The Countdown Has Begun…

I have set a release date for my new collection of poetry, Reflections: Past, Present, Future. This collection is scheduled for June, 2018 and I am nervous and excited.

In this new collection I explore the underlying influences that led to my relationship experiences that I wrote about in my first collection, Entangled Hearts.

Many women are tired of falling for the wrong guy time and again. Falling in love with the potential of who he can become instead of looking at who he is. Ignoring our instincts when they warn us that something is wrong. What we don’t do, many times, is stop and reflect on WHY we ignore those warnings. WHY do we fall in love with potential rather than investigate the facts?

In Reflections I stop and do just that. Reflect. What is the underlying reason why I allowed sub-par love into my life? Why was I willing to give 1000% in exchange for a luke-warm 25% at best? One day I woke up and stopped trying to adjust the math.

As women, we are the cornerstone of civilization. Fellas you’re not being discounted – keep reading. Ladies, we have the biggest influence over life, it grows within us. Life flows out of us. We are designed for it. It is time we sat down in a quiet place, grabbed our tea or coffee and reflect on why we allow the negative relationships in our lives. Once we understand the WHY we can create a correction plan.

The countdown to Reflections has begun. Are you ready?

Why Yet? Why not?!

Hello. I am Why Yet and if this is your first visit, welcome to my little slice of blog-dom. A little about myself. This is not my first blog, but this is the first blog I have semi-planned out how I want to manage my posts and ideas. I am a mother, a poet, a hopeless romantic with a dirty mind – which comes in handy with the poetry writing… I love seeing people set goals and reach them. Happiness and excitement is contagious. I am a crafter – I knit and I crochet. I may post about those later should the mood suit me. I am an Aquarius! I can’t leave that out so should my thoughts branch off at rocket speed, you know why, lol. I love a good book. The genre doesn’t even matter because I read romance, urban romance, science fiction, urban street, horror, mystery… but I digress.

This post is more so a reminder to myself and to you to remember to live life and not just exist in it. Especially with the soul-journey I am currently on that inspired my new collection of poetry, Reflections: Past, Present, Future (coming June 2018). So many times we get wrapped up in our daily responsibilities that we forget how to enjoy life, like a child. I am an avid Pinner. I lost count of how many boards I have on Pinterest but I know my pins are in the seven thousands. I have come across so many great ideas on Pinterest! The courage to forego searching for someone to employ me and create employment for myself came from quite a few suggested pins for work at home opportunities. And I truly do want to live, not exist.  I named this blog Why Yet’s Words to be that constant reminder to live and speak up in life. I almost named it Marki’s Bliss. Some of you may be thinking what is bliss? If it’s that good how do I get some? First let’s go to the source (by the way I am a word nerd so definitions and such may appear from time to time):

BLISS

  • Supreme happiness; utter joy or contentment ex) wedding bliss. *courtesy of dictionary.com*

Have I discovered my utter joy or contentment yet? No, but I am working towards it. I am learning to follow what makes me happy (as long as it doesn’t hurt others in the process) and I love making pretty things that are useful. I enjoy creating beauty and sharing.

My goal is to reach that point of utter joy AND contentment. Why does it have to be either or? I want it all. So buckle up and enjoy this journey of growth with me and in the process I dare you to search within and discover your bliss. What does your heart truly desire in this life?

Self-Discovery of Me…

The first day of spring is the world’s New Year’s day. Spring is a time of rebirth and new beginnings and for me I am fully embracing that. I am fully embracing me.

The journey to discovering who I am and what my passions are has been interesting thus far. I have met so many amazing individuals, myself included. Before I began paying close attention to this journey, I was a stranger to myself. Working, raising a family, doing everything I was programmed to do. But I was unhappy. I was unfulfilled and I was very unsatisfied. Nothing is more dangerous than an unsatisfied woman.

So far on this journey, I have discovered (and accepted) the fact that I am an emotional individual. My emotions fuel the poetry I write. Emotion is passion. How I display that passion is a story in itself. Many have asked me about the poems I chose to include in my collection, Entangled Hearts.

Each poem spoke a message I wanted to share with you, my readers. We have all experienced love in some form. Good, bad or indifferent, love has left an imprint on each of us. But some imprints left a residue that made me feel alone and isolated, so I wrote about it to reach out to others who may have or yet to have experienced the same.

Entangled Hearts is a collective love letter to myself, to past loves, to future loves and to lovers in general. Sometimes love hurts but other times it doesn’t and that is what entangles all of our hearts…

Reflect On The Past. Plan For The Future…

As National Women’s History Month winds down and the fervor of National Poetry Month begins I can only but reflect on how I fit in at this point of my life. I am a woman. I am a poet. My passion lies in sharing, educating and helping in any way I can.

In reflecting on my own past I realize I can only help others insofar as I have helped myself. That is where my experience and education springs from. Learning from my own past mistakes and then sharing those lessons.

Lesson 1. Speak up. Anything you want to learn you must first be brave enough to speak up. “How do you (insert topic here)?” The worst anyone can say is I don’t know. Your next move is to google it or head to your local library. As a poet, sometimes I am afraid to ask questions because I don’t like hearing no. No hasn’t killed me yet so I continuously push against my fear. I don’t always win, but I don’t stop either.

Lesson 2. Yes. You. Can. Whatever it is you strive to do, you can do. No explanations.

Lesson 3. Ask. For help, for reviews, for sales. Closed mouths don’t get fed. On that note, I am in need of honest feedback on my collection of poetry, Entangled Hearts. In exchange for said feedback I will be giving away free kindle copies of Entangled Hearts to the first ten people to comment below with their email addresses.

Last but not least…

Lesson 4. Inform. Let others know how they can be of service to you so you can be of better service to others! I am preparing to release my second collection of poetry, Reflections: Past, Present, Future and I need a few beta readers as well. Leave your name and email address below with beta next to it so I’ll know you’re interested in being a beta reader. Thanks in advance!

Why Yet

Yolanda Keen, The Reading Machine

Hi! My name is Yolanda Keen and I am five years old. I love to sing and play with my dolls. I have a younger brother named Calvin and he cries, a lot! He is three years old. He still acts like a baby sometimes. I don’t because I am a big girl and I can do big girl things like read books and tie my shoes. My mom taught me to do all of the big girl stuff the same as Pinky Dinky Doo.

My mom takes good care of me and my brother. My dad does too but he doesn’t take care of us the way mom does. She makes us grilled cheese sandwiches and colors with us sometimes. She yells a lot, when Calvin and I fight but she hugs us too, especially when we play nice together. She makes us eat our vegetables (yuck!), brush our teeth and read lots of books!

I didn’t like reading at first. I used to cry like Calvin when my mom would make me read, but she would always say that we must read. As a little girl, her grandmother wasn’t allowed to read because her skin was a different color than the people who owned all of the books. I’m not sure what that means but it made mom sad. She told me and Calvin to always respect the ability to read books because now we can learn about anything we want to know.

Now in school I am the best reader in my class. I finished the 100-book challenge and mom still makes me read every day. Now I have read almost 170 books and school isn’t out yet! Ms. Joy, the librarian at my neighborhood library, gave me entry forms for a reading contest so I can win movie tickets for Sherlock Gnomes. I really want to win so I can go to the movies with my friends! While reading I found new books like Mobi Shinobi, Pete the Cat, and Penny and Her Marble. Now, I am a reading machine!

I still like when mom reads to me before bed. She makes the funniest voices and scrunched her face when the bad guys do something bad. My all-time favorite is when she reads The Gruffalo. “Oh help! Oh no, it’s the GRUFFALO!” I gotta go, it’s my snack time! See ya later, alligator! Yolanda giggled as she walked to the kitchen for her afternoon snack.

National Women’s History Month

March 1st. The beginning of our month long celebration of women. I could rattle off a list of names from the history books but we, as women, should be bold and brass enough to celebrate ourselves as well. I am all about giving kudos to those who paved the path I now tread but I want to begin this month respecting my beginnings.

This month I want to honor the fabulous women who have helped shape my life with the very essence of theirs, starting with my mother. The most influential woman in my direct life. Words cannot express how thankful I am to have you in my life.

My mother raised five children, on her own, in the heart of a tough North Philadelphia neighborhood. Throughout the 80s and 90s she ran her home with a precision that would be considered extreme by today’s moralless standards. She understood how dangerous the streets could be having come of age in the gang-run streets of Philadelphia in the mid- to late 60s.

During a time when women and children were to be seen and not heard, my mother was outspoken, speaking up and standing up for what she believed in. Many times incurring the ire of my grandmother. Being raised in the South during the aftermath of the Great Depression, my grandmother’s reaction was to be expected.

Not one to give in to someone else’s idea of how she should live her life, my mother made ends meet selling dinners from our home until the last of us was school aged. Instilling in us early on the importance of going to school everyday sparked my love of learning.

Thank you mom for being the phenomenal woman you are. You are more than just a woman. More than just my mom. You are an inspiration to many through your perseverance.

Which woman inspired you to become who you are today? Leave a thank you for them in the comments.

Life’s Gifts

I am a volunteer tax preparer for a non profit organization during tax season. This is my second season doing this. I absolutely love it. I help people, I learn new things and I experience a part of Philadelphia that I would not have ever experienced otherwise. Suburban Station. Milkhouse Grilled Cheese & Milkshakes. A Lebron James look alike. A Mike Epps look alike. Despair, hope, grief, sadness, joy and excitement.

I recognize it’s the small things in life that give the greatest joy. Today a woman confided in me that she has stage 4 colon cancer. Her hair was up in an opened top head wrap and the style was beautiful. When she handed me her driver’s license as I began to prepare her income tax return she said with sadness in her voice, “That’s when I had beautiful, long hair.”

I looked at her and said, “You’re still beautiful and don’t you let anyone tell you different.” Her eyes watered as she told me how she no longer feels beautiful. I understood her feelings completely. A few months ago I had three wisdom teeth and two molars extracted. No big whoop except two of the molars were on the same side as one of the wisdom teeth leaving a gap in the back of my mouth. For two weeks I cried everytime I looked in the mirror. I felt ugly without all of my teeth. I didn’t want to smile. I didn’t want to look at myself. I saw the same feelings in this woman’s eyes. So I shared my experience with her and reminded her that she is still beautiful.

She was very grateful for the encouragement. Once her tax return was completed she gave my colleague and I the biggest hugs and it felt good to help her smile.

See, so many people are stuck on the island of ME that they don’t acknowledge others until they need something and that’s the real tragedy of life. Because they miss out on experiencing the joy of being genuine to someone else, of being genuine for themselves. I had nothing to gain by sharing my story. Empathy costs us nothing but gives much.

I hope I see her fully recovered this time next year so I can give her another hug because by encouraging her, I encouraged myself. Thank you.