From my very first post I wanted to pay homage to the speech which inspired the title of my blog, Ain't I a Woman? by Sojourner Truth. Such a beautiful speech, such a beautiful name, such a beautiful woman. It is one of my favorite pieces. I strive to emulate this style in my own work. Poetic and powerful. Honest and unafraid. Memorable. And I like brevity. It too is beautiful. This is the standard I wish to be held to as I explore the question with you ~ ain't I a writer?
"Obliged to you for hearing me, and I do have a few things more to say..."

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Thursday, May 14, 2015

A Spring Greeting from Maine

                                         I took this photo and wrote this haiku this morning.

Curled up tight all winter.
Contracted to save ourselves from freezer burn.
We thaw, and finally unfurl.

Monday, May 11, 2015

Eliciting Empathy

     While visiting Portsmouth last week, Sue Monk Kidd was asked what she most wants readers to take from her writing, and her answer was empathy.

      This is a quote by her;

     "Empathy is the most mysterious transaction that the human soul can have, and it's accessible to all of us, but we have to give ourselves the opportunity to identify, to plunge ourselves in a story where we see the world from the bottom up or through another's eyes or heart."

     I really relate to the idea of eliciting empathy with fiction, and am devoting all of my pleasure reading this bee-buzzing month of May to reading Monk's books.

Satellite (620×310)

Friday, May 1, 2015

Not So Bad

     Didn't at all mind the rejection that came in this afternoon. Its all in the writing I guess.

"Thank you so much for submitting your work to the --- poetry contest. Unfortunately, we were not able to select your poem as one of the contest winners.

Of more than 500 poems received, yours was among 100 excellent poems sent on to the judges. We are truly honored that you shared your work with us. Thank you for helping to make our first poetry contest a great success.

Wishing you great success in future publication efforts!"

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

On finishing my novel

      My goal for the winter was to hole up in my little writer's cottage and finish writing this book. I didn't mean that Mother Nature needed to see to it that I did just that. But I am happy to report that I did just that.

      My manuscript is finished! It is out to beta readers this week, and will certainly go through another round of revisions when I hear back from them. Right now it is clocking in at 123,000 words. It's a hefty subject!
      I have also just sent off the opening to a few agents that top my list, and while I will probably have to send it out hundreds of more times, that first launch is exciting. Like putting your baby on the school bus for the first time. It leaves you in a vulnerable state, and the waiting begins.

Saturday, April 18, 2015

A little poem of how I've grown through yoga...


Its been years
since my ears
filled with tears.

by Tammi J Truax, all rights reserved.

2014-National-Poetry-Month-Poster.jpg (180×240)

Happy National Poetry Month!

Monday, March 30, 2015

A Happy Little Announcement

       I have been working with children all of my professional life, and it continues to be important to me. Today I represented writers at the annual career day at the middle school my children attended, and really enjoyed my time with the eighth graders. One young man came up and shook my hand after. I was struck by how polite and engaged they all were. 
     So I am really looking forward to my next gig, one that I've been anxiously waiting to announce until all of the ducks were cued up.
     I have been asked to be the poet in residence this year at Portsmouth High School. The Buffler Residency in Poetry is sponsored by the Portsmouth Poet Laureate Program thanks to an endowment from the estate of our city's first poet laureate, Esther Buffler.
     I have a vague memory of Esther Buffler, but know her poems and her reputation. I am honored to carry on her work. I intend to wear a wacky hat when I work with the kids, and hope that they will join me.

     Read more about Esther here;

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       You might be able to hear her on this fifteen year old link;

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Bloody Sunday blog post

      In honor of Bloody Sunday I wrote today in my just-about-finished historical novel about the black man's right to vote.

     I had not known when I began my research for this book that the struggle began as early as the time period that I am writing of (1780 to 1850). All of the characters in my book were real people. Every single one of them. Without question the most remarkable life story I have put together is that of William Costin. He is mentioned in an old excerpt below, one of the few historical accounts of this man's so very noteworthy life, in The Freedmen's Book, an abolitionist work originally published in 1865. (That is a worthy read and is available free on kindle.)

     Today, I worked the quote by John Quincy Adams into my novel, that it might be remembered. 

     You will learn all about Costin's contributions to our country in my book. Here is his image, commissioned by The Bank of Washington upon his death, further evidence of his accomplishments.

Page 220 from THE FREEDMEN'S BOOK, by Lydia Maria Francis Child:


       MR. WILLIAM COSTIN was for twenty-four
years porter of a bank in Washington, D. C.
Many millions of dollars passed through his hands, but not
a cent was ever missing, through fraud or carelessness. In
his daily life he set an example of purity and benevolence.
He adopted four orphan children into his family, and
treated them with the kindness of a father. His character
inspired general respect; and when he died, in 1842, the
newspapers of the city made honorable mention of him.
The directors of the bank passed a resolution expressive
of their high appreciation of his services, and his coffin
was followed to the grave by a very large procession of
citizens of all classes and complexions. Not long after,
when the Honorable John Quincy Adams was speaking
in Congress on the subject of voting, he said : " The
late William Costin, though he was not white, was as
much respected as any man in the District ; and the largo
concourse of citizens that attended his remains to the
grave as well white as black was an evidence of the
manner in which he was estimated by the citizens of
Washington. Now, why should such a man as that be
excluded from the elective franchise, when you admit the
vilest individuals of the white race to exercise it ? "