Featured Post

w o r l d

Pssssssst! I have a secret to share.... There is nothing wrong with your world. Fix the vibration. l o v e

a good word revolution

From our vantage point, one positive word can make all the difference in the world. One positive view possesses the power to transform. It is our forever hope that among the thousands of words we illuminate, one will resonate and shift the vantage point of the receiver to a view of the world that vaporizes for at least a brief moment any and all negative emotion they ever could have visualized. l o V e!

Search This Blog

Monday, November 25, 2019

A Classroom’s Q&A about DIRT I




Q: Did you like writing in school? Why?

A: As a child, it is rumored that I always carried paper and pen. I don’t remember writing in elementary school, even though it is where I published my first poem. It was a Valentine’s poem for the school newspaper. I remember even less about writing in middle school, but in high school, I remember loving writing a lot.



Q: What inspired you to write this book?

A: A few things all at once: hearing a public radio show on slavery, meeting my students who “HATED” reading, and attending family reunions.


Q: If you were the boy in the book, what would you do and why?

A: There will be no spoilers here. I would do what Washington did.


Q: What would you do if that actually happened to your son?

A: Still no spoilers. I would be thrilled for my son.


Q: Why did you decide to write about DIRT? It is my favorite book. Is Washington a real person?

A: THANK YOU! Dirt is everywhere. There is no shortage of supply. I thought it would be a perfect technology. Washington is a fake character that might be a mish-mash of my son and others I have met.

Q: How did you make the book realistic?

A: By describing real life in the words.


Q: How long did it take to make the book?

A: The book started as a workshopped short story and ended eight years later as a part of my graduate thesis at Seton Hill University.

Hear DIRT

Read DIRT

Love

Saturday, September 28, 2019

Hello, Love!

Teffanie Thompson grew up in Killeen, Texas. Today she stays part-time in St. Lucia with her organic farming husband. In Midland, Texas, she directed a public charter high school. A Master's graduate of Seton Hill University's Writing Popular Fiction program, Teffanie has written several stories for children, teens, and ballerinas.

DIRT - Winner: Best YA, 2016 African-American Literary Awards held at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, New York Public Library. Teffanie upon invitation attended the 2018 Sharjah Children's Reading Festival in Dubai, UAE.

Love

Thursday, May 30, 2019

get up, s u n

Sun wants to dream late.

{They} are a bit of a sleepy head.

{They} have to rise, to pluck the day.

#

Cackle google doo, cockle google dee.

Get up, Sun!

Before day peep, tiny white moth flitters float the moon.

Barking dogs keep stars shining.

#

Prime Minister, the rooster, starts the wave. With his scratchy yell, he screams,

“Cackle google doo, cockle google dee

Get up, Sun!”

#

Sun stays sleep.

#

Next rooster down the way, P. Miller, crows along.

“Cackle google doo, cockle google dee

Get up, Sun!”

#

Sun stays put.

#

Just over the river, a sky-blue crack splits open the black-black night.

Clouds race through.

Pinks, oranges, purples, and blues flood the air.

Light pours over and around buildings.

#

Still no Sun.

Sun still has not moved.

Oh, Sun.

#

Now rooster, Andrew Martin, joins. He breathes in a very big breath.

“Cackle google doo, cockle google dee.

Get up, Sun!”

#

“Cackle google doo, cockle google dee.

Get up, Sun!”

#

Way out East, Sun stretches golden rays over the land.

Yellow ball lifts high like a yellow balloon.

It smells of dawn.

#

Sun is up. Sun is up. Sun is up.

#

Roosters dance.

Wings shuffle, clap, flap.

Sun streaks again.

#

Roosters sing.

Cackle google doo, cockle google dee.

#

Cackle google doo, cockle google dee.

New, new day.
photo credit: iwhite

Thursday, January 17, 2019

Life in Pink or Desperate Sitches




Doesn’t everyone l o v e Edith Piaf?
Just finished today’s five minute French Duolingo session.  

A few weeks back I travelled to the French island of Martinique. After being there for only forty-five minutes, I remembered I already knew French, A LOT of French from a long time ago. I lived in Paris more than twenty years ago… maybe from longer longer ago? In my mind I knew French, like when you see someone that you know you have met somewhere before. You know you know them. I knew French like that.

I had worked as an au pair, so my l e v e l of French sounded more like third grader French. Like Tu veux ma photo French? This happens to be the English equivalent of take a picture it will last longer.

Even when I lived in France, French was something I felt I knew in an intimate sort of way. I’ve only had one proper French classroom semester in the seventh grade, when they made us take foreign l a n g u a g e, and we studied Spanish for one Semester, and French for the other. I remember my teacher, Mrs. Finnen, but don’t remember the l e s s o n s so much. Maybe Francais comes with such ease because of the Latin I learned for several years during high school from Mrs. Wray. 

Salve Magistra!

It’s more intimate – it’s more inside of me. It’s more mother tongue, like motherese. Kay told me that I once was a Caribbean slave. Like that, like genetically, or previously coded. This is my s p e a k. So, I travelled to Martinique, and remembered for the third or fourth time this lifetime that I needed to learn one of my native languages – French.

Sweetness and I took a quick jaunt to this neighboring island. We stepped off the f e r r y in Fort De France to get our bearings and straight into a possible iguanas’ lair. On our little side street, we saw at least three too large lizards.

Bienvenue.

“To speak a language is to take on a world, a culture.” Frantz Fanon

This birth place of Frantz had streets and a vibe named after him to evidence the connection. 

We marched in the same direction with this uhdorable elder from Trinidad. She came over only to “shop” for the day. She lived on this island many years ago and got work in hotels with her impeccable English.

When she referred to those many years ago, she looked wistful and glossy eyed like Joe sitting in therapy with Dr. Nicky talking about Beck in the Netflix creepy original, You. I wanted to imagine that Ms. Elder Trini was obsessively stalking a past lover to have a cup of tea before a possible rekindling rendez vous. All – “ Voulez vous coucher avec moi ce soir?”

She had all the spirit that I wanted to have in my 80s. I didn’t know if we asked her, or whether she invited herself, but the three of us ate breakfast baguettes in the f a b u l o u s diner, Le 62 at 62 Avenue des Caraibes. 

The language trigger happened. I couldn’t make myself stop spouting my rusty ass 20-year-old French. Like a cartoon character, I wanted to slap my own hand over my mouth, to stop the broken French from seeping out. If our Lady Marmalade meal companion had been 20 years younger we would have exchanged social media information, but we Frenchie French on both cheeks s m o o c h e d her an au revoir. 

We stumbled toward the Schoelcher Library (Bibliothѐque Schoelcher) on Rue Victor Sévѐre. Because well it’s a library, and uh free Wi-Fi. They named the library after Victor Schoelcher, a French writer, that worked tirelessly to rid the Caribbean of slavery.
In the library, I asked for directions to the Aimѐ Césaire exhibit. Of English and of French, a lady with a Blaxploitation sized afro gave us directions. Oh, BTW, Martinique houses some flyed out magnificent hair. Had me considering a big chop. 

We started our trek. Sweetness realized I didn’t have an itinerary. Uh-oh. I had downloaded a GPSmycity on Martinique, and read exactly two blogs, but nothing really thought out. We wandered around the bubbling city of Fort Du France, that sleepishly awakened for the day. We carried our bags that weighed more each second. 
We f o u n d the Hotel De Ville and chopped it up with cute curators. Césaire’s poem, Notebook of a Return to the Native Land on the steps toward his office touched my s o u l. We rode a boat to our side of town, Les Trois-Ilets. 

We stashed our luggage, grabbed our turquoise beach wristbands, and called our cab to my one plan planned destination. Anse Cafard. I don’t want to write about Anse Cafard… yet. Not here. One does not just mention Anse Cafard in a blog, one writes an entire blog, or story, or novel dedicated to it or not at all. The taxi tour was mystical and magical. 

We chaise lounged on the crowded holiday beach for quite a while. We dressed fancy for dinner to eat pizza at Hasta La Pizza. We took a morning coffee at a spot in the Village Creole called Ice N Coffee after walking in the rain. Even the rain. So much like France. We spent more time resting on the beach, and I snorkeled. We water taxied back from Les Trois-Ilets and people watched in the square and watched people pile from cruise ships.

Then I saw what I didn’t know that I had really come to see. We passed her on our way returning to port. 

In La Savane Park stood a statue of Empress Josephine, Napoleon Bonaparte’s first wife. She was born in Martinique. More than twenty years ago this art form had been enhanced – decapitated. I can’t really say defaced as there lacked a head and a face, but defaced, nonetheless. It was striking. Purpose filled brokenness.  A loud quiet. Or what Sal called a desperate situation.

I always believed that the Caribbean spirit had been more fire, more able to stand up to overthrow – like Toussaint, more able to cull writerly leaders – like Cesaire or Garvey and more able to create independent thinkers in the midst of oppression and chaos swirling around humanity – like Fanon. 

You know? Like Peter Tosh publishing and singing the lyrics to Equal Rights in the seventies.

How much Martinique reminded me of France made me uneasy. It was as if we were actually in France. It was like telling me there was no Black Santa. Martinique didn’t seem to own any underlying resistance. I thought it smelled like Octavia Butler’s Lillith’s compliant complicity. Maybe that’s what it was, how it had to be. I thought I would see more of Ye’s it’s all a choice mentality. 

And there it was. It WAS there in her. I needed to see her, Empress Josephine. She quelled my growing disenchantment. In the middle of the town square, unfixed and unphased, a “resister” (I’m reading Adulthood Rites Book Two of The Xenogenesis Trilogy by Butler) had spray painted in an angry red over the word colony and affixed a question mark next to it. 

Colony? 
Like I got your colony, Boo. 
As I had hoped. 
Listening to Lana Del Rey “Hope is a dangerous thing for a woman like me to Have.”

À demain.

love




Monday, December 31, 2018

Oh, Places to Write A-Z

I'm writing in 2019! Where creates you?
I'm writing here, there, and everywhere. E is for Everywhere
Airplanes

Bookstores

Campagne

Dungeon

Everywhere

Forest

Garden

Home

Inside

Jungle

Kitchen

Library

Mountain

Nap

Online

Pub
Quietude

Retreat

Sprints

Tea House

Underwater

Vacation

Walking

Xeriscape

Yard

Zoo

love

Thursday, September 14, 2017

FABULOUS Steven Tyler Love

Speaking of Janet, Funny. How. Time. Flies. When. You're. Having. Fun. 

Très vite, y'all!!???

Have you heard the story about how I tripped out, and actually tripped, and nearly fell when I saw THE Steven Tyler in a Dallas restaurant a couple of weeks ago? 

Farmer Guy witnessed me wobbling before he saw HIM, and asked me what happened. 

Cool as this wind right now, Steven Tyler said, "I think she just fell for me."

Yep, that happened. Tyler definitely has "Soul Glow". We claim him, right??!!

Afterward, we spun around downtown D in the whip, AKA, Farm Truck, blasting Coltrane with the fabulous Derrick Barnes celebrating Crown reviews. His forthcoming release from Denene Millner Books and Agate Publishing, CROWN: An Ode To The Fresh Cut (October 10, 2017).

This ALL happened only hours after ME being on the same program, and in the same building as SONIA SANCHEZ at the Tulisoma Bookfair. 

Thank you, Patrick. 

Fabulism meets mystical magical - hashtag my life. 

These storms have my locks perpetually EXTRA knotted up. And the moon that looks like fire, and the fires. All of it reminds me of that one YA book, what was it called? Life As We Knew It by Susan Beth Pfeffer, not to be confused with It's the End of the World, by R.E.M. Did anyone else read that series?

To uncoil, I try my best to write 19:18, read The Perfect Find by the fabulous Tia Williams, and watch Ozark, but I keep being reminded of the fragility of it all. Life---what really matters? I keep returning to LOVE. That's it. I love y'all. 

254, we lost another one this week, Rest In Love, Andre. 

Love

Amarillo Love

Listening to Alicia Keys with Sweetness... Some people want it all... I stare outside of my Amarillo hotel corner room and see this #catastrophe  happening. I watch this guy struggle against gravity in snow drizzle without chains as his truck on an incline slides kiss close to another vehicle. I can't stop watching. Life, 'eh?

Do I do something?

He tries to break the inevitable with a spare tire from his bed. When his host of friends arrive, I'm giddy. Life, eh. How many of us have them?

Sometimes I get to do this. I GET to be a friend. This is my life. I get to help young people on the incline.

Tonight, I was lucky enough to be one of the #dancemoms to a national qualifying #nexstar #hiphop group!!! The other day Farmer Guy and I and a few first gen college students met at the Wagner. We saw #terrycrews live. He chatted about the 'secret' and Humor in Leadership with #jbs. "If you can reach your dreams, they aren't big enough." The other other day I witnessed super young college students receiving awards. Every day I get to be a friend to nearly 200 at risk students. Le jeune!

This is why I write. This is why we watch #13reasons which I finished last week. Same thought in #everythingeverything which #amreading now. We need our tribe, our friends in this life, eh! "Sometimes it snows in April
Sometimes I feel so bad, so bad
Sometimes I wish life was never ending
And all good things, they say, never last."
-Prince

From my window, I watched them work their friend out of a conundrum. It's snowing in April in Texas. Music swirls from the Bodega across the way. Manchild released a new track over on SoundCloud. Fabulous food from Yellow City Street Food, #ycsf fills my heart. 
How can we be better friends in a codependent no more kind of way? Life, eh! Ha! Sweetness just snapped in her sleep. Eureka!

{Repost 4/30/17}

Love

Thursday, June 29, 2017

i WOODY not, if i were u

Don't mind me. Just finished S1 of the fabulous Grace & Frankie on Netflix. 

RV life is kind of a Virginia Woolf's A Room of One's Own kind of writerly dream for me. 

We rented our first RV for our first trip to b o n n a r o o. We wanted AC, a potty, a shower, and a fridge. We got a fridge. 

The crew from Woody RV Rentals LLC. in Georgetown / Hutto delivered the Voyage Winnebago to my mother's house not in the same condition of their website's YouTube video. "She" (as the delivery men referred to the vehicle) {can I insert gag noises} arrived weathered. 

 
 
So, not that! ^^^

Like it had cigarette burns in the carpet!

Anyhoo. On y va.
 
PSA: Please, friends, DO NOT rent from Woody RV Rentals LLC's without checking out their property first. 

 

After carefully covering every inch of interior cloth with Lysol, Clorox wipes, and my mother's sheets, the five of us set off on this fantastic voyage from Ktown to the infamous Roo. 

About three minutes into the trip we realized that the rear AC unit was blowing out hot air. 

Yep. That happened. 

Then the cup holder / engine cover blew off inciting Farmer Guy to fear filled cursing. 

Then we stopped for an overnight sweltering stay in Hope, Arkansas at the Wal-Mart. We had to purchase a box fan and bug spray for a noticeably growing ant infestation. 

IKR? Interesting an ant infestation in an RV that had not been rented according to Woody's in over six months. Things that make you go hmmmm.

There was this faint odor settling. It became more and more less faint as the heat from the generator continued climbing toward Hell temperatures, but more about that in bit. 

And it WILL be addressed. In the words of Big Freedia....I didn't come to play with you hoes, I came to slay..." 

But later!!!

Because well... BONNAROO!!! Happy Roo! High five to you! Happy Roo! And high five to you!!!

Hands down Manchester, Tennessee during Bonnaroo, not Disney, is the happiest place on Earth. Well, maybe not Disney during the holiday season... it's a toss-up or maybe meme chose???

We arrived after midnight, the kids immediately scurried away to behold Kevin Abstract. Farmer Guy and I adjusted to this interesting landscape--- a sea of tents   enveloped by mountains of RVs sprinkled in starlight. 

And...

After a hard night sleep with that ever growing smell, I showered. It was fabulous and it was my last. The whole shower ---door, knob, spigot, and all crumbled shortly after that. I think all passengers got at least one shower.

But, nonetheless, Friday was epic. Big Freedia EPIC! TWERK IT OUT! Interesting side note, I thought I was like almost a demi twerk goddess after one lesson. I thought the media was kinda swarming me with my expert twerking skills, but, alas, I was bouncing next to LoLo Jones, Olympiad. That kind of epic. The day a full moon collided with Kaleo, Russ, Preservation Hall Jazz Band and, and, and U2. Yes, I did shed a tear. 

Big Freedia AND Bono in one day. On What stage in This tent. {Bonnaroovian inside joke} because at this point I claim citizenship - at least honorary. 

That was only Friday, and the smells inside of our traveling atopia became increasingly worse as we added to this problem sans proper shower avec mosh pit life. I even contemplated free showers bestowed by that one guy, but the fungal you know, is better than the... Nvm. 

Maybe one day, I can really blog about Bonnaroo EVERYTHING EVERYTHING (great YA, BTW), but this is a trash blog about Woody's in attempt to lovingly warn any person with children, or elderly travelers, hell any traveler with lungs to consider deeply before dealing with this company. 

This is my very first time writing a bad public review of an establishment. I might be doing it allll wrong. 
 
PSA: Please, friends, DO NOT rent from Woody RV Rentals LLC's without checking out their property first. 

 

On Woody RV Rentals LLC: They are trash. Which I think is a rather harsh term that the kids are using, but quite applicable in this scenario. 

Yep! The smell was the septic system, not properly filtering in the proper way spilling black water and waste right onto the great farms of Tennessee in the midst of 60K happy campers!

While we squeamishly waited, Farmer Guy now aka Hero Guy had to fix reconnect or whatever, with his own gloved hands apparently just in time for us all not to die of toxic shock (maybe not TSS, but toxic inhalation) in Manchester Heaven. 

Also thanks to the Bonnaroo logisticians for having an uhmazing line up like Chance the Rapper, Flume, Travis Scott, Lorde, The Weeknd, E.T.C. We didn't spend a whole lot of time in that possibly hazardous Voyage Winnebago, that maybe will now be retired. I repeat out of love, for them and for you ---their VOYAGE WINNEBAGO is trash. 

"Are you ready for your miracle????" Thank you, Chance. 

That Monday, with the Voyage engine light on, we left our magical memories in Manchester with inside RV sweltering temps streaming about 92 degrees for our 14 hour drive home. 

Yasss! Our skin looked flawless when we landed in Texas to receive our whopping one day rental discount for our over TWO THOUSAND dollar rental from Woody's. Oh, and a free first day of our very next rental!!! And Woody's doesn't do one day rentals. Okay???

About 2h's off of 2g's???

Okay, again. Ant Infestation!!??!!

"I didn't come to play with these hoes, I came to slay..."

PSA: Please, friends, DO NOT rent from Woody RV Rentals LLC's without checking out their property first. 

Don't mind me if I'm over here over sharing this announcement with the desire of saving someone's vacation. 

Because A: Not everyone's septic saver will be hooping to Red Hot Chili Peppers under a sparkly firework filled sky. 

And B: I'm from the 254--- I can show you better than I can tell you. Y'all wanna see photos???

#saveavacay
 
PSA: Please, friends, DO NOT rent from Woody RV Rentals LLC's without checking out their property first. 

 

l o v e