Happy Anniversary!

anniversary

I didn’t even realize it till a few days ago, but it’s been one year (and one month) since I started this blog!

After going through a deep depression and learning I was being cyberstalked (still am), I had to delete all of my online stuff and start over.  And that’s how this blog came to be.  Here we are a year later 395  followers strong and I’m still blogging! I want to thank each and everyone of you for your support. If you’ve commented on a post thank you! If you purchased a copy of one of my books thank you!

In addition to new posts, this week I’ll reblog some of my favorite posts and if you have a favorite let me know and I’ll post it.  I’m also gonna do a special Things I Wrote This Week on Friday.

Once again, thank you from the bottom of my heart.

New Poem: And Yet

A poem I wrote inspired by the events going on in Ferguson, Mo. and in cities around the country on a daily basis. 

hands up don't shoot

Protest Sign Over Ferguson Shooting (Photo by AFP/Getty: Scott Olsen)

And Yet

Written by Talisha Harrison Copyright 2014.

They call us feral and violent

And accuse us of murderering our

unborn children, white people, and the police

both black and white.

 

They say that we destroy neighbors

And entire cities with garbage and drugs

As we live our lives off the backs of hard

Working Americans.

 

They don’t believe we’re human.

They don’t believe that our lives have any value.

According to them we are monsters.

 

And yet

 

They’re the ones who go on

Rampages and shooting sprees.

They’re the ones who murder each other

At the rate of 84 percent while having

Declared open season on us for the past

Two hundred years.

 

They’ve bombed neighborhoods and

Terrorized communities with the nooses of

Ropes, the canisters of tear gas, their

Dogs who go feral upon the sight of us,

And their bullets both rubber and metal.

 

They’re the ones who poured drugs and

Other garbage into many a home and poisoned

Our communities.

They don’t believe they’re doing or have done

Anything wrong.

They believe they’re doing God’s work and that

Our people have been cursed.

They don’t see color nor do they want to.

 

And yet

 

Through all this hell, we’ve remained strong.

We remain steadfast though the journey has

Been long and things have faltered many a time.

We know the truth.

We know who we are.

We are men, women, and children.

We are Americans.

We are human beings.

Our lives are valuable.

They Do matter.

We will prevail.

Things I Wrote This Week #8

Things I wrote this weekShabbat Shalom!

Happy Friday everyone! I had a tiring day and I almost forgot to post this. Here’s what I wrote this week.

La Virino Kiu Skribas 

We’re in the midst of summer and with the school year close at hand, I shared my top summer reading picks here on my blogsite in this article titled: Take the Road Less Traveled: My Picks For Summer Reading 2014.

Musings of a Blerd

Usually on Thursdays I give you the people of Midgard a new entry in my Thorsday feature. However with the exciting or dreadful (depending on how you look at it) arrival of the new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles film, the mighty Thor blessed me with permission to write this article over at GonnaGeek.com: My Top Favorite 4 Things From The TMNT Universe

Readwave

I posted a new flash fiction piece Ategar: One Flower and you can read my stories  The Gospel of the Wereleopards and Vampire of Light as well.

Geeking Out…At Night!

Finally I’ve been reposting my short story A Tale of Two Souls (which you can read in full here)  on the blog as well as a flash fiction piece titled City of Trepidation.

Also a review of indie comic Prime #1 is up.

Bonus: 

Whether youre going to see the film or not and if you like or hate the film, you gotta admit this clip was pretty cool.  Enjoy:

 

Until next time!

Take the Road Less Traveled: My Picks For Summer Reading 2014

roadtrip 6

Summer is winding down and August has arrived. Soon students will head back to their classrooms and learn new things while expanding upon the knowledge they already hold. Families around the country are taking their final road trips and vacations. Everywhere kids and grownups alike are settling down around the campfire, relaxing on the beach soaking up some sun, or reclining on their sofas at home or abroad, all with a good book in their hands. It’s the season of summer reading.

Whether it’s assigned or self-picked, summer reading is a yearly event that takes readers on exciting journeys through the various imaginary adventures located in the pages of books.  Growing up, I always enjoyed reading and this didn’t change during the summer.  Though the books were assigned, I found myself getting lost in the stories, some of which have become favorites of mine.

RoadTrip2

Now that I’m an adult, my appetite for reading hasn’t diminished and I continue to immerse myself in the stories. This year I made a goal of reading 40 books for the year and recently I crossed the finish line. I know 40 books isn’t a big deal (On my bucket list I have the goal of reading at least 10,000 books) but it felt wonderful to challenge myself. Next year I’m going to attempt to read at least sixty books.  I’ve read some great works this season and in honor of summer reading, here are my picks for books you to read before the summer ends.

1. The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton

This is one of my favorite books. The first time I read it was in 7th grade. I reread it this summer and the excitement, thoughts, and feelings I had the first time came back again.

2. Kindred by Octavia Butler

This is a sci-fi book one that sees a young woman in the 70’s going back in time to meet her ancestors. One of which she has to protect and happens to be the son of a slave owner. She also gets to know what it was like to be enslaved firsthand.

3. Mindfulness by Gill Hasson

Previously due to an incident I had experienced, I met with a therapist who discussed mindfulness and last year for convocation at my job I took two classes on the subject.  So why not read a book about it? It’s a helpful book which gives you tips and exercises to bring about positive changes in your life.

4. The Deadly Seven by Kyoko M.

This is a short story collection written and self-published by this talented author who also happens to be my friend. Combine archangels, demons, and a seer mixing it up with the seven deadly sins you get an enjoyable read. Don’t believe me? Just read my review.

5. Parable of the Sower & Parable of the Talents by Octavia Butler

Octavia Butler has become one of my favorite authors. I’ve read most of her books and enjoyed them all. These two make up a series about a young woman living in a dystopian future who sets out on a mission to create a new religion of her own: Earthseed.

Roadtrip 8

6. Afrofuturism: The World of Black Sci-Fi and Fantasy Culture by Ytasha L. Womack

What is afrofuturism? Read this book and find out. I guarantee that you’ll be amazed and inspired.

7. The Rose That Grew From The Concrete by Tupac Shakur

I’m a poet and I always get inspired when I read the works of others. Like so many talented artists, Tupac was taken from this world far too soon. Aside from his music, his poetry lives on and gives us an insightful glimpse of who this young man was.

8. Jurassic Park & The Lost World by Michael Crichton

In 1993, I had just finished six grade when Jurassic Park came to life on the big screen. It would be few years later when I would read these two books. My imagination ran wild with the descriptions of the dinosaurs moving and stalking about.

9.  The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemmingway

Tenth grade English Honors was where I was introduced to Mr. Hemmingway. We read an excerpt from his novel in our big thick literature books. Only this summer I finally sat down to read the entire story about the old man and his battle with a giant and magnificent fish.

10. Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

Can you imagine living in a world where books are forbidden and if you’re caught with them they’re taken away and burnt? Throughout our history we’ve seen people burn books. Read the cautious and insightful tale about the fireman who decided to stop the burning.

RoadTrip1

11 Blackest Night Series by Geoff Johns and Peter J. Tomasi (writers)

A few years ago on Free Comic Book Day, I read a DC comic which had a preview of this story and I was intrigued. My sister had the entire series (consisting of seven volumes) and it was an amazing read.

12.  The Days Run Away Like Wild Horses Over The Hills by Charles Bukowski

Matt Dillon is a favorite actor (and celebrity crush) of mine and after watching him portray Charles Burkowski’s alter ego Henry Chinaski, in Factotum, I was curious to know more about the writer. I did a little bit of research and borrowed this book of poetry. Isn’t it interesting how a film can peak your interest in a book and vice versa?

13. Casino Royale by Ian Fleming

Speaking of movies, I saw the film before I read the book and I believe the film did its predecessor justice. As I read I visualized and remembered the action sequences from the film.  Fleming does a fantastic job writing about his creation 007 in the first of his many adventures.

14. Storykiller by Kelly Thompson

I got this book as a reward for being a backer in Thompson’s Kickstarter project to get this book published. It was an enjoyable read (see my review here) and an interesting take on characters such as the Big Bad Wolf, Robin Hood, and the Ice Queen. Fans have a lot to look forward to since Thompson’s first novel The Girl Who Would Be King has been optioned for a film!

There are many more books that I could recommend but these are my favorites from this year of summer reading. Take the road less traveled and pick up one or more of these books from your library, bookstore, comic book shop, or Amazon. Happy Summer Reading!

P. S.

What books would you recommend for the last month of summer? Post them in the comments below!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Things I Wrote This Week #7

Things I wrote this week

Hello folks! Friday has finally arrived and I welcome it with open arms. This week has been a meh one for me. My mom was in the hospital (she’s out now), this morning my fish died and I won’t be able to see Guardians of the Galaxy because I’m broke. Curse you Michael Bay for taking my money for your meh film!

Anyways, I managed to write two things this week-one I stayed up till 3 AM this morning to write. I also worked and initated a new geek project so here are the fruits of my labor below:

Musings of a Blerd: 

Thorsday #5 The Adversaries of Thor Part II

La Virino Kiu Skribas:

Right here on my blogsite I wrote about harrassment: Add To The Problem Or Take Action: Dealing With Harrassment

Geeking Out…At Night!

After a couple of discussions about representation throughout the geek community, I decided to renovate my Comicmanaics page and create a new blog that hopefully will become its own website in the future.

Because some of us are superheroes, anti-heroes, and/or villains by day and ordinary citizens by night.

“Geeking Out…At Night! is a blog focusing on geek and nerd culture.  From comics, anime, TV, movies, games, cosplay, Afrofuturism, and everything in between from a POC and feminist perspective.

Many geeks work during the day, fighting crime and/or causing shenanigans takes up a lot of energy and it can be difficult at times to stay abreast of what’s happening in the geek community. This blog has been created to help our fellow nerds stay informed about the silly, the serious, and the awesomeness going ons.

Currently the staff consists of one person (me), but I welcome regular and guest bloggers especially those who are Women, POC, LGBTQ, and people with disabilities. While all are welcome, this blog is meant to be a safe space for the aforementioned groups, because our stories and representation matter.”

Book Country:

Over at BookCountry.com, my short story A Tale of Two Souls is on the site’s Top Ten Most Rated Books List! Check it out!

Bonus:

Podcast!

Last Friday I had the opportunity to be a guest on the Media Junk Food Podcast hosted by Phoenix Shanklin. There was some technical difficulties but it was a fun experience. Take a listen to episode 15.

YouTube!

Finally here’s an awesome montage put together by Marvel Entertainment for the Marvel Cinematic Universe Phases I and II. Enjoy and make sure you watch all the way to the end!

Happy Friday everyone! Have a wonderful weekend! Until next time!

Add To The Problem Or Take Action: Dealing With Harrassement

The discussion about the mistreatment of women particularly the misogyny and harassment that we face has been going on since the beginning of time.  Over this past year (and previous years), the discussion has become more intense. From the Supreme Court’s Hobby Lobby decision, Elliot Rodger’s killing spree and the #YesAllWomen Twitter tag which came after, the NFL’s handling of Ray Rice’s domestic violence incident and ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith’s response to it, the #YouOkSis Twitter tag created by Feminista Jones, to the SDCC cosplay sexual assault news, there are a lot of things to talk to about.

The harassment of women occurs in all levels of society. From the privacy of your home, to the office cubes in the workforce. From just walking on the street to being a part of the geek community. It’s everywhere and has seeped into all aspects of society.

I am a 32 year-old Afro-Caribbean Native American Jewish woman and in my life I haven’t experienced a lot of the misogyny and harassment other women have gone through.  I think that’s in a large part due to my mom who went through a lot of things growing up. She wanted to protect my sister and I from all of those horrible things, and for the most part she was able to. I am thankful for that but at the same time, I feel as if I can’t speak out about the abuse that a lot of women experience. Yes, I retweet and reblog others who talk in depth and at length about the topic, but I often feel I don’t have the experience to write about it.

Not any longer.

No matter how small or inexperienced I may be, my voice is one among the many that need to heard. I am a woman, a black woman and while these things have not affected me as much as they have other women, it is important to speak out. I have two personal experiences I will share.

#1. In 2011, I attended MegaCon in Orlando, Fl. It was the first time I went to the convention.  I was dress cosplaying (is that the right term?) as Wonder Woman. My outfit wasn’t revealing in fact this is what I wore:

100_1771

Now before I go on, I’m going to state that women CAN be and HAVE been and ARE being harassed regardless of what they wear. Clothing is not the issue, the harassers are. Let’s just get that part out of the way.

My mother had dropped me off to the con on Saturday and I was making my way through the convention by myself. While in the big vendor area, a guy stopped me to ask if he could take my picture. He’s a young white dude with a limp.  I said yes and he takes the picture. As I began to move on, he began to move on with me and talked me the whole way. I talked back trying to be nice and hoping he would leave but I couldn’t shake him. He was creepy and I didn’t feel comfortable being around him. A few minutes later, I thought I had lost him. I was wrong.  I looked around for any sign and he touched me and said, “I’m right here sweetie.” Not too long after that I was able to lose him and I didn’t see him for the rest of the weekend.

#2. A few months ago in October, I had stopped at my local Big Lots to buy headphones. I wore slightly baggy jeans and a non-tight comic book t-shirt. I had entered the store and stopped to take a look at the store’s tablet selection. As I was purusing the tablets I didn’t noticed that a man had approached me. He was  an older black man, probably in his 40’s and he’s had a receding hairline. He begins to tell me how he didn’t understand what ‘those things are’ and what they do.

I gave a polite smile and headed towards the headphones. He stops me. “Excuse me can I tell you something? You’re very attractive.” He said. I laughed nervously. And then he begins to question me. “How old are you?” “What’s your name?” I didn’t want to give him my name but when he coped an attitude and said, “You don’t want to give me your name?” I gave it to him. I didn’t know what would happen if I didn’t. He starts talking to me about how ‘God puts people in our path.’ And then tells me that he’s from a good family and that he can tell that I’m from a good family.

There are other people in the store but they’re not in or around the headphones area. It’s just me and the creepy guy. Looking back I should have been more assertive and tried to end the conversation earlier but I couldn’t. I was trying to be nice (sometimes I think I’m too nice).  He then asked me where I work I told him (I know I shouldn’t (I did give him the wrong location but still) have but I was hoping to end the conversation). He then tells me he’s out of work and that he’s trying to go back to school and take classes to improve (I work at a college).

My phone rings. Hoping it’s the break I need I answered it and moved away, but the guy remained right where he was. I stay on the phone for about five minutes and he still was standing there. I didn’t move farther away because I was worried he would follow me. Thinking about it now I believe that he saw me outside as I was making my way to into the store and he followed me inside.

He asked me if I could get him information about the classes he wanted to take. I told him to go online or in person to admissions because that’s not my department nor my area of expertise. He kept persisting that I could do it since I work in the library. I kept explaining that it’s not my expertise but he kept on insisting. Wanting to end the conversation, I say sure. He asks me for my number I refused to give it to him. He then asks if he can give me his I said sure hoping that would be the last of it. Thankfully it was. Before he left however, he told me that he wasn’t trying to hit on me…when he’s gone, I deleted his number.

Now everytime I go to Big Lots I worry that he’ll be there. Thankfully he hasn’t shown up at my job. Honestly I felt trapped. If I walked away I believe he would have followed me, that’s why I stayed where I was. Throughout that whole conversation no one was around us and if someone had come, I honestly don’t know if they would or could have helped. It was a scary and uncomfortable situation.

These two experiences are just two of the many which women deal with. Whether it’s just walking down the street and being verbally abused by men and called a “Bitch” when you ignore their comments, or being groped at a convention whether you’re cosplaying or not (we say “Cosplay does not equal consent,” but neither does regular attire), receiving rape threats and having your bank account hacked for critiquing a comic book cover, or just riding the bus, train, and some guy comes and sits next to you and begins to mastrabate, women deal with a lot of shit.

Especially black women. We get it from black men who seem to believe that we have a hatred for them. Or that it’s racist to call them out when they’re harassing us. Feminista Jones and others have been and are being stalked online by men who have this disturbing viewpoint. It really sickens me when I hear these guys say that black men are the only ones dealing with racism. Guess they forgot about Renisha McBride or Marissa Alexander. I guess they forgot about the new military hair standards for black women or how we are discriminated against at every stage of the recruitment process in the workforce. I could go on and on.

So what can be done? If we see a woman being harassed, asking the simple question “Are you okay?” or telling the harasser to “Leave her alone!” can make a huge difference. It’s important for all of us-women and men-to intervene. Sometimes intervening can seem intimidating and you might end up also being harassed. However, if you feel safe, do get directly involved. It’s important to speak up.

I have another experience I wanted to share. This time it wasn’t me who was being harassed. Instead I was a witness to the harassment.

#4. In December I attended Holiday Matsuri in Orlando and I was in the vendors room walking around, checking out the variety of products. There was another attendee who was in cosplay and I noticed that she was walking fast. I then saw that another attendee a young man was following her. He was talking to her and it was very apparent that she didn’t want to talk to him and was trying to get away, but the guy kept up with her pace no matter what she did. She would stop mid-walk and turn around to go away and he was right alongside of her. She couldn’t get rid of him.

I saw the whole thing and recognized what was going on. She was being harassed. You know what I did? I hesitated. I didn’t know how to approach the situation. I wanted to help but I didn’t do anything. By the time I made up my mind to act, it was too late. The girl and her harasser where out of sight. I truly hoped that someone else was able to intervene…I regretted not taking action that day and have decided to do so in the future.

For those of you who say “Not all men” or “Not all white people,” or “Why don’t you report it to the police” etc., here’s what I have to say to you: SHUT THE FUCK UP. When you say these statements you are dismissing women and POC’s experiences. You are saying basically that we’re not human beings and that you don’t care. Guess what? Just because you don’t see or have not gone through another person’s experience, doesn’t mean that it doesn’t exist, that it didn’t happen. If another person’s experiences are different from yours, they are still IMPORTANT. Our stories and experiences DO matter, and we’re not going to stop talking about them.

And men who don’t see harrassment, I ask you to take a closer look at your surroundings. Call out those amongst you who are engaging in this vile behavior. While society continues to teach women to take into account how they dress so they won’t get rape, men ought to be teaching each other not to rape. I’m tired of the blame the victim game. It’s time to hold the abusers and harassers accountable for their actions and not give them a slap on the wrist.

Ultimately if we do nothing, then we’re adding to the problem. We must take action.

 

 

OPEN SUBMISSION: The Sirens Call – Issue #16 – Apocalyptic Fiction

Talisha Harrison:

Siren Call Publications is open for submissions!

Originally posted on The Sirens Song:

Sirens Call Publications is now accepting submissions for the 16th issue of The Sirens Call. This issue’s theme is Apocalyptic Fiction:

For the 16th issue of The Sirens Call, we’re asking for poetry, flash fiction and short stories that take place during the Apocalypse.

We’re looking for Apocalyptic Fiction-whether it’s caused by natural disaster, a disease or virus, an economic crash, or any other scenario that you choose to end the world with. We’ll leave those particulars up to you. Keep in mind that while we’re not adverse to tales of Zombies, we’d like the focus kept on the Apocalypse itself.

How would the world end if you held its fate in your hands?

Deadline: July 31, 2014

Full guidelines can be read on our website - www.SirensCallPublications.com

*All submissions MUST be submitted to: Submissions@SirensCallPublications.com

View original

Things I Wrote This Week #6

Things I wrote this week

Happy Friday folks! Those of you who are at Comic-Con I hope you’re enjoying yourself. Those of you who aren’t there like myself, there’s always Hercules to go see. Sadly I won’t be seeing it because I have no money to. I knew I should have saved my money and not see Transformers: Age of Extinction (know that I think about it, that title is kinda ironic). Curse you Michael Bay!

Ahem. As the title of this post indicates, I wrote some stuff, some things this week. And here they are:

Musings of a Blerd:

Wednesday was Batman Day and this year marks the 75th Anniversary of the Dark Knight so I posted two Batman related articles to celebrate the occasion:

Batman Franchise Media, My Top 14

14 Facts About The Dark Knight

As usual here is my Thorsday post:

Thorsday #4 Adversaries of Thor Part 1

Moviepilot:

Last week I told you that I became a contributor for Moviepilot.com. Well this week I wrote my first article dedicated to Matt Dillon. Check it out!

The Best Underrated Matt Dillon Films

Bonus:

Today at 5pm I’ll be a guest on the Media Junk Food Podcast which is hosted by @Da_Nerdette. When the show is posted I’ll let you all know!

I’m also gonna attempt an idea I’ve had, it involves my comic book story ideas. Right now I can’t afford to pay an artist so I have to be creative in how I share my stories with the public. More details forthcoming soon.

That’s it for now! Hope you have a wonderful weekend! Until next time!