My Favourite Thing

This post links up with the My Favourite Thing To Do Next To Reading Meme.

This is a bit of a cheat since this Favourite Thing intersects with things bookish. I’m just back from a writers’ workshop. DfItCrWWAAITc7VA full week at Ocean Spray Apartments in Barbados where each night I fell asleep to the sound of the waves bashing against the rocks of Bim’s south coast and each day I sat half the day, with the rest of the day for my own pursuits in between one-on-ones with our tutors, with other writers under a gazebo alongside those ocean waves immersed in writing related learning. As I said in the review at the end, a Commonwealth sponsored, writer/editor Jacob Ross and sci-fi writer Karen Lord facilitated opportunity to re-learn things I know, learn new things, and be a part of a community of writers from across the Caribbean (St. Lucia, Grenada, Bahamas, Bermuda, Jamaica, my own Antigua-Barbuda, and, of course, Barbados) – learning together, drawing strength from each others’ experience, reading (yes, we had a joint public reading at which I made the last minute decision to read from my children’s picture book With Grace, the three copies I took with me now on shelves in Barbados and the Bahamas), laughing and eating (the food at Ocean Spray was so good and fresh, a rare blend of healthy and tasty) and beachcombing (though like Antigua, Barbados is currently having sargassum troubles) and shopping/window shopping and dancing (soca music for we soul) and eating (there was also a pizza night at author Ingrid Persaud’s beautiful home that was muah) and hiking (my legs are still mad at me for this one but they did enjoy traipsing up and down Coco Hill Forest – lush and rich with diverse plant life, just beautiful; again a side of Barbados I’ve never really seen and it is one of the Caribbean islands I’ve visited quite a bit, comparatively speaking). As I always say with my own small islands, there is always more to discover; it will take a lifetime and then some.

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I return home feeling energized and motivated re my writing (having received specific feedback on works in progress, re-affirmation re my writing, and reminders that though it may often feel that way, re our experiences as writers/artists/creatives in the Caribbean region, we are not alone) – though already real life is starting to insist on my time (doesn’t it seem sometimes like life is trying to punish us for taking some us time?). I did take the day, on returning, to go to the beach with a friend – and there is no better way to recover from a sleepless  night and an early morning flight.  I will try to hold on as much as possible to the energy of the week that has been so far one of my favourite adventures of 2018.

This being a book blogging community, I will end by sharing that I finally finished Malcolm Gladwell’s Outliers – what an interesting read. Check out my review.

Let’s try to stay positive, and pain free, motivated and energized. You and me both.

(re photos – I hope to have more soon[ETASee more photos in this post on my Wadadli Pen blog] – these were grabbed from various participants’ social media – one for sure is Nailah Imoja and the other I don’t remember, so apologies to them for that)

Haven’t checked out any of my books yet? Children’s picture book to teen/young adult fic to adult novels; read more.

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Lost! …What reviewers are saying

“Children will likely relate well to this story of getting lost while daydreaming and to the reassurance that kindly adults will look after strays. The book also gives them a chance to learn more about the work of environmentalists and Caribbean sea life.

An appealing book, all the more so for being based on real life.” – Kirkus Reviews

More Lost

For more Lost! Reviews, go here.

 

Mission Possible: Read

This summer, in Antigua and Barbuda, we (meaning me and Cedric of Wadadli Pen and the Cushion Club, respectively, with some overlap in between) decided to challenge our young constituency to spend part of their summer reading. Now, obviously, Cedric who volunteers his Saturdays with the reading Club and I who have done the same with less frequency (and not at all, lately) and who also run the annual Wadadli Pen writing challenge, believe that reading is its own reward. But we got ahead of ourselves and before long were offering a prize to the child who reads the most from an extensive reading list we came up with with the help of the Map Shop and the Best of Books (two local book stores). Cedric’s already collected the first of those prizes from a generous donor at which point we were like well, I guess we’re doing this and we put the word out to the media and on social media. Next thing Best of Books and Cindy’s Bookstore were offering discounts to anyone shopping at their stores and taking the Challenge. Then my publisher CaribbeanReads was getting in on the action with a Musical Youth Challenge within the larger Challenge (more on that in another post, another time). The reason for this post, on realizing that I’ve been blogging about this over at my other blog but have been so busy pushing my Jhohadli Summer Youth Writing Project over here that I forgot to mention it here – crossed wires. But then I came across this picture of me reading to children at the Public Library Summer camp in …I wanna say 2013 (?)…DSC_0344and it seemed a good time to mention it.

Parents, read with your children, go sign them up at the library – the public library (they can’t take out books just yet unfortunately but they could pass the day or part of it reading) or other community libraries, buy them the books (take advantage of those discounts), or trade or borrow books as I used to do back in the day, some of these books may already be in your family’s personal library (and make family there as extensive as you need it to be). Take the challenge, not just for the prize, but for the discovery, the adventure, the joy of reading. Details here.