Staying Humble

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Humility is not something that someone does once, but that one must strive to maintain if it is to be a consistent part of that individual’s life. As I thought of this, I also thought on how arrogance is not always boastful or typical of what we commonly associate with pride. There are many subtle ways to which a person can display a characteristic of pride.

Humility – a modest or low view of one’s own importance; humbleness

Assumption

It is a mistake to assume that people do not know what you know, or that they are any less intelligent than you are. Even if you are wise, remember that even a fool is considered wise when he just stops talking. I am sure we all have our own stories concerning people who were surprised to discover that we knew more than what was perceived by way of our silence or decision to withhold certain information. Assumptions cover a lot of ground as they are always based on preconceived notions and unanswered questions. It is always best to communicate with others to learn more about them, than it is to assume something about them. It may seem odd at first, but asking questions is a good thing because it helps us to understand and to get to know the individual.

Acceptance

This is a tricky one and comes through very subtly. At any time in our lives where we fight against acceptance, then we exhibit a form of pride. We must understand that stepping stones exist for a reason; they are bridges to the next level of our growth and for that we may not understand it when we first encounter it, whatever it may be. People who struggle with acceptance also have a habit of disagreeing with every single thing. This too is a form of pride. The person may not realize it, but they are expressing a form of arrogance. Why is it that you have something to say about every thing? How is it that everyone is wrong but you? That person needs to sit back and ask themselves why.

The thing to remember is that all is not meant to be understood in the moment, but to be accepted. In the words of Rainer Maria Rilke, “Do not now look for the answers. They cannot now be given to you because you could not live them.” Sometimes we are not in a place in our lives to understand, no more than a five year old understands how to safely handle a weapon, and for that we must accept the place we are in now until we can grow into the person who could. “At present you need to live the questions. Perhaps you will gradually, without even noticing it, find yourself experiencing the answer.” (Rainer Maria Rilke)

Asking

No, begging is different. But seriously, being afraid to ask for help is another subtle form of pride. It stems from our fear that others will either judge us or think that we do not know something. But you know what? So what! So what if you don’t know? No one knows everything and everyone has something to learn from someone. If you are afraid to ask for help when you need it, now is a good time to ask yourself why. Why does it matter how others perceive you? People talk a lot about keeping it real but being afraid to admit our wrongs, or our mistakes, or ask for help is not being real. That’s being fake.

Contentment

This one is like acceptance. Once you’ve accepted what is, then you can just be. Another subtlety, people who are not content express a form of arrogance. What you’re essentially saying is that what you have is not enough. I’ve learned that discontent is also a triplet, she has two identical sisters who accompany her everywhere that she goes. Now, I actually have a twin sister and though we look alike, we are also very different. For that, discontent has two twin sisters and although they can be very different, they are also very connected. Their names are covetousness and complaint.

When you’re not content in your present situation, you can be sure that a lot of complaining will accompany it and leading you to ultimately covet what you do not have. However, I’ve also learned that contentment is like this undercover miracle worker. When you are truly content in your life, all worry, stress, and depression leave you. I know that many of you are off on weekends and especially on Sundays.  Just take some time today and embrace the stillness, and to practice being content in all that you have.

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EC Quote Friday

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I don’t usually include any talking points with my EC Quotes, but I had to on this one because one  of the most valuable skills that I’ve gained as a Book Reviewer within the past year is the studying of books. Not only do I simply read them, but now I am also in the habit of taking notes even if I am not reviewing. Currently, I am knee deep into Colson Whitehead’s  Underground Railroad and Toni Morrison’s A Mercy.

Note-taking is a valuable skill and by doing so as you read your favorites, it maximizes your learning, your reading comprehension and critical thinking skills. You get to pull out key points, highlight, underline and look up the definitions of new words, jot down the names of people and places you didn’t know before, meditate on the format and language of the writer and how it is being used, and overall retain and analyze the information. Additionally, not just understanding of the story, but also of how the story is written. The most profound revelation to me of learning to write books, is that reading them is one of the first lessons, stepping stones if you will, we get in how to actually write them.

Beyond The Colored Line – A Year in Review

One year ago today, I published the second book in The Stella Trilogy, Beyond The Colored Line. I was shocked at the positive response I received from those who read it and the kinds of discussions it started. I hosted giveaways, book signings, and conducted an Interracial Interview series on this blog in which I interviewed couples in diverse relationships who still find themselves the victims of misunderstanding. I must say it seems more like a few years ago!  I’ve learned so much since then. Of course, there are lots of things I would have done differently with the knowledge I have now, but nonetheless BTCL still remains a favorite. And most importantly, still helping to expand the ongoing controversial subject that is race itself. I hope this book will live on through many generations and that my children will one day learn from this experience, as I did.

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My Favorite Review Quote:

“Move over To Kill a Mockingbird – the next best thing is here. If I had the power, I would put this book in the hands of every middle school child in America and let them truly understand what it means to be beyond the colored line. The thing is, the literary classics such as To Kill a Mockingbird and Huck Finn definitely bring up the issues of race, but they’re incredibly separated from what it’s portrayed as in today’s world. But this story, even though the setting went through the Great Depression and beyond, is still just as relevant. It is a concept of what it means to be of a race and how it affects us that still exists on every level, individually and socially. It is the name you put down on your resume. It is the cop that shoots. It is the indifference toward poverty and murder in non-white communities. It explains, in great detail and without fault, what white privilege is, and how it shows itself behind that line.”

– Anna Kopp

To learn more about Beyond The Colored Line, my blog buddy Colleen, host of the famous Writer’s Quote Wednesday weekly segment, did a special blog feature for me on the day of the debut last year. Check it out here.  You can check out the Interracial Blog Feature Here.

In the meantime, what kind of wine should I get tonight tho?

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My husband thinks my avatar is hilarious

Throwback Thursday Jam – Four Tops – Reach Out, I’ll Be There

So, as promised before I went on break, Throwback Thursday is going to now be split between 90s Throwback Jams and Throwbacks that go way back. 90s Throwbacks for those of you new to this blog will be headlined “90s Throwback Thursday Jam”. Jams going back prior to the 90s will just be headlined Throwback Thursday Jams. AND as much as I LOOVVEEE 90s love songs and as tempted as I was to post one its not really fair since it is 80s on back week lol. So without further ado, enjoy a Throwback into the days of Cooley High with The Four Tops Reach Out, I’ll Be There. I find this song really uplifting.

When Did You Fall in Love with Writing?

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No. Not when you started writing, but when you fell in love with it. I’ll go first.

Freshman year, High School, Survey Literature. Mr. Clark didn’t know it, but his vocabulary list had me open. He thought I’d look up definitions. He was wrong. I devoured them. I tried using every new word in a sentence and like most people in love for the first time, I sounded like an idiot.

I became obsessed with their meanings, their pronunciations, how they looked on the page and, most importantly, how they made me feel.  Seduced by the euphoria of getting words off my chest, letting the emotions ooze from my heart and out of my flesh; stitching my soul into the page one heartbeat at a time, and riding the wave of stillness while traveling through books. I fantasized about how words would pair; how they would rhyme, mix and match. The smells of metaphor, and the taste of simile calling out to me from the words of healing written in a language I didn’t quite understand and yet, knew it was a necessary part of my sanity. For if I could not depend on writing to be my stepping stone to mental clarity, then I was truly lost. Forgotten in a world without meaning. No explanation for the question mark of our existence. No saving grace. No salvation to play just the right scripture to guide us back to the music sheet. Writing. It was my music sheet and goodness, how I loved him.

What about you? Are you in love with writing? When did you fall for it?

Not in love yet? Here’s a post about how to get there! 6 Ways to Fall in Love with Writing

Writer’s Quote Wednesday Writing Challenge – Strength

When I saw today’s theme, I was excited. I was excited because I have this graphic that’s just been sitting in my phone for about a week that I haven’t used.

Welcome back everyone to Writer’s Quote Wednesday (which I haven’t participated in for too long), hosted by Colleen of Silver Threading  and co-hosted by Ronovan of Ronovan Writes. Today’s theme is Strength and my quote is from an unknown source, I don’t know who wrote it, but it really uplifted me. I hope that it will do the same for you:

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I love this quote because to me, strength is endurance. Survival. It is moving forward without regard to struggle. Strength is the will power to choose to live through what could have killed you, emotionally, mentally, or physically. Some attributes of strength is forgiveness, and patience. I think these two things are necessary for anyone looking to tap into strength. Strength is being taken up by storms, but then afterward straightening your crown and moving forward.

The Top 50 Sites for Indie and Self-Published Authors

Excellent list of resources. Comments disabled here. Please refer to original post.

Jens Thoughts

I stumbled across this fantastic resource and wanted to share with you. I’d love to hear any feedback.

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