Countdown to Muse 2021: Small Victories by Desmond Hall by Desmond Hall

The Muse and the Marketplace 2021 is almost here! This year’s conference is taking the form of a virtual enhanced writing residency (taking place Wednesday, April 21st – Sunday, April 25th) with new Premium Workshops and the Manuscript Mart (taking place Wednesday, April 28th – Sunday, May 2nd).

 

This year’s conference theme is “Small Victories.” We all know what the “big” victories are (landing an agent, snagging a book deal, or getting a flashy award), but this year we aim to celebrate the equally important, tiny, and often unseen victories of our writing lives. In anticipation of the conference, we’ve asked Muse 2021 presenting authors to describe one small victory they’ve had as a writer that nobody knows about. Our next presenter in the series is Desmond Hall, author of Your Corner Dark.

 

 

My Jamaican dad is 85 and lives alone in Florida where the pandemic is raging. 

 

He’s the type of man who goes by a code. For example, when his stunned doctor asks him

how he manages to stay so healthy, my dad nods but never divulges the special

mixture of herbs, spices, and specific foods that he swears by. Though he’s obviously

self-sufficient, I worry. And during the pandemic, my fears morphed into a panic when

I called and called and couldn’t reach him. Just before phoning the police, I called my

dad one more time. 

 

To my surprise, and great relief, he answered. Right away I

asked, “Where the heck have you been?” 

He said, 

“Oh, I’ve been working on my roof. Changing some shingles. In fact, let me call you back because I’m up here now”.

 

When he hung up I laughed to myself, and I felt truly thankful that that man,

calcified knee and all was still way tougher than I will ever be.

 

 

Desmond Hall is a Jamaican-born author whose debut YA novel, Your Corner Dark, a fast-paced thriller, is due out in January ’21. American Street meets Long Way Down in this searing and gritty novel that takes an unflinching look at the harsh realities of gang life in Jamaica and how far a teen is willing to go for family. The book confronts police brutality, “Colorism”, gang culture, and political deception. He’s written and directed an HBO feature movie, A Day in Black and White, which was nominated for the Gordon Parks Award. He’s also written and directed a full-length stage play, Stockholm, Brooklyn that won the Audience Award at the Downtown Theater Festival at the Cherry Lane theater. While working in the advertising and film industry, he’s served on the board of the Partnership for a Drug-Free America, the Advertising Council, judged the One Show, Addys, and the NYC Downtown Film Festival. He’s also been named one of Variety magazine’s Top 50 Creatives to Watch.

 

You can catch Desmond’s virtual craft discussion with Jennifer De Leon, “The Art of Perspective in Young Adult Fiction,” via Attendify at the Muse 2021 from 10:00 am – 11:15 am (EDT) on April 22nd, 2021. Don’t wait! Register for the Muse and the Marketplace 2021 today.