Artists are of a rare breed. Although their numbers are far more greater than that of any nationality, each member of this prestigious clan is an entity of their own. Through my travels I have been privileged to meet many of its members and with each encounter I am taken aback. The thing about artists is that they not only march to a different beat but they create the drum that drives their existence. My favorite sect is The Writers. These people possess a gift that many aspire to have. The gift to tell a story that can inspire and create life.
A very special book crossed my desk recently; one that I have shared with you, Black Girl Love written by Anondra “Kat” Williams. At this very moment as I write I am taken back to the stories Kat shared in this collection of work. Her book was filled with stories that took on personalities of their own. There was the lover, the stalker, the cancer patient, the closeted lesbian, the other woman, and many more. It fascinated me, the gift of this writer to create so many different stories all spewing from the mind of one. Well my loyal readers you know me and of course I had to get an interview with her.
Kat is the producer of Sipping on Ink, an internet based radio show on Blog Talk Radio. SOI has been on air for many years and every Wednesday night she introduces her audiences to a different artist that has dedicated their gift of expression to give a voice to the many faces that dawn our earth and rainbow. I smiled when I asked her how she started the show and she responded that it began with a story. This is ironic because she does not consider herself a writer but a scribbler.
When I think of a scribbler I think of a child loving cradling her crayons and drawing her version of A Starry Night. A child is pure, innocent, untainted by the world’s preconceived notions of what a little girl should be. The words and gift of a writer are the same way. Kat calls herself a scribbler because if judged solely by the “scholarly” definition, she feels she hasn’t made it there yet. By my definition a writer is a gypsy who wanders for pillar to post carrying verbiage in their knap-sack and sprinkling their wisdom amongst a field of hungry savages. There is no wrong or right, no correct page count, no proper tense or format, they just write. When I read her work I see her purity, her gift – I see her. And this is not something that anyone who picks up a pen can do.
Black Girl Love was three years in the making. Each story carries a piece of her in a sense and as she shared with me the stories were also her way to release. Kat isn’t an everyday type of writer. When the mood hits or circumstances force, she jots down a story here and there. Luckily for us she kept these stories over the years and put them in a book for the world to see.
To add to her resume Kat is the co-owner of LM Inc., a publishing company that houses some of the greatest lesbian writers and poets of our time. As I listened to her speak about how she and Teryn, author of Be the Sun Again, got together and decided to take the chance and start the publishing company I felt inspired. Kat is not only a writer and producer of an internet radio show but also a publisher. If that only doesn’t inspire you, check back in with me after you have read this interview in its entirety.
Through Kats travels she has fallen into one thing or another that has opened her up to a world where artists are free to create. She has used her experiences to help others like herself. She mentioned to me that she was given chances and exposed to opportunities through hard work, great networking, happen-chance, and a helping hand. Through her radio show, publishing company, promoting, and lesbian retreat she does the same for those like her who want to share their gift in order to perpetuate the lesbian movement within our community. Kat feels that there needs to be more of “us” at the fore-front of artistic, literary, and business endeavors.
And yes the Shades Retreat. Shades Retreat “is a retreat for lesbian women of color geared toward personal growth, empowerment and change.” During this retreat the women who participate get an opportunity to find and reclaim themselves in a naturalist setting. This retreat is just one of Kats many gifts she has freely given to the lesbian community.
In everything she does she offers a voice for the varied women that live within our beautiful rainbow. When I think of a rainbow I think of the many different colors that are fused together to complete it; each color possessing its own strength, vibrancy, and sensual song. Thinking of this makes me think of Kat. She is compiled of many different things each one with its own voice and she uses these traits to unify, inform, guide, and allow. And I am grateful for this.
Her publishing company is a family in itself that helps to raise new and emerging authors. Her retreat mends those who have lost their way and gives peace to those who fight in the battlefields of business and life. Her radio show connects us with artists of all genres giving them a place to showcase their gift. And her writing; well her writing brings tears, ignites fires, mends hearts, and captures the soul.
Please take a moment to read my review of Anondra “Kat” Williams’s book, Black Girl Love. This book is available on her company’s website LM Writes. Information about her yearly retreat can be found at www.shadesretreat.com. Add Kat to your circle of friends on Facebook and Twitter. You can also tune into her show Sippin on Ink every Wednesday night at 8pm.
With all of this being said I would like to end with sending out a special Happy Born Day to this scribbler who has helped me to find my voice.