Greensboro Bound Literary Festival 2018 May 18th-20th

This week over 70 authors will descend upon Greensboro for readings, signings, and lively conversation with readers.

I’m excited to attend not only as a fan of several authors presenting, but also as an author on a panel. I’ll be sharing time with Ray Morrison, Steve Cushman, and Steve Mitchell at Preyer Hall, Greensboro History Museum, May 19, 4:30 pm to talk about contemporary Short Stories, read from our work, and sign a few books.

Of all the events taking place this weekend I know I’m most excited for Nikki Giovanni (A Good Cry, 2017), Fred Chappell (I Am One of You Forever, 1985), Leesa Cross-Smith (Whiskey & Ribbons, 2018), and Greensboro Bound After Hours. There will be music, performances, and of course books.

For a full list of events browse the Greensboro Bound site.

Opening reception takes place at Weatherspoon Art Gallery, UNCG, May 17, 6:00 pm

I hope to see you there!

Review

Happy Thursday! I’m celebrating Throw Back Thursday (#TBT) with a new review at the Black Lesbian Literary Collective website.

Love Conjure/Blues by Sharon Bridgforth is performance, prose, and poetry. You can read my full review here.

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National Poetry Month

Did everyone make it through April Fools’ Day? I’m not a big fan of being got, so I’m glad no one tried it with me.

Other than being an acceptable time to trick folks April is National Poetry Month #NaPoMo

Here’s my first poem for the month. A haiku:

 

Your eyes are the sun

Warming my core so deeply

Gaze upon me, look

 

 

 

Have a great day! Happy National Poetry Month

March Did That

I have to say March has really shown out for me this year. It’s been so exciting and challenging, and motivating. I’m still (in my mind) celebrating the launch of my first ever collection of short stories. Two Moons hit shelves March 20th and the reception so far has been a good one.

We held the book launch the same week at the Raleigh LGBT Center and I had a blast. Sure there was cake and bubbly to share, but for me the real fun was reading my stories out loud, discussing the who, what, why of those stories, and engaging with those of you who came. When I say I can’t wait to do it again, I really, really mean it. Thanks again to everyone who came out Saturday. You made my launch incredible.

Next up I’ll be at North Carolina Writer’s Network Conference (NCWN) in Greensboro, NC on  April 21st.  I’ll be manning the booth for publisher BLF Press. Come say hi and buy some books.

Speaking of books, if you haven’t already, you can still get signed copies of Two Moons from BLF Press. Click here to go straight to the bookstore. If you have your copy already, please write a review and post it on Goodreads. Reviews make things happen for books. It can be a short sentence or two, what you enjoyed and why. Every review helps get this book in the hands of new readers. Thank you!

Want to keep up with me and my book events? Sign up for my newsletter. A new one comes out in April, don’t miss out. Subscribe to my newsletter

 

 

 

It’s Publication Day!

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Today is a very special day! It’s publication day. Two Moons is out in the world being magical, black, and queer as all get out.

I can’t wait for you all to hold it and read it and find yourselves in it.

You can get a copy from BLF Press or booksellers like amazon. Also, if you’re in North Carolina Saturday March 24th, I’d love to see you at the book launch. It’s being held at the Raleigh LGBT Center (324 S. Harrington Street) from 6pm-8pm. There will be a reading, discussion, some book signing, and cake! What could be better? Come on out!

Special thanks to everyone who helped me and who worked on Two Moons. It means so much to me to know y’all and to have your brilliance touch these stories. I’m forever grateful.

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Women are powerful.

 

 

2017 Year End

2017 has been a lot of things to a lot of people. It’s been difficult and challenging, joyous and prosperous. 2017 encouraged people to reflect on who they are, who their family and friends are, and what they are willing to do to love, protect, and respect themselves and others.

It’s been scary and overwhelming at times. It’s been enlightening too.

I gave myself a chance this year, more so than any other time. I slowed down, I listened, I let people show me kindness and love. I connected with people.

I read incredible books and stories for which I am extremely thankful for.

This year I completed my first collection of short stories. Two Moons, a collection of transformation and possibility. I’m happy for this book’s coming. Release day is March 20th, 2018. Join me March 24th  at the Raleigh LGBT Center for a reading. You can preorder Two Moons straight from the publisher here.

I hope you all have the opportunity to take a little time for yourselves this holiday season. You deserve it. I’ll see you in 2018.

Love and Light.

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BLF Press Call For Submission

Black Women Writers here is a call for submission for you. Black From The Future, A Collection of Speculative Writing. I’m co-editing with Stephanie Allen of BLF Press and Lauren Cherelle of Resolute Publishing. Get all of the details at blfpress.submittable.com

 

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A Short Collection of Reviews

I love short stories. Below are the short Story Collections I read this year with a short review.

What It Means When A Man Falls From the Sky by Leslie Nneka Arimah. I’ve already read this collection twice. There is a particular magical entrancement that occurs when reading these stories. I think it’s because the stories feel like they are coming from a real place. Whether that is from a memory, a place in the writer’s mind or heart these stories get at you with detail, action, emotion, and so on. The wording in the beginning of the first story confused me at first, but I think the intention was to make sure the reader  pays attention. It worked. I slowed down and the words started to click. This is one of the best collection of short stories I’ve read to date. Favorite story from the collection: It’s a tie between Who Will Greet You When You Get Home (crazy-good) and What is a Volcano. Both stories are, I think, about desire and how that can turn us inside out. What is a Volcano is in the style of a fable which I absolutely love. Would recommend all day, everyday. 5 stars.

Unclean Jobs for Woman and Girls by Alissa Nutting. This book is so intricately different from anything I’ve ever read before. Some people might say this book is weird, but it’s weird in all the best ways. The stories are just flavorful, uninhibited, and often hilarious. Favorite story from the collection: Delivery Woman. In this story a naive woman decides to rekindle her relationship with her criminal mother who has been frozen for her crimes. Despite trying to make the best of the situation the woman’s naivety and foolishness get the best of her. A close second would be Ant Colony where a woman living with ants inside of her obtains the insects special abilities. Would highly recommend. 4 stars.

Her Body and Other Parties by Carmen Machado. I had a lot of expectations for this book. Usually the buzz around a book catches my attention, but doesn’t necessarily push me to run out and get the book immediately. This time, though, I was all in, ready to get lost in the pages of this eight story collection. The writing is quite good, thoughtful, purposeful, and drizzled with beautiful language. I also appreciate the experimental aspects of stories like Especially Heinous, a take on Law & Order: SVU that combines a type of fan fiction-esque recap of episodes. This story in particular is dark and gritty but also highlights the burden on victims and the people trying to help them. For me, though, the story itself dragged. The Husband Stitch, Inventory, The Resident, and Eight Bites picked up the slack for me.  Favorite story from the collection: Eight Bites. The story examines the relationship  a woman has with her body, how she sees herself, and why she feels the need to have a procedure that all of her sisters have had. It’s chilling to see an example of what happens to a body discarded. Would recommend for discussion purposes. 3.5 stars

Difficult Women by Roxane Gay. An emotional read from start to finish. I found myself frustrated and exhausted for the women in these stories and for myself because the scenarios are not far fetched for Women. Gay’s writing is beautiful and savory. I found the more unusual stories the best. Requiem for a Glass Heart, Water, All Its Weight, and I Am a Knife, to me have speculative fiction elements to them.  Favorite story from the collection: North Country. This story seems to have one of the happier of endings of all the stories and in this collection that holds weight. It provides a reprieve from the more violent and exhausting stories. Would recommend (with a warning to have tissues and a strong disposition at the ready). 3.5 stars

The Bloody Chamber by Angela Carter. I kept seeing Angela Carter’s name in different articles about the retelling of stories. The Bloody Chamber was the book that often accompanied her name so I thought I would check it out. Every story in this book is a retelling of stories, often from a female point of view. I’ll be honest for me it was hard to discern which stories were being retold, with the exception of Puss in Boots and a Beauty and the Beast type story. These stories are vivid and chilling. The title story The Bloody Chamber, a retelling of the Blackbeard Legend gave me nightmares after reading it. The Snow Child was also particularly brutal, I thought. It was shorter than most of the other stories and really came full force with its imagery. I remember muttering, Damn! after finishing it. Favorite story from the collection: Puss in Boots. This is an adult story all about lust. Puss is the most hilarious conniving character I’ve read in a long time and he cared not about how he got what he wanted to help his master and himself. Overall a good read. Would recommend. 3.5 stars.

Blue Talk & Love by Mecca Jamilah Sullivan. The stories are set in various places in New York and gives the collection a wonderful connecting point. Black women and girls are given a voice that shows them for who they are and who they want to be. I couldn’t predict the way any of the stories would end. I loved that. The writing is fresh and original. I felt engaged with all the stories.   Favorite story from the collection: A Strange People. In this story conjoined female twins born into slavery make their fame as performers. Would highly recommend. 4 stars.