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HARLEM BOOK FAIR…PART I

 

 

What an experience…I made it through.  The HARLEM BOOK FAIR was everything and nothing I expected.  I was out there from 9am until a quarter to 6 and I was exhausted by days end.  Due to the conservative nature of my books, I only sold 5 copies all day.  On a lighter note (and it definately was a lighter note) My son Elijah sold over $225.00 in water, Gatorade and Sobe!!!!  YEAH ELIJAH!!!!

What I found out was that there are thousands upon thousands of people writing and reading.  The most powerful thing happening on Saturday was the networking.  There were people from all over who would not ordinarily have the platform or the opportunity to meet one another.  Aside from the heat, it was truly phenomenal.  The networking was off the chain.

 Here are a few of the people I ran into, as well as information for upcoming events that were handed out at the fair:  THE WOMEN’S HEALTH SYMPOSIUM is Celebrating Harlem Week for Women 18 & up at Columbia University Faculty House located at 64 Morningside Drive, NY, NY 10027.  The event will be held on Saturday, July 31st, 2010 from 8am-1pm.  There will be celebrity appearances by Sherri Sheppard & Bern Nadette Stanis (Thelma of Good Times).  Registration is required, so be sure to register at www.betfoundation.org  or by calling 866-356-7348.

 Power Walking: A Journey to Wholeness by Maxine Bigby Cunningham deals with walking, wellness and healing through the Bible.  Find out more by going to www.maxinebigbycunningham.com or by going to www.empoweredwalkingministries.blogspot.com.

 

REVOLUTION BOOKS/LIBROS REVOLUCIÓN is a book store at 146 West 26th Street(near 7th Avenue) is a book store that deals with what they term “scientific and poetic, wrangling and visionary”  Just their description of the store was enough to pull me in and is well worth looking into.  You can do just that by going to www.revolutionbooksnyc.org.

 

For her debut novel, L. Marie Culbreath releases MOMMA AELIANA’S GIRLS a compelling story about a Portuguese Cape Verdean Migrant woman who’s husband, ‘Romando’ a Central American Indian  from Honduras walked out leaving her with six girls to raise alone in the United States in the early 1970s.  Momma vowed she and her daughters would be survivors.  Amidst tragedies, her girls would grow up to be six of the most respectable, well-educated and beautifully groomed women.  Her book, a different look into African American literature is available on www.publishamerica.com.

 

There were some phenomenal children’s books/authors as well.      The one that struck me the most was Angelot Ndongmo author of Loving Me and Boy! Am I Loving Me!  This wonderful author wrote children’s books for children of color instilling in them early the importance of self love.  She reaffirms this love by celebrating their melanin and their hair.  Great read for your children and an opportunity for you to teach them to embrace the difference in them and their counterparts. www.lovingme.ca

 

Pedro’s Visit to the Aquarium by Rasheedah Saleem-Muhammad is a much needed book giving audience for children of Autism and teaching those with it that they’re understood and teaching those without it more tolerance and acceptance.  It focuses on Pedro’s erratic behavior and the decision his parents must make on whether they should send him on a trip to the aquarium.  www.pedrosvisit.com

 

The fair also gave major information in the way of other fairs, like the African American Business to Business Exchange for Westchester & Rockland Counties.  The event is next year, March 23rd & 24th, 2011.  For details/information: 914-699-6279 or www.aaccnys.org

 As far as me, I will be returning to the radio on next Saturday, giving information, lesson plans and things much needed for protecting your intellectual property.  Tune in at www.blogtalkradio.com/mother-metaphor

I am also working on my 1st work of urban literature called: CLASH OF THE DRUG TITANS.  I already have a following on Facebook for the story and I anticipate it being released by years end.  ENAMORED: THE LOVE LETTERS  is doing well as is LOCK, STOCK & SMOKING METAPHORS, but we still need one anothers support.  Stay in touch…I know I will…

and don’t fret; this is my first installment on the fair…I will update you later on more…

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Legros Cultural Arts 10 Minute Play Series!!!!

My play

“Something Borrowed When You’re Blue”

is being performed at

Theatre 54 at Shetler Studios

244 West 54th Street (12th Floor), New York, New York

Tickets: $15, $20/ $30 – Sunday July 11, 2010 (includes reception following the performance)

For Ticket Information & Reservations:

(917) 741-2992 or email legrosculturalarts@gmail.com

My Play is being peformed at the following times:

Tuesday, July 6, 2010 – 8pm

Wednesday, July 7th, 2010 – 6:30pm & 8pm

Thursday, July 8th, 2010 – 6:30pm

Friday, July 9th, 2010 – 8pm

Saturday, July 10th, 2010 – 1pm & 8pm

Sunday, July 11th, 2010 – 1pm

Thanks so much for your support!

 

Renee Michele Breeden

aka

Mother Metaphor

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Vintage Pussy (29/30)

Vintage

He blinked and she was there
Debonair

He noticed her there
The slight grey in her hair
                                                                                      And laugh lines
Laying the path of her life
A map of her happy/ Even when she wasn’t smiling

She sighed softly
Her brow furrowed with dismay
Of long lines
And teenage clerks who couldn’t count
Beyond the broken register

Which couldn’t register the count

She feels his stare
And he wonders if she can feel his joy
Smell desire in his loins
The throbbing in his groin
The fact that
vintage pussy turns him on…

He is a man of 25
He comes alive at the prospect
Of learned lips
aged hips
As his heart pounds heavily
Thinking on the new wine in those aged skins
The detachment of older women
The assurance of their everything
The indifference
their younger counterparts lack
He loves that
And she radiates with an energy that screams
“take it or leave it…I’m thinking the same of you”

She is beautiful

Laying unknowingly in her regality
She speaks
“are you going to gawk all day?”

He stood against the column of the convenience store
Watching my annoyance dance across my brows
Standing in line for 20 minutes or so now
One clerk; 17 consumers
and I am number 3
I have a good mind to retreat
But my feet                                         seem the rational
Acknowledging there are things one cannot do without
He stood there
                                            Mouth gaping
                                                                                       Wide
As though he’d gone inside himself
Pinning me under his gaze
his mouth is filled

With adverbs

Adjectives

And nouns

And silent wishes, eating from the bounty of his thoughts

And I smell his fear

Faint compared to his desire to be

In places he could have been expressed from

Numb to the years that separate us

 

He is GLARING

STARING

At my aged thighs

My slow walk, what he may deem my nonchalant way

but today, it is not indifference

I’m just tired…and he has finally gussied up the nerve to ask

“Do you need help?”

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SON…

 

I never run out of ways to love you

To shove you out of the way of danger

To advance you in the right direction

                                                    Fight for your protection

Invest in you…

 

I never fell harder than the 1st day

My arms wrapped around you

My palm cradled your head

And you smiled…

 

I held you

In my arms

In my heart

Like the air would stop

More often than not

Lullabies rocked you

Even in the womb of me

 

You out grow things quickly…

Your fair skin

Your chubby frame

Your nickname

We can’t call you “Icky” anymore

 

You are a teenager

Too quickly

5 years to manhood

We are already at the girls

Calling your cell

Sending pictures of their pre-pubescence

On little camera phones

With high mega pixels

Competing for your attention

They dream of your ebon skin

Your almond shaped eyes

 

While I dream of your chubby cheeks

Your baby drool

And the 1st time I held your head in the palm of my hand

And learned the wisdom of old eyes

In my newborn son…

 

Love,

 

Your Mama

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The Empty Womb…(3/30)

i remain empty

waiting to be filled

to knock the chill off of being so alone

i am older than my years suggest…

 

i detest

the civil unrest within myself

i wait for male companionship

hoping he will leave behind

something I can build upon

but there is nothing…

 

here comes the tears again

they are falling rapidly

as i cry

for 4-5 days straight

those tears are never late

 

they’re rapid and red

another month gone

and dreams of holding a child

lies dead…

 

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Ashe…(2/30)

 

 daughter of elegua

you have tricked yourself

do your ébbo

and purge the sin

that has imbedded itself in your skin…

leave elgua his sweets

cleanse your head to your feet

and meet oshun by her river

give her cinnamon oranges adorned in honey

and adorn yourself

in the sweetness

of her wet breath

see yourself reflected

when she is still

for she is angry

because you have remembered to love

all but yourself

sprawling your gifts

lift the ancestral curse

ashé

 

today the orisha lay in wait for your head

without knowledge we are the walking dead

 

elegua return me to the old way

open the road that i might pass

open the door to what i might ask

mighty elegua

standing where roads meet

guard the door

protection

unlock my spirituality

the way must come through thee

awaken me from my slumber…

 

ashé

 

oshun

river goddess

forgive

as sure as you live

in the sweet waters of river

giver of love

of light

tonight i pray to be my greatest love

to uphold me as you have

keeper of broken women

carrier of my prayers…

protector of  violated women

harvester of eggs

elegua gave passage

open the door to my self

my words

my womb

my groom

forgive oshun

the self-infliction

the contradiction

of wanting a love strong enough to cover

what was once

self loathing

for we are made in the orishian image

and you oshun are beauty

so bless my sight that i might SEE

oshun,

be with me

ashé

 

Featured

1/30…Trimesters of Rape…

 

what the womb will incubate

is more so than a child growing

the secrets the womb will keep

the tightened lips that do not speak

the silent tongue beneath our waist

south of our face, once a place of chastity

 

it holds all that doesn’t flow from the Nile of our blood filled monthly

there rest a family secret

spreading like a plague

between the legs of daughters

something unnatural

 

it festers & grows in the unwilling quiet

in the mold and mildew

of the shadows of incest

it is the conquest of lips that do not speak

lips that keep the secret of violation

it incubates

in the body

in the blood, boiling at 98.7 degrees fahrenheit

a disease that brings the carrier to her knees

she spends her life trying to please

or unfreeze what is now frigid

 

it demolishes the soul

as it takes a hold

as maggots eat away at today’s

yesterday

day after day

leaving behind

spoiled portions of a life

she becomes

someone’s broken wife

someone’s  jaded future

 

daughters impregnated with this sin

within

as it gives birth to itself

it outgrows a womb

playing out an ancestral genocide

inside a womb that should have been barren to this type of child…

 

Renée Michele Breeden © March 30, 2010

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Circular Poem

Write a short poem that begins and ends with the same line. The reader should feel differently about the line the second time around because of what has happened in the poem.

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 Happy Poetry Month! 

April has been deemed National Poetry Month, and the frequent choice is to write a poem a day. 

Not hard right? RIGHT!  Well, I am up for walking you through it! (Or walking through it with you)

Every day in the month of April I will post a writing exercise. 

Take what you need and leave the rest!  I will always post (or try to) the day before so we get a jump start. 

Today’s Writing Exercise

 Use one of these phrases in a poem.

 “Pick the lent from the lie and pray there is something left…”

 Or

 Write a love poem that uses no words or phrases of adoration.

 See you tomorrow!

 

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16 Greeting Card Markets:

As poets, there are a lot of ways to make money.  For the life of me, I don’t understand why more of us aren’t trying to submit what we write to greeting card companies!  Now, I posted this before, but hopefully, you will see this now that it’s been laid out… 

Try it out!  You just may be in a Hallmark near you!

 

  1. American Greetings: Doesn’t accept unsolicited material. Request guidelines and query your ideas first. Currently, they’re only looking for funny stuff, and trust me, it has to be good.
  2. Blue Mountain Arts: Pays $300 for greeting card slogans. Follow link for guidelines.
  3. Designer Greetings: Follow link to guidelines.
  4. Ephemera, Inc. – Pays $50/slogan. Looking for irreverent, provocative material. Follow link for guidelines.
  5. Gallant Greeting Corp.- Pays $45/slogan. Contact for guidelines.
  6. Kalan: Pays $60 – $150. Contact for guidelines.
  7. Marian Health Greeting Cards: Contact for guidelines. Looking for positivity – no snark.
  8. Moonlighting Cards – Pays $25/slogan – Looking for “love” cards for all occassions. Stress that you must read their guidelines before querying.
  9. Novo Card Publishers: Read online guidelines.
  10. Oatmeal Studios: Looking for funny stuff.  See online guidelines for submission information.
  11. Paper Magic Group: Manufacturer of boxed Christmas cards. Contact for guidelines.
  12. Papyrus Design: Looking for unique slogans. Contact for guidelines.
  13. Recycled Paper Greetings: Contact for guidelines.
  14. Rockshots: Pays $50/gag. Looking for gag lines of an adult nature.
  15. Snafu Designs – Pays $100/slogan or idea. Contact for guidelines.
Featured

Creative Grants/Fellowships for Writers, Visual Artists and Musicians!!!

I have become increasingly concerned about you guys getting the necessary information to apply for grants so that you might apply.  Should you at least try out for the various grants/fellowships/publishing competitions out there, you at least give yourself the opportunity to increase your creative writing resume as well as give your self the opportunity to make your writing a lucrative entity.  Please apply and let me know if you get anything!

 

 

Creative Writing Grants for Women

  1. Poets & Writers Magazine lists state and national prizes of $1,000 or more (or $500 writing grants with no application fee). Grants are available to writers of poetry, fiction and creative nonfiction. Creative writing fellowships are available from the National Endowment for the Arts and are available only to published creative writers. A Room of Her Own foundation awards $50,000 to successful female candidates with creative vision. Mira’s List is also an excellent resource for women writers; this blog lists creative writing grants such as the Howard Foundations grants in poetry and creative writing; this grant awards $25,000 to individuals with at least one book in print. Poetry Magazine lists cash prizes that are available to poets who have been published in their journal (www.poetrymagazine.org). Wow! “Women on Writing” has a list of available grants for women writers, including mystery writers.
  2. “News Wise” provides a comprehensive list of grants, prizes, fellowships and scholarships available to journalists covering a wide variety of beats. The Society of Professional Journalists awards $300,000 annually to individuals and organizations in the news profession. The Pulitzer Center offers travel grants to journalists reporting on crisis situations (pulitzercenter.org). John S. Knight Fellowships allow journalists to study at Stanford for a year. The Hearst Foundation awards cash prizes yearly in the form of contests for journalists, photojournalists, and broadcast journalists (www.hearstfdn.org). The American Journalist Review has a list of awards, grants, fellowships and scholarships. Search the database at the International Women’s Media Foundation for an up-to-date list of grants available to female journalists.
  3. The Fund for Women Artists provides a list of grants for female screenwriters. They include grants for documentary filmmakers, TV writers, feature film screenwriters and more. “Women in Film & Video” holds annual screenwriting contests for women.
  4. The Fund for Women Artists maintains a list of available grants and prize money to women working in theater. NYCPlaywrights.com also has a list of upcoming awards and contests for playwrights. Visit Playwriting Opportunities.com and search available grants by deadline dates. AmericanMusicals.com has a list of grants available to musical writers. The League of Professional Theatre Women gives five annual awards to women in theater.
  5. Colleges and universities, literary journals, newspapers, magazines, TV stations and institutes offer information on local writing grants for women.

Journalism Grants for Women

Screenwriting Grants for Women

Playwriting Grants for Women

Other Places to Look for Writing Grants for Women

Individual Artist Grants

Organization: BC Arts Council
Program: Project Assistance for Visual Artists

Program description:
Assistance is available to professional visual artists for specific creative projects. One juried competition is held annually.

Program eligibility:
Applicants must be professional visual artists with a minimum of five years experience, have had a minimum of two professionally curated exhibitions, have been residents of British Columbia for a minimum of 12 months prior to making application and must be Canadian citizens or Permanent Residents and not be full-time students. Further eligibility requirements may apply.

More information:
Further information on programs and eligibility available at: www.bcartscouncil.ca/programs/


Organization: BC Arts Council
Program: Project Assistance for Media Artists

Program description:
This program is intended to assist independent filmmakers, video artists, and new media artists with production of specific innovative, experimental and non-industrial works.

Program eligibility:
Applicants must be Canadian citizens or permanent residents and have lived in British Columbia for a minimum of 12 months prior to making an application, have final editorial authority over the proposed work, completed basic training as film, video or new media artists and may not be full-time students. Further eligibility requirements may apply.

More information:
Further information on programs and eligibility available at: www.bcartscouncil.ca/programs/


Organization: BC Arts Council
Program: Project Assistance for Creative Writers

Program description:
This program is intended to assist professional writers with the writing of specific creative projects. Eligible genres include drama, fiction, juvenile, non-fiction and poetry.

Program eligibility:
Applicants must be Canadian Citizens or Permanent Residents that have lived in British Columbia for a minimum of 12 months prior to making an application and have completed all basic training and be professional creative writers with a minimum of five years experience, and may not be full-time students. Further eligibility requirements may apply.

More information:
Further information on programs and eligibility available at: www.bcartscouncil.ca/programs/


Organization: Canada Council for the Arts, The
Program: Grants to Professional Musicians (Individuals) (Classical and Non-Classical Music)

Program description:
This program offers emerging, mid-career and established professional Canadian musicians in non-classical and classical music of all world cultures an opportunity to pursue their individual artistic development. Professional musicians include instrumentalists, singers, composers, arrangers, performers, singers/songwriters, choir conductors, orchestra and ensemble conductors, and opera stage directors.

Program eligibility:
The Grants to Professional Musicians program is made up of the following distinct types of grants: Classical Music Grants, which cover subsistence, project and transportation costs related to a program of work lasting from a few weeks to one year; Non-Classical Music Grants, which cover subsistence, project and transportation costs related to a program of work lasting from a few weeks to one year; Travel Grants to Professional Musicians, which give an individual musician an opportunity to travel on occasions important to his or her career. Applicants must be Canadian citizens or permanent residents of Canada. Permanent residents must provide evidence of their legal status. Applicants must have completed their basic training and/or be recognized as professional artists. Further eligibility requirements may apply.

More information:
Further information on programs and eligibility available at: www.canadacouncil.ca/music/


Organization: Canada Council for the Arts, The
Program: Assistance to Professional Independent Critics and Curators

Program description:
These grants support independent professional Canadian critics and curators in their research, creative production and professional development activities in theory, criticism, analysis and curating in contemporary visual art (including fine craft and photography) and media arts.

Program eligibility:
Applicants must be Canadian citizens or permanent residents of Canada. They must have: completed their basic training (or the equivalent); produced an independent body of work; received the recognition of their peers through a history of public presentation of their work in a professional context; maintained an independent professional practice for at least three years. Further eligibility requirements may apply.

More information:
Further information on programs and eligibility available at: www.canadacouncil.ca/visualarts/


Organization: Canada Council for the Arts, The
Program: Assistance to Contemporary Fine Craft Artists and Curators: Project Grants

Program description:
Project Grants provide support for research, professional development, production, networking and career development activities for professional artists and curators (for research only) making a contribution to contemporary fine craft. The project must be significant and advance the long-term artistic and/or career development of the applicant at a key moment in their career. There are three types of project grants, as follows: Research/Professional, Development, Production, and Career Development. Applicants may apply to only ONE of the above project grant types per deadline.

Program eligibility:
Applicants must be Canadian citizens or permanent residents of Canada. Artists must have completed their basic training in a fine craft medium (university or college graduation or the equivalent in specialized training, such as two or three years of self-directed study or apprenticeships). Artists must have completed an independent body of work and received the recognition of their peers through public presentation of their work, such as in exhibitions in art museums, public art galleries, artist-run centres and juried art fairs. Further eligibility requirements may apply.

More information:
Further information on programs and eligibility available at: www.canadacouncil.ca/visualarts/


Organization: Canada Council for the Arts, The
Program: Assistance to Contemporary Fine Craft Artists and Curators: Long-Term Grants

Program description:
Long-Term Grants provide support over a two-year period to established professional fine craft artists or curators (for research only) who have made a significant contribution to contemporary fine craft. The period of activity covered by the grant must have a series of opportunities in the fields of research, production, career and networking development. The program of work must be designed to advance the long-term artistic and career development of the artist at a key moment in their career. It must include at least two of the following activities: Research/Professional, Development, Production of a New Body of Work, Production towards a Confirmed Public Presentation, and Career Development.

Program eligibility:
To apply to the Canada Council for the Arts, you must be a Canadian citizen or have Permanent Resident status, as defined by Citizenship and Immigration Canada. You must meet Canada Council’s definition of a professional artist, which is an artist who: has completed his or her basic training (university or college graduation or the equivalent in specialized training, such as two or three years of self-directed study or apprenticeships), is recognized as such by his or her peers, and is committed to devoting more time to artistic activity, if financially feasible.

More information:
Further information on programs and eligibility available at: www.canadacouncil.ca/visualarts/


Organization: Canada Council for the Arts, The
Program: Grants to Film and Video Artists

Program description:
The Grants to Film and Video Artists program assists Canadian artists working with film and video as means of artistic expression. This program offers Research/Creation Grants, Production Grants and Scriptwriting Grants.

Program eligibility:
Applicants must be Canadian citizens or permanent residents of Canada. They need not be living in Canada when they apply. Individuals or groups of up to three artists working collaboratively on a project or a program of work may apply. Established, mid-career and emerging artists are eligible for Research/Creation Grants and Production Grants. Established artists, mid-career artists and scriptwriters are eligible for Scriptwriting Grants. For Production Grants, only directors may apply. Further eligibility requirements may apply.

More information:
Further information on programs and eligibility available at: www.canadacouncil.ca/mediaarts/


Organization: Canada Council for the Arts, The
Program: Grants to Dance Professionals

Program description:
This program provides support and assistance to Canadian dance professionals (individuals) to pursue projects involving professional development, research/creation and apprenticeship/mentorship.

Program eligibility:
Individual professionals can identify themselves as being in one of the following categories: emerging; mid-career; established; Aboriginal at all of the above levels. Professionals working in all world cultures and in a wide range of dance genres are eligible to apply for support. Further eligibility requirements may apply.

More information:
Further information on programs and eligibility available at: www.canadacouncil.ca/dance/


Organization: Canada Council for the Arts, The
Program: Grants for Professional Writers Creative Writing

Program description:
Creative Writing Grants provide support to authors working on new projects in the fields of novel, short story, poetry, children’s literature, graphic novel and literary non-fiction.

Program eligibility:
Applicants must be Canadian citizens or have Permanent Resident status, as defined by Citizenship and Immigration Canada. They must be recognized professional writers who have had: at least one literary book published by a professional publishing house; or for fiction, a minimum of four texts of creative literary writing (e.g. short stories, excerpts from a novel) published on two separate occasions in literary magazines, recognized periodicals (including general interest magazines), or anthologies published by professional publishing houses; or for poetry, a minimum of 10 published poems is required; or for literary non-fiction, a minimum of 40 pages (10,000 words) of literary articles published in literary magazines, recognized periodicals or anthologies published by professional publishing houses.

More information:
Further information on programs and eligibility available at: www.canadacouncil.ca/writing/


Organization: Canada Council for the Arts, The
Program: Assistance to Practitioners, Critics and Curators of Architecture

Program description:
These grants support projects by practitioners, critics and curators of architecture, for the public presentation and promotion of contemporary Canadian architecture. The grants help practitioners to commission texts, photographs, films, models and other forms of documentation of their built projects. The grants also support critics and curators in research, writing, and other aspects of editorial/curatorial work leading to the production of articles, books, exhibitions and events on contemporary Canadian architecture.

Program eligibility:
Applicants must be Canadian citizens or permanent residents of Canada. They must have completed their basic training and have a minimum of three years of professional practice. Their work must have been recognized by their peers: works built by practising architects must have been the subject of at least one article, publication or exhibition; critics must have at least three publications to their credit; and curators must have produced at least three exhibitions or publications. Further eligibility requirements may apply.

More information:
Further information on programs and eligibility available at: www.canadacouncil.ca/visualarts/


Organization: Canada Council for the Arts, The
Program: Grants to New Media and Audio Artists (multiple categories)

Program description:
These grants assist Canadian artists working with new media or audio technologies as means of artistic expression. Grants cover artist’s subsistence costs as well as the direct costs of research, creative development and production of artworks created with new media or audio technologies.

Program eligibility:
Established, mid-career and emerging artists are eligible. Applicants must be Canadian citizens or permanent residents of Canada. They need not be living in Canada when they apply. Individuals or groups of up to three artists working collaboratively may apply. Further eligibility requirements may apply.

More information:
Further information on programs and eligibility available at: www.canadacouncil.ca/mediaarts/


Organization: Canada Council for the Arts, The
Program: Assistance to Visual Artists: Project Grants

Program description:
Project Grants provide support for research/creation, professional development, production, networking and career development activities for professional artists making an important contribution to contemporary visual arts. The project must be significant and advance the long-term artistic and/or career development of the applicant at a key moment of their career. There are three types of project grants, as follows: Research/Creation, Production, and Career Development. Applicants may apply to only ONE of the three project grant types per deadline.

Program eligibility:
To apply to the Canada Council for the Arts, you must be a Canadian citizen or have Permanent Resident status, as defined by Citizenship and Immigration Canada. You must also meet the Canada Council’s definition of a professional artist, which is an artist who: has specialized training in the field (not necessarily in academic institutions), is recognized as such by his or her peers, and is committed to devoting more time to artistic activity, if financially feasible.

More information:
Further information on programs and eligibility available at: www.canadacouncil.ca/visualarts/


Organization: Canada Council for the Arts, The
Program: Assistance to Visual Artists: Long-Term Grants

Program description:
Long-Term Grants provide support over a two-year period to professional artists who have made a significant contribution to contemporary visual arts. The period of activity covered by the grant must have a series of opportunities in the fields of research/creation, production, career and networking development. The program of work must be designed to advance the long-term artistic and career development of the artist at a key moment in their career. It must include at least two of the following activities: Research/Creation, Production of a new body of work, Production towards a confirmed public presentation of your work, and Career development. Approximately 15 Long-Term Grants per year will be awarded.

Program eligibility:
To apply to the Canada Council for the Arts, you must be a Canadian citizen or have Permanent Resident status, as defined by Citizenship and Immigration Canada. You must meet the Canada Council’s definition of a professional artist, which is an artist who: has specialized training in the field (not necessarily in academic institutions), is recognized as such by his or her peers, and is committed to devoting more time to artistic activity, if financially feasible.

More information:
Further information on programs and eligibility available at: www.canadacouncil.ca/visualarts/ 


Organization: Commonwealth Foundation
Program: Commonwealth Writers Prize

Program description:
The outstanding literary talent which exists in many parts of the Commonwealth is making a significant contribution to contemporary writing in English. To encourage and reward the upsurge of new Commonwealth fiction and ensure that works of merit reach a wider audience outside their country of origin, the Commonwealth Foundation established the Commonwealth Writers Prize in 1987.

More information:
Further information on programs and eligibility available at: www.commonwealthfoundation.com/culturediversity/


Organization: Commonwealth Foundation
Program: Commonwealth Short Story Competition

Program description:
The Commonwealth Short Story Competition exists to increase understanding between and appreciation of different Commonwealth cultures, to showcase the rich diversity of the Commonwealth and to support rising literary talents.

Program eligibility:
Entries are open to anyone who is a citizen of a Commonwealth country, whether an amateur or professional writer. There is no restriction on theme, but the stories must be new, original, and of no longer than six hundred words (around four and a half minutes when read aloud).

More information:
Further information on programs and eligibility available at: www.commonwealthfoundation.com/culturediversity/


Organization: Commonwealth Foundation
Program: Commonwealth Photographic Awards

Program description:
The Commonwealth Photographic Awards is an annual competition open to amateur and professional photographers from around the Commonwealth.

More information:
Further information on programs and eligibility available at: www.commonwealthfoundation.com/culturediversity/


Organization: Commonwealth Foundation
Program: Commonwealth Connections International Arts Residencies

Program description:
Every two years, under the Foundation-funded Commonwealth Connections International Arts Residencies, up to ten artists and craftspeople between the ages of 20 and 35 are selected from around 300 applicants to receive an award for travel and study in another Commonwealth country.

More information:
Further information on programs and eligibility available at: www.commonwealthfoundation.com/culturediversity/

19 Grants for Writers and Other Creative Types

Many organizations offer grants for writers to help them to complete their projects and education. What follows is a list of some of the available grants for writers and some details about each.  Please keep in mind, these grants are unsearchable. I found this information via research conducted online and at the library. Unlike our series on the various markets, I didn’t make any calls to verify any of these grants. However, as you can see, they’re all current.

  1. The Haven Foundation – Stephen King’s foundation provides assistance to writers and artists who, through tragic events and no fault of their own, are unable to work. Awards up to $25,000.
  2. Nicholl Fellowship in Screenwriting – Set up by The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Scientists this fellowship awards to authors who have previously earned less than $5000 writing for film or television.
  3. Arch & Bruce Brown Foundation- Awards $1,000 grants to gay and lesbian playwrights and screenwriters.
  4. Authors League Fund – Provides loans or assistance to writers who are in financial distress due to emergency situations.
  5. Artist Trust – Their Grants for Arts pr gram awards up to $1500 to help fun artist generated projects.
  6. Brown University – Awards a $45,000 fellowship to an established international writer or poet who is being creatively stifled in his/her homeland.
  7. John Jones Literary Society – Awards $10,000 to help fund an unpublished writer who has a work in progress.
  8. Kentucky Arts Council – Awards $7500 to three Kentucky poets or writers annually.
  9. Library of Virginia Literary Awards – Awards three prizes of $3500 each to Virginia writers and poets who were published the year before.
  10. Robert Bingham Fellowship for Writers – Offers $35,000 to first time authors who are deemed to have achieved an outstanding literary effort and “suggests great promise.”
  11. National Endowment of the Arts – Offers a variety of grants to writers.
  12. Academy of American Poets – Awards and fellowships ranging from $1,000 to $100,000
  13. The Furthermore Program – Grant to help fund non-fiction book projects  range from $5,000 to $15,000.
  14. Demand Studios – Offers one $1,000 grant each month to help fund writing projects within their community of writers.
  15. Pen American Center Writers Emergency Fund – Offers funding up to $2,000 for writers in need.
  16. Voelker Foundation – Fly Fishing Fiction Award – $2500 for one outstanding fishing writer each year.
  17. AAAS Science Journalism Awards – Pays $3,000 to outstanding science writers.
  18. Arts Writers Grants Program – Awards $5,000 to $50,000 for a variety of writing.
  19. Witter Byner Foundation for Poetry – Awards poets $1000 to $3000.

More resources:

  • You also might be interested in this post at About Freelance Writing where Anne Wayman linked to blogs that make it their mission to report awards, grants and fellowships for writers.
  • C. Hope Clark’s Funds for Writers is the best online resource for learning about grants, fellowships and other awards for writers.
  • Poets and Writers’ database is an amazing resource for anyone seeking funds.
  • Michigan State University has something for everyone on this list of prizes, grants and fellowships.

I’ve also been exploring some writing markets this week. Check out:

Featured

When NeNe Met Nay-Nay…(What Happens When Two Powerful Women Meet)

I just LOVE Hue-Man Bookstore. I love what it represents for me as a daughter of Harlem and an author. The warmness and welcoming spirit that envelopes you is not like anything I have every experienced; the feeling is one of inclusion, intellect…family.

“The Little Book Store that Does” has hosted many a celebrity book signing, and last evening they hosted Mrs. NeNe Leakes, of “Real Housewives of Atlanta” fame.

NeNe was a delight to watch as she answered questions and discussed various topics that took place on and off the show. She definitely makes you feel easy with her “around the way girl” conversation. She didn’t engage in the kind of conversation that would suggest her to be a chicken-head or ghetto, but in the sort that makes you think of your “street smart” sister or best friend who utilized her life experience to move her into a lifelong dream deserving of the spotlight.

My desire to be in this industry has allowed my path to cross with plenty a celebrity, and much to the chagrin of this little brown girl, I have had plenty an image shattered by what they were REALLY like. Fortunately, the same cannot be said for NeNe.

To be frank, I don’t think that NeNe gets a fair break because of how she is portrayed on the show. Being outspoken, of course there would be tons of footage displaying her in a negative light. Nothing could be further from the truth. The fact is she is the girlfriend you hang with after work, the sister who congregates with you in your mother’s house while you’re getting your hair done and eating chicken wings and French fries from the Chinese restaurant. She is the aunt that makes it out of dire situations, despite the circumstances she was born into.

In the back of the book store where readings/signings are held, NeNe sat at the authors table and tore down the invisible wall that exists between most authors and their readers. She spoke of the difficulties surrounding her fame and the reality of the infringement that fame takes on your life. Harlem loved her, and she appeared to love Harlem as both faithfully trudged out in the misty/rainy weather to meet.

I ran in close to 7, having gotten off work at 6pm and traveling in from down town Brooklyn. I knew since last week NeNe was coming and I was going to go home and go to sleep, but the closer the 3 train got to 116th Street, the more anxious I got to attend. I ran through the door, threw down my excess bags and grabbed my camera (I didn’t even get time to take those damned OVER POWERING lashes off, but I didn’t want to miss it). I grabbed a cab and caught NeNe mid-sentence answering a question posed by Harlem Radio. I raised my hands a couple of times and finally got to tell her (author to author) what an inspiration she is. The “no-nonsense, I do it my way” she has that inspires women like me every day.

“You’re a writer?” she asked.

To which I responded yes. She wanted to know if I had a ghost writer and when I told her that I wrote it myself, she curiously inquired about the cost of self-publishing and the subject matter.

Then she applauded me. Right there in the middle of HER signing, she congratulated me on having the courage to write and put out my book. She asked if I was interested in major publishing and I answered that I was but I wasn’t going to wait until someone made the discovery that I am actually talented. I told her it was the NeNe’s Leakes of the world (having their say), the Mo’Nique’s of the world (putting the joke elsewhere but on themselves), the Gabourey Sidibe’s of the world (showing the talent is not limited to a size two), the Velvet D’Amour’s of the world (who walked the Jean Paul Gautier fashion show in a size 28 – proving that beauty comes in all sizes), that women like me can pass the stars and grasp the moon.

Would you know in the middle of HER signing she told me she’d do everything she could to get my book out there? I walked out of Hue-Man feeling like most of us should, accomplished, heard…appreciated. More than any of those things, I know that granted the chance given by the Universe, I walked out with a new sister, new cousin, new confidant, but most importantly…a new friend.

If you haven’t already, check out her new book “Never make the Same Mistake Twice: Lessons on Love & Life Learned the Hard Way” by NeNe Leakes with Denene Millner.
http://www.amazon.com/Never-Make-Same-Mistake-Twice/dp/1439167303

Featured

He Got My “Foote” in the Door of Writing

I was only 8 years old when my grandmother would take me down to that wonderland on Horatio Street.  Not a toy store that one would expect an 8 year-old to be enamored by, but to the apartment of the screenwriter, Horton Foote.  We’d take that bus all the way down the long New York Avenue of which I could not remember by name.  I only knew when we’d turn the corner and the street sign would declare that we’d reached the block where writing royalty resided. 

My grandmother was a modest yet regal woman who had acquired the job as the cleaning lady for the NY apartment for the Footes’ when they were visiting from Texas.  This weekly ritual was one that my grandmother and I shared; the soul talk that existed between she and I; she’d bore witness to the affinity I’d developed for those marble note books and the way I’d stay within the lines, playing scrabble with my lexicon and being so hungry for words.  Mr. Foote’s place was always alive with words.  They floated off the air, bounced off the walls; they strengthened the floor boards. 

My favorite room, the one I’d beg to dust was the study.  There in the window were two Oscars, shimmering in the sun.  I’d spend hours in the room dusting them; too excited to eat the motzah ball soup grandma had made, too afraid to use the bathroom because at 8, this was surreal for me and I didn’t want the Oscars to disappear.  It was on my 16th visit that Mr. Foote walked through the door and observed this 8 year old moving this dust cloth across the golden plaque that read: BEST SCREENPLAY, HORTON FOOTE, TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD.

“You like that?” he asked scaring me so bad I nearly jumped out of my skin.  I nodded my head slowly, afraid that he’d be angry that I was handling what my young mind deemed to be his prized possession.

“It’s okay.” he said.  Then he smiled at me.  I immediately felt easy.

“You got these for writing?” I asked, excited that words could actually make money.  “Yes,” he answered.  “I’ve been writing for a long time.”  We sat on opposite chairs in the room and I told him I liked writing too.

“Do you, now?” he asked.  I shook my head quickly for the affirmative.  I looked quickly back at the twins, both named Oscar with a certain longing in my belly.

“I want to win one of those.” I said looking longly back at the golden men with their erect posture.  I turned back to see his encouraging smile.

“You can do it.  Just keep writing.”  He spent the next hour in that room telling me how he’d fell in love with writing and it had taken him to Hollywood and back. 

I had was blown away by him; by his adventures in writing.  I had begun leaving little poems and pieces around his apartment.  On days when grandma would have to go, I’d awake before her and be ready for the bus ride, just for the opportunity to leave another poem or letter. 

It was 9 years later when my grandmother had taken ill and unable to take the bus ride anymore.  I had gotten use to my connection with Mr. Foote.  He’d retired to Texas for the most part, his visits to New York had begun to trickle.  Going through my grandmother’s phone book, I found the number and address to my mentor.  I wrote him a letter telling him that I’d be honored to take over for my grandmother, to clean his apartment.  I scribed my contact information and my name and waited for what I was sure would be an enrichening experience.

Two weeks later, I received a phone call from Horton Foote himself.  The kind voice from my childhood floated through the telephone lines. 

“Hello, Renee,” he said kindly. 

“Mr. Foote?” I asked knowing what I was already sure of.

“Yes.” he said “I received your letter.”  

“Good.” I said “I just wanted offer my services to you since grandma is unable-“

“Renee, I think I am going to have to decline.” he said matter-of-factly. “You were never meant to be someone’s domestic.  You’re a writer, remember?”  I got really quiet and reflective on the little girl enraptured by those Oscars that gleamed in the window.  “Keep writing Renee.  You’re a writer.  Now, go bring me your Oscar!”

I was 17 then, and just like when I was 8, his presence, even on the phone returned me to the glory and wonderment of Horatio street.  Renee was back in Wonderland.  Everything I wrote from that moment on was my advancement toward the Oscar with my name on it.  He told me he wanted to hold my Oscar like I held his…

While watching the Oscars tonight, they did a memorial for those who have transitioned.  The air left the room as Horton Foote’s name flashed across the screeen over splashes of TO KILL A MOCKING BIRD, A TRIP TO BOUNTIFUL & TENDER MERCIES.  It took a moment to breathe.  My eyes filled with tears at the realization that I’d never be able to physically put my Oscar in his hands.  I never got to say goodbye.

Mr. Foote,wherever you are, I am still writing…and I am going to keep that promise, you will get your Oscar with my name on it… 

From the bottom of my heart and with everything that’s within me, thank you for calling me a writer…

Featured

Finding Love Where You’ve Lost It…

       I am back from Harrisburg, Pennsylvania and it is COLD!!! The year is off to a kicking start and I am so looking to see you guys at various shows. The show that is VERY near and dear to my heart is FIRST VOICES. FIRST VOICES is the brain child of HUE-MAN BOOKSTORE in Harlem, the most celebrated African-American owned bookstore in New York City. FIRST VOICES celebrates new authors by showcasing 4-6 authors in a reading held at their store and is followed by a Q & A session.   The reason that this is so important to me is because it will be in HARLEM. Anyone that knows me knows that I am SO Harlem, so the privilege of doing a reading in the same book store that has housed readings for some of the greatest black authors (i.e. Sonia Sanchez, Pearl Cleage, etc.) is paramount for me. My mama took this girl out of Harlem, but Harlem was NEVER out of me…I finally made my way home.   This reading will be held on Saturday, February 13th, 2010 from 2-4pm. It is a perfect afternoon get-a-way right before Valentine’s Day (which is the following day). IT IS THE PERFECT LAST MINUTE GIFT THAT WILL NOT SEEM LAST MINUTE!!!   I am extremely humbled that I was chosen to be the vehicle that the Creator used to funnel ENAMORED through. Every time I read it, I find something in it that eluded even me as the writer.  After a moment in the quiet of these words, I am freer; I am at peace…at one with my raw soul… I have finally stopped listening to the voices out side and listened to the one in my heart, the one that proclaimed “love” was not a dirty word, that it wasn’t a forbidden word; just a forgotten one. It was a word so frequently used out of context that it no longer turned heads, caught breath, made the heart skip its beat. I’d been dreaming love since June 12th of ’09 and scribing it. The result? ENAMORED. It’s time to find love again; the hint is to look wherever you lost it.  Some one once told me “the voices in your head aren’t keeping you behind, they’re waiting for you to catch up!”  I initially thought that was crazy, but now?  Now I know, if I don’t wanna talk to myself, why would anyone else want to?  Thus the writing began and the love would overflow from me and spill through my fingers and stain the pages…a thousand words forming a picture more beautiful than a photograph. I was chosen for it, and I am (to say the least) grateful.   I have a couple of projects in view for the upcoming year. I am in the works to create an ENAMORED notebook to write your own love letters, as well as working on my t-shirt business. February also promises some wonderful things in the way of a poetry rock show I am in entitled POET ROCK. If you haven’t already done so, be sure to follow the link below and get your tickets! There will be some wonderful performers in the house, like Dana Dane and yours truly! There are links on the page at the bottom where you can pay for your tickets on Pay Pal, I also have tickets myself. They are only $15.00 and I promise you will walk away having seen a dynamic show!   I also want you to send out this email to others, and go to www.reverbnation.com/mothermetaphor and sign up on my email list and join my fan page.  It will keep you updated and I will have free give aways and various other things!   Well people, that’s what’s up for February…keep your eyes open for March…in the words of Nettie…”Look for me just over the horizon!”     Love & Light,   Renée Michele (Mother Metaphor)   
UPCOMING SHOWS
Hue-Man Book Store New York, NY Sat Feb 13 10 02:00 PM Tickets
PoetRock at the Production Lounge New York, NY Tue Feb 23 10 07:00 PM Tickets
Cave Canem, Brooklyn, Brooklyn, NY Mon Mar 01 10 06:30 PM Tickets
> See More / Details

 

Featured

ENAMORED…(Published and Available for purchase at 11:59PM on 12/31/09)

It has taken a while, but the time has come…

My new book, which is being published at 11:59PM on 12/31/09 (but will be made available for purchase by 1/2/10) is finally done.  The book cover is above for your viewing pleasure and I implore you all to go out and get this book.  I did not think I could do better than “Lock, Stock & Smoking Metaphors,” but “ENAMORED” transcends anything I have ever done.  I truly believed I was possessed by love.  This book is what happens as a result.  It retails for $15.00 and you can order this on-line.

 

Love & Light,

 

Renee Michele

Featured

The Language In the Living Room

After close to 2 years on the air, we are elevating.  I have given classes on air, homework, grant information as well as invaluable critique.  So many of you have developed books, released CDs performed on shows as the confidence within your own work has increased.  Now I’d like the world to know what you’ve been doing.

June 2010, I will release an anthology entitled: “The Language of the Living Room.”  The Book/CD compilation will include the works of poets/spoken words artist that have had any interaction with The Living Room.  All entries should be submitted by 4/30/10 at 12 midnight, EST.  Entries will be notified by 5/15/10 if you have been selected for publication.  There is a $10 entrance fee for up to three poems in written form (should not exceed 20 lines each) and $15 for audio entries (which should be submitted in MP3 format). If you wish to submit for both audio and print, the cost is $25.00.

Both your entries and fees can be paid to: thelivingroomatbtr@yahoo.com.

Submission Fees
Written Submission $10.00
Audio Submission $15.00
Written & Audio Submission $25.00

Featured

“Procrastination”

Procrastination “Nothing is so fatiguing as the eternal hanging on of an uncompleted task.”  ~William James 

Procrastination is the art of keeping up with yesterday.  ~Don Marquis 

Every duty which is bidden to wait returns with seven fresh duties at its back.  ~Charles Kingsley 

The easiest thing to do – is nothing.  No one can make you do what it isn’t in your heart to do.  Second after second, minute after minute, hour after hour, day after day, week after week, month after month, year after year…get the picture?  Time too has a dance card that’s quite full.  She will not wait for you to take her hand.  Trust that she has other suitors.  There is too much putting off until tomorrow what you can do today.  How often have you put off your dreams, your vacation, your children, your spouse…yourself?  Most among us are only dedicated to the wrong things.  We habitually get up and pour ourselves the huge cup of negativity we’ve been brewing all night.  Then first thing in the morning, after a long night of having the audacity to dream, we stamp it out with a hot cup of pessimism flavored with excuses.  It is not enough to dream it.  Dreaming is the beginning of the process, but in order to make things tangible you have to follow through by making the steps toward obtaining it.  The only way a flower grows is when it is nurtured and fed.  Water your dream garden; in the end, you’ll have your pick of dreams…weed out procrastination or it will become your nightmare… 

“The sooner I fall behind, the more time I have to catch up.”  ~Author Unknown

“There are a million ways to lose a work day, but not even a single way to get one back.”  ~Tom DeMarco  

“You may delay, but time will not.”  ~Benjamin Franklin 

“Someday is not a day of the week.”  ~Author Unknown

“To think too long about doing a thing often becomes its undoing.”  ~Eva Young

“Don’t fool yourself that important things can be put off till tomorrow; they can be put off forever, or not at all.”  ~Mignon McLaughlin, The Neurotic’s Notebook, 1960

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MISERY

Misery Knife“I don’t think of all the misery, but of all the beauty that still remains” Anne Frank

“The white man’s happiness cannot be purchased by the black man’s misery.” Fredrick Douglass

Lawd does misery LOVE company!  Think of it.  You are on the right track. You’ve been so for some time.  I’m here to tell you, some won’t like it.  They will do everything they can to get you to dismantle peace.  DON’T DO IT!  All of these things come so that you can be made better, stronger.  Everyone needs something.  It has been my experience that Misery will call you on your phone, in the middle of a storm and want you at their home to be entertained.  Honey, let me tell you!  Misery does not care whether you want to come or not, her persistence at your being their only benefits her.  She will cook for you and put out all her greatest dishes: 

  • Hopelessness with a side of despair
  • Deep fried betrayal
  • Honey Barbequed Bad News, and of course
  • Porterhouse Pain

Talk about spiritual indigestion!  Then she watches and waits for the results of her culinary skills to take effect.  That’s where her power lies, in your reaction.  Do one of two things:  Don’t go over her home or take a package of Pepto-prayer.  It will save you…every time!

“Misery acquaints a man with strange bed-fellows.” – Anonymous

Morality becomes hypocrisy if it means accepting mothers suffering or dying in connection with unwanted pregnancies or illegal abortions – and unwanted children living in misery.””Anonymous

 “Pride is seldom delicate, it will please itself with very mean advantages; and envy feels not its own happiness, but when it may be compared with the misery of others” – Samuel Johnson

Renée Michele Breeden

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Michael Memories from a Child of Molestation…

 

Praying Michael

 The news broke of Michael’s death and I remembered. It was a bright spot in an otherwise dark time. It was the year that I transitioned from nine to the rounded age of ten, two digits…

I was in St. Matthews, South Carolina, staying with relatives. I had heard my mother speak of the word most of us are now well aquatinted with: foreclosure.

Foreclosure, whoever he was made my mother make the choice that would break the bonds of childhood far before I was ready to loosen my grasp. From day one, I knew this was not to be the South Carolina that greeted me in my mother’s presence. My sister took my brother and I there, delivered like junk mail and dropped there into the arms of uncertainty.

From the moment that my older sister left, the air went out. I never imagined myself in a bag, and that someone could be exhausting the air. Wow.

What was supposed to be the pinnacle of my childhood ripped away trust. For one year, eight months, three weeks, and two days, my childhood was crushed under the foot of incest. The violation of night ripped into the daily existence of screams that went unheard, and fell on the eyes of closed lids. No one heard the violation contained behind a bathroom door in a 3 bedroom ranch house on Tucker Mill Circle. Everything was a blur then. I don’t remember much. There were few joys.

1.The burning of the garbage: We knew burning of the trash would give the heat we needed
to make Peppermint Scented Mud Pies. It was the last little bit of childhood I had.

2. Motown 25: Everyone waited that night. Every other performance meant nothing. We, my
extended family and I. My cousins, my aunts, my molesters – all of us. The noise stopped. The
air was still. Michael took us to another planet. It must have been the moon, because that was
the first time he moon walked while he was singing Billie Jean. I knew then and there I would be
a performer. I was gonna sing too. People were gonna love me too.

The tears fell down my face. It was the only night in which the violation stopped. For that night only, Michael saved me from them, from my male cousin molesters and many nights thereafter from myself. Music & Me and Ben reverberated in my ear drums as I listened to Michael’s child hood falsetto under the house on a old school tape recorder. Whenever his voice streamed into the space around me, the air would return for the duration of the song. It didn’t matter what he was singing, whether it was him arguing with Paul McCartney over who I really belonged to, or whether he was convincing the world to drink Pepsi with his brothers during the Victory tour. He kept me sane. His songs didn’t keep me from going on long journeys inside of myself, but they definitely kept me from staying gone. They stopped me from going inside and locking the door. Michael Jackson put the key up for safe keeping.

The return from South Carolina resulted in me never returning to the place of my violation, but Michael was a constant companion. Everyone idolized him. I had it all, the jackets (Beat It & Thriller), my socks and glove with the silver and white threads to make them look as though they were rhinestones. Everyone wanted a piece of Michael.

I didn’t believe it. Text messages flew in from everywhere, proclaiming Michael’s demise. The tears filled up in the wells of my eyes and streamed down my face. Besides the incredible sense of loss I felt, I also felt like the others. The others are the people who kept taking from him and never gave. I felt so guilty. I took my sanity in him and he was so tormented. By his father, his face, his fears. He walked a road searching for a childhood that he was never allowed to have.

I walked to 125th Street and sang every Michael song that fell on the lips of his fans. I stayed out there until 3 am, but even that didn’t seem enough for the give back.

When they called him a child molester, I thought to myself: how could they call him a molester, when he kept me sane as a child being molested? What a toll it took on you Michael. For that, I am deeply sorry.

The bible says we gotta come to God like a child, and I know God was there to greet you. I know it. No one was more child-like, loving and as pure in his spirit as you. All that genius that lived in you; All of God’s answers to and for the world weaved beautifully into your songs. Thank you Michael. You beautiful, gifted, tormented instrument of God’s peace. For everything you were, for everything you became, thank you.

You saved me. When others stole my trust, you returned it, beautifully wrapped in your songs…
As you once told me when I was a ten year old woman…you Michael are not alone…

michael_jackson_king_of_pop

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Loving You Is Easy Cause Your Beautiful…

michelle-and-baracks-hands

Some of the things I transcribe here could easily offend.  Some woman, in defense of their own womb-manhood will protest what may seem my passiveness, my blind love.  That’s fine.  We all need to find our reality.  I found mine in him.  He looked upon me, in that broken way he has, and I swear my spirit opened.  Who knew I’d find my greatest treasure in the things that others threw away?

What has been done to you?  How can I heal what’s broken?  Will you let me?  I have missed you from my life…

I know it.  All the things that I have missed…the light from your eyes…the way they dance when you see me (you don’t hide that well!).  I have allowed the past interactions, indiscretions to bear their true names…infatuation, enamored, lust, obsession…I met you and I knew…there was no way that I could ever have loved before this – nothing compares to this.

I get ahead of myself sometimes.  I see things before they happen.  Catch the scent of love off of clothes; ingest joy overflowing from eyes…hear peace beating in time with a happy heart.  Humans in their frailty believe that one must get ready for love.  They believe there is some point where we prepare for the inevitable goodness that we are all destined for. 

Maybe in a parallel universe somewhere I believed this…then we found one another.  On a lonely highway, at the intersection of destiny…we careened into one another.  I am finding bits of myself in the wreckage…there are memories all over the road as a result.  Some needed to die to love, to us.  We, you and me are this mangaled mess of emotions and we hardly recognize one another.  A beautiful accident with definate purpose…we were meant to heal one another my King.  God told me that you had my wings, and my love – I intend to fly…

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A Response from Depression

(Pictures Found off the net)
(Pictures Found off the net)

Dearest Renee:

     It does not matter how many words you wield declaring the end of our union.  You and I both know the truth.  You have been seeing me behind closed doors when no one is around.  I have been whispering in your ear; I have been curling up with you in that fetal position, kissing you into morning.  Your body aches with the desire to clean.  I creep in the clutter, awaiting the feeling you can’t get away from, the hopelessness that whispers “you can’t do this alone” then wraps you back up in the womb of self loathing and shame.

How did you think it was possible?  Leaving behind what we dared to share beyond the world?  I will admit, you had me fooled, with all that empowerment talk about “finding yourself” and “embracing happiness” behind my back, but I guess I should have known better.  Happiness is monogamous.  He doesn’t have a single idea on how to keep more than one woman, so it would only be a matter of time before he would leave you to dress someone in the temporary cloak of “happiness”.

He doesn’t know how to handle you; how to fold himself into the folds of your lonely and cover the holes.  He uses the same words, the same script he has been giving the women in his life for years.  Yes my love, his ordinary love will not ease your extraordinary pain.  I know you…better than you have known yourself.  We will always know , always love one another  you can’t escape it, us.

I will always be here, always in the background…the only man who will never leave you…

Depression

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F.E.A.R.

I looked into his eyes and saw the future that I wanted.  He smiled  at me and I could swear, he knew that smile would divert my intentions…I wanted to know.  What was the possibility of being here in this moment for the rest of my life?

I know myself a little better every time I am in his presence.  I am comforted there, in the space and time of a visual embrace.  That’s right, he looks at me and with just a glance, he gives a peace that

runs over my soul…dsc_0172

I dream of him often, and I cannot remember relationships of the past ever being counted as painful.  Everything I have ever known before this moment has been par for the cause.  A course in the reality of him.  There is a nervous energy when we are together.  It is scary and exciting all at the same time, and highly addictive.  I want to know this energy at all times that keeps me on my toes.   Being in this situation reminds me of the acronym about F.E.A.R.

I can feel an energy from him.  Could he possibly want me too?  How has he been able to contain it?  It burst from me in a million eruptions, and emits from me like trapped light.  I scare him.  I know that I do.  I represent all of the things he may not be prepared to face.  What should he do?

F*CK EVERYTHING AND RUN:How often has he chosen this?  How many times had he saved his neck from what he perceived to be the guillotine of love?  So this is where he is…

I keep hoping that he will:

FACE EVERYTHING AND RE-LOVE: I want to hold him in my arms when I see him.  Comfort him from the bruises he has obtained from the storms that come with love.  He doesn’t trust it, the feeling that comes with it, therefore he doesn’t trust me.  I want him to face everything that prepared him for this moment.  The heart ache.  The broken promises…the broken misses…

I wish I could curl into the bend of him…know the joy of him between these arms, and rest in the pleasure of this love…

Now I wish I could remember how it felt BEFORE I loved him…

Meeting God Where He Is…

MeCryingMy soul is heavy with the burden of mistrust.  How can I possibly trust myself again when I have failed myself so many times before?  I often sit in prayer, as I have this morning, in wonder of why I was given this capacity to love, to hurt, to feel…

Why have I chosen the broken, becoming only successful in breaking myself.

LETTER TO MY EX HUSBANDS…

This is your grief.  Your depression, your disappointing childhood.  I have no right to it.  Someone dug a hole in you and you’re no longer whole.  Take back your nasty, dirty imperfections so that I can live my life without the remnants of you on my soul.  I placed my desires into the wrong baskets.  I didn’t see the holes along the bottom…or maybe I fooled myself into believing I was enough to fill them.  My spirit woke me this morning with an undeniable desire to purge.  I had successfully avoided this for so long…avoided this overflow, this pain.  I knew that I was off kilter, but considering all you two put me through, I truly believed myself unscathed…until my world came crashing down this morning.  Every nasty little thing you’d done to me resurfaced.  Every little stupid decision I made trying to get our love to return to its former glory…but then I realized something…you both had sent your representatives.  You were never the men you pretended to be.  You just knew how to keep it up until I was utterly fooled into believing that that’s who you were.

Today I am taking responsibility for allowing my desire to be loved drown out the warning signs.  The tell-tale signs that I ignored in the name of love.  The proof of your aggression…the truth of your lies…the boldness of your bully…the fact that your violence was domestic.Hear My Call

Jill has done it again.  She is singing my soul.  She has no idea that she has ushered me back to God.  My heart is singing without use of my mouth, beating steadily inside of my chest.  I allowed you to feed on me.   To the point where I was no longer me.  I just want to return to the me I use to be.  I have missed her.

I have risen at 5:01 am, beating the sun.  My spirit is still walking in the night before.  My weeping has put in overtime, joy has called in sick this morning.  My life has had snippets of sun and endless midnight.  I have grown very tired of trying to handle this on my own…in the words of Jill Scott…GOD, PLEASE HEAR MY CALL…

I have met someone.  He feels like that life love every little girl longs for.  He seems like that man for me.  This morning, I cried at the thought.  Could I be wrong?  I remember feeling that for both husbands.  My 1st husband when I was 25 and anxious to begin the fairy tale of HMC2a life I knew I deserved.  My second husband when I was 36 and racing the clock to be a mother again…now at 41, here I am again…in love.  But I do not trust me.  To make a sound decision.  To love and be loved fully.  Because I’d been eating loves scraps, I am unsure of love’s full meal.  Is he what I prayed for?  Is he joy disguised in night-time morning?  I am afraid for me.  For the 1st time ever, afraid of love.  Bruised and broken…Lord, I need your healing…