Sunday, November 27, 2011

Mercury Retrogrades, The Muse Renews

Thank you for following my entrepreneurial journey this past year and a half. As I said in my second post ever, being an Entreprehustler is the starting point to becoming a true mogul. Please follow my ascent to mogulhood at Musings Magazine.

-The Muse

Thursday, October 6, 2011

I Am Not Afraid!: In Loving Memory of Professor Derrick Bell

When everything in your life points in one direction, I suggest you get to stepping! This is my advice to you that I am currently taking myself. My friend Lurie Daniel-Favors relayed to me a metaphor about magnets. She said that a magnet attracts a nail because the currents are all flowing in one direction. The nail has just as much ability to attract, except that its currents are flowing in a bunch of different directions. I'm not saying it exactly right, but the point is: FOCUS! Focus is POWER, the power to attract.

The Other N Word

I have officially decided to put all my focus into my book through the end of the fiscal year. That is hard to type because I have LOVE for all my current projects and wanted to dabble in all three, but the Gods have spoken. I have begun the process of testing my audience. Really this means sending it to my friends. Now, I have only completed a rough book proposal, not my whole manuscript. I sent Chapter 1 to a few people and it instantly made me feel that they needed to read the rest for that chapter to have any context. Although the reception was good, it is imperative that I complete this for my title to make sense. I have a completed Chapter Annotations section and that provides a much clearer picture, but I think I only sent that to one person besides reading it myself. It is pretty great though...pretty, pretty great. (in my Larry David voice).

Anyway, I had decided to put the proposal aside and let it simmer before whipping it into shape and deciding my next move. With one week to spare, I moved right into production of my radio show, A-MusE-N and my calendar was filling up with dates in anticipation of my pitching stage. All the while, everything in around me was pointing to my need to focus on completing the book.

First, I got a call from a venture capitalist who expressed interest in helping me self-publish my book and use his social media, SEO expertise to create my own audience.

Then, I get a tweet from my friend Tanekeya Word attaching a NYT article entitled "The Post-Black Condition." It turns out to be a book review by Professor Orlando Patterson of Toure's new book "Who's Afraid of Post Blackness?". Anyway, this ignited something in me and connected to something I have been holding on to for almost 2 years now. Not just my book, but what my voice adds to the general conversation. In January of 2010, I received a vision and it was so clear and awesome and I really wanted to do everything in my power to make it real. I hesistated, but I finally sent the people who believed in me "The Muse Story" which came to me during that time. Their response began a series of events that were so unbelievably tied to my purpose that I was truly overwhelmed. Truly! I had to take a break and get into my head so that I could get out of it. They say success is when preparedness meets opportunity, well let's just say I am prepared Now.

In that story I talk about how meeting Valerie Boyd and hearing about her journey to tell Zora Neale Hurston's story sparked something for me. Fate would have it that I was having brunch with Boyd a month later outside of Eatonville and I suggested that she coin a term to describe this new renaissance we felt occuring in the arts community. She suggested I do it. We both kind of laughed it off, but of course, that was part of my vision. Well, Patterson asked a question in his review about what my generation thought about our role in society in light of the benefits we have been afforded. I felt the need to answer that question and I am working to get it published in the Washington Post. The Other N Word is my contribution to the conversation and it is obviously taking place now.

Yesterday was just a surreal day, more so upon reflection than it was in real time. I was on my first television commercial shoot and in front of the camera to boot. I come home and find out that Steve Jobs has passed away and this morning I find out that my beloved Professor Bell also passed away along with Reverend Shuttersworth. Three brave visionaries...such a powerful message! 10/5/11--I will never forget this day! Reading Professor Bell's obituary in the NY Times solidified for me that my book was to be my focus. It was He who introduced me to Critical Race Theory and just being critical and not substituting your own sense of logic for those of others. My decision to use my personal narrative to tell the story of my theory is directly influenced by his defiance of the contraining rules of legal and scholarly writing. I hope to push even further so that I can talk to, instead of talking about, the people I represent. In Professor Bell's honor, and because the message couldn't be any clearer, I am devoting from now through the Winter's cold to completing the 1st full draft of The Other N Word. I am also manifesting a warm vacation spot a couple of those months where I can write in peace.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

I Am The Muse!

The Reinvention

A couple months ago I posed the question: "to reinvent or to revolutionize?" I was not referring to anything in particular at the time, but it got me thinking about the Artist that I am becoming and how different she is from the always logical LW-C we all know and love. Finally the answer came to me, REINVENT, and from there my whole artistic platform began to take shape.

As I contemplated my projects, I realized that this was more than just a book and a radio show, this was my official emergence as an Artist. My first crack at letting the person that lives in my head take full control of my body. My husband always reminds me "to get the things you never had, you have to do the things you've never done." I have taken this mantra to heart and challenged myself at every turn. By doing so, I have become quite comfortable with having The Muse at the helm and letting Logical LaNora take a much needed break.

The way I see it, LW-C has been working tirelessly for the past 32 years with excellent results. Pretty much the definition of the "American Dream"- from the streets of South Central Los Angeles to degrees from Berkeley and NYU Law, a successful career as an attorney at an AmLaw Top 50 firm, a model 8 year marriage to an exceptionally supportive, beautiful black man, two smart and beautiful babies, properties in 3 states, great friends and a social life to boot. Everything I had on my list, I have accomplished and I imagine my maker saying to me "well done my good and faithful servant," BUT "what have you created?, how have you used your gifts and talents to make a mark on the world?"

Well, LW-C's bag of tricks was exhausted so I decided that if God saw something more for my life, there must be something or someone inside of me that could pull it off. As you know if you have been following my journey, I scaled back my budding business and took the time to "find my artist," that vulnerable and creative part of myself that was trapped under 30 years of rubble. I dug and dug until my hands were raw and bloody and just when I was beginning to doubt the fruitfulness of my efforts...I heard a faint voice.

Enters The Muse

So you know that my business is called Muse Creative Arts Agency, and the name came from the 12 years I have spent being a muse to my oh so talented husband. He has been drawing or painting me since I met him and even when a character is not me, people always see me in it somehow. This was my first foray into the artistic world...the inspirer. I always believed that I was blessed with superior intellect and no real talent and I went into my business with that in mind. I was always attracted to the creative world (I mean, really, I married a painter) and figured that my role in that world must be to help the ones with the talent get their message to the masses and make some money in the process. So, I went about the business of making this happen.

Well, along the way I realized that I was coming up with great ideas all the time. When I would share them with others they would get really excited about the possibility, but I would always end up tabling my own projects and jumping onto other people's dreams. I was living out that saying "those who can, do. those who can't, teach. " I believed that I was strategically creative, but I could not actually create myself. I thought that if I could succeed in helping make someone else's dream a reality, the dreamer inside of me would be satisfied. Wrong! I had the formula backwards, by finding a community of Artists to embrace The Muse, the Artist inside of Me was awakened.

She started out timid, weak from decades of neglect. I had to learn how to be a proper caregiver, being sure that she was provided with the proper amount of food, water and sleep so that she would grow strong. I had to cleanse myself of the fears, doubts, and excuses that plagued my existence so that I would not pass them on to her. Slowly she began to come into her own and, just like my two year old daughter with all the tasks I used to complete for her, she declared "I can do it." True to her word, once I got out of the way, The Muse proved that she could stand on her own two feet. She did such a great job, I decided to let her borrow mine for the next 8 years.

Passing the Torch

So, as of August 8th, 2011, the 32nd anniversary of my birth, The Muse has had full reign and that chick is FIERCE! As I said before, I plan to retire by the time I am 40 so it is only fitting that The Muse take over for the next 8 years to take my journey from the imagined to the unimaginable. I have to admit that I am in awe of myself for being so open to my journey and finding a way to get out of my own way. By doing so, I have tapped into my niche and found my VOICE.

MCa2 Productions

Ok, so I started out talking about reinvention and now that I am here in the Big Apple, I have decided to incorporate the next branch of my business (M C a squared Productions) wherein The Muse's projects will be housed. I can not tell you how excited I am to finally be out of my head and back to doing the work. If this blog is your only connection to me, you may think that talking, thinking and strategizing is all I do, but I really feel more comfortable staying out of my head and having my nose to the grind.

To that end, I have been setting and knocking out deadlines left and right. The first being my long awaited book proposal for The Other N Word! I am proud to announce that I woke up this morning to a completed rough draft ready for my final edits. I will spend the rest of the day getting it in good shape and then let it sit for awhile before I make the next move. I believe that I have a new perspective to add to the conversation about the "state of Black America" and I want to make sure that I am being true to my voice without sacrificing my credibility and, consequently, my possible reach.

I am now free to go into full production mode on my radio show. I am attempting something that I believe is completely original, yet pays homage to various traditional, and traditionally Black, art forms. Another aspect of reinvention.

On October 11th, I have my official photoshoot with designer Brian Evans who has created an amazing "coming out" outfit for me and photographer Bryant Johnson who has an uncanny ability to capture The Muse inside of me.

Finally, I am working on my first TV pitch package. I already have one idea that has been given the thumbs up for further development and I have several more that I plan to present as I team up with an established director/producer to prepare for my first round of pitches to the networks with which he has established relationships. This will be my primary focus after I get my first A-MusE-N broadcast under my belt.

By 11/11/11, I will have my marketing materials complete as I present myself to the world as a fully emerged Artist. I am working on an article that I hope will be accepted by a national publication by that date and will stand as my break out piece as a writer. Needless to say, I have my work cut out for me!

Although this may sound like a lot, it is nothing compared to the 24/7 mental marathon I have been on for the last year or so. Since I have been actually writing my book and drafting the proposal, creating the content for my radio show, and developing my television show concepts, I have had much less anxiety than when I was simply thinking through my book, figuring out the concept for my show and thinking of TV show ideas. Contrary to popular belief, it has been much easier "done than said" for me and I look forward to sharing my results with you through this blog and my Art with you through my manifestations. Wish me luck!

-The Muse

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Respect the Retrograde

Ok, so I had heard people say "mercury is in retrograde" before, but I never knew what that meant until relatively recently. I am not sure that I understand it completely, but I do know that plans do not tend to go so well during these periods.

I have a lot out in the universe, so I am heeding the warning and staying away from important decisions and limiting my communications through the end of the month. This is in perfect synchronicity with this month being a final grind time. I am going underground and will emerge with my completed book proposal!

Wish me luck and I look forward to updating you in early September.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Go Time!

Numbers Don't Lie

I am so excited that August is starting out on a Monday, makes it even more clear that this is a month for completion. The second Monday of the month is my 32nd birthday which I am super excited about! My life's phases have occurred in multiples of 8 (0-8 y.o, 9-16 y.o, 17-24 y.o., 25-32 y.o), so it is the end of an era. I plan to retire when I am 40, so 32 has to be a good year to set me up for making my fortune in this next phase.

Making Moves

Since I decided that June 1, 2011 was the beginning of Muse's fiscal year, I have been progressing steadily and July was a great month. I am learning to trust myself more as a writer, which has led to some great writing. Seeing my progress helped me move myself to the next stage of the process which is securing an agent. Before doing the traditional mass mailing, I reached out to my friends whose agent seems like a great fit for me. That was on Friday. So now the ball is rolling and I will have my full proposal drafted by the end of the month.

If all goes as planned, my first official A-MusE-N radio show will broadcast on September 12th at 8pm on 1480 am in Washington, DC. I have been practicing my inaugural opening monologue and finding my groove as a radio personality. It has been a lot of work, but August will begin bootcamp style preparation. This show has to be amazing and there is potential now, but putting in the work will make it real!

Needless to say, I am beyond pumped! God has blessed me with a space to clear my head, practice and just take it all in, my writing is flowing and I am feeling no fear. I am so open to my journey and thoroughly convinced that it will unfold in more amazing ways than I could ever imagine. Stay tuned!

-The Muse

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Is that me?!...I'm pretty DOPE!

Its All Coming Together

Just finished my bio and thought it would be great to share it with you. It took me three times reading it for me to stop critiquing the writing and realize that I am the SHIT! I'm doing what I'm saying I'm doing and I am brave enough to put it all out there on the way, sink or swim. Here's hoping for salty waters...

LaNora Williams-Clark, Esq. (“The Muse”)

It's not the profession, it’s the mind.” -The Muse

Not only does LaNora Williams-Clark believe this quote to be true, her life’s journey illustrates its truth. Born and raised in South Central Los Angeles, Williams-Clark went on to graduate from UC Berkeley with honors in Political Science and a fulltime offer from KPMG to join their Audit team. Deciding to pursue her lifelong goal of becoming a lawyer, Williams-Clark instead attended and graduated from NYU School of Law.

Williams-Clark’s greatest asset is her sense of logic. When combined with the fact that she is an extremely creative/strategic thinker, a fast learner and a hard worker, the result is the ability to adapt those gifts to any environment. Williams-Clark entered the work force under special permission from the state because it would be one month before she was 16 and legally able to work as a Proof Operator for Bank of America. Always attracted to numbers, patterns and connections, she continued working for BofA as a teller until she graduated from high school and furthered this path by joining InRoads and interning as an Auditor with KPMG for two years. At the same time, Williams-Clark vigorously pursued all opportunities that would lead her to a Top 10 law school; leading various Pre-Law and Political Science organizations, participating on and leading moot court teams in competition, working part-time at a prestigious boutique law firm, interning for the Secretary of Education, completing two theses and graduating at the top of her class.

Williams-Clark’s greatest gift is her sense of people. When combined with the fact that she has a genuine interest in stories, feels a personal obligation to her community, and is a natural communicator, the result is the ability to create/control any environment. She has navigated the halls of, arguably, the best public university as well as the best private law school in the country. She has worked in extremely diverse legal environments from a 8-person firm to a union, a legal clinic to a BigLaw firm. As well as extremely diverse legal issues, from Offender Re-entry to Products Liability, Drug Policy to Constitutional Law. Her community work has spanned from the founding of a single-sex dual academy in SE Washington, DC to raising capital for the launch of a new progressive AM radio station, from supporting the arts to protecting the artists.

Williams-Clark’s greatest power is her sense of worth. When combined with her willingness to take risks, her resilience in the face of fear, and her relentless pursuit of happiness and purpose, the result is the ability to transcend any environment. Deciding to abandon her blooming law career, Williams-Clark found her passion in entrepreneurialship and her purpose in the creative arts. After working as a commercial litigator and constitutional lawyer in Washington, DC for nearly five years, in January 2009 she started her own strategic/creative branding firm, Muse Creative Arts Agency (Muse CAA), whose clients include The DC Office of Motion Picture and TV Development, award-winning jazz musician Marcus Johnson, and several small businesses including construction development corporations, law firms and personal fitness brands. Muse CAA also supports the development of 10 select creative entrepreneurs and their various projects, including a children’s book series, tv/film projects, theatrical projects, and other forms of storytelling. After wrapping up various projects and winding down several clients, in 2011 Williams-Clark decided to focus on her #1 client: herself.

Currently residing in Harlem, NYC, Williams-Clark is working on her first book, The Other N Word, which uses her story to illuminate the various historical, cultural, and experiential impediments to corporate and entrepreneurial success for African-Americans and illustrate how to accept, account for and ascend these obstacles. The other “N” word is Networking and she argues that, much like the “real” N word, we must understand the root of the term and then find a way to adapt it within our culture. For the past year, she has been blogging about her entrepreneurial journey at and she recently began a “short posting” blog about her Harlem adventure at Williams-Clark is also in development on her new radio show, A-MusE-N, launching on 1480AM in Washington, DC this Fall — a one hour weekly commentary featuring the musings of LaNora Williams-Clark (“The Muse”). She has recently wrapped up associate production work on a documentary series pilot for Animal Planet in association with the producers of Taking on Tyson and Brick City. If green-lit, production will begin in the Fall for a 10 episode series.

By pursuing her creative and entrepreneurial dreams, Williams-Clark hopes that, much like Malcolm Gladwell and The Tipping Point, her life will stand as a shining example of the theory she puts forth in her book.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Momentary Relapse

Ok, so I have been living in a really inspired space and it has helped me gain the confidence I need to pull off my official "launch" of the Muse brand. I am growing as a writer, finding my groove as I wait for the proper space and time to finally complete my book. At first I would fight it when I got the urge to write about some random topic, now I trust my writing instincts and have found that these short writing projects really get me more disciplined as a writer and remind me how fun the process is as I embark on a very emotional writing project.

The Other N Word

Notice I said "proper space and time" when referring to my book. This was my "lawyer" way of saying that I am not currently writing my book, though it is #1 on my list and I have already worked it out in my mind (and notes). What I am trying to accomplish requires a huge mental and emotional commitment and I have not had the proper time or space to even try. I just continue to work out the details and trust that it will all happen in due time and I will be wiser for it.


Thankfully, the writing continues and my radio show is perfect fodder for my random (or not so random) topics. I wrote a brilliant introduction of The Muse that brought my whole journey together so well. Learning it and getting it down the way I want to present it on my show brought me back to elementary school when I used to win all the oratory contests. That is a feeling I hadn't tapped into in a very long time, very exhilirating. And the writing is excellent. I have to say that myself because I believe it, I can't wait for other people's validation to know my own truth.

I am confident that the radio station will be in full operation by the Fall, but I plan to launch my show online this Fall no matter what.

"I'm Just Confessing"

Alright, so all this greatness is happening all around and I start thinking about the logistics of everything. I thought about the costs associated with branding materials, promotion, etc. and the hustler took over the entrepreneur as I began to plant seeds in grounds that seasons past have proven infertile. In reality, I was just scared of the thought that I am entering the stage of my process where it will take considerable time and some money to make it successful and I was not comfortable relying on my current household income when there is no guarantee of payoff. Bad move for a Master Manifestor. I know it will pay off and speaking with my husband solidified that for me. After pointing out the pattern that I was falling back into (first not so nicely, then, after prodding, sensically), he came back to the fact that I have been afforded a rare opportunity not to overthink the money side and really "invest" in ME. To the extent that an opportunity outside of writing my book is in line with my overall goal or requires minimal time, go for it. Otherwise, don't! And especially not with some old bullshit that you are painting over with a keener stroke...that shit still stinks. LOL.

Anyway, I am making light of what was a real reality check for me. Hubby suggested I write out what I wanted my life to be and really go backwards from there and think of every move I make within that matrix. Great advice! I am in the process of doing this now as I prepare for the week ahead, but I am proud to say that I have come up with a baseline for myself. If a job/opportunity does not fall under these 4 titles, I will not go forward with them: Writer, Creator, Developer, Producer. If it does not come with pay, it has to be MY project. That is all for now.