January 1st, 2015 — The coloring books project for 2015

I agree. Where do we drawl those lines?

Stephanie Barbé Hammer @ Magically Real

courtesy https://seasweetie.wordpress.com/2010/02/17/ courtesy https://seasweetie.wordpress.com/2010/02/17/

When I was little I loved coloring books. I had one for every Disney movie, and one for every fairy tale. I would color the dresses and the pants and shirts with wild abandon. I had a giant box of Crayolas – you know the kind – the ones with every color of the rainbow.

But I never colored in the faces of the people. I never colored in their hands and legs and feet. I didn’t because all of them were white like the paper. White was the de facto color. It was – I thought – transparent.

I know now that I was wrong. Today, I am committed to equality of representation of people of color in literature and to greater visibility for writers of color. But what does that commitment mean? Or to put it more bluntly, what good does it do…

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Story Time Sunday special edition, 12/28/14 – my favorite feminist fictions of 2014

Stephanie Barbé Hammer @ Magically Real

courtesy Ellie Partovi. courtesy Ellie Partovi.

Friends – I just finished reading Dana Johnson’s novel Elsewhere, California. You have to read it. It’s generous, funny, sad, and heroic. If you are a writer who wants to write about race and class, you need to read this book. If you are a writer who wants to write about women artists, you need to read this book. If you are a writer who wants to write about California and/or the South, you have to read this book.

Here are some other favorites that I recommend to my writer friends:

SarahVanArsdale25371587124TRecently I read Sarah Van Arsdale‘s novel Toward Amnesia. It’s worrisome, lyrical, and totally gorgeous. If you are a writer wanting to figure out how to write a completely exciting novel that’s a meditation – you need to read this book. If you’re a writer trying to figure out how to write about…

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Story Time Sunday, December 21st, 2014 — The Time of Our Lives

I am sharing my friend Stephanie’s post because I like what she says. With all our buzzing around, we forget to have “fun.” We need to ask ourselves why we are doing whatever it is we are doing.
Clean fun: “play, game, sport, amusement, relaxation…” Remember, reading? Reading and writing are fun. Happy holidays. Kaye

Stephanie Barbé Hammer @ Magically Real

Last night I arrived early at the annual Solstice party hosted by two of my favorite people, Marie and Joscelyn. Their younger son, Jasper, was serving as lookout at the front door and announcing when guests arrived and an adult would need to come open the door.10882345_10152878814549720_3506377642166799299_n

I was standing by the bar (surprise), when Jasper called out his alert:

“People people people!” he shouted. I looked around. People were pouring punch and opening wine bottles. So, I guess they didn’t hear him.

“People people people!” Jasper cried again. My companions at the bar looked at each other. They heard this time. But no one felt comfortable answering the door.

“Marie!” called one person. “People are here.”

“People people people!” called Jasper. It felt urgent.

I walked over. Opened the door.

I looked out.

Nothing.

“Look down!” Said Jasper.

I shifted my gaze downward.

That’s when I saw 4 fingers…

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Dragonflies: Not Pollinators, But Beneficials All the Same

Consider using this strange little creature in your stories…

Ayurveda Texas

ImageWidow Skimmer, Female

Symbolism and Legends:

“Dragonfly medicine is of the dreamtime and the illusionary facade we accept as physical reality. The iridescence of Dragonfly’s wings reminds us of colors not found in our everyday experience. Dragonfly’s shifting of color, energy, form, and movement explodes into the mind of the observer, bringing vague memories of a time or place where magic reigned.

Some legends say that Dragonfly was once Dragon, and that Dragon had scales like Dragonfly’s wings. Dragon was full of wisdom, and flew through the night bringing light with its fiery breath. The breath of Dragon brought forth the art of magic and the illusion of changing form. Then Dragon got caught in its own facade. Coyote tricked Dragon into changing form, and the shape of its new body became like Dragonfly’s. In accepting the challenge to prove its power and magical prowess, Dragon lost its power.

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The 10 most corrupt states in the U.S.

Fortune

When we think of government corruption (as one tends to do),  our biased minds often gravitate to thoughts of military juntas and third world governments. But, of course, corruption is everywhere, in one form or another. And it’s costing U.S. citizens big time.

A new study from researchers at the University of Hong Kong and Indiana University estimates that corruption on the state level is costing Americans in the 10 most corrupt states an average of $1,308 per year, or 5.2% of those states’ average expenditures per year.

The researchers studied more than 25,000 convictions of public officials for violation of federal corruption laws between 1976 and 2008 as well as patterns in state spending to develop a corruption index that estimates the most and least corrupt states in the union. Based on this method, the the most corrupt states are:

1. Mississippi
2. Louisiana
3. Tennessee
4. Illinois
5. Pennsylvania
6. Alabama
7. Alaska
8. South Dakota

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Story Time Sunday, May 18th, 2014 — a diversion for mature audiences and an interview

A flash by Stephanie Hammer… what a story!!!

Stephanie Barbé Hammer @ Magically Real

Dear Friends —

I recently spoke with Kristy Lin Billuni who runs a fantastic website called Sexy Grammar. There you can find tips on writing as well as workshops and private consults that connect the sensual, the sexual, and sometimes the downright dirty with the process of creating beautiful writing.

The fact is: writing and reading are both highly pleasurable experiences. Or they should be. Americans have a long-standing suspicion about pleasure, but the French don’t, and when you read the opening pages of Haruki Murakami’sWind Up Bird Chronicle, you get — for starters — a dirty phone call from a mysterious woman. And that’s just the beginning. We have alot to learn from other literary languages and traditions — other ways of thinking about pleasure and thinking about what matters.

With those things in mind, here’s a link to my talk with Kristy, (including a…

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