Creative Community

Kwanza     Habari Gani?

Kuumba.  Creativity — to make the community more beautiful and beneficial for the future, is observed on the sixth night of Kwanzaa. Let’s celebrate creative work in the arts.  Founded in 2013, by Cheryl Clarke, Breena Clarke, and Barbara Balliet, the Hobart Festival of Women Writers produced its seventh, consecutive weekend of programming in 2019 dedicated to celebrating the work of literary women. The Festival takes place in the small village of Hobart, New York, home of six independent bookstores and designated as The Reading Capital of New York State.

more information at Hobart Book Village

River, Cross My Heart, an Oprah book club selection and a classic of African American fiction, is now available for your e-reader.

“The acclaimed bestseller–a selection of Oprah’s Book Club–that brings vividly to life the Georgetown neighborhood of Washington, DC, circa 1925, a community reeling from a young girl’s tragic death.”  Amazon.com

more information at BreenaClarke.com

The Subject is Sugar

I’m returning to the subject of Sugar, as in Sugar Diabetes, as in Diabetes.

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Habari Gani?

The Fifth night of Kwanzaa is Nia, purpose, to build and develop goals to benefit the people of the community. I’m adopting the goal of disseminating information about one of the most dangerous opponents that POC confront: Diabetes.

How does Food Access affect Diabetes Rates in Communities of Color?

“The American Diabetes Association recently reported that the average diabetic incurs about $9,601 in diabetes-related medical expenses per year. Insulin prices have skyrocketed. According to CBS News, the cost of insulin from two manufacturers rose almost 8 percent last year, to more than $275, and some patients’ costs have jumped from $300 to almost $1,000 in the last year.” 

Many people with diabetes forgo their medicines because they cannot afford to take them.  U.S. News and consider this article,

Food Access and Diabetes Rates in Communities of Color: Connecting the Dots

by Lindsey Haynes-Maslow at Union of Concerned Scientists.org   READ THIS:

“Race and income are highly correlated with healthy food access—and according to our new study—diabetes rates.” Connecting The Dots 

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Personal Apple Cobblers

A low sugar dessert

Peel and slice 5-6 apples of whatever kind you like.  Choose a crisp, sweet type like Honey Crisp or Gala or Fuji or Empire 

The juice of one lemon – approximately 1/4 cup

3/4 cup of Truvia baking blend

2 tablespoonfuls of cornstarch 

2 tablespoons of butter

1 frozen pie crust defrosted. I suggest the rolled kind that can be rolled thinner and flatter.  

6-8 small ramekins.   Much depends on how large your apples are. I suggest using medium sized ones. Fruit will “cook down” and may bubble over. Both of these things are tasty. 

Combine apple slices, lemon juice, sweetener, and cornstarch.  Roll out the softened pie crust. Cut out large circles with a biscuit cutter.  Cut strips of remaining dough into pieces.  Put filling in ramekins to half mark. Put dough in filling. Add more fruit.  Cut one tablespoon of butter into four pieces. Dot the top of each pie with butter. Cover the tops of each with crust rounds and fill in the sides with remaining dough pieces.   Brush the crusts with a tablespoon of melted butter. Bake at 350 for about 40 minutes until crust is lightly browned and filling is bubbling.  

These are nicely portioned for a guilt-free dessert. Less chance that you’ll over-indulge. 

Dossie Smoot

THE PEOPLE CATCHER: MR. WOOLFOLK’S BOUNTY

An original story by Breena Clarke published in Kweli, an online literary journal featuring diverse voices.

The People Catcher   

for more information on Breena Clarke’s books: www.BreenaClarke.com

River, Cross My Heart, an Oprah book club selection and a classic of African American fiction, is now available for your e-reader.

“The acclaimed bestseller–a selection of Oprah’s Book Club–that brings vividly to life the Georgetown neighborhood of Washington, DC, circa 1925, a community reeling from a young girl’s tragic death.”  Amazon.com

 

 

Self-Determination

Habari Gani?

Kujichagulia (self-determination) to be responsible for the community and to speak for oneself.

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I was so excited this past year to have been included in the anthology, IDOL TALK: Women Writers on the Teenage Infatuations That Changed Their Lives edited by Elizabeth Searle and Tamra Wilson, a collection of forty-four essays on the women and men who influenced the mature selves of women writers. These are the figures who guided our growing up, who helped to determine who we became. In these delightful essays, we authors are at times lighthearted, but we are also frank and revealing and aware and descriptive of the zeitgeist of the teen idol era, that time between the end of the World War II up to and including the modern Civil Rights Era. Our idols were, by and large, rebels, visionaries, geniuses, innovators, and damn good lookers. And their looks were important as they were served up to us on magazine covers and on TV, the medium through which we came to know a great deal about our American culture. I write about the sweet, dreamy, velvet-voiced Sam Cooke.

I write also of The Sixteenth Street Baptist Church bombing in September of 1963. I was twelve then and Addie Mae Collins, Cynthia Wesley, and Carole Robertson were fourteen years old and Carol Denise McNair was eleven. The four girls who died that day were casualties of the horrors of white resistance to civil rights and their lives are, for me, touchstones. The opportunity for self-determination was taken from them. More information at BlackPast.org

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I’m in great company in this anthology. The essays are written by Elizabeth Searle, Tamra Wilson, Darlene R. Taylor, Suzanne Strempek Shea, Kate Kastelein, Dolen Perkins-Valdez, Lee J. Kahrs, Judy Goldman, Nancy Swan, B.A. Shapiro, Michelle Soucy, Amy Rogers, Ann Harleman, Linda K. Sienkiewicz, Janice Eidus, Katharine Davis, Jill McCorkle, Marianne Leone, Susan Lilly, Ann Hood, Lise Haines, Marianne Gingher, Hank Phillippi Ryan, Susan Shapiro, Marjorie Hudson, Morgan Callan Rogers, Leslea Newman, Leslie Lawrence, Katie Hafner, Lisa Williams Kline, Mary Granfield, Leslie Pietrzyk, Susan Woodring, Caitlin McCarthy, Stephanie Powell Watts, Ann Rosenquist Fee, Shara McCallum, Heather Duerre Humann, Lisa Borders, Mary Sullivan, Diana Goetsch, Emlyn Meredith Dornemann and Susan Straight. Wow! We cover a lot of ground,

For more information about IDOL TALK at this link:   https://mcfarlandbooks.com/product/idol-talk/

Bonus materials in IDOL TALK are the “then and now” photos of the writers including glasses, braces and goofy hairdos, the fond, familiar glimpses of our youths.

Listen to the irresistible Sam Cooke.

Let’s celebrate Kwanzaa by being determined to recognize the needs of our communities and by being willing to stand for justice and dignity and against racism.  For more information about Kwanzaa, go toWhat is Kwanzaa

 

 

more information about Breena Clarke’s books at www.BreenaClarke.com

River, Cross My Heart, an Oprah book club selection and a classic of African American fiction is now available for your e-reader.

“The acclaimed bestseller–a selection of Oprah’s Book Club–that brings vividly to life the Georgetown neighborhood of Washington, DC, circa 1925, a community reeling from a young girl’s tragic death.”  Amazon.com

River, Cross My Heart, kindle edition

 

Winter Wonders

Winter wonders are not all about men in red suits and loud celebration. I have watched in wonder as birds have come to my small backyard bird feeder. Too awe-struck to photograph them or records their songs, I’ve just watched them.

I filled a small bird feeder and put it in my beloved dogwood tree. The dogwood has repeatedly complained that throughout the winter months when we abandon the backyard, she is without company. The feeder has brought many visitors including

(top to bottom) the beautiful Downey Woodpecker, Red-Breasted Nuthatch, The Mourning Dove, and the Tufted Titmouse.

Listen to my audio recording of Back Along The Octoraro, a story of avian enchantment. This audio includes some bird sounds recorded near my house last spring.

Back Along The Octoraro read by Breena Clarke

for more information www.BreenaClarke.com

Joy For The World

HAPPY HOLIDAYS 2018

 

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The Gleeful Goddess

at the crux of fear and flame ’tis the season of joy.

 

I’m happy to be celebrating the sixth consecutive year of platforming and presenting the work of women writers at the annual Hobart Festival of Women Writers co-founded with Cheryl Clarke and Barbara Balliet. We had a great weekend of rejuvenation and inspiration in the beautiful Catskills this past September 7, 8 &9th.

View more photo highlights here:

Festival of Women Writers 2018 photo highlights

A ROOM OF HER OWN FOUNDATION, a global organization of creative women with which I’ve been associated since its first writer’s retreat in 2003 has rolled out a wave of treasure this December, Gifts of Fellowship which include unique opportunities for the givers. You can donate to support this great consortium of creative women AND have a chance to win an expert book doctor consultation with Esther Cohen, OR secure a winter artist’s/writer’s residency in Santa Fe at a charming casita OR you can experience an empowering ONE-ON-ONE session designed to build your skills and confidence in reading your own creative writing with Breena Clarke.

Are you ready to read your work for an audience?  Do you shake in your boots at the thought of performing your own writing? Consider donating to A Room of Her Own Foundation’s Edna Payne Clarke Gift of Fellowship and you could win an opportunity to work with me. Find out the full details and donate-to-win a Gift of Fellowship at A Room of Her Own Foundation:

 Winning fellows will be announced January 4th.

In this one on one class with me which is named in honor of my mother, Edna Payne Clarke,  you’ll get email and video-conferencing interaction. I’ll help you select the right material to read and I’ll share my tips on preparation and some techniques for a smooth and exciting reading.

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Check out Hobart Festival of Women Writers Holiday Gift Guide. A book is always the right size.

Gift books

for more about Breena Clarke’s books, go to BreenaClarke.com

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Give a gift of truth and beauty. Purchase a Hobart Festival of Women Writers Calendar

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Get your calendar at hobartfestivalofwomenwriters.com