Time for the rundown of the year’s most popular posts. Hope you’ll check them out if you haven’t already.
Excerpt: “You know, it’s a strange thing, but I heard that when slavery was over the slaves at Old Road didn’t even get drunk. I heard there was no great happiness among them. They didn’t know what would happen, so them give assurances that they will not leave the plantation, that they will continue on working for the old owners. The old slave massas let them continue to work the ground and grow food for themselves.”
Reflection: This one surprises me; I guess there’s more interest in our history than we realize as this is literally excerpts related to Emancipation in Antigua and Barbuda from the book To Shoot Hard Labour.
#2 – After the Storm
Excerpt: “I have seen social media posts (seemingly out of the US) indicating that we don’t matter either because the posters have never heard of us, because we’re too small to matter, because we’re ignorant for living in a hurricane pathway, because our houses are supposedly poorly built and not because of the 185 mph winds that passed directly over Barbuda, or because we’re doomed anyway – because climate change. I will agree with one thing; we do need to take climate change seriously – it is a factor and, though islands like ours are among the most vulnerable, this is a global problem. The lives of many hang in the balance. The Paris Agreement (which America recently pulled out of) was one step toward combatting climate change. So, in addition to supporting recovery efforts, we can resolve to educate ourselves on climate change and on efforts to mitigate its impact, and do what we can to support and advocate. The lives of every single being on the planet hangs in the balance. We have a saying here, today for me, tomorrow for you; I mention it here not to wish any of the trolls who scoffed at our pain ill but as a reminder that we need to stand together, because we’re all in this together. We, in the Caribbean, grieve and stand with the world when bad things happen anywhere in the world. We are very tuned in to the world (though we know the world is not likewise as tuned in to us) and we care (to wit, our hearts go out to Mexico as well at this time in the wake of the quake there). One of the trolls said we matter only as tourist destinations, and it is true that we live where the world vacations.”
Reflection: This is the first post I wrote after hurricane Irma; I’m delighted especially at how much it’s been shared as Barbuda and other affected islands and countries need all the help they can get (still).
#3 – Grace’s Merrymakers
Reflection: This was my post on my mas troupe inspired by my book With Grace; thanks for the interest, guys.
Reflection: This was just a share but understandably one that’s proven popular among book bloggers and readers.
#5 – Food as Culture
Excerpt: ‘Food to reflect differences.
‘“I can help with snacks,” the woman was saying. “Finger foods for during rehearsals and performance night.”
The woman seemed almost shy. Was that Granny Linda? He’d pictured someone taller. Her voice had sort of a shake in it too. This was Zahara’s no non-sense, ‘take no bullshit’ grandmother? Wow.
“Maybe some grilled pork and pineapple skewers?” she added.
“That sounds good,” Mr. Perry said, nodding. “Although you know, some of the kids are vegetarian; pork might not do for everyone.”
“That’s okay, I can substitute chicken,” Granny Linda said, and at that everyone fell out laughing.’’
Reflection: This post was sparked by an online food debate about the right way to make ducana (a Good Friday staple in Antigua) and got me thinking about the ways food shows up in my own work. Who knew food could inspire so much passion.
#6 – In the Race
Excerpt: “Thanks to my nominator for taking the time to read the work (With Grace) and fill out the forms (I know it was a pain); you didn’t have to and I appreciate that you did.”
Reflection: My post on my nomination for the Astrid Lindgren prize.
Excerpt: “As the author of With Grace, I am delighted at this development and hope With Grace continues to find its way in to the hands of children across the Caribbean and around the world.”
Reflection: When I learned that I had been selected for this, I was hyped. Thanks, VI. I just got a copy of the special edition – it’s not in the original post but I’m going to share it here anyway. That’s me with the publisher and the special edition of With Grace.
#8 – It’s Lost! Pub Day
Excerpt: “Remember, go to my facebook (today – November 30th 2017) to participate in the AMA, author-illustrator in conversation, Lost! virtual launch, book birthday.”
Reflection: This AMA was dope. Okay, it wasn’t so much of an AMA as a chat between me and the artist, loved that.
Reflection: This trended primarily across the book blogging community; happy to introduce others to books from my part of the map.
#10 – Do You Know Eileen Hall?
Excerpt: ‘If you google her, you might find her wiki entry (no pictures though) describing her as “an American poet”. Not true. She is, though, a largely forgotten Antiguan poet; and the same wiki entry does disclose that “Hall was born in Antigua; her father’s family was from Oxford and her mother’s family was part French and part Irish, the French side having been in the West Indies since the mid seventeenth century.” Like I said, Antiguan poet, one of the first – research would suggest – to be published internationally. Her 1938 book, published by Charles Scribner’s Sons, was The Fountain and the Bough.’
Reflection: Researching this post after I’d read Hall’s book consumed the better part of a night, so I’m glad there’s some interest because damn I went down the rabbit hole on this one.
Those are my top ten – i.e. most viewed, shared, liked, commented on – posts of 2017 (so far). Thanks for reading.