White People: Shut Up About Beyoncé

Yeah…ummm…bitter gertrude is THE TRUTH!

Bitter Gertrude

After the release of her game-changing, brilliant video, Formation, and the stir her Superbowl halftime show caused with dancers dressed like Black Panthers, Beyoncé is blowing up everyone’s feeds everywhere. And one thing I am shocked/notshocked to see is white outrage about both.

Let me begin by saying that I’m not a Beyoncé fan. I’m not a fan of any of the pop divas. I don’t have anything against them; it’s just not music that interests me. So Lady Gaga, Beyoncé, Madonna, Mariah, Adele, I apologize, but I’m sure you and your massive success could not possibly care less that I would rather be listening to punk or classical. The only reason I’m pointing this out is to make sure you know I’m not a Beyoncé fan. This is not about defending a beloved star.

Let me tell you what it IS about.

The vast majority of Black people…

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Fun With Word Counts

This is well informative!

101 Books

This blog post is 133 words.

The average article I write for my day job is around 600 words.

The estimated word count on the book I’m pitching to agents is 50,000 words.

All that to say some of the word counts in the following infographic from Electric Literature blow my mind.

Some examples:

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Friday Book Chats: My Favorite Contemporary Literary Fiction

More Good stuff from Small Hands!

Such Small Hands

As part of my Book Chat I’ve decided to share some of my all-time favorite books in different genres.  Contemporary literary fiction is sort of a mouthful as far as a genre goes so let me clarify – these are adult fiction books that have been written in the past 20 years or so and that are highly literary in style. These are the types of books that win major literature prizes and awards, but are still deeply engaging. Many of these books are a bit slower-paced, written with careful attention to the language, the character development, the tone, and the greater themes rather than being primarily plot-driven. These are the kinds of books that might take a bit longer to get into, but will stay with you forever.

Disclaimer: my book recommendations may contain language, sexual content, or (non-gratuitous) violence. I don’t discount books based on those things if I…

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What I’m Into : February 2015 Edition

Good book recommendations from Small Hands, enjoy!?

Such Small Hands

February is the shortest month of the year, but it always manages to feel like one of the longest to me. It’s still unpleasantly cold and very gray, but all the holidays are over as is my vacation so it just feels like this never-ending blah month. One good thing about February is that since it’s not a great time to do outdoor activities, I spend a lot of time reading, writing, and catching up on shows. As always, I am linking up with Leigh Kramer for this post.

What I’m Reading:

I read six books this month (hurray!) for a total of 11 so far this year not including the two manuscripts I read for friends which has me ahead of pace for my goal of 60 this year. Follow me on Goodreads to see more ratings and reviews.

Still Still: Notes on a Mid-Faith Crisis by Lauren F. Winner…

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Are Conservative Academic Centers Thriving?

1984 is here. Slavery is freedom and Work makes you free…how in the hell are these orks getting away with all of this propaganda!!!!!!


An article in today’s Chronicle of Higher Education reports on a conference held at the libertarian Cato Institute promoting a report from the John William Pope Center for Higher Education Policy, which concludes that conservative-leaning academic centers on college and university campuses founded by wealthy donors “are not just surviving but thriving.”  The report estimates that there are now about 150 college centers, programs, or institutes devoted to exposing undergraduates to conservative, traditionalist, or free-market-oriented perspectives—up from just two in 2000.

According to the Chronicle, the report,

Renewal in the University: How Academic Centers Restore the Spirit of Inquiry,” says most of the centers it describes are financed by just a few private major donors. Among their biggest supporters are the North Carolina-based BB&T Foundation, the Pennsylvania-based Jack Miller Center, the Manhattan Institute’s Veritas Fund, and various philanthropies associated with the billionaire conservative activists David H. Koch…

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Denial’s Downward Spiral

Dayum girl! You did the damn thing!

Broken Light: A Photography Collective

Photo taken by contributor Jaeda DeWalt, a conceptual self-portrait artist in her forties from Seattle, Washington. Her battles with mental illness hearken back to her earliest memories, at age 4, when she became obsessed with the number four and performed exhaustive rituals in patterns of four. During her teen years, she began noticing extreme mood swings, manic one moment and depressed the next, and in her late 20′s she finally sought treatment and was diagnosed with Bipolar, OCD, PTSD, Anxiety, and ADHD. Her doctors told her they believed the mental illness was brought on by a severe concussion she sustained at age two, along with the trauma of being sexually abused as a child into her young adult years. Her life was filled with self-destructive coping methods until she went full force into creating, in her mid-twenties. The process of creating and putting herself in front of the camera felt cathartic, liberating and healing. The photographic medium opened up a new world to her and ignited a…

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Let life guide you

Is there any other way, really? I think not.

Everything Matters: Beyond Meds

The more I travel on this healing journey, the clearer it becomes that I am learning to let life-force guide me and thus heal me too. Becoming who I am completely means losing my conditioned self and letting life-force move me into oneness with all. This too is what Carl Jung might call the individuation process. See: CG Jung And The ‘Leap Of Faith’ Into Individuation

lifeWhat we can do that takes best care of us is to trust Life completely. Our part is to stay right here, with the breath, paying close attention and moving in the direction Life guides us. In that way, we can learn all there is where we are and be ready to be somewhere else when that learning is complete. – Cheri Huber

The other day I posted a wonderful piece by Charles Eisenstein. That too is in keeping with this idea: Mutiny of the Soul…

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You’re never too old to be read to

Or too young! I was reading to a four month old baby (her mother was making me) and I thought it was the stupidest thing, until one day I opened the book and the lil baby straightened up as if to say, I’m ready!


Me reading with Dad and my brother, circa 1983.

I’m not really sure where or when my love of reading began, but I know it’s a love that I was very fortunate to have encouraged and enabled by the adults in my life. I was raised by parents who read for themselves and also read aloud to my brother and me. Books were – and still are – plentiful in my house.Reading is a “cozy” activity for me. Whether it was snuggled up with my parents, my stuffed animals, or the couch and cats, it has always brought me a feeling of comfort, quiet, warmth, and safety.

When I was growing up, books didn’t have as much competition for attention as they do today. To find out the effect of all that competition, Scholastic has commissioned the biannual reportKids & Readingsince 2005. The report surveys parents and their…

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Ohhhhhhh child!!!! I feel you on this one!


Family is one of the most complicated things in life. In many ways, they can do no wrong. So long as you know they love you, you can ignore the little problems. But some times family…well, sometimes it’s tough to have them around.

I love my parents very much, and my step-dad too. I love my brother and I care about my step-brothers (though I don’t know them very well). I grew up very close with most of my extended family (there are a lot of them), and many many of my cousins are more like siblings. I have two aunts who were teenagers when I was born, so in many ways they are like siblings too. I’m glad to be so close to so many people, but I wish I were close to all of them. Unfortunately, some of my family members have isolated themselves for various reasons.


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