If I Could Build a Time Machine

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Who I am today would melt away like falling snowflakes during freezing winters upon meeting the ground, for I would tear down the foundations to everything that built me. I would go back to change everything that makes me strong today. Arrogantly and ignorantly, I would rearrange days to fit my own endeavors; whatever pleases me that I will do. And those who’ve caused me pain I would exact vengeance. I would avoid hurt as if running from a plague, and strategically erase all traces of my own crime scene. Indeed, if I could build a time machine, I would fill my life with days of sunlight and sorrow would be a stranger to me. Childhood, Adulthood— I doubt if I would know the difference, for innocence and naiveté would cover me like fine linen. As such, my shoulders would not know what it’s like to bear heavy loads. My smooth skin would easily chip away at the sight of danger, my mind would know nothing of sacrifice, and in times of distress I would flood my bed with tears. They would fall dangerously from my eyelids like liquid apologies for not knowing the zip, slither, snap, and thump of a broken heart; for not understanding the crackling crunch of a spirit defeated; for pulling back the wounds of wisdom only to create outlines of invisibility, for I would cease to exist.

Don’t try to build time machines to go back to relive mistakes. Everything you are and everything you’ve endured is what makes you who you are today, flaws and all. That said, never linger on old wounds so much that you wish to go back. What is done is done. Meanwhile, the future has plenty of room for change. Embrace it.

The Walking Dead

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Was so intense last night! I don’t want to ruin it for the others but all I’m gonna say is: “Is he is or is he aint?” Those of you who seen last night’s episode know exactly what I’m talking about!

OK so, below are just a two questions I have for the writers:

  • Where’s the Plague?

I don’t mean the Zombie plague; it’s enough of that going around. I mean the fly and maggot plague! With that many dead bodies around there should be flies and maggots and insects everywhere.

  • Kid Zombies?

Why are there no kid zombies! I see men, women, and even the elderly but there are no children zombies or baby zombies. Time out maybe?

  • The Smell

Again, with that number of zombies around the stench should be unbearable, but rarely do we see anyone covering their noses and mouths even when approaching new bodies. Maybe they got used to it?

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I know were all waiting for insight into Rick’s situation but don’t sleep on Morgan! This is a man filled with compassion but he is a beast. And, to all my Walking Dead Fans, did you catch what his stick represents? It’s a staff. Yup, like the one Moses had.

So anyway, which Walking Dead character are you? Just for fun.

Michonne (Danai Gurira) - The Walking Dead - Season 3, Episode 1 - Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC

I’m gonna have to go with Michonne! Straight beast mode.

What Can A Review Do For You?

Excellent advice on the benefits of book reviews, both positive AND negative!

Kobo Writing Life

By BlueInk Review

Last year, more than 200,000 books were self-published. Imagine a reader standing in front of a bookshelf with that many titles. Now imagine the impossible: how will they choose one title over another?

That’s where reviews come in.

As former books editor of the Rocky Mountain News and co-founder of BlueInk Review, a review service for self-published authors, I am obviously a huge proponent of book reviews. Without a review, your book is more risky to buyers than your average blind date — because, let’s face it, a date for coffee may take an hour, but reading a 400-page book could take several days!  Buyers might know the topic of your book – but how can they be certain it’s worth the investment of both their time and money? They crave guidance.

Book reviews let readers know what they’re in for. They describe the plot, texture…

View original post 519 more words

#Book #Review for Stella Books #1 and #2 by Constance Humphrey

Title: Stella Book #1: Between Slavery and Freedom
Author: Yecheilyah Ysrayl
Print Length: 58 pages
Publication Date: January 20, 2015
ASIN: B00T3G2KLE
Rating: 5/5

Title: Stella Book #2: Beyond The Colored Line
Author: Yecheilyah Ysrayl
Print Length: 64 pages
Publication Date: July 27, 2015
Release Date: August 24, 2015
ASIN: B013PQCKK8
Rating: 5/5

Page Turner!

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In the books Stella: A Short Story and Stella: Beyond the Colored Line, YecheilYah Ysrayl discusses a sometimes uncomfortable conversation and reality. The character Stella carries both the burden and freedoms of racial diversities making her story a reality check for some and a hard truth for others. These intriguing stories will most definitely play out like they are on a big screen in your mind, allowing you to want more to relate to Stella as a friend, sister and or Mother, and for some she already is. Eloquently written these books allow you to experience a time where you could have had to live beyond the colored line. May the story of Stella’s hardships and successes continue. These are truly wonderfully written and captivating stories. Great read for those of all ages. Get your copies now, don’t miss out. – Constance Tehilayah Humphrey

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Thank you Constance!

Resume Writing

This post was prompted by a friend who contacted me because she needed help writing a resume. Before I started fiction writing full time, which I am really only able to do financially because of my husband’s financial support and our collective investment, I was an administrative specialist at a community center. One of my primary duties included helping people to write resumes, complete job applications, mock interviews, and basically the overall job search campaign which included sometimes adult tutoring, especially in the area of computers.

The increase in technology has changed the way that we view everything. From book publishing, printing, and even resume writing. Thing is, you don’t have to do so much writing anymore. What happens now is that your resume will go through a screening process by a computer, which looks up Keywords as it relates to that particular market. If your resume “passes”, that is to say those keywords were found, it will move on to the recruiters’ desk. If your resume “fails” however, it will not even be seen by the employer. Sounds unfair I know but that’s the world we live in.

To make matters easy, you really only need a few sections and minimal writing skills to build a presentable resume:

• Objective OR Professional Profile
• Career History
• Educational Background
• Skills

You can add references as well but that’s even becoming extinct in the area of most importance on a resume (most places want your references during the interview or post resume process). What’s the most important bullet point here? It’s not your educational background, not even your employment history. These days, employers want to hire people they can train and mold into their ideal company representative so there’s a lot of people being rejected because of being “overqualified”. That’s because employers are not really looking for the most intelligent anymore. They are looking for someone who knows how to follow basic instructions and who will not challenge the company’s authority more so than how many degrees someone has. Even when it comes to experience, someone with these basic skills can be hired in a larger capacity than someone with years of job experience in that area. The most important section of your resume today is the “Skills” section.

Depending on what kind of job you’re looking for, make a list of your skills as it relates to that particular position. Write it on a spare piece of paper or whatever but just write down as many as you can. Go to your resume and under “Skills” list them all. Here’s an example of someone applying to a job in the area of Social Media Specialist:

• Strategic Planning
• Business Development
• Brand Identity
• Twitter Management
• Digital Asset Management
• Media Planning /Buying
• Facebook Advertising
• Market Research
• Technology Implementation
• Project Management
• Blogging /Blog Commenting

You may notice I included terms like “Blogging”, “Facebook Advertising”, and “Twitter Management”. This may not seem important but it is, leave nothing out. Any skill you have can be listed here. Sometimes people are looking for employment without really having had a job before and they think they have no skills. You’re alive and breathing aren’t you? Then you have skills! Everyone has something they can do or that they are good at. I don’t care if it’s babysitting, that’s something you can write down. It’s all about understanding the language. Turn “I watch my sister’s children” into keywords like:

• Child Care Development                    < you are responsible for their well-being
• Cooking / Meal Preparation               < you cook for the children
• Creative Initiative                               < you have to find something for them to do
• Cleaning / Antiseptic Management   < you clean up after the children

This will ensure your resume gets through the computer screening process. Now all you really have to do is polish up the other parts of the resume. It is also important, in my opinion, to have more than one resume for the different jobs to which you are applying. This is because a resume for Lead Cook at a restaurant will not look the same, or have the same keywords, as a resume for a school teacher. It is also important to update your resume at least yearly. If you change jobs often, every six months.

Remember, the resume is not designed to get you the job which is a truth I think many of us lose sight of. If you aren’t hired it’s not because your resume was bad, it’s because of other key factors that play a role. Your resume’s job is not to get you the job, its job is to get your foot in the door and by foot in the door I mean: past the screening, into the recruiters’ hands and your butt in the Interview chair.

Note: Oh, and if you can, try to limit your resume to one page. It looks more professional. Here’s a sample:

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The Written / Spoken Word

Man Reading Book and Sitting on Bookshelf in Library

OK, so you’re sitting down somewhere and you decide to read a book. Everything is going well and you’re sure that if given the chance you’ll win “The Best Reader Ever” award. You sit there and you think to yourself: “Wow, I am such a great reader!” All smiles as you professionally turn the pages. Then you decide, at a different time, to read a book. Only this time you decided to read it out loud instead of to yourself. It may even be the same book but somehow it doesn’t seem to be going as well as it did the first time. The same words that flowed smoothly in your head seem to have added more syllables. It’s to the point now that you stumble over words that were hard back in third grade. “Huh? Now I know I can read.” You say to yourself, you cannot understand it and for a second you even close the book and look at the cover. Yes, it’s the same book.

What is the correlation between reading in our heads (silently) and reading out loud? Does speaking guide us deeper into the conversation? What kind of power is there to a voice pumping out words? As I think about this, I wonder how this would sound if I was to record it for you. If instead of a blog post I sent a memo instead, do you think you would understand it better? After all, in this age of technology it is not always easy to discern the intent of text. I wonder if the tone of my voice, my mood, and my pronunciation would change the context in any way.

education-rap-microphoneIn my opinion, I think both the written and spoken word is important. And as I write, I do not believe every poem should be spoken. Some of the poems I write are structured in a way that must be read, while others are structured in a way that must be heard. In this way, I believe the difference in the way we react to the written and spoken word is in the differences in structure and style. For instance, in a letter I may write: “I ponder this as I prepare to release…” But if I was verbally speaking to you I would probably say something like: “I thought about this since I’m about to come out with…” It is not that I cannot write how I would speak; it’s just that we tend to speak in a less formal way when we’re talking than when we are writing. It is much more spontaneous, there is no preparation; we use the slang of our upbringing, and neglect complete sentences.

This is what I like most about the spoken word. There are so many additional elements available to help understand the meaning. You don’t just have words to work with, but there is also body language, facial expression, and tone of voice. A speaker is capable of both giving and receiving feedback instantly. Right away he or she is able to determine whether or not their way of dress, hair style, or accent influences the information in any way.

man-writing-booksOn the other hand when we write, it tends to present itself in a way far more grammatically correct (I use grammatically correct loosely and really for lack of a better word since my writing is not exactly grammatically correct in the English sense of the word but you get the point) than if we were to say it out loud; perhaps a symbolic way of representing things like pauses or tone of voice in speaking. While speaking is straight forward, writing must take on a form of speech in a way that demonstrates the moving of lips without physically seeing which is perhaps the implementation of a more proper usage. You can see my facial expression when I’m talking to you but to write it I must use words to create that image. That is what I love most about the written word, a portrait of something painted not by images but by words. A sound heard not because it is audible, but because it was etched into paper in a way that is loud.

LERONE_BENNETT,_WELL_KNOWN_BLACK_WRITER_WHO_IS_SENIOR_EDITOR_AT_EBONY_MAGAZINE,_IN_HIS_OFFICE_AT_JOHNSON_PUBLISHING..._-_NARA_-_556250Additionally, the most important, and also the most fun, thing about writing vs. speaking to me is also that it tends to live on longer. This can be a good and a bad thing. It can be a good thing because it gives us the chance to record beautiful words like poetry and stories to live on for as long as they need to. Our books can be passed down to our children and grandchildren like pictures. But it can be a bad thing because if you recorded something wrong or irrelevant that can also live on! I think this is one of the reasons writing has been associated with being a kind of skill. Perhaps it is because we learn to speak before we learn to write. We pick up the language of those around us and attach to them the context of our environment. Before you know it we’re “Mama” and “Dada” all over the place! Now, because we have understood this language and associated it with the people around, this does not mean we know at that moment how to write it which will come much later.

But today is a new day, and with technology the power of speech has taken on new meaning and it too is also considered a skill. Not only can you record permanent versions of speech such as poetry, memos, speeches, lessons, etch, but today writing is not alone but “Public Speaking” has also evolved into a skill.