Inspired: Writer Toni Morrison proves we have time to follow our passions

Originally posted on Christa Rose Avampato:

Toni Morrison

Toni Morrison

Toni Morrison taught me two priceless lessons: I can always make time to write and never give up. As a single mom with 2 kids, Morrison wrote her first novel, The Bluest Eye, in 15-minute increments each day. That’s all the free time she had. It took her 5 years to write it. She kept writing despite her novel’s low sales. 3 years later, her next novel was nominated for the American Book Award. Her following novels received mixed reviews, but she remained determined. In 1987, 17 years after publishing her first novel, she won the Pulitzer. If you have a dream project, work on it bit by bit. Don’t let critics sap the joy you get from your work. Morrison followed her passion. You can, too.

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Suzanne Guillette on Perspective in Memoir

Originally posted on Augury Books:

Photo by Wah-Ming Chang

Suzanne Guillette. Photo by Wah-Ming Chang

A year ago this month, friend of Augury Suzanne Guillette (Much to Your Chagrin: A Memoir of Embarassment, Atria Books, 2009) published an essay on memoir in Tin House. Dealing with the roles of perspective and content, Guillette navigates personal experiences which help us to rethink whether or not plot needs to be “memoir-worthy.”

Though Rushdie and Auster may have gone on the record with other reasons for stepping out of the first-person memoir convention, other motivations were probably also at work: not only does crafted distance in memoir inure the writer against calls (internal and otherwise) of self-importance, but it also sets us further adrift in a dreamlike state, allowing the intersection of present consciousness with past events to be, indeed, a very trippy place.  Quieting the memoir-worthy debate, writers can go granular, entering a uniquely conjured, not to…

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Top Five Book Jacket Design Mistakes in Self-Publishing

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Originally posted on Green Door Designs:

By Gracie Carver, Senior Designer

People always say that you should never judge a book by its cover, but actually they do. The cover of a book is the first thing that catches the eye (and you want this to be because it is gorgeous rather than a disaster); the potential reader will then look at your ‘blurb’ – or to be fancy, your ‘jacket copy’ – and at this point a decision to buy it will hopefully happen. Market surveys show repeatedly that purchasing choices are influenced more by cover than by the name of the publisher.

Although I do work with small to medium sized publishing houses, most of my commissions come from authors choosing to self-publish, which, thanks to Amazon’s Kindle, is now a credible and accessible path to take for new and early-career authors. And it doesn’t just stop at e-books; you can also professionally produce…

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September Author Interview Answer #6: What was the best and worst criticism that you have received for your work?

Originally posted on International Book Promotion:

Hello everyone, I hope you have enjoyed reading the fifth post in this interview series. This is the continuation of the interview with author Debby G. Kaye and Linda Gray Sexton. Please check their bios out via the links you can see below.

Let’s check out the answers for question #6 from them.

“What was the best and worst criticism that you have received for your work? ”

Author #1 D. G. Kaye

The best criticism came from my brother, when he told me that I held back a bit from going into more detail about my mother. I couldn’t bring myself to do so while she was still living, but I understood what he was conveying. I thankfully haven’t received any real criticism other than two bad reviews on Amazon. It is inspiring to know that I’ve connected with readers with the subjects I write about.

Author #2 Linda…

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Writing about people you know – treading the fine line

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Originally posted on TJ Withers-Ryan:

Friends Season 1 Monica and Rachel Image source: 'FRIENDS' TV show via Hello Giggles

Friends Season 1 Monica and Rachel
Image source: ‘FRIENDS’ TV show via Hello Giggles

Rachel:                Oh, and I’m sorry I said you were a cow in high school.

Monica:               That’s okay. I was a cow.

Rachel:                Yes, but I’m still sorry I said it.

- Friends, Season 1, Episode 17 “The One With Two Parts”

Disclaimer:

This post offers a broad overview of defamation law but is not intended to be read as legal advice. This is a complex legal issue that should not be taken lightly. If you have concerns about your own writing with regards to libel liability, you should seek independent legal advice.

I’ve had authors who were worried about writing about the people in their family. Memoirs are always a bit tricky like that. It’s your story, but it’s also the story of how your life was affected by them.

It’s more complicated than just which…

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Little Known Black History Fact: Levi Watkins, Sr.

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Originally posted on Black America Web:

Dr. Levi Watkins Sr., the sixth president of Alabama State University, was not a native of Montgomery, Ala., but his contributions to the city and state are noteworthy. In 1962, he joined the faculty of the historically black institution and transformed it into one of the top destination schools in the south. Dr. Watkins joined the staff of the school when it was still a small teacher’s college.

For years, the school had served as a base of operations for civil rights leaders, most especially the Montgomery Bus Boycotts of 1955. Rosa Parks, one of the civil rights movement’s most notable figures, attended the university.

Watkins came along during a time where racial tension in the South was at an all-time high and the civil rights movement faced some of its toughest challenges. Still, he led ASU to prominence despite the barriers of Jim Crow and other challenges. By…

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On Writing

Originally posted on cfortunewrites:

On Writing

On Writing

C.S. Lewis makes a great point. The expanse of our imagination can be explored, questioned, challenged and shared through the art of good writing.

Memories can recreate the childhood you still laugh about or create the moments you wish you had. Writing is more than just words and ink – it’s our written legacy.

What type of legacy will you leave?

If people write about you, will they get your story right? Will they leave out the important moments and focus on the trivial instead?

Debunk the myths and set the world straight. 

Write your story and leave your legacy.

Writing My Way,

C. Fortune

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sticks and stones may break her bones, but those words will surely kill her

Originally posted on 구단비:

Look over your shoulder and you see a girl,

Angry at herself and scared of the world.

The marks on her body, the scars, are hints,

To how she feels, to what she thinks.

Throughout her life she never fit in.

They broke her down, she let their comments sink in.

“Stupid!”

“Bitch!”

“Slut!”

“Fat!”

What had she done to become all that?

“Selfish!”

“Immature!”

“Lazy!”

“Liar!”

She drank and she drank until her throat was on fire.

She kept her head down as the darkness consumed her.

Everyday was a struggle, no hope for the future.

She had no friends, no one to confide in.

No help from her parents, they yelled and they chided.

She ate and she purged, she cut and she smoked

Sleeping around, her life was a joke.

And then one night she had to give in,

Her parting words were, “Okay, you win.”

“She…

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How Could I Write a Book About Myself and Not Know It?

Originally posted on Commonplace Grace:

Glory in the Morning Book coverNo matter where you go – there you are” ― Confucius

I shared my picture book,Glory in the Morning with the world today. That is code for saying it’s now available on Amazon. Getting this book into physical form and into the hands of children has been quite an experience. When I wrote and illustrated it, I had no idea it would be a way for me to speak my truth. After all, there was no deep thought required to get the words down on paper. It was just a fairytale that seemed to write itself. Today, I see it as a story that affirms my journey to wholeness. It reminds me of the powerful truths embodied in The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. I’m curious if the author, Frank L. Baum, figured out that he had been writing about himself, too?

“Just be yourself, there is no one…

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