Friday, July 31, 2015

Read a #Poem #Friday #amreading

Confession of a Luddite     by Nancy Eimers

(28-hour power outage)
It had been raining, and it would rain.
Without the streetlights tending them
trees turned into a forest,
the houses had fallen back,
I found myself coveting old brass keys
to doors that are lost
and the keys to my old typewriter
for like piano keys,
when you pressed them
something pressed back.
Bill beside me, the two of us walked along
in an elder dark
though an oaf-ish light blared
in a couple of houses powered by the roar
of generators draining the dark
as if it were a basement of water.
But dark was a folk art, dark was a primitive
science composing the very wetness
of bark.  No government
could have taken over0
so quietly.  Without newspapers or stars.
Without the sounds of cars or shoes.
For a moment, nothing needed anything.
Every now and then we came upon candles
deep in houses
and throwing a see-through light,
light that had no argument
with the dark.

Learn more about Nancy Eimers here. Read more poems here,  or buy her books here.

Friday, July 24, 2015

Read a #Poem #Friday #amreading

After You’ve Been Gone a Long Time by Blas Falconer
There are no rubies here, but saying so brings one to mind. And they aren’t petals as much as one furled bud with a very long stem.
Ants take everything away, little by little, before you know.
You came home briefly, for instance, and I was asleep, so it was as though you hadn’t come at all, but something was missing.
More time, I thought, might be like more water and make it taste less bitter, but only made it more to drink.
Sometimes, I can’t bear waiting. If you were here, you’d see what I mean, someone staring off all the time.
Once, when I fell, my mother gasped, which only made me cry louder, and people gathered around to see fear that looked like pain. That’s what I’m trying to say.
The neighbors mow the yard, and it sounds like a plane overhead where everything is clear.

Read more about this amazing poet here or buy his books here.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

#weneeddiversebooks #TBR #amreading

It's a list! Sorry if you hate lists. But this is a good-natured list, if nothing else.

This is by no means a comprehensive list. In fact, it is the exact opposite of comprehensive. This is a very tiny list of multicultural books I've read recently and would recommend to anyone who would like to expand their multicultural reading list.

If you are looking for list of 100 books, or 50 books that white people should be reading, then click those links. If that many books seems daunting, then start here with these few that helped me to see the world a little differently.

Raised in South Carolina and New York, Woodson always felt halfway home in each place. In vivid poems, she shares what it was like to grow up as an African American in the 1960s and 1970s, living with the remnants of Jim Crow and her growing awareness of the Civil Rights movement. Touching and powerful, each poem is both accessible and emotionally charged, each line a glimpse into a child’s soul as she searches for her place in the world. Woodson’s eloquent poetry also reflects the joy of finding her voice through writing stories, despite the fact that she struggled with reading as a child. Her love of stories inspired her and stayed with her, creating the first sparks of the gifted writer she was to become.

Fledgling and Parable of the Sower by Octavia Butler

As one of the greatest science fiction writers of her age, and one of the few of color, Octavia Butler explored racism and discrimination in her work.

Fledgling (Vampires)

Fledgling is the story of an apparently young, amnesiac girl whose alarmingly unhuman needs and abilities lead her to a startling conclusion: She is in fact a genetically modified, 53-year-old vampire. Forced to discover what she can about her stolen former life, she must at the same time learn who wanted-and still wants-to destroy her and those she cares for and how she can save herself. "Fledgling is a captivating novel that tests the limits of "otherness" and questions what it means to be truly human. Octavia E. Butler is the author of 11 novels, including "Kindred, "Dawn, and "Parable of the Sower. Recipient of a MacArthur Foundation "genius" grant, the Nebula Award, the Hugo Award, and numerous other literary awards, she has been acclaimed for her lean prose, strong protagonists, and social observations that range from the distant past to the far future.

Parable of the Sower (Dystopian)

When unattended environmental and economic crises lead to social chaos, not even gated communities are safe. In a night of fire and death Lauren Olamina, a minister's young daughter, loses her family and home and ventures out into the unprotected American landscape. But what begins as a flight for survival soon leads to something much more: a startling vision of human destiny... and the birth of a new faith.

A hurricane is building over the Gulf of Mexico, threatening the coastal town of Bois Sauvage, Mississippi, and Esch's father is growing concerned. A hard drinker, largely absent, he doesn't show concern for much else. Esch and her three brothers are stocking food, but there isn't much to save. Lately, Esch can't keep down what food she gets; she's fourteen and pregnant. Her brother Skeetah is sneaking scraps for his prized pitbull's new litter, dying one by one in the dirt. While brothers Randall and Junior try to stake their claim in a family long on child's play and short on parenting. As the twelve days that comprise the novel's framework yield to the final day and Hurricane Katrina, the unforgettable family at the novel's heart--motherless children sacrificing for each other as they can, protecting and nurturing where love is scarce--pulls itself up to struggle for another day. A wrenching look at the lonesome, brutal, and restrictive realities of rural poverty, Salvage the Bone is muscled with poetry, revelatory, and real.

Never Fall Down- Patricia McCormick

Based on the true story of Cambodian advocate Arn Chorn-Pond, and authentically told from his point of view as a young boy, this is an achingly raw and powerful historical novel about a child of war who becomes a man of peace. It includes an author's note and acknowledgments from Arn Chorn-Pond himself.

Be prepared to cry your eyes out.

Jameela lives with her mother and father in Afghanistan. Despite the fact that there is no school in their poor, war-torn village, and Jameela lives with a birth defect that has left her with a cleft lip, she feels relatively secure, sustained by her faith and the strength of her beloved mother, Mor.

But when Mor suddenly dies, Jameela's father impulsively decides to seek a new life in Kabul. He remarries, a situation that turns Jameela into a virtual slave to her demanding stepmother. When the stepmother discovers that Jameela is trying to learn to read, she urges her father to simply abandon the child in Kabul's busy marketplace. Jameela ends up in an orphanage.

Friday, July 17, 2015

Read a #Poem #Friday #amreading

Heart Condition - 

Poem by Jericho Brown

I don't want to hurt a man, but I like to hear one beg.
Two people touch twice a month in ten hotels, and
We call it long distance. He holds down one coast.
I wander the other like any African American, Africa
With its condition and America with its condition
And black folk born in this nation content to carry
Half of each. I shoulder my share. My man flies
To touch me. Sky on our side. Sky above his world
I wish to write. Which is where I go wrong. Words
Are a sense of sound. I get smart. My mother shakes
Her head. My grandmother sighs: He ain't got no
Sense. My grandmother is dead. She lives with me.
I hear my mother shake her head over the phone.
Somebody cut the cord. We have a long distance
Relationship. I lost half of her to a stroke. God gives
To each a body. God gives every body its pains.
When pain mounts in my body, I try thinking
Of my white forefathers who hurt their black bastards
Quite legally. I hate to say it, but one pain can ease
Another. Doctors rather I take pills. My man wants me
To see a doctor. What are you when you leave your man
Wanting? What am I now that I think so fondly
Of airplanes? What's my name, whose is it, while we
Make love. My lover leaves me with words I wish
To write. Flies from one side of a nation to the outside
Of our world. I don't want the world. I only want
African sense of American sound. Him. Touching.
This body. Aware of its pains. Greetings, Earthlings.
My name is Slow And Stumbling. I come from planet
Trouble. I am here to love you uncomfortable.

Learn more about this awesome poet here.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

#Facebook Event #Giveaway #AMA

Hi everyone!

Just a quick note to say that I'll be participating in a facebook event on Tuesday, July 21st 7-8PM/CST. 

Click the link to visit the event page. In addition to learning more about The Last Sprite, a new release from my fellow author friend CC Ryburn, you can ask me anything.

Yes, anything. I shall prepare myself in advance (as much as possible) for the inappropriateness.

You may also want to ask me about the Jesse Sullivan series, particulary Book 4 which is due to be released at the end of October, early November. I might spill some secrets about what is next for Jesse and the crew.

I'll also be giving away doorprizes (1 every fifteen minutes for my hour=4 winners total)--they can include signed books, or audiobooks, or ebooks.

Hope to see you guys there! :)


Monday, July 13, 2015

#Mondayblogs: 5 #Books to help you #change #selfimprovement #motivation

I've been busy reading the book Better Than Before: Mastering the Habits of Our Everyday Lives by Gretchen Rubin. She has a blog too, apparently (though I've not yet read it or her bestselling book The Happiness Project) and while she seems a little too "wound" *her words not mine!*, she  does remind me a lot of another zen habits guru Leo Babauta (also has a blog).

According to this book, I'm an "owlish", "procrastinator", "obliger", who "underbuys", prefers "novelty:, "finishing", and "simplicity". I have no idea what small steps are because I'm too busy taking huge steps in my promotion-focused approach to life.


Though I just threw around a lot of terms you may not know, what the first section of the book tackles is self-knowledge. While I generally rail against labels, I accept her breakdown of "tendencies" and can recognize my own.

So in addition to recommending the book, I also want to share something. See, one of my common problems is that I'm (using Gretchen's term) an obliger. While I am a super lax boss when it comes to honoring my own promises to myself, I absolutely CANNOT POSSIBLY IMAGINE letting someone else down. This spells trouble for someone like me who is mostly self-governed without a boss lording over her and what not.

So, I decided to approach this problem with a solution: Prizes!

Who doesn't love prizes?

So my new policy will be that every day that I make my word count (2000 words), I can have a prize (nonfood, though). And for every 5 days/10K words I can have a bigger prize (definitely sugar-based. I've been favoring starbucks caramel ribbon frappacinos lately...)

I have a similar plan in place for my workout and French studies as well, my respective 2nd and 3rd most important goals.

So now tell me, what do you do to keep yourself motivated to change and succeed?

Reading List of Books That Helped Kory Change

Better than Before-  Gretchen Rubin
The Art of Happiness- The Dalai Lama
In Defense of Food- Michael Pollen
The Little Book of Contentment- Leo Babauta

...and then a book that was more about accepting yourself rather than trying to change it: Daily Rituals by Mason Curry

Any books you've read that I should give a try?

Friday, July 10, 2015

7 of 7 of 7 Game #WIP #amwriting

I got tagged for one of those games. You know the one. I'm to share seven lines of my WIP starting on the 7th line on the 7th page. Or is it first 7 lines of the 7th chapter?

Well, here are both for your enjoyment.

7 lines from Page 7

 She hit the ground with a thud, dropped unceremoniously by the man—at least he’d felt like a man, certainly more solid than any apparition she’d ever seen.
            She was no longer in the cemetery. Whoever he was, had placed her on the other side of the gate, in the shadow of the large willow tree. Her eyes darted toward another burst of light just in time to see the ghouls wail and their bodies disperse in a cloud of ash.
            She searched for the one who’d saved her. Her gaze flitted from tombstone to tombstone, expecting to catch sight of a face as pale as those hands.

            No one was there.

7 lines from Chapter 7

Alex turned back toward Olivia, who still sat on a swing, her boots trailing in the mud. She didn’t need the gift of telepathy—though who in the world would call the ability to hear a person’s incessant mental ramblings a gift—to know that he was angry.
            He stopped just short of her and glared, considering her a moment, even opening and closing his mouth twice.
            “Spit it out,” she said.
       “You have no right,” he said, his voice low and controlled. He wouldn’t yell or throw things. He couldn’t possibly hope to hold a swarm of demons inside him if he couldn’t guard himself against injured pride

Okay, it's called a WIP for a reason. Don't judge! Instead, why don't you post your 7 of 7 of 7 chunk below or on your own blog and then let me know about it. After all, it's not like I should be embarrassed all by my lonesome here!

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

But What About the Gay Ducks?! #NSFW

Any fool with an internet connection can see that not everyone is happy about the Supreme Court's decision to grant marriage equality.

The majority of opponents are religious and use their religious precepts to justify their condemnation of marriage equality.

While I could say MANY things to this, about how the constitution was not created to align with Christianity, that in fact separation of Church and State was mandated and enforced until the early 18th century where an overreaction to secularism began to blur the lines, culminating in the act of "In God We Trust" (a Christian ideal) being placed on American coin (a State currency) in 1956--for those of you not so great at math, that's 169 years since the constitution's creation in 1787.

But I don't want to talk about how this wasn't a "Christian nation" until very recently. In fact, I have only ONE question for the Christians who oppose homosexuality:

What about the gay ducks?


Or in this case, penguins.

With homosexuality present in over 1500 species, (homosexuality defined as: "sexual activitycourtshipaffectionpair bonding, and parenting among same-sex animal pairs") I have to ask about the gay ducks!
If a Christian believes that God made the world, they must also believe that God made gay ducks!

gay ducks...

...and gay lions...
and gay elephants... ALL THE GAY

And I must ask WHY? Why did God make gay ducks? It isn't that He expects them to repent their gay ways and accept Jesus into their heart, right? Because as far as I know, no duck on Earth has the mental capacity to "accept Jesus as their Lord and Savior".

Jesus: "It's okay little gay lamb, I still love you."
Lamb: "But I've been baaaaaaaad."


I couldn't find this answer, but I did find a charming article against the "naturalness" of gay on Conservapedia. While it doesn't tell me why God made gay ducks, it says that proof of cannibalism and rape are also present in the animal kingdom, and therefore, just because animals do something, it doesn't mean it's natural or right.

Fair enough. And to that I say there is a clear difference between loving actions and evil ones. It is unlikely that someone is going to knife me and I'll be confused about their intentions. And if you can't tell the difference between rape and a woman who wants to have sex then I'd ask what patriachial values you've been brainwashed with.

Furthermore, again, while I got nothing on the gay ducks and probably never will, Jesus DID say this:

Romans 13:9 The commandments, "You shall not commit adultery," "You shall not murder," "You shall not steal," "You shall not covet," and whatever other command there may be, are summed up in this one command: "Love your neighbor as yourself."
Gay marriage is not adultery, murder, or theft. And your job as a good christian is to love me no matter what I do.

Be happy for my rights as you are happy for your own.
Celebrate my marriage--an act of love--as you would celebrate your own marriage because love is love.

If you feel anything but love and faith in the face of the Supreme Court ruling, then you're not doing it right. If you're worried about "where this country is going", you're demonstrating a lack of faith in your God. Don't you think he has a plan? Don't you think he is in control?

And if you're wondering why more people don't accept Christ and come to the Church, look at yourself first. It isn't the message of God that's the problem. It's the messengers.

I could make a beautiful segue into the other Supreme Court decision and talk about how unchristian to deny healthcare to everyone when Jesus specifically said totake care of the ill----but I think I'll just stop here for today.

And don't bother leaving asinine comment below. I will delete you unread.

HOWEVER, if you have a theory about gay ducks, PLEASE, type away...

Take a Break #amwriting #humor #comics

Most writers work tirelessly at their desk, at all hours, with or without compensation, for what?


If you find yourself asking this very question while trying to trudge through your latest WIP, why not take a break! For this very pupose I have made a list of   webcomics for your enjoyment.  They are in no particular order.

The Devil's Panties
Not as pervy as it sounds. Just a girl being adorable.

Way more pervy than it sounds. Beware if you are uncomfortable with yaoi, fancy whores, and men-loving men.

The Oatmeal
Unless you have been living under a rock, you probably heard of this one. Until my exciting new deck of Exploding Kittens arrives, I'll have to make due with Inman's antics here. Intelligent, informative, and fun.

Cyanide and Happiness
Not for the faint of heart so read at your own risk. Hit or miss and sometimes downright repulsive.

Ava's Demon
So pretty! As the name implies, to be enjoyed by SFF fans.

Battle. Pug. Need I say more?

If you have favorites to share, please do so below. Otherwise, have fun! :)

Monday, July 6, 2015

#Mondayblogs: July #Writing #Contests

Sorry I've been slacking on the blog! I can't believe it's been a whole week since I posted! But here is a list of writing contests for your poets and writers for this month:

July 15 deadlines

Robert and Adele Award in Poetry and Prose              
Linda Flowers Literary Award (NC)                            
Auburn Witness Poetry Prize                                      
The Story Prize    
Tomaz Salamun Prize
Tenth Gate Prize

July 20 deadline
Narrative Poetry Contest    

July 24 deadline
Sixfold Short Story and Poetry Awards

July 25 deadlineNew Writers Awards

July 31 deadlines

Orlando Prizes
Very Short Fiction Award
Kenneth Patchen Award
Sean O Faolain Short Story Competition
Spring Story Contest
New Millennium Awards
Press 53 Award for Poetry
Stone Canoe Literary Awards (For New Yorkers)
Red Paint Hill Poetry Contest

Are you the owner/founder/manager of a small press? Running a contest this month? Let me know and I'd be happy to add you to the list! :)