Tag Archives: New York City

For Readers Who Want To Wine And Dine With Chef Rocco DiSpirito

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In celebration of Rocco’s Dinner Party, Chef Rocco DiSpirito is launching the “Watch & Win” contest allowing fans and viewers the opportunity to win a trip for two to meet him and assist him at the October 2011 Food and wine Festival!

Prizing includes round-trip airfare for two, a two-night stay at an NYC hotel along with free tickets to the festival! Viewers can tune-in to Rocco’s Dinner Party Wednesdays, 10PM ET/9C on Bravo to answer three weekly questions pertaining to each week’s episode!  After answering all three questions, submit your information to be entered to win.  Enter every week to increase your chances of winning – every weekly submission counts as another entry!

The next “Watch & Win” is this Wednesday, June 29nd airing at 10PM/9c on Bravo!  

Please visit http://on.fb.me/RoccoWatchandWin for more info.

Another Creative “Fry” Day For Clara54!

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I know, somedays feel like a “fry’ day as opposed to a fierce writing day! But, this morning I’m going to share a brief summary of “whatcha doing clara54?”  for my readers since I’ve been missing in action-sort of. I managed to take a week’s sabbatical from writing  online so that I could concentrate on offline projects…It didn’t work out quite the way I’d envisioned it. You see the laptop kept calling my name and the computer in my reading room, beckoned from afar. I  got up every morning of that week to punch a clock at my day job. Came home (dragged myself, actually) only to open up my computer to read & respond to emails!

Some sabbatical huh? The good news? I again landed on the homepage of Blogher.Com/Life Well Lived. Got paid as contributing writer. Received confirmations and published “authentic stories” from women writers across the State who will be participating in my new self-hosted Authentic Woman Site! I’ve chosen the design colors & domain name … just waiting for the finishing touches. 

Recently, I received a positive response from a local Chicago Magazine on issues pertaining to aging for their Health Watch page. The article is on the ready for the green light from the magazine’s publisher. The interview with Chicago fashion designer Tennille White garnered a huge readership for my blogs and landed on the pages of  New York City Online Today. I was very happy about that. I’m thrilled beyond reason to report that all 3 of my blogs are doing well! It makes this writing stuff worthwhile.  So, as of today, fellow creativies, Clara54 is back in the saddle again. Riding the highs & lows of being a  nurse, freelance writer, celebrity, and book review blogger!

Okay fellow creatives, how’s your “Fry” day and “Whatcha Doing?”

Tennille White Talks Spring Fashion for 2011


Okay, so here’s the deal. I’ve been excited to bring you fashion news from none other than Chicago’s very own  fashionista and designer, Ms. Tennille White. Last year, Tennille made a splash in New York as her designs were cause for audience standing ovations in BET’s Rip The Runway. Tennille White is back for a 2nd consecutive year, showcasing her Spring 2011 collection for the full figured woman, ranging in sizes 8-14.

The designs are described as bolder, brighter and better . Tennille will be joined by designers, Rachel Roy and LaQuan Smith in this year’s extravaganza!  After talking with Tennille for the 3rd time about her designs, this doesn’t really seem like an interview, so, here’s clara54 on the dish with Tennille White!

c54- Hey Tennille, what’s going on? How’s the business going?

Tw-Oh my gosh, we’ve been selling, selling, selling! After the show premiered last year, Clara, the sales have been through the roof. The show re-aired I don’t know how many times. It’s been such a blessings. In a weird way. I mean, I didn’t even know the show re-aired. It’s been such a blessing. It’s been just crazy!

c54- I’m sure. You know I sent you an email asking what the heck was going on~laughter- so are you showing  many new designs for this year’s line?

Tw- Oh, of course! I mean, we’ll be showing our Spring 2011 collection & it is so awesome! So full of bright colors. Every single piece is easy to wear, figure flattering and reflective of your personality. My gosh, the line looks like a bag of skittles. It’s a lot of color working. I mean, yea, Spring is about color anyway, that’s a huge trend and it’s so amazing because I designed all of this stuff early spring of last year. To see the pieces on the stage-the colors are like orange,pink, reds, greens and linen whites-we love our linen which come in a variety of colors.

c54- Sounds awesome. Now you know last year’s Rip The Runway was huge! So, are you just a bit concerned about this year and are you constantly trying to top yourself?

Tw- Oh, I mean, if I was a hit last year? I don’t know what it’s going to be this year because I’m being honest, Clara, I never been this passionate about a line before. I don’t know what it is-I am in awe. Honestly, God has put such a calm-such a energy in my body- where there’s not even a tenth of a 100% of a concern. You know when you top yourself? It’s almost like, what are you going to do next is the concern- not about now,you know what I’m saying?

c54- Yes, definitely. To be clear, I want you to tell my readers where they can find your designs.

Tw- I want everyone to go to my website. We get a lot of people that want like, “Can we fly you?” “We’re gonna have a little party” blah, blah, blah and I love to meet with the customers. I’m so passionate about their thoughts, issues; but, I want people to go to the website at www.TennilleWhiteChicago.com

We’re relaunching the website to coincide with the airing of BET’s Rip The Runway- airing 9pm Monday, March 21st. The line will be available as well. So, I’m hoping that of course, everyone goes and obviously look at the show first.

c54- I know that you mentor young people who want to become fashion designers- any lessons you want to impart?

Tw- You have to really be… when you get people to work with you and work for you, you have to really be on the same page. If their motives are any different than yours, it’s not going to work. I can now tell other people and be able to help someone else, especially younger people. Keeping them from spending and giving all that they have to someone is more valuable than that money could ever be.

I’m grateful that God gave me that experience and I’ve learned from it. “I’m over it. I’ve let go and let God”  (Tennille is talking about a bad experience she had placing her monies & trust with someone she hired as a recommended representative for her fashion line, only to lose lots of money and netted “0” sales- the valuable lesson)

c54- Tennillle White Fashions are seemingly everywhere. Would you ever move your business from Chicago to New York?

Tw- I’d never say what I would never do. I have no intentions, that’s not in my plan. Like if I met some sexy man in New York!  hey, it is what it is! (laughter) but I love my city. My family is here, my business is here.

c54- Thanks for giving me this feature interview Tennille. I know it’s only going to get bigger and better from here.

Tw- I’m claiming it Clara and I have the best feeling about it!

I always enjoy talking with Chicago’s very own Tennille White. Make sure you guys tune in to BET’s Rip The Runway,Monday March 21st at 9pm Est and 10pm Cst on the BET network.

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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Exciting News In Music,Theater,Film And Poetry!

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I’m back with loads of goodies & happenings from creatives from around the way, people! I recently tweeted how I have an onslaught of emails waiting for my attention. In many of those emails, folks are giving heads up on what’s happening in their world and want the world at large to take notice. As always, clara54 is paying it forward…However, due to the large volume of email announcements, I’ve formulated a plan to assist my endeavors & lessen the load of getting the word out on my end. Later, about that:) First up:

The Black Ensemble Theater will break ground on their new Black Ensemble Theater Cultural Center on Friday, September 10 @ 2pm. The new center will be located on 4440 N. Clark Street, Chicago, Illinois. There will be plenty of dignitaries on board, including the Mayor, the Governor, Aldermen. Remarks from the founder and executive director, Jackie Taylor marking her greatest achievement. Actor Harry Lennix will chair the ceremony. Along with this post, clara54 were to bring an interview with Ms. Taylor, but, it’s still in the works. (I know how busy you are Ms. Taylor with all of the excitement and stuff, so clara54 is still up for a post ground breaking interview?)  Thanks for the gorgeous pictures of the theater as well! please visit www.blackensembletheater.org for more info.

MAYNE Stage launches live weekly and offers up a 60 minute program showcasing a variety of acclaimed classical soloists and top ensembles from the Chicago area that will be performing for live audiences and radio listeners @ 98.7 WFMT Broadcasts premiering Sunday mornings starting Sept. 19th. This live weekly broadcast is a dream come true for all classical music lovers. There are a listing of shows as well, but, space is limited, so for further information call 773-381-4554, or visit www.Mayne Stage.com

Reggie Bullock, the producer of “A War For Your Soul” has been traveling the world with his astounding documentary. Well, he’s released the sequel to the original film, called “A War For Your Soul: IMAGE CONTROL. Reggie has kindly sent along a link for a free viewing at www.WarForYourSoul.com. I warn you, parts of the film offer food for thought and digestion .

This announcement from  friend & fellow writer from Chicago on the release of his second music video of the “Four Tributes” dedicated in memory of September 11, 2001. Mark Anthony Hall’s contribution to the people of New York & the world will be available for the public to view and share on youtube.com on September 11. The four songs are : “We Love America-The Anthem Of The New Millennium, NYC IS OB (New York City Is Our Brother) Hey Soldier, Ground Zero-Tomb Of  Heroes.”  Contact Mark AnthonyRomance@gmail.com

Fall is upon us! There are so many classes/readings and so forth in the works for enriching your life and enhancing your area of creative expertise. John Amen sent along a quick note about his September readings. I won’t list them all, but starting Sept. 11, Reading in Hockessin, DE @ 5p. 2nd Saturday Poets; Over Coffee Cafe, 144 Lantana Dr, Hoskessin, DE,19707 .  September 13, a reading in New York, Ny @ 7pm. Saturn Series;213 Second Avenue (NW corner of 13th St and 2nd Ave) New York, Ny 10003. John is quite busy this month. To see his scheduled readings go to www.johnamen.com. (Aside: yes, John, we might meet up @ one of your readings, way cool)

For those creatives who haven’t taken advantage of the online classes on every writing level known to man, there’s also offline classes to consider perhaps closer to home.  Ellace Publishing  has teamed up with South Suburban College to offer 2 Continuing Education classes for writers. The first is on Becoming a Published Author. Topics include Preparing a Manuscript, Finding a literary agent, Commerical Publishing, Self Publishing, and Marketing! The college is located at 15800 S State Street in South Holland, Il. To register, call 708-596-2000 EXT 2231.

The second class is “Surviving a Layoff” where the topics include managing emotions, reviewing cash flow, identifying resources, and tips that will assist the more seasoned writer. sounds good? Uh, Yea!

Ok, sooo, because I’ve been caught up in the trenches of late & have a backlog of stuff still to sort through (don’t we all?) I’ve decided that clara54 needs balance with posting all of this good stuff coming from creatives out there. Don’t get me wrong, I love being a sort of one woman PR system, but, I’m working on ways to keep the flow of my work on board with all of yours. That’s why I’m adding an  email address specifically geared for all correspondence pertaining to creatives who would like clara54 to help get the word out about their awesome works! So feel free to email clara54freelance@att.net when you have news/interviews/products to share.

Happy Fall- All!

My Friend Molly…

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What a beautiful morning guys! I’m writing today to talk about Molly. Yea. you’re probably thinking, how grand, it’s not about clara54 right now:) Well, you’d be wrong, sorta.  Molly is an RN with two young children and a husband to boot. Yep, men need to be cuddled as well. I digress, but, the point here  is, Molly is juggling a stressful job, being a wife & mother, and going back to school to get her Masters Degree.

Molly, I find, has a secret. A secret much like I had when I was a few years younger than she is now. Friday, Molly asked if I’d take a look at a couple of stories she’d written online at FanStory.Com. I said “sure I will” and I did. As a creative who has become quite adapt at scouting out and recognizing the “gift” in others, let me tell you, Molly has the creative writer’s gift!

The story is about Molly’s grandmother, written in descriptive voice in her native Johannesburg.Right off the bat, I’m haunted about how dark it gets at night in Africa. I become caught up in the  young girl’s fear. I’m wondering how long the next bus takes, reading how Molly misses the bus that takes her to her grandmother’s house way in the desolute countryside. Then it rains, adding to Molly’s fears because she’d never been out & alone so late before.   

When the frightened young woman exists the bus to walk the remainder of the way, she is crying and find herself doing something she’d never done before; Praying…praying for her grandmother. The moment in the story comes when Molly hears her grandmother calling out her name. Her grandmother had come to meet her because she knew Molly would be afraid…just like a grandma! 

I never got to read the second story from Molly due to time constraints, but I definitely will. She tells me she’s working on a manuscript, only 200 pages so far. I think about all of the stuff that sometimes take priority over our creativity and I can relate. But, I also know that when I give Molly my thoughts on her work? She already knows of the writer within. At some point, she’ll have to open herself to that…

Ok, so, next week, it’s all about me:) There’s stuff I’m working on and lot’s of stuff coming your way as well. How about you guys? Met any great, clueless creatives out there?