Category Archives: Memoir

The Importance of Real Native Stories: “Don’t Let the Sun Step Over You”-Eva Tulene Watt/Ken Basso

a sstepRe-reading “Don’t Let the Sun Step Over You“, the collected stories by Eva Tulene Watt assisted by Keith Basso made me write my mother and say, “Tell me a story”…and she did. She did, and it was good! If you’ve read the work, you’ll know why I add emphasis just so in the previous sentence. And why I wanted to hear from my mother about our people, our cousins, our family, about the past that touches the present and the future. The stories she was told or the things she observed.

Re-reading “Don’t Let the Sun Step Over You” made me want to hear songs. Made me want to hear songs I’d never heard before in this life and songs I already knew. One of them was “I’ve Been Around”, a popular Apache song that somehow voices all those stories of the hardworking, big-hearted, fierce, gentle, humorous, resilient, pragmatic, whimsical and wise Apache. “They’re always walking, walking, going around and doing things. They worked hard!”
I hear my ggrandmother’s voice again, and the stories she told and tried to tell us even when we weren’t listening, only halfway or transfixed cause they seemed light, even funny, but were deep. Stories when she was cooking or cleaning or working or chasing us (me!) with a switch when I had done something she directly told me not to do but I did it anyway because I was stubborn and/or curious.

Stories tell you why you should do things or why not to do other things. They give you purpose. They give you hope. They help you remember why you’re here now, right this very minute and not just what our ancestors endured. Stories help explain why they are important, to be kept, and remembered so our children understand and know. Some stories are shared with non-family, not-of our People, but others are special. Knowing them helps you understand why we defend them and how when someone copies you, culturally appropriates, or takes and changes your stories into their fantasies, these critically important parts of your culture and identity, it is beyond offensive but also really hurtful. Painful. That they do not care, that they make excuses, rationalize or say its just “fantasy” or “honoring” you is even worse. It’s terrible for native identities and cultures. Continue reading

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Filed under History, Memoir, Native American, Non-Fiction, Writers and Writing

Celebrating 4 Years at Smashwords: Free Books in July

newlogoSMCelebrating 4 years at Smashwords starting July 1st: free e-books for the entire month from our writer cooperative and multi-media entity: Flying With Red Haircrow. These include award winning titles, “The Agony of Joy”, and “Silence Is Multi-Colored In My World”.

Please read more at one of our author’s websites:


Rainbow Warriors http://cherylheadford.blogspot.co.uk/2014/06/happy-birthday-flying-with-red-haircrow.html

Nephy’s World http://nephylim-author.blogspot.co.uk/2014/06/happy-birthday-flying-with-redhaircrow.html

 

Book Links

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Filed under Announcements, Books, Contest/Giveaway, Gay Fiction, Gay Interest, Giveaways, GLBTIIQ Interest, Memoir, Writers and Writing

Interview: Jennifer Cie, Author of “Burn It”, A Memoir Publishing July 29th!

Burn It Cover

Description: “I am the ring-less, “I don’t know what I want to do with my life, drinking too hard to be anyone’s role model, not going to judge you when you order a Diet Coke to go with two days worth of food, let me console you with my embarrassing attempts at love” friend sitting on the third row at weddings.’

Today, Jennifer Cie is being honest. There is no politically correct rhetoric slipping off her tongue as she admits to being an “underemployed, twenty-something-looking-for-

answers mess”. With wit wrapped in pockets of sarcasm, gripping honesty, and unabridged memories, the reader is taken on a ride through her trials in youth, love, and death in a quest to find out the answer to the root of one question:I wonder what happens after I get too old for people to accept my half-hearted apologies and “I’m doing the best I can” tears. What happens after I’ve been defeated by my first handful of woeful post-grad experiences and move back into my parent’s house indefinitely? What happens when I get tired of sitting in the state unemployment office from eight-thirty to eleven, reading rejection letters from noon to five, and writing depressing blog posts that no one will ever read from seven to two in the morning?”

Jennifer Cie

INTERVIEW

What genre(s) do you write? Why do you write the stories that you write?

Currently, I go back and forth between creative non-fiction and fiction, but I would say fiction is my passion… I think the stories I write are  reflections of  how I feel about the world in a social sense, and, sometimes (in the case of Memphis Rain) that leads to a bit of socio-economic commentary. In all honesty, I love creating characters. I love being able to throw my imagination on the page.

Do you listen to music or have any forms of inspiration when writing?

I definitely listen to music when I’m writing non-fiction, it clashes with my thought process and helps me to take things lightly. I try to keep myself balanced when I’m wading in non-fiction; it’s easy to forget that your not writing in a diary. Fiction is a whole other thing. Sometimes there is  music, but normally I go to coffee shops and libraries to soak up the background noises.

When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?

I think it just happened on accident. I always wanted to be a poet, and, as I got older and learned different techniques creative writing really spoke to me. The way you can use a comma to twist the mood of situation or evoke the feeling of drowning–I saw that and thought , “yeah, that’s what I want to do”. Now, here I am.

Who or what was your inspiration for writing?

My mum was always pushing us to figure out what we wanted and to work to be great at it. Writing has always made me happy. The journey to get better, and one day be great is definitely my inspiration to write.

What do you like to do when you’re not writing?

I am actually quite the mediocre tennis player haha. I love going to the courts and trying to take people on. The intensity of working to get a winning angle on a shot, and learning someones style of play is thrilling for me.  It’s also great for stress when you’re playing with someone that challenges you to hit them with the ball…

Where are from originally?

I am from South. I was born and aside from some time in Germany and Missouri, raised in Memphis, TN.

Where do you hang out online? Website URL, author groups, MySpace, Facebook, Twitter, blog, etc?

You can catch me ranting about things and going through the writing process on my blog: journeytopaperback.blogspot. com. I’m not interesting enoguh for twitter but feel free to shoot me an email at journeytopaperback@gmail.com

What books are currently on your nightstand?

Right now? I actually just picked up Waiting by Ha Jin.

What would you like readers to know about you the individual?

Truthfully, I’m just like you. I’m still trying to figure out who Jennifer Cie is. I like what I’ve seen so far though.

Name one thing that your readers would be surprised to know about you.

Most of work is written by hand before it ever hits the keyboard. I’m not sure why, but I love writing things out first. It was a real killer in school when I was writing research papers.

What was the most uplifting moment you’ve experienced in your writing career.

Honestly, I have quite a few of those every year, but I think after printed of my first book for editing at a FedEx Kinkos I felt complete. I knew I had done something no one could take away, that day was honestly a top moment in my life.

Your book is about to be sent into the reader world, what is one word that describes how you feel?

 Exhausted. I am so nervous that I am exhausted.

Are you nervous about how readers will react to it?

Absolutely! Anytime I’ve written creative non-fiction I’ve had fluttering bear claws in my stomach. I am always afraid that who I am won’t come across the page. With Burn It being a memoir everything is twice as intense.  It’s exciting though.

So, what can we expect in the coming months?

Expect the release of Burn It in print and digital form on July 29th! Expect me to blow out a sigh of relief on the 29th and to get to work on a historical fiction piece I’m excited to dive into writing. I hope you guys are around to see it! Thank you so much for having me today!

Blurb: “With the rest of her life ahead of her, Jennifer Cie, is taking a step back. As she reflects on what was once next, Jennifer dives into the past, finding mortality in no longer remembering how magical the world felt as a child, apologizing for the moment she realized she could not be her Prince Charming’s Cinderella, and lamenting the idea that in death people forget “there doesn’t have to be a dead boy in the room.” A collection of “what I wish someone would’ve told me” narratives exploring youth, love, and death, the reader is taken on a riveting ride through Jennifer Cie’s past as she accepts the present.”

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Filed under Announcements, Books, Interviews, Memoir, Non-Fiction, Writers and Writing

Sons of Suicide by Dan Andrews

page00011Review: Reviewing a memoir can sometimes be more difficult as it’s a person’s life, at least from their perspective. By nature and subject matter, memoirs can be intensely personal as you learn their thoughts, history, etc. as well as how they interacted with or observed others. With memoirs, you are not only revealing aspects of yourself but also those of other people, and that’s where I had a problem with Sons of Suicide.

As a person with painful personal history that is in the process of writing my own memoir, but more specifically as a psychological counselor now, I know that the after-effects of traumatic events can be affective one’s whole life. Those can take a number of forms, as coping mechanisms develop: these vary from person to person. Throughout this work I felt a sense of trying to make themselves look good at the expense of or in comparison to their brother. I don’t question revealing some things as facts, or events that happened, but just as that, so the reader can make their own decisions. Not having a judgement presented to them.

Although having an intriguing and sobering opening scene that sets the tone for the terrible tragedy endured and times of enjoyability when reading, the almost adolescently egocentric streak throughout of not thinking of the consequences of basically slamming their brother and pointedly showcasing how good they’ve adapted themselves really spoiled this memoir for me. Also, personally and professionally, I couldn’t help be aware of the possibilities of the manner in which this story was delivered could affect that relationship. A very good description but the memoir didn’t deliver that for me.

Description: At eleven, Dan Andrews was abandoned by his Mother. Fatefully, she made the timeless drive down Lake Shore Drive in downtown Chicago, parked her car alongside Buckingham Fountain, and, after sitting and smoking a few last cigarettes, drowned herself in Lake Michigan.

His Mother’s grave decision has given Andrews the ability to perceive and contemplate loss in a way not written about in recent history. Shared with brutal vulnerability and skill, sprinkled with humor and sexuality, Sons of Suicide masterfully entertains and enlightens the reader— serving as a catharsis to the feeling of loss, a feeling to which all humans relate.

NOTE: The author, Dan Andrews, has pledged for every copy of Sons of Suicide that is sold, one dollar out of his personal royalty will be donated to The Will To Live Foundation click for more information about this wonderful organization that is spreading awareness and helping with the teen suicide epidemic. Purchase today to help put an end to suicide.

  • Published: Nov. 27, 2012
  • Publisher: Broken Glass Publishing LLC
  • ISBN 0615729118
  • ISBN13: 9780615729114
  • Available: Amazon
  • Website: http://www.sonsofsuicide.com/
  • Source: Author

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Filed under Books, Memoir, Non-Fiction, Reviews

Book Trailer for “Silence Is Multi-Colored In My World”

The video description of a biography written in memoir style of a courageous young deaf man, the compilations of notes, journal entries and essays, as well as my observations of a person I felt the personification of beautiful. Of the ability to create light from darkness, joy from pain. For more details, description and an excerpt, please visit its page on GLBT Bookshelf, Silence, and for a great review of the work at The LL Book Review.

I first heard the song “Midnight” by Minako Obata, when it was the end theme of an episode of the anime, “Black Lagoon.” I was riveted in place, and found it unforgettable, just like G.Y.S. The acapella arrangement is lovely, haunting, with a bittersweet sadness that also reminds me of him. He couldn’t have heard it, but he could have felt it.

As  I wrote in more detail in my previous author’s note: “He lived most of his life in or near Berlin in Germany. Whether by train, bus or foot sometimes when I am wandering through the countryside or city, through the many parks or shopping arcades filled with people and I happen to see a tall, slim person with long reddish hair: I have a little pain inside me.

It stops me in place because I think of him. If the person is moving away from me, sometimes I wish it were him somehow, still alive, still touchable in the physical sense. I want to imagine he is alive and loved by someone even if it is not myself, he, my special phantom of the city. It is hard to accept sometimes that so vibrant a soul is now gone from this world, but I believe I will see him again one day.”

This photo used in my video is one I took at Scharmützelsee, where he also used to walk, as I still do as often as possible. Other photo journals I’ve made in Germany can be found in this entry on Songs of the Universal Vagabond.

Lyrics:

“Someday I want to run away
To the world of midnight
Where the darkness fill the air
Where it’s icy cold

Where nobody has a name
Where living is not a game
There, I can hide my broken heart
Dying to survive

There, no one can see me cry
The tears of my lonely soul
I’ll find peace of mind
In the dark and cold world of midnight.”

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Filed under biography, Book Trailers, Books, Gay Interest, Memoir, Non-Fiction