The Sunday Post (March 25th 2018)

This is my Sunday Post, shout out to the Caffeinated Reviewer. The Sunday Post is weekly which provides the opportunity to recap and look ahead, re books, blogging, and life. ETA: Also making this my post for the meme It’s Monday, What are You Reading?

This Sunday I’ve mostly been reading through submissions to the Wadadli Youth Pen Prize’s annual writing challenge, which is part of its mandate to nurture and showcase the literary arts in Antigua and Barbuda. I’m not the main judge – she’s at work, but several members of the team, including me, spent some time over the past month or more benched by the flu and other illnesses – but I will be singling out some submissions for mention/encouragement, it being a winner-take-all year (normally, the prize breaks down in to categories along age lines and then a top three overall). We’re doing this in part because we just couldn’t cope with taking on the full scale challenge this year but didn’t want to shelve it and have it lose momentum. We’re behind our usual schedule but in addition to the late start re planning and illness, there’s work, life, and growing pains…there’s probably even some election hangover (it was election week in Antigua and Barbuda); but we’re working toward having the results out as soon as possible (Wadadli Pen not election, those results are already out). We’ve already started to receive follow-up queries.

As I write this, I’ve got to get ready to leave shortly for an event. More about that another time…maybe. ETA: Read about that event on my other blog.

And that’s my Sunday.

Last week on the blog

I did the 50 Questions you’ve never been asked Tag

The Boy from Willow Bend - COVER.p65

A Study Guide (Author Edition) for my book The Boy from Willow Bend (which is read by students in the Caribbean)

Speaking Intention (which I described in my reply to a comment as the scariest post I’ve done in my blogging life)

And though written a year ago, a poem that fits right with my mood, post-election, Antigua

I also added some throwback reviews from my My Space days (now back online) to my Blogger on Books series – most recently With Silent Tread by Frieda Cassin


Around the Blogosphere

The posts by other bloggers that caught my interest (well, there were a few but especially) were:

The Merchant of Venice as a Once Upon a Time Book set in Venice at Definitely Lorna

Zeezee with Books post on The Demon Lover by Juliet Dark

Art Exhibition: Jacqueline Bishop’s “By the Rivers of Babylon” at Repeating Islands

And *shameless plug* Protest magazine published my article Where’s Storm’s Movie?

Other stuff

Be sure to check out my services, my books, my media page, and other things.

I’m still reading all the books I’ve been reading, most actively this week A Brief History of Seven Killings, All the Joy You can Stand, Outliers, and Nobody owns the Rainbow. Fingers crossed I finish one soon.


Sunday Reflection

This week has been an emotional rollercoaster and my body’s feeling it. At one of my lowest points this week, a friend walked me through an exercise I walk her through when she’s down (borrowed from the closest thing to a journaling exercise that I do on the regular). What’s good today, Joanne? It’s a question you ask yourself even while in the middle of it. It has the effect of re-focusing your thoughts outside of the moment and reminding you that the moment is but a moment and this too will pass. I’ve found that even on the worst days, it is possible to pull up an answer to this question…even if it means reaching and reaching…and pulling that answer out of your ass. Turns out I didn’t have to reach as far as I thought I would given how life had sideswiped me that day. I was making progress on  a writing project – it was the first thing I did that day actually and though it seemed like a long time ago, it happened. I finished Trevor Noah’s Born a Crime – okay, I blogged how since it was an audio read and not a book read, which was new to me, I didn’t feel like I’d really read it but I was happy to have done whatever I did it and recc’d it to her enthusiastically. Oh and there was that Wadadli I paused to drink on my way to dealing with that thing, and it mellowed me out. I slowed my steps down because I didn’t want to rush it and my thoughts turned …okay, this is what it is, now what’re we going to do…by the time I reached there I didn’t have all the answers but I didn’t feel as hopeless because I was starting to work my way through possibilities again (and that’s the nature of hope isn’t it, that click between well fuck it and okay now what). Life stays trying to break us but we stay moving and because the bad things demand so much attention, we sometimes miss the good things.  And one of the best things about that day was that friend on the other side of the line.

That bit of Sunday reflection is my contribution to the Sunday Post; now on to the books and things.

Books Read

As noted, Born A Crime (audio version because I still plan to read it) – read my review here. I also added some older reviews that I’m still transferring from my old My Space bit by bit (also given the platform they’re taken from they tend to be little mini-bite reviews but hopefully you’ll get the gist). They are Emerald Isle of Adventure by Rachel Collis, Friends and Lovers by Eric Jerome Dickey, What Yellow Sounds Like by Linda Susan Jackson, and Whitehorn Woods by Maeve Binchy.

Books Reading

Michelle over at In Libris Veritas blogged in her Sunday Post about mental exhaustion and how it can affect the reading (and I might add sleeping, and writing, and life) and I feel her. That’s definitely a factor this recent however long with how ever little reading it feels like I’m getting done. But you know what, I’m not trying to wrack up numbers with this reading but experiences. So I’m going to re-set my mind on that (I don’t need another thing to feel like I’m failing at, certainly not something that’s supposed to be fun). So, going forward I’m going to discuss not just what I’ve finished but what I’ve made progress on – in both cases while riding the bus, so maybe I need to ride the bus more. A Brief History of Seven Killings by Marlon James is one. I swear I go through waves with this book, this was a good wave. The other was, damn I can’t remember the name now but it’s a fantasy about a girl whose parents are killed by a plague and who is adopted by a violent religious order in which she becomes one of their main priestess until their snake god (I think) tells her she needs to marry this king in order to prevent…an apocalypse (that’s kind of described like the urukai storming Helm’s Deep)…or something like that. I’m kinda going through the motions with this one at this stage but I haven’t closed the book on it yet. Those are the two books that I dipped in to this week.

And Things

This week I blogged about the Oscars – do stop by and fight me, and shared my contribution to letters for kids series which I did in support of my book With Grace…and the mango.

The writing Challenge I run here in Antigua took off this week literally, with entries starting to come in as soon as the deadline was announced – and before we were really set up to process them (it’s been that kind of year, but we press on and the eager response is an indication of why). If you’re Antiguan or Barbudan and you’re reading this you have until February 28th 2018 to submit, details here; if you’re not and you want to learn more about Wadadli Pen and contribute in some way (yes, we accept books as prizes), look us up here, and for more on Antigua and Barbuda, start here.

My favourite client note this week (between course/workshops, mentoring/coaching, and redrafting/editing) read, in part, “I really appreciate your comments. I must confess that I am learning a lot”, from someone several continents away. The work continues.

My favourite (and only…lol) reader review this week read, in part, “This is a very sweet story about home, family and friendship that any child is bound to enjoy.” That was posted to Amazon about my Arctic seal named Dolphin and the jellyfish named Coral that befriends him in Lost! A Caribbean Sea Adventure.  Fingers crossed that the writing continues.

Have a good Sunday and a Sunday-like week, everyone.

Books Mentioned in This Post

NoahKillingsEmeraldFriends and Lovers51K+GJC+wyL__SX337_BO1,204,203,200_34295with-grace-coverLost Cover Front 4

p.s. why does that EJD cover have me feeling nostalgic for those 90s era (Terry McMillan-esque) urban-art type covers. I mean, they kinda became ubiquitous but they were sort of genre-defining.

p.p.s. these are two additional covers sitting in my inbox amidst a half-remembered memory to shout them out as new releases by authors in groups I belong to. That’s all I got I haven’t read them, I don’t even have copies of them yet, but in the spirit of doing on to others as you would like done for you, I’m sharing the covers of The Stall Keeper and Matt O’Higgins and the Mystery of Hamburg Street. The Serpent Bride is the book mentioned earlier in the post sans name and The Last Black Unicorn by Tiffany Haddish is mentioned in my Oscars post.

25442897_10213194780637962_1293934449923847010_nshout out to recent releases from groups I belong toserpentunicorn



Sunday Post – just another Sunday in July

It’s been a quiet Sunday here in Antigua (quiet and hot!), the quiet before the storm that is Carnival – the Carnival bacchanal is already brewing (but that’s a story for another time).  Though, if you’re up for it, you can read my fictional Carnival Hangover story (mind the triggers though). This is my Sunday Post  (hosted by the Caffeinated Reviewer), also my Sunday Salon and I’ll probably link to some other bookish memes before I’m done (Stacking the Shelves, Mailbox Monday , and It’s Monday, what are you reading –  for example).

I have a few books on my mind this week including Musical Youth musical_youth_nov1-e1415925946338(which I’m pushing  as a great summer read for the teen in your life). Here’s an extract posted recently to the publisher website.

As to other people’s books… I finished reading Shakirah Bourne’s In Time of Need Time*throws confetti* and I posted my review. It’s a short story collection and I talk about each individual story. Here’s an excerpt (of my review, not the book):

‘I really loved ‘Crossing Over’ – I’ve read it before, in St. Somewhere, and was happy to see it here. It’s easily one of my favourites in this collection. The opening “When I was younger, I used to love going to funerals because I could sneak away from my crying mother and run outside in the graveyard with my friends, where the real fun began”, had a cracky, darkly humorous distinctly Caribbean, uncensored childlike askew view of the world that tickled me and yet the story navigates the tonal shift to darker themes with ease.’

Shakirah is a Barbadian writer, playwright, and filmmaker, a young Caribbean creative with seeming boundless energy given the sheer number of projects she’s rolled out in the past few years…but then she’s not as active in the blogging community as she used to be (the answer to her productivity may lie in that *hint hint* to self*). Read the entire review here  (well, until it moves to ‘older reads’ in which case the link can still be found here ).

So I’m actively reading See now thenSee Now Then by Jamaica Kincaid and GloriousGlorious by Bernice McFadden, and less actively (through no fault of the book’s, just time) Sargasso Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys, and then there are some dormant ones on my current reads list (which I’ll get back to as soon as I can) – including (freshly plucked from my book shelf) Nectar in a Sieve by Kamala Markandayanectar. Yes, I am the kind of reader that has several books going at once. What can I say, I like to mix it up –this is true of how I work and how I play.

Anyway, hope you’re enjoying life wherever you are and you’ve got a good book in your bag for those long bus rides.

Blogger on Books IV

I’m making this my post for the Sunday Post Weekly meme. Only my second time participating. So what’s new? Mangoes started coming in and mango season is always a happy season, whatever else is going on in the world (or, more specifically, my world). And I finished Edward P. Jones’ The Known World. I finished it right around the time I got to see Jordan Peele’s Get Out, a life syncing up moment if ever there was one. I recommend both the book and the film, both are in their way entertaining and compelling, dealing in different times and coming from different angles, but both centering race (both, without preaching, making us uncomfortable in interesting ways; uncomfortable’s not a bad thing if it gets us thinking on things and moves the needle). I might do a separate post on the movie but I’ve already posted on the book. It’s the latest addition to my Blogger on Books series – follow the link –> Blogger on Books IV