Self-Discovery of Me…

The first day of spring is the world’s New Year’s day. Spring is a time of rebirth and new beginnings and for me I am fully embracing that. I am fully embracing me.

The journey to discovering who I am and what my passions are has been interesting thus far. I have met so many amazing individuals, myself included. Before I began paying close attention to this journey, I was a stranger to myself. Working, raising a family, doing everything I was programmed to do. But I was unhappy. I was unfulfilled and I was very unsatisfied. Nothing is more dangerous than an unsatisfied woman.

So far on this journey, I have discovered (and accepted) the fact that I am an emotional individual. My emotions fuel the poetry I write. Emotion is passion. How I display that passion is a story in itself. Many have asked me about the poems I chose to include in my collection, Entangled Hearts.

Each poem spoke a message I wanted to share with you, my readers. We have all experienced love in some form. Good, bad or indifferent, love has left an imprint on each of us. But some imprints left a residue that made me feel alone and isolated, so I wrote about it to reach out to others who may have or yet to have experienced the same.

Entangled Hearts is a collective love letter to myself, to past loves, to future loves and to lovers in general. Sometimes love hurts but other times it doesn’t and that is what entangles all of our hearts…

Reflect On The Past. Plan For The Future…

As National Women’s History Month winds down and the fervor of National Poetry Month begins I can only but reflect on how I fit in at this point of my life. I am a woman. I am a poet. My passion lies in sharing, educating and helping in any way I can.

In reflecting on my own past I realize I can only help others insofar as I have helped myself. That is where my experience and education springs from. Learning from my own past mistakes and then sharing those lessons.

Lesson 1. Speak up. Anything you want to learn you must first be brave enough to speak up. “How do you (insert topic here)?” The worst anyone can say is I don’t know. Your next move is to google it or head to your local library. As a poet, sometimes I am afraid to ask questions because I don’t like hearing no. No hasn’t killed me yet so I continuously push against my fear. I don’t always win, but I don’t stop either.

Lesson 2. Yes. You. Can. Whatever it is you strive to do, you can do. No explanations.

Lesson 3. Ask. For help, for reviews, for sales. Closed mouths don’t get fed. On that note, I am in need of honest feedback on my collection of poetry, Entangled Hearts. In exchange for said feedback I will be giving away free kindle copies of Entangled Hearts to the first ten people to comment below with their email addresses.

Last but not least…

Lesson 4. Inform. Let others know how they can be of service to you so you can be of better service to others! I am preparing to release my second collection of poetry, Reflections: Past, Present, Future and I need a few beta readers as well. Leave your name and email address below with beta next to it so I’ll know you’re interested in being a beta reader. Thanks in advance!

Why Yet

Yolanda Keen, The Reading Machine

Hi! My name is Yolanda Keen and I am five years old. I love to sing and play with my dolls. I have a younger brother named Calvin and he cries, a lot! He is three years old. He still acts like a baby sometimes. I don’t because I am a big girl and I can do big girl things like read books and tie my shoes. My mom taught me to do all of the big girl stuff the same as Pinky Dinky Doo.

My mom takes good care of me and my brother. My dad does too but he doesn’t take care of us the way mom does. She makes us grilled cheese sandwiches and colors with us sometimes. She yells a lot, when Calvin and I fight but she hugs us too, especially when we play nice together. She makes us eat our vegetables (yuck!), brush our teeth and read lots of books!

I didn’t like reading at first. I used to cry like Calvin when my mom would make me read, but she would always say that we must read. As a little girl, her grandmother wasn’t allowed to read because her skin was a different color than the people who owned all of the books. I’m not sure what that means but it made mom sad. She told me and Calvin to always respect the ability to read books because now we can learn about anything we want to know.

Now in school I am the best reader in my class. I finished the 100-book challenge and mom still makes me read every day. Now I have read almost 170 books and school isn’t out yet! Ms. Joy, the librarian at my neighborhood library, gave me entry forms for a reading contest so I can win movie tickets for Sherlock Gnomes. I really want to win so I can go to the movies with my friends! While reading I found new books like Mobi Shinobi, Pete the Cat, and Penny and Her Marble. Now, I am a reading machine!

I still like when mom reads to me before bed. She makes the funniest voices and scrunched her face when the bad guys do something bad. My all-time favorite is when she reads The Gruffalo. “Oh help! Oh no, it’s the GRUFFALO!” I gotta go, it’s my snack time! See ya later, alligator! Yolanda giggled as she walked to the kitchen for her afternoon snack.

James Richardson

James Richardson stood speechless when the oak door opened. Virginia stood gracefully, her five foot, six-inch frame, draped in a purple cardigan with a tank top, skinny jeans and ballet flats. His eyes drank in every nuance of her. Even the empty tumbler in her hand, which probably had apple brandy in it, he thought. The smoothness of her caramel skin invited in a flood of memories of when Virginia lowered her guard for him…

Staring into her brown eyes, I couldn’t help but silently thank God for sending this woman into my life. Her skin was electric, as though she could power all of Philadelphia by herself. I was magnetized to her. Jealousy filled me as I watched the dress caress her as it fell to the floor. I leaned in and kissed the length of her neck and felt her gasp. I stopped to look into her brown pools of hypnotism. I wanted her right then and there. I wanted her to know I wanted her. I wanted Virginia to see my hunger for her in my eyes not just my crotch.

Without any more hesitation, I clasped her face and kissed her as though my life depended on her breath. Her hardened nipples strained against the fabric of the bra, inviting me to play with them. Gently biting her bottom lip, I gazed into her eyes and my hands drifted across the swell of her breasts. I love her skin, so soft and creamy. Pulling her into me, I unclasp her bra and drop it returning my attention to her waiting skin. Letting go of her lips, I lean down and clasp a nipple into my mouth. Feeling Virginia shiver and grip the back of my head let me know that I struck a nerve of pleasure. I tugged the nipple enough to elicit a gasp and began flicking my tongue back and forth across her hard nub. “Oh James…”

“James!” The sharp irritation in Virginia’s voice snatched me back to the present.

“Virginia. Hi. You look great. May I come in please?” I just wanted to kiss her but I know that is the last thing she wants from me right now. If I want to say my piece I have to be cool.

Virginia looked at James and wanted to kiss him but she remembered he had betrayed her, “The clock is running. You have eight minutes since you wasted two of them staring like some stalker.” She stepped to the side so James could enter without touching her.

Walking through the door, James saw that Virginia had moved almost everything out of her place. He turned slowly, “Where are you going?” Virginia closed the door hard, “Don’t worry about it. You don’t have to wonder whether we’ll bump into each other. I’m making sure that we don’t.” The finality in Virginia’s words hit James like a gut punch. Instinctively James stepped toward Virginia to embrace her and she stepped back tapping her watch, “Five minutes. Start talking or leave.”

Taking a deep breath James began. “Virginia. I love you. I was wrong. I shouldn’t have gone out drinking with Ted and Brian. I know how they are and I should have seen them for who they are.” James took one step forward, “Ted was trying to get to you and I should have trusted your instincts. I know I messed us up and cost you your position and for that I will not ever be able to forgive myself. If it takes the rest of my life, I will find a way to make it up to you because I don’t want to be with anyone else.” James got down on one knee looking at Virginia, his eyes pleading for forgiveness, “I don’t want to spend the rest of my life with anyone else but you. I found my forever in you. Please baby. Forgive me.” Pulling a small black box from his back pocket, James opened it, “Will you marry me?”

Virginia Slim

Virginia glanced over her shoulder when the phone rang. Sitting the photograph onto the table, she slowly walked toward the ringing. Heart racing, she looked at the caller ID display and saw his name. Hesitantly, she picked up the receiver, “Hello James.”

“Slim. I thought I’d missed you. Can I come see you?”

“For what James?”

“I need to talk to you. Please?”

“Anything you need to say to me, say it now before I hang up.”

“I need to say this in person. If you’ll let me. Please?”

Taking a deep breath and exhaling slow, Virginia responded. “Okay. You have ten minutes to get here and say your piece. Not one minute more. Do you understand?”

“Yes. Thanks Slim. On my way.” The dial tone resonated through the empty room. Placing the phone back in the cradle, Virginia headed towards her kitchen. Reaching in the cabinet above the sink, she grabbed a glass tumbler from the shelf. Turning to her stainless steel refrigerator she drifted into her thoughts as the clink of the ice falling into her glass. Grabbing the bottle of apple brandy from her cabinet above the stove, she quickly poured herself a glass. As the sunlight reflected from her glass, Virginia thought about her two-year relationship with James. Fear that she made a mistake agreeing to let him stop by one last time stirred up a flood of memories…

Sultry laughter and heated arousal filled the kitchen as James suckled Virginia’s right earlobe. Wriggling underneath the pressure of his body holding her hostage against her refrigerator elicited mixed feelings. The tingle coursing through her veins with each nip on her ear and the coolness of the stainless steel on her bare back made her giggle like a school girl. James’ left hand casually slid the strap of her black evening gown off of her shoulder.

His right hand shortly mimicked the motion and the other strap slid off of her right shoulder. As the silk dress slid from her body James’ eyes lit up like a furnace. Caramel brown skin now only dressed in a black, strap less bra and panty. Virginia felt goosebumps surfacing along her arms while other parts of her began to warm up. James suckled and kissed the length of her neck, stopping long enough to look into Virginia’s eyes, letting her know this would be no quick affair…

The doorbell ringing snatched Virginia back to reality. A quick look at her watch told her that only five minutes had passed since she had hung up the phone. Meaning James was already in the area.  She took a long drink before going to answer her door. The sweet, brown liquor produced a shiver as she turned the doorknob.

And there he was. Five feet, eleven inches tall. Deep mahogany complexion with the most hypnotizing brown eyes she had ever seen in life, standing in her doorway. A place she vowed to herself she would not ever allow him to cross again in life…

 

If you enjoyed reading about Virginia Slim, leave a comment below. Thanks!

Realistic Glimpses

Staring at this computer screen I want to throw it across the room. The cursor blinking at me, accusingly, while writer’s block has me mentally paralyzed. Images flicker. Characters show glimpses of themselves but not enough to flesh out anything solid. It’s like they are taunting me. Laughing at my ability to capture them on paper.

I walk away from my laptop in frustration and turn on the television. Mindlessly flipping through channels, I stop at a home improvement show. One of those home fix and flip shows. At the first commercial break I shut the television off in irritation. Why can’t I write? What is blocking me from grabbing this story and putting it on paper?

Sitting back at my laptop, I stare again at the blinking cursor. Snatches of the argument I had earlier that morning surface in my mind. Defending my choices in life is tiring. Realizing that the time, money, effort and dedication I invested into my current relationship has not yielded the results that were advertised has left a bitter emotional residue. I’ve seen many quotes on Pinterest about life, one in particular, that if you don’t fail then you haven’t tried.

I get it. You have to fail a few times in order to get it right. I get it. I don’t like it. Relationships are not supposed to be a constant battle. Describing characters on a page should not be a battle either. Don’t they want their stories told? Glimpses. Flashes. But nothing concrete. Irritation. Anger. Frustration. Feelings of throwing out any idea of writing and turning to something, anything mundane but regular. But I know I won’t survive the mundane. I suffocate with monotonous routines. I hate feeling like I’m suffocating. I guess this is my caterpillar phase of life. My chrysalis is forming and I feel like I am suffocating under the current circumstances.

And my cursor continues to blink at me. Another glimpse of character. A whisper. This time a name: Virginia Slim. Who is Virginia Slim? What does Virginia Slim want? Where is Virginia Slim? When is Virginia Slim? Why the name Virginia Slim? Another glimpse. Sophistication. Business attire. Heels. Brown skin. So I know Virginia Slim is a woman. A business woman. A woman of color.

Okay, now we have something. Who is she? Where is she from? What does she want? What is her occupation? What are her goals? What is her motivation? I know her story will have some bumps in it because she is a woman of color. Who are her parents? What do they do for a living? What stories do they have to tell? Does she have siblings? Does she have close friends? Does she have any pets? Significant other(s)?

If she can show herself to me more solidly I can flesh out her story. Just from this it feels like an interesting one. Maybe NaNoWriMo will be up my alley this year after all. Stay tuned for updates on Virginia Slim. My cursor is still blinking but it’s not accusing me (much) any longer…

Kindle is Life…

I just finished reading Mini Habits For Resilience by Tom Meitner on my way to my day job. He breaks down little ways we can develop a stronger resilience in our daily lives. I came across Tom’s book accidentally while searching for free books I could download for my children. (In case you are new to reading my words I am a word nerd, book nerd, however you’d like to describe it – I love books).

In life we tend to be harder on ourselves than anyone else, especially when we fail to reach a goal we’ve set for ourselves. This book shed light on the truth of how set backs can effect our view of ourselves and our abilities. Tom also offered ways to build resilience so setbacks aren’t as devastating to our sense of ability and accomplishment.

I think everyone should read at least one self-help book a year to improve in an area of life you may feel needs sprucing up…