Hi You, what’s new?
Here’s some of what’s new with me.
‘Ixie and Izzie‘ has been published in Moko: Caribbean Arts and Letters as part of the speculative “sky islands” story project. I was given the history and rules of this world and invited to create within that space and this is what I wrote. See this and other short fiction listed here.
The moon was far enough away that night that she was nothing more than a shadow inside of a shadow as she slipped naked in to the pool at Rain Falls. She felt her way across, keeping to the edge, and climbed up the rock face just a bit. She seated herself right in the water’s path, and when she lay back, it covered her, the cold water a sheet muffling the world and giving her something warm to wrap herself in. She didn’t even need to hold her breath if she angled her chin downwards. And so she could lay there for a while.from Ixie and Izzie
My story ‘Willow’ is included in The Perito Prize Anthology 2021, a UK-publication including international writers who were among the top previously unpublished submissions for the Perito Prize short story compeition focussed on inclusivity and access. My Books page has been updated with this information. Here’s the opening.
One day Vancia sat on the ground and never stood again. In time, she grew roots which dug into the side of the road and anchored her there. In time, her limbs hardened like tree hide and from hard came soft. The wispy hairs on her arm grew out and down like the weeping willow. In time, children would forget there was ever a Vancia and their children wouldn’t even know her. In time, all that was left was a weeping willow everyone crossed the street to avoid, though nobody remembered why.from Willow by Joanne C. Hillhouse
As of December, The Jungle Outside, my 2021 release, is available in the ebook format across all online retail platforms; here’s the first page and here’s an audio excerpt.
With publications comes publicity. If you missed any of my public appearances this year, here’s where you go.
And for the illustrator and cover artists for three of my books getting some shine, here’s where you go.
Musical Youth – my Burt Award winning and Kirkus 100 indie book – has picked up new reader reviews as people continue to pick up the book (a big thank you for that). Shout to the booktuber who included it in her November reading round-up (“It was wonderful…the themes will resonate with everyone…I read it, loved it.”) and her year end wrap-up.
“But I also really love Joanne Hillhouse’s YA novel Musical Youth which focuses on the experience of children learning about colourism and how colourism is manifested in their communities. And one of the things that we all loved talking about in the book club was how this author chose to show male friendship and it was just wonderful. It was a wonderful read because of so many things….I think I would probably push you more toward Joanne Hillhouse’s Musical Youth because this is not such a well known author and maybe she could stand to use a little bit more recognition.” (appreciate that)
Several goodreaders also had interesting things to say as well. One of my faves. “I liked the romance elements in here, but loved the friendships. I don’t often see guys’ friendships explored in YA fiction and I appreciated the care that Hillhouse took with showcasing those relationships. I also appreciated the way she explored colorism and self-acceptance. She handled the discussion in a way that felt realistic for the characters and not like the author using them as a mouthpiece. I was really glad to find this author and look forward to reading more of her work.” Also this one. “Caribbean YA just slaps differently, and this book is great reminder of this.” Read them all.
Losing momentum since this post, in which I discussed writing everyday but two in November and progress on my short story collection, which continues. My most regular writing though remains my column (deadlines help – listened to a podcast featuring Edwidge Dandicat recently that reassured me that it happens to the best of writers and whatever works). Speaking of The last CREATIVE SPACE of 2021 begins with a Christmas uprising of enslaved people here in Antigua and ventures in to Christmas traditions in the Caribbean and African diaspora in our hemisphere. It’s called Caribbean Christmas – if you miss any of the latest columns, remember you can check the listing of 2021 CREATIVE SPACE columns.
That it was a good year for CREATIVE SPACE goes without saying – in addition to the arts it tackled cultural topics related to issues from mental health to marine life/conservation issues – and picked up an environmental award for the latter. Read about some of that here. I also appreciate how well it’s been received by the art community.
CREATIVE SPACE 2022, meanwhile, begins this week (this and every other Wednesday, my birthday!) with a conversation with Antiguan and Barbudan writer Floree Williams Whyte about her new book Dance on the Moon and journey in writing and publishing. It’ll be blogged and vlogged; here’s a clip:
I posted my workshop schedule for 2022. Link on the Jhohadli Writing Project page.
Other Work News
I’m available for work – that is all – and some have said that I do good work. Got a call this past week from a book editing client who recently landed a publishing deal for the book I edited. “you assisted me tremendously,” she said. Here’s my CV, portfolio, and other performance reviews.
I ended the year with Fireburn and Triangular Road in December and DNF’d one (through no fault of its own). Thirty one books read in 2021. Reviews are all in Blogger on Books 2021(13 novels/story collections, 7 children’s books, 6 graphic novels/comics, 4 book length literary magazines/journals including Windrush which includes my story ‘The Other Daughter’ and Skin Deep in which three of my poems were published, 1 non-fiction book).
I posted and made a vid of my top books (and movies) of the year.
The Top CREATIVE SPACE and Blogger on Books posts of 2021.
Top Jhohadli blog and AntiguanWriter vlog posts of 2021.
The deep academic dissection of one of my novels (alongside discussion of books by Elizabeth Nunez and Andrea Levy) in a thesis I found online was one of my favourite things I read in the tail end of the year. I’ve excerpted it here.
All mostly caught up. Thanks for hanging. Share some of your news so I can come see.
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