Remembering Charlie Murphy

I don’t explore interest in comedy through Black Board very much, but I’m an ethusiast of comedy. And it is with deep regret that I announce that legendary comedy writer and stand-up comedian, Charlie Murphy, has passed away.

News officials reported that Charlie Murphy, 57, passed after losing his battle against Leukemia. 

Charlie Murphy is the older brother of Eddie Murphy. But he’s mostly known for his writing, comedic acting, and narration on the infamous Chappelle Show. 

Personally speaking, Charlie Murphy is what many writers and comedians aspire to be. I looked up to him, followed his journey.

Charlie Murphy, thank you for paving the road for us. You will be missed. 

Pocket Full of Ideas, Stopped at Writer’s Block

Writer’s face a great deal of challenges. You’ve read how jobs and bills can get in the way. Sometimes, the worst enemy of an author, is well, the author. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had ideas about a chapter or short story binging around my brain. As soon as I get in front of a computer, I just go blank.

I was psyched about finishing a particular chapter today. All of sudden, I just flat-lined. I was totally lost between one scene and the next. I leaned toward writing a outline, but I didn’t want to ruin the spontaneity. Now there’s the wall, the Writer’s Block. No expenses paid, blocked by the subconscious.

Where should I go from here? I have a few other ideas to explore. I wonder…

Which way should I go?

Can’t Find a Niche for a Blog

I admit, the reason my blog goes weeks without an update is because I have no idea what to post. The initial focus for my WordPress Blog, Black Board, was to talk about my freelance writing career and self-publishing news.

Like any other working adult, I find it difficult to dedicate my time to my blog when there’s so much to do. What takes up most of my time is three social media accounts, two jobs, freelancing, a gaming hobby, and procrastinating.

Now, there’s a blog. The endless possibilities are almost overwhelming. A decision has to be made. For me, that decision was to talk about a self-publishing journey. The challenges of self-publishing are worth documenting.

Looking ahead, I have no clue what the next blog post is going to be. Anything that’s absolutely awesome is placed on the idea shelf for a self-publishing endeavor. So, I guess I playing this blog and niche thing by ear, or in this case, by brainstorm.

What good are FAQs and How-To blog posts? They don’t necessarily teach a person how to manage their blog.

But in the event that someone is searching for answers on what their blog content theme should be, I suppose you could post whatever comes to mind until you find something that sticks. Be sure it’s something you like rather than something that gets a click. You could run into blog that feels more like a chore.

What are your thoughts on blog niche? I’m short on answers and abundant in frustration. Comment if you have insight.

 

Marvel on Netflix: Iron Fist Review

In between writing, freelancing, and gaming, I watch T.V. shows on Netflix. Honestly, I prefer it over cable T.V. especially when there are shows that tickle my superhero fancy. 

For the past few years, Marvel has teamed up with Netflix to bring us heroes and villains of the Marvel universe that may have been forgotten by the casual comic book fan. 

Dare Devil kicked things off. The show followed the story of Matt Murdock, a vigilante to protect Hell’s Kitchen. Next, we had Jessica Jones, a femme fatale looking for redemption for her past mistakes and get revenge against a self righteous mind mutant. Then there was Luke Cage, an superpowered escaped convict who set took on a crime syndicate in Harlem. 

Now we’ve come to Iron Fist. Right out the door, social critics complained that the cast and plot was “white-washed.” 

As a storyteller myself, such surface reviewed assumptions is unfair to creators. I gave Iron Fist a chance leaving my bias until after I watched all 13 episodes.

The character Danny Rand (Finn Jones) is a strong willed, likable, unreliable, and frustrating. His worst flaw is his idealist view of the world. He has this awesome potential yet he just can’t grasp it. I’m sure the writer did that on purpose. But the flaws make him believable.

The plot, of course, didn’t disappoint. Wish it could have been longer. 

The best character on the show is Ward (Tom Pelphrey). He’s a dynamic, support character whose psychological battle is so much greater than Danny’s. How could it not? I won’t spoil it. Just watch the show.

So, my final thoughts about the show: Good. But the hype is not close to Dare Devil. Dare Devil Season 2 set the bar high. 

How can one become a better freelancer?

Trying to find the right words start a blog post is more difficult than fulfilling personal goals in regards to word count. As a freelancer, I found myself in this dilemma. I’ve found ways to convey a message in less words than the intended word count. 

Speaking of freelancing, I’m sure there are tons of freelancers among the WordPress pages. I bet some of them operate through WordPress in addition to sites like Upwork and Fiverr. I, too, engage in opportunities away from WordPress. But it’s never too late to learn new, better methods.

Although I remain confident in my skill set as a writer and editor, the battle in freelancing is actually landing the job. 

So the question of the year: How can one become a better freelancer?

Sure, we all could Google search the wikiHow pages and half-decade old links that gives us part of what makes a good freelancer. But where’s the helpful info? Why does experience have to be the best teacher? 

What sticks the most out of all the tips out there is persistence. Some say, “strike will the iron is hot.” The most effective method I’ve witnessed is keeping submitting proposals and resumes until success.

It’s time I stop leaning on my own understanding. I want to open my eyes and ears to the opinions of others, and learn something different. 

So what do you all think? How can freelancers find their mojo that will eventually allow them to earn a living through a freelance career?

Return of the Resolution

With Christmas over, we’re all getting psyched for that moment, counting the last few seconds until, bang! 2017! Along with celebrations, there are declarations of change. How long they will last is up to whoever has made such a promise.

Those promises are known as New Years’ Resolutions, the promise we all want to follow through with as Father Time ushers us into the new year. However, consistency is more difficult than it seems when we attempt to alter our routines and old habits.

Sure, we all know the malarkey that comes with a resolution, but the fun in its creation and creativity is unparalleled.

Exercise the right to set a goal, yet push for stability. Once that first week passes by, prepare for procrastination. Fight it. Tell it, “Go to hell!”

For me, I have a few items on my list of things to accomplish in 2017.

My personal and somewhat realistic resolutions:

  • Increase persistence of freelance endeavors 
  • Blog more
  • Work on multiple projects at once 
  • Make better investments in regards to self-publishing

I’m certain that one of these will stick more than the next. They’re all great ideas, but they need some substance.

Maybe an alert on a smartphone will help. Or maybe I should just…

We’ll see what happens…

Do Hiring Managers Really Read Resumes?

It’s no secret. Some of us have our degrees with aspirations of entering an industry that we studied for or still studying for. The truth to career life is that you never know what it holds. Life is like a box of Raisinets, you never know which one is a raisin or a small marble of cocoa that missed its target.

And sometimes we miss. Job seekers go through education sifting through the process waiting on the machine to coat us with something scrumptious. We roll past other raisins thinking we’d get there first. Somehow, we get into wrong position and fall right off the periphery, missing the key component that makes us attractive.

So what do we do? We get up, dust off, and get back in the mix hoping to get picked.

Resumes are a lot like that. They start out  dried out and blank waiting patiently for the job seeker to put something delicious on its person. The brainstorm spins a tasty morsel in a bowl of memories, which job seekers drizzle neatly over the page. Voila.

Apply. Submit. Into the box it goes with other resumes wanting to be reviewed. Hopefully they’re taken serious.

Out of the batch, hiring managers select each piece–tasting each one and deciding which Raisinet was the best. But when you eat a Raisinet, do you really measure which one is best? Sadly enough, resumes are treated the same.

Sometimes that resume we spent all week to prepare is consumed without much thought. Does that mean job seekers should stop writing resumes and cover letters? No. It simply means that we have improve our recipe.

That’s why most recommend that resumes be one page–it’s short and sweet, a delicate quickness that’s appreciated and missed almost instantly. If it tastes great, the hiring manager will hum on it savoring it on their taste buds. That desire to savor the taste is the phone call or response email we get after we’ve applied for the job.

So do employers actually read our resumes? Yes. But not all of them considered. Don’t get discouraged. Keep exploring ways to improve.