Category Archives: Literary Gallery

Images of the Antigua and Barbuda literary scene

JWP Creative Writing Workshop Series – Back to Basics

One of the pleasures of 2018 has been the Jhohadli Writing Project Creative Writing Workshop series.

In that time, I’ve covered or am covering (inasmuch as you can cover any of these things in four weeks):

Setting
Plot
Characters
Workshopping Participant Works in Progress
Openings
Pacing
Tension

Likely, I’ll be circling back around to some of these again.

My approach has included story breakdown and analysis, discussion, lecture/presentation (definitions, techniques, purpose, effect/impact, practical application), in session writing exercises, take home writing exercises, prompted journaling, freewriting, and field exercises. Participants receive a kit with advance reading including works of fiction, author interviews, and articles related to the aspect of writing being explored. I decided to focus on one aspect at a time for…focus.

At the end of each four week series, participants do a written evaluation which I use to guide me as the JWP CWWS continues – and I do hope to continue to the end of 2018 after which time I will evaluate. I also pull quotes from the written evaluation for my performances review page which I use to sell not just the JWP CWWS but all my services and programmes. This time though I’m going to share the responses to ‘favourite workshop activity’ and ‘goals achieved’. I’m hoping by so doing you can get a sense of if these workshops are right for you.

Setting
(favourite workshop activity) “My fovourite workshop activity was reading the assignments and the discussions which assisted with writing my own settings.”

(goals achieved) “Creating settings using relevant details to create the scene. How settings helps to move the story along.”

Plot
(favourite workshop activity) “My least favourite activity of this workshop activity was having to do the impromptu writing activities during the sessions.”

(goals achieved) “Some of the goals I achieved were, learning how to overcome writers block, practicing writing more than one draft, and just learning how to write plot more effectively.”

Character
(favourite workshop activity) “My favorite character workshop activity had to do with reading about characters and being able to figure out what the writer is trying to show the reader about the characters’ personality and actions.”

(favourite workshop activity) “writing a character profile based on a photo of a model. It really was an exercise in imagination and conjecture based on little information… (least favourite) “writing what was going on inside of (name redacted’s) head. It was difficult to understand her.”

(goals achieved) “I learnt about how to develop a character more effectively.”

(goals achieved) “I achieved the goal of refining just a little bit more the skill of writing compelling characters. I had planned to expand on a story of mine during the workshop but was unable to because that is not how the workshop was set-up.”

This last critique actually prompted my decision to make the series that followed works in progress (one of the more successful installations, though the person who requested it didn’t participate in those sessions) and to make more space going forward for participant writing.

WIPs
(favourite workshop activity) “My favourite workshop experience was the discussions and the impromptu writing sessions.” (side note: this participant was also the same participant who earlier in the year listed impromptu writing activities as her least favourite: one of my goals with her was freeing up her writing, being in the moment and not stressing the outcome, and I count her turnaround on this subject as a win)

(favourite workshop activity) “I enjoyed everything at the workshop especially the discussions.”

(goals achieved) “I learnt how to put my thoughts/ goals on paper (journal) and just write.”

(goals achieved) “I learnt free-style writing, how to write a short story, about pacing, mood, the over use of adverbs, mixed metaphors and a lot more.”

Every participant has not filled out an evaluation form, though, keeping it real, the participant numbers are lower than the expressed interest, lower than I’d like, lower than is probably viable if I actually tallied the hours I spent prepping and leading these workshops. But with the creative writing workshop series, unlike my other workshops/courses which do have minimum participation, at least for this year, I have committed to pressing on if even one person is interested. So, pressing on.

The evaluation forms have also given participants the option of selecting from a list what aspect of writing they’d like to see tackled next. This doesn’t mean I’ll tackle it next as I have to plan ahead but it does cue me as to what they’re interested in tackling, and cues them to my interest in serving their writing (from a customer service and sales standpoint, this is about keeping them interested by indicating that I’m open to hearing and interested in delivering what they say they need).

So that’s my report on the Jhohadli Writing Project Creative Writing Workshop series 2018. It takes place on Saturdays for an hour and a half (2:30 – 4 p.m.) at the Best of Books here in Antigua and Barbuda. If you’re interested but can’t attend, I provide the kit and session notes, and do written edits and critiques of written assignments for remote participants, so that you get the full – just not the live – experience, on your time. This applies to interested persons in Antigua-Barbuda and abroad. There are two Saturdays of the current series left and I expect to begin the next sessions RIGHT AFTER.

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Those sessions, I believe, will be taking us Back to Basics for some FUNdamentals. If you think this is an area in which you could stand to get some practice or if you just want to get in to the habit of writing or to be in a space where you can create (some you-time), or if you have a work in progress you’d like to get some movement on, this series might be of value to you. Going Back to Basics is also designed to pull in new participants as it opens a doorway for those intimidated by the writing process or hesitant about getting started. It’s open to adults though older teens are also welcomed. Contact me at jhohadli at gmail dot com for information or to register.

As with all content on Wadadli Pen, except otherwise noted, this is written by Antiguan and Barbudan writer Joanne C. Hillhouse (author of The Boy from Willow Bend, Dancing Nude in the Moonlight, Oh Gad!, Musical Youth, Dancing Nude in the Moonlight 10th Anniversary Edition and Other Writings, With Grace, and Lost! A Caribbean Sea Adventure; also a freelance writer, editor, writing coach and workshop facilitator). If you like the content here follow or recommend the blog, also, check out my page on Amazon, WordPress, and/or Facebook, and help spread the word about Wadadli Pen and my books. Thank you.

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Environmental Justice as a Civil Right

Things book and things Antiguan and Barbudan ping my radar so my radar went ping ping when I came across Environmental Justice as a Civil Right. I reached out to one of the listed contributors for information.

“…unclear…is it a book? A magazine? What is it exactly and where is it available for what purpose?  Who published it, when, where? I hadn’t heard about it so I’m curious… I thought if it was a book-book I’d add it to the bibliography I maintain on the Wadadli Pen blog.”

“Its a book book…but one of those that are collections of written works…Its called National Pavilion of Antigua and Barbuda Environmental Justice as a Civil Right…I think the best way to describe it is a written exhibition.”

I did some more research then sat on it for a while trying to figure out how to share it in this space. As a written exhibition, it didn’t seem appropriate for the Antiguan and Barbudan Writings page. At the same time it was a publication … of sorts. I’m still a bit unclar and plenty undecided but it is a thing Antiguan and Barbudan and literary so I’m sharing it in its own post.

On the project’s facebook page entitled Antigua Barbuda Venice, it’s described as “an investigation into the acute crisis of climate change facing this island nation, cutting edge sustainability and unique partnerships are explored in rebuilding Barbuda, expanding the Botanical Gardens, and the Government House Restoration Initiative, included in the 2018 World Monuments Fund Watch.”

The Antigua Barbuda Venice web page, meanwhile, further explains that Environmental Justice as a Civil Right is the focus (?) of the ‘Pavilion of Antigua and Barbuda At the 16th International Architecture Exhibition La Biennale di Venezia’. Quoting from the statement/explanation related to this: “Following the theme of FREESPACE, Antigua and Barbuda’s inaugural National Pavillion for La Biennale Architectura explores environmental justice as a civil right. As an investigation into the acute crisis of climate change facing this island nation, cutting edge sustainability and unique partnerships are explored in the rebuilding of Barbuda, expanding the Botanical Gardens, and the restoration of Government House, included in the World Monuments Fund Watch 2018. Video excerpts of conversations among high school students from the islands of Antigua, Barbuda, New York City, and Venice are uploaded to our National Pavilion, culminating in a robust youth presentation regarding Mother Nature vs. Human Intervention.”

I’m sharing this in part because it’s odd to me that I haven’t read about it in local media – but perhaps I missed it (no snark; that’s possible). One of the reasons this is confusing to me, though, is the use of the word inaugural since Antigua and Barbuda’s participation in La Biennale di Venezia in 2017 was covered here on the site. I truly wish that there was more coverage here at home so this could be clearer to me and I wish I had time to do proper reporting on this but alas, but I’m happy to pass on the information albeit with some cloudiness.

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Storm in a Blue Sky by Frank Walter/https://www.antiguabarbudavenice.com

The project includes the art work of Frank Walter who was the focus of our participation last year – there’s a book, a collection of his work, an epic size collection that you can actually flip through if you have some time at the Best of Books. Barbara Paca seems to be the one behind the book and our participation in these biennales. In terms of the contributors and collaborators, it really is too numerous to mention though they are all listed on the website. This runs to November 28th…so if you happen to be in Italy.

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 10th Anniversary Edition and Other Writings, Musical Youth, With Grace, Lost! A Caribbean Sea Adventure, 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, my books, and my freelance writing-editing-coaching-workshop services. You can also subscribe to the site to keep up with future updates. Thanks.

 

 

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A & B Arts Round-up – September 22nd 2018 –>

Recurring and ongoing – Joanne C. Hillhouse’s Jhohadli Writing Project Creative Writing Workshop Series – in four week cycles. For information on this and other JWP workshops and/or individual coaching (creative writing, writing for media, written communication, coaching, and more) go here  or email jhohadli at gmail dot com

October –

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September 23rd 2018 – Let’s Paint Antigua – 2:30 p.m. – here’s a link to their facebook page for more information41719330_2271040146244890_5343970705375494144_n

As with all content on Wadadli Pen, except otherwise noted, this is written by Antiguan and Barbudan writer Joanne C. Hillhouse (author of The Boy from Willow Bend, Dancing Nude in the Moonlight, Oh Gad!, Musical Youth, Dancing Nude in the Moonlight 10th Anniversary Edition and Other Writings, With Grace, and Lost! A Caribbean Sea Adventure; also a freelance writer, editor, writing coach and workshop facilitator). If you like the content here follow or recommend the blog, also, check out my page on Amazon, WordPress, and/or Facebook, and help spread the word about Wadadli Pen and my books. Thank you.

 

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Lit News (Whaaaat!)

I got an invite to the Miami Book Fair. Big up to Lost! A Caribbean Sea Adventure Lost Cover Front 4which landed me a spot on the ReadCaribbean Presents Adventures for Kids panel. Grateful for the opportunities #TheWritingLife affords me now and again to go somewhere and talk about my books and share the worlds and characters I’ve ‘created’. Plus my life (both my actual life and my writing life) could use this little reprieve right about now; so I look forward to being there.

There is Children’s Alley at the Miami Book Fair on November 18th at 4 p.m. I’ll be sharing the stage with Trini-American Marjuan Canady (Callaloo: The Trickster and the Magic Quilt), Jamaican Paula-Anne Porter Jones (Sandy, Tosh and the Moo Cow), and Haitian-American Francie Latour (Auntie Luce’s Talking Paintings).

My book is, of course, Lost! A Caribbean Sea Adventure. If you’re in the Miami area (and especially if you hail from Antigua and Barbuda), I’ll be looking out for you.

Shout out to Caribbean Reads Publishing, the Caribbean/US indie which has published not only Lost! but Musical Youth. And shout out to the organizers of the MBF; looking forward to it.

***

Also, be sure to check out Antigua and Barbuda’s own Asher Otto jamming with international star Joss Stone on a beach. I write all about it (my love of Joss’ series and Asha’s music) in CREATIVE SPACE 11 – be sure to check it out – and anyone out there wanting to sponsor a future CREATIVE SPACE post, contact me at jhohadli at gmail dot com

Annnd shout out to Kimolisa Mings on her new book Into the Black Widow’s Web.41688072_10155549848492633_5636677081694732288_n I’ll be adding it to the Antigua and Barbuda bibliography here on the site as soon as I can. Meanwhile don’t sleep on it. Still forthcoming, I believe, is another book, this one, The Flowers in her Hair, by Linisa George39861953_691690201194663_8050367295236603904_n; so keep an eye  out for that. Already here, shout out to the Barbudan sister, is Asha Frank’s Dreamland Barbuda. Asha was scheduled to be a panelist at the Brooklyn Book Fair (a panel called Force of Nature – Writing a Hurricane) earlier in September and her book is on local bookshelvesAsha; check it out. Also a New Daughters of Africa is cominguntitled…and I have some news about that but for now that’s all the tease you get.

Finally, a reminder to check out the updates in Reading Room 30, Opportunities Too, Antiguan and Barbudan Writing, and Writing Antigua Barbuda ; and remember Support the Arts and, it should go without saying but sadly needs to be said, PAY ARTISTS!

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, Oh Gad!, Lost! A Caribbean Sea Adventure, Musical Youth and With Grace). 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.

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Antiguan and Barbudan Authors in New Photography Book: Author

You might be interested to know that three Antiguans-Barbudans are included among the 200 images in the new book Author: the Portraits of Beowulf Sheehan.

This collection features multi-award winning, critically acclaimed darlings (Salman Rushdie who also wrote the book’s foreword, Toni Morrison, Margaret Atwood whose Handmaid’s Tale is itself currently an award winning, critically acclaimed darling, Jonathan Franzen, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Jamaica’s own Marlon James, Claudia Rankine, and Ishion Hutchinson, Wole Soyinka, Jacqueline Woodson, Colson Whitehead), commercially successful heavyweights (David Baldacci, J. K. Rowling whose Harry Potter series is its own sub-industry, Neil Gaiman, Walter Mosely, John Irving, Irvine Welsh), authors known for pushing the conversation forward (Noam Chomsky, Malcolm Gladwell, Gloria Steinem, Charles M. Blow, Masha Gessen, Roxane Gay), authors of note who have passed to the after life (E. L. Doctorow, Chinua Achebe, Edward Albee), the uncategorizable (John Lewis, Joe Biden), and (for me) personal favourites (Tayari Jones, Edwidge Dandicat).

Author

The three Antiguan and Barbudan authors are Jamaica Kincaid (born Elaine Potter Richardson in Antigua, now US based and one of the most celebrated authors out of the Caribbean) – author of At the Bottom of the River, Annie John, Annie Gwen Lilly Pam and Tulip, A Small Place, Lucy, The Autobiography of My Mother, My Brother, Mr. Potter, My Garden Book, Among Flowers: A Walk in the Himalayas, See Now Then; Rowan Ricardo Phillips (who is technically American of Antiguan-Barbudan descent, which counts in my view) – author of The Ground, Heaven, When Blackness Rhymes with Blackness, The Circuit: a Tennis Odyssey, and a translation of Ariadne in the Grotesque Labyrinth; and (yours truly) 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.

I don’t have the images but I can try to describe them – Ricardo Phillips, for instance, is wearing a blue striped suit and lying on his stomach, legs crossed and raised behind him so that his soles are in view, posed with a book – Lustra by Ezra Pound; Ms. Kincaid is in close up, wearing black on black, red lipstick, one of her signature head scarves, eyes meeting the camera head-on; while my (JCH) eyes are closed, face – and mouth- open in laughter, with red hair and zebra stripes. My picture was not a posed or commissioned portrait so much as a candid in the green room of the Westbeth Centre, where I was in 2014 for a reading as part of the PEN World Voices Festivals’ Literary Safari.

I got a copy in the mail just last week and have been reading it over the weekend. The author shares his stories of how some of his photographs were made and a bit of his own journey as a photographer – in the introduction. The stories make me curious to go back and read what he said about each photo. That’s Donna Tartt on the cover by the way, author of The Goldfinch and The Secret History, whom he asked for her poise and grace but by his own words didn’t really need to since she brought it. Wild to be in this collection with so many lions of literature; humbled to be in their company.

A couple of launches are scheduled for New York in the fall. Visit the photographer’s page for details.

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, Oh Gad!, Lost! A Caribbean Sea Adventure, Musical Youth and With Grace). 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.

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Random Lit Trivia

author of our nig

This one took me back to my university days. See, I studied the book Our Nig: Sketches from the Life of a Free Black, published anonymously, back in my uni days. Well, this picture of the actual author showed up in my inbox this week via the LitHub newsletter. So, I decided to share. This is Harriet E. Wilson who published Our Nig (a harrowing book as I remember it) in September 5th In 1859. “The novel was discovered in 1982 by Henry Louis Gates, Jr., who documented it as the first African-American novel published in the United States.” (via LitHub)

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, Oh Gad!, Lost! A Caribbean Sea Adventure, Musical Youth and With Grace). 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.

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F is for Friday

Trying out Nomadic World’s F is for Friday meme for the first time.

To participate, apparently, I need to do the following.

F – Feature your latest book obsession (it doesn’t have to be your current read)
I – Indicate which book/s you are looking forward to reading this weekend.
F – Favorite quote of the week/day
F – Five things you’re happy or grateful for this week.

Here goes.

F – Feature your latest book obsession (it doesn’t have to be your current read)

Today while waiting for the bus I read all of Lawrence Jardine’s contribution to the 2018 Antigua and Barbuda Review of Books – Wanted: Offspring, Talent, Inheritance and Assets Management – and I found myself engaging with it and wishing to share it here. So, I’m going to reach out to the author for permission to … share it here. As with the Antigua Conference itself during which the Review is launched, I wonder if the people who do need to read it (the people in a position to act on its challenge) ever will. I started reading Paget Henry’s Entrepreneurial Socialism Vs Pragmatism: Reflections on the 2018 Elections in Antigua and Barbuda. Interesting so far. The Review started off slow for me, I admit, but six articles in I’m finally engaged. Did it have anything to do with the fact that article four was Joanne Hillhouse’s Iconic Stance Through Her Works by Valerie Knowles Combie (click the link to read)? Well I wasn’t uninterested in that but  reading about yourself is always kind of weird and disorienting so not as much as you might think.

I – Indicate which book/s you are looking forward to reading this weekend.

Well, the Review aside, my active reading pile has been mostly untouched all week. It’s been that kind of week. Plus I expect to re-start my Jhohadli Writing Project workshop September 2018 bthis weekend so I’ll need to re-read the stories I’ve selected for the workshop. Besides that I’m hoping to finish the Review and possibly Faye Kellerman’s Straight into Darkness. It’s been long enough and it really is an engaging mystery.

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F – Favorite quote of the week/day

I don’t know if this is my favourite quote but reading the photography book Hidden Secrets of St. Croix by Clarice Clarke (review to be added to the Blogger on Books series on my other blog soon), this was something that jumped out at me:

“On July 2nd 1848, enslaved Africans assembled at La Grange and other plantations. On July 3rd 1848, they gathered in Fredriksted and demanded their freedom. Fearing the destruction of the towns and plantations, Governor General Peter Von Scholten proclaimed emancipation. After the enslaved Africans were freed Budhoe (leader of the action taken by the enslaved Africans) was jailed and then sent to Trinidad…Emancipation, however, did not live up to the freed slaves’ expectations. Low wages, restrictive labor laws and regulations kept workers in unending servitude. In October of 1878, their dissatisfaction erupted in what is known as the ‘1878 fireburn.’” (pgs. 87-88)

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F – Five things you’re happy or grateful for this week.

Keeping it books, I’m going to share 8 books I revisited this week courtesy of the Seven Book Covers Challenge on facebook. Check them out.

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Yes, the week was trying, but I definitely had fun with this one. Beyond that grateful to be a writer journeying (see recent developments in the journey here) and hope to continue to be so. And for the view outside my window today. You know somedays you look up and the thing that’s always there suddenly looks so beautiful to you, well that was the green hills dotted with houses of various colours sitting there like a framed picture beyond my window. How many does that leave? beer and pizza and good conversation with not one but both of my sibs. Oh and mischievous monkeys.

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, Oh Gad!, Lost! A Caribbean Sea Adventure, Musical Youth and With Grace). 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.

 

 

 

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