Tag Archives: books

My Promised Summer of Reading

I love to read. Period. I didn’t get to do a lot of that this past year. I was a rookie English Literature teacher, I was preparing graduate school packages and doing more drafts on my latest novel. This summer it was all about reading, drafting (writing) and getting out of the city (beaches).

My favorite 3 that I read this summer:
Alice Walker -Anyone who knows me knows that I love prose and I love folklore. The prose in this book is magical! I found her POV writing to be confusing at times but it served its purpose for the storytelling. But the prose writing made me fall back in LOVE (again) with the magic of words.

Jamaica Kincaid – I can always count on her to teach me more technique on first person fiction writing. She is a genius with sentence temperature! Your typical story has structure for plot movement. She can twist plot in every sentence to keep you hanging on! But the genius part is, she’s writing just as we think. Constant growth/contradiction. Magic of words!

Mary Monroe – This was my second Mary Monroe book that I’ve read. The first one I read years ago and I suppose with life piled on top I forgot about her. NO MORE! This was my favorite book of the summer! I haven’t fallen in love and cared about characters as much as I did in this book in a long time! Magic of words!

My mentor/guide advised that I “find” time to read more. (We’ll see, with my upcoming schedule of teaching and school.) I told her about the books I read and why I chose these three as my top. Her reply was something to the tune of, ‘Because those books asked you something of yourself. They found you. Just as your readers will find your books, so take your time with your writing.

**NOTE: These are not new releases. Alice and Jamaica are two of my favorites and Mary Monroe’s book was published in 1995 (I believe).¬† Other books I read this summer were:

Half of a Yellow Sun by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Liliane by Ntozake Shange

Diablerie by Walter Mosley

Bookshelf Help

The leaves are falling…

you’re dreading having to rake the leaves in the yard…

instead, you grab a book and lap blanket

curl up on your couch and read a book.

Add these titles to your bookshelf for fall reads ūüôā

fear wrestling

The merlot on my tongue
won’t allow me to speak.

I stain my pillow with attached prayers of something
better
betwixt the Ghana of my mane.

Afraid,
I walk with a cane looped to my belt to beat a fall
design distance from cerebral lessons

fear wrestling.
I wear tight shoes to ensure carefully calculated steps
abandon spontaneity
and disavow chances and dances with love.

taken from the book:

PocketHoneyWindHips

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You should write your truth

Lorna Simon has plans to diminish her resume of safe journalism and be known for reporting trendsetting stories. ¬†Certain that she can persevere her impressive family linage within her carefree lifestyle s a social butterfly, this notion is put under fire after a night of partying thrusts Lorna into being a news maker instead of a news writer. ¬†Lorna alleges she has become the victim of a sexual assault crime committed against her by a woman, Trista, who is a promising event planner and an associate of Lorna’s mother.

Paralyzed with humiliation of  having to publicly defend her sexuality as a heterosexual, Lorna must decide to believe in her bouts of memory loss and forego the incident or rekindle her passion for journalism to protect her livelihood and uphold the integrity of her family.

img_20160115_071833.jpg

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The Making of Mississippi Window Cracks

(the prologue to Mississippi Window Cracks written in 2006)

A few years ago I decided that after all the books and movies I had read and seen related to the civil rights struggles and the state called Mississippi, it was time to take a visit. ¬†I arranged to spend a few days in Jackson, Mississippi, with a colleague of mine so I could walk the land that enveloped the energy of Medgar Evers, James Chaney, Margaret Walker, Fannie Lou Hamer, Emmett Till and the streets of the infamous “Freedom Summers”. ¬†My time there was filled with meeting civil rights heroes that are still alive, pouring libation on slave plantations, visiting museums and other historic sites, relaxing on the porch fanning flies until the sunset, and of course the southern cuisine.

One morning, my friend declared she knew the best place in town for a good bowl of grits. ¬†Upon arriving at the cozy, corner diner downtown, she turned the car off and told me to put a crack in the window. ¬†I told her that living in Los Angeles, people really didn’t do that but I remember it from growing up in Kansas City, Mo. Effortlessly, she rolled a crack in the driver’s side window. ¬†I followed hastily already tasting the buttery grits in my mouth. ¬†She turned and looked at me then spoke with hesitance in her voice.

“What’s that?”, she asked.

“What’s what?”

“I thought you were going to put a crack in the window.”

“I did.”

“That’s a crack?,” she asked sarcastically.

Now feeling totally self conscious I affirmed, “Yeah, this is the kind of window crack I used to do in the summertime in Kansas City.”

“Well this ain’t Missouri, this is Mississippi! ¬†You better put a bigger crack in that window as hott as it is out here!”

I gave the handle on the window a few more turns to open it up.

She encouraged me, “A little more.”

I carefully cranked it until I gained her nod of approval, “Like this?”

“Yeah! ¬†Now that there is a Mississippi window crack!”

The funny part about this story is how serious it got! ¬†It was almost a borderline argument. ¬†But as we walked in the diner, we laughed and joked how that would be a good title for a poem and who was going to write it first. ¬†Well, here is my book of short stories that chronicle¬†the tales fed to me through the trees, music, and people I met during my time spend in Jackson. ¬†Instead of vacationing in the Bahamas or Paris, take a visit down in the deep south to a part of history, your history, our history. ¬†You ever heard the saying, “There’s the United States and then there’s Mississippi?” ¬†It’s the truth! ¬†Go feel it for yourself!

with love,

nikki skies

PS – The grits were delicious!

Mississippi Window Crack

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