Book Reviews, Short Stories and Essays, Writing Help

Moving Through Pandemic and Black Lives Matter… Keep Writing

Now is an excellent time to share a bit of my heart. During this pandemic, I’ve sheltered in place per the government’s mandate, all since the first week of March.

I’ve missed precious birthdays, close family members’ funerals, church services, shopping trips, family visits, community meetings, doctor’s appointments, catching up on girl-friend news, casual dining, exercising at my local health club, and let’s not forget the all too wonderful and coveted hair salon appointments.

Through it all, I’ve tapped into my creativity, engaged a myriad of Zoom, Facebook, Microsoft group meetings, and managed interactions in ways that did not include in-person contact. My how I’ve missed the freedom to embrace my family (especially my two little grandchildren); all others that I have not been able to embrace: my tribe. Albeit not soon enough, I believe all the pieces of my life will come back together, and I will once again enjoy all the people, places, and things I once took for granted.

Now on to a more significant issue – Black Lives Matter.

It is now that I re-center my thinking and withdraw from the “me” focus. I, too, have joined the movement. I must continue helping others register to vote, update their voter registration file, i.e., address, and check their voter’s status through the Secretary of State’s Office.  I must continue educating others on issues and candidates. Black Lives Matter is a reminiscence of the last movement – integration and Dr. Martin Luther King. It was hard then, and it is hard now. Change is never easy, so brace yourself for a radical change. It is coming. You may choose to be silent or deny, decide to participate, or not. No matter what, change is coming.

Maintaining Focus Even Through World Changes – As I write, I read blogs, books, and pieces related to history. Primarily the plight of my people – the descendants of African slaves. I don’t necessarily focus on non-fiction, I enjoy non-fiction novels as well.

Have you ever read historical black fiction or historical black romance fiction? These are two great genres if you’re interested in learning about black history as well as being entertained. Here are a few on my list –

  • The Wedding, Author: Dorothy West. The Wedding made into a mini-series starring Hallie Berry as the main character, Shelby.
  • Secrets Begging to be Told and Sunday Wild Child, both by a lesser-known author, Ethel Cook-Wilson
  • The Hornes, Author Gail Lumet Buckley
  • And my most recent discovery, Indigo, author Beverly Jenkins.

I invite you to share your comments on this post, your reading list, or writing tips.

Short Stories and Essays, Writing Help

Writing Through The Joys of Summer

Let’s play a word game…

What do these words have in common? Weddings, birthday parties, vacations, school’s out, lighter and brighter clothing, assorted melons, peaches, plums, berries, clam bakes, beach fun and squishing ocean sand between your toes. They all conjure celebrations, vacations, relaxation, the joys of Summer and the end of winter blues.

If you are anything like me, a few lazy days of summer work like magic in fixing the winter blues quickly. There is something wonderful about the feel of sun rays on a breezy day that magnifies euphoria and inspires effortless writing. Aside from the buzzing of a few bees, swatting a few flies and repelling ants with one foot against the other writing life is good during the summertime.

Do allow your imagination to run free and write whatever comes to mind. Sometimes this is the best writing – freestyle at its best! It is used to get the creative juices flowing. Try this exercise – chose 5 unrelated words and write for 15 minutes without stopping or making any corrections. After 15 minutes, stop and read your story. You will undoubtedly have a rough short story or an idea for a novel.

Be careful of the sun rays and the buzzing bees but enjoy writing during the lazy days of summer. I know I will.

Writing Help

The Writing Process: Writing Tips

Happy New Year!

Perhaps you have writing projects that you didn’t finish in 2018 and you need a bit of inspiration to send them to your publisher. Reset your schedule and prepare for 2019. Start by reading this post from 2018 to jump-start your writing.

Let resolve to get our writing projects done in 2019!

The writing process has five main areas of focus: (1) Prewriting, (2) Writing, (3) Revising, (4) Editing and (5) Publishing.

Prewriting lays the groundwork for your writing project. It is at this time that you write all your thoughts and ideas down so that you can flush out your ideas and layout your characters. You can use a character description sheet to develop profiles. Suggestion: Search Google using the name Character Description Worksheets. You can begin to build your character list (at least a great many of them if you are writing a novel) in this part of the process

Writing is the making or development of your story. Make a daily writing schedule for yourself, and you will not fall behind on your project, get frustrated in your progress or lose sight of the overall writing project.

Revising is vital to the success of your writing project. You’ll want to include time in your production schedule to carefully read, proof and rewrite any parts of your story. Get someone else’s opinion on your work. When you ask for someone else’s comments, prepare yourself for questions and suggestions on rewriting any parts that are unclear or confusing. Be open-minded enough to see beyond “being right.” After all, you want your readers pleased with your story and anxiously await your next installment.

Editing requires both patience and grammar acuity. If you’re deficient in these areas, seek outside help in the way of a proof-reader, editor or friends who are proficient in the editing process.

Publishing Although there is a myriad of ways to satisfy meet your publication goals here is a short list of accomplished using some of the following mediums: blogging, e-books and publishing houses which includes magazines.

Additional Source:

Ali Hale’s writing tips: