What’s Going On–September 2014

RoS_Cover_2014How did it get to be September? Moving to a new state sucks so much energy out of you, you lose track of the months. I’m happy to say that my family and I are finally beginning to feel settled in our new home. It’s time to turn my attention back to my creative goals.

In the midst of all the craziness, I managed to edit and publish a poetry anthology on behalf of the Georgia Poetry Society. Don’t ask me how I did it. It’s all a blur. But I’m very proud of how it turned out and thrilled to share the cover here–the first cover I’ve designed myself. I’m very grateful to artist Karen Burnette Garner for submitting to GPS’s first cover contest. Her gorgeous painting is a song.

In other news, I’ve contributed an epistolary piece to an upcoming anthology titled Dear Wonderful You: Letters to Adopted and Fostered Youth. This is a unique project that will enable young adult readers to correspond directly with the authors after the book is published. I’m looking forward to interacting with these young adoptees and foster children in a mentoring role. More information about this project will be coming in the next few months.

Now that my kids are back in school, I’m settling into a writing routine once again. The memoir I’ve had floating around for several years has finally bubbled to the top of the to-do list. Anyone who’s ever thought about writing a book probably knows this dance I’ve been doing–advancing toward the manuscript and then pushing away from it, over and over again. This is a dance that can absorb a life if you let it. I’m at last determined to finish the thing, once and for all. My goal is to have a complete draft by the end of the year, and I’ve been progressing well over the past several weeks. Hold me to this, everyone!

I have other goals in mind as well. But that’s talk for another day…

 

 

 

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What’s Going On–May 2014

Living LoudI’ve been away from the blog for a while, busy navigating an enormous life change that includes relocating from Atlanta to the Tampa Bay area. Things aren’t yet settled, but life marches on despite my need for rest!

The next Big Thing on my calendar is a trip to Washington, D.C., on June 1, where I’ll read along with several of my Lost Daughters sisters in support of our anthology, Lost Daughters: Writing Adoption from a Place of Empowerment and Peacewhich I’m happy to report is now available in print as well as e-book format. The event, billed as Living Loud: Unabashed Identity Exploration, will take place at the K Street location of Busboys and Poets from 5:30-7:30 p.m. Let us know you’ll be there with an RSVP to our Facebook event page.

A poem of mine was recently published in what turns out to be the final issue of Conte: A Journal of Narrative WritingI wrote this one as part of my Master’s thesis, and I’m glad it’s found just the right space in the world.

I’m thrilled to share my pick of Best Literary E-zine for the 2014 Southern Literary Festival. The Treatment: Writing Medicine and Illness submitted by Hendrix College was a pleasure to explore, from the first click to the final word. Please check out the exceptional work of these creative nonfiction students.Many thanks to Gloria Bennett for inviting me to serve as a judge.

My final literary endeavor in Georgia will be completing the manuscript for the 2014 edition of The Reach of Song, Georgia Poetry Society’s annual anthology. Final edits are in the works in preparation for the book’s release in July. Pre-orders are now being accpeted; download an order form here.

Leaving Georgia will be bittersweet, but at the same time, I’m looking forward to exploring new literary territory in Tampa Bay!

 

 

What’s Going On–February 2014

Things here have been exciting and hectic! Two weeks ago, an anthology I co-edited was published on Amazon in e-book format. Published by CQT Media and Publishing/Land of Gazillion Adoptees, Lost Daughters: Writing Adoption From a Place of Empowerment and Peace features essays and poems by the adopted women contributors of the Lost Daughters blog, edited by Amanda H.L. Transue-Woolston, Julie Stromberg, Jennifer Anastasi, and myself. Two pieces of mine are included–a poem from my master’s thesis and an essay I wrote specifically for the anthology.

This was a passion project from beginning to end; our proceeds from the sale of the book will be donated to an adoptee-centric charity, which we’ll announce soon. My co-editors and I are very grateful to everyone who purchased the e-book during the first few days following its release, helping it make the Amazon best sellers list in the Adoption category! The book will be out shortly in paperback as well, and we’re hopeful that a reading will take place in the D.C. area in June. More on that as soon I have the details.

Also last month, I was thrilled to have one of my poems accepted by Conte, an online journal of narrative writing. The poem, along with a recording of me reading it, will appear in their next issue, which is due to be published in late February/early March.

I am honored also to have been asked to serve as judge of the Literary E-Zine category for the Southern Literary Festival, which will be held at the University of Mississippi in March. I’ve already chosen the winning entry; I’ll post a link here after the festival concludes to share the awesomeness.

March, come quickly, please!

What’s Going On–November 2013

Perputal-Child-800CoverrevealandPromotionalSo much for the blogging routine, eh?

I’ve been off the grid somewhat, busy editing a nonfiction book for a local author here in the Atlanta area. If you or someone you know is transitioning from the military to a civilian job, check out the forthcoming guide Boots to Loafers: Finding Your New True North on my editing page. I’m honored that John Phillips chose me to help bring his project to fruition.

Meanwhile, a story I wrote last year that originated from a workshop I attended at the Auburn Writers Conference has been published in the adult adoptee anthology Perpetual Child: Dismantling the Stereotype thanks to editors Diane René Christian and Amanda H.L. Transue-Woolston. I’m thrilled to have my work included alongside the other highly-respected authors in this collection, and equally thrilled to be a participant in The An-Ya Project, so named after Diane’s novel, An-Ya and Her Diary. Print copies of Perpetual Child can be ordered now via Amazon and the e-book version will be available soon.

Lost Daughters: Writing Adoption from a Place of Empowerment and Peace, an anthology I co-edited with Amanda H.L. Transue-Woolston, Julie Stromberg, and Jennifer Anastasi, is in the capable hands of the good folks at CQT Media and Publishing. I’ll post about our book’s release as soon as it’s ready.

As the year winds down, I’ll be concentrating on a couple of personal literary projects that have been waiting on the back burner. I hope to have more to tell about those in the next few months. Stay tuned!

I see people make the mistake all the time of using “they/their” in their writing when they really should be using “he/his” or “she/hers.”

Incorrect: A middle-school kid should always do their homework on time, even if they would rather spend all their time texting.

Correct: A middle-school kid should always do his homework on time, even if he would rather spend all his time texting.

The sentence above is talking about only one kid, therefore “they/their” cannot be used because these words are always plural. Many people, however, use them anyway because they don’t want to have to specify whether the person being talked about is male or female. Sorry but, like it or not, you do have to choose either “he/his” or “her/hers” in a sentence like this one.

If you’re dead set on not specifying gender in a sentence like this, you must revise the sentence. Consider the following possibilities:

  • Middle-school kids should always do their homework on time, even if they would rather spend all their time texting.
  • A middle-school kid should always do homework on time, even if spending time texting is preferable to doing homework.
  • A middle-school kid should always do homework on time, even if that middle-schooler would rather spend every minute texting.

To find more tips, click on “grammar” under Bread Crumbs in the right-hand column.