Monday, April 25, 2011

Updating the Local Wire

I guess I oughta let you what's been going on lately. A month ago, I was at a crossroads and it's time I tell you where God's directed me. Word to T.S. Eliot, April was far from the cruelest month this time around.

For the few who haven't seen or heard, I started writing for Bleacher Report this month to add my takes on the NBA Playoffs. I'll still post a few observations on here but that's where I'm gonna be devoting most of my sports takes.

It hasn't taken long to make an impact. My 3rd published story is close to 3,900 views and counting after making the lead story on the website and the LA Times' Bleacher Report web page. There's plenty of irony there because the Times wasn't hiring when I applied out of college and I dreamed of making the sports page one day.   Forget Charlie Sheen, that's winning folks. 

And to top it off, I've been emailed that my stories have been a success and the site would love to work with me to have a greater profile based on my background and what I submitted so far. Praise God for quick success and favor. 

I got inspired to check them out after seeing one of my Twitter pals (and a fine future journalist) apply for them. I knew the website but I felt like I was against most of their content and overblown lists. Yet when I thought about it more, it's all the more reason to write for them.

First, it's more exposure for me and I know this full well. Second, I get the chance to write solely on a team or topic which is something I wished I could've done at the paper.

Does that mean I'm giving up sports talk at the Gumbo? Nope. But it does solve a dilemma I've had as far as struggling with too much sports talk here and alienating my non-sports audience. And Bleacher Report is only the latest part of my plan to extend myself as a writer. This year, I've still kept up my freelancing with the Daily Breeze while also doing some high school sportswriting for this website called Court Cred. (by the way, that's my first ever video interview - not counting this favor I did for my lady.

I've finally discovered that Blogger keeps track of my stats here. I had to smile that My Black History post on White Heroes is one of my most popular posts and so is my post on LCD Soundsystem's "All My Friends." - two of my favorite pieces of the year. Even better that my rant on the "Free Your Favorite Rapper" trend is also well viewed. 

By adding B/R to the fold, I'm living the No. 1 rule of being a writer. Keep writing. I'm only going to get better from this and my mood. I already have 5 articles up there (5,000 views and counting) and I'm gonna keep writing. My mood has changed and instead of being mostly confused, I have purpose and inspiration again.

My favorite new show of last season is back with a vengeance. Season 2 of Treme started last night and I'm back in the Crescent City seeing how the good folks on the show are dealing with Katrina 14 months later. Knowing what David Simon did on "The Wire" and how each season centered with a different aspect of the main plot, I was happy to see this season apparently focus on the curfews and police officers going rogue along with continuing the main plots.

And how did I not know Melissa Leo was in this. I was wondering where did she come from when I saw "The Fighter". 

It's been rough this spring as I'm struggling to adjust to no "24" for the first time in 9 years. I tried to get used to Law and Order:Los Angeles but it was gone for 3 months and I'm still getting used to the excellent reboot with Alfred Molina as lead detective and Terrence Howard as lead DA (by the way, Skeet Ulrich was a great fit who shouldn't have been taken off). So Treme is gonna uplift me a bit more.

I didn't tell many folks this but I gave up music for Lent. It was by far one of the most challenging things I've done and even when I did it in high school, it didn't feel as extreme as this. I'd have a different song stuck in my head every day and I felt crazy that I couldn't go to my I-pod or Youtube to check it out.

It's a challenge living in silence when my life is surrounded by noise. I listened to more weekend sports talk radio than I ever want to and staring at my iTunes was difficult every day. To make it worse, I had to stay silent mostly during the 1-year anniversary of Guru's passing and missed a chance to see Mos Def for free at USC. I cheated briefly when Nate Dogg passed but it's been mostly silence and getting deeper into my Christian music. 

But I'm glad I did it. I've been getting reacquainted with a few more Gang Starr tracks and rediscovering why Odd Future is the most buzzed about Cali act since The Game.

Next up, starving for 30 hours this weekend for world hunger. We're gonna end this month on a GREAT note. 

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