Tag Archives: clara54 interviews

Author Spotlight Audrey Chin Talks about her new book and Brings A Gift!

TGIF! Hello lucky people! I say lucky because Audrey Chin sits in the author spotlight today and this will be a treat for all of you as it was for me. I recently reviewed Audrey’s latest book, As The Heart-Bones Break for Goodreads.com and gave this book 5 stars across the board. You’re also going to have a lucky Friday because Audrey has a surprise for you guys–woot-woot! Okay, first the interview 🙂


Welcome Audrey! I’m excited to have you here. For those readers who might not be familiar with Audrey Chin, please share a bit of your background.

I was born in Singapore, a little country right-smack in the middle of South East Asia and lived there till I was 16. Then my traveling life started. My first stop was to Salem Oregon to be an exchange student. Following that I spent five years in college in Britain. I lived in California for a decade as a postgraduate student and young married woman before moving back to Singapore when I was 32. Singapore is where I come back to now when I’m not traveling to Vietnam, the rest of South East Asia, Australia or North America.
I grew up in a bookstore and have been a lover of story ever since. But I haven’t been able to pay my bills with words yet, so I work in finance during the day and write in-between.
My other loves are good food, my garden, my friends, my siblings and parents, my children and my husband … not necessarily in that order.

I recently had the pleasure of reviewing your latest book, As The Heart Bones Break for Goodreads, which I also posted on my site. Thank you for the opportunity. Why did you write this book?

I’ve been a daughter-in-law of the Vietnamese diaspora for over 30 years. My husband Minh was a Vietnamese boat-person whose face I first saw on a BBC documentary and whom I later met while doing a summer internship at a Singapore refugee camp. I’m an inveterate eavesdropper and living among the Vietnamese community, I heard many amazing stories.
Their experiences really demonstrated the truth of Hemingway’s quote in A Farewell to Arms – “The world breaks everyone and afterward many are strong at the broken places. But those that will not break it kills. It kills the very good and the very gentle and the very brave impartially. If you are none of these you can be sure it will kill you too but there will be no special hurry.”
When it came time, it just seemed natural to write down what I’d heard. The problem of course was pulling everything together to make a good story. My husband, for example, was indeed the son of a Viet Minh guerilla leader who was subsequently adopted into the family of a civil servant working for the French. But my husband wasn’t a spy, merely an engineer. He’d merely spent his youth in wartime Vietnam trying to survive and avoid trouble, nothing more. There was no conflict or tension in the story. I couldn’t move it forward. It wasn’t until I read Marti Leimbach’s and Tatjana Soli’s amazing books about American women who’d fallen in love with Vietnamese men working two sides that the light-bulb turned on. Of course, Heart Bones is quite different from Leimbach’s and Soli’s stories, but the idea of a Viet Cong spy … that came from them.

Your books are masters of imagery. At times I felt like a spectator, watching the chicken fights or Tran Thong eating his first hot dog, the shop owner getting beaten to death, the rapes and so on. Have you always written with such flair?

I’m a really visual person so I basically write what I’ve seen or imagine I’m seeing. For example, I’ll close my eyes and try to imagine my characters interacting as if I’m at the movies. And then, voila! The scenes come out. But they usually come out in long-winded paragraphs full of excess words. Here’s what some of my beta-readers and editors said about the initial versions of Heart Bones – overburdened by history and details, sluggish beginning, inconsistent voice … It’s to their credit that my books turn out they way they have.
Heart Bones took 4 initial structural edits before it was accepted for publication by Marshall Cavendish. In the process, the manuscript got trimmed from 150,000 words to just 93,000. I had to kill my favorite character and take out two huge historical events, the 1968 Tet Offensive in Vietnam and September 11 2001. When that was done, my Marshall Cavendish editors Tara Dhar and Mindy Pang put me through 3 additional edits before we sent the proofs to print.

You talk about POV with this book and how people in America who read early copies for review were a bit put off by the book being in 2nd person POV as opposed to 1st person. You found Westerner preferences for 1st person were different than readers in other countries? Can you talk a bit about that?

The global version is written in the 2nd person, as if the narrator is talking to the main character and telling him his own story — “You let yourself forget who you really were. You let yourself forget the promises you’d traded for your ticket out of Vietnam. You did not tell her you were flying cross-country the next week… You kissed her.”
This wasn’t a stumbling block for my beta readers. However, it turns out none of my beta readers were typical main-stream Americans.

My North American readers felt instinctively that the 2nd person “you” was too directive. Most had to make the effort to get through the first two or three chapters. My writing lesson for 2013 was to “listen to my readers”. I took the hint and rewrote everything in 1st person. Here’s an example — “I had witnessed a killing and I had taken a life. Whether I liked it or not, I had stained my hands. I had stepped off the sidelines and joined the war.”
It got a much better reception.
The upshot is there’ll be two versions, one written in 2nd person POV that Marshall Cavendish is publishing for the global market ex-North America and then ta 1st person POV version now making the rounds now at US and Canadian publishing houses.

What’s your next project?

My next project follows one of Heart Bones characters into the Burmese refugee camps on the Thai-Burmese border. Like Heart Bones it will be about a personal struggle to find significance and meaning set against a backdrop of conflicting political alliances. I visited Burma (now Myanmar) early this year and found the country absolutely fascinating. This is a nation that’s been isolated for 60 years and just opening up. While many know of Aung San Suu Kyi’s struggle to bring democracy to the country, not much is known about the travails of the common people and how the transition is affecting them. I want to bring it all alive in a personal human way.
I’m also fooling about with a paranormal detective story centered on Singapore food. I’m not sure where that’s going though.

Where can readers pick up a copy of As The Heart Bones Break or any of your wonderful books?
The global edition of Heart Bones will be available January 2014. You can put in an advance order at any of the suppliers listed on https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18513417-as-the-heart-bones-break?from_search=true
Until we find a publisher for the North American edition, anyone who wants a soft copy for advance reviews can download it FREE at http://www.audreychin.com

18513417 heart bones

Yes! In this case, the early bird catches the worm;)
For the other books, please go to http://www.audreychin.com/books/ to check out suppliers.

Wow, what a treat! Audrey, I know you’re about to set off on another adventure, so thanks for taking the time to visit with us and Safe travels!

Thanks so much for having me visit Clara.

Wow, wasn’t this amazing? and a free gift to boot:) What are your creative impressions after Audrey’s interview?

Book Review: Nine Rubies By Mahru Ghashghaei

 In 1946, Mahru Ghashghaei was born in Ardebil, Iran, somewhere along the Russian Border. The youngest of three daughters, her life was like that of any child with love and appreciation for her Iranian upbringing. The onset of Revolution would bring change to the young girl’s life and to the people of Iran. Marhu’s mother would suffer humiliation and theft from her husband; father to Mahru and her two sisters. As the family struggles from the embarrassment of financial ruin and nearly destitute, their mother must make hard decisions to protect her three young daughters in a male dominated world where women have no voice.

In 1990, Mahru Ghashghaei, a Muslim woman would meet Susan Snyder, a Jewish woman,at a school function both their children attended. Their 20 year friendship would help to unleash secret stories buried since childhood…Stories that would evolve into an inspiring account of women survival, courage and resilience.

Mahru Ghashghaei, the author of Nine Rubies, along with Susan Snyder, co-author, sheds light on how people faced with adversity share commonalities, regardless of cultural differences.  I enjoyed reading this book filled with heartfelt moments, historical modules, passion and purpose. As a book review blogger, I encourage you to visit www.NineRubiesTheBook.Com  to purchase your copy of Nine Rubies today!

Clara54 received complimentary copy of Nine Rubies for review purposes…

An extra bonus for my readers!

Clara54 In Conversation With Mahru Ghashghaei:

Mahru, I want to thank you and Susan as well, for allowing me to review NINE RUBIES for my readers. I enjoyed the book immensely and also got a bit of education in Iranian Culture.

 How long has it been since you’ve been back to your homeland and is that difficult, considering the state of affairs in Iran now?

I haven’t seen my homeland for more than 3 years.  And now I am living where my sons and husband are with me, in the United States.

While reading Nine Rubies, I was struck with how very little laughter there was In your family growing up…was your childhood so structured and strict? And can you elaborate on what’s more important in an Iranian household?

Actually, I had my own world that was sometimes happy and sometimes not.  I was happy in the garden with my flowers. Even though I didn’t have a father, mom replaced him by telling stories and creating a woman’s world where I didn’t miss men.  This was very natural to me.

If strict means that I had discipline, this is true.  Mom guided me to follow the cultural rules such as “don’t laugh loud,” or the rule of “tarof (if you want something, don’t accept immediately – use lots of self control),” and “cover yourself decently.” In many Iranian households, privacy is important, and personal matters are secret.  Also, it is important to show yourself as more than you are, especially financially.  Iranians are proud people.

Mom actually had a very free soul, but in our situation living between two worlds, she often did not want us to appear close to her.  This was confusing and difficult for my self-identity – I didn’t know I belonged.

Why do you think your mother trusted your father by signing over papers that would rob your family of her father’s wealth? Could she have done anything about it and who was there to help her?

My father was devoted to his mission.  The Communist party was called Tudeh, and Tudeh means ‘people.’  As a Tudeh member, he wanted to take resources from wealthy families and distribute them to the poor.

I don’t know the circumstances under which he had mom sign away her wealth. However, at the time she may have felt very secure, or been assured by him that things would be fine.  She may have signed the paper to save her marriage, or maybe she was betrayed.  Or maybe she was convinced that it was right to give the money to the poor.  We just don’t know.

She did have her father for help, but she did this in secret, and hid the paper away – my husband and I saw the document many years later.  Her father probably would have stopped her.

It’s always interesting to look back and think about what decisions you would have made, but decisions are made without the advantage of hindsight.

Tell us about your mother…

My mother was always a very peaceful person, and her strong belief in her mission and that harshness was a good message for her.  Her father taught her that her life was not going to be easy, and she learned the lesson well.  She waited faithfully until the end of her life, knowing that she would be rewarded in the afterlife. 

Through my work, I was able to eventually release her from her servitude.

After my marriage, Khosro and I sent her on many trips to Mecca and other holy places that she wished to go. She had the best time with my children, and I gave her the privileges that she would have had in her father’s home.  She wasn’t ‘grandma’ in my house, she was the house manager.  Whatever rules she made, that was how it was, and she liked this life.  I wanted her to finally have everything she wanted, and I sacrificed for her the way she sacrificed for me when I was young.

At the end of her life, she lived happily in the United States for five years, even though she was quite sick.  Her health was poor, but her mind was peaceful.  She returned to Iran days before her death with peace in her heart and soul.

You spoke of your sisters. How are they and are they in Iran? Your half- brother as well? Have you two ever spoken about your lives as children of the same father?

My sisters are in Iran, and living very full lives with their children and grandchildren.  They are role models – Ashi is a spiritual guide in her community, helping orphan and abused children as a non-certified counselor.  Aki is still very wise – the wisest person in our family  – and a powerful example for all of us.  She competes with her children and grandchildren in using new technology, and with the grace of the Internet, we are in touch every day.

As for my half brother, this is a painful story that requires more than a short answer.  The confusion and shame we felt as a result of our father’s actions was a disaster for us, and we did not continue contact.  With wars around the world, this story is repeated more than can be imagined, and will continue to be a source of pain for many young people as a result of forced separations.  We hope to be advocates for these innocent victims.

Do you think/believe Iran will ever become a democracy? 

Why not?  Iran tasted democracy before the coup in 1953 against Dr. Mossagdeq, and I believe there are many intellectuals in Iran who favor democracy.  Today, many Iranians pay their lives to bring democracy back.

For all of my curious readers, please explain the significane of NINE RUBIES

When my grandfather was on his deathbed, he gave nine rubies to mom, who had lost her only son and was heartbroken.  He promised her if she stayed strong and took good care of her daughters, and didn’t give up on them, she would have nine grandsons.  And she had nine grandsons (and two granddaughters!).  Three of the rubies are mine.

Have you always felt that you wanted to become an advocate for women rights?

I have always felt that I was an advocate for EVERYONE’S rights.  And I know for that is a price to pay.  There are many examples in Nine Rubies, and in the rest of my life.  But it is always worth it to speak out for others.

Khalil Gibran…  why do his words bring you comfort?

I loved him since I was a child, hearing the poems in Farsi and their metaphors for my experiences.  The words helped me understand and process often-difficult situations and relationships.  After I learned English, I loved the poems even more, because they helped me understand my new language, and the new language helped me understand the poems more deeply. The comfort is because he speaks to my heart and calms it.

On a lighter note: Do you watch Reality Television’s Shahs Of Sunsets airing on VH1?

Yes.  I watch it because it reminds me of the time before the revolution in Iran, when a very small group of royal and privileged Iranians lived that way, only more gloriously.  Their behavior, like this group in California, was very flamboyant, and was harmful to the overall Persian culture. This group became an example that the clergy could hold up as being destructive to the culture, thereby pushing toward the revolution.

What do you think about how the Persian people are represented to American viewers?    

Definitely, Persian people are not well represented in Shahs of Sunset.  Persians in America have the same range of lives as all Americans.  Persians are scholars, business people, teachers, artists, hard working people, mothers, fathers, children, politicians, doctors – dealing with the daily issues of life. Iranians have a positive effect on the American culture, using our research and knowledge to improve our surrounding society, and are members of families, communities, and the country.

Also, as other Americans, there are a wealthy few, some of whom seek fame rather than positive influence and contribution to society.  I know that most Americans are aware of the difference between a reality show that flaunts the riches of a few, and the real and productive lives of the majority…

What do you think of this interview? Will you purchase a copy of NINE RUBIES?

Clara54 Talks With Author Terri Spahr Nelson


Thanks so much Terri for bringing my readers up to date on your latest, Reflections from Women Book Series. Before we start, can you give us a brief bio of Terri S. Nelson?

Terri Spahr Nelson is the editor of the Reflections from Women series and author of several publications. She also developed the “Women’s Collaborative Empowerment Model” for writing and publishing—the foundation of the Reflections from Women series. The books are published by Sugati Publications where a percentage of the profits go to agencies serving women and girls. Terri is also a national consultant, speaker, published author and psychotherapist. She has provided numerous trainings and retreats for women and for helping professionals. Additionally, she has been interviewed by national and international media including: CNN, NPR, 60 Minutes, BBC, Al Jazeera, Asia Times, Newsweek, The Village Voice, and others. Terri also maintains a private psychotherapy practice and provides consultations and trainings for national and international programs. In addition to her professional contributions, Terri has been married for 31 years, has an adult son, and has been a community activist and volunteer for peace, justice and healthcare issues. For information about the “Reflections from Women” series, go to www.reflectionsfromwomen.com or Sugati Publications at www.sugatipublications.com.

2.  I was so happy to have my essay selected for inclusion in Reflections from Women on Life’s Turning Points, your first book in the Reflection Series and to review your second book, The Moment I Knew, for my readers at Clara54.  Can you tell us how your Book Tour for these books unfolded?

Thank you, Clara. We were thrilled to include your essay in our first book.  Your story about your journey of renewal and starting over touched so many women.  I knew that it would be a welcome addition since you  left our readers with a sense of hope about starting over after a challenging course of events.  Your essay spoke volumes about the power of persistence and believing in yourself.

Our book tours in 2010 and 2011 took on two different forms.  We had a traditional tour of visiting sites from coast-to-coast (literally, Washington DC to Washington state!)  We focused our attention on independent book stores and women’s groups.  Many of our visits also involved writing workshops and discussions with emerging authors in our audiences.  Most importantly, I was able to meet and share the stage with several of the authors in our books.  It was wonderful to finally meet some of the authors.  I only wish I was able to stop in every city where our authors’ live.

The second part of our book tour (with book two) was a virtual book tour.  We spent one month sharing our book, the essays and our authors on blogs across the US and some international sites as well.  It was a great experience to meet other bloggers and to provide guest blogs on their sites about topics in our book.  For example, one of our authors who wrote an essay about parenting in our book shared some tips on another blog for their readers.  It was a great collaborative and sharing process.

3. Are you currently accepting stories for your 3rd book in The Reflection Series?

Yes, we are accepting short essays for the next book which is about women and politics.  Our next book is called 51%:  Women and the Future of Politics.  We want to hear from women about what they want, need and expect from our government.  We also want to hear about any recommendations for change that women have about politics or politicians.  This book is all about women’s voices, women’s perspectives, and the differences between men and women when it comes to politics.  We are hoping to appeal to a diverse group of women from across the country so that a range of women’s opinions will be included in the book.

There are three ways to be a part of this next book by May 31, 2012.

  1.  Submit a brief essay for consideration.  Go to our website for details after 4.10.12 at www.womenandpolitics.us
  2. Complete our national survey and give your feedback/comments which may be used in the book:  In English:  https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/USpoliticsandpoliticians

In Spanish:  https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/la_encuesta

  1. Answer our question of the week and like our Face book page in which your comments may be selected for inclusion in the book or to receive a gift copy of the book. Look for us on Facebook at  https://www.facebook.com/pages/51-Women-and-the-Future-of-Politics/289940501070765

4. Explain about the selection process, the book’s title and art selection as well.

As the Editor and coordinator of this project, as with all of our books, it is important to ensure that a diversity of women and their experiences are represented.   That’s part of what makes our books so unique.  We don’t just focus on one perspective or the predominate view.   We want to hear from all women (and in this next book, we want to hear from men too!) We also value feedback from our authors and encourage a collaborative process.  In our Reflections from Women books, the authors were involved and selected the title, the cover photo and the charity recipients from our book profits.  Our authors are so much more than just writers.  They are the heart and soul of our books.

5. Define for us, if you will, your formula for success?

There’s a great quote by Ralph Waldo Emerson about success.  It speaks to me about the true meaning of success—beyond dollars or name recognition.   While it is certainly validating to know that others like your work, what more clearly defines success to me is whether my  work has made a difference—either in the lives of the authors, the readers or, maybe, somehow, in our world. I am hoping our next book will have that kind of impact—perhaps it might affect some change or maybe it will get people talking about the potential of women in the future of politics and our government.

6. Are there other creative pursuits you’d like to share outside of your Reflections from Women Series?

Life is good and busy for me now with the Reflections series, the upcoming book and my consulting work (not to mention the other pursuits outside of work!)  I cannot imagine doing anything other than what I am doing now—except for maybe more time to focus on my own writing.  For now, I love hearing from others and working on a collaborative piece of work.  Our books are like a great chorus—all of the amazing voices come together for quite a show in the end.  I can hardly wait to see the book!

7. How can women interested in contributing their stories find you?

As our business card says:  women and politics.us—we’re on the web, on Facebook, on twitter, and on the move.  Join us and be a part of the movement for change!  You can find us at: www.womenandpolitics.us  or on Facebook by searching 51% women and politics, or at the publisher: www.SugatiPublications.com.  The Reflections website (which includes a list of all of our authors) is:  www.ReflectionsfromWomen.com.  I hope to hear from your readers.  Tell me that Clara sent you!

Email me at tsnelson@womenandpolitics.us

Thank you for inviting me to be on your blog Clara and for sharing the information about our new book with your readers.  If they are not interested in submitting an essay, I hope they will check out our Face book page and answer our question of the week.  This week’s question is:  “What is one change you would like to see occur in politics or the way our government is run?”  I’m looking forward to your response! 

–Terri Spahr Nelson

What an inspiring interview. Terri is an awesome author and woman activist. I hope you all feel inspired by her message and read the book:)


Friday Shoutouts, Updates and Apologies!

Hello to all of my new Clara54, Authentic Woman, Clara54T blog and Twitter followers out there! Don’t think I haven’t noticed ya! and  boy,do I heart you 🙂  For my regular readers, let me offer an apology for holding your interest and not delivering upon the anticipation in regards to a review of SILVER RIGHTS, the memoir of how one African American family in Mississippi during the 60s Civil Rights Era were the first to intergrate white schools ( my friend since 4th grade family) . The review copy was since lost in the mail YIKES! But, another enroute, so the setback has led me to plan B.

Including an interview on Monday with Artisan Jewelry Artist, Wendy Van Camp. Wendy has an interesting story of how she gave up a lucrative career in television to design her own jewelry. You must return on Monday! While you’re waiting & anticipating Wendy’s interview, why not take a peek at some other wonderful happenings in the life of Clara54 these past weeks?

Anne Wayman’s About Freelance Writing  http://www.aboutfreelancewriting.com/2012/02/6-ways-new-writers-can-overcome-fear-write-their-truth-a-guest-post/


Featured Member Post here: http://www.blogher.com/exploring-race-friendships-america

Hope to see you there and will meet you back here on Monday:)

Awesome writing updates? Please share!

An Interview With Talk Show Host Marcus Jones…

Image representing Twitter as depicted in Crun...
Image via CrunchBase

For those who are just getting acquainted with Marcus Jones could you give us a
bit of a background?

Well, I’m definitely living more responsible now. I didn’t always have this
mentality of staying focused on the right purpose. As a young man growing up as a teenager, I was heavily involved in the street life. I didn’t have the proper
support and guidance that I understand today is so necessary. You see, my dad left us when I was 6 years old and even though I had a grandfather and a couple of uncles, they weren’t always around. I learned more and more from those I allowed into my life how to live a destructive lifestyle. Before I knew what was happening, everything began to spiral out of control. Eventually I started believing it was okay to take from others what I wanted without even acknowledging that there could be great consequences. I wasn’t that young man anymore. I had turned into someone I didn’t know and couldn’t even recognize.

Before long I had attempted to rob a drug dealer and was shot 4X in my back and
legs. I was rushed to Northwestern Hospital, and from there I was taken to Cook
County Hospital and from there to Cook County Jail. I spent 2 ½ years there
fighting my case before being sent to Dixon Correctional facility to finish my
sentence of 10 years. I was released in 1999.

 Upon being released I told myself that I could no longer live my life being destructive. I realized that I had to do something with my life. Ultimately, before long I started writing my autobiography entitled “Everyone Has a Story”, in 2004. I finished it in 2007 and published January 2008. Soon after that I started producing and hosting my own talk show in Chicago at CAN TV called “Everyone Has a Story”.My book is solely about me and my talk show is about everyone else.

What lead me to launch Everyone Has a Story?

 What lead me to my talk show “Everyone Has a Story”, is after being interviewed
at CAN TV myself, the host of that program asked me would I be interested in
becoming a producer / host. I thought and prayed about it all that night. I had
just finished with my book and what better way to get my message out while
helping others in the process. It was an even bigger vision than I had for
myself in personal accomplishments at the time. I was glad to be able to show my
children by example that they can do anything they put their hearts and minds
into. So I took a class and got certified to be a producer / host at CAN TV and
have been doing this since 2008.
What are some of the setbacks that you had to overcome in seeing your vision to fruition?
Oh, I’ve had a lot of setbacks in seeing my vision come to fruition. One was the
fact that I didn’t know a thing about being a host or a producer. I had to learn
how to sit up straight in my posture, get my speaking together, practice my
format outline, become more engaged with the guests, get and process materials
from guests and last but not least, find ways of being comfortable in front of
the cameras.
I realized one important key piece of information in any person’s
life is that you must allow others to help you through the process of becoming
whatever you want to become in life because for me and probably many others, ego and pride can sometimes get in the way. In the beginning, I felt as though I
didn’t need anyone’s help.
 Another setback, which was probably my biggest, that I had to get over quickly is what people thought about me because I’m a paraplegic (in a wheelchair). I had a lot of physical challenges. I had to learn to manage what finances I do have and receive wisely while saving at the same time.
How has the show been received thus far?
My talk show “Everyone Has a Story”, has been getting great reviews from
everyone in the community, as well as my friends and family.
For folks wanting to take a seat next to you to tell their stories, how do you
decide which ones to bring forward?
Well, there are several ways I decide on guests for my talk show. One of my most
significant tools that I use is my listening skills, see I consider myself to a
good listener so while I’m out and about wherever I am, I pay attention to
people. I talk to people and it doesn’t matter where I am, it can be the CTA
train or the Grocery store. I scout at events and different social websites like
Facebook, Twitter and Linkedin. Then I do my research on backgrounds and having
extensive conversations with them while communicating with them via phone or
email to decide whether we want to take it to the next level.
Do you have a staff or is this work of solepreneurship?
I have a staff of three, director, camera man and a teleprompter. I could never
do it by myself in this profession you need help and now I’m getting more people
offering their help though I’m always open for more people with like minds to
help make my vision even better.
How can people interested in your show get connected?
People interested in my program that want to get connected should follow me on
Twitter and LinkedIn or Facebook where I post videos and a schedule of my
program. The can also get in touch with me directly through my e-mail
marcus_jones1031@yahoo.com or everyonehasastory@yahoo.com.
Anything you would have done differently now that you’ve established your purpose?
I can’t really say that I would do anything different other than getting started
sooner than later in my life accomplishing things and being more responsible. I
like to think that I would have been more established and certainly free from
the trouble I experienced, but I know for sure that had things been different I
just might not be talking with you right now about this situation would I. So
when I look at the big picture, I am grateful to have met you and to be sharing
my story.

In Preparation For Tennille White & BET’s Rip The Runway Fashion Blast Off!


Good Saturday Morning Readers! Good News that couldn’t wait:) Chicago’s Fiery Fashion Designer & friend in my head, Tennille White will be granting clara54 a first feature interview to coincide with her BET Rip The Runway  fashion celebration! If you fashionistas out there have questions you’d like me to ask Tennille, hit me up with an email…

BET’s RIP the Runway 2011 Unites Fierce Fashion with Today’s Hottest Music

Featuring Chicago Designer Tennille White and Rachel Roy

New York, NY  March 7, 2011—BET’s annual fashion celebration, RIP the Runway, promises to be the hottest yet when True Blood and Desperate Housewives star Mechad Brooks joins forces with Victoria’s Secret supermodel Selita Ebanks to host the annual mashup of music, style and fashion.  This year’s RIP the Runway will feature the collections of 6 celebrity designers including Tennille White and Rachel Roy along with dynamic performances by musical heavyweights Wiz Khalifa, Keri Hilson, Fabolous, Lloyd, Melanie Fiona, Miguel and New Boyz.

Chicago fashion designer Tennille White is back for a 2nd year on cable’s #1 fashion themed telecast.  Debuting her Spring/Summer 2011 Collection alongside designer Rachel Roy was a monumental experience for this proud Chicagoan. While White has already set Chicago’s fashion industry on fire, she is also one of the best up-and-coming young designers nationwide, with a knack for creating luxury contemporary apparel for women with curves.  Her designs are timeless and her supremely wearable silhouettes with ultra modern detail, strike a fine balance between simplicity and intricacy.

BET has once again teamed up with Cossette Productions, the famed producers of the GRAMMY AwardsRIP the Runway premieres on BET Monday, March 21st at 9 PM CST.

For Additional Information:
Tennille White


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Clara54 Sharing The Grapevine…

Perhaps you’ve heard, or, maybe you’re just hearing it here! I know it seems of late that clara54 is missing in action-NOT! What I have been doing is tirelessly promoting my popular blog for women @ wisewoman2.wordpress.com these last few days & it’s been a whirlwind of good vibrations! People across the blogosphere have sent positive kudos and heaps of continued growth & awareness for what I’m attempting to do as a woman writing from life experiences. It’s all so cool and I’m so appreciating the coolnesss of community both online and off.

Ok, so now that you know what clara54 has been about lately, let me give you all a heads up on what other folks want me to relay to all of my interested readers. First off, I received an email from a great guy & former Chicagoian who is also a hopeless romantic. Why, is he described thus, you ask? I’ll tell you. Mark Anthony Hall’s new EBook is just released for your buying/viewing pleasure at http://www.markanthonyromance.com. The book- Collection Of Secret Romantic Memos And Private Love Letters- Straight From The Heart is guaranteed to set your heart all a flutter as it reveal secrets of love from the love guru himself.

On a Governmental note: Received word from Michelle & Dan Duster- the great/great grandchildren of Ms. Ida B. Wells on the Washington, DC. Tribute & the formal unvealing and dedication of the Senate Russell Building, Room 432, on April 15… This is of particular significance due to the buildings’ use in congressional hearing on lynching & anti-lynching laws. Mr. Dan Duster will travel to Washington for the honor. Mr. Robert L. Johnson will also be so honored. Michelle Duster sent along an itinerary of speaking engagements for her works, Ida in Her Own Words(2008) and Ida From Abroad (2010) you can visit @ http://www.mldwrites.com/upcomingEvents.html for further info.

Tracy Koretsky interview will be for your viewing pleasure shortly YAY! I cannot wait for you to read her revealing interview.she speaks about her book of poetry/prose EVEN BEFORE MY OWN NAME and her latest award winning, ROPELESS. I was totally blown away from reading Even Before My Own Name…I appreciate her willingness to take time from her busy schedule to comply with my request…

Ok, folks that’s enough for now, but, remember just how much clara54 appreciates you 🙂

Clara54 Interviews Beverly Peterson

At the sake of sounding redundant, let me say how thrilled I am that clara54 has reached a year’s milestone on June 3rd & we celebrated her 1 year anniversary … the thrill comes also in the folks I’ve met through networking and just plain being a part of the writing community in every genre imaginable in the blogosphere. Beverly Peterson is a person I’m especially happy to have you meet here because she is doing something that we all should commend her for. A filmmaker dealing with important issues, Beverly Peterson:

C54. Welcome Beverly, please tell our readers a bit about you & your work.

BP . I actually have a pretty crazy background. I used to own several seafood restaurants on the upper east side of Manhattan. We had fishing boats & traveled extensively. Then, in the early 90s I gave all that up and started making documentaries. Financially the decision was a nosedive but artistically it’s been amazing. It’s not unusual for my films to come out of my personal experience and what it is to be living at a certain moment in history.

The Andre Show is a story of a young boy with AIDS my husband and I adopted shortly before he died during this global medical epidemic. 71 West Broadway: Ground Zero, NY is the street address of our loft located just 2 blocks north of the World Trade Center. I began filming that story from our doorstep during the terrorist attacks. The film follows the impact on us as well as the immigrant small busines owners on our block as we struggled to move back home after the evacuation of  the ‘Red Zone.’

Invisible Revolution captured a revealing interview of a young racist, Ben Smith, just 2 weeks prior to the deadly shooting rampage he went on in Indiana and Illinois before shooting himself. Among the lives stolen was the much beloved Ricky Birdsong, the former Northwest University basketball star.

C54. What motivated you to do There Oughta Be A Law?

BP. I knew about the torment of dealing with an abusive boss first hand. It happens with amazing speed. I went down for the count in less than 6 months. Suddenly your life is turned upside down financially & emotionally, your health is in jeopardy and you are filled with this incredible shame. I started having severe chest pains and went for a check up & the EKG tech was concerned because the reading was abnormal. The outcome? Stress! my doctor sat me down and said , “You were fine before you started working for this woman. You need to find another job.” She was right. I quit my job and my health is fine. The great thing about having the power to make a film is that it gives you a megaphone to shout aloud the dirty little secrets that those abusing powers don’t want told…

Clara54 has more to come with Beverly Peterson. In the meantime why not check out There Oughta Be A Law @  http://NojobIsWorthThis.com and on Youtube.com/user there oughta be a law.com to view this film.