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!

Crywolf Had Me Near Tears

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Crywolf

Anyone who follows me on facebook, twitter, or instagram has been inundated with posts about the musician, Crywolf. I discovered his music one day while listening to Pandora and cooking dinner. One song, Home We Made Pt. II, caught my full attention. Then Pandora kept throwing different tracks into the rotation and I was sold.

This past December (after following him across social media) Crywolf posts on facebook that he will be accompanying the group, SAVOY, on tour during January. I quickly scroll through the dates to see whether Philadelphia is one of the stops and sure enough! January 16th at Union Transfer! I squealed like a school girl and made the decision to go no matter what. Then a couple of weeks later what do I find? Crywolf on facebook announcing that he’s giving away a free download of ALL of his music up to his Cataclysm album! BOO-YAH! CHRISTMAS GOODIES! I quickly downloaded the music (it was only available for two days) and shared the post for other Crywolf fans who may be out there and proceded to get my daily Crywolf fix without Pandora’s commercials.

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SAVOY

January 16th was a few days ago. I had to come down from my Crywolf high before I could relay to you my experience. Now I am listening to Crywolf as I write this *smiling and nodding to the music* and I want you to know that this was my first music concert ever. I mean EVER! Before the news of the concert reached my eyes I had made a promise to myself to 1) attended a music concert, 2)ride on Amtrak, 3)travel more, 4)live more… So far I have crossed off the first 2 items and we’re not even thirty days into the year yet. But I digress…

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Me with Crywolf

I show up to Union Transfer and I am nervous, not knowing what to expect. Especially since I am the only brown face in the line waiting for the venue to open the doors. Once inside, once the music started, that didn’t matter. When Crywolf came out on stage it was like a smooth transition to get closer to the stage and roll with the vibration of the music. I wanted to cry it was… surreal. Feeling the bass in my bones, seeing this musician up close and hearing the songs I listened to repeatedly at home was an amazing experience. At one point in the show his mic went out and he just came to the edge of the stage and asked us to sing with him if we knew the words to his song!

The best part was Crywolf signing stuff and taking pictures with us after his set was done! I am still blown away!

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My Baby Girl Turned 3!

Good morning. *Yawn, stretch, rubs tired eyes* Yesterday my baby girl turned three years old! Her nanna had bought her a pretty pink princess dress with matching princess shoes and she had been waiting patiently (or as patiently as a two year old can) for two months to wear them. “You have to wait until your birthday comes to wear your princess dress,” I had to remind her – at least once a week. Yesterday was the day. She woke up ready. Came downstairs, ate her breakfast and once she finished she dashed back upstairs to put on her princess dress. Princess Yehudi proceeded to enjoy the rest of her birthday in style…

Three years is a long time. And Yehudi has grown – a lot. I didn’t realize how fast she was beginning to develop her own personality so fast. I should have took notes when I was pregnant with her because she had her own mind, even then. In the womb she was bossy. Dictated what I would eat and when. Dominated my sleep patterns and positions. Physically assaulted my ribs from the inside, hahaha. I can laugh now but I wasn’t laughing then. We didn’t want to know her gender until she was born so everyone tried guessing based on the shape and positioning of my stomach. Even strangers waiting at red lights stopped to yell across the street and predict what gender baby I was carrying. She had fun tricking people. She even dictated my delivery.

When I went into labor it was normal for my fifth child. Contractions began speeding up in frequency and intensity while my body aches increased dramatically. By the time we arrived at the hospital I had enough strength to walk in and sit down in the first wheelchair that was within reach. Anticipating the cooling relief of an epidural my daughter played one her final jokes before arriving. While lying on the labor room bed and waiting for my epidural this little lady decides to karate kick my water bag AND dilate my cervix to the full 10 centimeters! Yup, no epidural for me. Then she practically delivered herself because she wasn’t waiting for anybody. Luckily the nurses were there to “catch” her as she, for her final joke before birth, showed me what the ring of fire really meant. Heh, Heh. Again, I can laugh now but I wasn’t laughing then.

She is definitely her own person. And that makes me smile sometimes. Other times it causes mounds of frustration because she doesn’t want to do what she has to do or what she is told to do. I see her laughing and blazing her own trails as a beautiful young woman and I pray I have the fortitude to allow her the flexibility to do so.

This Oppressive Heat!

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Okay, I know we are experiencing global warming and all but this is ridiculous! Sweating after stepping out of a cool shower?! Mother Nature we are extremely sorry that we tampered with your delicate system of balance but can we PLEASE get a slight break? I am asking on behalf of all humanity on the East Coast of the United States.

Okay. Now that I have voiced my plea I can get back to business. Or try to. Honestly, it has been so hot these last few days I was afraid to turn my laptop on for fear of a blackout. I am running two air conditioners in my house (one upstairs for the little ones and one downstairs for the general cooling of the house). I can hear my neighbor’s air conditioners running also. They have one in their basement (go figure that one) and one on their second floor.

During heat waves like this, blackouts are common in Philadelphia. Whole neighborhoods could be left to the mercy of the elements when the power company purposely shuts down certain grids (neighborhood hot spots). I used to know someone who worked for the energy company who gave me that inside tip years ago. Shh! Don’t tell anybody.

This heatwave is the reason why a home with shady trees, near a fresh body of water is on my must get list. Aside from that I really need more space. My children are getting bigger and will need their own rooms soon. I need office space so I can write during the day and stop hiding out in the kitchen at 5:00 in the morning. And I would love for the children to have access to their own grassy playground area in the backyard.

Okay, okay. Enough of my wish list. I need to do the ice bucket challenge before I melt and get back to working on Ego Trippin’. I didn’t forget about Lydia. My brain has been turned a little jello jiggly with the heat but it is supposed to cool down with a thunderstorm later on today. in the meantime I will keep reading what you guys are writing because you guys rock!

The Harlem Book Fair 2016 On My Bucketlist!

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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

Books, Books, Everywhere!

I logged in this morning with the intent of getting some writing done while the children are sleeping. Of course, they would sleep in after disturbing my quiet writing time last night. As I procrastinated by checking my email and scrolling through the wonderful messages (that I could no doubt read later) I stumbled upon a reminder. The Harlem Book Fair is on July 17th!

Immediately sad because I will not be attending AGAIN this year I vowed to add it to my goal poster for 2016. Not only will I be in attendance but I will be one of the author vendors! There is nothing more addicting than a good book. I recently began reading The Cougarette by Eliza David (free download available on smashwords.com) and I realized that this is the first ‘grown up’ book I have read this year. *Hangs head a little in shame while the theme song to The Backyardigans plays in my mind* Although I interviewed Eliza on Thursday I was very excited to discover her book to be captivating. That’s what I want to experience at the Harlem Book Fair.

This book fair is set in Harlem, and we all know from the roaring 1920’s and 1930’s that Harlem is always a creative place to be. I have yet to visit (again on my MUST do list for 2016) but all of the depictions and descriptions I have seen and heard exude this magnetic energy that pulls you, fills you and encourages you to find your inner artist.

Well, I guess my quiet writing time is up because my daughter just discovered that I’m awake. Harlem Book Fair 2016 – I’m coming! Have you attended or plan to attend the Harlem Book Fair?

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