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February 24, 2010


as i look at my list

the never-ending to do list
that i avoid to do

list of tasks,
of goals,
of resolutions.

in priority order
by longest standing date

memorized to the d
details so clear
they sometimes blur
with insignificance

a list
that screams for me to
check off its boxes
boxes attached to tasks
tasks that hang on
for days
for weeks

dragging an illusion
to complete satisfaction

wish i could
shred it
yes, shred it to



then, restart
with one thing to do:

1) live.


Cross My Heart & Hope to Die: A Memoir
Now Available at True Colors Bookstore, Amazon.com and PublishAmerica.com


by Aundria Sheppard Morgan

Lifeline-- (1) an anchored line thrown as a support to someone falling or drowning; (2) a means or route by which necessary supplies are transported.
--The American Heritage Dictionary
Sometimes lifelines slip.

Sometimes the person reaching out loses her grip. Battle weary, she's unable to hold on. Or grasping the line, it cuts into her palms, wrenches her shoulder. At other times the savior falters. A dangerous setting, a gust of wind, another cry for help or her own cries of distress distract; she slackens the line. Perhaps deep down she doubts the mission. Or she has grown weak from repeatedly tossing out and towing in the line--often alone.

Sometimes lifelines slip. Here, we let go when a new cry goes up. We often lose the one, in our frenzy to save thousands. Caught up in the emotion of the moment--the spotlight that validates the latest tragedy and by default negates yesterday's tears--we follow the media rather than our heads and hearts. We allow others to dictate who is worth saving and who is not; others decide who is our miracle and who can stumble, fall, die.

Sometimes lifelines slip when today we forget what wrenched our hearts yesterday, and the day before, and the day before that. We move on before we can heal or help others heal. We paint smiley faces and write happy endings. We forward feel good e-messages, blogs, texts, tweets. We manufacture hope on fresh graves and barely cold bodies. We turn the page, flip the channel, then are outraged when the unthinkable happens again and again and again.

Sometimes lifelines slip. But we can change our pattern, alter our history, and learn from pain-filled mistakes. Let's shore up the lifelines and pull ourselves and each other to a true place of healing.

February 22, 2010

What Next: Writing Prompt - February 22 - 28

What next?

Being off this semester and seeing the end of my program in the distance (two more classes, but a ton of writing), I have been asking myself the question - what next?

Do I keep plugging along on my bibliography, reading the next book to inspire more research? Or do I buy groceries? Or do I clean and dust the house...has it been a month? Or do I sit in front of the TV and catch up on Project Runway and America's Next Top Model? Or worse yet, get sucked in by Bravo's Housewives of - you fill in the blank.

What next?

Please share your thoughts, stories, poems, essays, and prose pieces on this topic. See the "How to Become an Author" blog entry for further information on responding to this and all future prompts. We welcome all posts, if your writing doesn't end up speaking to the prompt but is triggered by it, we want to know!

Happy Writing!

February 16, 2010

In my own way

Can't say how many times
I sit in the second bedroom/office and
wonder why I cannot write.

It's the desk. Not the right height.
It's the chair. I need a new chair
It's the paper. The notebook isn't doing it for me.
It's the cleaning. Look at the dust on the file cabinet.
It's this and it's that...again.

I stall and there I am. In my own way.
Waiting for some kind of mood to move
me, crying desperation or busting with anger,
to write down all those yummy feelings, thoughts.

I stall and there I am. Looking at the desk,
file folders on right side and books on the left,
unchanged from the day before and the day before that...
and nothing written, wishing the pages away.

I worry the clothes wont get washed,
the groceries won't get bought, or
the damn apartment won't get cleaned.

I worry I will not write again
(we have all told ourselves that one).

I stall

and here I am,


-Lori Young-Williams

February 1, 2010

A Saturday Workshop for Women about Women

"There was a woman here who was loved." Joy Harjo

February 20, 2010
10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

TRUE COLORS BOOKSTORE http://truecolorsbookstore.com/

SHARING OUR WOMEN'S STORIES: AN ORAL TRADITION will focus on stories of women in our lives. Stories of women in our families, and/or stories of women who have crossed our paths. Is there a particular woman you want to or need to write about?

This workshop is for writers and non-writers alike--everyone has stories!

Join Sherry Quan Lee and Lori Young-Williams for a lively and thought-provoking day of writing (letters, poems, and/or short narratives). We will use photos, maps, memorabilia, and history books. We will read stories by other women, as well as our own--stories recalled from great-grandmothers, grandmothers, mothers, sisters, aunts, and girlfriends.

This will be an engaging day of story sharing -written / visual / oral!!!

Cost for workshop: $40.00 plus a donation to True Colors bookstore of a used book or dvd. Please bring cash or check payment to the workshop. To register, e-mail Lori at youngwms@yahoo.com. Workshop limited to twelve participants.

Lori Young-Williams is a 42 year old prose poet born in St. Paul. She comes from a working class family that believes in laughter, crying, and praying when times are good, bad or otherwise. Lori has one brother, one sister, and another sister who passed away when she was 14. She received her degree in Human Relationships with an emphasis in family relationships at the University of Minnesota, 1992. Lori works a 9-5 job in Human Resources and Finance, but her passion is her writing. Most of her poetry is about her family--family relationships and how they impact her life. She has been published in Interrace magazine, the Turtle River Press, the National Library of Poetry, Quill Books, Dust & Fire and other anthologies. Also, she has self- published two chapbooks. She has read in various bookstores, coffee shops, and spoken word events in the Twin Cities. Lori recently was accepted as a participant for the Givens Black Writers Retreat, with Sonja Sanchez and Carolyn Holbrook. She is currently working on her Master's Thesis through the Master of Liberal Studies program at the University of Minnesota. She has studied with Rose Brewer, Carolyn Holbrook, Sherry Quan Lee, and others.

Sherry Quan Lee approaches writing as a community resource and as culturally based art of an ordinary everyday practical aesthetic. Quan Lee taught Creative Writing at Metropolitan State University for ten years, and continues to teach community workshops such as Stories that Save Lives, and Bookmaking. Currently she is a Program Associate for the Split Rock Arts Program Summer Workshops and Seasonal Retreats at the University of Minnesota. She has done consulting for SASE: The Write Place, a community based literary organization. She was a selected participant for the Loft Literary Center's Asian Pacific Inroads Program, and in 2000 she was the mentor for that program. She was a selected participant for the Asian American Renaissance's (AAR) Writers' Block Program to mentor youth. She edited several of AAR's annual journals, and curated AAR cabarets. Quan Lee was a selected participant for the first Cave Canem retreat for Black Poets in Esopus, New York. She earned an AA degree at North Hennepin Community College (has since been honored as a Distinguished Alumni), and a BA and MFA at the University of Minnesota. Quan Lee has edited Body of Stories, the fifth journal of the Asian American Renaissance, and Spirits, Myths and Dreams: Stories in Transit, the fourth journal of the Asian American Renaissance; as well as, I Am Who You Fear I Am, poems by Deborah Kelly, (distributed by Kitchen Table Women of Color Press) Corn Songs, poems by Virginia Allery (Turtle Mountain Reservation), and Chromosomes and Genes: an interracial anthology, (Guild Press, 1980's). Quan Lee is the author of A Little Mixed Up, Guild Press, 1982 (second printing), Chinese Blackbird, a memoir in verse, published 2002 by the Asian American Renaissance, republished 2008 by Loving Healing Press, and How to Write a Suicide Note: serial essays that saved a woman's life, Loving Healing Press, 2008. http://www.SherryQuanLee.com