Category Archives: poetry

Motivational Speaker and Author Marion Levi Jones


Happy Monday creatives! I hope everyone enjoyed their Easter weekend. Also remember it is National Autism Awareness Month.

I wanted to end April on a positive note with enriching food for thought for those feeling overwhelmed in the struggle that comes from living life experiences. My guest today is motivational author and someone who has been there and survived that- Mr. Marion Levi Jones. Please join me in welcoming Marion to Clara54’s Writer’s Blog.

I’m here to help others who were like me, to encourage, to motivate and lift their spirits to become better than they were when out in the streets. Show them that they’re not alone and here for a purpose greater than themselves. I was lost for over 35 yrs since my dad died but it took me until the age of 50 to hear a click and to get it right. God kept me even in my mess to become who He wanted me to be. Now I’m giving back. Was able to write about my drugging days in my first book Poems From Within Me, A Recovering Addict.

Then how God changed me spiritually in my second book The Full Picture Of Marion Levi Jones. Eleven years clean and just last year became a Deacon in my church. So, if you need someone like me that will tell it like it is, please let me know.

Marion L. Jones  books share his story of how he made it through his trials and tribulations caught up in addiction. He informs his readers how there is always a road leading to a way out.  His first book Poems From Within Me was completed in 2006, a gift he says was given to him by The Almighty.

Contact the author @ Levijones55@yahoo.com

On Being A Woman Poet…


Happy Poetry Month, creatives. I Hope you are enjoying the Me time of spring! My poems placed as a semi finalist in The Mary Shay Ballard’s Chapbook Poetry Prize in 2015 and 2016. Although I didn’t win the coveted prize, I felt and still feel strongly that poetry is cathartic, much like the healing hands of a nurse’s compassionate touch. So, as a special treat for my readers & critics alike, I’d like to share some of my work that forms the heart of me. And no, this work was not included in the competition.

I Am Sometimes Left to Wonder:

The more things change the more things stay the same-
The more she tries to leave something behind that’s hiding in the cornerstone of her being- the more that un-named thing seems to languish on the plateau of her subconscious mind.
The more we try to keep that something in the past; in the layers of our deepest dreams, the more it tends to pick at the center of our being-
I have this ethereal relationship with what some suppose is ‘art’. It’s this worldview I have that’s most perplexing and oftentimes fails to reach past my fingertips to where it’s centered itself, inside of myself, and so through the frustrations of trying to come to an agreement with my art, I decided long ago to shun its audacity to play with my human emotions and not welcome it into my personal space. But, it calls me.
I do love the ambiance of sitting alone in the presence of an almighty entity that becomes a shadowy figure of who I perceive to be the highest and for whom I feel the need to believe in and give reverence to in the center of my writing angst-
Deliver me Oh Lord! For I am blinded and cannot see the gifts that you have given a mere creature like myself and I am annoyingly frustrated. I am a hopeless wonder who fails to see the wonderment. And so why do I continue? Why should I not seek my passions and purpose some place more accepting of who I am and what I offer in contributions to other human beings?
The time came for me to put away the thought of opportunities and possibility in the realm of poetry. But, as I stand in the stillness of nature’s beginnings where birds chirp, bees swarm and the sun is shining down on the green grass growing beneath my feet- I wonder and my fingers itch to create something of similar beauty to share with the masses.
Something feels sorely lacking and I walk away from what could be, to concentrate on the here and now and use my gifts and the skills and talents I have honed to set my eyes on the prize.

I heard it said once that women poets make for great pastimes. Are we, who are of the feminine mystique only passing time? For those women penning poems who should doubt their gifts have only to look to the works of Nikki, Maya, Sylvia, Gwendolyn and so many creations from women warriors who pen their truths onto a mocking blankness of a page that lay untouched before them. I don’t know about the deepest connection other women poets have within their beings in answer to the why of their desires to pen poems but to me-
Poetry should feed the soul. Flow like the swiftness of a soaring eagle’s wing upon the blank page and keep your nimble fingers moving in synch with the rhythmic flow of the unconscious mind where the need to create something worthy in the eyes of your colleagues and readers and others who call themselves “poet” and “poetess” and creators of expressed expressions-awaits to delight in and even judge its merit.
But, I’m not Gwendolyn or Maya or Nikki or anyone but myself and so I must rely on my own merits and pray that my work could even stand alone, let alone see favor in the eyes of the true effortless artists who reign from poet laureate and champions the woman voice in defining what it means to be “Artist.”

On My Work:

I don’t have a name for it. It has been called “expressive” and “Intuitive”.
It has been widely accepted by others with their own labels and I have swallowed the response I wish to utter, but I let it go and wish to stop the torture that calls to me, sometimes at the most inopportune times.
I will try to keep this need for this thing in check because there’s no time to play when my mind is focused on doing the work that will keep food on my table, a roof over my head, my bills paid and clothes on my back. I wonder about the starving artist syndrome and I fear its power over me and so I swallow the need to pen words that people might not even see or comprehend at all.
I am left sometimes to wonder… xoxo

I Want To Feel His Presence

In the presence of God’s work
the world is alive
Mother Nature’s green
grass
Trees, ponds, birds, wasps and bees
Sounds that whispers
I’m here
alive, watching, hovering about
in the presence of God’s
work
your spirit sings
Truths
of who you are and whose you are-
Sitting and watching and listening to the
sounds in
whispers
in colors and in movement,
gentle winds rustle fallen leaves from
bountiful ushering of Mulberry trees
Offerings that shade from the sun
while you become one who sits in awareness
And
in
Understanding of the benevolence where
you are chosen to witness
the beauty and significance that is God’s work…CF

A New Years Interview With Award Winning Artist Henry Jones


Henry Jones standing by sculpture Mother Earth in Scarritt Bennett exhibit

Happy New Year 2017! I have a great bit of artsy conversation to share with y’all, so let’s get this new year party started!

Hi Henry!  I always say that my writings might not make a living but it makes a life and I definitely know that the coins help sustain my efforts. Who were some earlier inspirations that led you to believe that you could actually make a living from your art?

 I love that part about it “…makes a life…” I’ll have used that whole statement. When I think back to inspirations my grandmother, Jessie Overton, is there. There were others but she was the most influential. She was the first artist I knew and loved. Her thing was portraits and painted mainly on commission. Paintings of family members which she did hung in her house. So, her home was I guess the first gallery experience for me too. Her studio space was in her living room in a corner with just enough room for her tripod easel. My job was to hold her stinky oil paints. I watched the colors flow as she painted.

 I was always amazed how slowly and steady she could paint. I used to beg her to let me try. Once she did; I thought I was doing something but she screamed, “No, no, no! You’re not making mash potatoes!” I was smashing her beautiful sable brush fibers against the canvas surface. She held my hand and showed me how to simply let the brush glide along the surface.

She always had music playing too and tell me to listen to the music and float the brush and glide. As we painted together she’d squeeze my hand tighter if I was starting to smash those potatoes! If I was doing it correctly, her grip was gentle. I think of her when I look at brushes or shake someone’s hand firmly.

  Other artists came later when I attended Fisk University. This campus is covered with history. As students we were encouraged to get the “Fisk Experience,” which during my freshman year I was clueless. I was told to go to college to get an education and a degree. What was this Fisk experience stuff? It was about connecting with the university’s rich past. I saw and enjoyed so much art by Black artists both dead and alive.

 On campus I met and spoke with artists such as Earl Hooks, Greg Ridley, LiFran Fort, and Jerry Waters (a new, young artist and professor). They were  dynamic force of the art department. Now, I wasn’t an art major. My major was biology. I was never far from anything art because I drew the structures, animals, tissues, etc. to test myself. I drew to learn. Fisk is a small, private university so I could speak with these artists almost daily. The exhibitions of their work really influenced me. Then, I concluded to be an artist you must be a professor to reach and create art to exhibit.

 Later, after graduate school, I moved to Chicago and met other artists and gallery owners. My two main mentors in the city were Greg Spears (an artist) and Susan Woodson (a WPA scholar). Mrs. Woodson purchased my first painting in Chicago and took me under her wing.  Greg taught me about marketing. He painted tirelessly and sold many prints at festivals. In his home he had one room filled with stacks of prints! There were other people of course, but these two people saw something in me and really encouraged me to keep painting. Mrs. Woodson opened a gallery, Susan Woodson Gallery, and told me to bring some art to it. She carried prints and originals of artists I learned about at Fisk. Then, Susan introduced me to the Chicago Fisk Club which was full of art lovers. You can’t make it as an artist without a supportive community. It’s important to find a “tribe” which connects and helps you. I believe it’s actually part of your identity.

What’s a typical artist work day like for you?

I always start with coffee. This is a must, very essential. My head is always full of ideas. I realized years ago, I can’t realistically do everything. You can’t get anything done by stopping and going here and there. A little here and there adds up to a big nothing! The key, which is what my grandmother taught me while she painted, was to focus. I struggle with this but am better. A lot. My typical day consists of looking for future places to exhibit, following up on interviews of people interested in exhibiting some of my work, surfing social media (a new community to connect with people), painting and organizing. I don’t have set hours because I have a family. I usually work long tiring hours. When they sleep I can paint. I do have deadlines to keep to get art done for people, so I keep a Things to do List to try to stay on track. I feel more like a juggler than an artist. To answer your question moreso, it’s really hard to have a typical day. It doesn’t fit in the whole thing about being creative. But you must CREATE so not to feel discouraged.

Your things to do list is spot on. Plan on doing that for 2017.  We met during the early days of Poets United in Chicago. What were some of the takeaways from being part of the group?

Love. Love for other members and dedication. We were writers and still writing. It’s important to reach out to each other for support, ideas, and feedback. I don’t keep in contact with many members like when I lived in Chicago. Strangely, it is possible with video chat, emails, texts, and other ways. Yet, the Internet can’t do this. If you got a series of rejections and went to a meeting and shared that news, a friend would just come over and give you a long, tight hug. That person understood. How can you do that with electronic means? You can’t. I miss those moments of encouragement the most. Just sitting near another poet as you hear a fellow poet share a new piece. Again. Priceless. This feeds back to finding the tribe and place. With Poets United we were truly united on so many levels.

What words of wisdom do you have for newbies and late bloomers in the literary and visual art world who want to make a career in doing what they love, but are afraid to venture out there?

Stop talking about doing something. Stop worrying about and doubting things. Push away the negative thoughts AND people .Find a way to work. I remember when I didn’t have a book published. I hosted open-mic poetry at Jazz and Java Coffee Shop in the early 90’s. There was a poet who came in to recite and tell us about his book. He had a chapbook which he made. He used an old type writer which he bought from a Goodwill for $5! The old kind with the ink ribbon. Page after page he made his book. His poems were beautiful. He didn’t have a computer but put it in his mind to get his words out there. The cover was simple but he did it. He inspired me to get my first self-published chapbook done, Tell Me No Lies. I had no excuse to not have my book done. I had more technology and resources but this guy was doing more. So, to any newbie, use what you have to do what you can. You will grow. I used to paint on an old wooden chair I found in the alley outside my apartment in Chicago. I fixed and glued the broken leg and used a stick to rest my canvas against the back of the chair. That was my easel. I painted on that chair or the floor. But I worked. Many talk themselves out of even trying out of fear. Imagined fear.

We all can do something if we simply try. We will hustle and bust our butts for a 9-5 and that company’s goals but, when it comes to our own dreams, we can’t find the zeal. Why not? It’s faith. We must believe in ourselves and our dreams. This is where keeping out that negativity out of your mind and soul. Believe. There will stop be doubt but keep moving keep trying because you believe this is what your purpose is on this planet. Paying bills or making debt isn’t a purpose. Create and make the world better is what I’d tell them.

Beautiful! I agree. Can people be okay with viewing their passion as just a hobby? What’s that about? Is it the fear of stepping outside of their comfort zones?

What I’ve noticed and experienced aside from what you said about fear is that people don’t want to call themselves a professional because of responsibility. If you do anything as a hobby, you can do it whenever. You don’t have to be serious.
You don’t have to be concerned with money issues and other things associated with being a professional. When you consider and call yourself a professional this means two things: 1) You’re paid for what you do and 2) you maintain a certain amount of professionalism.
I’ve met artists who are afraid to pursue art as a profession because they believe they may fail. In our capitalistic world, if you have a business and you don’t make money, it’s concluded that you’re a failure. The business of arts and the business of widgets are di$erent. We don’t operate in the same arena.
Artists can fail or feel like a failure equating themselves to non-art business owners.
Is it important to sell your art? In a commercial gallery, that is important but other connections are made. In other institutions, such as universities or museums, the whole money thing is di$erent. But artists must take themselves serious to be taken serious. My art has never been a hobby for me but a calling
which I answered and listened to to do. I keep working. And working to create the best I know how and learn. I don’t smash any more!
Too much, Henry!  Congrats on your latest award. Tell us more about the GANSPA.

The GANSPA (Gifted and NeoSoul & Poetry Award) is the ideal of Renata Brown. The organization’s mission is to support artists year round through its education and mentoring programs as well as spotlight excellence through the Annual Awards Ceremonies. It serves as a fundraiser for Sick Cell Anemia research and education as well. I felt very honored to win. My family and I were able to go to Atlanta for the awards ceremony.

I couldn’t go to that event alone. My wife and children are an extension of my creativity. They’ve helped me in many, many ways. I knew I was receiving the state award but then they announced the national GANSPA Awards for my category. I was stunned. My wife said, “They called your name.” I remember looking around for Henry Jones. It was like a dream.

 At the ceremony I met other artists and learned what they’re doing. I love meeting other artists because I feel less alone. It’s lonely being an artist of any kind. You strive to connect to the internal, overwhelming feeling of human disconnection.  The GANSPA award symbolizes  appreciation for the work you do. Few people know the about of work necessary to create art. So much goes against you. They see the final creation. It’s not easy. But that award says to me, “Thank you for the work you do.” This is encouraging because you constantly push away and battle the demon of doubt.

Thanks for humoring my interview intrusion Henry. I wish you much continued success!

Thank you Clara. I enjoyed this interview.

Hope this talk with Henry Jones got your creative juices flowing. What a great year of opportunity we have to create to the best of who we are!

Henry Jones is an award winning artist & poet. Activist, Author, Editor. Creativity coach Inspiring the world. follow him on twitter @creativeforlife…

Henry’s post award win interview:

 

 

 

 

 

Save

Save

2016 Holiday Roundup For Fiction & Poetry Submissions


two-hot-toddy-cocktail-drinks-cinnamon-lemmon-whisky-rum-apple-brandy-set-rustic-wood-35766231 Happy Holidays Creatives!

Now that I’ve completed my six week free fiction writing course, How Writers Write Fiction 2016 For Storied Women,  which I enjoyed immensely and obtained a writing buddy to boot, by the way, I’ve decided to take a well deserved holiday time out!

But, I’m not leaving y’all high and dry here either. Here are a few 2016 Holiday roundups that are accepting fiction and poetry writing submissions in December. This is a last shout out for folks to submit something wonderful in 2016, before ringing in a brand new year.

So, come on people, let’s do the dang thing!

http://www.boulevardmagazine.org/short-fiction-contest

http://www.poetrysociety.org/psa/awards/annual,

http://www.lascauxreview.com  lascaux prize in short fiction

I hope there’s something here you might want to tackle and if you have a link to last-minute submissions for 2016, feel free to share. Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas and a productive and Happy New Year!
Good luck in all of your writing endeavors and I hope to see y’all back here, sharing great news in 2017!

Freelancer: Hits, Misses & Mentions


Good Monday morning! I hope the juices of all creatives are flowing like water in a river baptism this fall season . I can’t complain because I’m still loving what I do, although, it can get hard out here for a creative pimp-tress:)

So, today, I’m updating my loyal readers and followers on a few things happening in my neck of the writing woods, with a brief run-through of some of my freelancer hits and misses, along with a big ole congratulatory mention to a well deserving poet and visual artist.

Misses:

You guys recall me writing about how thrilled I was to open an email from Quaker Oats contest a while back, informing me that my delicious recipe submission had been selected?  Well, just like most of the five hundred thousand hopefuls out there, I waited with bated breath, months even, to claim my winning prize…

Not! The three finalists have been selected and yours truly is not on the list. Bummer! But,  because I love to eat my share of delicious foods instead of demonstrating my culinary skills or lack thereof, I’ve gladly moved on. It’s always a good thing when we release and let go, because something great hangs in the balance.

Misses : #2

I will be sharing my thoughts on traditional book publishing from my own experience with Unleash Your Pearls, including the ups & downs one might experience after signing on the  publisher’s dotted line. I will discuss research findings on the industry, including the length of time it takes from initial contract to actual book release. Patience is truly  required and a couple of glasses of spirits can’t hurt much. Anyhew, when those people call my people about my book release, we will have a celebration!

Hits:

I’ve learned not to wallow in feelings of freelance defeat or rejection and to just keep going with other interesting and oftentimes lucrative distractions.  I recently sold my 2nd nonfiction story to the Book of Hope Anthology, scheduled for publication after the holidays.

My contributing story appearing in the “Lessons from Losers in Love”  Anthology recently went to YouTube.

Dr. Alonda Alloway-Higgins, PhD, LSW,  Author and Life Coach

Uploaded a video to talk more about her book and upcoming series:

I’m working on my fourth assignment as part of How Writers Write Fiction 2016: Storied Women from Iowa University’s free Writing Workshop. This class is mentally challenging and educationally inspiring. We’re penning new stories to upload every week and so far, the feedback from class participants have been encouraging and useful. My love of learning is evergreen and when I feel the need to advance my writing aspirations, I always do.

There are numerous narratives on the informational highway in regards to getting something for ‘free’ and I’m of the opinion that one should always be a cautionary ‘buyer’. When it comes to free learning modules, however, in the form of free classes in writing, website design or advanced YouTube tutorials in your field of expertise, I’ve found them to be quite beneficial, and in some ways an advantage over many fee based online workshops.

For example, free classes offered by college institutions oftentimes differ from online writing workshops that cost, in that these curriculum based classes are taught by esteemed professors of writing, with several book fellows and awards under their belts and do not in any way, fashion or form, diminish from  a freelance writer’s creative abilities – they can, in fact, impact ones’ productivity and profit-making capabilities.

I’ve taken my share of online fee based and free classes since 2010.  Before the internet surge, I thought nothing of hopping a train in real-time, to attend fee based writing classes at Harold Washington Colleges. So, my advice, when in doubt, is to go for your gusto the way it works for you and don’t be swayed by negative  hype.  If you haven’t done it, then you can’t speak on it. And that’s all I’m going to say about that.

Mention~

A big ole congratulations going out to Henry Jones; Poet, Artist, Entrepreneur and friend out there in Nashville whom I hold in high regard. Mr. Jones just won the National Gifted Artist Neo Soul & Poetry Artist(GANSPA) Award!

Congrats to you, Mr. Jones!

Quote for today:

“An investment in knowledge pays the best interest.” Benjamin Franklin

A Heartfelt Reminder,Writing Updates and Contests!


Darkness cannot drive out darkness;
only light can do that.
Hate cannot drive out hate;
only love can do that.
Hate multiplies hate,
violence multiplies violence,
and toughness multiplies toughness
in a descending spiral of destruction….
The chain reaction of evil —
hate begetting hate,
wars producing more wars —
must be broken,
or we shall be plunged
into the dark abyss of annihilation.

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Strength To Love, 1963 

Hello Creatives ,

I’m back to continue in the spirit of creating and promoting meaningful works to help you learn and live by. I hope that we continue to have compassion and empathy for one another and that Dr. King and other fighters of wrongdoers did not die in vain. Let’s stay prayerfully awake, aware and continue to speak on the need for accountability.

I’ve been writing tirelessly during my blog sabbatical and have received many emails seeking help on meaningful projects from other creatives in their work to combat bullying, hatred and violence.

You can view links to some of these concerns here:

https://wwwclara54.wordpress.com/2016/09/12/back-stabber-tv-show-on-amazon-com/

I’m not overly concerned about winning a popularity contest with my blogs by way of comments or followers. I’m more interested in making a positive impact that leads to change in the world, and so I sent an email to Arianna Huffington, (former founder & editor-in- chief) of Huffington Post, where I shared some of what I, as a woman of color could bring to the conversation on violence and race in America, as a Huffing-ton Post contributor. I will share bits of her response at a later date, but you can read my latest article here:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/social-media-trolls_us_57cafbfde4b0b9c5b738cb47?

I’m also writing, editing and submitting old and newer works to various publications, and recently, among some poetry and short story rejections there have been positive results and I’m grateful and thankful for my gifts: https://thebluenib.com/tag/Clara-Freeman/

I contributed to this anthology on true life lessons learned from failed relationships. The author will compile a series of books on the subject. Check her out here:  www.BloggingDrAlonda.com

lessons_from_losers__cover_for_kindle-194x300

https://www.amazon.com/Lessons-Losers-Love-Relationships-Valuable/dp/0578184141/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1474035618&sr=1-1&keywords=lessons+from+losers+in+love

I always write to maintain balance in my life and I’m blessed to be well versed in several genres. I’m sure you all would agree that writing is therapeutic. My writings keep me grounded and humbled and feeling blessed (I’m too blessed to be stressed, y’all!) Anyhow, I haven’t gotten any new  updates on the release of Unleash Your Pearls Empowering Women’s Voices from my publisher, which is a bummer, but patience is a virtue:)

Here are some great upcoming contests for y’all to check out and hopefully find something  of interest in your genre. Some contests are fee based and some are not.

Oftentimes, we writers think we’re not making a living with our work, unless we are seeing dollar bills. Ms. Robbie of Welcome To Sweetie Pies, coined the phrase “if it don’t make  money it don’t make sense.” That’s all good when you’re business minded and only centered on making money, but those of us who use our writings to make a difference are not solely centered on the grind for the sake of the almighty dollar.We are successful at sharing our work,  knowing that somewhere and with someone, we have aided in making a life better.
September kicks off my monthly blog postings, unless more exciting news find me. I’ve decided to pursue new projects that will expand under my brand leadership that includes influence-rs, motivators and thought leaders, armed with a common goal . I will always appreciate every voice who stops by Clara’s Writer’s Blog to share in this awe-inspiring world of literary creativity.  Writers, innovators and critical thinkers, I heart you all.
Be blessed and be a blessing!
“Where love is God is”~ CF

 

 

 

 

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Congrats, Contests and Casting Call


TS and MD at IndieHappy Friday Wordsmiths! I hope everyone have a great weekend ahead. I’m a bit under the weather of aches and pains that accompanies a visit from Arthur, but that won’t deter me from going out to support my granddaughters dance performance this weekend.

We have a lot of ground to cover today, starting with a hearty congrats to authors Michelle Duster and Trina Sotira of the musewrite community for being honored with a 2016 Next Generation Indie Book Finalist Award.

Their anthology, SHIFTS,  won in the women’s issue category.  Congrats ladies. Enjoy your medals and bask in your achievements.  Readers can find more info about their great achievement and how to grab a copy of their book at www.musewrite.com or by emailing Michelle Duster at musewritecommunity@yahoo.com.

The women’s next anthology is due out March 2017. It will center on thoughts about the first lady, Michelle Obama. My poem, Brown Girl Challenge, also makes a cameo.

Changing gears

It  was such a pleasure and an honor these last weeks to bring you Andre West for my special guest interview. The owner of DreamQuestOne really did the thing! If you haven’t read his informative and inspiring writing insights, please do go back to read part one and part two. And be sure to visit Andre’s website at http://www.dreamquestone.com…

Contests accepting May submissions

My colleague and friend, Evelyn Cogdell sent me this competition. Epiphany, a literary Journal, is calling for poems and short stories. They have a June deadline.They also have a chapbook contest in the works. Check out their website and you’ll find other publications open for submissions.  http://www.everywritersresource.com/literarymagazines/epiphany-a-literary-journal/

I’m thinking about subscribing. Thanks Evelyn!

epiphany-cover-final-540pxWide-199x300

Here are more sites that are open for May submissions.

www.dreamquestone.com

writersrelief.com/watersedge-poetry-chapbook-contest/

Short Story award for new writers@ https://mastersreview.com/short-story-award-for-new-writers/

Chicago Casting Call!

Usually, I post about celebrity news, reality television and Chicago happenings over at my celebrity news and views blog, but this is an exception because I’m only posting monthly over there, but that might change in the coming months:)

Here’s the info for all of you wanting to get a chance at being cast for   Reality TV Chicago Ladies

Image.png

To learn more about the women who are already cast for the show, formerly called Chicago Girlfriends, go to https://wwwclara54.wordpress.com/2016/04/24/the-ladies-of-chicago-girlfriendschicagos-first-reality-television-show/

Quote for today~

When you take risks you learn that there will be times when you succeed and there will be times when you fail, and both are equally important.
—Ellen DeGeneres