Experience for Life = Material for which to Write

20 05 2015

I promised myself that I would use my May break to write up a storm and I’ve discovered that this is nowhere near the truth. I’ve barely touched my writings. I wake up and throw myself into the day. My day is long and tiring, yet filled with awesome things. And by the end of the day I can do nothing but collapse in my bed and sleep till it’s time to rock and roll tomorrow.

My professors stress that writing is important but so is actually going out there and living life. You have to have material and experience to draw from to have truly deep and enriched writing. As a cliche example: how can you write a captivating piece about a sunset if you’ve never seen one?

So I refuse to be disappointed in myself. The work I am doing is awesome, and important, and I’m learning so many things. So far during May break I’ve met new friends, grown closer with old friends, have helped move a few people into their new living arrangements (my station wagon is like the wardrobe to Narnia, you can fit more into it than you can ever imagine), I’ve gone on a kick butt camping trip with my poetry family, and I’ve actually gotten to draw some.

So here’s a glimpse of some of what I’ve done this summer.

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Me and some of the poetry gang

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Torching some metal for a small pour

Torching some metal for a small pour

More metal working

More metal working

The final product, bronze doorknobs

The final product, bronze doorknobs

Well there you have it! until next time,

Cheers!

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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!





Spending Money to Make Money… Eventually, Hopefully

19 08 2014

Welp, I’m $100 (about 75 Euro for my international readers) lighter. I just forked out some dolla billz to become a part of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators or SCBWI for those who know. My professor has been urging me to join for quite some time and I just now managed to scrap together enough play money to join. Hopefully this will help launch me into my publishing career. I have a least a half dozen children’s books written and awaiting illustration (some I will illustrate myself and some I’m ok with other’s working on.) And at least another 2 dozen bouncing around in my head waiting to be written. My newest story involves Slue-foot Sue and it’s turning out to be quite quirky and awesome. Anyway, they gave me this spiffy little badge for spending my money. So here we go, it’s official.

Member badges

 

 





“I Cannot Tell a Lie…

24 06 2014

…I did it with my little hatchet.”

Those were the words supposedly spoken by our illustrious first president, George Washington (if you didn’t know), when he was asked about a felled cherry tree. And I am here to tell you that’s a load of bologna.

Firstly, no one chops down a tree of any size, for fun, with a hatchet. I should know. I recently felled a dogwood of about 10in in diameter, with a full sized ax.

It was fun for about the first two seconds.

Secondly, of course good old George cannot tell a lie, probably because he was caught red handed with a horizontal cherry tree and an ax (obviously not a hatchet) in his hand. To lie would have been stupid.

I think George and I ran into the same problem, we only had our mind on taking down the tree and didn’t think of what to do with it afterward. He was probably mulling it over when he got caught. So since he told the truth I’m sure Poppa Washington helped him clean up the aftermath. I on the other hand had no such help. I was stuck with a 20ft dogwood and no idea what to do with it.

Now before you go all save the trees on me, let me explain that this tree was mostly dead and in danger of toppling someone in the noggin at some random time in the near future (I don’t know about you but I don’t want “done in by wayward tree” as my epitaph).  So it was coming down at one point or another.

I would have rather used a chainsaw, but the chainsaw has recently decided to take a holiday. This left me with trusty ol ax. I’d say all in all it took me 20 minutes of all out chopping to bring down the tree. That’s including the short break I took to recover from the heat stroke that was setting in (these 90+ degree days are a little on the warm side.) I rejoiced when I saw the remaining fibers bend as the tree gently began to fall exactly where I had planned. But it didn’t take long for the joy to stop short as I realized…

Now what?

I’ve got a huge tree down in the front yard. It’s probably at least 4 times my size (I grew to be a strapping 5 feet 2 inches so that’s probably not saying much) and what’s more, there’s thunder rumbling in the backyard. At this point I would usually cut the tree into sections and cart it off to a burn pile. But usually I would have a chainsaw and there is no way I’m axing this tree into sections. That’s just not gonna happen. Then a thought occurs to me.

Remember that beaver out of the movie Lady and the Tramp? If you need a refresher here you go…

I went to the garage and grabbed the first length of rope I could find which happened to be an old fashioned jump rope. Laying nearby was one of those fake wool, slip on, seat belt covers. I grabbed it up and thread it through the rope (so it wouldn’t cut into my flesh) then looped the rope around the lowest branch of the tree and slung it across my body commando style. If you’re wondering how this works, let’s just say “It works swell!”

The tree is now laying somewhere in the woods behind the house. I’ve surrendered it to the critters. I have no intention of messing with it again. However, I should probably go fix the ruts I tore though the yard dragging it along. It wasn’t murder but I still feel the need to hide the evidence. Imma go do that now. Y’all take care.

 

Cheers!

 

 

 





Raising up the Youngin’s

20 06 2014

I’ve been working with a creative writing workshop for highschoolers at the college over the summer. It’s been three weeks of awesome. I had the chance to do this last year and they invited me back to work with them again this year. These kids are awesome! And if you feel like patronizing the arts a little why don’t you head on over to the blog they set up and give it a lookie-loo.

The Writers’ Block 2014

Cheers!





I might be good for a laugh or two

8 06 2014

People tell me I’m funny. My parents think I’m a smart alec. I just call it like I see it and 80% of the time people respond with laughter. I know the chances of you being on my other social medias is slim so I’m just going to recap a few status updates for you. If you giggle then congrats. If not, well, at least you know where I am in life.

 

“Smoking ages you prematurely, causing wrinkles”. Yeah well so does smiling but i don’t see anyone doing PSAs about it. I’m 23 and the crows feet are all WAZZUUUUPPPPP?!?!??!???

 

I was dubbed with a new nickname today from the Prison Ministry crew, “The Baby”. Mainly, I guess, because everyone else that serves has grandchildren my age. *side note* they were tossing it back and forth all day but I think it really stuck when we stopped at a gas station and I drowsily heard through my nap…
“Should we wake the baby?”
“Nah, just let her be and roll down the windows so she doesn’t swelter”

I’m glad they rolled down the windows.

 

“Just met my soul mate in traffic. He was rocking out and car dancing to my favorite song. So I synced our stations and joined in. The best moment was when he noticed me. We head banged in unison.

Good sir in the sporty red SUV, let’s just go ahead and get married.”

 

“SO yup, just met one of the people that works at the Birmingham visitors bureau. I told her that she needs me, that I know everything about early Birmingham history like the back of my hand. She doesn’t know it yet, but one day imma be mayor of this town.”

 

That might be enough for one night. Maybe I’ll start posting shorter “flash” posts. Have a good night (or morning for my international friends)

 

Cheers!





Nomad the Advocate

13 02 2014

Image

Yeah, it’s true. I’m a sucker for all “causes.” I detest injustice and I have one of those bleeding hearts that constantly has me volunteering my time and talents to try and make a difference in this world. That’s why I became a writer to begin with. I was originally a biology major before I turned to English. I was going to go all Steve Irwin and go out into the wild, bagging and tagging animals and just being a general do-gooder for mother nature. 

That was until I discovered I would have to take calculus 1, 2 AND 3. Pre-cal-trig didn’t go so well, so I wound up changing my major. I figured I could help the animals even more by becoming their voice in the social world. Educate people about the plight of those who cannot fend for themselves. Well animals causes have expanded to include all social injustice and so forth ( as evidence by my newest editing position on the Birmingham voice, Birmingham’s street paper for the homeless.) I may only be 23 but as I see it, time is a ticking and I plan to make as many splashes in people’s complacent pools as I possibly can. 

If you want to start talking politics, technically I’m a conservative. I don’t believe that the government should be the one funding programs to give help to those that need it. We shouldn’t have to legislate generosity.  Just the fact that we have gotten that far means we have failed as a society. We as humans should not be so self centered as to ignore our fellow man in need. But we’ve gotten really good at putting on our blinders and walking around as if everything is peachy-keen. There is already a program set up to help those in need. It’s called the Church. And I don’t care who you are, if you’re living and breathing (this means you), you have a responsibility to help others. I was watching The Amazing Spiderman for the first time this weekend and Peter Parker’s Uncle, Whats-his-face, said something that I really liked. He said “If you can do good things for other people, you have a moral obligation to do those things. Not choice — responsibility.” 

So yeah….

All that to say, I’ve gone and done it again. I have a friend who has set up a non-profit to help a family recovering from domestic violence. I have met this family personally and am blown away by all they have had to suffer. In seeking to help I have built them a wordpress site to help them raise funds for the family and awareness for domestic violence issues. 

I believe that to change the world it doesn’t mean affecting masses of people at one time. True and lasting change comes by touching one heart, one person at a time. It sets off a chain reaction. One which you will never understand or know about. The important thing is to do what is within our power because we have a calling and a responsibility to do so. If you would take a minute and check out the new site I would appreciate it. If you feel so led, please leave a donation. If you have nothing to give (trust me I’ve been flat broke before, you’re taking to a recovering college student here) then you can do us a favor and reblog this post. You never know in whose hands this could land. 

victimsofda.wordpress.com

 Thank you as always for reading! I love you guys!

Cheers! 








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