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World Book Night was simply AMAZING!

World Book Night, WBN, Free Books, Annual Book Giveaways

Kym Gordon Moore giving away copies of “Waiting to Exhale” by Terry McMillan for World Book Night 2014

Yesterday was World Book Night in the U.S. and oh what an exciting time I had! This was the third consecutive year that I was selected as a book giver. Francene Marie Morris and I visited the great people at Florence Crittenton Services in Charlotte, North Carolina. We passed out copies of “Waiting to Exhale” by Best-Selling author Terry McMillan. If you had the opportunity to read the book and see the movie, many women can especially relate to the storyline or know of someone who possesses the characteristics of the story’s characters. When I submitted my application to become a World Book Night Giver, during the inaugural year in the United States (2012), I was petrified by the alarming illiteracy rates in the U.S. It was so hard to fathom the fact that the statistics showed that a large percentage of Americans are either illiterate or functionally illiterate. I wanted to find a way to do a little something in my community to bring awareness to this epidemic. Then, along comes an awesome organization that works with well-known authors to waive their royalties and permit one of their best-sellers to be specially published for these annual giveaways! A million thanks to the wonderful folks at World Book Night.

For more information about this incredible mission, visit http://www.us.worldbooknight.org/. Can’t wait until next year!

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Posted by on April 24, 2014 in Books, Community Outreach, News

 

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What the…Kudzu Bugs?

Kudzu, kudzu bugs, bean plataspid, megacopta cribraria,stinky bug, square brown beetle looking bugAlthough we observed Earth Day yesterday, there is something that’s bugging me! A couple of years ago I saw reports on television about the megacopta cribraria, also called the bean plataspid or as we have come to know it, the dreaded Kudzu Bug! Last year I saw a few around my house and wasn’t THAT annoyed by them because there were many other insects and pests attacking my flowers and banana trees I had to fight with! Besides, I didn’t think it was going to be a problem since kudzu was not near our house. When I went to work I saw a few on my all white truck, since researchers said these stinky bugs are attracted to the color white and light colors. That does not mean however, that I will resort to wearing dark colors during the summer!

If those stinky bugs ever get into your house, I heard they are worse than a roach! If you crush them the stench is horrific, plus it stains whatever surface you smash them on, including your skin. So, just spray them with some bug spray right? WRONG! Most pesticides won’t make them budge, just makes them more aggressive and productive.

So where did these “make your life miserable pests” suddenly come from? These bugs are native to India and China. They are supposed to eat the kudzu, which is a good thing. If you live in the south where kudzu is a natural part of the landscape, you know what I’m talking about. Kudzu is a coiling and trailing perennial vine native to much of eastern Asia, southeast Asia, and some Pacific Islands. In other words, someone brought it to the U.S. years ago to help control the erosion of slopes, but it is now a growing menace to the environment. Now the Kudzu Bug, which is SUPPOSED to eat the kudzu, is discovering some other delicacies to nibble on like wisteria, green beans and other legumes. Additionally, the insect sucks juice from the stems of soybean plants and farmers are helplessly livid.

So, you haven’t seen any citings of these demon bugs? Well, if you haven’t yet, get ready. Here are a few facts about these creatures:

  1. They are about 1/6 inch to 1/4 inch long – about the same size as the ladybug.
  2. They are roundly oblong, but almost look like a little square.
  3. They are olive-green to brown, with brown specks.
  4. The kudzu bug can stain surfaces and cause foul odor when crushed.
  5. The populations can grow out of control.

So, as I occasionally glance over at my window, and watch a few of them apparently “mating” I am desperately scanning through topics on how to get rid of these pests. Although my alma mater is the University of South Carolina, researchers from our rival institution, Clemson University, created a great factsheet about the megacopta cribraria. http://www.clemson.edu/cafls/departments/esps/factsheets/household_structural/kudzu_bugs_hs50.html

To make matters even more dismal, these bugs began invading our area 2 years ago. They are just buzzing over to our neck of the woods in greater numbers. http://www.wcnc.com/news/local/Kudzu-bugs-cause-havoc-in-Charlotte-Neighborhood–163571966.html

Long story short I feel like I am in a Sci-Fi movie, called The Invasion of the Kudzu Bugs! If anyone had success getting rid of these bugs, PLEASE leave a comment below and share with the rest of us! Although we are not infested with them like many other people, I am literally bugging out!

 

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Today is Earth Day, so let’s protect our planet already!

Earth Day, Environmental Awareness, Planet Earth, Protecting the PlanetPosted on Earth Day Network (earthday.org) regarding this annual celebration: The first Earth Day on April 22, 1970, activated 20 million Americans from all walks of life and is widely credited with launching the modern environmental movement. The passage of the landmark Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act, Endangered Species Act and many other groundbreaking environmental laws soon followed. Growing out of the first Earth Day, Earth Day Network (EDN) works with over 22,000 partners in 192 countries to broaden, diversify and mobilize the environmental movement. More than 1 billion people now participate in Earth Day activities each year, making it the largest civic observance in the world.

In order to show we are good stewards of the earth, there are countless things we can do to protect this amazing planet that we live on. All too often, our carelessness and recklessness creates countless hazards to the environment, animals and people. Even if it seems like there is no harm being done, it is. We must be cognizant and responsible about making sure we stop the abuse to an environment that we count on to take care of us.

Every now and then I have to play this song I love by Michael Jackson called “Earth Song.” The video is a little graphic, but is a very real emotional storyboard about how we are destroying our planet through acts of neglect, abuse, carelessness and even for the sake of what we call progress. Echoing the words of the King of Pop, “If we don’t do something about it right now, in this present moment, it’s going to be too late.”

We are witnessing the repercussions from how we have intentionally or unintentionally tormented this earth. I feel the natural disasters as we call them – earthquakes, tornados, hurricanes and tsunamis will only worsen. There’s only but so much torment we can do to this planet before it really turns on us.

Don’t just celebrate this Earth Day…do something to protect and serve it.

 

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Giving Away Books on WBN is an exhilarating experience!

World Book Night US, WBN Bookgivers, WBN 2014, World Book Night 2014So excited to receive my copies of Waiting to Exhale by author Terry McMillan to give away on World Book Night this week. This is my third year being chosen as one of the WBN Bookgivers to give away books on World Book Night. I am grateful and honored for the opportunity to be an intermediary between WBN.org and the recipients. Seeing the excitement on the faces of the book recipients as you give them this gift, clearly reminds me that this project has nothing to do with me, but the purpose behind the objective of this worthwhile project.

WBN, World Book Night 2014, WBN Book GiverWorld Book Night is an annual celebration dedicated to spreading the love of reading, person to person. Each year on April 23, tens of thousands of people go out into their communities and give half a million free World Book Night paperbacks to light and non-readers.

World Book Night is about giving books and encouraging reading in those who don’t regularly do so. But it is also about more than that: It’s about people, communities and connections, about reaching out to others and touching lives in the simplest of ways—through the sharing of stories.

I am certainly looking forward to handing these books out to those in the program of my selected organization, who could use a little comfort food from this book, Waiting to Exhale by Terry McMillan. Thanks to the organizers of World Book Night 2014 for this wonderful opportunity, and to the authors who gave up their royalties to have their books specially published as the chosen books to give away this year, I salute you!

 
 

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Easter Memories

Celebrating Easter, Happy Easter, The Resurrection, Easter Sunday

Today we celebrate Easter. We all have memories of Easter in one way, shape or form. On this day, pen how you feel about Easter or how Easter has affected your life. Did you experience any life-changing events that leave you with indelible memories that will forever touch your heart?

I experienced a life-changing event that literally shattered my world 11 years ago today. It was Easter Sunday, April 20, 2003. I received a call from my sister that my mother was admitted to the hospital, due to labored breathing. When my brother-in-law called me later that evening of Easter, I found it odd that he called instead of my sister, and he told me I needed to come home. My heart sank and for the next 3 hours driving to the hospital, the road seemed to never end. I knew in my heart my mother was gone, although my brother-in-law didn’t say so, but I still kept a little bit of hope that she was still holding on. The drive seemed to go on for days, but my husband and I finally arrived to the hospital. When we got to my mother’s room, my sister, brother-in-law, my youngest brother, father and a member of my brother-in-law’s church surrounded my mother’s bed. I walked in and she looked like she was sleeping. I looked at my sister and asked, “She’s not gone is she?” My sister nodded yes and everything after that seemed like a blur to me.

The days after were no easier as we made final preparations for her funeral. Although it’s been 11 years, the pain does not hurt as bad as it initially did, but that void is forever there and at times uncontrollable crying has its moments. If it wasn’t for my constant writing, I think I would have probably spent tons of money on professional help. I cried my way through the keys of my computer when I wrote about my mom and what made my writing more special was when the editors from “Chicken Soup for the Soul: Thanks Mom” sent me an acceptance letter that my story about my mother was going to be included in that volume. You can’t imagine how honored and proud I was. I dedicated an elegy to my mother that was part of my collection of poems in my book “Wings of the Wind: A Cornucopia of Poetry.” Through it all, you do get through it, although you never get over a loss.

I found, as I am sure you probably have, that writing is a therapeutic tool when you are dealing with some type of challenge in your life. It may not be a published piece, but it can certainly be a catalyst of hope, inspiration and strength to help you through whatever it is you are going through.

If you’ve been putting off a journaling project or writing project, jump to it. Observe the things that happen around you today and simply begin writing. Don’t worry about editing, just begin writing your thoughts and emotions down on paper. You can’t imagine how therapeutic it is and how much better you will feel.

Happy Easter!

Thanks for stopping by!

 
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Posted by on April 20, 2014 in Holidays

 

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From Prison to Poetry

Originally posted on Living and Dying in Prison:

Jimmy Santiago Baca is a rarity — someone who not only survived everything that prison could throw at him, but used the time to become what the system assumed he would never be — a creative and inspiring human being. In the darkness of solitary confinement, this barely-literate angry young man taught himself to read, and discovered the magic of language. He became a renowned poet and a teacher.

“Early one morning we were pulled out of our cells and ordered to stand down the tier against a wall before a cardboard Christmas tree for a holiday photo to send home. I glared at the camera. I hadn’t looked at myself in years, and when the photographer handed me the Polaroid I hardly recognized myself. I was almost twenty-five years old, and the three-plus years I had done in prison showed on my features — I had an impenetrable indifference…

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Posted by on April 18, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

Writing opportunities during International Guitar Month

Guitars, International Guitar Month, History of GuitarsWhat’s your flavor of guitar? Acoustic, Electric, Archtop, Steel, Resonator, Electro-acoustic, Twelve-string, Double-neck, Base? The guitar you choose is based on the type of music you wish to play with it, and the technique to be applied. Based on some accounts, the history of the guitar can be traced back to over 4000 years. The derivation of the guitar however, has many claims about its ancestry. Many believe that it is linked to stringed instruments like the bowl harps and tanburs. Others say there’s a commonality with the lute.

International Guitar Month or IGM is an annual celebration of guitars that occurs every April since 1987. It is sponsored by the Guitar & Accessories Marketing Association (GAMA) and the National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM). If you are running into writers block at the moment, try using International Guitar Month to boost your writing juices.

1. Write a blog
2. Write a poem
3. Write a song
4. Write an article
5. Write a memoir
6. Write about people you know who are guitar enthusiasts and what inspired them
7. Take a field trip to your local music store and talk about the different types of guitars the store carries.
8. What type of eye candy adorns the guitars of famous musicians?

Find the niche that you like and roll with it. Let your imagination explode with possibilities!

Happy International Guitar Month

 
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Posted by on April 16, 2014 in Events, Writing & Speaking

 

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