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Showing posts from February, 2021

Black History Month, 2021

February, 2021, will be remembered during Black History Month for years to come. This is not a political post but the result of President Biden’s promise to have a cabinet that “looks like America.” Kamala Harris, first and foremost is his choice for VP. Not only is she African American, she’s Southeast Asian American. Adewale “Wally” Adeyemo, Deputy Treasury Secretary, making the Nigerian-born the first Black person to ever serve in that role. Gen. Lloyd Austin, Secretary of Defense, the first Black to hold that position. Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms, vice chair of the Democratic National Committee. Kirsten Clarke, Assistant Attorney General, Civil Rights Division. Ashley Etienne, Kamala Harris’ Chief Communications Director. Tina Flournoy, Vice President’s Chief Of Staff. Rep. Marcia Fudge, Housing and Urban Development. Joelle Gamble, National Economic Council. Shuwanza Goff, Deputy Director Of The White House Office Of Legislative Affairs.

Writers Gotta Read, Right? — Black History Month

February is Black History month, and, whoops, we are already well into the month (which is short to begin with). So let’s get busy and list some lists and read some books! From NetGalley’s “We Are Bookish” site: #ReadingBlackout: 29 Books to Read This Black History Month  (Side note: I’m particularly happy to see Attica Locke—an incredible mystery/thriller writer—included in this list) Audible provides Mysteries & Thrillers for Black History Month  (Of course, you can always look for these titles in their paper or ebook formats, as well) Epic Reads has 44 YA Books You Need to Read—Especially During Black History Month   For more books than you’ll ever have time for, Goodread's Listopia has 2,155 titles shelved on  Black History Month Books If you need a list that’s a bit more manageable in size, Listopia’s 2021 Black History Month Recommendations  has 22 titles recommended by The Connecticut Black Caucus of the American Library Association (BCALA-CT)  The Public Library of Bro

New Release and Memoir Writing

If this were a normal year, no pandemic and no restrictions on gatherings, I'd have a party to celebrate the recent release of a new nonfiction book, The Many Faces of Grief: Stories of Love, Loss, and Hope From a Hospital Chaplain.  But... In a celebration here in my home office, I'm drinking hot chocolate, with a little something extra for added warmth. As I write this, it is 25 degrees here in Texas. Way colder than a normal February day this far from the snow belt.  And I may add a cookie or two to my extravagant solitary celebration. :-) Still, it is important to mark these accomplishments, even if we can't do that in style for the time being.  This current release is taken from a blog I wrote prior to the release of my first hardcover novel, One Small Victory. This was back when blogging was still fairly new, but my publisher, Five Star Cengage, thought it would be good to build some advance interest in the novel via a regular blog.  Since blogging is so much like w

The Path to Publication with Rita Woods, Author of Remembrance

Today, I have the joy of interviewing not only an amazing writer, but someone I call friend. Dr. Rita Woods is the author of Remembrance which was released in January 2020 by Forge Books. What is Remembrance about? Spanning three centuries, Remembrance is the story of four women connected both by their individual powers and tragedy. They are linked across the centuries through Mother Abigail, a voodoo priestess who uses her powers to create Remembrance, a parallel universe that is a stop on the Underground Railroad. As one of your critique partners,  I know the story started out as a young adult paranormal fantasy. Mother Abigail created Remembrance as a safe space for slaves and Winter was in training to replace her. When you met Joanna Volpe at the Midwest Writers Workshop in Muncie, Indiana in 2009, she asked for pages and the journey began. During the years between then and the sale of the book in 2018, the story changed. Were you happy with the changes? I struggled with their r

2021 Workshops and Conferences Status and Dates TBA

  Whether a one day session, one week conference, or a month-long writing workshop, writing related events are a good way to commune with other writers. They are opportunities to network and get your name out there. In some instances, you can meet and mingle with editors and agents. Some offer critiques or pitching sessions. Nowhere will you find a higher concentration of introverts enjoying each other's company. Local conferences are a good place to meet potential critique groups or recruit members. Some are free. Some require a fee. Some are more social than others. Many are for new writers, but a few dig deep into craft. You should choose an event that speaks to your needs and desires. Unfortunately with the pandemic, many in person events have been cancelled. Some have been replaced with virtual events, podcasts, or online classes and lectures. Virtual events allow for a wider audience and lower costs since attendance does not require travel and lodging. The following list is o

The Quarantine Tapes--Good Listening for Black History Month and Pandemic Woes

“The Quarantine Tapes: A week-day program from Onassis LA and dublab. Hosted by Paul Holdengräber, the series chronicles shifting paradigms in the age of social distancing. Each day, Paul calls a guest for a brief discussion about how they are experiencing the global pandemic.” In January, I stumbled on a podcast series called The Quarantine Tapes , hosted by Paul Holdengraber, while looking up books written by Walter Mosley. Somewhere in the search results, Mosley’s interview of Paul Coates on The Quarantine Tapes popped up, so I had to listen. It’s a wonderful unscripted discussion that wanders from the pandemic to defining hope and compassion with a side trip to Coates history with the Black Panthers. Coates declared that one must have at least a little hope to go forward. In these days of concern about the virus and vaccines, about the future of our country and the political divide, I wholeheartedly agree. Without hope, we fall.  The available podcasts are those with guest hosts th