In January, Yvonne Battle-Felton interviewed me for her weekly radio show “The Writing Life,”
I met Yvonne several years ago when we were both studying at Johns Hopkins, and was excited when she got back in touch and invited me to join her on her show, which airs in the UK. It was a pleasure to chat with her and share some writing tips.
Each student signed their name and added a message of gratitude.
I love talking to young people about writing and it’s such a great feeling to know that my work has touched someone else enough that they take the time to send a card. That doesn’t happen much in this world of technology. Thanks for making my day!
I just had the most amazing experience at a writers retreat in the Bahamas. There’s no better daily commute than a ferry to a private island and a morning doing writing exercises in a coconut grove. If there is a heaven, that’s where I was for a week at the Salt Cay Writers Retreat. Read more.
Thanks again to PEN/Faulkner for inviting me to speak with students at Trinity University in Washington, DC. As always I love getting the chance to talk to young people about writing!
Afterward, PEN/Faulkner posted an interview with me on their site.
Last month, I spent a week with the Hurston/Wright Foundation, leading a workshop for teens on the campus of Howard University. Hurston/Wright has been offering a Teen Workshop every year since 1996 and I was honored to be a part of it this year. I had nine enthusiastic students from eighth through eleventh grade from schools around the DC-metropolitan area. We studied fiction writing, poetry, plays, memoirs and personal essays. It was a fantastic experience, and to see and hear the teens read their work during the closing ceremony at the end of the week was incredibly satisfying.
My hat goes off to full-time teachers, because preparing for and then leading the workshop for five days was a lot of work! Well worth it, though.
Many thanks to Hurston/Wright for inviting me to participate and for all the work this organization does to promote and encourage writing in the African American community. Please visit their website and consider sending a donation. The work they do is important in not only educating and encouraging young writers, but also in preserving and sharing the work of black writers for generations to come.
I had a wonderful visit on Monday morning (April 15) to the Richard Wright Public Charter School in DC. Thank you to Ms. Harris and her two classes for such a warm welcome and interesting Q&A sessions about my novel. Lots of discussion about alcohol and sex! But as I said to the kids (who were 15 and 16), while I didn’t write this for teenagers, I believe this age group is mature and thoughtful enough to understand that the characters’ use of alcohol and sex were misguided ways of coping with (or escaping from) their problems. I felt honored to be welcomed so warmly and to have the kids listen so attentively, asking some great probing questions — I could tell this was a journalism school.
A big thanks to Ariel Martino and the PEN/Faulkner Foundation for arranging the visit as part of their Writers in Schools program. One of the students (Jordan) gave me this picture she had drawn as I talked. Isn’t it fabulous!
I’m excited to share the release of “Health and Fitness for Seniors” – I had the pleasure of working with Newlie Hewson, who turned 90 this year, in helping to edit his book. He has created a comprehensive guide to help seniors live longer, healthier and productive lives. He truly is a testament to having done just that through physical fitness and healthy eating.
It’s a great gift for seniors who want to get fit, and features color pictures throughout and larger type. Take a look! It’s available nationwide on Amazon.com and you can download a copy to your Kindle (if you have one).
Had a wonderful time at the Rendezvous on the Bridge literary event earlier this month at the Washington Printmakers Gallery in Silver Spring, Md. What a wonderful gallery – definitely worth a visit, and it was a great location for the reading. The event was sponsored by the Patuxent Arts Bridge and hosted by Resa Moran and Sid Gold. Thanks for the invite to read my work, Sid!
My good friend Randall Myers brought his camera along and took some great pictures. You can find them on flickr.
Thank you to all who came out to support the event. Hope to see you at more events next year!
Had another fun weekend at the Baltimore Book Festival with the Washington Writers’ Publishing House and the Baltimore Review. The two non-profit organizations shared a booth this year to help reduce costs. Pity there’s not a non-profit price to rent a booth at this event.
Met some great folks, and one interesting note was that all the sales of my book were to men! And here I thought I had written a book that would appeal more to women. I have been surprised at the number of men who have said they really enjoyed it. So, there you go! Never limit your market. You never know who will be attracted to you work.
And the best line of the weekend was from this wonderful older gentleman who said, “Your smile could give someone a sun burn!” I loved that!
Keep scrolling down for some great pictures from the weekend.