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Pan-African
Celestial Stories

"Whatever you touch you change. Whatever you change, changes you."

Octavia Butler

World Building Through
Short  Stories & Novels

My older Sister, S. Donella Jones (rest her soul), and I used to walk together to Melrose Library a few blocks away from our Oakland home. The big white stone pillars as you entered, then the heavy, dark wood tables, the high ceilings and the endless rows of books made it our sister sanctuary. Together we read wild fantasies about other worlds. An incredible wordsmith from the time we were small, she was my first reading and writing inspiration. It was all about T. S. Lewis and Robert Frost back then. 

As we both grew, it became about us. Writing, spoken word, and music gave us a way to describe our own experience - and for me it became a way to build the worlds I want to see. 

Reading Octavia Butler, Walter Mosely's fantasy books, Tannenerive Due, Ursula Leguine, Pablo Coehlo, and too many others too name changed my perception of what was possible with my writing journey. It's lead me to an ever-expanding road as a creative that leads to the past before known writing forms, the way out future where new forms of communication have emerged, and deep within the soul where all things are connected and all things are possible. 

"I think it's very important to make films that make people look at what they have forgotten."

Spike Lee

Transforming the World Through Pan-African Screenplays

The Wiz, Mahogany, Sounder, Roots, and others were all films that drew my attention from the page to the screen. These films films, spearheaded by Black casts made me feel that the world was big and broad. In the case of The Wiz, I could feel the pull of other worlds. I was in college when I read Syd Field's Screenplay and made my first attempt at writing a script. 

It was mediocre at best, like most first screenplays, but as I practiced the form, I got better at focusing on action and only including things that were essential to moving the story forward. It's definitely a craft. And I love it. 

If you're in Hollywood, you'll here that the screenplay is only a rough outline. But a really good screenplay is much more than that, it's a blueprint that guides the director, actors, and crew to breath life in one direction over another. It tells interlinking emotional stories, establishes the vivid world in which those stories take place, and gives the actors lots of colorful words and actions to embody. If you're not in Hollywood, and you're a proud independent film creative like me - all the better. The screenplay is your Bible and the set is the sanctuary where you practice your strongly held beliefs.

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