tagged with: poetry

How are you all doing out there? I hope you and your family are following the guidelines and keeping safe. I haven’t posted much about my writing for a while. Part of it is due to the fact that I’ve
I have been working on my wellness blog, trying to help others during this trying time, and I’ve been slowly editing my latest novel, Love, Lies, and Grace and sending my chapters to my critique group for their input.



So I woke up this morning thinking I need to get back to writing and posting again. I’ve only been posting about other authors’ blitzes and virtual tours, and I hope some of you have taken advantage of some of the great offers. But to be honest, I think COVID-19 has stifled my creativity somewhat. I have a novella that I started working on some time ago and it’s collecting cyberdust right now.

But this morning, I stumbled across this video that has gone viral and, in addition to bringing a tear to my eye, it has brought me inspiration. It has shown me that the world is not a great, big ball of coronavirus, as they show it on TV, but it’s a place filled with people who can smile, clap for each other, and love each other. It has given me hope.

In case you haven’t seen it yet, you can view the video below. I believe it will bless you as it did me.

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Poetry/ Religion/Christianity/ Art
Date Published: Feb 7 2019
Publisher: Lucid Books
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Freedom’s Dance is a dance of freedom written in poetry form. It is a conversational piece between the author and the Holy Spirit, an invitation to be fully alive and free. Dancing doesn’t come easily to everyone and can be very tiring, but thankfully we have a Partner to catch us when we fall–to pick us up, wipe off the dirt, and proclaim He is captivated with us even when we fall. This book of poetry will encourage you to allow your heart to feel. After all, the depths to which we choose to feel are the depths to which we can love and receive love.

Excerpt:

Sara Vevang, Freedoms’ Dance

Your Love

Your love is like a summer wave
A winter’s cool crisp breeze
It makes me laugh
It makes me cry
It brings me to my knees
Your love amazes me
Drives me to peace
Renews my mind again and again
My worship is extravagant when I look at You
No matter what my life brings
It’s all I live to do

You Take Pleasure in My Every Prayer

We are never separated
You vindicate me as I walk in all integrity
Redeeming me in Your gracious love
Purity is what You seek
Refining fire burns darkness out of me
Your blood You shed on Calvary
Paid the price
Now I’m forever
In communion with
My Jesus Christ

About the Author

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Sara Vevang is a lover of words and peace, a strong believer that freedom has a ripple effect, and understands that everyone is worthy—worthy of forgiveness and love. Sara is an encourager of people, passionate about Jesus, and knows that through Him she can do anything. Sara and her husband live in Texas and have three brilliant daughters. She loves her family, her friends, and her church home at Upper Room Dallas. Sara is thankful to you, the reader, and looks forward to providing many more books for your freedom and enjoyment. 
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Langston Hughes photographed by Carl Van Vechten, 1936.

As you all know, February is Black History month, the time when we celebrate the achievements of black folk here in America. As I researched on Google for an author to feature this week, I came across Langston Hughes, famous playwright, novelist, poet and social activist. Of course, I’d read many of his poems (who hasn’t?) but never knew that  I shared the same birth date – Feb. 1 – as this illustrious scribe.

Born of mixed heritage – his paternal great-grandfathers were of European descent, while his maternal great-grandmothers were African American – Hughes took pride in his African-American identity and stressed this in his work.

While in high school in Cleveland, Ohio, Hughes wrote for the school newspaper, edited the yearbook and began to write short stories, poetry and dramatic plays. He wrote his first piece of jazz poetry — a literary art form in which the poet responds and writes about jazz — “When Sue Wears Red” while still in high school.

Hughes’ first book of poetry “The Weary Blues” (1926) features the poem “The Negro Speaks of Rivers,” which became a signature poem. In 1930, he won the Harmon Gold Medal for Literature for his first novel, Not Without Laughter. Hughes went on to write many short stories, novels, essays, works for children, autobiographies, plays, and later formed a theater troupe in Los Angeles.

Although a major influence during the Harlem Renaissance of the 1920s, Hughes was highly critical of other Renaissance men such as W.E.B Du Bois and others who, he felt, were too accommodating of eurocentric values and culture. In addition to his literary prowess, Hughes racial consciousness inspired and united black writers not only in America but around the globe.  He had a major influence on writers  such as Jacques Roumain, Nicolás Guillén, Léopold Sédar Senghor, and Aimé Césaire.  Hughes was greatly admired by young black writers whom he discovered and helped by introducing them to the publishing world. One such example is Alice Walker author of The Color Purple.

Reading and writing about this great man is like searching through an encyclopedia, trying to extract the most significant facts about his life and not knowing where to begin. The task is the same when it comes to his poems. However, I selected a few lines from The Negro Mother which is very touching to me and which, I believe, is so pertinent to these times.

 

Sometimes, the road was hot with the sun,
But I had to keep on till my work was done:
I had to keep on! No stopping for me –
I was the seed of the coming Free.
I nourished the dream that nothing could smother
Deep in my breast – the Negro mother.

You can read more of Langston Hughes’s work on PoemHunter.com

 

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Entering a writing contest can be a good way of getting recognized as a writer. Winning a contest is not always easy, but the practice you get writing on a topic or theme, meeting a deadline, adhering to guidelines will benefit you in the long run. Some contests offer attractive prizes, including cash, trips to meet with editors and in some cases even a book deal.

On the flip side, you have to be watchful for scams. Most contests charge an entry fee which may range from $2 to $5 for poetry to $10 to $25 for short stories and chapbooks. These fees are necessary to meet administrative and other costs. Those contests that do not require a reading fee may sound like a viable option, especially to the beginner, but in many instances these are the scam artists who would state (in fine print) that the author will be giving up all rights in exchange for having her work published in their anthology, which you pay for.

Before entering a contest, you should research the organizers of the contest if they are unfamiliar to you. A few places to check are http://www.writers-editors.com/Writers/Contests/contests.htm; Preditors and Editors and Writer Beware Blogs.

Here are some writing contests you may be interested in:
Real Simple Life Lessons Essay Contest
A prize of $3,000 and publication in Real Simple is given annually for a personal essay on a theme. This year’s theme is, “When did you first understand the meaning of love?” Deadline September 15, 2011. No entry fee.
Tennessee Williams/New Orleans Literary Festival 2012 Fiction Contest. Award: $1500. Deadline November 15. Entry fee $25. http://www.tennesseewilliams.net/contests
2012 William Van Dyke Short Story Prize. Maximum 7,000 words. Awards: $1000 to the winner. Deadline: midnight October 1, 2011. Info: www.ruminatemagazine.org/contests/short-story.html
A Woman’s Write fiction contest by women about women. $40 entrance fee includes critique. http://www.awomanswrite.com/rules.html. Deadline November 30.

My first short story was published in a college magazine as a result of a contest. The following year I won an honorable mention in a nationwide contest. So now I’m off to get started on one of these. If this article has been helpful to you, or you know of any more contests or have ever been successful in any, please leave a comment below. I love hearing from you.