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
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.
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.
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.
So, last night I indulged in one of my favorite shows: Flip or Flop on HGTV. I sacrificed sleep because I love watching the transformation of the auction homes in California’s neighborhoods. Seeing the different construction and design elements fascinates me because I love watching construction. When I was a young girl I wanted to learn carpentry but was quickly told that was no profession for a girl. BOO!
Tarek and Christina look like they have so much fun, even when their budget is stretched to the max, while working on a flip property. Well, they may or may not realize this but each project they take on is an inspirational story to all of their viewers: Love what you do, and do what you love. That is a great lesson to share with others be it directly or indirectly.
My goal for my children is to be able to instill in them the passion to follow their dreams and the courage the defend those dreams. Even should that be against me! Thanks Tarek and Christina!