I remember being barren for the first 4 years of my marriage. It was a difficult time. My side of the family is small but I married into a huge, supportive and loving tribe. And Lord were my prayers answered! I mean like literally almost everyone had 3 – 6 children each. Just a kabillion of them LOL!

I can laugh and smile now. As a single woman; I remember praying that my future husband would have a big family. But I had completely forgotten about that prayer request to be honest. Actually I was so deeply in love at that time – it didn’t matter if my now husband of over 21 years, was an only child…

I can laugh and smile now.

I can laugh and smile now.

But it ABSOLUTELY sucked when we began to try to have children. And false pregnancy test after false pregnancy test after false pregnancy test…my GOD. WHAT IS WRONG WITH ME????

It never dawned on me that it could be my husband, right? And it wasn’t.

But why as women are we automatically conditioned to absorb blame in a subconscious effort to cushion the fall of others?

No matter the matter?

I digress.

And instead – I testify.

If you’re new here – welcome. Here’s the abbreviated version.

Kayla was born 6 weeks early. 5 lbs 8oz.

Kevin Jr. was full term. 10 lbs. 6oz.

Kyle never got to see the light of day and is the inspiration behind the song I wrote entitled It Hurt Too Bad (Not To Be For My Good).

Not sure why the Lord would have me share this again nor why would he want me to share it at this moment.

But be encouraged. No matter what you have been believing God for.

After my last at home pregnancy test read negative I gave up. But my Dr. asked if she could do a blood test. Needless to say I was already almost 6 weeks pregnant with Kayla.

Sometimes under the guise of your life’s false negatives, closed doors and rejection – your positive results are just being better prepared to be revealed.

Because of Him,

e

New here? Welcome! Feel free to introduce yourself!

Blessings!

e of @authenticiteespeaks

IG | FB @AuthenticiteeSpeaks

Twitter | @Authenticitee

Blog |http://www.authenticiteespeaks.com

Remember YOU MATTER!

© Ericka Arthur and authenticitee speaks, 2015-2019. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material and photos without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Ericka Arthur and authenticitee speaks with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Photo credits: Original sources unknown. No copyright infringement intended.

“What are you reading?”

“Are you still writing?”

Hello Authenticitee Speaks Family!

I am incredibly grateful to those of you who reach out to check on me, when my blog goes mute. Yes; I’m still a reader with a voracious appetite and a consistent writer.

As I’ve said before, sharing in this space is inherently different than any of my other platforms. It’s more intimate and incredibly close to my heart. I’m constantly amazed that new followers are still joining me in this space almost everyday!! Thank you for being here. I’m humbled by your presence.

“What are you reading?”

I’ve been reading the book Dying To Be Free – A Healing Guide For Families After A Suicide by Beverly Cobain (cousin of Nirvana’s late lead singer Kurt Cobain) and Jean Larch.

It’s an extremely heartfelt and at times a graphic portrayal (trigger warning*methods) of those who’ve lost loved ones to suicide.

I definitely without hesitation recommend this book for those who have personally lost a loved one to suicide or to others like myself called to raise awareness.

“Are you still writing?”

Absolutely!

I definitely don’t post as much and consistently delete and archive my Instagram posts as usual because I bore very easily. It’s my personal preference to prune what I post quite frequently actually. Here’s a few recent pieces:

Love. I still believe.

Thanks for stopping by today and showing love, reading, sending messages and covering me in prayer!

If you or a loved one are suicidal, is in crisis or having a hard time coping at this very moment; PLEASE know that you matter and are not alone! If you need someone to talk to, don’t be afraid to reach out to the resources below!

The National Suicide Hotline

800-273-TALK (Veterans Press 1)

TEEN SUICIDE CRISIS HOTLINE- 800-852-8336 (Trained Teen Counselors)

The Trevor Project (LGBT Community) 866-488-7386

Trans Lifeline (Transgendered Community) 877-565-8860

Crisis Text: Text HOTLINE to 741741 ***If outside the U.S visit http://www.suicide.org/international-suicide-hotlines.html for assistance.

Blessings!

e of @authenticiteespeaks

IG | FB @AuthenticiteeSpeaks

Twitter | @Authenticitee

Blog | http://www.authenticiteespeaks.com

Remember YOU MATTER!

© Ericka Arthur and authenticitee speaks, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018 Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Ericka Arthur and authenticitee speaks with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Couldn’t wait to partake in what she was serving. Extraordinary poetry. An air of mystery. Passion. Fortitude. Fire. Creativity. Transparency. Love. Lots of love. Love for life. Love for humanity. And more than anything a deep love for words.

Christina Strigas has blessed more than my social media timelines. She has breathed life into them. Reminding me it’s ok to hurt. Inspiring me to remember I deserve to heal.

Inviting me to freedom and my words to dance…sometimes on the most difficult days….

And she’s incredibly kind….

In her own words…

Christina Strigas, a trilingual, raised by Greek-Canadian immigrants, has been featured by CBC Books in “Your ultimate Canadian poetry list: 68 poetry collections recommended by you.”

Christina Strigas is an author of five novels, three poetry books, and one self-help/poetry book based off of her popular quotes that went viral on Twitter. She writes romantic love poetry in a stream of consciousness narrative prose. Her influences are Sylvia Plath, Anne Sexton, Mary Oliver, the Romantics, and Pablo Neruda. Christina Strigas holds a BA in English Literature from Concordia University and a Teaching Certificate from Universite de Montreal. She teaches English and French in an elementary school, and at McGill University. She created the popular @ArielPoets along with Alexandra Meehan, where they inspire writers and poets to believe in the power of poetry.

When I held Love & Vodka in my hands, I loved the feel of the book and it’s design. The font was warm and the spaces felt like safe places to rest. I could feel her heart and greatly appreciate her mind throughout each piece. I was almost brought to tears because with the turning of each page, I began to hear her voice strumming within each verse.

She spoke to me as she poured

There’s an inner strength that sustains writers that have embraced the fullness of life.

Moments lived that releases wisdom and depth…

The invitation remains and is extended to you as well. From the library of her life, Love & Vodka is just one of several offerings for the mature palate. Christina recently introduced her latest book Chrissyisms which also available on Amazon!

Be sure to show her some love by visiting her Instagram page here as well as her other sites!

You can find her on Twitter: @christinastriga

Facebook: Christina Strigas Author

Tumblr: Christina Strigas Poetry

Website: http://www.christinastrigas.com

Blessings!

e of @authenticiteespeaks

IG | FB @AuthenticiteeSpeaks

Twitter | @Authenticitee

Blog | http://www.authenticiteespeaks.com

Remember YOU MATTER!

All excerpts and photos used in this piece are the sole property of Christina Strigas and the photographers who took the photos. No copyright infringement intended.

© Ericka Arthur and authenticitee speaks, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018 Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Ericka Arthur and authenticitee speaks with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

I think the most difficult conversation to start is one where we don’t know what to say. It weighs heavily on you and you know something is off but you can’t quite put your finger on it. A loved one, friend or acquaintance is struggling to cope. You notice they’re down, withdrawn, depressed or even angry all the time. You want to approach them but don’t know how. You fear opening a can of worms or saying the wrong thing…

There are times when we may notice but are too overwhelmed by our own problems to extend a helping hand.

Nothing is worse than addressing the issues after tragedy has occurred. It often causes even more distance between though who need help and those who can help.

Taking a moment to ask someone if everything is alright takes courage and there is nothing wrong with offering resources. I encourage you to keep the phone number of the National Suicide Hotline and Crisis Text Line in the note section of your phone so you can pass it along.

If loved ones or social media friends live outside the states; having the following info saved can be helpful:

The International Association for Suicide Prevention is also a great place to start.

You may know someone battling depression, self harming or engaging in maladaptive coping mechanisms. It’s important to not ignore them. When I served as a volunteer suicide crisis counselor, there were times I would get calls from people who weren’t suicidal but lonely. I can remember an influx of calls on Sunday afternoons from people who had been in church earlier that day but still felt alone. Some felt they couldn’t share with those closest to them for fear of judgment or being exposed. Isolation is crippling to someone who already feels alone. However it’s important to be lovingly honest about what you can and cannot do for them and then share resources.

Finally, guilt must be addressed.

Now perhaps you’ve already lost a loved one to suicide or know of someone who attempted. The guilt of surviving. The guilt of “was there something I could’ve said or done?”. The guilt of not keeping in touch or distancing yourself when you didn’t know how to help or when their sadness made your sadness worse. The guilt of not answering that last text or call. Not dealing with your emotions, pain, guilt or grief puts you at risk as well!

It’s ok to not be ok but don’t stay in that space. Reach out. Get help. Look for grief support groups in your area. Whatever we internalize will eventually materialize if it’s not dealt with.

You deserve healing and support too.

And also…

if someone threatens to kill or hurt themselves if you don’t stay in a relationship with them, please know that is a weight no one deserves to bear. There are genuine cries for help and then there are sordid tactics of manipulation. However to avoid misdiagnosing someone’s emotional and mental state or if you lack the ability to truly discern if someone’s in crisis: LOVINGLY OFFER RESOURCES. Direct their attention to trained volunteers and professionals who are willing to help.

I pray this piece is helpful. Won’t you share? You never know who’s going through or someone who has already gone through. Live Through This is a fascinating movement chronicling the lives of real suicide attempt survivors.

Be encouraged and remember:

As you Hold On To Life!

Blessings!

e of @authenticiteespeaks

IG | FB @AuthenticiteeSpeaks

Twitter | @Authenticitee

Blog | http://www.authenticiteespeaks.com

Remember YOU MATTER!

All photos used in this piece are the sole property of the original sources . No copyright infringement intended.

© Ericka Arthur and authenticitee speaks, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018 Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Ericka Arthur and authenticitee speaks with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

I’m a huge fan. There. I said it. And if you’ve not yet met her, you’ll understand why. Presenting to some and introducing to others, our Instagram Writing Community Resident Anomaly: Printed CED.

Printed CED speaks…

It’s so funny I feel like talking about myself is one my talents and one of my downfalls. I spent a lot of time just thinking about what to say about myself, how to summarize and I honestly didn’t think of anything grand. I feel like personally and professionally I’ve always struggled with the boundary of being honest, open, vulnerable and being overexposed. When I first started my Instagram page I was completely anonymous, no pictures, video, I didn’t even reveal my sex or allow those I knew to follow me. In the thin veil of mystery I felt protected, free to express my thoughts without a pre conceived notion. I certainly would not have done something like this. But I do feel that part of sharing is allowing yourself to be slightly exposed. I feel that’s where you develop true connections, so here we are.

I won’t reveal my name but many call me CED “seed”. I started writing when I was eight, it really helped me to cope growing up in troubled circumstances. I was raised in the Northwest, some of my favorite memories are writing surrounded by nature, escaping the noise and embracing my feelings. I felt safest in pen hidden away in a stack of pages… again that boundary. I was always the shy, awkward kid growing up, probably because I walked around with a journal and ate lunch in the library. Haha. But once I really started embracing who I am I was able to come out of my shell(mostly). I started sharing my work as a teenager and I was successful with it but honestly I just thought of it completely different back then. Now I see how much it’s given me and I appreciate it more. I always felt I failed to communicate and with writing I finally felt I could make myself clear and that is an incredible feeling. What was even more rewarding was finding an outlet that not only I could freely express myself but I could connect with other people that could relate to my experiences. Now that’s art.

e speaks…

I too can relate to finding that balance; often referring to myself as an extrovert with very strong introvert tendencies.

Printed CED speaks…

Glad you can relate. I definitely would never refer to myself as an extrovert but everyday I try to become more and more extroverted. I try to push myself to step out of my comfort zone.

e speaks…

It was great to connect a face with your poetic prowess. But what wooed you to anonymity and released you to step out of the shadows?

Printed CED speaks…

Thank you! Honestly, a lot of it was insecurity. I also wanted a safe place where I could express myself unguardedly without any predisposition. I suppose I became more comfortable with the idea of letting people closer to me. I found it easier to connect with others being a little bit more visible not to say I don’t still guard many things. I still don’t talk about my personal life such as my name or personal details but I do feel I found a better balance. Not to say there hasn’t been many successful Anonymous writers this is just something that was a natural progression for me.

e speaks…

One of the thing I’ve admired most about your writing is your ability to say so much in so few words. It’s as though you have in depth internal dialogue and methodically give the reader glimpses. It’s a gift in my opinion.

Printed CED speaks…

That is incredibly sweet and I’m humbled by your compliment, thank you. I don’t think I’ve ever heard it described quite that way but I definitely have an internal dialogue but I’m not sure I would call it methodical. I really don’t have a writing process I just write what I’m feeling in the moment especially when I’m overwhelmed by that feeling. I’m a highly emotional person and I’m very introverted for me sharing my writing is a way to get out of my head.

e speaks…

The idea of your eating lunch in the library at so young an age speaks volumes about your charm. No food allowed yet eating there is a renegade move, yet at you were surrounded by millions of words speaking though silenced by the safety of pages. It speaks of strength to me.

Printed CED speaks…

Ha. You make it sound so beautiful but I definitely was no Renegade I was bullied a lot and I used it as an escape. I will say I never realized that those moments of feeling so weak would later make me feel strong.

e speaks…

You exude strength. When do you feel strongest?

Printed CED speaks…

Thank you, I’ll admit I don’t always feel strong. For me strength is practice, it’s the repetition of behaviors and choices. I will say over the last few years I’ve liberated myself in many ways and that has lended to my strength, just simply accepting myself and my experiences the good and the bad makes me feel stronger. Hmm as far as when I feel strongest that’s definitely when I’m writing, alone, facing my emotions and myself boldly. I feel like over the years my writing has taught me so many things about myself and allowed to better my relationship with myself. What’s been amazing is being able to share my writing and having others connect to those feelings as well. That’s the gift I think. 🙂

e speaks…

I love that you started to share your singing on Instagram! It felt like a treat! Your eyes tell a story long before you speak. Which format seems to help you express yourself best? The written word, spoken word or songs and why?

Printed CED speaks…

Thank you! Sharing my singing on Instagram has definitely been fun. I’ve always wanted to do it but I never thought I was a strong singer and honestly I still don’t but it’s fun and it’s a really satisfying way to share my work. I think music is a beautiful way to connect with others and it allowed me to connect with a whole different set of people making my reach a bit more dynamic. I love all of them! Written word spoken word and songs I couldn’t possibly pick… next I want to start exploring more visual forms of expression such a short videos with an emphasis on cinematography.

e speaks…

Congratulations on your debut book Little Obsessions and Delusions! What are a couple of your favorite pieces and why?

Printed CED Speaks…

Thank you so much, I’m excited to eventually release a full book and I’m very proud of what I’ve already released. Little Obsessions and Delusions means a lot to me. It’s hard to pick favorites but Heed and Submit are both very emotional pieces for me, sometimes my voice still shakes when I read the words because I feel so attached to them. I really found myself, good and bad at that time in my life (when I wrote them) and it’s something I’ll always be appreciative of.

e Speaks…

What would you tell the younger writer in you to do differently, if anything?

Printed CED Speaks…

I would tell the younger me to believe in myself, have faith In others and except what comes to me. 

e speaks…

An exclusive I tell you! CED thank you sooo much for sharing your truth in this space!! Be sure to get your copy of “Little Obsessions and Delusions” on Amazon everyone! I got mine!

Click here to read more of Printed CED’s work on Instagram!

Blessings!

e of @authenticiteespeaks

IG | FB @AuthenticiteeSpeaks

Twitter | @Authenticitee

Blog | http://www.authenticiteespeaks.com

Remember YOU MATTER!

All excerpts and photos used in this piece are the sole property of Printed CED. No copyright infringement intended.

© Ericka Arthur and authenticitee speaks, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018 Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Ericka Arthur and authenticitee speaks with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

More than a gift to the Instagram Writing Community, Quinn B. Jones is an asset to humanity in a myriad of ways. There can be a staunch difference between what we write and what we choose to share as writers. But there is something to be said about the seasoned pen. It speaks; even when wisdom woos it to rest. Quinn however, has mastered the art of pause and press play. His writing is served to all but best appreciated by the palate of the insightful.

Quinn speaks…

I started writing poetry at the age of 14 when I found a poem that was actually addressed to someone else on my desk in my workshop class. I took the poem home and actually memorized it. I’m 42 now and poetry has become a stable in my life. Writing has pulled me out of my darkest nights and settled my heart, mind, and soul. The writing that I do now comes from a very personal place. Seeing what people go through in their daily life has made its way into my art and I draw inspiration from that. Also just an everyday conversation can be just the spark you need to create. With that being said I am a sponge of life and I return all of it to the world in my poems.

e speaks…

I am a huge fan of your writing. I love your range!

“Writing has pulled me out of my darkest nights and settled my heart, mind, and soul”. Tell me more about this. And what would you say to someone who has not yet  found that thing to pull them out of their darkest nights?

What are two of your favorite pieces that you’ve written and why?

Quinn speaks…

I am a huge fan of your writing as well. Many blessings and continued inspiration for you and all that you touch.

The first is because it speaks to the strength of all women. The woman who knows that in a heartbeat she can stop time just by walking into a room, and for a man to recognize that is seeing his own power being sucked out of him cause no matter how powerful that man is he is not stopping that foward progress of any woman.

The second poem is more of a story that shows death and the many reactions to it but from the side of the person that is gone…rather it be suicide or natural, those topics have to be brought to light. Also seeing how much hurt one can cause by thinking “If I wasn’t here”…Im here to say if you don’t want you here, I want you here, so please live for me.

e speaks…

Have you considered writing an autobiography? You strike me as a writer with so much more to say…

Quinn speaks…

I have alot to say, but I want it to be able to get the attention of people who really need it. I didn’t have anyone at certain times in my life who understood me and I want to let everyone know that they can hold my hand in and at anytime.

I am working on a Poetry autobiography…it will be called “1976” for the year I was born. It’s going to be very personal and dig up many things that I need to get out and actually see from a different view myself.

e speaks…

A perfect gentleman from day one; I have great respect for you and admire the way you carry yourself online. As an African American woman I salute you as an African American man of excellence! Do you feel there is a greater sense of responsibility? Has it ever crossed your mind?

Quinn speaks…

Being an African American writer crosses my mind with every word that I write down. I will forever be know as a writer but because America has to put a title with every single thing to make sure lines don’t get blurred or their history doesn’t get trampled I will also go down as an African-American Writer. But there is a silver lining in that…I used to did not see it. That silver lining gives me the privilege to stand with some of the greatest writers that are African-American…Maya Angelou, W. E. B Du Bois, James Baldwin, Octavia Butler, Counted Cullen, Ta-Nehisi Coates, to let me know I’m not on this stage alone it’s beautiful to be reminded of such strength in a time when all they think we can do is be criminals. But my writing(s) include everyone, we all cry, we all have emotion and we all have a heart. Even if I’m never on that plateau of those greats I guarantee that I’ve inspired at one person.

e speaks…

I was talking to another writer about the beauty of community and how important it is to have support. Tell me a little bit about your support network and how the role it’s played in your life; both personally and professionally as an author.

Quinn speaks…

There is nothing greater than community it’s bonds and binds like a glue. Community keeps you writing. From a personal aspect it gives you and your art life. There are days when you can read my poetry and know that I’m arguing with someone or that me and my wife just made love or that I am going through a personal feeling of a rush of emotions. All of that is encompassed in my art, you may have to read between the lines a couple of times but trust me…it’s there.

As far as professionally, everyone keeps me on my toes. To seeing where these words, My words can take not only me but people that I see I can help make it to the next level. I get excited when I see a new writer come to Instagram and they have that fire to lead a whole new generation of writers, creatives, and artist.

e speaks…

I follow both of your Instagram pages and the content and formats are completely different on each. You seem to be a limitless reservoir of words Quinn! What influenced your decision to create another poetry account?

Quinn speaks…

The funny thing about that is my first account is on my tablet. Now my job at the time didn’t have great WiFi so I was stuck  with writing all these ideas but just as you said it was completely different from what I was sharing on my tablet. I get the grand idea to make one on my phone. I thought that not a single person would even think about liking let alone reading even more of my poetry but here we are two trivia pages of art one that is great in exposure and another that is great at being personal. But it is not because of me at all. As I said I’m not up here alone.

e speaks…

Absolute perfection Quinn thank you for being here! Thou rockest!! If you want to see and support more of Quinn’s work, his books (The Angel Room, Opal Remains and The Chronicles of Hurt) are available on Amazon!

https://www.instagram.com/quinnbjones_just_poetry

https://www.instagram.com/quinnbjones_just_poetry_2

Blessings!

e of @authenticiteespeaks

IG | FB @AuthenticiteeSpeaks

Twitter | @Authenticitee

Blog | http://www.authenticiteespeaks.com

Remember YOU MATTER!

All excerpts and photos used in this piece are the sole property of Quinn B. Jones. No copyright infringement intended.

© Ericka Arthur and authenticitee speaks, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018 Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Ericka Arthur and authenticitee speaks with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Blessings!

e of @authenticiteespeaks

IG | FB @AuthenticiteeSpeaks

Twitter | @Authenticitee

Blog | http://www.authenticiteespeaks.com

Remember YOU MATTER!

© Ericka Arthur and authenticitee speaks, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018 Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Ericka Arthur and authenticitee speaks with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Images via Pinterest- no copyright infringement intended.

Blessed day Queen…”

Jomo aka @Morprophet is an integral part of our Instagram Writing Community. A gifted writer and long time supporter of @AuthenticiteeSpeaks, he was the first man to call me ‘Queen’ online.

I couldn’t figure out why it sounded honest when he addressed me as such. Like hearing a hit song over and over again, the terms “King” and “Queen” are favored until the hype fizzles. Overused and oftentimes perfunctory they lose their luster and feel disingenuous. But when Jay aka Jomo spoke, greeting every woman the same way, it sounded different because he was different. It wasn’t until much later that God would give me revelation about his voice.

God revealed Jomo’s strength came from having survived many a storm; some, a result of his own choices. God gave me a peace that he was a gentleman. A kind man with pure motives. A man that God could trust. A man who had earned the moniker: King.

Jomo speaks…

My name is Jomo Moore also know to many as Morprophet through my gift of writing on instagram @Morprophet and to a close few as Murph. I was born and raised in the beautiful country of Trinidad and Tobago which the smaller island Tobago is my place of birth.

I came to America shortly after completing my studies at the high school level at the age of sixteen. Which was one of my best decisions because I’m now the head of a beautiful family. Which consists of my wife, son and two daughters. I’m a certified truck driver trainer and window tinter by trade but I also try to spread my wings in other areas as real estate to name one in which I’m a landlord. I love writing, gaming and the ocean – not just the shoreline but the deep; whether I’m swimming, in a little boat or a cruise ship I feel at home. My choice of music or should I say my favorite genres are Calypso, Reggae, Dancehall, Soca, Rap and old R&B.

e speaks…

Wow thank you so much for being here! I am definitely a HUGE fan of your range as a writer!

Tell me more about your style of writing.

Jomo speaks…

My style of writing. I know of no other way to describe it other than passionate because when I write I put my soul into every word. I know that seems to be what most say but I truly do and so much that I said it all in these two lines in my poem titled Naked “ When you read if you can’t feel me in what I write. I plead with you to be blind to these words that I write”.

e speaks…

What are two of your favorite pieces that you’ve written and why?

Jomo speaks…

Two of my favorite pieces. Queen I’m not sure I could honestly choose one over the other to fall under the title of favorite because I put my all into each piece but I can give you two pieces and my reasons for writing them.

One is called How Did I Get Here? and the other is I Am Morprophet. How Did I Get Here was written as a poem. Which turned into a six piece series. I first wrote which is now the second insert of the series as a lone piece. After completing it as I have done many times before I read it to a friend for his critique. When I was done reading he said nothing. I waited for a bit then said, “say something already!” He replied, “I was waiting for you to finish. What happened before and after? It’s not finished. I know you can do better than this.” So I went on and wrote the other five parts that turned a poem into a short story.

Now the next piece I Am Morprophet was triggered or should I say was in response to a comment on another piece I wrote titled Hush Money. When I read the comment and realized whom it was from I was disappointed not because they disagreed with what I said. That’s their right but because they suddenly became a lie to me. Showing me that their garments were not a representation of who I thought they were but nothing more than a fashion statement.

e speaks…

Who/What influences you most as a writer? What are some of the greatest lessons you’ve learned as a writer?

Jomo speaks…

My greatest influence as a writer is life and some of my greatest lessons as a writer are to never force write or force a piece because if you do it will never be as great as it should’ve been. Always be truthful regardless if it’s your truth or someone else’s because there is someone that needs to come face to face with their truth whether good or bad.

e speaks…

Are you still working on your book? Tell me more about it!

Jomo speaks…

Yes I am slowly. It’s going to consist of short stories and poems. Few pieces that I’ve posted will be included but the majority will be of pieces I have in my vault and the rest which more than a few are still in my soul just waiting to be inked.

e speaks…

And it will be worth the wait I am sure! Thank you so much for being here Jomo! Be sure to support Jomo by visiting his Instagram page!

Blessings!

e of @authenticiteespeaks

IG | FB @AuthenticiteeSpeaks

Twitter | @Authenticitee

Blog | http://www.authenticiteespeaks.com

Remember YOU MATTER!

All excerpts and photos used in this piece are the sole property of Jomo Moore. No copyright infringement intended.

© Ericka Arthur and authenticitee speaks, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018 Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Ericka Arthur and authenticitee speaks with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

I study the writers I choose to feature. It’s important to me to marinate in the pauses between their words. Words are powerful and those who are not afraid to stretch them beyond their original intent fascinate me. Kindra Austin is not afraid and she fascinates me.

Previously unfamiliar with Kindra’s work, I couldn’t have been more thrilled when she was recommended by one of my favorite poets; Devereaux Frazier! I had the honor of interviewing Devereaux a few months ago; so I knew I was in for a treat. Wise beyond his years he has a mature palate and sure enough the strength of Kindra’s gift “had me at hello”.

Kindra speaks…

Kindra M. Austin is an indie author from Chesaning, Michigan, USA. Her debut novel, “Magpie in August” was published in April, 2017, and her book of poems and prose, “Constant Muses” followed in December. Other publications include several poems featured on SpillWords, and an essay advocating for LGBTQ rights, printed in the Mansfield Pride magazine. She is currently working on a second collection of poetry and prose, and a novella (“For You, Rowena”) to be released at the end of August.

Austin has been writing for over twenty years. In 2008, she began blogging under different pseudonyms while briefly moonlighting as a writer/editor/internet radio personality. She’s the founder of Poems & Paragraphs, a founding member of Indie Blu(e), and a writer/managing editor at the Sudden Denouement Literary Collective (Sudden Denouement Publishing), including Blood Into Ink, and Whisper and the Roar. Later this month, she will launch a blogsite as a companion to her infant imprint, called One for Sorrow. Austin’s goal is to one day own and operate her own micro-press.

e speaks…

Tell me a bit more about “Magpie in August”. I’m interested not only in the backdrop and title choice but also the journey that led you to taking the leap from writer to indie author!

Kindra speaks…

Magpie in August is the narrative of Magpie Carey, a young woman on a soul searching journey. Her little sister Renny (Wren) died at the age of ten—she drowned in Lake Huron on her birthday. Every August, Magpie and her mother travel to Tawas, Michigan, to spend the anniversary of Renny’s death at the lake. Magpie despises the lake, and blames herself for Renny’s death. At its core, this novel is about forgiveness, and accepting the truth.

The concept for Magpie was piloted by my relationship with my mother. In 2012, she moved back home to Michigan from Texas, where she’d lived for twelve years. Her return was an adjustment for me, as I had to relearn how to function with an alcoholic mother living within close proximity to me. I began writing about my feelings towards her, and memories of my childhood. It seemed natural to turn these writings into a memoir, however, I began asking myself questions, and playing with ideas: What would someone else have done in my stead? What if my mother had made different decisions? How many others out there have lived lives similar to mine? It took a couple of years for the story of Magpie and her family to take real shape, and I didn’t sit down seriously to write it until mid-2014. I self-published in April, 2017.

e speaks…

As a poet, which of your earlier pieces resonates most with you and how would you say your voice has changed, if at all?

Kindra speaks…

Eternally October

In his dreams, she dances

In and out of shadow and luminescence.

Her liquescent movements are reminiscent

Of a languid flame that once danced for the rose candle,

Which now sits cold, useless—

Dead since late October.

He breathes deeply scents of

Sandalwood and rose, the essence of her hair.

He tastes the redolence of gin and tonic,

And the tang of menthol ciggies cleaving to her tongue—

Senses living, ever

Lasting in October.

He hears her breath, rhythmic

Against a backdrop of fall rain. Soft sputters

Splatter gently upon the cold windowpane—

The melody of October unjust, justified.

Song of amour, ever

Low, ever fleeting…

He awakes in the night.

She is there in the black, low-slung and callous—

Phantom in the guise of a satellite,

Casting her hateful white light through the thin window shade,

Ever mocking, ever

Static in October.

© Kindra M. Austin 2016

This poem was written after a terrific break-up, and published a few years later on Poems & Paragraphs. I believe my voice has since grown steelier, darker, and more self-aware. I now write mostly in first person, as I have shed much of my shame—I’m no longer afraid to speak my truths.

e speaks…

What a stunning piece! I applaud your confidence as you walk in your truth!

So I love your aspirations of owning and operating a micro press but can’t say it’s a term I was familiar with until now. Does entrepreneurship come natural to you or do find that as a creative the need to develop business savvy is inevitable along the way?

Kindra speaks…

The answer is both. And both are necessary to the indie author, whether their goal is to own a press/imprint, or not. It takes an entrepreneurial mind-set just to promote, market, and manage royalties/expenses.

e speaks…

Finally, what advice would you give to new writers? Especially those trying to decide if their writing is just a hobby or some thing worth exploring beyond an occasional poem here and there?

Kindra speaks…

To those writers who question whether or not their writing is more than a hobby, I pose these questions:

1. Do you feel a sense of incompleteness, stress, or any other uncomfortable emotion if you’ve gone more than a couple of days without writing?

2. Do you often find yourself thinking about writing while you’re working, or involved with other activities?

If your answer to either of these questions is no, then you are most likely a hobby writer.

My advice to writers who have big goals:

1. Write. A lot.

2. Write your own truths, and don’t bend to fads.

3. Read. A lot.

5. Open yourself to experimentation. Sometimes it takes a while to discover your voice/style.

6. Grow comfortable with editing.

7. Interact with other writers—join a writing community and build relationships.

8. If you want to see your writing in book form someday, build a platform.

9. Don’t write for accolades alone. If you do, you will lose your truth. No one likes a pretentious prick.

e speaks…

Thank you for being here Kindra!! Be sure to support Kindra by visiting the following sites:

https://poemsandparagraphs.com/

https://indieblu.net/

https://suddendenouement.com/

https://suddendenouementpublications.com/

https://bloodintoinkpressblog.wordpress.com/

https://whisperandtheroar.com/

https://www.facebook.com/kindra.m.austin1978/

https://www.instagram.com/kindra_m_austin/

https://twitter.com/@AustinKindra/

Blessings!

e of @authenticiteespeaks

IG | FB @AuthenticiteeSpeaks

Twitter | @Authenticitee

Blog | http://www.authenticiteespeaks.com

Remember YOU MATTER!

All excerpts and photos used in this piece are the sole property of Kindra Austin. No copyright infringement intended.

© Ericka Arthur and authenticitee speaks, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018 Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Ericka Arthur and authenticitee speaks with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

I could not be more thrilled to have interviewed today’s featured writer! Lisa W. Tetting is a rich blend of wit, intelligence, beauty and fire. Having had the honor of being a contributing poet to her early 2018 release: Love is Color Anthology (Adult Content), it was during that process that I got to witness her genius firsthand.

Intentional in her interactions with others, Lisa’s kindness is only enhanced by her seasoned professionalism. Years of experience and wisdom steadies her as she educates on the level of the hearer. Her ability to meet each person where they are without losing her footing is admirable and impressive.

I can’t wait for you to meet her.

Lisa speaks…

Lisa W. Tetting is the author of the novel, The Mistreatment of Zora Langston, and Southern Horror Stories. She is the creator of Rebirthoflisa, her personal blog. Lisa holds a Business Management degree from Mount Olive University. She is a former call center supervisor, who found freedom in books and writing poetry most of her life. After finally embracing her gift in her forties, she decided to live her dream of becoming a full time writer.

She grew up in a small town in North Carolina and loves that she is a Southern Girl. She currently resides in Birmingham, AL with her loving husband and spoiled cat. Lisa’s influences include Maya Angelou, Octavia Butler, Zora Neale Hurston, and Edgar Allan Poe.

e speaks…

I believe there is a shift in the lives of people that propels them towards “aha moments”. What was yours? Perhaps the day you made the leap to becoming a full time writer?

Lisa speaks…

I guess what you could call my ‘aha’ moment was one day when I was working as a call center supervisor. One of my team members’ calls was being reviewed by the client. This was a weekly occurrence and one that was very stressful. The client wanted the calls to be formulated a certain way, but the agent on the phone missed a few of the regimented points. I had no problem correcting the agent and providing feedback, but this was her third infraction. Mind you, this agent was fun, charismatic and the customers loved her.

Regardless, because it was her third strike so to speak, the client insisted I terminate her. The points she missed, in my opinion, were minimal and could be coached, but I was forced to let her go. What really ticked me off was that I knew this woman was in need of her job and the customer gave her a good rating on the survey. I was already unhappy there and this was the nail in the coffin. I went home that night after a very emotional day and discussed it with my husband. The next day I handed in my resignation. I worked the remaining two weeks and then took some time to reflect on what I wanted to do.

I knew I could no longer work in an environment that forced me to take away someone else’s earning potential over something trivial. I knew then that I needed to tap in to my creative side and writing was the best way for me to express myself.

e speaks…

Through your blog, I’ve discovered everything from new writers to music. How did Rebirth of Lisa begin and how did you determine its content?

Lisa speaks…

Rebirthoflisa began after I left my corporate job. I decided to start writing, but was unsure how to even begin. The blog came out of my need to express all of the pent up emotions I had inside. I knew I wanted to infuse the world with more love and understanding. Since I have a variety of interests, I was unable to narrow the topics down to just one, so I decided to just talk about anything that interested me. It eventually developed into a place to showcase my writing.

e speaks…

Though degreed it seems as though the world of self publishing is at the fingertips of those willing to self learn and self promote. What are your thoughts on this route vs. seeking traditional publishing? Pros and cons?

Lisa speaks…

Self publishing has been a godsend to me. I am not the type to sit around and wait for someone to judge my writing skills, only to end up rejected and with nothing to show for it. More times than not, traditional publishing houses tend to be dream crushers instead of dream makers. Self-publishing allowed me to be as creative as I would like in my writing. I get to control everything from the topic, to the formatting to the book cover.

On the flip side, traditional publishers have more reach. This could be the difference between a few hundred people seeing your work and a few thousand. They also have more funding for book events, traveling and marketing. There are pros and cons to both.

e speaks…

At first I didn’t realize you were writing under a pen name. How did you come to this decision and has it worked for or against you? Do you have more than one pen name based on the genre?

Lisa speaks…

I chose to use a pen name when I started writing erotic romance. Those books are written under the name L. Loren. I use my real name for regular fiction novels. Part of the reason I use a pen is out of respect for my husband. He is still a little uncomfortable about my sexy books, but he supports me in everything I do. I also thought it would be fun to have an alter ego who is sexy and writes naughty stories with lots of hot sex. In a sense, my L. Loren persona allows me to live out my fantasies through my writing.

e speaks…

Your book The Mistreatment of Zora Langston appears to be a pivotal work for you. I’d love to hear more about it! Can you share your favorite excerpt?

Lisa speaks…

Sure, The Mistreatment of Zora Langston is my first novel. It is about a young girl who endures physical, emotional and sexual abuse, but finds the strength through her faith to continue to grow. It is an emotional tale and may be a trigger for those sensitive about child sexual abuse.

Here’s a little excerpt:

Hi, my name is Zora Langston, and I am 9 years old. I am from a small town in North Carolina called Goldsboro, where life is slow and the people are good. I live on Beech Street with my parents and my older brother and sister. Today is the worst day of my life and I just need it to be over as quickly as possible. I can’t believe my daddy, Barry Langston, left me all alone. He knew my mom hated me and my grandma lives too far away to help. Why would he just abandon me like that? I wanted to go with him, and my heart hurt so much.

I screamed at the top of my lungs, “Daddy! Daddy, come back!” My family was standing at his grave site waiting for the preacher to finish his speech. My mom called it a eulogy, but it seemed like a very long and boring speech from someone who didn’t even know my daddy. Daddy always took me to the Church of Christ on Sundays, but this preacher was from the Baptist church my mom attended with my older sister and brother.

“Somebody shut that girl up,” my mom said. “She’s embarrassing the whole family. Acting so ghetto.”

My sister Queenie chimed in, “Doesn’t she know that dignified people bury people in silence and with pride? Who ever heard of a child asking her daddy to come back from death?”

It seemed like my brother was lost or numb because he never said a word. This was odd for Big Willie because he always had something to say. He was never without a smooth line or a quick comeback. I guess he was mourning like I was. My mom and sister acted like the only thing they cared about was what everyone would say about their dresses, hair, and make-up. My sister could not wait to be seen in the limo, and I overheard mommy talking to her friends about how nice she was burying my daddy.

“Barry is going to be laid out in the finest suit money can buy” she said. “Oh and that casket, it’s the best that they had; mahogany wood with silk lining. He is going out in style, only the best for my husband!”

All of this talk when she knew good and well that daddy would have a fit if he saw the funeral bill. My daddy hated to waste money and he always said, “When I go, just put me in my Sunday suit and a pine box. No need in putting money in the ground. Use it for my baby’s education.” Of course that fell on deaf ears with Mrs. Teresa Jones Langston!’ She was always decked out from head to toe. The baddest lady on our block, according to Mr. Samuels at the corner store. He was always telling people how fine my mom was and what kind of designer clothes she was wearing. I swear he was trying to make a move on Mommy, and now that daddy was gone I wonder how long it will take him to move into our house.  Mommy tried to hide it, but she loved the attention he gave her and I saw them holding hands one day. She swore me to secrecy and threatened me within an inch of my life, but I told daddy anyway. He never said a word to her, but I knew it hurt him.

The day my daddy died, I was sitting on the front porch waiting for mommy to unlock the door. I waited for her to pick me up after school, but she never came. Since we walked home the same route every day, I knew my way home. Queenie and Big Willie had afterschool activities and never walked with me. Queenie was a cheerleader and would never be seen with a dork like me. Big Willie was the star of the basketball team, and he was always on the court playing. He would eat and sleep there if Mommy would let him.

My daddy had a heart attack after coming home from work early to let me in the house. A neighbor called him at work to let him know I was sitting outside and couldn’t get in. When he arrived I was so happy to see him because I was starving. As we entered the house there were funny noises coming from upstairs. He told me to make myself a snack and he would be right back. When he went upstairs he caught my mommy and Mr. Samuels in the bed together. I was in the kitchen making a peanut butter and jelly sandwich when something told me to go upstairs. As I reached the top stair, I heard Daddy yelling and Mommy was crying, “Please, Barry, don’t hurt him!” “Hurt him!” Daddy said in a low voice, almost a whisper.

His face went pale and he was shaking. The next thing I knew, Mr. Samuels was running past me in his socks with his ding-a-ling swinging everywhere. Then I saw my daddy clutch his chest and fall to the ground. He looked weak as I rushed to his side. He had enough time to say, “I love you, Zora,” before my mommy snatched me up and said, “Get your ass downstairs and you better not say a word to anybody about what you saw.” As she was pulling me away, I saw his eyes go dead and then his body went limp. Daddy died there on the floor, and that bitch never even called for help. I never really liked my mom, but after that day I hated her! She killed the love of my life and then stole his final moments with her selfishness. I could never forgive her, and if she thought I was going to keep her secret, she had another thought coming. I was just waiting for the right moment to expose her!

e speaks…

Powerful! I have learned so much from you. As a matter of fact I was unfamiliar with the acronym BWWM until I met you. For my readers, BWWM books feature romantic love stories between a black woman and a white man. Lisa did your writing find its voice in this genre or did this genre lend credence to your style?

Lisa speaks…

I started writing BWWM under my pen name, L. Loren. I chose this subgenre of erotic romance because it intrigues me. I am married to a white man and it simply felt natural to have the love interest in my books to mirror my life.

e speaks…

Your latest book is a BWWM novella. Describe the difference between a novel and novella and give us a bit of insight into The Opposite of Hew.

Lisa speaks…

As far as I know, the difference between a novella and a novel is the word count. A novella has between 17, 500 to 40, 000 words and a novel has more than 40,000 words, according to the chart I use as reference. The Opposite of Hew started out as a short story (under 7, 500 words) that I was writing for an anthology. However, the curator of the anthology decided to have all stories less than 250 words.  Since I was already over 5000 words at the time, I decided to keep writing.

The story derived from a post on social media where a young lady was upset that people kept asking her aunt when she was going to have babies. Her aunt was having difficulty carrying her babies and the ordeal was upsetting. The post awakened some past issues for me where I was constantly being asked when I was going to have a baby. I decided to do a guest blog feature about it and invited other women to express themselves.

However, that wasn’t it for me. I kept thinking about it and developed a character in my mind that was independent, free and didn’t want marriage or children. I decided to keep it pretty clean, meaning limited sex, with the only scenes in the book insinuated, not detailed. It didn’t quite fit in with my LoveRotica brand that I write under my pen name, so I decided to use my real name.

So in this novella, the heroine is Kay McQueen. She is not into romance and she only dates as a means to an end. Her family, however, is determined to see her married and have children. When her favorite aunt passes away, she is sent on a journey of self-discovery. Along the way she meets Heath Novack. She resists his charms as best she could, but then she gives in only to find out he was not the man she thought he was. He was hiding some secrets that caused her to rethink their budding relationship. What she finds in the end was an affirmation of what she already knew. Not all girls dream of a white wedding and Happily Ever After isn’t always what it seems.

e speaks…

Thank you for being here Lisa!! Be sure to support Lisa by visiting the following sites:

http://lisawtetting.com/

https://www.instagram.com/rebirthoflisa

https://m.facebook.com/LisaWTetting

Blessings!

e of @authenticiteespeaks

IG | FB @AuthenticiteeSpeaks

Twitter | @Authenticitee

Blog | http://www.authenticiteespeaks.com

Remember YOU MATTER!

All excerpts and photos used in this piece are the sole property of Lisa W Tetting. No copyright infringement intended.

© Ericka Arthur and authenticitee speaks, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018 Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Ericka Arthur and authenticitee speaks with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.