Today was a trip. Literally. Nothing to take the stress off like a long drive – especially if you don’t have to do the driving – with many of your favourite things. Beer and coffee ice cream plus one of the best sunsets ever.
Time outs are self-care, my people. And enjoyable, especially when unplanned.
Also enjoyable and unplanned is this video.
A friend shared it with me about a week ago but I only just last night got around to uploading it. It’s a reading from my children’s picture book With Grace at a community event. I had no idea until I saw the video. There’s something kind of special about others discovering your work and hearing them read it and having them share it with its target audience.
It’s been a tight week, a squeeze. Day before yesterday I co-facilitated a creative writing workshop for teens as part of a literacy festival organized by the Ministry of Education. And then once I was done with that, Friday was all about catch-up – catch-up on housework, work-related email and phone communication, working through editor/writing mentor notes on one of my creative pieces, research/prep on a soon-due commissioned article, JSYWP 2019 pre-planning , pitching potential advertisers for CREATIVE SPACE (issue 3 also written this week and focusing on the daring folk rowing the Atlantic and landing here, one of whom I went out to see arrive past midnight one night on a …Wednesday?), creating and adding client content to their social media, pitching (or formulating, or thinking about how to pitch) new publications, and this and that and the other thing…and life (i.e. all the personal demands and more). There was also this and that and the other thing; who can keep track of it all. Life keeps coming but I like the work I do (workshopping, writing, editing et al) so getting motivated is uuuusually not my problem…more time, more money, more sleep, more…rain, less stress, less anxiety, less non-constructive energy etc etc etc….these are my problems, but not getting motivated. Of course, motivation is not enough but it’s not nothing.
Like I’m very motivated to read (see what I did there, book blogging community) so I’m making space for it in my daily life but it’s never. enough. time. – just ask the somehow still growing TBR pile that keeps glowering at me (read me! read me!). So, I finished two books this month and I feel pretty good about that because I enjoyed them, because one of them felt like it would never finish, and because…well, that’s two more books finished this month (for a total of 10…hm I guess the community tendency to keep count is rubbing off on me…but it really doesn’t matter to me, it’s about rediscovering the joy of reading and I’m not about to let math steal my joy). Check my reviews for Inner City Girl by Colleen Smith-Dennis and The Black Rose by Tananarive Due; I’ll even re-add Possessing the Secret of Joy by Alice Walker which I finished last month, simply because I did an ETA to the original review after another level of interpretation occurred to me while reading another book. This past week among the books I’ve been reading but haven’t finished are Inferno by Dan Brown (I’m into it), a couple of unpublished books/theses on subjects of interest, and The Secret by Rhonda Byrne which is truly not my cup of tea (self-help books in general) but it’s been sitting there since I was gifted it a while ago and I guess I had time today (lol).
Additions to the TBR-in-hand include Songs of Silence by Curdella Forbes, whom I met a decade or so ago at a writers’ panel in which we were both participating (looking forward to reading) and Harriet’s Daughter by Marlene Nourbese Philip (the discovery of books by Caribbean authors continues). These were extras from the gifts for participants in the workshop I facilitated. The engagement with both students and a couple of the teachers (who are introducing my book Musical Youth, which is now on the local schools reading list , to their students by the way) was the highlight of that experience. The request by a couple of students, who had read The Boy from Willow Bend (which has been on the reading list for a few years), for a photo with the author was nice. Surprising but nice. People appreciating the books will, I hope, always be as fresh as the first day – even
if when I become an international bestselling author (just speaking positive intention like The Secret says).
This week, I received the latest copy, issue 32, of The Caribbean Writer, a literary journal from the University of the Virgin Islands which includes my story The Night the World Ended inspired by 2017, the hurricane season from hell but thank God we made it (though for a number, the recovery continues). In other new and forthcoming books news, I’m looking forward to receiving my contributor copy of New Daughters of Africa which is due out this month. That one, as I’ve written here before, includes my story Evening Ritual. also want to shout out writer-friend Preeta Samarasan who has an entry in this new collection The Principal Girl another one for my TBR.
I talk about two of my faves – Edwidge Dandicat and Earl Lovelace over on my Wadadli Pen blog. Meanwhile, on this blog, I was sad to wrap my She’s Royal series (spotlighting royal women Hollywood might want to consider if it ever wants to take a break from spotlighting the same 2-3 British queens) . You can read the entire series here.
Speaking of Hollywood, did you enjoy the Academy Awards at the start of the week? I did (though I was bummed for Glenn Close) right up until the, for me, jaw dropping win by Green Book. If you’ve read my Oscars post, you know that I think Green Book was entertaining but problematic and not particularly groundbreaking cinematically. You know, too, that I was rooting for Black Panther, Blackkklansman, or Roma…but especially Black Panther (I knew it was a long shot but am very happy at its win for costume and production design, deserving, and was surprised by its score win, also deserving, but I knew competition was strong).
Anyway, click the links for what’s new on the blog and that’s it #thefreelancinglife #TheWritingLife #justlife and some #bookchat
And remember, if you don’t know my books and want to, here’s where you go; and if you want to access or help me spread the word re my services, here’s where you go. If you want to know if I know what I’m doing, read writing reviews (from critics, bloggers, readers) here, and read reviews (from clients, workshop participants) re my services, here.
Linking this one up to a few Saturday to Monday memes, namely:
Oh, one last thing, my blog readership is a mix of local and international, so some of this may not interest you but a reminder for anyone interested that this is the last month of the #readAntiguaBarbuda #voteAntiguaBarbuda Book of the Year challenge, a project of the Wadadli Youth Pen Prize – which I founded in 2004 to nurture and showcase the literary arts in Antigua and Barbuda. The annual writing challenge is on hold this year, but you can still support the literary arts by showing a local author some love and giving one of their books – a book you legitimately like – a boost. I’m happy to report that we have two patrons on board and a selection of books by local and/or Caribbean authors valued at EC$600 will be going to either the winning author’s alma mater or a school of their choosing.
Okay, that’s all she wrote.