Category Archives: Links We Love

Check out these other sites

Finding Readers, Finding Books

l share cropped
(a book lover’s social media share)

An interesting social media post recently asked book lovers how they found new books, new authors – a question always of interest to authors like me always trying to land our promotion and marketing efforts where it can have the most impact.

another l share cropped
(Another book lover’s social media share)

Here are some of the other responses:

-friends’ recommendations (on social media… and, I would add, other places since more often than not these last few years of trying not to acquire new books until I can lighten my books-unread shelf, ‘new’ books have been thrust upon me by well meaning friends; and I can’t complain. As for how this affects my own promotional efforts, reader reviews are encouraged and used like those movie tag lines. They have proven especially useful being from a small place with my books receiving scant critical attention comparatively speaking, and, though that’s gotten better, I still welcome readers helping me create buzz by recc’ing a book of mine to readers in their network)

bookempt.gyal4(Yet another book lover’s social media share. credit: bookempt.gyal on instagram)

-reading  the book cover blurb and the first pages (online retail sites have made this easier, useful to me both as a reader and as a researcher building and sharing knowledge here on the site and in other places, but I remember I used to – and still – do this when shopping for or considering physical books. I even know people who, while browsing,  read the end and the middle to get a feel for the book – something the online retail sites have also made easier. I don’t get that part because, hello, spoilers. But I do try to accommodate readers’ need to know how it starts by publishing first pages on my Jhohadli blog)

-book related groups + review requests (this is the interaction part of social media, participating not just plugging, recommending other writers, not just pushing your own product; it’s time consuming but part of building community)

-freebies (as a writer and reviewer, with a blogger on books series, I get a number of requests to read books; and promotional giveaways have only gotten more plentiful in this age of internets.  It’s a bit more challenging to take on these reading assignments for the blog due to that time not being covered, plus it can be stressful, especially as I’ve been on the other side of this freebies for reviews relationship and know how it can feel when the person who copped the freebie doesn’t say word one about your book)

-recommendations on (person mentioned a specific literary platform but really all of them – not to mention #bookstagram #booktube the book blogging community and its many memes, and the myriad goodreads lists not to mention groups on facebook and specialized lists on twitter etc; it’s a lot to keep up with but I try to be in those spaces and try to connect my books with people in those spaces…of course, you have to give to get and that means making recommendations of your own)

image from someones blog.png
(Yet yet another book lover’s social media share. credit: baby making machine blog)

-Always ask my daughter (lol) – I like this one but this speaks to your real life reading partners and book clubs and the like, the book store employee who recs books he thinks you’ll like based on your reading history …those personal connections… book clubs and bookstores are among my mailing lists but beyond the lists are the relationships. Remember when you were in school and no two of you had a single penny to knock together but someone might have a book and that booked got passed around like mix tapes? How about that relationship with that friend you really see except for when it’s time for another book exchange every time a favourite author drops a new book? book conversations? book groups where there’s as much wine and idle chatter as book deep dives? you know what I mean) … it’s a beautiful thing.

oh gad in walmart posted by hadassa 2012
(book lover’s social media share)

How about you, where do you find your books?… authors, where do you find your readers?

As with all content on wadadlipen.wordpress.com, except otherwise noted, this is written by Wadadli Pen founder, coordinator, and blogger Joanne C. Hillhouse (author of The Boy from Willow Bend, Dancing Nude in the Moonlight, Oh Gad!, Musical Youth, Lost! A Caribbean Sea Adventure, and With Grace). All Rights Reserved.

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under A & B Lit News Plus, A & B WRITINGS, Caribbean Plus Lit News, Links We Love, Literary Gallery, The Business

One of our Own

You know us, we try to keep track of and celebrate our Wadadli Pen alum. Vega was a regular for a time and earned honourable mention in the 12 and younger category in 2012, second place in the same category in 2013, and won the category in 2014. Since then she’s been exploring her musical side, initially doing covers and since graduating to original content like this one:

It’s all about stepping stones.

As with all content on wadadlipen.wordpress.com, except otherwise noted, this is written by Wadadli Pen founder, coordinator, and blogger Joanne C. Hillhouse (author of The Boy from Willow Bend, Dancing Nude in the Moonlight, Oh Gad!, Musical Youth, Lost! A Caribbean Sea Adventure, and With Grace). All Rights Reserved.

Leave a comment

Filed under A & B Lit News Plus, Links We Love, Literary Gallery, Wadadli Pen News

#Girlscan – a Tribute to Team Antigua Island Girls

#Girlscan
Girls can cut up and be silly
Girls can stare you down with the wrath of a thousand Furys
Girls can flex their muscles and shine
Girls can rowrowrow in time
And their muscles will tremble
And their spirits will quake
But they will not give up
They will not tap out in defeat
Because Girls can
Dream
And dare
And push through
And rise up
Like Storm commanding a tornado
And Diana beating back Ares in battle
And they do this all without the power of Supers
Reminding every girl
With each cut of their paddles through water
propelled by determination and muscle power
neither Tempest nor Atlantic
-vast and deadly-
Can bridle their spirit
when not even the bullbud could tame it
Because the will to will yourself across 3,000 nautical fucking miles
Comes from within
You just have to arch your back
feel it all in your sternum
big up your chest, and
stretch out
And grab um
#Girlscan

Have you heard about TeamAntiguaIslandGirls? Well you should. They are the first all black all female, and only the third Antigua and Barbuda, team to attempt the Talisker Whiskey Challenge, billed as the world’s toughest row. How tough? Read my accounting by the first Antigua and Barbuda (Guinness World Book record setting) team to attempt and complete the row just a handful of years ago – when they did it, it was extraordinary because though Antigua was home to the World Heritage site, Nelson’s Dockyard, where the row ended, it was perceived as something that adventuring souls from other places did. It took one man to ask, why can’t we be adventuring too? People laughed, they always do; but they did it and them doing it had a second team going…heeeeeyyyy…and that second team of considerably younger men made what looked like easy work of it…and soon another set of hopefuls were going….hmmmmm… and here we are. Team Antigua Island Girls is rowing not just for themselves nor simply to capture the imagination of our little twin island nation but for Cottage of Hope which provides shelter for girls who need it. The team behind Team Antigua Island Girls has had the media savvy to get them in to Essence among other publications and build all kinds of enthusiasm around the firsts they represent – can anyone say, #blackgirlmagic – 48405710_1080470558802253_1340075898530955264_n.jpgincluding this Super-hero themed bit of art work by teacher and graphic designer Sonalli Andrews.

I decided to make it my writing prompt today. How about you? Are you feeling inspired?
#writesomething

team antigua
This is the image (from the Team Antigua Island Girls website) that inspired the opening line of my poem and, since it was just a first draft writing prompt, I went with it. It’s not what I thought I was going to write but more writing may come. In the meantime, hail up to the women of Team Antigua (Barbuda) Island Girls: from left Samara Emmanuel, Christal Clashing, Junella King, Elvira Bell, and Kevinia Francis.

As with all content on wadadlipen.wordpress.com, except otherwise noted, this is written by Wadadli Pen founder, coordinator, and blogger Joanne C. Hillhouse (author of The Boy from Willow Bend, Dancing Nude in the Moonlight, Oh Gad!, Musical Youth, Lost! A Caribbean Sea Adventure, and With Grace). All Rights Reserved.

Leave a comment

Filed under A & B Lit News Plus, A & B WRITINGS, Links We Love

New Book – It’s Madness, Plus

(21/01/19 – ETA: Also new, Peepal Tree Book of Contemporary Caribbean Short Stories, “The collection includes the work of, amongst others, Opal Palmer Adisa, Christine Barrow, Rhoda Bharath, Jacqueline Bishop, Hazel Campbell, Merle Collins, Jacqueline Crooks, Kwame Dawes, Curdella Forbes, Ifeona Fulani, Kevin Jared Hosein, Keith Jardim, Barbara Jenkins, Meiling Jin, Cherie Jones, Helen Klonaris, Sharon Leach, Alecia McKenzie, Sharon Millar, Breanne Mc Ivor, Anton Nimblett, Geoffrey Philp, Velma Pollard, Jennifer Rahim, Raymond Ramcharitar, Jacob Ross, Leone Ross, Olive Senior, Jan Shinebourne and Elizabeth Walcott-Hackshaw.” Read more.

I’ve been meaning to share announcement re this Caribbean collection focused on madness in the writing of Caribbean wordsmiths.

9783319981796.jpg

From an Antiguan-Barbudan standpoint, writings referenced include Freida Cassin’s With Silent Tread and Jamaica Kincaid’s writing in general, it seems, in, for one, a chapter entitled ‘Fighting Mad to Tell Her Story’: Madness, Rage, and Literary Self-Making in Jean Rhys and Jamaica Kincaid. The latter, if I’m reading the preview correctly, argues that “Jean Rhys and Jamaica Kincaid make(s) purposive use of ‘raving’ and ‘raging’ women in projects of literary self-making that are finely attuned to the geopolitical and cultural legacies of colonialism.”

More broadly, the book, Madness in Anglophone Caribbean Literature: On the Edge, published by Palgrave Macmillan in 2018, edited by Bénédicte Ledent, Evelyn O’Callaghan, and Daria Tunca, “takes an original view of madness as a potential space of political, cultural and artistic resistance, (and) looks at a wide range of Caribbean texts, including recent work”.

I’m interested in this, having touched on mental health issues (born of societal pressures in an uneven world) in my novel Oh Gad! and women dealing with the external and internal messiness of being in a lot of my writing – with the possible exception of Lost! A Caribbean Sea Adventure (lol). And I agree that it (madness) has been under-discussed not just in criticism but in our Caribbean reality – plus I’m just interested in feminine emotions and how they are sometimes mis-categorized as irrationality and/or madness, and how on the page female characters are, problematically, expected to be likeable (or else) – and things of that sort.  So, I’ll likely check it out at some point; and you can too.

(summary)
“This collection takes as its starting point the ubiquitous representation of various forms of mental illness, breakdown and psychopathology in Caribbean writing, and the fact that this topic has been relatively neglected in criticism, especially in Anglophone texts, apart from the scholarship devoted to Jean Rhys’s Wide Sargasso Sea (1966). The contributions to this volume demonstrate that much remains to be done in rethinking the trope of “madness” across Caribbean literature by local and diaspora writers. This book asks how focusing on literary manifestations of apparent mental aberration can extend our understanding of Caribbean narrative and culture, and can help us to interrogate the norms that have been used to categorize art from the region, as well as the boundaries between notions of rationality, transcendence and insanity across cultures.”

Chapters listed are “Kingston Full of Them”: Madwomen at the Crossroads by Kelly Baker Josephs, “Fighting Mad to Tell Her Story”: Madness, Rage, and Literary Self-Making in Jean Rhys and Jamaica Kincaid by Denise deCaires Narain, Madness and Silence in Caryl Phillips’s A Distant Shore and In the Falling Snow by Ping Su, Speaking of Madness in the First Person/Speaking Madness in the Second Person? Junot Díaz’s The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao and “The Cheater’s Guide to Love” by Delphine Munos, What Is “Worse Besides”? An Ecocritical Reading of Madness in Caribbean Literature by Carine M. Mardorossian, Performing Delusional Evil: Jamaica Kincaid’s The Autobiography of My Mother by Rebecca Romdhani, Horizons of Desire in Caribbean Queer Speculative Fiction: Marlon James’s John Crow’s Devil by Michael A. Bucknor, When Seeing Is Believing: Enduring Injustice in Merle Collins’s The Colour of Forgetting by Alison Donnell, Migrant Madness or Poetics of Spirit? Teaching Fiction by Erna Brodber and Kei Miller by Evelyn O’Callaghan, and (Re)Locating Madness and Prophesy: An Interview with Kei Miller by Rebecca Romdhani. (Palgrave)

Should be an interesting read.

As with all content on wadadlipen.wordpress.com, except otherwise noted, this is written by Wadadli Pen founder, coordinator, and blogger Joanne C. Hillhouse (author of The Boy from Willow Bend, Dancing Nude in the Moonlight, Oh Gad!, Musical Youth, Lost! A Caribbean Sea Adventure, and With Grace). All Rights Reserved.

Leave a comment

Filed under Caribbean Plus Lit News, Links We Love

Great News for Writers out of Barbados

… when is there not, right? I know, I know, the Barbadian artistic community has its complaints but I have to say from the outside looking in they seem to have their act together in terms of valuing artists and creating avenues of opportunities for writers that we don’t…but, yes, I know the grass is always greener.

Well, here’s some premium grass.

“The literary arts in Barbados is now on a firmer footing thanks to a Bds$1,000,000 donation dedicated to writers and their development.

Central Bank of Barbados Governor, Cleviston Haynes over the weekend announced the gift, that equates to US$500,000, that will be used as an investment trust fund to supplement work of the island’s premier scheme for annual writing competition and writer’s development, the Frank Collymore Literary Endowment, (FCLE) which will receive all dividends.

This sizeable enticement for Barbadians to further let loose their creative imaginations should be a welcome contribution for authors because a common cry among artistes on the island, in other developing and in Third World countries, is that the absence of material rewards for their work reflects scant respect for such productions…”

So, yeah, kudos to Barbados (home of the BIM literary journal, the BIM literary festival and book fair, one of the region’s few writer in residence programmes, a lit arts endowment programme, a lit arts prize and publications related to same, an artist residency programme that pulls in artists from all over, lit arts programmes in the schools and country at large on an ongoing basis, a lit activity (read-in) during their Carnival, Crop Over…am I overselling it?… maybe, I know from conversations with artists there that they have their share of frustrations and struggles, but…every time fresh news from BIM lands in my inbox, it’s hard not to be envious (as I am with St. Lucia’s record of recording its culture and arts history).

Anyway, read more on this new initiative here.

As with all content (words, images, other) on wadadlipen.wordpress.com, except otherwise noted, this is written by Joanne C. Hillhouse (author of The Boy from Willow Bend, Dancing Nude in the Moonlight,  Oh Gad!, Musical Youth, With Grace, and Lost! A Caribbean Sea Adventure). All Rights Reserved. You can also subscribe to and/or follow the site to keep up with future updates. You’re also invited to follow me on my author blog http://jhohadli.wordpress.com Thanks. And remember while linking and sharing the links, referencing and excerpting, with credit, are okay, lifting whole content (articles,  images, other) from the site without asking is not cool. Respect copyright.

Leave a comment

Filed under Caribbean Plus Lit News, Links We Love

Bullying is Real

Shout out to Antiguan and Barbudan anti-bullying activist for this song

and for her recent recognition with the Halo Hero Humanitarian Award (Tertiary Level)

hero (source: Daily Observer newspaper)

As with all content on wadadlipen.wordpress.com, except otherwise noted, this is written by Joanne C. Hillhouse (author of The Boy from Willow Bend, Dancing Nude in the Moonlight, With Grace, Lost! A Caribbean Sea Adventure, Musical Youth, and Oh Gad!). All Rights Reserved. If you enjoyed it, check out my page on Amazon, WordPress, and/or Facebook, and help spread the word about Wadadli Pen and my books. You can also subscribe to the site to keep up with future updates. Thanks.

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Links We Love, Literary Gallery

dream hampton on Surviving R. Kelly, Supporting Survivors and Why She Wants a ‘Social Death’ for R. Kelly — TIME

The documentary series Surviving R. Kelly, which aired on Lifetime in the first week of January, has prompted new interest in the R&B singer’s alleged sexual misconduct with minors. Focusing on stories about his illicit behavior that have circulated for decades, the docuseries raises questions about the limited actions in response to these women’s stories,…

via dream hampton on Surviving R. Kelly, Supporting Survivors and Why She Wants a ‘Social Death’ for R. Kelly — TIME

Veteran hip hop author and journalist Dream Hampton in an interview with TIME on the docu-series she co-produced; and on spurring introspection and action re, not just R. Kelly, but predatory behavior in our communities (something we all need to reckon with) and on centering the silenced and overlooked victims of abuse.

It’s worth mentioning here the activism related to these issues in the Caribbean. See what I’ve written about this before.

Leave a comment

January 12, 2019 · 1:40 pm