Checking Off Goals…

Hello. I haven’t posted sinced NaNoWriMo last year and for good reason. Exhaustion. I needed to decompress from the stress of typing all the words so I can continue to write all the words. Before I go any further, happy new year to you all and I hope you are making everyday count for you. This post is to share what I’ve been up to…

When the New Year comes in we are all flooded with the same “New Year, New You” ads to guilt you into signing up for health clubs, insurance clubs, etc… Me personally, I stopped writing resolutions years ago. They’re usually forgotten by Valentine’s Day anyway. Instead, I think of a few goals I want to accomplish during the new year to improve myself. This year, among my usual take better care of my health goals, I vowed to tackle 2 things I am afraid of and something I have been procrastinating with. I was afraid to knit a pair of socks, afraid to re-enter the realm of spoken word and procrastinating with ending a toxic relationship.

Heh, heh, heh… Growth doesn’t happen overnight. It takes consistent effort. I completed my first pair of knitted socks in January and on February 3rd I recited one of my poems during a podcast interview with Sabreen on Soundcloud, Author Event.

Then on February 9th I attended an open mic night where I performed for the first time in a few years. Along with facing those fears I am pursuing what makes me happy – helping, supporting and promoting others.

With the same heated fervor of the Black Panther release, I strive to reach those who need encouragement through my poetic words. My first collection, Entangled Hearts, is available on amazon.com. My second collection, Reflections, is due to be released later this year. Order your copy of Entangled Hearts and remember to challenge yourself to face your fears. Check them off of your list one by one!

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!

determination

On Why Yet’s Watch with Mya Kay

wpid-img_20150618_134820.jpgI am truly enjoying my radio hosting gig at BRPP Radio on blogtalkradio.com. I have the pleasure to meet and interact with the coolest artists, writers, musicians and entrepreneurs. I have been hosting since March of this year. I started out co-hosting a show, Sistahs With Purpose, with my real-life sister, The Author Yani on BRPP Radio. She had to go on hiatus for a bit just as our “boss” Kim Morrow started a sister station – BRPP Presents: The Interviewers. It was scary when I began hosting interviews by myself in May. Since then I have learned to relax and have fun with my guests. That makes the show less stressful. Tonight’s show was proof of that.

Tonight I had the pleasure of interviewing Mya Kay. She’s an author, writer, philanthropist, entrepreneur and motivational speaker, whose energy and upbeat attitude is contagious. From growing up in North Philadelphia to teaching English in South Korea for a year – Mya is not afraid to open the door when opportunity knocks. During her year in South Korea, Mya took the extra down time she had after work and wrote three books. After many rejections from Barnes and Nobles, Mya succeeded in having one of her novels, A Song For Jordan, booked in one of their locations in Atlanta, GA for a book signing event where she ultimately sold 11 out of 20 books! Proof that positive persistence pays off. A Song for Jordan

Not slowing down, I asked Mya about her newest venture – Empress by Mya Michele, a nail color line she just launched. Mya stated she was inspired by Tammy from an episode of Basketball Wives who had started a similar business of signature nail colors. Inspiration can come from anywhere as long as you remain open to it. To celebrate the launch of her new nail color company, Mya is currently promoting a giveaway. You can read about it here: I Love A Good Giveaway. I asked Mya for advice that she would give to new authors and entrepreneurs and she stated these three principles to follow:

  1. Grace over Grind
  2. Keep God First
  3. Believe in your vision before you tell anyone about it

You don’t have to take my word for it. You can hear it in her own words On Why Yet’s Watch with Mya Kay.

myakay
Author/Entrepreneur Mya Kay

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.

Taking The Plunge On Etsy

Okay. Writer’s block is setting in again and I am in panic mode. Especially since I am writing in spurts around my little one’s sleeping schedules (they are rebelling hard against sleep schedules). So the crack of dawn has seen me typing away for a little over a week now and sleep deprivation is fogging my brain. My determination to remain a stay at home mom, to be creative and to actively pursue work I can do from home is also beginning to wane because of the lack of sleep.

Well, yesterday I made the decision to do something that terrifies me – open my Etsy shop. I had been debating it back and forth for months. Since I love to crochet, knit and make all natural body care items I figured, eh, why not? I spent months researching how to open an Etsy shop. I hopped on Pinterest and pinned just about everything I could get my hands on relating to opening up a shop on Etsy. There are quite a bit of pins on SEO marketing as well as shop design. How did we ever get along in the world without all of these nifty ways to connect and market?

As scary as it is, I needed to do it because I enjoy being able to watch my children grow up. And should I be able to make a living at the same time then that is a double blessing! And what mom wouldn’t want a chance to be available for her children and earn a living doing what she loves? So, with the children gearing up to go back to school soon and the holidays right around the corner – give my Etsy shop a visit. And keep an eye out for more items!

All natural vanilla body butter
All natural vanilla body butter

The Library Is A Treasure Trove

I stopped by my local library this afternoon to return some children’s books. The cool air invited me to look around a little bit. Especially since it was so hot outside, bleh.

So I figure I would search for books about selling on Etsy. You know, like Etsy for Dummies or something of that nature. No such luck, at first.

Tucked between two acrylic painting books I found a book on how to sell handmade items online. Bingo! I silently eased the book off of the shelf, peering around to see whether anyone was watching, and began flipping through the pages.

It felt like heaven. I had the sensation that all of my questions would be answered. That is until I glanced on the shelf across the aisle. My eyes landed on Starting Your Career As A Professional Blogger, by Jacqueline Bodnar. Wow, I can take a hint. So I grabbed this book much faster and decided to make haste for the circulation desk to check out. Once I finish reading this I’ll let you guys know how it is.

The Harlem Book Fair 2016 On My Bucketlist!

spiral bookcase

I found out about the Harlem Book Fair in 2013, by accident of course. Upset that I hadn’t known about it sooner I became captivated by the amazement of what I read online and vowed to go. All of the authors in an open marketplace setting so you can browse and purchase to your budget’s content. Imagine, a book fair that lasts three whole days and in HARLEM of all places?! It’s a book reader’s/writer’s dream!

book in grassI spent so much of my childhood and early adulthood discovering amazing stories by wonderful authors. When I became a mother I wanted to pass that love of reading down to my children. Expose them to a world of exploration and wonder. So once I found out about a massive, weekend long book fair in Harlem, NY I made it my goal to attend. Imagine the authors I’d meet! I had always dreamed of meeting some of my favorite authors at an event like this. Stephen King, Patricia Cornwell, Terry McMillan, Zane, Michael Baisden and such. Even though the possibility of those authors being at the book fair are slim to none (a girl can dream can’t she?).

Since I haven’t quite made it to the Harlem Book Fair for this year (it’s happening now) I have made it my goal to make my preparations now so I can attend next year. I have also found out about a few other book fairs going on across the country. And I do miss traveling. So guess what else is going on my to do list for next year? You guessed it! Travel time – I’m planning to attend at least two other book fairs next year in addition to the Harlem Book Fair. I hear the ones in Baltimore, MD and Atlanta, GA are hot spots also. Time to get my read on so I can get my book fair on! opened books on a blanket