We have all, I am sure, come to a point in our lives when we question ourselves, our lives and what our purpose may be.

 

I think its something that is ingrained in our beings upon conception to seek a greater purpose in life. Having said that, I also believe we have a vague sense that we are incomplete should we not find this purpose.

As women, it is ingrained in us as young children that we are to be cleanly. We clean house, car, children, and habitual spaces as well as cleanse our soul through spiritual guidance in whatever form of religion we follow.

We were made to nurture, protect, and love. Just as we were made to bear children, tend to the sick and needy. Take care of man that is befitting to our nature. In this same aspect of our nature we were made to care, console, to weep as well as be strong, fierce, and agile with a strong presence of mind.

But I think with the times and trials of life we have lost our place. I do not define that place as staying home; I meant the place inside us that allows us to be gentle and genial. We are so buckled down with tasks and chores and titles, we have forgotten ourselves, our inner selves that crave what we instinctually know. It has been tramped down over years of stress and aggravation. Pain and tearful accusations. Hurt and tiredness, and yes sometimes bitterness.

As we celebrate Women’s History Month this March, I hope to include focusing pieces to allow us to seek out and found our natural beings. We need to remember there is room for that person we seem to forget most- Me.

Thinking about your self doesn’t automatically make you selfish. It makes you Humble in my opinion. Think about it. There is 24 hrs in a day, eight of which we use to work, three maybe four of which to travel and run errands. Another hour to make dinner, another for bath, reading and bed for the children. Another hour to make the husband tired and happy. Add to that another eight for sleep- if the extensive chore of making the husband happy hasn’t cut into that time. Oh, let’s not forget the hour used to make you presentable in the morning.  So how much time do you really have for “Me” time?

There are still other things to consider. Most of those hours spent on daily routines, think about how much you actually spend thinking of yourself. Throughout the day thoughts are of work, chores, things the kid’s need, doctor’s appointments, activity and play date appointments, birthday parties and gifts, food shopping, things you forgot, things your husband forgot and so forth….now take a second…where did you fit in to all of that?

That’s right, you didn’t think of you until just right now. Am I right? So I ask, how is that selfish if for once you take a second to stop thinking about everyone else and think of the person you normally forget. Do you feel left out yet? Neglected?

And if you are a man, and you can relate well then I ask you…Why have you forgotten yourself?

I am not saying go crazy from this point on- throw responsibility and caution out the freakin window and go psycho.

I am however saying take a moment to think and reflect. Have you lost a part of yourself in the last couple of years? Are your goals still intact? Have you achieved your dreams? Have you had a cocktail recently?

These are some of the things we forget, and I know you may be saying to yourself, I found the time to read this entry or another blog or a newspaper but that’s what? Ten minutes give or take? Is that all you allow yourself?

And what is this article really about?

I’ll tell you. Somewhere along the way on the course you have been on you have forgotten something. Maybe it was a friend who meant so much to you, but somehow you can’t find the time to call them. Well, take a second to do so.

Maybe you haven’t gone to the movies in a year, take a two hour break from life and go do that.

Maybe you have been so bogged down from stress your nails are horrendous, your feet need to be soaked de-clawed and sprayed with Lysol, your hair is a hot mess and it needs a stylist very badly. Take the time and go do that.

They always say life is too short- well we spend half of it doing for others, accepting others, caring for others. What will you have to reflect on, on your last days if all you can remember is taking care of others and not yourself? Why is it ok to forget “Me” and your happiness to strive for others?

I know it’s a part of our genetic make-up but you cannot function properly if you are forgetting the most important person, the most important factor of your life--- It’s you. Because who will care for your loved ones if you are too sick or gone to do so?

Sometimes you have to take a step back and evaluate the situation with fresh eyes. Stress I believe gains more height when you pack more on yourself before you relieve the first cause of it. That tension will never go away unless you ease it. Learn to take on a little less, and do a lot more for yourself.

Find a happy median. Do something that makes you happy. Work on a goal you have neglected. Love fiercely as we were made to do so, and do so with courage, peace of mind, and a sense that everything will be ok even if you let it sit for a minute while you do you.

And if you lost a part of yourself along the way; Find it, make up and move on. Cherish the core of who you are and never neglect it again.

 
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The Female Protagonist

The moment was made indelible; one of those I’ll never forget. The Lord of the Nazgul is confronted by a knight ready to do battle and he scoffs that no living man might hinder his progress. The knight in turn proclaims that the Lord of the Nazgul will be hindered and that he looks upon a woman – Eowyn, daughter of Eomund, a Shield Maiden of Rohan – who does a great job of hindering. I first read Tolkien’s The Return of the King in the summer of 1969, when I was sixteen; it was also the summer I first read Pride & Prejudice and Jane Eyre, saw Ingrid Bergman’s performance as the title character in the 1948 movie, Joan of Arc. Finally, there was Katherine Hepburn’s Eleanor of Aquitaine in The Lion in Winter and Juliet in Zeffirelli’s Romeo & Juliet. I also read Far from the Madding Crowd for the first time and found in Bathsheba Everdene a soul sister (Several decades later I would discover another Everdeen, Katniss, and add her to my panoply of heroic women!). In a time when the gender barriers were bending or being removed, women started demanding equal pay and equal rights, I was reading about and being entertained by heroes that happened to be women. It was the season of powerful women.

What constitutes a strong female protagonist?

In this reader/writer’s mind, several characteristics have to be present in the writing: Independence in thought, action, word, compassion, intelligence, vulnerability (yes, that) in the context of the story’s period. I discount heroines that sound and act like 21st Century women in settings other than our century, unless of course, it’s a parody and the comparison and/or use is intentional. My favorite strong women don’t throw their hair around and clench their fists defiantly unless they’re going to act immediately – wait; none of my favorites do that.

Women I relate to act and behave as much as they have to in the context of their time, but show independence and defy social norms. Alienor of Aquitaine surely did that, as did Joan of Arc, and another Eleanor -- Roosevelt.

I could spend a day and a year listing all of my favorite heroines real and fictional. What I decided to do at an early stage in my own writing was have those character types in my own work. Serafina Giustini, the female protagonist in The Legacy, is a survivor in fourteenth century Tuscany. She lives by the rules in the male-dominated society of the middle ages, but bends them when she has the opportunity and fights back – e.g., when she is forced into a political marriage as so many of her contemporaries, she bargains for the right to marry whomsoever she chooses if and when her bridegroom predeceases her. This was not an uncommon arrangement in Italy. Joanna Fletcher, the companion of George Ascalon in my novel, Armor of Light, is a woman who has been used, abused and made to suffer at the hands of King John due to her father’s political machinations. From that abuse comes an inner strength that George draws upon. George’s sister Petronelle is defiant and rebellious in the face of custom. Would an earl’s daughter walk away from her bridegroom on their wedding day? That’s a good question – we have no records of that happening in medieval England, but then again, the chronicles are mostly silent when it comes to the acts and deeds of women of the time, unless that she happens to be an extraordinary woman like Alienor of Aquitaine, Queen of England and wife to Henry II, mother to Richard I and John. Petronelle did walk away in order to serve her brother’s cause and we see her evolve painfully and slowly to maturity.

I also borrow on my own reality when I write of women in my stories. My own mother, Jeannette, died when I was fifteen, but she was a woman who, in a time when women didn’t divorce and make lives for themselves, did just that. She also took up upholstery and carpentry, played baseball and she raised six children alone while holding down two jobs. I was always in awe of her – a tall, quiet, woman with large brown eyes, abundant dark curling hair that she wore to her shoulders, and a low voice that was musical. She was an accomplished musician. I have to admit a lot of my mother is in the DNA makeup of my female protagonists, especially the modern women, Violet and Alice. I also borrow from my eldest child, my only daughter, in whom I see a lot of my mother – and myself. I inherited my mother’s large eyes, dimples, her wit, and a lot of her talent - unfortunately, not her height. My life after my mother’s sudden death in 1969 took a turn it may not have taken, for I found myself in a state of independence, being watched over by a sister who had just turned 21. You can see that interesting and loving relationship between Alice and her brother, Denny, in the “Midwinter Sonata.”

The women I write of and draw inspiration from are women who have failings. They make mistakes and pay for them. They struggle and find themselves victorious at one moment and on the losing side the next. Alice Martin of the “Midwinter Sonata” series that began with Tallis’ Third Tune, has problems with men, as does Violet Ellison from A Knight on Horseback. Both refuse to be victims even though they are victimized. Their mistakes are stupid, but when haven’t we made those stupid mistakes – choosing the wrong man because he was Mister Right Now instead of Mister Right and discovering too late what the consequences might be?   Or having the courage at the time to walk away?

Stories with women like these are the books I return to time and again. I joke that when I finally grow up I want to be like my lady heroes, both real and imaginary. I invite you to look in your own library and in your own writing to find such inspiration. You may be as surprised as I was to discover how they might just have qualities hidden inside your soul.

May your reading and writing paths take you on interesting journeys.

All the best,

Ellen


 
DWED: First, tell us a little about yourself.

Tracey- Well I am a Strong spirit filled Black woman, married to wonderful man and father for 20years, a mother of 4 beautiful children ages 23, 18, 17, and 15yr of age, grandmother of one beautiful 3yr old little angel.  I am a fun, loving, crazy, outgoing, comedian.  Wait did I mention CRAZY!  Full of life 43 year old woman who is just now evolving.

 

DWED: Have you always aspired to Act in as well as Host stage plays?

Tracey- Yes when my brother, sister and I were little, my sister and I were given little red riding hood dolls. I can never forget those dolls because they were made up of red riding hood at one end and at the foot of the doll was the grandmother and if you pulled the grandmothers bonnet off of her head you would reveal the wolf under it. Well whenever family member and friends came over we would build a tent and put up a curtain and the three of us would act out the story of little red riding hood and serve drinks and snack too.  So yes since a little girl I aspired to act. As far as hosting stage plays I am big into getting information out to people. I worked as a church secretary for many years making flyer and bulletins. Working in the food pantry  and doing thanksgiving and Christmas give outs, getting information out there and communicating with people are things that have been proven to work in meeting people, networking, and building a following or what I would call it, friends.

Also I have been bringing my families together for family reunions for the last ten years or so now.  My mother side and my fathers side of the family as well. I just recent handed that off to the younger generation so I can pursue my acting career.

 

DWED: Would you say the journey was easy or hard? Why?

Tracey- My business background along with working with families mine and others all over Nassau and Suffolk County for years; I would say easy. Also how I grew up making friend everywhere I went, people would take to me so very quickly. I would welcome people into my world of kindness, laughter, fun and fellowship.  So the journey was easy because all I had to do is be pleasant with people, listen, talk a while and make them smile.

 

DWED: Who would you say inspired you?

Tracey- Well I believe my father to be the worlds greatest singer that ever was, my mother well everyone always called her sunshine and they were two happy people that showed me I could do anything once I put my mind to it and do it.  So singing and my personality they inspired, I had a host of teachers and awesome friend and some terrible enemies that inspired my life as well. I could never forget the many spiritual man and women in my life that thought me that I could do all things in Christ as long as I had Him abiding in me. I say all of that because to name these great people you wouldn’t have enough space in your blob, I don’t think, and I would hate to leave out or forget someone.

 

DWED: Can you tell us what was a major turning point in your life?

Tracey- Well I have had a few along life's journey, but I think the major turning point was when I became very promiscuous at a time in my life as a result of some abuse growing up as a beautiful free spirited well filled out young lady.  But at this particular time in my life I found myself in an abortion clinic, on the abortion table having an abortion.  I remember something going terribly wrong because when it was time for me to wake up from the procedure I could not! I could not breath, I could not move, but my eyes were wide open with tears rolling down my face, I was about to die in a most God awful way, that everyone that knew me and loved me would find it so hard to believe, the same way they may be feeling right now reading this blog.  But we all have sinned and fall short of the Gods grace and mercy.  But why this was the major turning point in my life is because while I was dying on that cot, the nurses and medical assistants were calling for help, running in and out of the room, calling me, shaking me. Then I remember this one strangely tall doctor coming in, in a long white lab coat, walked right up to me. In the mist of everyone bugging out and he leaned down to me and said Tracey I said would never leave you, now I need you to come on back, come on come on now He said and I took to biggest gasped for air. The emptied out quickly, wheeled to the recovery room even quicker.  The aid they had assign to watch me told me of everything that was going on in the room nothing be chaos she said, you had us worried she said. But not one time did she mention the strangely tall doctor that came and saved my natural life. I let her talk and talk and when she had took my last vitals and brought me my clothes to get dress and leave. I had to ask, “Nurse could you go get the doctor in the long white lab coat that came in a helped me, please I must thank him for saving my life.”  She looked at me like I had four head on my body and said “Tracey there were no men in the room all women, we were about to get the machine for you to bring back” I was adamant , No He came right in and came up to me and spoke me and call me by my name.  She disagreed and looked at me crazy, I quiet down very quickly jump in my clothes and signed out and got up out there.  Yes that was a major turning point in my life because I haven’t met a soul yet that will tell you that they had an encounter with the Lord and they are still the same! My life changed for the better that day.

 

DWED: Are you a part of a book club or organization?

Tracey- No not right now, the last church I was in we had a book club we were reading the 5 love languages I believe it was.  I am currently taking a writing class now, now that me children are older and have more time on my hands; I desire to write a few books of my own.



DWED: Let’s delve into your work. Tell us about your most recent work.

Tracey- Well I'm presently preparing for the upcoming show of “Unequally Yoked” April 21st 2013 back by popular demand at Harlem’s Dempsey Theater, Harlem, NY. Of which I am working on the promo video for that, I should have it up and running on Facebook, Twitter and on our website www.unequallyyokedstageplay.com this weekend.  I also just Filmed a show for TMC/BET of the stage play that I am doing with the “King of Dramedy ~ JD Lawrence” Your Husband is Cheating on Us” on Broadway at BB KINGS. Filming is in a category by itself, Makeup Artist with heavy stage makeup, stage lights are brighter and hotter than being on stage at a theater.  On the set, you hear the famous word from the stage director “CUT” let’s do that again, from the top, starting in 3, 2, 1 and you are ON. It’s the best I have to say, with a live stage audience, its crazy but just the best at the same time. (If that makes since) Then in May I will be back again with JD Lawrence doing his stage play “If you don’t stand for something, you will fall anything”.  July again with “Unequally Yoked'’ and then in August the group I sing with, REMNANT we are having our CD Release Concert at the Church of God in Christ Prayer Tabernacle in Amityville, NY.  Also I am working on my CD this year, prayerfully to be out in the fall.

 

DWED: What can we look forward to seeing from you throughout 2013?

Tracey- Well the more I work with these great people the Lord have joined me to, I am learning as I go.  I ask a lot of questions and pay very close attention to how business is being conducted around me. I am learning about how the new artist are putting their music out through itunes now and youtube, facebook, twitter all the social media avenues are the way to promote now a days.  Of course the people that have followed and supported me throughout the years singing, acting, dancing, are all waiting (for my CD, my books, my screenplay) to see the things that the Lord has spoken to me, through them, waiting to support and to help thrust me into greatest.

 

DWED: What other avenues are you using to promote your work and yourself?

Tracey- Through those same social media avenues, I post everything on facebook, when the flyer for anyone of the shows that come out, I posted it.  I get in touch with JD and ask for the show flyers and I post.  The same for Remnant and Unequally Yoked, I work closely with the leader of Remnant Michelle Ringgold and likewise I work along side with Lynette Blackwell with “Beyond the 4 Wall Productions”.  Flyers are made up for each our the events I’m involved with and are given out abroad and posted on our websites, facebook, through email blast, telephone calls, radio stations, etc.

 

DWED: Is there anything we haven’t covered that you would like your readers and potential readers to know about both your work and yourself?

Tracey- I would like to also inform everyone that I also do my churches TV Program on Cablevision public access channels 20 and 115, in Suffolk and also in Nassau. I attend the Bethel Pentecostal Church in Brentwood NY where Supt. Ralphael Jefferson is my Pastor and the Evangelist Laurie Jefferson is our Elect Lady.  You can see the show 1 am on channel115 Friday night/Saturday morn and at Saturday night at 10:30pm on channel20.  I want to God for every open door in this year 2013 the year of the Yes.  Thank you Krystal for seeing enough in me to reach out to me, so I can share with these mighty successful, evolving, powerful Women. Keep me in your prayer and I will do the same for you! Bless you all

Follow Tracey on Facebook!

http://www.facebook.com/home.php#!/tracey.hagans

 
If you are in your late twenties to early thirties you may remember a learning show –Where in the world is Carmen Sandiego? In fact as I write this article, I can hear the theme song. Funny right?

 

So as I thought long and hard about what to post today I thought I’d take it way back,  when I was in grade school and I couldn’t wait to get home to tune into this program. And not to mention that the show had returned in 2011, the brand has multiplied in its vast reaches to youngsters around the globe, and still maintains its unique quality of showing children the basics of geography.

I remember how vividly entertaining the show had been. How enthralled I would be that the thought of sitting through commercials angered me back then, because I just wanted to know where Carmen was, and if I was smart enough to figure it out.

I didn’t know back then that the franchise had spread out and explored different venues: from Where in the world to where in the USA, Where in Europe, Where in Time, Where in space, Where in Word, where in Math and many more. The brand also extended itself into comics and books, Card games and Board games, and as of July 2012 Jennifer Lopez was said to potentially star in the title movie based on the character.

Its amazing what can happen with a pencil and a dream, this character was just some lonesome thought at one point, brandished to life by a score of children’s love and adoration. And finally it has peeked into something substantial.

Intriguingly enough, you can follow Carmen Sandiego on Twitter, facebook, and even purchase the game if you have a Wii console!

Links:

Website: www.carmensandiego.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/carmensandiego

Twitter: https://twitter.com/carmensandiego

 
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About:

"Greenwoman Magazine celebrates garden writing in all its forms: fiction, creative nonfiction, poetry, commentary, biography, art, and comics! 

Daring and fun, Greenwoman is for the hip gardener who loves digging into the world of art and environmental thought that underlies gardening."

Greenwoman Magazine is a completely independent, one-woman-owned-and-run publication.  (Well, two-women, when Sandra’s daughter Zora, who is the Deputy Editor, has time from her full-time college work).

Links:

Greenwoman Magazine - http://www.greenwomanmagazine.com/

Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/pages/Greenwoman-Magazine/157003514356450

Reviews:

"I think this magazine will be one of the best gifts 2011 has given humanity and I’m absolutely serious about this. I hope you will check it out. When I did that, I clicked immediately on the subscription button and signed myself up. Now for those of you who know me, you will know this is significant because I have a very strict rule about not purchasing anything over the internet." —TammiHartung, author of Homegrown Herbs

“. . . I realized that this was a periodical loathe to box itself in or stoop to cliché. The topics would be familiar but the twists and turns would be unique because the human experience is unique."—Grace Peterson, "Gardening with Grace" blog                                                                                      

"Greenwoman is a fresh and hip magazine bringing the spirit of gardening to the forefront . . . It is unlike any other magazine I have read."—Elise Bowan                                                                                                             

“Greenwoman filled the gap in my life that I didn't know existed: a magazine that connected all my interests: the earth, gardening, and a feminine perspective. I couldn't believe my luck upon discovering it! Greenwoman will now replace some of my subscriptions that were only gardening, that ignored earth issues...Viva Greenwoman. —Elisabeth Kinsey, Greenwoman's Sex in the Garden columnist.


REVIEW
Rating *****5 stars

My Thoughts:
Green Woman Magazine is the epitome of creative craftsmanship. The magazine eplores the world of gardening with tips, tricks, and articles that gives even a newbie like me a guide as well as a stimulating read. What intrigued me is; it isnt just about gardening per say. It incorporates Poetry, short stories, as well as interviews. And I have to say for a one woman show, Sandra has done an amazing job.

I have to be honest, I do not have a green thumb, in fact i killed a cactus once. I am very ashamed of that but I felt empowered to try a hand at getting deep within the soil. to replenish a beautiful life force. Its simplistcally sweet and endearing to me, to have been asked to review this magazine. Its different, its stimulating, its relatable. I really enjoyed it and I will make it a point to feature this work once again on this blog. Its a creative vise that is both theraputic, relaxing, and cultivative for what we strive for here on DWED.

Great job Sandra, this is an amazing Magazine. I wish you all the best.


DWED Interviews the Editor of Green Woman Magazine

DWED: First, tell us a little about yourself.

 

Thank you for having this interview! Well, I’m the editor and publisher of Greenwoman Magazine, I live in Colorado, I’m married (I met my husband when I was 17 and we’re celebrating our 30th anniversary this May), we have two beautiful and brilliant daughters (ages 18 and 21). I write, I garden, I love art, and I love what I’m doing, publishing this garden writing magazine.

 

 DWED: Have you always aspired publish a Magazine?

 

No. It’s been in my mind for nearly twenty years, that publishing a magazine would be such a cool thing to do, but I never thought about it seriously until a few years ago! I published a zine for a couple of years,really enjoyed it, and I had many years of experience writing fiction and nonfiction. I’d had some things published, I’d been a guest columnist for The Denver Post one year, and I’d even read my essays on the local NPR affiliate radio station, but my work was not moving forward. Three years ago, after I sent a novel I’d been working on for years out to agents (with no takers), I thought: now what? I had loved publishing my zine (also named Greenwoman) and I loved publishing garden-related stories, both mine and others’.That was the most fulfilling work I’d done so far, so I decided to create a garden writing magazine.

 

DWED: Would you say the journey was easy or hard? Why?

 

It has actually been more difficult than I ever imagined. I knew nothing about publishing—and I naively thought that it couldn’t possibly be THAT hard. I was very wrong. The complexity is astonishing; there are hundreds of details to attend to as an editor, and when you add on the publishing part, and the art design part, and the marketing part—well, it’s ahuge undertaking. And it has just been me and my daughter Zora doing all of the work these last three years. Luckily, I had no idea what I was getting into. And I haveno regrets. It’s been the hardest job of my life AND it’s also been the most personally rewarding.

 

DWED: Who or what would you say inspired Greenwoman Magazine?

 

I fell in love with the genre of garden writing over twenty years ago when I picked up a book in a used bookstore, American Garden Writing, edited by Bonnie Marranca. I read these amazing essays from a varied group of famous writers: Thomas Jefferson, Alice Morse Earle, J. I. Rodale, Wendell Berry, Allen Lacy, Elizabeth Lawrence and many others. I was hooked, fascinated, enthralled. Garden writing was about far more than gardening—it was about science, philosophy, fashion, art, politics—gardening really touched on every aspect of the human experience. More than that, it made me want to garden, to get my hands in the soil. That was powerful for me. From that point on I knew I wanted to be involved in getting these kinds of stories out there in the world. At first I wrote about my own experiences, and later, many years later, I decided to trypublishing a magazine.

 

DWED: Are you a part of a book club or organization?

 

Not right now. I’m not much on joining organizations, mostly because I don’t have the time to participate.

 

DWED: Let’s delve into your writing. Can you tell us more in-depth about Greenwoman Magazine?

 

Greenwoman features all kinds of garden writing. We publish short fiction, creative nonfiction, poetry, interviews with artists who garden, biographies (of famous people in the plant sciences and culture), comics, essays—you name it. I wanted it to be a showcase of the diversity of the genre, and it is. We also feature art—drawings, photography, collage.

 

DWED: How does Greenwoman stand out? What does it offer and more importantly what can viewers find within it pages?

 

It stands out because it’s really the only publication of its kind. What I think it offers most is diversity, inspiration,a call to care deeply about the environment; it’s a unique place to  connect, through literature, to nature and to the art of gardening.

 

DWED: are there specific topics that Greenwoman covers?

The interviews, biographies, fiction, poetry, etc. are all a part of the magazine, but they vary as to exactly what is published in each issue. For example, we might skip having a biography in one issue or we’ll have three short fiction stories in one issue and one fiction story in another.We do have four regular columns, with their own columnists, in each issue. The columns are: “Slow Ride” (on slow living, contemplating life, and taking care of the earth, by Dan Murphy); “Hungry Chicken Homestead” (written by urban homesteader Bonnie Simon, who raises chickens, cans food, and does other fun things); “Sex in the Garden” (Elisabeth Kinsey’s exploration of a sexy aspect of gardening—for example, she’s written on the “dirtiness” of dirt, the voluptuousness of roses, and the erotic aspect of bulbs); and finally we have DB Rudin’s “The Creature Feature,” in which he explores the history and life of an insect or animal.

 

DWED: Does the magazine advertise?

 

We do have some advertisers. They have to be in an industry that is “green” and/or connected to some aspect of natural health, the arts, gardening, ecology, or nature.

 

DWED: How was the concept of Greenwoman born?

 

The name Greenwoman comes from a female version of the “Green Man.” The Green Man, as you probably know, is an ancient figure, known to most of us as a man’s face that is made of leaves. I became interested in this archetype years ago and learned that The Green Man was symbolic of mankind’s connection to Nature. I thought there should be a Green Woman and I couldn’t find an equivalent so I created my own. (Others have done the same thing in recent years, imagined a “green woman”, so I’m not the only one who was in tune to this idea.)

DWED: What can we look forward to seeing from you throughout 2013?

To me, quality of content is the #1 most important aspect of my magazine, so I look forward to keep working to make this the best publication I can. I want to keep an open mind, listen to readers, try new things, discover exciting new writers and artists. I am also going to be self-publishing that novel I mentioned before, this summer. It’s a YA sci-fi/fantasy book about genetic engineering. The protagonist is a 15-year-old girl named Zera Green—it’s called Zera and the Green Man.

 

DWED: What other avenues are you using to promote your work and yourself?

I’m doing one big print ad in a publication I have a lot of respect for, I’ve tried out a few blog ads this year, I’ve had a lot of fun doing this tour, and I’m currently giving away a free sample issue of the magazine (PDF version) on my website to readers who sign up for my mailing list.Last year I attended a lot of local events. I want to find time to do as many guest posts on blogs as possible. I try a lot of things and am open to everything. My advertising budget is pretty non-existent, so I do what I can by just working as hard as I can to get the word out.

 

DWED: What would you say to all aspiring authors like yourself?

 

I’d say that if you really love writing, and you have a passion for it, just hang in there and work hard. Stick with it, don’t give up. Art matters.

 

DWED: Is there anything we haven’t covered that you would like your readers and potential readers to know about both your work and yourself?

Yes. I truly love and respect and value all the writers and artists who are helping me in this project. This is a new venture, totally self-funded, a publication that is created mostly in the spare bedroom of my three-bedroom, one-bath home. (You do not get any more cottage-industry than that!) We’re still working on growing this magazine and trying to find our audience. I have a lot of gratitude for those who are sharing their talent with the magazine and its readers—and this includes my oldest daughter Zora, who has donated a lot of time to helping me with this publication. I could not have done it, I could not continue to do it, without them.



 
 

"Greenwoman Magazine celebrates garden writing in all its forms: fiction, creative nonfiction, poetry, commentary, biography, art, and comics! 

Daring and fun, Greenwoman is for the hip gardener who loves digging into the world of art and environmental thought that underlies gardening."

Greenwoman Magazine is a completely independent, one-woman-owned-and-run publication.  (Well, two-women, when Sandra’s daughter Zora, who is the Deputy Editor, has time from her full-time college work).

Links:

Greenwoman Magazine - http://www.greenwomanmagazine.com/

Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/pages/Greenwoman-Magazine/157003514356450

Reviews:

"I think this magazine will be one of the best gifts 2011 has given humanity and I’m absolutely serious about this. I hope you will check it out. When I did that, I clicked immediately on the subscription button and signed myself up. Now for those of you who know me, you will know this is significant because I have a very strict rule about not purchasing anything over the internet." —TammiHartung, author of Homegrown Herbs

“. . . I realized that this was a periodical loathe to box itself in or stoop to cliché. The topics would be familiar but the twists and turns would be unique because the human experience is unique."—Grace Peterson, "Gardening with Grace" blog                                                                                      

"Greenwoman is a fresh and hip magazine bringing the spirit of gardening to the forefront . . . It is unlike any other magazine I have read."—Elise Bowan                                                                                                             

“Greenwoman filled the gap in my life that I didn't know existed: a magazine that connected all my interests: the earth, gardening, and a feminine perspective. I couldn't believe my luck upon discovering it! Greenwoman will now replace some of my subscriptions that were only gardening, that ignored earth issues...Viva Greenwoman. —Elisabeth Kinsey, Greenwoman's Sex in the Garden columnist.

 
Hood Lawz by Urban Fiction Author C. J. Hudson book trailer.

 
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Jolee Bellissa
is a 21 year old English major graduate living with her soon-to-be penniless
inventor father, Moe, in Highlands Ranch, Colorado. All that's waiting for her
in this 'bubble' of a town is a relentless suitor, Gage Aristade (son of a rich
accounting CEO and notable playboy), and a part-time job at the local Tattered
Cover. When  she sees a job listing for a literature and poetry tutor for a
shut-in adult student in Aspen, room and board paid with a $1000 a month
stipend, she figures she has nothing left to really lose.
 
  Adam Emile
is a 33 year old eccentric artist, whose paintings' beauty is only matched by
their disturbing choice of focus. Scarred by a horrific childhood and holed up
in the mountains to keep from embarassing his wealthy and famous father, he is
beginning to lose all sense of reality. As a last resort, his personal nurse
Chip has put out an ad on Craigslist, under the guise of tutoring, for a new
friend for his patient. Will the beautiful young woman who answers the ad change
Adam and break the curse of his mental depravity? Or will the secrets he harbors
drag them both into madness?

About the Author
Elizabeth Rose is a twenty-something college
student in Denver, Colorado, double majoring in Religious Studies and English.
Though "'Till the Last Petal Falls" is her first full-length novel, she has been
published in poetry since her junior year of high school. To date, she had
appeared under her real name in over twelve journals, both in print and online. 

Site: thesingingroses.com

DWED Interview....

DWED: First, tell us a little about
yourself.

ER:  Thank you for hosting me. In my fiction writing I go by Elizabeth Rose, and I'm currently twenty years old. I'm the
middle child of six siblings, and I have five nieces and nephews. (Can you tell
we're Irish Catholic?). I've been writing poetry under my birth name
professionally since I was in high school. I am graduating from Regis University
with a double major in English and Religious Studies. My favorite color is
purple. I love to line-dance. I also enjoy watching movies, a lot. Usually ones
in foreign languages. I run on coffee. I'm a very reckless person. My life is
very interesting- sometimes tragic, but never boring. I love to write. 
 
DWED: Have
you always aspired publish a novel?


ER: Not until recently. I've always been more of a poet than a fiction-ist,
and so it used to actually be this kind of 'oh, that would be nice' kind of idea
in my head. When I got into college, I began to branch out and challenge myself
with how far I wanted to take my writing- both in medium and in purpose. Poetry
has been good about portraying my own experiences in a way that is relateable to
my reader, but I wanted to make something that would have more of an impact on
not just my reader, but on the mainstream as well. And so I set off to write the
'Once Upon a Reality' series- where I modernize the fairy-tales that are
commonly told to young girls and apply them to woman's social justice issues,
such as domestic violence, childbirth and child-rearing, women with
disabilities, sexuality and gender identity. 
  
DWED: Would
you say the journey was easy or hard? Why?

 ER:
Depends on the point of the journey. Conceptualizing and planning out the story
was easy, and it was fun to write the action-packed scenes. It was hard to write
the character development scenes, and it was hard getting the manuscript typed
up and then edited for submission. The submitting to small publishing houses was
both fun and hard- I got rejected a bit before being accepted for publication,
but the process was all so exhilarating that I don't begrudge
it.

 DWED: Who or
what would you say inspired
‘Till the Last Petal
Falls
?

ER:
Personal experience is what spurred on the narrative, but the idea for the
book came from reading a Tumblr post about critiquing Disney princess movies
through a feminist lens. I found myself agreeing with the poster on some point
and disagreeing on others- I was so involved with the idea of it that I drafted
several response posts. But in seeing other responses, I found that most people
in the conversation were having a really hard time relating to each other
(usually between those who had been very violently affected by sexism versus
those who had not), even though they were using the same stories as starting
points to talk about. So I set out to write a series in which I would explain
certain injustices or phenomenon using the very same fairy-tales that had
directly or indirectly led to their perpetuation- in this case, domestic
violence and the story of Beauty and the Beast.
  
DWED: Are
you a part of a book club or organization?
ER:

Does my University count? I'm a member of Regis' poetry club, and I also do
most of my 'writing' talk with the English department here. 

DWED: Let’s
delve into your writing. Can you tell us more in-depth about
‘Till the Last
Petal Falls
?
 ER:
The novel is a psychologically driven woman's fiction story that plays
on our collective memories of the Beauty & the Beast story in order to bring
forth new meaning from an old classic. A lot of the meaning comes from not
knowing what the characters will do next, so I can't give away too much, but
here goes:
 It follows the story of our heroine, Jolee, who has become exceedingly jaded with
her life in Highlands Ranch, Colorado. When she gets the opportunity to become a live-in tutor for a mentally deranged shut-in in Aspen, she jumps at the chance.
While living in mountain isolation, Jolee will be faced with many difficult
choices: love or her own safety, logic or romance, her old home or her new one;
her dignity or her beloved's salvation. 
  
DWED: How
does ‘Till the Last Petal Falls stand out? What does it offer and more
importantly what can viewers find within it pages?
 ER:
I've read a lot of Beauty & the Beast re-tellings, and it surprises
me how few of them will even venture out of the 'magical transformation' device
in the plot. My version is entirely modernized, with no magic whatsoever. I
think that's one of the things that helps convey how a situation like the one in
Beauty and the Beast tends to play out in reality, and to show how much our
childhood imagination relies on the idea of magic to search for one kind of
ending without honestly looking at the way that the world is. I promise, it's a
lot less depressing than it sounds- another point of the novel is to recognize
that, sometimes, things can end up more 'magical' or miraculous than not, even
without all of the sparkly FX. 
  
DWED: How
was the concept of ‘Till the Last Petal Falls
born?
 ER:
Like I said, this novel was born out of a sense that a lot of the issues
that women face today are talked around in such an aggressive manner that hardly
anyone is listening. I've always been fascinated with different version of
popular fairy-tales (Gregory Macguire, Terry Pratchett, The Looking Glass Wars
series, Briar Rose) and the power of fairy-tales to open up to multiple,
powerful interpretations is something I've always believed in. So
'Till the
Last Petal Falls
was born out of the marriage of those two ideas- wanting
to say something important in a way that has been proven to make people
listen.

 DWED: What
can we look forward to seeing from you throughout 2013?  
ER:
I'm
currently working on the second installment of the 'Once Upon a Reality' series,
tentatively titled
To Dwell in Dreams.
This second
installment will delve into the questions of post-partum depression, the
baby-boomer mentality, and prescription-drug withdrawal through the lens of
Sleeping Beauty. 
  
DWED:
What other avenues are you using to promote your work and
yourself?

ER: I have my own website (
thesingingroses.com),
and of course I'm participating in this Book Blog Tour.  I also have a LinkedIn,
a Facebook (
facebook.com/thesingingroses), Twitter
(@thesingingroses) and Tumblr (
singingroses.tumblr.com). It's
not just for promotion, though. I really enjoy being able to connect with
readers and other authors to see what kinds of things can be accomplished
through fiction. 
 
DWED: What
would you say to all aspiring authors like yourself?
ER:
In your journey to being a
writer, resist the urge to make yourself into an island. Put your work out there
for criticism. Even if you don't think you'll be taken up by the bigger
'traditional' printing houses, submit your manuscript to a couple of agents and
small presses. Learn from their rejections. Be surprised by their acceptance!
Talk to other authors, and don't forget to network genuinely. No one helps
someone who isn't willing to help others. Be prepared to pay your dues to the
industry if you want to make it a living. Treat this like a vocation, not a
hobby, and you'll be halfway there. 
  
DWED: Is
there anything we haven’t covered that you would like your readers and potential
readers to know about both your work and yourself?

 
ER: Feel free to e-mail me at any time. I really do enjoy talking to my
readers, whether that be about my writing specifically or about topics that they
think might fit well in the series and whatnot. I'm very approachable, I
promise. Also, 10% of all of my author royalties from
'Till
the Last Petal Falls
will be donated to local battered women's shelters in
Colorado. So, read for a good cause! Get yourself a copy. 





Blog Tour Information

Follow the 'Till the Last petal Falls Blog Tour running March 2013- when visiting site, click on the banner and it will lead you to the current destination.
 
About
Make Over Madness (M.O.M) helps clients celebrate their inner beauty, inspire confidence, and create the perfect gift and keepsake for yourself or a loved one.

Mission
We are able to take women like you and me and give them the opportunity to take the blind fold off and show them who we see in front of us, and with not one dissatisfied client to date, ranging in shapes, sizes and ages, we are pretty confident that you will be happy too! 

Contributors
Shamecca Milton
Fashion Cordinator and Pose Director

Tambela Holmes
Make-up Artist

Maronica Chestnut:
Professional Master Hair Stylist
 

Double Feature Book Review

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DWED Reviews Labyrinth's Door- Anyia "Dream of a Warrior"

Rating ***** 5 stars

I absolutely loved this childrens book. It was a simply elegant read filled with action and suspense. My children even loved the accompanying pictures that were bursting with defined detail. The book focused around Anyia a princess of her tribe that wanted to be a warrior. The fiesty girl was disobedient but even still had an abundance of propriety as she wanted to pursue her dream. Accompanied with the story is a guide to help children draw the main character which was a definite plus.

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DWED Reviews Talee and the Fallen Object

Rating ***** 5 stars

Talee is an adorable little girl from a distant planet with two moons. She is very relatable and cute. I loved the illustrations as well as the charm she exumes while explaining her simple tale of an object being lost, which she just had to find. The book is very engaging as well as well versed as a child would speak and explain the events happening in the moment. My children loved this book as well and it pleased me very much to share it with them.
Very good job Jacquitta, we (me & my children) look forward to books from you in the future.

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DWED Interviews Jacquitta McManus Author of Labyrinth's Door & Talee and the Fallen Object

DWED: First, tell us a little about yourself.
All my life, I’ve gravitated to fantasy stories. Stories I felt I could bea part of and completely immerse myself in … in my imagination.

I’m a little girl from Kentucky and author of two fantasy adventure children’s books, Labyrinth’s
Door – Anyia “Dream of a Warrior” and Talee
and the Fallen Object. I have always been drawn to fantasy stories. It was a way for me to immerse myself into exciting adventures in faraway lands
that I otherwise wouldn’t experience. As I got older I would find that immersing myself into those
fantasy stories was just the beginning of a journey that would lead me to writing my own fantasy adventure children’s books. I am so happy that today I can say I’m working on book 4 and 5.


DWED: Have you always aspired to
be a published author?

No, the desire to write fantasy adventure children’s
stories came from me wanting to have stories to read to my daughter. I wanted to read books to
her that had characters that looked like her and found that I couldn’t find them, not fantasy adventures stories. It was then I started paying
attention to the stories in my head. I had always had them but never thought to do anything with them. They were more like extended daydreams that I would let pass without notice. But now I notice and take notes.


DWED: Would you say the journey was easy or hard? Why?
Both! It’s easy to come up with the story concepts. That’s the fun part. But it’s hard to execute the vision in my head to the level of quality you would like to see it executed. And as a new author with a new
publishing company just building an audience is a full time job in itself.
It’s something I do because I love and enjoy doing. I can’t see myself doing anything else. But it is work, all of it.

DWED: Who would you say inspired you to write?
My daughter, my son and just children who would
like to read books with characters that look like them are a big inspiration, as well as just wanting to publish the stories that are in my head.

DWED: Are you a part of a book club or organization?
No! I’ve researched several and thought about joining some of them but haven’t yet. I am on some of the Ning writing sites and I do meet up with other authors to talk about writing and publishing.

DWED: Let’s delve into your writing.
Can you tell us about your published
works?


My first book Labyrinth’s Door – Anyia “Dream of a Warrior” is about a girl who fights old traditions
to follow her own dream. She’s tough, smart and courageous but has a lot to learn before her dream will become a reality.

My second and third book is Talee and the Fallen Object and Talee and the Fallen Object Coloring Book Adventure. It’s a story of Talee and her
adventure to find an object she sees falling through the air. A great elementary school aged fantasy adventure book and a great coloring book that tells the story through illustrations, with a section for kids to write their own story in the back.

DWED: Did you provide the illustrations in both books?
No, I only helped with Talee and the Fallen Object.

DWED: Tell us how the idea to show readers how to draw the title characters came about.
In college while working on my animation degree I was also working on my art minor degree. And since then I have always had an appreciation for
drawing and learning to draw. So when my
son started drawing and asking for art books I was more than happy to buy them. I would watch how he
would try to draw some of his favorite cartoon characters which gave me the idea of having a how to draw section in Anyia “Dream of a Warrior”

DWED: Do you write only children’s books?
For right now, yes. But I have some adult book
concepts in development,which may or may not be written one day.

DWED: How would you define your writing style? Hummm… Good question. Maybe
that’s a better question to ask readers. Not sure.

DWED: Who is your favorite character in your books and why?
Oh, another good question. In Anyia “Dream of a Warrior” it’s Amoonda. I really like her wisdom and up front personality that is very gentle and caring. In the Talee books I really like Talee. I love her personality and how she talks. She’s fun. My favorite
of all my characters hasn’t been published yet, but
hopefully they will be introduced within the next year.


DWED: What can we look forward to
seeing from you throughout 2013?

I will continue Talee and Anyia on their journey as well as introduce AvaBrooks. Who I think is a fun feisty character that people will love.

DWED: What other avenues are you using
to promote your work and yourself?

To help promote, I’m using all the social media that I can for right now. Last year we launched the Puffy Muffin at a local bakeshop and did several events around that. I also attend several festivals and bookstore events.

DWED: What would you say to all aspiring
authors like yourself?

There is a lot I could say. But the one thing all
authors must remember is that they can’t give up. There will be good days, and there will be some
really low days but they won’t last forever. Just keep
moving. Keep learning and don’t give up.

I keep a blog title Journey of a Storyteller and I’m starting a questions series, where I pose a question
and then answer it. I would love for authors to join in on the discussion, give me their thoughts and feedback. Or send in questions that I can pose for
discussion.


DWED: Is there anything we haven’t covered that you would like your readers and potential readers to know about both your work and yourself?
Yes, Thank you for asking. One thing I like about storytelling is the worlds I get to create for my characters and one of my favorite worlds so far is Talee’s world, the planet Gala. As the series develops more of the world will be revealed but to give it a boost I started Talee’s World, character blog. It’s a place where readers can get to know Talee and her friends as well as get a better peak at the world she lives in. While there they can also download coloring pages and participate in polls.
I ask that everyone stops by and check it out. Also, Talee loves comments so please feel free to leave her some. And please invite elementary school aged children to check it out. That’s who Talee really is interested in talking to.

Connect with the Author
http://www.WorldsToDiscover.com
http://www.Facebook.com/WTDiscover
http://www.Twitter.com/WTDiscover