If We Were Having Coffee Right Now

Photo by Chevanon Photography from Pexels

Hey, ya’ll, hey!

It’s been a lil minute since we had a lil chat. This year I decided I would not rush back to this blog after the New Year.

If you are one of those extra woke people who need to remind me it is not technically a “New Year” until spring, don’t. I know, and we not talking about that right now.

Anyway, come on in!

Please remove your shoes. House policy.

Go ahead and grab some coffee. The Kerug is self-serving, so help yourself. There is also tea on the counter if that’s your thing. Sugar is in the pantry, and cream is in the fridge. I hope International Delight’s Sweet Cream is okay?

Pineapple, mango, Bananas, Strawberry, Carrots, and Ginger. I thought this was gonna be nasty, but it was good!
  • If we were having coffee right now, I would tell you I am on a month-long fast from alcohol. I have started drinking more fruit and vegetable-infused smoothies instead. It hasn’t been long enough for me to really notice any changes, but I’ll keep you updated on that. I am not much of a drinker (I tend to stick with wine), but I wanted to start the year with a fresh flush of my system. No alcohol and fast foods and processed stuff and all that junk. If you take care of your body now, it will take care of you later!

2021 Me: “Look at us tryna be all healthy and stuff!”

2022 Me: “Girlll. I know right?!

  • Speaking of body, if we were having coffee right now, I would tell you about this dope essay contest that the Navigating the Life blog is hosting on body positivity. “Body positivity refers to the assertion that all people deserve to have a positive body image, regardless of how society and popular culture view ideal shape, size, and appearance.” Click here to learn more.
  • If we were having coffee right now, I would tell you my main priority is finishing the black history book. If you are new to this blog, click here to check out my Black History Fun Fact series. It was something I started to honor Black History Month that turned into a weekly feature when I realized Black history is too powerful to limit to 28 days. Long story short, I am turning the series into a book. My goal is to finish the rough draft by the end of February, if not the start. I am about 32K words in now on the road to 50K.

By the looks of it, this will be a thick book, so 50K is not necessarily the end word count, but it is what I am striving for now. I am noticing how easily distracting it can be to finish a book and keep up with social media simultaneously. Suffice to say, I have severely limited my time on this blog and my socials. I pop in to see what ya’ll are up to, but I gotta be focused this month if I am going to reach my goal. You’ll see me around, though.

Photo by Jack Sparrow from Pexels
  • If we were having coffee right now, I would tell you I am preparing to present at my first conference this March. I am teaching a class on the importance of faith in business. My specific topic is “Overcoming Fear in Business.” We will discuss and identify the symptoms of fear and learn practical methods of overcoming the barriers in business caused by fear.

Suppose you’ve ever had anxiety about showing up to promote your brand or company (especially if you are Introverted). In that case, you want to be in the building. It’s going down on March 11th in Gulfport, MS. Be sure you follow my social media for more updates as the date approaches.

Photo by Andrew Neel from Pexels
  • If we were having coffee right now, I would tell you I have not published much poetry to this blog because I am working on another book. When I published My Soul is a Witness, I ran into issues with publishing poems featured on this blog. I had to verify they belonged to me before Amazon could approve it. I am not sharing many of them with this blog this time to overcome that hurdle. I already have the name of the collection and will reveal it with the cover. For now, you should know it will follow in the same vibe as I am Soul and My Soul is a Witness.
Photo by Jack Sparrow from Pexels

If we were having coffee right now, I would also tell you I am thinking of turning Indie Author Basics with EC into a Podcast. Part of the reason is I have felt a strong sense that I should speak more. Now, most people don’t believe me when I say I am shy, but I really am. If you notice, I don’t go live a lot. I am not a fan of being out front. For you 90s fans, I’m not tryna be “all in the videos.” Only the real one’s will get this reference. Tee hee.

Suffice it to say, I feel a need to push myself more, step out from behind the keyboard and speak. Allowing you to hear me discuss the Indie Author Basic topics and maybe even interview authors would help. Whatcha think? Should we give it a go?

If we were having coffee right now, I would tell you the Book Review Registry is still closed. I cannot possibly read any more books and finish mine at the same time. I hope to reopen as early as March. Be sure to check out this page for details on how to apply. Keep in mind you are not booked, and your space is not reserved until payment is received.

If we were having coffee right now, I would tell you your cup is empty. Your coffee/tea is gone, and so is my time. Now, you don’t have to go home but…

…I’ll be seeing you.

Lol

If We Were Having Coffee Right Now

It has been a while so I thought I’d take these few hours I have here to update you all. I have been and still am to an extent out of the loop. Life pretty much happened.

That said, pull up a chair! Which would you prefer? Coffee? Tea? Water? I also have Almond Milk. I’ll go grab the cups while you take a seat on the sofa.

*Walks into the Kitchen, grabs drinks. Walks back into the living room*

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I’ll just sit this on the oversized coaster here. There you go. Comfortable? Good. Let’s begin.

  • If we were having coffee right now I’d admit it’s been a challenge getting back to this blog. I am in the midst of a big life transition (no worries, good things…we’ll talk about it later) and it’ll be a few weeks before I am settled in enough to get back to my regular schedule. I will, however, be checking in every now and again with some articles and throwback Jams. I am actually drafting an article now. I am doing lots of travel and am for the most part without internet most days so it’ll be a while before I can post it. In the article, I’d like to address the #TakeAKnee protests taking place, among other things, and the importance of staying focused. I am feeling that people are not paying attention.
  • If we were having coffee right now I would tell you that I am closing the Book Review Registry until I can catch up. I have not been doing much reading during my time away (as I wanted to) and still need to start on some books I committed to reviewing. No worries though. Book Reviews will return on this blog soon. I have a few books I’ve finished that I just have not had the time to sit down and write a review for. When I do, I’ll be scheduling those posts. Again, it may be rare until we are settled but I’ll be posting things every now and again.
  • If we were having coffee right now I would remind those of you who are authors and are interested in being interviewed on this blog in my Introduce Yourself Feature to email me your questions. Though I am on and off with this blog at the moment I can still schedule interviews when I am near a connection if I see your questions in time. To learn more about my Introduce Yourself Feature, click through to the original post HERE. The feature is free and the authors featured so far have seen positive results (some have even sold books!)
  • If we were having coffee right now, I would tell you that I am working to release a book this fall, time permitting. Keep Yourself Full is a thin book and won’t have a big launch. It is something I am putting out to keep you encouraged and charged. A combination of the most inspiring posts on this blog as well as some new words of encouragement built around the concept of Self-Love. It is a reminder that self-care nourishes the quality of our life and makes us fit to be of service to others. It helps to keep us grounded and to care about something greater than ourselves. The book is just about finished and I am hoping to set a date real soon.

In the meantime, you can read Keep Yourself Full free when you sign up to join my Advanced Review Team. CLICK HERE to join. I’ll be sending the team’s copy over to read in the near future. To learn more about this book, see a previous post HERE.

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“You don’t have anything to give that you don’t already own. Keep yourself full.” – Yecheilyah

(*I am looking for serious readers only for the ARC Team. Anyone who proves inactive (offering me no feedback) will be removed from the list so please be sure you have the time to invest in this before you sign up. *)

  • If we were having coffee right now I would say that life pretty much slowed me down for September but that I hope to be back in the swing of things for October. I have not been doing much work outside of writing (we’ll talk about that more later as well…focusing on one task at a time and balancing family and work life to be more productive) and will be looking to catch up on some of your blog posts. I’ve been staying in the loop via social media but I haven’t been able to participate in much beyond my mobile device. That said, if you haven’t seen much of me know I am at most times without internet outside of my phone but that you’re in my thoughts.

 

Chat Soon.

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Coffee Date With Yecheilyah

Morning!

For those of you who are not already familiar, Coffee Dates are popular here in the blogosphere. Personally, I like to use them as a time to get personal. Not too much, but enough to let you in on what’s going on in my life. You know, just so you all are reminded that I’m not a robot.

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You know what I would absolutely love? If you would share with me how you like your coffee in the comments! Don’t drink coffee? Tell me about Tea! Or Hot Chocolate. Wait, it’s too hot for hot chocolate. OK whatever, let’s begin.

So..while you run out to Starbucks or Dunkin Donuts and my Folgers is brewing, I’ll take out the International Delight Sweet Cream and a few coffee mugs. Oh, don’t worry about that, I have plenty. If there’s one thing I have tons of, its coffee mugs!

Whew, careful, that one’s hot. Let’s bring this on over to the couch. Yall know how we do. I like to get comfortable. Watch it, don’t trip over the boxes. I do apologize. I suppose I can start with those.

  • If we were having coffee right now, I’ll explain in great detail why my house is a mess right now. I’m actually an OCD cleaner but you can’t tell right now. Half full boxes is blocking the hallway, dishes are sitting on the couch with us, and the printer on top the kitchen table looks like our office space. Don’t worry, we aren’t hoarders or anything. Hubby and I are actually preparing to move which is both exhausting and exciting all the same. You may remember our last date when I spoke about our new place I was hoping (no, praying) we’d get. Well, we got it and I celebrated by going shopping for my bathrooms as if I’m already in the place. Yaass.
  • In honor of the 6 month anniversary of my latest book, I posted about my goal to reach 15 total reviews by August 15th a couple days ago. If you remember, I listed a few options to give everyone variety on how to help. Well, if we were having coffee right now I’ll say I’ve been bit by the doubt bug. I mean sure, I know this kinda thing only works with certain people and perhaps I was foolish to try it? I am ashamed to say that I’ve only received one response. Don’t get me wrong, I am absolutely thrilled about that! And to my credit, it’s only been a couple days. Check back with me in let’s say, a week. Maybe things will pick up.
  • If we were having coffee right now I’ll remind you about the play I was scheduled to be in, Blakk Amerika: From Prophets to Pimps. The production covers over 4,000 years of black history. We were scheduled to go on this past weekend in San Antonio Texas but we actually had to post-pone. I’ll keep you posted on the next showing. Who knows, maybe I’ll see you there!
  • I’m thinking about changing things around a bit here. If we were having coffee right now, I’ll tell you I figure since I’ll be decorating my home, I may as well decorate the blog too! What do you think? Do you like this design? Think I should change it? Which WordPress theme would you recommend?
  • If we were having coffee right now, I’ll inform you that I am finally starting to see some progress on my blog posts over at My Trending Stories where I freelance as well. It’s always exciting to notice the small progressions in your life and not just the negative stuff.
  • I ran across some interesting blog articles this week. If we were having coffee right now, I’ll tell you about the one that really caught my attention and why it gave me such inspiration. Kristen Lambs blog is always buzzing with excellent lessons and articles on writing. The one that caught my eye this week was her latest: Breaking Facebook Dependence—How to Create an Enduring Author Brand. Of course, based on the wealth of interaction on this post (as usual with Kristen), I can tell this one caught your eye as well. But let me explain why it caught mine.

This post was really personal to me. I am not very into Facebook and of late I have really not been into it. In truth, the only reason it’s not on deactivation mode right now is because my business pages are connected to my personal account and I don’t know how to cut my ties with the book without deleting those pages (if someone has insight, do tell!). So any who, I was feeling some type of way about Facebook already, especially far as using it for my authorpreneurship. I’ve read all of this information about how great Facebook is as a tool for writers and, of course it’s just good business since to have some presence there, but I just have not been feeling it of late far as Author Branding is concerned. And then came this post. In it, Kristen speaks about how the blog helps to build a closer and lasting relationship between the author and reader even more so than Facebook. Her many examples were the difference between working your butt off for a few more likes to a page vs working to stay consistent on your blog to gain faithful readers. I really connected with this because it’s one of the reasons I spend so much time with you! I’m just an all or nothing kind of person and I think it’s part of my work to be consistent here. Does it take away from my writing? Nope. Contrary to popular belief it is possible to maintain a healthy balance between blogging and your general writing schedule that does not distract from the other. Anyway, back to the post. Kristen’s most striking example however, the one that spoke to me the most, was this one:

“We are feeding all this great “bait” to “fish” we’ve already caught. Sure, good content on Facebook will lead to more people “liking” our page, but the shelf life is incredibly short.” – Kristen Lamb

I soo agree with this! I love the fish analogy. Especially since most people on our Facebook  pages are, let’s just go ahead and keep it real, fish we’ve already caught. I know for me, Facebook is filled with my Fam; people who love and support me and will support me in everything that I do. They are in essence fish I’ve already caught! I think investing in fam is important, but to grow readership will require attention to readers we have not yet attracted and this is why  I think this post is so important.

Anyway, enough about me. I’ve rambled on long enough. What about you? Tell me how you’re drinking your coffee / Tea this morning! (Or evening!)

So, what’s new?

How is everyone doing? I’m missing y’all! So, talk to me, how is life? I’m well. You may have noticed the blog posts have slowed. I think it’ll be like this for a while. Aside from not having the time to post like a crazy person, I think I like posting less…yea right! Not. We’ll see how long this lasts. So anyway, coffee?

If we were having coffee right now, I’ll tell you:

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  • I have a brand new nephew (or nephews rather). If you are on my Fb page you may have seen the cutie.
  • My other nephew just passed on to the 7th grade and he had a birthday yesterday …I feel old. My once little poo man is 12. I can’t.
  • The writing is going well. The manuscript for #TheRenaissance is moving along. I should be finished with the first draft by the end of summer. I’m also looking into adding more products to the store. What would you like to see in an online bookstore?
  • I potentially have a spot at a bookstore in Florida but I won’t get excited until the deal is finalized….wait for it.
  • The Play is moving forward. We’re having our 3rd showing of the black history theatre production Blakk Amerika next month in San Antonio Texas. Speaking of business endeavors, I received a blog offer to write for a blogging site online but I haven’t decided yet. Still checking into it, verifying its legitimacy you know, gotta do your homework on these things. More on that soon.
  • Hubby and I are looking to move which is exciting! I love the new apartment complex. This one is far more spacious than where we are now and will fit all of our things. There’s a lake in the backyard and I’m just hype but were still waiting. Hopefully everything falls through like we would like and we can get started with the long drawn out tiring, yet exciting, process that is moving.
  • Let’s see, umm…oh, I’m still beautiful! lol

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Coffee Date: Travels

I am still traveling but I wanted to give you an update while I have some down time. Would anyone like some coffee? Tea? Hot Chocolate? I’ll have a coffee with French Vanilla Cream, no sugar (the cream is sweet enough). And lets make that steaming hot. It’s cold out there!

Since we are having coffee right now, you should know that I am still waiting for more pictures to come back from the Book Signing but that it was a beautiful event.

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My Team

First, I had a team of eight sisters who helped me to put it together and I am forever grateful for their generosity. Because of them I didn’t have to keep watch over the kitchen or escort people to their seats or take my attention away from the presentation. (*Team work always makes the dream work!*) My editor was also in attendance and we were both surprised with gifts from our supporters. Mine was a glass plaque with my company logo on it and some really encouraging words. I’ll upload a picture of it when I get home. It is absolutely stunning!

Order of Events

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The library itself was excellent. Very spacious with a beautiful kitchen to store the food (the pic shown is before we covered it with all kinds of goodies. Still waiting on those pictures to come back). I began with a video of the Book Trailer and a PowerPoint presentation. I decided to do it this way to keep it fresh. The images and moving pictures helped capture and keep the audience attention as I rambled on about the details of the book. There was also a Q&A session.

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Me and Harry

Since we are having coffee right now, you should know that I had the privilege of meeting a man named Harry. Harry is an older man whose family were sharecroppers and he expressed exciting interest in The Stella Trilogy. For those who don’t already know, I am really passionate about having these kinds of conversations with the elderly or older men and women who have lived during these times. It is a wisdom I think that we should all cherish. My dad in law has given my husband and I very exciting stories of his boyhood and their experiences picking cotton and sharecropping as well. It is most exciting. I believe oral storytelling is a major stepping stone to the writing of books today. Before anything was written down, it was passed along orally.

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Next, we offered food and snacks to the guest as I prepared for the signing and allowed everyone to mingle. This gave me the opportunity to go around and speak to some of the guest. I think this is very important for Book Signings. You want to try to avoid sitting at a table all day. Instead, I wanted to make it as engaging and family oriented as possible. I think its important that everyone feels special and part of the process. After all, these are people who invested in me. It’s only right that I invest my time and attention to them too.

Since we are having coffee right now, you should also know that I was in a Black History Stage Play the day after the event (Sat.) at The Riverside EpiCenter (Blakk Amerika: From Prophets to Pimps) and it was absolutely powerful. I was casted in 3 roles: Besty Mae, a plantation slave whose son was sold away from her. Sheila Jones, Besty’s great great granddaughter some years later, and I also had the privilege of closing the play with a poem.

I’ll have more updates soon. Before we get out of here, I do want to thank everyone for their support of this work so far both offline and across social media.

Until next time, peace and love

– EC

Coffee Date

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It is only fitting to invite you to this morning’s coffee session. No need to pull up a chair, there is plenty of couch left. Yes, I want you to be comfortable. Cream? Sugar? Black? I’ll be having International Delight’s French Vanilla, no sugar. We good? Great, let’s begin.

If we were having coffee this morning, I would invite you out on the town with me today, where we’ll be picking up a few more posters for my upcoming book signing. It’s the first where we’ll be featuring all three Stella Books. The fundraiser is also going well. I managed to raise $700 in one month so far, over half of my goal. I’m excited because this will not be your traditional signing. Not only is it a book signing but it is a celebration for the completion of the series with the release of Book #3 in the Trilogy. We will have video presentations, picture slideshows, conversation and of course food. Oh, and indeed we’ll have coffee too. Open to the public, this will also be my first time in Atlanta!

If we were having coffee this morning, I would ramble on about my recent trip to New Mexico, also a first. I am scheduled to return this summer where I’ll explore many of the things I did not have a chance to take in. This trip was for a slightly different purpose. I was able to relax and refresh my mind; a time everyone needs every once in a while. It was the most peace I’ve felt in a long time. I did however get to do a little research which I am always seeking to do. I learned about The Blackdom Community, the first all-black settlement in New Mexico and of course the alien crash landing of 1947. Despite little green men on every corner I did not get to visit the museum (boo) but that is on my to-do list for this summer time permitting.

If we were having coffee this morning, I would tell you that my patience has been tested. It appears that I have misplaced a very important USB drive. This drive has a lot of critical work on it that I have not had the opportunity to back up. However, I am on a quest for a worry free life so I have managed not to freak out at this point. I know that everything happens for a reason and I am just thankful that my most important manuscripts are safe. Though I do have to re-edit everything I’ve already done to the novel I wish to revamp. The work I started on this particular project is on the drive.

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If we were having coffee this morning, I would give you the testimony of when I met my husband. You’d probably look at me funny and think “Why do I need to know this right now?” I’ll smile big and explain that this year will mark our 9th year together, with our marriage anniversary on February 17th  and our first date anniversary on May 16th.

If we were having coffee right now, I’d tell you that I’m going to be in a Play, my second acting gig before a large audience since High School. Last year my organization and I premiered our Stay Play Production: Blakk Amerika: From Prophets to Pimps before a 400 seated audience at the Dusable Museum in Chicago. Next month, we’ll be presenting at The Riverside EPICenter in Austell Georgia which holds 600 people! I appear in Acts 2 and 4 and I am also selected to close the play with a poem. The name of the poem is “Freedom: The Illusion” and it is my most famous one to date. First written and performed in 2009 for our first documentary, I have not written a poem that has garnered more attention. It is by far my most requested piece. Speaking of which, we’d better cut this date short and begin our day. I have to get ready for rehearsal tonight …and tomorrow night and Sunday night! More coffee please…

Writing 101: Assignment #11 – Update Your Readers – If We Were Having Coffee Right Now

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If we were having coffee right now…I would not take you to Starbucks. Or dunkin donuts. I would instead invite you to my home where our voices would carry from the kitchen table to the living room sofa, where there are no TVs for a reason (you’d have to go in the TV room for that). And after coasting our mugs and dimming the lamp, which we don’t need much of because of the morning sun, I would bring my legs in and dig into the sofa. I’d probably grab the couch pillow and here we would begin.

If we were having coffee right now… I would ask you if you like the way I redecorated the blog. I don’t usually experiment with themes too much but I wanted to move the furniture to the right side of the room and make my pages more visible. I fell in love with this really cute peach and white button theme. If you’re a guy I would ask you why you just rolled your eyes.

If we were having coffee right now…I would ask you about your favorite post and if my quantity of posts annoys you. I think we’ll laugh about this for a while until you begin to annoy me and I change the subject. “What’s your favorite kind of posts? Poetry? Quotes? Short stories?” Speaking of poetry I really miss the Open Mic. I would like to go back to the stage sometime in the near future. You’re welcomed to come see me perform.

If we were having coffee right now…I would tell you how excited I am for my end of the year road trip. I’ll be visiting a mom of mine in Roswell New Mexico, a place I’ve never been. I will tell you that we’re planning a sleepover and that I’m very excited. I’ll probably start smiling really big because going to see mom means I have an excuse to be a kid again. You would probably smile before rolling your eyes because I am now reaching for the photo album. This could go on forever.

If we were having coffee right now… I would tell you about the 3rd Installment of my short story trilogy called Stella, which releases in February. I would take you back down memory lane, passed the cotton fields of the first Stella and beyond the colored line of her granddaughter the second Stella and smack down in the middle of the road where we look at the life of Joseph McNair, Stella’s son. (Please see the home page to see what this book is about). I’m excited  to get my book over to the editor before I conduct my final proofread. I’m still trying to decide on a venue for the release party and book signing. Speaking of book signing, I intentionally decided to wait until after I finished the series to have one for Stella.  So I’m looking to do an event where I can discuss all the books. I’m really behind far as planning goes but I hope to have more event details prepared by next month. I’m also planning to attend the Black History Month Parade in Atlanta in February. So now I’m not sure if I want to release it there or here at home. In any event, I have to finish counting up the cost so I can start my fundraiser. I am also still working on my business plan. Time permitting I can get that finished by next year as well so I can get the ball rolling on looking into some grants.  We’ll see where that goes.

If we were having coffee right now… I would offer you a business card and thank you for hanging out with me and offer you more coffee before we wrapped things up. We stand, laughing like two college friends because your funny. We’d stroll over by the coat hanger and, if you’re a woman, we’ll both have our hands on our hips with our heads tilted slightly to engage in more conversation. By the time we do make it to our jackets we only just open the door. We’ll probably talk a bit more before actually walking through it. If your a man who is married to my new lady friend I’d ask you if you would mind warming the car. You’ll do it. We all know this could go on forever.

If we were having coffee right now… I would wave goodbye to my new blog friend who was so kind as to meet me in person, in my home, over a cup of coffee.

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