It will probably come as no surprise that I read a lot. As a writer, I read to stay abreast of current events and to relax, but mainly to learn. Here's the thing: I learn from almost everything I read. Even the Harry Potter series, which I'm currently rereading for the 324th time, teaches me something about the convergence of craft and content. Like my social media feed, my media consumption usually revolves around cocktails, pictures and videos of puppies, and local news. After five years as a writer, many of the pieces that come across are writers and bloggers I've met. But there are many bloggers whose work I actively seek out and subscribe to.
Locally, the scene is unapologetically amazing. Some of these fantastic souls work so hard to elevate the scene that Beyoncé should watch out. These include:
- Ed Bowser's cutting wit, comic book smarts, and humor make Soul In Stereo a must-read for me. Almost every entry I've read has made me laugh.
- Mary-Berkley Gaines and I went to high school together, but I didn't know her then. Now, her work on The Beautiful Bodies of Birmingham Project spreads the radical body positivity message near and far.
- Sara Glassman is my book dealer. As a bookseller and librarian, her book blog, Medusa's Library, keeps me in books and news from the speculative fiction scene.
- David Griner, the Digital managing editor for Adweek, is a friend and writing hero. I hope to one day write articles with the focus and speed with which he practices the craft.
- Javacia Harris Bowser, the fearless founder of See Jane Write Birmingham is, of course, the first on my list. While the rest of us are sleeping, she's working on her lesson plans for her classes at ASFA, freelance assignments, and businesses coaching plans.
- Carla Jean Whitley gave me the chance that made me a writer. She was my first editor on a professional level, and helped to shape my work into something salable. Her professional work, along with her honest and cat-filled blog, Ink-Stained Life, has been an inspiration since I started this journey.
Though I'm far from a fashionista, I still read several local fashion blogs regularly. Recently, this has become even more important, as I took a position back in June as the coordinator of My Sister's Closet, a secondhand boutique operated by our local YWCA chapter. Some of my favorite include:
- Jeniese Hoisey, the badass babe behind the Jenesaisquoi Blog, is more glamorous than I can ever hope to be.
- Alexis Barton of Same Chic Different Day, who I'm still convinced is too cool to be my friend.
- Jennifer Dome King, whose Stellar Fashion & Fitness entries push me to embrace my body and work from where I am towards a fitness level that works for me.
- Maacah Davis, who runs belladonna, a high fashion magazine that features models of color and diverse backgrounds. It's gorgeous, and I can't wait to see what else she's able to do in the future.
I also read a lot about cocktails, but to ensure that this post isn't 12,000 words long, I'll list some of my favorite writers' names:
- Gray Chapman
- Davin de Kergommeaux
- Jeffrey Morgenthaler
- Kara Newman
- Kirsten Schofield
- Liza Weisstuch
- Clay Whittaker
- and many, many others.
This month, I'm attempting to blog my way forward by writing every day as part of Blog Like Crazy.