This post is dedicated to breathing new air and experiencing a new self once more. Harvest is all about traveling and experiencing all the corners of girlhood, including sensuality. There are few places in the world more sensual than New Orleans, so of course it is near and dear to me. Like everywhere else, how you experience a place is determined by how you understand yourself at that moment. Revisiting the city as an adult, it was as if a totally different person was able to breathe the air for the first time, and I was able to revisit the emotion that governs, Beignets and Trumpets (I, II) in Harvest. Below are some photos from a recent trip to NOLA and an excerpt from Beignets and Trumpets (II): New Resident. For more to read purchase Harvest here. Happy reading and happy autumn!
Head over to author Debbie Young’s blog for my latest interview, where we discuss submitting to writing competitions, what it means to become published, flash fiction vs. vignettes, and way more.
Love Songs For New Mexico
I took my bra off in the park,
In the way back, past the dogs,
Past the joggers and the paved trail.
I sat on the snapped tree—trunk perpendicular
To the ground,
Waiting for an ass like mine
To keep it warm
Amanya Maloba: I only have memory of growing up in one house. This house is a good house in a good, suburban neighborhood, with a lot of good memories associated with it. It used to be brown, but is now off-white. There used to be a swing set in the backyard, but it’s not there anymore. There used to be an enormous tree stuck at a 45-degree angle with a groundhog living under the exposed roots. The tree has been cut down, and I suspect the groundhog was eaten by one of the foxes that run through the yard. There is a creek that runs behind this house that is home to snakes and tadpoles. When I was small, I used to walk the path that led to an opening of the creek hand in hand with my father. In recent years I’ve taken to sitting alone on a rock at this opening. However, none of these images is a complete description of what and where home is.
Click here to read the rest of my latest piece on where the stories in Harvest were born and where I call home.
Splish! Splash! Sploosh! An Afro-sporting little kid decides to paint an Elephant bright Blue! EleBooyah was the Elephant’s name and she wants to help paint too! Pretty soon the kid and her elephant are playing with all the colors of the rainbow. What do blue and yellow make? A funky green frog! And red and blue? An enormous purple octopus king! Discover all of the whimsical things one can create with a splatter of paint and be amazed by a twist ending that you’ll never expect!
Amanya Maloba: Why children’s books?
Charles Esperanza: My decision to pursue children’s books is very influenced by my former professor and mentor, Eric Velasquez. I realized how awesome children’s books could be—they are basically like very detailed, rendered movie storyboards. Through children’s books I could fuse my love of poetry with my love of painting. Also, I felt like my voice and ideas were very different from anything else in the children’s book field and people would recognize that and give me lots of money for it!
In honor of Valentine’s Day here is a brief love poem, “Illegitimate Bloom,”by yours truly and some very colorful, lovey-dovey clothes and locations. Spread the love and watch it multiply!
It’s so funny to me how I can’t die
I’m already too tangible, too
If you’ve seen me at all, chances are you’ve seen a pair of Converse on my feet. They are hands down my favorite type of shoe to trek in—and I do quite a bit of trekking. I always wished I was a sneakerhead, but I’m too clumsy and adventurous to keep any shoe un-scuffed and unsoiled. Therein lies the beauty of Converse—the more grody they get, the better they look. I love that these shoes have been with me on three different continents and 10 different states and are still going strong! Below is a photo compilation of some Northern California adventures—just one of their many.
A few months ago I had the pleasure of stumbling upon Artillery Apparel Gallery in the Mission district of San Francisco. I was immediately captivated by the T-shirts and sweatshirts decorated with hand-painted, colorful depictions of animals. Even more lucky for me the maker of these shirts happened to be painting another one of his creations in the front of the shop. I’m thrilled to introduce artist Ivan Lopez as this month’s Featured Soul. Check out his views below on Mother Earth, artists’ education, his influences, aesthetic, and more. If you are in the Bay area be sure to stop by his shop, Artillery AG, on December 13, 2014 7-10 pm for a special event, M.E.WE, marking five years of production painting supported by the San Fran and Mission communities.
Check out my guest post on author Lindsay Stanberry-Flynn’s blog. I’m talking about the fluidity of time, the research necessary to complete Harvest, and the war on black bodies.