Seven Sentence Sunday with Cheryl Holloway

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Seven Sentence Sunday

Once Upon a Time

 

Most of my readers enjoy Seven Sentence Sunday and often request the short stories. 

I write a short story using only seven sentences. I also use this as a writing exercise in the writing workshops that I present. 

Note: According to USA Today, at least 22 people died and 59 were injured after a suicide bomber detonated an improvised explosive device at a concert by the American pop star Ariana Grande at the Manchester Arena in northwestern England on Monday night.

This is dedicated to those parents who lost their children in the bombing.

Title: The Death of A Child

There are no words on this earth that can describe how a parent feels when they have to experience the death of their child.

The age of the child does not matter—whether an infant, a small child or an adult child.

The fact of the matter remains that the child was a special part of the parent.

I think, the strongest love on this earth is the love that a parent holds so deeply in their heart for their child.

The mourning period varies according to the person who is grieving.

The love for the child will remain in the heart of the parent, until they meet again—in Heaven.

To my daughter, Nichelle, rest in heaven, until I join you—someday.

The End

 

Keep in mind that this is fiction. 🙂

“Hello, my name is James Patterson,” said the voice on the phone.

He continued before I could say a word.

“I know you never expected a call from me, as famous as I am, but I’ve been given your name, as someone who can help me write a book.”

He paused again, as if waiting on me to say something, but I was in total shock.

“Cheryl, I want to write my memoir and they said that you are the best writer/editor in the U.S.”

“I know how to write fiction, but I don’t know how to write about my life, so, can you help me?”

As I said, “Yes, I can,” I woke up.

The End

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Thanks for reading this story. Please give me some feedback and tell me if you like these stories or what you think about the topics.

Have a Great Writing Day!

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Note: Photos/Clip art are compliments of the Internet and Cheryl Holloway.

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On this blog, I “Pay it Forward” to other authors by spotlighting them with a Guest Author Interview. I only ask that they too “Pay It Forward” to any other author.                                              ~ Cheryl Holloway

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Questions? Comments? Interviews? Contact :

AuthorCherylHolloway@gmail.com or Cheryl@CherylHolloway.net

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Cheryl Holloway is Guest on Internet Radio Talk Show This Sunday

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Deborah Parker, Talk Show Host

Deborah Parker

The Gospel Truth Talk Show

Sunday 2-4 pm

Cheryl Holloway, Writer/Author

Topic: Accountability Writing

When: Sunday, December 11, 2016

Listen in at: www.ELifeMedia.net

Time: Approx 2:15 – 2:45 (Eastern Time)

Call in Number:  (240) 455-5934 

Here is the link:

 

 

 

 

Would I Still Write, If…

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Would I still write, if I never got paid?

My answer is “Yes! I love writing and I write every single day. Why? Because writers write.”

If you honestly believed that you would write, if you never got paid, then you obviously have a passion, a talent, or a need to write. So, you must discipline yourself to write every day. Preferably at the same time each day and for the same amount of time daily.

If writing brings you happiness, go for it. You will find a way to pursue your happiness and you might even make a few dollars along the way.  I’ve been writing all of my life.

I acquired a love for books and writing at an early age. My mother bought me little Golden Books once a week when I was three years old.  These books were to keep me occupied while my mother was pre-occupied with my new brother. Since I could read, I started writing and drawing my own little books. So, the rest is history.

Then at fifteen years old, I won my first Writing Competition. I wrote the winning essay on Crime Prevention for a statewide contest in Indiana. (I still have the trophy.)

 Writing Trophy

During high school and college, I was on the Newspaper and Newsletter staff. After college, I started writing for the Government as a Technical Writer and later became a Writer/Editor. So, I can proudly say that I have been a writer all of my life.

I wrote for Military magazines and was also Managing Editor—Road and Recreation; Flying Safety; Nuclear Surety; and the Proceedings Magazine, the oldest Military magazine in history.

For years, I had a business writing resumes for clients. I also freelanced as a writer for many magazines and newspapers from coast-to-coast. I even dabbled in writing poetry from time-to-time. And I landed a prestige Intern job working at the Smithsonian Press.

Now, as a retired Writer/Editor, I teach writing workshops and lead writing retreats. But most of all I write books for myself and my readers. So, the ultimate writing decision for me now—I write a blog—about writing and books.  My two favorite things.

So, as you can see, I have had my fair share of writing throughout the years. I am not rich or famous, but I can honestly say that I love writing and I had a good writing career as a professional Writer/Editor.

So, would I still write, if I never got paid?

Yes, do what you love and the money will come.

Note: Photos and clip art are compliments of the Internet and Cheryl Holloway.

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Readers and followers, please share this post with your friends.

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 If you find us deserving, please nominate us for Writer’s Digest “101 Best Sites for Writers.”  Email: writersdig@fwpubs.com with “101 Sites” in the subject line.  Type: “Cheryl Holloway Author Blog http://www.CherylHolloway.net/blog in the body of the email.  It’s that simple!  And “thank you” from all of us!

On this blog, I “Pay it Forward” to other authors by spotlighting them with a Guest Author Interview. I only ask that they too “Pay It Forward” to any other author.                                              ~ Cheryl Holloway

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Questions? Comments? Interviews? Contact : AuthorCherylHolloway@gmail.com or Cheryl@CherylHolloway.net

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Throwback Thursday – Cheryl Holloway’s First Writing Award

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Cheryl Holloway’s First Trophy for Writing

Throwback Thursday

I won this trophy for a Crime Prevention Essay that I wrote when I was 15-years old. My essay won First Place in the Indiana State Competition. I was so proud back then, and I am proud to say that I am still writing!

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Don’t Keep this Blog a Secret…Tell Your Friends about it!

Note: Photos are compliments of Cheryl Holloway.

Readers and followers, please share this post with your friends.

 If you find us deserving, please nominate us for Writer’s Digest “101 Best Sites for Writers.”  Email: writersdig@fwpubs.com with “101 Sites” in the subject line.  Type: “Cheryl Holloway Author Blog http://www.CherylHolloway.net/blog in the body of the email.  It’s that simple!  And “thank you” from all of us!

On this blog, I “Pay it Forward” to other authors by spotlighting them with a Guest Author Interview. I only ask that they too “Pay It Forward” to any other author.                                                                                                                                                         ~ Cheryl Holloway

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Questions? Comments? Interviews? Contact : AuthorCherylHolloway@gmail.com or Cheryl@CherylHolloway.net

 

Cheryl Holloway Wishes You A Happy New Year 2015

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A writer knows that…A new year is like a blank book and the pen is in your hands. It is your chance to write a wonderful story for your readers!

I wish all of you a healthy, happy and prosperous New Year with many blessings in 2015.

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Happy Columbus Day and A Quick Writing Exercise

Columbus Day

May you enjoy Columbus Day by doing whatever makes you Happy!

I always enjoy a day of writing.

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For my Women’s Writing Group, we met today and we had a writing exercise that was fun. We could choose a topic from a list and write a one page short story.

It’s a game to get you writing. Choose a Title and write 1 page. Don’t forget Halloween is just around the corner. You could write a haunting story.

Choose Your Weapon   The Gold One        The Witch’s  Dream

The Darkest Night           Eating Alone         The Exploded Pumpkin

Cheese, Only                 Wild Card                Haunted Kitchen

Where She Was             The Taken               Full Moon

My topic was Wild Card and here is my story.

“OMG, I can’t believe I just did that!” she said with anger and frustration at herself.

Her sister came in just as she uttered her frustration.

”Wow, what did you do?”

“I forgot to pick up my package from the post office and it’s 6pm on Friday before a three day weekend. Damn. It’s from my publisher. What do you think it could be? ”

“I have no idea. Did they give you a hint as to what it was?”

“No, my agent just said that it was important. Do you think it is a book contract?”

“Once again, I have no idea. It could be anything.”

“If you knew that it was important, why didn’t you stop what you were doing and go pick it up.”

“Because I got side tracked. I know you’ve never ever gotten side tracked.”

“Hey, don’t take it out on me. I would have at least reminded you by 4:45 to pick it up.”

“Now, I will worry about it until 8:59am on Tuesday.”

“The best thing you can do is fill your time with something that you love doing to keep your mind off the package.”

“Okay, I think I will write!”

She engulfed herself in writing. She wrote well into the night on Friday before falling asleep. She woke up early on Saturday and continued writing. She hadn’t written this much in a long time. She was on a roll. Once again, she wrote well into the wee hours of Sunday morning. She slept for about 4 hours and then grabbed her laptop and proceeded to write like a journalist on deadline. She wrote all day Monday. Finally, on Monday night about 11:50, she finished her writing. She had completed a novella. She was elated and really hadn’t thought about the package until now.

Oh, well, she thought. I will get a good night’s rest and pick up the package at 9am. Then and only then will my curiosity be satisfied.

She slept like a baby without a care in the world. It was a peaceful and tranquil rest. She didn’t hear the alarm. She didn’t hear the phone ringing. However, she dreamed about receiving the package. Just as she was about to open it, her sister touched her and woke her from her dream.

“What time is it? I have to get to the post office” she said frantically.

“It’s 5:05.”

“She began crying and just couldn’t stop.”

“Let me know when you’re finished. I have something for you.”

She stopped sobbing long enough to ask, “What?”

Her sister handed her the package.

She tore it open and read the letter inside.

Dear Ms. Johnson,

We will need an additional sample of your writing before we can offer you a book contract. Please send it as soon as possible, preferably on Tuesday. Thank you.

Sincerely,

John Jones, Simon & Schuster Publishing Company

 

Thanks for reading the story.  I hope you will join me in a simple and quick writing exercise. Please give me some feedback and tell me if you like the story or what you think about it.

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1st Blog Anniversary: Ten Things I’ve Learned About Blogging That Successful Bloggers Know by Cheryl Holloway

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10 Things Ive learned

I’ve been writing on my blog for one year and I have over 100 posts. In that year,  I’ve learned ten things that successful bloggers know.  They are:

  1. Blog Readers are important.  My blog readers mean the world to me! I love each and every one of them, especially those who take the time out of their busy schedule to visit my blog. I just wish I could meet more than one blog reader at a time.
  1. Writing for readers is even more important. I enjoy writing for my readers. Good appearance, proper grammar and topics of interest are at the top of the list.
  1. Building a blog is difficult. You can’t build a blog over night.  You have to be realistic in your expectations. So, I try to build my blog by writing more good posts and by giving the readers what they request.
  1. You can’t blog all the time. Sometimes, life gets in the way and you have to take a break. I try to blog as often as I can.
  1. Blog on a regular basis. You need to blog at least 2-3 times a week. Often, life gets in the way and I can’t blog as many times as I have planned.
  1. Blog about varied topics. I have to change things up from time-to-time. I try to write when I have interesting thoughts. I want to give my readers something different, and I don’t want to be like everyone else.
  1. Bloggers need to tell readers about themselves. I try to tell a little bit about myself. A short bio is listed on the blog, but the best bio is listed on my website.     I try to give you a peak into my life then and now. I like just being me.
  1. Other bloggers are willing to help. From time-to-time, I need suggestions and help from other bloggers. I also post on other blogs for writers.
  1. Blog reader comments are sparse. Comments don’t come as often as I’d like. Blog readers care…they just don’t comment much. I only get a few comments—but the ones I get are great!
  2.  Bloggers love blogging.  I love blogging! (And I love writing, too!) So, I will be around for years to come.

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  • Guest Author Interview – Bill Miller

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    Seeds of Magnolia_Cover

    Title: Seeds of Magnolia

    Genre: Historical

    Synopsis: The most peaceful years of Austin Miller’s life were before he married. Only he, Sophia and her mother, Elizabeth, were in the house. After his marriage, the house became a hotbed of chaos fueled by overzealous attitudes and unyielding temperaments. His marriage had been strained by adultery, and after it had been patched; they were separated by the war. Sophia’s best friends were three white girls that she grew up with. When seen by someone that did not know them, they would assume that all four were white. The color of their skin would not be enough to tell that one had a trace of black blood in her veins that made her a slave. Appearing to be white did not make a person white, and being black had its’ limitations. Yet, in a small southern town in Tennessee, Sophia ignored the social code regarding interracial relationships. Seeds of Magnolia unveils some of the stories that have been sheltered by the family—stories that have been kept in the closet, swept under the rug, or just gone untold.

    Bill Miller

    Author: Bill Miller

    CH: Welcome, Bill. Thank you for joining me and allowing my readers to get to know you and generations of your family. The first question I have for you is can you please tell us in one sentence, why we should read your book.

    BM: It was rare, but for a few people, Seeds of Magnolia describes a brighter side of the darkest chapter in our country’s history which was slavery, and that makes it a worthwhile read.

    CH: What attracted you to write your ancestor’s history?

    BM: I wanted to write about them because I don’t want them to be forgotten.  The things that I wrote about are things that were told to me by my father and his brothers and sisters, stories that have been handed down from one generation to the next.

    I think, I’m the only one that remembers these stories anymore.  Recording them in the format of a book is my way of putting them in a place for safe-keeping.

    CH: What is different and exciting that you bring to your readers through your historical writing?

    BM: When we read about slavery, we know that sooner or later, we’ll get to the page that tells us about the chains and shackles.  But this time, there are no chains and no shackles.

    The setting for Seeds of Magnolia is Bolivar, Tennessee, at the mansion referred to as Magnolia Manor.  It was built by Austin Miller, and it’s still there today; still being used.

    Magnolia Manor is a place where a slave girl was allowed to grow up and experience a lifestyle more like that of a well to-do white girl.  It was a place where she could sometimes almost forget that she was a slave.

    During the Civil War, Generals Grant, Sherman, Logan and McPherson used Magnolia Manor as their headquarters.

    When General Grant knocked on the door, it was my great grandmother, a slave named Sophia that let them in.

    Also, most books written about slavery are told from the viewpoint of someone on the outside looking in.  Seeds of Magnolia is told from the viewpoint of someone on the inside looking out.  That person on the inside being a slave. 

    CH: Did you have to do any special research to write this book?

    BM: There were some things that I had to research.  Maybe some of it was just to satisfy my own curiosity.  I always knew that my great-grandfather died at his plantation in Mississippi, but I never knew the cause of death.  I had to do some research to find out.

    I knew that he was born in Guilford County, North Carolina, but I had to do some research to find out when he moved to Hardeman County, Tennessee.

    So, there were a few things that I had to research, but most of the things that I wrote about were tucked away in my mind.  I just had to get it properly arranged and put into words. 

    CH: Who was your favorite family member to write about or describe?

    BM: That’s an easy question to answer.  Sophia was my favorite, and its’ probably reflected in my writing.  I felt a lot of compassion whenever my writing took me to her. She had the starring role, and I fell in love with her.

    I loved describing the free-spirited lifestyle that Austin Miller allowed her to have.  I knew that he let her live that lifestyle, but when I started writing about it, it drew me closer to him.

    While writing, I was always asking questions of myself.  Questions like, why did he allow her to be the way that she was …letting her learn how to read and write? Since she had spent a lifetime in his house, did he not see her as a slave …maybe because her skin was so white? Did the time ever come when he was in love with her?

    Although I asked the questions, I knew that there would be no answers …just lots of questions.

    CH: Was it painful to revisit some of the family issues or to talk about the situations for the first time in the book?

    BM: It was painful describing how Sophia fell in love with a boy while attending church every Sunday at the bush harbor.

    A bush harbor is a lattice like framework with tree branches placed on top to block the sun.

    They looked forward to seeing each other every Sunday, and then one Sunday she went there to find out that he had been sold and taken away.  He was the first boy that she had ever loved.

    I found it very painful when I wrote about Sophia begging Mrs. Miller not to put her on the auction block and sell her.  That was the most painful part of the entire book.

    I became very emotional writing about it.  I’ve never told anyone before, but my eyes were filled with tears while I was writing.

    CH: Are there any books that influenced you while writing this book?

    BM: There were no other influences.  I was driven by the fact that I wanted to preserve what I know about my family’s heritage.  I know that when I die, there won’t be anyone else to tell the stories, and the stories will die with me.  They’ll be gone forever.

    CH: What pitfalls have you run into as a new author? 

    BM: Marketing is my biggest hurdle. There are a lot of authors, and it’s hard for a rookie to step onto the stage with them and be recognized.  It’s much easier to write a book than it is to sell one.

    CH: You are so right about marketing and if an author doesn’t know that, they will soon learn it. So, who is your favorite author? Why?

    BM: I don’t have a favorite author, but two of my favorite books are (1) This I Believe and (2) Physics for Future Presidents by Richard Muller.

    CH: What book are you currently reading?

    I just bought a copy of Dr. Ben Carson’s book, One Nation, but I haven’t read it yet.  When I have time to read, it’s usually college text books.  I like reading about science and history.

    CH: On Amazon, you had 7 out of 7 five star reviews, and most of them wanted to see a movie. So, are there any other plans for this book? Any movie deals?

    BM: No movie deals yet, but I believe that Seeds of Magnolia would be a great movie; set during the pre-post Civil War era with a completely different twist—one that’s real.

    Every day, I hope that someone in the movie industry will hear about it and read it, and say, “yes, let’s do it.”

    That’s having high expectations, but I think it’s realistic and not farfetched. The right person just has to read it.

    CH: What’s next on the agenda in your writing career?

    BM: Seeds of Magnolia is nonfiction. I could follow up with a sequel, but it might get me in trouble, because too many people would be too close to what I write.

    But I am writing another book now; it’s fiction.

    CH: Do you have a website?

    BM: Yes, I have a website. It’s www.billmillerbooks.com

    CH: Where is your book sold?

    BM: Amazon sells the hardcopy.  It’s also available as an eBook at Amazon Kindle.

    CH: Any closing remarks?

    BM: I don’t know any of my white relatives anymore.  I would like to meet them and shake their hand, and maybe embrace each other, if they’re so inclined.

    I suppose that someday some of them will read Seeds of Magnolia.  When they do, they’ll probably read about some things that they would rather I had left in the closet.  At the same time, I think, they will realize that I remembered to write with dignity.

    Austin Miller owned my family as slaves.  In spite of that, I’m proud of my family heritage; I’m proud of who I am, and I’m proud of what I am.

    It was wrong for him to own us, but still, I can’t make myself hate him, probably because I don’t want to, because he and Sophia are my great grandparents.

     CH: Thank you, Bill, and thank you for sharing your book, and the generations of the Miller family with my audience.  

     

    Don’t Keep this Blog a Secret…Tell Your Friends about it!                                             Readers and followers, please share this post with your friends.

     If you find us deserving, please nominate us for Writer’s Digest “101 Best Sites for Writers.”  Email: writersdig@fwpubs.com with “101 Sites” in the subject line.  Type: “Cheryl Holloway Author Blog http://www.CherylHolloway.net/blog in the body of the email.  It’s that simple!  And “thank you” from all of us!

    On this blog, I “Pay it Forward” to other authors by spotlighting them with a Guest Author Interview. I only ask that they too “Pay It Forward” to any other author.                                                                                                                       ~ Cheryl Holloway

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    Questions? Comments? Contact : AuthorCherylHolloway@gmail.com or Cheryl@CherylHolloway.net

     

    Guest Author Interview – Andrew J. Rodriguez

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    Santa Rita Stories_Cover

    Title: Santa Rita Stories

    Genre: Fiction

    Synopsis: Welcome to Santa Rita, a Cuban fishing town populated by a colorful cast of saints and sinners, con men and fishermen, athletes and hunchbacks, politicians and priests…where everyone eventually knows everyone else’s business and the collective memory reaches backward for generations. To help him unravel the deeply rooted traditions and gossip of this tropical melting pot, fifteen-year-old Carlos turns often to his friend Pedro, a foul-smelling, cigar-chomping vagrant who lives on the docks and is affectionately known as el Viejo—the Old Man. In the course of ten linked stories, Andy Rodriguez brings to vivid life the rhythms of daily life in mid-1950’s Cuba, and the transition from Carlos’s carefree, nurturing childhood to his awakening to the responsibilities—and possibilities—of young manhood. Carlos resists authority; but he can’t resist Pedro’s wisdom as the Old Man dispenses advice about everything from the proper method of romantic kissing, to how to avoid judging a book by its cover—dramatized by a tale of Ernest Hemingway and an encounter with a Nazi spy. By the final story, just as Carlos longs to escape the restrictions of a small town and spread his wings in the big city of Havana, we also long, right along with him, to linger forever in the magical, love-filled world of Santa Rita.

    Andrew J. Rodriguez

    Author: Andrew J. Rodriguez

    CH: Welcome, Andrew.  Thank you for taking time out of your busy schedule to join us on my blog. Please tell us in one sentence, why we should read your book

    AJR: I’d like 21st Century Americans to read about Cuban values and lifestyles before the communist revolution.

    CH: What attracted you to write these stories about “saints and sinners” in a fishing town?

    AJR: I grew up in a small fishing town surrounded by colorful characters, including, but not limited to “saints and sinners.”

    CH: Where are you from? Does your background have any influence on this book?

    AJR: I escaped Castro’s communist Cuba in 1961. I lived part of my childhood in a small fishing town and studied my career in a Havana University.  Though a book of fiction, Santa Rita Stories were inspired by my upbringing.

    CH: Did you find anything challenging while writing this book?

    AJR: Yes. My challenge was to present this book in an easy reading style to be enjoyed by readers of all ages and backgrounds.

    CH: How long have you been writing? How did you start writing?

    AJR: I’ve been writing for the last twenty years, and published five books during this time. I was initiated into writing by a strong desire to express myself in meaningful ways.

    CH: Is there a famous or not-so-famous author that you would aspire to be like?

    AJR: I’ve been inspired by authors of different genres, especially Hemingway.  I don’t aspire to be like any present-day writer.

    CH: How long did it take you to write this novel?

    AJR: It took about two years. Definitely, longer than it should have taken.

    CH: Can you tell us about your publishing journey? Are Cuban publishers any different from American publishers?

    AJR: I don’t know of any Cuban-Americans involved in the publishing business.  On the other hand, I am familiar with Cuban-American writers, such as Carlos Eire, Waiting for Snow in Havana.

    In pre-revolution days, however, Cuba generated a plethora of poets and writers, most of whom I greatly admired.

    As to the difference between American and Latin writers, American authors usually go straight to the point, while their Cuban counterparts use more words to paint the same picture.  Especially in sentimental situations, Cuban writers lean much more toward romanticism.

    CH: Do you have a website?

    AJR: My website is www.Outskirtspress.com/SantaRitaStories. As I said previously, I’d like 21st Century Americans to read about Cuban values and lifestyles before the communist revolution.

    CH: Where are your books sold?

    AJR: My books are sold on Amazon in paperback and Kindle, on Barnes and Noble, also in paperback and Nook. It is also sold by the publisher at outskirtspress.com

    CH: Any closing Remarks?

    AJR: For some reason, emotional perhaps, I feel Santa Rita Stories is thus far my favorite among the other four books that I’ve written. Thank you for your interest.

    CH: Thank you, Andrew, and thank you for sharing your novel and creating awareness about Cuban values and lifestyles.  

     

    Readers and followers, please share this post with your friends.

     If you find us deserving, please nominate us for Writer’s Digest “101 Best Sites for Writers.”  Email: writersdig@fwpubs.com with “101 Sites” in the subject line.  Type: “Cheryl Holloway Author Blog http://www.CherylHolloway.net/blog in the body of the email.  It’s that simple!  And “thank you” from all of us!

    On this blog, I “Pay it Forward” to other authors by spotlighting them with a Guest Author Interview. I only ask that they too “Pay It Forward” to any other author.                                                                                                                       ~ Cheryl Holloway

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    Questions? Comments? Contact : AuthorCherylHolloway@gmail.com or Cheryl@CherylHolloway.net

     

    The World Mourns The Death of Amiri Baraka, A Literary Icon

    Amiri Baraka

    Amiri Baraka (LeRoi Jones)                                                                                         October 7, 1934 – January 9, 2014

    Amiri Baraka has been a controversial figure in the Black Movement for many years—first and foremost were his writings, but also to include his speeches and lectures.

    When I was a preteen, I first read about him (then known as LeRoi Jones) in Ebony magazine. The articles stimulated my curiosity and I began to read his poetry.  Back then, he was a revolutionary, part of the Black Power Movement, which emphasized racial pride and expressed a new set of racial goals for blacks.

    Then after the assassinations of Malcolm X and Martin Luther King, Jr., Baraka seemed to become even more militant and became involved in the Black Arts Movement. It was quite evident that the Black Arts Movement demanded that Black artists create art that led to the raising of critical consciousness. I think, Baraka was one of the most important figures in the Black Arts Movement, sometimes referred to as “the artistic sister of the Black Power Movement.”

    Whenever you read about poets or playwrights in the Black Arts Movement, Amiri Baraka’s name was always mentioned first.   Baraka often used violent language in his writing, which advocated violence against the oppressors and he openly used art as a weapon in the political war.

    There were many voices emerging from the Black Arts Movement. Nikki Giovanni was also an outspoken young Black writer during this time. She is our Celebrity Guest Author for Black History Month (February 14th).  So, join us, it promises to be an informative interview!

    In 1967, Baraka was arrested and beaten by the police in the “Newark Uprising.” He firmly believed that art was an expression of politics and his writings were used as evidence against him in his trial. How ironic that he later became the Poet Laureate for New Jersey! But even that position was controversial, the governor couldn’t fire him, so he abolished the position.

    Fast-forwarding to 2008…I was a Board member of the DC Writers Corps and our fundraising event in January of that year was when we presented the most influential living Black writer, Amiri Baraka. The topic, “Role of the Writer in an Era of Terrorism.” It was a sold-out and standing room only event. He still had a controversial air about himself and drew a large inter-racial crowd.  Even at 74 years old, he hadn’t lost his edge and discussed the role of the writer in fostering social, political and economic justice. That was the last time that I saw him in person. But his memory will be embedded in my mind forever!

    Baraka Book Cover

    My most prized possession is a copy of Preface to A Twenty Volume Suicide Note, (copyright 1961) signed with both of his names.

    Amiri Baraka was the author of over 30 books, an award-winning poet and playwright, and the former New Jersey Poet Laureate.

    Thousands of people will honor Amiri Baraka’s legacy.  I, too, honor his legacy and I also offer my humble condolences to his family and many friends. 

    Cheryl_Script Purple