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Hi folks!

And it’s Monday again…

Not much going today, decided to spend some time watching a few Prince related TV specials.

Hoping that BET or TV One will do a documentary such as an episode of Unsung Hollywood.

But anyway, my hands have been tied for a while so if it looks like I haven’t updated here regularly, I promise that I’ll be doing some much needed maintenance on Pen & Paper including posting several drafts and photos that have been collecting dust.

But anyway…check back for updates…

See ya on Monday!

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Hi all,

I would like to share a wonderful discovery I have made…while Prince is still greatly missed, almost 2 months later…during that time I decided to learn more about him and in my search, I came across something that has since changed my life…Keep in mind, that for legal reasons I CANNOT answer questions or give out names other than what I’ve written below.

I will say that while reading what I have written in this blog post, I highly recommend whoever sees this, please be sitting down, don’t eat or drink anything…it’s that serious… Also prior to this I had seen the 2016 remake of Roots on the History channel which really brought the research I did to life…so here’s my story…

 “When the door closes, another one opens, I walk through it, with my head up…”

“Every ending, is just a new beginning…

– Lyrics from ‘New Beginnings ‘by Bear and a Banjo

——

On the morning of May 19th 2016 was when I started my research on the history of Prince’s family, the Nelsons. The main reason behind my search was curiosity. I had wanted answers as to why Prince and I had so many similarities including appearance such as hair, eye color and skin tone, just to name a few.

I learned the last name, Nelson had roots in England, Scotland and Ireland. The Nelson clan lived around the same time as the Clark and Carmichael* clans in the middle ages. The Clark and Nelson families lived 116 miles away from each other in England. I found out that the Nelson and Carmichaels traveled to Ireland at the same time during that period. Both of them hold the records for the oldest clans in Ireland.

*Carmichael is my grandmother’s maiden last name.

Searching even further, I learned the Nelsons, Clarks and Carmichaels also left the U.K. for America just two or three years apart from each other during the 17th century. More of them came to the U.S. during the 18th and 19th centuries.

After their initial arrival in Virginia and other states on the Eastern Seaboard; many members of all three families dispersed into the South, ending up in states such as The Carolinas, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi and eventually Louisiana.

 

I sorted through dozens of names, locations and dates on ancestry.com…
Much of these family lines consisted of a history of relatives who were slaves or children of slave masters. Because slaves were regularly bought, sold and traded, members of both the Nelson and Carmichael families were scattered. If a loved one died, they would remarry, their children who eventually grew up, also started families. It is well known in the history of slavery that there are numerous cases of female slaves being forced into relationships with their masters and male slaves who became involved with the wives of slave masters and plantation owners.

The next three generations of Nelsons and Carmichaels which followed during both the final years of slavery and the civil war; consisted of former slaves and free Blacks who married into each other’s families. There were also cases of Whites marrying former slaves and Blacks that were born free or became such later in life. The end result were many cousins and half siblings within the Nelson and Carmichael families.

After two days of research and sorting through dozens of names, locations and dates, on Saturday May 21st, was when I had a breakthrough. That morning, I was finally able to make a connection between Prince’s family and mine. One of his great uncles had married one of my older cousins, this would make Prince my 4th cousin!

 

Below are some questions, that I’m sure I would likely be asked about, so here they are:

 

What led you to research Prince’s genealogy?

Answer: It was all curiosity, I wanted to know why we had so much in common. I don’t associate myself with the 700 some people who claim to be related to Prince.  I have no ulterior motives at all. Their search is different than my own which was to find out the reason behind the series of similarities Prince and I share.

 

What was your reaction when you made your discovery?

Answer: When I made the connection, I was…quiet, sat at my laptop for a few minutes just staring in shock. I did get teary-eyed, followed by a chill down my spine. Of all the people to share the same genetics with, mine is shared with the very person who wrote a song about purple colored rain!

 

Why did you do this search now, and not sooner?

 

Answer: Different place, different time. My life was much different, I was dealing with moving, my old laptop breaking down and just daily life as a whole. Had I known about this sooner, I honestly would have done everything in my power to contact Prince. I doubt I’d even be writing this blog post this very minute if I had gotten in touch with him.

 

What do you plan to do now?

Answer: As of now, I contacted a Genealogy firm that is currently looking for Prince’s relatives. They are holding my information for the time being…According to one news report, the next court hearing will be June 27th the day after the BET awards. I will be keeping track of it to learn what the outcome will be. At this point, I don’t know where this will end up.

 

How do you feel about being related to Prince?

Answer: Even after almost a month since I found out, it still hasn’t quite sunk in. Aside from that, I have a newfound love for Prince, not as a fan but as a relative.

Knowing that we share the same genetic background is one of the best things that’s ever happened to me. Though I’m still adjusting to seeing and thinking of him as ‘Cousin Prince’.

I don’t know what direction my life will go at this point, but I do know a story as great as this one needs to be told.

I will miss him, even though we never met…he’s one of quite a few relatives I never knew but heard and read wonderful things about from those who knew him.  I’d like to think we would be close if we got to know each other, even if it was just talking on Twitter or possibly Facetime or Skype.

I can relate to him in so many ways, never in my life have I come across someone who reminded me so much of myself.  After making this discovery I realize the reason behind why he and I share so much in common, it’s genetic!  Just 3 generations and 27 years apart to be exact.

 

What things would you have liked to done with him if you had met?

Answer: Good question…off the top of my head, I would like to have spent time getting to know him…maybe go have lunch or dinner somewhere, see a movie, etc…basically the sort of things people do when they have family who visits from out of town. Would have been a memorial experience, I’m sure of it.

 

How has this discovery changed your life?

Answer: It’s definitely given me a confidence boost as a writer, artist and a person in general. Knowing that I have a relative who overcame so many obstacles and reached major milestones as a result. To know he was very much loved and respected by many is wonderful. He set a great example and I love him for that.

When I look at myself now, it’s different than before, I suppose a person would describe it as finding out you’re related to royalty in a way.

Like Prince’s father, my Dad is a musician as well(piano) and knew many people in the industry. I plan to document his history and get it published.

 

What made you come forward with your discovery?

Answer: It just felt like something I had to do, one of which is for legal reasons. I would feel guilty about withholding this from the firm who is actively looking for Prince’s relatives. I also believe those who knew him have a right to know about this as well.

 

What do you hope people will walk away with from reading this blog post?

 

Answer: I just hope others will see this search started out as a matter of curiosity not personal gain. I also look at this as when one door closes and another one opens. The door for Prince may have closed but I believe my being related to him will hopefully open the door for opportunities that will help me as both a writer and artist.

I don’t want people to mistake me as a person stuck in Prince’s shadow or trying to follow in his footsteps. I’m not musically talented in any way, other than putting together soundtracks or using music that best fits the story or scene I’m working on.

 I do however, hope to be recognized as having the same level of intelligence, moral code and creativity that my cousin before me was so well known for. He told his stories using music, I tell my own through writing.

If there’s anything I learned from this discovery is about who I am, where I come from and that my family is much larger than I originally thought.  I had always heard of the many success stories with other relatives in my family and Prince certainly earns a special place among them.

I will always remember my cousin for the creative, kindhearted and intelligent person that he was. I just hope others will do the same.

 

What do you hope to accomplish?

 

Answer:  As a writer and artist, I hope to get my work out there for others to see and enjoy. I do plan to write a biography piece explaining more about this journey of finding my roots.

I do expect others will be doubtful of my research but trust me, I have never once been dishonest about anything I’ve ever posted on this blog.

I believe Prince would be touched to know he has a cousin who is not only inspired by him but also thinks so much of him and loves him dearly.  Him being gone certainly hurts more than ever, now that I know he’s family.

If he was here, I believe he would offer encouragement and be a wonderful mentor.

In my mind, I believe he’d say: “You’re just like me.”

Having learned so much about him, in all honestly a lot of his personality and certain characteristics echo my own.  I get chills every time I find out something about him that reminds me of myself.

It shows how powerful genetics are and that it doesn’t matter how far apart a generation gap is. Certain characteristics and features can and do skip generations.

Being related to him, I’ll admit I truly feel special.

I’d like to think Prince would be impressed if not elated, by the time, effort and energy I’ve spent researching our family history and the amazing results that came out of it.

Anything negative that is said about him online, I do take it personally to a certain degree. Nobody likes to hear another person talk badly about someone in their family. Prince is no exception.

His reputation as a person who has done countless acts of kindness and overcame many obstacles, doesn’t deserve to be tarnished or dragged through the mud.

My heritage means a lot to me and to have a cousin like Prince is something that will always hold a special place in my heart.

 

Thanks for reading folks…

 

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See you on Monday!

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Hey folks…it’s Friday again…

For those of you who have been reading about my Prince blog posts, I apologize for the delay in updates. Life happens…

 

Anyway…

When I started out with the idea of writing about Prince and doing research to learn more about him, it was with the best intentions. I had a strong feeling that this would be some of best work and be a way to discuss a both topic and a person that I’ve had an interest in.

Although like any writer, I half expected some…disagreement with my project but nothing like this.

While promoting my project about Prince I did receive some positive support and feedback but also a high level of negative comments.

Jimmy Kimmel said it best: “You know what the most dangerous neighborhood in the country is right now? The comments’ section on every webpage.”
“People are so unbelievably harsh with these comments… and it’s shocking.  No sane person would ever say the kind of things that they write online to someone, face to face; if you did, you’d get killed!”

 

All of this is absolutely true.

 

Although people are all entitled to their opinions and have the freedom to say whatever they like, that doesn’t give them the right to insult or criticize others who they don’t see eye-to-eye with. I can be vocal when I have to be but I’m generally quiet and I don’t start fights, I finish them!

Keep in mind when I write, both fiction and non-fiction…I do a great deal of research. In the years I’ve been a writer, I’ve learned that doing research makes a story more realistic, easier to follow and in all honesty, it’s more enjoyable to watch, read or listen to.

I would never post anything if I didn’t have the resources or information to back up my claims. However, if my outlets for an information source is limited I try to fill in the gaps with what I have on hand. This is often the roadblock that many writers of historical and true story adaptations run into. A person can only do so much but when their sources for additional information reach a certain limit. When there aren’t many other options, a writer can find themselves at a loss, unless they have access to documents such as accounts from eye witnesses, written notes or other records.

I’m finding out that by asking certain questions, people can be extremely uptight or harsh.

I’ll say this, while there is such a thing as freedom of speech that doesn’t give anyone the right to bully, judge or criticize another person.

I wanted to do something in Prince’s behalf and I’ll keep writing about him regardless and try to get it to the people who knew him.


I’ve come too far to quit and hope my efforts will not be in vain.

Aside from that, I hope those who continue to read my Prince blog post series will enjoy reading them just as much as I have enjoyed writing them.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Hey folks!

I know it’s been a long time since I posted anything here and I truly apologize. I had moved about a year ago and last Spring the motherboard on my almost 4-year-old laptop gave out. I’ve got a replacement laptop since then with Windows 10 and it’s great! I was also able to sell some of the parts from my old laptop that the repair shop salvaged…Got to love eBay!

Anyway…

I promise to do some greatly needed Spring cleaning for this blog, including finishing and posting some drafts that have been collecting dust.

So moving on…

I’m sure anyone and their Grandma knows by now about  Thursday’s tragedy. It burned a hole in my heart, right up there with when my first dog passed away in September 2004 and even almost 12 years later that still hurts.

For those of you visiting my blog, Pen & Paper for the first time, welcome to my neck of the woods on the world wide web!

Hope you enjoy it.

As I type this, it’s taking all my strength to hold back the sadness I’ve felt this past week. I typically don’t post too much about my life offline but this time I’m making an exception…I always knew I was different than those around me…and I could never figure out why. I don’t think there’s even been a time I hated myself for it but I wanted so badly for people to better understand me and commend me on my talents and skills as an artist and writer. Wasn’t until I learned more about Prince that I felt like I discovered someone who was like me in many ways. I am deeply saddened I never got to meet him or at least learn of his twitter account. A conversation with him truly would’ve been very special. I would love to have shared my discovery with him. Never in all my years, have I come across someone who reminded me of myself. I honestly believe he would have been a great best friend and mentor that I could turn to for a second opinion and support.

Despite being heartbroken beyond belief, the least I can do is share what I’ve written about Prince. I strongly believe he’d be touched to know there’s a fan/supporter out there who has received a greatly needed confidence and self-esteem boost and thought so much of him. Then of course how much his acts of kindness and music meant to those around the world.

I’m posting this so his fans and those who crossed paths with him can know the impression he left on me. This will be a series of posts so I highly recommend subscribing to be notified of updates.

The first of my Prince blog posts series involves a long-lost character concept I wrote back in October 2011.  For the longest I’ve wanted to write my own animated series. It’s titled Hooked on Mutts and is centered on the daily lives and adventures of Sienna, a Beagle Harrier/Hamiltonstovare mix and several other animals living in the city of Los Angeles. The series has similarities to the Saturday morning and after-school cartoons I grew up with as well as a sitcom format like that of Sister, Sister, Kenan & Kel and the like. It’s written with a for all ages audience in mind. Many of the episodes contain real life locations, true story adaptations, various pop culture references and issues no different than those in real life.

 

Between it raining on and off and being away from my laptop during certain hours…I’ve had to make do with writing an overview of the blog series for the time being…So here’s a look at what’s up ahead:

 

The Lost Episode: A 2-way Street

In 2011, I wrote down a concept for a Standard Poodle character named Princeton who was to be part of a short story series titled “Waiting for Superdog”. Less than 2 months later I moved and forgot about the idea. Now in 2016, Princeton’s backstory has gone through some major editing. The character’s name was inspired by Prince himself with him in mind for voicing the character, Princeton in the Hooked on Mutts  season 1 episode “A Two Way Street.” Blog post will contain information about the episode and concept art.

 

“A Like-Minded Match”

An in-depth look a week-long research project and discovery at the similarities between myself and Prince.

How can two people who never met have so much in common?

 

“Different Strokes”

An Essay focusing on a character study between Prince Rogers Nelson and Aspergers, a form of Autism. Could Aspergers have played a major role in Prince’s personality and talent? If so, could this be an example of how one person with such a condition was able to reach record breaking milestones despite life’s obstacles?

 

That’s just a look at what’s up ahead… the first of the post series “The Lost Episode” will be posted later this week.

 

Thanks for stopping by!

 

See ya on Wednesday!

—-
Prompt for this post: Admiration

 

100_0043.jpg

California Coast

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Hey y’all,

Well, I’m not out of the woods yet.

Anyway, just wanted to post what’s coming up… The Vegas Pet Expo will be returning on the 9th of this month.

Also, February is Black History Month.

So, look for some posts related to Pets, Black history and more…

See ya on Monday!

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Lost Wednesday…


Hey y’all,

Still not feeling great, no worries it’s not flu related or anything.

Really, it’s nothing some tea and rest won’t solve.

Hopefully, I’ll be up and running again by next week.

See ya on Friday…

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Hi y’all,

Well, it’s Monday… last one in January, actually.

Not feeling great, so I’m sorry to say this hiatus will continue.

See ya on Wednesday!

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