My youngest child started preschool today. My last born, my last first day of school and I didn’t cry. The reality that my son’s external educational journey has begun is stirring up mixed emotions in me. We’ve waited a long time for this day but now that it’s here I don’t want my baby boy growing up too fast.
And that’s what it is. Today marks the end of his baby days. The hugs, kisses and snuggles will soon be traded for friends, toys and school crushes. I’m not ready, but I’m preparing. My daughter, who’s going into kindergarten this year, is already writing love letters to some boy from her class last year. Surprisingly, I didn’t react. I listened as she read her letter. I observed my daughter and then reflected on my personality at her age. Damn. She is like me, but bolder. She’s a lot more gutsy than I was at five years old. I feel like time is getting away from me.
This is a very different mental space for me. My children are growing, my parents are aging and I’m in the middle of life’s upward escalator unable to backtrack. Transitions. These moments kind of sneak up on you unexpectedly. But they are necessary. I don’t always like them, but I understand they are catalysts for growth and change. And we all know that change is the only constant.
I was chatting with some online writer friends the other day and the topic of branding came up. I read the commentary in silence because I understand it is necessary – I just hadn’t figured out what my ‘brand’ is… yet.
Basically, what I took away from that conversation is that your ‘brand’ is your message. What message do you want to relay to your client/customer/follower/audience base? How do you want your base to perceive you? These questions helped me further understand what a brand is and why it is critical to any endeaver you engage in. How people perceive you determines how they interact with you.
Fair enough. That got me to thinking about what message I want to project. I immediately thought of my favorite t-shirt with the saying, “I’m A Hopeless Romantic With A Dirty Mind”. That t-shirt describes me perfectly! That’s why I love it so much.
That’s when it hit me! That’s my brand all the way down to my poetry. I’m a hopeless romantic with a dirty mind. And with that, a new poem surfaced that I had to scribble down on my way to my day job this morning:
Good evening! Happy New Year! On Why Yet’s Watch was on fire tonight! And what a beautiful way to kick in the new year than with an awesome author, Chase Monet, debuting her first novel, Secrets of a Cheating Heart (available on amazon.com) and preparing for the release of her second novel, One Taste Just Ain’t Enough (January 20, 2016 release date).
Chase is so relaxed that it’s no wonder her fans are curious to find out what’s next on her to do list of wonders. Being a freelance writer, Chase is no stranger to the rigors of writing regularly. She has submitted countless how-to articles and web content for companies such as Textbroker, Break Studios and Scripted. She’s written grants, business contracts and proposals for small business owners as well as sales and marketing scripts for lead generation companies.
With all of that going on, Chase’s passion is for writing fiction with twisting plots and steamy, provocative love scenes. Her debut novel, Secrets of a Cheating Heart, features all of that and more. Her newest novel, One Taste Just Ain’t Enough will be released on January 20th, 2016. You can follow Chase Monet on facebook: Chase Monet; on instagram: @chasememonet; and on twitter: @ChaseNMonet. To listen to her interview you can go to On Why Yet’s Watch with Chase Monet.
Now don’t feel bad if you missed this interview. I broadcast live every Thursday evening from 9-10 pm EST on blogtalkradio.com. To keep up to date on who’s coming to the show follow my author page on Facebook: Why Yet, Author. Next week, hip hop artist Matthias All Bars will be returning to the show to share some more of his music and wisdom with our listeners, so don’t miss out!
I looked at the calendar this morning and felt fear trying to creep into the recesses of my mind where I try to keep my writing thoughts organized – at least until I can get them on paper before I forget. November 1st is in 2 days and I am afraid I am not ready yet. But I am determined to complete 50,000 words. This is my first attempt at the challenge and my primary goal is to write a complete story of fiction – romantic fiction. See being a poet, I don’t have to conform to word counts and grammar or even spelling rules should I choose not to. It’s the beauty of free form poetry. The raw emotion of it is what I love. But at the same time I want to improve and grow my writing and in order to accomplish that I need to expand my writing horizons.
So, although I am delving into the realm of fiction writing I am staying in the realm of romance and steamy suggestion. Romantic urban fiction. Go figure. I love a good romance and I am currently reading The Cougarette Series with a few other romance books waiting patiently for me on my laptop. I pray I do the
romance urban fiction genre justice.
From time to time I may post a section of what I am working on here so please feel free to make suggestions and leave comments. If you like (or don’t like) what you read anywhere else here leave a comment and let me know. I love feedback!
After 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).
Many times when October rolls around many people are thinking about Columbus Day, Halloween, Thanksgiving 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 beginning 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
Well, I have been fighting back tears all day today. Happy tears. Tears of joy and acceptance. My little girl is on the road to growing up and growing independent of me. She has started preschool today. Gone are the innocent days of her looking solely to me for her answers. Newly arrived are the days of testing the rules and challenging her limits (more than she already does).
I dropped my daughter off to school this morning half hoping for, but not really, some resemblance of her wanting to miss me. Not a screaming fit or anything like that but just some sign that she would miss me during the time that she would be at school. I received a good bye hug and kiss and off she ran to play with her new school mates. Not a glance back was had. Not a ‘mommy don’t go’ like some of the other kids. In a way I guess that means I have raised her to be independent so far and that’s good – right? Could it mean that she couldn’t wait to get away from me and school is a welcomed reprieve? A mother wonders sometimes.
I believe she is courageously independent and well adjusted for a three year old. More wise than her years and in her wisdom, did not cry when I arrived to pick her up this afternoon. She was excited to return home and when I asked about her day she told of some of her adventures with excitement in her eyes and laughter in her voice. She recalled that she had meatloaf for lunch and a banana with her breakfast! She told me that a little boy took a red ball from her and the teacher said to him, “Give Yehudi back that red ball!”
Yehudi is asleep now. She is eager to wake up and go back to her school so she can play with her friends some more. She is excited to sing the alphabet song with her peers and to recite the story time rules we have here at home:
rule #1 – sit down quietly
rule #2 – put your hands in your lap
rule #3 – listen and enjoy the story
How can you not enjoy story time with easy to remember rules like those? Then on twitter this afternoon I found this inspirational quote to cheer me up. Well, it’s time for me to pick out her school clothes for tomorrow and begin to plan toddler activities for Chava for this school year. He’s one now but he’ll be three and headed to preschool before I can blink!
I 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.
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:
Grace over Grind
Keep God First
Believe in your vision before you tell anyone about it
I received a happy phone call this morning. School starts on September 8, 2015, according to the school’s director, Mr. Nick.
My daughter excitedly stated she wanted to go to school all by herself. *Tears* She is growing up so fast. She worked very hard to learn how to go to the bathroom. (I’ll post more on how I potty trained her in a future post. I’m going to need it as a reference for when I potty train my baby boy).
Excitement and my son steadily trying to tiptoe into the kitchen, is blocking my thought process.
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.