Picture
Review of Mana By Asher Tensei

coming soon to this blog.

 
Picture
I write this in the hopes that everyone had a joyous holiday season for the end of 2012. One of the reasons I thought to write this article is because of what had been thought to be the end of all life on December 21st 2012 by the Mayan Calendar. This widely publicized Armageddon had been the most talked about topic of the year. As many quit their jobs, took to violence, or told their long lost love how they really felt after a long separation I began to wonder- why do we hold on to such frivolous things?

 

One of the various things that mold us into the beings we are today is our Family. While many out there sever their family ties due to disagreements, falling outs, abuse, etc. I find that even this can be an addition to who we are inside. Think about it…look deeply into your memories of times past. What was your first memory? Was it good or bad? Who is sharing that moment with you?

I will share one of my first memories with you. It could be seen as good or bad. I choose to think of it as both. My first real memory was a time when I was three or four. Those menial details don’t stand out but what does is something I think that shaped my persona. My mother was moving us from California to New York where our family on her maternal side resided. She had packed our things early that morning, dressed me momentarily gaining my consciousness before I fell back into a dose. When she roused me later she had the suitcases by the door and a cab waiting outside. We rode this cab to the Amtrak station where we awaited our train. I had my favorite Barbie doll, she was naked as always smiling her plastic red tinted smile and her hair was the texture of a brillo pad since I never brushed it. We waited in the cold yellow light of morning, the train bristled its horn in the distance signaling its arrival. I looked up at my mothers face her expression sad and mournful. I looked to my siblings who stood off to my side their expressions blank, questions on their lips. The train stopped before us and we waited to board.

Back then I remember the gap between train and platform was much more menacing than it is now. My legs were not long; my feet would have dragged me into that perilous gap without the assistance of my mother. She held tight and lifted me when it was our turn to board and I cried out my fingers slipping on my precious Barbie. It was either her or me and as a child my fragile mind grasped onto that concept even though I knew my hand was sweaty and the doll would slip through.

I cried out, but my mother kept on going. We took to our seats even though I was screaming to high heaven that I dropped my precious Barbie. There was nothing we could do, she was under the train. We could not retrieve her. In my mind I knew this but at the same time I was only a child and I wanted to save her. I scream, yelled, kicked and cried but the train began to move anyways. The doors had shut, the conductor was checking tickets and still I wanted to save her.

As the gears shifted, the whistle blew and the train pressed forward I began to hear a snap, crackle and pop. I would have loved to dream of the notorious Rice cereal but that wasn’t the case. This was the horrid death of my precious Barbie as her body was ripped apart the pieces began to filter through the air like black snow flowing down around the window in front of my face. Pressing my face to the cold dusty window I cried as I watched her singed hair rain down. She was gone. I grasped that. I knew it in my heart, my mind, my soul. My Barbie had died.

I had sat back with a tear streaked face, my siblings were laughing and poking fun and yet none of that mattered. My mother shushed me with a big juicy glazed cinnamon bun from the snack cart. I ate silently as I wondered if my Barbie felt her cruel death. I wished I had dressed her, I wished I had combed her hair. I realized I would never comb her hair even if I wanted to now because she was dead.

It never mattered to me that my mother had left my father for the last and final time. I didn’t realize the complexity of why we were on that train. That we were leaving California for good, or that I might not see my dad for a while yet. I didn’t know that my siblings would be affected by the changes happening around us. I didn’t see the obvious, that my life was changing drastically and that this small innocent act of fate was preparing me for a lifetime of circumstances.

I do however know what I learned that day. I am a strong person. I am human, I feel, I love, I conquer. For the first time as a young child I experienced death. It may be insignificant to others, but it was real to me. Some may have imaginary friends, my oldest sister had Michael Jackson as an imaginary friend, and my youngest brother loved Dragon Ball Z and watched it emphatically for many years, even naming himself Yohan, a nick name close to the main characters in the show. That precious Barbie was my childhood friend, as close to my heart as a child could be. I loved her with a diligence that was unending.

This memory is so close to my heart because for the first time, I was aware of me. Not the outside of me that people see. Not the me that works hard day in and day out, Not the me that wears mascara or the me that braids my hair up to look pretty each day. But the me that cries when things go wrong, the me that will suck in a breath when a witty criticism is thrown my way. The me that has a mature level of understanding of myself and others.

On that morning my siblings teased me, laughed at me, and mocked me. It was the beginning of years of teasing over this memory, as time passed I laughed about it too. And I think going through such banter from them helped me in the long run. I learned to let bullies remarks slid off my shoulders over the years. I had built up a barrier of protection for myself that has helped me to this day.

My family ties are strong. I have learned so much from the people I share looks and blood with. We share holidays, woes, quality time as well as constructive criticisms. We laugh and banter, we cry and scream at each other. And I’ve come to believe that all the struggles we went through together prepared me for the outside world.

I may not have all the tools. They didn’t teach me how to budget a checkbook or my funds. They didn’t teach me all the basics of building a good solid relationship. But they did give me the tools to manage the muddy waters; Like a fight with a best friend, How to make something out of nothing, How to cope with a broken heart, and How to look stylish no matter your figure type. My brothers taught me how to be tough, how to fight without using violence. How to walk the walk, talk that talk and mean it all while doing it.  

So when thinking back on that memory, what did you take away from it? How has it helped you now? What has it taught you about yourself?

This holiday I was very thankful for my family. We may not always agree on everything, may bicker and fight, but we love each other. I don’t know your situation; don’t know your background or the makeup of your family. But I will tell you this, its something I have learned and a philosophy I use for myself. Everyone is human; they will make or break you. They will always disappoint you at some point whether it is big or small, whether you can move on from it together or separately. But everyone deserves a chance at redemption, a chance to show their worth. Wouldn’t you want that for yourself? For you family? Your Children?

If it weren’t for the lessons we learned from the people we care about we wouldn’t be who we are today. They are the first teachers you will ever know in your life. They make mistakes and will continue to do so throughout their entire existence. It’s what they do after the mistake that counts. Do they pick themselves up and make better decisions or do they continue to make bad choices? And even if they do, who are we to fault them? We are all on our very own life paths, we don’t know where it is leading us. And something that you choose today may seem right and have a positive outcome, but whose to say it isn’t the biggest mistake you will have made on your journey? We can only hope to be the best person we can be with the hand of cards we have been dealt.

I leave you with two of my quotes that I try to live by everyday. I hope you have enjoyed this article and would love to hear your comments. Have a nice holiday and Happy New Year!

"Flaws are a part of the basic genetic makeup of a human being. We are neither perfect nor capable of being perfect. Subjecting any person to the test of perfection is morally wrong because all will fail. It’s with love, faith, and understanding that allows us to accept one another."

"Everyone needs a chance to be better than what they were perceived to be. Would you want anyone to rob you of yours?"


 
Picture
I am what you would call an Indie Author or writer, what have you. And I have delved into the precarious world of self publishing since June of 2012. While I was very scared to take that step I had found it was a liberating step- my voice would be heard.

 

Unfortunately, as I had hoped, my rise to stardom has not happened…as of yet. I am not the overnight success. While I am not devastated by this, it is a bit disappointing.

So I decided to the positive approach using tools like research, blog sites, burning the Google’s search engine with so many search topics I had to deal with the constant freeze of the site. It could have been my connection but that didn’t stop me.

What I found was very disconcerting. Articles depicted the partial silence of the African American culture. But then I had this thought, that can’t be! I’ve heard of many authors from this ethnicity, their success, their claim to fame. But little can be found of them unless you type in their name directly. And why is that? How come they are so distinctly sectioned off?

Then I decided ok, I will just follow the blog trail. I joined countless sites, liked, followed, and referenced many well known Indie authors who made their millions on Amazon or Barnes and Nobles.com. I scoured the internet universe hoping for one small lead that can get the results I dream of. And still, my tired stiff fingers coward from exhaustion.

Where is the African American Author population? How come they are so hard to find? How do authors like Erick Jerome Dickey or Terry McMillan get to the height of there success? Why aren’t there more bloggers helping others in this area? Or more importantly why does it cost so freaking much for an Indie author to get exposure on the small sites that are available?

My heart felt like it was breaking. I was discouraged. There are many issues I can go into about unfairness, the separation of this or that, the inequality when we are promised equality…but I wont. Because that will open up a floodgate of debates that I personally don’t want to participate in.

It leads me to wonder how many more sites must I join, how many more hours should I spend searching for the impossible, because that’s what this feels like… impossible. Please have no pity here. I am not writing this for sympathy, but more out of the quest for knowledge as to “Why?”

I had a vision. When I write I can almost feel like a twin sync between my characters and my own nature. I tell their stories, see through their eyes, feel with their heart and think with their mind. My greatest joy I have found in the most recent months is to share the words of these forms call characters that need it to be shared. Yet, how can I establish a following…a steady following that enjoys written word? How can I seek something that seems so impossible…How the heck does these other bloggers get their followers? How long did it take for them to establish such a vast fan base? And where are all the readers who would enjoy the type of mixed genre I write?

I don’t know the answers, but I will say I have had a renewed sense of thirst to find out. I will continue blogging even if I have no readers. I will continue to write even if no fingers turn a page in my book. I will continue to publish even if no one buys it. And I will continue to research, join and revisit sights that may help boost my followers and confidence.

I am hoping with all my heart that one day, maybe soon (crosses fingers) that universe will shift favors upon me. I hope that what I am seeing is just a mishap. One can only hope, have faith and dream. Because without those key elements I don’t think I would be able to call myself a writer.


 
I was raised as a Christian, all my life I attended my uncle’s church in central islip. I used to be involved in Plays, the choir and vocational bible study. But sometimes I think I am the sheep that got lost.

 

While I do believe in a higher power, in prayer and in our Lord, I find that there are so many elements in life that make me question what I believe. For instance, I really don’t want to beat a dead horse but I will bring it up anyways. The shooting that devastated the nation: Sandy Hook Elementary school in Connecticut. As a parent I felt my soul shatter at the very mention of this horrible crime just by reading the headlines. This was even before I found out the casualties in children alone. I found my already shaken faith take a hit once more. I had gone home and hugged my babies so tight, kissing them and telling them how much I love them.

These are one of the very reasons I feel we as a nation should now seek healing through Spiritual Meditation. I am no doctor or psychologist, I admit this honestly. I am however a human being who has felt more than my fare share of guilt, hurt, anguish, shock, betrayal, and lets not forget pain in every aspect of my being. And I think I can say first hand one of the things that helped me cope, in any situation, is the wonderful sounds of music.

I love R&B, soft rock, and certain Blues songs if they sound good. I also love some pop. My favorite Adele CD “21” plays in my car when I need a little he-man bashing time. But I also listen to Gospel when I am in the mood for some soul cleansing.

While I am sad to admit I should listen more, pray more, praise more, I also remember how good it feels when the choir is in sync, when the melodies of their perfectly pitched voices merge together in that soul inspiring harmony. I also love when the soloist or lead singer directs the song in such a fluid grace it brings tears to my eyes.

So I have found that my way of Spiritual Meditation is putting on a nice Gospel, sitting back with my eye’s half closed looking into the sky and imagining the Lord sitting next to me and holding my hand. I drift with the music, smile at his grace and even allow my mind to quiet even for a moment. It doesn’t matter what religion you follow, or what you believe in. I’ve found that just the thought of believing in something more significant than actual life is something worth holding on to. I am not the perfect Christian. I don’t know much about other faiths or religions. But I do know we all believe in something more than ourselves. Even if you are an atheist or follow scientology, you must admit there is some magic, some small form of peace in thinking outside of yourself. That’s what I would call “spiritual”. And by using this technique, even for five minutes, it forms a peaceful barrier against negativity. It fills the heart with a few more beats, calms the body as well as giving the mind a break from the stresses of life.

So here are a few steps to help you get into that zone. I can throw out Kirk Franklin and his wonderful choir, orHezekia Walker, Yolanda Adams, Mary Mary… etc. etc.

But I would rather introduce something new and fresh. Someone I have grown to like as a person, as a professional and now as a thriving singer of gospel music. Danielle Kelley. She needs no more introduction than that. Her voice will say it all.

Step 1: Go to www.daniellekelleymusic.com to purchase the CD or download her album.

Step 2: Find a space you can be alone. If you are like me, it’s on the car ride to work or back home.

Step 3: Empty your mind. While I know this is hard you will be better able to concentrate when hearing this music. In order to completely shut out the world you must first quiet your inner being.

Step 4: Allow the music in, allow the peace within. Take calming breathes through nose and blow it gently through your lips.

Step 5: Close your eyes and imagine you are in a very special place, filled with quiet and sunshine. That’s all that needed, no beach with sand, no waves- Just you, the quiet and the sun. As the music slowly filters in just breathe.

And here my friends you will have it. A Spiritual Meditation that will cleanse you of all negativity. Will it last outside this quiet place? I cannot guarantee. Will it help solve world hunger, homelessness, racism, bigotry or natural disasters? No, I am afraid it won’t. Will it pay your bills, feed the kids and put them to bed? No sweetie, I am sorry you still have to do that. But I tell you what it will do. For five or ten minutes it will give you peace of mind. It will give you a moment to yourself when you can say “I’m ok.” Or “Everything will be alright.” Because you know, your mind can be fine, your body may be healthy but please don’t forget your soul. It has needs too. And I won’t preach to you. I won’t tell you what religion is right, if you will go to heaven or throw scriptures to make you feel like you aren’t upholding your bargain to the higher power.

I will however encourage you to seek the outlets that help you maintain the balance in your life. Because while you may think you are holding it together, there is just one thing out there that is going to set you on edge or make you feel like you need a “time out”.

I hope you have enjoyed this article and I do hope this method works for you. Everybody needs something…just that one thing to help them cope. This is a way I am finding helps me and I am sharing it with you because even though I don’t know you, where you come from, what struggles you are going through, I do however know how to understand with compassion.

Picture
Purchase Danielle Kelley's Albumn "Conqueror"! Learn about her life and ministry through music!
Website is www.daniellekelleymusic.com

Other sites:

www.reverbnation.com/daniellekelley

www.facebook.com/mzsongstressdanielle

www.twitter.com/mzsongstressd

www.cdbaby.com/daniellekelley1

Album available now for download on iTunes, Amazon mp3, Google Play, CD Baby, Spotify, etc (at all digital download sites).  Physical CD’s can be securely ordered via PayPal through the website: www.daniellekelleymusic.com  


 
Ok Ladies. There is a new segment for moms. It’s called “Nick Moms” and can be seen every night at 10 pm on Nick Jr.

 

At first I was in a state of gray, stuck between sleep and consciousness, the kids fell off and I had been hoping to have a moment to myself but was actually drifting when the music from Dora the explorer changed to women laughing and having a good time. As I opened my eyes I found myself watching Nick Mom.

While at first I became overjoyed with the fact that they created a segment for women like myself I became very annoyed.

So here is my ultimate pet peeve.

While I am not fanatical about shows in general because of the fake quality they tend to possess I found that the actual shows are in fact generic. The “mothers” do tend to talk about happenings with children, the ups and downs, the highs and lows, the funny yet disgusting things that we have to deal with as a parent. However, they were missing a diverse setting. There was not a lot of difference in cultures, depictions of “all” family make-up, age’s variances or topics, ethnicity.

These were women in prestigious homes, didn’t know how to cook or looked as if they could tell the difference between a soup spoon and a cooking spatula. They did have core issues they tackled like teen drinking, but come on…where were the laundry baskets? Why didn’t a teen know how to pack a box? And why wasn’t the house in complete disarray. This is supposed to be reality TV generated for Moms.

It’s like my pet peeve with the real housewives series. I would like to see a “real” housewife. One who can sew a button in five seconds while she sips coffee and plots the meals for the week! I want to see a mom who has crazy hair and no time to apply mascara without bludgeoning an eye out all the while tackling a temper tantrum in mid chaos. That’s a real mom to me. Maybe I am biased because well…that’s what I do. But I would like to see something like that. That is what I can relate to.

Or let’s delve into teen mom on MTV…what’s the point of that show? If it is to scare teens about the drastic changes and responsibilities as well as the reality of how and why those teens are on that show well…it’s not working. In fact I think its setting a bad example.

But that’s just me. I’ve gone off on a tangent. For that I am somewhat sorry. But come on…Where are the healthy real reality dose shows that really depict everyday life? Or is it a rare commodity?

I’d like to know. And I do like the shows they have on Nick Mom. I tune every chance I get unless I sink into a deep sleep where I can’t even hear my alarm go off signaling the start of a new day.

If you would like to tune in there is an impressive show call MFF Mom Friends Forever about two mothers who have a Vlog- video Blog where they discuss all the matters from family to things that will make you scratch your head and go “huh? Did they really just go there?” Yes, yes they do take it there. And it’s very funny.

 
“When delving into the Mind, Body and Spirit is necessary in order to strengthen the life of women.”

 

I created this blog more out of selfishness than I would like to admit. I think its therapeutic for me in a sense because I find these are the very things I need to keep that old time ticker in my skull going on full throttle.

It’s hard to balance so much of ones existence into a single day. But many like myself do it so often it’s like being on that long car ride where you find that the car is in cruise control all along. When you notice this, you wonder where your mind went, why didn’t you notice this before and how come? If you did you wouldn’t have been pressing on the gas leaking such precious fluid when you know at some point you are going to have to stop and replenish it.

Well ladies (please note gentlemen are also welcome) this is that pit stop. It’s time to refill, rejuvenate and keep on chugging.

I have found that I do too much reading on everyone else’s way to cope and deal. I read too much about what’s on the news, who shot who, or what celebrity had lipo this week. There is not enough of the real “reality” that goes with life. Only the well scripted fight without any arrests on the popular stations provided to us by cable TV.

So I asked myself- Why does everyone want to see reality on TV and not the real reality of our lives? What makes us laugh at people who don’t know what its like to live from pay check to pay check? Who don’t have to groan angrily when the bills pile up on the counter and the perfectly budgeted excel spreadsheet we worked up to manage our expenses looks so picture perfect at sight but really doesn’t cut it.

And what do they know about managing a house with kids, maybe a boyfriend or husband, living off a dollar and a dream all the while playing the lottery for the power ball or mega millions and realizing you don’t have the golden ticket? That you just have to keep on scratching those pennies and praying one day money just might magically grow on that dying tree in your back yard? And how in the bejesus are we supposed to emotionally handle all these things without going comatose?

That’s why this blog is here. To vent, revitalize, find a ear and shoulder that can relate. As well as finding a happy median to consult, reflect. Release and do what we do best as women, nurture one another to greatness. We will achieve it? Maybe… Maybe not… But we can strive for it. At least I am willing to try to. The question is…Are you?

 
This Blog is not only about Reading or writing. It is about empowering "women" through the many interests that we have in our lives. And it will nto stop there. It will be about our daily lives, ways to enhance the mind, soul, and body. Encouraging women through articles and topics from cleaning to childcare, from food enrichment to topics in the news. All are welcome to read and comment.

Please note: comments of the negative sort will only be allowed if they are considered to be non-threatening and/or constructive criticism. Any Negative comments that are verbally abusive in any manor will be deleted. Please play nicely :)
 
Open for Business! I have searched and searched for dedicated reviewers for all genres of novels. Unfortunately people say they review "all" but dont. I believe there is a need for more reviewers out there and have decided to jump on board for all those Indie authors out there that need a good honest