Wadadli Stories

I am tired today, and as the week-ahead and its many demands loom, I kind of just want to pause the world for a while. Unfortunately, that’s not my superpower. So, I’ll just lie here a while longer and reflect on the yesterday that was. The book/lit nerd in me is very happy. Wadadli Pen came to an end (mostly, there are still some loose ends and, ugh, I HATE that but so it is) and the Wadadli Stories Book Fair was the bomb. Here are some visual highlights:

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How committed was I  to my pseudo-pirate get-up? It was hot as a summumma and I was in all black. No the book I’m holding, my children’s picture book, With Grace isn’t about pirates…but I don’t have my tree faerie costume yet *wink*

At Wadadli Stories 3

Forming de fool as we say here ’bout. #WithGrace

 

At Wadadli Stories 6

Okay, one proper one, with my flag in the background.

Okay, enough of that. Wadadli Stories was a book fair organized as a community event by a team of volunteers and contributors, corporate and private/individual. It included readings, reading testing, spelling bees, panels on writing, cosplay, erotica, and more.

cushion club at wadadli stories

The Cushion Club, a project I’ve volunteered with (and a patron of my other major volunteer project, Wadadli Pen) was there to read to the kids in the person of our long time chief, Cedric.

 

cosplay

Do you recognize any of your favourite comic characters? They came to play.

Skellihoppers

This tent used the event to give a visual history of Antiguan mas and to promote in particular the skellihoppers, who will be on the road this Carnival (late July-early August), our 60th anniversary of Carnival, during the opening parade and J’ouvert. The lady in the middle, meanwhile, is wearing a headwrap and trimming made of the madras that makes up our national dress. #local

books

Just some of the books on display including new author Claytine Nisbett’s Life as Josephine and my books Dancing Nude in the Moonlight, Musical Youth, Oh Gad!, and With Grace. All available online by the way, so though you couldn’t be here with us, you can still get these and other Antiguan and Barbudan books wherever you’re reading this from.

I was busy much of the day with readings and sessions, and in the evening with the Wadadli Youth Pen Prize 2017 Challenge Awards Ceremony. Obviously, that was my highlight – it’s a project I started in 2004 to nurture and showcase the literary arts in Antigua and Barbuda, and, in spite of the challenges, I am happy to say that it is not only still here but continues to grow.

Winners

2017 Challenge winners – prizes are across three age groups 12 and younger, 13 to 17, and 18 to 35, and then the top three. The person in the middle holding the Alstyne Allen Memorial Challenge plaque, sponsored by the Best of Books, is this year’s winner.

For more images from the Wadadli Stories book fair, check the the Best of Books on facebook. For the full breakdown of the 2017 Wadadli Pen Challenge results – who won what and to read the winning pieces, go to the Wadadli Pen blog (well, as I write this, everything isn’t yet uploaded but some of the stories are and more will be throughout the day or maybe the next couple of days; so check back::reasons for the delay? See opening lines of this blog).

This is my Sunday post. Happy Mother’s Day to all the mothers out there.

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It’s Sunday: Here’s My Week in Books ‘n things

I rescued one of the three ripening paw paws (papayas) on the trees in my yard from the birds and today made paw paw pancakes (what? That’s a thing!) and it was delicious.

Most of my reading today has been the entries to the Wadadli Pen Challenge (the annual writing contest I oversee here in Antigua and Barbuda) because it’s been a weekend of trying to push forward on the processing. The awards ceremony may be May 13th at the Wadadli Stories book fair, but April’s rushing by like the wind that keeps knocking baby mangoes off my tree before they get a chance to reach maturity (yes, I’m cooping* the mango tree).

On the book front, I finished The Lizard CageLizard Cage and posted my review (which I shared here – comment here if you wish to comment because the review page will change with the next book finished and so far, it’s looking like that will be Closure: Contemporary Black British Short Stories, which I shared in my last Sunday Post – I’m still digging it, though reading time has been scarce). This week I also picked up once again Turn Thanks by Lorna Goodison from the by-the-bed-reading-pile and BIM: Arts for the 21st Century from the on-the-shelf-to-be-read-pile. I’ll let you know how those go.

On my own writing front, the inkling of a ghost story that scratched at my brain during a visit to a historical graveyard on a Saturday drive aside, not much to report (sadly) BUT progress is being made toward getting my first children’s picture book back in print; in fact, the publisher, Caribbean Reads Publishing, shared this  teaser image from Caribbean Reads facebookon their facebook page so I think it’s okay for me to share it here. Excited like I am?

Meantime, I’m still hoping any one reading this with children in their life will gift them a copy of my currently on the market picture book With Grace (a Caribbean faerie tale)with-gracewhich was published in December by Little Bell Caribbean – in fact check out my books for various ages (chidren to teens/young adults to adults) here.

That’s the week in things book-ish. It’ll be my Sunday Salon post, and my latest contribution to the Sunday Post meme started by Caffeinated Book Reviewer – hey, there are two of us!

*cooping – watching like a hawk and salivating in anticipation.

 

Sunday Meme-ing the Week that Was in Books

This is my second time participating in the Sunday Post meme , in which we’re supposed to share the past week in book-ish news with others in the book blogging community.

Let’s start with the books and then we’ll get to the ish

I started ClosureClosure: Contemporary Black British Short Stories maybe a little bit before this week but it’s been my travelling (i.e. on the road) book this week. I’m enjoying it so far, so much so that’s the only other book of the in-progress pile by my bed that’s managed to drag my attention away (even when I’m not on the road) is The Lizard CageThe Lizard Cage by Karen Connelly. I’ve been reading The Lizard Cage for a while now but don’t let that fool you; this is a very compelling read. I don’t want to say too much because I’m almost done and my review is coming soon(ish), but let’s just say that I slammed it down and glared at it today, then went on my facebook page and cursed it out. Like I said, compelling.

I’ve been posting flashback pages of my book launches, from first The Boy from Willow Bend (a coming of age novella) to most recent With Grace (a Caribbean fairytale and picture book). I’m not done but hope you’ll check out what I’ve done so far.

jay

Last time I participated in the meme, I mentioned that I was starting The Known Worldedwardpjones_theknownworld – well, I’ve since posted my review.

Now for the ish

Blog stuff

There are some book mentions – Book of Night Women, Sugar Barrons, Mary Prince, To Shoot Hard Labour and my own musical_youth_nov1-e1415925946338 Musical Youth– in the latest post on the blog, the only really new post here of the past week.

Between a book editing project (the hustle), processing entries to the Wadadli Pen Challenge (a lit arts development project I run), and life life-ing, it’s been a week of ups and downs, as weeks tend to be. A highlight was my meet-up with our Wadadli Pen project intern because I stay being impressed with this young lady. But since this is a book-ish post, I’ll mention books received by the project this week -well, I can’t mention them all but let’s just say the stash includes several Mary Poppins, Paddington, and other kid-friendly books for the 12 and youngers while the adult stash includes  two writing books I’ve sworn by On Writing by Stephen King (which is in my top two books on writing that I’ve read) on writingand 3 A M Epiphany by Brian Kitely (in which you’ll find lots of prompts to jump start your writing) among other craft books including one This Year You Write Your Novel by Mosely, and some good looking reads like Fire Child by S. K. Treymane, The Things I should have told you by Carmel Harrington, and The Woman Who Upped and Left by Fiona Gibson, among others (have you read any of those?). See list of patrons here (though I do need to update it).

Around the blogosphere

I posted, on my other blog, about the finalists for two significant Caribbean book prizes, Bocas (I’m rooting for Kei Miller’s Augustown based on my love for his previous writing and the fact that this one is already on my to-read list) and the Burt Award (by the way I listed all the Burt titles – gift ideas for the teen/young adult in your life); also the Anisfield Wolf Book Awards, if any one wants to check out any of the books on those lists.

Some of the blogs I liked or commented on were: Pearls Before Swine’s write up on Get Out (because, seriously, this movie!), Repeating Islands’ share of an article by Professor Carolyn Cooper on the recently departed Nobel Laureate, the Caribbean’s own Derek Walcott (he’s been eulogized everywhere, some I’ve linked here, but I wanted to share one by one of our own), and BookerTalk’s post on mothers in fiction.

de Brawta (as we say here in Antigua)

As far as my own writing goes, The Other Daughter was posted in Adda some time after my first Sunday meme participation and this past week Little Prissy Palmer was published in The Machinery, if you’re in the mood to read short fiction.

So that’s life in book-ish news this past week or so; the week ahead is yet unwritten. Tonight I hate-watch (because it’s been that kind of season) the Walking Dead.

It’s Sunday Somewhere

I’ve never done one of these Sunday Posts before and as I write this it’s actually Saturday, so I’m probably doing this all wrong. Plus, there hasn’t been a lot new on the blog this past week (life gets in the way). But I figure I’ll give it a go anyway.

The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by Kimba @ Caffeinated Book Reviewer through which participant bloggers (book bloggers especially) share news of the past and coming week by my understanding of it.

So, What’s New?

Fair warning, this is a little more than the past week because, well, I haven’t been here much this past week (life gets in the way).

This gives me the opportunity to go back a little and I’m thrilled since I am still in book promo mode for my children’s book With Grace. with_graceThis is a post I did on where the book can fit in to the conversation on diversity in children’s lit and especially fairytales.

When life gets in the way, movies can be a good distraction from stir craziness – ironic that one of the movies that’s stuck with me is about a boy and his mom stuck in a room but as you can tell from this blog, I really liked Room.

This next one won’t mean much to anyone outside of Antigua and Barbuda, where I am, but the annual writing Challenge I run here wrapped this past week and while this post is about the patrons, I have to give thanks for the partners (the volunteers without whom I would not have been able to do this…especially this year).

I added a new (or a few new) writing credits, all in Interviewing the Caribbean which published two of my poems Election Season and the Bamboo Raft, and the Zombie Story I wrote when I was feeling in an experimental mode. Reading through the issue which is really quite deep and rich, it tickles me that my zombie story found a place in a proper literary journal.

The other thing you do when life gets in the way is read. So I finished the second book in the Glamourist Histories, Glamour in Glass, and posted my review. That’s my only really new post of the past week.

I received a new book just last night – a friend of mine was doing a huge book purge and I was happy to have a book that’s been on my to read list for a while jump the line. So, I’m about to start Edward P. Jones’ The Known World. And I’m still actively reading a few other books including The Black Rose by Tananarive Due, The Lizard Cage by Karen Connelly, and All the Joy You can Stand by Debrena Jackson Gandy.

Can’t say what’s coming up specifically this week for the blog because I don’t blog like that, but I promise to try to keep it interesting.

 

#SundaySalonInspired

This post is just for fun…or out of idleness. Sunday Salon inspired.

Time: // 2:53 a.m.

The scene: // On my couch, trying to wind down after a long day. Nothing on the TV boring enough to put me to sleep while being distracting enough for me not to be bored; so surfing the net, looking for nothing at all serious…and writing this. #theglamourouswritinglife

Reading: // Nothing at the moment as I’m lying in the dark. But was reading some Robert Burns poetry earlier – best laid plans…

Grateful for: // Getting some writing done today. The rain that fell. Feeling better and more thankful today than I did yesterday when it felt like everything was rolling down on top of me. Being in a much better place as I continued edits on my book. Chat earlier tonight with one of my niecees …seeing my kids-once-removed blossom and figure out what they want in life, even as I wish I had more in the way of resources to support their dreams. Finally getting to see Fruitvale Station…though it hurt so bad to finally see it.

Promoting: // Nothing in particular at the moment…but I did enjoy visiting poet and Brooklyn Poet Laureate Tina Chang’s reading last night; so check her out.

Now I’m off to: // Sleep hopefully…eventually …I really need to sleep more.

What are you up to today? What’s the last book that knocked your socks off? What are you grateful for?