Guide Crown Us With Laurel: The Autobiography Of A Book

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Table of contents

Brown Girl Dreaming tells the story of my childhood, in verse. In these poems, I share what it was like to grow up as an African American in the s and s, living with the remnants of Jim Crow and my growing awareness of the Civil Rights movement.


Just a Few of the Rewards:

It also reflects the joy of finding my voice through writing stories, despite the fact that I struggled with reading as a child. My love of stories inspired and stayed with me, creating the first sparks of the writer I was to become. I wanted to understand who my mom was before she was my mother and I wanted to understand exactly how I became a writer. So I started researching my life, asking relatives and talking to friends — and mostly, just letting myself remember. Yet Laurel is haunted by voices and memories from her past. I wanted to understand why someone would get involved in a drug that could ruin their life.

And I wanted to understand the devastation of Katrina. Long after the news stopped reporting about it, people were still struggling.

A lot of readers wrote and asked what happened after Maizon got home from boarding school. Maizon Singh is one of the few black girls at an all-white boarding school. It was the first book I wrote that really dealt with racism. Margaret and Maizon are best friends. Growing up, there were very few books about black girls and even fewer about people like the people I knew in my neighborhood in Brooklyn. I wanted to write about the people I loved and the neighborhood that had been my home for many years. Last Summer With Maizon was my first novel. Lonnie C. Motion has had some tough breaks in his life.

The poems started coming and the rest…the rest is this book, I guess. I never name the place but was imagining this point between the Brooklyn and Queens border — right near Kennedy Airport.

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Lonnie and his sister Lili are in foster care after the death of their parents. I wanted Lonnie and Lili to find peace — within themselves and in the bigger world. The book started out being about one kind of peace and then became about the many ways we search for and eventually all kinds of peace. Toswiah becomes Evie.

Her sister becomes Anna. In the new city, they have to reinvent themselves and figure out how to move on when just about everything they ever loved is behind them. I read an article about the Witness Protection Program and it fascinated me. Told in vignettes, this is the story of two teenagers who suddenly lose each other. I had written a book called If You Come Softly. Once I finished that book, the characters still haunted me.

Then happened and I was faced with trying to figure out how we move on when we lose people so suddenly. I started thinking about it all and this book began. It was inspired by a poem by Audre Lorde that begins:. If you come softly as the wind within the trees you may hear what I hear see what sorrow sees.

crown us with laurel the autobiography of a book Manual

I wrote If You Come Softly because I wanted to write about first love—how hard it can be and how great it is. I also wanted to write about being fifteen because I remember that age very well. As I was writing it, I came across some lines from Romeo and Juliet and realized this story was a modern-day Romeo and Juliet.

Three brothers who are orphaned by the death of their mother, are trying to get by. I wanted to write a story that had no girls in it. I also wanted to write about how hard it is to be poor sometimes. I also wanted to write about how hard it is to lose someone you love—in this case, both parents—and how that pain starts shaping itself into other things sometimes like anger and isolation. The other major expense is photo licensing. Plenty of folks have donated terrific images in exchange for a photo credit and a complimentary copy of the book, but there are several historic Baltimore Sun photographs that I feel need to be included.

The Kickstarter funding will be a tremendous help in offsetting that hefty out-of-pocket expense. At right, you'll see tiered reward levels for various contributions. There are also levels below and above that price point—some of which include limited-edition Lost Laurel postcards, as well as one-of-a kind photos from the Baltimore Sun 's historic archive. Throughout this day Kickstarter campaign, I'll also be posting updates with new reward levels, including artifacts from the Lost Laurel collection, and some that appear in the book itself!

These will only be available to the project's backers on Kickstarter. This book will make a welcome addition to the home of anyone with ties to Laurel, or an interest in vintage retailers. Copies will also be donated to the Laurel Historical Society and Laurel Library, where it will bring me even greater pleasure to see my work on their shelves.

The first challenge is the funding itself. I've purposely set the Kickstarter goal at a less than ideal amount, because it's literally all or nothing. If the campaign doesn't reach its goal, I don't receive ANY of the pledges—and then it's back to square one.

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Completing the design, proofreading, and having the book printed and ready to distribute by May is my goal, in order to participate in the Main Street Festival. That being said, there is actually a very good chance that the book will be ready to go to print well before the deadline—possibly even before the end of this year. Some delays may occur if a photographer decides to rescind an image for some reason; at which point a replacement photo would be required, as well as a possible change in layout.

Neither of these would impact the schedule significantly, however. And so far, I've yet to encounter a photographer who isn't as excited as I am about this book! More likely, delays may be due to the opposite—having too MANY great photos to choose from. And that's a good problem to have! As of this posting, I'm waiting on several new photos to arrive from contributors, some of which I've yet to see. Undoubtedly, at least a few of these will need to be added to the book, requiring additional layouts or redesign of specific spreads.

Likewise, if the Kickstarter campaign yields more funding than expected, fingers crossed! Nonetheless, the May deadline would still be more than sufficient. As far as printing goes, I'll have the chance to carefully review a sample copy of the complete book before proceeding with a full bulk order. In the event that there are problems with image quality, color, etc. Again, this would simply be a quality control issue that wouldn't impede the overall schedule. Last, but not least—the mail. We all know that the postal service can be hit or miss.

Get A Copy

Questions about this project? Check out the FAQ. A limited edition Lost Laurel postcard, updating you on the book's progress. Postcard is 5" x 7" and features a dramatic aerial view of the then-new Laurel Shopping Center. Your name printed in back-of-book credits as a patron. Designed to promote the book, this set includes photos and artifacts representing Rt. Plus, two Lost Laurel Time-Out "free game token" postcards, and your name printed in back-of-book credits as a patron. This unused blank sheet measures 5.

See photo on main page. Your name printed in the acknowledgments section of the book. A first-run print edition of the Lost Laurel book. A limited-edition Lost Laurel postcard, updating you on the book's progress. An artifact from the book: An original s mint condition matchbook from Delaney's Irish Pizza Pub! McNicol China 2.

A signed first edition of the Lost Laurel book. A signed hardcover first edition of the Lost Laurel book. All contributing businesses will be listed alphabetically, with logos appearing at equal size and color. Your ad would become a permanent part of the Lost Laurel book, remaining viable for as long as the book is in print. I will also post a special acknowledgment on the Lost Laurel blog and Facebook page, linking to your website.

Then, join me on a walking tour of nearby Main Street and vicinity, as we point out and discuss Laurel's places past. A first-run signed hardcover print edition of the Lost Laurel book. Sep 17, - Oct 17, 30 days. Share this project Done. Tweet Share Email. Lost Laurel The Book. Revisiting a century's worth of long-lost stores of Laurel, Maryland through photos, artifacts, and other memory triggers. Richard Friend. Share this project. Sample spreads from the s and s sections of the book. Artifacts arranged to commemorate milestones on the Facebook page—from 1, to 3, likes!

The Laurel Library is still a special place for me—I worked here as a clerical aide throughout high school and college.