Monday, June 17, 2013

Denise Dare... What would YOU Burn?

Today, I am sharing a poem written by a dear friend and an inspiration, Denise Dare.











Destroying old ways

Embracing the light 
as we move through our days...

Light the torch of Passion
Always Burning
A guide upon our way to Being
Ever more fulfilled and inspired
Full of Hope
Fear behind us.


The dark.


The light.

A spark to the flame...

Let our hearts be our guides.

Let us burn through the hatred, isolation, despair.

Let us emerge, like the Phoenix, and drink in fresh air.

Let us gift one another with a smile and a glance.

Let us shift into empowered delight...ABUNDANCE.

Burning through the darkness

A new light radiates

We are wise

We are brave

We are brilliant

We will shine all our days.

When we CHOOSE to ignite

Let the BURNING begin

Be it strong

Be it bright

All together we attend...

To this adventure, this journey.

Reveal your soul’s truth

Revel in the freedom

To be who you be...

Burn through the darkness

Shine brightly your light

Be Joy-full

Be Vibrant

For we are ALIVE.

Let us BURN...and BE FREE.

Visit Denise here.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Scott Blagden, What Would You Burn?

I have never met Scott Blagden, but he and I share the incalculable boon of having Rubin Pfeffer as an agent. Scott's debut YA novel, published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, DEAR LIFE, YOU SUCK is out now, to rave reviews. I haven't read it yet, but now that I've read Scott's BURNING blog contribution, I am off to buy myself a copy post haste.

Here is what Scott Blagden would burn:

I’d burn that basement bedroom. That basement bedroom in the little red house in the woods with the cheesy paneling. That basement bedroom where I watched my dad straddle my brother on the yard-sale twin bed and beat the shit out of him. I’d burn that kitchen. That kitchen in the little red house in the woods with the enormous oak table and bench seating. That kitchen where I watched my dad slam my mom against the sunflower wallpaper and choke the shit out of her. I’d burn his booze bottles. I’d burn his belt. I’d burn the holidays when Dad said all he wanted as a gift was love. I’d burn the front-row pew he made us sit in at St. Mary’s. I’d burn the cancer cells that straddled his lungs and beat the shit out of him. The cancer cells that left him paralyzed in a pile of his own shit on that yard-sale twin bed in his filthy apartment. The cancer cells that forced me to forgive and forget. I’d burn all that shit.

Visit Scott at his website and follow him on twitter.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Sara Wilson Etienne, What Would YOU Burn?

I met lots of cool writers last year when SACRED debuted, Sara Wilson Etienne among them. I knew right when I saw her--purple curls, big smile--that I wanted to be her friend. Today I get to share her guest post, one that resonates with me and, I'm guessing, with lots of people.

What would I burn?

My ego.

There is a part of me that dreams of creating great stories that people LOVE. It dreams about teaching other people how to write for children and teens. And about author visits and book tours. This is the same part that drives me forward. That makes me work hard and get things just right. It is my ambition--my unshakable belief that I am good enough to share my stories with the world. And it is an essential and joyful part of who I am.

But let me introduce you to ambition’s sister…ego. My ego is dark and small-minded and ruthless. It craves praise and awards and gold stars. And it wants not just to create great books, but to do it BETTER THAN EVERYONE ELSE. And this isn't helpful…not in any sense of the word.

The problem is these sisters look so much alike… it’s easy to confuse the two. Because both can be a driving force. Both look like they take you to the same place...a place with a career and published books. But one is a big-hearted, vulnerable dreamer. And the other is a mean-spirited miser.

I would burn the miser if I could. The part that whispers fears about what I’ll never have. That tries to judge my success by how many Amazon reviews I have, instead of the joy I get from writing my books. It makes me always want moremoremore, never satisfied with the work I'm doing. And it makes me feel small.

 BUT I AM NOT. My ego is. 

Sara Wilson Etienne is the author of HARBINGER. You can visit her here.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Nova Ren Suma, What Would YOU Burn?

Today, I am proud to share the words of writer Nova Ren Suma, author of Imaginary Girls and 17 & Gone

What would I burn? What would I vanquish from my life?

I think I’d burn my old writing to bits.

To let you understand why I’d do such a thing, I should first reveal the years of struggle that came after leaving writing school and before publishing my first book. But I won’t go into that. Because the point of burning those old printouts of novels that never got published, and that currently live in dusty stacks under my bed, is that I think I need to stop looking backward. To not dwell.

I want to write new things, not rehash the old. I want to grow as a writer, not fall back into bad habits and wonder why things didn’t go the way I’d originally planned.

I have a feeling that letting go of those drafts, their margins littered with comments from readers and comments from myself over a period of eight or nine years, would allow me to reinvent what came before in ways I can’t even imagine yet. To think of the eight or nine years ahead of me, not behind me.

Because what I remember of what I wrote back then may just be more important than the actual words I put down on the page. Because I don’t need the paper copies anymore, do I? The experience of having written them is enough.

If I could safely set a bonfire in my apartment without burning down the building, these pages are what I’d throw in.

Nova Ren Suma is the author of the YA novels Imaginary Girls and 17 & Gone. Visit her online or follow her on Twitter at @novaren.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Ann Stampler, What Would YOU Burn?

I was blown away by Ann Stampler's YA debut WHERE IT BEGAN, and was thrilled to get to know Ann in person at a series of book events in LA. So I'm excited to share her response today...

What Would I Burn?

            I’ve never thought of myself as a big Everything Happens For A Reason kind of a person, but when I started contemplating the “What would I burn?” question, I realized that I might have to stand in line with all the other cliché-ridden Southern Californians, spouting all those gag-worthy, life-embracing platitudes.

            Because I wouldn’t burn anything. 

            All right, presented with the great sweep of human history, I would burn Pol Pot, Hitler, Joseph Stalin, and that evil woman who egged on neighbor to kill neighbor via the radio in Rwanda. 

            In the more personally political realm, I would burn corsets, girdles, and weird, conical-cupped bras that left marks under your arms; voter registration lists that contained only male names; and “whites only” everything. 

            And finally, mostly in the Dear Former Self realm, I would burn all the fears that kept me from saying “yes” to a great number of experiences that might have turned out bad and scary, but also could have turned out freeing and exciting and great.  And also the fears that kept me from saying “no.”

            But in terms of burning actual things out of the course of my life: no.  Certainly, there are things I could have done without.  My application to law school, for example.  But even that, even any tiny thing that would have resulted in me having different children and a different husband: no way.  Anything that would have left me writing different books or not writing books or writing books on a different sofa or in a different chair with a different dog.  Anything that would have left me a different me than who I am: no.
            I like where my life has brought me.  While I do have some regrets, for God’s sake, life is short, and carting those regrets around with you makes it, if not shorter, not as sweet.  Never burn sweetness.

Ann's second novel AFTERPARTY is forthcoming. You can vist Ann here.