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RIP Alan Rickman #RaiseYourWands

As we all now know, Alan Rickman has passed away. To say a light is gone from this world is an understatement. And although I didn’t know him in the way his friends and family did. I like to think I knew him well enough. For those of us of the Harry Potter generation, Alan Rickman was Severus Snape. For me, although I grew up with the books, I truly grew up with the movies. I was eight when the first movies came out—it was that movie that gave me the courage to stand up to quite literal bullies—and I saw the last Harry Potter movie the summer before I…

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Sexuality, Gender, and Race: On YA’s Lack of Intersectionality for Queer Girls

I’ve written about diversity in children’s literature here and here. I’ve also talked about it a ton on social media. There are times when I feel I’ve expressed everything there is to express and then, there are times like this morning, when an incredible discussion on identity politics, sexuality, and gender breaks out on Twitter and I need to express my thoughts in a longer form. Here. I’ve said this time and time again, but growing up there weren’t many books that reflected not only who I was (a queer, black girl) but that served as representations of who I wanted to become. My parents always made sure I had plenty…

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Taking a Break to Write

Hey guys! Long time no chat… just an update to say I’m doing great and, though I love this blog and can’t wait to get back to it and grow its readership, right now I’m on a blogging break. The truth is, I can’t do it all. And, I’m at a point in my life where I have to be upfront and honest about that and my priorities. And, right now, it’s really important to me to finish the MS I’ve been working on since forever and to start another one that I’ve been brainstorming since forever. You’ll definitely be hearing from me in January. And likely a couple posts…

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Fall ’15 Writing Bootcamp Update One (#YABfwb2015)

Hey Readers– How’s it going? Things have been pretty busy on my end (got sick, changing jobs, life…). The YA Buccaneer’s Fall Writing Bootcamp started last week and, since I’m behind, this will be one mega update post! I’m aiming to update y’all weekly from here on out. It’s very fitting that it’s fall and this is the YAB fall writing bootcamp as my story is set during the fall. (haha, can I say fall anymore times?) This picture is from my inspirational Pinterest board. Anyone want to take a guess what city my MS is set in? Yep! You got it. Boston <333 I started writing this story last year (I think),…

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Se wo were fi na wosankofa a yenkyi…

This piece was originally published on September 16, 2013. While I’m redesigning my blog, I’ll be re-publishing popular posts and those that speak to me now. -P “Se wo were fi na wosankofa a yenkyi,” or “It is not wrong to go back for that which you have forgotten.” For the longest time the Sankofa Bird has spoken to me.  It is the bird which flies forward while looking backward with an egg, symbolizing the future, in its mouth.  To me Sankofa means more than a second chance, it is the empowerment of oneself, of a people, to reclaim that which has been lost and use it to move forward.…

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It’s More Than Representation: My Thoughts on the Lack of Diversity in Children’s Books

While I’m redesigning my blog, I’ll be re-publishing my favorite popular posts. This piece was originally published on March 24, 2014. It sparked an amazing Twitter discussion, because the agent I mention below reached out to me. So much has advanced in one year in terms of diversity in children’s literature but the movement’s ongoing. For some great resources / intro to the “debate,” check out my Reosurces for Writers page and the WNDB website! -P I write from where I come from isn’t a good enough excuse for why there are only white straight people in your book. Tina Kugler’s illustration on the statistics on racial disparities My parents made sure I…

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A Different Kind of Sick

Sick days. Everyone is allowed to have them, right? But what happens when they occur all too frequently? What happens when they’re not a result of an illness that’s easy to explain?  As you probably know, today’s World Suicide Prevention Day. And because I’ve struggled with depression & anxiety my entire life and have been pretty vocal about those struggles on this blog (especially of late) I promised myself I’d write a post. For myself and others. However, when I got to my apartment just an hour ago, after a long day of work, I wasn’t feeling up to it. Not because I was having a bad day but because I was fine.…

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My Foolproof Way to Revise Your Manuscript

This piece was originally published on January 22, 2013. While I’m redesigning my blog, I’ll be re-publishing my favorite popular posts. (Also, in case you’re wondering, yes I am working on a new project… TBA!) -P Revisions…yucky. My last major revisions came out looking like this: …Fun Zapper And revisions like that can take forever!  Yes, I did get a lot of critical things changed but in the end, I was so tired that it took me forever to type them into the computer. However recently I heard about this new thing called revising via your Kindle.  At first I was like, no way!?…that doesn’t really work.  Then I tried it: First of all…

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Why I Write: A Continuation

Somewhere around the end of December 2014 and beginning of January 2015, my life unraveled. I’ve always been a bit of a control freak. (A lapsed control freak.) In other words, I knew how to chill. I had a strong group of loyal friends, I knew how and when to take time for myself, and I never stressed too much about grades. By the end of 2013, I was in a great place. 2014 was to be the year of me. And, it was. Mostly. Had I really paid attention–when I entered my senior fall–I would’ve seen the warning signs. But I wouldn’t be a control freak if I easily assessed and…

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The Fight is Finally Over? #LoveWins

Hey Readers! Long time no posting 😀 I’ve been swamped in post-college life (apartment hunting, job training, and exploring Boston even more now that I’ll be living in the actual city). As you’ve probably noticed, this blog is a hot mess. It’s still very much so under construction, but I couldn’t resist posting about the Supreme Court’s decision today. YAY for GAY!!! And while it seems like everyone is celebrate, I keep seeing all these posts talking about why the fight isn’t over and why this isn’t a victory at all. Now to this/people who say this I want to say a couple things: 1. It’s a victory. As a queer woman…

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