African-American Writers’ Alliance

Hello, my dragons and dragon-lovers,

Occasionally, I plan to share information regarding literary and artistic organizations that I feel deserve more widespread acknowledgments. For that purpose, I would like to introduce you to an organization I have found through the grapevine: the Seattle-based African-American Writers’ Alliance (AAWA).

AAWA is a collective of Seattle writers of African descent that provides an informal and supportive forum for new and published writers. They host literary events, workshops, weekly readings and more in the surrounding Seattle Area.

Randee Eddins founded the organization in 1991, where she encouraged an exchange of ideas through the written word. In a mutually supportive setting, writers listened and shared their work without censure. AAWA has monthly meetings (Saturdays, Columbia City Branch of the Seattle Library, library opening until noon). For up-to-date information, please check out their website and consider becoming a member of this wonderful organization.

If you know of any other writing organizations in Washington or anywhere on the planet, please let me know to by commenting down below.

Thank you for reading and, as always, may you have peace, love, and pancakes my literary dragons!

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What Not To Eat When Depressed and Craving Cinnamon Toast

First things first… Do not take out two sticks of butter from the fridge. Never do that. Butter is the gateway to bad times.

Okay. So you took out the butter. Even though I said not too… Okay. We can work with this. Just put that bowl of butter boldness back into the fridge and we will be okay. Just step go to that bowl and … Wait what are you doing with that fork… No stop! Put down that sugar!

Now look what you went and done did. You ruined perfectly good butter with sugar. What do you have to say for your…self… No! No! Put that down now!

I didn’t mean for you to put it into the… You know what? No, this is okay. You wasted butter and sugar and cinnamon but that’s okay. We can fix this. What? You also added vanilla? What is wrong with you? Go and throw this bowl of cinnamom sugar sin away. I’m going to go lie down and this bowl best be gone by the time I come back. God. Now my head hurts like a mother…

Okay, I am back and I thought it over. Maybe I was beong too harsh. I just know you are going through a lot so I wanted to make sure you didn’t … make… bad…

What is this?!?!

I can see that the bowl is gone and why does the house smell like a bakery!

No I don’t want to try one! Argh!

No. No. I’m out! Have your toasted cinnamon sins! I’m out!

How to Heal after being Profiled as a Cart Thief (because stealing carts is a lucrative business…)

Step 1: Sweet creamy protein chocolate goodness! Gives you the proteins needed for strong muscles to fight against systemic racism that has infected the minds of all humanity. Also, Chocolate because Chocolate.

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Step 2: Get out a recipe book you bought with your hard earn money. Make sure that everyone knows it is yours now and not that one lady that went to jail for lying Because she was a liar and you are not. So enjoy your honest purchase.

Thank you captialism.

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Step 3: Locate your spell and give thanks to the corporate gods that we have so much food in America that we can let it rot away. Really… we do… google that.

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Step 4: Prepare the cauldron! Make sure it is red. Like the blood that flows from the working and service classes of America. One day my brothers and sisters. One day.

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Step 5: Add your ingredients to the cauldron to create the perfect anti-fascist stew. The onions from a local garden, carrots from that neighbor with a truck, celery from that one Mexican single mother who bought too much, and tyme. Because all good things come with thyme.

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Step I forgot-the-number-so-sue-me: Stop taking pictures because all the other prep work takes time. Begin to ponder the many types of labor that are outside our corporate overlords sway yet are still needed in order for our nation to function and then slowly realize that all your labor that is not monetarily compensated is feminized labor…even going into birth is called labor…

And after the realization of the inability of the “free” market to truly provide “freedom” to the public and instead installs a system of classes that are arbitrarily assigned to individuals before they are even conceived …

BEHOLD!

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Serves 6 individuals and fills them with the energy and willpower to fight the good fight.

Dear Heather Heyer,

You are dead.

No wait…

Hi, Heather how are you?

No, that’s stupid, she is dead…

I am sad.

True but, argh!

Dear Heather I wrote a string of tweets yesterday because I was too high off of caffeine to care about grammar and if you want you can check out the tweets they are all about you and how your death impacted me and how I wish you lived so follow me at @poet_rose wait you can’t what the fuck am I still typing for.

Why am I such a mess?

Breathe.

Okay, try again.

Dear Heather, I found out your had a dog. Specifically a chichaucha and you named it violet and I had a dream about meeting your dog and it being stupid cute with buggy eyes and we went on an adventure to find violet doggy hair dye so we can run around Puget Sound with a violet dog but then I woke up and you are still dead…

… no…. that’s not what I want to say at all!

Dear Heather, fuck you for dying on us. No one had to die. But you had to be there. Didn’t you have better things to do besides fighting American Nazis!?! You had a dog, dammit!

That was just insulting but okay… no. Not okay. Try again.

Dear Heather, on August 12, 2017 you died for my right to exist in America but you never knew me. You marched against racist in Charlottesville, VA. You are technically White by American standards but I am beginning to think that European American would be more apt because I want to keep your name away from any association with those fucking bigots!

Too political… try again.

Dear Heather D. Heyer, your dad and mom were on the news. I read that you had a paralegal job and you are only a few years older than me. Heard you were going to go to school. You would have made a kickass lawyer. We also had a lot in common. You cry during sad and traumatic news and you are passionate about equality and you hate bigots and did I mention you had a dog named Violet. Your favorite color is violet.

Pick a past tense or present tense verb.

Fuck you.

What?

FUCK YOU. THIS SHIT IS HARD.

Yes but you got to.

I KNOW BUT SHE IS DEAD IT HURTS AND SHE CAN NEVER COME BACK AND SHE DIED FOR MY RIGHT TO EXIST AND WHAT CAN A SUICIDAL 28 YEAR OLD BLACK PINOY ON THE WEST COAST DO. I WAS ASLEEP WHEN THE CAR PLOWED THROUGH HER BODY AND SHE PROBABLY HAD DREAMS AND FOUGHT WITH HER PARENTS AND GOT DOGGY KISSES AND HAD LOTS OF LOVED ONES AND THEY ARE NOW SUFFERING ALL FOR MY RIGHT TO EXIST AND THAT WEIGHT IS TOO DAMN HEAVY IT FEELS LIKE AN ALBATROSS IS TIED TO MY CHEST AND IT IS SO FUCKING HEAVY SO I COULDN’T GET UP WHEN THEY ANNOUNCED HER DEATH I COULDN’T SHOWER OR EAT OR TALK I WAS JUST BAWLING ON THE FLOOR YELLING AT PEOPLE ONLINE BECAUSE I NEEDED SOMEONE ELSE TO KNOW HOW MUCH THIS HURT AND NOW IT IS DAYS AFTER HER DEATH AND IT STILL HURTS AND I AM TRYING TO MAKE SENSE OF IT ALL BUT SHE IS DEAD AND WHAT AM I SUPPOSE TO DO?!?!

… Live.

What?!?

Live. Honor Heather and live and write and hell, maybe get a bet dog named Violet. But live. Don’t throw your existence away because some assholes don’t want you in your homeland. Live. Live so fiercely that it pisses them off.

But, she is dead…

Many died for your right to live before her. She is now with them. Do what you do best with your life now. Write from them. To them. With them. Write, live, and love.

…I’ll try.

Okay. Up for another draft.

Sure…

Dear Heather Heyer,

Snoqualmie Falls

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Snowplow

On September 4, 2016, I went to see Snoqualmie Falls with a few friends. When we found a parking spot, which was its own adventure, we noticed this large snowplow.

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THE SNOWPLOW

Rusted and broken down, it stood as a testament to the ingenuity of man. This snowplow helped to clear of snow the tracks for lumber cars during Seattle’s youth. Still rather unfamiliar with snow, it amazes me that such a large plow would be needed.

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The beginning of the falls

After a bit of a hike, we reached the falls. There were many other pilgrims there, each wanting to take photos of the falls as the mist sprinkled our heads.

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The surrounding forest

I found myself wondering if the water droplets that flew in the air after the initial plunge down the falls kept the forest green.

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The Falls

The mist reminded me of dragon’s breath and I could have sworn a wyren lived behind the falls.

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The River

Such power followed by such calm.

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Mini Jet of Water underneath a Mountain

More proof of man’s hand.

The adventure was short but gave me plenty to think. How do hydroelectric plants provide us with electricity? Have the falls been negatively affected by tourists? If so, is there a way of reversing the damage? What stories do these falls hold? How many winters and springs have they seen?

I will return to them eventually, but for now I am enjoying the electric heat of my laptop and the sun beaming down from my window.

Adventures In Edmonds, WA

As mentioned in a previous post, you have to live to write and (for writers) write to live. The two are inseparable. So, I decided today was and exploration day. I picked a random park here my home and went for a mini-hike.

The park in question was…

My hike lasted on 30 minutes because the trail was pretty short and lead to residential areas. Also, I got hungry… But, there are many other trails to explore and I most definitely will be back soon.

The trees were huge and majestic. Some reached so high that I could barely make out the canopy. Others reminded me of the om, the idea of the continously echoing sound of the universe. Where one tree ends, another begins.

The local residents, however, reminded me that civilization and human impact have left their mark. This park was not as wild as I had hoped. There were sewer drains and manholes hidden under fallen pine needles. There were scattered pieces of trash here and there. But what was most disturbing to me was the ducks.

Animals, wild ones, usually run from me. I took it as part of their wildness and intellect. I would be afraid if a strange bipedal creature with large eyes and a light box came up to me to. But these ducks…

These cuterms guys followed me! Out of no where I heard the fluttering of ducks and the splash of their bodis hitting the pond. They must have heard me as I approached the pond. I took a look and saw 8 then 10 then 15 ducks heading my way. I started to back away as I realized that these ducks… have been unintentionally domesticated. So, I ran off but not before taking a quick pic of my duck chasers.

I then stumbled on an invasive species…

A bridge over a dry creek bed…

And the not-scary-at-all-tube-tunnel..

Nope not horror-movie-fuel at all. Nope…

And yes, I went through it. I held my phone out to light the path. The tunnel lead me to…

The street. I was so disappointed I didn’t bother to photograph this moment. I saw a Canada Dry can left by the other end of the tunnel and that was it.

All and all, my little hike did allow me to experience tempered nature in my new home town. I hope to explore more of Washington in the coming days.

Happy reading and happy writing my fellow dragons.

The Parable of Snack Time

The toddlers at the child care center I work at giving me many reminds of very old life lessons.Here is one, I call, the Parable of Snack Time.

“Snack time!” I said.

Twelve toddlers look up from what they were doing. Some start chanting “snake time!” Others drop their toys and waddle or crawl their way to an empty chair. Once all the children are sitting down and the tables are cleared of blocks, I begin to pass out today’s snack: Gold fish crackers and green beans.

After everyone has their snacks and water bottles, I seat down with them and talk with my coworker, Ms. Z. Ms. Z and I make sure to demonstrate what conversation should look like and how to seat in chairs. We ask the children questions about their day and so forth. Soon, there were empty snack plates and many still hungry children.

I get up to pass out more snacks. After the last child received their portion, I asked, “does anyone need anymore food?”

“More snack-y plwese,” said a little girl, name Mary.

I looked down at Mary’s plate. It was full. She hadn’t touched her snack all afternoon.

“Finish your snack, Mary,” I said.

“More snack-y!” she cried.

I pointed to her pile. She, in turn, pointed to the bag of cheesy goldfish.

“Don’t worry, I’ll give you more when yu are done.”

And that was when the tantrum began. She yelled and screamed for more goldfish. She the her arms left and right. Before she knew it, all her snack-y was all over the floor and Ms. Z intervened.

“Mary, you had snack, but now it is all on the floor. Come here and sit with me until you can calm down.”

After guiding a screaming Mary to Ms. Z, I swept up the rest of snack. By the time everyone was done with snack, Mary finally calmed down and I sat with her as she ate her new serving of goldfish and green beans.

Moral?

You tell me in the comments.