Jilted Lover

11 05 2015

Jilted Lover, I’m quite certain that’s how my blog feels right about now. I’ve not made an update since my November trip to Beaufort (which went wonderfully by the way). So I should probably catch you up on the writerly things going on…

I have successfully finished my first year of graduate school and am passing with a 4.0 (all that writing/studying is why I’ve been so distant lately, sorry bloggers). It feels great to be back in school though I do admit it has completely taken over my life. In other news, I will be teaching English Composition 101 to my very own class of college freshmen next semester.

I have been writing like crazy: flash fiction, short fiction, lengthy memoir pieces, and of course, poetry. I have several pieces sent out to journals across the nation… still waiting to hear back from them though.

The newest editions of the Birmingham Poetry Review and PoemMemoirStory are out and available for your reading pleasure. These are two publications that I am on staff with. So you should go read those things considering how much time I and my colleagues spent on them. Wonderful publications.

Tonight I got to sit with several published writers and listen to their journey down the publishing path. It seems very complicated and daunting, but I’m up for the challenge. I guess I have to actually finish something first don’t I? I have been working on my illustrations and hope to have several more lino cuts done by the end of summer (actually I hope to have all of them done.) Here’s a peek at the most recent one I’ve finished.

hashimotoI still feel like I have forever to go. Just chewing through it one bit at a time.

oh and I did just get back from Monroeville (the literary capital of Alabama). Some pretty exciting things happened on that trip but that’s another blog posts. Don’t worry I promise I’ll post it soon! anyway, hope things are well in your world!

~Cheers for now!


Dolly Parton Approved this Post…

19 01 2013

Here lately I’ve been on a music binge, not a tiny one either. For the past month I have consumed melodic entities like a sumo wrestler at the all-you-can-eat buffet. It has gotten to the point where I wish I could actually listen to and fully enjoy multiple songs at once (I tried, it didn’t work so well.) A healthy portion of my listening pleasure has sourced from one of the greatest country artist’s of all time: Dolly Parton.

I’ve found that the majority of the population either really loves her or really dislikes her. Some naysayers find her appearance frightening or trashy (NOT my words,) while others acknowledge her as a fantastic business woman but don’t lean towards her country genre.

Then you have the die-hards such as myself. My sister gifted me Dolly’s newest album for Christmas (Thanks Caitlin!) titled Better Days. And I’ve listened to it quite frequently. And by that I mean set on repeat  for a few hours at a time.

I think part of the reason why I love Dolly so much beyond her incredible voice and kind disposition would simply be the depth and beauty of the lyrics both writes and covers. One of my favorites by her is “Mountain Angel.” And for your listening pleasure here’s a link to the song. If you don’t feel like listening  then at least read the lyrics.

Pretty as an angel from the day that she was born 
Skin as fair as Lily’s hair, as golden as the corn 
They knew that she was special from the moment she first cried 
She was a mountain angel certified 
She was her momma’s baby, she was her daddy’s pride 
Good at home, at church and school, at everything she tried 
Everybody’s darlin’ led a charmed and peaceful life 
The perfect mountain angel ’til he arrived 
And ohh, she fell so deeply 
Ooh, she couldn’t stop 
She gave herself to him, milled it completely 
He lifted her so high he let her drop 

She gave up everything for him that mattered in her life 
All the others that had loved her and she vowed to be his wife 
She dreamed of bearing children in an ivy-covered house 
The mountain angel’s sunshine turned to clouds 
The wicked handsome stranger left the way he came 
Broke her heart and broke her mind 
She never was the same 
They say he was the devil 
That had come to steal her soul 
She never loved another it was told 
They say she had a baby 
Some say that it had died 
They it’s just as well 
As it had been the devil’s child 
They say good conquers evil 
But here, evil won the prize 
So the mountain angel took to the wild 

And ooh, she couldn’t take it 
Years passed and she had long since lost her mind 
She waited for him as her beauty faded 
Her parents died from grief before their time 

She tried to gather pieces of her life, they wouldn’t fit 
Beside the tiny grave deep in the woods is where she’d sit 
Talking to the child, herself, to him, who knew for sure 
Possessed they say by satan’s insane lure 
High a’top the mountain, for years they say she’s seen 
Looking down upon the town where she had once been queen 
She’d sneak around the playground, watch the little children play 
They’d see the crazy lady then run away 
They say she roamed these hills for years, wearing not a stitch 
The lovely mountain angel now thought to be a witch 
She made those wailing mournful sounds 
That you could hear for miles 
Long after she laid down upon her baby’s grave and died 

And ooh, her ghost is callin’ 
She’s waiting for the ones that she adored 
Through spring and summer, fall when snow is fallin’ 
Her spirit roams these hills forever more 
The mountain angel’s voices ever more

If you’ve been following this blog long enough, then you know that it is my ultimate goal to write and illustrate children’s books. What some of you may or may not know though is that Dolly is a huge supporter of children’s literacy and  works hard to foster kid’s interest in reading through her program called Imagination Library. I met Dolly once (ok so maybe it was in a dream that didn’t make it any less cool) and she asked me about my authorship dreams. She heartily agreed with my efforts and was very encouraging. And yes even though it was in a dream it was awesome to wake up with the feeling that one of my heroes validated my pursuits. I’m certain that if we were to meet in real life and the same scenario occurred she would react much the same way. Although if we were to meet, I’m not sure I would have the ability for much talking as I would probably just stand there stupefied, nervous, excited and in awe. 😀

Anyway give Dolly a try, there is nothing better than some backwoods picking and a gorgeous voice to boot. You just might find yourself liking it. Don’t say I didn’t warn you (but you can thank me later!)

As always thanks for reading!


Appalling Literature or a Children’s Book?

7 09 2012

So in my many jobs that I have held I find myself again working with children. Which with my sights set on being a children’s author this is pretty well okie dokie by me. What I’m not fine with is having an adorable little tyke trot up to me and deposit a book in my lap. The issue isn’t in that they want me to read the book, I absolutely love verbal storytelling. My problem comes in that of all the books they had to pick this one…

Oh sure it was all cute and nice to begin with. The illustrations are well done and the story line is relatable and engaging. I began to read this book aloud when I came to THIS…


The bully character in this book is named Micky Badazz… yup that’s right Badazz….Now this book is marketed as an appropriate book to read to your lovely innocent four year old. Alright, ok, since when is it acceptable to include thinly veiled adult language in a book that is geared for children barley older than toddlers? In my opinion it’s never ok to do this. As a matter of fact I find it down right appalling, contemptible and find the author to be in bad taste. For shame on you Damon Burnard! I was so irked by his blatant disregard for his audience that I immediately started flipping through the book to find out what other hazardous material I would have to watch out for. The name appeared two or three more times but that was it. Poor little tyke looked up at me while I was skimming the rest of the story and proceeded to inform me that “I can’t hear it when you’re not reading the story.” Sorry bub… just keeping your best interests at heart.

It is because of ridiculous junk like this that my mission to be a children’s author is impressed even more upon me. If there is one thing I cannot stand its people who find it amusing to callous the innocent to mature things. Sure you might think that I’m over reacting. Its only one word right? Well what happens after that one word? I’ll tell you what happens… the next thing you know it will be larger more life altering issues, not just creating filthy vocabularies… no it will be sex, drugs, money, power, greed… once the misuse these things is made acceptable it leads to the break down of social structure and to moral decay. Look what’s already being presented to your teenagers on TV…. Look what’s starting to creep its way into your 4 year old’s books…..

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