"This work is unlike any other, in its range of rich, conjuring imagery and its dexterity, its smart voice. Carroll-Hackett doesn’t spare us—but doesn’t save us—she draws a blueprint of power and class with her unflinching pivot: matter-of-fact and tender." —Jan Beatty

Archive for January, 2018

Daily Prompt Love <3 Respect

31 January 2018

Make art about daily actions that show respect for others, about tolerance, about countering divisiveness. 

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Daily Prompt Love <3 What the Body Demands

30 January 2018

Make art about a time your body demanded to be heard. 

body demanding

 

Monday Must Read! Everything Here Is Beautiful by Mira T. Lee

Thanks and Love to my fierce beautiful cousin, Sherrie McGimsey, for pointing me to this amazing read. Our country’s failure to properly provide services and safety for our brothers and sisters with Serious Mental Illness is a failure to the families who love them as well. They are all our children. 

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Mira T. Lee‘s debut novel, Everything Here is Beautiful, was selected by the American Booksellers Association as one of Winter/Spring 2018’s Top 10 Debut titles. Her short fiction has appeared in journals such as the Southern Review, the Gettysburg Review, the Missouri Review, TriquarterlyHarvard Review, and American Short Fiction, and has twice received special mention for the Pushcart Prize. She was awarded the Peden Prize for Best Short Story byThe Missouri Review (2010), and an Artist’s Fellowship from the Massachusetts Cultural Council (2012).

From Ms. Lee’s website

everything here is beautiful

Two sisters: Miranda, the older, responsible one, always her younger sister’s protector; Lucia, the vibrant, headstrong, unconventional one, whose impulses are huge and, often, life changing. When their mother dies and Lucia starts to hear voices, it’s Miranda who must fight for the help her sister needs — even as Lucia refuses to be defined by any doctor’s diagnosis. Determined, impetuous, she plows ahead, marrying a big-hearted Israeli only to leave him, suddenly, to have a baby with a young Latino immigrant. She will move with her new family to Ecuador, but the bitter constant remains: she cannot escape her own mental illness. Lucia lives life on a grand scale, until inevitably, she crashes to earth. And then Miranda must decide, again, whether or not to step in — but this time, Lucia may not want to be saved. The bonds of sisterly devotion stretch across oceans, but what does it take to break them?

Told from alternating perspectives, Everything Here Is Beautiful is, at its core, a heart-wrenching family drama about relationships and tough choices — how much we’re willing to sacrifice for the ones we love, and when it’s time to let go and save ourselves. 

From Pamela Dorman Books (Viking Penguin), January 2018. 

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from Kirkus Reviews

The tumult of loving someone with a chronic mental illness can exhaust even the most caring person.

Just ask Miranda, elder sister to Lucia, a brash, brilliant journalist whose periodic descent into severe psychosis has taxed their relationship and forced Miranda to confront the limits of family loyalty. Of course, she knows that Lucia can be attentive, charming, and kind, drawing in friends and colleagues—at least until the inevitable delusions take hold. It’s scary stuff. To Lee’s credit, Lucia, the more compellingly drawn of the two siblings, never seems like a psychological case study. Instead, we get inside her head—perhaps even inside her soul—to grapple with the challenges she faces. Her loving first marriage, to an older Israeli East Village shop owner named Yonah, begins and ends abruptly, revealing the magnitude of Lucia’s impetuous nature. Later, she hooks up with Manuel, an undocumented Ecuadoran immigrant working odd jobs in Westchester Country, New York, and has a baby. A move to Ecuador, where Lucia, Manuel, and baby Esperanza live in close proximity to Manuel’s family, is both comforting and stifling and raises questions about the cultural assumptions governing gender, parenting, and assimilation. In addition, what it means to live outside one’s country of origin is explored from both Manuel’s and Lucia’s perspectives. The book also exposes the helplessness of family members wishing to fix a fraught situation; the class dimension of health care delivery; and the rampant misinformation surrounding the treatment and diagnosis of illnesses like schizoaffective disorder. Lastly, vivid descriptions of the gentrifying Lower East Side of 1990s New York City, the heavily immigrant towns along the Hudson River, and several communities in Ecuador ground the characters in distinct locations.

An evocative and beautifully written debut.

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Buy this beautiful, necessary book

everything here is beautiful

Daily Prompt Love <3 Between Dreaming & Waking

29 January 2018

Make art about where the threshold between dreaming life and waking life, or about the merging of the two. 

bed

Summer 2018 Workshop at The Porches! Writing (Extra)Ordinary Grace

Writing (Extra)Ordinary Grace

August 10-12, 2018

at the fabulous Porches Writers Retreat

Poetry, for me, is one of the ways I pray. But cooking, sewing, gardening, walking my dogs, teaching–these too are all, for me, ways of praying. I learned to recognize and honor Grace in the Everyday from my mama, and this workshop would focus on writing into the Grace in those beautiful, too-often-unrecognized, ordinary moments filling all of our days. Prompts will explore observation & recognition of those personal moments of Grace, using imagery and sensory work to surround & articulate them, capturing the awe & emotional veracity, the role of specificity, subtext and surface narrative,as means to create universality, all in celebration of Ordinary Grace.

$275 for the weekend, includes full weekend’s workshop, tons of prompts and exercises to energize your writing in exciting new ways, take-home printed materials, supper Friday night, light breakfast food for Sat and Sun, and private room lodging.

Please be mindful that last minute cancellations result in empty rooms and lost opportunity for our gracious hostess, herself a writer making her creative and fiscal way through the world. Any cancellation twenty-one days or less before the workshop will require payment in full.

Contact me via email at carrollhackettma (at) gmail (dot) com 

Check out the beautiful Porches Writers Retreat HERE

porches

 

 

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Sunday Call for Submissions Love: Oyster River Pages

Call for Submissions

Oyster River Pages

Issue 2

Their call: 

“Oyster River Pages is a literary and artistic collective seeking submissions of fiction, creative non-fiction, poetry, and visual arts that stretch the boundaries both creatively and socially. We believe in the power of art to connect people to their own and others’ humanity. Because of this, we seek to feature artists whose voices have been historically decentered and marginalized—Female voices, Black and Brown voices, Queer voices, and others. If you have something to add to the conversation, we want to share it with the world in our second issue, due August 2018.”

Website: www.oysterriverpages.com

Complete Submission Details: https://www.oysterriverpages.com/submit/
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Daily Prompt Love x 2 — On Teaching Children, and Feeling Safe

27 January 2018

When I was a child, my parents, who very much lived lives of service, took us little kids with them when they volunteered, at migrant farm camps, at the soup kitchen, while working with refugee families or others, wherever their volunteerism took them. Today, I was blessed to work with amazing parents who are teaching their children by setting the same examples, modeling for them lives of service. The children worked with us, learning what I learned as a kid—that we are, in fact, our brothers’ keepers, and that, yes, a single act of kindness, of service, can make the world a better place.

Make art about what we teach children by our actions.

 

28 January 2018

Make art about feeling unsafe, about steps you take to make yourself feel safe again, about taking down your own dragons.

unsafe dragon

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