Why I Write Black

This is incredible.

Pearls Before Swine

two generations

Because flowers grow in strange places

like tattered pieces of wood and recycled paper

Because history is frost bitten

and winter refuses to be comforted by the sun

bluish-white and numbed pain

cold skin

and prickling feeling

Because the sky don’t stay dark forever

but light ain’t taught in history class

Because some skirts

are too heavy

to lift without permission

Because Dust Tracks on The Road

was subtracted 3 chapters

Because some truths

are too big to sacrifice

on American alters

Because Zora died broke

and Nina died sad

Because their voices still sing

Because strange fruit still swings

Because ignorance is worth more than rubies

and diamond gems

Because no one has picked up the pieces

of truth

underneath the ruble

of bombed out churches

on 16th streets

Because little girls ain’t little girls no more

but crushed bones

and melted skin

a strike of disobedience

against premeditated sin


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Black History Fun Fact Friday – 5 Harlem Renaissance Women You Probably Don’t Know

Awesome women of the Harlem Renaissance!

Pearls Before Swine

If you’re anything like me, you get tired of the same repeated history. Martin Luther King Jr., Rosa Parks, Frederick Douglass, Harriet Tubman, Langston Hughes, and Zora Neale Hurston. These are names to which we are exceptionally familiar. They were great but we know them. Let’s talk about something else.

Admittedly, I didn’t have a lot of time on my hands this week so I decided to compile a list of women who took part in The Harlem Renaissance to which we aren’t too familiar for this week’s fun fact. Enjoy.

Dorothy West


The daughter of a freed slave, the only child of Isaac and Rachel West, Dorothy West’s father built a fruit and vegetable business that provided the family a more affluent life among Boston’s middle class. Nicknamed “The Kid” by Langston Hughes and sharing an apartment with Zora Neale Hurston, Dorothy West was a young member of the…

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Author Animal Farm—New York GOOOOD, Self-Pub BAAAAAAD

Snobbery towards self-published writers dismantled in this excellent post.

Kristen Lamb's Blog

Original image via Kabsik Park courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons. Original image via Kabsik Park courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons.

Okay at first I wasn’t going to say anything regarding the latest Let’s Bash Self-Publishing rant over at HuffPo, but (like all “real” writers) I am in the business of serving my audience—YOU—what you want to hear and after about the tenth person who sent me Laurie Gough’s Self-Publishing—An Insult to the Written Word, I figured y’all might want my take 😉 .

For another angle on this controversy, I strongly recommend Fisking the HuffPo’s Snooty Rant About Self-Publishing.

Moving on…

Consider the Source


First of all, am I the only one to see the laughable hypocrisy of anyone who writes for Huffington Post lecturing anyone about real writing? Huffington Post is a predatory business, a literary parasite that has made hundreds of millions of dollars by paying writers in “exposure dollars.” And, by doing so, has…

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After the Dumpster Fire of 2016—How to Make 2017 ROCK!

Kristen Lamb’s simple, no-nonsense advice for writers looking to bust a sweat in 2017. Very well worth reading.

Kristen Lamb's Blog


We are THANK GOD bringing a close to 2016. Though I’ve survived, I feel like I’ve dragged myself out of a Dumpster fire. Is it me or did 2016 actually last three years?

But as Robert H. Schuller once said…

Tough times never last but tough people do.

Many who read this blog desire to be professional authors and that is a great goal and it is attainable but there are some practical realities we need to appreciate. The road to becoming a pro is long and brutal and treacherous and this post is to help you prepare accordingly.

Think of it like this. If you wanted to take a leisurely stroll around the neighborhood with your dog and kids, would you pack MREs, gallons of fresh water, portable water filtration systems, tents, sleeping bags and a med kit? Would you hire a personal trainer to get you in pique…

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The Wound—Because Damaged People Make the BEST Stories

Inspiring words from Kristen Lamb on the power of the WOUND in writing! Well worth the read, as usual.

Kristen Lamb's Blog


Many emerging writers come to me when they find they are struggling with their WIP. I always begin with the same question, “What is your story about?” Often, I get this response, “Well, my story isn’t plot-driven. It is a character-driven story.”


I have no plot…and please stop asking me because it makes me want to drink heavily.

There really is no such thing as a purely character-driven story. Character and plot are like two keyed cogs. One drives the other. The plot pushes the protagonist to grow and as the character grows, this in turn drives the plot.

For instance, in The Lord of the Rings the plot problem (Toss evil ring in a volcano before power-hungry necromancer takes over Middle Earth) is what forces the Hobbits to leave The Shire. Ah, but once they leave, how they respond to escalating threats determines plot.

For instance, they…

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13 Things Mentally Strong Writers Don’t Do

Kristen Lamb tells it to you straight, no nonsense. As a writer who has suffered from many of these failures (PARTICULARLY endless self-pity), this was a welcome reminder to keep at it, no matter what.

Kristen Lamb's Blog

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As y’all know I do a ton of reading and this includes lots and lots of blogs and articles. Over the holiday I ran across one article that just had me jumping up and down and yelling, “YES! THIS!” The Business Insider article “13 Things Mentally Strong People Don’t Do” is based off Amy Morin’s book (which I highly recommend).

It doesn’t matter if we strive to have a healthy marriage, strong kids or a killer career, these tenets cross-apply to all areas of life. Mental toughness is a key component to being successful. Yes, even for writers.

So I figured I would tinker with this and make it more directly apply to writers and what we must do (or not do) if we long to do well in this career. Thus, today we are going to discuss 13 Things Mentally Strong Writers Don’t Do.

#1 They don’t waste time…

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