Category Archives: Peace

LATE BREAKING NEWS: 2020 Tried to Kill Me I’m Still Here

In the most challenging two years of my life (2018-2020), I moved 5 times (twice during the pandemic) experienced heartbreak, loss, health issues, etc. During the pandemic I have had the opportunity to spend quality time with myself asking:

Who am I in this moment now?

 How do I choose to live?

How do I choose to love?

How will I move forward to create a sustainable life for myself and contribute my skills to my community?  

We live in a new world. Our lives have changed dramatically from the pandemic and righteous protests against police brutality, a devastating economic downturn and political chaos. Zoom is a verb and we are both burnt out and able to extend our reach world because of it.

Grateful to 2020 for these highlights

  • My new home in Atlanta is SANCTUARY, KITCHEN LAB and CREATIVE STUDIO
  • Made deeper connections with my TRIBE of women friends, my blood and chosen family and made new friends
  • Emory University’s Rose Library acquired a portion of my personal and professional ARCHIVES
  • Published a graphic novel about a black female superhero/sex educator
  • Sold two illustrated children’s books to Chris Myers at Make Me A World and, Porsha Burke at Convergent (RANDOM HOUSE imprints)
  • My novel Black Girl in Paris was optioned for film/tv by Natalie Baszile the author of the novel Queen Sugar
  • In a creative learning/ experimenting spree, I made a series of drawings about the meaning of HOME during the pandemic, took ukulele and piano lessons, a manifesto writing workshop, weight training and yoga classes and streamed hours of classic opera from the MET and podcasts on subjects ranging from the esoteric to the erotic. I also cooked the most amazing meals and invented recipes.
  • Celebrated Georgia turning BLUE, thank you Stacey Abrams & Fair Fight Action, and the election of Biden and Harris
  • Velina Hasu posted a lovely interview with me on her blog highlighting Women Theater Artists https://matchabook.wordpress.com/2020/12/09/this-is-shay-youngblood-her-eyes-have-seen-and-the-seeing-continues-to-soar/

2021 is all about FOCUS and RADICAL SELF-LOVE

 New Events and Adventures in 2021

  • Launch of Youngblood Arts Second Sunday Genre Bending Literary Fitness writing workshops in MARCH!
  • Excited to teach writing workshops for VONA Feb 27-28 and July 2021
  • Artist Residency with Indigo Arts Alliance (Portland, Maine) TBA

SELECTED READING LIST

Black Futures, edited by Kimberly Drew and Jenna Wortham

Accra Noir, edited by Nana-Ama Danquah

The View From Breast Pocket Mountain, Karen Hill Anton

What’s Your Story, Rebecca Walker and Lily Diamond

African Look Book, Catherine McKinley

Everything Inside, Edwidge Danticat

Rise, Marcus Samuelson

Resist, Veronica Chambers

ARTISTS on my RADAR

Robert Pruitt, Deborah Roberts, Carolyn Miller

*Please support Black and Independent Bookstores and BIPOC artists

Storytelling Heaven at the Dallas Museum of Art Story Slam

18th Century Marrow scoop

18th Century Marrow Scoop

 

Kathe Kollwitz

Inspired by the amazing Rob Walker’s Significant Objects Project, Carolyn Bess of Arts & Letters Live at The Dallas Museum of Art, commissioned four writers (I was among them) to create original short stories inspired by objects in the collection.  (See Rob’s blog here Materially Untrue. ) We were invited into the vault where thousands of priceless artworks are stored in a massive underground city. It was overwhelming and thrilling. There were three compelling pieces that stirred my imagination. A painting by Mark Bradford, a woodcut by Käthe Kollwitz and an 18th century silver marrow scoop. Images swirled around in my head, but there was no clear story. In the week that followed my visit to the museum I learned that my friend, the artist Terry Adkins died. I wrote a draft of “Broken Beautiful” in less than 48 hours. His loss was an unexpected element. The story became a place to channel my grief and make peace with our unfinished conversations.

Studio Work

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I love my work space. It’s almost like living in a library or inside of a book. One of my muses, a memory, a character who transforms, stands at the top of the stairs. Thank you Hiroko Kubo for taking this photo. This is where the dreaming and thinking happens, the other end of the studio is where I write, edit and sweat. It’s is like looking inside my brain, forbidden to enter.

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Stacks of books to be read.

library books

Stacks of library books.