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!

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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

 

 





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!





Knives and Children’s Books Definitely Belong together.

18 09 2013

Ok, so maybe they are not knives per say… but they are incredibly sharp, pointy objects that have been known to draw blood (speaking from personal experience here.) I have been working on the illustrations for my halfway super secret children’s book I’ve been working on. My Momma has sworn me to general secrecy about this particular project. So I cannot talk about the name or story-line here on this very open, public space. However, if you’re dying to know more we can gossip about it in private later. You’ll just have to take the oath of secrecy too… and don’t forget I have sharp pointy objects so don’t be planning on breaking your very sacred oath.

You may be wondering why I am playing with blades to begin with. Well these particular illustrations are made with linoleum prints. Which means that for your 32 page illustrated book (this is the industry standard for children’s books) I have to have somewhere in the neighborhood of 32 or more carvings. My art professor says that an experienced lino cutter can finish a cut in about an hour…

yeahhhh

image

“and the wind blew”

I’m obviously not that experienced yet. I have anywhere from three to five hours invested in each carving. That’s not including the time I have to take to rest my cramping hands. So far I have three carvings complete and am in the process of carving out my fourth. This ———————->  Is the illustration for wind that occurs during a huge storm in the story. The story has a Japanese feel to it but I didn’t want to go with a Manga theme. I’ve chosen lino print as my medium to help mimic the broad brush strokes of traditional Asian artwork.

Anyway it’s been a lot of fun so far and I look forward to getting to share additional prints along the way with you.

 

Cheers!





Community

12 02 2013

Community… not to be confused with the awesome TV show by the same name, is defined by Merriam-Webster as:  “a group of people with a common characteristic or interest living together within a larger society.” One of my favorite poets, John Donne, has a few words to say on the subject. You’ve probably heard it before but read it again.

“No man is an island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main. If a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe is the less, as well as if a promontory were, as well as if a manor of thy friend’s or of thine own were: any man’s death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind, and therefore never send to know for whom the bells tolls; it tolls for thee.”

One of my favorite Biblical passages can be found in Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 whhiiiich states:

Two are better than one,
because they have a good return for their labor:
10 If either of them falls down,
one can help the other up.
But pity anyone who falls
and has no one to help them up.
11 Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm.
But how can one keep warm alone?
12 Though one may be overpowered,
two can defend themselves.
A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.

No one should live their lives on their own. Sure it can be done. And solitude is a blessed thing to escape to every now and then. BUT it’s not healthy as a permanent situation.

One person has the power to change the world. But TWO people, two people don’t double those odds, they more than double them. Basically the influence of  1+1=10.

One can create a community. You’re probably a part of several without fully realizing it. Your family, co-workers, church group, bingo partners, college classroom,  knitting club, gamer enclave …etc. You have influence in these circles. But just as importantly, they have a strong influence on you. I have several jobs and full time school. I’ve been in a lot of social situations. However these communities were not life giving. This kinda left me out on a limb. Working and going to school and working and going to school with some power naps in-between. I was around people all day long but the social interaction was very draining. Creative juices ebbed. Something had to change.

So I seized what bare-bones spare time I have to involve myself with others in what I consider two very important areas of my life. 1. My faith. 2. writing.

I’ve joined a new Bible study. It’s awesome! I only knew one person in the group to begin with but it’s a fantastic group of ladies, we’ve all connected and I’m loving it. We are studying the book of Daniel, which to be honest has a lot more to it than I’ve picked up on in my previous readings. Reckon that’s why they call it a Bible study. Anyway we’re using Beth Moore’s Daniel: Lives of Integrity, Words of Prophesy. It’s all about being culturally relevant without becoming spiritually irrelevant. And it has been such a blessing.

The second community is my poetry group. And as I promised to you in a previous post here I am telling you more  about it, or rather us. I recall telling you that we now call ourselves the Jones Valley Poetry Company. I even set us up a cool new blog site which I will now shamelessly promote. Check us out at jvpcompany.wordpress.com. Boom. Now that’s where it’s at. We started out just attending poetry class together studying under the incredible teacher I’ve mentioned before, Adam Vines. But then we started hanging out together. And poetry infused all of our meetings. Things just kinda went from there. We’re a fairly diverse group, however, our love of poetry and the city of Birmingham (which resides in Jones Valley) binds us together. We’re working towards cultivating love for these two topics within the Magic City (which has so much potential yet is widely misunderstood. Birmingham is trying to change it’s stereotype. A lot of times it gets a bad report. Don’t get me wrong it does reside within the top ten most violent cities within the US. And it by no means is the most gorgeous city out there. It has more the rustic or rather rusty charm about it. But against all odds, it’s trying. And we’re gonna help as much as we can.)

Communities, when faced with a common challenge/goal, get things done. When there are people there to support and encourage you, laugh when you laugh and cry with you when the world busts you in the face… it’s this human interaction that builds a home, a nation a world.

My communities are important to me. Be it my family, best friend, close friends, church family, writing group… they all have influence over who I am and how I’m interacting with the world. And Lord willing we’ll produce fruits that will touch and influence the lives of others.

That’s all for today,

Cheers!





Busy, busy, busy…

9 02 2013

Well now. I know I haven’t posted in awhile. Been super busy and kinda sick and just plain dried on up creative juices. The good news is I feel a little more caught up on my work, I feel better and I’m dedicated to making this weekend filled with lotsa creativeness. I come to you with a question though. Comment with your answer. What would you do in your town if you had 48 hours to yourself (you don’t have school work, or work work and are well rested), the wrench in the system is that you have to have fun without spending money (but you do have gas in your car). So what would you do? Would you sit at home and have a productive vegging session with netflix? Or would you get out of the house and explore? What areas of interest reside around you?





Back Again

15 05 2012

Hey peoples! Good new! I made it through finals and have crawled back to the land of the living. Sorry for my hiatus. More good news is that I won’t be taking summer classes and so will have more time to dedicate to my writing. And while I work on cranking out some more pieces to share with you, I’ll leave you with a temping tasty morsel…

With deft hands she wielded the knife with prowess. The flesh easily gave way under her expert strokes. As she chopped the crimson red flowed forth and stained her fingers. Once rigid, her victim fell into a pulpy mass. And yet her talent with the blade ensured that each piece was exactly the same size as the last and perfectly consistent with the next one. And then the unthinkable happened, though so familiar with the knife she lost track of where her hands were for a split second. In that nanometer of time, the curved and deadly blade jumped out and nicked her. Twas a small cut but the life blood flowed forth with a passion and mingle with the strawberry juice.








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