“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

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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.

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.

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

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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 first introduced Emmanuella Raphaelle to this space over a year ago during my 2017 #WriterCrushWednesday series. Much of what I shared at that time, such as my admiration and respect, has only increased after reading her first book: After The Affair – Re Membering.

I don’t remember finishing a book and immediately flipping to the front cover to begin reading it again. It’s. That. Good.

An autobiography. Truth encapsulated. A lover of words and master chef in serving them well. This memoir has fed me and yet I wanted more.

When I first met Celestial, as I often call her; I discerned a weight that could not be denied. She garnered a depth that casual glances could not pinpoint or ignore. Reading her work always felt inviting; as though I had stumbled across a flowing discourse midstream that I was welcome to dance in. However laced throughout the 388 pages of robust writing is a story that deserves to be felt over and over and over again.

It’s my favorite kind of writing. Raw. Honest. A gift. Published by a publishing company Emmanuella created to house this first fortune of many to come. Do get it. Do read it. Do get it when you read it.

Oh and be blessed…’cause I was.

e

Thank you for being here! To learn more about Emmanuella Raphaelle, link directly to her social media accounts or purchase her work visit https://www.ermsjournal.com/.

Blessings!

@authenticiteespeaks

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Blog | http://www.authenticiteespeaks.com

Remember YOU MATTER!

The photos and quotes included in this review are the exclusive property of Emmanuella Raphaelle. 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.

ARE YOU HAPPY?

Someone I hadn’t seen in years. Maybe like 8 years. Asked me if I was happy this past weekend. My usual response is “Happiness is based on happenings.” See I’m all heart, a skeptic, very guarded, an introvert and very private in nature. I find that because I’m kind and give direct eye contact; it’s often interpreted as being “open”. I am not.

But I like this person. A lot actually. Though mere acquaintances; I wasn’t offended. Though many go by what they overhear or what they try to piece together from social media; I believe this question came from a genuine space.

There was a time I would really ponder that question, which is bizarre to ask when just “running” into someone. I’m deep. A thinker. So the question felt very intrusive to me. Though I genuinely do not feel it was meant to be. No love lost. No grudges held. No overthinking will overtake me. But I do know this. Every question asked does not have to be answered.

I chose however to respond honestly: “I’m in a good space” and the response was, “You look like it. You look good”. I know there are many who are not happy. They ask my secret. The joy of the Lord keeps me in moments where happiness has failed me. Praying your happenings evolve into happiness and your joy remains.

Thank you for being here! New here? Welcome!

Blessings!

e of @authenticiteespeaks

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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 credit Unknown: No copyright infringement intended.

Welcome to Day 27 of #TheLoveLetterProject Writing Challenge created by Marie of The Notion Of Love! If you’re just joining me, you can catch up on the rules here!

Day 27

To Someone Who Has Lost Faith In Love

Losing something gives the connotation that we once had it. Be it our house keys or one’s proverbial mojo: losing something that we’ve come to cherish and/or depend on can be life altering.

Losing faith in love is usually a result of betrayal or expecting more than someone is really able to deliver. The most encouraging advice I can give is to be honest with yourself first.

Do you still want love? Do you want to be loved? I find so many issues stem from childhood rejection and perverted perception. Love is not abusive or manipulative. Perhaps it’s the agony of waiting. Wondering if it will ever be your turn.

More than receiving, love is what we are willing to give. Selfishness stifles. Has it ever dawned on you that another may be hurting too? Someone just may need the faith you lost in order for them to find faith in love again. Releasing ourselves from the weight of our loss makes room to simultaneously give and receive the healing power of love.

Who has need of what you’ve lost?…💫e

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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 Pixabay, Google images. No copyright infringement intended.

Welcome to Day 26 of #TheLoveLetterProject Writing Challenge created by Marie of The Notion Of Love! If you’re just joining me, you can catch up on the rules here!

Day 26

To The One Who Gives You Hope

You know what’s interesting is I felt compelled to look up the definition of hope for today’s writing prompt.

Sounds a lot like faith to me soooo what am I overthinking…now?

As volunteer suicide crisis counselor our training teaches us to assess a person’s feelings of hopelessness:

Anytime one loses hope they run the risk of becoming very withdrawn and depressed, if they stay in that space. Sure we all have our bad days but we must be honest about the cause and effect.

As a person who loves to give hope to others, I know what’s it like to be superwoman to several. I know what it’s like to run on fumes. I also know what it’s like to learn the hard way, that pouring from an empty cup is a lack of wisdom! Compassion Fatigue is nothing to play with. One of the most liberating moments of my journey is when God reminded me that everyone is not assigned to my caseload!

So if you’re a person that’s been struggling, feeling hopeless and helpless; I really encourage you to talk to your doctor or trained volunteer about your feelings. Your feelings are valid. Your grief is real. It’s ok to not be ok – but don’t stay there. Reach out because you are deserving of care.

To those like myself who give others hope, thank you for all that you do. Please take care of yourself!!! And finally remember the most important things to do in between breaths is to breathe💫e

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© 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 Pixabay. No copyright infringement intended.

Welcome to Day 23 of #TheLoveLetterProject Writing Challenge created by Marie of The Notion Of Love! If you’re just joining me, you can catch up on the rules here!

Day 23

To Your Friends

Seasons. If I’ve learned anything about friendship, it’s that seasons apply to connections as well. I’ve always been very anal and guarded about who I trust. From trying to protect my heart and mind contractually in platonic and familial relationships (true story) to doing everything I can to make sure no one feels left out on my watch.

Friendship. There are tiers and levels to this thing. And you know it’s funny because just a few days ago I gave a “just because” shoutout on my personal Facebook page; thanking my support network:

What’s funny is I deactivated my original Facebook account for 8 years; only to return almost a year ago at the request/major nudging of two organizations I’m affiliated with, one being GRINDHARDRADIO. It definitely came in handy because of the August 2017 launch of my Inspiration With E Radio Show and it’s also enhanced my accessibility to certain movements that inspire me. But I’m not in love with Facebook as it’s become a place I periodically blurt out random thoughts, link my writing and post occasional immediate family pics. Out of all of my followers I can literally count on one hand the number of people I’m referring to when I say “friends”.

I know a lot of people. And my acquaintance and extended family lists are ever growing, but I don’t throw the term “friend” around lightly at all. I don’t believe in luck but my mommy always said, if you have just one real friend, consider yourself lucky. She was right.

If I’ve learned nothing else:

Friendship is a major investment that requires time, transparency and thoughtfulness. I expect and want ALL of my relationships to THRIVE. This means I must take responsibility for the health, tone and tenor of every relationship and assume nothing. More than anything, I want to be an even better friend to the amazing sisters and brothers God has supernaturally imparted into my life. I love them deeply.

I can see the faces of those who have walked through some of my darkest moments and saddest of days with me; especially in the last few years. A few names I can’t even call publicly but I thank God for them every day. They loved me UNCONDITIONALLY and challenged me. They were honest with me and protected me. They spoke life over me and deemed me worthy. Reminded me who I was and Whose I was. They came through for me and came to know me very well. They deserve the world and though they care about me – just as I am, I look forward to improving, growing, maturing in my love and even blessing them (and their pockets) one day soon.

Thank you so much. Words cannot describe my appreciation. Love you to life. Thank you forever strong.💫e

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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 Pixabay, Pinterest and Ericka Arthur for Authenticitee Speaks . No copyright infringement intended.

Welcome to Day 22 of #TheLoveLetterProject Writing Challenge created by Marie of The Notion Of Love! If you’re just joining me, you can catch up on the rules here!

Day 22

To Someone You No Longer Talk To

They say we are better off letting

Sleeping dogs lie

But being lied to by a dog

Pretending to sleep

Felt like a nightmare

But I love to dream and I believed

Your lulla-lies would make

them come true

So I let my guard down to rest

Rested my eyes long enough

To trust

Trusting you to navigate

Our self inflicted course

Palms gripped

Teeth clenched

Drive on driver

Drive on

Drive me mad with desire

Intrinsic race

Hurry the pace

Creative is our space

W a i t!

Wake me

For the dream has gone cold

Awaken nightmare’s song

Of

you

letting

us

go….

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Blog | http://www.authenticiteespeaks.com

IG | @authenticiteespeaks

LIKE ON FACEBOOK! @authenticiteespeaks AND @InspirationWithE

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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 Pixabay. No copyright infringement intended.

Welcome to Day 20 of #TheLoveLetterProject Writing Challenge created by Marie of The Notion Of Love! If you’re just joining me, you can catch up on the rules here!

Day 20

To Someone You Are Trying To Forget

Mission accomplished.

The end.💫e

••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••

Blog | http://www.authenticiteespeaks.com

IG | @authenticiteespeaks

LIKE ON FACEBOOK! @authenticiteespeaks AND @InspirationWithE

Twitter | @authenticitee & @EAInspiration

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: Pixabay. No copyright infringement intended.