Third Time’s a Charm and Bondye Bon

The first time my worth as a writer truly, madly, deeply resonated within me was when FIYAH Literary Magazine published my ahistorical speculative fiction story, "Bondye Bon." FIYAH Acceptance Letter I was so surprised, shocked, delighted, and literally freaking out (in a positively good way) that I had to ask my mom and then my … Continue reading Third Time’s a Charm and Bondye Bon

Marlene Daut: Why Did Bridgerton Erase Haiti?

Marlene Daut had me at: “In the world of fiction—whether on the page, stage, or screen—such ahistoricity does not necessarily have to be an issue. We should not evaluate a work of art by how well it matches reality, or how faithful it is to history. But a work of art can and should be judged by the inspiration behind its creator’s vision. And this is where Bridgerton has a Caribbean problem.” I can’t wait to finish reading this!!! 😀

Repeating Islands

A review article by Marlene Daut for Avidly. Here are some excerpts. Follow the link to the complete article. Thanks, Gordon, for bringing this to my attention.

Julia Quinn’sBridgertonnovels are mostly populated with white people like the regency-era England where they take place. The London of Shonda Rhimes’sBridgertontv series for Netflix, in contrast, is a multicultural mecca, sprinkled with Black characters of various skin hues, as well as a smattering of east and south Asians walking around silently in the background. There is even a Black queen and a Black duke.

In the world of fiction—whether on the page, stage, or screen—such ahistoricity does not necessarily have to be an issue. We should not evaluate a work of art by how well it matches reality, or how faithful it is to history. But a work of art can and should be judged by the inspiration…

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Book Giveaway: BINDU’S BINDIS by Supriya Kelkar

Look! A new book is coming soon! Gorgeous illustrations! Beautiful plot!

Writing and Illustrating

Supriya Kelkar has written a new picture book, BINDU’S BINDIS illustrated by Parvati Pillai and published by Sterling Children’s Books. It hits the bookstores on March 2nd, but it is available for pre-order on Amazon, now. Rebecca has agreed to share a copy with one lucky winner living in the United States.

All you have to do to get in the running is leave a comment. Reblog, tweet, or talk about it on Facebook with a link and you will get additional chances to win. Just let me know other things you do to share the good news, so I can put the right amount of tickets in my basket for you.

Sharing on Facebook, Twitter or reblogging really helps spread the word for a new book. So, thanks for helping Supriya and Parvati.

If you have signed up to follow my blog and it is delivered to you…

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A letter to Hurston.

This. Is. Gorgeous! 🙂

Notebook Pages from a Black Non-binary Liberated Flapper

There are years that ask questions and years that answer” ZNH

Dear Ms. Hurston, or can I call you Zora? When asked to have a conversation with a writer from the past I chose you. I would choose you again, and again, and again, as I have chosen you before. I have chosen your words as beloved friends many times before. Your expansive teachings are so close to me that it was hard for me not to. 

You are what writing means to me. 

Thank you for telling the truth. For showing all of us how tenderly we can love our Blackness. How curious and exciting and pleasurable healing can be. For revealing the wounds + the medicine. For showing us the cosmic divinity of black femmes1

I almost appreciate the format of writing to you in a letter as it somehow allows me to better express the…

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Canva is Free, Fun, and Fabulous!

If you haven't heard, Canva is a graphic design platform, used to create social media graphics, presentations, posters, documents and other visual content. I have been using Canva throughout the past few years and honestly, if I can create things with it -- you can too! It's really, really easy! And did I mention fun?! This … Continue reading Canva is Free, Fun, and Fabulous!

Pitfalls to Avoid: Mary Sue Characters

Dragon Soul Press

You: “Oh man, people are going to love my female MC. She’s a total badass!”

Friend: “Why?”

You: “Because she has all sorts of magic at her disposal, she can fight with swords, she’s got a genius-level IQ, and she’s beautiful. Guys just swoon for her, but she’s a virgin, saving herself for her True Love.”

Friend: Rolls eyes. “Of course. What does she do?”

You: “I’ve got a whole series of books planned. She’s from a fantasy world, but she’s transported to our world in the 21st Century. She then learns about guns while wielding magic. She has to fight Neo-Nazis, werewolves, evil corporations, and gives a speech at the U.N. on women’s rights. She doesn’t need a man to save her.”

Friend: Sighs…loudly. “That’s it? What’s her flaw?”

You: “Umm…flaw? Oh yeah, she was abused a lot by her parents. She doesn’t know how to love. She can’t…

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The Horror! THE HORROR! A Writing Exercise on How to Scare Readers


(Horror fiction) shows us that the control we believe we have is purely illusory, and that every moment we teeter on chaos and oblivion – Clive Barker

EVERY SATURDAY for the month of January I’ve shared exercises from my popular writing guideBack To Creative Writing School. This is the last one and it’s an extract from a much longer exercise in the book. I hope you…well, perhaps enjoy isn’t quite the right word.

Karl Albrecht writing in Psychology Today in March 2012 described five basic fears from which all our other fears stem.

Extinction – fear of annihilation, of ceasing to exist. The most basic and the most universal, but it also includes a range of more specific fears, such as a fear of heights.

Mutilation – including the fear of being invaded, taken over. It also includes phobias about animals and insects.

Loss of Autonomy – fear…

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Ways to create a writing habit, even when every day is unpredictable

Uninspired Writers

Last week, I spoke about how my writing habit had been crushed and re-shaped by the pandemic. And as part of the re-adjustment, I’ve been thinking of different ways to make a writing habit. The thing is, every day is unpredictable at the moment. And so the typical habit-making behaviour of picking a set time each day to write isn’t working. In fact, I’m often finding that my other commitments (work, uni, health) mean that my timings change day to day. So I’m trying the methods below instead, and it seems to be working! Have a peek;

Weekly goals, instead of daily
I used to focus on daily goals. Set word counts or time goals. The issue with daily targets, is if you don’t reach it one day, it sets you on a downer for the rest of the week. So it’s well worth considering setting weekly targets instead. This…

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5th Annual Haiti Week

Repeating Islands

Vanderbilt University’s Center for Latin American Studies (CLAS) will host its 5th Annual Haiti Week with virtual programs from February 9 through 11, 2021. On February 10, 12:10-1:00pm CST, CLASpresents “Translating Haiti: A Conversation” with Nathan Dize (Vanderbilt University) and Vanessa K. Valdés (The City College of New York-CUNY). Advanced registration is required. To register, see below:

All events will use the same Zoom meeting link. Register once to receive the link to join all events. Feel free to join us for one or all of the programs, drop in when your schedule allows, turn off your video feed, etc. Everyone is welcome! Advanced Registration Required.


5:30-6:30 PM CST“Teaching Haiti with Music and Carnival”with Danielle Dorvil (Vanderbilt University) K-12 Teacher Workshop


12:10-1:00 PM CST“Translating Haiti: A Conversation with Nathan Dize and Vanessa K. Valdés”featuring Nathan Dize (Vanderbilt University) and Vanessa K. Valdés…

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