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!)

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…

Launch Date Reveal!

One of the most exciting aspects of Self-Publishing is being able to build up suspense for the next project at your own pace and I have (finally) set a date for the release of my next book. As many of you already know, it releases this month but I had not given an exact date. So, without further ado, please Follow This Link to view the flyer that reveals the date for the release of “Beyond The Colored Line.” The flyers came out really nice and I’m going to enjoy sending them off.

Launch week for this blog is gonna be off the chain, yaaasss. 🙂