Lovely Curses’ Next Serial Story: You Decide

Earlier this month in my Agenda post, I told you that I was eager to get started on my next serial story, but I that needed your help in deciding. Which one of my favorite Short Story a Day May stories should I expand into a series?

Well, the votes came in, and there weren’t many, so I’m reopening the poll, because I really want to engage my readers, especially those of you who stuck around while I was dealing with my chronic writer’s block. You’ve truly been loyal and I want to reward you!

So yes, YOU have to decide! While I do have my preferences, I won’t be making the decision this time. I’m leaving it up to you. The future of my blog is in your hands. No pressure…

To refresh your memory, here are your options.

  • Widow — A story about a woman who sets her house on fire, killing her husband and infant child. If chosen, this series will begin before the events of “Widow” take place to explain what led her to such horrendous act of violence.
  • For the Sake of Humanity — In this dystopian, post-apocalyptic tale, a young woman takes her adopted ward on a quest to find the last remaining humans on earth. If their search is successful, she’ll avoid having to go through with the promise she made to the young boy’s dying mother to not let the human race die with them.
  • Dreams are Real — Does true love every really die? Lovers grow apart, they embark on separate paths that lead to different careers, pursuits, marriages, kids, etc. But one day, someday, they eventually find their way back to each other, right? If it was meant to be. This story is all about the possibilities of a nostalgic lover’s dreams of reunion coming true.
  • One Night Stand — This story is a continuation of the “White Jesus” storyline. I haven’t quite developed a plot for this series, but it would have a very urban, Living Single vibe to it. This series would follow the shenanigans of three friends: Lyndra, the main protagonist, her ex-boyfriend, Levon, and his buddy, the philosophical pothead, Philip, aka White Jesus.
  • Dry Spell — In this fun, witty tale, a 34-year-old, sexually inexperienced divorcee, tries to get laid with the help of her promiscuous, sexually liberated friend.

You have your five choices, now it’s time for you to vote! Let me know your favorite story in the comments. Eventually, I’ll probably serialize all these stories, but your selection will take top priority. You have until next Thursday to cast your vote. I’m really counting on you, so don’t let me down!

 

#BlaPoWriMo: Dear Apathetic Voter (poem)

Burning crosses staked
into the backs of ancestors
by elected officials hooded
in cotton sheets.

The illiterate turned away,
signature nothing more than an X.
Mothers in servitude;
fathers three-fifths
of a white man.

Laws passed keep them in bondage
another hundred years.
Citizens to a nation
they do not own.
Dead before freedom rings for

broken chains rusted in blood
to clamp around the ankles
of men whose averted eyes
let someone else
cast his vote.

—Nortina


Despite what you may think, the shocking results in Iowa this week prove that your vote does matter. You have the power to change this world. Don’t let the wrong people get elected in November.

Written for Black Poetry Writing Month

Black Poetry Writing Month: Write a Poem for the Voter

Cell Song

Night Music Slanted
Light strike the cave of sleep. I alone
tread the red circle
and twist the space with speech

Come now, etheridge, don’t
be a savior; take your words and scrape
the sky, shake rain

on the desert, sprinkle
salt on the tail
of a girl,

can there anything
good come out of
prison

—Etheridge Knight, from Poems from Prison (1968)

 

Today is an important day in African American history. On this day, February 3rd, 1870, the fifteenth amendment to the U.S. Constitution was ratified, making it illegal for the federal and state governments to deny a citizen the right to vote based on race, color, or previous servitude (slavery). A month later, Thomas Mundy Peterson became the first African American to cast his ballot.

Of course, those sneaky southern states would find other ways to deny the black man his civic duty (Jim Crow, literacy tests, poll taxes, grandfather clauses, etc.), and black women would have to wait another 50 years before they were awarded the right to vote with the nineteenth amendment.

Voter_Rights

Etheridge Knight began writing poetry while in prison, serving an eight year sentence for armed robbery. He was just one of millions of black men and women who have been disproportionally imprisoned thanks to our flawed justice system. This is not to say that these men and women are all innocent (though there have been many cases of wrongful convictions), but we also cannot be so blind as to assume that blacks are more prone to violence than whites.

Many states deny convicted felons the right to vote, and in some cases, a felon can permanently lose the right to vote even after being rehabilitated back into society. This means that thousands of black men and women can no longer exercise one of their most important civic duties.

Furthermore, in 2010 a wave of Republican backed anti voter fraud laws swept the nation (a curious move, as regularly empty polls would show that voter apathy is a bigger issue), shortening early voting in some states, eliminating same-day registration and voting, requiring government issued IDs, and setting other mandates for voting. While no one can say these laws have anything to do with race (could it also be a coincidence that they were passed almost immediately after President Obama was elected?), it’s hard to ignore that the groups most affected are African Americans and Latinos. Then, as recently as 2014, there was (crazy) talk of repealing the Voting Rights Act of 1965!

Is it possible that the government is covertly attempting to take back the black vote? The idea will probably always remain a conspiracy theory, but it’s too important to ignore. Voting is the closest thing we have to controlling how our country is run. Who knows how detrimental it would be for us if we lost that. (a Trump election?)

For today’s optional #BlaPoWriMo prompt, write a poem for the voters. Why is voting so important? What could it mean for them if they lost their right to vote? What could it mean for this country?

—Nortina