Why I Write What I Write, Post #9: Jena Schwartz #StoryPeople

 

 

 

Today, poet and essayist Jena Schwartz stops by to drop some powerful word bombs. Thanks for coming over, Jena! 

♥ ♥ ♥

heartbeatwords2

I write because I don’t do statistics, but I do do stories. And I get to write things like “do do” without apology.

I write because all I can do to relieve the neuropathic pain my wife has been in 24/7 for weeks on end now is rub her shoulders and lower back. I write because it makes me feel less helpless and a little more hopeful, about that and all of things in the world I feel I can do little to change. The only suffering writing alleviates is my own.

I write because, I’ve been told, my writing has at times made someone else feel less alone.

I write because I get to enter into some nether beta zone where the words flow and I let them and this is a source of great relief and mystery.

I write because I like writing. I write because I have to. Because so much happens in a day of working a full-time job and having a side business that is my joy and raising two kids and keeping up with household tasks–all of this could either swallow me whole or give me endless chances to see my life more clearly.

I write because it is through writing that I’m able to synthesize so many disparate things, not always to make any sense of them but at least to pull the threads together into something whole, or to pull the threads apart when they get all entangled and my breath gets shallow and I start to panic.

I write because it’s how I see. Because I see things and feel things and imagine and want and need and desire and forget and remember, and writing puts the pieces together. Or not. But it’s worth a shot.

I write because poems keep me company.

I write because it is my way of saying hello to myself and hello to you, a friend or a stranger or a stranger whose own stories might become precious to me, and our writing might create a bridge we can walk across to meet in the middle.

I write because it’s my way of spending time alone. It’s how I get quiet. It’s release and retrieval.

I write because life moves me. Because I am beside myself with despair or busting at the seams with exuberance. Because I feel isolated and because I feel connected.

I write because I only learned to weave briefly, as a kid at camp. And always wanted to have a big, beautiful loom.

I wrote because I am in love with language and sound and music and rhythm.

I write because whether you’re in the next room or a different hemisphere, writing is my lifeline.

I write because I cherish the telling of things, how stories can be remade and recycled and retooled and reduced and retold and from scratch and by squinting just so and not knowing where any of it’s going.

I write because that is the coolest thing ever, the process of discovering. Of picking up the bread crumbs and finding my way home to here, over and over and over.

I write because I’m a writer. I don’t get paid for it. I may or may not have any readers. I write because writing is one of the ways I talk to God and one of the ways I listen.

I write because I don’t know how not to write. I think I tried that for many years, and the writing came roaring back with things to tell me about myself that would lead to dying and being reborn and, well, pretty much everything dear to me in this lifetime.

I write because beyond all the reasons, it’s what I know how to do. And I believe so completely, that writing gives us access to ourselves, the way the body gives access, the way touch and movement and the way air on skin and hands on hearts and eyes wide open give us access.

I write because I do not want to close in on myself. Because there is so much to say thank you for. Because I am alive, and writing reminds me to not to miss it.

Bio

Jena Schwartz is a poet, promptress, and writing group facilitator who thrives on varying degrees of vulnerability, chutzpah, and connection. She lives and writes in Amherst, MA, with her rockstar wife and two kids.

Email: jenarschwartz@gmail.com
Website/blog: www.jenaschwartz.com
Facebook
Instagram
Twitter: @thejenarator

♥ ♥ ♥

Want In On This?

Are you a writer?  Whether you’re just starting out or an old hat; unpublished, indie published, or traditionally published- we want to hear from you!

To participate in our guest series, simply write us a blog post that answers the question “Why I Write What I Write”. It can be as long or as short as you want- we’re playing it pretty fast and loose.

Please send your posts to lauraolivabooks@gmail.com, with “Why I Write What I Write” in the subject heading (please include any author links/pics you would like in the post). The posts will be scheduled as they come in, with one post going up each Monday, and we’ll all publicize the hell out of them on FB and Twitter.

Can’t wait to hear from you!

Thank You, Mr. Bukowski

Because every so often, we all need a little Uncle Chuck in our lives.

Madhuri Writes

Bukowski2    I’ve been wrapped in a funk for about a month now. It’s got its arms all over me, has tightened its hold, and is in the process of devouring me head-first. I feel very much like the illustration in one of my Gerald Durrell novels I had as a kid, the one where he went to the Amazon, wrestled an anaconda, and nearly lost his life.

Strangled. Smooshed. Suffocating.

That’s me.

Add nasty and horrible bitch to the list and I think that pretty much sums me up as of late. Gone is the carefree woman coasting on some good writing juju – au revoir! – forgotten are the smiles and laughter and excitement – ciao! – lost is the confidence and belief in myself and my capabilities – adios! I feel like a shell of the person I was while I was writing The Sanctum Trilogy and sitting…

View original post 653 more words

Kill The Monsters

*happy dance*

If you’re follower of my main blog, you may have already seen my super excited extra special announcement. If you’re not… well then you should be. But in any case, I’m happy to tell you guys that I’m finally finished with Monster, the fourth book in The Outsider Chronicles. It’s set to be released on July 18th and I’m so, so, SO EXCITED.

It’s going to be awesome.

 

2a

 

In a world full of flesh eating creatures,

sometimes humans are the more terrifying monsters.

It’s been three months since revolution swept through the city of Cherai and ousted Councilwoman King. Banished,  the city now has a chance to recover from decades of injustice and oppression. With the help of Ben, Songhay, and the Gemini Gang, Niko works towards building a more egalitarian society.

But someone is murdering Slither hunters.

And coupled with the councilwoman’s reappearance, all of Niko’s hard work balances on a precarious precipice – one wrong move and it will all be for naught.

As the number of bodies rise and the tensions within the city increase, Niko is soon forced to make a difficult decision. And it could change everything.

 

 

*happy twirl*

Sounds good, doesn’t it? You still have time to catch up the series, you can find Niko, book 1, hanging out on Amazon looking all badass and gorgeous. Enjoy!

 

 

Kayti

#WriteBitch

Season Of The Witch: TEASER #6 (AKA “Sex For Days”)

Sex for days!

L.J.K. Oliva Books

Remember that one time I sat down with Darius deCompostela for a heart-to-heart?  No?

It was during the blog tour for A World Apart, and I may or may not have used bribery to get him to talk to me:

† † †

DdC: What’s in it for me?

I groan.

LJKO: Shrimp dumplings aren’t enough?

He gives me a deadpan look.

DdC: Please. I may be easy, but I’m not cheap.

I know for a fact he is neither easy nor cheap. I groan again. My list of questions is burning a hole in my pocket. At this rate, we’ll never get to them.

Darius arches an eyebrow.

I blow out a breath.

LJKO: Fine. What if I give you a really, really hot sex scene in your book?

His other eyebrow goes up.

DdC: You serious?

LJKO: I’m a writer. We never joke about such things.

† † †

View original post 352 more words

Why I Write What I Write, Post #8: Tasha Harrison #StoryPeople

It’s Tasha Harrison’s turn!  Today, Tasha stops by to talk about how she got started writing “filthy stories”.  As a fellow purveyor of filthy-ish stories, this was a fun read.  Enjoy!

♥ ♥ ♥

heartbeatwords2

I am definitely one of those people who always knew that I was going to be a writer.

But I never intended to write filthy stories.

Seriously, I sat down to write perfectly wholesome stories and the filth just happened. I swear!

Well, it kinda almost happened like that but not really.

When I first started writing I was hooked on the classics, particularly African American classics. The words of Maya Angelou, Toni Morrison, and Richard Wright shaped my idea of what a story should be. Proud, literary, respected and most of all Black. I was certain that anything that came out of me would be just like that. Something I could be proud of. Something my mother could brag to her church friends about.

For years I wrote stories that mirrored the ones that I loved from my favorite classical authors. Read-a-likes that fell flat and possessed no authorial voice. And all along I was writing those naughty bits and editing them out because that was not serious writing…right? If I wanted to be taken seriously I couldn’t write love stories or romance. I had to ground my plot in something more substantial…right? But here’s the thing–no one wanted to read those stories. My efforts to get my literary, proud, respectable work published never paid off.

I quit writing. I didn’t even journal.

Life changed. We moved down South which was a huge culture shock for all of us. I began homeschooling my kids and while I was sure this was the best thing to do for them at that time, I was completely and utterly bored. So I started writing again to pass the time. In the beginning, I did try to revisit those more serious stories but immediately gave up on them. At the time, I was reading a lot of romance so that’s what I began to write. Very few of the mainstream romances I read had people of color so that’s what I began to write: multicultural, interracial, diversity rich romances. My brain produced those naughty bits and I ran with them. In that first year, I wrote a little over two hundred thousand words.

And no one knew that I wrote them for years.

Why? Mostly because I was ashamed. All that filth? All those filthy words and people doing filthy things? The thought of my mother or grandmother reading these books made me nauseous—though ultimately, my mother read In Her Closet when it was in it’s very beginning stages and loved it. It also took me a long time to muster up the courage to tell my husband what I was doing all those hours online (I wrote most of it in Google Docs). But once the “big secret” was out I felt great about it. I still cringe when someone I’m close to blurts it out in mixed company, “Hey, my cousin writes dirty books!”

Yeah, that is and will always be strange.

But, for the most part, I love it. I write filthy stories because I love them.

bigXsloppyO,

Tasha

 

 

 

11209601_10206695996943130_7419011814473283740_n

Often accused of navigating life without a filter, Tasha L. Harrison has managed to brand herself as brutally honest without being labeled a b**ch…or at least that’s what likes to tell herself. She writes African American and interracial erotica and erotic romance with heroines just as brazen as herself and heroes that struggle to tolerate them while getting them in the sack.

Find her at:

Website: tashalharrison.com

Twitter@tashalharrison

Facebook 

And click >here< to subscribe to her newsletter.

Her series THE LUST DIARIES is available now!

A Slant of Light (prequel short story)
In Her Closet, The Lust Diaries: Book One
The Shame in You–A Short Story
Everything She Never Wanted, The Lust Diaries: Book Two (coming May 25)

♥ ♥ ♥

Want In On This?

Are you a writer?  Whether you’re just starting out or an old hat; unpublished, indie published, or traditionally published- we want to hear from you!

To participate in our guest series, simply write us a blog post that answers the question “Why I Write What I Write”. It can be as long or as short as you want- we’re playing it pretty fast and loose.

Please send your posts to lauraolivabooks@gmail.com, with “Why I Write What I Write” in the subject heading (please include any author links/pics you would like in the post). The posts will be scheduled as they come in, with one post going up each Monday, and we’ll all publicize the hell out of them on FB and Twitter.

Can’t wait to hear from you!

Why I Write What I Write, Post #7: Lori Hendricks #StoryPeople

Lori Hendricks stops in today to talk about the art of storytelling, and why she writes science fiction and fantasy.  Without further ado…

♥ ♥ ♥

heartbeatwords2

 

I was asked to share, in a thousand words or less, why I write what I write. In my head I was like, that’ll be easy — I write fiction, specifically science fiction and fantasy, because the real world sucks balls. Big dirty ones. The idea of building a world to my specifications and then fill it with people I would like to meet, villains I’d enjoy to destroying, and places I long to visit is very appealing. I love to create heroes that can do so much more than I can to right the wrongs of the world around them. It gives me an outlet when I’m feeling frustrated or lost. I suspect it’s the reason so many of us enjoy reading and/or writing stories like that.

But as I thought about it, I realized there is a bit more to it than that. I love storytelling. Good old fashioned, grab a hold of you, take you on a roller coaster, and don’t let go till the end storytelling. Just so happens, those are the kinds of stories I like to tell. But when you stop and think about how the art of storytelling has evolved over the years and how much of that art we lose every year — it just makes me want to write even more.

It used to be that people would read a good book or go to the movies to get lost in the story. CGI in movies removed so much of the onus of the storytelling from the writers. And don’t even get me started on remakes, reboots, retellings, etc. Makes me want to cry! Formulaic stories with no imagination are the bane of my existence.

To me, books remain the last real realm of true storytelling. In books, we can create literally anything and make it so real that the reader forgets where they are. Our minds are engaged and our worries are left behind in the real world. I write what I write because I want to help people get to that place that I love so much. I have so many stories I want to tell, places I want to take people. The art of laying a story out in such a way that the reader can’t help but experience it exactly how you intend is an amazing superpower. I write because I want to use that superpower to change the world. Eventually.

So the answer to the question of why I write what I write is because the world sucks and I want to provide an outlet for those still looking to get lost in a good story.

♥ ♥ ♥

LA Hendricks is an IT project manager by day and science fiction/fantasy novelist by night. A longtime lover of words, she reads science fiction, fantasy and paranormal romance novels regularly (when there is time). When not reading, writing or working, LA can most often be found watching football or basketball with her adorable cat, Mona.

Website: www.loriahendricks.com

Twitter: @LAH_Author

Facebook

♥ ♥ ♥

Want In On This?

Are you a writer?  Whether you’re just starting out or an old hat; unpublished, indie published, or traditionally published- we want to hear from you!

To participate in our guest series, simply write us a blog post that answers the question “Why I Write What I Write”. It can be as long or as short as you want- we’re playing it pretty fast and loose.

Please send your posts to lauraolivabooks@gmail.com, with “Why I Write What I Write” in the subject heading (please include any author links/pics you would like in the post). The posts will be scheduled as they come in, with one post going up each Monday, and we’ll all publicize the hell out of them on FB and Twitter.

Can’t wait to hear from you!

Season Of The Witch: TEASER #5

Things are really ramping up between Georgia and Darius! Check it out for yourself…

L.J.K. Oliva Books

SBSW14

† † †

Slowly, the world settled around her.  Darius’s leather jacket was cool and foreign against her cheek.  Georgia sighed.  She could feel him chuckle, then he shifted until she was standing on her own two legs again.  She braced herself for when he backed away.

He didn’t.  His arms closed around her.  His chin came to rest on top of her head.  Georgia’s lips curved.  She closed her eyes.

Something unmistakably hard jabbed her stomach.  Georgia opened her eyes again.  Her mouth went dry.  “Ah.  Darius.”

“Don’t.”  His voice was quiet, but the warning was unmistakable.

Impossibly, a slow trickle of heat started to pool inside her again.  It made her bold.  Georgia rubbed against him.  “Darius.”  She started to reach for the fly of his jeans.

Darius caught her wrist.  Georgia looked up at him.  His face was drawn tight.  She blew out a frustrated breath.  “I…

View original post 329 more words

Why I Write What I Write, Post #6: Mitch Goth #StoryPeople

Next up, we’re hearing from Mitch Goth, paranormal investigator and wordsmith-of-all-trades.  All yours, Mitch…

♥ ♥ ♥

heartbeatwords2

I suppose there’s not one reason why I write what I do. Over the past couple years I’ve written novels, novellas, and short stories in genres like thriller, suspense, drama, comedy, romance, among others. I started out writing thriller novels, mostly about crime. That most likely stems from my interest in crime stories and crime films, which started at a young age. When it comes to the other genres, like suspense or comedy, there really wasn’t any particular reasoning behind writing those stories. Most of the time, ideas simply come to my mind and I think to myself, “I have to write this, I want to write this” so I do. I don’t think that writing has to be any more complex than that when it comes to reasoning or motivation, although writing always seems to come out better where there is a cause or specific reasoning behind writing it.

The more serious works I’ve done, like Shattered Glass, Delicate Rain, or Color Blind (currently unpublished), had strong motivations behind them, like a statement on love or social justice. I hope to write more books like that in the future, although powerful motivation like that is hard to come by. Aside from strong statements being motivations for writing, I also take a famous piece of writing advice and “write what I know”. I wrote a small serial short story series about Antioch College, my current school, as a way to show what I saw to be the positive aspects of it as well as the negative. Currently, I have a horror novel in infant stages. I decided to write a paranormal horror book now because I have been a paranormal investigator for almost six years now. I’ve wanted to write one for a long time, but only recently landed on a solid idea to build off of.

In short, there’s not one single reason why I write what I do other than I just write what I want to. Sometimes I want to write a simple action/suspense story, other times I want to create a maze-like mystery novel, and sometimes I want to put a powerful statement into fictional prose. My motivations and reasons seem to change almost everyday. Above all, I write because I enjoy it and I know it is what I want to do with my life. Motivations for stories will come and go, but my motivation to write will never leave me.

188625fab84e8ec94d7905834df10cc9 (1)

Mitch Goth currently resides in Yellow Springs, Ohio, where he attends Antioch College. When not writing, he spends his time investigating the paranormal and indulging in a good book or movie.

Twitter: @Mitchell_Goth

Facebook

Amazon

♥ ♥ ♥

Want In On This?

Are you a writer?  Whether you’re just starting out or an old hat; unpublished, indie published, or traditionally published- we want to hear from you!

To participate in our guest series, simply write us a blog post that answers the question “Why I Write What I Write”. It can be as long or as short as you want- we’re playing it pretty fast and loose.

Please send your posts to lauraolivabooks@gmail.com, with “Why I Write What I Write” in the subject heading (please include any author links/pics you would like in the post). The posts will be scheduled as they come in, with one post going up each Monday, and we’ll all publicize the hell out of them on FB and Twitter.

Can’t wait to hear from you!

Why I Write What I Write, Post #5: Delizhia Jenkins #StoryPeople

Today, author-of-all-trades Delizhia Jenkins pops in to discuss the illusive Muse, and how she started writing.  Thanks for visiting, Delizhia!

♥ ♥ ♥

heartbeatwords2

I have always been that person that never stuck to popular conventions, especially when it came to my first love: writing. I had learned early on that writing is an escape route to freedom, and as a writer I am entitled to take my own journey to wherever path my imagination leads me to. As a writer, I am granted an opportunity that many people are afraid to accept, and that is the ability to choose my own destiny or better yet, create one. When asked why I write what I write, the answer is simple: because I can.

I have yet to define myself as a writer, and maybe it is best that I do not. Right now my focus has been on the supernatural and paranormal ranging from romance to fantasy thrillers. However, the first book I published is an urban romance entitled Love At Last. No vampires, no werewolves or Faeries, no superhuman female heroes…just two people who finally found something that they had been searching for their entire lives: love. Moreover, I guess one might say that my writing is all over the place, or better yet, my imagination. I write what my muse tells me to; whenever he comes a calling whether it is 6:00 in the morning or 5:00 in the evening, his call is demanding, relentless, and unmerciful. And as a writer it is imperative that I heed to his call otherwise…he will find solace in the welcoming embrace of another writer or dreamer. That is the beauty of why I write what I write: the chaos, the intensity….the obsession. I live for it.

I write what I write because I like to read what I write. Is that a bit narcissistic? Perhaps, but I find that loving to read my own thoughts gives me an inside scoop of my own desires; my hidden answers to questions that consciously I refuse to acknowledge because my reality does not allow it to be so. I write what I write because a part of me lives in each and every one of the characters that I create; therefore a part of me is able to live in any one of my readers. I write what I write because there was once a point in my life when my voice was not strong enough to be heard, and now IT IS.

♥ ♥ ♥

About Delizhia Jenkins

There is not much to say about me. I wish I could say with honesty that writing was a destiny that simply fell into my lap; that I was meant to do this and in the next year or so my name will be written on the skyline; that I will be sitting on Oprah’s couch on her Next Chapter; and my work will be the next block buster. But I cannot. I will not. I am a 28-no excuse me, 29 year old woman with a long list of dreams and goals that have only been recently introduced to the light. So, what is there to say about me? Well, I used to write poems that eventually turned into song lyrics back in my teen years which led me to believe that I was going to be a ghostwriter for the likes of Destiny’s Child. Clearly that never happened. Just like every other passing whim of a dreamy eyed girl those words disappeared back into the ether perhaps to be syphoned back into the third dimension by some other dreamer with the heart to pursue their vision.

And then I unwillingly became an adult: and one can only guess how the cycle went; relationships, a relationship that eventually led to a child and a tumultuous road of ups and downs and disappointment. And then I got over myself and picked myself up. I put away the pen and sought more practical pursuits like giving college a final attempt. I decided to go through the for profit route: Westwood College. There, I was able to receive my Bachelors of Science in Criminal Justice in three years leaving me feeling like my victory in accomplishing something was hollow. Now what?

I drifted. I did what adults have to do to take care of their families. I struggled, and in that struggle forgot about my ambitions on changing the world through some sort of activism to just hoping to land that position that would provide me with the stability that I was searching for. Throughout the pursuit of my education I was encouraged to write. “You’re an excellent story teller,” came one instructor. “Help me with my paper,” came a fellow student. I know, I know how does this relate to this particular point in my life? Looking back, I remembered. I remembered how much I enjoyed a good read. I remembered the many nights that my muse would haunt me with visions of vibrant and amazing characters begging me to bring them to life; to give them a story and a name and a purpose. I fought with myself; denying this sudden urge to become my own creator because I did not believe that I could write; and that my writing could affect someone somehow. I jotted down my ideas lest they end up forgotten and kept them safe until I was ready.

So, I bought a laptop, and it could not have come at a better time because as I was struggling with a great deal of emotional conflicts, I wrote an urban drama entitled Love At Last. Once that was accomplished, I gave one of the most challenging characters I created her story in Nubia Rising. As a fan of the L.A. Banks Vampire Huntress Legends series, I was inspired after her death in 2011 to create my own heroine. A heroine that would live on long after my time on earth is complete; and in that discovery, and in all of the hours of reading and research and bible studies (yes, Bible studies), I found her path which inevitably is my path.

My Website

Word Press Blog

♥ ♥ ♥

Want In On This?

Are you a writer?  Whether you’re just starting out or an old hat; unpublished, indie published, or traditionally published- we want to hear from you!

To participate in our guest series, simply write us a blog post that answers the question “Why I Write What I Write”. It can be as long or as short as you want- we’re playing it pretty fast and loose.

Please send your posts to lauraolivabooks@gmail.com, with “Why I Write What I Write” in the subject heading (please include any author links/pics you would like in the post). The posts will be scheduled as they come in, with one post going up each Monday, and we’ll all publicize the hell out of them on FB and Twitter.

Can’t wait to hear from you!