Today's guest post comes from best selling author Parris Afton Bonds, namesake of the Parris Award. After reading this special post, please check out her five star romance novel Blue Bayou ~ Book II (Saga): Lions and Ramparts, featured at the bottom of this post. Thank you so much.
THE POWER OF THE WORD
“In the beginning was the Word,” quotes the Christian’s Holy Bible. The Buddhist religion proclaims spiritual power comes from intoning the simple and sacred monosyllable, “Om”, which stands for Absolute Reality. In school, we learn the pen is mightier than the sword. When Woodward and Bernstein’s Watergate exposé toppled a supposedly omnipotent American president, we were shown the power of the press. Freedom of speech is considered by many to be the most important of an American’s constitutional rights. Hitler demonstrated the power of the word to sway the feelings of the masses
The most powerful sentence? Perhaps it is the reply when Moses asked the burning bush to identify itself: “I am that I am.”
Realizing the powerful feelings words can invoke, I requested female inmates to whom I taught creative writing to write non-stop for fifteen minutes. During that time, they could edit, scratch out, nor lift pen from paper. Every sentence must begin with, “I am . . . .” After fifteen minutes of furious scribbling or laborious hen scratching, each female was asked if she would mind standing and sharing what she had written. The standing is an important part of this creative process. It is the announcement of one’s presence, the pronouncement of one’s creation.
I distinctly remember one eighteen-year-old black female. She was very attractive and intelligent but beaten own by life. She had been raped at nine by a family member. At ten, one Saturday night her mother her told that she was going out for pizza for the family. Her mother never returned. With little education, this child had been snared by the numbness offered by drugs and by thirteen was on the streets, prostituting. As she stood to read, she mumbled. Almost inaudible, anguished utterances. Her head was bowed. Her paper covered her face.
“I am a woman. I am black. I am a prisoner. I am eighteen. I am sad. I am afraid. I am angry. I am out of hope. I am searching for a way to make my life better. I am unsure.”
I am . . . I am . . . I am that I am.
By the time she finished reading aloud her two-and-a half pages, her words were enunciated, and she was almost shouting. Her head was high, her expression one of newfound dignity. Cheering mixed with tears erupted in the classroom. Toilet tissue was passed around to staunch those tears. I knew a miracle had taken place. During the fifteen-minute writing drill, designed to break through to the subconscious, she had found the power of herself through the power of the word.
by Parris Afton Bonds
From 1683 to 1803 ~
From the corrupt courts of Versailles to the windswept tracks of Montreal ~
From the sea-washed coasts of Nova Scotia to the searing deserts of Algiers ~
And from the lush marshes of Louisiana ~
The proud, aristocratic du Plessis lived, loved, and fought to reclaim what was theirs.
There was Damien, who claimed the unattainable Hèléne as his wife and took a nun as his mistress. There was Natalie, who escaped the horrors of Paris’s La Salpétrière prison to flee to the colony of New Orleans as a proxy bride selected by the handsome, mysterious half breed . . . There was Nicolas, whose dark secret shadowed the only love he had ever known ~ for his half-brother’s wife . . . There was Reinette, Natalie’s daughter, raised wild in the bayous outside New Orleans, who gave her heart to an outcast and her body to her handsome captor . . . and there was Daniel, Reinette’s son, who thirsted for vengeance and took his enemy’s daughter as hostage.
Meet Parris Afton Bonds
Declared by ABC's Nightline as one of the three-best-selling authors of romantic fiction, the award winning Parris Afton Bonds has been interviewed by such luminaries as Charlie Rose and featured in major newspapers and magazines as well as published in more than a dozen languages. She donates her time to teaching creative writing to both grade school children and female inmates.
The Parris Award was established in her name by the Southwest Writers Workshop to honor a published writer who has given outstandingly of time and talent to other writers. Prestigious recipients of the Parris Award include Tony Hillerman and the Pulitzer nominee Norman Zollinger.
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The Power of the Word - Guest Post from Author Parris Afton Bonds Reviewed by Joshua Cook on 11:30 PM Rating: