Shawn Aveningo: The Birth of Dreams

Shawn Aveningo. Poet. Human Being.

 

 

LPTrendsVoices. Shawn Aveningo. An award-winning poet whose work has appeared in numerous publications such as Poetry Now, Survivor’s Review, POETZ, The Ophidian, Sacremento News & Review, WTF, Savage Melodies & Last Call Serenades, Wait a Minute, I Have to Take Off My Bra, and The Seattle Erotic Anthology.

She has authored 4 books (available at ThePoetryBox.com), and she hosts a monthly poetry show in Northern California (Folsom).

She has also been a featured poet in Sacramento, San Francisco, Sausalito, Grass Valley, Seattle and St Louis. Shawn’s a Show-Me girl from Missouri, graduated Summa Cum Laude from University of Maryland and is a very proud mother of three.

We think she is awake and helps others to be as well. She is an extraordinary human being.

 

A Mother’s Dream

   by Shawn Aveningo

 

I remember it like it was yesterday,

bringing my two identical bundles of pink

home from the hospital.  It was Spring, in Atlanta.

I remember rocking them each night

into the wee hours of the morning

blanketing them in as much joy,

pride a mother could possibly secrete,

attempting to feed them a lifetime of confidence

so that when the day came for them to fly,

they would soar, knowing they are always loved.

 

Every time a mother gives birth,

she gives birth to two dreams:

the dream that evolves within the soul of that child,

to be a firefighter, a dancer or a teacher.

And the dream that never changes,

the one that’s formed with the first fetal flutter,

cemented with the sound of her baby’s first cry,

that dream for her child to be healthy,

happy, loved.

 

So you see, I have a dream.

I have a dream that every child grows up

in a world, in a country, in a state,

secure that she is free to love

whomever she chooses.

I have a dream where “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”

simply becomes, “It Don’t Matter”.

What matters is what’s in your heart,

not what’s written or interpreted

to be true in a book.

What matters is the commitment,

the affection, the devotion,

between two souls,

no matter in what skin color, body shape,

or gender they reside.

What matters is love …period.

 

You see, it’s time I finally took a stand,

speak up to make you understand

because my daughters deserve

to walk in hand in hand

with the one they love

just as my son walks today

in our supposed land

of the free.

 

You see, he has that privilege without contest or debate,

without the interference of homegrown hate

or those so ignorant they think they can pray the slate

clean of DNA, the very genes that seal the fate,

signal to our hearts who we want to date,

as we meander through this jungle for our true soul mate.

I mean, isn’t that what we all want in the first place?

Surely, love means more than just the ability to procreate.

 

I think it’s high time we unite,

we unite in this battle, this fight

the next chapter in pursuit of equal rights,

for ALL our children.

 

Because my children

and your children

deserve to live the dream,

to be healthy, to be happy

and above all

loved.

***

Connect with Shawn Aveningo

Shawn@thePoetryBox.com

www.thePoetryBox.com

The Artistic Dreams of Children

Piece 1, Monica Gibson. Photo by Tracy Saville.

LPTrendsKids: Art & Fashion. In April, a local writer penned this piece, capturing the essence of joy between kids and their artistic dreams. Thanks, Oscar, for being so cool, and thanks also to Monica and Mas Bonita for the fashion-inspired adventure.

Article by Oscar Benjamin. Photos by Oscar Benjamin, and Tim and Tracy Saville.

***

An intriguing, imaginative and fascinating variation on the theme of fashion design occurred in the Spring past, in Sacramento, California. The laughter and barely contained screams of children provided the audio soundtrack to “Kidz Art for Kidz Clothes,” within the studios of artist Raphael Delgado – an auction event to support the internship project for graduating student, Monica Gibson of the International Academy of Design and Technology.

Raphael with the kids! Photo by OB.

The art of Raphael Delgado provided a colorful backdrop to the inspiration for many of the children whose artwork inspired the fashion that was displayed that night. The line designed by Monica Gibson sprang from her interaction with their artistic dreams.

“My inspiration was the children’s art. We hosted a Facebook event page and people uploaded their artwork there.” They will “use some of the profits from the sale of the clothes” to help fund Raphael’s charity of choice, she also shared – a kid’s art supply drive.

Monica Gibson, the fashion designer. Photo by OB.

As the children walked past the guests, the night’s hosting duties fell to publisher and sponsor of the project, Tracy Saville. Saville has created the “Fuse Apparel” umbrella concept as a novel method to empower new designers with the opportunity to utilize the artistic concepts of emerging artists. The novel idea may provide monetary return that would help the fledging designers and encourage future art projects. Later Saville offered, “We don’t know if it will be successful, but we love the idea of pairing art with children and design – anything can happen!”

Moms, kids, and Monica after the show! Photo by OB.

The success of a clothing line is sometimes measured by a monetary profit, but the night’s activities could more accurately be gauged by the reactions of some of the young artists that were in attendance. A young artist by the name of Michaela spoke about her experience with a hint of pride about attending the event and seeing her work on display, “I feel happy and excited!  I like to draw things of what I feel”.

A younger and more bashful artist supplied the true sense of wonder that many lose as they progress in life. Hannah supplied these wonderfully simplistic, yet powerful words that address where ideas come from, which truly reflects the night’s raison d’être,

About the clothes she sang, “I just get ‘em’!”

The clothes! Photo by OB.

It is this powerful belief as children that many of us lose as adults. Approaching fashion with a child’s sense of imagination proved to be a winning idea as Monica Gibson’s project came to. By working with children whose imaginations are not encumbered by “reality”, a seasoned artist can approach a subject with fresh eyes.

Artist Raphael Delgado underscores this notion with a sense of accomplishment as the night came to an end, “I was very impressed with the style of art they were making. The way that they captured the essence of things. I always thought it would be cool to incorporate designers and use kids’ art.  It was a brainstorm and she (Monica Gibson) ran with it”!

**

The real reason why children need art and you to support them in it. Photo by Tim Saville.

LPMagazine shares this story by Oscar Benjamin because we all need a little inspiration from those whose eyes are not yet spoiled by contrivance or fear. Go kids. Go art. Go big ideas.

Thanks to Melanie Blalog, Monica, all who attended, IADT Sacramento, and the Delagado’s.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Author Jeremy Trimble is a Dream Runner

From Kathryn’s desk…

“Monsters hunt through people’s dreams. They’re called phantoms, and they’re nearly unstoppable. They slip into realities between night and morning when their victims are most vulnerable. The dream runners once fought them and protected humanity. Now Mike Carpenter is the last dream runner. He is alone. But he doesn’t stop hunting the phantoms. He’s lost everything he loves and refuses to yield even as the phantoms grow stronger and begin to show signs of intelligence.” (Quote from Dream Runner by Jennifer Tess AKA Jeremy Trimble)


Jeremy Trimble is somewhat of a dream runner himself  – he is running toward his dreams at quite a fast pace with all the enthusiasm and determination you see in his fiction characters. As a new and upcoming author he is benefitting greatly from the recent explosion of e-book sales. He writes for young adults, who have a large appetite for fast paced fantasy. The combination is putting Jeremy on the reader charts at #62. Not bad for a post secondary English instructor who dabbles in the stock market.

Royalties are turning his head from recent publications including:  Dream Runner, published by Malachite Quills Publishing 2011, Poisoned Star, published by Rebel Ink Press 2011, Impulse Control, published by Malachite Quills Publishing 2011, and Infinite, published by Black Rose Writing 2010.

I read Jeremy’s two latest books and found them quite the page-turners. Geared for middle and high school students, the best thing about Jeremy’s work isn’t the fast-paced and imaginative plotting, but the good role modeling. Girls are leaders and hold power right along with the boys – who are always gentlemen, unless evil villains of course. Even then genders are equally picked on.

Romance and wanting to save the world are presented as exciting and admirable pursuits – as well they should be in the minds of young adults. All is never right with the world, but those who truly care take on their quests with serious enthusiasm driven by a desire to make a difference.

“When Mike chases a phantom through three different dreams, he stumbles into the last person he expected. Cora. He found his way into her dream. Except this time something impossible happens. She remembers him. For the first time, he is confronted by the chance that he might not have to fight alone.”  (Quote from Dream Runner by Jennifer Tess AKA Jeremy Trimble)

Jeremy has an impressive list of accomplishments, especially when you consider he is just getting started. He holds an MA in English from Sac State and a BA in both English and Spanish from the same institution. Jeremy is a member of 4 honor societies including International English and Spanish. He has won 7 writing awards for short fiction, expository prose, and essay, and has spoken at 5 writing related conferences. He was an editor for Calaveras Station, a proofreader in both English and Spanish for The National Shopping Service and has taught multiple courses on the subjects of English, literature and writing. You might say the entire subject of literacy defines him.

I asked Jeremy some questions recently about his drive to be a post secondary English instructor, author of fantasy for young adults and part-time dabbler in the stock market.

Why do you use a pseudonym and what was the thought process behind the names you chose – especially since one is female?

I use multiple pseudonyms for two reasons. First, I like to keep my life as a writer separate from everything else. That’s why I use a pen name in the first place. But I have multiple pseudonyms to work within different genres. My writing tends to jump around. My first three books were all romantic in some ways, but the level of violence and intended audience shift around quite a bit as well. And if I’m completely honest, it’s fun coming up with pen names.

Dream Runner (Jeremy Trimble)

“Treya Third has a simple life. She pilots a Poisoned Star, one of the Foundation’s most powerful warships. She lives in space alone where her only companion is her ship’s mind. When the Foundation orders her to kill, she does. When they order her to murder whole colonies, she obeys. Anything else would mean torture and death for her kind.”

“When the human race sends in a fleet to retake one of their systems, Traya’s Poisoned Star is dispatched to destroy them. In every other fight, her warship has triumphed. But Treya learns the humans have a new plan of attack this time when someone sneaks onboard her ship.” (Quote from Poisoned Star by Josh Tremino AKA Jeremy Trimble)

When did you realize that you wanted to be an author and did you choose the genres you write in or did they choose you?

I first became interested in writing way back in 4th grade. My teacher had us do a daily journal assignment at the beginning of each class, and I really enjoyed them. By the time I hit 7th grade, I knew I wanted to be a professional writer.

In terms of genre, I’ve always been something of a geek. I grew up watching Star Trek: The Next Generation, Babylon 5, and Deep Space 9. Then in college I spent a shocking amount of time playing Dungeons and Dragons. Altogether, this made sci-fi and fantasy a natural fit for me.

“But the stowaway doesn’t try to sabotage or destroy the Poisoned Star. As the hours pass and Treya continues her hunt, she begins to learn more about her life before the Foundation kidnapped and reprogrammed her. Surrounded by enemies, questioned by allies and running out of time, Treya must choose between a mysterious past and an uncertain future.” (Quote from Poisoned Star by Josh Tremino AKA Jeremy Trimble)

Where do you go from here in the way of publishing? Do you want to continue to produce the same type of books?

The last few months have been something of a shock in terms of writing and my finances. Through most of my life, I spent hours of each week writing and made very little. Now the royalties are starting to build up, which does make me wonder where I’m going to go from here. Right now I’m considering becoming a full-time author. At some point, I would like to score a best-selling novel, but for now I’m happy to tinker on with my different projects.

I know you teach English and literature at the college level. Is this as much for the pleasure of it as for the income? What motivates you to teach, in other words, and what inspires you about your students?

I absolutely love teaching. I believe that education is the foundation to a solid democracy and that our republic cannot survive without a well-educated populace. On a purely pragmatic level, I do teach to pay my bills, but at the same time, I like to think I am contributing something to our culture. My students inspire me when they really engage with the material and come up with points I never would have considered.

What frustrates you most about your students?

Many of my colleagues and I have sat around and discussed this question at one point or another. Overall, I think the most frustrating thing about some of my students is the sense of entitlement. From time to time, I get a few students who come into class with the assumptions that education is unimportant because they already know everything. At the same time, I think there’s a parallel belief that has seeped into our culture that all forms of knowledge are equally valid or legitimate. Students seem to be reluctant to say that a piece of information is wrong or to evaluate its potential weaknesses. Fortunately, these are generally minor issues since the majority of my students are willing to try and stretch themselves to learn new concepts and points of view.

I know you like to dabble in the Stock Market. Why and how did this interest develop?

In college, I had a desk job, which required very little effort. This meant there would be whole days where I was stuck in my cubicle with pretty much nothing to do but wander around online. I took to reading a lot of news articles, which in turn led me to the business section. More and more, I started to read how companies were doing, and I started to make predictions. After a while, it didn’t seem so hard, so I opened a trading account and started to buy and sell positions. I’ve been doing it for the last three years now. I enjoy the critical thinking that goes into the stock market to determine what a company is worth and—more importantly—how the company and its price will react to the world as it changes.

If you make you fortune anytime soon in the stock market, or on royalties from your publications, can you see yourself retiring at an early age?

I don’t know if I could ever retire entirely. Since getting my MA, I’ve been teaching about 6 classes per quarter, which makes for a pretty stressful schedule. In time, I think I might settle down a bit. For now though, I enjoy being something of a workaholic.

You can purchase Jeremy’s books through Barnes and Noble bookstores or Amazon, either as e-books or in print.