Brainstorming for 2013

By Jorge Antonio Vallejos

I’m listening to Adagio For Strings by DJ Tiesto on YOUTUBE.  It’s a song that I listen to a lot while journaling, net cruising, Face Booking, relaxing, and brainstorming.

Instrumental music, whether it be classical or electronic (trance in particular) takes me a to a place where I can think in flow. 

Nothing stops my train of thought while listening to instrumental tracks: no lyrics, no breaks between songs (I listen to extended versions or stuff on repeat), and no end.

I can be walking, sitting, or laying down while brainstorming.  Sometimes I have some paper beside me, other times I just let me mind wander and write things down later. 

Listening to Adagio For Strings reminds of the film Platoon by Oliver Stone.  The original version by Samuel Barber is the theme track for the movie.  I think of soldier and writer Chris Taylor, played by Charlie Sheen, and all the life lessons he learned in the film.  Tiesto’s version brings me back to a cruise in Prague where I first heard the new track.  A Venezuelan girl and I were the only people of colour on the boat.  She hated Chavez, so, really, I was alone.

I remember sitting down on a bench, sober, the only sober person on the ship, and thinking about life.  We circled a popular part of the city as people chugged beer, yelled, danced, acted like fools, and tried hooking up with anybody.  Adagio For Strings took me to a different place than everyone else: my head.

Adagio is a musical term meaning slow, moving in a leisurely manner. 

As the boat turned and peoples feet and hips moved I sat silently with my eyes closed.  I reminisced about my past, thought about my present, and wondered about my future.  It was cool to be in Prague for a weekend trip from my studies in Berlin but I knew my euro vacation was only going to last so long.

Being in university I always knew what was to come the following year: courses, writing for a school paper, and studying abroad.  After I graduated in 2009 that ended.  Being a freelance journalist and creative writer has no set schedule.  Here I am in a new year wondering what I’m going to do.

I can go back to plans that have not been realized in 2012.  Weeks focusing on: 

  1. Consent. 
  2. Sexual assault in activist communities.
  3. Remembering Aqsa Parvez
  4. Stopping Violence Against Sex Workers of Colour
  5. Celebrating Trans Women
  6. Talking about Black Face and racism in Toronto’s arts scene.

These all came from brainstorming.  Numbers one, two, and six are in the works.  And I hope to do all six this year.

But what about new ideas for projects?

In 2012 I started publishing Letters to BCP and Opinion Editorials.  I also published a poem for the first time: After The Shootings by Qwo-Li Driskill. Those have been read widely.  And I have more coming in.  So that’s cool. 

I also realized a plan that was in the making for two years: Remembering Helen Betty Osborne.  And I started doing a series of VLOGs about the FREE BOOKS that come my way and my seasonal Reading Lists amongst many other VLOGs that can be seen on my site and YOUTUBE Channel.

A recent fat phobic comment directed at me, that I did not publish, has seen me start the ball rolling on a Fat Phobia week. 

A loyal reader of mine that I’m building a friendship with, Chris, has agreed to do a VLOG series with me.  And the amazing Deb Singh who I’ve worked with a few times is also going to start a VLOG series for my site.  So there are things happening. 

But having my own venue ( where no one can say, “You can’t do that!” or “That’s not where we want to go with this”, has me wanting to do a lot, and maximize the potential of this space.

Patience and perseverance are the keys to what I want to achieve.  

Patience and perseverance as in adagio

Yesterday, at the end of my hangout with Chris he said, “Are you doing a blog post tomorrow?” 

This is the post, Chris.  A little reminiscing, self critique, planning, and the start to a new year.


About Black Coffee Poet

Black Coffee Poet is a mixed race poet, essayist, and journalist who focuses on Social Justice, Indigenous Rights, STOPPING Violence Against Women, Film, and Literature.
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4 Responses to BRAINSTORMING FOR 2013

  1. Ms. Paulette says:

    Happy New Year!
    As always, it is good to see a notification in my inbox showing that you have just posted. It is like receiving a present!
    Dealing with an aspect of # 6….Have you noticed that people of color often get criticized for not being as “scholarly” or as “polished”?

    • Sistateacher,

      Happy New Year to you too!!

      Yes, I have noticed that peeps of colour are considered “not scholarly” or as “polished”. It’s why many of us people of colour are told that to get somewhere we have to “be better than”.

      I welcome you to write an Op Ed about this if you like. It’s an important topic.



  2. chrismichaelburns says:

    Fat Phobia Week sounds brilliant, bold and subversive! Excited to hear more about it. I’m perplexed by #2; want to hear more about that as well.

    • Chris,

      Yes, #2 is something people don’t talk, or hear, about enough. Activists do horrible things too!

      In general, North Americans like to look at rape and sexual assault as happening across the pond, or in the south: elsewhere. The recent media hype of the case of Jyoti Singh Pandey in India is a good example of that.



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