Category Archives: Blogging 101

Writer-vation: A Writer’s Manifesto

So I think Sunday’s are going to continue to be wordless. I’ve been trying to write something of substance for the last few hours now and guess what?! I. Gots. Nada!!! Buuuuuut I refuse to “skip” a day of posting. I’ve been doing to well the last couple of weeks and it would be such a waste of effort if I skipped today’s post.

So with that said, I found the below graphic on Pinterest a few moments ago. Well I take that back. I saw it a few days ago but I don’t think I posted it to my Writing 101 board. In reading over it today, I think it’s perfect for a Writer-vation piece.

I hope it’s helpful!!


Thanks for reading…

The Southern Yankee

I. Am. Not. Crazy. Or Am I?

Design and pagination is a passion of mine. By passion, I actually mean an obsession. Lemme explain…

When most people look at the newspaper, they don’t look how the articles are laid out. They don’t notice the huge amounts of white space in the lower left corner that could have easily been filled by changing the size and/or direction of an article or by inserting a business card size advertisement. Most people don’t look at the headlines and count the number of character or let the fact that the color pictures look out of focus. And don’t get me started on magazines.

My non-creative friends get mad at me because I’m a bit of a writing/design nazi. I can’t help myself. My journalism professors at Baylor and my art/yearbook advisor from high school drilled the concepts of smooth flow and perfection into my design/pagination/writing mind. I synonymously equate all bad design and pagination to horrible writing, bad marketing and ineffective advertising. Hence, the reason why I have changed my blog theme more than a hoe changing his or her drawers between fucks. LOL I know that’s a horrible analogy

When I joined the BlogHer NaBloPoMo blog roll yesterday, I immediately started rethinking grand scheme of my blog. Was it visually appealing? Can visitors navigate easily between my posts? Do the titles of the widgets make since? Is the size of the blog title and tag line not too big or too small? How does my blog appear to those reading on their iDevices? All these questions had me CrAzY the entire afternoon, on my way to pick up boo and throughout he night!

I. Must. Be. Owt. My. Damn. Mind! Right?

Of course I am. There is no other excuse for the tendency to have extreme obsessive compulsive behavior when thinking about design/pagination. lol as if i’m some sort of psychologist. just call me Dr. S. Yankee

But am I wrong for wanting to produce a presentable and polished body of work? I mean, okay so I DO make writing mistakes all the time. And my sister has to send me IMs saying um did you mean this? and what about that? and consider rewording to say this this and that! you know i love you guh! But that’s different because I’ve never been able to edit my own work. I’m getting better about self editing but I know when I write my book my sister will HAVE to be my editor. i will NOT take no for an answer sis!

Okay now I’m rambling and not making any sense!

My point is in this quest to boost readership, promote my blog and become a better writer, I ask that you guys be patient with me. I’m extremely anal retentive about the design of my blog because I want something that’ll reflect the words I write and my personality. The last theme did that but it wasn’t as easy to navigate around as I would have liked it to be. But I’m learning and at some point I will be to present a suitable to me blog theme.

in the meantime, thank you soooooo very much for reading…

The Southern Yankee

Writer-Vation: #NaBloPoMo

So today, I joined the BlogHer #NaBloPoMo blogroll. The only premise of this is to blog everyday. Oh you guys thought it was going to be something arduous and stressful? Nope not in the least bit. The only hard aspect about this daily blogging challenge is ya girl getting up the ganas to post everyday. But I’m determined to accomplish this feat because it’ll bring more readers to my little corner of the blogosphere.

But uhhhh did I mention that I’m late to start? No!? Yeah… well… If you know me my favorite saying is better late than never at all. No I don’t always operate on CPT. I really try to be punctual at all times but see what had happened was…. Not believing me are you guys? I didn’t think so. It was worth a try tho! o_O

Hey looooooooooook changing the subject my blog has already been added to the blogroll. I am #1360.


And be proud of me. With the two posts I published this morning, Chapter VII of The Chronicles of Xavier LD Monroe and Rock Da Vote!!  plus this Writer-Vation which i promise i’ll get to the point of in a few short moments I will have published THREE posts today! THREE!! MEEEEEE!! It’s the little things that excite me about my blog and writing accomplishments.


So today’s Writer-Vation is about taking a chance on yourself and your writing.

If you change your mind, I’m the first in line
Honey I’m still free
Take a chance on me
If you need me, let me know, gonna be around
If you’ve got no place to go, if you’re feeling down
If you’re all alone when the pretty birds have flown
Honey I’m still free
Take a chance on me
Gonna do my very best and it ain’t no lie
If you put me to the test, if you let me try

Writing is more than a skill I have possessed since I could fully comprehend the many MANY facets and concepts of writing. Writing is more than just something I’m good at or a nazi with when my friends and family ask me to critique their writing samples for school and/or employment.

It’s how I express myself.

It’s how I convey my inner most darkest emotions and thoughts without having to talk to a real live person.

I use this very beautiful mode of communication to keep me sane.

To prevent me from doing something stupid.

To ensure I actually think before I speak or in this case type.

But unfortunately, I’ve never had a lot of confidence in my writing. I troll my WordPress Dashboard to see if anyone has stumbled upon my blog. I aimlessly click refresh five or six or maybe a hundred times to see if anyone has left a comment on one of my posts. It’s like I need some sort of validation in order for me to actually believe I’m actually a good writer.

Friends and family tell me that I’m a good writer but they are bias because they love me. Don’t get me wrong I know they would tell me um yo.. you need to try something else. like yesterday! And I love them for their brutal tough love honesty. But there is something about a complete stranger or a fellow writer telling me hey, you know what you wrote really got me to thinking… 

I suppose that is why I joined the BlogHer #NaBloPoMo challenge. To put myself out there. To expose a whole new world literally to all thangs that is my SouthernYankee style.

Plus, I’ll be treinta y seis años next month. Ejole! I’m not getting any younger and it’s about time I started doing what I should have when I was twenty-something. Not sure exactly what all that entails but I hope you guys will come along for the ride. It should be interesting.

As always… Thanks for reading…


The Southern Yankee

Writer-Vation: The Words Escape Me

I haven’t wanted to write much lately.

I just haven’t been in the “mood” to write. Call it minor writer’s block or a lapse in complete brain function. Either which way the words have been escaping me and I hope they come back soon. It’s sorta weird not having anything to say since I usually have more than enough to say. Almost to the point where I’m thinking “geez guh! Sh-ut-u-p already!!!” Yeah I’m that person but only with people I know well and know me well.

Lately tho, i want nothing more than to be able to whip something out lol no pun intended… Well maybe =p and go about my business. It’s not like I’m super busy or that I have not posted anything in a long time.  

shameless plug: please go read The Chronicles of Xavier LD Monroe: Chapter V

The college football season is almost over well that’s if all the top players lose between now and December 31st which means work will be slightly slower than it is presently. Which makes it more possible for me to write, right?! Yeah we shall see about that folks.


Okay so what exactly is the point to this already discombobulated Writer-Vation? I’m not completely sure which I suppose that’s okay. There has to be a point in every writer’s lifetime where he or she writes mindless babble just to make the day go by.

Does every creative person always create with an intense purpose? Is that even possible? Yes at some point I would love to influence social change but i have to be honest with myself and realize that there are more than enough writers in the blogosphere trying to do the same thing.

Granted no two writers are the same. And no two writers have the same ideas at the exact same time. Well I take that back. At some point, I think we all have that ah ha moment and think “what if I wrote about _______________________?” (insert brilliant idea here)

Yet… Here I am sitting at the dealer in between two other Apple nuts and I still gots absolutely nada coherent, logical or intelligent to write about. Please tell me this period of absolute nonsense goes away and I’ll be writing by next week.

Please feel free to leave words of encouragement in the comments below.

Thanks for reading…

The Southern Yankee

Writer-vation: Ole to Hip Hop


Notorious B.I.G.


Beastie Boys

Missy “Misdemeanor” Elliott

Queen Latifah

MC Lyte


Doug E Fresh



Bun B

Black Eyed Peas

Busta Rhymes

Salt N Pepa


Mos Def



When I was younger, I used to sit in my room and record songs off the radio so I could have a mixtape of all my favorite songs. I would eagerly and impatiently wait by the stereo/vinyl player combo for songs like “It’s Tricky” or “Push It” or “U N I T Y” to play on the radio.

Once I managed to record the song on the cassette tape that had been used for the umpteenth time, I’d play these songs over and over again so I could memorize the words. After memorizing the words, I’d dance around my room like a crazy person rapping and singing at the top of my lungs. Of course when my mom wasn’t home because she didn’t want to her me singing “Let’s Talk About Sex”.

And don’t get me started on having to “fight… for my right…. to pppppaaaaaaaaarrrrrrtttyyyy!”

Can you you guys tell I’m heavily into hip hop music? No? Just wait then…

From a writer/poet’s point of view, hip hop music can and still does have a positive influence on people. Yes the beats are often sick and moving but if one were to really listen to some of the lyrics, there are some really complex rhyming schemes. There is an intense use of word manipulation that most people would not normally use. Yet hip hop is for the devil and is part of what’s wrong with society.

Hip Hop is more than just a genre of music. It’s a culture. Genre of dance which has many sub genres such as lyrical, krump, breakdancing and pop and lock. Lemme stop there with that because I could go on and on about the beautiful marriage between dance and hip hop music and the bad ass choreographers who interpret, style and perform the music that hip hop artists perform. Such an amazing way to display talent.

Ma bad




Topic at hand

The reason I’m paying homage to hip hop because I love the poetry and the spoken word aspect of hip hop. I love the time it takes to write the rhymes we hear on the radio or at a concert. I love that behind beats that have me bobbing my head in my truck or in the middle of Starbucks, there is some sort of meaning behind some of the songs. I’m not saying all rappers put some sort of deep intellectual meaning into their music.

There are indeed times, when the subtext of a song is about their environment or upbringing or what they see in their everyday life. Take NWA for example. They were from Compton yo. And I dunno how many of you were raised in the hood, but those guys went through a lot to put it lightly. Of course look at Ice T, Ice Cube and Dr Dre now. Music/Tv/Film moguls!

They used their music to obtain a better life. They used their experiences in Compton to relate to a demographic of people who are often overlooked or looked at differently because they “look like hood rats from the Southside of ___________________ (insert yo hood hur)”

Yes I know some songs demean women and aren’t suitable for young ears. But honestly, that’s a call for a child’s parents. Also, if a person doesn’t want to hear or finds that type of language offensive then perhaps he or she should turn off the radio. I hate when people offer their twenty cents about a subject for the sake of being critical and asinine. i’m talking to you Bill O’Reilly and people like him.

I suppose what really fascinates me about hip hop. It isn’t cookie cutter nor does it need to be. It is a genre and culture that is constantly evolving which can be refreshing especially when a new artist bring his or her style and flava to the mix.

Continue thinking out of the box and Thanks for reading…

The Southern Yankee