Friday, March 19, 2010

Interview with LaConnie Taylor-Jones

Tell us all about you, the author. And then tell us about the person behind the author. 

From the author side, I’ve published three full-length novels. In 2008, I was the recipient of the 2008 Romance Slam Jam Emma Award for Debut Author of the Year for my debut novel, When I’m With You, that was published in 2007. I released my second novel, When a Man Loves a Woman in 2008 and back by popular demand, my latest new novel, If I Were Your Woman, was release March 4, 2010.

On the personal side, I hail from Memphis, Tennessee. For the past twenty years, I’ve worked by day as a health educator consultant. By night, I’m full time president, taxi driver, cook, pot washer, referrer and mother to the four Jones kids.

How long have you been writing and what has the experience been like for you?

In the summer of 2003, I seized the opportunity to blend my enthusiasm for teaching health, social responsibility and social justice with my love for reading the romance genre and a multitude of storylines began. However, four years came and went before my debut novel was published in November 2007.

Do you credit anyone with helping along the way to becoming a writer?

Without a doubt my author mentor, Beverly Jenkins.

What motivates you to write?

The inspiration for my stories comes from my experience as a health educator. For the past twenty years, I’ve taught health education to African Americans in community-based settings. Oftentimes, before I present a lecture, I find myself interfacing with students and listening to the soci-economic deterrents they face.

How does writing affect you in other areas of your life?

No book is worth sacrificing the relationship I have with family or anyone else who is important in my life. Therefore, I’ve learn to put my writing in perspective. I never allow my personal time to interfere with writing time and vice versa.

Do you write full time or part time?

A writer is someone who writes stories. An author is someone who sells books. Therefore, I consider myself to be a full-time author.

How long did it take to write If I Were Your Woman?

I wrote this book during an extremely challenging period in my life. Three weeks after signing the contract for this title, my husband was diagnosed with colon cancer. For six months while we went to chemo three days a week, I lugged my laptop with me and wrote. I didn’t realize it then, but the personal experience of dealing with cancer enabled me to become a better writer and tell this story from a much deeper perspective.

Sadly, my husband lost his fight on January 13, 2009. Despite the tremendous void in my life, I’ll always be eternally grateful and remember the thirty-five wonderful years we were blessed to spend together.

As far as marketing, do you do more online publicity or print/radio/TV promotion? What seems to work best for you? Feel free to share any publicity tips you might have.

The publishing world has definitely transitioned into the digital revolution. Therefore, I find that my marketing is exclusively on-line.

How would you describe your writing style and how did you come up with it?

When I first began my writing career, ‘unique voice’, ‘interesting story premise’, and ‘strong characterization’ kept popping up. Did I know what any of this meant? Uuh…didn’t have a clue. Interesting story premise, huh? Hmmm…let’s see. What if I took a real-life issue and put a romantic spin to it? And since a romance novel centers on the love between two people and provides an optimistic ending, the only thing I needed to do was connect the dots.

What is your writing process like?

It begins when I stumble down the stairs, groping in semi-darkness for my best friend, the coffee pot. The illuminated numbers indicate one o’clock in the morning. The duties of mother, maid, cook, chauffer, doctor, business owner and referrer have ended, and it’s the right time for me to write!!

Tell us about your book(s) in as many words as you'd like.

WHEN I’M WITH YOU - When your life has been terrorized by violence, how do you manage to go forward, looking over your shoulder at every turn? This is the daily question that haunts Caitlyn Thompson. Caitlyn is soon to meet the man who will make her want to stop running, want to trust and love again; Marcel Baptiste. It will take a will of iron and a courage she didn’t know she possessed to battle her fears and open up to the wealthy entrepreneur. But when violence comes knocking again, will she have the courage to face her biggest nightmare?

WHEN A MAN LOVES A WOMAN - Nursing administrator Victoria Bennett has soured on love. She has sworn off men; they bring too much drama and too much pain into her life. That is, until she meets pediatrician A. J. Baptiste, a single parent who is determined to woo her. A. J. will stop at nothing to have her, and Victoria finds her resolve put to the test…but is this a fight she really wants to win? 

IF I WERE YOUR WOMAN - Tinsel Town is about to learn a few lessons from a Southern doctor with the courage to win the heart of a man who swore no woman ever would. If it doesn’t have a scientific basis, Dr. Laney Olivia Houston doesn’t believe in it —and that includes love at first sight. But she meets Raphael Baptiste. One encounter is all it takes; and she realizes her life is changed forever. Jazz musician, Raphael Baptist is no stranger to women or their beds. When an illness strikes, his life is thrown into turmoil. But the quiet Southern belle sees beyond his past and bitterness. She sees a man who could love. . .

How do you come up with the titles for your books? What about the character names and topics? Why did you choose to write on these specific topics?

In all three cases, I wrote the story first, then selected a title I felt captured the essence of the story. As for the character names, there really wasn’t a method to the madness.

I would say my experience as a health educator played a pivotal role relative to the premise of each story.

What's coming up next for you? (Upcoming books)

Currently, I’m working on a couple of romantic suspense plots

Where is your book available and where can we find you online to learn more about you or your book?

Readers can click on the link of each title for more information:

When I’m With You

When A Man Loves A Woman

If I Were Your Woman

Last question, I've read "If I Were Your Woman," and I'd love to interview you live. Would you do me the honor?

Absolutely!!! Give me a date and time and you’ve got yourself an interview.
A word from Vee:  Awesome!  I know you're promoting like crazy right now, so I'll give you a minute to catch your breath and I'll be in touch very soon.  And thank you so much for stopping by VJBS.  I've got nothing but love for ya.  Peace, my friend.  I wish you so much success.

If I Were Your Woman official book trailor:

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Q&A with Author, DD Turner

DD Turner, Author of
The Chronicles of a Hip Hop Legend:
Paths of Grand Wizardry

1) Tell us about yourself?

My name is Derrick Turner, writing under the pseudonym of D.D. Turner. I am from Brooklyn, New York but currently reside with my wife and three sons in Houston, Texas. While this is my first novel, I have pre-existing experience with public writing on a local level in NYC; some of my past experiences are music reviews for independent publications, press release campaigns for new/existing artists, program-pitch campaigns, and comic books.

2) Tell us about Chronicles of a Hip Hop Legend, Paths of Grand Wizardry?

Chronicles of a Hip Hop Legend details the story of a teenage boy who proudly professes his love and support for the culture of Hip Hop. However, he is unaware of the genealogical link that he has with an ancient African civilization that has sowed the seeds for the Hip Hop ideal several thousand years prior. With the current state of Hip Hop suffering as a result of the evil efforts of an opposing group, the teenage boy is given the task of going head-to-head with the opposition with a specific goal of saving the very culture that his ancient ancestors created.

3) For the culture of Hip Hop, this is an unexplored area up until now. How did you come up with the premise for the story?

I always like to say that I didn't come up with the story, but, that God gave it to me. It was 1999 and I had just voluntarily ended my employment with a dot com; On my last day of employment, I was sitting in my truck in the Wall Street area of NYC waiting for my fiancĂ© to end her day at work. While waiting, I revisited LL Cool J’s “Mr. Smith” album and on this particular day, track number 3 entitled “Hip Hop” resonated with me in a special way. During the full several minute length of that song, God provided me with a detailed, yet basic, description of the story. As soon as I got home, I got to work on a treatment for the story which would be delivered using the graphic/visual medium. After pitching the idea to some close friends that would be integral in the development of the story, we got to work on the first issue of the comic book. The first issue was released locally in NYC in late 1999. As always, I’m extremely thankful to God for speaking this into my heart and mind...Good lookin’ heavenly father!! I’m also thankful to LL Cool J for penning that song; it truly served as the vessel by which God’s plans came to me…Goodlookin’ big homie!

4) Tell us about the characters?

Characteristics of each character come from people that I have either come across, or are currently present in my life. Cris,who serves as the protagonist, has a lot of personal characteristics that come from myself as a teenager. And to be honest, some that I wish I had as a teenager. In the instance of Roger “Feedback” Cromwell, who serves as the antagonist, this cat is unlike anybody that I've ever encountered, but what I would imagine the most unforgiving, vile, evil, and cold person to be like. However, Feedback’s evil ways are not arbitrary. In fact, as you come to find out, he has influences that are well beyond his control and contribute largely to his horrid disposition. There are a host of other characters in the story that I am sure all readers will be able to identify with.

5) What will the readers get from the story?

Over the years, Hip Hop has been saddled with a bad reputation; this is largely a result of the street tales and misogynistic messages that have become mainstream in Rap music. But beneath this surface exists a rich culture that has been responsible for the success of many and has been the single most successful instance of a sub-culture responsible for easing the tension amidst race relations in our country. The Chronicles of a Hip Hop Legend literary series merely aims to expand upon this success; it provides a family friendly, fantasy-fiction work that delves into the rich culture of Hip Hop from a fictional perspective.Additionally and certainly not least important, it hopes to provide a resolve to the problems concerning literacy, particularly in those communities across the globe where the problem is most prevalent. Using relevance, it looks to provide encouragement to learn how to read, read better, or simply, read more.

6) For those of your readers that might be interested in exploring the area of creative writing,might you have some suggestions for them?

By no means, do I profess to be a popular Novelist with years of experience, but, I do know that there are some things that are fundamentally applicable. Check out my suggestions:

  • Write what interests you not what mainstream dictates. The scope of readers’ interests span far and wide.Therefore, there will always be someone that will express interest and read your story.

  • Allow yourself to be uninhibited when writing…The creative thought process knows no boundaries. If restrained,your creative thought process will abstain.

  • Forget about the editing/correction process when writing. They’ll be plenty of time for that when the work is completed.

  • Do it for the love of writing and not for the love of money.
7) Was there a specific incident that pushed you towards exploring writing (a novel) as an option?

How’d you know?! After writing, developing, and self-distributing the story as a comic book, my partners and I took a hiatus. My Wife and I began to start our family and some of my partners also experienced similar life changing events. We all agreed that sustainability of our families was that main priority. During the hiatus, I continued to write installments of the series, as well as play around developmentally with the work. In 2006, with only three of us remaining, we decided to embark on the journey again. As we were getting ready to start the sketch production for the installment, my childhood friend, who handled all of our art direction and drawings, became gravelly ill and was unable to proceed with his contributions. When it had become evident that a recovery was not realistic, I began to seek an alternate medium to keep the story alive…I began writing Paths of Grand Wizardry (first installment of the Chronicles of a Hip Hop Legend literary series) in July and had a 32 chapter manuscript completed by the end of November…My friend died in January. Paths of Grand Wizardry is dedicated to his memory.

8) We often hear humble stories of self-published authors when they embark on this journey of literary authorship. What might be one of your most notable stories?

There are quite a bit but most are from the early days when the work was a comic book. My comrades and I had a lot of great times and misadventures. A notable occasion that stands out after the book was completed was what appeared to be my never ending quest to secure the services of a literary agent. I’m sure every author that has attempted to get an agent interested in their work can empathize with this experience…Straight up, it sucks! But for those of you that are embarking on this journey for the first time, I urge you to let that not be the source of your discouragement. Continue to press on. Your efforts will not go unrecognized…Word is born!

9) What might be your ultimate goal to achieve as an author?

To become an author that is world renowned for his style of writing and to write work that will leave a lasting impression.

10) What's coming up for D.D. Turner?

The list is rather long but I’ll keep it short and relevant. I am a firm believer in keeping multiple irons in the fire and striking with which ever one becomes red-hot first.

  • Currently working on the second installment of the series; tentatively entitled “Cipher and the Lost Relic of Alkebulan.”
  • Continue to develop the sub-plot of the third installment. Sub title not created as of yet.

  • Continue to explore the option of having the first installment of the series available as an audio book.

  • Down the line, looking to generate enough interest world-wide to leverage the opportunity to license translation rights to foreign publishers. I’d like the story to be available in other countries in the respective language.

  • Solicit interest in adapting the story to film.

  • Continue to work tirelessly to have the book available in every market throughout the country and subsequently throughout the world.

The Chronicles of a Hip Hop Legend
DD Turner
Xlibris Corporation (February 5, 2008)
$19.99 US; ISBN-10: 1425796931
A word from Vee:
DD, I would like to thank you for stopping by VJBS.
Talking about a breath of fresh air.
You've inspired me.
Peace, love, light and success to you, my friend.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

The Chicken or the Egg, and what's that got to do with blogging?

Okay, so it's been forever since I've blogged.
It's not that I haven't been inspired, but the inspiration usually comes when I'm no where near a computer. Of course I'll tell myself, "Now don't forget to blog about this," or "this would be perfect to blog about," and then just forget about it totally.

I sit here now as uninspired as can be. Nothing witty, philosophical, meaningful, enlightening, awe-inspiring, or even comical to talk about. I guess it's just another regular old day. lol. Even though I do love those too. But I as type I'm wondering which came first, the chicken or the egg? I guess you'd ask, "what does that have to do with blogging?" But I'm wondering if you should wait to be inspired to write, or if you should write while you're waiting to be inspired.
So I'm just gonna continue typing and maybe when I'm done, I'll know the answer to my question.

I watched the movie, Julie & Julia the other day. It didn't end like I wanted it to, but being that it was based on a true story, I guess that's life, huh? And life is gonna do what it does...surprise, change, rearrange, evolve, sometimes even disappoint, but never just what you want it to do. And Thank God, right? But I liked the movie. It was cute as can be. And I was still left inspired and even a little hungry too. I think I fell in love with Julia Child. She was too funny, and like a lot other great people, she was definitely before her time. I'm going to have study up on her a little more.

Oh, you know what? I have a cousin, Bianka Brunson, who is going to in a major motion picture this year. That is definitely worth talking about. Matter of fact, it's worth a post of it's own, so I'll be blogging about this very soon. But In Our lady of Victory, which is set to be released in March of 2010, Bianka is sharing the screen with Hollywood heavy weight and Academy Award winner, Ellen Burstyn, Carla Gugino, and David Boreanaz. Boy, if I were a jealous person, I would be sooooo green right now. Acting was the thing I grew up wanting to do. But for Bianka, all I have is love and adoration. I can't wait to see this movie.

Well that's about all for now. Still feeling uninspired. Still don't know the answer to my question, but one thing I do know is if you just happen to get hit with a bit of inspiration or creativity, stop right then and write it down, record it, or something. Inspiration is direct communication from the Mighty One. And if He feels you're not listening to Him, well maybe it would be easier for Him to just be talking to someone else.

Peace, Love, & Light.


Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Just a regular old day - Jowaje Philosophy

i saw a girl today.
She was younger than me.
And man, She's had some rain in Her life.
Her body is failing.
Her soul was tortured.
And She wasn't there for either one.

i had to sit back and say, "vee, you've been Blessed."

i walked outside in the Rain tonight.
it was by choice.
it was cold, dark, the trees above me, and the cold drops falling randomly over me
and everything else.
and every once in a while a sheet of lightning would echo out around me.
i thought of the Ancestors and felt just a small part of what They felt.
and even thought of a Homeless Man I'd seen not long ago.
just a tiny, very tiny glimpse into just a regular old day for Them.

and i had to sit back and say, "vee, you've been Blessed."

i feel so small. the things i thought i wanted in life seem so trivial right now.
so small, and to some they truly are and may always be.
and perhaps tomorrow, for me they will be big again.
but it took a couple of random things for me to stop and sit back
and remember to feel the good that is in my life right now; today.
to revel in my happiness and joy and peace.
i could be anybody else, any one of the people who has had it harder than me.
but i'm me.
and i'm Thankful for my Regular Old Days.
so i want to say...Today was one of 'em.
Thank You.

then i said goodnight to my Son.
we had a real good day today.
we did a little dreaming. and a little talking.
He's going to have surgery in the morning.

And all I can say is, "Lord please bless
and watch over Him as You've done for me."

Monday, January 26, 2009

Natural Hair at it's BEST!, by Natural NaNa

Please forgive me for the music. This was not the original song added to this video, and definitely not the song playing when I posted it. And while I still love the video and all the beautiful, natural doos, I'm NOT feeling the lyrics accompanying it. So hold on while I find another to put in it's place, and for now, TURN DOWN THE VOLUME AND just ENJOY THE ART! Or you could try turning on the India Arie MP3 snippets player to the right.



Friday, October 24, 2008

YogaSkills Cleansing, Fasting and Food Style Change

By my friend, Yirser Ra Hotep


all red meat i.e., pork & beef.
all white products i.e., sugar, flour, pastas, breads.
all trans fat containing products i.e., baked goods, candies, etc. You have to read labels and recognize terms such as hydrogenated oils, margarine, shortening, high fructose corn syrup and more.
Eliminate soy products produced from genetically modified plants
Eliminate Dairy Products: Milk, butter, eggs, cheese also products containing these substances

-Replace red meat with organically raised chicken and/or salmon (non-farm raised) or to be vegetarian/vegan replace red meat with nuts, seeds, whole grains (and its products) and legumes
-Replace white products with brown products, this means whole wheat flour, brown rice, whole grain pastas
-Replace trans fats with cold pressed olive oil, replace margarine and butter with non-hydrogenated soft spread products that are made from organically produced olive oil
-Replace white sugar with Agave Nectar: it has a low glycemic index (does not significantly raise blood sugar levels). Alternatives are maple syrup and raw unfiltered honey
-Replace coffee with Green tea (if you must drink coffee limit it to one to two cups per day)
-Replace regular table salt with herbs, seasonings and small amounts of sea salt. Braggs Liquid Aminos is also an option

Meal Planning:

Main meal should always include a large fresh vegetable salad. Do not use heavy high fat dressings such as ranch, thousand island, bleu cheese, etc. Simply use olive oil, apple cider vinegar, lemon and a little honey or other recommended sweeteners. These dressing ingredients can be blended with avocado or other fresh foods to create dressings.

Steamed Vegetables: Most meals should include a lightly or sautéed steamed vegetable such as broccoli, cauliflower, kale greens, chard, brussel sprouts, zucchini, etc.
Raw vegetable salads and steamed vegetables provide fiber in the form of cellulose which in turn keeps the bowels working properly. The indigestible fibers of the plants bind with the bulk of the whole grains and other whole foods to create a very manageable waste product that can be evacuated through the bowels. This fiber also "scrapes" the walls of the intestines and colon to keep waste from accumulating. High fiber diets decrease the risk of colo-rectal cancer.
Raw and slightly steamed vegetables also provide vitamins, minerals, enzymes and other micro-nutrients that boost the body’s ability to fight infections.

Whole Grains: These are brown rice, whole wheat, barley, rye and the products such as breads and pastas made from these grains. They provide complex carbohydrates which digest slowly in your system and provide a prolonged flow of usable glucose that fuels the brain, muscles, organs and other tissues throughout the body.
*Simple sugars or simple carbohydrates such as white flour products, white sugar, high fructose corn syrup, etc., go straight to the blood stream very quickly, give you a rush of sugar energy that quickly dissipates and causes you to "crash" or to become tired, lethargic and irritable.
Whole grains also contain vitamins, minerals and amino acids (the building blocks of protein) and they provide BULK for the intestines and colon that create good bowel movements.

Beans and Legumes: These provide protein, carbohydrates, some vitamins. They often are combined with gains such as rice to create a complete protein

Nuts and Seeds: These should be eaten raw. Some sources insist nuts should be soaked for 12 hours prior to eating in order to breakdown "protein inhibitors" that keep them from being able to digest properly. Seeds such as sunflower can be soaked and sprouted and used in salads. Nut butters can be created from almonds, cashews, sesame seeds and walnuts. Nut milks can be made from almonds, sunflower seeds and sesame seeds primarily. These nut and seed milks are high in protein, are easily digested and can be consumed when one is attempting to fast, cleanse or lose weight. Nuts and seeds can be eaten with vegetables or with dry or fresh fruits.

The science of Yoga advocates a vegetarian diet. However some people might do well to consume some animal products to insure their health. For those folks I recommend Salmon (not-farm raised). You should attempt to get your Salmon from a fresh water source, unpolluted source. Many people like Tuna, but it has been shown to have high levels of mercury and is not recommended. Dairy products such as cheese have high levels of fat (animal fats are extremely bad for the body except for those found in Salmon). They are also high in queso-morphines which are drug like substances to keep you addicted to foods like pizza. If you need dairy products use yogurt that is made from naturally raised and fed cows (no BGH, bovine growth hormone). Milk is not needed for calcium. In fact the countries in the world that consume the most milk, have the highest rates of osteoporosis (weakening of the bones). Check out Milk can also create mucus which creates and exacerbates respiratory problems, colds, flu, etc. Natural yogurt is easier to digest, provide digestive enzymes, b-vitamins and protein.
If you feel that you must have dairy, use milk and cheese that comes from cows raised naturally and that haven’t been injected with hormones, anti-biotics and steroids.

Fresh Raw Juices: Every human being should possess a juicer. The best juicers are made by Champion and Acme. Other commercial juicers are available but might not provide the longevity you want. Consuming a variety of fresh juices on a regular basis provides you with vitamins, minerals, trace minerals, amino acids, enzymes and other nutrients yet to be discovered! You should use organic fruits and vegetables as much as possible. A good basic mix is carrot, spinach, celery, parsley, beet, apple and a piece of ginger.

Supplements: Vitamin C powder, multi-vitamin/mineral, b-complex.
*A good way to get your nutrients is by making smoothies. The basic ingredients of a nutritional smoothie are: Bee Pollen (complete protein, provides high quick energy, strengthens blood vessels, and increases immunity to allergies) and Lewis Laboratories Brewer’s Yeast is recommended for taste (complete protein, minerals, amino acids, enzymes and is easy to digest.) Be cautious if you are chronic sufferer of Candida.
Sunflower seed and/or almonds, fresh juice, blueberries, strawberries, (ONLY USE ORGANIC BERRIES, these can be purchased frozen), banana, flax seed oil and wheat germ oil are also good to use in your smoothies.

Herbs: Uva Ursi, Milk Thistle, Dandelion (Good for detoxing the liver and kidneys).
Take these as a tincture.

Spices: Cayenne pepper, Garlic, Onion, Cumin, Curry, Sage, Thyme, Oregano (used as both seasoning and medicine in your food).

Water: Distilled Water (ad 1 tsp of fresh lemon per gallon), Spring Water, Filtered Water. Our bodies are about 90% water. We need to drink ½ gallon to 1 gallon per day depending on your weight.

After incorporating above program into your lifestyle then you can begin to go on a cleansing fast:

Week one:
Drink ½ gallon to 1 gallon of water throughout each day. Choices in water include distilled water with a teaspoon of fresh lemon juice per gallon.
Eat fresh fruit to start the day: Use cleansing fruits in the morning to stimulate bowel movements. Cleansing fruits are oranges, grapefruits, lemon/lime (juice with water and Agave nectar for sweetness, Agave Nectar has a low glycemic index).
Eat one large green Salad daily: Spinach, Leaf Lettuce, Shredded Carrots, Shredded beets, Onions, Garlic, Celery, Avocado, etc. Make dressing from Fresh Lemon, Olive Oil, Apple Cider Vinegar and Honey or Agave. Blend dressing ingredients with garlic, avocado or your choice.
Steamed Vegetables: Broccoli, Cauliflower, Kale Greens. Season with Olive Oil, Cayenne Pepper, Garlic Powder, Sea Salt or Braggs Liquid Aminos.

Week Two:
½ to 1 gallon of water daily, Fresh Fruits (same as week one), Fresh Salad (same as week one). Eliminate the steamed vegetables.

Week Three:
½ to 1 gallon of water daily, Fresh Fruits, Eliminate the Salads

Week Four:
½ to 1 gallon of water daily, Cleansing Juice: ½ gallon Distilled Water, 4 lemons, 4 oranges, 2 Limes, 1 grapefruit, Honey or Agave (to taste), 1 tbs of Ginger Powder, ¼ teaspoon Cayenne Pepper.

Week Five:
Re-introduce solid food into your diet slowly. Start with fruit, a light vegetable soup and juice for the first two days. Then add salad and steamed vegetables.

Internal Cleansing Program: These kits can be purchased at Whole Foods. They consist of psyllium husk powder, mild laxative, Liver Cleanse, etc. Take these daily during the 4 weeks or at least during the last week.

Enema or Colonic: You can take enemas or have a colonic once per week during the first two weeks of the cleanse and every other day during the final week of the liquid fast.

This cleanse is in preparation to a complete lifestyle change, so do not return to the previous foods that you know to be unhealthy.

Do NOT Live to Eat. Eat to Live!

Yirser Ra Hotep

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

I've Started The 100 day Reality Challenge with Lilou Mace and Friends

I blogged about The 100 Day Reality Challenge almost a year ago. So why am I just now getting on board? Don't really know the answer to that question. It's kind of like the out-of-shape person who complains they have no energy and no time to work out, when the truth is if they make the time to start working out, they will have more energy and ironically, more time too.

Anyway, I'm on day 14. I've committed myself to blogging everyday for 100 days with the purpose of manifesting my own reality. If you'd like to join the group, go to This group has grown so much in just a short time. There are almost 2000 members and counting and the movement has reached 125 countries already. One of the founders/creators is Lilou Mace. I found Lilou on YouTube, manifesting tickets to the Oprah Winfrey Show and meeting her. And you know what, she did it. It was awesome - her story and her journey. And she captured it all and she captured my attention. So there it is. You can check out my 100 days at , and watch as my destiny unfolds.

And for you guys who think that positive imaging and visualization is all a bunch of mumbo jumbo or magical thinking, but you believe in God, then I ask you to set aside your beliefs for just a moment and open your minds. The Bible states that we were made in His image - God's Image. All of us. So we do indeed have power over our lives and the power to co-create, meaning create with His help. We co-create lives everyday when we bring forth new lives, so why would it be hard to perceive ourselves co-creating the circumstances within our lives? Our thoughts, actions, intentions, words all go out into the universe and create our realities. Now wouldn't you rather your reality to be a positive one? Also, I believe there's a much more accepted term for this's called faith. Believe, be thankful, and you shall receive.

So live out loud and shine your light brightly. Someone else may be searching in the dark.
-- Vee Jefferson, Jowaje Philosophy.

Until next time,
Peace, Love, & Light,


Saturday, October 04, 2008

700 billion dollar bailout passed, so what do we do now?

Financial Advice From Suze Orman



DO YOUR OWN SAFETY CHECK -To be super safe Suze recommends everyone go to the FDIC website and take the time to use their Electronic Deposit Insurance Estimator ( EDIE). This free tool will show you exactly what is and is not insured in your personal bank accounts. Click the WALK ME THROUGH button at the bottom of the page and you are on your way to knowing exactly how safe your money is.
The bottom line is that the details of what is, and is not, covered by the FDIC insurance program can be very confusing. Take the time to make sure your money is safe. If you find you have money that is not insured move it immediately to another FDIC insured bank.

NOTE: The FDIC only insures up to $100,000 per account in one bank. Anything over that is NOT safe. If you have more than that, you could think of opening another account in another bank insured by the FDIC. If you have a joint account, you may be insured for up to $200,000. See, What You Need To Know About FDIC Insurance.

And Suze has more advice on keeping your money safe. Go to the official website,, or more specifically, click here.


Make sure your credit union is backed by The National Credit Union Administration (NCUA). This federal agency administers the National Credit Union Share Insurance Fund (NCUSIF). The NCUSIF, like the FDIC’s Deposit Insurance Fund, is a federal insurance fund backed by the full faith and credit of the U.S. Government.
The NCUSIF insures member savings in federally insured credit unions, which account for approximately 98 percent of all credit unions. All federal credit unions and the vast majority of state-chartered credit unions are covered by NCUSIF insurance protection.
Credit unions that are insured by NCUSIF must prominently display the official NCUA insurance sign. No credit union may terminate its federal insurance without first notifying its members. If your credit union is not backed by NCUA, move your money immediately to one that is.


Banks are less inclined right now to want to extend credit to everyone, including those of you who are paying on time and have good credit. And the banks reserve the right to lower credit limits on current accounts.

You need to be covered, period. The reasons for health insurance are obvious. But as far as life insurance goes, the ideal is to have both employee death benefits along with TERM life insurance. It is important that you have life insurance independent of employment. If you've had $500,000 in life insurance for the past 10 years and lose your job tomorrow, how much coverage does that equal? Zero, Zilch, Nada!!! So...where will your family be?

4. CONTINUE TO MAKE CONTRIBUTIONS TO YOUR RETIREMENT PLAN!!!!!!While the economy is down, your money will buy more stock, so when the economy starts to grow and flourish again, your investments/profits will have grown as well.

5. STOP spending money you can't afford to spend.
Okay folks, this one is just plain, common sense. Think necessity over personal desire. Who are we really trying to impress anyway? Stop buying things because of the way they make you feel. At the end of the day, none of that stuff matters. Take it from someone who is driving a 1993 Honda, who hasn't had a car note in over 10 years and is absolutely loving it. Take it from someone who after being in an accident, pleaded with the adjuster to NOT total my car. Nah, it doesn't look as good as it did before the wreck, but it's still getting me where I need to go. And believe me, when I do buy another car, I will buy used-new, and let someone else take the head off of it out of the parking lot. I will get just what I want - whatever that is - and I won't be complaining about $10/gallon gas or high insurance premiums or sales taxes!

Cause see, I feel blessed knowing that I can take care of my son and me, in spite of everything going on in the economy right now. I feel blessed knowing that we can eat everyday. I feel blessed knowing that we have a roof over our heads. I feel blessed that I've already purchased a home (Thank you Daddy for inspiring me to do this years ago). I feel blessed that I do not have any credit card debt. And I feel blessed knowing that no one in the government can take away the peace that comes with these blessings. And that's what's up for real!!!

Now am I saying I'm totally financially secure? Am I saying I'm wealthy? Am I saying I've got it going on? Heaven's no! All praises to the Almighty. But what I am saying is I'm blessed. Thank you God. Thank You for everything you've done in my life. Thank You for watching over my family and me. Thank You for guiding me even when I didn't recognize Your guidance. Thank You for teaching me how to fish. I'm still learning and still have so much growing and learning to do, but I vow that I will not stop until I've taught others how to fish too.

Peace, love, light, & financial security,


Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Sarah Palin, Hillary Clinton SNL Skit - The Full Version!)

And btw, I did a little research for you guys, cause I didn't know what a milf or flerg was either. you go.

MILF is the acronym for Mothers I'd Like To Flirt with. Well, maybe not exactly, but I'm sure you can figure the rest out.
- A sexually attractive woman who just so happens to be a mother, mostly between the ages 35 and 55.
1999: Movie American Pie - "Dude, that chick's a MILF!"

Flurge,Flerg,Flirj - 1.) The state of a man’s penis when it is not erect.

2.) The foreskin of a man’s penis.

As in, “Man, that cold water sure gave me a flerg.”

A word from Vee: Ok, I know this is a little graphic for VJBS, but hey, we're talking politics here! uh...I mean SNL.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

A Love For All Times Virtual Book Tour

In When a Man Loves a Woman, handsome Dr. Alcee Jules (AJ) Baptiste is determined to find answers to two questions: What do you do when you are in love with a woman who won’t give you the time of day? How do you convince her that she really is meant to spend the rest of her life with you when she avoids you at all costs? A. J. knows that he wants to spend the rest of his life with Victoria (Vic) Bennett. But Vic wants nothing to do with love, and even less to do with him. So what is A. J. to do? He will do what a man has to do – resort to a bit of scheming to win her over! And when he does, Victoria Bennett will confess that when a man loves a woman, it really is . . . a love for all times!

Watch the Trailer now!

I absolutely love romance. And although I'm excited about being on "The A Love For All Times Virtual Book Tour," hosted by Ms. Marlive Harris of, this stop is not just about being hostess for a day. Ms. Taylor-Jones, author of this wonderfully romantic novel, wants me to answer the question, "Does everyone have a soul mate?"

Well it's certainly a beautiful thought, offering hope to the millions of women unlucky at love in this world. It's a lovely sentiment to hold on to, helping them through the sleepless, lonely nights. Something to cling to when their bodies are cold and untouched and unloved by another of their choice (gotta make sure to put that in there). An idea that conjures up beautiful, romantic dreams when they lie down to sleep, only to be awakened by the cold reality that they are still as alone as they were before they fell asleep. Not to mention the daunting task of continuing to believe. And so they send out even more positive affirmations to the universe: "I still believe in love, and I still believe he's out there!" ...uh... hah, I-I mean they.

But the truth is, if there are soul mates for everyone, a lot of people fail to find them, because numbers don't lie. And there is a definite disparity in the statistics for single, black women. Unfortunately, I'm in the number.

Another thing to ponder...
What exactly is a soul mate anyway?

It can't simply be the equivalent of a partner or spouse. I have a hard time believing that everyone in a relationship is actually with their soul mate. I think a soul mate is someone who shares an extra*ordinary bond with someone on many different levels, and on many different planes. I believe soul mates not only share love, but also soul experiences and soul lessons, and not always as a couple. That depends on which lessons we're here to learn at that particular time. So if one just happens to share a love relationship with a true soul mate, then the experience is so much richer than any ordinary love. Not many people are willing to wait for such thing as this, and so they settle.

And so my answer is an emphatic and optimistic, "YES! Everyone does have a soul mate." What can I say? I'm a hopeless romantic. I choose to believe that while I'm preparing myself for a love relationship with my soul mate, he's out there preparing for me. And when we're both able to truly give and receive love, and are capable of being true soul mates and love mates to each other, then our blinders will be removed and we will see each other...clearly.

Okay, so now back to the book.
This is a definite must read for all the other hopeless romantics out there. Touted by the critics for it's saucy, suspense-filled, page-turning plots, When a Man Loves a Woman will make even the most cynical of the cynics believe in and want experience this kind of love - a love for all times.

About the Author

LaConnie Taylor-Jones is an exciting new voice in the romance industry! She’s a health educator consultant and holds advanced degrees in community public health and business administration. She has been an avid reader of romance for over twenty-five years. But thoughts of a romance writing career did not come until the spring of 2003 while complaining to her husband about a romance novel she was reading. It was past midnight and he was tired of her complaints about the book so he offered her this challenge:

“Honey if you can write a better book, do it! But baby, turn out the lights.”

LaConnie took him up on his challenge and she’s never looked back. She has been an active member of the San Francisco Area Chapter of RWA since 2003 and received the Romance Slam Jam 2008 Emma Award for her debut novel, the contemporary, multicultural romance, When I’m With You, published by Genesis Press, November 2007. When a Man Loves a Woman is her second novel!

To learn more about LaConnie and her new novel, When a Man Loves a Woman, visit her online at her:
Website -
& Blog -

A word from Vee to LaConnie: I am so honored that you're stopping by my place today. And how lucky are we that your tired hubby planted that seed of inspiration in your soul that night? And it's kinda romantic too;-)

Peace, Love, & Romance,


Saturday, August 16, 2008

Better Black Television - BBTV

There will be a new network television station airing in 2009. Better Black Television, or BBTV, is the brainchild of Percy Miller, or better known as Master P. After having a highly successful hip-hop career, Miller later made his way into the official world of entrepreneurship by launching a clothing line and a sports talent agency. But he's no where near finished. Miller also decided he wanted to bring better television choices to people in the U.S. BBTV, a family-friendly cable network, will provide "positive content for a black and brown culture," according to a statement made by a member of his team.

Siting Bob Johnson, founder of BET, as his mentor, Miller stated, "I wanted to know TV, so I hung out with Bob and learned the TV game from one of the best in the business." Miller has been thinking about starting his own television network for a while now. "I believe that there is a market in our community for a new, diverse network that provides a new brand of superior programming that caters to all aspects of television, from reality to original programming," he said.

Well, I can't wait to check it out. I love good television, and I love positivity, so I'll definitely be tuning in.

A word from Vee to Master P: Uhh! na na now that's what I'm talkin' bout!

Peace P, and wishing you success!


Sunday, July 13, 2008

Rev. Otis Moss III

...The newest pastor of Trinity United Baptist Church in Chicago, Ill.

I just listened to a recorded interview with the Rev. Moss and I must say he is as articulate and diplomatic as ever.

Let me start by saying that the better half of my time is spent in Augusta, Ga. I've lived here for the past 10 years, and I'm so proud to say that I've spent quite a few Sundays with Rev. Moss and his church family right here in Augusta, home of Tabernacle Baptist Church. Of course that was before he left to take his new position at Trinity Baptist.

Rev. Moss was undeniably the most inspiring minister I've ever had the privilege to worship under. Although I never joined his church, Tabernacle felt like home to me. With his new age approach to teaching God's grace, forgiveness, and abiding love, and his ability to reach people of all demographics, his sermons simply captivated and reached out to me on every visit. And I was always left with a personal message from The Almighty.

I always knew Rev. Moss was destined for greatness. It was written all over him.
So am I surprised that he would be in the middle of all the controversy going on because of the remarks made by Rev. Jeremiah Wright and all the negative publicity it caused for the awesome visionary, grassroots candidate, Sen. Barack Obama during his fight to become the first black democratic nominee running for Presidency in the United States?
Am I surprised that Rev. Moss is the pastor of a church that has been brought front and center for massive exposure during this very historic and monumental political campaign and journey?

Of course not. Not at all.

You see, Rev. Moss has been Divinely placed in position to fulfill his destiny!
And once again I have been inspired by him. Here's my take-away:

"When God is truly with you, can't no man rain on your parade.

For He is the Ultimate Umbrella.

and the rain drops...

the rain drops cleanse your surroundings of chaos and clutter, (focus)
your tears flood the trash from your vision, (clear vision)
and the puddles you can't step over, (life lessons)
well, they water your internal seeds of inspiration, (new light)
while either teaching you to swim, (survival)
or to build bridges. (creation of new opportunities) "

-- Vee Jefferson, Jowaje Philosophy

A word from Vee to Rev. Moss: Reverend, even though you're hundreds of miles away, you continue inspire me!

Peace, Love, Continued Light, & Blessings,


you can listen to the interview here

Monday, June 23, 2008

Just Gotta Have a Man! - A Spoken Word piece, by Vee

...So Speak it With Rhythm;-)

Why you always acting like you just gotta have a man?!!!
What is it about you that says alone you can't stand?
I mean,
don't get me wrong...
Right now I'm single too and sometimes I feel a little lonely,
But I know I loooove me some me.
And when I find that special one,
I'll make him my one and only.

But until then,
I refuse to run behind,
someone not even worth my time,
tryin' to use me or take what's mine,
and think it's his God-given right
...just cause God made him fine.

Believe me, what I have is awesome,
and definitely worth preserving.
Not to be given away so easily
to someone so undeserving.

So whatcha think 'bout what you got?
Is it worth a dozen roses, or a single forget-me-not?
And tell me, what values are you really teaching your daughter?
You're not taking care of yourself and your house ain't in order.

She's learning from you
and at the same time raising herself
And you want to know what HER problem is?

Ok, so why is it okay
that he hit you last night?
Eye still black. Lip "swole" up!
But I guess that's just alright,

Why is it okay
that you're alone this holiday,
while your man is having the time of his life
celebrating at home with his kids and...his wife?

Why is it okay
for him to hurt your kids and treat them bad?
And you wondering why they're making bad grades in school
and always looking sad.

And last, but not least...
Why is it okay
for him to talk to you like a child?
For him to belittle you and call you names
and wonder why you don't smile.

But you should be smiling
and you could be smiling!
Drop that &^(%##!!,
pick up the phone and start dialing...

Your loved ones, your friends,
the ones you trust to be there thru thick & thin.
You want a new life?
You want to be happy?
Then this is where you must begin.

Think support system, think sympathetic ears.
Who will listen and won't laugh at my tears?
Who will allow me to speak it out loud and release my fears?

And please take some time between this one and the next.
Every guy I hear you mention, you're calling him your ex.
Spend some time with you just getting to know yourself.
You've got to be confident and comfortable in your own shell.

Find a hobby.
Do you even know what it is you like to do?
Oh, I get it.
It's been so long that you've forgotten what pleases you.

Ok, so join a book club.
Take down a book from the ole dusty shelf.
Get back to loving your kids,
and honey get back to loving yourself!

Occupy your mind.
Fill your thoughts with sunshine.
Invite your kids to share with you their hopes and dreams,
and how they spend their time.

Plant a flower garden.
Dig in the soil and the dirt.
You know there are many hidden treasures
here on God's green earth.

Find someone or something else to give life and light to
besides that guy who so "thoughtfully" hurt you.
Drop them bags like Erykah told you to.
Be true to yourself and simply do you.

But forgive him
and all his deeds just the same,
So you can take back your power and
reclaim your true name.
Stop being his victim of shame.

And don't forget, exercise is always good,
especially if you'd like to shed a few pounds.
Try Yoga classes to relieve the stress.
You'll start to have more ups than downs.

You've worked on your mental
and you've worked on your physical,
so complete your circle, sis,
and work on your spiritual.
Before you know it,
you'll feel like a different person.
Oh, you'll still be you,
but just a better version.

You'll be ready for a partner.
Not just a man or any man,
but someone you can actually start to:

Share your dreams with,
watch TV and laugh with,
comfort and make love to,
or simply relax and chill with.
Let down your guard and cry on,
someone you can depend on
to see you through the tough times
or guide you through a storm.

And sweetie,
the men you will then attract
will make them sorry Kats look so slack.
Cause they will be kind, and gentle, and sweet.
And you won't have to ask them to watch your back.

So what about me?
I know so much, where's my guy?
Well I'm truly not a hypocrite,
so I will not lie.
Right now I'm still working on me.
Trying to be the best me I can be.
Not yet done with my metamorphosis,
But he should be along shortly is my guess;-)

So again I ask you...
Why you always acting like you just gotta have a man?
What is it about yourself that you just can't stand?
I mean,
don't get me wrong...
Right now I'm single and sometimes feel a a wee bit lonely,
But I know I looooove me some VEE.
And when I find that special one,
I'll make him my one and only.

How's that for some Jowaje Philosophy?

& Self Respect My Beautiful Sisters,


Sunday, June 08, 2008

Ever wondered what it's like to be Bipolar?

I found this awesomely beautiful spirit on youtube. She's funny and open and honest about her experience with this disorder. Please watch as she attempts to give us a raw glimpse into her life and what it's like to be her. Warning: This video contains adult language and may not be suitable for children.
And don't forget to check out her other videos on her Smile 2day, Tears 2morrow youtube page.
Bipolar Disorder II
Bipolar disorder, or manic depression, can be an extremely crippling obstacle to deal with for the individuals suffering from it. They are most times misunderstood. If you see them during their low or high periods, you are not seeing the individuals at all. What you're seeing is the effect that the disorder is having on them at that time. But the truth is that these folks are usually highly intelligent and very creative. If they've completed some type of notable work (ie. book or novel, painting, poetry, blockbuster movie, latest no.1 single) or excelled in some all-time favorite sport or popular hobby, they are called geniuses, stars, and sometimes even superstars! And although a few could possibly be called "a little eccentric," crazy is rarely the term used to describe them. It's only the regular, everyday people like you and me who would be stigmatized by Bipolar Disorder and made to feel ashamed or criticized for needing help.
Often times Bipolar Disorder is misdiagnosed because the person may seek help for the depression, but not inform the doctor or therapist of the mania. We all know what depression is for the most part. We know that depression is when someone is sad, loses his or her sense of self-esteem and self worth, and sometimes may even want to leave this earth completely. That's pretty easy to comprehend, even if you're not able to sympathize and empathize. So let's talk a little about the mania. Mania is the extreme ups or periods of happiness the person may be feeling. And if it feels good, why would he or she mention it to the doctor, right?
Well, extreme mania is marked by insomnia (difficulty sleeping) and hyperactivity. It WiLL feel good in the beginning, and if a person is on the arty side, this may be the time when they're able to create their greatest works. But soon after, if the mania continues, the person may become anxious and out of control, start multiple projects that never get finished, spend excessive amounts of money, and even indulge in some unusual and/or unsafe behavior. Some clues that a person may be cycling towards mania are:
  • Speech may get faster than usual
  • Thoughts may become very scattered and fragmented as the person jumps from idea to unrelated idea
  • Movement & activity increases (i.e. walking faster during normal activity)
  • Extreme increase in physical activity like exercising (i.e. going from working out 3x/week to 3x/day)
NOTE: The clues for cycling towards depression would be just the opposite.
Sleep deprivation, which is of course very unhealthy for the physical body to begin with, can cause a whole host of mental symptoms which can closely resemble psychosis. For the person affected by Bipolar Disorder, the manic phase can be just as bad as the depression phase because it is the exact, extreme, polar opposite, hence the term Bipolar - two poles. The body will be tired while the mind is constantly racing. The lack of sleep can cause paranoia, hallucinations (hearing and seeing things), delusions (believe things that are not true), aggression, and sometimes even violence.
The symptoms of bipolar disorder are as varied from person to person as hair color. They can be mixed, occur seasonally, cycle regularly or in no discernible pattern at all, have unequal duration in phases, occur sporadically or very often. Bipolar II disorder is defined as having the typical disorder, but the highs are not as high as in Bipolar I. They have periods of hypomania instead, so that aspect is less extreme, so to speak. There are other forms and variations as well, but I'm not going to get into them, as this is NOT a health site.
But I do encourage any of you reading this post, if you have any of these symptoms, or can relate to the young lady in the video, please see someone. Ask questions and educate yourselves. You don't have to be plagued by these unexplainable mood swings, and you are NOT alone. Being diagnosed is not a death sentence. It's actually a "life" sentence that can lead you to the path of a more fulfilled and happy life.
And in case you're wondering, the young lady featured in the video is feeling better today than she has in a long time. She sought help, found the right meds and found the right therapist. I'm so inspired by her strength and ability to not be afraid.
Vee to Miss Smile 2day: You go girl! You're absolutely awesome!
Love, Light, and Peace of Mind,

Helpful links:

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

FROM DUSK TO DAWN: Against All Odds 2008 Virtual Book Tour

From Dusk to Dawn
Niambi Brown Davis
Parker Publishing, May 1st, 2008
$10.95 US;
ISBN-10: 1600430368

Meet Bilal and Ayo, two people who are polar opposites in every way. He’s 32 and she’s 42. Bilal is ready to get married and start a family. Ayo, on the other hand, is a comfortably relaxed, in- her own skin widow with a 20 year old son. And she's certain her child-bearing days are over. Bilal is Muslim, and Ayo is most certainly not. Neither Bilal's father, nor Ayo's son are too happy about the relationship. These two, having nothing in common, would struggle to even hold a conversation, much less fall in love? And after their disastrous first encounter, you’d think it was impossible. Or is it?

But not so fast. I’ve been invited to participate in the FROM DUSK TO DAWN: Against All Odds 2008 Virtual Book Tour. Debut author, Niambi Brown Davis, has asked me this question, "Which of these issues - older woman/younger man, different faiths, disgruntled family members, late in life motherhood/infertility issues - has the potential to wreck the most havoc on Ayo and Bilal's relationship and keep them from walking down the aisle?"

But before I give my perspective, watch the trailer.

The fate of this relationship is quite questionable since there are issues and obstacles right from the very beginning. From their May/December romance, to their different faiths and feelings regarding children/starting a family, to the disapproval of family members, this couple will definitely find out if their love is real enough to last. But for the sake of blogging, I'm going to delve into all the different obstacles facing them and decide which one I think could possibly manifest the biggest problems and be the hardest to overcome.

Albeit, all relationships are a work in progress, but starting off behind the eight ball only makes things harder. Notice I didn't say impossible? And while I do believe any of these challenges could potentially cause havoc in a relationship, I think the biggest issue facing this couple is their different religious beliefs. All the other obstacles can be overcome by the mighty "L" word. But having very different religious beliefs and faiths would be the most detrimental in any relationship, even if the love is true.

Because a person's faith and religious customs and beliefs may influence the way he or she eats, sleeps, prays, and possibly even celebrates holidays, it would be ridiculous to think that a major difference in two views would be of little concern. Also, that faith is the determining factor for how the person will both act and react in a certain situation and how circumstances are viewed. It makes no difference if the situation or circumstance is positive or negative, serious or not so serious. So when crises occur within that relationship, if the two people involved are not in some sort of agreement about how to handle them, or at least what the expected outcomes should be, then chances for having huge, unresolved issues, which can lead to breakdown in communication and ultimately broken relationships, increase drastically.

Now we all know that every relationship will cause a few scrapes and bruises from time to time. But when the love is real, these hurts will heal easily and become barely noticeable in no time. But when you start mixing religions or trying to change a person's belief system and how he or she worships and views the world, now we're talking big, gaping wound territory.

This novel is most extraordinary! National Best-selling Romance and Romantic Suspense Author, Deidre Savoy, describes it as SIZZLING!

You DON'T want to miss this one!

About the author:

Niambi was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and raised on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. She and her family lived for many years in Washington, DC and for three and a half years, made the Republic of Trinidad & Tobago their home. She has written for Bronze Thrills, True Confessions and Black Romance Magazines. Niambi indulged her passion for sailing and travel by serving as publicist for the Black Boaters Summit and as a member of the National Association of Black Travel Writers. Presently, Niambi writes for Travel Lady Magazine. Her first digital novella was published in January 2008 by Arrow Publications, LLC. Aside from writing and travel, Niambi is an avid reader of historical fiction, and deeply involved in tracing the history of both branches of her family tree. Her day job is running the business of Sand & Silk/Soleful Strut, where she produces private label products for hair and skincare companies as well as her own line of handcrafted soaps, creams and scrubs.

For more information on Niambi Brown Davis, please visit:

The Against All Odds 2008 Virtual Book Tour hosted by Yasmin Coleman of

Peace, Love, Light, & Good Reading,


Future Tour Stops:

May 8th, 2008 - Mo Flames

May 9th, 2008 - Eboney Farashuu

Earlier Tour Stops:

May 6th, 2008 - Tifany Jones

April 20th, 2008 - Yasmin Coleman - The Kick off!

Sunday, May 04, 2008

Sex and the City Movie less than a month away!

I am soooo excited!
I've been waiting, and waiting, and waiting...
and now it's almost here.
You guys ready to be "carried" away?

This movie is purely indulgent for me.
I've been a Sex and the City fan for over 5 years.
So no, this post is NOT to educate, it's not to inspire or enlighten, and it's definitely not to endorse whatever crazy things these ladies might be getting into this time.
For me, it's simply a popcorn/haagen dazs, relax and have fun, no kids, no work, no worries, Sunday evening to myself, which btw is looonnnngggg overdue!

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Miss Nappturality and Me

Everyone makes history everyday with every day lived and every breath taken. But not everyone gets a chance to leave a noted mark on the world. This is what Miss Nappturality has done for me. As one of the very first contestants to ever compete for the this title, I was able to be a part of history in a tangible and memorable way. And let me just say that the experience was priceless.

I've actually never competed for anything before - at least not on such a large scale. Let's see, I competed in a 4-H competition in the fourth grade and won first place. I had cheerleader try-outs in the seventh grade and made it - 1 of the only 2 seventh graders to get picked, I might add. I tried out for marching band in the eighth grade and won a spot - most times eight graders become alternates. I know, all these are pretty trivial, right?

In college I had to compete to get into the nursing program. Having room for 40 students only, the program was very competitive. Needless to say I got in. But this was no great feat either. Having sat out of college for 3 years, I was pretty eager to make a better future for myself. So as you can see, I'm not a very competitive person by nature. I guess I'd been too afraid of failing until now.

Competing for Miss Nappturality was the first time I ever really competed for something.

I didn't look at someone else winning as a failure for me, though. Hindsight has lead me to believe that this was most likely my first failure, because it was the first time I've ever had the courage to try something as big as this, and especially while the whole world had been given the opportunity to watch. So I really do see it as a step forward for me and as a true success. I learned so much about so many things during those 10 weeks. And I learned a lot about me.

All the contestants were so beautiful. Any one of them could have been Miss Nappturality, because each and every one of them was so unique. No stereotypical, cookie-cutter ladies here! I am proud to have been one of them. I was also proud of the fact that I was holding my own with these young women. Hoping to NOT sound vain here, because it's not my intention, but here I was almost 40 years old, but I was just as vibrant and my skin was just as flawless as these ladies in their twenties. Yeah, I definitely think that was something I should be able to toot my own horn about ;-). And I actually prided myself on not wearing any makeup in the beginning of the competition. That was until I figured out I was going about it the wrong way. You see, in the beginning I thought that it was not only about natural hair, but also about just being NATURAL!

I really appreciated when the judges began to give us feedback on each challenge. Dee, of, was the Paula Abdul of the competition. She kept it sweet and encouraging always. Wilbur, fashion designer and owner of, was the Simon Cowell. He kept it real, and I mean real! The first bad critique I got from him made me shift it into fifth gear quick, fast, and in a hurry. But I have to admit, I was a little disappointed that Jasmine, owner of Eden Body Works, didn't join the other judges in giving all of us weekly feedback on the challenges. I mean we were competing to be the Eden Body Works Spokesmodel.

The challenges were quite challenging, to say the least. They were time consuming and pretty demanding, but Going-Natural made sure we had all the products, supplies, and accessories we needed to get through them all. And in the end we were able to keep them. That was definitely a nice surprise and added bonus.

The Miss Nappturality Contest was a very needed beauty pageant. To give our people a contest of their own, and let us shine, and let us celebrate our natural beauty was not only a brilliant concept, which with a lot of hard work was birthed into fruition, but it has also paved a path to a new road of higher understanding, not only for the black community, but for all the other diverse cultures making up this melting pot called America. I believe it was Zavi who admitted she didn't really know why she first entered Miss NP, and what exactly she expected to gain from it. She stated she later found her answers during the competition. I found that to be an extraordinary statement and a true testament that this was in fact a learning journey.

I walked away from Miss NP with a new sense of self and a new sense of beauty. I've been fortunate, because I've felt comfortable in my own skin for a while now, but today I can truly say that I feel comfortable in my own skin and in my own hair! I am so grateful.

Sarah, Erica, Zavi - you ladies are beautiful and fabulous! Can't wait to see what's in store for you.

Tiana, not only are you beautiful and fabulous, but you are the new face of Eden Body Works and MISS NAPPTURALITY 2008.

Congratulations. You rocked it!
and I wish you much success.

Peace, Love, & Light,


And here's my journey with Miss NP:

Friday, March 07, 2008

Interview with Marvelyn Brown - HIV/AIDS Activist

-----------------------------------------------------------photos by Steve Azzera

Marvelyn Brown - The Naked Truth: Young, Beautiful, & (HIV) Positive!

She's done National Talk Shows and television, Oprah and Tyra to name a few. She's been featured in numerous magazines, and has done PSA's for HIV/AIDS, leading to her winning an EMMY in 2007. And now she's here on VJBS!

But AIDS is not who this beautiful young lady is.
She is a woman, a friend, a daughter, a significant other, an entrepreneur, a business owner, and she's working on her first book, "The Naked Truth: Young, Beautiful, & (HIV) Positive," due to be released later this year.

I know you guys have been waiting for this and it's finally here! I had the honor of interviewing Marvelyn live on yesterday. It was absolutely wonderful and so enlightening.

Her story will compel you.
You'll laugh,
you'll want to cry,
you'll never be the same,
and you will definitely leave VJBS with more
knowledge and compassion than you had before
you came.

But the best part is - drum roll, please-
you can listen to it right here, right now!
That's right. Live here on VJBS live!

Check out the Blogtalk Radio player.
Press play, sit back, relax and enjoy the music, or simply browse around while
you're waiting on Ms. Marvelyn join us.

Marvelyn's first book, The Naked Truth: Young, Beautiful, & (HIV) positive, will be released this coming August!

For more on Marvelyn, log on to:

Peace, Love, Light, & Safe Sex,

-music written, produced, and arranged by
Darrin Jefferson

Saturday, March 01, 2008

Just the way it is sometimes...

I feel like today I took a very important test.
But guess what?
I passed with flying colors!

I went to the supermarket to get a few things. And we all know how it is when we get to a crowded parking lot, but see the person in the very best park, loading their bags so they can leave. I wanted that park. Don't really know why. Just did.

So why is it that when people know you're waiting on their park, they automatically get slower at getting outta the way? I never do this, by the way. If anything, I move faster. But anyway, the lady was looking through her bags and fumbling with things as if she were surprised by what she saw.

Well my patience has gotten a lot longer these days, so instead of getting mad or frustrated, I happily waited. But just 'cause I decided I had time to wait doesn't mean the people behind me felt like they had time to wait. The truck directly behind me started blowing at me to move. Cars were backing up behind him and people were getting frustrated.

Now mind you, they were getting frustrated at me, not this woman, who in my opinion, was trying to do all she could to stall and make things worse for all of us. I was tickled though. I was in no way planning on moving and letting that "great" park go to someone else who was just lucky enough to get there after the woman decided she'd checked, and rechecked, and triple checked her grocery bags enough, and was secure that everything was still there since her short trip from the register.

Well after the white guys - and I'm not being racist, just want to paint the whole picture - started yelling and cursing at me and calling me a guy (I recently shaved my head, didn't have on any make-up or earrings - so this part was really not intended to insult), the lady then decided to hurry up and move. But I was impressed by the fact that I wasn't upset in the least. I wasn't offended. My feelings weren't hurt. I didn't feel the need to yell or curse back. I was still just tickled....
cause nobody was mad at her!

Then both guys got out of the truck to ask me to move. The guy from the passenger side, who was clearly very intoxicated at 2 o'clock in the afternoon, commenced to letting me "have it!" The driver said, "Sir, can you please move so we can get by?" LOL for goodness sake!

I said, "Well first of all, I'm a lady. And yeah, I'm getting ready to move right now."
Anyway, he moved, she backed up and left, and I parked. Meanwhile the passenger from the truck behind me continued to call me names, trying to insult me.

Guess what? I wasn't moved by it. I got out of my car and was chuckling to myself as they drove by and once again the passenger, who clearly had the biggest problem with me, had the driver to stop the car. He got out with his drunk, staggering, word-slurring self and asked me if I thought it was funny. Now he was holding up traffic. I calmly told him, "I think you're funny."
He then said to me, "Well I think you're a fu*#ing idiot!"
And to that I said, "And I think you're funny," smiled and continued into the store.

Another question...
And why does the passenger always have to most to say?
Then again, I guess it could have been worse.
He could have been the driver! :-O

You know, I said all that to say this:
If certain people had been around, or in the car with me at the time (and I'm so glad I was alone), this could have blown up to be such a big thing. Something bigger and much "badder" than anyone could have imagined. Someone could have gotten hurt even. And all for the sake of a park and a little impatience. It never dawned on anyone in the truck behind me that maybe I "NEEDED" a park that was close.
I didn't, mind you.
I was just being lazy, but still...

Then it dawned on me that maybe that lady couldn't move any faster and was really not trying to be ugly either. So I was actually doing the same thing the people behind me were doing - making assumptions! It's just that we handled it differently.
So I passed only the action/reaction part of the test - not the humility part.

When I returned to my car and was about to back out, there was an older, white couple directly behind me. I got out to see what was wrong and he was holding on to the shopping cart for dear life. He couldn't move his feet. He had Parkinson's and his wife said he was getting worse and worse, and she was going to have to stop bringing him to the grocery store with her. He was such a sweet, old gentleman. I asked if I could help get him to their car, and she seemed a bit apprehensive at first. I assured her I was a nurse and knew what I was doing. He was apprehensive only because he was afraid he was going to fall. But they agreed to let me help and I got him to his car uneventfully. Matter of fact, we actually rallied support from other passersby. All had worked out well. I felt good and redeemed, feeling that I'd been given another chance - a make-up test, so to speak -to do something kind for someone else as a way to make up for being such an accidental instigator earlier.

On my way out of the parking lot I thought how the dynamics would have changed for that earlier event had this been the reason for me waiting on the park. Or... if the same truck with the now infamous passenger had just been pulling up while I was helping this elderly couple, how differently might things have turned out? That same guy, the passenger, who was clearly inebriated and "so thoughful" of me, may have actually been more inclined to get out and help, rather than to get out to try to hurt.
Maybe he wouldn't have then been in such a rush.

So I was left with these questions:

Why are we always in such a hurry?
Why do we only give assistance to those who are clearly in need?
Why don't we treat everyone the same?
-And by doing so, we would never, ever leave out the people with the hidden disabilities or hidden problems.


--Now that's some Jowaje Philosophy for ya,
and that's what's up. For real.

Peace, Love, & Light y'all !