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

 

 





“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!





Missing the Aloha Spirit

28 05 2014

So, as I have mentioned before, I went to Hawaii over Christmas. I was there from December, 23 2013 till January 6, 2014. The purpose of my visit was to visit my best friend, Sarah, who had wed herself a soldier man and moved to Oahu. I promised her that I’d come and visit and immediately began saving for my trip. It took me a year to save enough funds to afford my plane ticket (over $1000 round trip during the busy season.) I had just gotten enough saved up and was shopping around when my Dad surprised me with a graduation present: one round-trip, coach ticket to Hawaii. I was thrilled and planned my visit to include Christmas, New Years and my birthday.

I hit the airport 8 days after my graduation. After so many years in school it was time for a well deserved vacation, no work, school, homework or appointments to keep for a whole two weeks, all while in the warmth/sunshine of a tropical climate WITH my best friend! How could it possibly get any better?





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!





First Time for Everything, Including Slamming

4 04 2013

I identify myself as a poet. Before I started college I was acutely aware that there were different kinds of poets in the world. There is the psalmist, hiku poet, Victorian, Romantic, but there are tons more besides which go on to include: minimalist, post-modern, formalist, etc. I know enough now to know that I don’t even know all the different kinds of poets there are. I, however, was quite recently introduced to slam poetry. Basically defined, slam poetry is poetry that is designed to be performed. If you want a more in-dept description click here.

I thought this was a pretty fantastic idea and loved sitting listening to two of my favorite slams. The first is by Levi the Poet and the second by Sarah Kay. Both are beautiful works and after listening to them I wanted to try my hand at it but I never really tried it until an email for UBA’s first poetry slam showed up in my inbox. The deadline was three days from then and so I made a snap decision and pulled my friend and fellow JVPCer Cheyenne along for the ride. It was a stellar experience and I learned a lot from it. I didn’t make it past the elimainaiton round but Chey did and she wound up recieving 3rd! I really didn’t feel like the expeience was about winning, loosing, placing or recieving points whcih is good consideiring how the MC kept repeating all night “the point is not the points, the point is the poetry.”

The slam titled “Poetic Justice: Words for Change,” was a platform for people to present their opinions on both heartfelt and controversial topics. And yeah we might not all think or believe the same things but I was enourmously pleased that those in attendance were willing to respectfully hear everyone out. I firmly believe in taking the time to understand people even if you don’t agree with them. All that to say the event lived up to its name. Now for those of you that couldn’t be there we did have some people in the audience taking video. Soooooooo here’s a few clips for your viewing pleasure:

A snippet of my slam titled “Babylong Never Died”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J7VpnXAM-VU

And Cheyenne’s slam in honor of her momma who was in the audience!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z3P0116PiZE

 

Aanyway thank you guys so much for reading and following this blog. I was surprised how many views my last post garnered considering how it was nothing fancy at all. I just want you guys to know that I appreciate the time you spend and share with me. My peoples rock!

Cheers!








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