An Ode to the “Good Girl” goes live this Friday (6.1.18) and I just wanted to celebrate and elaborate.
For those who don’t know, I am an aspiring writer living in Philly. I am a certified journalist and not too long ago I decided to start this blog Young Loud Proud, to use as an outlet and express my creativity in writing.
I love poetry and it comes to me naturally. I am most inspired by Maya Angelou (my mom even named me after her- no pressure, right?).
Anyway, one of my favorite quotes from Maya Angelou is: “Love is many things, it’s varied, one things it’s not and can never be, is unsure.”
I put my own spin to it: A girl is many things, one thing she is not, and can never be, is easily defined.
“Good girls” have it tough. Not only to live up to society’s high expectations but to carry the weight of being “good.” What is a “good girl” anyway?
That label doesn’t allow room to be wrong or selfish, disappointed or unsure, sexual or sexy, mischievous, too loud or too quiet; there’s no fair chance in growing into that WOMAN she needs to be.
In my book of poems, this “good girl” is on her journey to finding self. Looking for the meaning of love and learning not to put the burden of loving her on anyone else.
She’s making mistakes and learning from them. She’s been betrayed and has betrayed, love and loss, but instead of dwelling, she’s learning lessons and moving forward.
An Ode to the “Good Girl” is a collection of stories dedicated to all of the risks I’ve ever taken, the second chances I never got, and to all of the things, I thought I couldn’t say out loud.
These words are for all of the girls who cry a lot and laugh out loud (especially at the worst time). For the “good girls” & the ones caught up too.
I’ve never published a book before but it has always been a huge goal of mine to do so independently.
I fought with myself over every detail until I got tired and gave into creativity; not realizing that the perfect version of my book was lost in trying to obtain perfection.
For starters, the name originally was “Seven days til life” then changed to “Blue Cherry”. I came up with the title “Good Girl” right around the time I created “Young Loud Proud” as I became devoted to spreading positivity, focusing on Black excellence and breaking stereotypes.
I thought about a label I’ve been associated with and how I’ve been constantly proving otherwise. It took almost two years to decide on the final structure; my heart (and the right side of my brain) chose the official name: “An Ode to the Good Girl.”
I came to the realization that in order to achieve perfection I needed to stay true to myself and express my art exactly as I wanted to.
Before I officially came up with the title, the structure of my book was just all over the place. Did I want to tell a specific story? Did I want to mix fiction with non-fiction? Do I incorporate my own stories? Maybe. Nah…my life isn’t that exciting.
Or is it?
I already think of myself as a rhyming individual so my story was already very poetic. The first three drafts of this book were not (entirely) in poetry form but it flowed very nicely that with a lot of mind power and creativity I was able to create something that reminds me of some of the books I grew up on.
Imagine Shel Silverstein and Maya Angelou’s love child that was raised by Dr. Seuss and Solange who’s god mommy is Sister Soulja. You may think “Maya is the best future ghostwriter of our generation” or “what in the knock off Shakespearean Tupac do we have here??”
That was absolutely a joke but you might get that feeling when you read through this Ode. I organized a compilation of short stories I’ve written, diary entries, poems, raps, songs, old journals, college notes, all from the past 6 years. I created an Ode to the “good girl” I thought I was, who Society deems me to be; to the girl who let her daddy down.
A lot of this comes from a sad place I was involved with a few people that I put so much hope into that I almost lost myself, but in my sadness, I found comfort in writing. I found myself by challenging myself and facing my fears.
I found a way to shed negativity and out of it came a blessing. I want to encourage the next girl to do the same.
I made a super vision board. I clipped up at least 5 magazines printed out my favorite quotes and created collage on a board that reflected myself (my wants, needs, aspirations, and goals).
The cover reflects the many sides of me rather it be revolutionary or ratchet it’s a mash-up of me and I love it so what better image to use for my cover art?
I asked about three different people to draw a cover for me (previously). I sent them each a poem and offered money if they could put a visual representation to my words.
That was silly because I realized that I am the only one who can do that and I already did (through my artwork).
As I finished up the book, having picked the official title, I was confident on choosing my board as the official cover art. Not only is it unique, it is a clear representation of the words in this book of poems. It forces the reader to really take the time to think about what they’re reading and interpret the meaning on their own.
You can pre-order my book of poems through Amazon (e-book & print).