" Kimberly Brock has an amazing voice and a huge heart; The River Witch welcomes the reader to a haunted landscape, authentically Southern, where the tragedies of the past and the most fragile, gorgeous kind of love-soaked hope are equally alive. This is one debut that you absolutely should not
~~ Joshilyn Jackson, New York Times bestselling author of Backseat Saints
Georgia Author of the Year 2013 The River Witch is available wherever books are sold
Author Rona Simmons has done something that has set the bar impossibly high for me. She wrote a blog and told the world about the little stuff I try to do as I come to the page every day. And whether she knows it or not, she’s encouraged me with this piece.
Rona poked me with a stick and whispered to keep at it. And I hope what she’s written will be an encouragement to a TON of other, better, more prolific or struggling or beginning writers out there. Those who pray for their publishing contracts to come through or those who go without recognition. Those who blog and those who journal. Those who want to see their words in print and those who write in secret to heal a broken heart. For all of us, for the million things we do to help along a friend or a sister or a mama who is trying to find the way to tell her stories.
What Rona says loud and clear in this blog (not just in her post about me but all the women she writes about), is this:
Give the gift of Creativity! Registration is OPEN for the Tinderbox Writers Workshop Winter Sessions and gift certificates are available! Seats are filling up – sessions begin the second week of January!! Hope you’ll join us!
(click the tab on the main menu of my website to learn more)
Please PRE-REGISTER below for Winter Session. Seats are filling up.
Are you secretly filling journals with observations, thoughts or poetry? Are you wishing you knew how to start your own blog? Maybe you want to record your family stories? Have you got a journalist’s eye for a good story? Is there a novel inside you, just waiting to be written?OR maybe your creative gifts lie in painting, gardening, pottery or photography? Or a thousand other fantastic and unique ways we find our voices, express ourselves?
Tinderbox Writers Workshop is designed to uncover your desires, your truths and your purpose by introducing you to the creative capacity you carry within. Over the course of 8 weeks through 2-hour weekly sessions, you’ll learn to nurture the creative self.
Award winning author Kimberly Brock’s reputation as a teacher is characterized by her focus on getting the writer out of his or her own way, creating an environment of awareness and support. Writers and artisans of all kinds are encouraged to come out of hiding, to take calculated risks, and to embrace the habits of a satisfying, thriving creative life we are meant to enjoy.
Along with Tips and Tools to Improve Your Creative Expression
You’ll Learn the Habits of Creative Well-Being:
Week 1: FOUNDATION – foundational pieces that impact your ability to follow through, truly express yourself, experience freedom
Week 2: SPARK – design creative goals for YOU so you can work/create through your fears in celebration, no longer held back
Week 3: BE PRESENT – fuel your ability to be present, observant; find freedom from limiting beliefs & embrace life
Week 4: BE TRUE – claim what you need to feel confident, to trust yourself, stop comparing and competing
Week 6: DESIRE – brainstorm ideas and stretch creative problem solving skills, find your north star
Week 7: ABUNDANCE – give yourself permission to succeed, receive satisfaction from your creativity, realize joy in the process
Week 8: COMMUNITY – share your voice, deepen your relationships, give and receive strength, support and gratitude
In our 2-hour sessions, you’ll will be challenged to engage inthe habits of living from your Creative Core (nurturing your creative well-being). You’ll also learn to tell your story by using the tools of fiction-writing (point-of-view, plot, characterizing detail, tone, etc.). Workshop participants will consider examples of creative works through the lens of mindfulness to learn to take risks, tell truths and make connections. Through fun writing prompts and creative exercises, you’ll put these techniques to use in your own original work. In-class critiques as well as feedback from the instructor will help you further develop creative potential. The eight weeks ends with a party! You’ll have the chance to share your work, surrounded by the support of the Tinderbox community, through open-to-the-public readings & opportunities to showcase artwork.
This week I have a wonderful FREE gift to share with you from myself and several of our Tinderbox Workshop participants – Georgia Lee and Rena Blain - and many other fabulous authors!
TODAY though Thursday, you can go to Amazon and download A CUP OF CHRISTMAS, an anthology of heartwarming stories. The stories contributed are meant as gifts to you. Please send a copy to your friends and family, too! (This genius idea originated from Ms. Barbara Barth, editor and contributing author of the anthology. Learn more about her here.)
After Thursday, the ebook will be priced at $1.99 (a Christmas steal!) and ALL proceeds will go to FirstBook.orgFrom their website:
“First Book is determined to see that all children, regardless of their economic conditions, can achieve more in school and in life through access to an ongoing supply of new books.
With the help of our partners, donors and dedicated volunteers we have provided more than 120 million new books to schools and programs serving children in need. Yet millions of children are still waiting for our help.
Together we can make a difference in children’s lives. Together we can provide new books and critical resources that elevate the quality of education for children in low-income families.”
Here’s a little teaser from my story, THE GOLDEN APPLE, a fairy tale about getting your hearts’ desire…
“Twenty-two years ago on a gusty December morning, when the air smelled so sweetly of vanilla that everyone in the town of Vacherie found themselves craving shortbread for breakfast, Laura Duparc’s husband lingered in a hospital bed, disappearing one heartbeat at a time. That’s when she’d begun to bake. Her fear and grief produced a sickening sweetness that slipped under windowsills and beneath doors, rose from the sidewalks and swirled in the treetops. It brought tears to the eyes of women who had buried their great loves, dreams, and children. Men climbed into their barn lofts or set to walking the banks of the Mississippi with no idea where they would go. They said they tasted alum and their tongues curled in their mouths. They feared their own mortality and lay awake at night calling up every memory of wasted youth so they would not lose their minds…”
I contributed this guest post for AlpharettaMoms.Org this month. Hope you enjoy!
WHAT’S IN YOUR ATTIC
Today I cleaned out my attic. It’s a walk-in attic full of Rubbermaid boxes filled with children’s hand-me-down clothing, school work, abandoned instruments, old picture frames, the dresser from my daughter’s nursery furniture, bed rails, wreaths, and luggage – everything that belongs in an attic. You have to understand, this is the great dread of my life. Like it or not, there was no avoiding the job, because it’s that time of year. The holidays are coming and guess where all the holiday decorations are stashed? Yep. Believe me, there was a moment when I thought seriously about secretly driving to Target and loading up with all new garb, exactly matching the old garb. A twinkly Christmas lie.
The trouble started when I created this disaster last January, a month that blew through my life like morning breath. I tossed a whole year into the attic, everything I couldn’t handle, and went on without looking back, without care, without consideration of the consequences. That heap has lurked just behind my bedroom wall, mocking me. I tried not to think of the horrible mess. But it’s November now. It’s Me versus Our Crap.
I cracked the door and I swear if there were a caption underneath what I saw it would have said, “These Are the Piles of Your Life.” I felt defeated before I’d even begun. Here was the evidence of my Pottery Barn Mama failure. More than that, my complete inability to scrapbook. My bad habit of buying one after another vaporizer, hot and cool air, unable to understand how they work. Here was proof that I am the family camel, storing away every piece of junk re-gifted Mulberry candle set, or silver-plated heirloom gravy boat, or Jesus’ Last Supper VBS Hodge Podge placard. I started out trying to cram it all back inside the Rubbermaid boxes, but none of the lids would fit. And like a little wink from God, I discovered that the roof had sprung a leak at some point and molded a mountain of winter blankets.
I tore out of there in search of gloves and a gas mask, imagining cancer-making black mold grabbing me by the throat. I grabbed the biggest, industrially serious trash bags from the garage and suddenly the whole thing turned into a full-on war. I may have let out a Braveheart battle cry. Four hours later, I had a new pile, sacks of trash lined up in my upstairs foyer that would have filled Santa’s sleigh to the top. I actually cheered – CHEERED – when I could finally see the attic floor. Do you know, I even vacuumed that sucker? I stood back and beamed at my accomplishment.
That’s the moment when you realize there is no soul on earth who gives a rip about your clean attic, except you. Nobody else can truly appreciate your hallway trash. But also, you realize in this sort of transcendental kind of way that what seemed insurmountably disastrous a year ago, is now unceremoniously being hauled down the stairs by giggling kids. (Also, I regained a lot of faith in miracles when the talking Buzz Lightyear I’d tossed out kept his mouth shut so I didn’t have to open any of those bags.)
My husband, my hero, came to check on my progress and to bring Motrin. I said, “Check it out. I got rid of my hump.”
I think it lost something in translation.
Secretly I was feeling a little shaky inside. If I wasn’t a camel anymore, did that just make me a…donkey? But here’s the thing, at the bottom of it all, I found the Christmas decorations, and a little something I hadn’t expected: gratitude for a life so full and something that felt a lot like anticipation. I shut the door without looking back, ready to string some lights and hang some garland. This holiday season, I’m imagining attics everywhere, overfilled, unorganized, challenging us all and giving the gift of a Thanksgiving Blessing to me and all the rest of you Martha Stewart drop-outs – space for something new.
Kimberly Brock is the award winning author of the #1 Amazon bestseller, THE RIVER WITCH (Bell Bridge Books, 2012). A former actor and special needs educator, Kimberly is the recipient of the Georgia Author of the Year 2013 Award. A literary work reminiscent of celebrated southern author Carson McCullers, Kimberly’s writing has appeared in anthologies, blogs and magazines, including Writer Unboxed and Psychology Today. Visit her website at kimberlybrockbooks.com for more information and to find her blog. You can also find her Author page on Facebook at Kimberly Brock, or tweet her @kimberlydbrock.
" The River Witch welcomes the reader to a haunted landscape, authentically Southern, where the tragedies of the past and the most fragile, gorgeous kind of love-soaked hope are equally alive. This is one debut that you absolutely should not
~~ Joshilyn Jackson, New York Times bestselling author of Backseat Saints
"Kimberly Brock’s The River Witch achieves what splendid writing ought to achieve – story and character that linger in the reader’s consciousness. Tender and intriguing, often dazzling in its prose, this is a mature work of fiction worthy of the celebration of praise."
~~ Terry Kay, Honored Georgia author of To Dance With the White Dog
goodreads add book
"There is magic and wonder in The River Witch, but the real enchantment here is the strength of the characters Roslyn and Damascus. Their voices are the current that carries the reader along in this compelling tale of healing and discovery."
~~ Sharyn McCrumb, New York Times bestselling author of The Ballad of Tom Dooley.
"With lyrical prose, Kimberly Brock explores the hidden places of the heart. The River Witch is a magical and bewitching story that, like a river, winds its way through the soul. In the voices of her wounded characters, Brock takes us through both the breaking and the healing of a life."
~~ Patti Callahan Henry, New York Times bestselling author of Driftwood Summer