Sunday, August 11, 2019

Alice Faye Duncan - Winning Lessons from the Life of Martin Luther King Jr.

PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT: If Alice Faye Duncan is speaking or teaching anywhere, go to whatever event that is! Brilliant speaker, supersmart, energizing presence and also has the best eyeglasses. Alice shares in this breakout session the history of Dr. King's life and how his life lessons can relate to or inspire your writing life.

We'll share just a few:

Lesson #1: Take your writing orders from a higher power. It doesn't matter what you call that higher power, but ideas from that bigger better universal power are not trends, Alice learned from King that the trend is not the answer, take that higher, universal signal to guide your best ideas.

Lesson #4: Pick a winning writing team. You are a member of SCBWI, there are so many well studied, well-read members of this organization, get your critique group and community going as you find your path to publication.

Lesson #5: Use your power to help others. Alice says, "I have all this understanding [about the world of writing] now. I have it, honey, and it has been hard won."

"Take what you have been given and be a blessing to others, don't stop those donations, but give you. Give you."

We also got to meet Mildred P Waters who was in the audience! She's written more than 20 books since the sixties. Mildred had never been in a library until college, all of those new books inspired her to go into teaching, and when she began to teach in a school that was predominantly African American, the only book that had African American characters in it was Keats's SNOWY DAY. She wrote to the publisher asking for more books like that for her students to see themselves in, and the publisher told her, "Write them."

So she did.

Mildred says, "I felt like I was not a creator, the children were the creators, all I had to do was listen to them... Be still, be kind, and listen, and the muses will come to you, and then you write."

You might have heard of her Coretta Scott King Award winning Justin and the Best Biscuits in the World ? Mildred's next book comes out soon, Something Inside So Strong.

I'm guessing Alice would be okay with Mildred sharing this blog post spotlight, so here's a link to Mildred's Smithsonian interview from the Library of Congress

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