The Creative Benefits Of Being Bored – written by Kristen Lamb

Kristen Lamb, one of our favorite teachers, provided us with an enormously impressive post about the creative benefits of being bored. I have to admit, I’d recommend it to everyone. Read it, and take out of it what you need. Thank you, Kristen!

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Hey everyone! Remember me? It’s Kristen and I’m back and yes of course I missed all of you dearly. In this blog, I’ve always worked to be transparent with you guys so you knew it was okay to be human. Lately, I’ve been very very human as in seriously exhausted and burned out. Working is easy for me. Resting?

That requires an intervention.

Hey, I’m a work in progress too! 😛

I’m bad about having two speeds, GO and GO HARDER. Three years ago I pushed and pushed until I ended up with a nice case of Shingles that laid me out for months.

Yeah nothing to make a gal feel young and sexy like Shingles.

One would think I learned from that. Sigh. No *hangs head in shame* So I’ve been going going going for months. Launched a debut book, blogging, teaching then went to present at a week-long retreat…where I worked 10-12 hour days. I LOVE my work. Sitting alone in the woods in the quiet? When there are writers I can HELP??????

 

To continue reading the entire blog post, please click:

http://authorkristenlamb.com/2017/07/the-creative-benefits-of-being-bored/

 

 

July/August 2017 Writing Contests

Thank you very much for all your efforts and work, Rachel Poli. We appreciate it!

Rachel Poli

Writing Contests for July and August 2017

JULY 2017

Genre: Poetry
Theme: N/A
Website: Literal Latte
Deadline: July 15, 2017
Entry Fee: $10/6 poems or $15/10 poems
Prize: First – $1,000

Genre: Poetry, Fiction
Theme: Fairy Tale
Website: Fairy Tale Review
Deadline: July 15, 2017
Entry Fee: $10
Prize: First – $1,000

Genre: Fiction
Theme: Flash Fiction
Website: Gigantic Sequins
Deadline: July 15, 2017
Entry Fee: $5
Prize: $100

Genre: Any
Theme: “The End”
Website: Visible Ink
Deadline: July 31, 2017
Entry Fee: $7
Prize: $75

Genre: Flash Fiction
Theme: N/A
Website: The Golden Key
Deadline: July 31, 2017
Entry Fee: $4
Prize: $150

Genre: Fiction (New writers only)
Theme: N/A
Website: The Masters Review
Deadline: July 31, 2017
Entry Fee: $20
Prize: First – $3,000

AUGUST 2017

Genre: Fiction/Non-Fiction
Theme: Self-published ebooks
Website: Writer’s Digest
Deadline: August 1, 2017
Entry Fee: $99
Prize: Grand – $5,000

Genre: Flash Fiction/Non-Fiction/Poetry
Theme: N/A
Website: Blue Earth Review
Deadline:…

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…brave ‘new’ communication frontier for this ol’ Jurassic scribbler…

Seumas Gallacher gives us all, readers, followers, authors, writers and friends a new chance and a new way to communicate with him. If you’re interested in joining this list, please go to his blog and read this post.

Seumas Gallacher

…over the past two or three weeks, I invited folks on my Facebook pages to enlist for a regular direct mailing shot from me, as I felt the lack of a ‘space’in my SOSYAL NETWURKS to get closer to my readers, authors and blogger friends… responses to be put on the list have been gratifying so far… if yeez wanna join it, please let me know either by email to seumasgallacher@yahoo.com or by DM on Facebook… existing friends on all my SOSYAL NETWURKS will only be listed on this one if they specifically ask to be on it, as I abhor anything that even remotely resembles spamming… here’s the first email posting which went out today, to give yeez a wee taster:

Email from Seumas:

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Dancing In The Summer Rain

The air is still and humid, heavy and warm

movement caused by a mosquito swarm.

For days the sun relentlessly has burned

the stone dry ground, no relief, we learned.

**

The smell of basil, lavender and thyme

fills the air in summertime.

And still the heat, it is a strain

we all are waiting for the rain.

**

In the evening there’s a gush of wind

the humidity has slowly thinned.

The light blue sky is getting gray

like lead the clouds clench up and stray.

**

And very slowly the wind blows more

it closes windows and the door.

And then, with joy, and with no grief

the first drop falls down, it’s a relief.

**

The raindrops soon dance on the ground

on windows and roofs, we like the sound.

For days and weeks we wanted to hear

the desiderated rain – now it is here.

**

The air still warm and I’m invited

to go outside I’m so excited.

It’s like feeling nature on my skin

going outside with a wide grin.

**

I catch the drops and feel cooled down

instead of cream, the earth is brown

the grass stands up, and so do plants

when I whirl and spin my summer dance.

*****

(Copyright: Aurora Jean Alexander, July 2017)

 

 

Picture courtesy of: http://www.thiswallpaper.com/summer-rain-hd-wallpaper.html

 

 

Introducing A Great Place To Write I

Picture courtesy of Café Coco

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I know this coffee house for years. Unfortunately lately I haven’t had much opportunity to spend time there. I’m just simply too busy.

But I have to say, I loved to go to Café Coco, order my coffee, something small and light from their menu and write.

The coffee house has a patio and a veranda outside, a bar inside and the coffee it serves is excellent. I always enjoyed the atmosphere in the old house and was usually very busy writing. Maybe it was the time within the old walls that tickled my creativity.

Additionally I kept meeting nice people, artists, writers, students… there was usually a lot of fun during the hours I was there.

Café Coco can be found at 210 Louise Ave, Nashville, TN 37203, within spitting distance of the Vanderbilt University.

Café Coco offers a diversified menu, online ordering, catering as well as live music. If you like to find out more, go to: http://cafecoco.com/

If you ever have the chance to spend some time there and write, please let me know how you liked it. I’d be curious.

 

What Happens To My Characters I introduced?

So far I introduced three of my characters to the public.

November 13, 2015, a short article on ‘Writer’s Treasure Chest’ was published. It looked like an entry of a demon called ‘Ethel.’ Ethel is hard to describe, very hard. I think it might be a good idea to refresh the memory here.

December 4, 2015, I was introduced to the followers of The Story Reading Ape, and the introduction is still in his “Hall of Fame.” Thank you, Furry Friend. Since I’m not yet published, I decided to interview one of my characters instead: Simin Arnatt, a woman guarding many secrets. If you like, please re-read the interview here.

December 15, 2016, I published an interview with one more of my characters, a shadow named Rapha Golden. It seemed that interview was quite successful. Rapha can charm a woman into ecstasy, I know. Just in case you don’t believe me, check it out here.

I ensure you, none of these characters are wasted or created only for P.R. purposes. They are in fact characters showing up in on of my books. (In my case, novellas).

When I published the interview with Simin Arnatt, I knew she would be one of my protagonists. I did not whatsoever know that the shadow Rapha Golden would become a bigger character than I had expected him to be. They both are currently woven into a story of passion, jealousy, and cruelness and I’m not sure yet how this will end. But I’m soon going to find out.

The big secret is Ethel. I’m currently working on the fourth, the fifth and the sixth novella in the series – and Ethel still hasn’t shown up. I regret this very much, and I hope this character, which I somehow got a liking of, will fit in somewhere soon.

I know, Ethel is my character, my creature, my possession and I could build more strength, but then it wouldn’t be Ethel anymore. Ethel is weak, a bit helpless, a bit evil, a bit of everything – but just “a bit.” Ethel isn’t a protagonist, not the main character. I figure I’ll wait and find out where to create a spot for Ethel.

Have you ever created a character you liked and then found out that you don’t know what to do with this character? Or that the character you created is the worst opponent you could have made and you hate him? Please, let us hear it.

 

 

 

Picture courtesy of: http://weknowyourdreams.com/single/book/book-03

Independence Day – 2017

I will not write a lot today. I’m just honoring the day, together with you, friends, family, and followers… thanks for your ongoing support!

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RAGGED OLD FLAG
by Johnny Cash

I walked through a county courthouse square,
On a park bench an old man was sitting there.
I said, “Your old courthouse is kinda run down.”
He said, “Naw, it’ll do for our little town.”
I said, “Your flagpole has leaned a little bit,
And that’s a Ragged Old Flag you got hanging on it.

He said, “Have a seat”, and I sat down.
“Is this the first time you’ve been to our little town?”
I said, “I think it is.” He said, “I don’t like to brag,
But we’re kinda proud of that Ragged Old Flag.”

“You see, we got a little hole in that flag there
When Washington took it across the Delaware.
And it got powder-burned the night Francis Scott Key
Sat watching it writing -Oh Say Can You See-.
And it got a bad rip in New Orleans
With Packingham and Jackson tuggin’ at its seams.”

“And it almost fell at the Alamo
Beside the Texas flag, but she waved on through.
She got cut with a sword at Chancellorsville
And she got cut again at Shiloh Hill.
There was Robert E. Lee, Beauregard, and Bragg,
And the south wind blew hard on that Ragged Old Flag.”

“On Flanders Field in World War I
She got a big hole from a Bertha gun.
She turned blood red in World War II
She hung limp and low by the time it was through.
She was in Korea and Vietnam.
She went where she was sent by her Uncle Sam.”

“She waved from our ships upon the briny foam,
And now they’ve about quit waving her back here at home.
In her own good land she’s been abused —
She’s been burned, dishonored, denied and refused.”

“And the government for which she stands
Is scandalized throughout the land.
And she’s getting threadbare and wearing thin,
But she’s in good shape for the shape she’s in.
‘Cause she’s been through the fire before
And I believe she can take a whole lot more.”

“So we raise her up every morning,
Take her down every night.
We don’t let her touch the ground
And we fold her up right.
On second thought I DO like to brag,
‘Cause I’m mighty proud of that Ragged Old Flag.”

(Source: http://www.inspirational-quotes-and-poems.net/independence-day-poems.html)

Picture courtesy of: http://www.imagesbuddy.com/

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The Pledge of Allegiance

I pledge allegiance to the Flag,
Of the United States of America
And to the Republic for which it stands,
One Nation, under God
Indivisible, with Liberty and Justice for All.

 

Picture courtesy of: Tumblr18.Com

Featured Author – Interview – The Return Of Yecheilyah Ysrayl

Welcome back!

You were a guest on ‘Writer’s Treasure Chest’ before, where we learned about writing in your life and your projects.

Let’s see what you can tell us today:

1. Are you still writing in the same genre as you did before, and if not, why did you switch – or would you ever think to change genres?

This question is so interesting because I’ve been thinking a lot about genre. I find as an Indie Publisher one of the challenges is having to sort of “categorize” yourself. While I’m still writing Historical Fiction, I am starting to understand I am more so into Literary Fiction specifically. I say that because I am only interested in a certain kind of Historical Fiction. I love history across the board even though I didn’t like it in school, but when it comes to reading history in a fictional form, my real interest is in the so-called Black experience mostly. For this, I think I’ll start to use Literary Fiction more if I had to “categorize” my work. I don’t like being boxed in though so I’ll definitely change genres depending on what story I write.

 

2. Please, tell us a little about your writing process.

I don’t have much of a process. Every book I write is different and takes me on a different journey. The best answer I can give is that as I am writing the first draft and the story is flowing, sometimes I come upon a scene that requires me to stop and research. Now I know what they say when writing the first draft just write. Well, I can’t. At least not when I need information to finish a scene. Usually, I do my research separate from writing but when it comes to the creation of a scene that requires me to know more to write about it, I have to stop. Even if it’s just the first draft because I know how that scene looks in my head and what is required for it to be put down on the page. And I can always go back and perfect it later (during revisions) but before I can move on, I’ve got to be able to at least finish that scene.

For example: In Revelation, Book Two of The Nora White Story, there are new characters being introduced and one such character is named Red, Nora’s love interest. I was reading Malcolm X autobiography as I was writing book two so that’s where the inspiration for his name and some of his characteristics comes from. Long story short, Red is a numbers runner. A numbers runner is someone who collects policy slips and pays winners in a form of lottery called policy banking or as it was referred to by blacks in Harlem, the numbers game.

As newcomers to Harlem, Southern blacks like many northern-born African Americans, encountered racial and job discrimination and were unable to secure industrial jobs. Most labored in unskilled jobs and received less pay than their white counterparts. Under these socioeconomic conditions, African Americans developed diverse and creative responses to employment discrimination and economic disparity like rent parties and policy banking, a form of gambling that you would recognize today as the lottery. Playing the lottery is legal today, although illegal when poor black people were doing it.

 

3. What is important to know for young, new authors and writers?

Young and new authors and writers should pay attention to themselves. What I mean is, understand the power of your individuality, what sets you apart and how to infuse this self-identity into your writing. Inspiration is cool, motivation is exciting and publishing books is OK but without a knowledge of self, discipline, and endurance you won’t get very far. People will always tell you how it should be done and it is wise to listen to advice for sure. It is also wise to stay true to yourself, your personal mission as well as your contribution to the world. Only being who you are makes you different and set apart to everyone else and that’s what really makes your work what it is. If you really think about it, every book is essentially the same. It is the author/writer that makes it different.

 

4. Your experience in the writing world, do you think it has already taken you where you wanted to go?

No. In fact, I don’t know if I’ll ever get to where I want to go but I do know that I’ll be guided to where I need to be if that makes sense. I don’t like the idea of having “made it” or having obtained success because it means you must stop at some point and I do not intend to stop if it is Yah’s will. For me, life is about stepping stones and milestones. At some point, I’ll reach a milestone or accomplish a certain goal that I have wanted to achieve but I do not intend on stopping if it is in my power.

 

5. In your opinion, are you a writer or an author – and what is the difference for you?

I am both because in my opinion there is no difference. While an author would technically be published, I believe the journey is all encompassing. If I believe I’m a published author then I am even before I publish a book. Being a writer is just that, you write. Whether it means you publish books, write blog posts or research papers, you’re a writer. Being a writer can encompass many things and does not have to be restricted to writers of books. Maybe you publish articles. That makes you an author and a writer just the same.

 

6. Please, tell us about your projects again. Was there progress since the last interview or are there even completely new projects?

Yes, ma’am. I am working on quite a few projects, not all of which I will list here because we’ll be here all day.

Briefly, I am releasing a novel very soon which I am most excited about. Renaissance Book One in The Nora White Story. We follow Nora White as she attempts to follow her dreams of being a writer during The Harlem Renaissance Movement and the realities she is facing as she struggles to understand more about the difference between the Jim Crow South and the not-so-different North. We also follow her parents, Gideon and Molly White in their struggle to overcome their own pain in their search for their daughter who has left home without a word.

As I am preparing to release this book I am also revising Revelation which is Book Two in the series with hopes of getting it out by the close of the year.

 

Thank you for being my guest. It was such a pleasure to have you here!!

Thanks so much for having me. It is an honor.

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Connect with Yecheilyah:

Author Website: https://www.yecheilyahysrayl.com/
Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Yecheilyah-Ysrayl/e/B00ML6OHFA 
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8336941.Yecheilyah_Ysrayl
Blog: https://thepbsblog.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/literarykornerpublishing
Twitter: https://twitter.com/ahouseofpoetry
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/yecheilyah/

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Renaissance: The Nora White Story (Book One)

 

When seventeen-year-old Nora White successfully graduates High School in 1922 Mississippi and is College bound, everyone is overjoyed and excited. Everyone except Nora. She dreams of Harlem, Cotton Clubs, Fancy Dresses, and Langston Hughes. For years, she’s sat under Mr. Oak, the big oak tree on the plush green grass of her families five acres, and daydreamed of The Black Mecca.
The ambitious, young Nora is fascinated by the prospect of being a famous writer in The Harlem Renaissance and decides she doesn’t want to go to College. Despite her parent’s staunch protest, Nora finds herself in Jacobsville, New York, a small town forty-five minutes outside of Harlem.
Shocked by their daughter’s disappearance, Gideon and Molly White are plagued with visions of the deadly south, like the brutal lynching of Gideon’s sister years ago. As the couple embark on a frightening and gut wrenching search for Nora, they are each stalked by their own traumatic past. Meanwhile, Nora learns that the North is not all it’s cracked up to be.
Can Gideon and Molly overcome their disturbing past in time to find their daughter before it’s too late?

Coming July 15, 2017

https://www.yecheilyahysrayl.com/

 

 

“The author really did her research, touching on the feud between Zora and Langston over a play written by both, but only Zora was given credit. The way she wove Nora into the middle of the feud was genius. It was reminiscent of Forrest Gump a bit.(That, in my world is a HUGE compliment – I love Forrest Gump)”
–          Lisa W. Tetting

“When I finished reading Renaissance: The Nora White Story I actually shouted. I loved, loved this book. From beginning to end. The characters are still alive inside my mind. The setting as well. I could smell the hot soup the girls had or the rain on the hot earth. The dialogue is superb; I can still hear the soft southern accent in my mind.”

– Adele Marie Park

 

“The author did a fabulous job of inserting the fictional Nora White into the historical time period. The story flips between Nora’s family back home and her experiences in New York. It was a great storytelling technique because the reader was able to grasp the stark differences in life between the two geographical locations while realizing the specter of racism existed everywhere. I also liked the fact that the characters spoke with the typical speech patterns of the time. From a historical perspective, it was like experiencing time travel to another era.”

– Colleen Chesebro

 

“First of all, let me say that I’m loving your book so far. The voice (yours/Nora’s), imagery, dialogue, and overall literary style remind me of Toni Morrison’s and Zora Neale Hurston’s. Damn, girl! You’re giving me goals!”

– Nadine Tomilson

 

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Yecheilyah’s books:

 

Amazon US

https://www.amazon.com/Yecheilyah-Ysrayl/e/B00ML6OHFA/ref=dp_byline_cont_ebooks_1

Barnes and Noble

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/s/yecheilyah?_requestid=1134211

Kobo

https://store.kobobooks.com/en-us/search?query=Yecheilyah%20Ysrayl&fcsearchfield=Author

iBookstore

https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/stella/id961269157?mt=11

Lulu

https://www.lulu.com/shop/search.ep?keyWords=yecheilyah&type=

Dangerous Shadow – A Riddle

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He is strong and he is fast

when he strikes, no prey to last.

He hunts in darkness quite with ease

not on the ground but also in trees

**

When he’s hungry, in greatest shape

he kills the monkey and the ape.

On the ground he hunts boar and deer

birds and reptiles live in fear.

**

He’s fast as lighting and still is proud

a soft footed hunter who’s never loud.

He lives alone most of his life

two of them end up in strife.

**

He’s beautiful but very rare

he’s shy and carries unique hair.

His fur was coveted long ago

he’s almost gone from what we know.

**

He can get three feet without the tail

to watch and hunt him ends in fail.

His teeth and claws do make him climb

and hide in trees for quite some time.

**

Strong he is, blends in and linked

soon enough he’ll be extinct.

He has been hunted, hauled and stalled…

Clouded leopard is he called.

*****

(Copyright, Aurora Jean Alexander, June 2017)

 

Picture courtesy of: Charles Barilleaux from Cincinnati, Ohio, United States of America – Wet Behind the Ears, CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=27166299