Takeover Tuesday: The Invisible Woman: Black Women and Infertility by Yecheilyah Ysrayl

The number of women coming forward about how they can relate to this is truly humbling. Check out my guest post on Navigating the Change blog and if you can relate, be sure to drop a comment on the post (if you feel obliged), so other women can see they are not alone. 

Click the link below to read the article.

Stigmas die when we speak up about the things that matter.

The Invisible Woman: Black Women and Infertility

Introduce Yourself: Introducing Guest Author Monique Johnson

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Please help me extend a warm welcome to Monique Johnson.

Welcome to the PBS Blog!


What is your name and where are you from?

I am Monique R Johnson, Los Angeles, CA born and raised, but moved to Fort Worth, Texas in 2019.

Nice. Cali to Texas is a big transition. What inspired the move?

I considered Texas several years prior. A couple of people I grew up with made the move over 15 years ago. It was when I started dating a guy I worked with who, later took a job in Texas, that I reconsidered. 

What would your perfect writing / reading room look like?

My perfect writing and reading room would look like a university library.

Nicee! I’m loving it already.

I’d have a writing desk with the perfect desk lamp for late-night writing. I’d have a bookcase with books from various genres: motivation, Christian spiritual, financial, self-help, poetry, and a few children’s books for my grands. I would have a leather recliner and a tall, full bird of paradise plant in the corner near the window.

What is the most annoying habit that you have?

Correcting grammar. It gets on everyone’s nerves.

So YOU the grammar police!

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If you could do anything else, what job do you think you’d be really good at?

Lawyer. I love to make my point.

Lol. Any siblings Monique?

Three biological brothers, one step-brother, and three step-sisters.

If you had unlimited funds to build a house that you would live in for the rest of your life, what would the finished house be like?

Mansion, with an east and west wing, two kitchens, game room, media room, living room, enclosed patio, herb and vegetable garden on one side of the back yard, a dog run in the other, and an in-ground swimming pool in the center. The house would have a balcony with an amazing view. The bathroom would have a walk-in shower, with a waterfall feature and a sitting area.

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Let’s get into writing a bit. What genre do you write in and why?

Mixed Genre of non-fiction with a dramatic approach and a sprinkle of poetry to end each chapter. I love writing this way because it makes it more engaging and easier to explain how people can get unstuck.

Why is writing important to you?

I write for my family and generations to come so that they will know how I made it through the toughest times in my life. I want readers of my work, be it my poetry, my magazine articles, or my novel, to know that an everyday person like themselves can get through whatever they are dealing with if they decide to believe that they can.

When did you publish your first book?

My first Anthology was published December 2021. My first memoir was published June 30, 2022. It was exciting and challenging for me. I learned that publishing is not the hard part, it’s the promotion and marketing that’s hard for me.

I get it. So what takes up too much of your time?

Figuring out systems for my business and now my book journey.

In your book, you talked a lot about how your faith got you through a lot of the pain. Do you consider yourself a religious person?

I am not religious in that I do not believe in all of the rules and traditions that mark religions. I do follow the teachings of Jesus Christ. I believe Christ was a spiritual teacher and healer, but the world was not ready to receive such a reality. Religion nailed him to the cross.

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If you had one superpower that could change the world, what would it be?

To make everyone love each other with a Godly love.

What does a Godly love look like?

A Godly love looks like a man and woman who puts God first, demonstrates unconditional love, sacrifices for one another, and goes to God in prayer over situations the couple cannot handle in their own strength.

What are your thoughts on race?

We should embrace our differences, and not be opinionated on who is the better of the races. The conflict is in the ignorance of one or the other and the fear.

What do you think of police brutality in the black community?

I am mixed on it. I am a mother of black sons and they express to me that they know how to do the psychological game with the police so, thank God, they’ve not been a victim of it. They have been stopped, even arrested, but never mishandled. How can we do better? I think all of our people who have been victimized, profiled, or targeted by law enforcement should learn to use psychology, or better yet wisdom instead of responding with emotions. That is not helping during intense situations.

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How would one use the study of the mind to avoid police brutality? Can you give some examples of how getting overly emotional could worsen already intense situations?

For example, if an officer is approaching a black man on a routine traffic stop, or suspicious activity, the black man should not react in a defensive, or in any way that can be taken as uncooperative, or threatening. Instead, he should be compliant, ask what the stop is for, ask if he is being put under arrest, and get the officers names. A calm, unemotional state of mind will put the officer a little more at ease, thus de-escalating the situation.

Now Monique…

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You KNOW I got more questions, chile. But, let’s move on.

What advice would you give your younger self?

Life is not always pretty. We all experience hardship every now and again.

What is your best advice for reducing stress?

Get enough word in you to have something to meditate on when you are getting overwhelmed. Walk, bike ride, or spend time doing dedicated workouts. Eat healthy.

In your own words, what is humility?

Maintaining a grateful attitude, not thinking you deserve all the accolades, but are willing to share the spotlight. Gracious in your acceptance of gifts, complements, and is not easily offended.

What is love?

God. It is receiving others right where they are without judgement. Accepting the good and the bad. Tolerance. Caring about your fellow human. Forgiving.

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Thank you, Monique, for spending this time with us.We enjoyed you!


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Copyright©2022. Monique Johnson.

Monique Johnson is a native Californian who relocated to Texas in pursuit of new opportunities just before the world-wide pandemic and social unrest. She is the former founder and president of a nonprofit after school program she created to help keep teens off of the streets. She brought awareness to the Prison Industrial Complex and how it’s growth was planned based on statistics pulled from the minority population. These stats have been improperly used to build more prisons, thus keeping this population incarcerated. She mentored youth to keep them from making bad choices that could land them in the unforgiving criminal justice system.

Johnson motivates single mothers, women in general, as well as young men to push through the hard parts of life. She is an experienced trainer, speaker, project manager, and has a gift of leadership as displayed in her professional career and community. Her books and her upcoming workshops are geared toward her goal to help women and men in their business, personal and spiritual development.

Check out my review of Monique’s book here!

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Be Sure to Follow Monique online!

Email: mjohnson@envision1t.com

Website: http://www.envision1t.com

Instagram – envision.1t +  relentless.lyresilient

Facebook – Envisioning Possibilities

TikTok – MJENVISIONIT


Are you an author? Looking for more exposure? Learn more about my Introduce Yourself Feature HERE.

5 Things I Do to Stay Productive

Many people ask me how I manage doing so many things. First, you should know I don’t have a 9-5 and no small children to look out for, so this gives me more flexibility with my day. Here are some things I do daily to increase productivity.

I Walk Daily

One of the first things I do in the morning after prayer and coffee is walk a mile. Georgia is a hilly place and there’s this big hill around my house that will have you dying chile, but is a great way to get the blood pumping. If I don’t walk around the house, me and hubs go to the park and do two rounds around the area.

If I feel like doing more, I come back and hit the treadmill or the AB machine. You might wonder what this has to do with anything.

Physical activity helps to reduce anxiety, depression, and negative moods by improving self-esteem and cognitive function.The way I feel after a good workout and all the creativity flowing through me is thrilling. I feel energetic and happier than sluggish and irritated. It doesn’t have to be over the top. Thirty minutes a few times a week consistently can work wonders. You’ll find you have more mental clarity and creativity after working out.

I Don’t Watch Much TV

As much as I love my black movies and go around quoting them, the truth is I don’t actually watch a lot of TV during the day. Most of my TV watching is in the evenings and on the weekends. During the day, I’m working. If I finish early, I read or listen to a podcast or I’ll have an inspirational YouTube video playing in the background. I can listen to Maya Angelou interviews all day.

I Set Deadlines

This is important for me because I forget a lot. I set dates for important stuff I need to get done. I mark these dates on a calendar and it has to be a literal, physical calendar and not my phone because again, I’ll forget. Setting deadlines also helps me to be more accountable for what I said I would do.

Sleep

I sleep more now than I did before and it has made a tremendous difference. I don’t necessarily go to bed super early, but I take naps if I am feeling tired during the day. Yesterday, I got a lot of good rest because I went to bed earlier than usual. Slept for a few hours, woke up to eat and went back to bed. It was great. When we sleep, our brain reorganizes and recharges itself, and removes toxic waste byproducts which have accumulated throughout the day. This shows that sleeping can clear the brain and help maintain its normal functioning. If you are not getting enough sleep, it’s like a computer whose battery is low, it will eventually shut down. This means this “No days off, no sleep” grind culture is actually not very healthy.

Schedule Blog Posts

Far as keeping this blog updated is concerned, a lot of the posts ya’ll read I’ve scheduled to go live days in advance. First, I write a draft. When I come back to finish it I set a time I want it to publish. I also have the WordPress app on my phone so I can share the post on Twitter and respond to comments on the go.

Other things that help me is that I drink a lot of water and I don’t smoke or drink hard liquor. (I do drink wine.)

That’s it!

Yecheilyah’s Book Reviews: Starving the Wolf: The Journey of Freeing a King by Dr. Oliver T. Reid

Title: Starving the Wolf: The Journey of Freeing a King
Author: Dr. Oliver T. Reid
Publisher: Publishing Advantage Group
Published: Officially Releasing August 27, 2022 (Available for Preorder)
ASIN: B0B933ZZJQ
Pages: 80

Prince Amir was born into royalty, but his parents verbally abused him, and his father, Naz, took credit for his work. This haunted Amir, causing him sadness and affecting his relationships with women.

Perhaps the most profound aspect of this book surrounds the wolf, which the author calls Liar.

Liar represents Amir’s inner sadness, depression, and low self-worth. Whenever Amir’s parents talk down to him or anger rises within him, this negativity feeds the wolf inside of him. It is something we can all relate to, as we have each had to deal with the wolves in our own lives.

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These Love Jones bookmarks tho!! Designed by Inspire the Tribe.

Finally, the prince meets a woman that will help him overcome his inner wolf. Princess Khari comes into his life and pours goodness and kindness into his heart. Not only that, she also makes his parents aware that their words are hurting their son.

Discover how the love story between Amir and Khari unfolds and how the wolf gets starved out in this African-themed love story.

Although not marketed as a children’s book, Starving the Wolf: The Journey of Freeing a King is a quick read with some powerful concepts that are easy to digest.

The illustrator also did a wonderful job with the images, which are absolutely beautiful and illustrated throughout the book. The story is easy to follow, there is no profane language, and the pictures are a gorgeous representation of black beauty.

Ratings:

Plot Movement / Strength: 5/5

Entertainment Factor: 5/5

Characterization: 5/5

Authenticity / Believable: 4/5

Thought Provoking: 5/5

Overall: 5/5

Now available for preorder in digital, paperback, and hardcover.

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About the Author

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Dr. Oliver T. Reid is multi-best-selling author, motivational speaker, founder and president of I am a Solution Consulting Firm LLC. He is a Black Man Image Award Winner and 2016-2017 NAACP Image Award recipient and has been featured on Black Enterprise, CBS, Fox, iHeart Radio, NBC, Time Warner and much more.

Dr. Reid is most known as “The Writing Coach,” where he uses groundbreaking writing and coaching techniques to help entrepreneurs, speakers, and coaches to write their books.

If you need help writing your book, he’s the plug! But first, be sure to support him by preordering your copy of Starving the Wolf.

www.drolivertreid.com

Instagram + Twitter: @drolivertreid


To have your book reviewed by me on this blog apply here.

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Please read through the entire policy and note the books in the queue so you know how many books would be in front of yours. That will determine the turnaround time.

Space is very limited so don’t sleep. Apply right now.

(For more options, such as IG promo visit the services page of my website HERE.)

 

No Whining Wednesday: The Lioness Does Not Need to Roar

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Welcome back to another episode of No Whining Wednesday! Today, you cannot whine, criticize, or complain.

If you are new to this blog or new to this segment please visit the NWW page here for past episodes.


People often comment that I am a calm person. First, I am not always serene. I can turn up for sure, but I am a chill person for the most part.

But this person you see today took years of work to develop. Like you, I am still growing and learning and have much to discover about myself.

By now, you all know I love quotes, and one that always centers me is the following African Proverb that is the catalyst for today’s inspiring word:

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The Lioness Does Not Need to Roar

Although this proverb says lioness, this does not mean they intended it only for women. The message is powerful for whoever needs it. When you operate in your authentic self, there’s no reason to act outside that. You do not need to prove people wrong or right. The truth does not need to be defended. It defends itself. The lioness’ presence is powerful enough. She (or he) ain’t gotta be pressed.

I learned long ago never to let anyone take me outside my character. To be so triggered that people can always get you to snap, crackle, and pop is way too much power to give away. We are responsible for always showing up as ourselves, even when that self differs from what people are used to seeing. I’ve been called weak for not saying as much as people think I should in situations or stupid because I refuse to lower my frequency.

Call it what you want, but I am who I am. And I’m not letting anyone reduce me. Again, the lioness does not need to roar. Sometimes, the best way to defend your position is to simply operate in it.

Now, do not get it twisted. The lioness roars, but she does not have to, to keep the people in awe. Her presence is enough. She is an example that often, true confidence is calm.

You do not need to chase what is already yours or prove what you already know is true.

Just walk in it.

Shout Out Atlanta

I realize I’ve been a bit MIA lately. Not just on this blog but on social media in general. I have a lot that requires my full attention, which is professional work and personal work. I am in that transition place where I am learning to be patient with understanding what’s next for me, between that place of gratitude for what is but seeking continual growth.

In any event, I am still here, and I do want to try harder to check in with your blogs. I’ve fallen off in the blog world, and I really need to get back to it.

But I am still here. I am well, and I hope you are well too and continue to be so.

To catch up with me, please check out my latest interview in Shoutout Atlanta.

They reached out to me last month, and I enjoyed working with them for the second time.

Click on the link below to read in full, and be sure to share if you feel so inclined!

PS. If you are subscribed to my mailing list, an update just went out. 

4 Ways Indie Authors Leave Money on the Table

1. No digital version of your book.

Due to the COVID-19 Pandemic, ebook subscriptions rose, with ebook usage up 26% in 2021. If you don’t have a digital version of your book available in this digital world, you are leaving money on the table. If you publish through a small press or an Indie or Vanity Press and they can’t make sure your book will have a Kindle or ebook companion, they are doing you a disservice.

2. You don’t have a physical copy of your book.

According to the Alliance of Independent Authors, physical books still outsell ebooks. US print book sales rose 18.5% in the first half of 2021 and outsell ebooks 4 to 1. This means that if you don’t have a physical copy of your book to sell through your own website and at events, you are leaving money on the table. Many financially successful authors are not Amazon Best Sellers, but they still make bank selling through their websites. “Though ebooks and audiobooks are increasingly popular, print books continue to trump in the researched book market, with 66% of readers across the globe saying print offers ‘a more fulfilling and unique reading experience.'”

Physical copies also make it possible to sell your books wherever you are. If you like speaking at events and talking with people face to face, you can (should) always have copies of your books on hand. Sell them to libraries, schools, bookstores, or wherever. Heck, sell those bad boys in bulk if you want.

3. Not doing events and speaking engagements.

Speaking engagements and events can generate significant income through paid meetings and on-site book sales. Live events can also help you connect with readers directly, create word-of-mouth from the people who will tell their friends they met you, and don’t cost anything.* If you are not looking into doing events and speaking, you leave money on the table. Again, this is why having physical books is a good thing. See number two.

*Note: I have heard of people paying to do book signings. I never pay to do a book signing unless I pay for a space for vending at a larger event. If you ask to do a signing and the facility says you have to pay, see why and what’s included or look into hosting the signing somewhere else.

4. You are not turning your books into audiobooks.

Speaking of paid speaking engagements, audiobooks can be a way for authors to attract speaking gigs. According to Audio Publishers Association’s annual survey, a six-year trend of double-digit growth in sales continues in the audiobook space. Add to this the increase of smartphone usage (especially with the pandemic), and people who listen to their books at home or in the car on the way to work. This means that if you are not looking at ways to turn your books into audiobooks, you are leaving money on the table. Audiobooks have the potential to reach a wide range of people, from those busybodies who struggle with time to read to people experiencing visual challenges.


We must think outside the realm of just uploading books to Amazon and letting them rot. You worked hard on your book baby. Discover other ways of getting it out there.

Like I always say, it doesn’t matter how long ago it has been since you’ve published; your book will always be new to the people who have never read it. Our books only die if we let them.

Need more Indie Author Tips? Check out the archive of posts here.