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Winnifred Jong’s “Tokens on Call” is a Masterclass in Woke Storytelling

You know a series is great when you feel the same or more excitement when watching it a second time around. I had to wait about two years, but Tokens was worth the wait. Winnifred Jong’s Tokens is a masterclass in woke storytelling.

As a viewer, Tokens was a fun ride with lots of surprises and instantly lovable characters. Jong’s storytelling is educational without feeling like an afterschool special.

As a screenwriter, I was confronted with all the tired tropes that I’d picked up and unintentionally repeating in my work. Rewatching the series was a great study in how to flip the script on race and gender issues without being heavy-handed or preachy.

In the eight 5-minute episodes were featured multiple storylines that came together for a fresh and fun viewing experience. I wish there were more Bettys (Shelley Thompson) in the casting world.

After watching the series, I daydreamed about how much more exciting the storytelling world would be if there were more diversity in gender, rac…

Home Comings and Goings - Onicia Update - July 2019

What it do Scooby Doo?!
I visited St. Maarten for the first time in five years. The roommates and I had a wonderful time at the Azure hotel. I really missed St. Maarten. I don't know when I'll return, but I hope to have another extended stay soon. BTW, shout out to my homie Ronald for fixing my rental situation.
Big news: I sold some greeting cards to American Greetings. See details below.
When we last spoke, I asked what I should focus on next. More than half of you who responded would like Maya Wagner and me to post scenes from Counting on Kendra
I was also told to do whatever inspires me. I'll try my best to have something to show you before the end of September.
That's all I gotta say today. Got something I should see or someone I should collaborate with? Email me or shout at me on Twitter. What I've been doing instead of writing*Trying to write a review for Mia McCullough's web series The Haven. You should watch it.Trying to write a review for Winnifred …

Help Me Decide My Next Project - Onicia Update - May 2019

Hello, people of Townsville!
April showers were supposed to bring May flowers but here in Chicago, it seemed we got more showers upon showers. Ain't that a trick? I've been doing all the things but I want to know what should I focus on next?
I'm taking a holistic cycle awareness class by Maya Moon Cycle. The free online class is every Monday in June. Email Maya at maya.moon.cycle [at] gmail [dot] com> to register. The roommate and I had a few fertility consultations with her. Maya is very smart and compassionate.
This month I was hard at work notwriting new entries for Just Being Funny. Why? Well, I don't want to just give you witty word vomit. I want to share stories that will make you think. Are you interested in a Caribbean story podcast? I have friends who write words. (BTW, I'm very flattered by all the nice things Candice Lola said. #GetChuABlackWomanFriend)
I reviewed the second edit of my episode of Pre-Existing. Dudes, David and Lissette are doing amaz…

Holistic Cycle Awareness Class starting on the NEW MOON

Not related to comedy or storytelling BUT THIS IS MY BLOG AND I SUPPORT ALL MY FRIENDS!!!

(The all caps made me laugh.)

Hi friends!


I’m doing a FREE class series for the next 4 Mondays starting on the New Moon:

Holistic Cycle Awareness: Journey through the Menstrual / Fertility Cycle in 4 Phases



 Mondays, June 3, 10, 17, 24

 5:30 - 7 PM PST / 7:30 - 9PM CST  /  8:30 - 10PM EST


Each class will go through a layer of anatomy and physiology to help understand and connect to what’s happening each day of the month (or however long a cycle happens to be).

Then we’ll go deeper into each phase of the cycle: how it might look and feel, the energetics, symbolic, and emotional aspects.

Some of you may have taken a cycle awareness class with me before, but this will be a new format, more space for questions and sharing, and we’ll be leaning in to the moon cycle phases as a ritual for all of us to collectively get more in tuned with the fertility/menstrual cycle.

Each time I go through cycle anatomy and phys…

Stories About Stories - Onicia Update - April 2019

I'm alive and writing. Since my last letter, I've been diligently collecting stories about stories. Confused? Let me explain.
Writing is more than the time spent actively stringing words together. Ideas are planted and explored during seemingly mundane activities within our daily lives; waiting at the bus stop, washing dishes, or even while zoning out during a sermon.
I started drafting a "Hey Onicia" about my story journey, the process of taking a project from idea to writing the first sentences of the first draft. I abandoned finishing that article because I don't want to block my creative flow by pausing to analyze the process when I'm knee deep in it. I would, but I've been dealing with tendonitis in both hands and therefore have to be intentional about how I use my hands. 
Shoveling mounds of ice cream? YES! Writing a newsletter? NAH! Shouting into the Twitter void? NAH! Writing letters to friends? YES!
So yeah,  tendonitis and other life changes ar…

Balancing Quality and Quantity - Onicia Updates - January 2019

Welcome to 2019. I'm finally getting around to publishing this newsletter on the last day of January; talk about cutting it close. I'm slooowly coming to terms with the idea that 2019 should be about quality, not quantity.

In a world where everyone seems to be pumping out content every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, not following suit feel like I'm not a serious artist. The truth is, I don't like noise. I don't like popping up in your inbox just because it's a new month. I don't like having a noisy Twitter crammed with self-promotional tweets. Yes, we need to let the world know that our proverbial tree fell in the woods but it's also cool to be quiet. There's a season for everything and this is my season to work on some larger projects.

That said, don't count on having monthly updates this year. Do count on me to support your creative ventures. Holla at me if you want to collaborate. Holla at me if you need a retweet and possibly a donation for…

He called dibs on my spit - Just Being Funny

We were originally hyped to see a real Mexican bullfight. I was ready for some Loony Toons level shenanigans. Twenty minutes in, I decided to stop fronting and wear my glasses. My life instantly upgraded to HD vision and I had questions. Who cosigned using the red cloth to hide the stick from the bull? More importantly, who swapped the stick for a big ole sword? Where is PETA? How is everyone so chill watching murder?

Roberto, the Liberace-looking bullfighter -- nay, bully -- was out there stabbing Toro whose painful cries we could hear. After watching this senseless torture for over two hours, I was convicted to honor my recently slain friends. I would carry Ferdinand’s spirit with me by eating him. 

What? Look, everyone wants their death to have a purpose. If your homeboy was senselessly slain wouldn’t you eat him? No? Well, obviously y'all ain't friends.

While I was reverently pourin’ one out for my homie -- by that I mean, drizzling Ferdinand with authentic Mexican steak sauc…

Alive, Making Stuff, and Ready to Collaborate - Onicia Updates - December 2018

This month's newsletter is inspired by my friend and fellow creative living in Chicago, Erisa Apantaku (@erisa_apantaku). Erisa produces content for some of my fave Chicago media organizations including City Bureau and South Side Weekly.

As we break for the holiday season and prepare our resolutions for 2019, I want you to know that I'm alive, making stuff, and ready to collaborate. Holla at me or connect me with anyone interested in producing a play (especially in the Caribbean), publishing short fiction or personal essays, producing video or audio content. Next year, I want to be all about sharing stories. I don't plan on doing as many live storytelling or comedy events, but I'm open to creating stuff for the internet.

Know any business owners needing a website upgrade, blog content, newsletters, or press releases? Here's a link to my portfolio and list of services.

Well, that's all I gotta say for 2018. See you in the new year and hopefully we'll create…

Don’t make me get loud on this train! - Just Being Funny

I have a love-hate relationship with public transportation. As rush hours go, I resigned to being just another sardine the human-sized can.

The warning sign reads: don’t lean against the door. The stick figure person's limbs flail precariously. What do you think is worse, falling out while the L is underground and potentially being crushed and zapped or falling from an open, but elevated platform and risking a spinal injury. Freak accidents happen every day; you need to have a plan.

My butt was already pressed against the divider near someone’s face when some rando slid their hand in to join the tuna train. Dude, the conductor said there’s another train following immediately. There’s no need to force yourself. (Side eye. Like duh, another one is behind us. That’s how train tracks work, Mrs. Conductor!) 

I had to reposition from butt in face to face in a stranger’s neck. What’s worse, trying not to breathe like a creepy stalker into someone’s hair or containing potential farts?

Like I …