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B-Metro

Vive Les Conteurs

Photo by Amy Dobelstein

“Qualified.” Megan Beam is not a fan of this word, especially when it’s used to ask questions such as: “What qualifies me to write what I’m writing?” or “What qualifies you to tell anyone else how to write what they’re writing?” or “How does my work qualify for publishing?” When Beam started her Birmingham–based writing workshop series Vive Les Conteurs in January one of her goals was to strip this word of its value.

“I think that there is this sort of romance around creativity that you can’t really approach it unless you’ve been born with some sort of sparkle,” Beam says. “And I’m not saying that that doesn’t exist but I think that creativity in whatever form it is can save people’s lives and give them a reason to get up in the morning and make sense of the chaos.”

Beam says her primary goal with Vive Les Conteurs is simply to give people a safe space to write so they can finally feel like writers.

I had the pleasure of interviewing Beam for my latest column for B-Metro magazine. Read the complete story here.

 

Fat Girl Power

Whether you woke up this morning elated or devastated by last night’s election results, here is one thing I want us all to celebrate: See Jane Write member Jennifer Dome King has just released her first book, a book that grew from her blog. And I hope her story will inspire you to soon write a book of your own.

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Why I Won’t Shut Up About Being a Girl or Being Black

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Lady. Babe. Girl.

These are three of my favorite words,

but some of my fellow feminists believe I should expunge them from my vocabulary.

Yes, I am a feminist, which means I believe in the equality of the sexes, which means I want equal pay, equal opportunities, and equal respect.

This does not mean I want society to pretend I am not female.

Earlier this year a widely read blog for female creatives wrote a eulogy for the popular hashtag “#girlboss.”

“Would a man ever call himself a boy boss?” the writer asked.

Probably not. But who said I was trying to do business like
a man?

A reader of my own blog, SeeJaneWrite.net, took offense recently when I called myself a lady writer and referred to my personal notebook as my lady journal.

Look. I get it. I understand that “girl,” “lady,” and “babe” are all words sometimes wielded against women as a verbal weapon to put us in “our place.” But it was when I decided to reclaim and redefine these words for myself that I found the courage to take my place. I found the courage to take a seat at the table and, with all my girl power and lady might, flip the table over.

I don’t call myself a girl boss so I will be less threatening to the male ego. I call myself a girl boss because I want you to know I can take your job while wearing pink and flipping my hair, if that’s what I choose to do.

This is why I won’t shut up about being a girl.

I’m also not going to shut up about being black…

Read the entire article at B-Metro.com. 

Text and the City

A big city blogger falls for Birmingham.

vic styles
Photo by Megan Tsang

Fashion blogger and freelance wardrobe stylist Victoria Sanders, better known as Vic Styles of VicStyles.com, says her friends have often compared her to Carrie Bradshaw of the wildly popular television show Sex and the City. “I think it started because I dress sort of quirky,” Styles says.

At a recent event I hosted for local women who write and blog, Styles arrived wearing a plum skirt, a black fitted off-the-shoulder top, white stilettos, and an ivory wide-brimmed hat. Since most other people in attendance were dressed in jeans or the office-appropriate frock they’d worn to work, Styles certainly stood out. If you’d been there, you might have leaned over to the person seated next to you and whispered, “She’s not from around here.” And you would have been right. Sort of.

Head to B-Metro.com to read my entire article on fashion blogger and wardrobe stylist Vic Styles. 

More Than a Pillar of Salt

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As a girl growing up in church, I always wanted to know more about Lot’s wife, the biblical character known only as the woman who was turned into a pillar of salt after she looked back at Sodom as it was being destroyed.

What was her name? Who was she before she was Lot’s wife? Why did she look back despite the instruction of angels to keep facing forward and moving ahead?

In her novel Angels at the Gate, local author T.K. Thorne imagines the answers to these questions and more. Thorne’s historical fiction spins the tale of Adira, who is secretly raised as a boy in her father’s caravan. As she grows older, Adira rejects womanhood as it threatens her independence and nomadic life. But the appearance of two mysterious strangers, rumored to be holy men or angels, changes everything.

With its detailed descriptions of desert life and in-depth character development,Angels at the Gate instantly drew me in. As I read about Adira’s treacherous quest to follow the “angels” I was a nervous wreck, worried about how she and her beloved dog, Nami, would survive the dangers of the desert and the perils of Sodom.

Angels at the Gate recently won the Gold Benjamin Franklin award, regarded as one of the highest national honors for small and independent publishers. When I read a book and love it, I often want to interview the author. This time, I did.

Head to B-Metro.com to check out my interview with T.K. Thorne.

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