Words of My Heart Revisited

Book cover of Words of my heart poetry collection

Back in August of 2017, I released my first collection of poetry. The book consisted of forty-eight poems divided into seven categories. They were a combination of different poetry styles that I have learned over the years. I have been writing poetry since I first began to write, which was at the age of eleven, so “Words of My Heart” was compiled of poems spanning fifteen years of writing off and on.

I only published the poetry collection in an EBook format, because I didn’t feel that I had enough poems to successfully fill a hardback copy of the book. With only forty-eight poems, the book would’ve been pretty slim in my opinion, so I settled for just an EBook version. According to my readers though, they wanted a physical copy of the poetry collection. They liked the EBook version, but they wanted to actually flip through the pages of the book and read the poems for themselves. Which I can definitely agree with. There is nothing better than the feel of an actual, physical book in your hands, so I understand where they were coming from.

Well, I went back to the drawing board and started writing some new poems that I could include in an updated version of the book. Instead of the forty-eight poems I started with, I now have seventy-five poems that make up this poetry collection. I even added an extra category! Each section of the new version of “Words of My Heart” have poems specifically dealing with that category. I even have included some poems that I didn’t quite know where to put them, so I listed them as miscellaneous poetry. They are still poems, but they didn’t fit with any of the categories that I have selected to be included in the book.

So, now thanks to feedback from my readers, they will now have a physical copy of my poetry collection. I think this will be a nice little read to sink their teeth into. Seventy-five poems spanning eight different categories is a nice collection if I do say so myself. Who knows? By the time it is released, I might have included even more poems, so right now, it’s seventy-five in counting. LOL. In this poetry collection, I touch on different aspects of life. In my section of poetry titled, “Beat of My Heart”, I share poems dealing with love. Love is a roller-coaster in itself, so the poems in this section shows the ups and downs that love can take us through. Love can be oh so right, but it can also be oh so wrong, and these poems portray that exactly.

This collection of poetry now even includes a section of nature poems, which was not previously included. Nature is beautiful, so I decided to use my gift of words to explore the different beauties of God’s creations. I have always been told that I have a way with words, so I hope that my readers can take a look at life the way I see it. I will publish this new version of “Words of My Heart” as a second edition. I’m not sure if I will do away with the previous version yet, but more than likely I probably will. The old version will feel more like an incomplete version to me, and I don’t want readers to get that impression.

If you have already had the pleasure of reading the first version of “Words of My Heart”, then you are in for a treat with this new version. I put a lot of effort and time into making sure that I only selected the best poems I thought would entertain my readers. I have a little something for everyone in this new and improved version. My hope is that someone can take something away with them when they are done reading this collection. Whether its inspiration and motivation, a new outlook on life, adding some spice to their sex life, or just quenching their thirst for good poetry, I hope I have done my job correctly, and you are just waiting with baited breath to read another collection of poetry from me.

Right now, I don’t have an exact release date for this second edition of “Words of My Heart”, but it is definitely coming soon. Along with the release of this new version, I do plan on giving away free hardback copies to fans of poetry. Who doesn’t like free? LOL. I know I do, and if you’re a fan of poetry, that’s even better! Stay tuned to find out when the new version of “Words of My Heart” will be released. I’m letting my words flow from my heart to yours.

Saved N Sexy Radio Interview: Blaque Diamond

Saved N Sexy Radio Flyer advertising Blaque Diamond interview

On March 2, 2018, I had the opportunity to appear as a guest on Saved N Sexy Radio. I always love doing interviews of any kind. The more exposure I can get myself, and my business, the better. It was an interview full of inspiration and insight into how I became the Blaque Diamond I am. The ladies made me feel welcome and comfortable to talk about myself and my books. I have been invited to participate in future interviews and other endeavors that will help to expand my brand and further my career. I am so thankful for the hospitality shown to me, and I hope someone found, or can find inspiration, motivation, and encouragement from my personal story.

Get to know more about me and my life’s story. Check out the video below for the entire interview. Be sure to leave any comments, or questions you may have either on the video itself, or on this post. Thank you so much for tuning in!!!

Author Q and A: Richelle Resto

Author Richelle Resto

Blaque: Well, it’s a new month, and it’s also time for a new author spotlight. Helping me to bring in the month of March, is Richelle Resto. Welcome Richelle!

Richelle: Thank you so much Blaque Diamond.

Blaque: No problem. Spring is on the horizon, so why not freshen up my blog with a fresh new interview?

Richelle: LOL. I’m glad I’m the person you chose to help you freshen things up a bit.

Blaque: I am as well. So, tell me about your book “The Gift of life Nobody Wanted: Your Tears have Purpose.”

Richelle: Well, I wrote this book to help women understand the rationale of the gifts of pain, devastation, rejection, and the purpose of tears. Throughout this book, I sprinkle little spiritual nuggets and strategies needed to triumph over years of pain.

Blaque: Hmm… Sounds interesting. Coming from someone who knows all about pain, it seems as if this book can perhaps help many women who don’t know how to deal with the obstacles that life may throw in their path. Tears can also have a cleansing effect on the soul. I had to learn that from first-hand experience.

Richelle: You are so right!

Blaque: So, where are you from Richelle?

Richelle: I’m proud to be from Durham, North Carolina.

Blaque: Oh, wow! I’m from Greensboro. I’m not originally from the area, but it has been my home for the past eight years. Durham is only a hop and a skip away from Greensboro.

Richelle: Yep. LOL. Durham is my home.

Blaque: Where is your favorite place to write?

Richelle: I enjoy writing near the water, and listening to the sound of the ocean.

Blaque: What is your biggest pet peeve?

Richelle: People that make excuses for not accomplishing goals is my biggest pet peeve.

Blaque: We all have that favorite something that we just can’t live without, what is your favorite food?

Richelle: My favorite food is Mexican and Seafood.

Blaque: How do you deal with writer’s block?

Richelle: I tend to eat ice cream and chew Super Bubble gum until my next thought generates.

Blaque: Wow! That’s different. I’ve never heard anyone say that before. LOL.

Richelle: Well, it works for me. LOL.

Blaque: What is your favorite color?

Richelle: My favorite color is purple and magenta.

Blaque: So, you’re a purple girl.

Richelle: Yes, ma’am.

Blaque: For most authors, writing is something they do on the side apart from a regular nine-five. Do you write full-time, or is writing like a second job?

Richelle: Writing is my passion, and not a hobby that I love to do every day.

Blaque: What is your favorite type of dessert?

Richelle: My favorite dessert is snicker bar cheesecake

Blaque: Where do you get most of your story ideas?

Richelle: Most of my story ideas originate from college experiences, family, friends, and journal notes.

Blaque: Do you have any other talents besides writing?

Richelle: Yes, my favorite talents include writing poetry and making t-shirt designs.

Blaque: Are you a sports fan? If so, who is your favorite team?

Richelle: My favorite team is the Dallas Cowboys for life.

Blaque: What is your all-time favorite movie?

Richelle: My all-time favorite movie is “This Christmas.”

Blaque: I have several works in progress, but what are you currently working on?

Richelle: I’m currently working on two new releases: All Eyes on Me to Achieve My Destiny, and Married to the Church, Wife is a Mistress

Blaque: If your best friend could describe you in one word, what would it be?

Richelle: My best friend would describe me as SHY.

Blaque: When you’re not writing, what do you enjoy doing in your spare time?

Richelle: My favorite thing to do is explore different types of restaurants, wrap up in my Snuggie and play Candy Crush.

Blaque: What inspired your latest book?

Richelle: These books were inspired by my husband and father-in-love.

Blaque: Are you a cat, or are you a dog person?

Richelle: I love my two pets Sir Julius and Princess Eva.

Blaque: Awww! What cute names for your pets. LOL.

Richelle: Yes, they are my world.

Blaque: What is your all-time favorite book?

Richelle: My favorite book is “Woman thou art loose” by: T. D. Jakes.

Blaque: How would you describe your personality?

Richelle: My personality is fun, serious, and loyal.

Blaque: What show(s) did you enjoy watching as a child?

Richelle: My favorite show was Good Times.

Blaque: I agree one-hundred percent. I still watch reruns on DVD to this day. My favorite character of all was JJ, of course. He was dynamite! LOL.

Do you have a favorite character that you’ve created?

Richelle: My favorite imaginary character that I’ve created is Lynette.

Blaque: Ok, before we wrap this up, describe your latest book in just ten words.

Richelle: This book offers spiritual nuggets to triumph over years of pain.

Blaque: I see you are a person who believes that there is purpose in your pain. I do as well.

Richelle: Yes, I do.

Blaque: What we go through in life helps us to become who we are supposed to be. You take the joy with the pain and make the best of it.

Richelle: I agree.

Blaque: Well, Mrs. Resto, I am so glad that you stopped by to speak with me today. It has been great getting to know you better.

Richelle: Thanks so much for allowing me this opportunity to speak with you. It has been my pleasure.

Blaque: So, any of you readers out there looking for some spiritual nuggets to get you through tough times? Check out Richelle Resto’s book “The Gift Nobody Wanted: Your Tears have Purpose. I’m sure you’ll find some wisdom and inspiration that will help get you through the murky waters of life.

The gift of life nobody wanted: your tears have purpose book cover

For more about Richelle and her books, check out her website here.

Until next time. Happy writing!

** Note **

If you are an indie author, and you would like to spotlight on my blog, visit Author Spotlight and follow the instructions to submit your interview. I look forward to speaking with you soon.

Someone Like Me

 

the sign representing the disabled

 

This poem is dedicated to anyone who may have a disability of any sort. Whether you are blind, deaf, wheelchair bound, have cerebral palsy, are autistic, an amputee, mentally disabled, etc, this poem is for you. We all deserved to be loved for who we are on the inside, not what people see on the outside. Love comes from the heart, not the eyes.

 

This poem was written specifically from my heart, but it represents all disabled people, and how we feel about how we are treated because of our disability. Men and women alike can relate to this poem. If you have ever been rejected in love because of your disability, this is for you. Know that you are worthy of love, and the right person will come along and see that.

 

You say I’m beautiful and sexy

But you could never be with someone like me

The fact that I can’t physically see

Makes me unworthy

Of being your girl

Or a part of your world

You like that I am intelligent

But the fact that I am blind makes it irrelevant

My personality turns you on

But for your image I am so wrong

You have a misconception

That my disability is an imperfection

My inability to see makes me less than

A real woman for a so-called real man

I am good enough for you to fuck

But at the thought of being with me you buck

What would your friends and family say?

If I had the fortune to meet them one day

Or would I just be your little secret

Your girl when convenient

If you really got to know me

Then you would clearly see

That just because I am different

Doesn’t mean you have to be ignorant

There is a whole lot more to me

Like love, compassion, and loyalty

Having a disability has its challenges

But doesn’t everyone have their own imbalances?

I am just as good as anyone else

I do my own thing, I take care of myself

But to you I am only just half a woman

So to love me is something you couldn’t

I’m independent

Not easily offended

By your lack of interest

Or hesitance for a commitment

But at the end of the day

No matter what you think or say

I know what I am worth

A blessing on this earth

A real man will see me

And know that I am worthy

Of being his girl

A part of his world

It will be your lost

Too late to defrost

Your cold closed heart

Since you didn’t want to take part

To see what could happen

For this you were slacking

So closed minded

By shallowness you were blinded

Oh I’m not angry you see

Because you missed an opportunity

To have someone like me in your life

As your girlfriend or even a wife

You left room for the next man

To get in where he can

Because he has no shame to be

With someone like me

 

 

 

Author Q and A: Jacqueline Goodwin

 

 

Picture of author jacqueline goodwin

 

“There is purpose in your pain.” – Jacqueline Goodwin

 

Blaque: It’s that time again. Another author spotlight. This time, I have the pleasure of speaking with author Jacqueline Goodwin, who resides in South Carolina.

 

Jacqueline: It’s such an honor to have the opportunity to speak with you Blaque Diamond.

 

Blaque: The pleasures all mine. It makes me feel like you and I share something special just because you’re from South Carolina. LOL.

 

Jacqueline: Really?

 

Blaque: Yes, I am also originally from South Carolina. Charleston, South Carolina to be exact.

 

Jacqueline: Oh, wow! That’s pretty amazing. You never know how small the world really is.

 

Blaque: Yes, I miss home, but there were better opportunities for me in North Carolina, so it is my home now.

 

Jacqueline: That is understandable.

 

Blaque: So, before we begin your interview, tell me a little about your book.

 

Jacqueline: Well, Healing in the Vessel is my story. It is a book filled with true-to-life testimonies of how God has moved in my life as a mother and a daughter. I want my book to empower readers everywhere and build up their faith in God.

 

Blaque: Nice. So, this book is full of inspiration as you tell your life’s story?

 

Jacqueline: Yes, I’m sharing my story with the world to change the life of some young person out there. If my story can touch at least one person, then I know there is purpose in my pain.

 

Blaque: Powerful. I’m sure your readers will be able to take some valuable lessons with them after reading your book.

 

Jacqueline: That is my hope and prayer.

 

Blaque: Ok, so let’s get started.

 

Jacqueline: I’m ready when you are.

 

Blaque: What inspires you to write?

 

Jacqueline: My inspiration for writing comes from the Holy Spirit.

 

Blaque: Where is your favorite place to write?

 

Jacqueline: My favorite place to write is at the park.

 

Blaque: What is your favorite holiday, and why?

 

Jacqueline: My favorite holiday is July 4th, because that is the day that God brought me into this world.

 

Blaque: Cool! You’re the second person I know that has a fourth of July birthday. That must be pretty exciting. Not only are you celebrating America’s independence, but also your born day.

 

Jacqueline: Yes, it’s pretty amazing.

 

Blaque: So, where do you see yourself in five years?

 

Jacqueline: In five years, I see myself traveling to various countries preaching and teaching God’s Word. Also, I see myself publishing more books and speaking at different conferences.

 

Blaque: What can bring tears to your eyes?

 

Jacqueline: When I see a young person give their life to Christ, it brings tears to my eyes.

 

Blaque: If you had $1,000,000 to donate to a worthy cause, which would it be, and why?

 

Jacqueline: I would donate the money to help further the research in finding a cure for HIV and AIDS because of my own personal testimony.

 

Blaque: We all need someone to keep pushing us forward, so who has been your biggest supporter in your writing career?

 

Jacqueline: My daughter Jasmine has been my biggest supporter in my writing career.

 

Blaque: What is your favorite color?

 

Jacqueline: My favorite color is pink.

 

Blaque: Pink is also my favorite color as well. Actually pink, red, and white are all my favorite colors. So tell me, where do you get most of your story ideas?

 

Jacqueline: Many of my story ideas come from my own trials and tribulations that I have endured in my life.

 

Blaque: What is your fondest childhood memory?

 

Jacqueline: My fondest childhood memory is playing in my room with my Winnie-pooh bear that my dad won from the State fair.

 

Blaque: What do you feel is your biggest accomplishment as an author?

 

Jacqueline: My biggest accomplishment as an author is having my book sent overseas to be placed in a library in Kabul, Afghanistan.

 

Blaque: If your best friend could describe you in one word, what would it be?

 

Jacqueline: My best friend would describe me as humble.

 

Blaque: When you’re not writing, what do you enjoy doing in your spare time?

 

Jacqueline: When I am not writing, I enjoy reading my Bible, meditating, praying, and exercising.

 

Blaque: What did you want to be when you grew up? Is that the occupation you’re in now?

 

Jacqueline: I wanted to be an attorney when I grew up, but God took me in a totally different direction. I am not an attorney, but instead I am a pastor and author. These are two occupations that I never really saw myself in, but I would not change them for anything now.

 

Blaque: As authors, most of us have nine to five jobs that help to support our writing careers. Do you write full-time, or is writing like a second job?

 

Jacqueline: Writing is a second job for me, but I am praying for God to open the doors for it to become a full-time career.

 

Blaque: Are you a cat, or a dog person?

 

Jacqueline: I am a dog person.

 

Blaque: I know how it makes me feel, but how does it make you feel when a reader tells you that they enjoyed reading your book?

 

Jacqueline: When a reader tells me that they enjoyed reading my book, it makes me feel that there is purpose in my pain.

 

Blaque: What is your goal as an author?

 

Jacqueline: My goal as an author is to publish my first novel, have my books in various languages, and produce my books in audio format.

 

Blaque: Producing your book(s) in audio format would be beneficial to me and other blind and visually impaired avid readers out there. Even though EBooks are accessible for the blind to read, we still enjoy listening to an actual person read a book compared to a text-to-speech software reading it. I would definitely encourage you to pursue that avenue of publishing your books.

 

Jacqueline: That is definitely on my agenda.

 

Blaque:  What has been the hardest hurdle you’ve had to jump over while embarking on your writing journey?

 

Jacqueline: The hardest hurdle I’ve had to jump over while embarking on my writing journey is finding time to write.

 

Blaque: If your parents could see you right now, would they be proud of you?

 

Jacqueline: Yes, both of my parents would be proud of me if they could see me right now.

 

Blaque: Well, we have reached the end of the interview. I hope your readers enjoyed getting a chance to know you better.

 

Jacqueline: I hope so too. It was nice talking to you.

 

Blaque: Oh, no! The pleasure was all mine. Before I let you go, leave readers with your information so that they can get a copy of your book. We want to make sure that your book gets into the right hands.

 

Jacqueline: LOL. Definitely. So, my book can be purchased from Amazon in paperback format. Readers can also purchase an autographed copy here Autographed Healing in the Vessel A Mother’s Love, A Daughter’s Journey of Faith

 

Blaque: Great! Are you active on social media?

 

Jacqueline: Yes, readers can follow me on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.

 

Blaque: Readers, be sure to grab your copy of Ms. Jacqueline’s book. If you’re looking for a book of inspiration, you have to look no further. Thanks again for stopping by.

 

Jacqueline: No, thank you for having me.

 

Blaque: Until next time. Happy writing!

 

 

** Note ** If you are an independent author and would like to spotlight on my blog, visit Author Spotlight to view the requirements and send in your interview. I look forward to speaking with you soon.

 

 

Final Farewell

 

 

 

Picture of a soldier saluting

 

My final goodbye to you

Is breaking my heart in two

Although I’ll miss you so

In my heart I know

 

That you are flying high

To your new home in the sky

These tears of lost won’t last forever

Although we are no longer together

 

You will always be a part of me

That special part of my heart you will be

As I lay your still form to rest

The memories I have are only the best

 

Loving and wishing you could come back

But of course these things don’t work like that

Someone with so much life left so soon

With so many things we were so in-tune

 

I didn’t foresee ever losing you

But god had his plans, he knew

Life with you brought me so much joy

Your earthly departure cannot destroy

 

All of my greatest and happiest recollections

Will remain hidden away in my secret collections

Of memories I will cherish for all of my days

I miss you so much in so many ways

 

Your duties on this earth are now done

But your duties in heaven have just begun

We shall meet again one day

And I will turn to you and say

 

I missed you down there on earth

But god needed you because he saw your worth

So I’ll wipe my tears away

But my love for you will always stay

 

Deep inside my heart

We will never truly be apart

Because you will always be near

Whenever I need you here

 

I can look to the sky and know

That single star with its bright glow

Will be you watching over me

Sending your love down to me so heavenly

 

This is goodbye for now

Until I make my final bow

So save a place for me

So we can be together again for eternity

 

 

 

Diamond in the Rough: A Collection of Personal Essays and Poems

 

 

Picture of a shining black diamond gem

 

Being the inspirational person that I am, it has been put on my heart to write this book. In it, I share different accounts of things that I have experienced in my life. Much of what I talk about in this book is painful, but I feel that it can help someone out there suffering through something that they feel is pulling them under. I want to give my readers hope. I want them to know that despite how things may seem right now, things will get better. The underdog doesn’t stay down forever, and with God by your side, you can make it through any situation. That is the only way I can explain how I am still here after all I have been through. It has to be nothing but God.

 

I want to share with you the introduction to my book. My hope is that this book touches someone out there struggling to get through life. I want to inspire, encourage, uplift, and motivate them to keep going. Don’t give up on life. The waters may look murky now, but through strength, determination, and God, you will clear away all the murk and see the clear, clean water below. Weeping may endure for the night, but joy comes in the morning. I had to go through all I went through in order to help someone else through it. Lets cross the finish line to victory together!

 

Introduction to Diamond in the Rough: A Collection of Personal Essays and poems

 

Introduction:

 

My purpose for writing this book is to help encourage, motivate, uplift, and inspire others out there who may be struggling with things in their life for which they see no way out of. It was not my intention to write a book sharing different events in my life that were painful for me, but when God puts something on your heart, you do what you are led to do. In this book I share my personal stories of trials and tribulations that I have endured. Things have never been easy for me, but through it all I am still standing, and I am stronger than I have ever been before. It took me a long time to transition into this state of mind. The roads were dark and long, and most times lonely, but I made it through. By the grace of God, I am a survivor. I am alive to tell my story. There were many times I wanted to just give up on life, but God brought me through. He is an awesome God, and heard my pleas. He delivered me from the pain and brought me peace.

 

The essays and poems you will find in this book are true accounts of situations that I have faced throughout the years. From child abuse, rape, and domestic violence, I share them all here. These are my true emotions, thoughts, feelings, and ideas written in these pages. I’m sure there is someone out there who has experienced one, some, or all of the situations that I have faced in this book. I want my stories to show you that you don’t have to remain a victim, but you can become the victor of your circumstances. God does not put more on us than we can carry. I know at times it seems as though things aren’t ever going to get better, but believe in your heart and soul that you will prevail. What doesn’t kill you only makes you stronger. You are stronger than even you know you are.

 

If no one else has ever told you, I want to be the one to tell you that despite your dark past, you have a bright future ahead of you. We all suffer in life in some way, shape, or form, but we have to have the strength to go on, but sometimes it’s hard to smile when you’re used to frowning. For me, my life has been filled with nothing but pain and tears, but through God and his unconditional love for me, I have a reason to smile. When I shed tears, they are no longer tears of pain, but tears of joy. Through Jesus Christ, I found the love I have always been searching for. No matter what, his love will never forsake me.

 

I have broken my chains of pain and heartache. I am no longer a prisoner of fear, humiliation, and doubt. I know who and what I am. I now have confidence in myself that I didn’t have before. I am no longer ashamed of the things that made me who I am. I turned my trials into triumphs. Instead of breaking me, my life’s experiences made me into the diamond you see today. A diamond starts as a piece of coal deep in the belly of the earth. With time, heat, and pressure, slowly that piece of coal transforms into a beautiful gem. It took trauma, abuse, neglect, and fear to transform me into the diamond I am. Instead of letting the struggles of your life keep you buried in the ground, use those struggles to rise to the top and shine bright like the diamond you are.

 

When I was finally able to conquer my demons and see myself for the beautiful, light-hearted, ambitious, quizzical, unique, and extraordinary diamond I was, Blaque Diamond was born. For me, it represents words I feel describe me. It symbolizes my growth and my strength to overcome the toughest situations and still be standing. I am renewed. I am reborn. I am a Blaque diamond. Reach for your inner Blaque diamond. Let your light shine through.

 

A Blaque Diamond

 

Beautifully created from this earth

Light-hearted and full of laughter

Ambitious and goal oriented, I am

Quizzical and willing to seek knowledge in all ways possible

Uniquely different and at times the same

Extraordinary creation from god’s paintbrush

 

Determined to overcome all obstacles in my way

Intelligence is a gift that is priceless

Another gem within a world of beautiful gemstones

Miles of mountains and hills climbed to seek inner peace

Observant of my every day development and ways to improve me

Not easily broken and defeated, instead I conquer

Diamonds are a girl’s best friend, but I am my own diamond

 

Coming soon in April 2018!!!! Stay tuned.

 

 

 

No New Year’s Resolutions

 

 

 

picture of a New Year's celebration

 

It’s that time of year again! It’s officially 2018! Out comes the pencils and notepads to jot down your New Year’s Resolutions. Every new year I hear the same old thing.

 

“What are your New Year’s resolutions?”

 

Or

 

“It’s now a new year. What are some things you’re going to do differently in the year . . . ?”

 

Hmm . . . Let me think on that for a moment. I DON’T SET NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTIONS! I DON’T SET NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTIONS! That’s my answer to those questions every time someone dares to ask me. It is utterly ridiculous that you have to wait until a new year comes around to get your life in order. I’m always hearing things like:

 

“In the new year I’m going to lose weight.”

 

Or

 

“In the new year I’m going to get out of debt.”

 

Or even

 

“In the new year I’m going to go back to school.”

 

Why wait for a new year to do these things? Why does a new year mean that you have to finally get your life in check? I can’t, and never will understand people’s logic about setting New Year’s resolutions. If there are goals you want to accomplish in your life, then do it! Don’t wait for a new year to begin to go for your dreams. Do it now! Tomorrow is not promised to anyone, so why wait? Why put off what you can accomplish today?

 

If you’re not happy with your size 65 pants, then do something about it. If you’re struggling to get out of $5,000,000 worth of debt, then do something about it. If you’re tired of not getting a job with your second-grade education, then do something about it. Of course, you guys know I’m joking about these items, but you get my point. Do these things now, not when a new year begins. If you really are determined to accomplish your goals, then you will do what you have to do in order to make it happen. The only person stopping you from getting ahead is yourself. The same way you can make these New Year’s resolutions when a new year rolls around, is the same way you can set these same goals any other time of the year and put forth effort to accomplish them.

 

When I set goals for myself, I set goals that I can accomplish short-term and long-term. I set goals throughout the year. If I say I want to lose twenty pounds, then I just start the process right then. I don’t wait until January 1 to begin my diet/fitness regimen. As soon as the idea of something I want to do comes to mind, I begin strategizing ways to tackle that task. If that means I have to lay off the cookies and cakes, then that’s what I have to do. If I want to get out of debt, then I know I will have to put myself on a budget, so I can get my debt under control. There’s nothing to it, but to do it. No excuses. No hesitation. Get started on accomplishing your goals throughout the year. Yes, a new year means new beginnings, but that doesn’t mean you have to wait until then to begin something new.

 

Every day you wake up with strength in your body and a sound mind is another opportunity for you to achieve your goals. Take the opportunities that are laid out before you. No one wants to live with regrets, so take advantage of the time you do have. I know there are probably tons of things you have listed on your New Year’s resolution list, but how much of it will you really accomplish? What crazy and outlandish things have you promised yourself you’re going to do in the New Year? I’m sure it’s plenty, but sadly you probably won’t stick to not one of the things you’ve listed. Why put that type of pressure on yourself when you can set goals anytime and take your time completing them? Most of the time people set these New Year’s resolutions that they won’t even stick to. What’s the point in making that list when by February, you will have fallen back into your same routine?

 

Then another new year will roll around and you will be back at it again.

 

“In the new year I’m going to lose weight.”

 

And

 

“In the new year I’m going to get out of debt.”

 

Why put yourself through all of that? Just pick goals that you can stick to and make them any time of year, not just at the beginning of a new year. Put effort, real effort into achieving the goals you set for yourself. Make sure they are reasonably within your ability to complete. Even if you don’t succeed at accomplishing a goal you have set for yourself to achieve at a certain time, you still have plenty of time to get it done. Don’t beat yourself up about it. Just readjust your goals to make them easier for you to complete.  I know some of you are going to totally disregard this post and still make your resolutions anyway, and you are free to do so, but save yourself the time and stress. Don’t make any New Year’s resolutions.

Don’t Give Up

 

Picture of men playing tug-of-war with a rope

 

Don’t just give up the fight

Hold on with all of your will and might

Anything worth having is worth fighting for

Even if you feel you can’t fight anymore

Things will get better in its own time

What is god’s will isn’t yours or mine

Hold on tight to what you believe

Because your dreams are meant to achieve

There will be days of disappointments

But the end result will be for your enjoyment

No matter how hard it seems

Never let go of your goals and dreams

Even when other’s doubt and wish bad on you

Know in your heart that you will make it through

Everything in time will work itself out

And that is what patience is all about

It’s not time to throw in the towel

You can make it through these trials

It will take some time and effort

But don’t think it won’t happen never

When you feel you’ve done all you can do

Just remember all of this work is for you

So don’t just give up the fight

Hold on with all of your will and might

 

 

 

 

The Triumph in Me Book Review

 

Picture of The Triumph in Me: Living to Die, but Decided to Live book cover

 

The triumph in me: Living to Die, but Decided to Live

 

By: Kashinda T. Marche

 

While at a book-signing event this past weekend, I was given an autographed copy of this book. The author talked a little about the book during the event, and I was intrigued to find out more about it. Because of my visual impairment, the print book wouldn’t have done me any good since I can’t read the words. I did appreciate receiving a signed copy from the author though, so I added it to my library in my home-office for safe-keeping. I didn’t want to wait to have someone read it to me, so I went on Amazon to see if the book was available as an EBook. Yes!!! It was available on Kindle, so I wouldn’t miss out on a great read. I immediately downloaded the book to my Kindle library and began to read.

 

I was drawn into the story just by the first few lines. Tharisse, the main character was a young girl growing up in the urban streets of New Jersey. The story talked about her life growing up and the things she and her friends got into as young teens. Her parents were on drugs, so Tharisse was practically raising herself and her younger siblings. She became promiscuous in her teen years, looking for the acceptance she always yearned for.

 

When Tharisse is fifteen-years-old, she meets Eugene, who is twenty-seven-years-old. He treats Tharisse like she has always wanted to be treated. He buys her the latest fashions, he chauffeurs her and her friends around town in his car, and he even gives her money. To her young mind, this is love. Love is something she has always been trying to find, so to her, Eugene is her knight in shining armor. Her mother has a problem with Tharisse dating Eugene, but she continues to date him anyway. Tharisse falls head-over-heels in love with Eugene, and she doesn’t care who doesn’t like it.

 

At the age of seventeen, Tharisse finds herself pregnant with Eugene’s baby. When Tharisse tells her mother that she is pregnant, she walks away disappointed in her daughter; even though she was the same exact age when she gave birth to Tharisse. Eugene never reacted to the news of Tharisse’s pregnancy either way. Tharisse’s pregnancy was a hard one filled with sickness and misery, but thankfully she delivered a healthy baby girl. Tharisse strived to be the best mother she could be to her daughter. She didn’t want her to grow up in the life that she had, so she did what she had to do to show her daughter a different way of life. When her daughter was just eleven-months old, Tharisse got some devastating news that would change her life forever. She was diagnosed with HIV. Somehow, Eugene had contracted the virus, and he had given it to Tharisse. She wasn’t sure how long she had the virus, but when she went to be tested, she was told that she was infected.

 

Tharisse hoped and prayed that her daughter had not contracted the virus, and by the grace of God, she had not. Tharisse went into a deep depression after finding out the news. She couldn’t figure out how she would raise her daughter when she had been pronounced with a death sentence. The story goes on to describe Tharisse’s life and struggles of dealing with her HIV status. There were plenty of ups and downs as she comes to terms with her illness. Tharisse instills positive skills and inspirations in her daughter as she grows up, trying to guide her in the right direction. She didn’t want her daughter to make the same mistakes, or worse mistakes than she did.

 

Tharisse deals with low self-esteem issues, so she makes her daughter stand in the mirror every day and tell herself that she is beautiful. Tharisse is later diagnosed with mental illnesses as well, and she attempts suicide when her lover exposes her condition to another of her lovers. Tharisse was truthful to some people about her condition, but she kept her status from others as well, so when her lover exposed her, she fell over the deep edge. She didn’t think that life was worth living anymore since she was already dying from HIV. Thankfully, Tharisse was not successful in her suicide attempt, and she got the help that she needed through therapy. She decided to turn her life around in a more positive direction for her daughter. She didn’t want to traumatize her child for the rest of her life, so she started living her life with a purpose instead of living her life recklessly.

 

This was a story that really hit home for me. Having a family member who died from HIV, made this story so real to me. The fact that Tharisse contracted the virus at such a young age, brought tears to my eyes. All she ever wanted was to be loved, and the one man she gave her heart to, gave her a death sentence. She was looking for love and thought she found it, but sadly, she was mistaken. Growing up in a world uninformed and uneducated, caused Tharisse to go down the wrong path in life, searching for the love she never found in herself. What she hadn’t been taught, she tried to teach to her daughter. She wanted her to have a better outlook on life than she did.

 

What I took from this book is, nothing is promised to anyone. In the blink of an eye, your life as you know it can be swept up from under you without any explanation. Good health, life, wealth, love, or anything else isn’t promised to anyone, so you should live your life to the best of your ability. When Tharisse finally decided to change her mind-set, she saw the world through different eyes. She was able to see positivity where she once saw only negativity. I definitely recommend this book to anyone who is looking for a story of strength and inspiration. It will allow you to take a look at your own life situations and possibly change the way you do things.

 

None of us is perfect, and we all have done things that we are not too proud of, but the only way we can get pass them is if we change. We have to change our thinking, change our attitudes on life, and change the way we react to situations. We can’t wait around for someone to change things for us, we have to be that change we want to see in our life. It was unfortunate what happened to Tharisse, but in the end she changed. She changed for the betterment of her daughter, and she changed for the betterment of herself. She began to live, instead of living to die.

 

 

Forever Angel

 

Picture of an angel in a blue gown with white angel wings

 

This is a poem I wrote for my best friend who was having a hard time dealing with the death of her mother. The two of them were very close, and she was having a difficult time dealing with her loss. I wanted to find a way to bring her a little joy in her life, so I wrote this poem for her. I knew that it wouldn’t bring her mother back, but I hoped that it would help ease some of the pain she was feeling by allowing her to see her mother’s passing in a more positive light. If any of you have ever lost someone near and dear to you, I hope this poem brings you just a little comfort to know that your loved-one is now in a better place. They are now a forever angel watching over you from up above.

 

Forever Angel

 

You are no longer here with me

But in my heart you will always be

My love for you will never change

Even though my memories are all that remain

 

The times we spent together

Will last in my thoughts forever

I miss you each and every day

But I know you are in a better place

 

Your memory will never die

Even as the months and years go by

It hurts sometimes when I think of you

Because I think of all the things we used to do

 

It brings tears to my eyes

And I have to question why

Did you have to leave so soon?

When so many people were loving you

 

I know it’s god’s plan

But sometimes I just don’t understand

Why my heart aches so much

And I yearn for your gentle touch

 

You are now resting in peace

Your pain on earth has ceased

Gone but not forgotten you are

Because you will always live in my heart

 

Even though I wish you could’ve stayed

I would not have wanted your suffering delayed

So, go now and embark on your new journey

As you enter the gates, oh so pearly

 

I trust that we will meet again

So we can continue where we left off when

God called home his oh so faithful

Heaven just welcomed a forever angel

 

 

Alphabet of Motivation

The alphabet letters A through Z

 

We all remember how we learned our ABC’s, right? Well, try learning them again with a hint of motivation to guide you along your way. These motivational quotes and sayings can help you on your way to success in whatever you may want to do in life, or just to help you in your day to day activities. I created these quotes to help keep you inspired and motivated to reach for the stars.

 

Always believe in yourself. Even if no one else believes in you, you should believe in you.

 

Be the best that you can b. Put your best foot forward. Strive to accomplish whatever it is you want to do in life.

 

Count on yourself first to make your dreams and goals come true, then count on others to stand behind and beside you.

 

Dreams were made to achieve. Every success starts with a dream. Envision the goals you have set for yourself and set out to make them happen.

 

Excellence should be the end result. You should always strive for excellence. Anything less is not acceptable.

 

Focus on your goals. Stay focused and motivated on what you want out of life. Seeing the clear picture ahead of you keeps your mind on the end result.

 

God should always be the center. No matter what you want to do, God should always be the center of anything you do. Keeping him in your thoughts and mind to guide you on your path should be at the forefront of your mind.

 

Help is something that should not be hard to ask for. If you need assistance, then you shouldn’t be too proud to ask for it. Pride is good for certain things, but if used at the wrong time, it could mean disaster for you in the end. So, push your pride to the side and ask for help if it is needed.

 

Integrity should be automatic. Your character should matter to you. How you conduct yourself should be in a way that you are proud to show and that someone is proud as well to show others about you. Your integrity tells a person a lot about you.

 

Just be true to who you are. Never change who you are as a person to fit a mold that someone else has cast for you. We are all unique in our own way, so don’t be afraid to be different.

 

Knowledge should be freely shared. If you know something, don’t hold on to it because you don’t want someone else to know what you know. Life is all about learning, so share the knowledge.

 

Life has so much meaning. It’s up to you to find out what life means to you. Live life to the fullest.

 

Motivate yourself and others. Stay motivated, and motivate others to accomplish their dreams. Motivating someone else can also help to motivate, or keep you motivated in whatever it is you are doing.

 

Never give up on your dreams. No matter how hard it seems, or how long it takes, keep pushing forward to succeed. If things aren’t going the way you think they should, or moving as fast as you would like, don’t give up. Let time work itself out. In due time, you will be where you want to be.

 

Observe ways to improve yourself. Nobody is perfect, so always look for ways you can improve. Be observant of your strengths and weaknesses. Always work on creating a better you.

 

Plan ahead to keep from falling behind. Set short term and long term goals for yourself. Plan for things in advanced so if your time frame for completing something shortens, then you can always be on time no matter what because you have planned ahead.

 

Quality not quantity should be what matters most to you in your life. Possessions should never trump your quality of life. Living a safe, healthy, and happy life should override what possessions you obtain in life.

 

Remember that every success starts with a dream. Anything you want to do in life has a beginning, and that beginning is a dream. A dream to be successful at whatever you put your mind to.

 

Success is not built over night. It will take determination, support, and a lot of disappointments to get to where you want to be. Patience is a virtue. Climb the ladder of success slowly so that you can marvel at how you got to the top when you get there.

 

Take time to give thanks. Always remember the ones that helped you along your journey. Thank those who stood by when you felt discouraged or disappointed when things didn’t go your way. Thank your heavenly father for your blessings and gifts. Thank the people who influenced you.

 

Understand that things will not always be easy. If things are always given to you without any effort, then you won’t be able to enjoy the struggle and determination that you exuded to get to where you are. Everything that comes easy isn’t always a good thing.

 

Visualize where you see your life going. Always have a vision of what you want to do in life. Never just live life just to exist in life. Even if the vision you have for yourself veers, as long as you have a vision to start with it can be modified as needed.

 

Willingness to admit your faults takes courage. Don’t be afraid to admit when you are wrong. Nobody in the world is always right about everything. Admit your faults and move on to work on ways to improve them.

 

X-rays are pictures of your insides. What would your brain look like if it was x-rayed? Always keep your mind engaged in activity. Never stop learning and exploring because you finish school. The world is full of new possibilities for growth.

 

You are the key to your success. You are the starting line for whether you succeed or fail. If you don’t believe in your dream, how do you expect someone else to? It all starts with you.

 

Zest to live life. Go out and enjoy life. Don’t let minor insignificant things hold you back from being happy. Enjoy all the great things that life has to offer.

 

 

I hope you enjoyed re-learning your ABC’s. Hopefully, these words of inspiration and motivation will help jump-start your dreams, goals, and desires to be a more positive thinker. We all have those moments when we doubt ourselves, or don’t have the drive to keep going, but thankfully this list of well-crafted motivational quotes will be here to catch you when you fall short. Just pick one, and try to implement it into your life daily.

Coming to the Light

A picture of open french doors with light spilling through

I never would’ve guessed that my last fight would be the very last fight of my life. On March 14th, 2005 was the day that my life would be forever changed in a dramatic way. I got into an altercation with my brother, and it caused me to be where I am today, and where I will probably be for the rest of my life. At the tender age of fourteen, I got into a fist fight with my brother, and this time it wasn’t like our usual fights. I would walk away the loser of much more than just the fight, but also my sight.

I was already partially blind due to mal-practice at birth, but I still had good vision. I was not considered legally blind because I still had perfect vision in the “good eye.” I wore glasses to keep that eye strong. My retina had been detached in the right eye during my birth due to the doctors mishandling of the forceps, so my vision was already delicate. I didn’t find out why I couldn’t see out of that eye until I was an adult. I had always been told that my optic nerves never developed in that eye. I also developed a cataract in that eye at the age of five due to the trauma to the eye.

My brother and I got into the fight over a radio because of me changing the station that was playing. For most people, this is probably such a trivial thing to fight over, but in the violent household and environment that we were living in, this was the norm. Since my brother did not like the fact that I had changed the channel on the radio, he became enraged with me. We began to fight for the radio. He hauled off and punched me in the eye, and I immediately saw red dots. I thought that maybe my eye had been cut and that I was bleeding in my eye. I thought that it was just a minor injury and that I would be back to normal in no time, but I was wrong. That one punch caused me to be in darkness for the rest of my life.

After the fight was over, I tried telling my family that I was having trouble seeing, but I wasn’t believed. My sight did not go away right away, but it was the start of the damage. Losing the vision in that eye happened over time until I woke up one day and couldn’t see anything. When my mother finally did take me serious and took me to the doctor, it was found that it was too late. They could do nothing to fix my vision. Too much time had passed, and the tissue of the eye had already started scarring over. Since it took my mother seven months to get me help for my vision, the doctors didn’t hold up much hope of me getting any of my sight back. Surgeries were performed to see if it would make a difference, but sadly it was useless. From that one fist punch, my retina had become detached and the damage was irreversible. At that point, I felt life was now not worth living for me since I could no longer see.

My self-esteem took a huge nose dive. I felt that I would never be able to live a normal life. The only people that I had ever seen that were blind were elderly people and that happened with age. I thought that I was too young to be blind, and I went into a deep depression. So many scary thoughts were going through my mind. I kept replaying that day over and over wishing that I could rewind the hands of time and do it all over again. Well, my reality was that I couldn’t get a redo, so I had to deal with the circumstances that I was left to deal with. Not having any family support didn’t make the transition any easier either. I was left to deal with this tragedy all on my own.

Over the years, I learned to adapt to my new situation once I finally got out of my depression phase. It was a long and treacherous journey filled with many nights of tears and self-pity. I had to take a hard look at myself and my situation and wonder if I wanted to be that cripple or disabled girl that had to have someone do her basic needs for her, and I knew that was not the life I wanted for myself. So, I began to embrace my new life and learn all that I needed to know so I could live a normal and happy life. I learned braille, computers with the aid of text to speech software, independent living skills, and how to travel alone with a white cane. These skills were very necessary for me to live the life I wanted. I took on every new task with gusto because I was determined to be as independent as I possibly could. I didn’t want to feel like a burden to anyone, and I wanted to be able to take care of myself with minimal assistance.

There were times when I just wanted to give up, but whenever I would think of the outcome if I didn’t push myself, it made me go even harder to learn all that I needed to know. I would always think of people who had other disabilities that were worse than mine, and I would think that I was lucky to just be blind. Even though I could no longer see physically, I could still walk, talk, feed myself, think for myself, and all the other great body functions we take for granted. I felt that things could’ve been worse and I know that I am blessed. I eventually started mentoring people who were just like me. They were struggling with the life that they now had to live because of their visual impairment. Before going blind myself, I would have never known that there were millions of people all over the world just like me young and old dealing with the same situation. Some weren’t taking it so great like I was at one time and others were taking it in stride. So, I look at my situation as a blessing in disguise. I could’ve died that night, but instead god had other plans for me.

I enjoy encouraging other blind and visually impaired people to become as independent as they possibly can. I always like to say, “Just because society sees us as being handicapped and unable to do for ourselves, doesn’t mean that we must live up to that standard or stigma that is placed upon us.” I take pride in knowing that I can do for myself despite what others may think or say because they are not in my situation. It took a while for me to get to where I am today in my thinking, but I am glad that I experienced all that I have in life because it made me the person that I am today. I wouldn’t change one thing about my past because if I did, then I probably wouldn’t be the same person that everyone knows and loves. My faith has a lot to do with how I got through my situation and remain positive about it. I feel that god doesn’t make any mistakes in our lives, so what happened to me must have happened for a specific purpose.

Now, I’m not going to lie and say that life is easy because of course it’s not. I still struggle everyday with the fact that I can’t experience some of the day to day activities that most people who can see take for granted. Driving for example; I would love to be able to drive myself to and from work every day. I would also like to be able to go into a grocery store and pick out my own items without the assistance of someone. Going out to a place that I am not familiar with without assistance from someone who can see is something that I also wish I could do, but I am thankful for the blessings that I do have. There are some out here in the world who have it a lot worse than I do. I get frustrated from time to time when I must depend on someone who can see to read stuff for me or help me fill out paperwork, but that is minor compared to the circumstances that others must go through on a daily basis.

As of right now, there is no cure or treatment for my eye condition, but I have faith that one day there will be a way for me to regain my sight. If that day never comes, then I am comfortable in who and what I am. I have adapted to my life just fine and enjoy all the many blessings that god has bestowed upon me. I do not let my disability stop me from living and enjoying all that life has to offer. My life had to be adapted to fit my new situation of being blind, but with the way technology is, it makes it a fun and great learning experience for me. I had to come to the light by accepting who I now am and loving myself despite my circumstance. Every negative occurrence doesn’t have to be a tragedy. Sometimes things happen for a reason because life is something we have no guarantees in.

As an author, my visual impairment does throw up some road blocks that I have no control over. For instance, I have to depend on people to design my book covers and my website for me. I tell them what I imagine my items to look like, but the fact that I can’t see them for myself makes me have to trust their creative skills. I do have someone close to me check them out for me, but in these instances I have to go on what someone else thinks. As someone who used to be into graphics and drawing, the fact that I don’t have that ability anymore sometimes does get to me. Being artistic was a gift that I was proud of, but now I have to use the artistic talents of someone else to get my message across the way I picture it. The fact that I have seen before makes it easy to tell someone how I want something to look, but it still isn’t the same as me designing what I picture myself. When you have a visual impairment, you have to learn to trust people. There are things in life that having a visual impairment will alter, but there are ways to get around it. Everyone needs someone else for something since no one is totally independent and able to do everything themselves. Having that knowledge brings me relief and makes it easier for me to accept my circumstances and live life to the best of my ability.

I shared my story to encourage and inspire those who may be struggling with circumstances in life that they may feel have made them lose hope in themselves. There is still hope if you have faith in god and in yourself. You may see a situation in your life as a mountain or hill that is too steep for you to climb, but all you have to do is step back and evaluate your situation and figure out a new way to accomplish that task. Look at your situation in a positive light instead of as a bad thing. What could’ve happened to make your situation worse? For me the other outcome would’ve been death, so for me losing my sight was a minor inconvenience than losing my life. Every situation won’t be that easy to look at in a positive way, but to grow and accomplish whatever you are trying to succeed at you must see the light at the end of the tunnel.