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Sunday, May 1, 2016

MOSAICS A Collection of Independent Women

MOSAICS 2 (A Collection of Independent Women)
Available May 1, 2016 at
This is Volume 2 in the Mosaics collection and contains stories by twenty-two independent women.
Following is an excerpt from the book synopsis posted on Amazon:

Mosaics: A Collection of Independent Women will inspire and shock you with its multi-faceted look at the history and culture surrounding femininity. If gender is a construct, this anthology is the house it built. Look through its many rooms, some bright and airy, some terrifying-- with monsters lurking in the shadows.

*****     *****

Author Kimberly Fukioka asked me to read the book and offer a review in exchange for a copy. In return, I asked Kim to participate in a short interview to get a feel for how these Mosaics anthologies came about. She graciously agreed.

Question #1: How did the idea for the Mosaics anthology develop?

Author Kimberly Fukioka: Thank you for offering to do the blog post. The anthology was edited and produced by Kim Wells. A quote from her website below kind of answers your question about the impetus for the anthology.

"Crafting the intersectional feminist anthology that I'm working on, my writing partners & I are committed to finding writers from communities not always well represented in indie publishing, or anthologies, or just about any literary scene. So we wrote a call for submissions that stated exactly what we were hoping for, being specific about welcoming womanist and racially intersectional feminism in addition to GLBT and disabled stories." Kim Wells, editor and publisher.

Question #2: How does the title of your story dovetail with the mission of the anthology?

Author Kimberly Fukioka: My story, "Don't Shut Up!" is the empowering story of one young woman to face her abuser even when it means separating from her mother. Her mother admonishes her to shut up and accept the status quo-- sexual abuse and physical violence--but she refuses and escapes barefoot and bleeding in the snow. In this piece the reader can see the long term effects of sexual abuse and how a woman learns to tell the truth about her life. This act of courage is a way she reclaims her voice and power to escape violence and take her place at the table of other independent women.

When I submitted my story to the anthology I thought many women could identify with it because it is such a heart wrenching decision that so many sexual victims of the patriarchal culture worldwide must grapple with: do I stay or do I leave? When I posed that question to myself as the young woman in the story, my mind was doing flip flops, I was emotionally in turmoil, because my identity had been built on the single brick of "being a victim". If I spoke up and left, I was no longer a victim. But who was I ? In a leap of faith, I acted. We all must act in a single leap of faith. There are so many of us out there: victims of trafficking, domestic abuse, sexual abuse, transgender abuse etc. The courage of one woman can give so many others hope. It can even change a community or a society.

*****     *****
Upon receiving Mosaics, I naturally turned first to Kim's story before reading the entries submitted by the other twenty-one independent women. Unprepared for the revelations Kim's story contained, I reacted less from a standpoint of fellow author than empathetic friend.
As Kim states above, the purpose of laying bare past wrongs
is to empower others who have or are experiencing
similar tragic events.
After reading several more of the entries in Mosaics, I began to question if an anthology was an effective venue for supporting others who suffered abuse or violence. I am an advocate of revelation over silence. But I had given little thought to the latter over the years as my tendency is to "move on" if a relationship edges toward the unacceptable.
What I hadn't given sufficient consideration was that my option is not always available to others. At least, not available without the mind "flip flops" and emotional turmoil that result when moving on is beyond imagination.
I approached this review unconventionally because the novellas and short stories within Mosaics are not meant to be read at a fast clip. Each story, written in a single leap of faith, deserves individual attention. What we, as readers, learn from these leaps of faith is up to us.
What we must admit is that changing a community or a society requires that someone choose to speak up. These twenty-two independent women have made that choice. I respect that.

Saturday, April 30, 2016


For this year's challenge, my theme is The Fun in Writing. Each of my 26 posts for April is aimed at
illustrating fun parts of an author's day. A writer doesn't only write.
Creating a story or an essay requires research, revision, editing, and lots and lots of coffee and chocolate.


Thank you to all my fellow A to Z'ers for sharing this month of April, offering your thoughts for me to read and reading the thoughts I put forth. A special thank you to the people who planned and executed this year's April A to Z Challenge. The amount of work involved is immeasurable.
Although posting 26 times in one month has its drawbacks, the fun of feeling so productive is another reason I find such joy in writing on a daily basis. I have chosen my path, one filled with simple pleasures. In this, I have made my own destiny.
May you always have control of your destiny.
Keep looking up, and reach for the sky!
Following are two prose poems from my Renshi-style poetry collection.
Both reflect my thoughts about destiny and how a person must take control of their own life.
Strength to Live 

Desire, Strength, Commitment
three separate paths
toward achieving success* 

Each path demands dedication
a lifetime of living
no distractions along the way 

Time is so short, even
dreaming must have purpose
when each day brings new challenges 

Hurdles appear insurmountable
as age takes its toll, leaving
destiny to mold and shape itself.
*The true meaning of success is in the minds’ eye of the beholder.

Molding Destiny

A fallacy,
both the molding
and the destiny
The master plan
includes free will,
without restriction
No ending
is pre-arranged
by calendar month:
Play here
Marry over there
Die on schedule
Rather: follow
what your heart
beats in time.
*****  *****
May your zest for life never diminish in power or enthusiasm.



Friday, April 29, 2016


For this year's challenge, my theme is The Fun in Writing. Each of my 26 posts for April is aimed at
illustrating fun parts of an author's day. A writer doesn't only write.
Creating a story or an essay requires research, revision, editing, and lots and lots of coffee and chocolate.


This is another of my book reviews, number 39 of 71. While reading is one of my non-guilty pleasures associated with writing, some of my book selections are more serious than others. The storyline of this novel, The Dive From Clausen's Pier, involves a relationship that goes sideways due to an avoidable accident.

For the next twelve months, within the storyline, one partner in the relationship must decide how to deal with a new and tragically complicated set of circumstances. One of the decisions involves determining whether to stick with what had been a lifetime commitment or to move on to a new life.
Have you ever found yourself at a fork in the road that offers no direction or advice on how to proceed? Were the choices cut and dried, or almost too difficult to contemplate?