Read Parris’ Blog here.
This Thanksgiving, I am truly grateful for my readers.
Today, November 25th, my Blue Bayou Box Set is discounted to only $1.99!
From 1683 to 1803 ~
From the corrupt courts of Versailles to the windswept tracks of Montreal;
From the sea-washed coasts of Nova Scotia to the searing deserts of Algiers;
And from the lush marshes of Louisiana
The proud, aristocratic du Plessis lived, loved, and fought to reclaim what was theirs.
Damien, who claimed the unattainable Minette as his wife and took a nun as his mistress ~ Natalie, who escaped the horrors of Paris’s La Salpétrière prison to flee to the colony of New Orleans as a proxy bride ~ Nicolas, the handsome mysterious half breed whose dark secret shadowed his love for his half-brother’s wife ~ Reinette, Natalie’s daughter, who gave her heart to an outcast and her body to her handsome captor ~and Daniel, Reinette’s son, who thirsted for vengeance and took his enemy’s daughter as hostage.
I should be working on book #2 of the Janet Lomayestewa Tracking Series, but . . . I had the opportunity to kick another item off my bucket list, and I just couldn't pass it off. Terrified as I am of heights and ledges, I rode in a hot air balloon over Albuquerque last weekend. WOW – what a rush and what serenity simultaneously.
Yippee!!! I'm about to kick one more item off my Bucket List. In two weeks I head by plane, train, bus, and llama-back to Machu-Picchu, where I am intending to climb Huayna Picchu (although heights scare the bejezus out of me). That's one more item of my bucket list and 3,297 more items to go before I do Kick the Bucket.
Leave Thursday for Romance Writers of America conference in Orlando, where over two-thousand writers (along with spouses and children) attend hourly seminars, vye for agents and editors, and connect with friends made over the years in the writing profession. I'll be connecting with my friend of more than thirty years, Rita Clay Estrada. She and I were among the six cofounders of RWA — and this year we're both shopping our latest manuscripts for the perfect agents for us. We need prayers! 😎
THE POWER OF THE WORD
"In the beginning was the Word," quotes the Christian’s Holy Bible. The Buddhist religion proclaims spiritual power comes from intoning the simple and sacred monosyllable, "Om", which stands for Absolute Reality. In school, we learn the pen is mightier than the sword. When Woodward and Bernstein’s Watergate exposé toppled a supposedly omnipotent American president, we were shown the power of the press,. Freedom of speech is considered by many to be the most important of an American’s constitutional rights. Hitler demonstrated the power of the word to sway the feelings of the masses. The most powerful sentence? Perhaps it is the reply when Moses asked the burning bush to identify itself: "I am that I am."
Realizing the powerful feelings words can invoke, I request female inmates to whom I teach creative writing to write non-stop for fifteen minutes. During that time, they cannot edit, scratch out, nor lift pen from paper. Every sentence must begin with, "I am . . . ." After 15 minutes of furious scribbling or laborious hen scratching, each woman is asked if she would mind standing and sharing what she has written. The standing is an important part of this creative process. It is the announcement of one’s presence, the pronouncement of one’s creation.
I distinctly remember one eighteen-year-old black woman. She was very attractive and intelligent but beaten down by life. She had been raped at nine by a family member. At ten, she had been told one Saturday night that her mother was going out to get pizza for the family. Her mother never returned. With little education, this child had been snared by the numbness offered by drugs and by thirteen was on the streets, prostituting. As she stood to read, she mumbled. Almost inaudible, anguished utterances. Her head was bowed. Her paper covered her face. "I am a woman. I am black. I am a prisoner. I am eighteen. I am sad. I am afraid. I am angry. I am out of hope. I am searching for a way to make my life better. I am unsure." I am…I am…I am that I am
By the time she finished reading aloud her two-and-a half pages, her words were enunciated, and she was almost shouting. Her head was high, her expression one of newfound dignity. Cheering mixed with tears erupted in the classroom. Toilet tissue was passed around to staunch those tears. I knew a miracle had taken place. During that fifteen-minute writing drill, designed to break through to the subconscious, she had found the power of herself through the power of the word.
– Parris Afton Bonds 2002