Monthly Archives: April 2013

Where in the World Are You?

When I heard about the explosion at the finish line of the Boston Marathon, the first thing I did was call my people in Boston to make sure they were okay. They were, but I was nearly speechless with sorrow…again. On 9/11 I was living in New York when the twin towers fell. I arrived in Tokyo 10 days before 3/11. This morning I woke up to the news that there had been an explosion in a town called West, Texas. I got a call from my people across the country and around the world, wondering how close I was to the blast. I explained that this town was where I had stopped many times to get gas, take a bathroom break and buy delicious kolaches to snack on. It’s about 2 hours from where I live, the halfway mark on the road to Austin. “I’m safe.” I said

When tragedies occur we immediately think of our loved ones who may be in harms way. When they are safe we give thanks. For all the people who lose their loved ones it is an unimaginable heartbreak. Our collective grief binds us all. Today I am remembering the friendly faces and outstretched hands offering me a fresh from the oven golden delicious kolache in the tiny town of West, Texas and give thanks for those who are safe.

 

Confessions of a Book Junkie and Library Groupie

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new book cover by Annette Lawrence

Confession: I’m a book junkie and a library groupie. So, what could be better than having a new book published? Having 9 books published! I’m late to the party, but I’m ready to dance. As of today 9 of my books are available through Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing. It was a bit scary, I was more than a little ambivalent and it was empowering. Ultimately I believe self-publishing will allow me to move forward with exciting new projects inspired by my life-changing, amazing four-month adventure in Japan. More on my Japan adventures in the coming months.

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Black Girl in Paris Coming to the Big Screen

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My novel Black Girl in Paris will be coming to the big screen (someday)!  Film director and NYU student, Kiandra Parks contacted me about making a film inspired by BGIP. She impressed me with a black and white short she made. In the summer of 2012 she began filming in Paris. Tracey Heggins, one of the Amazonian Vampires in the new Twilight Breaking Dawn movie, is one of the featured actors. I’ll keep you posted on any new developments in the project.  Monique Wells blogged about it. Check it out:

Entre to Black Paris

Celebrating National Poetry Month with Nikky Finney and Paul Muldoon

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When I was asked to introduce Nikky Finney and Paul Muldoon for the Arts & Letters Program at the Dallas Museum of Art, I asked myself, how do you compress a 30 year friendship into a two minute introduction? “We were girls together” was our first thought upon seeing each other after many years. Nikky Finney and I met in Atlanta in the mid 1980’s in Toni Cade Bambara’s bright yellow living room as part of the Pamoja Writer’s Workshop. Nikky gave me pointers on how to deliver a poem and impressed me by having Nikki Giovanni as her mentor. By the time she won the 2011 National Book Award for her collection of poems, Head Off and Split, she had spilled a lot of ink in her dedication to poetry. I met Paul Muldoon once. We had dinner together with Joyce Carol Oates at Princeton where he teaches. My friend Veronica Chambers invited me to a reading there. I knew he wouldn’t remember, but I knew at the time, it was a moment to mark. He won the Pulitzer Prize for his book, “Moy Sand and Gravel”. Nikky and Paul were each commissioned to write a poem inspired by an art work in the DMA collection. Listening to two masterful poets was a great way to celebrate National Poetry Month. Lucky me, I topped off the evening sharing a meal of Spanish tapas at Sangria with the poets. Sublime. Marking delicious moments.