6 to go

Personal Narrative
I've been 40 for six months! Yesterday was my half birthday. We have to blame Sojo and Sam for this whole half birthday thing. They are the ones who introduced me to the concept, and it took a few years before I actually paid attention to the calendar and remembered my own. But this year, finally, I did, and so happy half birthday to me! Some days it seems I haven't accomplished much this year, but as I sit and reflect, I have to admit that's impatience talking. I've gotten new opportunities at work and landed some interesting freelance contracts. I've made strides in my creative projects and midway between my birthday and my half birthday... [caption id="attachment_3044" align="aligncenter" width="400"] Me and Blue in NYC at an impromptu engagement party.[/caption] I got engaged. *shimmies*…
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Magical thinking. Mixed feelings.

30 Day Blog Challenge, Text Talk
I'm reading The Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion. It's wonderfully written, yet halfway in, I'm not sure I like the book. Well, the book I like. It's my relationship to the book that puts me ill at ease. I came to the book from several sources. One. A mentor/advisor recommended it once she discovered my renewed interest in journalism and creative writing. She spoke highly of the author in general and this book in particular, so I added to my ever-growing List of Books to Read. Two. Every now and again I review the list of Pulitzer Prize winners and add them to the similarly growing, often overlapping List of Writers to Know. Three. Pearl Cleage's newest book arrived amidst much fanfare, and more than once I saw…
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200 pages down.

30 Day Blog Challenge
I'm 2/3s of the way done with Pearl's book. I've been on a first name basis with her since I began this journey. Reading it makes me wonder how much wisdom gets lost because women don't share their most intimate thoughts? Either aloud or in writing? Many of us live our lives, and simply figure out the hard shit as we go along. Some read the self-help gurus say, and I'm sure there's plenty of insight to be gained by doing so. Others bond and grow through occasional talks with a close friend. But how many of us engage in a systematic effort to document (your real) life and the lessons it teaches you? Either for your own reflection and edification or for the express purpose of passing it on?…
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Rainy Friday, special delivery

30 Day Blog Challenge
The rain is tapping a sleepy rhythm outside, and I've been fighting sleep (I lost one battle) throughout the day. April showers bring May flowers and all that, but I can't help but wish for warmer temps to help cheer the gray days. Minutes ago I received my copy of Pearl Cleage's latest, Things I should Have Told My Daughter. Although I generally prefer fiction, I'm excited to read this book. I don't claim to be a fan of many folks, but I've appreciated Pearl's wit and wisdom for years. I'll share salient points as I come to them.
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Truth or dare

30 Day Blog Challenge, Personal Narrative
From Joshunda's interview with Pearl Cleage: A dual history of bias and internalized oppression has kept most black women from publishing their memoirs or journals, Cleage adds, for fear of emotional and economic reprisals. "After slavery ended, black women continued to put forward the idea that we were good, sexually responsible women, going up against the racist stereotypes that came out of the madness of slavery," Cleage says. "But there was still the fear of being too honest around white people. I don't feel that's a legitimate feeling for me. I'm going to tell the truth to whoever is in the room." When I read truth, I feel courageous and emboldened. Powerful. Magical. Writing the truth, however, is altogether different. But when I do, that's when folks nod. Say, I felt…
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What are your must-reads?

30 Day Blog Challenge, 30 in 30 April
The ladies of Whiskey, Wine and Moonshine have books on the brain. We may share some of our recent convos on an upcoming podcast. In the meantime, I want to know your thoughts about books. For all questions, you can choose more than one. Who is your favorite author? What's your favorite children's book? What's your favorite book? What makes it special? What book did you read that you wish you'd encountered earlier in life? How did you come to read it? What book would you recommend to someone? What makes it worthy? What notable book did you try reading, but abandoned? What book is on your "to read" list? Complete the following sentence: {Insert name of book} should be required reading for {insert individual or group} because (insert reason}.…
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Philip Hall and other loves

Text Talk
Judy Blume holds a place of honor in my childhood. She was far and away my favorite author, and if I didn't read all of her books growing up, it wasn't from lack of effort. Although she was firmly number one, I loved many books by many writers. Philip Hall Likes Me. I Reckon Maybe. Danny, the Champion of the World and Cheaper by the Dozen, were among the novels I read countless times. Some of my favorites still grace my bookshelves even now - either the original copies I read growing up, or new copies I bought as an elementary school teacher. My most cherished memories of teaching 4th grade include reading great books aloud to my students, engaging them in novel studies, or helping them make their way through their…
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