No Whining Wednesday – Don’t Drown Your Own Voice

Welcome back to another No Whining Wednesday! If this is your first time visiting this blog or if you are new to this segment, please visit the original No Whining Wednesday post HERE to learn more OR the No Whining Wednesday Page to access all previous episodes.

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“Don’t be so hard on yourself. Those who screw up and keep going have failed so many times that they are equipped to handle disappointment and therefore have the maturity and resilience to get back up and try again. You got this.”

– Yecheilyah

This was an inspirational word I posted to my social media early this week. I love quotes, inspirational, motivational and overall uplifting. There is something about the power of a positive word that can make you feel like you can conquer the world. When someone compliments you or gives you that good advice, something in your heart flutters and for a moment, all is right. This feeling may only last a second but in that time, all is right in the world. Or at least, in your world. This is so vital and so needed because there are not a lot of people investing good into the world. There are not a lot of people building up.

But, despite how much I love inspiring quotes and how much I read them, something struck me this week. While inspirational quotes from others is nice, there’s nothing wrong with using our own words to inspire others as well. Your experiences are unique to you. Your pain is unique to you. Your happiness is unique to you. Your life is your own. That is not to say there’s no power higher than you (ya’ll know better) but you have to walk these shoes is what I am saying. You have to plant these seeds.

That said, don’t sleep on yourself. You have the wisdom that comes from living and with that something to offer the world but if you never allow your voice to be heard, it can be drowned out by the voices of others.

What if I don’t know enough?

That has nothing to do with it. You don’t have to be perfect to share something that may help others. Personally, I am moved by realness. I want to know about real life situations because your struggles and how you overcome them is what connects you with other human beings. People who talk about their issues and how they’re dealing relate more to others than those who are somewhere in heaven.

Instead of relying so much on the words of others, sometimes it’s OK to give of our own pearls.

Every now and again, use the power of your own experience to inspire others and to lift yourself up. After all, it is what the people we quote have done themselves. They didn’t speak thinking we would quote them. They spoke because it was necessary and now their words have lived on throughout the centuries.

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The PBS Blog Podcast Ep 5 – Freedom and Responsibility

In today’s episode, we are talking about the responsibility end of freedom.

Freedom has been turned into a scapegoat that many of us have used to justify our beef with structure. Anything that requires us to act in a way that is disciplined, civil or logical we stray from under the guise of having the freedom to choose.

But choices are not without consequences.

We are adults and have long had the freedom to do as we choose. But as there’s a lot going on in the world today, we must remember that our actions and thoughts are not without a certain level of responsibility. Whether we are talking about writing and books or life in general, our freedom is not as free as it seems on the surface.

Today, I want to encourage you to be more disciplined in all areas of your life. More disciplined spiritually, mentally, and physically. Let’s take responsibility for the lives we live.

Don’t forget to subscribe for notification of future episodes.

Ep 5 – Freedom and Responsibility

Sips of Nourishment

Take the time every now and again to step back and to refresh parts of your soul that no one sees. Stay in your studies and send up prayers and meditation to quench the thirst of questions that no man can answer. Everyone laughs at faith until desperation strolls into our lives wearing a smirk and holding a sickle in his right hand. He is here to reap and leave the malnourished one empty. Everyone believes in something when the catastrophe ensues and no one is laughing any longer. Don’t be like those laughing at creation and yet calling on a god when things go wrong. Keep yourself full of hope and expectation no person can touch. Exercise both your body and your mind and it’ll work wonders for you in the end. Read books and study to nourish that beautiful mind of yours so no one makes a prey of you through philosophy and deceit. Sing, dance, praise and laugh like the crazy person you are. How dare you cloak yourself in positive vibes and radiate a smile brighter than the sun? Only if you keep yourself filled with light can you shine. Take these sips of nourishment to sustain you so that in the daily grind that is your life, while you’re busy surviving, you do not forget to live.

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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The PBS Blog Podcast Ep 3 – Keep Being Excellent

Inspired by Nicole Walter’s periscope video, today’s podcast is about being excited about your accomplishments big OR SMALL. Whatever it is that may seem, in the grand scheme of things, less significant, celebrate it anyway. We tend to downplay a lot of good in our lives because of other’s expectations or perceptions (people thinking we’re doing something bad or wrong) when we should be rejoicing in everything GOOD that we achieve no matter what. Notice all growth because it’s all part of the process. Keep being excellent!

I’ve created a new page for the podcast that you can now find on the sidebar HERE. Go here anytime you want to catch up on an episode.

Episode 3 – Keep Being Excellent

(Don’t forget to subscribe on Soundcloud for notifications of new episodes)

 

Writers Wednesday – Chapter 3: The Men with Blue Eyes


Chapter 3 – The Office

Did you miss the first two Chapters? Start Here and Here


Tina balanced her Caramel Macchiato flavored coffee, car keys, and purse as she entered the office. Lawyers sat at desks answering phones and shuffling papers. They formed their own groups as they spoke in multiple conversations. The office was chaotic already and Tina’s team were already huddled around her partner’s desk. Frederick, “Freddy” Johnson saw her come in and nodded.

“Hey,” he said as she sat her things down at her own desk next to his. Tina swiveled in her large office chair and turned the computer on.

“What we got?” she said sipping her cup, her eyes catching a figure in the distance.

Oh no. Tina’s hairs stood up on her neck and arms. That was him again. The same man from the club. She was sure of it.

Freddy waved his hand in her face.

“Earth to Tina. Everything alright?”

“Yea, I’m good.”

“You sure? I can get someone else on the case. If it’s too early…”

“No”, interrupted Tina. “I’ll be fine. What do we have?”

Freddy turned to the pile on his desk. “We got seven people, all reported missing within the last 24hours.”

“And they’re all connected to the Ja’mella case?”

Freddy handed Tina a vanilla envelope, “Yep.”

Tina crossed her legs. Sidney’s face stared back at her, the Journalist from the case. She pulled out another file and Chareese face smiled back at her, Brandon’s girlfriend, one of the men accused of the rape. Nicknamed Tree for his large size, she remembered his public arrest at the Soccer Field. They got off. Was someone out for revenge? She paused, remembering that Chareese was pregnant. She pulled out another file.

“Who is this man? I don’t remember him being involved.”

Freddy walked over to Tina’s side and peered down at the documents. The face of an elderly man stared back at him. His eyes scanned down to his name. Freddy pointed, “Emmanuel Jackson. Sidney Jackson’s father.”

“So, they’re taking relatives too now? This doesn’t make any sense. What’s he got to do with it?”

“Apparently, enough”, said Freddy walking back to his own desk.

Tina took another sip of her coffee and shivered. She was the attorney in that case and had successfully got the two black men acquitted. Could she be next?

“Did anyone see anything?”

“We can check the testimonies of the families, see where everyone was last seen.”

Tina’s body stiffened at the figure in the distance.

“Tina?” Freddy looked behind him. “What’s up?”

Tina snapped out of it. She had to remember no one else could see them.

“Nothing”, she said sitting the folders on the table, “the testimonies sound good. I want a full report on every single person, where they spent their last hours, where they work, everything.”

“You got it” said Freddy picking up the phone. Tina used the opportunity to walk away, loosening the collar around her neck.

“Is the air on?”

Freddy was already on the phone and ignored her question. It was burning up or maybe it was just her. She entered the women’s bathroom, closed and then locked the door behind her.

I’m losing it.

She splashed cold water on her face and pulled the bottle of pills from her purse.

“I wouldn’t say so”, said a voice as she popped open the bottle. The white tablets fell into the sink.

“Shoot”, she said, scrambling to catch them before they all went into the drain. Now she had to convince Erica to give her another prescription. She only caught two.

Her blood raced, hands grew sweaty and the hairs stood up on her neck and arms, her knees wobbling. She couldn’t turn around or look up so she kept her eyes on the drain.

“What do you want from me?”

“I am not one of them. Well, I am but I am here to help.”

They sounded just like men. Not robotic like people thought or in the movies. It still didn’t change anything.

“You don’t help people, you murder them. What do you want from me? Have you not destroyed my life enough?”

“Listen, I know where they are. The people who are missing. I know where they took them. Most of all, I know why. Give me a chance and we can work this together.”

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Tina lifted her head to face the man in the mirror standing behind her. He looked human except for his blue crystal eyes reminding her that he was not her friend. He was one of them. And they killed humans. She thought of her nephew Ronnie and tears filled her throat, courage reaching her eyes.

“First off, we are not friends so stop acting like you can just pop in and out of my life. Secondly, I will never work with you.”

“You are acting like I killed Ronnie.”

“It’s your kind ain’t it? Same difference.”

“Listen, the government is trying to cover up the truth. Give me a chance and I’ll explain. We can be partners.”

“What? Why would I work with you? I don’t even know your name.”

“My name is Azbuga, meaning Strength, but you can call me Az.”

Tina shook her head, “Whatever.”

“Everyone has a job. Just like here. Ours is to watch over mankind. So, that’s what we are. Watchers.”

Tina turned around to face him. She thought Az was attractive for an alien, though she didn’t know what he really looked like. The 7ft being was clothed in a Hispanic skin with black hair and thick, black eyelashes. He wore blue jeans and sneakers which made him look normal. His blue jean jacket covered the white t-shirt. Except for his crystal blue eyes, he could be mistaken for a normal, Hispanic looking man. A very tall man. Tina wondered what his true image was. Maybe he’s a fire-breathing dragon.

“Why should I believe you?”

Az dug into his right hand and his skin gave way to his fingers like clay to the hands of a child.

“Eww”, said Tina, watching until he pulled out a coin.

“You can see for yourself”, said Az, extending the coin.

“I’m not touching that.”

“It’s the only way to get in touch with me. Whenever you need me, hold it in your hands and think of my name.”

“I still don’t know how this proves anything”, Tina folded her arms.

Az pointed to the symbol on the coin, “Just like we have jobs, we also have symbols. We’re the watchers so the eye is ours. CBS, the back of the dollar bill, cameras everywhere. All us.”

“So where were you? Huh? Where were ‘The Watchers’ when…” Tina’s voice trailed off as tears filled her throat.

“Not all Watchers are good. Some fell. We were supposed to watch you not…not harm you. Some of my brothers came down and did things with humans that were not right for them to do and now they’re just trying to cover their tracks, make it seem innocent. Still, not all of us are bad, Tina.”

“You didn’t answer my question. Where were you when Ron…”

“Everything alright?”

The coin fell to the floor and Tina froze. She had not checked the bathroom stalls coming in. She picked up the coin and put it into her pocket.

“Amy. Hi. Yes, everything’s fine,” Tina stumbled over her words, her arch enemy staring her in the face. Amy walked over to the sink and turned the water on. Her dred loc’d hair pulled up in a pin. The woman washed her hands, cutting her eyes at Tina.

“Alright”, she said smirking.

Dammit T. Now you know she talks too much. Of all the people to screw up in front of, it had to be Amy.  This would be all over the office by tomorrow. Tina looked around the bathroom. There was no sign of him.

“Why is the door locked?” asked Amy unlatching the door.

Shoot. I’m definitely not thinking straight.

Tina shrugged and swallowed the pills in her hand dry as Amy rolled her eyes on the way out the bathroom. Tina washed her hands and straightened her clothing on the way out the door. She stopped when she heard murmurs.

“I’m serious. The girl was in there talking to herself. I told you she wasn’t ready to come back”, said Amy.

“She’s grieving. Give it some time”, said Freddy.

“Well, she can grieve on her own time.”

Tina rolled her eyes and shook her head. It hadn’t even been two minutes and Amy was already talking.

I bet that coffee cold as hell now too. Damn. Today is not my day.