Resistance is Futile

like a whole hive of bees that become comforting white noise instead of a savage warning, persistent sting of pain from not putting your words to the “page.” Words are powerful. Your words matter.

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The summer after fifth grade I got a desk in my bedroom. This is the same summer I was asked to watch a full episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation before announcing that I didn’t like it. The summer after fifth grade I became a serious writer. I began writing a Star Trek: The Next Generation novel. Much of this came about because I’d just started liking the show and it was going off the air in one more season. If you don’t know much about the show there is a race of aliens called the Borg and when they assimilate someone into their collective they repeat one line, “Resistance is futile.”

i-love10I feel this way as a writer. Well, as a human being. Resistance of the things I need to be healthy is futile, but sometimes it’s a lot easier than accepting, engaging, and pursuing. I don’t know about you but writing keeps me healthy. I write to live – to be alive. However, I have been resisting a lot lately. Writing is a call I have on my life but there are seasons where I push it away.

As writers and creative beings, how do we stop resisting what we need to be fully, well, us?

Things that fuel my resistance

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Social Media. As writers, we use social media in many positive ways. I keep up with readings in my area, stay in touch with my creative community that spreads around the country/world, promote things, and share writing. However, if I’m bored or lonely, I scroll when I want to be writing. I flip through a feed, click through Instagram, and strain my eyes on Twitter. I never get to the point of pouring out of myself but instead overfill with things that are of little value to my creative life.

Fears. I am naturally a worrier. I have to work hard to keep my head in the right place, sift through the clutter in my mind, and focus on what is true. Imagination can help in writing. Fears and anxiety lead to exhaustion and if I’m not fueling them into my writing they weigh down my life.

Isolation. Okay, we’re writers. Solitude is in some form necessary. In fact, if I don’t have enough time to be quiet and alone, I can’t daydream enough to hear my creativity. However, if I am not engaging my friends that are creative, that are writing, that are seeking to help the world with their words; it is much easier for me to resist.

Fatigue. I struggle with chronic illness, but even the healthiest individual finds themselves fueling with caffeine and having to prioritize the spurts of energy they do receive. We get short periods of time to ourselves each day and have so many ways we want to fill it. The majority of the time I choose to veg out — YouTube, Netflix, (or read fan fiction) and then feel guilty that I’m not pursuing something that is “of use” or that I’m more passionate about.

 

change

Change.

Change is not fun most of the time. Even good change can be difficult at first. Resistance can become more comfortable and safe. So how do we get our creative “feet” to move?

Things that help me break free of a block

Watch movies or read books out loud. I love classic Hollywood movies. The writing is amazing and the language is rich. I love movies I’ve seen a million times — each one is like a comfort blanket or a childhood friend you haven’t talked with in a while. Go see a movie by yourself in the movie theater. You’d be surprised how it gets your creative juices flowing. Read poetry out loud. Going to a play also creates the same excitement inside of my spirit.

Nap. Okay. This one might feel more like a trick. However, naps help me. Nap in moderation. I will work on something for a while in my head before drifting off to sleep. That time before awake turns to sleep can be helpful and precious.

Go to a reading. Take a notebook. You’ll be amazed at how someone else’s creativity can inspire your own literary work.

Do a writing prompt. You can create your own prompt or search for one online. Prompts are a great cure for writer’s block. In addition, they can push and stretch the boundaries of your creativity by helping you to discover new strengths in your craft.

Take a walk. Being surrounded by nature helps me tremendously. I also get creative thoughts in the shower.

Join a writing group. Be around people that will encourage you. Writing groups create accountability for your literary projects.

Start a project. Last summer, I did an art project where I had to float in a sensory deprivation tank and then create. I had to write two poems each day. The first could be positive, negative, or anywhere in between. The second, had to be positive. It was during a difficult season and over the span of a month I did this to see if both poems would eventually be positive. In the end, I met my goal and had lots to show for it.

Listen to music. Listening to music can get a writer’s creativity flowing in abundance. Music creates an atmosphere that elevates the senses.

Engage spiritually. When I am seeking God in a deep and quality driven way or worshipping more often, I tend to write more. I believe God the source of my creativity. So, if I’m resisting Him, I’m more likely to resist writing.

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Let’s lift our heavy creative “feet” and seek to accept and engage. Resisting isn’t comfortable. It’s filling us up with more sand to keep us stuck.

Comfort Zone/ Challenge Sign ConceptChallenge: Here’s a challenge I’d like to put out and pursue with readers. Grab a notebook. If you’re like me, you have a million laying around your house. Every day date a line. Write one sentence at least. It can be a prompt you use later that you thought of, it can be something thoughtful about your day, or it can be something you’re grateful for. It can be a line of staccato words you paint into a poem or prose piece for later. Fill one line.

Are you resisting?

What are some of your “go to” ideas to unstick your creative stuck? How do you engage in the art of writing?

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Announcement: New Editors

We are pleased to introduce our new staff members: Poetry Editor Alisha Crump and Fiction Editor Justin Rose. Crump and Rose will aid our team in reviewing and selecting submissions for the Torrid Literature Journal. Continue reading

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TL Open Mic Show: The Anniversary Edition

TL Publishing Group’s first open mic of 2017 will take place this Saturday, January 28th from 8-11 PM at The Bunker in Tampa, Florida. This show will mark our five year anniversary for both our open mic show and the Torrid Literature Journal.

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Our show: All artists (singers, musicians, bands, poets, storytellers, spoken word artists, comedians, etc.) are welcome to perform!

We love the diverse level of creativity that spills forth from our performers. We welcome seasoned and emerging artists. As a publisher of literature, our team will be providing information about our journals including our submission guidelines. If you are interested in submitting unpublished material our way, stop by and have a look at one of our publications! We will have copies available for sale.

If you’ve never performed in front of a live audience before then our show is a great way to dive in. Check out videos of past performances.

Our feature: We have Walter “Wally B.” Jennings as our featured artist for this event!

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Bio: Walter “Wally B.” Jennings is a poet-turned-performer, who just happens to have been blessed with the gift of public speaking. He was born in Tampa, FL to Edward and Frances Jennings on December 30, 1976. Walter is the youngest of 3 children and is a proud product of the neighborhood of West Tampa. Wally B. began writing poetry in 1989 as an 8th grade student in response to an English assignment. His poems share and discuss common experiences from everyday life, ranging from: diabetes, marriage and fatherhood, youth empowerment, and self-determination. Wally does not use profanity or vulgarity in his work to ensure his messages can be communicated in all mediums.

Wally B.’s poetical talents have allowed him to conduct over 1000 performances, workshops and mentorship sessions in the national spoken word community over his 16 year career. He is an award winning, 4-Time Finalist of the Southern Fried Regional Poetry Competition. Wally currently serves as a Poet Artist in Residence for Hillsborough County Schools and the Arts Council of Hillsborough County Poetry Jam Program-reaching over 500 students and teachers per year.

Wally B. is the co-founder of “Black on Black Rhyme-Tampa”, one of the Central Florida’s largest and longest running open-mic poetry shows since September 2001.

Also, he is the founder of “Heard ‘Em Say Youth Arts Collective”. “Heard ‘Em Say”, founded in May 2007 was established to provide our community’s youth with a healthy social outlet and platform to express themselves and promote growth in the areas of: self-esteem, written and oral communication, networking, social tolerance and cultural understanding through the art of spoken word poetry. In addition to this, Wally has served as youth director and coach of 3 Semi-Finalist youth poetry slam teams for the Brave New Voices International spoken word competition.

He was honored by Creative Loafing in their 2011 Best of Bay publication as the area’s “Best Spoken Word Artist”.

Walter was educated in the Hillsborough County Public School system and graduated from Hillsborough High School in 1994. He graduated from Florida A&M University (Cum Laude) in 1998 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Economics.

Walter served as the Facilities Manager of the University of South Florida Sam and Martha Gibbons Alumni Center for 15 years. He supervised all physical operations of this 40,000 square foot building in addition to marketing and promoting 9 public spaces that are available for rental. On August 28, 2015 he resigned from USF to pursue his passion of artistic education on a full-time basis.

He has been married to his wife, Charmaine for 16 years and they have two children: Charmione-13 and Simone-8.

His latest spoken word album, “The Influence of Estrogen”, is available for purchase on CDBaby.

Our host: We have the amazingly talented R.J. Kerker as our special host for this event!

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R.J. is a long time supporter of the arts community in Tampa, Florida. He co-hosted open mic nights at Café Kili for several years before retiring to focus on musical projects.

He is a member of the American Song Box band. They have a wonderful acoustic rock sound that is original and unique. They have performed at various venues across the Tampa Bay area with more shows forthcoming. They have upcoming shows scheduled at the Windmill Taphouse and the Gators Café & Saloon.

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Visit their page on Facebook and Reverbnation for more information about their upcoming shows.

About The Bunker: The Bunker (f.k.a. Tre Amici) is located in the beautiful area of Ybor City. This coffee house offers a delectable menu in a cozy environment with free wifi. The Bunker is a huge supporter of the arts. Their roots run deep in the local Tampa Bay arts community. In addition to our show, they also serve as a venue host to several other artistic shows.

Other shows at The Bunker:

Singer/Songwriter Night

First Friday Open Mic

We Spoke Slam & Open Mic

Third Saturday Open Mic

Visit The Bunker’s website and Facebook page for more information about their venue.

Get Ready! Save the date! We’re excited about our upcoming show at The Bunker. Come ready to experience the diverse beauty of art. Whether you’re looking to perform or simply hang out and have a good time, come enjoy the goodness of The Bunker and possibly win one of our free raffles. We also have a special treat for our attendees.

Visit our website and learn more about us:

www.torridliterature.com

www.tlpublishing.org

Please contact Tiffani Barner at tbarner@torridliterature.com with questions or inquiries.

 

 

 

 

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Call for Submissions

2016 has been an amazing year! We want to thank everyone for supporting our literary journal, contests, and blog. We know it’s been a while since you’ve heard from us but we are back from our brief hiatus and we are excited to share some great news with our readers. We will be releasing Volume XIX and XX of the Torrid Literature Journal before 2016 is over. Each volume contains fresh new poems, stories, and interviews. In Volume XX, the 2016 winners of our annual literary contest will be revealed.

Additionally, we will begin accepting submissions for another anthology of Christian poetry to be published on August 1, 2017 under our Gateway Literature imprint.

As we wrap up 2016 and prepare for 2017, we are issuing an updated call for submissions. Our first volume of the Torrid Literature Journal in 2017 will be a special five-year anniversary edition. Send us your best work.

Torrid Literature Journal (Published Quarterly)

Poetry

Fiction

Interviews & Book Reviews

Christian Anthology (Title TBA)  

Blog:

Editorial Articles / Guest Posts

Author Spotlight Requests

Interviews & Book Reviews

If you are unfamiliar with our publication, please click here to read a free copy of Volume XIV Chaos before you submit.

Stay in touch. Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

All the best,

Alice Saunders | Editor

TL Publishing Group LLC

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Flashback Friday: Circle Circle Dot Dot

National Novel Writing Month is just around the corner. Today we’re sharing Noah R. Sebek’s short story, “Circle Circle Dot Dot”. This story first appeared in the Torrid Literature Journal Vol. X Lost.


Circle Circle Dot Dot

By Noah R. Sebek

“I now pronounce you man and wife.”

“Are you sure that’s right?” she asked meekly.

“I think so,” he responded. “I think that’s all you really need.”

“Oh. Alright then.” She smiled, looking down at the ring on her finger. “I guess that means we’re married, then?”

“Sure looks like it.” I looked at my left hand, and then the ground. “I hope you’re happy with this, Sally.” Continue reading

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