2013 Out…

happy new year

As we wrap up the end of 2013, I plan to dive into the latest Alexander McCall Smith No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency novel and celebrate all that I accomplished this year.

Although I didn’t create as much fiction this year as I intended I am exceptionally pleased that I managed to maintain such a presence on the blog. I also accomplished quite a few of my writer’s resolutions one of which was to participate in NaNoWriMo. For the most part, I have set my writing goals for 2014 and look forward to expanding my horizons as a poet and a writer and hopefully taking a break from being a student (finally). I also hope to curb my never-ending addiction to books but that’s probably not going to happen.

As always I just want to take the time to thank those of you who take the time to read or subscribe to the blog.

I wish you all a Happy New Year and thanks again!

Sugar Cane

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“Men do not know that the soul of her was a growing thing that ripened too soon.”
-Jean Toomer

The curves developed
Before she learned that men
Aren’t entitled to ride them
Just because they ask nicely
Or buy her trinkets or treat her
To dinner

No one ever told her that
“No” was allowed to be part
Of her vocabulary
And that she was worth
More than stolen moments

So no one ever noticed
The dimming light in her eyes
That signaled
The shriveling of her soul
And the hard pit that
her love became

Library Adventures- A Happy Surprise

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Okay, so as most of you know I am a book junkie. A certified literary addict! Since I last posted about refraining from buying books I have inhaled large sections of some of my favorite authors. I did this via the library (but I’ve also purchased quite a few books). Well, the other day after dropping off two books at the library I was pleasantly surprised to notice a new Catherine Coulter book on the shelf. This book by Catherine Coulter and J.T. Ellison, sitting prominently on the new books shelf, was seemingly waiting for me.

I try to keep up with the latest releases of most of my favorites but I knew nothing about this book, The Final Cut, in spite of the teaser at the end of Bomb Shell. Yay! Of course I snatched it up and read it in a day. It was that great. While I have become quite turned off by books that are written by two authors because of James Patterson (except for the Michael Bennett series and the Women’s Murder Club).

I have been a huge fan of Coulter’s FBI series (Savich and Sherlock) and I love this turn in the series because I’m also an Anglophile. I loved the idea of a new revamped Bond, but not Bond. It was a great read.

What I Learned from Participating in NaNoWriMo

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“You got big dreams…you want fame…well fame costs and right here is where you start paying… in sweat”
-Debbie Allen as Lydia Grant (Fame)

I have been in love with the written word for a very long time and while writing poetry is fairly easy for me; fiction is much harder, it requires me to think and constantly revise. It takes effort. And sweat!So the decision to participate in NaNoWriMo was to test my endurance and my dedication to writing prose.

In spite of the fact that one of my writers resolutions for the year has been to write at least 500 words a day; I have failed miserably thus far. I don’t think that I accomplished that once, outside of academic writing, prior to November. I discovered that I am capable of writing a certain amount of words per day. For me, forced writing can be a good thing. It was a worthy goal because even while sick I was determined to sit down and write those 1667 words per day. But most of all I was reminded that I love writing. Part of that love is wrapped up in creating characters, dialogue and setting.

I also learned that I have to write in spite of distractions. I went to Las Vegas for several days last month and that completely screwed up my writing schedule. Normally, I’m very committed while on vacation and I did complete my classwork while away but my personal writing did suffer quite a bit. In fact I think that I never once met my daily writing goal while I was there. Some days I never even opened my laptop. I needed the vacation but next time I have to write in spite of my excitement and my desire to sightsee and walk around soaking up culture.

While traveling I did utilize one of my favorite apps to jot down bits of dialogue or scenes that I wanted to capture so I also realized that Evernote and other apps are great for writing. I wrote while in a nightclub, while waiting at the airport and while riding in the car around North Las Vegas hunting mountains. I used it on my phone and the app syncs with my computer so it was easy to transfer to my work in progress. Next year I hope to purchase a tablet and plan to use Evernote on that as well. I find it to be extremely helpful and useful.

Although these are not the only things I learned while partaking in National Novel Writing Month they were the most important to me.They’re the lessons that I will take with me next November when I hope to participate again.

Weekends with Grandma

this is my grandmother sitting on Santa's lap

this is my grandmother sitting on Santa’s lap

My maternal grandmother and I have always been very close. My birthday is eight days after hers, she made me fat and happy when I was a baby and I definitely get my love of shopping in thrift stores and yard sales from her. These days, we spend every day together and although I am sometimes frustrated by the craziness of her thoughts and questions I enjoy every moment.

I have shared this poem before but in light of my grandma’s birthday on the fourth of this month and an eventful night at a Christmas party last night I decided to post it again.

Mrs. McClees

When I was young
Summer was you
not sunshine, swimming, or staying up late
It was the smell of veneer, peach blossom candy,
raiding your purse for snacks, the clubhouse, and eating
things that my mom didn’t cook.

Summer was trips to the ‘Gator, family gatherings,
swinging on the swing set, learning to blow bubbles,
running wild, no beatings and trying to read “True Story” magazines.
It was no cable but not caring
being intrigued by Square snuff,
cooking eggs for my cousins,
and rides in Granddaddy’s truck.

Summer was everything but it always ended with me
crying when I had to leave you.

More than 46664

nelson-mandela-young

For some,
freedom is just a word
but for others
it is the world.
Sweet soul
so pure that you
flourished while imprisoned
for 27 years.
All the while we shed Amandla tears.
Although you lived revolution,
You were profoundly human.
Maybe a bit cocky, proud of your
accomplishments, proud of your
race.
You were not just a hero
not just for black or brown Africans
but for all of Earth’s inhabitants.
So while this is a
time to grieve.
It’s also a time to believe
in the heart & courage
Of one
whose time in the sun
was comparable to none.

I Write

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I write because it is therapeutic, it is healing, and it allows me to get the voices out of my head
I write because it is the only healthy way to be all of the things I want to be
I write to tell the tales only I can
I write to give voice to the voiceless
I write to create my own heroes
I write because I come from a long line of visionaries
I write because I am still a kid at heart
I write because I love telling stories
I write because I am a writer