Indie Shine – Dani Pasquini

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indie-shine

Welcome to another edition of Indie Shine, a place for Rebirthoflisa to shine the spotlight on indie artists. Today we welcome author Dani Pasquini!

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©Dani Pasquini used with permission

Q&A

What do you do and Why do you do it? 
In my “real” job, I am a neonatal nurse practitioner. I absolutely love to care for these incredibly ill infants, ensuring their survival through their hospital course so that they can then be able to go home to their families where they will continue to thrive. I keep in touch with many of these families and it’s really amazing to watch them flourish and to just know that in a small, but important way, our efforts helped make them a family. I could not imagine doing anything else as a career. Well, maybe a cupcake decorator. Nobody dies if you make a mistake.
My writing started when I was a child, hidden beneath my covers with a flashlight. Very dreamy, happy movie scene right? Well, that writing helped me escape the realities of my surroundings. It was a real escape for me. I would often find little snippets of a scene or a character written on non-distinct paper which was often discarded. I really wish I had kept some. I remember one piece I wrote was about children who could turn into tigers. It was actually inspired by the Phil Collins song called Brazil, ironically enough. As an adult, music continues to inspire my work.
I try to write everyday. And can often be found daydreaming about my characters. Creating plots and scenes, essentially birthing these little visuals in my head so that I can then build on them when I sit down to write. I love to create fantastic characters who have these amazing experiences. It’s really almost like an escape for me. Sitting down to write with my sound cancelling headphones so that I can listen to music as scenes pour onto the page is my absolute favorite thing to do.
Dani p3Tell us about your most recent work. 
I am actually working on book 3 of the series called The Gold Feather, which is also the name of the first book. The second book begins about 2 years after the first book ends. Lily and her Dual Jonas continue to support one another, along with the other Duals and Solos that they have encountered on their journey.
Lily is still exploring her abilities and beginning to accept this new reality. Book one is really the foundation for which the next books are built upon. It is there that you are introduced to Lily and Jonas along with the characters and you begin to learn what they have gone through. Book 2 is very different, it has a very different feel in the sense that it is action packed and full of revelations, that I hope were unexpected. It was really fun to write and I am really excited to set it free.
Who inspires you? 
I don’t think there is one person who inspires me. I get most of my inspiration from women who persevere. Women who do not accept the status quo and fight for what they believe in, fight for their survival and are not afraid to sometimes piss people off.
What do you consider your “Masterpiece” at this time? 
Hands down without a doubt in my mind, and I know it’s a cliche, but my children are. They are amazing little beings full of kindness, love, empathy, creativity and curiosity. I hope that they grow up to live their truth and are fearless when it comes to achieving their dreams.
What is your motto in life? 
This is a hard one since I have so many, I’ll start with these…
1) Don’t knock it till you try it
2) If it doesn’t effect me, I won’t judge you
3) Laugh whenever possible. Laughter is the cure for all that ails you. 
Name your wildest dream. The one you can not imagine achieving, but would love for it to come true.
Wildest dream huh?…I want a live in nanny, a maid, a chef, a physical trainer and a chauffeur. I think this is a good start. Oh and I want a live in masseuse.
What is your favorite quote? leave-the-gun-take-the-cannoli
“Leave the gun, take the cannoli” – Clemenza (The Godfather)
When it is all said and done, what would you like to be remembered for? 
I want my kids to remember me for being fearless, determined and strong. For standing up for myself and protecting them from all of the things that I endured as a child.
Tell us about your next project and when will it be available to the public? 
Book 2 will be ready soon. I am working on the cover and actually most importantly trying to finalize on the name of the book. I feel like naming a book is like naming a child. It’s one of those things you just don’t want to get wrong.
Where can fans purchase your work? 
I am on Amazon! It includes Amazon in several countries, like the UK and Canada for instance. I have learned that it’s not available in India sadly.

Bio: 

Dani p

©Dani Pasquini used with permission

I was born in Brazil and spent the first 10 years of my life there. After moving to the states, it took me close to 20 years before I was able to become a US citizen. My family and I feared that immigration was always lurking behind bushes just waiting to pounce on us and send us back to Brazil. Growing up an immigrant surrounded by some of the wealthiest families in America often made me feel like an outcast and there were many obstacles that I had to overcome, most of which my American friends could not relate to. In the end, my struggles made me who I am today. They opened up a window in my mind to allow for these fantastic characters to take shape. Putting ink to paper and giving them life has been very cathartic in my healing process.

 

Social Media:

Website: DaniPasquini.com

Instagram: @Dani_Pasquini_books

Facebook: @DaniPasquiniWrites

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Guest Blog Submissions – Now Open!

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Childless info

Hi Lovies,

A couple of weeks ago I was on Instagram and a particular picture caught my attention. The site who posted it, For Harriett, sparked a discussion in the comments about women who are of a certain age who do not have children and the stigma society has attached to them. This renewed my interest in this topic. You see a few years ago I had an idea to do a blog feature about childless women, but I never moved forward with it. They say that it is all about timing and well, I have decided it’s time!

If you are a woman over 30 who does not have children I need your input. It doesn’t matter the reason you are not a mother, I want to hear your story. Here are the details:

 

childless facts

If you would like to participate, please complete this form https://goo.gl/forms/VVpbuEodsDHGyV9g2  

I look forward to hearing from you. If you are not a childless woman over 30, but know of someone who would like to be involved, please share this post. Thanks.

Guest Blog Recruiting!

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childless

Hi Lovies,

I have been inspired to create a guest blog event for women who are over 30 and are childless. There were a couple of social media posts over the last few weeks that I was engaged in where women who do not have a baby and are over the age of 30 are simply tired of being harassed by society. They will not comply with what the rest of the world deems normal and are pushing back. The reluctance to talk about what is happening with their bodies is personal and private. Why do strangers need to know if they can’t have a baby or simply don’t want one?

Well, this blog feature is going to address those concerns and more. It is a way for women to express themselves without the overwhelming cloak of judgement hanging over them. If you are a “childless” woman over the age of 30 and would like to participate in this event, please contact me.

Let the people hear your point of view so they can stop asking you all of the time. Let your voices be heard!  Be sure to spread the word! Like, and share this post.

 

 

Book Review – Revolution: Book 2 in The Nora White Story by Yecheilyah Ysrayl 

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Rev

Today is the Release Day for Yecheilyah Ysrayl’s latest creation! I have been looking forward to this one since I read Book 1 – Renaissance: The Nora White Story back in June of last year. Ren

The story of Nora White continues where it left off from book 1 in the series. As expected it was a whirlwind of excitement.
The story once again toggles between New York, Nora’s new haven and Mississippi, her roots.

I found myself enthralled with this story. The way the author blends the actual events Revolutionof the past with her fictitious interpretation is compelling. The visual depictions of the surrounding had me inside the room when Nora was waking from one of her spells. I could smell the open air of the South and feel the breeze on my face at the lake. I had the feeling that if I took a step, I would enter into the realm of Nora and her friends as they prepared for the huge Marcus Garvey event at The Garden.

The lesson in this book is something that is needed so much in today’s society. It also shows, the more things change, the more they stay the same.

My one disappointment was that we never hear from Lisa and what happened to her. I was very much looking forward to seeing how karma was going to deal with her. The author did leave a tiny bit of hope at the end so maybe we’ll see a third book about Lisa and her shenanigans. Here’s hoping. Overall I gave this story 4.5 stars, which in my world rounds up to a 5 star rating!

To purchase Renaissance, Revolution and the rest of Yecheilyah’s body of work Click Here.

 

 

Invisible Fat Lady Presents – Montgomery, AL

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Hi Lovies,

It’s been a long time. I shouldn’t have left you without a dope place to travel to. Okay, so I am no Rakim, but it has been a while since I wrote a travel blog. Well, the Invisible Fat Lady is back with a historical trip to Montgomery, Alabama. Yaaaaas!

As some of you that follow my blog know, my husband and I recently moved to Birmingham, AL. Never, ever ever in my big thighed life did I expect to live in Alabama! However, when the opportunity knocks, you have to jump in. Since I can write from anywhere, it was only fair to support my hubby in following his career goals. So what do I think so far? Not too shabby! Who knew Alabama, specifically Bham was poppin?

Well, you didn’t stop what you’re doing to read about my likes or dislikes of the Magic City. We are supposed to be chatting about my trip to Montgomery. Don’t get too excited, we took a day trip which meant we had to drive down and back(two hours each way) on a beautiful Sunday afternoon. I read about the new Legacy Museum and the corresponding National Memorial For Peace and Justice that just opened and I had to see them for myself.

For a total of $10 per person, we purchased a combo pack of tickets that allowed us access to

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© Lisa W. Tetting

both attractions. Of course we tried to be all tech savvy and purchase our tickets in the car, thinking we could just show the bar code on the phone to gain access. WRONG! There we were, looking at each other, neither armed with a portable printer. Well, damn! Luckily, the lady at the box office/gift shop was nice enough to print out our tickets for us. It only took navigating through a long corridor to find the box office. It was actually a little area that used to be used as a gateway to moves slaves from one holding area to another. It has been renovated and gentrified to house several shops and restaurants in this era.

Once we got our tickets, we walked back over to the museum, which is less than a block away, only to have water poured on my head. I don’t mean literally, but that’s what it felt like. The night before we left, I charged up my Canon SLR and was ready for a day of great picture taking. Well, The Legacy Museum had other plans. You could certainly take your camera inside, because they didn’t want to inconvenience you and make you walk back to your car. However, you were not about to use said camera inside the museum. I had 3 pictures that I needed to get, one of the entry wall, one of the jars of sand collected at the lynching sites all over the south, and one of the sculpture on the way out. Just three measly pictures would have satisfied me, but I was denied.

Security Guards be like… 

Sorry Guys, no pics of the inside of the museum and since I had my petty boots on, I didn’t take any of the outside either. That will show them. Anyway, the tour was self-guided and it didn’t take that long. Give yourself 45 minutes to an hour depending on how busy it is. The displays were ok, but I prefer the ones in the Civil Rights Museum in Birmingham. They were totally different so it is not a comparison in that manner, just the overall feel of the place was different.

The theme of the museum is ‘From Enslavement to Mass Incarceration’. The most intense part for me was seeing the jars of soil that were meticulously collected from each documented site of a lynching in the South. The most astonishing thing was seeing so many jars with Unknown listed as the name of the person lynched. It amazes me the amount of hate displayed there. On a positive note, I saw a lot of families touring the museum. People of all races, many from other countries, learning about our country’s shameful past and present. (Remember the Mass Incarceration part?)

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© Lisa W. Tetting

When we left there, we loaded back into the truck, after a brief walk around the area to see what we could see. I found it amusing to find the Hank Williams Museum just steps away. Oh yeah, I forgot to tell you the historical significance of the location of the museum. It is housed in a restored building that once served as a warehouse/holding cell for slaves between the time they disembarked from ships and were sold at the market, which is only a few blocks away.

Once we left that area, we traveled over to what I deemed one of the greatest memorials I have ever experienced. I say experienced, because that is exactly what you do there. The National Memorial For Peace and Justice is a sight to behold. Thankfully, the guards allowed pictures there. Starting out along the entry of the walkway, you are greeted by a beautiful quote from one of today’s most important writers, Toni Morrison. Continuing up the slight incline you reach a breathtaking sculpture representing the enslaved ancestors. I was speechless as I viewed the art installation created by West African artist, Kwame Akoto-Bamfo. The attention to detail is evident as you view each representative down to the braids of one woman’s hair. Just beautiful and sad at the same time.

As you continue to walk up the pathway, the wall on the right continues to get taller and taller, with inscriptions leading you along the way. Then you get to a stopping point where you can look over the wall to inspect the lawn down below. The view is stunning, but you continue because you must. The first sight of the monuments is at eye level. You’ll notice the pattern throughout the monument of the name of the county and state where the lynching took place, followed by the names of the people who were brutally murdered, and the dates of the lynching.

Some are individual instances, while others appear to have been a massacre. We counted on one structure at least 17 people all killed on the same day in the same county, but the most unnerving thing was they were all listed as Unknown! I can’t tell you the amount of pain this brought to my soul. Imagine families being dragged out and murdered in the streets for no reason. They didn’t even know the people’s names, just their race.

 The memorial is well structured throughout. As the incline increases, so do the structures. They move from eye level to rising overhead at a slow steady pace. You will be entranced at this level, but I will warn you to watch your step. On the structures that are hanging above you, the name of the county and state are etched into the bottom, causing you to look up. Although the designers have installed frames directly underneath the structures, you will be distracted looking up and may run into one. I witnessed a lady doing just that.   You have been warned.

The next corridor has more structures, but also a display along a wall that tells the stories of several families and individuals and why they were lynched. There is a peaceful water wall placed there to honor the dead. From there it continues. It goes on and on and on. The path leads you around to what I call the garden, where the structures are now laying to rest on the earth, in the same fashion as a coffin. It truly resembled a graveyard. Once you reach the end of this path, you are greeted by a tranquility park, set there to honor civil rights pioneer Ida B. Wells. It is a place for peaceful reflection.

Just on the other side of the peaceful little corner, there is a pathway that takes you back around to the start of the tour. Here you will find more sculptures that depict racial violence from both the past and present. On your way out don’t forget to read the poem Invocation by Elizabeth Alexander that reflects on the past, but gives hope for the future.

I couldn’t believe how many people were killed in this horrific fashion, not to mention their murders going unpunished. I want you all to stop and think about this. How can this country ever heal if we can’t get justice for the blood that has spilled? This memorial is a good step in the right direction and I applaud EJI for sanctioning a memorial worthy of the mall in DC.

I encourage every man, woman, and child who is drawing breath in their bodies to take the trip to Montgomery and see this memorial. We must start the healing process in order for things to get better for ALL of us. That’s all for now.  And remember… meme53

 

 

 

 

 

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Indie Shine – Charles R. Butts Jr.

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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 Charles R. Butts Jr.

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©Charles R. Butts Jr. used with permission

 

Bio: 

 In addition to being an author, blogger and speaker, Atlanta native Charles R. Butts Jr. is an Army veteran and a retired postal service employee with over thirty-three years of service. When he’s not reading, writing or working out, Charles enjoys spending time with Shawanda, his wife of twenty-two years, his children, Amber and Charles III and his beloved grandson Noah. Influenced by James Baldwin, Walter Mosley and Langston Hughes, he hopes to align myriad, exciting and relatable characters into a single thread.

Q & A:

What do you do and Why do you do it?
I write compelling and thought-provoking fiction about the real life issues we face today using flawed and relatable characters. I write about racism, violence, temptation, mental illness, rejection because of albinism. I do so because problems can’t be resolved until they’re addressed.
Tell us about your most recent work.
 My most recent work is a compelling, diverse and thought-provoking collection of shortCharles Butts Book stories entitled Running In Plain Sight & Other Stories. Four stories dealing with murder, temptation, rejection and mental illness (Bipolar Disorder)
Who inspires you?
Numerous writers like James Baldwin, Walter Mosley, Toni Morrison, Dr. Maya Angelou, Nikki Giovanni and Paulo Coelho (The Alchemist) among others.
What do you consider your “Masterpiece” at this time?
 While I’m proud of my works, I’m not going to call them “ Masterpieces” Because of the positive reviews and feedback I’ve received, I’m encouraged to create greater works.
What is your motto in life? 
 The golden rule. Treat everyone the way you’d like to be treated regardless of how you’re treated.
Name your wildest dream. The one you can not imagine achieving, but would love for it to come true. 
 I would love for my novel, For Only A Season to be made into a movie.
What is your favorite quote? 
shakespeare quote “ To thine own self be true, and it must follow as the night does the day. Thou canst be false to any man.” William Shakespeare
When it is all said and done, what would you like to be remembered for? 
 Being a good person, husband and father.
Tell us about your next project and when will it be available to the public? 
 My next project is the sequel to For Only A Season. It’s entitled The Storm Is Passing Over. I’m hoping to release it at the end of the year.
Where can fans purchase your work? 
My work is available on Amazon and Amazon Kindle. You can also order through my website, www.charlesrbuttsjr.com

Social  Media:

Charles Butts

©Charles R. Butts Jr. used with permission

Facebook: Charles R. Butts Jr.

Twitter: @Charlesrbuttsjr

Instagram: charlesr.butts

Website: www.charlesrbuttsjr.com

New Short Story in SOUL Magazine Issue 5

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Nnekas firstHi Lovies,

Just a quick chat to let you guys know what I have going on. I wrote a short story called Nneka’s First about a little African American girl who deals with discrimination on her first day of kindergarten. Her parents, with the permission of her teacher, teach her classmates a lesson in tolerance.

You can read my story along with other stories and poems from some very talented writers in Issue 5 of SOUL Magazine, edited and curated by Candis Johnsonavailable on lulu.com. Click here to purchase it.

SOUL issue5 Cover