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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This is all there is.

30 Day Blog Challenge, Personal Narrative
I'm unsettled, yet settling in. Thinking. Reconsidering. I was clear about a decision yesterday. I revisited it today and realized, although a good decision, it's one that would lead me on a familiar path instead of the new path I've claimed to be walking. Always grateful for moments of reflection. I've long gravitated toward interesting, yet shunned exciting in favor of practicality. Sam might say that's my Venus in Capricorn. It serves me, yes. I lean on it too much, this taking the practical road thing I do. Doing what makes sense rather than what ignites is safe. Today it also feels useless. Or maybe it's outlived its usefulness. I'm taking steps, but if I get to the crossroads and choose the path previously traveled by, how will I arrive…
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To be or not to be… outraged.

30 Day Blog Challenge
It's a day ending in "y" so that means it's a perfect day to be outraged. And outraged, we are. I'm not going to share what we're outraged about because chances are, by the time you read this entry, we'll be outraged about something else entirely. A few weeks ago Whiskey, Wine & Moonshine talked about society's propensity to be outraged about, well, everything. Some folks seem to get up in arms about everything, and others seem unable to muster a flip about anything much. They're on the other end of the outrage continuum, hanging out at the apathy mark. {Insert horrible thing to be outraged about} and we aren't interested in the details. Our heads are buried in the proverbial sand. We just go along with the status quo, because…
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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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Healing. An excerpt.

30 Day Blog Challenge
This is stream of consciousness from my efforts at NaNoWriMo last fall. This is fiction. I wrote 1,000 words a day for 30 days. This excerpt was selected at random this afternoon. This is raw data. For better or for worse, it's unedited. I finally arrive and set up as close to the ocean as possible. Only a few people are out. I stretch out my sheet and lay my belongings on top. I quickly strip down to my suit. It’s a simple black bikini this time, and I'm aware of a few appraising eyes glancing at my glutes. I tie my hair in a messy knot atop my head and stride toward the ocean. I sigh as my feet, right first, then left, touch the cool, clear water. The bottoms…
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Spring!?

30 Day Blog Challenge
Is it possible? Has spring finally sprung in Georgia? After many false starts, has winter finally melted away? Flowers and trees have long thought so. Dogwoods are in bloom and a healthy layer of yellow dust has blanketed cars and outdoor furniture. Folks with allergies walk around with puffy pink eyes and hints of congestion interferes with small talk about the weather. Despite these outward signs, the morning 40s have persisted. We'll warm up a bit by late afternoon, only to plummet once the sun goes down. That's someone's definition of spring time, but that's not how we do it in the Deep South. Yet today? There were no April showers! There were no morning 40s! The sun shone beautifully all day as did I in my dress! I'm excited.…
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In the home stretch

30 Day Blog Challenge
It's always an interesting exercise to blog every day for 30 days. As the month wears on, it gets alternately easier and more challenging. Mostly easier. I look back and realize there were a couple of interesting posts in the jumble of freewrites, last-minute entries, and comments on other people's writing. That's nice to see. I have a little over a week in this particular challenge, and as usual, I'm thinking about my public vs. private writing. The things I want to write about and the things I end up blogging are often different. I have mixed feelings about this. But as this is my fourth time engaging in this sort of daily blogging practice and my findings have been the same each time, I'm going to act on the…
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Dreams, obligations and learning to say no.

30 Day Blog Challenge, Personal Narrative, Text Talk
How many minutes per day are enough to set aside for your dreams when you have a full 25 hours of obligations? Blue posed this question to me last week. I was between two appointments and missing Tananarive Due's Octavia E. Butler Celebration of Arts & Activism at Spelman College. (#OctaviaButlerSpelman). I was disappointed, but thanks to social media, I caught some of the proceedings later via live stream. Blue's question was a good one. He offered a response: Maybe the secret is minimizing your obligation footprint. But how? In the past my approach has been to start with dreams instead of waiting to fit them in later. "Later" isn't tangible. In fact, by definition, later is always some time other than the present. Starting with dreams means waking before sunrise to tackle priorities. Or it…
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Publishing and power

30 Day Blog Challenge
Check out this piece by Daniel José Older, about the lack of diversity in the publishing industry. The topics he engages here speak to some of the reasons I've considered launching an independent publishing house myself. From the piece: In the New York Times last month, children’s book illustrator Christopher Myerswrote about “The apartheid of literature — in which characters of color are limited to the townships of occasional historical books that concern themselves with the legacies of civil rights and slavery but are never given a pass card to traverse the lands of adventure, curiosity, imagination or personal growth.” Myers’ father, author Walter Dean Myers, wrote about growing up a bibliophile in Harlem, falling out of love with books when they offered up no characters he could relate to, and the revelation of reading Sonny’s…
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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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