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

 

 





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!





Dunt Dunt Dunt: another one bites the dust

28 03 2014

Praise the Lord and Hallelujah! I just got done with another drafting of Joshua Burnam and the Killer Cereal. Hopefully it’s one of my lasts. The story is coming dangerously close to completion. This week I will be asking some of my trusted Englishly peoples take a look at it and give me some feedback. The majority of plot holes have been filled during this last run though which was probably the biggest overhaul it’s seen yet. It’s taken over a year’s worth of primping and polishing to get it to it’s present state.  I have people constantly asking me how it’s coming and my answer is always the same, still revising.

I feel like I could revise myself into the ground sometimes, but it is a necessary part of the process. I often remind myself that the difference between a writer and a published writer is revision. Someone seeking publishing should spend about 25% of their time writing the story and 75% of the time revising it. And man alive, I use to hate revision. Revision, to me, use to mean that I hadn’t done things perfectly on the first go around (and who really want’s to be told that their writing is crap?) It use to mean that I could potentially cut a paragraph that was awesome and then it would be gone forever.

But as I have become more established in my writer’s ways I have come to realize that there is a certain freedom in revision. It is admitting that: yes, I didn’t get it right on the first try but I can come back to it. And that takes a lot of pressure off preforming such monumental undertakings. Additionally, it is super productive. Knowing that you can revise later on helps you to get what’s in your head out NOW. Sure, maybe it might not work well with the story as it is but you don’t risk losing that great idea because it’s not yet perfect. In food terms: First you gotta get the icing ON the cake before you can smooth it out.

 

Anyway, I just wanted to share the news with you peoples cause you’re awesome and continue to read these posts. Hope your March went well! here’s to a better April!

 

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!





For Starters…

2 10 2012

Hey hey, I’m back. This time I have a poem I wrote last week for my class. As of yesterday it got a thorough critique. So I still have some work to do on it. But as the tag line to this blog is pure, raw unedited… i’m posting first drafts. Hollar with your comments or suggestions!

Ciao.

Au Poivre: With Pepper

During the fall months it was dank in the culvert under Dobbson’s street.
“The smell was not just of cat piss and foul tinned fish” but it was as if
Death itself had curled down there to sleep. Yet in the summer
the creek dried up leaving nothing but the crispy husks
of mud babies, broken glass and a fine cayenne silt that clung
to the bottom of my blanket and worked its way into
the bindings of all my books. That 7×15 hollow of corrugated tin
was my Narnia, Naboo, Neverland. It protected from the sun and tongue-lashings
for daddy had a peppercorn temper. The kind with creole heat
that leaves anger in your mouth and the imprint of
tongs on Momma’s back. I was seventeen when he died, mid-beer,
of a heart attack Mother told me “never EVER marry
a football player.” But I did. And now dessert, at least once a week,
is served with the taste of blood from when fist and flesh meet.





Poetry Restriction = Clamming

1 10 2012

Hey peoples, so as some of you may know and probably most of you do not, I’m in an advanced poetry class this semester. My professor gives us a lot of severe restrictions (syllable count per line, enjambment, topic specific, etc.) for each poem. After you get past wrapping your mind around such limitation you’ll discover it’s actually pretty liberating. I’ve written about some things I never would have attempted before… such as clamming. The research for the poem actually took longer than writing the darn thing. I googled my heart out and even reverted to calling up my momma (yes a shout out to the lady that birthed me! hi mom *waves*) who is a Florida native. This is just the first draft of the poem I created today so it’s by no means finished. But I was decently pleased with the results (minus the last couplet which was a little rushed) and figured I’d share it with you. If you have any suggestions for the next draft just leave them in the comment box. Well here it is peoples, cheers!

Clamming

The moon is like a fat man’s fingernail tonight.
And the barnacles under the dock are as rocks

Closed up tight like morning glories before the sun’s first light
Breaks over the horizon. My grandfather once told me,
“You can eat the tubers, the Indians did, ‘tater style.”
But I prefer to sink my toes into the brackish silt,

Tread out the quahogs and reach down to mitt my
Hands into live ground. Thick soles don’t weal
Unlike the baby skin of the snow birds who
Rent shinicocks instead. But the rake is faster

And faster is what I need as the water threatens to lap
The hem of my rolled denim. And when the bucket’s filled
I’ll sit on the shore, wet skin prickling in the breeze
And inspect the bivalves who’s sides cleave to one another

With the adductor muscle; “One of the strongest in the
World,” my mother says popping them open with a sharp twist.
Tomorrow there will be chowder but tonight I watch
As my scrounging marks are erased

And that which was stale is refreshed and submerged,
Like the Nile’s inundation, restitution to the land.








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