under the guise of being realistic. The voices are trying to protect me.

And the voices bring feelings.

You know the feelings you get in your stomach the moment you visualize yourself doing something amazing?

The vision begins to feel scary; it begins to feel too big for me. Then I ask myself am I worthy of this dream? I do not know. I do not know if I am willing to do what it takes to discover the answer. And where I am now feels better than where I want to be because where i am now is secure.

I am protected.

But there is a blurry line between protection and hinderance. In protecting myself, I could be stifling myself from blossoming into my full potential.

I can either be great or I can be safe; I am not sure I can have both.

A couple months back I posted a video on Facebook. It was J.Cole performing. It was an amazing moment because he stopped rapping his lyrics and the audience performed his whole song. They were performing for him.

It was inspiring.

I captioned it by saying, “I can’t even imagine how this feels.”

And a friend of mine commented, “Yes, you can.”

She was right.

I can imagine my greatness but I don’t believe it’s possible — I don’t believe in myself.

And it’s time for that to change.

Full Circle

When I was a freshman in college I knew all I wanted todo was write. I had already decided that basketball wasn’t what I wanted and that writing was going to fulfill me. (That is another story for another day.)
I had an amazing english teacher who saw my passion for reading and writing. She took me under her wing; she gave me extra assignments and weekly meetings outside of our scheduled class times. The extra work didn’t feel like work; it felt like fun.
One day she said, “Ro, you are a great writer. What do you want to do in life?”
I responded with what I knew. “I want to be a writer.”
She said, “Well what are you going to get your degree in?”
I said, “Creative writing.”
Her response would break me.
She said, “Oh no! You can’t do that. You will never make any money with that degree.”
I don’t remember her name anymore and I barely even remember what she looks like. I know she meant me no harm, but if I knew then what I know now I would have never let that derail me.
I am a creative writer. I am in a place where I am embracing it. I am allowing myself to be comfortable knowing that this is what I love to do, whether anyone ever reads my work or not, I feel comfortable knowing this is my place — this is home for me.
But that moment derailed me. It took me away from my focus. I lost my way. My motivation for being in school was drained, and eventually, I stopped going.
I hadn’t learned how to trust myself. I was ignoring my own instincts; my internal compass was telling me where I needed to be. Life is beautiful in how it will bring you to where you are meant to be — where you want to be — even after you have ignored it before. 
There are different reasons as to why we ignore what we want. Sometimes we feel like they are unacceptable or maybe we think we can’t be successful or make money doing it. We can lie to ourselves and try and fill the hole with other things. But sooner or later, we have to be honest with ourselves about what it is that we truly love. And then we have a choice. Either we follow that love or we continue to pretend. 
Alexi Panos, motivational speaker and life coach, asks the question, “What is your highest excitement?” 
My highest excitement is, and for as long as I can remember, has been writing. And when we find that place, there aren’t many feelings that quite compare to it. 
But there is a cost. Following your highest excitement comes with a sacrifice. Sometimes it means that you have to reject societies idea if what you should be and begin creating your own vision for your life. It can be scary and uncertain, but what you gain from the process is priceless.
I can’t help but think if I had chosen earlier to commit to writing where I would. But I am grateful for the path I have taken and I am grateful for where I am now. I feel like I am coming full circle. 
As they say, “All roads lead home.”

Empty

this heart of mine is filled with holes

who knew carrying so much

emptiness could be so heavy

so consuming

but the emptiness is here

i would show it to you

but the only ones who see

are the only ones who desire

and the only ones who desire

are the only ones who volunteer

they look when i ask them

they look when i don’t ask them

they choose

they choose love

they choose me

and here i am

still

riddled with love-shaped craters the size of galaxies

toting burdens the size of celestial bodies

striving to plug these holes with

anger

anxiety

envy

impatience

i wear these on my being like a modern day Atlas

suddenly i see

these replacements are empty as i am

products of false evidence appearing to be reality

but now the choice is mine

either i choose to see or  i remain blind

either i choose life or i choose to die

either i choose love or i choose to be afraid

but one thing for sure

in order to choose love for myself and others

i must choose me

because

I was never empty

after all

I am LOVE

***

loving others

is impossible

without first choosing

to love ourselves.

to love ourselves

is to love others;

to love others

is to love ourselves.

to love

is

to love

everything.

choose love.


 

 

These Words

will they revere these words as relics?  

will they say God wrote them?

will they be recited, said to be unaltered?  

will they change my words to be what they want?  

will they use my words to control — to manipulate populations?

to enforce crooked morality?  religious devotion?  divine mandates?

will they violate my intentions and substitute their own?  

once these words leave my heart and bloom in your mind

they are no longer mine.  They are yours, too.

how you use them — for poison or elixir — is up to you.  

i am a man frail as feathers; blind as darkness.

i share my ideas.  My experiences. My thoughts.  

pieces to a mural; moments in Eternity.   

these words, unwhole and Holy; tainted and Pure.

do you see God in them? do you see Your Self in them?

do you hear Devils in the syllables? do you hear Sin in my verbs?

 

ro lamb

Letter to The Chef

Letter to The Chef

(Originally Posted On OCT 25, 2016) 

Steph,

You had two amazing seasons.  Both saw you named Most Valuable player of the NBA and crowned world champion along with your Golden State Warriors; and the other just MVP.

Early in the season there was talks that this could be the greatest season ever for an individual.  You won 73 out of your 82 games beating the record set by the 95-96 Chicago Bulls; you won the scoring title; you were named MVP again as I mentioned already.  The NBA was yours.

All you needed was the championship.

But you lost.

We could argue that Draymond lost it for you because of his attitude.  You were up 3-1 with a chance to close LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers out for your second straight championship — but Draymond gets suspended.  Or we could talk about the injuries you may have had, which may have contributed to why you didn’t look like yourself throughout the playoffs including game 7 of the of the finals.

But I don’t want to talk about that because none of that matters.

Part of being great is being great when you have every reason not to be.

I am a fan.  I enjoy watching you and your team play.  But unlike some of your other fans I am not willing to make excuses for why you didn’t show up in game 7.  I am not willing to make excuses on how you blew a 3-1 lead in the NBA Finals.  Being great means when you have excuses for why you can’t do something, you find a way and pull off the impossible — the improbable.

So you get no excuses from me.  You choked.

But I still believe in you.  I am still a fan.  And that is why I won’t give you a pass.  If I say I believe in you I think it’s only right that I am honest about what I see.  Because we only get stronger when we accept our shortcomings and plan to improve.

I believe that you have an opportunity to show the world how you are built.  Your past two seasons have been sensational and some of us are wondering, “Can he get any better?” The answer to that question is “yes”.  That is the beauty in losing.  That is what failure does for us.  It highlights the areas where we get better.  It is humbling and can be embarrassing, especially for someone like yourself who has failed on such a public stage.

You are learning on a public stage.  You are getting better and growing in front of our eyes.

In my mind, your process to greatness begins now. And I am excited to see how you respond this season.  The world is still watching.  The question is:  what will we see?

I believe that you are primed to establish yourself, not only as one of the greatest shooters to ever play (Some of your haters think all you do is shoot.  And any who say that, don’t know basketball), but as one of the greatest basketball players to ever step foot on an NBA court.  I believe you can do it.  But only time will tell.

Blessings to you and your family,

Ro Lamb

P.S.  I will always regret seeing you in Oklahoma and not saying anything because you were talking to someone.  Next time I’m going to say something.