Where We Stand (Book Blog Meme for 01/06/20)


Well, this is our new/current reality isn’t it

Masks and lines and distance. The pandemic continues, even as economic anxiety increases (prompting hard decisions re border and business re-openings), and turmoil fueled by racism (at the root) bubbles up to the surface (in America). I am over here in the Caribbean, but not removed from these concerns – not removed at all. The world truly is a village and, as a history I blogged about recently (an uprising of enslaved Africans in Antigua brutally put down)  reminds, the roots of anti-Blackness were planted all across the colonized world. It’s dug in deep. And like any nourished root, it spreads. Even when and where we can’t see it, it spreads. And we must continue the work of weeding it out, in ourselves, and out of the ground where we stand.


Client edits and interviews for content creation projects on the freelance side, and edits for one of my forthcoming book projects on my writing side are just some of what I’ve been up to work wise this week.


Only one novel finished for May but that’s one more than all of April. Thanks in part to it being an audio book and the readathon (which I posted to booktube – *spoiler alert* for the vid) I decided to give a go , I managed to finish N. K. Jemison’s The Fifth Season which I really liked, as I noted in my Blogger on Books series. Review excerpt: ‘The book handles its shifting tones well – a certain sex scene comes to mind. It really works because of how well the characters have been defined. Oh and the writing is delicious. “And what do they even call this? It’s not a threesome, or a love triangle. It’s a two-and-a-half-some, an affection dihedron (and, well, maybe it’s love).”’ I also read about three chapters during the readathon of Death on the Danube – a travelogue/murder mystery (?) which I received in ebook form from the author.

This post is my Mailbox Monday though there are no new books in my mailbox – maybe parts 2 and 3 of the Jemison trilogy will be in my mailbox sometime in the future though…? It’s also my It’s Monday, What are you reading? which reminds me, this past week, I also started reading Apple Gidley’s Fireburn, Fireburna based on real events historical fic set in St. Croix, or, so far, en route to St. Croix from England by ship. This, too, was sent to me by the author, this time as a physical copy.


I just today watched ’93 Days’, a Nigerian film about the ebola outbreak a few years ago in that African country. It hits close to home for obvious reasons. Not a technically perfect film but relevant – and one in which you will care about the characters and the outcome.

That’s it. Now, let’s get to weeding.


Site Update (Ms. Hill…and Some Other Stuff)

Well, my favourite Spike Lee films have been scrubbed from Joanne’s Picks and replaced with my favourite Lauryn Hill rap performances. I argue that Hill is without question part of any legit Top 5 conversation. Check out the rhymes that I picked to make my case.

Remember this page changes so hurry up.

No new Blogger on Books but FYI this week I’ve mainly been reading Inner City Girl by Colleen Smith-Dennis (with whom I shared the stage back in 2014 when her book and mine were top three for the inaugural Burt Award in Trinidad – she eventually placed third while my manuscript Musical Youth placed second). I’m liking the main character so far and the authentic sounding detail re her life in a Kingston, Jamaica ghetto. I’ve also been reading, plucked from that active reading pile, Without a Summer by Mary Robinette Kowal. I like that these characters have now become so familiar to me that I can pick up their lives without missing a beat notwithstanding how long ago I put it down- but makes sense considering that I’ve already read two other books in the Glamourist series – which is Regency era romance-adventure; three if you count the one I co-edited.

The only other site update, since the last updates post, has been on the reviews page for my other writing – journaled or anthologized poems or fictional stories. Check it out.

That’s it. Oh! My guest post at Women Writers, Women Books, Are Children’s Books Real Books, went live this week.  And photographer Beowulf Sheehan’s book Authors – which has me in it among some true marquee writers – drops this week and the author did an article about the process of photographing authors over at Lit Hub. It’s worth checking out. As for the week that is…some disappointments, some challenges, some fears, but also writing (well, mostly editing) and living and, mostly, working (workshop prep, editing assignments, acceptance, disappointments, follow ups – you know, the jigsaw).

If you’re here for the first time, my name is Joanne C. Hillhouse. I’ve authored some books – I hope you’ll check them out (and if you already have, I encourage you to post a reader review to Amazon or Goodreads, or even here); and I offer freelance services – look me up if you need any of the listed services. Thanks!