September 2001 Issue

Vol. 1 No. 5

Guest Columnist: Nathasha Brooks-Harris

Article by Lee E. Meadows 

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From the Publisher/Editor 
Wanda Elayne Moorman


In the next several editions of LitLine, we will be providing more information and additional categories to make the newsletter more informative.


Since its debut in May of this year, LitLine has grown and been a source of information and inspiration to many of our readers.  I would like to thank those of you who have taken time out of your busy schedules to email your kind remarks and words of encouragement and support.


As we strive to make LitLine even better, we welcome any ideas and helpful hints you may have to take the newsletter to a better level of quality and information.  LitLine is designed to provide the literary community with information about authors, book clubs, the literary market, literary venues and other literary information.  However, it also provides spiritual nourishment, information technology tips, poetry, business and community news.


We are even considering allowing the placement of advertisements in LitLine.


Our writer's contest ends this month, and the sponsor authors are looking forward to judging the entries and selecting our winners.   More...

Story Starter Ideas To Motivate Your Muse

Nathasha Brooks-Harris

At one time or another, every writer has a dry spell in which the idea bank dries up. That’s not a good thing, and being fresh out of ideas can end what could’ve been a great writing session. In extreme cases, running out of ideas to jumpstart their writing can ruin literary careers because everything from their pens will sound like everything that’s on the market. Nothing new, creative or fresh is written and at that point, such writers can kiss their career goodbye.

Writers cannot afford to have dry spells and if they look around them, ideas are everywhere—in the least thought of places. Below are some suggestions for story starter ideas that will get even the most creatively challenged writers back on track. Try them and see how well they work for you!

~Take a trip down memory lane and remember your best vacation. Close your eyes and imagine the sights, sounds, smells, and take yourself back to that place. While feeling good, write those thoughts down until you can’t write another word. Don’t worry about grammar or punctuation, just content. Put it aside for a day, then read it and see where you can fit it into a future or current project.

~Put on your favorite music and free write. Just get the words on paper. Let the music move you and you’ll be surprised at what you’ll get! More...

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My mother-in-law told me a joke she heard the other day.  The story is that at the beginning of a Sunday morning worship service, a gang of masked gunmen burst into a church, shouting and waving their guns.  They stood on one of the pews and shouted “Unless you are willing to take a bullet for your Jesus, you’d better get outta here!”  At the sight of the guns and in response to the demands of the seemingly crazed gunmen, more than half the congregation jumped from their seats and in a frenzied panic made their way to safety outside of the church.  After the frightened parishioners departed from the sanctuary, the gunmen took off their masks, and one of them looked at the minister and said, “All right, reverend, all the hypocrites are gone.  We can start the worship, now.”

This fantastic story made me laugh, at first.  Then I became saddened, because I realized that hidden in the myth and hyperbole of this tale is a real truth.  Most of us, I hope, will never be called upon to make the decision between a bullet and our Jesus, but many of us are given opportunities every day to express our boldness for Christ, but instead we run away and hide.  Even the gospels speak of instances where, for fear of the crowds, friends of Jesus made their way to safety, missing an opportunity to “Lift the Savior up for them to see”.    More...

Amateur Sleuth-Unintentional

Lee E. Meadows

One half of Rudolph Fisher’s duo served as the model for the working professional whose amateur sleuth tendencies are intentional. Fisher’s Dr. John Archer is a practicing physician living in 1920’s Harlem invited to solve a mystery by professional homicide detective Perry Dart. In doing so, the reader is treated to a character trained in the medical sciences, articulate in both speech and thought, compassionate in his service and sensitive to prevailing race issues. To say Dr. Archer is the black counterpart to Sherlock Holmes’s Dr. Watson is to completely negate the different world’s in which these two characters occupy. Both London and Harlem are similar as urban backdrops, but where Dr. Watson moves around as an accepted member of the London landscape, Dr. Archer must navigate Harlem as an insider and New York as an outsider.

However, this reliance on professional knowledge and urban savvy by the African-American amateur sleuth also remained an obscure footnote within the novelized mystery genre until Mike Phillips introduced African-British Journalist Sampson Dean (1989) Walter Mosley brought unemployed ‘Easy’ Rawlins to the reading public (1990), and Nora DeLoach premiered Social Worker Candi Covington (1994). These authors deliberately position the characters to actively seek involvement in solving the mystery and rely on a finely honed network to help them move through the maze.   More...

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What five-letter word, no matter how you pronounce it is always pronounced wrong?

Book Reviews: Beginning next month, LitLine will begin a new feature for book reviews.  We will feature individual book reviews by our readers.  If you would like to submit a book review to LitLine, please submit your review to the publisher/editor at by the 15th day of each month.  The book review for next month is "What You Owe Me" by Bebe Moore Campbell.

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