Tweet 11 White Guilt

I learn the FHA refused African Americans home loans in good areas. First I’m angry. Then I’m selfish. I could’ve had black kids on my block. Another heartbreaking part: this denied blacks the chance to build generational wealth. Hard to hold it all without white guilt.

[re-posted from today’s tweet @tryingmywings]

Tweet 5 Ashamed in Advance

I’m agitated when I walk outside. We’ve made course rules, no cross-talk, no unasked for feedback. I’m afraid I will break them, blurt things out, cause harm. I face west, stretch my spine. I swing my arms from side to side, let the warm desert wind brush away my shame.

[re-posted from today’s tweet @tryingmywings]

Tweet 4 Fuzzy Memory

We’re in the girl’s bathroom, plain white tile, 5th grade. The group of black girls in my class are breaking the rules, I think. I am a goody-two-shoes, say some snooty, uptight white girl thing? Later, our teacher names me the ringleader, and the black girls laugh.

[I plan to post one tweet each day in November @tryingmywings. I am re-posting them here.]

Tweet 2 School Bus, 4th Grade

My stepfather’s house in Connecticut, five acres, a creek. The school bus stops on a dirt road, long, sand-colored buildings, no trees. All the black kids get on. I am eight years old. Today, at 61, I cringe. Even then, shouldn’t I have known something was deeply awry?

[I plan to post one tweet each day in November @tryingmywings. I am re-posting them here.]

Survey for writing events!

[I’m not sure how many of you—my dear readers!—might be interested in my online writing sessions and workshops, but I thought I’d share this survey with all of you just in case. Note below, too, I am looking for someone to help with my November writing retreat. Please email me at riba11@earthlink.net if you are available.]

Please take this survey to provide feedback on upcoming writing events!
https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/BPF6FQP

There are only 10 questions, and the survey is anonymous. I want to find out the best times to offer the new online writing sessions, find out about the cost, gather ideas for upcoming sessions on the writing process and the craft of writing and hear your ideas and dreams about possible future events.

I took the survey VERY slowly, including extra comments and not just checking the boxes, and spent close to 7 minutes, so I know it can be completed in 5 minutes or less. I would really appreciate it if you can take the time to weigh in on these things to help me plan future sessions, especially the online sessions.

Once you submit, it will show you the current results. I’ll plan to report the final results, as well. The survey closes at midnight on Halloween.

Thanks very much in advance!

Riba

P.S. I am also looking for someone who may be interested in helping out at the November writing retreat for a reduced rate. Please contact me as soon as possible for more details.

_________________________________

Riba Taylor
https://noholdsbarred.blog/
https://499words.org/

Upcoming writing events

Hi everyone.

This is the letter I’ve sent out to let people know about these two upcoming writing opportunities I’ll be leading. I thought I would post it here for all of you, too, just in case one of you might be interested (my dear readers!). ;-)

1) Online creative writing class
English 210
Section 0378
This is a 3-unit full-semester online class offered at Mendocino College. We’ll cover key aspects of creative writing—including image detail, slow motion, point of view, dialogue, plot, narrative presence and character—and you’ll have lots of chances to try your hand with each element. Each two weeks will include a spontaneous writing exercise, workshopping a more “polished” piece, and a discussion about process or craft. This is a great way for new writers to get their feet wet and experienced writers to stretch or refresh their skills, as well as a lovely opportunity to interact with other writers and get some good feedback on your work.

Steps for enrolling
https://www.mendocino.edu/admissions
(You will only need to apply, complete the placement questionnaire and enroll.)

2) Spontaneous creative nonfiction writing retreat
November 22nd through 24th
Joshua Tree Retreat Center
This will be three days spent writing spontaneous creative nonfiction, telling our own stories. Because the writing is impromptu, the feedback will focus on specific positive aspects of the work. Great food and glorious desert setting included. Participation is limited, so please reserve your spot early. ($100 discount when you register by August 31st.)
https://499words.org/retreat/

Please email or call if you have any questions. I hope to have the chance to work together soon!

Riba

______________________

Riba Taylor
760-327-9759
https://noholdsbarred.blog/

Ballast (10)

I’m lucky. I get the Los Angeles Times. I remember how I felt when I first subscribed, the relief and pleasure to be reading beautiful writing and “real” journalism. Years later, I still feel the same way. And in our political climate, I’m so glad I get the latest from the White House by reading it. I have the luxury of monitoring myself, stopping at my tipping point, first glimmers of nausea or fury. But my luck in this, my gratitude, blooms beyond this gift. When I allow myself to meander, I am fed the antidotes. I get to read about the good things like the two men, a gay couple in Berkeley, who’ve begun Café Ohlone. They are “reviving both food and language” and “preserving the deepest parts of Ohlone culture.” Or the two young women in high school, both immigrants (one from El Salvador, one from Egypt) who’ve been best friends since eighth grade. I get to read about the biologist Peter Sharpe who has dedicated his career “to reviving the once-endangered bald eagle,” one of the “great American wildlife comeback stories,” who climbs up into their nests to examine and tag the eaglets. And I get to read about the “New Arrivals Supper Club” where “recently settled refugees bond over the food and memories of the lives they left behind.” Wages are provided for the immigrant chef and the proceeds go to the family and to Miry’s List. Each time I let myself sink into one of these stories, I feel my heart soften. Hope strikes, warms. Gratitude spills over for all these human beings doing good, important work, for being the light against the dark, and for the paper who honors them. Thank you all.