One, Two, Whiteness Is Coming for You

She Gave Her Darter-in-law a Piece of Her Mind

  • Attention, parents of young children!

Is Anastasia Higginbotham visiting your child’s school?

Be advised that she doesn’t travel alone. She brings along a cardboard cutout of Colin Kaepernick — her hero, and a role model–in her opinion–for children.

She kneels beside the cutout while reading her “Not My Idea: A Book About Whiteness”, and messing with your child’s brain.

While she’s at it, she might also want to teach your child about divorce, death, and sex — she’s got books on those subjects as well.

Apparently, Anastasia Higginbotham has chosen the lucrative path of a “white woman writing about the toxic inheritance of white supremacy.”

So brave. So original.

  • Want to hear something else brave and original?

“White male entitlement.” Not sure what it means? Just ask Stephen King, a white insanely successful male, and an open mind:

‘If “white male entitlement” was in the dictionary, it could be illustrated by Brett Kavanaugh’s photograph.’

There you go.

Image: William James Glackens. She Gave Her Darter-in-law a Piece of Her Mind, 1909. Brush and ink, charcoal, graphite, black crayon, and white gouache on paperboard, Overall: 10 x 7 3/4 in. (25.4 x 19.7 cm). BF606. Public Domain.

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What’s Your Author Persona Mask Like?

Study of Girls' Heads (Étude de têtes de jeunes filles)

Should you wear a mask when in public?

Should you ever discuss the Great Pumpkin?

What’s the biggest benefit of having a public persona?

Even if you don’t (yet) give interviews, or do book signings, or deliver keynote speeches, etc., it’s not too early to think about your public author persona.

If you’re a writer, if you have a blog, if you’re active on social media — your public persona will protect you, and help you find the audience for your writing.

Here’s more on developing your author persona, and brand.

Go for it.

Image: Pierre-Auguste Renoir. Study of Girls’ Heads (Étude de têtes de jeunes filles), c. 1893. Oil on canvas, Overall: 16 1/4 x 12 11/16 in. (41.3 x 32.2 cm). BF474. Public Domain.

On Formal Poetry & Skin Color

In Vaudeville: Two Acrobat-Jugglers

  • Do you write formal poetry?

You might want to start putting together your submission to Measure Review.

Guided by the editorial vision of Ashley Anna McHugh, Measure Review, an online magazine of formal poetry, will advance the legacy of Measure.

So, if you happen to write a sonnet or two, don’t be in a hurry to publish them on your blog — save them until January, 2019. It’ll be here before you know it.

  • What do you write about?

Love? Life? The universe? You might be doing it all wrong. Check your skin color.

If it’s white, you should–according to Ms. Angela Pelster-Wiebe–write about white supremacy. Why? Because “those who benefit from racism (that’s you) should be on the front lines fighting it.”

Ms. Pelster-Wiebe is apparently a successful author, “a white woman writing about the toxic inheritance of white supremacy.”  Hmm..who’s benefiting from racism now?

You might want to follow in Ms. Pelster-Wiebe’s footsteps and start apologizing in writing for being born white — it’s not unlikely that you’ll achieve publication and success.

The alternative is to have respect for yourself and others, and very likely remain unpublished and unknown. (There’s always self-publishing, though.)

“…authors of all types could simply write what they would like to write because they have not contributed to white supremacy and are in no way responsible for the previous bad actions of white people to which they did not contribute.”

Now go write a love poem.

Image: Charles Demuth. In Vaudeville: Two Acrobat-Jugglers, 1916. Watercolor and graphite on wove paper, Overall: 11 3/16 x 8 in. (28.4 x 20.3 cm). BF602. Public Domain.

 

 

Heroic Crown of Sonnets

 

Christ Carrying the Cross

It started as a prayer, “wrote itself” during April, 2018, and by the end of the month–tragically–dedication presented itself.

It feels like a devotional to me. It has helped me, and I hope it will help others as well.

Never despair. Never give up your faith. Never let your soul slumber.

Alleluia, heroic crown of sonnets, for Alfie Evans

 

Image: Unidentified artist. Christ Carrying the Cross, c. 1460. Tempera and oil (?) with gold and silver leaf on panel, Overall: 29 3/8 x 51 1/2 in. (74.6 x 130.8 cm). BF396. Public Domain.

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On Taboo Words in Literature, & Trains That Glimmer

Supper Time

  • What book are you reading now?

A story I’ve read recently–“The Basement Room”–made me think that it might not be long before Graham Green is added to the growing list of racist authors.

He used the N-word! More than once!

Does it matter that it’s a fictional character that uses the word? Does it matter that it’s important to the story? Does it matter that it’s a slice of history?

Apparently, it today’s world it doesn’t.

So, hurry. Read “The Basement Room” before it’s banned.

It’s a masterful, haunting story. What a great, great writer.

  • Have you penned a story, or two?

Glimmer Train has two contests you can still submit your work to: Very Short, & Fiction OpenDeadline’s tomorrow, August 31. HURRY!

Image: Horace Pippin. Supper Time, c. 1940. Oil on burnt-wood panel, Overall: 12 x 15 1/8 in. (30.5 x 38.4 cm). BF985. Public Domain.

 

 

Poetry: Write It & Get Paid, Read It & Get Enchanted, Analyze It (Or Not)

"A Montrouge"–Rosa La Rouge

  • You cannot make money writing poetry, can you?

Erica Verrillo has compiled a list of “twenty noteworthy publications that pay in the professional range for poetry. Most of these also accept fiction and creative nonfiction, and many are more than happy to nominate accepted poems for prizes.”

  • What’s the point of reading a poem?

The point of reading a poem is not to try to “solve” it. Still, that quantifiable process of demystification is precisely what teachers are encouraged to teach students, often in lieu of curating a powerful experience through literature.’ (Andrew Simmons, The Atlantic, 2014)

Here’s more on how to read poetry: “curious wonder” vs. “critical judgement.”

Image: Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec. “A Montrouge”–Rosa La Rouge, 1886–1887. Oil on canvas, Overall: 28 3/8 x 19 1/8 in. (72.1 x 48.6 cm). BF263. Public Domain.

On Poeming Online & Submitting Published Work

Vase of Flowers (Vase de fleurs )

  • Are you looking for a friendly and supportive online community of poets?

Poetic Bloomings is “the best garden for verse”. Established in 2011, the site now reunites Marie Elena Good and Walter J Wojtanik “to help nurture and inspire the poetic spirit”.

Marie Elena and Walt are posting prompts every Sunday. Here’s the latest one.

  • Looking for a contest that accepts published poems?

Submit your work (published and unpublished) to Tom Howard/Margaret Reid Poetry Contest by September 30, 2018.

TOM HOWARD PRIZE: $1,500 for a poem in any style or genre
MARGARET REID PRIZE: $1,500 for a poem that rhymes or has a traditional style

Image: Pierre-Auguste Renoir. Vase of Flowers (Vase de fleurs ), c. 1889. Oil on canvas, Overall: 16 1/4 x 13 in. (41.3 x 33 cm). BF156. Public Domain.

 

 

On Arousal, Dominance, & Playing It Right

In Vaudeville: Woman and Man on Stage

  • Want your post to go viral?

Remember two factors: arousal and dominance. Put them to good use. “Both anger and excitement are high-arousal emotions. Dominance…is the feeling of being in control. When you’re inspired or joyful, you’re experiencing high dominance…

Articles that perform the best on social use a high-arousal, high-dominance combo.

  • Want to do better on social media?

Do not confuse your personality with your persona. When on social media, stay true to your author brand, be in charge, and share information wisely.

  • Are you an emerging playwright?

Try your luck at Yale Drama Series: David Charles Horn Prize. Submit an original, unpublished full-length play in English for your chance to win $10K. Note: no translations, musicals, adaptations, or children’s plays. Deadline: 15 August 2018

Image: Charles Demuth. In Vaudeville: Woman and Man on Stage, 1917. Watercolor and graphite on wove paper, Overall: 8 x 10 in. (20.3 x 25.4 cm). BF601. Public Domain.

August Submission Alerts, Don’t Miss

Lemons and Orange (Citrons et orange)

Happy August!

  • If you don’t mind $20-25 submission fees, here’s something to consider:

If you have an unpublished poetry or short story collection, and you haven’t published a full-length collection yet — submit to Black Lawrence Press for THE ST. LAWRENCE BOOK AWARD. The winner receives book publication, $1000, and 10 copies of the book. Entry Fee: $25 Deadline: August 31

Are you a writer, and a parent? The Sustainable Arts Foundation is awarding $5000 each to twenty writers and artists, who combine creative work with raising a family. It’s an opportunity for writers of creative nonfiction, fiction, graphic novels, poetry, and more. Entry Fee: $20 Deadline: August 31

  • And if you aren’t a fan of paying-to-play, here’s a free opportunity for you:

Have you published (or considered publishing) your book through Kindle Direct Publishing on Amazon.co.uk? Submit to Kindle Storyteller Award (UK). No entry fee. Prize: £20,000. Deadline: August 31, 2018.

Enjoyed the post? Like it, share it — thank you.

Image: Pierre-Auguste Renoir. Lemons and Orange (Citrons et orange), c. 1913. Oil on canvas (later mounted to fiberboard), Overall: 9 1/4