Self-Discovery… Again

I have been away for a little bit… (okay maybe a lot) but I’ve missed you all. I was being crushed by the daily grind of my nine-to-five. Argh! Inspiration has been non-existent for me this last year as the realities of raising small children has tried to smother the creativity out of me. But you guys held firm and I thank you!

By you guys, I mean all of you creative, crafty, unorthodox-thinking, out-of-the-box thinking free spirits. You show up exactly when you’re needed the most, be it on social media or in the super market.

I’ve come out of hibernation and began turning my thoughts back to the creative things because of you guys. Writers, photographers, comedians, actors, strangers, friends, co-workers… all of you have aligned together to drag me out of this dark slump of… reality. I was beginning to believe that putting in ten-twenty years at my current gig would be the greatest thing I could do to ensure my children could grow up without needing anything.

WRONG!

I like my job, it’s a steady paycheck that keeps the lights on and food in our stomachs but you guys have reminded me that there is so much more out here in the land of make-believe and “fake news”. Yeah – I was dying to use that line, hahaha. No, but really.

Now, more than ever, creatives are NEEDED and seeing this need has made me re-think how I want my children to grow up… as creatives. I’ve learned over these last few weeks that I miss going to open mic nights, I miss laughing for no reason, making funny faces…

I want to face my fears and challenge myself and experience that thrill of fear and accomplishment. Just in the last thirty days I have been reacquainted with that thrill. I’ve had to drive a SMART car on I-95, Kelly Drive aka Martin Luther King Jr Drive, and the PA Turnpike for my nine-to-five. Prior to this gig I had not EVER driven on any of these roads in Philadelphia. My co-worker got me on two of them in the same day! And in a SMART car no less! Talk about being scared out of my mind! But that familiar rush of fear mixed with adrenaline kicked in because there was no turning back (I was in the company car) and once I parked back at the job I felt so accomplished. I loved it and had forgotten how good it felt to CONQUER fear.

In your self discovery, what fear(s) have you conquered recently? Answer in the comments.

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The End of 2016

I haven’t been on here in months… What can I say, life happened and some things had to be put in hibernation mode. This year has been a doosie for sure. When I started this year I had several things in mind that I wanted to accomplish and for the most part I have accomplished most of them.

Personally, I have had what some would view as set-backs. For me, they were set-ups for something better. The set-ups I encountered placed me in a position to accomplish a few of my goals and to position me to accomplish more in the future. I know I’m being cryptic but I don’t mean to. Although I haven’t been posting on here much this year I did 14523025_10154619617256979_3602667605699037611_nchronicle much of what I encountered, endured, accomplished, etc… on my Facebook and Instagram accounts (for those of you who follow me – for those of you who don’t, you should start. I can be hilarious at times).

Many are tired of 2016 snatching our childhood entertainers but I say heaven is preparing for a final showdown. Look at our president-elect. You can not get any more disrespectful to the human race than that – a clear sign the last days are fast approaching (2016 snatched Sting, Prince AND George Michael!) But I don’t want to talk about politics.paintingwithatwist

I spent this year exploring myself and pushing the limits of my comfort zone. I still have a way to go, but I’m moving and that is always good! I tried Painting With a Twist, where you drink wine and learn to paint a gallery quality picture. I loved it and want to do it again. If you haven’t tried any of the paint venues (Painting With a Twist, Paint Nite, etc…) grab a friend or two and try it!

laffnowlafflatersept2016I went to several comedy shows this year: Laff Now, Laff Later hosted by Coby Jackk (also on Facebook and Instagram). I started a new 9-5 which took most of my writing energy. The gig is okay and is a catalyst that helped me begin positioning for other goals I want to accomplish. *Drum roll* Now that this year is coming to a close I will not make any resolutions. Mostly because by January 4th I have forgotten what I had resolved to do and misplaced the list I wrote them down on.

What I will do is work on self-improvement, that is always my goal, to be better than I was yesterday. This year (2017) I am getting passports for me and my two little ones, I am getting a new vehicle, I am getting a new house and going back to school to complete my degree in accounting. Thoughts of compiling a second collection of poetry have been floating around but I am undecided on that right now. In 2017 I do want to stay consistent in writing everyday because my mind isn’t equipped with an on/off switch. Shonda Rhimes’ book Year of Yes has been a huge influence on me for 2016 and I will continue to use her wisdom as a guide to more possibilities in my life.

As the new year comes in, stay safe, enjoy the end of an interesting year, welcome in the new year and say yes to you more, yes to endless possibilities – I will. See you in 2017!

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Birthday Bop!

28354_120571384642257_7705438_nYep! Today (January 27th) is my birthday! I am celebrating me on learning to love myself stronger and harder! I am rocking out to my new theme song for this year, Lost At Sea by Zedd… “Lost at seeaaaa! Where they will never find us!”

Music is my salvation when life gets rocky and I am so grateful for it. I am grateful for sites like pandora.com, soundcloud.com, and all the others that are out there but I haven’t gotten around to discovering you for myself yet. Thank you!

I am so busy dancing to the music that it’s taking me longer than I initially anticipated to write this post. It was supposed to be a shorty but goody and I completely lost my train of thought listening to Lost at Sea. I absolutely LOVE this song! It is on loop on my soundcloud playlist. It is going to rock me to sleep as soon as I finish this post, I promise!

This last year has been so pivotal for me. I had to overcome some major fears to begin regaining my life back and the culmination is my starting a new job today, on my birthday, doing what I went to school for! Preparing taxes (I achieved my associate’s degree in accounting in 2010) for individuals through the Pathways program that provides free tax preparation for low income and moderate income individuals in the Philadelphia, Delaware, Montgomery and Chester County areas. Party on!

The End of NaNoWriMo 2015 is Here

keepcalmandwriteThis month has been crazy. I heard stories of how intense this month is when you accept the challenge of writing 50,000 words in thirty days but… WOW! I have read so many posts on facebook and twitter about writing challenges and writing stumps as well as people who had a running faucet of story line so they completed the challenge within the first two weeks.

I am in awe of them all. A women in the NaNo group on Facebook just started the challenge a week ago and already hit 50,000 words! I’m not upset though. I didn’t reached 50,000 words but I participated in the challenge and wrote more words in thirty days than I thought was possible. I finished with 22,877 words and my record word count for one day is 3,520!

I am not upset at all. I did what I set out to do and that was to participate in the challenge. I am realistic about my home life and that presents many nanowrimochallenges in and of itself but I still found some time to get my ideas on paper. I met some interesting characters on this journey. With this being my first year, I have set my bar high for next year! NaNoWriMo 2016 I’m waiting for you!

On Why Yet’s Watch with Darryl Carr

Victim of Love II just finished a wonderful interview with author Darryl Carr. He is the author of Victim of Love (which is FREE on amazon for a limited time). Being inspired by Stephen King, the writers of Dynasty, Falcon Crest and Dallas, Darryl strives to create believable characters that we can connect with. Born and raised in Brooklyn, NY Darryl began writing when he was 16 years old. A lover of words, Darryl already has Victim of Love 2: Master in My Bed ready for release on October 23, 2015. Darryl Carr can be followed on http://www.facebook.com/darryl.carr3, and http://www.twitter.com/dcarr217 . Grab your free copy of Victim of Love, check out the interview On Why Yet’s Watch with Darryl Carr and follow Darryl Carr to keep up on new books being released!

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I Signed Up For NaNoWriMo 2015!

nanowrimoOkay, I accomplished the re-release of my collection of poetry, Entangled Hearts (available on amazon Kindle for $2.99), and signed up for the NaNoWriMo 2015 challenge. To put it mildly, I’m terrified! 50,000 words in thirty days, how do you guys do it?! Is it insanity or is it normal to feel this fearful of writing? I have ideas floating around in my mind but not sure which one will be THE one to write.

How do you guys decide what to write for NaNo? Do you create outlines on your computer/tablet/phone or write them down in a notebook? How do you decide on how many characters go into your story? Character names? Personalities? Quirks? Are you tempted to start writing before hand or do you wait until November 1? Will the story be finished in time? Will there be time to edit or do you wait until NaNo is over to edit? And will it be good? Do you block everything out for thirty days? I will keep you posted on my progress when the challenge starts. Until then…

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Entangled Hearts is Officially Re-Released!

11700640_10153533224636979_8335249316132193351_oAfter allowing fear to halt me, I have finally re released my first collection of poetry, Entangled Hearts. With a revamped cover by BlaqRayn Publishing and some new poems, Entangled Hearts is ready to spread some love again. Almost as if to celebrate, I had a flood of poetic inspiration tonight, including a piece I titled The Woman In Me:   Love flows as strong as a river current/ unrestricted by space, time, or circumstance/ once my heart opens the woman in me/ flourishes,/ glows,/ grows,/ and knows that pure beauty is a rarity in the world./ Peace flows as smooth as silken strands/ guided by love like a traveler wandering/ in a golden desert,/ guiding,/ providing direction,/ and connection to the source of the peaceful flow./ Beauty is transcendent/ across space and time/ irregardless of age/ like a wine ripening for the perfect celebration/ of life. / The transcendent, silken, river current of love heals and nurtures/ because of the woman in me. Available on amazon.com (kindle).

October Is Domestic Violence Awareness Month

Many times when October rolls around many people are thinking about Columbus Day, Halloween, domesticviolenceawarenessThanksgiving and Christmas plans. Many times the quiet woman nursing bruises is overlooked. The timid woman in the office is ignored. The mother who averts her gaze when picking her child up from school is mistaken for being stuck up. Many times this is not the case. Many times she is trying her hardest to avoid abuse at home should she not return fast enough, should she be caught or suspected to interact with others. Our job as a community is to learn what the warning signs of domestic violence looks like. Our job is to speak up and speak out to end the cycle of domestic violence in our communities.

The media always portrays domestic violence as always being physical violence, like when Rhianna’s image flew across the internet after Chris Brown abused her. Yes, that is domestic violence but that is not the only form it comes in. Because society believes that is the only face of domestic violence many women stay silent for fear of being ridiculed and judged for not resembling Rhianna. In all cases of domestic violence the dvam imagebeginning stages include emotional and psychological manipulation. Loving words and gestures while slowly, methodically, and quietly separating the prey from any and all forms of outside support, i.e. friends, family, loved ones. Once the separation is complete then the loving words turn into judgments, put-downs, insults, ridicule and cruelty. The longer this stage is allowed to continue unchecked and unchallenged the more dangerous the situation becomes. In the most dangerous cases sexual and physical abuse begins.

Recognize the mental and psychological abuse: “You’re fat. Nobody’s gonna want your fat ass!”; “You didn’t have anything when I met you!”; “Everything you have is because of me!”; “I saw you looking at that person, so I know you slept with them!”; “You ain’t shit! Everything you think is an idea that came from me!”; “If you try to leave me I will call the police and have you arrested!”; “But baby I said those things because I love you. I NEED you! I can’t be without you!” Other forms of domestic violence include financial abuse, and sexual abuse. Being in a relationship does not entitle anyone to sex. NO means NO! Another misconception is that only women get abused. It is rare but men can also be victims of domestic violence too. Recognize the signs, ask careful questions, lend a listening ear and offer genuine help. Especially when children are involved. Children learn what they live. If you or someone you care about is in an abusive situation call the National Domestic Violence Hotline (from a secure phone line) for help: 1-800-799-7233

Domestic Violence Awareness
Domestic Violence Awareness

On Why Yet’s Watch with Blackwell of BlakkNation Music

I am extra excited this week. Last week I interviewed Victoria Catherine and even though we had to fight through some technical issues with Blogtalk Radio, the interview was still hot! That’s why I love my guests and my listeners. They are a part of my radio family11709625_1583192168608033_4178267984408335270_n and together I am able to bring you what’s going on. Well, what’s going on this week is my interview with hip hop emcee, Blackwell of BlakkNation Music.

Born and raised in Ohio, Hip Hop and R&B artist Blackwell has been writing and performing since the age of 15, since developing his skills of playing guitar, drums, piano, and sax. He’s been largely influenced by such artists as Jay-Z, Eric B. and Rakim, LL Cool J, and Notorious B.I.G., and presents a new school and old school style in his lyrics to appeal to all ages.

He uses a mix of old and new school style in his lyrics which promote postive messages to plus size and BBW women. He describes his style of music as, “Music to wake up your eardrum!” He’s opened for such national acts as Kayne West, LL Cool J, Bone Thugs-N-Harmony, Paul Wall, Bizzy Bone, Twista, Drake,  Usher, Afroman, and Wiz Khalifa. He’s also collaborated with Danity Kane, Ralph Tresvant and Ronnie Devoe from New Edition!, and Janet Jackson.

Blackwell has formed his own production company and management, ”BlakkNation Music”, that will feature new and upcoming acts of all genre of music, and continues to work and educate new artists in the industry to learn the business and present new material to the Hip Hop and R&B field. He’s a valuable asset to the music industry with more yet to deliver.

You can check out his mixtape, I Am Blackwell, here. You can check out Blackwell’s new single, Kurvalicious, on youtube.

Thursday nights are where you can get the chance to listen in and hear what’s going on with talented indie artists who write, rap, perform and encourage our next generation. Check out On Why Yet’s Watch on Thursdays, 9 pm EST by calling in at 773-897-6297.

Why A Thug Can’t Love Me by Monica Jeremie

I just had the pleasure of interviewing brand new author, Monica Jeremie on my show, On Why Yet’s Watch. A mom of two, she has her hands full but she didn’t allow that to halt her dream of writing a novel of substance. Why A Thug Cant Love MeHer debut novel, Why A Thug Can’t Love Me, was published by Mahogany Red Books. With a Bachelor’s degree in Legal Studies under her belt and beginning work on her degree in Public Administration, Monica has set her sights on her second novel, part two of Why A Thug Can’t Love Me.

Monica’s passion for writing began after reading Mary B. Morrison’s Soulmates Dissipate. With aspirations to help teens and young women learn to love and accept themselves for who they are and where they are in life, Monica’s goals mrb-monicainclude creating stories that are relate-able, entertaining, and original. You can follow Monica on facebook: @monicajeremie twitter: @monicajeremie and on instagram: @monicajeremie .