Have you read The Baiji, The Red String, The Red Cloak, The Red Knot or The Shorter Things Collection? Please leave a review!
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Shu Rui’s house is not far. There are no sidewalks, but the streets are wide. They’re filled with people because everyone comes home for the fifteen-day celebration of Chinese New Year. It’s The Year of the Tiger, 1998.
I was born in 1989, The Year of the Snake. Everyone says that’s why I talk so much. Grandma always tells me,
“Child, you were born under a sign of wisdom. Remember, wisdom is attained by three methods: first, by reflection, which is noblest; second, by imitation, which is easiest; and third, by experience, which is the bitterest.“
“What are you talking about? Who’s coming?”
“I can’t tell you. But they want the Guardian. Bad. I tried to get her attention, tried to get her to come to The New Remnant. Why didn’t she come? I did a terrible thing, Li. Now I can’t sleep without hearing his cries. “
The Red Knot, Chapter 6, The Dream-Come-True
“You say that a lot.”
“I feel it a lot.”
-Turtles All The Way Down, by John Green
Ever wonder what it’s like to live with a debilitating mental problem? Or do you not have to wonder because you do it every day? Or does this describe someone close to you—a friend or a family member? Then this is the book for you and you and you.
It’s a given that John Green is one of the best writers of YA fiction, like, ever. This book is great. And I’ll always recommend that everyone read it, because reading, after all, opens one up to worlds they’ve never seen and has the power to change readers into more empathetic people. It’s true—there’s been studies. But I’ll be honest, unless you struggle yourself, you may never truly understand what it’s like to live with mental illness. That’s not John Green’s fault. He agrees with me. Aza Holmes’ mother doesn’t understand. Her best friend doesn’t understand. Even her therapist doesn’t really understand. The scene that explains the title of the book embraces that unanswerable mystery. Mental illness, like pain, grief, faith, and beauty, aren’t something you “understand.” They just are.
Enough philosophy. Read this book. Read about Aza Holmes. And her mother. And Daisy. And Davis.
You might know them already.
My newest release is an anthology of poems, flash fiction, and short stories I wrote over the last few years that do not fit so comfortably into the Young Adult genre. It’s for everyone, especially those who find it hard to read a whole novel. Sometimes short is all you have time for. I apologize in advance though; just because these pieces are short doesn’t mean they’re all sweet. The genres span from haiku to horror, and many in between. Get your ebook copy today.
I’d like to share with you my favorite poem in the collection, Color In Circles.
I felt bold. Bold. Bold as a box of bright crayons on gray recycled paper.
A rectangular page ripped from a Cinderella coloring book,
That utility box of Crayolas, ten predictable shades
Blue, Yellow, Red, Purple, Green, Brown, Orange, Pink, Black, and White
Primary to primal.
A rainbowed Decalogue stains the cheap pages
To color Cinderella in her temporary magical dress
Losing. Losing. Losing her damn glass slipper.
Graffiti without boundaries,
Void of trained aesthetics, haphazard, fearless.
A picture to reflect the stunted artist
Not for public display. The ten shades reveal a blushing testament.
What is to be done with this? This. This rendering by a frantic child?
Paint over it. Disguise the disgrace.
Slather over the mistakes with black ooze and let it dry.
Etch out a design. No, scratch out a warning—
Don’t. Don’t. Don’t waltz with strangers, Prince Charmings, narcissists.
Toss the testament in the trash with the glass slippers.
Abandon it. The mockery, the etched remnant.
Find a fresh page of thick bleached parchment.
New. New. New from a coloring book for grown-ups.
Purchase the jumbo box of crayons—ninety-six shades, nearly one-hundred hues.
Remember. Remember. Remember sitting at the table, one summer in the early‘80s.
“Use circles,” mom instructed, making bold impressions, not feeble scribbles.
Shades of blossoming pinks filled the empty space between lines.
Sunrise-tinged flowers of carnation, salmon, and fuschia.
Take the new page.
Grasp the renewed legacy.
Create. Create. Create again and again and again.
Capture the shades between bold and afraid.
There is no end.
While you’re waiting for the 2018 movie release, read the review of my favorite L’Engle novel, A Ring Of Endless Light.
Dabbles in writing, loves music and nature. Sierra Leonean
⅓ of a Songwriter, ⅓ of a Writer & ⅓ of a Photographer
Reading ~ Writing ~ Dreaming
Embrace your unrestricted nature and surrender your soul to the power of the invincible…
Welcome to my world.
Because life is simply too short.
Best-selling MBS Writer
"We're all stories, in the end." - Steven Moffat.
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