Wednesday, June 3

Mind Your Business: Connecting the Dots Life Coaching with Terri Martinez


 
 
 
 
Connecting the Dots Life Coaching with Terri Martinez
Listen to the Mind Your Business: Crown Holders Master Class - http://www.audioacrobat.com/sa/W4sgvfdP
 
  
Terri Martinez is a blogger and author who writes under the pen name Terri D. She published her debut novel titled Yesterday’s Lies in 2011.  Terri has since released four more novels and had a poem published as part of an anthology of poems about love titled Bubblin’ Brown Sugar.  Terri’s most recent release titled, Passport Wife is a memoir. Although she continues to write, Terri is the Program Coordinator for Life Esteem Inc. In this role she coordinates the curriculum and training materials for the parenting programs offered through Life Esteem. She’s an active member of the advisory board and was very instrumental in the opening of the Life Esteem Holistic Wellness Center in December 2017.
 
In June of 2018, Terri started a Non-Profit Organization, A Blessing for You.  Her non profit provides assistance to expectant and new mothers in need as well as providing training and connecting them to other community resources.  Terri is a trained Chaplain assistant, Certified Recovery Specialist and Certified Life Coach.  Terri offers life coaching services in person, via phone or video. Visit the Connecting the Dots Life Coaching website: https://connectingthedotsdiva.com 
 
 

 
CONNECTING THE DOTS: YOUR PATHWAY TO LEARNING TO LOVE LIVING
Read article and listen to Terri's talk about how Learning to Connect Your Dots can help you learn how to love living your life. Read more: http://www.themorningtea.com/2020/03/connecting-dots-your-pathway-to.html
 
 
It’s really about your values.  What is important to you.  What are your goals and aspirations?  Some dots are larger or more important than others.  Some dots change over time, some dots may become less important and die off whereas others may grow in importance in your life.  Our dots are fluid.  As we grow and learn the makeup of our dots change.  Therefore, it’s important to understand how your dots connect.  If you make a change to one dot, you need to understand what other dots might be impacted to be prepared.
 
The larger meaning of learning how to connect the dots became clear to me after taking an early retirement in 2017.  My house was empty and so was my calendar.  I had absolutely no idea who I was anymore.  I hadn’t thought about me and my dots for so long I had completely lost track of them.  I had no clue what they were or how they connected.
 
Since realizing this I have been on a mission to find and reconnect all my dots.  It is a constant work in progress.  Identifying your dots and learning how to connect them closely aligns with holistic wellness concepts.  At the core of holistic wellness are the eight dimensions of wellness.
 
1)      Intellectual wellness is when you recognize your unique talents to be creative and seek out ways to use them.
 
2)      Physical wellness is when you recognize what is necessary to keep your body healthy.
 
3)      Spiritual wellness is related to your values.  Beliefs that help you find meaning and purpose in your life.
 
4)      Emotional wellness is your ability to cope with life and build satisfying relationships with others.
 
5)      Financial wellness is a feeling of satisfaction about your financial situation.
 
6)      Occupational wellness is a sense of satisfaction with your choice of work.
 
7)      Environmental wellness is related to the surroundings you occupy.
 
8)      Social wellness is a sense of connectedness and belonging.
 
 
Once you begin to learn about the dimensions and all of the little things that are inside of each one of them you begin to understand that the key to success or happiness in life is learning your dots, the most important things for you and how they interact, and making decisions about where you want them to be.  This is what I refer to as learning to love living your life.
 
Life coaching is NOT counseling or therapy.  Unlike counseling or therapy, which involve looking back and working through one’s past, Life coaching is about looking to the future and navigating through the present to reach the goals one has set.
 
 
Terri is a trained Chaplain assistant, Certified Recovery Specialist and Certified Life Coach. Terri offers life coaching services in person, via phone or video. Visit the Connecting the Dots Life Coaching website: https://connectingthedotsdiva.com 
 
 
 

Meet LoLo Smith - Community Leader and Children Book Author

Meet LoLo Smith
Community Leader and Children Book Author

 

 
 
LoLo Smith is a children’s book author on a mission to positively reshape the way children of color see themselves. As an elementary school teacher, she was dismayed with the lack of children’s books with characters of color on the market. So she established Do The Write Thing of DC (DTWT), with two other like-minded individuals. This 501(c)(3) tax exempt not-for-profit publishes books by, about and for African Americans to address the lack of diversity in books.  “I’m filling diversity gaps in children’s literature and doing my part to normalize the appearance of African American and Hispanic girls and boys in books,” she says.  
 
LoLo has written 10 books for children. Her books feature anime characters, American Girl dolls, superheroes and even dogs! She writes on topics such as kindness, bullying, community workers, and the COIVD-19 pandemic. 
 
She has taken her commitment a step further by developing a literacy program, Living Storybook, through which she re-issues her original books with photos of African American and Hispanic children that participate in DTWT’s after-school and summer programs. “When children see photos of themselves in a book, it becomes a powerful incentive for them to read,” she says.
 
LoLo Smith is pleased to announce the release of the following books which are available for purchase at  https://www.amazon.com/LoLo-Smith/e/B01LDWYAEK
 
 
 
 
 

 


 

I Know My Community Workers by LoLo Smith 
 
 
This picture book exposes young children to 17 different occupations, some of which they may not have considered for themselves such as being a chef, astronaut, or politician. Many are playing important parts during the COVID-19 pandemic such as the doctor, nurse, teacher, grocer, chef, construction worker, fire fighter, police officer, train engineers and the mayor. 
 
The 4 pages of JUST FOR FUN facts are a very creative way for parents to determine if their child understands the information in the book. Beautifully produced books like this will get the children off the internet.
 

Purchase I Know My Community Workers by LoLo Smith 
 
 

VIDEO:  I Know My Community Workers by LoLo Smith 
For children age 4-7.  Teaches young children the titles, tools and workplaces of community workers and encourages them to set career goals. Four pages of activity sheets are available to delight and excite the children. Watch the Living Storybook Program:  https://youtu.be/nLb1u6gGTMM
 
 
 
 

 


 

Community Workers & COVID-19 by LoLo Smith
(A Children's Book About Coronavirus) 
 
 
Looking for an engaging book to teach children about the coronavirus and explain what community workers do? This is it! In Community Workers & COVID-19, kids are introduced to a special town called Share-A-Lot where a doctor, nurse, teacher, construction worker, grocer, chef, emergency medical technician (EMT), police officer, and a mayor all work together to save lives during the coronavirus pandemic.
 
Throughout this engaging story, children will learn about the role each community worker plays in the town while learning the virtue of sharing. From the teacher who reminds students to wash their hands, to the research doctor working on a vaccine for COVID-19, to the grocer and chef providing nutritious fresh food and vegetables to keep the body healthy, each worker plays an essential role in the town and they are all happy to do their jobs to help the community get through a difficult time.
 
But what happens when the mayor decides to offer a special prize to the most essential worker in town? How will they ever decide who plays the most essential role? You'll have to read to find out.
 
By the end of the book, children will have a greater understanding of how each community worker helps combat coronavirus pandemic and a newfound appreciation for the community workers keeping them safe in their own community.
 
Purchase Community Workers & COVID-19 (A Children's Book About Coronavirus)
 
 
 
 
 

 

 


 

 
Max & Bo: Two Dogs On The Go by LoLo Smith 
 
 
Meet Max and Bo, two fun-loving dogs that like to celebrate the holidays including New Year's Eve, Valentine's Day, July 4th, Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas. Young children will enjoy seeing the illustrations of the dogs in their different hats, ties and costumes. This is a delightful book with rhymes on every page to engage young kids. JUST FOR FUN facts help parents determine if their child remembers the information in the book.
 
But it is not all fun and games for Max and Bo. At the end of the book, they are shown in face masks. This illustration can be used as a springboard for parents to discuss COVID-19 with young children. Max and Bo are in face masks since it's not too much to ask, to help prevent COVID-19, and avoid being in quarantine! 
 
Purchase Max & Bo: Two Dogs On The Go by LoLo Smith
 
 
 
 
 


 

 
Intimate Conversation with LoLo Smith
 
 
LoLo Smith is an educator and a children's book author on a mission to positively reshape the way children of color see themselves. As a teacher, she was dismayed with the lack of children's books with characters of color. So she established a nonprofit with two like-minded individuals that publishes books by, about and for African Americans. LoLo is doing her part to normalize the appearance of African American and Hispanic children in books. She has taken her commitment a step further by developing a literacy program, Living Storybook, through which she re-issues her original books with photos of African American and Hispanic children. She believes that when children see photos of themselves in a book, it becomes a powerful incentive for them to read.
 
 
BPM: Please share something our readers wouldn’t know about you.
In addition to writing books for children, I am a sports enthusiast and have published a book about Michael Jordan retiring from the Bulls then spending his last playing days with one of the worst teams in the NBA - the Washington Wizards (Mr. Jordan Goes to Washington). I was also a sports columnist for a local Baltimore paper, in the early 2000's,  and wrote a column early on after Kobe Bryant's arrest in Colorado about why he should be found not guilty if his case went to trial.
 
I also developed a publication, Guide To Wedding Publicity, in which I provided information on how brides can obtain free publicity for their weddings. This DIY (Do It Yourself) guide was based on my experience in getting the wedding of Jeanne Roberts, daughter of then-billionaire businessman, Michael Roberts, featured in 20 different print and on-line newspapers and magazines, including the front cover of a white bridal magazine that had never had a black bride on its cover.
 
 
BPM: If you had to describe yourself in three words, what would they be?
Intense, naturally funny, and helpful.
 
 
BPM: Tell us about writing your first set of children's books. What was the journey like?
When I was teaching 2nd grade, I asked my students to bring a book from home. One student brought a copy of the Yellow Pages and said that was the only book in her home. I became determined to produce a book that each child could take home for their personal library. I took photos of my students dressed as community workers and wrote a book based on a kiddie play I produced with the children, called Share-A-Lot. The play was about the community workers learning the value of sharing. That book was put together on a shoe string budget. Was I ever glad when Amazon.com started helping self-published authors with their own print-on-demand company called CreateSpace which is now Kindle Publishing.
 
 
BPM: Introduce us to your most recent work. Available on Nook and Kindle?
While I have been home-bound because of COVID-19, I tailored a book I had previously written about community workers to describe what these workers would be doing in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The book, "Community Workers  & COVID-19"  includes tips on how to avoid getting or spreading the disease.  
 
I also wrote "Max & Bo: Two Dogs On The Go" and present information about COVID-19 in a very gentle way so that children will not be so afraid and know that they can protect themselves in very simple ways from getting the disease. All of these titles listed below are now available at Amazon and on Kindle.
 
 
 
BPM:  Who do you see reading your books? What age group will benefit from the stories?
My children's books are geared towards ages 4-8 in kindergarden - 2nd grade primarily. I do have one book, Sista CindyElla Mae (The African American Cinderella) which is written for students in grades 3-5.
 
 
BPM: Writing can be an emotionally draining and stressful pursuit. Any tips self-care for creative folks?
I feel very drained when I write because I am in front of the laptop for hours. I find that it helps to take Kelp (Iodine) when working on the laptop.
 
 
BPM: Do you have anything special for readers that you’ll focus on this year?
When anyone purchases any of the books featuring community workers, they will receive the following for FREE: Boy and girl paper dolls with paper clothing/uniforms for 6 of the community workers (doctor, chef, firefighter, police officer, teacher, judge). Activity Sheets for Community Workers (24 pages of spelling, reading and math activities).
 
 
BPM: What projects are you working on at the present?
I am working on two projects at the present that are very important to me:
 
1. The nonprofit that I co-founded (Do The Write Thing of DC) is currently offering a Video Book Club to 20 students in Kg-2nd grade who attended Plummer Elementary School in the second most deprived area of the District of Columbia (Ward 7) during the 2019-2020 school year. Do The Write Thing implemented an after-school program at Plummer from Oct 2019 through Mar 13, 2020 when schools were abruptly closed in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. 
 
We called all the parents after the school was closed and asked if their child could participate in our Video Book Club. We have been reading books from a list selected by the CHILDREN'S DEFENSE FUND for its FREEDOM SCHOOLS. The last books that will be read to these young children will be:  Max & Bo:Two Dogs On The Go by LoLo Smith and Community Workers & COVID-19 by LoLo Smith
 
 
2. I have just issued a second edition of my book about kindness (Ten Acts of Kindness) and I previously published an anti-bullying/kindness book (My Doll & Me: Superheroes Fighting Bullying with Kindness). These books feature anime characters in superhero costumes with American Girl dolls, also dressed in matching superhero costumes. These books include the following material: 
 
Ten no or low-cost acts of kindness that children can perform at school or in the community with their parents;
 
No Bullying Pledge; Kindness Pledge; the Walk-Talk-Tell strategy to deal with bullies; 10 Kindness slogans (examples: no act of kindness, no matter how small is ever wasted; kindness is always in season; kindness is the language which the deaf can hear and the blind can see, it's cool to be kind).
 
JUST FOR FUN facts: lyrics to NO BULLYING, an original song written by local DC artist. All purchasers of either book will receive FREE KINDNESS BINGO or BULLYING BUSTING BINGO.
 
 
BPM: How can readers discover more about you and your work in the community?
Visit the website for the nonprofit, Do The Write Thing of DC at:  http://www.dothewritethingdc.org
 
Do The Write Thing of DC (501)(c)(3) tax-exempt not-for-profit organization established by LoLo Smith and two others on April 5, 2010 that publishes books for, about and by African-Americans. Do The Write Thing also implements academic enrichment programs after school and during the summer.
 
 
Learn More About Do the Write Thing Foundation of DC
 
Do The Write Thing addresses the need to offer youth from economically and socially vulnerable communities in the District full access to performing, literary and visual arts instruction which teach actionable strategies and constructive methods of self-expression. Research shows art education helps students in low performing schools where learning is impeded by the detriments of poverty. 
 
The needs of our target population are well documented in research which shows children from vulnerable communities have low social-economic indicators that are inextricably linked to lags in academic performance, inter-generational health disparities, mental and behavioral health challenges, social isolation and criminalization. There is evidence within the research that promising approaches for minimizing the harmful effects of poverty should be culturally appropriate, align with school-day instruction, include parental involvement, develop self-esteem and expand safety net opportunities.
 
Kids have the best chance at success when they feel listened to, empowered, and respected. That’s why Do the Write Thing designs its arts-based after-school pro- grams – reaching 250 students in DC’s most under-served wards – with the help of the youth themselves. Younger children write and produce their own books, casting themselves as the heroes and proudly presenting their creations, while middle and high school students use poetry, songwriting, music production, and more to raise their voices about issues that matter to them. 
 
The Kindness Project uses art and literature to encourage little and big acts of kindness, while Fashion Against Bullying spreads positivity through a fusion of fashion, stage production, writing, and entrepreneurship. Your support teaches kids to fight hate with creativity and compassion. Isn’t that what our world needs?
 
 
 
 
 
 

 
 
 
Visit LoLo Smith's Booksellers: 
 
LoLo Smith on AuthorsDen:   http://www.authorsden.com/lolosmith
 
 
Explore More Lolo Smith Books:  https://www.amazon.com/Loretta-Smith/e/B00AH8S7MI  
 
 
 
 

 

BROUGHT TO YOU BY ELLA D. CURRY & EDC CREATIONS MEDIA GROUP

EDC Creations Media Group is a Prince George's County, Maryland marketing, branding, and promotions firm that specializes in Internet book promotions, Internet 3.0 marketing campaigns, brand coaching and RSS feed syndication for small to medium-size businesses, new authors and individuals.

Our award-winning team offers exceptional design, outstanding service and quick turnaround time without the high costs, impersonal attitude and expensive rates of a larger marketing agency. If you would like to expand your marketing territory, visit our website today: http://www.edc-creations.com.  You can create your Pearl Page, heard here, in matter of minutes. Book your slot today!

 

 

Friday, April 17

STOP MAKING EXCUSES by Diann Thomas, The Morning Tea



STOP MAKING EXCUSES! by Diann Thomas, The Morning Tea

"Each of us finds our meaning and function as a part of His body."  Romans 12:5 (TM)


Understand this:  you're going to give your life for something - the questions is what?  Sports, a hobby, fame, wealth?  None of these bring lasting satisfaction, not one! Service is the pathway to joy and fulfillment! 

It's through ministry that we find meaning! As we serve God's purposes, our lives take on eternal importance. Paul writes,'. . . all this makes you more significant, not less . . . because of what you are a part of (1 Corinthians 12:14 & 19 TM).

If you aren't involved in something greater than yourself you're just existing, because life is meant for ministry. God wants you to learn to love and serve others unselfishly.  He wants you to make a difference in His world; He wants to work through you. Ultimately what matter is not how long you live, but how effectively!

If you're not involved in any form of service today, what's your excuse?  Abraham was old, Jacob was insecure, Leah was unattractive, Joseph was abused, Moses stuttered, Gideon was poor, Samson was codependent, Rahab was immoral, David had an affair resulting in all kinds of family problems, Elijah was suicidal, Jeremiah was depressed, Jonah was reluctant, Naomi was a widow, John the Baptist was eccentric to say the least, Peter was impulsive, Martha worried a lot, the Samaritan woman had several failed marriages, Zacchaeus was crooked, Thomas had doubts, Paul had poor health and Timothy was timid.

That's quite a variety of misfits, yet God used each of them -- and He will use you too, if you stop making excuses.


SPIRITUAL VOYEURISM by Diann Thomas, The Morning Tea




SPIRITUAL VOYEURISM by Diann Thomas, The Morning Tea

"The people remained at a distance, while Moses approached . . . where God was."  Exodus20:21 (NIV)


No doubt the Israelites wondered, ‘What does God’s presence feel like?  What does His voice sound like?  What does His glory look like?’  Only Moses knew.  And it seems that most folks were happy to let it stay that way.  Listen: ‘The people remained at a distance, while Moses approached . . . where God was.’  Sound familiar?  Sound like S.M.O.  (Sunday morning only) Christians?

 They told Moses: ‘You tell us what God says . . . but don’t let God speak directly to us.’  Why?  Were they afraid God might tell them something they didn’t particularly want to hear?  When you haven’t carried out His last set of instructions, it’s hard to be enthusiastic about the next set.

John writes:‘How can we be sure that we belong to Him?  By obeying His commandments . . . those who obey God’s Word really do love Him . . .’ (See 1 John 2:3-5 NLT). So, how about it? 

Are you interested only in being a ‘spiritual voyeur’ (an onlooker who gets a vicarious thrill out of watching God move in the lives of others) instead of accepting the discipline required to have a personal relationship with Him yourself?  Do you want His gifts and His favor, but not the commitment that goes along with them?

God doesn’t want you to be infatuated with the Bible, the church, or even His blessings.  No, He wants you to fall in love with Him!  He’s looking for a bride, not a girlfriend, somebody who’ll stick with Him when the going gets tough. So, are you ready to put on the ring of commitment today?




__________________________________________


History of  The Morning Teas

The Morning Teas were written and created by Diann Thomas and distributed by Linda Cunningham-Hames.

The Morning Tea became celebrated as a daily newsletter filled with encouragement, uplifting stories and daily devotions written by people who are living out their purpose!  The late Diann Thomas brought this elegant source of daily refueling to the Internet in the 90’s. She was an excellent leader that saw the power of sharing and ministering to the masses via email.

In  2010, Diann Thomas passed away unexpectedly and sadly, co-contributor Linda Cunningham-Hames passed away in July, 2012.   After their transitions, several different women carried on her legacy of encouraging others to live their best life each and every day.  I’m now joining Sister Rugina Poellnitz and many other Texas readers in carrying the torch forward and I hope you will join me on this path to wholeness.




Sign Up for the Morning Tea Weekly Newsletter Today!

Join the Movement…

The Morning Tea is a community that globally connects the dreamers, the doers and the teachers; who aim to make the world a better place for us all. Our readers are encouraged to identify and bring forth the strength within them, to be inspired by others, and to let their talents and purpose shine through.  Join the community now by sharing the newsletters, following us on social media and by contributing your advice, comments and wisdom to each post. Sign up here: https://mailchi.mp/3c27492889e7/themorningteanews



Read the Diann Thomas Morning Tea In Memoria Tribute
http://www.themorningtea.com/p/if-your-actions-create-legacy-that.html





You Should Really Write a Book with Regina Brooks


Check out Regina Brooks' Instagram Series, Books by the Numbers
Click Stories icon to watch:  https://www.instagram.com/serendipitylit 



You Should Really Write a Book: How to Write, Sell, and Market Your Memoir with Regina Brooks. Listen to her Sisterhood session: https://www.audioacrobat.com/note/CHWSy5n4 


YOU SHOULD REALLY WRITE A BOOK examines the building blocks of bestsellers and describes the three key measures necessary for aspiring authors to conceptualize, sell, and market memoirs.  With references to more than 400 books and six memoir categories, it is essential reading for anyone hoping to write a commercially viable personal narrative. Written by two seasoned publishing professionals?one an award-winning literary agent, author, and publisher, the other an acclaimed author and social worker?

YOU SHOULD REALLY WRITE A BOOK was created to give aspiring writers a competitive edge. This handy guide is the first of its kind to combine insider publishing information with at-length discussions on the psychological implications of memoir writing. Readers will learn how to process the complicated emotions that surface during the creation and marketing of their work.





About Regina Brooks, Lead Agent & President of Serendipity Literary Agency

Ms. Regina Brooks is the founder and president of Serendipity Literary Agency LLC in New York, New York. Her agency is the largest African American owned agency in the country and has represented and established a diverse base of award-winning clients in adult and young adult fiction, nonfiction, and children's literature.

Her authors have appeared in USA TODAY, NY TIMES, and the Washington Post, as well as on Oprah, ABC, NBC, CBS, CNN, FOX, MSBNC, TV ONE, BET, and a host of others. In 2015, Publishers Weekly nominated Regina Brooks as a PW Star Watch Finalist, and she was honored with a Stevie Award in Business.

Writer's Digest magazine named Serendipity Literary Agency as one of the top 25 literary agencies. Formerly, she held senior editorial positions at John Wiley and Sons (where she was not only the youngest but also the first African-American editor in their college division) and McGraw-Hill.

Prior to her publishing career, she worked as an aerospace engineer and made history as the first African American woman to receive a Bachelor of Science degree in aerospace engineering from The Ohio State University.  She is a graduate of The School of the Arts High School in Rochester, NY.

She is the author of Essence Magazine’s quick pick children's book, NEVER FINISHED NEVER DONE  (Scholastic), WRITING GREAT BOOKS FOR YOUNG ADULTS  2e (Sourcebooks), and YOU SHOULD REALLY WRITE A BOOK: HOW TO WRITE, SELL AND MARKET YOUR MEMOIR (St. Martin’s Press), and a well received blogger for the Huffington Post.

Brooks is also on the faculty of the Harvard University publishing program the Whidbey Island Writers MFA, Western Connecticut MFA low residency programs, Writer’s Digest University and teaches annually at more than twenty worldwide conferences. 

She has been highlighted in several national and international magazines and periodicals, including Publishers Weekly, Forbes, Media Bistro, Writers and Poets, Essence Magazine, Ebony, Jet, Women on Writing, Writer's Digest Magazine, The Writer, The Network Journal, and Rolling Out. 

The Road To Redemption: Overcoming Life's Detours Obstacles and Challenges





The Road To Redemption: Overcoming Life's Detours Obstacles and Challenges


Lucinda Cross-Otiti is a Social Media Influencer and International keynote speaker, she specializes in cracking the shell of limitations by helping individuals and groups achieve personal and professional goals.

Her story is one of triumph and overcoming odds of incarceration as a teen to now using her message to inspire thousands. Listen to her Sisterhood Empowerment session:  http://www.audioacrobat.com/note/CltcgkMs



In Her Words How does Lucinda Cross-Otiti Activate?

I Activate people to take action.

I Activate people to speak their truth and stand in their power.

I Activate people to be unapologetic about their gifts, talents, skills, and abilities.

I Activate people to trust their intuition and sense of discernment.

I Activate people to work hard and celebrate their wins.

I Activate people by way of coaching, consulting, training, speaking, writing, videos, and cheerleading.

I Activate people to go to the point of no return and eliminate excuses, fear and doubt.

I Activate people to push past procrastination and perfectionism.

I Activate people to be bossy, strategic and intentional by giving them permission to take a risk and break rules.

I Activate people to speak their truth and stand in their power.

I Activate people to be in competition with themselves by showing up, showing out, and being the best version of themselves.

I Activate people to find a fortune in their frustration.

I am the Chief Activator and I am on a mission to Activate my portion of the world God has gifted me.

~ Lucinda Cross–Otiti



Friday, April 10

Your Author Website: Five Tips That Generate Results by Patrice-Anne Rutledge



Your Author Website: Five Tips That Generate Results by Patrice-Anne Rutledge

If you're an author, you need a website. A website is the core and starting point of any online book promotion campaign. Despite the current popularity of blogs, podcasts, and ezines, your website is still your primary online "home" for information on your book. To create profitable site that generates results, you need to do several things:


1. Determine What Drives Your Site
When you plan the structure and content of your site, one of the first things to determine is what drives your website.

-- On a personality-driven site, the author is the draw. This is most common for fiction writers or authors of creative nonfiction in which who you are is more important to readers than the specific subject matter you cover.

-- A platform-driven site is most common with nonfiction authors who are experts in a particular niche and offer a book (or a series of books) on this topic in addition to related products and services such as consulting, speaking engagements, audio CDs, and special reports.

-- A book-driven site is appropriate for authors who have written a single book or multiple books on unrelated topics. In this case, the book itself is the draw. Determine what your driver is and then build your site around this focal point.


2. Focus on Your Audience
Any book website has at least two audiences: your readers and the media. A third potential audience includes editors and agents. For your main site content, develop a profile of your target reader, and focus your site on this profile. Are you targeting new parents, travelers to Italy, or fans of romantic suspense? Think about what your target audience is looking for and meet that need.


3. Establish Site Goals
Establishing site goals is important if you want to profit from your website. Are you primarily interested in selling books? Or do you want to sell other products and services as well? Are you hoping to garner major media coverage or establish yourself as a professional speaker? 
Write down specific goals and keep these in mind as you plan your site.


4. Remember That Content Is King
Now that you've determined what drives your site and have a clear idea of your target audience and the goals you want to achieve, it's time to start thinking about your content. The right content can make the difference between a high-traffic site that drives the sale of books, products, and services and a site that receives few visitors.


The following are several tips for creating quality web content:

-- Before even starting any site design, map out your page content.

-- Determine the goal for each page on your site and create content that supports that goal. For example, you may have pages that are informational and others there to generate sales for your books and products. Truly informational pages usually take on a more journalistic tone, but sales-oriented pages should have a call to action.

-- Remember that you're writing for the web, not another medium. If you're not an experienced web copywriter, consider learning more about writing web copy.

-- Keep in mind that the design supports the content; the content doesn't support the design.


5. Encourage Action
Before creating your site, decide what action you want your site visitors to take. Do you want them to buy your book? Purchase additional products? Sign up for your classes, coaching services, or ezine? Hire you as a speaker? For each specific action you'd like a visitor to take, you need to create a call to action, web copy that encourages a site visitor to take a desired action (such as purchase a product or sign up for an ezine).


By doing some upfront strategic planning, you can create a site that generates results--and profits. 


About the Author 
Patrice-Anne Rutledge is a business technology author and journalist specializing in social media, online applications, and small business technology. Her other books include Sams Teach Yourself LinkedIn in 10 Minutes, Using LinkedIn, Using Facebook, and The Truth About Profiting from Social Networking, all from Pearson. Through Rutledge Communications, she also offers writing and editing services to businesses and nonprofits worldwide. You can reach Patrice through her website at www.patricerutledge.com.  Source FaithWriters.com





Building Your PR War Chest with Ella D. Curry


Building Your PR War Chest with Ella D. Curry
If you create the Game, you get to create the Rules!



Crown Holder Masterclass: Ella D. Curry, speaks on 'Building Your PR War Chest' because we stay ready!

She goes deep into all parts of preparing to launch a book or product. Do not try to activate every thing she discusses all in one week...LOL. Listen here and take plenty of notes: http://www.audioacrobat.com/sa/WHN0fWLT


EDC Creations Media Group, led by Ella D. Curry, is a marketing, branding, and promotions firm that specializes in Internet publicity and PR, Internet 3.0 marketing campaigns, brand coaching and RSS feed syndication for small to medium-size businesses, new authors and individuals.

We are dedicated to serving individuals and companies in need of creative and rewarding marketing strategies that will make their business grow. We can leverage the power of the new media outlets, partnerships with social media influencers and Internet mediums to promote their books, services or business and its "brand" through effective marketing campaigns.

View the Ask Ella Coaching Services:  http://crownholderstransmedia.com/services-v3

EDC Creations and its partners are proud to provide authors with the most comprehensive selection o marketing and promotion services in the industry today.


About Ella D. Curry
Ella D. Curry is the president of EDC Creations Media Group and Crown Holders Transmedia. She brings more than twenty-five years of PR and marketing experience to clients in film, music, publishing and corporate event planning. Her expertise in book marketing and branding has earned her a reputation as a respected leader in the publishing/marketing industry.

Widely recognized as a leading expert on African American Internet book promotion she is asked to speak and/or moderate panels at literary events and conferences across the nation. Her client list reads like the Who's Who Elite of publishing and with good reason! Ella uses the latest technology and proven business models to create golden success behind every project and book she launches into the world!

EDC Creations is the parent company of the Sankofa Literary Society, the Black Authors Network Radio Show and Black Pearls Magazine. The Sankofa Literary Society empowers independent and/or self-published authors through mentoring programs. The popular Black Authors Network radio program offers new authors a chance to showcase their books to thousands of readers weekly. Black Pearls Magazine, is a online literary destination for thousands bookclubs and social network fans around the globe.

As the host of award-winning BAN Radio Show and editor of Black Pearls Magazine, Ella Curry has interviewed award winning authors, celebrated journalists, and community leaders such as: the legendary Dr. Maya Angelou, Alexis M. Herman former U.S. Secretary of Labor, The View's Emmy award-winning co-host Sherri Shepherd, Pulitzer Prize winning columnist Leonard Pitts Jr., New York Times bestselling authors Walter Mosley, Kimberla Lawson Roby, Dr. Cornell West, Paula Giddings, Haki R. Madhubuti, Mary Frances Berry, Brenda Jackson, Mary B. Morrison, and Mary Monroe.

In addition to interviewing change agents, she has showcased such top selling authors as: Dr. Daniel Black, Marita Golden, Dr. Lakesia D. Johnson, Sonia Sanchez, social activists Dr. Dorothy Irene Height and Jayne Cortez, social psychologist Wade W. Nobles, Olympian Devon Harris, children's book author Eloise Greenfield, and Dr. Bernard Walker former astronaut.

While providing media coverage for the Congressional Black Caucus Author's Pavilion and Book Expo America for the last six years, Ella has found that interviewing profound community leaders, shaped her own life and business. She has interviewed and learned from: Dr. Julianne Malveaux, political commentator and 15th president of Bennett College, award-winning journalist Gwen Ifill, Dr. Brenda Greene, Exec. Dir. of the Center for Black Literature, Medgar Evers College, Annette Gordon-Reed, and American historian and Harvard Law School professor, and Lynn Richardson, the The Mortgage Guru and leader of MC Lyte's Hip Hop Sisters Foundation.

Ella D. Curry has also interviewed award-winning actors and actresses such as Hill Harper, Queen Latifah, Jennifer Hudson, Dakota Fanning, Tristan Wilds, Tanya Wright, Tyrese Gibson, Bern Nadette Stanis, Pam Grier, Winter Ramos of Love & Hip-Hop NY and international, motivational speaker Lisa Nichols from the Secret DVD. She has also been honored with interviews with musical artists jazz great Ron Carter, Ledisi, MC Lyte, and the celebrated drummer Cora Coleman-Dunham.

Ms. Curry lives in Washington, DC with her daughter, AJ and trusted life partner KB. When she's not working, she loves to travel, write short stories, and chatting in Internet groups with her international group of friends. As her entrepreneurial spirit guides the way upward, she continues to involve herself in challenging, life enhancing projects.

If you would like more information or have comments, you may reach her via email at: elladcurry@edc-creations.com

Ella D. Curry, President of EDC Creations
Website: https://www.edc-creations.com
Website: http://crownholderstransmedia.com

Black Pearls Magazine Online-Founder
Black Authors Network Radio-Founder
Social Media Strategist - Internet Publicist - Branding Coach


What Brings You Joy? by Patricia A. Saunders


What Brings You Joy? by Patricia A. Saunders

When I was a youngster I was always drawing pictures of models, sewing by hand or sewing machine and writing poetry. It was what excited me into knowing at a young age I had the creative bug. I was always looking for courses for sewing, altering clothing that needed another life, and even took up needlepoint because I loved the designs.

My mother one day took an interest in my drawings and showed me how she would draw it and it was then I realized that I got it from her. She loved to draw and wanted to sew but didn’t have time because she had six children to raise.

Her love for fashion had me subscribing to fashion magazines, ordering clothes and shoes, and sewing. I loved it so much that I changed from college prep in high school to business so that I could get my first job in a department store; I completed a school project on owning a shoe store, and enrolled in a modeling school. 

While in college I changed my major from business administration to Fashion Merchandising. I had other hobbies still but didn’t write poetry as much as I used to, I wasn’t drawing as much either and these were things that I loved to do. I took it as I was getting older and my taste changed. 

Fast forward 40 years and poetry has taken the forefront while I like fashion it wasn’t my passion any longer. I love clothes but working in retail and the crazy hours I didn’t see the balance for myself and there was so much I still wanted to do. I don’t sew anything not even a button back on my shirt. I shifted to collecting wines, traveling, and letting the words flow onto paper. 

I recently traveled home where I was able to reconnect with childhood friends and there was a spark lit that I had lain dormant. The woman that loved to wear makeup, dress in the latest fashions and decorate was awaken. The storms of life that made her put things down that she loved were shifted. 

Now when asked what brings me joy it is seeing my newborn nieces and nephews eyes light up, it is volunteering in my community, and its being creative again. Letting those juices flow and surrounding myself with like minded people to encourage me to live life to the fullest.


About Patricia A. Saunders
Award winning author, poet, speaker Patricia A. Saunders was born and raised in Connecticut before relocating to the San Francisco Bay Area nearly 26 years ago. She received her Master’s in Management from the University of Phoenix in 2011. After the passing of her mother who had Alzheimer’s, Patricia decided if she inherited the disease she wanted her words to be her legacy and that all the words that she kept to herself were to be released.

Her work has been featured on a Coast to Coast Book Tour at the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books, Toronto Word On The Street, Sacramento Black Book Fair, Tucson Book Festival, Miami International Festival of Books and AARP Life@50+ Spring Convention. Recently she was chosen among 100 authors from around the United States to participate in the Author’s Pavilion at the 2018 Congressional Black Caucus Convention in Washington, DC.

She is a monthly blogger of her own blog Blessed & Curvy who covers today’s hot topics. Also she is certified speaker with the Professional Woman Network for Women’s Issues & Diversity.

She released her first self published book Through the Fire (March 2012) which covered emotions from situations, circumstances, and life lessons that have influenced her over her lifetime. On a mission to complete a book a year in case she inherits the ugly disease she released her second book Loving Me (2013) and third Let It Rain (2014) which is also self published and covers various topics from love, grief, self image, self esteem, bullying, and discovery of self love.

Her fourth book (2016) This Too Shall Pass was released by AuthorHouse Publishing and readers have given it a five star rating. The book was inspired from three note cards she received after the passing of her mother when she felt like giving up on life, on the brink of losing her home and being unemployed that encouraged her to live for those who loved her. 

Her fifth book was released by Book Baby Publishing (2017) There Is Sunshine After The Rain a non-fiction novel that includes poetry is birthed after the tenth anniversary of her Mother’s passing, the reality that with every lesson that she has experienced through life that there is a reason, there are tests that all are faced with, but it’s how you respond. Saunders chose poetry and nonfiction to let the readers know the thought process behind the poetry, tools to help others who may face the same circumstances, and it builds a relationship further between the author and those reading her words.

Patricia is a Supervisor in Silicon Valley, in her spare time she enjoys to travel, wine tasting, and spending time cooking for friends and family.

Explore Patricia Saunders' Books




Hey Sister Can We Talk? by Patricia A. Saunders

 

Hey Sister Can We Talk? by Patricia A. Saunders


The other day I got into a conversation with other women at work about relationships. The topic went into so many directions. There were secrets revealed, tears shed, and at the end we realized that we were all vulnerable to love.

One woman shared that she had been married for 17 years and her husband was loyal to her for only 4 years. That she allowed her spouse to come in and out of her life even when they divorced, hoping he would come back and wanting to be a family for her kids. She finally met another man, falls in love, and recently married him after she allowed herself to be loved. Her kids say they never saw her smile while she was with their father. They see what love now looks like.

It resonates with another woman sitting on the other side of the table. Her parents were married but her mother was verbally and physically abusive to her father so they divorced.  Their divorced impacted from the child respective. The point of being divorced but letting the spouse back in, sharing the same bed, and the confusion when rejected.  She felt that she wasn’t good enough when she became an adult to be in a relationship!  There was something that I had mentioned that when someone is broken that they can’t expect to be married and have their spouse make them whole. She said she had to work on herself because she was broken!

How many of you feel that you are broken? How many have a list of everything specific that you are looking for in a relationship? Does the person have to be equally yoked? Do they have to be a certain age?  Have to make a certain amount of money? Will you let others tell you what you should have in a mate or know for yourself?

My feeling is to be organic with it. Meaning don’t go looking because if it’s meant to be it will find you.  Be comfortable within your own skin. The pet peeve that I have is women scared to be alone that they accept treatment from a man that doesn’t deserve  a queen just to have the initial MRS. in front of their names.

I think what impacted myself is being a daughter of a woman who was a survivor. It helped me to overcome my own insecurities, to set goals for what I want in a relationship, and to let down the ice cold wall that protected my heart so that I can experience love.

My books covers all aspect of relationship and sitting with those women on that day made me look at them on a different level. We were able to share and take those masks off that we put on when we are at work. We were able to share hugs, wipe away tears, and encourage the next woman. We were able to talk!



About Patricia A. Saunders
Award winning author, poet, speaker Patricia A. Saunders was born and raised in Connecticut before relocating to the San Francisco Bay Area nearly 26 years ago. She received her Master’s in Management from the University of Phoenix in 2011. After the passing of her mother who had Alzheimer’s, Patricia decided if she inherited the disease she wanted her words to be her legacy and that all the words that she kept to herself were to be released.

Her work has been featured on a Coast to Coast Book Tour at the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books, Toronto Word On The Street, Sacramento Black Book Fair, Tucson Book Festival, Miami International Festival of Books and AARP Life@50+ Spring Convention. Recently she was chosen among 100 authors from around the United States to participate in the Author’s Pavilion at the 2018 Congressional Black Caucus Convention in Washington, DC.

She is a monthly blogger of her own blog Blessed & Curvy who covers today’s hot topics. Also she is certified speaker with the Professional Woman Network for Women’s Issues & Diversity.

She released her first self published book Through the Fire (March 2012) which covered emotions from situations, circumstances, and life lessons that have influenced her over her lifetime. On a mission to complete a book a year in case she inherits the ugly disease she released her second book Loving Me (2013) and third Let It Rain (2014) which is also self published and covers various topics from love, grief, self image, self esteem, bullying, and discovery of self love.

Her fourth book (2016) This Too Shall Pass was released by AuthorHouse Publishing and readers have given it a five star rating. The book was inspired from three note cards she received after the passing of her mother when she felt like giving up on life, on the brink of losing her home and being unemployed that encouraged her to live for those who loved her.

Her fifth book was released by Book Baby Publishing (2017) There Is Sunshine After The Rain a non-fiction novel that includes poetry is birthed after the tenth anniversary of her Mother’s passing, the reality that with every lesson that she has experienced through life that there is a reason, there are tests that all are faced with, but it’s how you respond.

Saunders chose poetry and nonfiction to let the readers know the thought process behind the poetry, tools to help others who may face the same circumstances, and it builds a relationship further between the author and those reading her words.

Patricia is a Supervisor in Silicon Valley, in her spare time she enjoys to travel, wine tasting, and spending time cooking for friends and family.


Explore Patricia Saunders' Books
http://www.patriciaasaunders.com/buy-the-books.html





The Bond of a Mother by Patricia A. Saunders



The Bond of a Mother by Patricia A. Saunders

For a few week I had the most difficult time trying to write a weekly post. I was emotional and couldn’t put my finger on it. It was the week leading up to Mother’s Day and I didn’t want any parts of it. I didn’t go into the drug store because I didn’t want to walk past the card aisle. I didn’t want to go to church because I knew that they would be doing something special. I wanted to put on my Harry Potter’s cape and disappear.

Slowly there was a gentle way of bringing me out of being sad to being blessed that I had the best Mother anyone could want. I gave away three church lady looking hats that I had brought years ago because I wanted to mimic my Mother’s appearance. My sister gladly picked out the hats, looking at herself in the mirror, and seeing the excitement made me smile.

Next, I received a text message from my sister on Sunday who lets me know that my niece who suffers from Lupus and had been on a transplant list for 12 years was getting her new kidney on Mother’s Day.  I have to go to church because I know that’s where my mother would want me to be.

So, I procrastinate but make it just at the tail end of the sermon.  It’s now that the pastor has asked everyone to stand and those who need prayer to come up to the altar.  I stay at my seat as the minister who is praying the tears well up, this is the same minister who was instrumental in my healing process after my mother passed, and it is now I feel my mother’s presence.  Next, I open my eyes the minister is standing in front of me, arms open, I hug her with all my might and weep.

The bond between a mother and child doesn’t end when the parent transition to heaven.  The sadness that you can’t see them, hug them or talk them is always there.  Looking at the bright side of being blessed to have them in your life and honor their memory will bring you comfort.


About Patricia A. Saunders
Award winning author, poet, speaker Patricia A. Saunders was born and raised in Connecticut before relocating to the San Francisco Bay Area nearly 26 years ago. She received her Master’s in Management from the University of Phoenix in 2011. After the passing of her mother who had Alzheimer’s, Patricia decided if she inherited the disease she wanted her words to be her legacy and that all the words that she kept to herself were to be released.

Her work has been featured on a Coast to Coast Book Tour at the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books, Toronto Word On The Street, Sacramento Black Book Fair, Tucson Book Festival, Miami International Festival of Books and AARP Life@50+ Spring Convention. Recently she was chosen among 100 authors from around the United States to participate in the Author’s Pavilion at the 2018 Congressional Black Caucus Convention in Washington, DC.

She is a monthly blogger of her own blog Blessed & Curvy who covers today’s hot topics. Also she is certified speaker with the Professional Woman Network for Women’s Issues & Diversity.

She released her first self published book Through the Fire (March 2012) which covered emotions from situations, circumstances, and life lessons that have influenced her over her lifetime. On a mission to complete a book a year in case she inherits the ugly disease she released her second book Loving Me (2013) and third Let It Rain (2014) which is also self published and covers various topics from love, grief, self image, self esteem, bullying, and discovery of self love.

Her fourth book (2016) This Too Shall Pass was released by AuthorHouse Publishing and readers have given it a five star rating. The book was inspired from three note cards she received after the passing of her mother when she felt like giving up on life, on the brink of losing her home and being unemployed that encouraged her to live for those who loved her.

Her fifth book was released by Book Baby Publishing (2017) There Is Sunshine After The Rain a non-fiction novel that includes poetry is birthed after the tenth anniversary of her Mother’s passing, the reality that with every lesson that she has experienced through life that there is a reason, there are tests that all are faced with, but it’s how you respond. Saunders chose poetry and nonfiction to let the readers know the thought process behind the poetry, tools to help others who may face the same circumstances, and it builds a relationship further between the author and those reading her words.

Patricia is a Supervisor in Silicon Valley, in her spare time she enjoys to travel, wine tasting, and spending time cooking for friends and family.

Explore Patricia Saunders' Books
http://www.patriciaasaunders.com/buy-the-books.html







Publishing Questions Asked – Giving it to You Raw by Shelia M. Goss



Publishing Questions Asked – Giving it to You Raw by Shelia M. Goss

Below are some of the most commonly asked questions authors receive from aspiring writers.  I’ve been an author for over fifteen years so I hope that my candid responses to these questions help you on your literary journey.


I have a good story. I’m learning fast that people don’t or won’t help you. Why is that?
I don’t want you to have the misconception of authors not wanting to help…many of us do.  You also have to keep in mind of your approach. Have you ever contacted this particular author before? Have you ever bought one of their books? My question is, why would you ask for advice from an author if you’ve never purchased or read one of their books? I don’t ask for advice from just anyone. Any writer I approached in the past, I’ve read their entire book; not just an excerpt off their website.


Will you read my unpublished manuscript and give me feedback?
For legal reasons a lot of authors will not read the work of people they don’t already have a relationship with in some capacity.   As a writer, we have to protect ourselves because there are too many “sue” happy folks out there.  Please keep that in mind the next time you ask the question and don’t get the response you want. Don’t hold it against the writer.  Also, most writers do not have the time to read other people’s manuscripts because they are too busy working on their own and trying to meet deadlines.  I would suggest joining a writing group where some of the members may be able to assist with critiquing your work.


Can you help me write my life story?
Yes, for a price; but most people don’t want to hear that.  They expect you to do something for free. Writing is a passion for most of us but it’s also a business. Don’t get upset if you get turned flat down because you’re not willing to pay for the writer’s time.

Also, keep in mind that if you live long enough, there’s a story within all of us; but not every life’s story is meant to be told. Meaning, just because your life is interesting to you; doesn’t mean we all want to read about it. That’s one reason why I write fiction. Nobody wants to hear about the ins and outs of my life (that’s what posting on social media is for…LOL).


When should I start marketing my book?
I would start marketing the moment I knew the book was going to be published. Once you have an official publishing date and your ISBN from your publisher, I would suggest submitting your galleys to print publications and reviewers. The goal is to inform or make book readers and book buyers aware of your book. You want them to be familiar with the title so once it’s released and they see it on the shelves or while browsing on the internet, they may take a chance and purchase it


Does paying for reviews help or hurt your review rating?
I’m really not sure. I submit my book to publications and sites that read books in my genre; whether they’re actual review of my book makes it to the publication or site is at their discretion. I don’t however pay for book reviews. Most of the reviews I’ve received are from individual readers who purchased the book and either liked or disliked the book. I personally tend to shy away from review sites that charge; however there are several reputable sites that do charge.


How do you find time to write?
I don’t. I make time. Life is what it is. If you wait to find time to write, you never will. Something can or will get in the way if you don’t make a conscious effort to fit writing into your schedule.  You have to make time. Set aside a certain amount of time a day or a week to write. Even if you only write an hour a week, you’re closer to your goal than waiting to find time to write.


Will you write a blurb for my book?
It depends. Have we ever communicated before? Belonging to literary groups is great for networking so don’t forget to join a few online and offline. You don’t have to wait until your manuscript is finished to do it.
Depending on the author’s schedule, he or she will want to read the entire manuscript before attaching their name to your book. At the very least, they will want to read several chapters if they are unfamiliar with your writing style. If said author doesn’t write a blurb, do not hold it against them.


I’ve finished my book. What’s next?
This is a dreaded question. Why? Because there are so many things you could do next. #1 I would ask, what do you want to do next? Are you looking for an agent or a publisher? If you are looking for either one, you will need to know about the submission process. Most require a query letter, synopsis, and the first three chapters.

Are you looking to self-publish? If so, then there are other things you need to consider. For example, will you outright self-publish or will you be using a Print on Demand (POD) service?

Be sure you’ve done your homework and know exactly what you want to do. You will probably get more responses if you ask specific questions, such as “How do I write a query letter?” or “How do I get an ISBN?” than asking a generic question.


How can I find an agent?
Agents are found via conferences, referrals or by using other resources such as books like the Writer’s Market and online websites. Bookmark the following website because it gives information on what agents are looking for and their contact information: http://www.agentquery.com. Be sure to only send them what they are requesting.

Remember this: The internet is your friend. Use any one of the search engines and it will pull up a ton of information on any topic.


About the Author
Shelia M. Goss is a screenwriter and national bestselling author of over 21 books: The Joneses, The Aftermath, Delilah, etc. To learn more, visit her website at www.sheliamgoss.com. 






Unapologetic by Ebony Farashuu


Unapologetic by Ebony Farashuu


Have you ever written something when you were all up in your feelings...only to delete it and start over because there isn’t really a nice way to say what’s on your mind?

I censor myself often because I don’t like hurting folk’s feelings. I censor myself because the comfort of others is often more important than my own comfort. 

In his poem, Mother to Son, Langston Hughes wrote, “Life for me ain’t been no crystal stair.”

I keep a smile on my face...even when my crystal stairs feel wobbly.  Even when they shatter and I realize, what I thought were crystals were really just shards of glass. I keep smiling, even when I’m telling people how exhausted I am as they chastise me for not keeping in touch. 

Even when not calling or texting was my way of self-care. Because sometimes I just need some time to decompress and distance myself from everyone else’s problems and focus on fixing my own.

Conversation can be exhausting when you’re overwhelmed with critical tasks. Sometimes I need time in between my two jobs to enjoy the small bursts of time I have with my husband and my dog.  

Sometimes I just need time to put my phone on silent and be present in MY moment without sharing that moment with anyone else. Sometimes I just need to rest. 

I need the opportunity to take that time without feeling like I have to explain myself to everyone who feels neglected when we don’t speak for a few days...without considering how often I HAVE been there...despite what was going on in my own life.

A wise woman once declared, “I ain’t sorry” and the world didn’t end.

I. Ain’t. Sorry. 
I’m not. 
I’m tired. 

I’m exhausted and there are times when I just want to be my own company...and I’ll no longer be apologizing for that.

Sometimes...instead of always being there for others...I need the rare opportunity to be there for myself.

Sometimes, I have to cease taking responsibility for everyone else’s feelings...at the cost of my own.  

Because I can’t be everything to everybody...but I have a responsibility to be mentally and physically healthy for myself.

I ain’t sorry.



Ebony Farashuu is a poet, blogger and award-winning author.  Her first book of poetry, Butterfly Kisses: Poetry for the Many Faces of Love, was a critical success and garnered an honorable mention in the SBBC Self Published Author Awards for Poetry Book of the Year. 

Her debut novel, Slow Burn, won the 2008 Shades of Romance Magazine Reader’s Choice Awards in the following categories: Best Multi-Cultural Fiction Book, Best Multi-Cultural Fiction Author, and Best New Multi-Cultural Fiction Author.

Ebony’s blog, SymplyEbony focuses on her thoughts and feelings as she navigates the ups and downs of life while trying to re-connect with her creativity.  Slow Burn is available at all major booksellers.  Ebony’s blog can be found at www.symplyebony.com



WHEN LIFE THROWS YOU A CURVE BY SHELIA M. GOSS


What do you do when life throws you a curve ball? You throw one back.

Lately it seems no matter how hard I work, something always wants to get in the way of me achieving my goals. There have been times I will admit, that I wanted to throw in the towel; but something inside of me, says “Halt. Regroup. Try going at it from a different angle.”
Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t but even still I can’t allow the bumps of life to keep me down. I dust the insecurities off and keep pressing forward. Has this happened to you? Have you been trying to accomplish a goal but it seems like you keep running into a brick wall? Does it seem like “everybody” else is doing what they want to do with their lives but you’re stuck?

How do you get over this hump in your life and continue pursuing your goals, in spite of life’s complications?


Below are a few tips that have helped me and hopefully will help you:

* Meditation – Regardless of what your religion is, prayer works. Prayer and Meditation helps you block out the world and concentrate on the issue at hand. No interruptions from the phone, family or friends. This is your “me” time. Just you and God. One on one. Be quiet. Listen.
* Talking About It – Sometimes it helps to talk to someone else about your issue. Maybe you’re too close to the situation and a trusted family member or friend can shed a new light. Sometimes they may not have any advice, but just an ear to listen to you vent; but regardless, talking about it may help shed a new light to your situation.
* Vacation – When life gets too busy or hectic, sometimes you must take a vacation. Take a cruise, visit a place you’ve always wanted to see. If you can’t afford to get away, tell people you are going on vacation and make your home your vacation getaway. Turn off the cell phone, get off the internet (can’t believe I said that…smile), and turn off the TV. See how it feels to do absolutely nothing or start that hobby you’ve been putting off.
* Read a Book – Reading can be relaxing and educational. It depends on what you’re reading. If you’re trying to keep motivated, pick up one of many motivational books and see how you can apply some of the principles to your life. If you need a mental escape, reading a book for entertainment will do the trick.

Regardless of what method you use to regroup, do so. Don’t allow life’s frustrations to deter you. You have a goal in mind, things will come up, but you can’t give up. When life throws you a curve ball, you will bounce back.


Shelia M. Goss is a screenwriter and national bestselling author of over 21 books: The Joneses, The Aftermath, Delilah, etc. To learn more, visit her website at www.sheliamgoss.com.