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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 …

Nothing to Say - Onicia Updates - November 2018

Sooo, I find myself in a bit of a predicament. I want to send 12 newsletters this year but this month I have nothing to say. I thought about doing a year in review or thankful edition but I kinda don't have the energy to put together a 'meaty' letter. So what can I do to keep the train going and provide value? Yuck. 'Provide value'.
I could talk about my plans for 2019 but I've found it better and less stressful to share things that have come into fruition vs. prematurely telling you about projects. I thought about dropping links to all the media I consumed this month but meh, I'm tired. So tired I don't even want to proofread this letter.
Confession: I haven't washed my hair in over 5 weeks. I'm enjoying one of the best flat irons of my life. Sigh. I haven't been up to much. Just bumming it at home, listening to podcast and audio books, something something. Let's keep this short because that's all I gotta say today. Got something I…

Bathroom Experiments - Just Being Funny

In case you missed the memo, I am neurotic and obsessive. I keep score of everything. It’s why I remember with such clarity that the Mermaid police snubbed on my birthday way back in kindergarten. 

My former roommate, Rebecca’s excessive use of toilet paper pushed me to conduct a series of bathroom experiments. I wasn’t sure what I was going to do with that information. Hopefully, finding answers to these personal hygiene questions would help me sleep better at night. There’s something comforting about quantifiable evidence should clapback be needed.

Experiment 1: over and under
I noticed the toilet paper roll was facing under (behind the roll). Sometimes you’re in a rush and put it the wrong way. I get it. So, I adjusted it for her. They next morning, the roll was back in its original position. Was she intentionally being a bathroom psycho? I check her toothpaste tube. The results were inconclusive. I flipped the roll again just in case I imagined it. 

When the TP returned to the under p…

Unashamed Fangirl - Onicia Updates - October 2018

Newsletters don't always have to be exclusively about me. October is dedicated to Shouting out friends and their new projects. 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.
Fangirlin' Just a few of my friends who create dope ish.

Spicy Chicken Sandwich - Monthly Comedy Show
October 18 (and Every third Thursday) at Under the Gun Theater at 8 PM. Tickets: $5
A very weird, very cool monthly comedy/variety show featuring stand-up, sketches, characters, multimedia presentations, and more! Every show features a new spicy chicken from a local restaurant, for no reason at all. Produced by Robert Flanagan, Chad Weaver, Lucia Whalen, Lily Schulder, and Lyn-Z Harney.

Men who break their own hearts (Candice Lola)
Excuse me, kind miss, but may I lean on you for the payment of my company on your walk?
And because she was taught to be gracious, she allowed it. They walked along the path, making small talk a…

Real life Bed Intruder - Just Being Funny

It’s the Sunday night after Thanksgiving. I was in my room sleeping when around 5 am I hear my roommate walk from her bedroom to the bathroom or so I thought. My door was ajar, and I couldn’t fall back asleep until I was sure she was back in her room. I never hear her return to her room. I need to sleep; I can’t stay up monitoring her activity.

Suddenly, I hear what can only be described as full-grown grizzly bear mixed with Chubakka snoring. Rebecca, you can't sleep with your door open if you plan to snore like a wildebeest. 

A half hour later I hear some stomping. I get that it might be prayer o’clock but it can also be quite an hour? 

THUD! Things crash and tumble. That was the last straw; I needed to confront her. But I can’t go out there rolling my neck; she could be hurt. She’s not in the living room. I see a glow coming from the kitchen. 

Spotted in the far left corner: Bobby the burglar passed out with the fridge wide open and his belongings sprawled all over the floor. 

The ro…

Back to Basics - Onicia Updates - September 2018

Y'all, I feel like I've been living in the library. I currently have five books related writing and the business of being an artists and businessperson. I also purchased two e-books about independent publishing from one of my favorite authors/entrepreneurs, Sylvia Hubbard.

What's up with all the reading? Well, I've been feeling a bit stagnant and think it's time to invest in my personal and professional growth. Yeah. Yeah. I know it's tough to think of me -- someone who is continuously producing -- as stagnant. I once joked to my good friend and former editor at The Daily Herald,  Lisa Davis-Burnett that I have "employment ADHD". Once I understand how something works and figure out a way to replicate output, I get bored and want to move on. So, I've been hitting the library real hard hoping to breathe new life in my artistic ventures.

Outside of work, I've also been thinking about how I can be a better person. I kind of fell off on some of …