Congratulations to Scars: An Anthology Contributor Maurice Carlos Ruffin!

Congratulations to Maurice Carlos Ruffin for his notables in both Best American Short Stories 2017 and Best American Essays 2017! Maurice's essay, "The Last Mark of Boyhood" appears in SCARS: An Anthology.

You can read Ruffin's essay, "Fine Dining," which appeared in The Virginia Quarterly Review, Fall. Ruffin's story "The Children of New Orleans" appeared in AGNI, no. 83.

What a great year, Maurice, reflecting many years of hard work before it! 

Interview with Courtney Denise Butler: PART I

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Enjoy PART 1 of a two-part interview with The Mud & The Lotus: A Workbook and Guide for Students of Yoga author Courtney Denise Butler

 


What is your favorite pose? 

I can't say that I have a favorite simply because I look at postures as healing and balancing for whatever is going on in my life. Therefore, postures are more prescriptive in nature, and I appreciate the balancing power in all of them. 

What is your favorite place to meditate? 

Wherever I am. At home, I have a bonus room with a meditation cushion, and in the nearby window I have some meaningful items that make me feel peaceful. I often sit facing this window with its lovely view and meditate there with my little tokens of love and beauty to focus my energy and attention on all that is beautiful in the world. It’s so easy to be taken with all that is painful in this world, it's important to have a place to go to that consciously reminds us of love. 

Would you share a mantra that soothes you? 

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What sorts of challenges did you encounter in writing The Mud & The Lotus? 

I am very self-disciplined and motivated when I feel passionate, so motivation to write came easily. Being interrupted was a challenge because I had four teenagers living at home when I wrote the book, and four animals in the house. Another challenge was living on my savings and working only part time. I saved for a year to be able to work part time in order to have time to write the book, then I scheduled days and blocks of time simply for writing. In totality, the book took two and a half years from beginning to completion. 

Once it was complete, my challenge was reading and rereading it over and over again, always wanting to make changes. I suffer from a learning disability that causes me not to see mistakes very easily—my mind reads the word as I think it is on the page and not as it may actually be. I’ve never been diagnosed, but others in my immediate family have dyslexia and dyspraxia and I’ve experienced symptoms that align with those diagnoses. It helps to put text in various fonts and color backgrounds, and to print out the work several times so I catch things. I also am fortunate to have had wonderful proof readers and a great editor to assist me with these challenges. 

Especially if you have a learning disability, but really no matter what, it’s scary to put yourself out there in print, online, and in person. I try to remember that it’s okay (and human!) to make mistakes. For every person that may find something to criticize, it is important to remember there are many more that we are hopefully helping—even (maybe especially?) by sharing our flaws and admitting our vulnerabilities.

What are the parts or pages of your book that you look at and think, "Heck yeah!" 

I am so grateful for the cover art. It makes me happy every time I see it. When I read the blurbs by people who mean so much to me it makes my heart so full that people have been so benevolent to me and my work.  Really the fact that this book was a team effort with proof readers, friends who helped, the editor and publisher, the graphic designer, the photographer. The hand-drawn illustrations make it really special . . . it was my concept, but the team that worked with me to bring the concept to completion. Well that makes my heart overflow with gratitude because they took my ideas and made them even better. 

There are many I could give, but a specific example is the way the layout designer, Amy Ashford, and editor, Erin Wood, took my cautionary notes, personal stories, and teaching tips, and organized them, integrating them into the layout so that they have their own graphics and are easily identifiable throughout. I hope these sorts of details will make the text a really useful resource for readers. 

You make a lot of yoga being a lifestyle (versus a workout or a religion), and about it being for everyone. What do you mean?

The word yoga means to "yoke" or "bind" together. It can mean joining the mind to the body through practice (breathing, asana, meditation, or our actions in the world), and/or joining yourself with nature or the God of your understanding, and being connected to the greater world beyond our own little world. 

Doing postures (“asana”) is simply one way of making this connection. Postures can help to balance the body; However, postures are not the only way. When you conserve resources you are doing yoga, when you pray for others you are doing yoga, when you help someone without expecting anything in return that is also yoga. Living yoga as a lifestyle likely means your days are filled with your actions and behaviors aligning with the principals of connecting to your inner self, the God of your understanding, or to something bigger than yourself, and connecting your actions to your love for others. It also means when the “little you” takes over—the Hungry, Angry, Lonely, Tired, Greedy you—that humanness we all share provides us with the tools to get back on track. When we become conscious about these natural human tendencies, we can recognize them for what they are and return to a balanced state. Yoga provides us with countless possibilities in many forms (breathing exercises, postures, meditation, service work, and on and on) for balancing out the inevitable imbalances in our lives.  

 

Stay tuned for PART 2 of this interview with Courtney Denise Butler, in which we’ll talk about perceptions of her as a yoga practitioner in her small hometown decades before yoga became a household word, what all those crazy letters after her name mean, and what it was like to be among a handful of yoga therapists worldwide to do beta testing for the new standards of the International Association of Yoga Therapists.  

Meet Frankie: The First Dog Trained to Detect Thyroid Cancer

If someone told you that a dog found in a shopping center parking lot in Little Rock could detect cancer, would you believe them? Read Frankie's story along with the incredible rescue stories of 24 other dogs by pre-ordering your copy of HOME SWEET HOME: Arkansas Rescue Dogs & Their Stories by Grace Vest at EtAliaPress.com. 

Buy today for a 10% pre-order discount through Friday 9/15, and you'll receive your book in early October. Follow @homesweethomearpups and @etaliapress on Instagram for the latest furry photo, book news, excitement, and events. 

Happy Second Anniversary, SCARS!

Happy second anniversary to Scars: An Anthology! Celebrate with us, and take $5 off through 9/15.

Scars examines the range and nuance of experience related to scars of the body. Through various genres and mediums, forty contributors address self-mutilation, creating art, gender confirmation surgery, cancer, birth, brain injury, war, coming of age, pain, and love, all focusing on the central question of what it means to live with physical scars.

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Check Out Our Ad in the Oxford American's Fall Issue

As you thumb through a great fall issue of the Oxford American, including "Becoming Integrated: Trying to achieve black selfhood in Little Rock" by Frederick McKindra, you will stumble across our ad for Et Alia's Neglected Histories of Arkansas Contest on page 61. For complete information, go to etaliapress.com/contest. The deadline in a few months away, but we're already pumped to read and view your very best work that (re)writes Arkansas. 

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Harvey's Destruction on the Eve of Katrina

Et Alia Press is holding our southeast Texas neighbors in our thoughts.

Hurricane Harvey’s intensity and destruction are all too familiar to Bruce Snow. On the eve of Hurricane Katrina’s landfall twelve years ago—Sunday, August 28, 2005—Bruce, his ill mother, uncle, uncle’s wife, and dog awaited Katrina in horror. A shortage of cash combined with a fierce loyalty to protect the Gentilly neighborhood family home purchased by his Ecuadorian immigrant grandparents led the then twenty-five-year-old author and his family to remain in their City to weather the storm, including enduring six days in the infamous Superdome.

About this day twelve years ago, Bruce writes,

“Satellite images of the multicolored, vicious swirl overlying the entire Gulf Coast were in my peripheral vision, but I wasn’t paying much attention. The sun filtering through the Venetian blinds of my grandparents’ home began to fade. It would be the last sunset of my old life. . . .  I wandered my block in a catatonic stupor, nothing moving around me but the gentle breeze. Everyone was gone. Not just my friends, but everyone. The City had been emptied, and we were all alone. Our home, just a tiny island of light in the silent metropolis.”

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Mud & Lotus Now Available for Purchase

The Mud & The Lotus: A Guide and Workbook for Students of Yoga is now on sale for $39.95 plus free domestic shipping. Order by September 22 to get your signed copy by mail, and stay tuned for details about the Hot Springs, AR, book launch in October. 

Pictured below, 7 cartons weighing 158 lbs. of Mud & Lotus excitement arrive on Et Alia's doorstep, and author Courtney Butler displays the cover as she takes copies to be signed. 

Thank you to nearly 50 customers for pre-ordering your books, which will be shipped or available for pick up at Balance Yoga and Wellness on September 15, 2017. 

LAST DAY TO PRE-ORDER MUD & LOTUS

If you're looking to deepen your knowledge of yoga or are an aspiring yoga teacher . . . LAST DAY to PRE-ORDER The Mud & The Lotus: A Guide and Workbook for Students of Yoga! Pre-order before midnight tomorrow August 15 to receive a 10% discount + free shipping. Beautifully illustrated by Arkansas artist Elizabeth Hartzell and "highly recommended" by international yoga great Larry Payne, among others, this hatha curriculum shares history, physical and energetic anatomy, teaching tips, cautionary notes, business advice, class plans, demonstrative illustrations, and much more. 

PRE-ORDER The Mud & The Lotus!

In celebration of International Yoga Day, THE MUD & THE LOTUS is now available for pre-order on our website! Buy early, receive a discount, and by mid-September you'll have access to the advice of veteran yogini and business woman Courtney Denise Butler.

Want to learn more about Courtney's credentials, which include earning every credential available from Yoga Alliance? Visit her author page to learn more. We proudly welcome this talented author to our Et Alia family of authors. 

The Mud & The Lotus: A Guide and Workbook for Students of Yoga
39.95

Launch Party: Friday October 6 at Emergent Arts in Hot Springs

Thank you to nearly 50 customers for pre-ordering! Your books have been shipped.

Want to order a signed copy? Order today and email etaliapressbooks@gmail.com to let us know you'd like your copy signed by the author. Available through September 22, 2017. 

 

About

Rooted in the understanding that yoga teachers are themselves lifelong students of yoga, The Mud & The Lotus: A Guide and Workbook for Students of Yoga offers opportunities for aspiring teachers and new students alike to grow in their practice. Guided by hatha yoga traditions, Courtney Denise Butler presents the curriculum she uses to train student-teachers at her Balance Yoga and Wellness Yoga School (R.Y.S. 200/300/500, with a 4.85/5-star Yoga Alliance rating). From the grit to the zen of the yoga world, Butler has developed these lessons from extensive experience in many aspects of the yoga business as well as four decades of personal practice. She shares basic history, physical and energetic anatomy, teaching tips and pose adjustments, essential cautionary notes, detailed professional and business advice, useful approaches for class planning, demonstrative images and illustrations, inspirational personal anecdotes, and much more. The volume includes a workbook that actively reinforces key terms and concepts, and lights the way for self-reflection that will continue to inform teachers as they lead from and beyond their mats.

PRAISE

“A comprehensive and unique guide to the basics of yoga for students and teachers. Highly recommended!” —Larry Payne, PhD, C-IAYT, E-RYT500. Founding Director, Yoga Therapy Rx® and Prime of Life Yoga®. Co-author, Yoga for Dummies, Yoga Rx, and Yoga Therapy & Integrative Medicine.

 

“A wonderfully practical—and inspiring—foundations book based upon Butler’s years of caring experience in the real world. Her chapter ‘Yoga Business Basics’ will be especially valuable to many, with much pragmatic education not readily found elsewhere. Highly recommended for the beginning or aspiring yoga teacher.” —John Kepner, MA, MBA, C-IAYT. Executive Director, International Association of Yoga Therapists (IAYT).

 

“I highly recommend The Mud & The Lotus to anyone currently teaching yoga, or thinking of entering this highly rewarding field. Butler provides teachers—new and experienced—one guide that can support them throughout their careers. . . . taking into account all aspects of being a teacher. Personal stories lend an authentic and warm vibe, so it really feels like Butler is right there with you, supporting you as you develop.” —Karen Fabian, MS, E-RYT. Founder, Bare Bones Yoga. Author, Stretched and Structure and Spirit.

Cover illustration: Lotus from the Mud by David McBurney davidmcburney.com.au 

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Ms. Magazine Blog Features Scars: An Anthology Contributor Kelli Dunham

 

Q&A: Comedian Kelli Dunham on Storytelling as a Radical, Transformative Act

Ms. Magazine's Blog today features Et Alia's Erin Wood interviewing Scars: An Anthology contributor Kelli Dunham in a Q&A, "Storytelling as a Radical, Transformative Act." Enjoy reading about Kelli's latest project, Organ Recital: A Storytelling Festival about Bodies, Health, and Healthcare, her shitty knees partly attributable to her life as a nun, her next comedy CD Leak of Faith, and lots of other fabulous stuff. READ HERE

 

More About Kelli:

A self-described “ex-nun genderqueer nurse author nerd comic so common in modern Brooklyn,” Kelli Dunham’s long list of “funny person/serious subjects” projects include appearances on Showtime and Discovery Channel, 7 books of humorous nonfiction with witty titles like Freak of Nurture, and 4 comedy CDs (I am NOT a 12 Year Old BoyAlmost Pretty, Why is the Fat One Always Angry, and Full of Bad Ideas) regularly on Sirius/XM and Pandora’s comedy stations. Her fifth comedy CD, Leak of Faith (tales of an exploding knee replacement, surviving the Lord’s Boot Camp, and the never-ending search for a gender friendly bathroom) will be released September 15. Kelli is considered an expert on grief and caregiving, and presents nationwide to healthcare providers about LGBT issues, LGBT health, and using humor to prevent compassion fatigue.

Thank You for Coming out to Handmade in the Heights!

Thanks to all who came out to Handmade in the Heights on Saturday, May 6! We had a great time speaking to readers and writers, slinging paperbacks, and sharing the excitement of past and current Et Alia projects. 

Author Grace Vest and Champ share news about the FALL 2017 release of HOME SWEET HOME: Arkansas Rescue Dogs and Their Stories. We even got a visit from the cover dog herself! The photoshoot for the final dog featured in the book was complete yesterday. Et Alia is thrilled for Grace and all these special doggies as enthusiasm builds for the release! 

HOME SWEET HOME: Arkansas Rescue Dogs and Their Stories author Grace Vest and her resuce dog, Champ. 

HOME SWEET HOME: Arkansas Rescue Dogs and Their Stories author Grace Vest and her resuce dog, Champ. 

Et Alia author Philip Martin (The President Next Door: Poems, Songs, and Journalism) wife Karen, and their fur kids; Et Alia author and co-owner Erin Wood with her mamma; and a fun customer sharing her new poster, purchased just down the way from Yella Dog Press. 

ANNOUNCING Neglected Histories of Arkansas Contest. Deadline January 15, 2018

Et Alia Press needs fresh perspectives to (re)write Arkansas.

Especially if you’re an Arkansan of color, identify as a woman and/or LGBTQ, live with a serious health issue, are a whistle-blower, or live a lifestyle outside the mainstream, you probably know a different Arkansas than some histories have fabricated. Neglected Histories of Arkansas welcomes writings of any genre that explore and share tough truths in and about Arkansas. We need work that will preserve and expand cultural memory in its diversity, and shine a light on the neglected and alternative histories of The Natural State.

Details:

  • Deadline: January 15, 2018 by midnight. Contest opens April 19, 2017, and early submissions are encouraged. 
  • Send manuscripts of no more than 25,000 words or 10 poems and a $10 reading fee via Submittable.
  • Must be a current resident of Arkansas or have resided in Arkansas long enough to "call it home" and be willing to return for readings and events. 
  • In your cover letter, specify your work as nonfiction, fiction, poetry, or hybrid; indicate length of Arkansas residency at the time of submission; provide full name, address, and contact information. No identifying information should appear in your manuscript so that, to the extent possible, submissions will be anonymous. 
  • The winner receives $125, and five copies; two runners-up will each receive $25 and two copies. It is our hope to publish the work of the winner and two runners-up as an anthology, but we may publish fewer.
  • Simultaneous submissions are acceptable, but please withdraw work without delay if it is placed elsewhere.
  • The short list will be announced mid-February.
  • The winning manuscripts will be judged by H.K. Hummel, and will be published Fall 2018.

Email questions to etaliapressbooks at gmail dot com, with the subject line “Neglected Histories of Arkansas Contest.” If the $10 reading fee presents a substantial financial hardship and is the only thing keeping you from submitting your work, please reach out to us via email and request a waiver of the fee.


H.K. Hummel is an assistant professor of creative writing at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock and founding editor of Blood Orange Review. She is the author of Boytreebird and Handmade Boats, and co-author of Short-form Creative Writing: A Writer’s Guide and Anthology (Bloomsbury, 2018).  Her poems have recently appeared in The Hudson Review, Meridian, Booth, and Iron Horse Review. Visit her website at www.hkhummel.com.

 

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Congratulations on Pushcart Nomination, Dennis Vannatta!

Congratulations to Dennis Vannatta on the Pushcart nomination of "Fireflies" from The Only World You Get: Arkansas Stories. We hope you'll join Et Alia in celebrating "Fireflies" and every story in this Porter Prize-winning author's collection. Use code "PUSH10" to receive a 10% discount (along with every day FREE SHIP) on Et Alia's site. Keep your fingers crossed for great news from Pushcart in early May! 

The Only World You Get: Arkansas Stories ON SALE NOW!

The Only World You Get: Arkansas Stories is on sale now from Et Alia Press and (if you must!) Amazon, both for $16.95 + Free Shipping. 

"This collection confirms what we already knew about Vannatta: that he belongs in the company of Charles Portis and Donald Harington, as one of the truest tale-tellers of The Natural State."

—Gary Craig Powell, Stoning the Devil