Sunday, December 13, 2009

Sugar Lacey Haunts Me

Sugar Lacey's debut to the literary world is almost ten years old. The central character of Sugar by Bernice L. McFadden made me question the woman I was yesterday, the woman I am today, and the woman I want to become tomorrow.

I highly reccommend Sugar for your next book club selection. Sugar Lacey will be the talk of your book club just as she was the talk of Bigelow, Arkansas. Add sweet potato pie to the menu for your book club meeting and eat, laugh, and cry. Your innermost reactions to this novel will shock you as you become part of McFadden's witness to the life of Sugar Lacey.

Join Naki, Bernice L. McFadden's blog and celebrate the 10th anniversary of Sugar.

Vote for your favorite Bernice L. McFadden book on Goodreads: Best of Bernice L. McFadden

Sunday, November 22, 2009

The Independent Bookstore

Want to make a positive impact on the environment?

Want to keep your dollars local?

Want to get involved in community causes?

The Regulator Bookshop

Why shop at the Regulator?

Where do you shop for books? Why?

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Waiting for Black Issues Book Review?

For those of waiting for Black Issues Book Review to publish a new volume, follow reviews and news about black books:

QBR-The Black Review Online

African American Literature Book Club

African American Literary Review & News on Blog Talk Radio

Reviews and news are also available through your local library. Get or renew your library card and visit the library's website. Search for journals and newspapers to read reviews online.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

The Picture Book

A quilt comforts in the fall chill,
Stories delight,
Grandma and little ones read books aloud,
Sipping hot chocolate,
Savoring every sip and every word and every picture.
Dreams await.

Children's Book Illustrators take the story to another level, imagining a world for us to see, shaping how we see characters, setting, and the story itself.

Just a few of my favorites.

Kadir Nelson

Brian Pinkney

Jerry Pinkney

Leo and Diane Dillon

Patricia Polacco

Vote for your favorite picture book on Goodreads:
African and African American Folktales
Best of Kadir Nelson
Black is Beautiful for Girls

Monday, November 2, 2009

I dressed up as myself for Halloween

For Halloween, I was myself. I participated in my first performance as a storyteller.

I used to tell stories at the library, I took the week long PoetryAlive! workshop with Allan Wolf and I completed the Storytelling Course at the University of Missouri-St. Louis this summer with Lynn Rubright, Sue Hinkel, Annette Harrison, Perrin Stifel. But for me to get on stage with real live performers who do this all the time was a big step. I thought I was going to watch and enjoy other performers, but I was "called" to the stage.

My new friend, Miss J, whispered something to her aunt about my stories and her aunt, who promoted and hosted the event graciously put me on the program. Just like that...divine intervention. When Miss J told me what she did, I almost dropped to the floor. "I need ice water." She brought me a small glass and showed me the stage. The venue was cozy, the "Warm Lyrics Cafe" at the Raleigh Marriott Crabtree. Miss J's aunt, Shelia Wilson, envisioned such an evening with many more to come over the next couple of months all over North Carolina.

I read just a few short stories that I had written in the last couple of weeks. The audience was extremely supportive, with Miss J smiling up front. Afterwards, people came up to me with beautiful words to express how my stories made them feel.

"I could see, hear, and smell everything you were saying."

"You are so talented."

"You got it, girl. Now go and do it."

"That story reminded me of my grandfather."

"You are truly a blessing."

I am the one who is blessed...blessed with the opportunity to share...

I will not wait until next Halloween to "dress up" again as myself. Stay tuned for the next "Warm Lyrics Cafe". and Candid Conversations with Shelia Wilson in January 2010.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Storytelling in North Carolina

From the mountains to the coast, the storytelling tradition is alive in North Carolina. At festivals, libraries, schools, and community events, the young and mature enjoy seasoned as well as beginning storytellers.

To enjoy talented storytellers in your area, visit these sites:

Raleigh Convention Bureau

National Storytelling Network

The North Carolina Storytelling Guild

Asheville Storytelling Circle

The Storytelling Arts Center of the Southeast (SACS)

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Reader's Advisory-A Recipe for Finding Good Books


Thousands of readers
Millions of titles
One host site
A dash of creativity
A cup of connectivity
Bake forever at a constant temperature for people to enjoy sharing their favorite books.

Yields: Goodreads

The best social networking website to share your favorites and not so favorites, to interact with authors, and to keep track of your library, especially if your real home library looks a mess like mine.

Visit my virtual library by searching "Vy" and joining my friends list. The Goodreads site links books to Amazon and the World Catalog, so you can view exactly where copies of the book are in your area. Wow, the world is getting smaller.

Join my online book club.
Click on the link above.
Create an account.
Search "Vy's Book Club".

Read and share today.

African American Cultural Complex

Use your resources and gifts to positively impact your community and the world. Do not wait for someone else to do it.

Dr. E.B. and Juanita Palmer created the African American Cultural Complex, an experiential museum on their property in Raleigh, North Carolina. I took a quick self guided tour on Saturday and promised Mrs. Palmer I would be back for a formal tour. Just a few steps from my car, I was transported to North Carolina's past.

The African American Cultural Complex hosts events throughout the spring and summer, such as the Heritage Trail Festival and the Amistad Saga Outdoor Drama.

A must on everyone's calendar for next year.