2015 Goals

Photo courtesy of: http://www.happynew-year.com/
Photo courtesy of: http://www.happynew-year.com/

Yes I’m doing the whole resolution thing. I don’t think it’s as cliche as everyone thinks. I know for a fact that I will not be able to complete all of my resolutions, but I think it’s nice to have something to strive for. Of course, I have more goals for the new year besides writing and reading, but I won’t bother listing them here. Here are five things I would like to accomplish this year:

  1. Submit my book to a literary agent. (Yes, I still haven’t done this yet.)
  2. Get a short story published in a literary magazine.
  3. Improve my freelancing career. (It’s looking promising already!)
  4. Read at least one book a month. (It doesn’t sound like a lot, but I have a pretty demanding schedule.)
  5. Gain new blog followers. (This will probably happen when I start blogging more regularly.)

There are probably other things I could put down, but those actually seem feasible. The first two will take the most work, but looking back on 2014, I know that a lot can happen in a year. Who knows? Maybe this time next year, this will be the blog of a published author! 🙂

Good luck on your goals for the next year! Don’t be afraid to dream big. As the great philosopher Drake would say, “YOLO.”

The Black League-Creative Writing

So I decided to share a bit of random creative writing that I’ve been fooling around with for a while. I’m not exactly sure where I’m going with it, but it’s fun to write so far. Let me know what you think!

The Black League

It was so dark that Reese could not see anything in front of him. His other senses did their best to compensate for his lack of sight. He could tell from the constant jarring contact that someone was directly in front of him and that someone was behind him, stepping constantly on his heels. He could hear whimpering and sniffling from the other children with him, and he could smell that someone had wet his or her pants in fear.

But the predominant smell that attacked his nostrils was the stench of old blood and rotting meat. It turned his stomach, and he tried not to vomit on whomever was in front of him. He heard someone retch behind him, and he knew that if that person threw up, he was sure to follow suit. His kidnappers had not given any orders when they stole him from his bed, but he had a feeling that they did not want him expelling the meager contents of his stomach all over the floor.

More than anything, he wanted to know where Lucas was. His twin brother had been sleeping in the bed next to him, but Reese could not remember for the life of him if he had been dragged out of bed as well. Was he still sleeping soundly? Had one of the kidnappers slit his throat? Or was he somewhere in this line of filthy orphans?

Reese wanted to call his name, but he had a feeling that that kind of behavior would not be tolerated. He hoped he could wake up. All he wanted to do was wake up in bed and realize that this was all a dream. He was with his brother, and his parents were still alive. If only that was the reality.

What’s wrong with Ebooks?

So can somebody please tell me why we are debating about whether ebooks or real books are better? My “hipster” friends on social media sites have decided to put down ebooks, and I have no idea why.

Why the Kindle hate? (Photo courtesy of buzzfeed.com)
Why the Kindle hate?
(Photo courtesy of buzzfeed.com)

For one thing, the whole “real book” label is problematic in itself. If I read my paperback copy of To Kill A Mockingbird and then switch to reading it on my Kindle, did the words change? What makes my ebook copy less “real” than my physical copy?

Plus, aren’t ebooks more fitting with the times anyway? The younger generations love gadgets (as part of a young generation, I should know). More importantly than that, we love immediacy. Why should I wait to get a physical copy of a book when I can immediately download it on my Kindle?

To be fair, if I really love a book, I will get a physical copy. I do agree with the picture floating around that a physical library is more impressive than an elibrary, a least in terms of looks. Plus, it’s harder to lend a really great book to someone if I only have the ebook.

But that’s not the point. Why is one form of reading better than another? Shouldn’t we be rejoicing that people are actually reading, that despite all of the other gadgets and distractions, people are choosing to also get books electronically? Isn’t it a great thing that while my physical library is pretty small, my elibrary is bursting with books?

The fact is, people aren’t reading as much as they used to. There are so many other things to occupy our time now, and if ebooks are the way to get people reading again, then who am I to stand in their way?

Racism in America

Race is huge focus in the media right now. I’ve been wondering how I should respond to it all. Then I remembered a very short story that I wrote when I was in Intermediate Nonfiction in college. It’s a little creepy how I sort of predicted that race problems would persist. Feel free to comment!

“The End of Racism”

Barack Obama was elected as the first African American president on November 4, 2008. His election was considered to be “the end of a long journey” and “an event that shattered 200 years of history.” The United States of America had finally “put an end to racism.”

The neighborhoods in Collierville, Tennessee were filled with McCain/Palin signs. They were in the yards, on cars and on t-shirts, and the frequency of these sightings increased as long as John McCain remained ahead in the polls. The McCain supporters didn’t mind the occasional Obama/Biden sign or bumper sticker. Their man was in the lead. When Obama took the lead for the first time, someone or maybe a group of people went around and tore all of the Obama/Biden signs out of yards and off of cars, including the yard and cars of the house at 579 Hermitage Trail Drive.

Collierville High School held a mock election a few weeks before Election Day. John McCain won by a landslide. It made sense. CHS had a Republican Club that boasted more than 300 members. There was no Democrat Club. The vast majority of students had wealthy parents who had wealthy parents who had wealthy parents. And there were race fights almost every week. A white student would call a black student a nigger, and then the black student would get in trouble for trying to hit him. Needless to say the idea of a black, Democrat president did not sit well with most people.

I begged my dad not to make me go to school on November 5, 2008. He refused, telling me that I needed to hold my head high. All I wanted to do was disappear. The school was unusually quiet that day, but you could almost hear the unspoken tension. The majority of the white students walked in with their heads down and their faces sullen. The majority of the black students were wearing shirts with Martin Luther King Jr. on them. Many of them were sent to the office because the shirts violated the dress code. One white student wore sign pinned to his shirt that said, “Free at last, free at last. Good God almighty, we’re free at last.” The sarcasm got laughs and approval from his white peers. He didn’t get in trouble.

“The nation’s bird is now fried chicken.”

“Do we call it the Black House now?”

“God! Those black kids are so obnoxious today.”

“I hope Obama gets shot.”

I came home from school that day to find my dad watching the election news coverage. He had stayed home from work to drink and cry with happiness. By the time, I got home, his lap was filled with used tissues and his eyes were red from crying.

“It’s actually happening, Andrea,” he told me. “After years of oppression, we’ve finally done it. The race war is over!”

I didn’t have the heart to tell him how wrong he was. He would eventually find out on his own. We all would.