Faithwalk: Words of Inspiration

When I hear or read profound statements, I write them in my journal, post on Facebook or type on my iphone notepad. So this week, I’ll share a few:

  • I am only one, but still I am one. I cannot do everything, but still I can do something; and because I cannot do everything, I will not refuse to do something that I can do. –Edward Everett Hale
  • You have to know you are somebody because when others know you are somebody they will respect you; yet if you don’t know that you are somebody others will treat you as a nobody.
  • Trust becomes a verb when you communicate to others their worth and potential so clearly that they are inspired to see it in themselves.
  • Be a girl with a mind, a woman with attitude, and a lady with class.
  • Being powerful is like being a lady; if you tell people you are, you aren’t—Margaret Thatcher.
  • Never envy the success of another… you don’t know how much she had to sweat to get there.
  • If you are successful, you will win some false friends and some true friends; succeed anyway

Faithwalk: Relationships

Check out my new car,” she said.
I got in.
“Nice, new.”
“It’s not a luxury car, but it runs.” My friend gave me a tour of her new car.
I had been praying that she would get a new car. We’re friends, and I hear her silent laments. A new car was one of them. Ironically, two days earlier, I was driving and asked the Lord when he was going to bless my friend with a new car. So, I was just as elated as she was.
“Seems luxurious to me. Hybrid, sunroof, satellite radio, and it’s spacious.” I checked out the cup holders and varying compartments. “I shouldn’t park next to you, though.”
She laughed. “Your turn next.”
This is why I love my friend; she’s an encourager. Every woman needs a girlfriend that cheers her on. You know, like Gail to Oprah. My friend believes I can earn a six-figure salary working in New York City. She’s got big dreams for me.
Anyway, I wasn’t really in the market for a new car. My car, although it has scars and wounds, is paid in full. I can’t imagine a car payment.
My car, a white Santa Fe Hyundai 2002, and I have been through a few battles. After knocking a mailbox off its hinges, I learned to slow down. After snagging the front driver’s side on a steel pole in an underground garage, I learned not to turn my wheel to soon. After we got our first garage, I learned to look out the side view mirror. Poor baby has scratches, scratches, and scratches.
One day, my cousin visited. He said, “Ang, who messed up your car?” I looked at him and pointed at me.
Yet, I love my car, despite the scars and wounds it’s faithful through torrents of rain, snowy hills, dark nights, and long trips. And I’ve been faithful: oil changes, new tires, car washes-inside and out- new battery, and new exhaust.
Then, one day last week, my car puttered, puttered to a halt–all the lights on the dashboard blacked out. Now, I should have taken notice when two days prior the battery and the check engine light came on.
The next day, my car went to the hospital for a new alternator, and I went to Enterprise for a rental. I reserved a compact car, but left the lot in a Camaro—a free upgrade. All I can say is wow! Sweet ride. And I rode for two days like I belonged in that sports car.
My mom said, “Looks like you need a second job.”
I said, “I know, I want one.”
Upon the return of the rental and the pick up of my faithful-no payment car, I thought: it’s time to rethink this relationship and dream big for me.

Entry Lost in Blogged Mind

At the end of my two-week road trip in August, I sat down on the couch, so glad to be home to blog the places I had gone. I remember that evening, slowly penning the right words and selecting ideal photos. Oh, yes, the entry described family and clothes shopping Burlington and Greensburg, North Carolina and the exquisite visit to downtown Atlanta, my favorite. In Atlanta, I tasted 70 Coca Cola flavors served worldwide and toured the Coca Cola factory. Like a child, I was anxious to take a picture with the big white polar bear; but once beside him his size and fuzz gave me a fright. Oh, what a sight. My girls enjoyed “Mommie being scared.” Inside the Pop Art Museum oversize drawings and paintings amazed and dazzled me. Of course the retro signs brought back memories of the green glass bottled coke, which cost a dime, housed in a bright red soda machine. However, I had no memory of a Black family in commercials or advertisements; therefore when I spotted one: photo op. Despite the 100 degree weather, the girls and my cousin traipsed through the Olympic Park. And it would not be the same without visiting Dr. MLK’s home. “Let Freedom Ring.” Another reason I know I blogged the vacation, I wanted to spread the word about Thumbs Up Diner: the best, fresh, succulent fried catfish and oversize pancakes. To top the palate, next door a sit down bakery shop: slices of red velvet, pound and chocolate cake. Mmm.

grandma and me

From Atlanta, I visited my 90-year-old Grandmother. I didn’t have enough time to spend with her. I’m not sure if its age or maturity, but every year I see her I want to spend more time listening to her stories. This year when she looked at my 15-year-old, she said, “Hold on to your youth.” My daughter smiled and darted out the door to play with the cats. At 15, I would have done the same thing. I turned to my grandmother and she said, I rushed, I did not know what it was like to be a teenager. My grandmother, Mary Alice Hooks, married at 14 and bore 10 out of 12 children. I needed to hear her story, I could tell she was a

a past
juicy enough that she’s looking forward to
retelling it in her old age.

With that a horn blew and I had to leave the storytelling lips of my grandmother, who I know is waiting to burst forth a story just for me.

Nemo world

Next we headed to Orlando for a week’s rest and relaxation. And if you have been to Disneyland, I need not say anymore. OK maybe just a word or two about my favs. I’m not a fan of roller coasters. However, my girls and my cousin (who taunted me as if he was 10-years-old) were relentless when it came roller coasters, so I ventured out and rode more stomach-churning, nerve-wrenching rides than I imagined. Four days and five parks we stood on long lines, baked in the Florida sun, and indulged in tons of family fun. When I return, two absolute repeats are: Planet Hollywood’s House of Terror and Universal Studio’s 3-D Spiderman explosion.

Running in the Garden

On the way home, (nonstop driving never to do again) we also detoured into South Carolina to tour Mr. Pearl’s hand sculpted garden. Worth the bypass.

This is why, when a friend of mine said, “Angela, I noticed you haven’t been blogging.” I was mortified. I knew two-months had lapsed, but not the road trip. Hence I digress and retrace my steps for the entry has been lost in the Blog Triangle.

It’s a Summer Experience

Well, so much for blogging through the summer; and what a summer it’s been. Since June I’ve traveled to

Four leading journalers at the 2008 Power of Writing Conference

Colorado and Vermont. In Colorado, at the Journal Conference 2008: Power of Writing, it was indeed an informative and pleasurable experience to listen to the four leading authors in journaling–Tristine Rainer, Christina Baldwin, James Pennebaker and Kay Adams–talk about the why journal-keepers, teachers, poets, and therapists find solace and refuge in a journal or diary. The four-day conference, with 350 diarist from four generations, was the first journal conference I’ve attended in my 14-year writing career. And the gathering was powerful, fun, affirming and rejuvenating. What I took away from the conference I am not the only diarist collecting and collaging pictures and words and images into my journal. I am not the only journalist mapping my life’s story from private writing to public reading. I am not the only journal-keeper studying the lives of other journal-keepers. Who touched me most was Christine Baldwin. At the end of a panel discussion, she took the time to form a circle of women to answer the unanswered question: “What happens when your journal has been invaded?” My heart leaped with joy as 25 women came to the circle and shared their story. One diarist said, her journal was invaded when she was 10-year-old and not able to keep a steady journal since then.

“Nurture the 10-year-old and began journaling again, let the hurt go,” Christine said.

Another acknowledge that she had read her daughter’s journal. I affirmed her invasion, saying that when our children’s lives seem to come undone and signs of danger lurk we as parents must read their journals to help with solutions. However, to snoop and pry that is off limits.

And this quote is for all to place in or on the cover of their journals:

If you read this, be aware–details have been changed to through off busybodies, and half of it is wishful thinking and fiction. Question is, which half?

In July, I headed off to a carefree girls weekend with the Sapphires. Our ninth year, in a place where we relax, talk about our lives as women writers and wives, and as Sarah Bracey White says “Eat lots of chocolate.” This year we took business with us, in a quaint coffee shop we gave a reading at the Hraefnwood Café in Bellows Falls and were invited back for the Third Friday Art Walk on July 17, 2009. If you’re in the area stop by; lattes and chi delicious.

Did I mention that I also met former Essence editor Susan L. Taylor, in person, at a book signing sponsored by Harlem Arts Salon. What an inspiring and humble person. She talked about her life, briefly, read from her book “All About Love,” and with love and care Susan encouraged the audience to get involved with her new project youth mentoring as we remember that “Life gives us what we need to grow.”

So, blossom where you are and pen your story in a notebook, journal or diary.

A inch away from saying ‘yes’

The evening of June 1, I received a phone call, “Angela, can you help me promote the building fire fund raising event?”

You guessed it, I said, “Yes,” without even thinking that my June plate was full. Why? The building that was destroyed by fire was the new site for our new church and we were thrilled with a move in date of October 2008. (Sorry can’t go into more details here, the site is still under investigation and church members have been asked not share unknown facts.)

However, my over zealousness threw me off balance and within 24 hours sharpening my saw was impossible. I looked at the calendar and the commitments and the time frames. I took another step back and reanalyzed, I could help, but with more time and more planning for an event in August opposed to June.

It goes to show me, I never plan to fail I can simply fail to plan, especially when dealing with emotions.

So I have to..

Continue reading “A inch away from saying ‘yes’”

in the newsroom

This morning in the newsroom, as one of the reporters and I began to talk about his first writers conference, I grew excited. I did not realize how much I missed talking about writing until I sat behind the editor’s desk sans literary chatter.

When I first sat behind the small desk by the window in the corner, I was an unhappy writer and a scared editor. The newsroom buzzed with a radio scanner, obnoxious editors and know-it-all cub reporters. I didn’t fit in. I wanted to be in the comfort of my home office creating and writing on a PC with the abitlity to move into the living room or the bedroom or outside under the tree.
Neither the editors nor the reporters talked of the ups and downs of the writer’s life. They did not talk about books and authors and literary creation. Instead Wednesday through Tuesday reporters were out and about gathering information about town meetings, school events and community activities. When those stories had been composed they were then passed the editor, who spends Monday afternoon and all day Tuesday reading copy and designing and layouting pages.

The more I read other people’s work the angier I grew. My own writing was suffering. At the end of the day, I was exhausted from reading newswire emails, press releases and calendar items that there was no room to squeeze in the writing, my writing. My goal, from the moment I said yes to the job, was to make money so I could write.

This anger did not subside until October during a poetry weekend at Manhattanville College with poet Dianelee Velie. She simply said, write without thinking. Although poetry is not my genre, I was free to create songs of frustration, love, food and anger. During that weekend I also befriended other women writers dealing with the same anger. Our art had taken backseat to life, was not popular among our spouses and seemed painful to let go.

When I realized I was not alone, I embraced my new title as editor, and forged ahead as a writer. Remembering one step at a time. Although I could not write six hours a day, it was time to write when I could and stick by a schedule, even if it meant 30 minutes a day.

So, when the reporter, who writes children stories, said weeks ago that he just wanted to write and forget the business side I immediatley gave him a slice of the writer’s life. Attend the children’s writers conference, join my friend productivite children’s writer’s group of published authors and check out ezines. I was excited about the literary life, again. With my goal back in front, I too went to a writers conference, BEA/Writers Digest Book Conference, specifially for the pitch slam.

That’s why when the reporter said, on Thursday morning, that he didn’t know what to expect at his first conference I gave him another slice of the writer’s life. Meet as many people as you can, collect cards, don’t force your manuscripts on editors, and if an editor is interested as how they would like to recieve your work via e-mail or regular mail. Remember there will be workshops and choose what fits you and don’t be afraid to leave. Then I asked if he had business cards, and encouraged him to go home and create a blog, especially since I had just created mine. He had no biz cards and was reluctant at creating a blog. Of course the writer mama in me, went home and designed and printed 20 cards for the neophtye writer.

Why? I have been blessed with a circle of writer friends that are loving, caring and sharing. The writer’s life is hard and in reality we are not true competition with each other if we know our niche. There is enough for all of us.