Hurricane Dorian Was a Climate Injustice — Productivity Hub

“These storms are, for sure, different. And deadly… Climate scientists have warned us of such disasters. As carbon emissions continue to enter the atmosphere and the greenhouse effect persists, global temperatures will continue to rise. The air and water around the tropical Atlantic will get warmer and warmer, and, likely, as a result, hurricanes will develop and grow stronger more quickly and carry more rain as they move. … Small Island Developing States such as the Bahamas and the numerous countries of the Caribbean—and also the Maldives and Samoa, among others—are on the front lines of climate-change disasters and yet have little power to reverse the crisis by their own efforts… The climate crisis is here, and alleviating it is going to require the efforts of the whole world.”

Louder for the people in the back! #Climatechangeisreal

It looked like the trees had risen out of an angry ocean. It looked like a man was standing on a ship that had wandered into a storm. But the man was not on a ship; the man was on land, and the ocean was at his front door. The water was many feet deep and […]

via Hurricane Dorian Was a Climate Injustice — Productivity Hub

Ava DuVernay, Sam Rockwell to Receive Gotham Awards Honors — Variety

Ava DuVernay is a groundbreaking and influential filmmaker whose work casts an overdue and much needed light on the history of our nation’s systemic racism embedded in our institutions of justice today,” said Jeff Sharp, executive director of IFP and the Made in NY Media Center. “She is enlightening and impactful to a new wave of filmmakers and her films are profoundly consequential to our nation’s continued endeavor to provide equal justice for all.”

You already know I’m rooting for Ava DuVernay’s When They See Us this awards season – I also like her series Queen Sugar on OWN and her model of hiring exclusively female directors simply because it suits the series and goes a small way towards correcting an industry wide gender imbalance when it comes to which talents get the opportunity. I don’t talk about Queen Sugar much because I’m so far behind (on this and every series I care about) I’ll break my back trying to dodge spoilers at this point.

I also like Sam Rockwell with his quirky self, and plan to catch Fosse/Verden at some point.

Ava DuVernay will receive the Director Tribute and Sam Rockwell will be presented with the Actor Tribute at the Independent Filmmaker Project’s Gotham Awards. The 29th IFP Gotham Awards will take place this year at Cipriani Wall Street in New York City on Dec. 2 in the first awards show of the season. “Ava DuVernay is a…

via Ava DuVernay, Sam Rockwell to Receive Gotham Awards Honors — Variety

Toronto Film Review: ‘Harriet’ — Variety

The review is lukewarm but still a Harriet Tubman film is long overdue and I haven’t seen a Kasi Lemmons film since Eve’s Bayou  (I don’t think she’s done many, so good to see her re-emerge) – hard to believe someone who made that very atmospheric film would make something as prosaic as the review suggests but I guess I’ll find out… if it ever comes here.

When you see photographs of Harriet Tubman (and many exist), she appears, in an eerie way, to be staring right at us. Her implacable scowl throws down a gauntlet that cuts across the ages. Cynthia Erivo, the British singer and actress who takes on the title role of “Harriet,” nails that thousand-yard glare with a…

via Toronto Film Review: ‘Harriet’ — Variety

“Uno X Uno por Bahamas” A Puerto Rican Alliance for Hurricane Relief — Repeating Islands

[Many thanks to Roselina Rivera for bringing this item to our attention.] Having recently experienced the devastation caused by Hurricane María, Puerto Ricans have been particularly moved by the present devastation caused by Hurricane Dorian in the Bahamas. Here is a translation of “Econo y Fondos Unidos forman alianza para llevar ayuda a las Bahamas” […]

via “Uno X Uno por Bahamas” A Puerto Rican Alliance for Hurricane Relief — Repeating Islands

Recently, from my Blogs

First things First

I want to share these images shared on social media by a Bahamian writer in my facebook timeline for those who want to help the islands hit by hurricane Dorian.

Reading notes

Not a huge amount to report but the book I made the most progress on this week was Marlon James’ Black Leopard Red Wolf which I’m flowing with better now that I’ve restarted it. Progress (or lack thereof) on this and most of the books I’m reading is due to time (not the book) and I had a review request come in this week; so …well, we’ll see.

#MusicalYouthbook Publicity

I stopped by ABS TV studios to talk about and read from #MusicalYouthbook, the second edition of which has been just published. I’ve updated Appearances and here’s the full press release from the publisher.

(with the cast of the ABS TV morning show)

A rec of a Rec

Someone I know recommended this children’s book – I can write the world – in their newsletter. I thought I’d pass it on. It’s about a girl who wants to be a journalist telling stories from her neighbourhood.

Posts I hope you’ll check out

The Best Advice I can offer – Increasing Exposure 

Carib Plus Lit News

In general

There have been some spectacular challenges of late, I’m not gonna lie. I’ve been doing my best to take it all in stride. After all, per an interview with a client for whom I’m doing a company profile, when you’re doing what you love even the bad days are good days (I’m paraphrasing and we were both riffing on a  not-new idea, but you get the point). My computer going kaput near the end of the week felt like life seeing me being positive in spite of…and saying, hold my beer… but I got some help and I give thanks for that. And have been working to recapture as many of my lost files as I can while simultaneously continuing to meet the demands of being #onthehustle and #TheWritingLife  And as for the computerocalypse, I’m not gonna gripe, I could’ve been in a worse spot.

The Best Advice I Can Offer – Increasing Exposure

Well, I did say this might become a series. So here we are again with me sharing my Best Advice I can offer in response to a recent question about the writing and publishing life that landed in my DMs. The question: What opportunities would you say are available to Caribbean authors to increase exposure. What are the challenges to getting novels carried by bookstores across the Caribbean?

My response (partial):

Increasing exposure is a matter of trial and error in my experience. Re getting books placed anywhere (primarily a responsibility of my publishers though I reach out to book retailers where and when I can with book announcements etc.), the challenge, I believe, is saleability or perceived saleability (not always the same thing) depending on numerous factors. I don’t have a definitive answer to any of this – continuous and creative promotion and engagement across every platform available to me (social media to direct mailings to direct contact to lit fests etc.) has been my approach. If (you have) the resources to hire a PR or ad or promotion agency or consultant, this might help. I have gathered information in my time that I’ve posted which I believe would be of value to other writers. Three of them are linked here.

Image caption: Below, I also talk about seizing opportunities. An anecdote about this picture. Here, I’m doing an interview on the ABS TV morning show (September 5th 2019). An interview I initially turned down because life was pulling at my resources (or lack thereof) and more importantly my spirit and I didn’t think I could muster that morning TV energy. Being upbeat author when I was feeling anything but felt like a lie. But, given that the invite came in response to me sending out the announcement re the second edition of my book #MusicalYouthbook coming out, I managed to talk some sense in to myself before my publisher had to. I did the show, had a good time (didn’t have to fake it), got some attention for the book, all while life-was still life-ing. Given that no one owes me TV time to talk about and read from my book, whatever else is going on life-wise, I’m happy that when it came to this book promotion opportunity, I didn’t stand in my own way and thankful to ABS TV for extending the invitation. p.s. you know how I know I don’t have a style team: that bra strap playing peek-a-boo. Keeping it real.

So that was my quickly fired off response. I will add only research (see what strategies are popping, what has worked for other writers that might be practical for you – a blog tour if you can’t do a literal tour, for instance) and take action, be proactive (including being in discourse with your publisher, making suggestions – fair warning: there might be resistance), be ready and open to opportunities (see image caption), and tell that little voice in your head trying to deter you from drawing attention to yourself to take a seat and shut the bleep up.

Musical Youth Second Edition

The second edition of #MusicalYouthbook launched in early August with this release from Caribbean Reads Publishing:

(original cover art by Antiguan and Barbudan artist Glenroy Aaron)

Basseterre, St. Kitts, August 8, 2019. CaribbeanReads Publishing, a small press based in St. Kitts-Nevis, announced today the release of the second edition of Musical Youth, the award-winning title by Antiguan and Barbudan author Joanne C. Hillhouse. Over four thousand copies of the first edition of the book, which won second place in the 2014 Burt Award for Caribbean Literature, have been distributed to young people throughout the Caribbean and the world. Musical Youth has been well-received by critics, reviewers, and most importantly by teens and is currently included on the book lists at schools in Antigua and in Trinidad and Tobago. While the text remains basically unchanged, the second edition sports a new cover and the kindle version contains links to a candid discussion about Hillhouse’s writing process, her vision of the characters, and more.

“This is such an important milestone,” commented Carol Mitchell of CaribbeanReads. “Caribbean books are finding their place in the global literature scene one book at a time. We are excited that thousands of Caribbean children have read this book, but we are also thrilled when we receive orders from Australia and Italy as it speaks to the human appeal of the story.”

Musical Youth is a coming-of-age story set in Antigua and, by chronicling one summer in the lives of a few teens, touches on a number of issues that our Caribbean youth face such as class differences, colourism, and relationships-romantic, familial, and platonic. The publishers credit the book’s success to the high quality of Hillhouse’s storytelling, the global appeal of the teen story, and the tremendous support they received from the NGO CODE, the NGC Bocas Lit Fest, the Antiguan (and Barbudan) Ministry of Education, bookstores like Best of Books in Antigua and Paperbased in Trinidad, and book reviewers.

In the Acknowledgements of the new edition, Hillhouse thanks “readers everywhere—tout monde sam and baggai, as we say in Antigua and Barbuda—who bought and/or took the time to recommend the book; and specifically, Caribbean readers and young people who have told me how much they love Zahara, and how Zahara and Shaka are #relationshipgoals.”

Ms. Hillhouse has made several contributions to the literary scene in the Caribbean. In addition to the award winning Musical Youth, she is the author of The Boy from Willow Bend, Dancing Nude in the Moonlight, the children’s book, Lost! A Caribbean Sea Adventure, [ETA: With Grace], and the mass market title Oh Gad! She has been recognized at book festivals in the Caribbean and the US, and featured in Essence magazine.