Lisa Braxton: Five Things I Learned Writing The Talking Drum

Tensions increase as the demolition date moves closer, strategies for gentrification are set out, and the pace of suspicious fires gets. The homeowners find themselves at odds with a political system controling their lives and question the future of their relationships.

Della Tolliver has actually constructed a delicate sanctuary in Bellport for herself, partner Kwamé Rodriguez, and child Jasmine, a distressed kid prone to outbursts and problems.

It is 1971. The fictional city of Bellport, Massachusetts, remains in decrease with an urban redevelopment job on the horizon expected to transform this dying factory town into a growing financial center. This planned improvement has a profound effect on the locals who live in Bellport as their own personal improvements take place.

For Omar Bassari, an immigrant from Senegal, Bellport is where he will establish his drumming profession and the releasing pad from which he will spread out African culture throughout the world, while trying to hold onto his marital relationship.

Sydney Stallworth steps far from her fellowship and law research studies at an elite university to support partner Malachis dream of opening an organisation in the heart of the black community of his home town, Bellport.

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MARITAL RELATIONSHIP THERAPY DOESNT HAVE TO INVOLVE A THERAPIST, JUST THE RIGHT KIND OF DOCTOR

He d been out of work for more than a year and either got no interviews, interviews that went no place, or interviews that seemed to go somewhere … and then silence. In desperation to get my unique to offer, I scanned a list of “book medical professionals” who charged upwards of $100 per hour. Reluctant to invest that kind of cash, I brainstormed until it happened to me that I might get hubby to be the doctor.

The Very Best RESEARCH CAN OCCUR WHILE HOLDING A FORK AND KNIFE

It does not have to include poring over dirty old back breaking tomes at the public library, spooling rolls of microfilm onto weak old projectors, or seeing documentaries up until youre bleary eyed. As soon as I chose that one of my primary characters was going to be a Senegalese restaurant owner and his nephew was going to be a drummer whos very good at making Senegalese dishes, I took a journey into town to try the cuisine at the local Senegalese restaurant. I even prepared the lamb stew at house and it was nearly as great as the dining establishment variation.

BANGING ON A DRUM IS HARDER THAN YOU THINK

As I feared, as he was making his rounds, he stopped briefly in front of me, raised a hand to get everybody to stop playing and worked with me one-on-one. After he tried once again and once again to set me on the right path I finally admitted in a weak voice: “Im not a genuine drummer. He provided me a flirtatious wink and kept going.

In my continuing effort to accurately depict my drummer, I registered for a drumming circle led by a master drummer from Guinea. Despite the fact that I d already taken an adult education course, I soon understood what a leap it was to take a master class.

The space went silent as the master drummer played a mix of rhythms. He beckoned us to duplicate them. On the beat, he slowly strutted around the large circle, checking our hands closely, nodding and smiling somewhat when he was happy, narrowing his eyes when a tone or slap was made without confidence.

Seventy-five-plus students revealed up, drums in tow, prepared to discover brand-new rhythms from an artist they revered. The student seated beside me kept whining, “People who arent major about this must stay home!” I wondered if he d figured me out, that I was an imposter, not a genuine drummer. I might feel my shoulders dropping in a ludicrous effort to make myself undetectable.

MANUSCRIPTS and taxis DONT MIX

I was on a company journey to a convention in Chicago and brought my laptop with me that had a copy of my manuscript on it. I was feverishly dealing with the manuscript whenever I had a chance– at the airport gate, the hotel room, on the airport shuttle. One afternoon after leaving the convention center, my employer and I took a taxi back to our hotel. I was so exhausted that it wasnt until we were out of the taxi and in the lobby of the hotel that I recognized that I d left my computer bag in the trunk of the taxi. I was practically hyperventilating. The only copy I had of the manuscript was on that laptop computer. I had not supported the file. Keep in mind I wasnt worried about the loss of my work files. Naturally, I hadnt bothered to take note of the drivers name or the taxi number. I did remember the name of the taxi company, nevertheless, but calls there didnt help. Ultimately, it struck me that the motorist was most likely making a constant loop from the convention center to the hotel. I stood out front and waited. Sure enough, he eventually returned and I got my laptop computer back. Whew!

I COULD HAVE BEEN A DANCE INSTRUCTOR

In The Talking Drum I have a scene in which my drummer gets into a fumbling match of sorts with his spouse. They get into a tussle that involves a bear hug, squeezing of wrists, squirming, her utilizing all of her weight to knock him against the refrigerator door with the palms of her hands, the container of herbs flying out of his hand. In another scene, my drummer gets into a bar battle, strikes on the man seated next to him and is ultimately kicked out of the bar by a bouncer in a bums rush.

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Lisa Braxton is the author of The Talking Drum, published in June 2020 by Inanna Publications, and a recipient of a 2020 Outstanding Literary Award from the National Association of Black Journalists. She is a fellow of Kimbilio, a fellowship for fiction authors of the African diaspora, and an Emmy-nominated former tv reporter, an essayist, and narrative author. She received Honorable Mention in Writers Digest magazines 84th and 86th annual writing contests in the inspirational essay category.

Lisa Braxton: Website|Twitter|Instagram

The Talking Drum: Amazon|Inanna Publications

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He had actually been out of work for more than a year and either got no interviews, interviews that went nowhere, or interviews that appeared to go somewhere … and then silence. When I decided that one of my main characters was going to be a Senegalese dining establishment owner and his nephew was going to be a drummer whos really excellent at making Senegalese meals, I took a journey into town to try the food at the local Senegalese dining establishment. The room went silent as the master drummer played a mix of rhythms. In The Talking Drum I have a scene in which my drummer gets into a fumbling match of sorts with his wife. In another scene, my drummer gets into a bar battle, strikes on the person seated next to him and is eventually kicked out of the bar by a bouncer in a bums rush.

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