• The Black Nightingale

I’ve been avoiding the thoughts

avoiding the pain, the anger, the words

diving into mindless video games

headfirst into projects that could wait


nothing too easy

that would leave me time to think


social media is addictive

but not today

and not tomorrow


my feeds are just funhouse mirrors of my own pain

and I’m trying to avoid that


but i can’t sleep in bed tonight

in my own home

without thinking


they’d justify my death too

  • The Black Nightingale

When I was a kid, (7? 8?) I used to go into the basement and sing to my stuffed animals. I did this daily during the summer. All. The. Time. For years.


I was never in the choir, but I did some musicals in grade school. I never got big leads or solos.


Once I got into college, I joined a band and started singing out all the time. People told me how powerful my voice was. How much they loved to hear me sing.


You know what my parents said?


“You were a terrible singer when you were a kid.”


I was legit terrible. Off key. Couldn’t hold a note in a bucket. But since no one told me to stop, I just kept singing. I essentially practiced my way into being a good singer.


Sing because it brings you joy. THAT is the only way to do it. ❤️


Looking for books to read with your kids? Here are a few books that your kid (elementary/middle grade age) will enjoy and you (an adult) will also enjoy.


Fantasy Novel

Tristan Strong Punches a Hole in the Sky by Kwame Mbalia


Tristan accidentally punches a hole in the world and falls into the world of MidPass. He finds himself in the middle of a battle, fighting side by side with John Henry and B’rer Rabbit against bone ships and iron monsters...


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Fantasy Graphic Novel

Princeless by Jeremy Whitley


Princess Adrienne lives in a country that locks its princesses in a tower when they turn 16. But her brother sneaks her a sword, she frees herself, makes friends with the dragon guarding her, and goes to save her sisters...


—-

Realistic Fiction

The Parker Inheritance by Varian Johnson


When Candice finds a letter in an old attic in Lambert, South Carolina, she isn’t sure she should read it. It’s addressed to her grandmother, who left the town in shame. But the letter describes a young woman. An injustice that happened decades ago. A mystery enfolding the letter-writer. And the fortune that awaits the person who solves the puzzle.



Spooky bite sized folk tales (perfect for Halloween or kids that like ghost stories)


The Dark-Thirty: Southern Tales of the Supernatural

By Patricia McKissack


Award winning. Just so so good. Spooky but not scary (except read through them first if you have a sensitive child, for sure.)


—-


Realistic Fiction

Ghost by Jason Reynolds


Castle “Ghost” Cranshaw has been running for three years, ever since the night his father shot a gun at him and his mother. When he gets recruited by a local track coach for a championship team, they strike a deal: if Ghost can stop getting into fights at school, he can run for the Defenders, but one altercation and he’s gone. Despite Ghost's best intentions, everyone always has something to say about his raggedy shoes, homemade haircut, ratty clothes, or his neighborhood, and he doesn’t last 24 hours without a brawl. Will Coach and his mom give him another chance to be part of something bigger than himself, or is he simply destined to explode.


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All of these are books I recommend for readers of ALL ages. Even though they are “safe” for kids, they are all FULL stories with full plot, background, and fully realized characters, and definitely worth the time as an adult.