Zora’s Uncanny Resemblance to my mom – Yea or Nae?

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Today ends the week long celebration of the 2nd Anniversary of my first book, The Mistreatment of Zora Langston. I wanted to share something very personal that happened during the planning stages of the book cover.

My graphic artist, Monica Gibbs drew the picture of Zora and sent it to me for approval. A little know fact is that there were some changes made, but when I looked at the draft of her I thought Zora bared an uncanny resemblance to my mom. I marveled at this and showed it only to my husband, trying to think of a way to explain it. You see, Monica and I met online and she had never seen my mom so I was at a loss to explain how this could happen. I still can’t explain it so I will leave that alone.

With Monica’s permission, I am including the pics of ‘work in progress Zora’ and my mom back in the day when she was in her twenties. You tell me what you think. Does Zora really look like my mom or is it just me? Leave me a comment and let me know.image1(1)

img_4848If you still need to get your copy of The Mistreatment of Zora Langston, be sure to take advantage of the anniversary sale $0.99 thru March 19th. e-book only! Click Here to purchase.

Zora is 2 Years Old!

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It is the 2 year Anniversary of The Mistreatment of Zora Langston!(March 16th) To celebrate I am giving away 2 autographed copies to my readers. Enter to win on Goodreads.com and good luck! Only available in the US.

Click Here to Enter

 

Melanade- Michelle Obama

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I would like to take this moment to honor Mrs. Michelle Obama as the inaugural person in my new feature Melanade. This feature’s goal is to illuminate women of color who exemplify greatness in this world and who use their power for the betterment of women kind. Though I do not claim to be a feminist, I surely am one in my own way, because I admire and uplift women who make life easier for the next woman.

Flawless FLOTUS, that’s the name I dubbed Michelle Obama when she officially took office way back in 2009. I cannot tell you how overjoyed I was to see a strong, yet demure independent woman with brown skin and the grace of a dancer, move into the White House. She is so beautiful, but she also down to earth. She makes you feel as if you could be her good friend and not just in our heads. Mrs. Obama has the ability to charm dignitaries and regular working class people in the same breath. I don’t mind saying I am fascinated by her presence at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave and she will be sorely missed.

flotusMrs. O took the country by storm and continues to inspire young girls and women still to this day. I can sit here and write about her astute fashion sense, her charming smile, and her great chops as a mom in the spotlight, but I would not do her justice if I did not talk about her ability to shine in her duties as FLOTUS! This Princeton and Harvard educated woman of color took the position of First Lady and did it like no other in that position. Some feminists may say that choosing to shun her education and take a backseat to her husband’s career was anti-feminist, but they couldn’t be more wrong. They forget that she made a choice! There was no forceful takeover of her career. This woman chose to be present in one of the most historic events in my lifetime. It was the right time and place and she was the right person for the job. No one else could have handled things the way she did. She did not bow down to her husband’s will; she chose to use her education to benefit the entire country, while still being a mom.

As the ‘Mom in Chief’ she elected children and veterans as her platform.  Healthy eating became her major concern, especially for the children in public schools. Not only did she talk the talk, she walked the walk by growing and eating fresh veggies in The White House Garden. Her “Let’s Move” campaign was epic, even getting celebrities like Ellen DeGeneres, Jimmy Fallon and her epic ad with NBA players from the Heat. She even affected girls on a global level.

What I greatly admire about her is her ability to take the cruel and senseless attacks on her character, looks and even her gender with a grain of salt. For a woman as statuesque as this woman to be called a man saddened me. Then when she was labeled the “Angry Black Woman” I had to laugh at the absurdity. If they want to see a real angry black woman, I can show them plenty of examples, but Michelle Obama is not one of them. Her motto “When they go low, we go high” is genius. I learned how to conduct myself when faced with adversity. Now I won’t lie, I am still working on this lesson, but I have FLOTUS as a reference and I will utilize her examples to the hilt.

On behalf of women everywhere, I would like to thank Mrs. Obama for all she has done for the American people during her reign. Ladies, if you remember nothing else from her time in office, please remember her words, “You are competent and capable…. The measure of any society is how it treats its women and girls.” During her final speech as the First Lady, Michelle hoped that she did us proud as our first lady. Well, let me simply say, job well done ma’am. Job well done!

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Wise Words Wednesday – Maya Angeou

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If you follow my blog, you know I am a huge fan of Dr. Maya Angelou. Her wisdom is something that fuels me. I would love to know what she would think of the state of affairs in this country today. Since that is not possible, let’s reminisce on this talk she gave about Love and how it liberates. These words are powerful! Thanks you Dr. Angelou.

 

Thankful Sunday – NaBloPoMo #23

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The holiday season is upon us and since this week is Thanksgiving I decided to reflect on a few things for which I am thankful. First and foremost I am thankful for my many blessings that God has given me and I do not want to leave any of them out, however there are way too many to write about. I will limit my post to just a few.

• I am very grateful to have a loving, hard-working husband who loves me and takes great care of me. I don’t know what I would do without him. He is truly the answer to my prayers.
• I value the love from my family and even if I don’t get to see them very often, they are always on my mind and in my heart.
• I am happy for the opportunity to write a blog that is growing and reaching more people than I ever thought possible. After a complete year of writing I am positive it is my calling. I am also very thankful for the two bloggers that participated in my Blogiversary Poetry Challenge; Silver Threading and From the sticks to the bricks and back again. I appreciate your participation more than you know. Please check out the great quote from “Silver” and the wonderful poem written by “Sticks” they are both amazing.
• UT Lady Vols – there has been an uproar in the sports community because administration is trying to remove the Lady from Lady Vols and who knows when or if they will succeed. I am thankful to know and love the Lady Vols program and will NEVER allow the legacy that Pat Summitt built disappear. Those ladies did not work so hard for such a long time to just let the tradition of Lady Vols fall by the wayside! More on this topic later.

Thanks for reading and I challenge you all to make a short list of things for which you are grateful. Happy Thanksgiving!

The Stranger Across the Street

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Writing 101: Day 17 – Hone Your Point of View

Craft a story from the perspective of a twelve-year-old observing it all. For your twist, focus on specific character qualities, drawing from elements we’ve worked on in this course, like voice and dialogue.

The neighborhood has seen better days, but Mrs. Pauley has lived there since before anyone can remember. She raised a family of six boys, who’ve all grown up and moved away. Since Mr. Pauley died three months ago, she’d had no income. She’s fallen behind in the rent. The landlord, accompanied by the police, have come to evict Mrs. Pauley from the house she’s lived in for forty years.

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Hi everyone, my name is Pat and I am 12 years old. I live in a very vibrant neighborhood where everyone knows each other. I was sitting outside on the stoop in front of my house with Loni when it happened. Out of nowhere, 5-0 pulled up across the street and went into the mean old hag’s house. You should have seen her kicking and screaming and fighting the cop. I thought for sure he was going to tase her old butt. That old lady had terrorized me and Loni for years and we thought it was funny.

“Here comes the Po Po!” I yelled at Loni. We both got scared and almost started to run. ‘Girl, where are you going? You live here!” Loni cackled. Even though we were good kids, the sight of a cop scared us. They were notorious for harassing people in our neighborhood and kids were no exception. This time they picked a mean old lady whose husband just died. At first we thought, “Maybe she killed Mr. Pauley. I always thought he was too nice to be married to her” I said. “I bet she poisoned him” replied Loni. We watched as the man with the briefcase got out of his big Lincoln Town car and stood by as the police man drug Mrs. Pauley down her front stairs. He had a smug look on his face and acted as if he was enjoying the scene.

Just as Mrs. Pauley hit the bottom stair my mom burst out of our house and called out “What are you doing to that old lady? This is wrong. You’re hurting her!” Seeing my mom so concerned made me rethink the way I felt about Mrs. Pauley. I have always hated her because she was so mean to all the kids in the neighborhood, but maybe there was something more. I mean my mom would never befriend someone who is mean and nasty. The policeman dumped her on the street and padlocked the house. He then posted a big EVICTION notice on her front door and would not allow her to retrieve her belongings.

As I watched my mom standing there holding Mrs. Pauley and crying with her I somehow developed sympathy for her. No matter how mean she was to me, she did not deserve to be drug out of her home in front of her neighbors and humiliated like this. At that moment I decided I needed to do something. “Mom can Mrs. Pauley come stay with us until we can figure out a way to help her get back into her home?” I asked. My mom’s face light up with pride and she said, “Of course. I don’t know why I didn’t think of it first. Mrs. Pauley come on let’s get you off the street. You can call one of your sons and maybe they can help.” Seeing that she had no choice, Mrs. Pauley reluctantly agreed.

“Mrs. Pauley, what happened?” mom asked. “Well I have had some money troubles every since Mr. Pauley died. He didn’t have insurance so I used the money we had in savings to pay for his funeral. Once my boys found out there was no inheritance, they left and won’t take my calls. I can’t believe all six of my babies have deserted me like this. I’m too old to work and my Social Security check hasn’t been enough to pay the bills. I got behind in rent and now after 40 years of paying rent on time every month, I miss a couple of months and that man comes to put me out. I have never been so embarrassed in all my life. I didn’t even have a chance to get a picture of Mr. Pauley. What am I going to do?” she said with a shaky voice.

I wasn’t sure how to solve her problems, but I knew I could do something. I rounded up a bunch of the kids from the neighborhood and said, “I know Mrs. Pauley is a pain, but she’s one of our own. We need to do something to help her. Anyone have any ideas?” The kids agreed that we should help, but just didn’t know how. Then a light bulb went on, “Hey let’s get everyone on the block to help by throwing a block party” I called out. “Yea, we can charge admission and then the money from the door can pay her rent” Lina chimed in. “I can get my brother to DJ since he thinks he’s an MC,” Elyssa said. Everyone started coming up with ways to contribute. We made signs and then we presented the idea to my mom and Mrs. Pauley.

Mrs. Pauley was to prideful at first to accept our help. “No I couldn’t allow you all to help me. I will figure this out on my own.” “Well, Mrs. P I say if the kids want to help you should let them. Everyone already knows you’ve fallen on hard times. We are your family. You have been the matriarch of this block for over 40 years. How many cakes, pies and cookies have you baked for the ladies around here when they gave birth or had a birthday or got promoted at work? You have looked out for us when we needed you and now it’s time to return the kindness. We won’t take no for an answer.” My mom could be very persuasive and she always got her way.

Long story short, we had that block party and raised the money Mrs. Pauley needed to get back into her home. Then we came up with a plan for her to do what she loved and earn some money to supplement her income. She began selling those cakes, pies and cookies and instead of being mean to the kids she was now happy and loving. All of the kids bought her baked goods and she was able to pay her rent with the extra money. The kids and Mrs. Pauley learned that family is not always blood. Sometimes you can find family in the stranger across the street.