Wednesday, December 28, 2011
After the storm, I lingered at the door, not wanting to see the damages it had wrought upon us. It was unbelievable. One minute the sun was shinning, the next minute dark and foreboding clouds had come out of no where. The wind had picked up unexpectedly. The rain had begun to fall in abundance. Sighing, I finally forcing myself to move; I entered the building. I was not prepared for the damages, I was witnessing. Everything was one horrific mess! Water was everywhere, it was overwhelming. I knew that it needed to be cleaned up yet—it ‘seemed’ too much for me. I didn’t know where to begin, the situation felt overwhelming. After the storm; I couldn’t help feeling powerless, helpless, and lost.
I didn’t want to be there. I am not an avoider at all. But, right then I wanted to run somewhere safe and happy. I wanted to go somewhere and just release my feelings for a moment. To scream out the angst I was feeling. Later I thought. Right now it was time to deal with this present issue. I forced myself to walk further into the room, when I really wanted to run the other way. It took brute strength to hold myself together. I could feel the others watching me, awaiting my reaction from the unexpected storm. They’ve already had the opportunity to assess the damage done. It was my turn. My predilection for order was sorely being tested. I absolutely detest when things are out of order.
It was the quiet after the storm. Everything was different--never again will things be the same. Around me there was a movement taking place. God’s people had a mind to work! I looked their faces trying to discern their mind states. I saw a fierce determination. It was in their movements. I was pleasantly surprised and galvanized.
Though progression was taking place, I was becoming restless with the pace things were going. Why do bad things happen to good people? This question immediately popped in my head. I walked further into the room immediately raw emotions flooded me. My Pastor walked past me, as if oblivious to the damages done. She smiled, looking around and said. “It is looking good.” Her words made me speechless. She has a way of always rendering me so. I was immediately humbled. I confess that I couldn’t see past the mess.
My teacher was still smiling. I looked again wanting to see what she was seeing. I needed to look beyond the mess to see the good. Looking past the hurts and disappointments, I was finally able to see it! The good. The storm had bought a people together. The flood had caused a determination that wasn’t there before. The rain removed old layers to reveal a hidden danger. These walls were new. My teacher walked past me. I could hear her words in passing. “Baby, you got to see the vision. Then work it.”
Thursday, December 1, 2011
Saturday, October 22, 2011
"Love Found Me" the stage production
coming December 10th-11th|6:00pm est.
Tony Grant: Singer, writer, producer and actor Tony Grant is on a mission and the entertainment industry has taken notice. ....
As the former lead vocalist of the internationally acclaimed, Grammy-nominated group Az Yet (LaFace Records), it was Tony's patented first-tenor voice that dazzled the music world on such hit songs as "Last Night" and "Hard to Say I'm Sorry" following the departure of singer/songwriter Marc Nelson. ....
Tony has either performed or recorded with an array of talented and accomplished artists over the last decade, including Brian McKnight, Dr. Dre, Kenneth "Babyface" Edmonds, Shirley Murdock, Dave Hollister, Stevie Wonder and Ham Conick, Jr., just to name a few.....
While singing has always been Tony's first love, he has proven over and over that he is not just a one-dimensional entertainer. He is also an accomplished stage actor. A North Carolina native currently residing in Los Angeles, Tony has had star billing in the hit national inspirational stage play and now DVDs "Tell Hell I Ain't Comin'", Tyler Perry's "Why Did I Get Married" and "Love Ain't Supposed To Hurt." ....
Trisha L. Mann: Chicagoan, Trisha Mann, attended Roosevelt University for Music Education with a scholarship in Voice Performance. While there, Trisha became a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority and was crowned Miss Black Chicago. She used her title to reach many students through motivational speaking at graduations and assemblies. While being a positive role model, Trisha was a print model in Ebony and Jet magazines for Raveen and Fashion Fair and toured the country doing hair shows, national billboards and commercials for Luster Hair products.
Ms. Mann then lovingly said farewell to the “Windy City” to pursue her career in acting and writing in L.A., California. Within a month, Trisha booked her first t.v. appearance with the late Lou Rawls and sports talk show host Terry Bradshaw. She then explored the world of theater in The Great Women of Color portraying the Civil rights activist Ida B. Wells. The Drama-logue said, “Trisha’s performance was anger-personified”. This theatrical experience led to many more including, The Visit, An Evening of Shakespeare with Charles Dutton where Trisha played opposite Mr. Dutton as his Lady Mac Beth, The NAACP award winning Jeffery’s Plan in which Trisha was the over-bearing boss of Kellita Smith (Bernie Mac show) and then the wife of soulful, crooner Howard Hewett in Say Amen. Ms. Mann starred in an incredibly written Tracie Dean Ponder production, Souled Out. Trisha shared the stage with Stephanie Mills, Malik Yoba and Tommy Ford (Martin Lawrence Show) in her first National tour of David Talbert’s His Woman His Wife. She received noteworthy reviews not only for His Woman His Wife but also for If You Don’t Believe: A love story written by NAACP award winner Michael Ajakwe. Enjoying the role as the big sister to Tatyana Ali (Fresh Prince) Trisha also gained recognition from the NAACP with a nomination for Best Supporting Actress in this musically, delightful production produced by singer extraordinaire Denise Williams.
Order tickets at http://lovefoundmeproduction.eventbrite.com/
Monday, September 12, 2011
Mark your calendars! The Stage Production of Love Found Me comes to life! December 10th-11th, 2011.Our special guest artists are the sensational Mr. Tony Grant from Tyler Perry's stage productions "Why Did I Get Married?", and The Marriage Counselor."
Join our cast is actress and Model Trisha Mann!!!
Trisha shared the stage with Stephanie Mills, Malik Yoba and Tommy Ford (Martin Lawrence Show) in her first National tour of David Talbert’s His Woman His Wife. She received noteworthy reviews not only for His Woman His Wife but also for If You Don’t Believe: A love story written by NAACP award winner Michael Ajakwe. Enjoying the role as the big sister to Tatyana Ali (Fresh Prince) Trisha also gained recognition from the NAACP with a nomination for Best Supporting Actress in this musically, delightful production produced by singer extraordinaire Denise Williams. Trisha produced one of her very own written and God-inspired plays, Mama’s Will, in which she also made her Directing debut, soon to be a film, and she wrote the lyrics and melody to each song.
You don't want to miss this one showing only performance. Purchase tickets today! Hurry as tickets are going fast!
Tony Grant in "Save Me From My Secrets."
Wednesday, August 10, 2011
Suddenly, she was hit hard. The unexpected impact sent her sprawling to her knees. She could hear the sound of the rain pelting against the large window. It was all a strange phenomenon, to her. Dark billowy clouds had gathered hovering and intimidating. It was a remarkable sight. The howling winds were a frightening thing to hear, the ominous sound causing chills to dance over the lone woman's slight frame.
The forcefulness of the blow was numbing. There on her knees, stunned with disbelief, she watched the hands of time move. The clock on the mantle revealed that only minutes had passed. To her the moments seemed an eternity; hurt can make you feel that way. Hurt painful claws were fiercely embedded in her, refusing her release. The pain was enough to cause a normal person to lose their sanity.
A glance around the room revealed nothing had changes. Her bed nicely made up, her mass of pillows was still in order. Her Bible was on the right side of her nightstand. Her slippers were by her armoire. Nothing had changed. Yet, for her everything had changed in a moment's time. She could not breathe. She felt as though she were in a movie; cast in the wrong role. Enough! Deciding that she would no longer play the role of the helpless victim, she raised her chin. It was time for a change, yet she needed answers. What was the right answers? What to do? How could this had happen?
Her kneeled position would be the beginning of her transition. For it was there on her knees, she began to pray. Normally words would fail her, (hurt can do that to a person) today was different. She encompassed with words begging for release and she obliged them with out restriction. With the winds howling ferociously and the rain continuing to fall, still on her knees, her words flowed, as did her tears. It was ugly but necessary. She was in the right position, there on her knees. However, the unction to get lower was strong. You see, some people have to dig a little deeper and stretch a little wider than others do.
Stretching out on her stomach, the words continued to flow. Startled, she looked around the room in question; for a brief moment, she thought she heard the faint call of her name. There in her humbled prayer position, she made a self-conscious decision (and it was a decision) to be free.
Praying not out of defeat but belief, she fought past the pain and called God's name. Time lapsed, how much she may never know, but what she did know is this--prayer works.
She prayed in the storm and God guided her through it. She prayed the necessary prayer of the ugly and God made her feel like new. This was the process: she prayed, believed, and received. Then she got up! Smiling, she dried her eyes assured that everything was going to be all right. As if consenting, in agreement, the rain had suddenly stopped and the wind had calmed. What a phenomenal display of authority! At this, she was reassured; that she is never forgotten nor forsaken. God knows her name and he knows yours, too!
Picture courtesy of WAK
Monday, August 8, 2011
About the Author
James Benjamin was born and raised as a Christian in Winston-Salem, NC. While growing up, James succumbed to the street life and was lured by the many faces of the enemy. Through his trials and tribulations, his faith in God ended up saving his life and provided an impactful testimony to share with others in his shoes. James has dedicated his life to spreading God’s word through his unique prospective and hopes to help change others lives as He did for him. He is also enrolled at the University of Phoenix, acquiring his associate’s degree. James Benjamin is also a student at Apostle Fredrick Price Ministry Training School class of 2013.
Visit the author at http://www.masterofdisguises.com OR http://masterofdisguises.wordpress.com
Visit the blog tour schedule at http://bit.ly/MasterofDisguises
James Benjamin is a living miracle. He was on a path towards destruction, and through his faith in God, was saved. In his first, self-published book titled “Master of Disguises,” James guides readers through his compelling story of struggling in the street life, and finding sanctuary through The Lord. Most importantly, he unveils the enemy, and the many disguises the enemy has. He provides inspiration where many feel hopeless, and educates individuals who are lost as he once was. James lives to tell his story to help keep young men and women off the streets and away from the grips of the enemy.
Purchase the Book Online at:
BOOK TRAILER for Master of Disguises
Wednesday, June 15, 2011
By Vanessa Richardson
Hello! Did you get your copies of my inspirational suspense "Love Found Me?" If you have thank you so much! And if you have not, what are you waiting on!
Sheila Lawson, a woman’s health advocate was strong and independent, yet something was missing in her life. Immersing herself in her work, she vowed off any relationships. Sheila would find her self-made decree shaken when she meets tall, dark, and handsome Mike Montgomery. There is an evil lurking in the shadows. Mike and Sheila will have to unite to overcome evil forces trying to keep them apart. Will their love be enough to see them through the testing of their faith?
Book Trailer for Love Found Me
Order your Ebook of "Love Found Me", www.smashwords.com for $4.99! Whoo hoo!
Order discounted copies here by clicking on Paypal link on side-bar.
Thursday, June 2, 2011
Brian L. Thompson, Great Nation Publishing’s President/Owner and author of The Lost Testament, is a licensed educator, and former professional journalist.
He showed an early interest in classical literature and the arts, particularly after his poem, “Black Sunday,” received an honorable mention in Gwynedd-Mercy College’s literary contest for high school students in 1993.
A 1994 North Penn High School graduate, he continued his education at Morehouse College in Atlanta. While there, Thompson wrote for the Maroon Tiger newspaper; moving up the ranks from staff writer, to Sports Editor, and finally to Editor-in Chief.
After earning his Bachelor’s of Arts Degree in English in 1998, he transitioned to a staff writer position at Montgomery Newspapers.
In 2000, his second as a professional journalist, he returned to the field of academics at Temple University, earning a Master’s Degree in secondary education in 2001.
Thompson then turned to education at West Charlotte High and Newton High schools respectively while simultaneously researching and writing his first Christian fiction novel, The Lost Testament – a project self-described as a “faith-based tale with every day characters engaged in a thrilling plot.”
During this time, he also helped edit author Sabra Robinson’s anthology of inspirational stories entitled The Lost Sheep: How I Got (And AM Still Getting) Over the Hump – A Personal Account of God’s Restoration After Doubting His Purpose, the Church, and Human Existence.
About the Book
For centuries, Uché seers foretold the birth of a deliverer called Mkombozi – one fated to enter The Revelation Gate and lead them to freedom.
Knowing this, the king of the barbarous Otī does his best to eliminate the lone threat to his dominion. When his best efforts fail, he allies himself with a self-proclaimed emperor who reveals the true natures of The Revelation Gate and the Uché hero.
Meanwhile, as Mkombozi’s mother wavers between feelings of abandonment and crises of faith, her people ready themselves to wage an unwinnable war – minus faith in their deliverer, whose fate ushers him to an uncertain destination.
Merging elements of political intrigue and social class relations together in an allegorical, character-driven plot, The Revelation Gate confronts issues of doubt, star-crossed love, and the power of the individual.
Brain and his family reside in Georgia. Visit Brian at http://www.brianlthompson.co/
Purchase the Book Online at:
For More Information
Wednesday, May 18, 2011
Christian author, preacher and motivational speaker Carl Mathis began his work for the ministry in 2005 after a life-altering experience. At that time, the death of Mathis’ wife was the reason behind the dramatic turn of events that soon led him to his life’s purpose and calling.
Dealing with the loss of his wife and raising three children as a single father while struggling to make ends meet, Mathis had to contend with unbearable feelings of hopelessness and despair. It was during those moments that Mathis cried out for a strategy to overcome his situation. This experience soon pushed him to channel is grief and use its transforming power to change his own life and others as well.
Immediately after getting back on track, Mathis was moved to act on his burning desire to encourage and motivate people, especially those who have shared the same fate as him. It was then Mathis saw the need to reach out to the distressed and the depressed.
In 2010, he came out with his debut work entitled Life is What You Make It – seven steps to moving forward, a 104 page inspirational book drawn from his own personal life experiences and challenges. Filled with messages on how to deal with sorrow and ultimately survive the process of moving on, the book provides readers with the much-needed encouragement and motivation in order to strive better.
A man after God’s own heart, Mathis continues his passion today of reaching out to people using his God-given abilities, particularly speaking and writing, and becoming a blessing to others in return.
About the Book
Carl Mathis wasn’t prepared for the devastation the loss of his wife would bring to his life. He soon found himself grieving, struggling to make ends meet, and trying to raise his sons, who were also dealing with personal turmoil from the loss of their mother. After months of waiting for someone to rescue him, Carl had to face the inevitable truth–no one was coming. He realized that if he wanted out of the mess his life was becoming, he was going to have to do it himself.
Join new author Carl Mathis in this motivational story about one man’s struggle to put his life back together. Life Is What You Make It will teach you how to overcome any crippling situation you find yourself in and stimulate personal and spiritual growth by accepting the situation, taking responsibility, conditioning your mind, choosing to make right decisions, building a team, believing, and defining the new normal.
PODCAST 1 - About Life is What You Make It
PODCAST 2 – Carl talks about what he wants readers to learn from Life is What You Make It
Purchase the Book Online at:
Visit the author at CarlMathis.com
Visit the blog tour schedule at http://bit.ly/LifeisWhatYouMakeIt
Monday, May 16, 2011
She moved deftly around her spacious kitchen like a graceful dancer. A small smile gracing her seasoned face. She was preparing tonight’s dinner. Although she lived alone she always cooked healthy servings. She never lacked company. Her children or grandchildren never failed to put in an attendance to her home. Some would stay over for several nights. She didn’t mind this; in fact she utterly adored it. It gave her a sense of purpose. It was rewarding to be able to feed and catch up on current events in the lives of her babies’.
She called them her round table discussions. There is something to be said about healthy food and good conversation; it’s rejuvenates the soul. She loved all her babies including their pet dogs and cats. They were a family. Family and faith was the foundation is stood on. Material things were fleeting.
“Hey Grandma,” The sound of her granddaughters’ voice made her pause. So begins the first round table discussion. She offered up a small prayer of guidance and continued to mead her sourdough home made bread. Behind her she heard her refrigerator door open and closing softly. But remained silence. When you lived as long as she had; you’re able to discern a person’s mood. Right now her grand was in a dour mood.
The octogenarian smiled knowingling; she began humming an old time tune under her breath, all the while kneading her dough. Veronica kissed her grandmother on the cheek. She snagged an apple from the fruit tray; and stood watching her grandmother perform her culinary magic in the kitchen.
“You’re making sourdough bread. Yummy, yummy my favorite.” Grandma looked up and smiled, still humming. Veronica watched her grandmother knead the dough into formation. Grandma made three short thick loaves; turning she placed them in the oven. She moved on to her next assignment of peeling white potatoes. She sat down with a heavy sigh. Veronica could hear the sound of her grandmother's bones popping in the spatial kitchen.
“I have got to lose me some weight. My knees aren’t like they use to be. I use to stand for hours on end with out feeling any type of aches.” Veronica silently seated herself next to her petite grandmother. Her granny was 125 pounds soaking and weight.
“You don’t need to lose any weight, granny. You’re perfect the way you are.” Granny eyed Veronica and smiled. Veronica silently joined her granny in peeling the white potatoes. The two working in comfortable silence. Veronica tilted her head, sighing loudly. Grandma lifted one eye brow but remained silent. It wasn’t long before Veronica finally spoke.
Swallowing hard Veronica raked a hand through her hair in frustration. “Grandma, I have been feeling funny lately. I can not describe how I feel exactly.” She said absently. “I wake up in the morning with this feeling and lie down at night with this feeling.” Her large doe eyes filled with tears. “I feel nasty on the inside.”
Grandma’s heart stilled for several seconds. Veronica’s choice words were forming many scenarios in her mind. Experience taught her to never jump to conclusions. Patience was not born or inherited. It was a disciplined act, one must work at it. So she waited and was soon rewarded for her patience.
Veronica stirred, pushing at the many micro braids. She closed her eyes trying to formulate the words in her heart. Tears began coursing down her cheeks.
“I need help. I can not think straight. It is a chore for me to get up in the morning. Of late I have been asking why I am here. What is the purpose of my existence? I feel nasty on the inside.” Veronica shook her head pointing at her heart.
Grandma continued to hum softly. “Something is out of order, little angel of the field,” Grandma never looked up. She continued peeling the layers off the potatoes.
Veronica rested her forehead on the table. “I know. I feel there is something I should be doing, but I don’t know what. It is as if life is passing me by.” She closed her eyes and swallowed. She felt lost and confused. “Grandma, I am 29 years old. I had--have so many goals and it seems that none of them has come to fruition. The more I try the more, I get knocked down. It is too much.”
“You see human beings are design rather uniquely and if something on the inside is out of order it throws us all off track.” Grandma arrested Veronica’s eyes. “You got to get to root cause of the matter. That requires dealing with our situations.” Grandma paused. “The good and the bad ones,” The potatoes were now peeled. Grandma began to cut them up into small chunks.
“I don’t feel like I am good enough, granny. I want this nasty feeling to go away. It clings to me like a spiders clings to its web. What do I do?”
Veronica leaned in close anxious to hear her granny’s sage advice. Her grandmother flashed a smile at her. “We have layers in our lives that need peeling away. Hurt, rejections fear and doubts make for a nasty recipe. Nasty. There is a root to everything. We need to get to it. The good water it. The bad. Get rid of it.” Veronica averted her eyes some how feeling chastised. She wasn’t ready to deal with her issue. It was too painful. She was tired of the nastiness. She wanted to feel like she belonged. She wanted to live not exist. In her mind she knew her granny was right. It was her heart that was rebelling as she’d been hurt too many times.
“It is a nasty feeling being weighted down by negative things. You know what the sad thing about it is?” Grandma scoffed, hitting the table hard with one hand. “We don’t have to keep that nasty feeling. Baby, happiness is a choice we make. You just have to make hot pursuit. Go after it.” Grandma began to pick up speed as peeled the potatoes. “If you want something bad enough you go after it. No pain no gain. Failure is nasty. Doubt is nasty. Confusion is nasty. All those layers must be peeled away. No one and nothing has the power to make you feel…nasty.” Her grandmother smiled stood up placing the potato chunks into the boiling water.
“I have been making meals for many years now. I know the process each meal goes through. If I deviate from the ingredients, I know the outcome will be different. Creation takes a plan and processing. The process is well worth the end results.” She went to the oven and pulled out the sourdough bread.” The three loaves where perfectly golden brown, the smell aromatic.
“You’re feeling the heat now Veronica. You have the ingredients to be successful. Faith and family. Prepare your master piece. If it is ruined try it again, until it comes out just right.”
Veronica stood up and hugged her granny. “Thank you, grandma. I know what you’re telling me. I am sorry, I can’t stay for dinner I have something-- I need to get started on.” She broke off a huge chunk of sourdough bread, smiling at her granny she turned and left.”
“I have a feeling everything is going to be all right.” Granny started humming again. “Hey, grandma.” The voice sounded weak. She didn’t turn around. It was her grandson Oscar. From the sound of things, he was in a bad way. She smiled offering up a prayer of thanksgiving. It was good to be needed.
Copyright © 2004
The information on this page may not be reproduced or republished on another webpage or website.
Art work is courtesy of WAK
Wednesday, April 13, 2011
Marian L. Thomas graduated Magna Cum Laude, receiving her Bachelor degree in Business Communication. She began her writing debut as a Sports Editor and as a News Editor for a local Atlanta college paper.
It took over twenty-years for Marian to see her first piece of published fiction in Print─Color Me Jazzmyne, in early 2009. Color Me Jazzmyne went on to become a Amazon Best-selling novel for Marian, reaching #1 in the Rhythm & Blue category, #2 in Inner-Child and #7 in Performance/Voice for her character Naya Moná’s, amazing melodious tones that are developed throughout the book.
Color Me Jazzmyne was awarded as one of the “Top 100 Books” for 2010 by the Sankofa Literary Society Review.
While Marian’s books are a work of fiction, they touch on the struggles of women, abuse, relationships and friendships, giving each one a hint of reality that readers are looking for in a good, clean and emotional story.
Visit the author online at http://www.marianlthomas.com/
About the Book
Four people will travel on a journey that will lead to one destination.
How do you find a daughter you never knew you gave birth to? That is the question that Naya must answer as she once again finds herself on a journey filled with betrayal, lies and shocking secrets of her past.
How far would one go for love? That is the question that Chris wastes no time answering. He will do whatever it takes to remove his wife’s pain, even if it means being the one to cause her the most.
Fame and Fortune have been the determining factor for Misty ever since her father passed away. How far will she go, this time to achieve it?
Carl Thompson has found the love of his life, only she doesn’t know it. Green eyes and hazel brown hair fill his dreams for the future. Does he have enough love for the both of them?
Join best-selling author Marian L. Thomas as she takes you through the pages of My Father’s Colors. This book is guaranteed to make you laugh, cry and get caught in the drama-filled story of a woman’s journey to find her voice, again!
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Friday, March 11, 2011
Oprah Winfrey presents The Color Purple (Musical) Actress and Endometriosis Advocate Stephanie St. James
The Color Purple (Musical) Actress and Endometriosis Advocate Stephanie St.
Currently touring as Squeak in the Broadway production of “Oprah Winfrey Presents: The Color Purple,” Stephanie St. James doesn’t bear a Jewish-sounding name or resemble a traditional-looking Russian. But she is both with roots in Israel and Guyana as well. The granddaughter of a Holocaust survivor, St. James fiercely defends the State of Israel and her Jewish upbringing even when it makes for awkward conversation.
Join me for a special edition of The Certain Ones Blog Talk Radio Show Saturday, March 31st|6:00pm est. Click on link of call in live at Call-in Number:(917)932-1607.
What is endometriosis?Endometriosis is the abnormal growth of cells (endometrial cells) similar to those that form the inside of the uterus, but in a location outside of the uterus. Endometrial cells are cells that are shed each month during menstruation. The cells of endometriosis attach themselves to tissue outside the uterus and are called endometriosis implants. These implants are most commonly found on the ovaries, the Fallopian tubes, outer surfaces of the uterus or intestines, and on the surface lining of the pelvic cavity. They can also be found in the vagina, cervix, and bladder, although less commonly than other locations in the pelvis. Rarely, endometriosis implants can occur outside the pelvis, on the liver, in old surgery scars, and even in or around the lung or brain. Endometrial implants, while they can cause problems, are benign (not cancerous).
Who is affected by endometriosis?
Endometriosis affects women in their reproductive years. The exact prevalence of endometriosis is not known, since many women may have the condition and have no symptoms. Endometriosis is estimated to affect over one million women (estimates range from 3% to 18% of women) in the United States. It is one of the leading causes of pelvic pain and reasons for laparoscopic surgery and hysterectomy in this country. Estimates suggest that between 20% to 50% of women being treated for infertility have endometriosis, and up to 80% of women with chronic pelvic pain may be affected.
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Endometriosis: Stephanie St. James on iVillage Live
James.HELP STEPHANIE GET 10,000 SIGNATURES FOR ENDOMETRIOSIS AWARENESShttp://www.thepetitionsite.com/2/oprah-please-do-a-show-on-endometriosis/
Endometriosis Support Groups:http://endometriosis.org/support/support-groups/
Tuesday, February 1, 2011
Poet and Author Acholam Birago:Truths lie dormant at the core of our character, suppressed by life's daily journey, repressed by fear's false declaration of power. Their dormancy causes our spirit to sleep in the bed of deception with restlessness as a detriment to the heart. Awakened by God through trial and admonition, Acholam Birago travels through the tunnels of the soul unearthing the purpose planted by the Husbandman in the hearts of His people.
Acholam Birago, a name of stability, humility, and victory. A name derived from the lands of Africa, kissed by the Nigerian sun, defined by the tribe of Ibo. A name tagged with a charge to deliver a message to love's vacant territory.
Wisconsin-born, Birago spent the first twelve years of his life in the projects of Milwaukee with his mother and siblings. Chicago became a second home as frequent visits to his grandmother, “Ma” warmed his heart with aged wisdom and meals that could only be cooked by the ol' school. Relocation to his father‟s house gave parental rights to the streets of Los Angeles which instilled its own wisdom into his thirteen year old mind. With the Word as his guide, love as his landscape, and poetry as his vehicle, Birago delivers a message of restoration. His poetry motivates men to move in God, inspires them to proceed in purpose, and empowers them to enrich the lives of others. Inspired by the blossom of character in children, motivated by their struggle under the roofs of conflicted custodians, he strives to restore the love into the hearts of others as God intended. Reaching men and women within their respective roles, Birago pierces the heart, exposing the wounds, so that God may heal.
DuEwa Frazier: Her first two names, mean Black Beauty-The One In Whom the Sun Rises in the African, Swahili language. Although raised in St. Louis, Missouri, her life didn't begin there! Born in Brooklyn, New York on a hot, August morning, to educator/artist/activist parents, in the same year poet and playwright Ntozake Shange launched the acclaimed "For Colored Girls" play- DuEwa seemed destined to take part in the rich tradition of arts and pride from her community and share her creative spirit with others.
Poetry, dramatic performance, dance, playwriting and teaching is a part of the creative world DuEwa lives in. At age 5, this ,'Lady of Words', first stepped on stage, playing activist Rosa Parks in a play called "We Shall Overcome." In grade school DuEwa began keeping journals and writing creatively.
DuEwa took dance training in jazz, modern and African forms as a child and adult. Her most memorable dance performance and training experiences were at: The Katherine Dunham School of Dance, Elegba Folklore Society, Dance St. Louis and as a dancer in high school in Kinesis Dance Company.
Book Description: "Ten Marbles and a Bag to Put Them In: Poems for Children." By DuEwa Frazier.
Ten Marbles is a collection of poems for children. The poems cover themes ranging from love for nature and animals to summertime fun and more! The book features writing and drawing activities, in addition to comprehension questions after selected poems. This collection is perfect for bedtime storytelling, classroom literacy activities, and inspiring children to write creatively.Other Books: Check the Rhyme and Stardust Tracks on the Road / firstname.lastname@example.org
Poet Muyiwa Babalola
Muyiwa Babalola was born and raised in Ibadan, Nigeria. He was the President of the Debate Club in High School. He won the best speaker honors during the Jaycees organized school debate competition at the University of Ibadan.
In addition. while he studied law at the University of Ife, he developed a natural interest in public speaking which was well received. To mention a few, he hosted the Tudmont Show, and was the public relations officer of Primus Inter-pares Club at the Faculty of law.
He was also the editors of Rockshock and Pebbles Magazines, where he developed the passion for writing and publishing. He proceeded to the Nigerian Law School at Victoria Island in Lagos, where he obtained his B.L and was called to the Bar as an attorney licensed to practice at the Supreme Court in Nigeria.
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Thursday, January 20, 2011
V. Richardson: Hello, Valerie! I am delighted to chat with you about your novel “The Forbidden Secrets of the Goody Box”.
V. Coleman: Hi, Vanessa. And thanks for the opportunity.
V. Richardson: Interesting title! How did the concept and name come about?
V. Coleman: The concept for “The Goody Box” book was twofold. At this phase in my life (about midlife-ish), I have experienced significant changes—relationally, emotionally, physically and mentally. Almost without warning, my marriage was in chaos, my body was transitioning. (My goody box took on a mind and voice of its own. I still say that I could audibly hear her crying out for attention) and my twenty-six-year career as an engineer ended. (People often said, “I’m so sorry that you lost your job.” With my hands on my hips, I said, “I didn’t lose it. I know exactly where it is: Mexico!”)
So about three years ago, I spoke into the atmosphere that I wanted to write a book to help prepare women for this collage of life transitions. My philosophy is best described by Lao Tzu who said, “Give a man a fish, feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish, feed him for a lifetime.” (No sense watching a sister go through the same mess that I went through, if I can do something to prevent it.) The second part of the concept came from my cousin, confidante and co-author, Christopher “Doc” Reid. Every morning, as I tried to walk off the stress, we talked. He counseled, encouraged and enlightened me about marriage dynamics and re-engineering my career. He gave me sound, unbiased advice without a hidden agenda or motive. With his guidance and inside knowledge of men (in case I didn’t mention it, Christopher is a man), he helped—and continues to help—me navigate through the storms of marriage and life in general. One October morning, he said that he had talked to many women who just didn’t understand men.
“We’re quite simple actually,” he said. Yeah, right. Men are the most complicated, confusing—Sorry, I digressed. Anyway, he said that relationships are his passion and he wanted to write a book to help women understand men, avoid broken hearts and maintain some semblance of sanity. Ding! Ding! Ding! We combined our passions to create a solidified purpose: help women understand men to master the forbidden secrets of the goody box.
Sidebar: I assume that you know what I mean by “goody box.” You know, she’s been with me all my life. I never leave home without her. I can put up the pictures, if necessary.
Together, we developed the objectives and scenarios. I did all of the writing and publishing. Doc Reid provided the content that pertained to how and why men do what they do.
Creating the title was as challenging as writing. We tossed around several titles, disagreed, separated to our respective corners, came back for a truce, surveyed friends and fans for feedback and then settled on the one that had the most kick: “The Forbidden Secrets of the Goody Box”. It speaks volumes to the content of the book and serves as a great marketing tool. The catchy title attracts both men and women. Who doesn’t want to know the forbidden? What person wants to be left out of a great secret? And can you name one person who doesn’t have some connection to the goody box?
From the cradle to the grave, the goody box affects every living soul and comes equipped with an unlimited supply of power. As if the title wasn’t enough, we use the catch phrase “What your father didn’t tell you and your mother didn’t know” to emphasize the magnitude of this well-kept secret.
V. Richardson: What do you want readers to take away from your book?
V. Coleman: The overall theme is to empower women to recognize the men who only want to play games and identify the men who are relationship-ready. However, the book is full of so much wit and wisdom that we actually have multiple demographics:
· Three things that lead you to make terrible relationship decisions
· Every man’s private marriage checklist
· A simple two-letter word that makes him want to pop the question
· How to break a toxic love pattern
· Why he just won’t propose
· Little signs that tell you he’s the one
· Advice from men you’d be crazy not to take
For young ladies (teens and tweens),
· Your beauty shines from the inside and radiates outwardly despite what he says or does
· Love yourself more than you “love” him
· If he really “loves” you, he’ll wait until he marries you
· You are the first protector of your daughter’s goody box
· Learn what makes your daughter feel loved and then fill her heart until it overflows
· What she doesn’t get from you, she’ll spend the rest of her life trying to find in another man, or worse yet, men
V. Richardson: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
V. Coleman: I enjoyed writing this book and watching the characters come alive. Of the three books I’ve written, it’s my favorite by far; however, the readers want more. I have received phone calls, emails, texts and death threats from ladies wanting to know when the second book in “The Goody Series” releases.
V. Richardson: How has “The Forbidden Secrets of the Goody Box” been received so far?
V. Coleman: The response has been overwhelming. Women have told me that the book is life-changing because they are no longer the wounded doe standing in the crosshairs of the hunter’s bow. Averting the snares and traps is easy because they can spot the hunter and his tactics from a distance. Time out for settling for he’ll-do-because-some-man-is-better-than-no-man. These women are now empowered, in control and finding relational fulfillment.
We anticipated a favorable response, but we didn’t expect colleges, high schools and even elementary schools to contact us to conduct workshops for girls and women. So we’re taking the message to the masses with “Why He Married Her Instead of You”, “Why He Left You for Her” and “Daddy, Look at Me” workshops.
V. Richardson: Who are/were your literary influences? And what books have most influenced your life?
V. Coleman: After the Bible and my own titles (Get ready for a shameless plug… “Blended Families An Anthology” is an Amazon.com Top 100 Bestseller in Stepfamily category, a Black Christian Book Distributors Top 50 Bestselling Nonfiction and the Christian Small Publishers Association’s 2008 Nonfiction of the Year. “Tainted Mirror An Anthology” has inspired readers to stop making excuses and walk in destiny. And of course, “The Goody Box” book), my favorite book is “The Old Man and the Sea” by Ernest Hemingway. The read was a requirement for high-school English. I fell in love with his vivid description of the emerging marlin. I read that passage multiple times. He made me feel like I was in the boat. I also love “The Outsiders” by S. E. Hinton which my sixth-grade teacher read to the class over several months. The plot and characters intrigued me so that I couldn’t wait to get to class. Now that I think about it, after she finished reading the book, I jotted my first notes for a book (I didn’t follow through with it because it was a slight variation of Hinton’s book). I also like the work of Christian-fiction author, Vanessa Miller. I helped her self-publish her first four books—“The Rain Series”—and now she’s an Essence-bestselling author writing for three different publishing houses.
By far, the Bible most influences my life.
V. Richardson: What have you discovered about yourself on your journey to publication?
V. Coleman: Specific to “The Goody Box” book, I learned that I’m not in this thing alone. Other women have experienced and are experiencing many of the same challenges and struggles; however, out of shame, embarrassment or pride, we suffer in silence. In addition, I knew that I didn’t have an in-depth understanding of men; however, I discovered that I didn’t know much of anything about men and how they think about women. Regarding publication; I have learned that I am tenacious, resilient, skilled and teachable.
V. Richardson: There is always a story behind the author’s works. How do/did you handle rejection?
V. Coleman: As a self-published author content with putting in hard work and keeping all the money, I don’t submit proposals to traditional publishing houses. As a result, I don’t get rejection letters. I once had a distributor reject me—well, not me, but my title. Instead of quitting, I used the denial to fuel my fervor. I researched more distributors and now my books are available through Ingram and Baker and Taylor. Readers can go into any bookstore or library and request my titles.
V. Richardson: What advice would you offer to aspiring authors?
V. Coleman: I’ve been in the publishing business for almost ten years. As an author and publisher (in addition to my three titles, I have published about fifteen books for other authors through www.QueenVPublishing.net), I travel the nation presenting “Self-Publishing Made Easy Cash Machine” workshops (I love to teach. Remember “teach a man to fish”?) and find that most authors do not have a good understanding of the publishing process or marketing. Although it may have taken years to complete the manuscript, writing is still the easiest part of the process. My advice:
· Research the industry. Attend workshops and conferences. Know the true cost of publishing. Figure out how to price your book to make a profit. Find reputable printers. Study the components of a quality book. Establish your marketing strategy. Interview authors.
· Understand the different types of publishers (many of them prey on unlearned writers like vultures circling a weary desert nomad). They steal your dreams, invade your peace of mind and deplete your bank account. Several of my Queen V Publishing clients have been duped by publishers and came to me to make things right.
· Build a team. You cannot do it alone. Invest in a publicist, attorney, accountant and a sales team of devoted fans, friends and family.
The demands of publishing can be overwhelming especially for a neophyte. Over the years, I have saved clients thousands of dollars, tons of frustration and a plethora of disappointment. They begged me to clone myself, but since I’m not a biological engineer, I did the next best thing. I packed my knowledge and experience into a multi-DVD set to steer writers in the right direction. And if that’s not enough, I coach and publish.
V. Richardson: Are there any upcoming and/or future projects readers should be made aware of?
V. Coleman: On March 26, 2011, I’m conducting the sixth annual Write On! Workshop in Dayton, Ohio. The event includes sessions on writing, publishing and marketing. On April 30, 2011, we’re hosting the second annual Dayton Book Expo (www.DaytonBookExpo.com). Our inaugural event drew fifty authors and almost 500 book lovers. I have signing and speaking engagements in numerous cities. A complete calendar of events is available at www.PenOfTheWriter.com.
My friend and Queen V Publishing client, Dr. Karen M.R. Townsend, releases her first book: “It All Started When I Stopped Using Lotion – One Woman’s Journey from Chaos to Calm” (www.AboutMySisters.com) As for “The Goody Box” book, we’re developing additional workshops to fulfill the influx of requests. Several churches have contracted with us to conduct a series of workshops geared toward unmarried, youth and now married couples. I finished the e-book last year (2010) and the audio book will be ready later this year (2011). Doc Reid and I have talked about hosting a conference for the women of the Goody Box Club at an exotic location. We’ll be in negotiations soon for a stage play and eventually a movie. Woo hoo!
V. Richardson: How can readers contact you?
V. Coleman: Doc Reid is at www.ChristopherReid.org.
Everything I do is associated to my publishing company, Pen of the Writer.
From The Heart:
V. Richardson: When life gets a little hectic and you are feeling a little dismayed, how do you find peace in the storm?
V. Coleman: Does life ever have a time when it’s not hectic? Prayer is first on the list. I may not break into a full sermon, but I can holler, “HELP!” with the best of them. And while I’m waiting on the reinforcements, I may take a long walk, eat some chocolate, call a friend, cry or take a nap. My action depends upon the magnitude of the “disruption.”
V. Richardson: Valerie, thank you for an awesome chat! Thank you for sharing yourself and your works with our viewing audience. Much success to you! As always in closing, continue to inspire as you aspire!
Saturday, January 15, 2011
Suddenly, she was hit hard. The unexpected impact sent her sprawling to her knees. She could hear the sound of the rain pelting against the large window. It was all a strange phenomenon, to her. Dark billowy clouds had gathered hovering and intimidating. It was a remarkable sight. The howling winds were a frightening thing to hear, the ominous sound causing chills to dance over the lone woman’s slight frame.
The forcefulness of the blow was numbing. There on her knees, stunned with disbelief, she watched the hands of time move. The clock on the mantle revealed that only minutes had passed. To her the moments seemed an eternity; hurt can make you feel that way. Hurt painful claws were fiercely embe dded in her, refusing her release. The pain was enough to cause a normal person to lose their insanity.
A glance around the room revealed nothing had changes. Her bed nicely made up, her mass of pillows was still in order. Her Bible was on the right side of her nightstand. Her slippers were by her armoire. Nothing had changed. Yet, for her everything had changed in a moment’s time. She could not breathe. She felt as though she were in a movie; cast in the wrong role. Enough! Deciding that she would no longer play role of the helpless victim, she raised her chin. It was time for a change, yet she needed answers. What was the right answer? What do I do? How could this happen?
Her kneeled position would be the beginning of her transition. For it was there on her knees, she began to pray. Normally words would fail her, (hurt can do that to a person) today was different. She encompassed with words begging for release and she obliged them with out restriction. With the winds howling ferociously and the rain continuing to fall, still on her knees, her words flowed, as did her tears. It was ugly but necessary. She was in the right position, there on my knees. However, the unction to get lower was strong. You see, some people have to dig a little deeper, stretch a little wider than others do.
Stretching out on her stomach, the words continued to flow. Startled, she looked around the room in question; for a brief moment, she thought she heard the faint call of her name. There in her humbled prayer position, she made a self-conscious decision (and it was a decision) to be free.
Praying not out of defeat but belief, she fought past the pain and called God’s name. Time lapsed, how much she may never know, but what she did know is this--prayer works.
She prayed in the storm and God guided her through it. She prayed the necessary prayer of the ugly and God made her feel like new. This was the process: I prayed, believed, and received. Then she got up! Smiling, she dried her eyes assured that everything was going to be all right. As if consenting, in agreement, the rain had suddenly stopped and the wind had calmed. What a phenomenal display of authority! At this, she was reassured; that she is never forgotten nor forsaken. God knows her name and he knows yours, too!
Picture by WAK