I spent this past Christmas/New Year’s holiday in
It’s always good to see the look on kids faces when they’re opening their Christmas presents.
It’s always good to hang out with my Aunt C who treated me to my first Broadway play. And believe it or not, I didn’t fall asleep!
And it was good to hang out with the Stanford crew as a lot of us possed up in
in Ty and Pascal’s wedding celebration!
Since we’ve known each other for almost 20 years, we don’t have to front to kick it when we’re around each other. It’s one of the advantages of having real friends.
Instead of having a “bachelor party”, Ty just wanted the fellaz to hang out at some venue where everybody kept their clothes on. We ended up going to this bar in
”Yo Malik..I can write you into the role of a lifetime. It’ll be tighter than New York Undercover ever was..holla at a player baby!!”
He must get that line a lot from writers, cuz I haven’t heard from that n’ga yet!!
Anyway..so we were leaving the club in Soho headed up to
There was this younger brother in the car who I had never met before and we struck up a backseat conversation as we’re driving through
"Soo..I understand that you’re a writer? (the younger guy who I had never hung out with before asked me)"
"What do you write?"
"I’m still working on publishing my first book, but you can check out a lot of my stuff on my website."
"What kind of material is it?"
"What do you mean?"
"You know..what genre is it?"
"Uhhh..I don’t think it really has a name, it’s just kinda lik
e..uhhh..well..do you know Al and Blake?"
"Al and Blake?"
"Yeah, they both played football at Stanford and one year when me and JAG shared an apartment in Mirrilees, Al and Blake lived next door to us."
So one day I’m in the apartment and Blake comes and knocks on our door. I yell for him to come in cuz our door was NEVER locked….
"Yo D..do you have a colander that I can borrow?"
"You know..a colander."
"What the hell is that???"
"That thing you use to drain the water off of pasta."
"Oh! You want the spaghetti strainer?? Sure..look up under that counter."
"Uhhh…what does that have to do with writing????"
"That’s what I’m trying to tell ya..everybody has stuff they think inside their head, then everybody has like a filter that they use to strain off the things they think from the things they actually say out loud."
"And..the holes in my colander are a LOT bigger than the holes in most people’s colander. Everybody gets on me for saying (and writing) wild stuff, but I know damn well that they might not say it but they be thinking it!!!"
"At this point, my ex-roommate (who’s a New Orlean’s native/displaced citizen who’s strainer holes are really a lot larger than mine!) was sitting in the front seat and listening to the conversation and he just started laughing and said, ‘Damn D! Only you would find a way to bring Blake, a colander and writing altogether in one story.’"
So, that’s what I do, I write that uncut killa material. But what I’ve learned, is that a writer’s life is one with no vacations. I’m always ‘on’, scribbling notes in my head pertaining to the nuisances of living. And more so than writing, a writer reads.
I’m probably a bit different than others, because the vast majority of the books that I read were written by writers who are dead now. I’ve never read any books by E.Lynn Harris or EJ Dickey and when I tried to read Toni Morrison’s, Beloved, I was utterly confused.
Most of the living writers that I read have penned ‘classics’, like To Kill A Mockingbird or Catcher in the
“What I like best is a book that’s at least funny once in a while. I read a lot of classical books, like The Return of the Native and all, and I like them, and I read a lot of war books and mysteries and all, but they don’t knock me out too much. What really knocks me out is a book that, when you’ve done reading it, you wish the author that wrote it was a terrific friend of yours and you could call him up on the phone whenever you felt like it. That doesn’t happen much, though.” – from JD Salinger's, The Catcher in the
After publishing the much acclaimed Catcher in the
I’m beginning to understand why.
Because when you write words from your heart, and you pour out your soul on paper, it’s inevitable that some people just aren’t going to ‘feel’ it. And then they’re some people who claim to ‘get it’ but then you realize that some of them are crazy as hell (even more so than me!!) and you kinda get weirded out by complete strangers who profess that they’re your #1 fanatic. Yeesh. Creepy.
Of course, some people may exclaim that I’m an obnoxious pompous az for even trying to suggest that I’m on the literary level of such giants as Lee and Salinger, but I don’t care. You can blame my father for that one. Cuz he always raised me to play to win.
“Don’t half-az NOTHING D!! If you go do it? DO IT!!! Go all out!!”
I write with an edge, or a chip on my shoulder if you will. Not trying to prove anything to the reader but rather to myself. Each time I sit down at the keyboard, I’m grinding to write the best thing I’ve ever written to date. And I can look back at things I’ve written years ago and I can see the progression and development in D. Washington. I’m striving for perfection.
Now the funny part (actually, some folks may not find it funny, but I do, but I have a weird sense of humor), is that since I don’t hide my beliefs, and I stand ready to jump on gospel opportunities, ready to explain the reason for my faith in Jesus Christ, I’ve had a lot of people criticize my words and my walk.
I curse too much, I have pictures and references to guns and drinking and flat out ‘gutter talk’ is how one person described my work. HA!!
If we all stayed silent until we were ‘holy’ and lived and walked a perfect walk in Christ, wouldn’t nobody be able to shi..uhh, I mean, nothing.
I would much rather be real about me and who I am when I get down on paper, than front and act like a hypocrite who ain’t neva did..whateva.
The Book that I read daily, that I can NEVER get enough of, is the Bible. It’s the realest thang that’s ever been wrote. Period. Hands down, end of story. And guess what? It has stories in it of wars, whores, incest, beheadings, generational curses, God calling people (who don’t believe in Him) fools, fornication, homosexuality, adultery, drunkards, witchcraft, idolatry, demons, anti-Christs, false prophets, doom and destruction (to name a few). It’s not offensive, it’s just 100% real.
And the realest part of the Bible, and the crux of Christianity, is that despite humans living our lives in depravity and sin, there is a way out of this hell that our world is sinking into. We have an option to accept a Savior, repent from our sins and connect with our Creator.
But alas, the preaching of the cross is foolishness to those who don’t believe.
“For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.” – I Corinthians 1:18 KJV
I like being connected to that power. Or like we say on the Southside, I LUV IT MANE!!
So I continue to ply my trade in the areas and spaces that God has allowed me to be a part of. The hood first, but there’s also a need on the corporate, college educated level. There’s a lot of ‘smart’ people who don’t know Christ, just like there’s a lot of street thugs who are in the dark too.
Because of Christ, I have purpose, I have direction and I have peace.
I know a lot of people haven’t seen Him yet, and they have built their lives as though they are children of God, but yet they have not connected with God in their hearts. They have religion, but they don’t have relationship. A lot of them GO to church regularly, but yet they don't embrace Jesus as Lord of their lives. They’re like the educated Greeks in the 17th Chapter of Acts, who had erected monuments to ‘The Unknown God’. Paul went on and served it up to em…
“Then Paul stood in the midst of Mars' hill, and said, Ye men of
Now that’s what you call, ‘killa material.’