Couch Convos w/ Lisa W. Tetting – LAS

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Welcome to the November episode of Couch Convos! Today we welcome new author LAS to talk about her book Chocolate Solstice. Let’s get started.

 

Part I

LAS

©LAS used with permission

LWT: Welcome to Couch Convos! Let’s get started. How did you get the idea to write
“Chocolate Solstice”?

ChocSolBookcoverLAS: The idea for Chocolate Solstice came from the concept of how we sometimes get in our own way of finding love, especially when dealing with issues from our past.

LWT: That is certainly what happened with this couple. In this book Daniel is such a complicated, but relatable guy. Can you take us through the process you went through to develop his character?

LAS: I wanted Daniel to be almost too good to be true. An attractive, educated, business minded, young man with commitment to family and his community. But I also wanted his secret to always be just under the surface, gnawing at him periodically. I wanted him to be attractive, someone that readers could visualize, smell and feel. After his aesthetic, I began to work on his love for his family (his mom and grandmother). I also wanted to show ways in which these women coddled him to some degree. Lastly, I focused on how his secret, which ties into his expectation of women, caused a conflict in his pursuit of Asha.

LWT: You certainly did a nice job of relaying your message. When I read the book, I felt as if each Asha struggled with intimacy issues. Why was this such an important element in the story line? 

LAS: I thought Asha’s struggle was important to expose, because as black women I think we yearn for intimacy at our core level. I feel like we need it. When you’re trying to be a strong, independent and fearless woman, sometimes intimacy doesn’t have a place there. Asha avoided vulnerability and intimacy, as many of us do. In doing that, she risked her opportunity at a meaningful relationship.

LWT: When I write I have a picture in my head of who I want my characters to lookInspiration for Daniel and Asha like. Who were the muses for Daniel and Asha?

LAS: For Daniel, a muse that comes to mind is model/actor Travis Cure. My visualization for Asha was a curly haired Elle Varner. I just added light eyes for Asha.

LWT: I absolutely loved Daniel! What is your favorite thing about him? My favorite thing about Daniel was his sweet relationship with his grandmother.  Do you identify with one character more than the others in the book?

LAS: I identified mostly with Maw, the grandmother. She did not play when it came to her Daniel. I see myself, my mom and aunts in her in terms of how we handle our sons.

LWT: Why was it important for Daniel to be so close to the women in his life?

LAS: Daniel had difficulty with issues of abandonment, though he tried his hardest to keep it under wraps. Because of this, he needed the women in his life to belong to him. He never really pursued this feeling outside of his mother and grandmother until he met Asha.

LWT: The book focuses on a couple, who in my opinion, ride hard for each other. They may have a tiff or two, but in the end they know they can depend on each other. Why do you feel it is important, especially for black women to read about these types of relationships?

LAS: I feel its important because women can become hopeless when looking for or waiting on a good man. It may seem unrealistic at times. Even though they were both flawed, as we all are, it is possible to have a loving and supportive relationship. The road may be a little bumpy getting there, but it is possible.

LWT: I love that. Now, tell me who are some of your favorite writers and why?

LAS: Some of my favorite writers include Margaret Johnson Hodge, Bernice McFadden, Carl Weber and RM Johnson.

Part II

LWT: How do you choose your book covers and who does them?

LAS: This was my first novel and I was stuck for some time when trying to decide on a book cover. Once I got the colors and idea into my head, I sent some mock-ups to a photographer friend who agreed to shoot the cover. Then I bribed another friend with free lunch to pose for the cover. Without them, I wouldn’t have been able to create the cover which I still get compliments on.

LWT: Well kudos to both. They did an amazing job.  Do you use social media and does it help with sales?

LAS: I don’t know how I would have gotten over 10 books sold without social media. It has helped me immensely with sales and marketing. Social media has also helped me to network with other authors and readers such as yourself. I think social media is a
Godsend for indie authors.

LWT: Tell us about your writing process. Do you need complete silence or do you listen to music? Do you have a drink or write sober? Etc. Inquiring minds want to know.

LAS: I enjoy writing to music it helps the flow of the story. Many times when I’m stuck I like to play music that I feel reflects the scene. Sometimes I’ll even take a dance break to clear my head and then sit back down to write. I’ve written while sipping and also while sober. But there’s always a drink involved whether its water, coffee, wine or liquor. I remember writing confrontational scenes while sipping on some wine, when I went back to read through, I had a good laugh.

LWT: What challenges have you faced as a new indie writer?

LAS: As a new indie author, I’m often hesitant about promoting my work. I want people to know about it, read and enjoy it, review it, tell a friend – all that good stuff. But, I never want to shove my work down someone’s throat. So, I’m trying to not to cross that fine line.

ChocolateSolsticeLAS

©LAS used with permission

LWT: Have you or do you plan to attend any book fairs, conventions or signings? If so, which ones?

LAS: I attended Well Read Black Girl Fest in September and it was such a fulfilling experience. The energy of the brilliant beautiful women there and the gems they shared were incredible.

LWT: How did you choose your pen name?

LAS: My initials make up my pen name and is pronounced L. A. S. Some people have referred to me as LAS, I don’t mind.

LWT: Please give other indie writers 3 tips that you learned that help you to be successful?

LAS: 1)Push through that first draft. It will not be perfect but don’t give up.
2) Write anywhere and any time you can. Its hard to set aside time with life, family, etc. Keep a small notebook with you, write on your phone, tablet, whatever.
3) Invest in an editor. An editor is necessary, period. It will be the best money you spend in your journey to becoming published.

LWT: Those are all good tips. Share one unique thing you’ve done to market your

ChocSolBookSigning

©LAS used with permission

book?

LAS: I’ve invested in promo items such as t-shirts, hats, tote bags, etc. to market the book. I wear them and I’ve given them to friends and family to wear and it sparks interest. When someone asks “What is Chocolate Solstice?” it opens up opportunity to promote the book.

LWT: Tell the readers the one resource you can’t live without as a writer?

LAS: Google Docs. Poor docs, its overloaded with drafts, rewrites, fallen plot twists, every and any thing pertaining to the story line. I wrote most of my first draft on my phone using Google Docs. It was easy to have my work saved and accessible to me once I had the time to actually sit at a computer and write.

LWT: What does success look like for you?

LAS: Success to me is someone saying to me (in reviewing, commenting, inboxing, DMing, texting, etc.) “Oh my God, this book!”

LWT: Well, please consider this book a success! What’s up next for you?

LAS: A prequel or sequel but its still brewing.

Well, I for one can’t wait! That brings us to the close of another episode of Couch Convos. Be sure to check out Chocolate Solstice. For more information about LAS hit her up on her social media accounts.

LASSocialMediaInfo

Facebook: @authorlas

Instagram: @author.las

Twitter: @theauthorlas

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Southern Horror Stories – New Release!

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HORRORJust in time for Halloween, I decided to release a short story collection of Southern Horror Stories!

Here’s what it’s about:

The mistreatment of slaves has caused the captives to fight back. Tired of the mistreatment, the slaves want revenge and blood. Follow six separate stories of betrayal, violence, bloodshed and revenge. These short stories show what can happen when people have been pushed to their limits. In Barren Plantation find out why we use the word barren for people who cannot have children.  Caleb’s Stitches shows how to turn the tables on a mad scientist. Climb inside the Mind of Hope if you think you can survive the insanity. Read about a spooky way station for escaped slaves in The Underground Hell Road. Pirates of Slavery is a bloody story of revolt, while Slave Island will lure you to a dangerous island that you can never leave.

Disclaimer: Not suitable for young children. Contains violence, sexual content and paranormal activity.

 

My Southern Horror Short Stories Collection is now available as an e-book on Amazon for $0.99. Click Here to get your copy. It is a 6 story collection of fictitious slave stories. You can read excerpts of Barren Plantation and Mind of Hope by clicking on the highlighted titles below:

Story 1: Barren Plantation

Story 2: Caleb’s Stitches

Story 3: Mind of Hope

Story 4: Underground HellRoad

Story 5: Pirates of Slavery

Story 6: Slave Island

Indie Shine – Author Kay Blake

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In this edition of Indie Shine, a place for rebirthoflisa to ‘Shine’ the spotlight on indie artists, we welcome author Kay Blake!

Kay Blake Author Photo

©Kay Blake used with permission

Bio:

Kay writes sassy, sexy and sweet contemporary and interracial romance. She is from arguably the greatest city in the world. (New York). She is a sarcastic sweetheart who prefers snuggling at home with a good book. She is a mom to three cubs. Kay indulges in strawberry cheesecake, horror movies, Harry Potter, The Walking Dead, wrestling and of course a happily ever after.

Q & A

What do you do and Why do you do it? 
I’m an indie author. There is something to be said about books. Books are so much. They are portals. I love the written word and it brings me peace. For that reason I write. I write also because there are stories inside that I want to get out. Stories that I want to read. So I write. And I hope that someone in the book world can read it, love it or relate to it.
Catch Me If I Fall SIBA NomTell us about your most recent work. 
My most recent work is called Catch Me If I Fall. It is book one in a three book series called The Kim Brothers. My story is about Kasi who is a woman who has to wear a below the knee prosthetic and deal with much from her past. My hero Jae Kim is the oldest of the brothers and he is Korean American. They build a friendship before falling in love. I think it was different from my last works and it was my best that I’ve written so far.
Who inspires you? 
Stephen King, J.K. Rowling, Toni Morrison and Beverly Jenkins.
What do you consider your “Masterpiece” at this time?
My current masterpiece is Catch Me If I Fall as it is because of the subject matter. I do think that because I am working on Book 2, that would probably be tied or this anthology piece I’m working on as it deals with the very real issue of what it’s like to be a black teenage girl in America currently.
What is your motto in life? 
Give your best every time. No matter what the situation is. Because at the end you can say that you did try your hardest and that it something to be proud of.
Name your wildest dream. The one you can not imagine achieving, but would love for it to come true. 
 
Ha ha. I wanted to be an singer growing up. I have a very good voice. I knew how to go from soprano to alto, but I really don’t like singing in front of people. The ones who heard me sing is a small group. I just get in front of people and shut down. Even though I’ve been told I should do something with my voice, I know it won’t happen with my stage fright, but if it could that would be so awesome.
What is your favorite quote?
I have so many. But I’ll choose one. “Today I will behave, as if this is the day I will be remembered.”
When it is all said and done, what would you like to be remembered for?
For my perseverance. I had a lot of things happen in my life and I set out to do things that I wanted to make sure that I would’ve been able to do despite the many challenges. Most people know that I’m sensitive, caring and empathetic. But my perseverance is something I admire about myself.
Tell us about your next project and when will it be available to the public?
My next project is a novella called I Knew You Were Trouble. It is an interracial contemporary romance. It will be available on September 22, 2017.
Where can fans purchase your work? 
 

 

Social Media

 

Kay Blake 2

©Kay Blake used with permission

Amazon Author Page:  Kay-Blake

Twitter: @authorkayblake

Instagram: @authorkayblake

Facebook Author Page: authorkayblake

Facebook: kayblakewrites

Couch Convos w/ Lisa W. Tetting – Leila Lacey

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Welcome to August’s edition of Couch Convos! Today we welcome Leila Lacey, author of the uber popular “Curvy Goddess Series”. Let’s get started.

Part I

LWT: Welcome to Couch Convos! Let’s get started. The Curvy Goddess Series is amazing! What inspired you to start writing?

Lovely Me

©Leila Lacey used with permission

LL: I have always wanted to be a writer. Since I was 9 years old, but I never imagined it was possible especially once I became a mom. But then my best friends challenged me to do a contest, which of course I had to take because well…. I’m no punk. LOL But after writing it, I found out that I could publish myself rather than pray for the mercy of a publisher. And the rest is history.

LWT: Why did you choose to write about curvy women?

LL: I am a curvy woman. I have been plus sized, overweight, curvy, whatever word you decide to use, since I was 7. As a teenager I hated my appearance, but as I have grown in my womanhood, I have realized I am not less beautiful than a woman who looks like she needs a snack pack ASAP or she will fall out. LOL  I wanted to give a voice in romance books to the women who look like me. To remind plus size women, you too can have it all. Your waist line has nothing to do with the love in your life, or anything else.

LWT: That is absolutely true! Speaking of curvy books, what is your favorite curvy romance book?

LL: Big like Texas, by Christa Wick. I mean anything by her really. She is one of my favorite curvy girl authors.

LWT: Your main character in the first book of the series is Vixen and she is one dope chick. Take us through her character arc. How did you come up with her strong loyal personality and everything that came with it?

TheVixenPublishLL: Well all the Goddess’s are loosely based on women in my life, past and present. So with Vixen, I knew I wanted her to be the center of the group of women. She needed to be able to relate to each of them in her own way. She also had to be strong enough to be the CEO of a very large company in a male dominated world, and to be a plus size woman in that world to boot. The trick with her for me, was keeping her soft but not so soft that Daniel would be able to walk all over her. For some reason people think there are two types of plus size women, mean and angry, or soft and used. So…. I had to make sure to keep Vixen up the middle of those two stereotypes.

LWT: Vixen was cool and definitely the glue that held the girls together, but I have to say I really fell in love with Nya’s character. Who was your muse for her?

LL: HA! You know how many people like Nya, but don’t want to admit it? Nya is in your face, this is me and my views on life and if you don’t like it, too damn bad kick rocks. LOL Nya is based on my best friend who is one of the best ladies that I know. Life has made her protective of her heart, so if people don’t take the time to look past the pistol and the 8” blade they might miss that. LMAO 

LWT: Nya did not play! Your BFF sounds fun. If this book was made into a movie, who would play the divas?

LL: OMG! I have been asked this so many times, and I have thought so hard about it, because that is my life’s goal is to get these women made into a movie.  The hard part is that there are hardly ANY plus sized actresses that could play the roles, and then to add the African American part to it and you are in trouble. So pretending that Hollywood realized that women are beautiful at any size.  Phoenix: Jill Scott, Nya: Regina Hall, Vixen: Tika Sumpter, Camille: Brittney Daniel and Jackie: Gabrielle Union

LWT: Oh, I could see Gabrielle playing Jackie. Yes! What about the men in their lives? Who would play them, especially Sal? He’s my baby daddy in my head.

LL: LMBO… Sal is a nut! He is like THE guy every girl sees, and thinks you are so HOT and funny, you are more than likely a douche. LOL But then Sal is actually a great guy. Let me see who would play the guys, Daniel: Chris Hemsworth, Randy: Liam Hemsworth, Nick: Idris Elba, Sal: Ryan Reynolds and Gavin: Gerard Butler.

LWT: Yes to the Hemsworth brothers and Idris, but I have to respectfully disagree with Ryan Reynolds as my baby daddy in my head. LOL. Do you put a little of yourself in any of your characters?

LL: I try not to.. but honestly there is a little bit of me in all of them. Well except Jackie, she is a hot mess! LOL

LWT: Jackie was CRAZY! I was so mad with you when Daniel and Vixen divorced. Why was it so easy for Vixen to forgive and help Jackie’s trifling tail, but when it came to Daniel she was so stubborn?

LL: I think it’s so much easier to forgive someone you aren’t lying next to in the bed every night. Vixen KNOWS, who Jackie is and expects her bull crap. But with Daniel it was a shock, a betrayal on a higher level. I wanted to convey a true husband and wife situation. Because we trust our husbands with so much of ourselves, it’s really hard to forgive the things they do to hurt us.

LWT: I guess I can see that. Who is your favorite writer?

LL:  Of all time in romance: Diana PalmerCurrently in romance: Beverly Jenkins

 

Part II

LWT: Who designed your book covers and how did you come up with the concept for them?

Curvy Goddess SeriesLL: I get my covers from several people actually, depending on the book, so for the Goddess series I have used HMDFX. I don’t know if that is his business name or what. I found him on Facebook. LOL  One of the hardest things about writing about African American curvy women is finding images to use on the cover. So I really do try and put a curvy woman on the cover, if I can’t find an image to use. I will only use the male. I wish there were more stock images to use for the type of books I write.

LWT: Which social media platforms do you find most beneficial in getting the word out for your books?

LL: Facebook. I really struggle with social media. I am not one of those people that thinks everything about my life is so interesting that five million will want to know what I’m doing every minute of the day.  Then of course I am long winded so Twitter, yeah that is too hard. LOL I’m getting the hang of Instagram though, but it’s still hard. Because I’m not always camera ready. Some days I don’t want to look in the mirror let alone take a picture. LOL

LWT: It can be struggle. Tell us about your writing process. Do you need complete silence or do you work with music? Do you have a little drink while writing or is smoking your thing? Give us the skinny.

LL: Well I have my desk in my bedroom. So I go in there, and I turn my TV on behind me, usually to a romance movie or a lifetime movie… Not too much on lifetime because those ladies be killing people. LOL  A glass of peach tea with small pieces of peaches in there and ice. Honey who? That is so good. I open my laptop, and just let the book tell me where to go. Each one of my books has a soundtrack, songs that run through my head when I am writing the couple, or the scenes,  but I never say anything about that because copyright infringement is REAL! LOL

LWT: That peach teas sounds good. Makes me want some real bad. LOL What does your writing nook look like? If you could make it into anything you wanted, what would that look like?

LL: OMG… If I could have a writing cave that no one could go into. It would have a Paris

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©Leila Lacey used with permission

theme, with black, white, gold, and silver, I would have black and white wall paper,  Every wall would have a floor to ceiling book shelves, Eiffel tower lamps with black and white shades, I would have two white fur rugs, with all my covers on the walls in gold frames. A man and PC laptop on my desk, and a painting of my beloved grandmother behind my desk, then pink throw pillows throughout, and a HUGE comfy chair with ottoman for when I want to get comfortable and write.

LWT: What was your editing process like?

LL: I put all my books through Grammarly. Then I have 2 people I trust read it for me. Then I hand it over to my editor, she sends it back and I read it, which I hate doing because as hard as I try NOT to, I end up skimming and missing things. I then send it to the two people I trust again, and back to the editor, after it comes back I send it to the formatter and we are ready to go. Now, I will say this, I learned the hard way about all these steps. I was getting my books edited always but never fathomed my editors could make a mistake, so didn’t re-check it when it came back. I have had some growing pains but I am getting there.

LWT: That sounds intense. Please give other indie writers 3 tips/tricks that you learned and used during your first writing experience?

LL: Edit, Edit, Content edit, and edit again. LOL  I think I would say editing is the #1 thing, really. Content editing is so important too. Make sure the couple hasn’t known each other in the beginning of the book and then half way through are old friends. Stuff like that. You really need promotion for your book to be seen, promo, promo, promo. You can read the reviews some of them can be helpful, but then there will be those that just want to feel like they are hurting someone or holding someone else back. Shake them off and keep pushing. DO NOT, DO NOT, DO NOT, get caught up in the “indie author” drama, and there is PLENTY. It’s not worth it. Run your race.

LWT: That is sound advice. Share one unique thing you’ve done to market your book?

LL: I don’t know if it’s unique or Unique to me. But I have recently started handing out samples (first three chapters) of my books to places like, doctors’ offices, beauty salons, places where people have to wait, car repair places, and I leave them for free. I just started doing that and so far so good. I make sure there are PLENTY of advertisements in the book so people know where to go to get more of my books if they want more.

LWT: Tell the readers the one resource you can’t live without as a writer?

LL: Grammarly, Dictionary, and Thesaurus.  I tried to go without both… yeah those book reviews were not pretty! LOL

LWT: Do you use an outline when writing and do you stick to it?

LL: I outline the characters and their personalities but NOT the story. I let the story flow, and that has worked really well. Those Goddess’s say what they want when they want to, I don’t even attempt to filter them. I will sometimes think, but I have planned for you to… and either Phoenix or Nya say, “Nope! Trust us, this is what we are gonna do” LMBO

LWT: I know that’s right. Do you belong to any writer’s groups or associations? If so, which ones?

LL: I don’t. I just recently applied to RWA. Romance Writers of America. I am waiting for my paperwork before I say I belong to them.

LWT: Will you be participating in any conferences this year? If so, which ones and when?

LL: Unfortunately no. I am planning to do at least 2 in 2018, I just don’t know what ones just yet. But I will announce them on my website when I do know.

LWT: What are you currently working on?

LL: No one knows this yet BUT YOU. But I currently have my new book The Takeover being edited right now. I haven’t written the description yet, but there is suspense, and romance, and comedy, and HOT, DIRTY SEX! You guys are going to LOVE THIS BOOK!

I can’t wait to read it! Well, that’s it another Couch Convos in the can. To purchase the Curvy Goddess Books click HERE to go to Amazon. 

Michigan Author Leila Lacey Excites Readers With Her Innovative Romantic Fiction

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©Leila Lacey used with permission

Centering on Women With Curves

Love comes in many shapes and sizes. Rising Michigan Author Leila Lacey writes from the heart about the trials and tribulations of love and romance from a curvy woman’s perspective. With over 12 popular books on Amazon to date, she’s steadily claiming her space as a new romantic fiction author to keep an eye on.

Bow down to the curves. That’s the philosophy that’s motivated romantic fiction author Leila Lacey as she’s wrote over a dozen popular books taking a hot and exciting look at love and adventure from a strong, curvy woman’s viewpoint. The books have been received with enthusiasm, and it’s clear the best is yet to come.

To connect with her please click the links for her Social Media.

Author Website : curvygoddessromance.com

Facebook: Leila Lacey

Twitter: @Leilalacey1

Instagram: @leilalaceybooks

 

Indie Shine – My Chérie Amour

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In this edition of Indie Shine, a place for rebirthoflisa to ‘Shine’ the spotlight on indie artists, we welcome author My Chérie Amour.

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Bio 

Chérie is a writer, an author, a Early Childhood Educator and a Adjunct Instructor. Born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio, she currently resides in Southern California.

Q&A

Tell us about your most recent work. 
My most recent work is posting about love (people, places and things) on my blog. I am also currently working on writing the third book in the series of my dating experiences. It a work-in-progress. So, stay tuned!
Who inspires you? 
It’s not who inspires me, but what inspires me. Everything anywhere anytime can inspire me on any given day. It’s called life.
What do you consider your “Masterpiece” at this time? 9781438997728_cover.indd
My masterpiece is my first book entitled YOU HAVE GOT TO BE KIDDING ME?!; Stop Playin’ or Play Right. I consider it my masterpiece because it was originally just something to check off from my bucket list and now it’s become a number one best seller! YESSS. Lol I think it will always be my masterpiece! Wink. Wink.
What is your motto in life?
My motto in life is “Take care of YOU.” YOU are the most important person in your life, so take care of YOU.
Name your wildest dream. The one you can not imagine
achieving, but would love for it to come true. 
Ooooh! My wildest dream?! The one thing I cannot imagine achieving, but would LOVE to come true is my books becoming a huge play!!! I see me having a huge book signing from my favorite restaurant, Killer Shrimp, serving my favorites during the cocktail hour. Then, serving popcornopolus, my favorite snack!, during the premiere of opening night of the play. During the Meet&Greet afterwards I would sell and sign autographed copies of my first book and pose for pictures until dawn. Lol That would be surreal!!!!
What is your favorite quote? 
My favorite quote is from Ru Paul. “If you can’t love yourself, how in the hell can you love somebody else?!”, or something along those lines.
When it is all said and done, what would you like to be remembered for?
I just want to be remembered. The good, the bad and everything in between! The fact that my name is on your mind or spoken out of your mouth, well then mission accomplished. You remembered me!!
Tell us about your next project and when will it be available to the public?
The book series is what I am currently working on writing. To be continued. So, please keep in touch with me through social media!!!
Where can fans purchase your work?
You can purchase my work at Amazon.com

Social Media

My Chérie Amour

Author Websites: www.mycherieamour.me

Blogs:

mycherieamourblog

www.bloglovin.com/@cheriemiamour

Facebook: @Chérie MiAmour 

Pinterest: @authorcherie

Please reach out to me! I would love to hear from you!

Reclaiming My Time – Rebirthoflisa Style

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Hi Lovies,

Recently Social Media was all abuzz about Rep. Maxine Waters and her now infamous power play to reclaim her time. Though I was thoroughly entertained by Auntie Maxine dragging Treasury secretary Steven Mnuchin for filth, I also felt inspired. I sat down and pondered exactly what that statement meant to me. How can I reclaim my time? Do I have regrets? Will other people start reclaiming their time, as well?

I have wasted a lot of time in my lifetime. No, I didn’t do it purposefully, but I did it all the same. Mostly, I did it out of FEAR – FEAR of the unknown, FEAR of success, and sometimes FEAR of greatness. I have always started things and when I received accolades or pats on the back, I pulled away because I was afraid to really see how high I could go. I have done that most of my life, with a couple of exceptions. I have never been afraid to throw myself into a loving relationship and in my forties, I finally decided to follow one of my hidden dreams of becoming a writer.

Falling in love has always filled an emptiness in my soul, even if it didn’t last. It is ingrained in me to love and be loved. I don’t think of it consciously, but I feel it in everything I do. I am simply not one of those people who have to be in a relationship all of the time. In fact I enjoy my own company very much. However, when I was given the gift of love from the man of my dreams I was ecstatic. We latched onto each other and haven’t let go in 22 years. It is the one relationship that I have where I feel safe, but if  God forbid it were to end tomorrow, I wouldn’t regret giving my all to him. There would be no reason to reclaim my time with him. Doug has changed my life for the better and I will always be grateful.

Becoming a writer was a secret dream that I kept close to my heart for many years. I have been enamored with reading since I can remember. Books contained my best friends and all the adventures in the world. In fact, as a young girl I would spend hours up in the willow tree in front of my house reading. My mom would look for me everywhere and never could find me. It was my sanctuary and I knew once it was discovered, I would be forced to act like a girl and stop climbing trees. I wasn’t wrong. When I was discovered in the tree taking a nap one day, my book in my lap, my mom forbid me from climbing trees. I still did it anyway and accepted the punishment when or if it came. Eventually she decided it wasn’t worth the aggravation and left me alone. When we moved from that house, I wanted to pack up the tree in a box so it could go with me.

Growing up in a small town in the South, I was subjected to many limitations – one of which was girls didn’t become writers – especially black girls. Imagine my surprise one day at school when a tall prim and proper black lady walked into my class wearing horned rimmed glasses and  a scowl on her face. She was a substitute teacher, retired from the profession but filled in from time to time. Mrs. Stitt controlled the class with an iron fist, but I saw a twinkle in her eye when she spoke of literature. She never knew this, because I was afraid to talk to her, but she was an inspiration to me. She informed the class that she was a published author and in fact we had her book in the school library.  I never made time to read her book, but her words let me know it was alright to dream of being a writer. It was suddenly possible because someone that looked like me had done it. I kept that memory close, but still I wasted years writing poems and short stories and keeping them to myself.  Most of them have been lost in the shuffle of life, but I still hold them in my heart.

 Finally one day I was sick of going to work and having to stifle myself. My true feelings  were always hidden behind a mask if I wanted to keep my job. Well as best I could. My manager was always getting on me about my body language and facial expressions. Hey, I am a creative soul and my feelings are worn on the outside. I look back now and see that I decided to reclaim my time even before I knew the phrase. I was about to get serious about my craft. Since then I have written and published five books in the past two years. (Four under a pen name) However, I have not been a diligent as I could have been. I need to focus more and dedicate myself to writing every day. I have decided to write more posts on my blog as well! I am excited about this prospect because I can interact more with you guys. Still no regrets, simply reclaiming my time!

So tell me, what have you done to reclaim your time? Don’t worry if you haven’t started, simply make a plan and execute. Thanks for reading and remember… img_5992

 

 

 

Indie Shine – Abbie Johnson Taylor

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indie-shine

In this edition of Indie Shine, a place for rebirthoflisa to ‘Shine’ the spotlight on indie artists, we welcome author Abbie Johnson Taylor.

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©Abbie Taylor used with permission

Bio:

Abbie Johnson Taylor is the author of a romance novel, two poetry collections, and a memoir. Her fiction, poetry, and creative nonfiction appear in The Avocet, Magnets and Ladders, SageScript, and other publications. She has a visual impairment and lives in Sheridan, Wyoming, where for six years, she cared for her late husband, totally blind and partially paralyzed by two strokes.

Q & A

What do you do and Why do you do it? 
I write because, I, like everyone else, have an imagination, and I enjoy putting my thoughts on paper.
Tell us about your most recent work. 
‘My Ideal Partner’ describes how I met, married, and cared for my late husband at home for six years after he suffered two strokes that paralyzed his left side.
Who inspires you?
I’m inspired by many things, places, and events.
What do you consider your “Masterpiece” at this time? 
I don’t call any one work a masterpiece. Almost everything I’ve written is brilliant, in its own way.
What is your motto in life? The Light shines brightest, when the world is at its darkest.
Don’t sweat the small stuff.
Name your wildest dream. The one you can not imagine achieving, but would love for it to come true. 
I would love to be a guest on A Prairie Home Companion with Garrison Keillor hosting.
What is your favorite quote? 
“Be well. Do good work, and keep in touch.” Garrison Keillor in The Writer’s Almanac
When it is all said and done, what would you like to be remembered for?
I would like to be known for my stylish prose and poetry and lovely singing voice.
Tell us about your next project and when will it be available to the public? 
I plan to publish a collection of short stories set in Wyoming, my home state. I started working on this last year before My Ideal Partner was published ahead of schedule. Since I haven’t had time to get back to it, I don’t know when it will be available. Meanwhile, you can read many of my poems and short stories on my website.
Where can fans purchase your work?
My books can be purchased from Amazon, Createspace, Smashwords, and other sources. On my website, you’ll find a page for each of my books that contains ordering links.
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Social Media

Blog: abbiescorner.com

Website: abbiejohnsontaylor.com

Facebook: Abbies Corner of the World

Amazon Author Page: Abbie Johnson Taylor