There will be no books with lesbian sex scenes to read during the summer for the students of Williamstown, New Jersey.
Drawing Love by Juli Jousan is a beautiful love story complete with disappointments, finding of one’s self, and growing. From the first moment you lay your hands on the cover, you are greeted with soothing pastels and flowing lines that form the image of Elka, just one of the lively characters Molly introduces us to during her “travels” in Drawing Love.
The book takes you through two phases of “Mo’s” life simultaneously; her teenage years and the present. Mo goes off to a summer art program in Amsterdam, an idea of her recovering alcoholic dad with the funding her stepfather that she has yet to accept. The intentions of her father are good-hearted and his way of not only being there for once in her life since the suicide of his best friend; but also he wants to help Mo embrace all of herself while providing a fall back-up plan in case her dreams of becoming a rock star don’t pan out.
A couple of weeks ago introduced you to Renee Bess through a review of her book, The Butterfly Moments. This story teetered on the brink of love, lust, and murder and threw a curve ball with every turn. After reading her book I couldn’t wait to sit down with Renee Bess and discuss the book and her craft. I encourage you, if you haven’t done so already, to not only pick up a copy of The Butterfly Moments but also her other works: Breaking Jaie, Leave of Absence, and Re: Building Sasha.
We have often been told not to judge a book by its cover and The Butterfly Moments by Renée’ Bess, is no different. From the outside it appears as if we are going to read about a nice little town filled with love and warm fuzzies. No turmoil or dark clouds on the horizon, not a stern word or harsh experience. This is so not the case with this wonderful piece of intelligently written literary work.
The story begins with the discovery of a young woman’s dead body that appears to have been sexually assaulted and brutally attacked. Death has always had a way of connecting people who would have gone through their lives without the slightest inkling that the other existed. From this lone cruel act of rage, a web of deceit becomes apparent and slowly unravels, destroying all that lie within its path. But everything isn’t completely ruined. Along with broken marriages, relationships that are built on lies, former borderline alcoholics, and a one-night stand enthusiast, comes love, awareness of self and compassion.
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.
As a writer I know why I write and who I write for. I know why I describe things as I do and why I hide subliminal messages behind a mirage of simple words. I know what makes me tick and how my emotional state influences my writing. What I cannot speak for is why other writers do what they do so I am always interested in speaking with them to find out. As I read another’s work, I wonder why they pick the subjects they do and if they too mask alternative meanings behind a camouflage of words. And this is why I choose to interview the authors whose books I review. It is my opportunity to get into their head and look at the world through their eyes, granting me the ability to see behind the stories they have written.
"My only fear was that I would finish the trail and be unchanged by it."
Hiking the Continental Divide Trail: One Woman’s Journey
A writer’s gift lies within their ability to share with you their world while maintaining their voice. And if they are truly gifted they are able to throw you into their universe allowing you to see through their eyes. Hiking the Continental Divide Trail: One Woman’s Journey written by Jennifer Hanson does just this.
For those of you who have never hiked let alone explored your own back yard, the CDT is a 2600 mile scenic trail that reaches from Mexico to Canada. This trail is not thoroughly documented from beginning to end and although many pledge to conquer its vast wilderness very few succeed. Jennifer Hanson is one of these few and thankfully for us and for future thru-hikers everywhere she decided to capture her journey and share it with us all.
The world is filled with voices that are driven by the stories of their lives. Some choose to share their chaos with the world while others choose to remain silent and their story, no matter how poignant, inspirational, or thought provoking, dies with them. Be the Sun Again by Teryn, is one of those such stories written by a voice that I hope never chooses to remain silent.
For those of you who have yet to read Be the Sun Again, or my review of the book a few weeks back, I encourage you to do so simply because your life will be less changed if you don’t and who doesn’t like change accept those who fear it.
“…to those that love me now and a few who have loved me in the past you feed me”
Anondra “Kat” Williams – Black Girl Love
From the acknowledgement I was drawn in. I wanted to know how the naysayers influenced her words. And then it began. Anondra “Kat” Williams, the author of Black Girl Love, speaks in an exquisite tongue, delivering the reader to a verbal climax like no other.
Black Girl Love is a collection, of sorts, riddled with short stories and prose. Through her words I shared in her insecurities, her confidence, her loving heart, her anger, and even felt her spunk. It has always amazed me when a writer has the ability to exhibit their expertise in their craft versus those who struggle to express a thought borrowed from the minds of others.
A few weeks ago, I had spoken to you about an author, Marion Heath, who had plan to release her book, Where is your brother?, which preaches the fact that Jesus can cure homosexuality, her publisher (pictured) decided to cancel it because LGBT activists plan to protest.
Writing is such a privilege. It’s an honour to have people read your words, thoughts, dreams, wishes. For some of us writing is easy; for others, not so much. I don’t know if my love of writing stems from being brought up by a father who excelled in the english language or if it was my love of the written word since I was really small. Either way it’s always been a blessing in my life to be able to put words to paper.
Writers are of a rare breed cut from different areas of the same cloth. They fear, they hope, they doubt, and they give a part of themselves in every word they think to utter. Some die poor and live out their lives as rich ghosts while others make it big in life and die penniless.
The books that I read and the writers I speak to inspire me even after the dust has cleared and I think that’s what it means to be successful as a writer. When the world ends will they remember you? For the true writers out there we are not fueled by the need to roll around naked in a pile of money. It’s not about being famous. No, for most of us it is about cleansing our souls and releasing the lines that haunt us in the dreams of our dreams.