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 saw her with a few of her friends bouncing towards me after service. The only one attempting to keep eye contact though several feet away, I prepared myself to return her kindness with a smile.

As she drew closer and her smile grew wider she hit me with, “Hey! Is that your hair?!”

I blacked out.

No. Really.

Like there was this 10 second delay where I had the sermon I just heard in one ear and a “Heifer what did you just ask me?! Are you kidding me slew foot?! I don’t even KNOW you!!” in the other.

“No. It. Isn’t.” God musta answered her ’cause I was still looking at her in disbelief like, are Sistahs still asking that? Like no really. Are they? ‘Cause I really thought we weren’t asking each other that anymore. ESPECIALLY women that don’t know each other.

“‘Cause this ain’t mine!!”, she continued just a grinnin’.

I’m sorry, are you still talkin’ to me?? I don’t remember asking you if it was. I don’t remember you asking me my name. I don’t remember you even saying you liked my hair. I’m like for real???

I bore very easily and as a result change my hair often. Currently donning long, curly 1B/350 double strand twists (not seen here) for the last week or so I’m clueless as to why she would think it’s my hair my hair you know? And if it is or isn’t why are we having this conversation after church and I’m sorry who are you again?

Boundaries. Discretion. These things are important. So very important people. The blessing and quite honestly the sad fact is Im used to people doing theeeeee MOST when it comes to my hair as a woman of color. When my (naturally grown) locs (dredlocs) were so long they were touching my belt, I had a stranger touch my hair on an elevator. Huh?! Even casual acquaintances at work would be taken aback by my blatant “stop, drop, insert eye roll, dodge” of their creepy crawlers coming toward my hair. Like where is your home training? You’re a grown woman. I’m good and grown Honty. Why are you trying to touch my hair?!

According to the T-Shirt industry. Clearly…I’m not the only one🤔

You been there? Let me hear your voice…

Thank you for being here!

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.

All photos of me are mine with exception of the T-Shirt photos and “I Love My Roots” artwork. No copyright infringement intended.

When I uploaded my first post on WordPress three years ago today, I had no idea what I was getting into…

I’m certainly grateful for what blogging has taught me and (now) excited (again) about the potential it holds but “for real for real“? I’m still winging it.

See….Authenticitee Speaks has morphed into a public record of my journal, a clear declaration of my allegiance to Jesus who I believe is the Christ, a platform to interview and showcase those who inspire me, words of encouragement and some serious, sho nuff grown folks love poetry. Oh and one mo’ thang Honty – everyone is welcome!! What the what?! What do you do with that kinda gumbo?

Actually – I’m not quite sure. I mean do I have to do something about that? Isn’t that what makes my authenticity speak? Just being me? Heck. Until my friend Quiana Scott; entrepreneur and former blogger of FEMpowered Persepective schooled me, I didn’t even know what a blog was 3 years ago. I even remember my fellow Gates Of Influence powerhouse classmate Latarsha Lytle asking a myriad of questions about “marketing plans for my target audience”. Huh?! Um. The hurting Ma’am. I have a burden for the hurting. That could be anyone! How do you target THAT?

The incessant fixation with stats and likes began to vehemently swirl around my pen but I refused to let it pressure me. I still refuse to let it sway me; whether I’m posting here or on my beloved Instagram page. I just write from my heart and trust that whoever needs to see it, will see it when they need it the most.

Yes; 3 years later I realize I have just as many things to unlearn as I do to learn! But as long as I’m at peace with a piece before sharing it with the masses, while exercising my oft used right to delete or archive it later; I am remaining true to myself. And that is what matters most to me. I’ve wrestled long enough with my range of writing by finishing the sentences of naysayers in my head! I’ve finally accepted that some will only see me as a preacher and others, only as the bass player’s wife. Then there are those who only know me as an Instagram poet or radio host. As a writer, I only have control over what people see, not how they perceive what they see. That revelation is LIBERATION personified!

But the truth is before I was a preacher, a wife, mom and somewhat of a public persona (lest I flatter myself), I was just ‘e‘. I’m most comfortable without the titles. I’m just ‘e’. And as I learn how to walk worthy of my calling, in spite of every embarrassing mistake and poor choice made…

No matter the format, on my word: I’m gonna spend the rest of my life making other people feel less broken. Period. No matter the setting, venue, method, expression or platform – that is the calling on my life. Here’s to hindsight, God breathed insight, being kind to myself and future happenings!

If you have any questions/comments, feel free to share below! Take a moment to introduce yourself! Special shout out to my Mom who reads every word and listens to every radio broadcast I’m on! Thank you Mommy! I love you to life!!

In honor of my 3rd Blogaversary – I’m sharing a quick list of a few of my favorites bloggers! Show them some love & tell ’em I sent ‘cha! Leave your blog link below as well!

https://kittomalley.com/

https://robertmgoldstein.com/

https://forfriendswithoutborders.com/

https://musingsofafrequentflyingscientist.com/

https://seanmungin.com/

https://theginnydiaries.com/

https://nutsrok.wordpress.com/

https://marquessamatthews.com/

https://www.nadinetomlinson.com/

https://kwoted.wordpress.com/

https://marylandpoetblog.wordpress.com/author/marylandpoetblog/

https://black-burgundy.com/

https://10000hoursleft.wordpress.com/

https://shadebutnoshade.wordpress.com/

https://abeautywithbrainsblog.wordpress.com/

https://thejladoctrine.wordpress.com/

https://russelljfellows.com/

http://www.mommasview.com/

https://rebirthoflisa.wordpress.com/

Thank you for being here!

Blessings!

e of @authenticiteespeaks

Host of the Inspiration With E Radio Show

IG | FB @InspirationWithE

Twitter | @EAInspiration

Blog | http://www.authenticiteespeaks.com

IG | @authenticiteespeaks

Twitter | @authenticitee

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.

Photo credits: Melanin and Mental Health’s Instagram page; Pinterest – no copyright infringement intended.


TONIGHT! CLICK LINK TO LISTEN!

SEASON 1 EPISODE 3 @InspirationWithE Radio Show!

During this episode “E” Interviews Guest Co-Host – Minister of Music, Singer and Music Consultant; George Ward @gdubb3 , Poet & PTSD Survivor; Ilona Gaspar @lotusheart.romanisoul , Single Mom & stroke survivor; Donna Bush @donnaevette and Actor, Producer, and Screenwriter living with Cerebral Palsy; Scott Rolfe @creativeswap. 

HOW TO TUNE IN:



1- LIVE & ON DEMAND Shows available at BLOGTALK RADIO – http://www.grindhardradio.com 

2- Call in LIVE on air to listen: 323-693-3043 (Press 1 to speak with my guests and I!) 

3- ON DEMAND via Podcasts on iTUNES: Search “Grindhardradio” then look for “Inspiration With E”! .

Meet me there!💫e .

Inspired to inspire others…healed to do the same! All are welcome, Including YOU! All genres of music, interviewing amazing guests, raising awareness & ending stigma! ALL are welcome. The support, both publicly & privately has been incredible. Blessings💫e

#InspirationWithE #RadioHost
Host of the Inspiration With E Radio Show

IG | FB @InspirationWithE

Twitter | @EAInspiration

Blog | http://www.authenticiteespeaks.com

IG | @authenticiteespeaks

Twitter | @authenticitee

Remember YOU MATTER!

© Ericka Arthur and authenticitee speaks, 2015, 2016, 2017 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
Photo Credits Ericka Arthur for Inspiration With E


GOD CAN…I CAN’T



When I first launched “Inspiration with E” I was surrounded by people who only knew one fragment of my mosaic. They either saw me as ONLY a love poet @authenticiteespeaks, or ONLY a blogger at http://www.authenticiteespeaks.com or ONLY a mother or ONLY a singer/songwriter/speaker. A few still ONLY see me as the bass player’s wife. Wondering how I pulled the Worship Pastor’s youngest son or how he pulled the Grad student from Brooklyn. I have had MORE than my share of those who ONLY try to get close to me because of the artists my husband works with. Caught off guard by my down to earth-ness & even turned off when I don’t name drop or “take advantage” of connections. In my mind, they’re great people who I admire/respect but they’re HIS coworkers…not mine. They too, deserve people in their lives who don’t want anything from them. Imagine that.

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.
Then there came @grindhardradio. “What? My own radio show? Nah. Not ready”. I wanted everything to be just right. I used to be smaller. Had a perfect smile. Skin was clearer and life hadn’t beaten the freakin’ hell outta me yet. I didn’t want to be in debt. I didn’t want to be overweight. I didn’t want to have a shattered heart in recovery & a brain with glitches. I didn’t want trust issues. I didn’t want health problems that interrupted my life. How could I inspire people when I STILL need inspiration?!

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And then GOD began to encourage me to encourage others…right from where I was. ALL PEOPLE. To share what makes me smile, gives me hope, and breathes LIFE into me.

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Yes. I’m glad you’re here. Nope. I don’t have all the answers but GOD can handle your questions. I say WE encourage as many people as possible and remind them that they matter too. No NOT RELIGION OR JUDGMENT. Just good old fashioned LOVE💫e
PS: It can still be a good day!
Background Photo Credit: Text2Pic 
8/26/17
Blog | http://www.authenticiteespeaks.com
IG | @authenticiteespeaks
Twitter | @authenticitee
Remember YOU MATTER!

© Ericka Arthur and authenticitee speaks, 2015, 2016, 2017 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

HOW TO TUNE IN:


1- LIVE & ON DEMAND Shows available at BLOGTALK RADIO – http://www.grindhardradio.com 

2- Call in LIVE on air to listen: 323-693-3043 (Press 1 to speak with my guests and I!) 

3- ON DEMAND via Podcasts on iTUNES: Search “Grindhardradio” then look for “Inspiration With E”! .

.


#InspirationWithE #Radio #RadioHost

triage

 

overly concerned

you were not healthy enough to love

misdiagnosed

as you are not healthy enough to be loved…Beloved

 

 

 

LIKE/FOLLOW e of Authenticitee Speaks ON FACEBOOK/INSTAGRAM

@authenticiteespeaks – Blog/Love Poetry Fan Page

@InspirationWithE – Inspiration Fan Page

FOLLOW e ON TWITTER

@authenticitee – Love Poetry Page

@EAInspiration – Inspiration Page

BLOG – http://www.authenticiteespeaks.com

Don’t forget to keep in touch & share with a friend!

Much love & welcome new faces!e

Remember YOU MATTER!

© Ericka Arthur and authenticitee speaks, 2015, 2016, 2017. 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

 

 

that’s not

 

that’s not sadness in her eyes

that’s what pools of wisdom look like

once the dust has settled

 

 

 

LIKE/FOLLOW e of Authenticitee Speaks ON FACEBOOK/INSTAGRAM

@authenticiteespeaks – Blog/Love Poetry Fan Page

@InspirationWithE – Inspiration Fan Page

FOLLOW e ON TWITTER

@authenticitee – Love Poetry Page

@EAInspiration – Inspiration Page

BLOG – http://www.authenticiteespeaks.com

Don’t forget to keep in touch & share with a friend!

Much love & welcome new faces!e

Remember YOU MATTER!

© Ericka Arthur and authenticitee speaks, 2015, 2016, 2017. 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

img_2991

My heart is full and my mind is all over the place. It is racing a million miles a minute, but in a good way. I don’t feel worried, I feel needed. As though there are millions I’ve yet to meet who need what God has deposited inside of me at the disapproval of those who once knew me.

What’s that you ask? No. Not really sure what that means. I do know that I’ve spent almost two years publishing my journal on social media. Numbers increasing by the thousands on Instagram in the last 6 months while interaction with my core followers on my blog diminishing as a result.

My grammar and punctuation is still as suspect as I forewarned readers it would be in my initial post and consistency has been cloaked in obligatory life responsibilities.

I am different. My life is different. My household is different. My calling has not changed but it’s pretty obvious that my audience has. How God has enlarged my territory while I’ve finally fully embraced being an awkward, at times talkative, quirky introvert/borderline recluse is beyond me.

I’m finished chasing the familiar. Familiar faces. Familiar feelings. Familiar spaces. Not really sure what that means for me as a writer…with an audience. I just know I’m ready for the new thing.

Whatever that may be…as wonderfully scary as that may be.

Thanks to WordPress providing incredible statistics I know you’re out there. This website is visited by all walks of life representing several countries spanning the globe. For those that are still here…and still reading my work though you may not comment, I am deeply humbled and honored by your presence and support. It is CROWDED here on WordPress and the fact that something about http://www.authenticiteespeaks.com has caught your eye is mind blowing! God bless you and thank you for taking this journey with me.

That’s all for now. I once knew New and very much looking forward to rediscovering New once again.

Blog | http://www.authenticiteespeaks.com
IG | @authenticiteespeaks
Twitter | @authenticitee

Remember YOU MATTER!

© Ericka Arthur and authenticitee speaks, 2015, 2016 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

Photo Credit Pinterest – Emerald753. No copyright infringement intended.

I vaguely remember hearing that NBA players never wear the same pair of sneakers twice at games. Not sure if that story is a fable or not but I rather fancied the idea. It left me fascinated with the notion of being given new artillery for each new battle.

New. It’s a concept we can’t really process as a result of the diminished value once we pull off a car dealership’s lot and smear fingerprints across the window of every new experience we touch.

Conditioned to sing about “mercies, new every morning” according to Biblical scriptures and life experience; I can’t say I remember the last time “new” really felt new…for me.

So I open the floor and pose a question: What does the phrase “brand new” mean to you?

If not here, then in your journal make the result of your reflections known🌹e

© Ericka Arthur and authenticitee, 2015, 2016 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 with appropriate and specific direction to the original content

Photo Credit: Ginny Hardwood. No copyright infringement intended.

  
BEHIND THE MASK

Do you remember? All that advice I gave? Sincere, highly sought and at times unsolicited. I had all the answers when it wasn’t my turn. When my rhythm was real good and real right. 

Then immersed in & numbed by maladaptive coping mechanisms I was wooed into cataclysmic, organic, orgasmic, climatic throes of denial.  

Heartbreak has burnt my clutch. Wore me down. Glasses off. Contacts out. Looking for my crown. Hypersensitive to the slightest touch. Airbrushed smile now masks the frown. 

Do you remember? All that advice I gave? Thanked me cause your life it saved?
Well it’s not easy being a hypocrite. Somebody’s gotta do it…on the road to hell with good intentions paved. 


© Ericka Arthur and authenticitee, 2015, 2016 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 with appropriate and specific direction to the original 


Background Photo Image Pinterest. No copyright infringement intended