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Showing posts from March, 2019

A Review of Harlem by Eric Jerome Dickey

It’s no secret that I’m a big EJD fan. So, I was all too excited to read this short story of his and I was not disappointed. Here’s the thing about reading short stories in general. They must hook readers from the start, weave a compelling story then leave readers with a bang or a surprise twist at the end. With that being said, let’s take a look at how EJD worked his magic in writing this short story which was previously published in the 2006 anthology Voice from the Other Side

From the very beginning, when readers are introduced to Harlem, we see a killer who was “boxed up and shipped” to a mental facility after beating a murder charge due to insanity. He spent his time reading newspapers, Shakespeare, and Iceberg Slim. He was drawn to Daphane, a nurse whom he described as a “cute, caramel-flavored, thin sister, who always gave a sincere smile back” at him. She was also one of two women of color in the facility. The other woman, Phyllis, Harlem didn’t like much and described her as…

C.P. Community Library Book Festival

On Saturday, March 23, 2019, I was a participating author at the College Park (C.P.) Community Library Book Festival in College Park, MD. This was the book festival’s 7th year and my first time participating at this family friendly event sponsored by the College Park Lions Club. Jackie and Sarah, the co-organizers had everything set up (tables with balloons, snacks, etc.) to make all the authors feel right at home.

As I was setting up, I spotted a few familiar faces (J. Hawki, author of psychological thrillers, Elephants and Chopping Blocks Retain Their Natural Color and Catch An Elephant By The Tail, Eileen McIntire, author of the 90s Club mystery series and fellow Sisters in Crime and Maryland Writers’ Association member, etc.). It was great to catch up with them. 
Once I got settled in, I made a few more author friends (Blake Carter, Sherrita Berry-Pettus, etc.) and enjoyed meeting readers (Fatima, Tawanna, Arelis, etc.) who came out to support the event. Even the kids had fun during…

Black Writers' Guild Meeting - "The Poet In You" Presented by Vickie Oliver-Lawson

On Saturday, March 2, 2019, I attended the Black Writers’ Guild meeting at the Enoch Pratt Library (Edmondson Street branch). Vickie Oliver-Lawson presented a workshop titled “The Poet in You! Introduction to Poetry.”
She talked about the different types of poetry:
·Couplets – two lines that rhyme and have the same meter
·Haiku – a Japanese form of poetry evoking nature
–17 syllables (1st line – 5 syllables; 2nd line – 7 syllables and 3rd line – 5 syllables)
·Quatrains – 4 lines (rhyme pattern or not)
·Ballads – a bit longer, tell a story
·Limerick – humorous poem consisting of 5 lines

She talked about the structure of poetry:
·Prose by paragraph, imagery appeal to the senses
·By Rhyme or not (pattern of words that contain similar sounds, beat, speak to the mind, any topics, etc.)
·By stanza (group of lines in a poem)

She then discussed the elements of poetry:
·Alliteration - tongue twister
·Rhyme - pattern, AABB, AABBA – limericks
·Onomatopoeia - sounds like their meaning, e.g. snakes hiss, bang b…

It’s A Book Thing Presents: An Interview with F. J. Talley, author of Take Hart

Author’s Bio:F. J. Talley is a Philadelphia native who has had many different career aspirations. After cowboy and fireman, he temporarily settled on being a music conductor. F. J. wrote his first novel-length work in the summer between college and graduate school. This still unpublished work helped to develop his writing style, characterized by dialogue sprinkled with wit and dry humor, even though he doesn’t really have a sense of humor.

He is a big fan of NaNoWriMo, National Novel Writing Month, and was led to NaNoWriMo by one of his students who has written five novels: F. J. is determined to catch up with her. His first NaNoWriMo-written book is the science fiction work Twin Worlds, followed by Take Hart, a police procedural; both were published in 2017. He hopes to publish his third novel, Diaspora, in 2019.
DL: What inspired you to write your book? FJT: Take Hart wasn’t something I had thought about for along time. However, I’ve always liked strong female characters in action movi…

A Review of the Play, Indecent, at the Baltimore Center Stage

I truly love the theater. I enjoy seeing plays that constantly surprise me. I’m always impressed by the quality and uniqueness of each production and Indecent by Paula Vogel and directed by Eric Rosen was no different.

Indecent was inspired by Sholem Asch’s The God of Vengeance which was a Yiddish drama that was quite controversial and provocative in the 1900s. The Jewish community was concerned about what Christians would think about two women lovers. Of note, this play was credited for presenting the first lesbian kiss on Broadway in 1923. Paula Vogel’s play follows the inception of Sholem Asch’s first reading of The God of Vengeance through its world tour from Warsaw, Poland, 1906 to Bridgeport, Connecticut, 1950 and many places in between. Notably too, were the various audience’s reaction to the play and how the actors were treated when playing their various roles.

Overall, great performances by all the actors, my favorite being Lemml played by Ben Cherry. Lemml first met Sholem Asc…

It’s A Book Thing Presents: An Interview with S.A. Cosby, author of My Darkest Prayer

Author’s Bio: S.A. Cosby is a writer from southeastern Virginia. His work has appeared in numerous collections, magazines and anthologies. His story, Slant-Six received an honorable mention in the Best American Mystery Stories 2016.  
DL: What inspired you to write your book? SAC:My Darkest Prayer was a story I had knocking around in my head for a long time. I wanted to write a noir tale but through the prism of people who looked like me. I wanted to tell a story that shined a light on the place I call home. The grandeur and the grotesqueness of the South fascinates me. I wanted to take the noir tale out of the mean streets and bring it to the dusty roads and sweeping pastures. I also wanted to tell an exciting fast paced tale. Because at the end of the day if the story doesn’t sing then what was the point?

DL:Describe your writing process? Do you use an outline or let it flow organically? SAC: I’m a bit of a hybrid. I like to start out by writing a detailed synopsis. Then after I have t…