BEST SELF JOURNAL #1
DANCING TO THE TUNE OF SUMMER SUNSHINE BLISS
I burned most of my journals years ago. They mainly chronicled stream of consciousness complaints made semi-permanent as I tried to make sense of feelings and emotions. The stuff I wrote about was mostly negative––because why interrupt happy, joyful occasions to write how great life is? Generally, when life is good, I'm in the present moment enjoying it!
About 10 years ago I made a concerted attempt to write in my journal when I was happy, but that just meant journaling less.
HELLO, WORLD! IF YOU'RE READING THIS, I HAD THE COURAGE TO HIT SEND!
A baby bunny... a male and female cardinal... a big white cat... a chipmunk... a blue jay.
All these friendly critters fluttered and scampered around me while doing yoga in the warm summer sunshine.
Mother Nature provided the soundtrack of chirping birds, and the soft breeze rustling in the treetops, along with my favorite Bill Withers song, Steppin' Right Along. It’s the most soul-stirring rendition of The Lord’s Prayer — and it made me twirl in a joyful dance all by my damn self.
UPCOMING CONTESTS, DUOTROPE & SUBMITTABLE
By JORDAN BAKER
Got the green light months ago. Have not, in spite of myself, had the ability, courage, energy to proceed.
Until now, though even as I type these words, I'm not sure I have the gumption to hit send.
CONTEST WINNER: AN INTERNATIONAL SENSATION!
Spaghetti Western, Duotrope, Submittable, and YOU!
SWEET 16 CRANIOTOMY: JUNE 12, 2017
Our most recent short story contest theme was to write 1,000-1,200 in the Stream of Consciousness mode.
Begoña Montesinos González of Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain, did a fantastic and fantastical job with her story, "Tripping on a Blue Hole in a Paper Heart."
DARK SECRET IS NOW AVAILABLE!
Hard to believe it's been 16 years since my neurosurgeon removed a tumor from the the lining of my brain. A month earlier, the meningioma reared its head by causing a grand mal seizure in Blockbuster video.
Those abnormal cells and were putting pressure on my parasagittal sinus vein (the big one). In the end, they were no match for Dr. Fleming.
CELEBRATE YOURSELF WITH DINNER FOR ONE
Sexy, sophisticated, scandalous!
Everything you need for a hot summer book… you’ve got it in Dark Secret, my bestselling novel about a woman who’s living a lie – to live the glamorous life.
You’ll find issues of race, sex, class, personal identity all wrapped into a fun, fast-paced story that will keep you turning the pages.
IMPROVISE WHEN YOU GRAB THE WRONG SPICE!
I’m working really hard on my soon-to-be-published spiritual book: God’s Answer Is Know.
The basic message is that we all have God’s power within us, and with that power, we are capable of anything.
This message is really important because we live in a world that teaches us to seek everything outside of ourselves. That can lead to feelings of inadequacy and lack. Society also programs us to believe that we’re not complete or truly happy without the company of others, especially in the romantic sense.
DON'T QUIT YOUR DAYDREAM!
I am a spice nut, and yes my spices are arranged alphabetically on a prominent shelf in my kitchen.
I keep the cinnamon, ground cloves, and nutmeg on a separate shelf -- away from the parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme.
This morning, however, the cumin, having made its way to the wrong spot on the wrong shelf, landed in my hand and performed a sprinkling dance over my oatmeal.
ROMANCE CONTEST WINNER!
These words, written in gold glitter, sparkle on my office wall as I work on books all day and into the night.
For Catherine and me, our writing life began with a daydream. Daydreams are most delicious when they seem far off. But when you do the work, you can make them happen, and they become REAL!
DANCE LIKE NO ONE IS WATCHING II
Romance! Did someone say romance? Who doesn't want to read a short story about romance? What writer doesn't want to write about romance?
We're happy to announce the winner: Lucky Leslie Muzingo!
MORE CONTEST WINNERS!
A woman with tight, curly gray hair, wearing a white eyelet blouse and a blue handkerchief-print skirt positioned herself on the concrete dance floor just below the outdoor stage. The MC introduced the opening act on the final day of the annual blues festival. A few wanna-be dancers lingered nearby. The majority of the crowd sat comfortably in tent-chairs.
The blues harmonica started, then the guitar, and then one guy started wailing my-baby-done-left-me vocals.
WE DO JUDGE A BOOK BY ITS COVER!
Thanks to everyone who entered our March contests! Winning stories are up for your perusal and pleasure!
Michael Colonnese's "Ambition" was our winner in the Beware the Ides of March contest.
Our two winners in the Magical Realism contest were"Berserk" by Bob Joncas and "EGG" by Mary Finnegan.
RACE, SEX, & SECRETS SPARK DEADLY DRAMA
“Your book cover does not reflect the story. This story is edgy, sexy, sophisticated, scandalous. You need an image to convey that.”
These words from one of my biggest fans provided some of the most pointed analysis I’ve heard about my second novel.
So I pulled out all previous versions of Dark Secret...
ZEN AND THE ART OF DENTAL HYGIENE
COMING SOON! The re-release of Dark Secret!
Two beautiful sisters spark a scandal of race, sex, politics, and money so big – it could kill them both.
Camille is living the glamorous life in New York City – by passing for white.
Meanwhile, Karen is proudly serving their interracial family and Detroit community.
But their black mother is dying.
Camille can save her. But will she? And will the national scandal that her Dark Secret sparks, cause both sisters to lose their lives?
MOTHER'S DAY MEMOIR ANNOUNCEMENT!
Everything is transient. I read that in 2005 on page 18 of The Three Pillars of Zen.
Nowhere better epitomizes this than the dreaded dentist’s chair.
The other day, Regina, my hygienist, made her way around my mouth, as I tried to simultaneously focus on being present with the cleaning she was administering and not getting caught up in the discomfort.
BROTHERS AND THERAPY
by CATHERINE & ELIZABETH
Two Sisters Writing and Publishing explodes with enthusiasm as we type these words: our amazing mother, retired Chief Judge of Detroit's 36th District Court Marylin Atkins, has written her memoir, and we are going to publish it!
The Triumph of Rosemary: A Memoir will be out this summer!
THIS YOUNG ADULT NOVEL'S TUGGING AT MY HEART
By ALLEN ALLENSWORTH IV
People respond to adversity in a lot of ways. Some people try to find themselves. Others turn to God. Still others turn to sex, drugs, and/or rock and roll. If you’re a black man, you have a lot of options, but finding yourself isn’t one of them. Especially if it means going to therapy. Black men may go to church or the titty bar, but we don’t go to therapy. I don’t mean court-ordered counseling or your cousin over a drink (probably at the titty bar). I don’t mean couple’s counseling. I mean one-on-one with a clinically trained, board certified, MD-having, drug-prescribing psychiatrist.
“Idlewild: A Place in the Sun” now available on DVD
Yes, you can judge a book by its cover. The evolution of the little gray T-shirt from rigid and boxy to something a little more comfortable-looking to something downright pretty grabbed my attention. The magnetic effect of this cover put my hands on autopilot, and I pulled the book off the shelf.
The back cover sold me! Again, the same three gray T's, but this time with the tiniest hint of the story inside...
Producer Ted Talbert’s 1995 documentary, “Idlewild: A Place in the Sun,” is now available on DVD. All proceeds from the sales will benefit the Idlewild Historic & Cultural Center.