This Is Me Talking About It by Janel Taylor

Chicago Literati

Dear Amy
don’t confuse my passion for anger
I won’t confuse your blindness for acceptance
I could never afford rose colored glasses
so the black bodies littering the streets look less like the first 10 minutes of the evening news on repeat
and more like the husband for which I been praying
God sent an apology for free will of warm fingers around brown necks or on cold triggers pointed at dark skin
when he separated the light from the dark
was he referring to us
Dear Amy
I don’t expect you to understand
You’ve never been black
I don’t expect you to understand the stigma behind African American
That makes you not want to be African or American
I don’t expect you to understand anything but unapologetically white
This is me talking about it

Dear dear dear Amy
When picking today’s lesson
skip Hebrews chapter 10 verse 26
entitled…

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Upcoming book-related events and talks

Why Evolution Is True

Please excuse a bit of self-promotion: there will be an inordinate number of book-related announcements this week, just to keep people up to date.  This is a list of upcoming events, and I’ll add others when they materialize:

Thursday, May 21: Tomorrow I’ll be speaking at noon at the spiffy University Club of Chicago (76 E. Monroe St.). I believe tickets are $25, but that includes lunch. You can get more information at (312) 726-2840. There will be a book signing, I believe. The magic word to get a cat drawn in your book, as it will be for this whole series of talks, is “Maru.”

Friday, May 22: In two days I’ll be doing a reddit AMA (“Ask me anything”) event from 1 p.m. to at least 3 p.m. Eastern Time, and it may go on longer. You can post questions (in advance) or observe the goings-on here. The occasion of the…

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Forgotten Girl Author Naomi Jacobs Opens Up About Her Surreal Experience with Abby Sheaffer

Chicago Literati

Imagine going to bed and waking up 17 years into the future. For Forgotten Girl author Naomi Jacobs, that actually happened. Are you intrigued? Read our interview. Forgotten Girl is out now via Macmillan Publishing.

In your book, Forgotten Girl, you wrote about the surreal experience of going to bed a 32 year old and waking up believing you were a teenager. Were there any gnawing symptoms prior to when you fell asleep and woke up believing you were 15?

My family and friends thought I had Transient Global Amnesia initially, but I later found out from doctors that I actually had Dissociative Amnesia. It’s a form of psychogenic retrograde amnesia brought on by severe stress and is very rare. Yes, there were symptoms beforehand. In the year leading up to the amnesia I had suffered a nervous breakdown when I lost my business and ended up homeless and bankrupt…

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Live Lit Roundup for the week of April 13th, 2015

Chicago Literati

Tonight 

Come out to Haymarket Pub & Brewery (737 W Randolph St, Chicago, Illinois 60661) today at 5pm for Chicago StorySLAM: Fools, presented by WBEZ and Vocalo.org. Sign-up to tell your story on the spot at 5pm, or volunteer to be on the judging panel. At 8pm, storytelling will begin. See you there! // Get tickets // 21+ // 

Tomorrow 

This Much is True is back at Mrs. Murphy & Sons Irish Bistro (3905 N Lincoln Ave, Chicago, IL 60613) tomorrow night at 7:30pm. Featured readers include Don HallDanaNorris, and Anne Shimojima. Don’t miss it! // Free // 21+ //

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You’d be a fool to miss the April installment of The Seven Deadly Sins at Cafe Mustache (2313 N Milwaukee Ave, Chicago, Illinois 60647) tomorrow night at 8pm. Featured readers include Jeremy Owens

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Book review: ‘Word Drops’, by Paul Anthony Jones

Sentence first

If linguistic trivia is your flavour of the month, there’s a treat in store for you. Speaking of which, did you know the first thing to be described as having a flavour of the month is ice cream? This inconsequential yet pleasing fact is one of many to be found in Word Drops: A Sprinkling of Linguistic Curiosities by Paul Anthony Jones, aka Haggard Hawks.

The publishers of this diverting work, Elliott & Thompson (who kindly sent me a review copy), describe it as addictive – and it is certainly that. Each page contains a handful of intriguing word-related trivia, much of it etymological or semantic. Weird terms, old slang and surprising histories abound. But unlike most trivia books, which are structured thematically, Word Drops is arranged sequentially:

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An Astronomer is a Sorry Soul

Weekend Edition – On “Real” Writers Plus Good Reads and Writing Tips

Live to Write - Write to Live

How to Tell If You’re a “Real” Writer

Even the Blue Fairy can't make you a real writer ~ Inspirational Illustration by Gustaf Tenggren Even the Blue Fairy can’t make you a real writer ~ Inspirational Illustration by Gustaf Tenggren

There has been a bit of a kerfuffle around the Internet for the past few weeks. Like drunken participants in a virtual bar brawl, the topics of MFAs and creative exclusion have careened from blog to blog, crashing into our headspace and spilling beer on our reading material. While I’m glad that people are talking about writing (even if they are being a little unruly about it), I’m discouraged that the conversation focuses so heavily on the idea of external validation – of whether or not (and how) someone else can say that you are (or are not) a “real” writer. And, for that matter, what’s with this term “Real” Writer?

This isn’t the first time we have been caught in the crossfire, but this particular…

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