A Pre-Announcement of Sorts (Journal Giveaway)

You know how I like telling you exciting things? Well, I’ve got some news!

Side note: does anyone else feel the need to tell people when they’ve injured themselves because they think they need the “awws” and “I hope you feel betters” or is it just me? Like, I injured my finger last night (ripped my nail off almost halfway down the nail bed while changing bedsheets) and I feel like it won’t heal properly unless I tell people about it and they give me their sincerest faux pity. I even sent my brother a video and told him I had a “boo boo.” I’m laughing at myself, here. I have very low tolerance for pain and injury and this whole thing is mildly ridiculous.


That’s not even what I came here to tell you (see previous comment about injuries only healing when people know about them).

I wanted you to be the first to know that I have unofficially published my journal set! They are technically purchasable on Amazon right now, but I’m waiting on the bannerless author copies to arrive so I can take pretty pictures to post with the official announcement (and on the new NINE & TWO Press website).

Wait! Did I even tell you NINE & TWO Press has a new website? Oh Gosh, I’m slacking here! I’m sorry, my people, so sorry.

I have such big dreams for NINE & TWO Press, you know. And while right now it’s still just my self-publishing “publisher” name, I want it to grow into something much bigger—something that can’t be contained within my personal website. So, I created a new landing page at www.ninentwopress.com where I will have links to everything I self-publish.

In the future, I hope to be able to publish other people’s essays and short stories on the website as well as have a fully functioning online store where you can purchase books, journals, and all sorts of other stationery related things directly from me.

These are big dreams for the future, not anything I’m seeking to create this year. However, I wanted to establish my intention by putting this small piece into place. I hope you like it!

Now, back to what I was saying…

Along with the official journal announcement—which will come later this month—I will be doing a giveaway to celebrate. The winner of the giveaway will receive:

*1 journal of your choice (Daily Reflection Journal or Long-form Journal)
*An exclusive Book 2 Preview booklet with two short stories from my next book (unedited first drafts)
*A couple of extra goodies to make it even more special

The official announcement and giveaway rules will be posted on Instagram in the coming weeks, however, because you are subscribed to my blog and I love you for being here, you can enter early without Instagram.

All you have to do to enter the giveaway is comment on this post (you can do that by replying to this email, if you are reading from the post notification email) and tell me how journaling has been beneficial in your life.

That’s it.

Blog subscribers will automatically be granted two entries—that’s how much I appreciate you being here. The early entry period for blog subscribers ends Friday, March 17th, 2023 at 5:00pm EST.

I guess I had more things to tell you than I initially thought. Thanks for hanging out with me, and I look forward to reading your entries!

Stop Rewriting Historical Texts!

Have you seen this article?

Roald Dahl books rewritten to remove language deemed offensive

I read it and was incensed. Thinking about it now, a day later, and I still feel angry. This is what I immediately posted on Instagram after I read the article:

Some people want so badly to change what has already been done rather than doing better going forward. Stop trying to rewrite history; stop editing people’s words to make it more comfortable for you. People write for their time and their experience (even if it is racist/sexist/offensive in some way [or all the ways]). That doesn’t mean you get to change what someone has already written to make it suit your current sensitivities. Leave what is alone and just do better.

I have more thoughts….

I understand wanting people to enjoy stories without feeling triggered. However, that’s for journalism, not fiction.

Fiction is supposed to trigger people. It’s supposed to make people angry, sad, excited, hopeful… it’s supposed to make people feel. It’s supposed to touch the best and worst parts of us at the best and worst times.

As a writer, the thought of someone taking my work and rewriting it for an artificial and perceived societal comfort level makes me livid. I spend time crafting intentional stories, using intentional words in my stories, and sharing my experiences (personal and in relation to society) through my stories. For someone to change what I’ve written after it’s been published, and especially after I’m dead and cannot protest to it or have a say in it, is an assault to my work and my life.

Roald Dahl wrote based on his world view and the period in which he lived. I’m not saying nothing about what he’s written is problematic. However, the words “fat” and “ugly” are not problematic, triggering, or offensive for a lot of people when reading literature (as opposed to having insults hurled at them). Rewriting entire lines in stories and descriptions of characters changes what the author initially intended. It may even change the point or progression of the story.

The Roald Dahl Story Company is quoted in that article to say it’s not unusual for them to revisit works and “update” them. Change the cover, fine; change the page layout, cool; but the text should remain unchanged.

We’re not talking about journal articles with misquoted information. We’re talking about fictional stories and fictional characters.

As a Black woman, what makes me angry is the connection between rewriting fictional work and the censoring of Black history and experiences within society in U.S. school systems. To deny slavery, Jim Crow, systemic and systematic oppression; to refuse conversation about how Black people have experienced this “great American society” both presently and in the past; to erase from textbooks the incidents Black people experienced so as not to have an historical framework for the incidents Black people are currently experiencing… that is offensive.

[Side note: a helpful article on the distinctions between “systemic racism” and “systematic racism”. I don’t know everything, and I don’t expect others to know everything, so I like to provide helpful references when I can.]

I’m angry as a writer and a Black woman. I am angry for young people who aren’t being taught an accurate history of their ancestors and for those who are being robbed of truth so they don’t repeat the mistakes of their ancestors (like some of their parents and grandparents are hellbent on doing now).

I am angry for those who aren’t being taught the value of analyzing Literature for its content in context to when and how it was written and then comparing it to how people write in the present time.

Literary Theory was one of my favorite courses in college. We spent the semester reading works and making assumptions about what the author was alluding to (hint: our professor thought all descriptions and references were sexual). We were all probably wrong, and it is possible if the author were still living, she would let us know she really was just describing a lock and a key.

That is the joy of literature.

All people do not hold the same offenses. Because of that, removing “offensive language” is subjective and, therefore, a detriment (further, a harm) to every single one of us.

Thick, Sexy Journals!

I’ve been sitting on this for almost a week. Not hiding it, just a little unsure what to do with it. If you follow my IG account, you’ve already seen them.

I got my journal proofs and I love them!

I want to make these available soon, but I’m weighing the options on how to go about it. Also, if I’m really going to do “the journal thing,” I want to see if there’s a better manufacturing option. If not, I’ll stick with KDP to print them for as long as they allow “low content books.”

Thanks to get rich quick low content book “hacks” on these social sites, there are some angry people with very strong opinions about using KDP to print journals. A lot of platforms don’t allow it at all anymore.

My previous experience peeking into the journal manufacturing world led me to cheaply made 80-page journals or highly custom journals that cost $30 each to produce and required minimum orders of no less than 250. The barrier to entry seemed so far out of my grasp.

With KDP, I’ve been able to create nice thick hardcover journals in a much more accessible way. These are not your average low content books.

There’s still some planning to do on my end before I can feel confident putting these out. In the meantime, here are some pictures:

I’d love to know what you think about using KDP to print journals, alternative manufacturing options, and overcoming barriers to entry to create good products.

Until next time…