Wednesday, 25 May 2016

Loose Connections - A Family Memoir

OK, so it's a long time since I last posted anything on this blog. The reason? I've been busy working on the publication of my first book for adults, Loose Connections - A Family Memoir:


Check it out on www.malaikarosestanley.com

Monday, 4 February 2013

Following Your Dreams

Today I have guest blogged on the newly-designed and ever more wonderful Girls Heart Books site about following your dreams:




Friday, 1 February 2013

28 Days Later

Today, I am very proud and honoured to be featured on The Brown Bookshelf's USA Black History Month 28 Days Later campaign:

To read more...

For the list of USA and UK children's books featuring bi-racial characters, see here. 

Tuesday, 8 January 2013

One Year On... with Kevin Kindle


Smaller... Lighter... Bigger... Brighter...
Newer... Faster... Louder... Cheaper...
And really touchy-feely.
These are just some of the promises I've heard about other e-readers from those desperate to lure me away from my Kindle. You may remember my first love-at-first-sight encounter with Kevin Kindle from last Christmas, followed by Valentine’s Day and our first holidays together.
So, where are we now, after our first year anniversary?

Well, Kevin is reliable. He’s always there for me, although he does occasionally need to take time out to recharge his batteries. There’s only been one occasion when I've felt let down and my trust has been challenged - but I can’t see the point of dredging up old arguments.
We spend a lot of time together. He’s also taught me a lot and introduced me to some new ideas, but I retain my independence and frequently meet up with old friends (aka real books).
Kevin has never been a cheap date and the financial commitment has been considerable. It’s very easy to push that ‘click-to-buy’ button. And his sense of style hasn't improved. He’s still dressed in the same old purple suit - but it’s wearing well - and whether we’re at home or out and about, it means he’s always easy to spot.
I’m still smitten. My sense of loyalty is strong. I'm not tempted to stray or distracted by any of the flashy all-singing, all-dancing multi-media devices and tablets - although if one of them comes up with a way to bring me breakfast in bed every morning, I might change my mind. Until then, Kevin and I are in a long-term relationship. I'm in it for the long haul. I'm ready to commit. I may wait a long time for a proposal, of course, but I'm a patient woman.

Happy New Year! All best wishes for a healthy, happy and successful 2013.

Tuesday, 18 December 2012

For Women: In Tribute to Nina Simone

I am very proud to have my short story, Loose Connections included in this US-published anthology, edited by Debra Powell-Wright and funded through a small Art and Change grant awarded by The Leeway Foundation.


Cover Art by Toni Kersey

Debra Powell-Wright is an accomplished spoken word artist, published author and poet, writing workshop facilitator and a member of In The Company of Poets, an all-female spoken word ensemble.

For Women: In Tribute to Nina Simone was inspired by her essay Four Women - For Women: Black Women All Grown Up, which examines the lyrics of Nina Simone's classic and Talib Kweli's hip-hop tribute and which features in Imagining the Black Female Body. 

This collection of short stories and poems explores the issues of relationships, racism, sexuality and concepts of beauty from the perspective of American, African, Caribbean and British women of colour. It's been a long time in the making, a true labour of love for Debra who has single-handedly dealt with everything ranging from submissions to editing, and from printing to distribution and - modesty aside - I believe it deserves a  wider readership than will be afforded by the limited print run.

Sadly, I won't be able to join many of the other contributors in Pennsylvania in February to celebrate so I'm listening to Four Women, raising a glass and proposing a virtual toast:

To Nina, to Debra and to all the women around the world who contributed to this collection.


Monday, 19 November 2012

Notes from the Cavendish: Endings



My six-week Writing for Children course seems to have passed in the blink of an eye - and I am bereft! I don't like endings. I'm useless at goodbyes. I struggle to hang up the phone and even at the end of a casual get-together with friends or family, I'm never the the one who ups and leaves first and simply says, 'See you later.'

I know, I know - I have 'abandonment issues' - and I know too that endings are what make space for new beginnings, but the knowledge doesn't help.

As a children's writer, reaching the end of a story can be hugely satisfying, but there are challenges too. Children hate to be patronised so the ending doesn't necessarily have to be 'happy'. It might be thought-provoking, bitter-sweet, twist-in-the tale, hopeful, redemptive or whatever. But I think young people, like most adult readers - me included - want a resolution to the problem posed at the beginning of the story. I may struggle with goodbyes, but I still don't like cliffhanger book endings.  

Whether the protagonist 'wins' or 'loses' in the final do or die confrontation, when the stakes are at their highest, what's important is how the main character has changed. What have they learned - about life, about themselves? How have they grown?

And after it's all over? Well, I don't want to be overly-dramatic (OK, I do!) but for me - as a reader, a writer or a course tutor - then comes the let-down, the anti-climax, the sense of being cast adrift, the headlong plunge into limbo and having no idea what comes next... that's where I am now.

I'd love to hear how other people feel about endings... what are the best last lines you've ever read? How do you say goodbye - in writing or in life?

Sunday, 4 November 2012

My MP Jeremy Corbyn has signed the Early Day Motion for School Libraries - has yours?