Blog Tour: My Writing Process

Writer's Craft
I can’t lie. I shimmied when I received Tayari’s invitation to the blog tour. I’ve admired and appreciated her since the release of her wonderful book, Silver Sparrow. I met her via Twitter, and because she was so warm and engaging, I bought the book and attended her book signing in Athens, Georgia. Gracious and welcoming, she shared her wisdom, time and friends with me that day. So the purpose of this blog tour is to showcase the ways writers engage in the writing process. To that end, bloggers answer four questions and pass the baton to two others. The questions and my responses are below: What are you working on? I’m in the early stages of a short story. I’ve not written very many of those, and in fact,…
Read More

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…
Read More

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?…
Read More

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…
Read More

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…
Read More

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…
Read More

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…
Read More

Midway check-in

30 Day Blog Challenge, 30 in 30 April
Blue skies swirl to pink lights. Fade to gray. It's dusk. I missed the blood moon eclipse last night, but I'm enjoying the sunset tonight. I've been sweeping away cobwebs, opening taps, stretching writing muscles. This is blog entry #15 in 15 days, and as usual, I'm glad I opted for the challenge. Also as usual, there are pros and cons to posting every day. But the benefits outweigh the drawbacks and I'm glad to get back into a writing rhythm. I've tried different approaches, but none seem to work as well as writing everyday. Writing everyday doesn't mean publishing my writing everyday, and that's the balance I'll work on once we enter May. For now, I shall continue with my daily entries. To strive even higher, to do even…
Read More

April Fool Freewrite

30 Day Blog Challenge, 30 in 30 April
There's been a lot on my mind in recent weeks. Days. Hours. Even just now as I started to write this entry, I decided against any number of topics and decided to simply say hello. Hello! I'm being indecisive, but I'm almost sure this is my first entry in another #30in30. Once in a while I challenge myself to blog every day for a month. Here are the entries from my previous forays. Generally I decide on a whim and just go for it. I've felt a little stuck with my writing lately. No shortage of ideas, but time is at a premium as of late. Maybe this will help me work around and through a few things. Here's to the ride. You coming along?  
Read More