Intuition: An Update

For publication reasons I am withdrawing my poem, “Intuition” from AWC.

I am pleasantly surprised by the attention is has received. The emails I received were inspiring, touching. I decided to shop “Intuition” this spring. Like “The Kiss,” I didn’t want folks to guess about where the piece went so I am letting you know.

For those of you who are unfamiliar with the world of publishing, there are some publication entities that are very strict about what constitutes “published.”

Some of the publishers I am shopping “Intuition” to have a zero preexisting publication policy – that includes personal author websites like ArmedWithCoffee.

If “Intuition” is rejected, it will be placed back on AWC immediately.

Thank you all so much for your support.

Cheers,
Christina

Christina’s Soundtrack: Quarantine Edition

I have mixes for everything. My mixes have mixes. Enjoy!
#quarantine #mymix #randomAF

58639d267d90850fc3ce291e
It’s Been Awhile, Staind
After Hours, The Weeknd (At 2:11, it gets real.)
Lost in the Fire, The Weeknd
Memories of Light and Waves, Jeremy Ng
Rooms on Fire, Stevie Nicks
Miss You, The Rolling Stones
Don’t Come Around Here No More, (quarantine pun not intended) Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers
Never Tear Us Apart, INXS
People Are People, Depeche Mode
Sara, Fleetwood Mac
Dead Souls, Nine Inch Nails58639d267d90850fc3ce291e
Ashes to Ashes, David Bowie
Queen Bitch, David Bowie
Fall, The Bug
I Am Easy to Find, The National
Big Empty, Stone Temple Pilots
Bennie and the Jets, Elton John
Atomic, Sleeper
Born Slippy, Underworld
Psycho Killer, Talking Heads
Coming Undone, Korn
Mysterious Ways, U2


Christina Schmidt, MA
armedwithcoffee.com

I /
I was standing /
You were there /
Two worlds collided
“Never Tear Us Apart” INXS

Writer’s Lift Wednesday #6

This is a writersliftwednesday blog, sharing the works of fellow writers, poets and persons random. All re-blogs will be linked appropriately to their authors.

Writing is no easy calling and nothing easy was ever worth doing.

Support each other. Share and reshare.

To note: This is the first writer’s lift that features a piece of art outside of the literary realm. Writer’s Lift is about supporting all artists. Please check out “Art is risk made visible,” by Arno Rafael Minkkinen below. As an artist, I resonate strongly with this piece and I think you will too.

Cheers,
Christina Schmidt, MA
armedwithcoffee.com


1. Can I Write Novels Even if I Haven’t Had an Interesting Life? by Larry Kahaner via blog, Larry Kahaner

I came across a blog from Guy Portman titled “10 Famous Authors’ Day Jobs” in which he lists… well…you get it.

What struck me most from reading Guy’s blog post is how many famous authors eventually gave up their day jobs (Natch. They’re famous.) and how many used what they knew from their day jobs and incorporated it into their writings.

Item: Joseph Conrad – (1857 – 1924) – Many of Joseph Conrad’s works have a nautical theme. This is not surprising considering that the author had a 19 year career as a merchant-marine, which began when he left his native Poland as a teenager in 1874.

Item: Arthur Conan Doyle – (1859 – 1930) – The creator of Sherlock Holmes was an important figure in the field of crime fiction. Doyle was also a practicing doctor, whose field of expertise was ophthalmology. He quit medicine to concentrate on writing full time.

Item: Agatha Christie – (1890 -1976) – It was during World War I that prolific author Agatha Christie began writing detective stories. At the time she was employed as an apothecary’s assistant. Her knowledge of poisons was to come in useful in her detective stories.

These authors used what they learned on the job and in life as a springboard for their stories.

But what if you don’t have an interesting job, career or life to draw upon?

There’s no such thing as a boring life.

There’s always something in your past and present that you can look to for ideas and stories. There’s always odd, interesting and compelling people in your life upon which to fashion your characters and stories. You just have to be open.

I have a writing buddy who is working on a memoir and some of the folks he talks about make for fascinating character fodder. At the time, they may not have seemed so interesting, especially to a kid, but when we get older we see their bizarreness and they become highly writeable.

But even if they don’t seem so interesting now. It’s okay.

Think of a person that you know and make him or her weirder, odder, funnier or sadder. Look for the peculiar detail that others have missed. Embellish the small but compelling parts. Expand their quirk. Exaggerate a tic.

One last thought. Here’s the entry for Bram Stoker: “Stoker is best remembered for his seminal work Dracula, but he also wrote 11 other novels and 3 collections of short stories. The author spent 27 years working as an acting manager and business manager for Irving’s Lyceum Theatre in London.”

I haven’t read his other 11 novels but I can bet his job figured into these works. As for Dracula, Stoker’s inspiration reportedly came from a visit to Slains Castle in Aberdeenshire and a visit to the crypts of St. Michan’s Church in Dublin. My guess is that these creepy places produced a strong emotional reaction in Stoker which then formed the basis for his vampire novel. Another person, though, maybe not so much.

That’s the crux of it. What produces a strong emotion in you–a person, place or thing–is what you should be writing about.

2. “Art is risk made visible” by Arno Rafael Minkkinen, Photographer via blog, Art of Quotation.

art is risk made visible

Saunderstown, Rhode Island, 1974
He works alone, his images are all unmanipulated, made with one exposure, with no retouching. ‘I do not use an assistant to look through the camera; otherwise she or he also becomes the photographer. Instead, I have nine seconds to get into the scene, or if I am using a long cable release bulb, I can press it and throw it out of the picture, knowing nine seconds later the camera will fire’ source.

3. And She Decided, via blog I Write Her

defying the norms
experiencing life on my terms
speaking out
in the face
of criticism
IS
challenging myself

keeping the promises
made to myself
defining boundaries
setting them in place
standing up
for what’s right
IS
loving myself

deserving what i need
wanting what i deserve
challenging the status quo
standing against
the patriarchy
defending my honor
IS
respecting myself

it’s been a long time coming, baby


 

Quarantined and Bored: Answering Random Questions and Comments

Welcome Back!

I typically do this in a vlog but I have an intensive filming schedule coming up for Sassy Scorpion Tarot and Book of the Month so decided to keep this session of ‘questions answered’ blog-real.

As always, your questions and comments crack me up, some perplex me (as you’ll read) and in this blog I present the best of the one-off questions and comments.

1. “What is something about you people would be surprised by?” No name provided.

Ugh. And the truth comes out.

Years of my youth were dedicated to choir. Yes. I spent years in the school choir and even participated in local and state competitions. Not only am I a bonafide book nerd, I was a choir geek, and also theater geek, while I’m sitting here and confessing. I was a theater tech for several years. I did not act, no, no. Acting might have leveled up my cool points. No, I was the schmuck that was all into the technical side of theater, getting the lighting and sound board just right. I don’t know how much more nerd you can get other than admitting to DND gaming, which I don’t. I have my limits for god’s sake.

I loved my years in choir, though. Choir was my first experience in self-expression and I always looked to music to help me better understand myself and the world in which I lived.

2. “How often do you eat?” Samantha P. (a regular), Wisconsin

Samantha! What’s up girl? Hope you’re well!

The short answer: CONSTANTLY. If you think of me at all, just know regardless of the date, time, or circumstance, I am hungry. I try to consume protein dense and healthy fat dense foods to curb the worst of it. Bear in mind, I do have calorie boundaries and my energy/metabolism is unique to me.

On a side note, I did eschew all protein powders (you asked me about that at some point) and I do not advocate protein bars or “meal replacement” bars. I’ve yet to find a protein bar that didn’t ultimately add up to garbage in the ingredients.

Clean protein powder is achievable but the cost is unbelievable. I dropped a scoop of protein powder about 7 months ago and realized I dropped about $10 worth of powder. It’s easy to fall into the performance and enhancement pitfalls but ultimately I found my personal use of protein powders to be financially irresponsible. I don’t need it. I went back to precooked turkey and chicken portions as snacks and noticed no difference in my gym performance or muscle maintenance. The only noticeable difference was a positive in that my stomach felt less strained. It makes me question the human digestive’s system ability to break down high doses of protein. Is it even necessary? Or helpful in such high quantities?

Hope that was helpful.

3. “Do you have any pets?”

I love all animals and I grew up with a lot of them (cats, dogs, fish, gerbils, birds). I find pets enrich our lives and is a natural way to teach children the life cycle.

When it came time to bring a pet into our home, I took my daughter to an adoption day at a local pet store. She thought the puppies were cute but gravitated towards cats the most. So naturally, we adopted a guinea pig.

I know, it makes perfect sense, lol. Let me tell you what happened.

I saw the guinea pigs and it was a full litter. Of the whole litter, there was one little guy completely isolated by the others. Animals often socially isolate their weaker mates or the “runts.” He was shivering and so small compared to the other guineas my heart instantly broke. I apologized to my daughter and explained that we would be leaving with a guinea pig that day. I explained that it was our job to love him, feed him, and take care of him.

Once my instinct to feed something, or someone, kicks in, well that’s pretty much love for me. I couldn’t walk away from that little guy.

To her credit, my daughter was cool with it and not at all disappointed like I thought she’d be. Like me, she’s partial to those creatures that seem hurt or abandoned (somehow she befriended the local neighborhood cat, he comes around for petting and only from my daughter).

My guinea pig’s name is Pip. He’s dumb as bricks but he’s sweet and loves a cuddle. Pip has reached his adult weight but will always be small compared to other piggies his age. Pip’s health isn’t the best. He has constant respiratory issues…I imagine he will not be the longest living guinea pig but Pip will have a comfortable life with us if nothing else. We love him to pieces.

4. “Your jaw looks like it could cut butter.” Terry

Terry, I admit your comment has perplexed me. I’ve even run your comment by friends. I don’t know what it means, neither do my friends. I’ve Googled your sentence to see if there was some reference I was missing and am none the wiser.

So, thanks? I guess?

5. “Has anyone ever told you you look like Christie Brinkley from the 80s?” Dane, Texas

Yes. Several times. Although you’re the first person to ask me in writing.

I personally don’t see it but there you are. As I’ve noted, my strengths do not lie in recognizing visual characteristics. I’ve also gotten compared to Pamela Anderson from the the early 90s (if I don’t see Christie Brinkley, I definitely don’t see Pamela Anderson) but mostly I get the Christie Brinkley comment.

Also, my name has been confused with the Canadian actor, Christina Schmidt. I am not that lady. Other than vlogs I have no upcoming film projects. Sorry guys.

6. “On a scale of the 80s where are you: Eurythmics or Yazoo?” Jess, California

Jess, I freakin’ love this question! Nearly did a spit take when I read it over email. It’s cute, it’s original and cleverly open-ended.

On a scale of the 80s I fall into Tangerine Dream.

First, if you’re asking ‘who is Tangerine Dream,’ my friend you need to acquaint yourself with early synth pop (bear in mind, Tangerine Dream dabbled in everything). This, however, is where we fall into a technical argument. Tangerine Dream formed in the early 70s, some say late 68′-69′ (they changed members often and marked different sound periods). Despite their dates as a cohesive group, I would include their existence on the 80s scale as I believe some of their best work in synth (originally styled electric pop) was developed over a period critical to 80s soundtracks.

All due respect to the great Eurythmics for whom I adore, and Yazoo was…Yazoo, but I observe your 80s question as stemming from a synth sound (or so I’m assuming) and I would advise you take a stroll with Tangerine Dream, a group that not only predated synth before being called as such, they kept up in electric pop too, most notably in the 80s (I believe) when the sound of synth became much more mainstream, and so their work had more time to develop than most.

Have fun!

7. “What’s sex with you like?” Bradley, Missouri ***

Well, Bradley, I’m guessing I’m not the only one trying to pass the time in quarantine. You’re either bored, or maybe you thought you were being original (you weren’t) or that you could shock/embarrass me (you can’t, you have no idea what it takes to embarrass a woman who writes erotica) but regardless of your reasons, Bradley, I am going to answer your question because it actually made me think, ‘what is sex with me like?’

At first, an image of King Leonidas popped into my mind as he loudly declared, “THIS. IS. SPARTA!” before kicking the messenger into the well. This mental image switched to my boldly declaring, “THIS. IS. CHRISTINA!” before mounting my partner into submission. HAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!

I don’t care who you are. I don’t care where you’re from. THAT’S FUNNY. If you can’t laugh at that, I don’t know what to tell you.

But seriously – or as seriously as I can take your question, Bradley – I think, no, scratch that, I KNOW, sex with me is like a Stevie Nicks album cover: feminine, mysterious, a little witchy and silk. Glorious silky, silk.

*** I’d like to note that I see the humor in Bradley’s question but I also see the question as a good example of a line. Let’s take care not to cross it. ***

Take care of yourselves out there.

And, Writers Lift Wednesday tomorrow!


Yours in Quarantine,
Christina Schmidt, MA
armedwithcoffee.com

The 5 Stages of Writing (Satire)

*This post contains adult language.

Before I get started, I just wanted to thank everyone for your support and interest of the poem, Intuition. It’s receiving a surprising amount of attention, and to answer the number one query, yes, it was one of the poems I selected as part of my new poetry package. Life is simultaneously brilliant and totally fucking stupid. Feeling remains where logic fails. Sometimes it’s all we have to work with.

So, thank you. When I manage to write something that relates to so many, that’s when I’m most happy.


The 5 Stages of Writing, by Christina 

I’m quarantined and I’m getting all up in my Jack-Nicholson-as-Jack-Torrance-isolated-in-the-Overlook-Hotel-feels because I’m a high energy person and as much I love to write, I’m like a German Shepherd in that I can be a real nightmare when I don’t exercise regularly (my gym is closed and it keeps raining so I can’t even run, and if my doctor is reading this – no, not real running – the walk/run thing we discussed so I don’t totally blow my knee out). My mental energy has gone into overdrive as a way to try and relieve some of the pent up tension, and bless my brain for trying, but it’s just not the same as exercising your metaphorical demons into submission at the gym. All that being said, and if you couldn’t tell by this paragraph, expect an increase in blog ramblings and Random Nonsense posts until either a) the weather stops being an asshole and I can do my weird run/walk thing or b) the standards for social distancing lighten up and I can go back to the gym.

Now that I have my writing work down to an annual rhythm, I see a pattern that occurs despite my ever increasing familiarity with the writing and publication process.

Present Day Christina (PDC) running present day commentary on Old Christina’s (OC) thought processes, and thus The 5 Stages of Writing are revealed.

Stage 1 – HOPE

OC: I have a story burning inside me and I just know if I can get it out of me I can help others, maybe even inspire others. I’m so excited and I will never not be enthusiastic about my work. I will always put my best energies into this! My work needs me and I need it! I will never get tired of dedicating my best efforts into this story! Hashtag writerslife, baby!!!

PDC: Fucking idiot. You have deadlines. There is no hope, only deadlines.

*shuffles through a kitchen drawer* Where’s the goddamn corkscrew? This new cab looks delicious and mama gonna crack it open. Oh, never mind. It’s a cap. Suh-weet.

Stage 2 – PREWRITING / DRAFTING / REVISING (aka Denial)

OC: Wow, this is turning out even better than I thought! Okay, I admit, those weeks spent revising a single sentence could have been better spent but I’m really getting the hang of this. I think the story is shaping up really well and will be instantly understood by the audience. *nervous chuckle* Who knows? I might even submit to publishers and agents this year. I mean, it totally needs more work, I know that, but I feel like it has a shot? Am I crazy? I mean, time will tell, right? But honestly, I can totally see submitting this work. And you know, I’ll never get tired of this story, like ever. I will always be enthused for my projects. I mean, like, hashtag killingit, right?

PDC: *laughs maliciously* You asshole. *pours another glass*

What you don’t know, you will get tired of your work because your work is a reflection of you and if you had chosen any other profession than writing you might not have to see the dark side of your soul everyday. That’s why you will get tired of your work. How often do you think you can bear to see your soul, your worst thoughts about yourself, and all of mankind, until you feel the disgust begin to creep up on you? I’ll tell you, you’re feeling it now. The thoughts and feelings inch their way ever upwards like a slow growing vine, the greater it’s length the deeper the root; the ever growing disgust with your natural thoughts and feelings. Then you go and make things worse by examining the thoughts and feelings of others doing your best to copy/paste real life onto flimsy ass characters no one’s paying you to make up…you…dumb…twit.

Stage 3 – EDITING (aka It Hits You)

OC: Okay. I love my work I do, I really do but but but… OH MY GOD WHY DID I DID THIS!? Everything I’ve written is TOTAL CRAP. This will never be published. An agent would take one look at this nightmare and scream. I’m must’ve been outta my mind! WHY DID I DO THIS TO MYSELF!? WHY!? WHY!? WHY!?

PDC: *psychologically and emotionally numb* Calm down, bitch. If it’s garbage, it’s garbage. No amount of editing will make a bad story a good story.

*pours another glass, slurring* Ask yourdelf…is it a gewd strwie? Desent is aceptible to. Keep eddditing, betch. U will b fine, lol, Smilley face. Wait. Am I txting or blugging?

Stage 4 – PUBLISHING (aka Self-Crippling Doubt)

OC: Oh god. Why did I submit that? Oh my god, I take it back. Oh my god, I take it back. OH MY GOD, I TAKE IT BACK. *for the first time, introduces wine as a mechanism for calming down*

Get it together. It’ll be rejected and then they’ll forget you ever submitted. You know what? Your story will go straight to delete and it will be like it never happened. You can go back to work and forget all about this little “writing phase” of yours. They were right. They were all right. They all tried to warn me: Christina, it’s not going to go anywhere. Christina, how do you know your story is even good? Christina do you even know the odds of being published? Christina, you left your salaried, fully compensated career for this? What the fuck were you thinking? ARe yOu StuPid, cHrisTina? Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes, I’m stupid. I should never have done this.

*gasps in realized horror* What if the agent doesn’t delete it? What if they show it to everyone in the office and laugh it? What if they put my name down on some kind of worst-submission list? Oh god!? That’a a million times worse than being deleted!!!

PDC: *drunkenly* Psst. Hey betch. Psssssst. Listen ta me, just listen ta me. K? You lissten’ ta me? Just shut up a minete. Listn. Listn. Shut up n listn. K? I know somethin’ u don’t.

U rite intense shit. U know what I mene? Like, life is gabrage and u rite about the gabrage, and it’s like real gabrage. Luv, hate, payn, passsssionnn, u do all that shit man. It hurtz when u rite it cuz it comes from a rEaL place. Other people make their shit up, u don’t cuz u don’t half too. We live in the ReALness. Still do. Member Snowbound? That’s a fucked up stwrie, like srsly. Publizsed tWIce, betch! *punches air in drunken triumph*

People gon say thanks n stuff for sayin the shit they can’t say or don’t know how to say about the life gabrage. ThAt’s YOur JOb now, betch. Talk bout the gabrage. Tell the stwries. ANd say the feelins’ n stuff cuz for some fucked up rezon u rite pooetry now – got publizesd in that two. Like, da fuck!?

OC: Oh.

PDC: YEah. Reealllly makes u thi8nk.
*falls into bed, mumbling* Do we have any aVocaDOes? Hungry.

OC: *concerned* I don’t think you should be trying to open an avocado right now. You’ll cut yourself.

PDC: Croisssants? Oh my gawd. Id dye for a crosssant…oh my gawd, CHoCoLAte croissant!

OC: Just some crackers, I think.

PDC: Fuck crakERS.
*smirks* U know, we’re gonna rite ERoTiCa in the footure.

OC: *shocking disbelief* Oh come on now. Poetry I understand but erotica!? You really are drunk. I mean, I know we like to read it but write it?

PDC: Oh ya. Peoplez is verrrrrrryyyyyy xcited bout it.

OC: But why? What do we even know about writing erotica?

PDC: Somethen’ bout some fuckin’ video on Tube n peoplez got all hard about it. I don’t know man, I jus work here. *passes put*

OC: My god…the publication process is weird.

Stage 5 – REPEAT STAGES 1 – 4

And that’s the 5 Stages of Writing!


Yours in Quarantine,
Christina Schmidt, MA
armedwithcoffee.com

tumblr_ov2gdchU9W1wsd5pco6_250

Trellis (a poem)

20200321_104613

I looked to the past
To see a future
Coming back to the hill as I did
Vision restored

Last day
An empty place
Midst the horror that is
COVID-19

No goodbyes
Just as well
Silence increasingly rare
Still but for the restlessness in me

A quiet parting at
The trellis, my favorite feature
Unassuming beauty in the sky
It’ll have to do


Trellis (a poem) by,
Christina Schmidt, MA
armedwithcoffee.com

Writer’s Lift Wednesday #5

This is a writersliftwednesday blog, sharing the works of fellow writers, poets and persons random. All re-blogs will be linked appropriately to their authors.

Writing is no easy calling and nothing easy was ever worth doing.

Support each other. Share and reshare.

Cheers,
Christina Schmidt, MA
armedwithcoffee.com


1. Beauty and the Beast, by C. D. Anders of The Unnecessary Blog

The words of poetry are

but a mask,

pages, screens, books being

assets of anonymity

to hide the brutish specimen

behind them

and

that brute knows

the pathos is played

most easily,

charms only with vain airs

of flattery

Wonders never cease

in this topsy-turvy tale,

even surprises arise

when least

expected

when most

surprisingly of all,

she fell, even then,

sight and seen,

no words read

2. treehouse of horror (the rejected bits), by Tony Single of Unbolt Me

your face occupies the entire doorway
or has the room become suddenly small?
i feel like thwacking your smile with a death ray
or smacking it fervently into the wall!

your nasty moustache with its fried egg stains
those urticating bristles on caterpillar lips…
just one look has given me stomach pains
i’d soon as not kiss you as cut off my nips!

when you lean over me with your fresh garlic breath
i feel like a vampire that’s getting ready to die
so i wouldn’t mind overdosing on some meth
if it meant i could avoid you in sheol’s by and by

you whisper, ‘what can i ding dong diddly do?
for you?’ sounding suspiciously diddly ho sweet
and you adjust those glasses you’re peering through
making my flesh want to crawl away up the street

at the altar of the temple of ghastly dreams
i am ready to swear on the shiny shinning
anything to expunge all the flanderish screams
visions of red and yellow cartoon skinnings

3. Five Myths About Jane Austen, by Nicholas C. Rossis of Fun Historical Facts

Jane Austen, the writer of Emma, Pride and Prejudice, and Sense and Sensibility (among others) is widely considered ignored in her lifetime–and a bit of a prude. As Devoney Looser explains in The Washington Post, these are just two of the persistent myths surrounding Austen. Let’s see what else most people get wrong about her!

Jane Austen was a secluded, boring homebody
The myth of her sheltered existence originated with her brother Henry’s short biographical notice, published as a preface to the first edition of “Northanger Abbey” and “Persuasion” (1818). Henry describes his late sister as having lived “not by any means a life of event.” Today, it has become a trope.

But things happened to her! For one thing, she had seven siblings. Her father ran a small boarding school for boys out of the family’s home. How quiet a girlhood could that have been? Then she lived for several years in the resort town of Bath, the Regency-era young person’s equivalent of Cancun. She visited London and frequented its rowdy theaters, where vendors sold audience members rotten fruit specifically for the purpose of hurling it at the actors (thus proving that the fun practice of pelting poor performers was still alive and well in the 19th century).

Her family had colorful characters. Her aunt was arrested, tried and acquitted of a shoplifting charge, creating a scandal. Her flirtatious cousin Eliza, whose first husband was guillotined in the French Revolution, afterward married Jane’s biographer-brother, Henry. He became a failed banker whose losses cost his relatives tens of thousands of pounds. He lost some of Jane’s money, too.

Austen’s was a prude
Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice | From the blog of Nicholas C. Rossis, author of science fiction, the Pearseus epic fantasy series and children’s books
One of the first two published illustrations of Pride and Prejudice, from the Richard Bentley edition (Source: Wikimedia)

Henry Austen’s biographical notice claims that Jane was “fearful of giving offense to God.” Novelist Charlotte Brontë cemented Henry’s prim and proper vision, complaining in 1850 that “the Passions are perfectly unknown” to the late Austen. (It may be an unfair charge from an author who transforms attempted bigamists into heroes and makes lovers out of violent boors, but I digress.) That opinion persists to this day, with the Guardian speculating that Austen is a model of “sexless greatness” whose own chastity gave us her “wonderful novels.”

However, you’ll find plenty of illicit sex in Austen’s fiction, including seductions, adultery, out-of-wedlock pregnancy, and prostitution. “Pride and Prejudice” includes a flirt who runs off with a rake who’s later bribed into marrying her. “Sense and Sensibility” describes a young woman who is seduced, abandoned and pregnant, and whose mother had been an abused wife, a kept mistress and then sunk deeper still. And obviously, any author who could create Mr. Darcy — who “drew the attention of the room” by his “fine, tall person” and “handsome features,” and who’s been interpreted as a tasty dish by almost a century of actors, from Colin Keith-Johnston to Colin Firth — must understand the power of sex appeal.

Austen approved of slavery and co­lo­ni­al­ism
Was Austen proslavery and an apologist for colonialism, as the cultural critic Edward Said famously argued? These claims often come down to what she leaves unsaid, as it does for Said, who argues that her characters’ pointed silences when colonialism comes up signal the author’s elitist neglect.

Austen certainly benefited from the cultural and economic privileges of her race and class. However, anti-slavery commentary appears in “Emma,” when elegant Jane Fairfax decries the dehumanizing slave trade and governess trade, comparing the sale of human flesh to that of human intellect. It’s also been argued that the title of “Mansfield Park” intentionally echoes the name of Lord Mansfield, the judge whose 1772 ruling said chattel slavery was unsupported by English common law (Britain outlawed the slave trade in 1807, though slavery in its colonies continued until 1833.)

Also, Austen’s brother Francis expressed abolitionist views. In 1807, he wrote in his journal, “Slavery however much it may be modified is still slavery, and it is much to be regretted that any trace of it should be found to exist in countries dependent on England, or colonized by her subjects.” The Austen family probably shared his opinion.

read the full article here

The Kiss: An Update

For publication reasons I am withdrawing my poem, “The Kiss” from AWC.

For those of you who are unfamiliar with the world of publishing, there are some publication entities that are very strict about what constitutes “published.”

Some of the publishers I am shopping “The Kiss” to have a zero preexisting publication policy – that includes personal author websites like ArmedWithCoffee.

You know my feelings about, “The Kiss.” It’s not my first poem, nor my last, possibly not even my best, but it is my favorite poem and the favorite of my readers. It causes me real pain to withdraw it, even temporarily, and possibly excluded from AWC altogether if chosen for publication.

If “The Kiss” is published, I will have to abide by the rules of the publication house about online display.

I consider the withdrawal a short-term sacrifice for the potential of a long-term goal. My seeing “The Kiss” published is more important to me than being able to display it on my website.

As always, whether I succeed or fail, I will update you on my endeavors. If the poem is rejected, “The Kiss” will go back on AWC immediately.

Truly, thank you all for your support of my work. Keep your fingers crossed for me and for “The Kiss.”

With Love,
Christina Schmidt, MA
armedwithcoffee.com

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