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A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Festival, or What the Cuss, Karen?

I was on my way downtown when a funny thing happened. And I mean funny ridiculous, not funny haha.  I rounded a corner to merge onto the main thoroughfare in my little town, (about 20 minutes from the festival), and I noticed a police car make a sharp right turn from the left turn lane.… Continue reading A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Festival, or What the Cuss, Karen?

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BLF Press Call For Submission

Krystal A Smith

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

bftf_cfs

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Writing Does Not Have to Be (Nor Should it be) a Solitary Endeavor

Excellent advice from one of my favorite new writers!

Krystal A Smith

As someone who enjoys and craves her solitude writing is the perfect activity for me. I can write or think about writing anywhere, anytime. I don’t have to rely on another person to write the words for me. It’s not like some activities that have multiple people involved.

It can though. That’s what I’m learning and completly embracing. How can I need my alone time and want collaboration at the same time? Easy. In a word it’s all about Community.

hug

Sitting down to write is definitely, more or less, the part of writing that requires you to “work alone”.  Other people can be in the room while you write, you can even engage with them, but the thoughts and words you put down are yours until you’re ready to share them. You have to figure out how the story goes, the who, what, and where.

That is not to say…

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Why Black Speculative Fiction Month Matters

The Nerds of Color

October is Black Speculative Fiction Month and like legions of others, I am celebrating it something fierce.

Why does Black Speculative Fiction Month matter?

Black Speculative Fiction Month matters because now more than ever our stories must be told and our voices must be heard. Black Speculative Fiction Month matters because too often at cons and writing events, I’m the only nonwhite guest in attendance.

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National Poetry Month 2017

Omnivore Bibliosaur

It’s that wonderful time of year when the literary spotlight shines on poetry! Happy National Poetry Month (NPM)! Throughout the month of April, I’ll highlight poetry collections. For most of my life I’ve said that I wasn’t a “poetry person”. I hadn’t felt a strong need for or connection with it. As a kid, though, I loved my grandfather’s well-worn copy of Now We Are Six by A.A. Milne and the humorous verse of Shel Silverstein.

Lately, however, events in my life have created an opening for the particular rhythms and voices reflected in poetry. I’m currently reading “When the Chant Comes” by Kay Ulanday Barrett. What about you?

Poem in Your Pocket Day is on Thursday, April 27!  Check out Poets.org for tons of good stuff, including “30 Ways to Celebrate“!

Poem in Your Pocket Day 2016

Other ways you can spiffy up your life with poetry:

  • Write a poem on a…

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10 Works of Black Lesbian Short Fiction

So happy to see so many wonderful collections of Black lesbian fiction!

WOCreads

neueste

Recently, I was asked about short story collections by women of Color, and what a timely thing, too, since I’m planning on reading more short fiction this year. Collections are always a bit complicated for me: on the one hand I want to take my time and savor each story, treat it as a complete work by itself (as should be, unless it’s interconnected stories), but on the other I usually fail and pressure myself to read the whole collection quickly. So this year, I will again start an extra page in my menu for short stories I’ve read. I used to do this a few years ago, but have sadly let it slide. That way I hope to concentrate on a variety of stories,  giving each the same attention I would give a novel.

Now, short story collections by women of Color, that covers a lot of ground! So I’m…

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Stephanie reviews Don’t Explain by Jewelle Gomez

My latest over at The Lesbrary!

The Lesbrary

dontexplain

Don’t Explain is a collection of short stories by Black lesbian author, activist, and philanthropist Jewelle Gomez. Most widely known for her Black lesbian vampire novel The Gilda Stories, Gomez’s Don’t Explain is a collection of nine stories that employ rich, sensual, language to introduce readers to several carefully constructed characters whose stories set our minds and bodies afire. Although the collection was written in 1998, the stories are as poignant and relatable as they were when the book was published nearly twenty years ago.

For example, my favorite story in the collection, “Water With the Wine” is a new take on an old trope, the May-December romance. Gomez carefully deconstructs the most commonly held notions about romance between older and younger lesbians, and posits another reality for the women in her story. Alberta and Emma meet and become involved at an academic conference; however, differences in age, class…

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