Zadie Smith on Deana Lawson’s Kingdom of Restored Glory | The New Yorker

…”Examining Deana Lawson’s “Sharon” (2007), a black viewer may find the confusion of her earliest days reënacted. Before you’d heard of slavery and colonialism, of capitalism and subjection, of islands and mainlands, of cities and ghettos, when all you had to orient yourself was what was visually available to you; that is, what was in front of your eyes. And what a strange sight confronts the black child! The world seems upside down and back to front. For your own eyes tell you that your people, like all people, are marvellous. That they are—like all human beings—beautiful, creative, godlike. Yet, as a child, you couldn’t find many of your gods on the television or in books; they were rarely rendered in oil, encountered on the cinema screen or in the pages of your children’s Bible. Sometimes, in old reruns, you might spot people painted up, supposedly to look like your gods—with their skin blackened and their lips huge and red—but the wise black child pushed such toxic, secondary images to the back of her mind. Instead, she placed her trust in reality. But here, too, she found her gods walking the neighborhood unnoticed and unworshipped. Many of them appeared to occupy lowly positions on a ladder whose existence she was only just beginning to discern. There were, for example, many low-wage gods behind the counters at the fast-food joints, and mostly gods seemed to shine shoes and clean floors, and too many menial tasks altogether appeared to fall only to them. Passing the newsstand, she might receive her first discomforting glimpse of the fact that the jail cells were disproportionately filled with gods, while in the corridors of power they rarely set a foot. Only every now and then did something make sense: a god was recognized. There’s little Michael Jackson and grand Toni Morrison, and, look, that’s James Baldwin growing old in France, and beautiful Carl Lewis, faster than Hermes himself. The kinds of gods so great even the blind can see them. But back at street level? Too many gods barely getting by, or crowded into substandard schools and crumbling high-rise towers, or harassed by police intent on clearing Olympus of every deity we have. And, for a long, innocent moment, everything about this arrangement will seem surreal to the black child, distorted, like a message that has somehow been garbled in the delivery. Then language arrives, and with language history, and with history the Fall. …”

 

via Zadie Smith on Deana Lawson’s Kingdom of Restored Glory | The New Yorker

Todays Spotlight on Women: The Empress Dowager

Reserved for the Gods: Only Two Humans Have Tasted the Chinese Peaches of Immortality | Ancient Origins

Qing dynasty porcelain with Xiwangmu“…Although the Peaches of Immortality were normally reserved for the gods, some humans are said to have been given the Peaches of Immortality by the goddess herself. As a matter of fact, according to ancient Chinese historians, only two mortals have ever tasted the Peaches of Immortality….”

 

via Reserved for the Gods: Only Two Humans Have Tasted the Chinese Peaches of Immortality | Ancient Origins

Illness, Magic and Exorcism

 

“Analysis of a collection of clay tablets confirms that a Mesopotamian doctor had to deal with more than just physical ailments. The ancient healer was expected to exorcise demons, ward off witchcraft, and appease the gods – all while staying up to date on the latest medical-magical healing strategies!

The recent study demonstrates that doctors living in Mesopotamia in the 7th century BC were expected to combine what we commonly call magical rituals with “harder science” and medicine if they wished their patients to recover. ,,,”

From: Mixing Magic and Medicine: New Study Shows Mesopotamian Doctors Had to Battle Demons 

 

from The Author’s Desk:

Ancient cultures did believe that illness had an energetic component. This belief prevailed throughout the centuries and is still held in many societies today.

This has been the backbone of many practices and it has infiltrated the lore and the literature of the world over time.

There is more to the human body than meets the eye…..

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Have you met Markella?

Have you met Markella yet? She seems to be stirring up people’s opinions. She is brazen enough to be politically incorrect yet she seems to be submissive as well in her views. A weak rebel? A strong traditionalist?

I suppose that chick lit is all about a women’s world, a heroine as a protagonist, her plights, her victories, her pain, her gain. This is a genre on its own and rightfully so. women do have a unique perspective on things. Markella is a character in one of my books and she is definitely a ‘personality’.

I am working on another project as well that narrates in a strong female voice, a series told this time by Rhea, the earth goddess….a whole different ball game with a whole different take regarding female perspective.

Does one expect a woman, a protagonist, a female narrator to be feminist, traditional, or a little bit of both? Does she need to be radical or submissive? Does she celebrate her womanhood being an individual or complementing a male?  (or having a male be her complement….the ‘two halves make a whole’ thing going on).

Can a strong woman combine love, romance, and devotion to her man while candidly perceiving society and still being comfortable with the roles society had carved out for men and women? Does she constitute chic lit material? Does she become a romance character and not qualify to be labeled as an upmarket woman’s lit character? Are we falling for stereotyping women when choosing genre labels?

I want all of you women out there to meet Markella. You can grab some free pages now from the ebook and read her innermost thoughts, her mind chatter.

Let Markella pour her heart out to you if you offer her a place on your kindle… She is as dreamy as she is street smart. She is an unpolished intellectual, capable of thinking deeply, imagining vividly and sticking a knife straight to the point.

Markella’s burning desire is to share what she knows with the world. But she can’t.
A situation develops and push comes to shove. She decides to write it all out, bringing to life a chatty journal filled with information about her husband, Nick, alias Mallias, a renowned card cheat, a mobster.
They make quite the couple. Some love them, some hate them, while so many love to hate them.
Markella takes time to get her thoughts together, expressing half of what she is thinking always. She writes in her slow burn style, sometimes staccato and sometimes rambling, sometimes brash and often politically incorrect, filling the pages of her journal with their story, one drenched with crime, mystery, eccentricity, double-crossers, dripping with the unique flavors of Greece, New York, and Osaka and soaked through and through with gossip, romance and a touch of the metaphysical.

 

cropped-3191793997_41f832fd84_b2.jpgIf you get the chance to meet her, hear her, see what happens to her… do feel free to share your opinion about Markella. You either love her or hate her. Please feel free to review!!!

 

so ‘well said’….

<blockquote class=”twitter-tweet” data-lang=”en”><p lang=”und” dir=”ltr”>😂 <a href=”https://t.co/SNcDZQOYIx”>https://t.co/SNcDZQOYIx</a></p>&mdash; Suzanne Valtsioti (@SValtsioti) <a href=”https://twitter.com/SValtsioti/status/958063607698415619?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>January 29, 2018</a></blockquote>
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speaks to my heart…..