Saturday, December 29, 2007

Black Genocide

Was thorougly depressed today after listening to a church sermon by a black minister involved in the pro-life anti-genocidal movement. 790,000 black men in prison but 640,000 black men in college. 35 million black babies killed by abortion since 1972. Of all the legal abortions performed last year, 35% were on black women. 50% of all the AIDS victims in the US are black women and the largest killer of black women between 25 and 40 in the US is AIDS. Twenty years ago we were 13% of the population. Today we are only around 11%. Not to mention the black-and-black crime. My people are dwindling away to nothing. We aren't lynched anymore but as the black leaders are saying, "The Left practices genocide by abortion."

One in every three black babies are aborted. Every time I read Margaret Sanger's 1939 letter to Dr. Clarence J. Gamble, in which she said, “We do not want word to go out that we want to exterminate the Negro population, and the minister is the man who can straighten out that idea if it ever occurs to any of their more rebellious members" and everytime I see one of her letters about how many times she spoke at KKK rallies or when she said in her typically eugenics way, "More children for the fit, none for the unfit" I just think she's had her wish and no one can challenge it because it's being championed by the left for their own purposes.
35 million black children aborted since 1972.

My people are disappearing from the earth and it just makes me so weepy I want to cry. It is all so upsetting.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Tobias Buckell Interview up at My African Diaspora

Please check out the
Tobias Buckell on http://www.myafricandiaspora.com/tobias_feature.html

And check out his trailer for Sly Mongoose



Merry Christmas

Okay, we live in a world that doesn't have lords and ladies anymore. At least not viable ones. And the only kings we see on television are more fodder for celebrity gossip shows or UN reports on atrocities. But in the realm of fiction -- my particular realm-- kings still exist. Although a self-sacrificing king is pretty rare. Not that I'm picking but even if they sacrifice themselves, it's not to the death. And even if they die for someone, they usually do so for good people and not for the sins of evil folks who hate their guts. But let's begin:

A long time ago two princes were born on either side of the world. The northern prince lived in a great palace. He was dressed in silk and linen and had many servants to wait upon him while he dined on rich foods every day,

The prince of the south had no palace but lived among his people. He was born in a pig sty, became a refugee at his birth, and lived among the poor. He didn't eat the fancy foods the northern prince did. And no one bowed down daily to worship him. As was his habit, he dressed in common clothes and attended the births, deaths, and marriages of his friends. War had been waged against both these lands. An evil usurper bent on killing, stealing, and destroying.

The prince of the north lived in such pleasure and happiness that he didn't really realize that war had been waged against him or his people. But one day the northern prince stepped outside his palace. It was the first time he had done so, and he was very surprised at what he saw. He had not known how powerful the conqueror was. The people outside the palace didn’t eat as well as he did. Sometimes they didn’t eat at all. Their tattered clothing did not protect their bodies from snow and heat, their heads and feet were not covered with shoes and hats as his was.

The prince had always been kindhearted, but when he saw the suffering of his people he burst into tears. He had a nervous breakdown and got so upset he couldn't eat. Then he found enlightenment and realized that if he stopped worrying about the sorrows of his people and accepted their suffering...all would be well with his soul.

I swear, whenever I hear some Buddhist friend tell me about Buddha's enlightenment I have to resist rolling my eyes.

Give me a religion which teaches me to hope and not to merely stoicly endure. Praise for my Lord, born in a manger, poor, suffering, acquainted with grief who tells us that we CAN conquer evil.

I remember one day going to a festival/procession of our Lady of Guadaloupe at Graymoor monastery just up the road from me. The priest officiating was a teacher at Maryknoll, someone who had been to Latin America and whose aim was to bring more young men into the priesthood. I went up to him after the service and asked him to pray for a miraculous healing for my son. Instead, he lay his hand on my son's head and prayed for me to be given grace to accept my son's sufferings. What a crock! I said to him, "Sir, I didn't ask you to pray that God give me grace to accept suffering. I asked you to pray for my son's healing. Who am I to pray that I should accept the suffering of someone else? And who are you to ask me to do such a thing?"

He gave me an angry look but a few weeks later he wrote me a letter apologizing. Seems he had been a priest too long, healthy too long, without sickly family members he loved... he didn't know how to enter into the suffering of a child. All he knew was a platitude. I'm glad I brought him back to his Christian senses. Even if I was nasty about it. Praise ye the Lord.

This is one of my favorite worship songs at our hispanic evangelical church.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bGNcfWwuxQw

That said, merry christmas. When you give and receive gifts today, remember a king who gave his life and died for you.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

How Christians in North Korean celebrate Christmas

Here is a part of an article on how North Korean Christians celebrate Christmas:

It happens only sporadically that Christians think it is safe enough to meet together in small groups. Usually gatherings consist of only two people.

Simon notes: "For example, a Christian goes and sits on a bench in the park. Another Christian comes and sits next to him. Sometimes it is dangerous even to speak to one another, but they know they are both Christians, and at such a time, this is enough. If there is no one around, they may be able to share a Bible verse which they have learned by heart and briefly say something about it. They also share prayer topics with each other. Then they leave one another and go and look for Christians in some other part of their town. This continues throughout Sunday. A cell group usually consists of fewer than 20 Christians who encourage and strengthen one another
in this way. Besides this, there are one-to-one meetings in people's homes."

Click here to read the rest of the article

Check out one of my favorite videos done to a hispanic evangelical song we sing at church

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v3EeFLXSx0A

China's New Bestseller: The Bible

A Time's article on how despite the religious persecution of Christians, China's new bestseller is the Bible.


About 80% of the Bibles Amity produces are for domestic use, with the remainder going to Christians in Africa, Central Europe and other Asian nations. A poll early this year by East China Normal University in Shanghai of 4,500 Chinese found that 31.4% considered themselves religious, a proportion that suggests 300 million Chinese believers... Click here to read the rest of article.

Voice of the martyrs

Pray for Christian believers. Write to them. Donate money to www.persecution.org and prisoner alert














Pray for Christian believers.
Write to them.
Donate to www.persecution.org and
www.prisoneralert.com/

Pray for Shuang Shuying


On January 26, 2007, 76-year-old Shuang Shuying and her son, house church leader Hua Huiqi, were attacked, wounded and arrested by police while walking near a 2008 Olympic hotel site in Beijing. Shuying has numerous medical problems and is serving two years in prison. Write a letter of encouragement to Shuying and to all believers who have been imprisoned for their faith. The letters often result in shorter prison sentences. Send a letter of encouragement to Shuying and let her know you are praying for her. Also, write to the Chinese government requesting she be released. Let your friends know about suffering believers in China and encourage them to pray and write too. Get involved. Pray and write today.

http://www.prisoneralert.com/pprofiles/vp_prisoner_177_profile.html

Pray for and write to Pastor Balaev today


On May 20, 2007, Pastor Zaur Balaev was arrested for “conducting an illegal religious meeting” in his home village in Aliabad, Azerbaijan and was sentenced to two years on additional trumped up charges.

Please write a letter of encouragement to Pastor Balaev. Let your friends know about suffering Christians in Azerbaijan and encourage them to pray and write to Balaev.

Get involved!


http://www.prisoneralert.com/pprofiles/vp_prisoner_181_profile.html

Friday, December 21, 2007

CFP: Minority Resiliency and the Legacy of Disaster

Call for Papers

Hello everyone. I hope all is well. I am pleased to attach the following call for papers for an edited volume, Minority Resiliency and the Legacy of Disaster, which DeMond Miller and I are editing. I hope that you will do two things: 1) consider submitting work and 2) broadcast the Call For Papers far and wide.

Dear social science and liberal arts research colleagues,

Call for manuscripts for a peer-reviewed book: Minority Resiliency and the Legacy of Disaster

Editors: Jason D. Rivera (Rowan University) and DeMond S. Miller (Rowan University).

Minority Resiliency and the Legacy of Disaster discusses race, class, ethnicity, nationality, and gender, and how these factors have affected people's relationships with the American government in the context of disasters. This edited volume will allow historians, public administration professionals and researchers, social scientists, and political scientists an opportunity to reflect on the experiences of Hispanic, African, Asian and Native Americans in the context of natural and technological disasters, and focus on how these experiences have impacted these groups' political, economic and social development in American society. The co-editors are experienced researchers in the effects of social characteristics and politics on the experiences of minorities in disaster recovery and relief. We feel that this text will help explain the development of certain minority/ethnic communities in the United States, and the way in which past and current disasters have impacted their development and vulnerability. There is currently a lack of comprehensive research on the way minority groups are adversely affected by disasters and the long-term impacts of these events on their social and political development. We believe that by developing a cross-comparative discussion on the way different American minority groups are affected, interact with government agencies in the midst of disasters, and how these groups individually cope with disaster emergency management officials, the government can more effectively deal with these groups in crisis situations. Moreover, we wish to shed light on the way natural phenomena have influenced and continue to influence the development of social minority groups within a developed country in an age when contemporary ideologies view social group development independent of the physical landscape, and based predominantly on economics and politics.

Chapter proposals about minority experiences in the context of natural and technological disasters and their impacts on minority group social, political and economic development are being accepted in the following four areas:

Hispanic Americans, African Americans, Asian Americans, Native Americans

Chapters should attempt to answer some of the following questions in the above areas:

How does the historical construction of race/ethnicity in the United States impact the way ethnic communities are responded to in a disaster?

How does race/ethnicity, as it is constructed in the United States, impact the way the officials respond to minority needs in disasters situations?

What are the current challenges, issues, and structural legal and cultural barriers that enable or constrain ethnic minorities in their struggle to access government assistance?

What historic and contemporary social, demographic, political and public policy trends impact the practice of civic-government interactions of those most vulnerable?

How have historical and contemporary disasters directly/indirectly impacted the economic, political, social and demographic presence of these groups in the greater American culture?

What are or have been the political, social, economic, and legal implications of the government's interaction with these groups during the occurrence of disasters?

How have these groups' experiences with natural disasters and the subsequent government response impacted their development?

A potential list of topics for all minority categories:

Diaspora

Issues of Native American Sovereignty and Disaster Mitigation/Response

Living in FEMA trailer communities

Economic Impacts of Disasters

Cultural Impacts of Disasters

Political (national and/or local) Impacts of Disasters

Social Capital and Rates of Recovery

Issues of Citizenship and Disaster Recovery/Response

Recovery and/or Response to Technological Disasters

Legal Issues

Race Relations

Identity

Childhood and Family Issues

Memory and Remembrance

Immigration and Demographic Shifts

Send a 3 - 5 page double-spaced chapter proposal by March 1, 2008 to:
Jason D. Rivera at riveraja@rowan.edu mailto riveraja(at)rowan.edu .

Invitations for full chapters will be sent by March 31, 2008. Chapter drafts (30-35 double-spaced) will be due July 1, 2008. This book is under advance contract with Edwin Mellen Press.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Resolution for 2008

Well, it's that time of year again. And as they say, we writers have to plan and schedule our time. I don't even want to put all my scattered thoughts into a list. Might just overwhelm me but here goes:


1) The eunuch's wife -- A short story based on Joseph story in Bible. I've been thinking about this and it should be a very bittersweet story. Hey, I can't help it. I like a lot of the Biblical so-called bad guys.

2) The Gleaners -- Caribbean Harry Potter slavery story. Janet Lorimer gave me some ideas on this.

3) Inheritance -- novel May-August multiracial love story suspense psychological thriller. I have scenes for this one. Am about 68 pages into it but I've been doing other shorter pieces and just jumping around from project to project. I think it's cause I don't quite have the "voice" for this story yet. But nevertheless...am gonna finish it in 2008 (deo volente)

4) Daughters of Men -- novel based on Nephilim. Honestly! This story is all there. Already finished. Liked. Paul Witcover liked it. Dorchester almost bought it. It's just a mess and even Miss Paula says it needs a lotta work. Why can't I just finish it?

5) Exotic -- slipstream story for Subtle Edens. Have a great idea for a story about a woman's romantic daydreams. Prose poem pseudo-memoir.

6) Send letter to local community college telling them I'd like to teach creative writing there. Janet's ideas are really working in my brain. Just want to see if I can commit to doing this kinda thing. I so hate administration academic issues. How Sylvia does it I never know!

7) Buy a new house. Intend to do this with some money I intend to get from Wind Follower. Hey, maybe a movie deal. Who knows? With God all things are possible.

8) Sell or repair old house.

9) Lose 100 pounds -- Am presently avoiding wheat and trying to drink a lotta water. Who knows? Been 23 years since I was skinny. Back in the day doors would open by themselves as I approached. I was that cute!

10) learn to ride a bike -- hubby keeps telling me he would teach me. Twenty six years and still hasn't done so.

11) publish my non-fiction Bible study via Lulu. I'll still give the free download on my site but I'd like to see it as a book today.

12) Get and accept a ghostwriting job from my friend's agent. That would mean so much committment. But hey, the right job and the right client would be a trip. And hey, getting anywhere from $10,000 to $75,000 for a six month writing job is pretty swift.

Anyone else?

HUD Demolitions in New Orleans

Passing this along also:

Dear Friends,

During the worst housing crisis in New Orleans history, the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) is pushing a deeply flawed plan to demolish thousands of units of affordable housing, with plans to rebuild only a fraction. If HUD gets its way, the majority of affordable public housing in the city will be eliminated--essentially shutting out thousands of low-income Katrina survivors who have been fighting for over 2 years to return home.

Tomorrow, the New Orleans City Council will vote on whether or not to permit HUD to carry out its demolitions, and several council members are on the fence. We need to show the city council that people across the country want our federal government to do better than HUD's plan, and that we want the council to vote against it.

I joined ColorOfChange.org in calling on the city council to vote against these reckless and premature demolitions and insist on a fair redevelopment plan. I also sent a message to President Bush, calling on him to stop HUD from carrying out its plan. Will you join me?

http://www.colorofchange.org/hudhousing/?id=1639-324449
New Orleans Housing Crisis

With New Orleans in the middle of a serious housing emergency, it just doesn't make sense to destroy affordable housing that's in good condition. Rents have gone up 45% since Katrina, the city has already lost 9,000 units of affordable housing, and half of the families that want to return home make less than $20,000 a year. In the last two years, New Orleans' homeless population has more than doubled. Many of the units HUD plans on destroying are in very well-constructed buildings that were barely damaged by Katrina and would require a minimum of renovation to provide quality housing, even if only temporarily.

HUD's flawed redevelopment plan

Whatever your views are on public housing, HUD's redevelopment plan is ill-conceived and irresponsible. HUD refuses to rebuild the same number of affordable public housing units as it destroys. HUD's plan would destroy 4,600 affordable public housing units, while the new mixed-income housing would only include 744 units of affordable housing--and building those units will take several years. The inevitable result will be thousands of low-income residents--most of whom are Black--pushed out of the city.

Questions have also been raised about the motivations behind HUD's plan. The head of HUD, Alphonso Jackson, and his staff are under criminal investigation for corruption in HUD/HANO's process for handing out contracts related to the redevelopment plan. The contract for demolishing and rebuilding the St. Bernard housing project was given to a firm that owes Jackson at least $250,000 (and as much as $500,000).

No Demolition without a solution that makes sense

At best, HUD has a goal that many think is good (moving towards mixed-income housing), but a deeply flawed plan that will be disastrous to New Orleans residents who need the most help. At worst, HUD is pushing a plan that will help enrich its secretary and his cronies, while leaving working-class people out in the cold and dramatically reshaping the class makeup of New Orleans. Either way, it would be a huge mistake to let HUD push forward with demolitions until these issues are addressed and resolved.

Will you join me in calling on the city council to reject the plan, and on President Bush to stop HUD from proceeding?

http://www.colorofchange.org/hudhousing/?id=1639-324449

Advocating for Darfur

Got this email from Enough:

Dear Darfur Advocate,

We've been working for months to get Congress to pass crucial legislation that will protect state and local governments' rights to divest from companies that help fund genocide in Darfur.

Thanks to you and hundreds of thousands of Darfur activists around the country, the Senate unanimously approved the Sudan Accountability and Divestment Act last week, and Tuesday, the House of Representatives followed suit.

Now President Bush has 10 days to sign SADA into law. Call the White House today and urge President Bush to sign the bill into law.

In his first year in office, in the margins of a memo on the Rwandan genocide, President Bush wrote, "Not on my watch." Make sure he remembers his promise by protecting states' and local governments' rights to divest, and making sure our tax dollars don't go to contracts with companies that help fund genocide.

Just follow the steps below:


Call the White House Comment Line at 202-456-1111.
Tell the staff person who answers the phone that you are urging the President to sign the Sudan Accountability and Divestment Act and take all steps necessary to implement it.
Report your call at www.1800genocide.org (bottom half of the page).
Call President Bush today to make sure he protects the right of states and local governments to divest for Darfur and stops our tax dollars from going to contracts with companies that help fund genocide!

Your support is critical to make sure that American dollars do not enable the genocidal regime in Khartoum.

Thank you for your continued support for the people of Darfur.

Best regards,

Cory Smith


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

ENOUGH Project | 1333 H Street NW, 10th Floor | Washington, DC 20005
Enough is a project to end genocide and crimes against humanity. For more information, go to www.enoughproject.org.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

From Cindy Myers year end ezine

Cindi Myers has a great newsletter. Anyone can sign up by sending a blank email to cynthiasterling-subscribe@yahoogroups.com

Her books are:
Marriage On Her Mind, Harlequin American, Oct. 2007
Wild Child, Harlequin Blaze, Nov. 2007
A Perfect Marriage? #7 in Mediterranean Nights miniseries

And her websites are:
www.CindiMyers.com and
www.myspace.com/cindimyers

She usually does reports on different markets and publishers but in this year end isssue she listed agent blogs.

Check out
http://edittorrent.blogspot.com/


www.agentinthemiddle.blogspot.com/Agent Lori Perkins

http://bookendslitagency.blogspot.com/
Bookends Literary Agency


http://dglm.blogspot.com/
Dystel and Goderich Literary Management

http://arcaedia.livejournal.com/
Agent Jennifer Jackson

http://pubrants.blogspot.com/
Agent Kristen Nelson

http://nathanbransford.blogspot.com/
Agent Nathan Bransford

http://lyonsliterary.blogspot.com/
Agent Jonathan Lyons

http://redlinesanddeadlines.blogspot.com/
Ellora's Cave and Cerridwen Press Editors

http://knightagency.blogspot.com/
The Knight Agency

http://jetreidliterary.blogspot.com/
Agent Janet Reid

http://raleva31.livejournal.com/
Agent Rachel Vader

http://rejecter.blogspot.com/
The Rejector -- anonymous literary agent's assistant

http://chavelaque.blogspot.com/
Cheryl Klein, children's book editor

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Want to be a banker?

Hi all:

In some parts of the world, especially in the developing world, $25 can go a long way. If you're interested in doing something good for your fellow humans, check out www.kiva.org

It's an investment, not really charity.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

The Centurion's servant-son-partner


I'm pretty easygoing about most stuff but I do kinda get annoyed when I hear people making great leaps of thought that leave them to wrong conclusions. In this case, the great leap of thought has to do with the Christian gay community's assertion that Jesus blessed the union between the centurion and his servant.

The gay christian movement are Bible believers who want to prove, by using the Bible, that God blesses homosexual relationships. I can understand this. If one is a true Bible believer, it must be definitely devastating to love God and yet to feel that God doesn't approve of one's beloved. So if I were gay and a Bible-believer I'd be trying to do what the Gay evangelical movement is doing: trying to prove that Jews and Christians throughout the ages have misunderstood the Bible. But I don't have an agenda to prove. My only agenda is sane exegesis. So whenever I hear gay Bible theology, I feel I'm being asked to believe a bunch of desperate crock.

Among the crock is: A) the sin of Sodom was really hospitality, B) Jesus and the beloved disciple were lovers and C) Jonathan and David were lovers.
It takes a lot of wishful thinking to prove that every reference to homosexuality in the Bible is really only about Baal worship.
And the fact that Jesus' opponents -- the pharisees and Judas-- didn't once hint that JEsus and the beloved disciple were getting it on does seem odd, since the Pharisees would surely have used that bit of information to hang Jesus with. And let's consider the fact that the beloved disciple is the only one who calls the beloved disciple the beloved disciple, (and heck I'm Jesus' beloved disciple too). (One gay priest who used to serve at my local episcopal church and who is pretty big in the movement now was so on the warpath that I began to think that all of his sermons revolved around his penis. And yes, he had several books and gave several sermons about Jesus and the apostle John being lovers. Like several of my gay friends he was adopted and had bonding issues with his parents. I don't think he can imagine loving a heterosexual Jesus.)

About Jonathon and David. Tons of middle eastern poetry and figures of speech have this kind of praise of warrior-brothers "love." Gay Christians should check the war poetry of the time and realize that Israel is part of a regional culture. Their historical writing style and their poetry has similarities to other poems and warrior epics of that region.

Plus if gay Christians are going to say that David was in love with Jonathan, why don't they go all the way and say that it looks that David's lust for Bathsheba shows he obviously was healed of his homosexuality later on in life?

Or at least admit that gay folks can be attracted to folks of the other sex? David so wanted Bathsheba that he betrayed his good friend just for a night with her.

But moving past those examples:

I had never heard this particular Centurion thing before. (Mercifully, after the aforementioned priest went on to higher things, I was relieved from keeping up on gay theology.) But the assertion of Jesus blessing a same-sex relationship revolves around the word "pais" which, they argue, is a word everyone in the Greek world and Roman Empire would've known was the word for a same-sex partner. Know what? I'll agree with them...as far as that goes. I always wondered why one gospel writer (Luke 7:2) declares the "a servant" was dear to him --"pais" to him. (Matthew 8:5) called him a "servant" but doesn't mention the pais part. Although I'm still not really convinced the centurion was homosexual, I'm not deeply invested in him not being gay. So for argument's sake, I'll accept it. With a few caveats.

The modern term "gay" is a construct not really known in the old world. When modern folks use the word, they mean a person who solely has same sex relationships with adults. By such a definition, Alexander the Great would not be "gay." Nor for that matter would Oscar Wilde. Back in the day, the person who only solely had relationships with a same sex adult was not common. Alexander the Great was greatly in love with his wife AND his adult male friend/lover. Oscar Wilde fell in love with youths and deeply loved his wife.

Pedophilia in the form of pederasty was fairly accepted back in the Roman Empire. Not homosexuality per se because it was considered unmanly if two adult men sexually loved each other. (Consider that the curse that befell the house of Oedipus began because King Laius simply would not give up his boy lover when the kid got older and Laius was in love with him, an unseemly thing to do he kidnaped and raped him. Everyone descended from Laius had love issues after that. Falling in love with a bull, a mom, not falling in love, falling in love with a son-in-law.) So yeah, certain kinds of homosexual relationships were okay....if a man had a young boy lover, that is. And if he had a homosexual relationship with a man, (Hercules for instance) he dang well had better have a wife. But for the most in the Greek and Roman empires homosexual relationships between two adult males were frowned upon. Only pedophilia was acceptable.

I'll also trust their historical finding that the emperor had put a ban on certain centurions having heterosexual marriages. But I don't believe in their conclusion.

They say that Jesus blessed the homosexual relationship. Uh? Where did they see that? First of all, in Luke's version of the story the servant is dying and Jesus DIDN'T meet the Centurion personally. In Matthew's version, the servant is paralyzed, in pain but not dying and brings the Centurion DOES meet with Jesus. The question is: "Whose version is right?" If Matthew doesn't mention the "pais" part, presumably he thought that kinda thing just wouldn't fly with his readers. If Luke mentions the "pais" bit, he probably thought his readers would understand the situation and not really care. And why do the gay theologians collapse both versions? Either it's just a regular servant and the Centurion meets Jesus, or it's a pais and the Centurion meets Jesus. Matthew had his agenda: to prove that Jesus was king and the one who would bring in Israel's kingdom. Luke had his agenda: To show that Jesus was the savior of all humans. Matthew was a disciple of Jesus. He walked with Jesus. Presumably he saw what was going on first hand. Luke, on the other hand, heard the story second-hand after research. But if we're going to use a Bible verse to prove any kind of human agenda, we better know what we're doing.

There are two people in the Bible whom Jesus healed whom Jesus didn't meet personally. One was the the daughter of the Syro-Phoenician woman. The other was the Centurion. The daughter of the Syro-Phoenician woman was not in town. The Centurion was. So why didn't Jesus go to meet this man of great faith? Luke tells us that when Jesus was "Not far from the house" the Centurion sent friends to tell him not to come. Hey, the man had great faith and Jesus wasn't far from the man's house. Yet, Jesus didn't go to the man's house to see him. At least not in Luke's version. Certainly should make a gay theologian wonder...

In Luke's version we can begin to understand why the Centurion is so aware of his "unworthiness." We can see why he sent wave after wave of people to plead to Jesus for his dying friend. I mean, first he sent the elders of the synagogue, then he sent his friends. I wonder why the Gay movement doesn't examine the meaning of the word "unworthy" with as much determined hoopla as they examine the word "pais." They seem to assume the Centurion was just tossing off the word. But one can understand that if this servant was indeed the Centurion's pais, the Centurion would have been feeling way unworthy...and would definitely say Jesus should NOT come into his house. The rulers of the synagogue kept telling Jesus that the man was "worthy" because he had built them a synagogue...but only the Centurion and Jesus knew what went on behind the walls of the Centurion's house.

But both stories have these things in common. The Centurion loved Israel and had built a synagogue. He was very loved by the people. He had a lot of faith in the God of Israel. Jesus praised the Centurion for his faith. And I do wonder about Christians who think that gay folks can't love God deeply.

So I agree that Jesus healed the Centurion's servant/pais-same-sex-partner. The gay christian movement says that Jesus didn't rebuke the centurion. Come on! Jesus wasn't the kind of person to rebuke people second-hand. Besides, why rebuke a person who seems to be well aware of his sin? Ever had one of those moments where one has said to a judgmental Christian, "I lose my temper a lot."? And the Christian says, "You really should work on that temper of yours. It's a sin." Duh. Besides, Jesus came to the lost sheep of Israel. He doesn't drop the Law on people who live outside of the Law.

Hey, I have tons of gay friends. Most of them feel they were NOT born gay. Some feel they were. Some are religious and in loving relationships. Some are religious and celibate. Some are slowly being healed. Some cruise around in way dangerous places. Some will proclaim to the world that they were born gay but privately to me and their close friends say the opposite. And I have no problem with that. Hey, I know the Christian world and the non-Christian world. Christians can be very harsh on gay folks. Gay folks can be harsh on Christians. The world can be harsh on them both.

Whatever the situation, I try to walk the borderlands. I try to be fair. I don't know what it's like to be born gay but I know what it's like to have an unusual sexual orientation. I, myself, have NEVER fallen in love with anyone black. Nor do I think I ever will. So I defend my gay friends always because I'm not going to judge a woman who dates another woman when I know my friend was sexually abused by her minister father or her alcoholic brother since age four or eight. Nor am I going to judge my friends who were molested by priests or Jehovah's Witness deacons or
by their fathers when they were young. So I'm not picking on gay folks. But I will challenge bad theology whenever I come up against it. And I will speak up against any kind of wrong interpretations or wrong conclusions I hear someone spouting. Hey, I'm still open to being convinced but so far none of the arguments have made any sense.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Roundtable on People of Color in Fantasy

Check out the Roundtable on People of Color in Fantasy.

Self Publishing Symposium

Make plans to attend the third annual

Self-Publishing Symposium

March 9, 2007

Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture

New York, NY

9am-4:30pm

The only business conference for self-published authors and independent publishers.
Space is limited. Register Today!

Visit
www.aspicomm.comor call (516) 642-5976 for information.

Early bird registration discounts available through December 31, 2007!

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

For lovers of the dance

Check out Carmen's post on All about race on:
color neutral clomping.

It made me think of heaven, which is such a joyful place. As C S Lewis said, "Joy is the serious business of heaven."

And as another person -- who has visited heaven (either in a vision or in a death experience) -- has said, "all that fun, all that singing, Heaven is very loud!"

I love humanity at its best.

Hurston/Wright Award for College Writers

- Deadline: January 15, 2008

The Hurston/Richard Wright Award™ for College Writers has been established
by novelist Marita Golden to honor excellence in fiction writing by students of
African descent enrolled full time as an undergraduate or graduate student in
any college or university in the United States.

The first place award of $1,000, and two finalist awards of $500 will be
announced in April for the writers of the best previously unpublished short story
or novel excerpt.

Eligibility:

At the time of submission, applicants must be enrolled in a college or
university full time as an undergraduate or graduate student. Writers who have
published a book in any genre are ineligible.

How to Apply:Those applying for the Hurston/Wright Award should submit 2 copies of a double-spaced manuscript, of no more than 15 pages (of a novel) or 20-25 pages (of a short story) typed in a 12 pt. font, along with a $10 processing fee (money order only) to:

The Hurston/Wright Awards
6525 Belcrest Road
Suite 531Hyattsville, MD 20782

Please indicate on each of the two (2) copies of the manuscript whether it is a short story or novel excerpt. Only one story may be submitted per applicant. Manuscripts will not be returned. Your name, address, phone number, email address, and school in which you are enrolled should be enclosed on a separate sheet. Do not include your name on any manuscript page.
To ensure acknowledgment of receipt of your submission, you may send it by
certified mail, receipt requested.Deadline:

Submissions must be received between November 1, 2007 and post marked no later then January 15, 2008. The nominated winner and finalists will be required to provide a verification of college enrollment and a photo. Previous winners are not eligible.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Chutzpah, Avoidance, and Cringes

Well, I've been re-reading my book, Wind follower. And three things impress me about it.

1) Chutzpah.
Dang, I was bold. Honestly. Christian and pro-life stuff written plainly for all to see conquering all my fears of atheists. And sexual stuff written plainly for all to see, conquering all my fears of judgemental pious priggish Christians. I kinda feel they come from the same place: some very immature part of me that doesn't like being bullied by anyone. I think I'm a bit spoiled because I don't want to challenge myself to change this part of me. Ambience and being all-hail-fellow-well-met with folks I don't like is just not my forte. It took me so long to not succumb to the "fear of man" that now that I've gotten all bold...I don't even want to seriously analyze my tendency to just say what I think.

2) Avoidance.
Dang, I'm sensitive to sad stories. I'm one of those folks who cannot watch certain movies because I don't like scaring myself or upsetting myself. Still haven't watched Kramer versus Kramer cause I can't deal with divorce issues. (Yeah, I know. But maturity isn't my special talent.) I've discovered that I actually wrote some scenes and chapters that upset me so much I don't want to read them. I hate suffering and I get so sad at the stuff Satha goes through I find myself skipping her chapters. Yep, I'm skipping stuff in my own book.

3) Cringes.
Dang, I'm a crummy proofreader. Okay, sleepiness and fibromyalgia aside, I really could have done a better job on some of my more glaring mistakes. Gabriel Garcia Marquez says there are over 99 mistakes in his book One hundred years of solitude. Okay, maybe Wind Follower doesn't have as many but still. Why do I give the Third Wife brown hair and then later make it red? Why do I have someone use the word "penniless" when that world doesn't even have a penny? Aaargh. The brain, folks, the brain.

Still and all, it's a good little book. And I'm proud of it. Cringes, avoidance, and chutzpah and all!

Decision Made

I've been working on my present WIP wondering what kind of novel it would be. Specifically, I was wondering whether I would deal with religion again. I think I've made up my mind and honestly, it has freed my soul.

I guess this big decision resulted from my latest experiences with the Christian Tour. Frankly I am traumatized. Or rather, retraumatized. We fibro folks are all very easily stressed and wow, this was seriously stressful.

Basically, I had forgotten how judgemental Christians could be. I'm a recluse; what can I say? Hubby and I got majorly trampled pretty nastily by some racist ministers who didn't like interracial marriage. It certainly turned me off church people. So my avoidance of Christians (except for those in my lovely spanish-speaking Ecuadorean church) is not easy judgementalism...just a desire for mental safety. God understands this.

I remember a visiting minister walking over to me in church one day and saying, "Do you know why you are here? Because it is safe for you here." He didn't know me, but God had told him all my heart. The holy spirit didn't come up to me and say, "You're here because you judge christians." The holy spirit doesn't work like that. The holy spirit knew that the reasons for my avoidance of Christians was that I needed a safe haven from Christian cruelty.

But by allowing my book to be judged by Christian reviewers I had unwittingly entered into the kind of Christian church I regularly avoid. I wrote Wind Follower as a kind of deal with God. Anything to heal my son, anything to heal my body. And no doubt, writing Wind Follower probably kept me alive. I truly believe that doing God's will can prolong one's life. So I don't want to not write Christian books if that's what God wants me to do. But I will definitely never ever again put myself up on a Christian reviewer torture rack again. For ten pages of sex in a 380 page book, I was treated like a sinful person leading people into sin. So, whether or not I ever write a Christian book again, I've realized that my audience -- my readers-- are not Christians. Christians are not going to be buyers of my book or give it a good word of mouth.

I am grateful for those who did the tour for me. Grateful for those who loved Wind Follower, and grateful to those who feel I dragged their pristine souls through filth. But I am especially grateful that I remembered again what it is like to venture into the christian world again and why I had sought out my safe Hispanic haven. I had truly forgotten all the stuff I went through because of judgmental Christians and wow, I feel almost as if I've been retraumatized. I'm just not healthy enough to deal with any more Christians. When one isn't sleeping one doesn't need to be up thinking about some Christian reviewer behaving as if you've written porn....simply because of ten pages in a 380 page book.

No, I don't need that.

The funny thing is right now I'm in a big battle with some atheists and muslims on a minorityspecfic group. Notwithstanding what atheists such as Stalin and what suicide bombers are doing, they're blaming me for the war in iraq, for killing homosexuals, for bombing abortion clinics, for the slave trade. If fibromyalgia didn't get me all sickly and stressed out, I'd think this was all so funny. Getting slammed by fundamental Christians at the same time I'm being slammed for being one. Well, I know you can imagine. From now on, I'm gonna do what my editor says and stop calling Wind Follower a Christian book.

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Pandora's Box Special Project; Dark Eden Press

Somewhere in the world sits the infamous relic which is Pandora's Box. A vessel containing all the evil of the world and one magical gift - hope. Somehow it has been opened for a brief moment. It may be opened by one of the characters or someone else simply opened it by mistake. The fact remains, evil personified now trolls across Earth.

The Task – Write a 30K+ word romance revolving around the evil/s that escaped the box. You must include the prop of the box as well.

Genre - paranormal romance (may be very light or very heavy elements)

Plot - an evil or evils have escaped from Pandora's Box and must be returned in some form or fashion. You may use any evil including sins, diseases, famous or infamous murderers, etc...

Ending - must be HEA or HEA for now.

Heat Level - any (mainstream or erotica BUT erotica must focus on the plot)

Time Period - any

Prop that must be included - the box

*Note – The evil may be the antagonist, or protagonist.

These should be well-crafted stories with excellent characters and contain an integral use of the plot as stated above.

Submissions must be in by June 1, 2008.

Please address all questions or submissions to
submissionsATdarkedenpress.com

The Aurealis Award nominees

Check it out! Sylvia Kelso, the author of Amberlight is a nominee for the Australian speculative fiction award, the Aurealis Award.

Winners will be announced at the Aurealis Awards ceremony at the Judith Wright Centre of Contemporary Arts in Brisbane on Saturday 26 January 2008.

best science fiction novel
Marianne De Pierres, Dark Space, Orbit
Jack Heath, Remote Control, Pan Macmillan
David Kowalski, The Company of the Dead, Pan Macmillan
Sean Williams, Saturn Returns, Orbit

best science fiction short story
Simon Brown, ‘Lonely as Life’, Fantastic Wonder Stories, Ticonderoga Publications
Penelope Love, ‘Whitey’, Shadow Plays, Elise Bunter
Chris McMahon, ‘The Eyes of Erebus’, Daikaiju! 2 – Revenge of the Giant Monsters, Agog! Press
Cat Sparks, ‘Arctica’, Fantastic Wonder Stories, Ticonderoga Publications
Cat Sparks, ‘Hollywood Roadkill’, On Spec, #69

best fantasy novel
Jennifer Fallon, The Gods of Amyrantha, The Tide Lords Book Two, Harper Collins/Voyager
Lian Hearn, Heaven’s Net is Wide, Tales of the Otori The First Book, Hachette Livre
Sylvia Kelso, The Moving Water, Book 2 of the Rihannar Chronicles, Thomson Gale,
Glenda Larke, Song of the Shiver Barrens, The Mirage Makers Book Three, Harper Collins/Voyager
Michael Pryor, Heart of Gold, Second Volume of The Laws of Magic, Random House

best fantasy short story
R J Astruc, ‘The Perfume Eater’, Strange Horizons, #16
Adam Browne, ‘An Account of an Experiment by Adam Browne’, Orb Speculative Fiction, #7
Garth Nix, ‘Sir Hereward and Mister Fitz go to War Again’, Jim Baen’s Universe, April 2007
Angela Slatter, ‘The Angel Wood’, Shimmer, November 2006
Cat Sparks, ‘A Lady of Adestan’, Orb Speculative Fiction, #7

best horror novel
The panel of judges for this division declined to select a short list from the nominated works. However, the winning novel will be announced at the ceremony.

best horror short story
Terry Dowling, ‘Toother’, Eclipse, #1
Richard Harland, ‘Special Perceptions’, At Ease with the Dead, Ash-Tree Press
Rick Kennett, ‘The Dark and What It Said’, Andromeda Spaceways Inflight Magazine, #28
Ben Peek, ‘Black Betty’, Lone Star Stories, #23
Anna Tambour, ‘The Jeweller of Second-Hand Roe’, Subterranean, #7

best young adult novel
Kate Constable, Taste of Lightning, Allen & Unwin
Anthony Eaton, Skyfall, UQP
Juliet Marillier, Cybele’s Secret, Pan Macmillan
Michael Pryor, Heart of Gold, Second Volume of The Laws of Magic, Random House
Scott Westerfeld, Extras, Simon Pulse

best young adult short story
Deborah Biancotti, ‘A Scar for Leida’, Fantastic Wonder Stories, Ticonderoga Publications
Shane Jiraiya Cummings, ‘Yamabushi Kaidan and the Smoke Dragon’, Fantastic Wonder Stories, Ticonderoga Publications
Garth Nix, ‘Bad Luck, Trouble, Death and Vampire Sex’, Eclipse, #1
Garth Nix, ‘Holly and Iron’, Dark Alchemy, Allen & Unwin
Tracey Rolfe, ‘Cast Off’, Fantastic Wonder Stories, Ticonderoga Publications

best children’s (8-12 years) long fiction
Isobelle Carmody, A Mystery of Wolves, Penguin Books
Kate Forsyth, The Silver Horse, The Chain of Charms 2, Pan Macmillan
Kate Forsyth, The Herb of Grace, The Chain of Charms 3, Pan Macmillan
Kate Forsyth, The Cat’s Eye Shell, The Chain of Charms 4, Pan Macmillan
Kate Forsyth, The Lightning Bolt, The Chain of Charms 5, Pan Macmillan
Kate Forsyth, The Butterfly in Amber, The Chain of Charms 6, Pan Macmillan
Emily Rodda, The Key to Rondo, Omnibus Books
Carole Wilkinson, Dragon Moon, Black Dog Books

best children’s (8-12 years) short fiction
Luke Edwards, Ock Von Fiend, Omnibus Books
Anna Fienberg & Barbara Fienberg, Tashi and The Mixed Up Monster, Allen & Unwin
Marc McBride, World of Monsters, Scholastic Australia
Briony Stewart, Kumiko and the Dragon, UQP

Beyond the Country Doctor Anthology

http://www.mnartists.org/work.do?rid=164164
Published by Kent State University Press and Hiram College Center for
Literature, Medicine and Biomedical Humanities

It is more than Marcus Welby or the country doctor taking care of the farmers/ranchers. Today a diverse group of clinicians, have added cell phones and PDAs to their black bags and minister to a multi-colored patchwork quilt of patients.

We want to show the breadth of rural medicine in the United States today. We are looking for poems, essays, and short stories (fiction and creative nonfiction, max 5000 words) written by health professionals (doctors, nurses, midwives, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, social workers, mental health providers and students of all of the above) that address the following:

--Who we are (exploring diverse providers)
--Who we serve (exploring the variety of patients)
--Where we are (sense of place)
--The resources we have and the challenges we face (i.e. tele-medicine, electronic health record, part of larger health systems, limited services, insurance, etc.)

We are not able to pay for your contributions. The book will be published in Fall, 2009. We are willing to consider already published work as long as we can secure permission to reprint it from the original publisher. Work should not include the identifying information of patients unless permission is granted.

Authors with contributions published in the collection will receive a free copy of the anthology.

Submission due by February 1, 2008 by email attachment to:
zink0003@umn.edu or mail CD to UMN address. For further information feel free to contact me by email or phone

Therese Zink, MD, MPH
Dept. of Family and Community Medicine
University of Minnesota
MMC 81
420 Delaware Street SE
Minneapolis MN 55455
612 625 9197 phone
612 624 2613 fax

NATIONAL PEACE ESSAY CONTEST

http://www.usip.org/ed/npec/index.html

Deadline: February 1, 2008
United States Institute of Peace Invites High School Students to Enter National Essay Contest

The United States Institute of Peace established the National Peace Essay Contest to expand educational opportunities for America's youth.

The topic for the 2007-08 competition is "Natural Resources and Conflict."
Participants are asked to write a 1,500-word essay stating what they believe are the necessary elements for the development of fair, peaceful, or effective use of natural resources after a conflict.

Students are eligible to participate if they are in grades nine through twelve in any of the fifty states, the District of Columbia, or a U.S. territory, or if they are U.S. citizens attending high school overseas. Students may be attending a public, private, or parochial school, or participating in a high school correspondence program. Entries from home-schooled students are also accepted.

First-place state-level winners are awarded $1,000 each and compete for national awards. National awards include one first-place award of $10,000; one second-place award of $5,000; and one third-place award of $2,500. First-place state winners are also invited to Washington, D.C., for the awards program. The institute pays for expenses related to the program, including travel, lodging, meals, and entertainment.

Visit the USIP Web site for complete program information and entry procedures.

Contact:
Link to Complete RFP
www.usip.org/ed/npec/index.html

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Small plea to Christians

Wind Follower has six sex scenes that have been giving some -- not all-- Christians a tough time. Only about ten pages in all, but some folks have gotten way bent out of shape about them. If you find you don't like the book, you can pass it on to someone else or donate it to your local library. Don't throw it into the garbage or anything. Just being honest. I know how we Christians can be about our responsibility to the world and our duty to rid the world of any kind of evil.

That said, it's a good book and many Christians like it.
Thanks.
-C

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

On this day, I complete my 48th year


Well, it is December 5th. I am now forty-eight years old. Tomorrow I will be forty-eight years and one day.

Amazingly, I hadn't thought I would be on earth. But here I am. Alive and well, and very thankful to God for keeping me here. Not that earth has been so much fun, and not that I don't like the idea of heaven...but it's where I have to be cause there are certain things I must do in my life.

I totally believe in each life having a purpose. There are things in this world that others cannot do or that others would not do. Each life is important. Some folks don't know how important their lives are. For whatever reasons, they have never been told how important they are to other folks. I find that hard to believe but there are people in this world who aren't told on an ongoing basis how good it is for their friends, their families, the world at large that they are in the world. I've been very lucky. My friends always tell me how important I am to their lives.

I was lucky also in that my mother told me the wonderful myth of my life. True myth. And it's had wonderful power over me, power to encourage me in times of serious grief and distress. That's my mom on the left there. I miss her very much. Her birthday was Dec 7th. So we always celebrated it together.

Anyway, the overpowering myth of my life: I was born in spite of the fact that my father wanted to abort me. (He succeeded in aborting five of my brothers and sisters.) So from birth I was a survivor. Then when I was a baby, I had to get some vaccinations. My mother and her friend kept making dates to go to the clinic but something weird would always stop my mother. At last my mother's friend said, "Irie, I'm not waiting around for you." (Irie, is a jamaican term which means something like "sympatico friend.") So my mother's friend went and got her baby vaccinated. Her baby died, along with several other babies who had been vaccinated at that clinic. Turns out there was something wrong with that batch of vaccine, badly maintained or something.) Survival number two.

Then when I was thirteen I was on Bear Mountain and running around like mad as kids often do. Suddenly I felt a hand stop me in my tracks. There was no one there. But there was this pressure of a hand against me, stopping me. I stopped running and walked a little further. When I looked I saw that there was a sheer drop down a cliff. If I had continued running, I would've dropped over the hill and died. Survival number three.

In college, a white guy, --a fellow student-- attempted to rape me. Some of the bloggers who have reviewed my book were offended that I didn't make the rape less offensive. Oh well! I'm sorry I didn't make it more pristine and dress it up in a bow for Christian consumption. I was beaten to a pulp and left on the floor with aching ribs and an aching cheekbone that pained me for almost a month. Hey, but I survived.

During the past 20 years I came down with fibromyalgia. That is 20 years of sleeping only two hours or so a night. I had a son who was diagnosed as autistic and who was non-verbal and prone to allergies. You cannot imagine what kind of life this was, sleepless and taking care of an autistic kid for these past 17 years. But God has never failed me. Sometimes I would pray: "Lord, just take me home to heaven. This kind of life is slow torture." Somwetimes I would seriously wonder if I just shouldn't end it all. But then the Lord came to me in a dream one night and said, --He is sooo wonderful, my dear, dear, Saviour-- "Hold on, Carole. Live a little longer. You have six great works to do."

I laughed in His face when he said that. But I now know that if He hadn't told me about the six works I had to do, I probably would've given up and allowed myself to die. But I encouraged myself in the love and promise of my God and I managed to write Wind Follower...on two hours of sleep at nights with achy bones. And I created a character who also chose to live in spite of her sorrows.

Great is the Lord and greatly to be praised. His greatness is unsearchable.

I don't know if you know this song but check it out. It's by Nicole Mullen

I KNOW my Redeemer lives.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

My favorite Blogs

Ah my friends! I visit so many blogs every day but I doubt they would all be of interest to any one person. To each his taste. So for those who might be interested:
Here are the blogs I visit. All are wonderful, some are pretty controversial (For instance, I have to tell you that nobodypasses is a very sexual site so don't go there if you have a puritanical streak.)

RACE
White men for black women blogspot
angryblackwoman blog
http://www.allaboutrace.com/
black Female interracial marriage
http://rawdawgb.blogspot.com/

SEXUALITY and Sexual woundedness
http://nobodypasses.blogspot.com/

Feminism and Linguistics
http://ozarque.livejournal.com/

Christianity
Persecution.org

Romance Books
http://sormag.blogspot.com/

Speculative Literature
http://www.juno-books.com/blog/
http://fantasydebut.blogspot.com/
http://chrisa511.blogspot.com/

Multicultural and Christian specfic
http://www.mirathon.blogspot.com/

Christian specfic
http://blog.lostgenreguild.com/

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Wind Follower Blog tour begins

Well, Folks, the Wind Follower tour has begun. I feel so blessed. Most new books aren't helped along like this when they enter the world. But to have a blog tour! It just makes my heart leap with joy. I owe these folks mucho.



So far, it's been great. A few bloggers had problem with the sex in the story, some with instances of violence, some with the writing style. Some don't think my Characters are very "good" or they think the ending is depressing. Interestingly, the secular reviewers seem more aware of the spiritual stuff than the Christian reviewers. Sometimes it seems as if the only spiritual issue the Christians are concerning themselves with is the sex issue. For instance, I think of Satha's attitude toward her God is pretty much like the attitude so many Christians have about him. Like Islamists, many Christians are like Satha and have a God who sometimes does destructive things for a person's own good. Fate. I tried to make Loic's religion be truly about the gospel. His salvation is based on "a faithful acceptance of God's love for him", not on how "good" or noble or well-behaved or righteous he is. Yet many Christian reviewers seem to want me to slam Loic with the Law, as if I must drag him to the tree of knowledge of good and evil.

As for the sex scenes, there is nothing even vaguely lustful about the sex scenes in Wind Follower. The various sex scenes show a fearful manipulative teenager trying to get a woman pregnant so she'll stay with him, a rape, sex between two life-wounded people trying to put their shattered lives together, a temptation that would've led to a demonic possession, and other instances that shows how complicated life is. But no one even ponders that. I'd forgotten why I avoided certain kinds of Christians. It's certainly making me decide to go secular from now on. I mean...there is only about seven to ten pages total where sex is important. 7-10 pages in a 380 page book. But the way these reviewers behave. Shows they are more sex-crazed than secular reviewers.

Anyways, check out the interview at Shades of Romance . There'll be a review sometime during the month on Shades of Romance Blog

The folks involved in the Christian Fiction Review Blog will be posting stuff from Dec 2 - Dec 8. So if something isn't up on their respective sites yet, it will be up later.

Christian Fiction Review Blog
Cathischatter.blogspot.com/
Disturbing The Universe: Reviews And Rants
Queen of Convolution
The Lost Genre Guild
The land of my sojourn
virtualbooktourdenet/
http://gracebridges.blogspot.com/
http://afrankreview.blogspot.com/
http://blog.lostgenreguild.com/
http://disturbingreviews.blogspot.com/2007/12/windfollower-art-loic.html
http://virtualbooktourdenet.blogspot.com/2007/12/interview-with-carole-mcdonnell.html
http://authorgeralynbeauchamp.blogspot.com/2007/12/thank-you-carole-mcdonnell-and-wind.html
http://forstrose.blogspot.com/2007/12/wind-follower-by-carole-mcdonnell-cfrb.html
http://lisanevin.blogspot.com/2008/04/wind-follower-my-thoughts.html


The Writers of Color Blog Tour participants are:
Rachel Lindley
Moondancer Drake's blog
East of Mars
Greg Banks

Other interviews and reviews --from folks not in the tour-- can be found here:
http://otter.covblogs.com/archives/022531.html
http://longandshortreviews.blogspot.com/2007/07/review-wind-follower-not-yet-released.html
http://www.publishersweekly.com/article/CA6478173.html?q=carole+mcdonnell+wind+follower
http://mindflights.com/Forum/viewtopic.php?t=512

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Missing Minorities

When a minority goes missing, the media frenzy is often non-existent. And the sad truth is that thousands of people go missing every day. Human evil is rampant, and human sorrow also. We don't know why these folks go missing. But that doesn't mean they are garbage. If they are wounded and have chosen to "go missing", they must be found and healed and brought back to the loving fold of family and neighbors. If they have been kidnapped or murdered, then those who have victimized and destroyed them must be brought to justice.

But that ain't gonna happen if we don't make the media responsible for caring for minority women, children, and people. And while the media goes wild over the disappearance of a white woman or white child, they simply do not care if a Hispanic or Black or Native American or Chinese person disappears. Not enough public interest I guess. Or maybe they think it's Black-on-Black crime or minorities killing each other off...and Good riddance! Or maybe they just don't value our lives because they don't think we contribute anything to the society at large. Ah well, Black history month stiil hasn't convinced them that we DO wonderful things in the world. Often, the only hope families have is exposure and attention to the case.

Please do what you can to help find these missing children, teens and adults by visiting Missing Minorities & Black and Missing every day. If you've seen something, heard something, or know something, don't stay silent.

-C

Committing to praise


I've decided that everyday during the month I'll be writing a mini praise devotional on my other blog

Hey, it's the season!

Well the month has started interestingly. Older son and his friends have moved out of their apartment down county and well, they had this doggie -- an all white pit bull-- who was gonna be homeless cause no other parent or landlord wanted to deal with him.

Son, of course, asked me. You know how they do: they whine and cajole and just oppress you moment by moment and day by day. He kept saying it -- I don't even know the doggie's name-- was "just a pup" and the kid swore up and down he would "take care of" doggie.

Ah, children! How they do lie!

Last night, as the cold winds blasted against the trees and the side of my house, I hear moaning -- doggie moaning. Piteous sounds, let me tell you. This got me all upset. And although I'd been lying awake all night, I grabbed the female wifely privilege and woke hubby and told him that a sad little puppy was in our back yard and he should bring doggie in. Yep, older son had apparently brought doggie in a cage to the back yard and left him in cage in cold car outside. Then off older son went on a Friday night to do youthful Friday night revels and I haven't seen him all morning. Hubby, being a sweetie, brought doggie inside and then climbed back to bed.

This morning I come down to the living room and there is this gigantic white pit bull in my kitchen in a cage. Not the cute little pup I remembered from the summer. So then we figure we can't freak out younger son because younger son has been known to FREAK-OUT with dogs. (I don't mind younger son's allergies cause heck, dog dander will be no more of a challenge than my messy house and allergiest are always saying that sometimes a kid benefits by having to deal with a pet they are allergic to. See, I'm actually calling this doggie a "pet" already. I can only suspect that in spite of myself I now have a new pet in my house. Honestly, if it weren't a pit I'd be calmer. I like small cute little doggies. Not all white pit bulls with beady eyes. But one gets what one gets. A big dog in a little house. At least for the nonce. I think I'll be caring for this dog until they get a new apartment. Lord knows how long that will be. So wind Follower better sell mucho and get me enough money to buy a new house soon.

In the meantime, I will praise the God of miraculous unwelcomed interruptions.

ADDENDUM TO POST:
Well, older son called and told me Doggie is named Hemo. Hemo is quite sweet and well-behaved. Except that Gabe starts running away from him when they're in the same room and then we have this mad eddying circle through the kitchen, living room, and dining room. All around the mulberry tree. My goal this week -- other than having a dog and a kid nagging me to take them for walks-- is to get Gabe to NOT run away from doggie.

My ebuddy Carmen from All about race suggested a doggie gate, and says it's not a good idea to leash a pit like that. He may become frustrated then hostile then aggressive. She told me to check out

www.drsfostersmith.com
and

www.petedge.com

So will see how this thing works. Actually, it has to work cause there's no other choice. I think I'll be watching a lot of the Dog Whisperer from now on. -C

Thursday, November 29, 2007

$5,000 Phyllis Naylor Working Writer Fellowship Seeks Applicants

The PEN/Phyllis Naylor Working Writer Fellowship of $5,000 is offered annually to an author of children's or young-adult fiction. The Fellowship has been developed to help writers whose work is of high literary caliber but who have not yet attracted a broad readership. As a result, an author's books may not have achieved the sales that would allow the writer to support him or herself solely from writing.

The Fellowship is designed to assist a writer at a crucial moment in his or her career, when monetary support is particularly needed to complete a book-length work-in-progress.

The Fellowship is made possible by a substantial contribution from PEN Member Phyllis Reynolds Naylor, the prolific author of more than 125 works of fiction, including the novels Alice in the Know, the 21st and most recent in the acclaimed "Alice" series, as well as Sang Spell and Shiloh, the first novel in a trilogy, which won the 1992 Newbery Medal.

A candidate is a writer of children or young-adult fiction in financial need; candidates have published at least two books (and no more than five) during the past 10 years that have been warmly received by literary critics but have not generated sufficient income to support the author.

Deadline: Letters of nomination must be received by January 14, 2008

For more information on the PEN Literary Awards, call: (212) 334-1660 ext. 108 or visit http://www.pen.org/page.php/prmID/281

Highlights for Children annual fiction contest

Highlights for Children will accept submissions to the publication's 29th annual fiction contest during the month of January 2008. The contest is open to anyone interested in writing for children and three winners will receive $1,000 each.

For this year's contest, Highlights seeks stories set in the future. Under contest rules, any unpublished story is eligible, whether submitted by a professional or a new author. Previous winners have included both published and first-time authors.

Contest guidelines state that all entries must be postmarked between January 1 and January 31, 2008. The stories should not exceed 800 words, and they may be considerably shorter for younger children. Stories glorifying war or crime or containing violence or derogatory humor are not acceptable.

The three contest winners will be announced on Highlights.com in June 2008. Winning manuscripts become the property of Highlights and will appear in the periodical at a later date. All other contest submissions will be considered for purchase at regular rates and terms. A list of winners will be sent by mail if a self-addressed stamped envelope is included with submissions.

Highlights also accepts the submission of articles, stories, and fillers throughout the year.

For guidelines or additional information, go to the Highlights website.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

2008 Young Writers' Contest

In past years, The Tarpeian Rock has sponsored writing contests for older kids and teens ages 12 through 18. The winners of these contests had their pieces published in The Tarpeian Rock and won $50 besides. If you would like to read them, please feel free to order back issues of earlier issues through 2003.

This year we've decided to try something in the realm of speculative fiction--fantasy or science fiction. Too often, these genres are dedicated lock-stock-and-barrel to perverse themes that demean religion and celebrate atheism. Modern science fiction suffers from a dearth of truly heroic characters and too often lionizes moral relativism, portraying sterile landscapes where God is nothing more than an alien life-form--if that--and love is a chemical reaction that takes place in the limbic system. Modern fantasy has too often become just trite reformulating of the tales of Tolkien and Lewis, minus any appreciation for the transcendent God from who all creation is sprung--even that which springs from a fantasy author's mind.

To qualify for this year's contest, the entrant and his/her story must meet the following criteria:

The author of the story must be between the ages of 12 and 18 as of January 31, 2008.

The story must be 2,500 words or less.

The story must be an original previously unpublished work.

The story must be based on ONE of the five ideas below which must appear verbatim somewhere in the story. Note that these are just ideas. How you build the story around the idea is completely up to you, so long as the original idea appears in there somewhere. Following are the choices:
Father Xavier stepped cautiously off the battered starship. Before him lay a strange new planet inhabited by a hostile green people.
The alligator cast her eyes toward the shore with the hope of spotting an easy lunch. However, a careless fawn or a fat duck were nowhere to be seen. Instead, what she spied was a creature the likes of which she had never seen before.

Kreplic gasped as Domna lunged toward the controls. "For heaven's sake," Kreplic cried, "don't push that button!"
Commander Muller eased back on the throttle and positioned his Grayhawk fighter directly behind the alien craft. At point blank range and as yet undetected, it would be an easy kill. Yet, he hesitated.

"Great, more junk," Edward sighed, hitting the delete icon repeatedly. Among the 45 new messages in his inbox, all but one were flagged SPAM--but that one had a most curious subject line: "I am the princess Zephar from Ventus. Please help me!"

Stories will be judged on theme, style, creativity and adherence to the rules. Those stories will be rated highest which demonstrate a flair for language, appropriate use of wit or humor, and an understanding of traditional Judeo-Christian virtues, such as piety, honor, loyalty, hope, faith, charity, fortitude, devotion to family, etc.

Stories which contain gross vulgarity, obscenity, or attacks on Judeo-Christian belief or morality will be disqualified.

The editors of The Tarpeian Rock will choose one (1) winner. The winner will receive a $50 award and the story will be published in the 2008 edition of The Tarpeian Rock.

All selections will be final and not subject to appeal. Friends and family of Arx Publishing and its members are ineligible to participate.
Entry Deadline:
Entries should be sent to the address at right no later than January 31, 2008. The winner will be notified on or before March 15, 2008.
Arx Publishing, LLC
Attn: Tarpeian Rock Contest
PO Box 1333
Merchantville NJ 08109-0333, USA

or email: intern("at" sign)arxpub.com


http://www.arxpub.com/TarpeianRock/TR_2008_Contest.html

Multicultural Authors Book List

Well, it's that time of the year again. Minorities across the land are looking for good books to give as Christmas presents. Here, for your perusing pleasure are a few of the good books written by American Minorities:

RELIGIOUS
One Church, Many Tribes : Following Jesus the Way God Made You by Richard Twiss and John Dawson

CHILDREN
Amazing Grace (Reading Rainbow Book) by Mary Hoffman
Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry by Mildred D. Taylor
Peiling and the Chicken-Fried Christmas by Pauline Chen
Mufaro's Beautiful Daughters (Reading Rainbow Book) by John Steptoe
Looking For Bapu by Anjali Banerjee
Girls for Breakfast by David Yoo
Seeing Emily by Joyce Lee Wong
Somebody's Daughter by Marie Myung-Ok Lee
Wait for Me by An Na
When I Was Puerto Rican ~ Esmeralda Santiago
How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accents by Julia Alvarez
The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison
American Chica: Two Worlds, One Childhood by Marie Arana
The Fold by An Na
The Water Of Possibility by Hiromi Goto
Half and Half by Lensey Namioka
The Year of the Rat by Grace Lin
Carlotta's Secret by Patricia Canterbury
The Woman Who Outshone the Sun/La Mujer Que Brillaba Aun Mas Que El Sol by Alejandro Cruz Martinez and Fernando Olivera


CRIME
Fever in the Blood by Robert Fleming
Devil in a Blue Dress by Walter Moseley

FANTASY
Wind Follower by Carole McDonnell
Acacia: Book One: The War With the Mein (Acacia) by David Anthony Durham
Zahrah the Windseeker by Nnedi Okorafor-Mbachu
When Fox Is a Thousand by Larissa Lai
Matters Of The Blood by Maria Lima
The Bone Whistle by Eva Swan
Kindred by Octavia Butler
My Soul to Keep by Tananarive Due
Imaro by Charles Saunders
Shadow Speaker, The by Nnedi Okorafor-mbachu
Brown Girl in the Ring by Nalo Hopkinson
Sleeping Helena by Erzebet YellowBoy
Slave to Sensation (Psy-Changelings, Book 1) by Nalini Singh

SCIENCE FICTION
So Long Been Dreaming: Postcolonial Science Fiction & Fantasy by Nalo Hopkinson
Dark Matter: A Century of Speculative Fiction from the African Diaspora by Sheree R. Thomas
Crystal Rain by Tobias S. Buckell
Warchild by Karin Lowachee
Mindscape by Andrea Hairston
Monkey Beach: A Novel by Eden Robinson
Parable of the Sower by Octavia E. Butler
Edinburgh: A Novel by Alexander Chee
Nova by Samuel R Delaney
Ragamuffin (Sci Fi Essential Books) by Tobias S. Buckell
Cimmerian City by Rae Lindley

HORROR
Havoc After Dark: Tales of Terror: Tales of Terror by Robert Fleming
Whispers in the Night: Dark Dreams III by Tananarive Due
Thunderland by Brandon Massey
Dark Dreams: A Collection of Horror and Suspense by Black Writers by Brandon Massey
The Cursed (Vampire Huntress Legends) by L. A. Banks

ALTERNATE HISTORY
Lion's Blood by Steven Barnes

MAINSTREAM/SLICE OF LIFE
Plenty Good Room by Cheri Paris Edwards
In the Name of Salome by Julia Alvarez
Woman Hollering Creek: And Other Stories by Sandra Cisneros
Caramelo by Sandra Cisneros
Native Son by Richard A. Wright
The Magic of Blood by Dagoberto Gilb
Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison
Empress of the Splendid Season by Oscar Hijuelos
Black Boy by Richard A. Wright
The Lamentable Journey of Omaha Bigelow Into The Impenetrable Loisaida Jungle by Edgardo Vega Yunque
Dreaming in Cuban by Cristina Garcia
The Women of Brewster Place by Gloria Naylor
Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston
A Lesson Before Dying (by Ernest J. Gaines
Bodega Dreams: A Novel by Ernesto Quinonez
Puerto Rican Writers at Home in the USA: An Anthology by Faythe Turner
Reclaiming Medusa: Short Stories by Contemporary Puerto Rican Women by Diana Lourdes Velez
72 Hour Hold by Bebe Moore Campbell
The Interruption of Everything by Terry McMillan
The Namesake: A Novel by Jhumpa Lahiri

BIOGRAPHY and HISTORY
The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie
I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou
Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee: An Indian History of the American West by Dee Brown
Prison Writings: My Life Is My Sun Dance by Leonard Peltier
The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan
Roots by Alex Haley
Always Running: La Vida Loca: Gang Days in L.A. by Luis J. Rodriguez
Hunger of Memory : The Education of Richard Rodriguez by Richard Rodriguez
Drown by Junot Diaz
Go Tell It on the Mountain by James Baldwin

CHRISTIAN ROMANCE
Sushi for One? (The Sushi Series, Book 1) by Camy Tang
Business Unusual by Linda F. Beed
Guilty of Love (Urban Christian) by Pat Simmons
If The Shoe Fits by Marilynn Griffith

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Libraries and black history month

Okay, folks, major league two-part favor:
1) show your local librarian this article in which Library Journal named Wind Follower was named as a novel suitable for Black History Month

2) In Late January, remind your librarian and your local bookstore about Wind Follower. So they'll have time to include it in their Black History Month display.

That's it. Thanks. -C

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian



Native American Pastor Richard Twiss of Wiconi International

has given a Guarded BOOK RECOMMENDATION for this YA book; PG-13

This is what he wrote:

Knowing I won’t get a lot of love from of few people for recommending it, for people who want to get an insiders view of the typical life of a reservation young person, I nonetheless highly suggest you get a copy of
Sherman Alexie’s new book The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian.

It won the 2007 National Book Award for Young People's Literature, is currently #1 on the Book Sense Best Sellers List for children, and is #3 on the New York Times Best Sellers List in chapter books for children. The book has also been selected by Publishers Weekly (11/5/07) as one of the "Best Books of the Year."

Told in a typical Alexie humorous way, it paints an honest, all too real (the PG-13 part) and painful picture of the challenges faced by kids on the Rez everyday. Because I grew up with very similar circumstances as a young boy on the Rosebud Lakota/Sioux Reservation and later, I laughed out loud many times and cried quietly while reading it. If you like it let me know what you think; if not, just pray for me.


So, if you're looking for a kid's book on Native American or Minority Issues...and if your child can handle the PG-13 aspects of life on a reservation, here's a great Christmas present idea.



NAIITS SYMPOSIUM THIS WEEK IN SIOUX FALLS

The Board of the North American Institute of Indigenous Theological Studies (NAIITS) is convening it's 5th symposium at Sioux Falls Seminary this Thursday thru Saturday.

They have outstanding people presenting some excellent papers around the theme, Redemption, Reconciliation, and Restoration: Journeys Toward Wholeness.

The symposium is gaining a national reputation for outstanding scholarship. It is a place for introducing new ideas for practical ministry as well, all with a strong Native worldview influence and cultural flavoring. You can read a little more about it at the Wiconi website.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Third Order Magazine

THIRD ORDER
Submission guidelines.
Religion is personal and societal; it changes single souls and entire worlds. The ways of God are not always easy or explainable. The way faith tells us to go is not always the way we expected. At Third Order Magazine, we're interested in exploring those dynamics. We're less DaVinci Code and more Flannery O'Connor -- with, of course, the occasional extraterrestrial.


Their plans are to publish each quarter. And they'll publish
mainstream/traditional, experimental and speculative short fiction that deals with faith and religion
.

Third Order is a paying market and intends to become a web zine in the future.
Check out the Third Order website for more guidelines.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Coming up short

Back in the day -- about two years ago-- I made a vow which I'll call the 2-2-2-2 vow. The upshot of this vow is that EACH year I would always try to end up in 2 fiction anthologies, hook up with 2 printed journal/ezine magazine editors, publish 2 poems in a poetry anthology, and write 2 essays for non-fiction anthologies. Hey, I was a lit major. We valued anthologized stuff. Anyways, here it is... almost 2008 and I haven't finished any short fiction let alone gotten accepted in any anthology. I've come up short.

In my own defense -- I always have something to say in my own defense-- unlike Hemingway who said he wrote his best short stories when he was avoiding his longer novels, I simply cannot truly focus on perfecting a short story when I'm in novel-mode. Either the short story starts becoming a novel, or I just flitter back and forth through all my Works-in-progress or play a computer solitaire game.

So now I'm trying to catch up. And strangely, three Asian-themed stories have popped into my mind. And, yay, one of them is almost finished. It's called So Far and it's written in future tense, second person. It's lovely and I just have to fight my novelistic soul which wants to turn it into a prequel for Wind Follower. ::shaking head here::

Anyway, there I was...all psyched to begin the second short story which wanted to be a monologue and which I decided to name Villager Uncle Li. Yep, my Asian obsession again. (Lord knows when this obsession began. Maybe after I saw the Jet Li movie, Hero.
But I go to my friend's house and her son says to me, "Ever heard of
Herman Li? He's great! As good as Buckethead." So of course, being a gal who listens to music in order to write, I end up spending my thanksgiving listening to Herman Li who, amazingly looks like how I pictured my main character Loic in Wind Follower. I also loved the coincidence and synchronity. The upshot of all this is that I actually felt as if God was urging me to finish my stories. The short ones about gorgeous Asian guys anyway.

Which gets me thinking. How am I gonna pay back all those artists -- visual or musical-- who have inspired me?
Folks like Dwight Yoakam, Jackson Browne,and
Axl Rose.

Yes, yes...although so much of my writing comes from some erotic part in my mind, there are some women aritst out there I actually listen to when I write. I just can't think of them right now.

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