From my very first post I wanted to pay homage to the speech which inspired the title of my blog, Ain't I a Woman? by Sojourner Truth. Such a beautiful speech, such a beautiful name, such a beautiful woman. It is one of my favorite pieces. I strive to emulate this style in my own work. Poetic and powerful. Honest and unafraid. Memorable. And I like brevity. It too is beautiful. This is the standard I wish to be held to as I explore the question with you ~ ain't I a writer?
"Obliged to you for hearing me, and I do have a few things more to say..."

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Saturday, June 13, 2015


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Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Reports are Rolling In

      Summer is such a crazy time of year for me as my museum hours surge, but my writing work can not take a back seat.

     My novel is out in the hands of several serious beta readers. Its a scary feeling much like when your child is off to a formal. You know they looked beautiful when you let them go out the door, but still feel a vulnerable mix of confidence and terror at what might happen to them on the dance floor. You pace as the minutes tick by, waiting and wondering if there is something else you should have done...

     The first report has come in. This one from my writing mentor, Pat Parnell. At 91 years of age she is still sharp and sure. I am thrilled to share that almost all of her feedback was positive and encouraging. A few suggestions for changes will be easy fixes, and she kindly gave me much in the way of line editing because she has so much experience as an editor.

The divine Queen P. sharing her poetry last week.

     Here is one paragraph from her report to me;

      "You may originally have intended to tell the story of the life of Ona Judge Staines, but the book metamorphed into something much more significant and powerful. What you have done was take two major social issues from the late colonial period and the early years of the new nation - slavery and racism - and explore them as they impacted the lives of two very different but interconnected individuals - George Washington, the most esteemed American of his day, and Ona Judge Staines, the escaped Mount Vernon slave who lived all her life in the shadows."

       She also made a suggestion that I had never given any thought, and now of course, I am. Pat urged me to consider marketing it as a YA novel as she thinks "it wold be very appropriate on a recommended list of books for high school juniors who are studying American history." While I wrote the novel for adult readers, I am intrigued with this idea. What do you think?