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Hustle & Flow

No, this is not a review of the 2005 crime drama starring Terrence Howard, Taraji P. Henson and DJ Qualls (if that's why you opened this, sorry to disappoint).

Instead, I thought I'd share what I've been up to, my reading or "research" as I call it and the projects I have in the works. I blame my friend and mentor Shawn Pryor, as he always has multiple things in motion. I don't quite know yet how Shawn manages to pull it off on top of everything else he does, but his hustle is one I am trying to emulate.


So, here's a list of what I've accomplished lately:

  • Submitted a flash fiction story to Ahoy Comics for consideration. I should (hopefully) hear back on its status by the end of July.

  • Hired an artist to draw a 5-panel story, which I will share here on my site once it is complete.

  • Received sketches of characters I created for a 5-page story I wrote. It's part of a larger project, so what I share will be limited to glimpses as my creative team makes progress (and I've got a tease for you below).

Currently I'm working towards my MFA in Creative Writing, and next month I'll be attending my program's Summer Residency. I'm trying to keep things in motion since all personal projects will have to be put on hold until the two-week residency is over. I've got to write a lengthy piece for my Creative Non-Fiction class, and I always struggle to come up with good material for that genre. I'm leaning towards writing about the one time in college I ate so many chicken wings in a contest and later threw up in the restaurant's parking lot. I probably won't share the whole story here, but maybe I'll give a Cliffnotes version one day.


Here's one of the projects I'm working on: I was inspired to write a short action-comedy story after rereading

'Sexcastle' by Kyle Starks. If you haven't read it, it is a must read (actually, you should read everything he

writes). I scripted a 5-page story and teamed up with the awesomely talented Bryce Oquaye to draw

the story. Whenever I collaborate with an artist, I try to give a few character details while allowing the artist the freedom to show their vision and unique style. I only gave Bryce a few details on this character, and what he came up with could not have been more perfect.

Here we have Robbie Redmond: a smug-faced crime boss who enjoys ripping off the good people of Memphis, Tennessee.

Don't get too attached though--he's a bad guy, and bad guys eventually meet their demise at the hands of a hero.


I read comics for two reasons: 1) for entertainment (obviously), and 2) for research. I'm always on the lookout for new comics/graphic novels to read, especially if I am currently writing a story within that same genre.

Blood Force Trauma #3 definitely falls into the entertainment category, and it did not disappoint. I first heard about this series by Jake Smith from a friend who backed issue #2 on Kickstarter, so I backed it too and was able to scoop up issue #1 as well.

It's a fun, futuristic action romp where the main character finds himself thrust into the deadly world of his favorite tv show, and literally has to fight to survive. If you enjoy sci-fi and/or martial arts, give it a read. Looks like Jake has plans for issue #4, so I'm sure you will be able to pickup issues 1-3 when his next Kickstarter launches.

That's it for now. Thanks for stopping by, and be sure to follow me on Twitter for more updates in smaller doses.


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