Archive for the ‘publishing’ Category

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5 Parallels Between the Reasons to Vote and the Reasons to Write

November 6, 2019

Yes! Oh No! After an election, voters may feel a tirade of emotions, including elation, anger, sadness, joy, or disgust. Much like writers careening through their journeys, voters ride an emotional roller coaster every two to four years. And although the darker moments can be draining, neither the voter nor the writer should quit. Ever.

A vote in the United States is exactly what defines our country. Freedom. The right to express oneself was hard-earned—for Blacks, for women, and for the white men escaping the king’s laws during the dawn of our democracy. Voting is a privilege and a responsibility, but it’s more than that. Voting is voice.

A writer, too, has voice. Words on the page are executed, hopefully, with passion and organization. Not every writing piece will be well received. Not every candidate will win. Rejection and losing stink. But it is what makes a writer, a person, and a country grow. After a devastating loss, there are two choices: to quit or to pick up the pieces and persevere. So goes it for a well-seasoned writer.

Below are five parallels between the reasons to vote and the reasons to write.

Reasons to Vote

  1. your vote is your voice—you do make a difference
  2. votes lead to policies that will affect your community
  3. it is your right and responsibility
  4. prevent fascism and corruption
  5. become empowered and heard

Reasons to Write

  1. your writing is your voice—you do make a difference
  2. writing leads to words that will affect your community
  3. it is your passion and your prayer
  4. prevent junk reads and fake news
  5. become empowered and heard

Non-action never wins.

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Best Books of the Year

December 3, 2018
books on bookshelves

Photo by Mikes Photos on Pexels.com

Back Again: A few of my favorites books of the year (some were published before 2018- it just took me until now to read them). They are in no particular order.

Middle Grade:                                             

Louisiana’s Way Home; Kate Di Camillo

The Someday Birds: Sally J. Pla

One and Only Ivan: Katherine Applegate (how did I not read this until now?)

Young Adult:

Written in the Stars: Aisha Saeed

We are Okay: Nina La Cour

Dear Martin: Nic Stone

You’ll Miss Me When I’m Gone: Rachel Lynn Solomon

Adult Fiction:

The Great Believers; Rebecca Makkai (this is #2 on the NYTIMES best books of 2018- see below)

Nightingale: Kristin Hannah

Sing Unburied, Sing: Jesmyn Ward

Non-Fiction and Memoir:

Why I no Longer Talk to White People

The Recovering: Leslie Jamison

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks; Rebecca Skloot

Educated: Tara Westover

Here’s a link to the top 10 2018 favorites from The New York Times: https://www.nytimes.com/2018/11/29/books/review/best-books.html

As always… it doesn’t matter what you read, just read!

Happy December, y’all!

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How Ursula K. Le Guin Taught Me to Keep Writing

August 23, 2018

When I stopped writing a column for our local paper, I stopped writing essays.

Big mistake.

I lied to myself, rationalizing reasons why. I stopped because I needed to focus on fiction writing. I stopped because I was too busy teaching. I stopped because of limited time left with teenagers at home. Mostly, I’d stopped writing essays because I didn’t know what to do with them and was plagued by self-doubt.

I questioned whether or not I should seek publication elsewhere, continue my blog, or squirrel the words away, stuffing them into a folder. I wasn’t sure where to focus. If I continued writing essays, did I need to concentrate on particular issues? Should I write about writing, about politics, about parenting or relationships or emotional hardships or my dog? Themes and thoughts triggered my words, but I left them floating adrift.

Perhaps, at the deepest level, I wondered if anyone wanted to hear what I had to say. Who was my audience? Who cared?

Maybe no one.

But as days pushed by and words tackled pieces of my brain, begging to escape; I realized it didn’t matter. Writing essays, whether they were political rants or deep misgivings, gave me a therapeutic vent for my rambling thoughts. I needed a place to put my volatile emotions and passionate beliefs.

I recently read No time to Spare; Ursula K. Le Guin’s collection of blog posts and realized she wasn’t writing to anyone in particular. She had no consistent theme. She wrote about age, she wrote about her cat. Her words screamed, they whispered, they laughed. She clearly didn’t give a damn who read her written thoughts. She wrote them because she had no choice.

Although I enjoy teaching, writing fiction and crafting story is my life’s work. I care about plot and characters and theme. I want to publish, but for me, writing fiction is different than writing essays. I don’t care who reads my contemplations—but because I can’t stop them—why not write them anyway? With that knowing, I’ll continue my blog. I’ll publish on Medium. I’ll send a few letters to the editor. I may write haphazardly about ideas and issues; perhaps I’ll write weekly; maybe bi-monthly.

The only think I do know? I’m back writing essays.