A few days ago, I had a young girl tell me that she was mocked because she had a low forehead. This sweet spirited child was beginning to dislike her own facial features and bone structure due to the amount of mocking she had received. I personally know what she is going through because yours truly was mocked for having a low forehead too. I was told that I had no forehead for years and that my low forehead made me look funny. I was in my late teens before I started to embrace my “odd” side profile and I for sure did not want this little girl to wait that long to love every aspect of herself.
The wonderful point I made to that adorable little girl is that we are all different and that beauty can be found in the most unusual features. You should have seen the smile that rolled across her face when I told her that I myself was born with a low forehead and that low foreheads and “odd” features are AMAZING! If you ask me, looking different and being different is one of the best feelings in the world and there is nothing anyone can say to make me think differently.
Some people have high foreheads, some have low or flat foreheads. Some people have broad noses, some have narrow noses. Some people have thin lips, some have full lips. Whatever your features consist of, love it and I mean all of it. Appreciate your features and embrace all the things that make you unique.
I promised that little girl that I would make a post about our conversation and here it is. In case you did not know, low and flat foreheads are just as beautiful as all the rest. Our side profiles may make us look “odd” to some, but that does not mean we are less beautiful.
It is Sunday and you know what that means? It is time for a Sunday blog share. I am coming to you today with an ode / poem that I penned about my Maternal Great Grandmother. I love my lineage because those who came before me were incredibly strong, beautiful and unique in their own special way. I am who I am because of them. They are one of the reasons why I write and why I will continue to write.
Lately I have been experiencing with rhyming short stories and to be honest with you, I am really starting to like it. I am always looking to write something different or pen something unique which brings me to tonight’s post. I posted the rhyming short story below on my Instagram account and I was surprised at the number of direct messages I received. I was just having fun with it. I think this is a start of something special. I am super excited now! Check it out…
Just the other day, a few of my close friends and I were discussing how hard it is to find genuine and honest people. It blows me away how some individuals can live day to day being treacherous, conniving and for the lack of a better word, shady. I don’t get down like that and I ain’t able to sit and break bread with those types of folk. One trait of mine, and I really do believe that this is a trait I get from my parents and grandparents, is the ability to read people. I can spot a shady person a mile away despite their best efforts to hide their “true” selves. I get a warm fuzzy feeling inside any time I come across a phony person who thinks they have me fooled. It is one of the best feelings in the world!
I have never been the type of person to get wrapped up in foolishness or mess because I don’t allow a lot of people in my inner circle. I ain’t able to deal with such tomfoolery because frankly, life is way too short. I ain’t able to sit and chit chat with people who are big on tearing down other people. I ain’t able to be around those who try to “hide” what they really are. I ain’t able to be in close quarters with those who plot and scheme against other people. Do you wanna know why I ain’t able to deal with that type of negativity? It’s because I am all about that positivity. Now that I can deal with…
Embarrassment. We have all experienced this not so pleasant feeling have we not? We can all attest that embarrassment and shame is not something we are itching to experience any time soon. To be honest, this is something most of us (if not all) would rather do without. I for one do not get embarrassed easily, but a couple of days ago I did. This is what happened…
A few days ago, I decided to stop and pick up a few writing supplies before heading home from work. I was already tired because I had been up late writing the night before. I had it in my mind that I was going to run in, get what I needed and head on home. Since I have a fast gait (something my family and friends tease me about) it did not take me long to get what I came for. By the time I made it to a self checkout register, it was open and available so I was able to quickly scan my things so I could go. A few seconds later, three other people came up behind me to check out. After I scanned my last item, I pulled out and swiped my debit card like I normally do. From there, that is when things took a slight turn.
As I am waiting for this machine to process my transaction, the machine all of a sudden starts to beep. The first thing that popped into my mind was that my card was about to be declined. I kept saying to myself, “Lawd Hammercy! This would happen to me! Don’t do it! Please don’t do it!”
I could feel the shame welling up inside of me even though I knew I had money in my account. Still, I was a little embarrassed because the machine kept beeping and my transaction was waiting to be approved. As I started to look around, I noticed that the people behind me were beginning to wonder if or when my transaction would go through.
One man felt sorry for me and was about to walk up and pay for my things. It was a good thing my transaction went through because I was not going to let him pay for my items. Blame my pride, not me.
As I picked up my things, I looked back at the people in line standing behind me and apologized for the wait. A few jokes were cracked and smiles were exchanged as my BIG boisterous laugh filled the air. All was well now despite my moment of shame and now a few days later I am sitting at my computer telling you about it. Life is funny is it not? Sometimes it can play a crude joke on you. How you deal with an embarrassing situation largely depends on you. Embarrassment and shame sucks, but after that moment passes, life as YOU know it quickly resumes.
Happy Friday and TGIF to everyone!!! I have some exciting book updates that I am itching to share and I cannot type this blog post fast enough to tell you!
Poka City Blues is set to hit book stores in the next coming weeks and the reality of it all is really starting to sink in. I often wonder how I would react upon seeing Poka City Blues in a major book store like Barnes and Noble. Knowing me, I would be skinning and grinning from ear to ear; that I am sure of. I may even stand there in disbelief because over a year ago I did not think this would even be possible.
You see, before I self published Poka City Blues on Amazon, I pitched it to a number of literary agents first. The responses I received were a little discouraging because most of them acknowledged that it was a good book, but they did not feel they would be able to market it. Why? Because Poka City Blues is too direct and blunt; their words, not mine. There was a time when I seriously wondered if I should scrap this book and forget about it, but then I would think about how hard I worked to craft this story.
The more I read over those rejection letters the more determined I was to tell this story. Seeing how this is a story that is inspired largely by my mother’s life and in part by my father’s, I was not going to “pretty up” this story just to get picked up by an agent. Not every life story is a fairytale and I refused to portray this story as such. Yes, I will admit, Poka City Blues will yank at your heart strings, but it is an inspiring story that will stay on your mind long after you read it.
I shudder to think of the regret I would have felt years on down the line if I did not self published this story. Looking back, I have no regrets whatsoever because I have found a reader base who appreciates my frank candor and unconventional writing style. I am still amazed at the number of readers who requested Poka City Blues to be made available in paperback and I am so happy that I was able to do that.
To all the aspiring writers and authors out there, do not let rejection hold you back or prevent you from telling what you believe to be a great story. You never know who may be inspired by it. Take it from me, just because someone may not like your particular writing style, that does not mean no else will appreciate it.
I am currently working on book signings and meet and greets, but what I am looking forward to the most is taking my mother to a major book store and showing her in person the book that was inspired by her life. My mother is one in a million and she is the strongest woman I know. It is hard to believe that a woman who has been through so much can find every reason to smile. I got NOTHING but LOVE and RESPECT for my Mama.
For the past couple of months, I have been working on a number of writing projects. There is one project in particular that stands out from the rest because it is a project that is near and dear to my heart. This writing project means the world to me because it is centered around my second oldest sister Tanika. If you have been following my blog for a while you know that my sister has Tourette’s Syndromeand that I am extremely protective of her. For those of you who are unfamiliar with Tourette’s Syndrome or TS, it is a neurological disorder that consists of involuntary tics. These tics can be verbal or motor in nature and it can often be a source of embarrassment for the individual with Tourette’s Syndrome. Generally it is controlled with medication and other forms of therapy, nevertheless many individuals with Tourette’s Syndrome go on to live very healthy and productive lives.
Seeing how I am passionate about spreading more awareness about this neurological disorder, I was given the wonderful opportunity to discuss Tourette’s Syndrome in a diseases and disorders anthology that will be published next year. To be able to tell my sister’s story along with a number of other authors and be a part of something that will help bring awareness to misunderstood diseases and disorders is such an honor. Believe me when I say that I am very grateful for this opportunity. My sister inspires me each and every day with her optimism, her strength and her zest for life. I could not have asked for a better sister and I cannot wait to share her amazing story.
With all of that being said….
Thank you Tanika for showing me what it means to be brave and how to live this thing we call life to the fullest. You are not only my big sister, but you are my GREATEST friend. I am so glad to have you as my sibling and I want to thank you again for allowing me to tell your story. I sincerely hope it will make you proud. You already know this, I LOVE YOU LOTS!!!