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It has been an unbelievable year for me! In April of last year I found out I was pregnant. I had a very difficult pregnancy so I do ask in my most humbled voice, for your forgiveness for the lack of posting.

I had deaths in the family, as well as many joyful arrivals, not just myself but through cousins and siblings. It was a packed year.

In December I gave birth to a beautifully plump baby boy who is the center of my small family’s world.

I have had so many changes, additions and minor sacrifices within the last few months. But I have not forgotten about you all, my audience. I appreciate the words of kindness and hope you can forgive me the brief silence that has been DWED.

Now that things are back in full swing I promise to bring many reviews, thoughts, ideas, and topics that will keep all entertained. So stay tuned after this brief announcement for more.

Oh, and a Happy Belated New Year and all the other holidays I have missed. Time sure flew by didn’t it????


 
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One of the many issues in this country besides Violence is the rising number of teen pregnancies. After hearing in the news that our government is pushing to have the morning after pill ready and available for use by girls as young as fifteen, I decided to give my own thoughts on this epidemic.

While I understand everyone’s frustration and anxiety in regards to a Teen’s sexuality and pregnancy, I think the general idea that is being construed amongst adults is: Our teens are sexually inactive…until they turn up pregnant.

Yes, you may have the talk with your teen in hopes to scare the bejesus out of them or give them an iota of common sense and decency, the reality of the matter is, they will still be curious, they will still feel pressure, and they will still act.

I think in order for us to control this epidemic, we must first come to terms with the fact that teens have more on their minds than academics and make-up.

For instance, I grew up in Brentwood New York, where teen pregnancy, even ten + years ago was an issue and more of a normal way of life. I am not condoning it by any means, but I did work for my high school in the counselor’s office setting up meetings, writing passes, and making up reading packets for the pregnant teens at my school.  

Some of the young girls, mostly the Hispanic girls, were married young and were starting their family with their husbands. They were finishing school and would soon go on to living their lives as is natural for their culture. The Black pregnant teens were either conned by some Casanova roaming the halls looking for his next victim, abused and/or raped and forced into their pregnancy, or suffered from lack of a father figure and searched for love in the wrong places. While the groups were always of mixed nationalities, there was always a unique story behind their predicament and it helped to serve as a mental birth control for myself.

Around that time I had been going through my own inner battle. I was blossoming and my nerves were on edge. I was becoming aware of my body and a new craving to me known as desire.

Every teen goes through this but at different times based on their body’s schedule. I experienced it from the age of fifteen, but due to my own personal demons I mostly ignored it until I was about seventeen and my body was persistently telling me what it wanted.

It was a blessing to me to be able to work with the pregnant teens in my school because as they say (and I can attest to how true it is) mind over matter. And my psychological recognition of what was going on around me empowered me to abstain.

However, that can’t be said for all teens. What we as parents and all other adults need to realize is not all teens can control their urges. More often these urges mixed with peer pressure, lack of self esteem and motivation can have a disastrous outcome. And parents aren’t always to blame.

I hate it when people say “it’s a lack of home training” or “what are their parents teaching them?” or “where were their parents? Why can’t they control their kid?”

We as parents, can give our children the “talk” the “tools” and the knowledge. But as the saying goes- You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make it drink. There are countless parents who do give the talk, who give their children promise rings, take the pledge and try motivational tools to help them abstain. But you can’t control or influence every aspect of the child’s life, especially when they are not within your care 24/7.

Teens go to school, they have friends, and they may or may not partake in after school activities. And if they misbehave what options of punishment do they have? Take away the x-box, take away the cell phones, ground them, take them to counseling….that’s all well and good if you have a child that will react positively to these punishments and actually listen. But what if they don’t? What happens? They end up humiliated, regretful, pregnant or with an STD.

This is life. And what we have to understand is sometimes you can give your child the best of everything- education, love, materialistic items, care…but ultimately it is their life and they will live it regardless of their parents beliefs, rules or thoughts. And we HAVE to let them make mistakes. If you have given them every bit of knowledge you possess, what else can you do?

You can’t lock them up, that’s child abuse, and endangerment and lord knows what else. You can’t slap the crap out of them or they will run away and call CPS. You can take away everything that you worked so hard to give them, but ultimately what is that solving? What will that do but give the hormonal adolescent more ammunition to go out there and do horrible things to themselves and their lives to spite you as a parent?

So instead of focusing on what is out of our control, let’s focus on arming ourselves with the proper knowledge, advice and ways to give them one thing we can do- Make them aware by being aware ourselves.

We have already come to terms with the fact that with their body’s changes they will experience different thoughts and desires. What we need to do now is familiarize ourselves with these desires, their world and come up with the best informative tool to give them a better perspective. What I see this as, is giving them “Life Priority Goals” something like a life schematic to help them find reason and rationality when faced with their teen life obstacles.

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Important obstacles they face in regards to sex are listed below in priority that I feel is important. The last obstacle will feature the “Life Priority Goals”

1)  Hormones, cravings and desires- give a detailed explanation for what this is, what it may feel like and how to determine if it needs to be satisfied. As parents we know what this feels like, our bodies are used to it but it may be frightening to them. And if not properly explained the minds curiosity may get the best of them and they could act.

2) Peer Pressure- Let them know that they don’t have to do exactly what their BFF is doing. Set rules and goals. Example- Cary may be able to wear make-up at 16 because her parents allow it, but we had a talk and our household decided that seventeen is the best age for us. If you stick to that stipulation and aren’t doing it behind my back but being honest, withholding and listening to our households guidelines, not only will you be able to wear the make-up we allow, but we can also add a trip to the mall for a make-up lesson at Macy’s and I will allow your curfew to be amended with an extra half hour.
In other words give incentive for positive milestones and obedience.

3)      Predator awareness- Now I don’t mean the predators we worried about when they were young children, although they should still be weary of them. I am talking about that over hormonal boy or girl in their school that bounces from victim to victim, telling them what they want to hear, buying them things and then ultimately professing their love or hate when they are ready for the consolation prize. This goes a long way with arming your teen with positive body image, self esteem and verbal/visual cues to look for in this type of predator. Teens are naturally unsure of themselves, especially in this day and age where looks are a deciding factor in friendships and courtships. Unhealthy relationships flourish when one is in self doubt or hatred and we must recognize any signs of this in our teens in order to prevent it.

4)      Mental/Emotional/Physical priority- I waited until my early twenties when I was in college to finally allow myself to wallow in my urges. By making teens aware of their mental state, emotional state, and physical state in that exact order, they will be able to make a better judgment call for when they are ready. Explain that while their body may be ready, they need to be absolutely sure they can mentally and emotionally handle it. If they have any type of doubt then they are not ready. They especially need to be aware that once they open themselves to sexual activity at such a young age they are setting themselves up for disappointment, heart ache, lack of commitment, and ridicule. This would be a great time to include cyber bullying, reputation and rumors, and the mental affects serious relationships, attachments and remorse will have on their psyche. Also explain the pressure one is putting on their body’s expectations for more and how the lack of a committed partner can adversely affect them. Relationships come and go but dealing with lack of fidelity or frequent partners will ultimately hurt them more mentally and emotionally than they are ready to acknowledge.

They may even try to argue that they have had “boyfriends” or “girlfriends” and can handle it. But adding sex to an already emotional mixture is not healthy for them or their frail egos. Hey, even adults can’t handle break ups mixed where they had an intimate relationship. How can they expect to handle it? I am not downing their intelligence or maturity in no way, but they have enough time in their life to experience this part of adulthood. Express the need for time and exploration. Enjoy the milestones of being a teenager without adding more stress to it.

5)      Birth control/STD/Pregnancy- I believe after you have the most important talks as listed above, you can then broach the subject of Birth control, protection against STD’s and pregnancy. I believe this should be saved for last because ultimately we have to consider that sometimes when broaching this subject teens might take it as a “hall pass” to perform the act- go out and just do it. By tackling everything else first, we have led the way to a more open minded, thought provoking stimulant that may very well make them think twice and give them the tools needed to make an adult-like conscious decision to abstain.



6)      Sex on Life’s Priority Goal List- Once the talk has finished, have them write down goals for their life. And once they have thought and focused on the path they want to be on, ask them to write where on that priority list they see themselves fitting in sex. You may have asked yourself why would they do this or will they answer honestly. They may or may not, but I will tell you this, they will have thought it through enough by writing this list to see what means the most to them and if ultimately sex can wait.

With me, I waited until I was out of high school, away from friends who were active, away from pressures of being a teen and focused on new pressures like college, work, and finding myself before I thought about doing the deed.

When you have your life in perspective you will have a better idea of what milestones are important to you and where everything will fit in its own time. By sharing this tool with our teens and loved ones, we are giving them a moment to sit back and see their life the way they want it. We aren’t forcing our views on them, demanding anything of them, or pressuring them to do anything other than look at the bigger picture.

By giving them an in-depth talk, we are also opening communication on topics that they may feel scared or worried to approach. We don’t want them going to friends; unless they have their path all together and prioritized they won’t be able to give solemn advice.

Also remember as a parent we experienced these same feelings ourselves, we made our own mistakes, but it is a way of life and showing our teens how to manage is the best tool we can give them. They don’t need criticism or harsh words. If they have already had sex, say you just want to make sure everything is alright, mentally and emotionally, because who knows, they may have met their first predator and need a shoulder, not a wagging finger of judgment.

The major thing we have to tackle with our teens is lack of communication because of misunderstandings. Teens have so much pressure, judgment and insecurities from their peers, they don’t need someone who is supposed to love them to kick them when they are down. They need love, support and guidance.

Some of the things I didn’t cover in this article is Religious aspects and reports on teen pregnancy. While I feel they are important, I wanted to give an authentic and genuine article of a different perspective. Not another read filled with ratios, statistics and garble nobody is really interested in. However, if you would like to know what we are up against, take a look at the CDC website for information on the epidemic- http://www.cdc.gov/teenpregnancy/

Some other good articles and sites on the topic:

http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/sex-education/CC00032   

Sex education: Talking to your teen about sex
http://www.oprah.com/relationships/Talking-to-Your-Kids-About-Sex   


Books for having the talk with your teen:

The Teen Code: How to Talk to Them about Sex, Drugs, and Everything Else Product Description: In the first book to ever take us inside the teen mind to help us understand these topics their point of view, parents will discover how to establish an environment of honesty and open dialogue in their homes so they can better guide their kids through the rocky road of adolescence.

How to Talk to Teens About Really Important Things Product Description: Advice for adults hoping to talk with teenagers on such sometimes difficult subjects as depression, ethics, prejudice, sexuality, and violence.

How to Talk So Kids Will Listen and Listen So Kids Will Talk Product Description: There is a way to bridge the generation gap, say child experts Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlish, and the methods they describe in this book have been used by many parents. They teach communication and discipline without alienating kids and aggravating the problem.

Xtreme Talk: Real Answers to the Issues Teens Face Straight talk can be found in this book for parents.

Talking with Your Kids about Sex

Getting Your Teen to Listen Without Eye Rolls, Sighs, and Tmi

http://www.cokesbury.com/forms/ProductDetail.aspx?pid=827012&vsl=0001  

 

How to Talk with Teens about Love, Relationships, and S-E-X : A Guide for Parents - 02 edition by Amy Miron and Charles Miron http://www.textbooks.com/BooksDescription.php?BKN=561671&kpid=9781575421025M&utm_medium=cpc&utm_term=9781575421025M&utm_source=googleshopping&kenshu=687e30c0-db87-5068-a23b-00001400a7da&gclid=CMWUo_2cjLkCFRGg4Aod2QgAZg

I Want to Talk with My Teen About Love, Sex and Dating By: Dr. Karl Wendt, Shannon Wendt

More in I Want to Teach My Child About... Series

http://www.christianbook.com/talk-with-teen-about-love-dating/karl-wendt/9780784718988/pd/718989?dv=c&en=google-pla&kw=family-0-20&p=1167941&gclid=CM_IspSdjLkCFYai4AodfycA9Q




Take the pledge as a parent taking an active role in making your teen aware. We can give them they tools, show them how to fly, but it’s up to them to make the effort and succeed in their life.


 
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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Today I want to acknowledge black history month and what it means to me.

I had been so busy with the blog; writing and promoting my books as well as reviewing books that I had almost let the month slip away.

 

When I think of Black history I have a barrage of mixed emotions. First, its pride for all the sacrifices made for a Black woman like me to have such a joyfully encompassing freedom here in America. Next is sadness. There were so many horrible acts committed against the black culture that it is depressing to even think on it. I am also sad because well, prejudice and discrimination is still out there, ever present in our society and its heartbreaking. And last I feel disappointed, in myself, in the lack of structure and perseverance in this culture, in what we have taken for granted.

So bear with me as I fully disclose and explore these feelings. I hope to give you a greater understanding and insight into why I feel these mixed emotions.

Pride

As a black girl growing up, I had been blinded to color, race and ancestry. I had grown up in the melting pot of Brentwood, a very culturally diverse neighborhood on Long Island, NY. I didn’t see any of my friends as black, white, Spanish or Asian, they were just my friends.

My mother, bless her heart, has always told me that personalities make the people. She didn’t say “Krystal you are black” or “Krystal our people used to be slaves.” In fact I didn’t know there was a difference between myself and the people surrounding my life until I learned about slavery in elementary school. I remember sitting in my seat as we read our Social studies textbook and for the first time in my life, I realized I was different. I saw color, hair texture, eye color, and most importantly I saw shame.

I remember crying after I went home asking my family about our history. My mother was very instrumental in explaining to me that my roots, where I derive from, is America. Therefore I am American. Yes, I do know my family has Native American in our genes, we are black but who knows if our bloodline can be traced back to Africa, and somewhere in all that mixture we have Irish in us. That’s what I was told. But back then and even today I am American. My skin tone is Brown, well more like cinnamon, so there you have it. I am a Brown American.

It wasn’t until I had deemed myself less fragile to think about my history, that I was finally able to read about all the amazing things Black Culture has done. I mean who doesn’t know about Martin Luther King Jr., or Rosa Parks, or Malcolm X. Muhammad Ali, Maya Angelou, Langston Hughes….I could go on and on. So once I was finally able to broach the subject, very lightly I might add, I discovered a world of potential, Pride and success. I was proud, even though I refuse to go back. I still have not watched Roots to this day. I have watched Rosewood, Queenie, and Red Tails, but that’s as racial as I can watch.

Sadness

I am sad that this world is so culturally divided. I am a mother and I don’t see how I can explain to my children where they come from if I can’t even deal with the disgrace I feel when broaching this subject.

I am sad that even though we have come so far, we let hate, violence and color stimulated views distort our way of living. Not that I want to compare- but look at the Jewish Culture, this race survived a brutality against their people and they thrive daily. They work as a unit and are so constant in their purpose. But I feel, and some may argue, that the Black Culture has forgotten that we are still struggling. We may have won the war people, but we are losing the integrity of our cause.

I will say we took a large step towards progress with the appointment of Barack Obama to the presidential seat. And Michelle is one of the most active first ladies to hit the scene. But we still have so much work to do.

I am talking about - stop the drug pushing, gang violence, wife killing, baby snatching and molesting, living off of the government and blaming society for our problems- work to do.

We need to stop allowing stereotypes and statistics lead our culture. To me this is a great sadness and we can’t fault anyone but ourselves. Sometimes we let the word “no” or the phrase “I can’t”, get the best of us. And I think we have been so tired of fighting we may have let the towel slip.

I may be wrong, we have so many organizations, not only the NAACP, working for us, but we still have a long long way to go.

Disappointed

Remembering back to when I realized I was different, it had been from the shame of being a different color than what was perceived as the right color. It took me years to realize, I was different because of being me, my personality, my fashion sense, my insecurities to things that really didn’t matter.

We are all human; we have eyes to see, one nose, a mouth which we use to eat, speak, and smile. We have two ears to hear with, hands, feet and organs that allow us to live. The only difference in appearance is our body structure and skin tone. But hey, hating my skin pigment makes no sense really because we all have that too- pigment which is one of the main factors that decides the tone of the skin. So go ahead, hate my pigment, I however have learned to live with it, accept it and even embrace it. This would be my biggest disappointment if I couldn’t live with my own pigmentation.

So while I am still disappointed in the fact that we are still as a nation culturally divided, I will not let it affect me anymore. I have come to the conclusion that we are a flawed species.

Our species, humans, are imperfect by nature. We have a mind that works in mysterious ways. Our thoughts can be considered genius or defective. We have insecurities, hopes and dreams, wants and desires. We all have a way of life that we are comfortable with. There is a need for change and I am sure it will come. I wish it would happen right this moment, that equality as we were promised in the Constitution was more than a hollow promise. Trust me, in every rule there is an exception, this is made when people bend it to their purpose and not for others. Perfection is still but a dream to all. So I pray for the day when we can work together as Americans, not as a color coded entity.

For my part, I will live each day in celebration of being able to live freely. I will not forget the lessons of history but I will definitely not be the one to help repeat it. Instead as my piece to honor the people who paved the way for me, I strive to stay colorblind for this is the only way I know how to live. It is the only way I would want to.

And when the time comes for my own children to learn about their history, I will be sure to tell them, it is the character of a man or woman that defines who and what they are, not their skin. That we were born and raised as Americans; we live in a country where we are free. And our history is the story of how we came from a broken past and trekked on to a promising future. And it is only promised when we do well unto others no matter the culture they come from. This is the lesson we should have learned from the struggle of many races forced to live with racism as their background. Its what, and this is what I believe, they would have wanted for all of us.


 
I had been planning to start off today as Throwback Thursday with a Valentines Day feel. My original article had been about R&B group sensation 112 with their ever popular song “Cupid”, very Valentines Day appropriate.

But that all changed as I listened to the radio and people harped about how the day is just a scam for people to spend money on things they don’t need. Others protested because everyday you should express your love, not just today. And there is the usual- “I’m single, why should I celebrate?”

Valentines Day is a national holiday celebrated not only in the USA but around the world. It is like a plague, once one is affected by it, the contagiousness of the holiday bug will spread. Though I wont say it is a horrible sickness, its supposed to be filled with a highly acclaimed emotion that people seek throughout there life.

So I decided to pick apart the Holiday in order to get to the root of the problem that many find during this celebration.

Origin of Valentines Day

Valentines Day was originally in celebration of Saint Valentine in Rome. A priest that was said to have been imprisoned for performing weddings for Soldiers  forbidden to marry, and for ministering to Christians being persecuted by the Roman Empire. To check my facts or to read more go to Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Valentine's_Day

Saint Valentine is being recognized for following his own principles by sharing love and helping others.

How different cultures celebrate

Valentines Day is celebrated, although on different dates, by many countries throughout the world. It is said that Asians from China and South Koreans tend to spend more during this celebration of love.

I thought it was pretty hilarious while I was searching my favorite site- Wikipedia for info on the origins of Valentines day and how other cultures celebrate, to find that South Koreans have three different days with which the celebration takes place.

On February 14th women give chocolate to men, the men give women candy but not chocolate candy on March 14th. All the single people eat black noodles on April 14th in mourning.

Valentines Day is celebrated in Europe almost in the same context as it is in America. To check my facts or to read more go to Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Valentine's_Day

How the holiday affects the Economy

What some people, the negative viewers of this holiday don’t seem to get is that this holiday brings in so much money that everyone involved takes away a tiny blessing.

For one, the population is so affected by stress we look forward to little things. It is not everyday you remember to tell someone you love them, make time for them, or show your appreciation. I bet if people did do this daily the divorce and break up rate would go down dramatically.

Like any holiday; thanksgiving, Christmas, St. Patrick’s day and so on, people tend to come out of their pocket no matter how frugal their budget is, they still spend. So think about it. The large stores like Wal-Mart or even Target, the small Mom and Pop stores you see in a plaza all receive an eye catching surplus of business on special occasions. This money that the celebrators spend help with insurance premiums, expansion, job wages or pay checks, new products….and the list goes on.

So how can we say it is all a scam? Small business owners have been straining to stay open since the downfall of the economy a few years ago. They are holding on by a string. And holidays like today give them the business they need to keep on going, to have that hope that their dream can still be achieved.

Families tend to give more encouragement, more love and affection on a day like today. Yes they should always show these emotions but when you are a full-time worker, parent, husband and/or wife, shuttle for errands and extra activities, a tissue for boogers, a cook, a repairer of the home- who the hell has time to even think about saying “Hey, I love ya kiddo or babe” or whatever it is you are to your significant others.

Let’s not forget that now they are saying there are over One million people with mental health issues in the USA alone. These people are so bogged down with their own emotional turmoil it takes a public holiday like today for them to stop fighting their inner monster to even say “I think you are awesome!” to their family or loved ones. 

What is wrong with giving love?

One of the things that puzzle me is how many people gripe about Holidays in Particular. They don’t see the bigger picture of how these publicly acclaimed days help us as a society. It brings in positive vibes, pushes people closer together. Valentines Day alone, gives people the courage to open up to a secret crush or tell a loved one they are sorry after a rift.

How can anyone see wrong in giving love? How can anyone shy away or become bitter when seeing the glory of how love shapes the core of people’s lives? It brings me to mind of how cavernous the mind can be. How different people really are. Today I see the day as a clever way of showing my heart to others. Someone else who hates today might spit on me.

It’s a shame.

Share the love people

I am not saying there are no scam artists out there. I am not saying that people don’t see opportunity in such a high grossing Holiday. But when you take the fun out of giving and loving someone, you take the joy out of life as well as out of love.

I have always known my purpose in life. When I was a kid I wanted to be everything from a Doctor to a Fashion Designer, from a Cartoonist to a Hair Stylist, I never knew for certain until now, which I am striving to be an Author. But one thing I knew with my whole heart was I was made to love. I don’t feel complete without it. I can’t get out of bed without it. I can be very angry if I don’t get to express it. This is what I was created for; it’s what I always knew I was capable of, what I excelled at. Loving my family, my friends, and my children is one of my greatest achievements. It’s what I was born to do. Now I am not saying I am perfect. I am not saying I am always bubbly and positive, I have my days. But what I am saying is I strive to love. It’s what I do best. It’s what makes me happy. It’s my air.

So I may not be able to relate to those who despise the Valentine Holiday, but I think they should take a look at how much it affects the population, and how many people see a positive side to what this day does for all.

There will always be thieves, violence, and discouragement as we do not live in a perfect world. We may strive for perfection but it is an unachievable entity. We can only do the best we can with what we are given in life. So take a second and share the love people. It is only one day out of your life every year that you can brighten someone’s day. Show them that they really mean something to you.

Happy Valentines Day to everyone! With this post I share with you my unconditional love. I don’t know your walk of life; don’t know your troubles or sorrow. I may not know what you have been through, going through or will go through past today. But I share this with hopes that you will receive many blessings. And in return, I know that doing so makes me feel good. That’s all this day is meant to do.


My favorite songs to listen to today in honor and in spirit of love:

This I promise you – N’Sync

Cupid- 112

Sweet love- 112

Complicated- Nivea

I wanna know- Joe

If I was your man- Joe

Beautiful disaster- Kelly Clarkson

I’ll make love to you- Boys II Men

I surrender- Celine Dion

If walls could talk- Celine Dion

That’s the way it is- Celine Dion

Stick wit u- Pussy Cat Dolls

Sober- Pink

Pill- Pink

Soar- Christina Aguilara

I turn to you- Christina Aguilara

Ribbons in the Sky- Stevie Wonder

Slow Jams- Baby Face, Tamia

You put a move on my heart-Tamia

Angel of mine- Monica

Love all over me- Monica

Diary- Alicia Keys

If I aint got you- Alicia Keys

Diamonds- Rihanna

We found love- Rihanna

You love me- Jill Scott

Is it the way- Jill Scott

The Truth- India.Arie

Purify me baby- India.Arie

You- Jesse Powell

I love you- Jesse Powell

If I- Jesse Powell

My all- Mariah Carey

Music Box- Mariah Carey

My love is your love- Whitney Houston

I believe in you and me- Whitney Houston

I will always love you- Whitney Houston

Saving all my love- Whitney Houston

 
Along with a new look to the DWED blog, there will be new categories added to enhance our presence here in the blogger world!

 

Newcomer Mondays! -Starting 2/18/13

This segment will welcome any new author, blogger, and followers! Each Monday will we host a spotlight on those following from facebook, twitter, Goodreads and our site, so feel free to comment, join the site or send me a direct message via our contact form!

Book Trailer Tuesdays! - Starting 2/19/13

Each week we will be posting our favorite book trailers found through Youtube. As the segment heats up we will have contest and rewards for the best book trailers! So look out for this segment, we may need your help casting votes!

Throw Back Thursdays- Starting 2/21/13

This segment will feature topics in various genres of music, books, art, culture etc. Feel free to contact us about what topic you would like to see featured in this segment!

Giveaways coming very soon! In Honor of my upcoming release Blitz (date pending) we will start having Giveaways such as: free books, discounted coupons, gift cards, products and more!

Contests

We will be featuring contests! As we brain storm contest ideas we will keep you posted on our first contest! Follow us for instant updates! You don’t want to miss this!

 
I am still very new to the blogging scene. I don’t have the facts of life, knowledge of all things worldly or a PHD in Psychology. I can say I am a normal person. I go through life like a zombie in Resident Evil trying to figure out what the hell I am doing in this here life of mine.

 

As you can tell from my earlier posts, I write with a sarcastic tone. Sometimes I try to be humorous, crack a joke here and there, and see life from a lighter side. But we all know there really isn’t a lighter side. In the last year of 2012, we have seen so many stories about prejudice, violence, invasions, wars, thefts. So how can one even think there can be a lighter side?

So I have done some research people. Everyone has a darn blog these days. They have blogs for Women only, Men only; sex, children, books, and self help… so on. And what is the true purpose of all these blogs? Why do I have a blog?

Well, I know why I have a blog. At first it had been about me and my work. Suddenly it progressed into helping Women deal with the day to day stresses of our lives, how to cope and overcome. Now? It’s to help self published authors like myself get the exposure we so crave and deserve. It’s a vomit blog, it has everything. But is there really a need?

I would like to think so. In my search I tried to find out how to gain maximum exposure without seeming selfish and greedy. How do you get people to actually read the thoughts in my head or the words of wisdom I want to share?

Marketing. That is the tool, but to do so is a headache in and of its self. If I had the time I would log the hours I spend Googling crap I really don’t want to think about at the moment. I would pay someone to do it for me, but that’s not an option. How does one become successful at blogging?

A lot of the groups I am associated with on Goodreads have a category called “Follow for a Follow”. But even when you bring in followers, does that mean they value what you put out there? Are they really interested in your blog and what you put on there? No one likes vomit. It stinks, its gross and it’s ugh, so disgusting. But that’s how I relate it. Blogging is almost like vomit. You put so much out there; time, effort, passion. But what are we getting in return? A hollow follow?

My hope is that I gain a vast audience that actually reads what I write, what guest bloggers will share, read the books that I highlight on my page. Is this a shallow dream? Can it be captured? I do surely hope so.

I am not writing to offend. I am sure there are very helpful, insightful and fun blogs out there that get the audience they so desire. And I would love to hear about these blogs, to make sure I am not loosing my mind.

Care to share? Feel free to comment and tell me about your favorite blog.

P.S. As I researched my question, I found a post similar check him out

http://justmylifeinwords.com/why-do-i-blog/


 
Check out Feed My Need for an exclusive interview with me, done by the ever creative Larissa Hinton!

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AHHHHHHH!  I am screaming in my head! It hurts! Seriously!

 

Ok so my head is exploding at the moment. I need a true Zen moment here people! So overwhelmed…ok…ok…breathe, stretch…shake….ok letting it go.

Now, here is my problem. I am a newly self published author- started in June 2012 and guess what…I have not found any real success. O.O (those are large eyes by the way, hoot hoot!)

Any who….despite this I have come to the realization that I have done it all backwards. First I published Deception my first novel on Lulu.com because I read about it on Amanda Hockings website/blog and said hey if she got her millions of readers I got talent I can do it too! Wrong! Very wrong.

Why? Because I didn’t do the research people! So I said ok, keep writing something will happen….WRONG. Not discouraged. So I started my own blog on blogspot.com, hated it. Deleted it- started over on Weebly.com. Still hate it. Then somehow I discovered Goodreads.com and hey I got a good thing going there….made like four friends found blackwritersconenct.com nobody really posts there but I have faith! I will not stop!

And to my dismay nothing is still happening and I sat for many hours trying to grasp as to why I didn’t have overnight success!

I wrote a small blog post about the unsuccessful sparse entity that is the culture of black authors out there. I got a comment or two followed the commentators and still nothing has happened.

I am not defeated, by no means. However I am very perturbed. How is it that I can stay on Google for several hours trying to find my fellow Indie authors out there (not culturally diverse) and it’s still so hard to find the market I am looking for. Let me tell you, I have been going at this since October 2012 and I still have not found what I am looking for. And why is that? I can’t say. I am still puzzled by this and very much disturbed actually.

I have post-its, loose-leaf paper, and a notebook filled with sites, information that may prove helpful and tiny notes that are completely illegible but I have hope! And faith! I have a migraine because every site I have visited gives you a tease of what information you should know, but do not spell it out for you otherwise you may become more successful than them at least that’s what the anger monster on my shoulder shouts whenever I get frustrated from spending countless hours reading the same old advice over and over. And really if you are an author on a budget more than most of these sites want you to spend money you don’t have on a possible link to getting exposure. But its not guaranteed.

So, this is the dilemma. Do I shape up and shift into another direction…or do I start my own. I mean because I literally jumped into this blindsided. I had no clue as to what I was doing and that very well may sound very stupid…but I can say I learned a lot. I’ve read a lot. I’ve pissed myself off a lot actually but I don’t regret it.

It’s a learning curve and I have found a passion in trying something new. I have always been a DIY girl. I like finding out things, testing it, perfecting it and adding my own tweak to it. That’s what I do. That’s how I operate. Honestly, yes I could have gone the slow route, researched until my eyes bled and then got a publicist, tour host what have you, got a mentor, paid someone to do my book covers, editing, synopsis, I could have had others excluding my family read my work but where is the fun in playing it safe? Since I am undoubtedly very frustrated it is intensifying the urge to work harder, produce more, and get the work about myself and my work out there!

So I dedicate this post to all the frustrated Indie authors out there. We need to find a more common place and work together. So if you are reading this post I would love to read your comments enlist your vented frustration and also have your email, blog or website, and friendship as we power through this struggle, because one day our voices will be heard whether you are a struggling author or blogger. It will happen for you. We all just got to have faith.

So now that I have vented and hashed my temper out on technology, I bid you well, send blessings to you and yours. And hope you have a very happy Wednesday.