Books in Art: Woman Reading by Kuroda Seiki

Love these types of pictures! Kindred spirits.

A Small Press Life

Woman Reading by Kuroda Seiki, circa 1890:

Woman Reading by Kuroda Seiki, circa 1890. Tokyo National Museum.

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Fire and Fury – this episode reminds me of one from The Golden Girls

download ggWell, certainly now on my reading list is Michael Wolff’s Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House, you know – the one for which 45 had a cease and desist letter sent to the publisher to stop its publication. That paper was wasted for naught. The book’s the Number 1 bestseller on Amazon and it just came out today!

Since 45’s primary credits involve being a salesman and a reality-show trumpeter (hmm, so how that term just fits), there’s no way I’d bet he didn’t think his theatrics about this upcoming book would really harm Wolff’s sales.

Watching it all unfold this week, I realized how much this episode of the White House Saga (and I do say that lightly; this shit is not really very funny) reminds me of The Golden Girls episode, “Vixen: The Story of a Woman”, when Blanche verbally trashes the book her sister, Charmaine, wrote – while they’re in the bookstore, during her sister’s book signing (!) – since, she thinks its about her life and its sexual escapades and adventures and the crowd tumbles over itself to get copies.

Just as I would have grabbed a copy of that one then, I’ve certainly gotta read this one… Sales like this show we’re for the most part always up for juicy dishing. And from what I’ve also read – there are tapes, so it’s not a sitcom sketch, which in truth, is really not a funny point. :/

My Reading Challenge for this year

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Photo: Tonya Rice

Goodreads began their yearly Reading Challenge yesterday and, as usual, I’m in. Last year, I surpassed my goal of 10. Not as much of a lofty number as I wanted to set, but with work, parenting, marriage, and writing my own stories, that to me was the best and safest number.

So, this year, I’m at 10 again – for now. It’s a bar I know I can reach and I’d prefer to do just that. I’m also confident that I’ll surpass it as I did last year. 🙂

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Right now, I’m just past the halfway mark of the National Book Award and Pulitzer Prize-winning, The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead. After that, I’ll return to finish Island Beneath the Sea by Isabel Allende. Her latest book, In the Midst of Winter – I’m beyond anxious to get my hands upon, so I’ll probably reach for it after Island.

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Photo: Tonya Rice

I’ve had an untouched copy of the grand classic, A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle, on my shelf for sooooo long, it’s not even funny. It’s a story I’ve been meaning to get to for years. I still haven’t seen the original Disney movie, since I refuse to do so until after I read it and with the new adaptation coming out directed by the dynamic Ava DuVernay, I’ve got to get my read on that immediately because I don’t want to see that in any other place but the big screen and a further delay may mean DVD-viewing instead. :/

The third story of Beverly Jenkins’s Old West series, Tempest, comes out some time this month. After tearing through the first two, Breathless and Forbidden, respectively, I’ve been honing in on the release date of this one and I can’t wait. I’ve learned quite a bit about blacks in the Old West and I’ll tell ya, she gives us some interesting and intriguing history lessons with heat – that’s for sure. A hot history book! Who knew?!

The long-anticipated An American Marriage: A Novel by Tayari Jones comes out just before my birthday next month and that’ll be a birthday present to myself!

What’s on your reading list so far this year? I’m always open to recommendations, so please share.

Last Year Wasn’t Such a Bad Year After All – for Writing

2017-06-30 15.11.35-1It was a pretty darn good [writing] year after all, that 2017.

As I welcomed 2018 and made good riddance to the last, I wound up giving pause to remember the fact that my writing life featured some fantastic accomplishments that I shouldn’t dare forget. Moving along each passing moment, going day-by-day in every other aspect that didn’t involve writing, I seemed to neglect keeping them in my line of vision throughout the rest of the year. So, this is my time to do so and to create this memory pocket for which I need to return often when I think I’m not stepping  towards my writing goals or even when I dare think that I’m not.

So, in my writing world of 2018, the following happily occurred:

  • Completed my MFA this year. After seven long years of study, I made it!

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Photo: Tonya Rice

 

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Photo: Tonya Rice

Had the honor of being asked to write a blurb for the republication of a book by a dear friend of mine, Dr. Ethel Morgan Smith. Her book, From Whence Cometh My Help: The African-American Community at Hollins College, brought forth the silenced voices of the black community that had kept that college running with no credit until now. It’s made a tremendous impact on my college community going forward and the city of Roanoke as well. Highly recommended read!

 

 

  • At a play based upon Dr. Smith’s book, “African Violets”, my daughter took her first trip to my alma mater and she watched me fangirl when we met Nikki Giovanni! My goodness, we learned her poems in third grade!! Lifelong fan!
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Photo: Tonya Rice
  • Completed the first of my trilogy “The Boutique Series” (which was introduced in the short, Burying the Bitter: A Boutique Series Short, a few years ago), that I’ve been working on for a while… Good news: Publication expected in the next month or so! More details soon!
  • On our family trip to New York this summer, we did sooo much, but one highlight was dining at Dorothy Parker’s Round Table at the famed Algonquin Hotel! (Nah, it wasn’t the same table, but still…!) I even brought along the manuscript to my first story of The Boutique Series to work on there!
  • I attended the James River Writing Conference – first time in six years – and saw folks I hadn’t seen in a while and met new writer friends… even finally made in-person connections with some of my Twitter friends! Motivation, camaraderie, and inspiration galore! This time, I went with something to pitch – my thesis/that historical novel – and I did! I’m sooo hoping and praying she gets back to me soon with positive news! 2017-10-14 19.28.18
  • And I participated in NaNoWriMo, too, for the first time. Got halfway through another historical piece that’s been dangling around in my mind for a while. I didn’t make the full, expected 50,000 word count, BUT at just a bit over 15,000 words (15,218 to be exact), it’s a lot more than I had when I started on November 1! It’s the next novel I’m working on!

Well, with this chronicle, I discovered that my writing life wasn’t as dire as I’d come to believe after all. I have to keep this with me!

I’d love to hear your writing accomplishments from last year too. Please share and let me know what your plans are for this year!

I’m posting my reading list tomorrow… please stay tuned. I plan to pop in here a bit more than last year!

Now, on to 2018 and Happy New Year, Everyone!