Tag Archives: poems

Creative Advocacy-Are You In?


“My parents used to say that I came into the world, screaming and hollering. I’d like to think that I was merely protesting!” Clara Freeman

Happy Monday! It’s a beautiful day every day when we can open our eyes and say ‘Thank You’ lord for another day that allows us to follow our dreams, speak our truths and live a life of purpose and possibility. I believe the universe hears and receives your offerings. So, I begin my mornings thanking God for loving me, guiding me and carrying me through the storms.

I awakened from a fitful sleep in 2008, determined to create a platform for women, that would champion the voice of the “underdog” and empower the power that we possess. I’d always served in some capacity of leadership, whether advocating for children in their communities and schools or recording the stories and voices of the elderly, who felt forgotten in the anesthetic environment of the hospital where I worked as a young nurse. My belief is that I’m being my best self when my work helps others and leads to positive change in some small space of their living. I’m happy with the work that I’ve done over the years and the achievements I’ve accomplished in the process, but I know there’s much I still need to do.

There are plans to revisit my memoirs. I’ve attempted the process many times.:) I am focused on championing the voice of the “voiceless”, promoting Unleash Your Pearls Empowering Women’s Voices to women and the men that love and support them. I concede that my time, like yours, is valuable and therefore, I need to concentrate on doing valuable work.

My purpose mission today is to ensure that Unleash Your Pearls lands in the hands and on the hearts and minds of every woman in the nation who seek to unleash their authentic voice and live a more authentically empowered life.

I humbly ask your assistance in this endeavor. Email unleashyourpearls@yahoo.com to purchase a signed author’s copy for yourself and for all the warrior women in your life.

I will be taking an indefinite leave from my blogs in order to do work that makes a difference in my life and the lives of others. I’ve been asked to do more radio talk and recently published in The Book Of Hope Anthology by Krysta Gibson http://newspiritjournalonline.com/the-book-of-hope.

My personal narrative on life during Jim Crow was among the 88 contributors chosen from over 200 submissions for inclusion in the upcoming release anthology,Black Lives Have Always Mattered, a collection of essays, poems and personal narratives, edited by one of the original poets, Mr. Abiodun Oyewole and published by GABRIELLE DAVID of 2LeafPress.

Preorders are available at http://2leafpress.org/online/black-lives-always-mattered-contributors/

http://bit.ly/blham-amazon).

Whatever mode of creativity you are in, in regards to walking in your authentic truths, I would just say, do you. Go with your heart’s calling. Do the work you feel compelled to do and make it matter, not only to yourself, but to others that need to hear, see and feel your flow…

Peace and Summertime Blessings!

A 2015 Master Plan And Writing Challenge


Happy New Year 2015, everyone! I don’t know about you, but when I sit down to work on my book, I don’t like it to feel like “Work!” To combat “the faltering writer syndrome” a term I coined to describe those natural-born, astute and studied writers who become bombed out and intimidated by the keyboard, while an oftentimes, elusive muse is working havoc with their creative brain cells, begging for release. How taxing is it to feel the need/desire to bring to life what your imagination is feeding into your subconscious receptor in preparation for your readers to enjoy and marvel from, when you’re feeling some other type of way?

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I’ve decided that I’m going to do something slightly off the grid in 2015 with my writing technique to make work fun, enjoyable and joyful. I’m focused on bringing to fruition the vision of myself heaving a sigh of relief after I’ve written the sweetest words every writer strives for- ” the end.”

So, what is my master “writer” plan for the New Year? I’ve decided to honor my craft and cooperate with my need to create…

I’m going to write. I’m going to read, I’m going to participate in writing exercises. I’m going to write love poems, poems of consciousness and awareness. I’m going to sing my lyrics in the shower and pen more lyrics to enter into songwriting competitions. I’m going to write monologues for one-woman shows. I’m going to accept requests from other writers to critique their work. I’m going to take notes and observe, I’m going to enjoy editing:)

I’m going to share good writing news and disappointing writing news. I’m going to shine in this New Year! I invite you to take up my creative challenge to unleash the writer in you and share on the blog with us what you’re going to do differently or more of, to see your writer dreams reach greater heights!

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A few contests to get your cold weather writing juices stirring:

http://www.freelancewriting.com/writingcontests/011515-yemassee-writing-prizes.php http://www.bluelobsterbookco.com/open-for-early-2015-submissions/

A Poet on Publishing by Joy Dekok


Happy Friday to all readers,writers, authors and critics! I know you’re out there and gosh, where would creatives be if we didn’t have you to make us better, instead of bitter, when it comes to honing our craft?

Today, guest author and poet Joy Dekok, will share insights on the ins and outs of writing poetry, including how poets feel about sending their gems out into a critical/opinionated world. Plus, Joy shares a poem with us!

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We write poetry and hide it – because it’s too personal or too political or too religious and we just don’t talk about those things. Which is peculiar since I was raised in the sixties and seventies and everyone, including the adults in my life, were talking about everything that was once taboo. And today, almost anything is acceptable.
Maybe with the exception of our poetry. The words that form in our souls.
Sometimes we hide the poetry so deep we forget it’s there – in our souls longing for release. Others of us might say we like to read poetry, or we might whisper to someone that we even write a little bit of it, but call ourselves poets? No way. And share it? Never. Publish it? Are you kidding me? We feel an anger driven fear when anyone mentions it certain they just do not get it.

But I do.
Sharing our poetry in pubic is like holding out our heart in one hand and our soul in the other. To the world. Where we might be rejected, ridiculed, or reviled.
I get that.
But still.

In the cacophony of this world, so full of war, hate, and chaos, what if your words have the power to help or heal even one heart? What if your words not only matter, what if they were given to you to make a difference?
Idealistic? Yes. Because sometimes people need us to reach beyond the practical to the passionate. That’s what poets do. It’s part of our calling.
Like many poets, I struggle with sharing my poetry. So much so, that I did what we do – I wrote a poem about it. As I wrote it I was sure I wouldn’t share it. Then I did. Because even though is long and different, it matters. So do yours.

I wish I could but I just can’t.
Or maybe it’s more like I just shant!

Publish my poetry – are you kidding me?
Putting it out there for others to read?

Give the world a glimpse into my heart?
Let them criticize my soul’s art?

Besides, nobody’s publishing poetry these days
It’s an endless, relentless rejection maze.

Why should I put myself out there?
Do you really think anyone else will care?

What would my words look like on the printed page,
My faith, my dreams and even my rage?

Although I live and walk in the Light,
My poems reveal my heart’s darkest nights.

Would anyone read something written by me?
I think that I’ll just let it be.

Unpublished is the way to go,
I’ll avoid this public talent show.

Tucked in a file drawer where no one can see
Is the best place my poem can be.

Help someone else I heard you say,
So why don’t you blaze the way?

You burned up your words a long time ago,
And left a pile of ashes and a bit of after-glow.

Oh – you’ve written more since then?
Have you shared them? Where and When?

This sounds so easy for you.
So what do you think I should do?

It’s not up to you to decide?
Then I think I prefer to stay and hide.

Do you believe my poems really matter?
Unkindness might cause my heart to shatter.

I’m not sure that I can take the chance,
My words might sing but can they dance?

I know I won’t know until I try,
But the effort might cause the words to die.

Again I hear you say the choice is mine,
And that either way I’ll be just fine.

You want me to listen to my inner voice –
I’m a poet Joy – I have no other choice.

That voice speaks to me day and night,
Delivering words I’m compelled to write.

But publish them might be too much,
I might not even have the real touch.

I’m not sure I can afford the cost –
I’m not ready to let my words get tossed,

You know the ways of publication,
I won’t be able to stand the humiliation,

I know rejection waits for me
I cannot do that – don’t you see?

These words are the breath of my soul,
Publishing has never been the goal.

And yet I have to agree with you –
I want to write and be read too.

How will I balance these opposing thoughts?
And what will be the final cost?

I feel a transition moving in,
And don’t know exactly how to begin.

Are you ever so scared your soul seems to shake?
This is a risk I’m not sure I can take. . .

The risk I mean is the one where
I hide my poems and refuse to share.

Where I keep the words in a hidden place
and refuse to give them a public space.

There’s one more thing I have to know
Before I release my words for show. . .

Will you share this poem with anyone?
Writing like you’re me must have been fun.

Sharing your poetry is setting beauty free to invade the hearts and minds of those who read it. What will you do with yours?

Bio:
Joy started writing as a little girl. She carries a large purse so she can take her journal and an assortment of pens with her in case a moment to jot comes along.
Joy and her husband live on thirty-five acres of woods and field in Minnesota between Rochester and Pine Island. She’s been married to Jon for thirty-plus years. They enjoy their many nieces and nephews. Their dogs, Sophie and Tucker, keep them company when they explore the land riding their John Deere Gator or while watching the many birds that visit their feeders. Joy enjoys time with her family, holding hands with her husband, lunch with friends, hot coffee, reading, bird watching, personal Bible study, and amateur photography.
She has nine books in print and including her first general audience (suspense) novel (the first in The Northern Lights Series) featuring main character, Olivia Morgan.
Faith is a vital part of Joy’s life. When she was sixteen, Joy asked God to find her and He did. Although most of her books fit the Christian market, Between the Lies is where Joy proves she is a Christian who writes rather than a Christian writer.

www.joydekok.com
http://facebook.com/joy.dekok
https://twitter.com/JoyEDeKok

http://www.amazon.com/Poetry-Touch-World-Your-Soul-ebook/dp/B005SVX710/ref=sr_1_7?ie=UTF8&qid=1409324348&sr=8-7&keywords=joy+dekok

What a treat:) Did you guys enjoy this post and extra something for poetry lovers? Please share your thoughts.

Works of Local Chicago Authors- Black History Month Showcase


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Happy Friday visionaries! What better way to celebrate Black History Month than by introducing my readers (you guys):) to some of Chicago’s very own women authors and History makers in the making? First of all let me also remind everyone that February is also Women History, Chinese New Year and the opening of The Olympic Games! There’s so many worthy and historical causes happening during the month of February and as a woman and African-American, I chose to pay tribute to those past visionaries by sharing works of deserving folks right here in Chicago.

Capture yvonne book

Yvonne Randle and Evette Collins are two charismatic authors who met as members of the Hurston-Hughes Writing Ministry. The two women teamed up to pen their inspirational and self-improvement relationship book, “The Secret to Creating Loving Relationships.” To pick up a copy visit the website at www.24-karatlove.homestead.com

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Ms. Marcie Hill is a favorite among the Chicago elite group of writers and authors and is highly regarded in Social Media. Her latest book for writers and bloggers that is touted to become an educational resource for schools, libraries and other businesses, is “62 Blog Posts to Overcome Blogger’s Block”. Visit amazon.com to pick up your Kindle edition http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00D9Q1R4A

47-91-home evelyn

Evelyn Cogdell is one of my favorite local authors. She modestly pens Romance Novels that sizzles with a Christian theme of what true love between the sheets really looks likes. A great interviewer, Evelyn latest interview is with Author and Playwright Crystal Rhodes. Read it here: http://voices.yahoo.com/renowned-playwright-succeeds-as-author-12524038.html

No, I don’t have another book at the moment, but while you’re waiting 🙂 you can read my latest poem here -http://voices.yahoo.com/a-matter-perception-12521027.html

Finally and believe me I didn’t realize how many great writers I knew, right here in Chicago! Can you imagine those I don’t? Anyway, up last are four women authors (diversity!) consisting of Michelle Duster, great-granddaughter of Ida B. Wells, Cynthea Liu, Jen Cullerton Johnson and Trina Satira who formed MuseWrite by and for women of change. Their anthology in honor of First Lady Michelle Obama is called First Lady Depiction and due out in mid February. One of my poems, “Brown Girl Challenge” was chosen for inclusion. You can visit their website here- www.musewrite.com

This is a peek into some of what The Windy City have to offer by way of literary contributions. Please support these wonderful authors and feel free to share input on creatives in your city that you feel people really should know. Enjoy your weekend!

Snippits, Views, And Announcements…


Hi all! I’ve been sitting on a few items of interest and wanted to get them in for you before I’m taken over by exhaustion from returning to my day job 😦 Yep, I’m welcomed back into the folds of nursing… It was truly business as usual and I’m knowing my energy level is in for a beat down. Anyho, some emails detailing appearances/readings & so forth have been lying in wait for clara54’s attention, so hoping those of you who can make the events let the rest of us know how great they were?

An invitation from The Vilcek Foundation in New York for the grand opening & reception of Kai Duc Luong (Chicago Filmmaker) newest showing of “Circumplex” on friday October 2nd. The exhibition is from 8pm to 11pm. If you’re in New York, or just a fan of this rising filmmaker’s work, RSVP to info@Vilcek.Org or call 212-472-2500-Congrats Kai!

Closer to home(Chicago) Dr.Gary Namie, founder of the Workplace Bullying Institute will be in Kankakee, Illinois on October 9th, along with Ms. Carrie Clark, co-coordinator of Illinois Healthy Workplace Advocates (HWA) to speak on workplace bullying.The event will take place at The Hilton Garden Inn. Registration info can be obtained by calling 815-932-4444. For any employee who is having “issues” in the workplace bordering on bullying, this event is highly recommended. As Carrie says, “work don’t hurt!”

John Amen, editor & founder of The Pedestal Magazine has published another book of poems, At The Threshold Of ALCHEMY,to be released by Presa Press October 1st. October readings will be on the West Coast and in New York. For information about these readings & upcoming events visit his website http://www.johnamen.com. To view sample poems from the book go to http://johnamen.com/bppksphp?CAT=10… I’ve read the samples & they’re beautiful!

Sunday, October 18th, the 2nd annual Natural Hair, Health & Beauty Expo…The Sankofa Hair Show will be showing at Northeastern Illinois University’s Carruther’s Center for Inner City Studies. 700 East Oakwood St, Chicago, Illinois. It would be good to call the University for more info in lieu of RSVP.

And because I’ve wanted to be fair with folks asking to spread the word about their projects & such…Clara54 will not turn away a request unless it’s in really bad taste…This info from Donovan D. Unknoen was checked out before posting .There’s a lot going on here folks. Anyho, the website for music monguls/ fans/ is http://www.imeen.com/damianunknoen or IMEEN…good luck with getting a record label…

Thanks to all who sent out emails of their works…and thanks for the special invites:) Will have updates on Sonya Carmichael’s upcoming Bootcamp For Writers coming to Chicago and publication dates for the book Reflections From Women by Terri S. Nelson & for which yours truly is a contributing writer! Ok, that’s enough…

Call For The Short Story…


Do you write short stories? I do. I’ve always loved the short story, as well as flash fiction. It’s because brevity works for me and the short story doesn’t require the loads of research that other forms of writing call for. I’m not a fan of doing a lot of research, unless it’s a nonfiction piece I’m covering & factual data becomes a must. I’ve written fiction & nonfiction stories and find them easier than long drawn out novels, the autobiograpy, memoirs & such. (although I’m procrastinating on a memoir that started out as a biographical work- decided less is more in order for me to actually get the work out:) The short story fiction competitions are hot & heavy this month of Sept. I just missed the deadline for Goodhousekeeping’s short story submission. But, I’m more than ready for Essence Magazines’ Sept 30 deadline…

Other hot spots for the Short Story:

Poets & Writers
Writers Digest
Women On Writing Ezine
Do you have a soft spot for the Short Story? Revamp those gems & join the party…
BTW: Clara54 wanna give a shoutout to Brenda Broger, a nurse practictioner in Florida(& her fav sis-in-law) for having her work “Fathers’ Coping Mechanisms Related to Parenting a Chronically Ill Child: Implications For Advanced Practice Nurses” accepted in The Journal Of Pediatric Health Care…Yay! and to Mr. Henry L. Jones, a former Illinois poet/artist based in Tennessee, for the publication of his book, Run Into Blackness: Feeling My Poetic Gumbo. Way to go Mr. Jones! Clara54 has been inspired by you guys to keep-a-going!