Tag Archives: book

Congratulations Clara!

thmy poetry

Yes, I’m aware that April is National Poetry Month, but I couldn’t resist sharing this special shout out with you guys 🙂 Happy Friday, creatives!

Today, I’m sending out a big ole congratulations to my nine-year old granddaughter and namesake, Clara Elizabeth. I was informed by her mother, my daughter-in-law, that Clara recently won first place at her school for her book of poems!

The award ceremony is May 18th and I will be posting pictures of the event. In the meantime, I want to share one of her poems (unedited) with my audience!

Dusk has fell,night has come,
now comes out the dark from hell,
the stars from above light up the sky,
like a dove shining bright,
creepy shadows climb up the walls scaring bacteria out of your jaws, dusk has fell, night has come,
close your eyes,day is done

What do you think? Does this child have creative potential? And what proud parent/grand parent doesn’t think this about their beautiful little darlings? 🙂

Always treat yourself special…

Introducing Chicago Author and Journalist, Karen Ford


“Thank you for your assistance in helping writers reach an audience and for your willingness to introduce me to your audience. ”  k

Happy Mother’s Day come Sunday to all moms of the world! In response to sentiments from my guest author today, I found the greatest authentic quote on my LinkedIn page:

“You don’t need a reason to help people.”  Zora Neale Hurston.  Come get acquainted with Chicago author and journalist, Karen Ford as she provides insights from her  book, Thoughts of a Fried Chicken Watermelon Woman. Make sure to pick up a copy in support.

Karen Ford

Women of an indiscriminate age are seen as faceless, sexless shapes with almost no value save being wives, mothers, caregivers or comic punch lines. But it’s even worse for Black women. There is no place for us in film or television. (It’s ironic that the only middle-aged Black woman prevalent in film today is actually portrayed by a man.) With the exception of traditional gospel music, we’re not part of the music industry. We’re not broadcast or print reporters or columnists. Other than Maya Angelou, Terry McMillan and Toni Morrison, we’re not widely read. So we remain voiceless.

The other side is that the average Black person in America is voiceless as well. When a subject pertaining to Black people comes up, media people reach out to Dr. Cornell West or Rev. Jesse Jackson or Rev. Al Sharpton. Not to denigrate these gentlemen but they do not speak for me or the millions of Americans like me. We are not a monolithic people and I, for one, take great offense at being treated as such.

When a tornado strikes a small town or when someone shoots up a school, reporters talk to the victims. They speak with the people involved. They don’t call their stock individuals who speak for the White folks involved. Why should it be any different for Black people?


Karen Ford is the author of Thoughts of a Fried Chicken Watermelon Woman (Total Recall Press 2014) and the blog, Caviar & Grits (www.caviar&grits.com). Ford serves 3rd Vice President of the National Writers Union, UAW 1981, the only trade union for freelance writers. The union is comprised of over 1400 writers in every genre.As a freelance journalist for over 20 years, Ford has written for a number of local, national and international publications including the Chicago Tribune, Chicago Parent magazine, the Citizen Newspapers, Screen Magazine and Lutheran Woman Today. Her corporate clients have included the University of Illinois, the Chicago Labor Education Project, the Illinois Business Development Authority and the Women in Business Yellow Pages. She has written political ad copy for several local and county candidates and co-authored the book Get That Cutie in Commercials.Karen Ford received her BA with a focus in political science and her MS in public service management from DePaul University. She has a certificate in union organizing from the AFL-CIO Organizing Institute and a certificate in teaching community college from the Encore Organization of Harold Washington College. Ford is married with four children and loves to read, dance, cook and travel in her spare time. She lives with her husband in Chicago.


Thoughts of A Fried Chicken Watermelon Woman  is Available on Alibris.com, Amazon.com, BarnesandNoble.com and BooksAMillion.com.

Author Contact info:
Karen Ford




Sharing News From The Writer’s Blog


Good morning, creatives! I hope everyone have a productive day today, along with a fantastic weekend!

I am excited to share my debut “Celebrity Dish” column appearing  in the March issue of Urban Images Magazine. You can read my in depth interview with actor Lyriq Bent about his leading role in The Book of Negroes here:  http://urbanimagemagazine.com/mag-library/

I’m also sharing a recent interview, my colleague, Evelyn Cogdell and I did to promote our book collaboration, Essence of Romance, a relationship guide for singles and couples. 


Alas, my productivity cup needs a refill, so I’ll be taking the remainder of March off from the writer’s blog.

I’m so feeling the blog love and camaraderie from all of you… Know that I got ya!

Peace, blessings and always remember to treat yourself  special.

What I’m Reading For A Holiday Amazon Review


I will be reading Kathy Pooler’s new memoir, Ever Faithful To His Lead, for an upcoming holiday review at Amazon.com, courtesy of Story Cartel where you sign up to receive free books for review. I’m one of those long time members who always come back to pursue great reading material when time permits- I promise to get the review done! Go here if you’re interested in joining Story Cartel. https://storycartel.com/?awt_l=OcCo.&awt_m=3lB3fBnhAInXk5r

Also, if you’re in the spirit of continued inspirational reading material and gratitude, make sure to pick up my short ebook to read this holiday season on your Kindle or from Amazon.com:



Happy Holidays!

Always “Treat yourself special!”

A Spartan Up! Review

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Hello All! I trust everyone is enjoying the weather? Here’s my Amazon review of Spartan Up! By now you know what the cover looks like:) I hope you are encouraged to make fitness a part of your daily routine maybe not under such extremes? Your choice.

Spartan Up! A business brand that, according to its founder, offers challenging twists to running marathons and triathlon that are more beneficial than the ‘norm’. Before you can even participate in a Spartan Race, you have to sign a waiver indicating that you are knowingly and freely putting your life at risk in order to push yourself beyond your limitations and ultimately bask in the aftermath of accomplishing your goals, and get physically and mentally strong in the process.
These races are based for the most part on the Military modules of training and follows treacherous and calculating obstacle courses in order to test a participant’s endurance under pressure. The Spartan races are not just for men. Women and children participate in these events as well, only they are less challenging for children.
Joe De Sena is the author and founder of Spartan Up! He states he’s probably been called everything from maniac to sadistic to suicidal. I didn’t read anything about his being called slightly egotistical, but that was probably an oversight.
The benefits to becoming a Spartan are detailed in the book. The objective of the race is to get people off their butts and away from their comfortable and sedentary lives of `normal’ everything, including food and technology.
And, to push them to experience the real world through becoming a Spartan and obtaining fitness and optimum health through the wilds of Mother Nature and treacherous obstacles courses you never see coming.
The book is informative, encouraging, motivates the under-motivated and it has a great section on the benefits of consuming organic and nutritional foods.

Recently, I was in the Author’s Chair at Patti Smith’s blog. You can see it here: http://gridirongrannyfootballfanatic.blogspot.com/2014/05/have-seat-clara-freeman.html#comment-form

I will be on hiatus for the month of June. Thanks for visiting:)

“Ten Lessons My Mother Taught Me Before She Died” By Faith L. Walls


It takes courage and a spirit filled life to continue to live joyous and productive in this great big world without your mother. Faith L Walls wrote a moving tribute to her dear mother who passed away in 2007. Her book serves as an inspiration to all “girls” without mothers.

I am one of those ‘girls’ and I’m reading “Ten Lessons My Mother Taught Me Before She Died” by the author and educator, Faith L. Walls. You can go to http://amzn.to/18Wo3AE to pick up a copy for yourself or for a “girl” you know who is out here living life without her mother.

Peace & blessings

Amazon Review: The In-Between By Jeff Goins

Happy Friday, writers and authors! Here’s my Amazon review of Jeff Goins book, The In-Between. This is a must read for all creatives for when we find ourselves doodling during those precious moments of in-between times- such a waste of time:) Enjoy!


A Reminder To Find The Message In The Slowing Down-My Amazon Review Of The In-Between by Jeff Goins

I finished reading The In-Between over the remainder of my time off for the Holidays and it was gratifying for me during this down period to reflect and consider the points made in Jeff’s book about the state of busyness in our lives, how we are bored for something to happen within the waiting periods when we’re actually growing during those in between the waiting times. I wasn’t caught off guard entirely from how important those moments of ‘quiet’ really is in our lives if we stop to in essence ‘smell the roses.’

I enjoyed the anecdotes of his life learning’s unfolding during times when he felt like he needed to be somewhere or doing ‘something’ to those reflective, in-between times he began to cherish with family, baby time, friends long gone. There are truly moments in those in between times Jeff Goins writes about that we all need to be reminded are some of the most memorable times in our lives. We create the lives we think we should have, when oftentimes we find ourselves on a detour of a much more meaningful origin.

I would recommend the book for everyone to read because it’s inspiring, motivating and offers meaningful insights that could very well define your own “aha” moments of the in between times.

Have you read The In-Between? What was your takeaway value?

Advocate and Author – Darlene Greene

Happy Friday to all of you! So glad to welcome you here. Today my guest is a woman warrior advocate for domestic violence victims and author of the book, Blood Relatives: Breaking The Cycle, Breaking The Silence, Darlene Greene.


You recently published Blood Relatives, a valuable resource for victims of Domestic Abuse and a personal testament to your own personal loss. We’ll talk about your book in a moment, but, first, tell us about Ina Mae Greene Foundation-For My Sisters.—

The Ina Mae Foundation, named for my sister Ina Mae who was lost to an act of domestic violence in 1990. I realized that my sister died because she did not know how to leave her abuser safely. We started the foundation in 1998. The focus of our foundation is to connect victims of relationship violence with agencies and services that will help them leave a violent or potentially deadly situation safely. As well as work to raise awareness about the devastating affect that domestic violence had on our community and our Country.

You share the stories of your cousin, aunt and sister in Blood Relatives Breaking the Cycle…Breaking the Silence. Can you express some of their memorable traits that maybe defined their character? —–

Ina Mae was a very witty young woman; she loved to dance and was always doing things that would make us laugh, her laugh was quit contagious. —- My Aunt Minnie was a beautiful woman, she was always stylishly dressed, hair and face done to perfection. She wore red lipstick and she would kiss me and my sibling’s on the cheek with those red lips and leave a lip print, we would cry to not wash off Aunt Minnie’s lipstick!—My cousin Maggie, another beautiful woman. She was warm and funny, she had a way of making me feel special, even as a little girl she had a way of talking with me so that it made me fell important, that what I had to say mattered. She was never too busy to talk with me or spend time with me. I know that she loved me unconditionally and I will always miss her.

I don’t know if any other reader brought this to your attention, but, I’m still reeling from the lack of empathy and concern on the part of law enforcement in bringing those men in each case to justice! What a disservice you/r family must have felt?—

It was hard for us in each case because it seemed that we had no one to turn to for help. After Ina’s murder the police were protecting their own, (her killer was a cop), and it felt like a betrayal to us because we were the victims in all this, but we were made to feel as if we had done something wrong because we were upset and reacted to the situation and was angry about what happened to my sister.—– In the case of my Aunt Minnie, hers was the only case I feel that we had help from law enforcement, I think we were helped because her brother was a cop, again they were protecting their own, but only this time it worked in our favor. Her killer was caught very quickly and was sentenced to murder. He served 20 years of a 25 year murder sentence—-But with Cousin Maggie I don’t believe they looked for him all that hard. It was 1963, no internet, no crime data bases, so I believe that he simply left the state, and got away with murder.

thblood relatives

You addressed this in your book and in light of a recent abuse case in the celebrity news realm, regarding a famous chef and author- why do you think women stay in abusive situations, given what we already know; that women cannot change these men? –

One thing is that these women (ones in violent relationships) often believe they love the men they are involved with.In those cases abuse can be a trap that looks like love. In chapter nine of the book I talk about the “lies at first sight” that men often tell women to convince them that a relationship with him will be the beginning of true love. Often the women, no matter how educated, how rich, how talented (myself included), want to believe the lie that this can be a loving relationship, when this man who likely has no idea what a healthy and living relationship is, has no other objective than to control and manipulate her.

At the end of the day we all want love and a connection with another person. We are brought up to believe that our roles as women are not completed unless we have a mate. There is nothing wrong with wanting a loving relationship, but what we have to realize as women is that we deserve respect in that relationship and that working though hard stuff in a relationship should not include being made to feel humiliated or scared or have to suffer physical abuse to show a man that you love him and that you are committed. If he is asking you to do that, he does not love you and the relationship will likely never be the one you seek.

I’ve been following your work and I read how you were reluctant to answer your calling. How do you feel today, after taking on such an important issue mainly affecting women and girls? —

Although a difficult and often heart breaking task, I am happy I began the work and hope that I am making a difference. I work hard every day to continue to educate myself about this issue and this crime. I want to insure that the information that I am giving is both current and correct. This is an important issue that is getting too little attention unless it is to discuss how a woman had been murdered at the hands of her husband or the father of her children. There are more resources, shelters and services to assist victims of relationship violence than ever before in history, yet there are more cases of abuse reported to police than ever before in history!
This is a crime that keeps getting bigger and harder to defeat. We need the schools, the churches, the workplace and families to take on the responsibility of talking about this crime and teaching young woman and men about the consequences of abusing your partner, both physically and verbally. We cannot afford as a community, as a country to continue to ignore this crime and pretend it is not happening to us and the people we love.

Please tell us the four important rules that victims of stalkers should follow.

Once you have made it clear to the stalker that his or her attention is not welcomed, there are some things you should start to do to be safe;
1.Have no contact with the stalker, that means you, your family, your best friend, NO contact
2.Tell someone—as with abuse do not suffer in silence, let someone know what you are going though
3.Increase personal protection; let someone know when you are scheduled to arrive at your destination, ask them to call to check on you if you are not there on time. Lock doors and windows, close your blinds at night, get a home security system if you can afford one and never go out late at night alone if you know you are being stalked or followed.
4.Collect Evidence- emails, texts, phone messages, photographs, gifts he sends to you, all of these things can be useful if you are forced to take your stalker to court

Where can readers purchase a copy of Blood Relatives and please give us contact information/links to your valuable resource sites
Blood Relatives is available on our website—www.inamaegreene.org—Amazon.com and apple iBook through iTunes.
Some resources are;
For assistance with stalking—contact the stalking resource center–www.victimsofcrime.org/our-programs/stalking-resource-center‎
Help for victims of relationship violence—contact the national domestic violence hotline—1800-799-SAFE-(7233)
For victims of sexual assault—–www.rainn.org › Get Help‎ National Sexual Assault Hotline – 1.800.656.HOPE. At any given moment, more than 1,100 trained volunteers are on duty and available to help victims
For more help and information visit the resource page of our website…www.inamaegreene.org
……..because the road to safety should not be a dead-end!

The Ina Mae Greene Foundation– For My Sisters was founded in 1998, Darlene is on the front lines
raising awareness about the atrocities of domestic abuse.
Darlene’s training background and certifications includes the
expertise in Domestic Violence Basics; Domestic Violence Safety
Planning; Boundaries in Mental Health; Domestic Violence
Victims Services for National Victims Assistance.
A community voice, Darlene is a member of the National
Coalition Against Domestic Violence as well as the Collin Council
on Family Violence and the Dallas Council on Family Violence.

There are so many good people out here fighting the good fight against domestic abuse and relationship violence. I applaud women like Darlene Greene. Please pick up a copy of Blood Relatives for someone you think might benefit from the valuable resources included in this book and who might need to know how to leave a situation-safely and regain their life. Thanks for joining in the discussion to follow.

An Interview With Nigerian Author- Abiola Olatunde

Happy Friday to all of my readers, writers and followers! I have had the most awesome week, celebrating the high school graduation of my granddaughter with family and friends. A very happy week, indeed and today I’m happy to bring you a wonderful, insightful interview with the prolific author, poet and screenwriter, Abiola Olatunde.


Welcome Abiola. Before we talk about your great Novel, please share a little something about yourself.

Thank you Clara for giving me this opportunity. Well my name is Abiola Olatunde but I generally like to use the shorter form Biola Olatunde. I am from South Western part of Nigeria. I am a Yoruba woman. I have been writing for some 30 odd years. I am a trained broadcaster and scriptwriter. Have written quite a lot of plays for television, radio and have a few books of poetry. Have had my poems in some anthologies as well as being the Nigerian guest editor for a literary magazine in Romania as well for a small press publisher Lummox press.

Tell us about your novel, Numen Yeye. What inspired you to write it?

Numen Yeye for me is a very important story about concepts and myths from my tribe. In the old days,( even in some places now), there was a belief that certain children known as abiku could give their mothers a hard time through repeated child births and death. Such children were labeled and treated with dread, and resentment. Women dreaded having such children and they were all types of practices to deter such children from incarnation in a household. The woman was usually pitied and the child will be given odd names that would identify such a child with the intention to shame such a child. Over time, it was understood that high infant mortality could easily have been due to lack of proper medical care. However there was the deeper understanding of another type of incarnation in which the child did not have to be a consequent of repeated births. It was the dreaded and feared emere. This type of being is believed to be one who will incarnate with a set mission to exact maximum pain through the manner of departure from the physical world. They were assumed to carry the ability to be capricious and could wait until they attained a milestone of life achievement and then leave abruptly. If a child had ESP, she was simply called an emere, or if she grew up to be too pretty and was deemed to too lovely. It was also believed that such beings could make their family very wealthy or pauperized otherwise comfortable families. I was intrigued.

I come from a village that had a goddess who was said to come back to earth at certain times. My grandmother told me the story of this goddess as she was the chief priestess. That gave rise to the story, what if a goddess came back and was neither an abiku nor emere? She would need to learn all over again what being human meant and would carry all the hallmarks of an emere. The human being has never being without help from the celestial realm. That was what inspired the story.

I was struck by the poetry in the dedication and at the ending of your book…was this a conscious thought or did your natural ‘poetess’ ability take over?

I guess it is an instinctive thing with me. I tend to express deeper emotion through poetry. I can only say things better that way. I appreciated a young girl Erin. I sensed her depth and I felt I could say what I wanted to say only in that way as I appreciated the loving care her father gives her. Thank you was too small for a friend Skip so I simply expressed it that way.

Although, I understand this is a work of speculative fiction, I learned a lot about cultural traditions and customs from your book (Yoruba) My own God -centered faith-based beliefs and love for comfort foods are forever, mainly because of my Southern upbringing. What are some traditions you carry today to help keep your’Self’ centered?

Numen Yeye 002d1

Well Clara, it really wouldn’t be a hundred percent speculative fiction as some of the traditions, culture and concept is real for us in my corner of the world. We actually also live a One God centered life… Olodumare who very much has lesser gods you might see as saints or I would like to see them as elementals. The average westernized Yoruba person has his worlds. One world is the western education, pretensions and civilization and the other is his essential spirituality and conviction.

He is always at war within himself trying to make these worlds merge. How does he center his Self? He makes a compromise which you find in Imole Ife’s mother. I call it the compromise religion not fully Christian nor truly Yoruba. He still searches for himself. Some overdo it by attempting to be so westernized while there are those who simply wish to let things be. You know , man’s search for identity. I personally feel, every human being has a responsibility to have a luminous goal and try to reach it. It is not an issue of religion.

How did you manage to write over 200 stories for television & plays, in addition to anthologies and novels, without going mad? 🙂

Wow! Clara, I thought it would be the other way round. I write everyday, and in the days when I was much younger. I would write a 30 minute TV soap in a day. When I was employed as newscaster/producer, I had to produce a play for radio every week which I generally wrote myself. Then I had to write for the United Nations population fund a TV series for every week and that soap lasted two years that meant more than a hundred. I loved it because I was having so much fun. I had the gift of being able to write quickly and still write TV plays when I am commissioned. I simply love writing. I run blogs, write for my blogs regularly, write articles, and poems . I simply just write Clara. I most likely would go mad if I am not writing!:))

What are you working on next? and please tell readers how they can purchase a copy of Numen Yeye.

I am writing a romance with a traditional twist, exploring a probable sequel to Numen Yeye. And ah yes just finished a 13 week TV series.
Numen Yeye is published by IFWG publishing in Missouri and print copies can be purchased from them as well as on amazon.com here I think you can get the print edition at:


Kindle: http://www.amazon.com/Numen-Yeye-ebook/dp/B00A1O22EM/ref=tmm_kin_title_0?ie=UTF8&qid=1370144229&sr=8-1

Kobo Book: http://www.kobobooks.com/ebook/Numen-Yeye/book-zJxsZAAlSk-ekz-Q3ypjAQ/page1.html?s=2BjFEAPT2kqoTBUWxwR5Ig&r=1

As a nook book on Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/numen-yeye-biola-olatunde/1113739302?ean=2940015934922

Thanks Abiola, it was a pleasure.

Thank you Clara, I am grateful.

I hope you guys enjoyed the interview with Abiola, as much as I did. Have you ever read a book that left you wanting to learn more about its author? Please share your experiences with us.

A Supernatural Romance?

Happy Friday everyone! I’m a bit behind in my work online because of a computer glitch. Yes, my sites had been compromised and so I’m behind in bringing everyone up to speed on what’s been going on in the writing world of clara54. Anyhow, let’s not waste another minute because I’m reading a great piece of romantic fiction about evil, the gods, love vs duty and loads of modern day dangers, exploring connections to Egypt and ancient times. Part thriller, part romance and part supernatural (not Sam & Dean :)) I think you guys will want to read Dawn of a Dark Knight for yourselves.


I’m looking forward to bringing you guys an interview with the author of Dawn of a Dark Knight, Zoe Forward, shortly! If you just cannot wait for the interview, why not purchase a copy for your weekend reading and join in the conversation by emailing me your questions for Zoe, before next Friday?

Dawn of a Dark Knight, http://www.amazon.com/Dawn-Dark-Knight-ebook/dp/B00ADAD9AU/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1354129181&sr=8-1&keywords=dawn+of+a+dark+knight.

It’s good to be back and I see you’ve been visiting in my absence- that does a body good:)

Have a safe and joy-filled weekend with good reads somewhere in the mix.