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…

keepcalmandwrite

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 .

Writing a Successful Query Letter to Literary Agents

Before you begin to panic, take a deep breath. Why? Because I read this awesome blog that could help those public-domain-images-free-high-resolution-quality-photos-unsplash-0169of us who are new to the agent search. This blog could help those of us who are seasoned and just want a fresh perspective. Shoot! This blog could help all of us who love to write whether we may or may not be searching for a literary agent. Writing is writing, right?

Well, over at Writer’s Digest there is this entire writing series that answers so many questions about writing, editing, querying and publishing that I couldn’t believe it. Being that I am in the middle of writing my first novella and I have (I believe) completed my first children’s story (for the preschool crowd of course) I found this series to be helpful. So much so that I have shared some other posts I have found on the site before. Okay, okay I won’t tease you anymore. Here is the link to the successful queries article. I hope the series gives you all of the answers you seek.

5 Goals For 2016

I recognized this morning

that I must change how I perceive life around me in order to change life around me. I’ve read it on websites and heard people say it, but when I woke up this morning it clicked. Like a long awaited answer to an irritating problem. So I started writing down things I want to do in 2016 that will help me grow as a person and as a writer.
1) Attend the Writer’s Digest Philadelphia Writing Workshop on April 9, 2016
2) Attend the AAMBC Awards, June 10-12, 2016 in Atlanta, Ga.
3) Attend the annual Roots Picnic concert in July 2016 in Philadelphia, PA
4) Attend the Harlem Book Fair in Harlem, NY in July 2016
5) Attend the Essence Music Festival in New Orleans, LA in July 2016.

Just writing this list gave me butterflies so I know I can accomplish this.

5 Incredible Reasons To Try Yoga

yoga pose3I woke up this morning and was tired of seeing my post baby stomach jiggling like a bowl of watermelon Jell-O. I know exercise is good for me and my body but I just wasn’t motivated to workout. I like the taste of Oreo cookies a bit too much. When I was still pregnant with my youngest son in 2013 – 2014, I began looking into prenatal yoga. Well, it amounted to just that – me looking into it. The jiggling of my stomach was no longer funny this morning because I had begun noticing aches and pains I didn’t use to have. So I began practicing some of the yoga poses I had only looked into before, and after twenty minutes of stretches I felt better. So I grabbed my notebook and began scribbling down what I believe to be five incredible reasons to try yoga.yoga pose2

  1. Everybody can do it: This was key for me because I learned that I am not cut out for all of the Shaun T and PX-90 style workouts. I tried the Billy Blanks tapes back in the late 90’s and well…
  2. Improves flexibility: After having twin boys in 2002 I have had lower back pain that wouldn’t completely go away. I felt some relief after doing a couple of the stretches. And I realized some of the basic yoga poses I learned in phys ed in grade school. How cool!
  3. Helps you focus on the present: I really needed this because I wasted too much time absorbed in past hurts and memories. When I practiced the yoga poses I reflected inward and enjoyed listening to the birds chirp outside. Besides, I have a bucket list that is a mile long. I need to start checking items off by living!
  4. Better posture: I used to be told that I walk like a model. That was a wonderful compliment that I used to get. Practicing yoga brought my attention back to my posture so when I sit or walk I can straighten up. I want my model walk back.
  5. Improves immune system: By stretching and twisting the muscles, I found out that the increased blood flow brings nutrients to the spine and cartilage throughout the body and it improves your immune system by releasing toxins in the body. How awesome is that?

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I made my decision to give yoga a try and after doing a couple of stretches for a few minutes I can see how great my body will feel after long term practice. This will become my new healthy habit. If you want to know more you can go here:

www.yogajournal.com/article/health/count-yoga-38-ways-yoga-keeps-fit/

www.webmd.com/balance/guide/the-health-benefits-of-yoga