Because Ferguson

Kids Who Die, a poem by Langston Hughes

This is for the kids who die,
Black and white,
For kids will die certainly.
The old and rich will live on awhile,
As always,
Eating blood and gold,
Letting kids die.

Kids will die in the swamps of Mississippi
Organizing sharecroppers
Kids will die in the streets of Chicago
Organizing workers
Kids will die in the orange groves of California
Telling others to get together
Whites and Filipinos,
Negroes and Mexicans,
All kinds of kids will die
Who don’t believe in lies, and bribes, and contentment
And a lousy peace.

Of course, the wise and the learned
Who pen editorials in the papers,
And the gentlemen with Dr. in front of their names
White and black,
Who make surveys and write books
Will live on weaving words to smother the kids who die,
And the sleazy courts,
And the bribe-reaching police,
And the blood-loving generals,
And the money-loving preachers
Will all raise their hands against the kids who die,
Beating them with laws and clubs and bayonets and bullets
To frighten the people—
For the kids who die are like iron in the blood of the people—
And the old and rich don’t want the people
To taste the iron of the kids who die,
Don’t want the people to get wise to their own power,
To believe an Angelo Herndon, or even get together

Listen, kids who die—
Maybe, now, there will be no monument for you
Except in our hearts
Maybe your bodies’ll be lost in a swamp
Or a prison grave, or the potter’s field,
Or the rivers where you’re drowned like Leibknecht
But the day will come—
You are sure yourselves that it is coming—
When the marching feet of the masses
Will raise for you a living monument of love,
And joy, and laughter,
And black hands and white hands clasped as one,
And a song that reaches the sky—
The song of the life triumphant
Through the kids who die.

Betty shared this cool thing

A talented and hilarious writer in one of my critique groups, Betty Sinclair, shared this:


I found this tool via the twitter-verse and thought to share it with you.

. Query Tracker

For those of you who are submitting your manuscript to publishers and agents this is a vital tool. Prior to self-publishing I was the proud recipient of over one hundred and thirty rejection letters. I posted them on my fridge and when I ran out of room I taped them to the walls of my office. Picture Richard Dreyfus in Close Encounters Of The Third Kind and you’ll have an idea of the level of obsession I was experiencing. Fortunately I was able to connect with readers by self-publishing, but while I was still trying to keep track of all my queries and submissions I made use of Query Tracker. The good folks who run the site allow you to catalog where you’ve submitted to, the time frame, and the results. You can also access the types of material specific agents and publishers are seeking, what their preferred contact method is, and most importantly, you can view whether other authors have had recent success with their submissions. The basic service is free and there is a small charge to upgrade to receive more detailed information.

Nanowrimo update

Day 19 . . . not going well. I wouldn’t say that I hate myself and want to die, but I will say FML.

Also, totally envious of Jen Ryan’s productivity in her NaNoWriMo. Happy for her brilliance and success, of course, she has been and continues to be working hard. Good for her, and praised be her name among the angels et cetera et cetera. (But I’m still bitter about my own lacklustre performance anyway).

It’s easy to blame work and other circumstances for getting out of hand, but it all comes down to me. I’m well-adjusted enough to realize I have only myself (and my inability to say no) to blame. But I’m not so well-adjusted that I’ve lost the desire to blame someone else for my sitch. *sigh*

Having said all that, I’m about half-way through chapter 9. Which isn’t exactly as good as it sounds, but it’s something, not nothing. Progress not fucking perfection.

head in bag
Being halfway through chapter 9 would be more impressive if I hadn’t completed chapters 1-8 long in advance of this NaNoWriMo. FML.