About last night, I really should have stopped by my neighborhood Harris Teeter after work. However, after one of those days... on my "9 to 5" I opted to head directly home to sit on my patio and prop my feet while enjoying the vitamin d.
After relaxing and gathering my thoughts, I made a mental note on the items needed for dinner. During that time, I decided to separate my loose change (which was stored in my Travel Fund bank, see past blog) so that I can purchase a gas gift card towards my upcoming trip. Side story: I have a great friend that suggested to me years ago... save all loose change and when you're vacation planning use said change for gift cards and such towards the trip. Needless to say, three or fours years later... that has been a success!
Moving back the story, finally at Harris Teeter I approached the gift card area so that I can get that purchase out of the way. However, each line was long so I decided to collect the items listed on my mental note. Then gave it a go, approaching the checkout area. Luckily, a cashier was standing there waiting to service the next customer. I immediately shared with him: I have a gift card that I will be paying for with mostly change but it has been separated. Also shared with him: I'd like to pay for my groceries separately. That is simply so that I can have a receipt reflecting the gift card payment for my records. The service worker understood and began the first transaction.
Meanwhile, a female walked up.. he stopped counting. She asked him, did I leave my cellphone here? His response: it's been taken to the service counter. The lady thanked him and walked off to retrieve her cell. He restarted his count while I waited and apologized for the change. Soon after, the same customer returns but this time with her cellphone in hand. She greets me, I greet her... she says to the service worker and I: I would like to pay for "that". The service worker and I both had the face of confusion. I rephrased her comment saying: You would like to pay for my gas card? Her response: YES, whatever it is. The service worker and I both were surprised. The lady insisted on completing the transaction, I thanked her... still in amazement and she walked away.
Folks, when I tell you.. I was so grateful. Never in a million years would I think something of this caliber would happened to me. I am a giver so to be on the receiving end of paying it forward AT THE STORE.... I was blown away! In that moment, that the lady offered.. I was thankful but internally I wanted to hug her.
After that transaction, I proceeded to pay for my groceries (while still in awe) and headed to the car. I even looked about to see if this lady happened to have been in the parking lot.
I am sharing this to say... it's good people in the world. First I wanted to question WHY ME. Then I had to check myself.. it is not for me to question, or her interest to know IF I had the funds or not. But for whatever reason... she chose ME!! That said, I owe it to her to pay it forward this week or in the very near future.
I hope this inspires you to 1)believe in others and 2) pay it forward.
Look at you, all grown up!! Ready to take on college life. Seeing all the post via social media of the parents, seeing their young adults off to college took me back!
Picture this, by my senior year of high school I received acceptance letters to: Wright State University (Ohio), Tri-C (Ohio), Cleveland State University (Ohio) Mountain State University (WVa) and Bethune Cookman (FL). After looking at the tuition cost and the grants received, I truly felt Bethune Cookman was the school for ME!! However, my mother was not in favor. Of course, she knew it would have been a great choice. Yet, her concern was her babygirl being so far away. At the time, I could not understand why she would allow me to apply if she had concern. In my day, you don't ask questions on your parents decision(s)… you adjust. That said, Mountain State University became my home Fall 1999.
Going away to college was so much more than JUST attending college. It was a life experience. It taught me how to balance my educational and social desires. My classes, for the most part were Monday through Thursday and done by 2:15 pm at the latest. While in college, I made the Dean's List 3 times. I failed (and had to repeat) 1 course. My least favorite courses were Public Speaking and Math. The matters on public speaking, not because I did not like the course... I was afraid to speak infront of the class. I will never forget, I did a presentation on my 1st love. Throughout the presentation, I had tears running down my eyes. Not because our relationship ended just months before college started. But because I was so darn nervous. LOL, I laugh at this now but it's still a battle that I am trying to overcome. Then there was Math.... YIKES. Luckily, I did not fail. I requested "one on one" help from the professor to gain a better understanding. Strange enough, it was a Torts class (if I recall correctly) that I failed. Attended daily. However, the professor graded based on the mid-term and final exam grade. Yours Truly had test anxiety so... yeah.
My first two years, I interned in the student admissions office. YES, I knew when the refund checks were ready before the student body... lol. Also, held a catering position during special events on campus. Later, I had a few odd n' in jobs off campus: at the mall, fast food restaurants and a known clothing store. It's funny, the joys of share riding TODAY. While I was in college, we had no one's Lyft, Uber or the like. NO city bus... barely had a taxi service. Yet, I made it through.
Fortunately, by my second year of college I had my own car. A forest green Neon with the personalized tag: WANT LOTZ or was it WANTZ LOTS... corny. Yet it was all mine. At this point, I was living in an apartment, off college campus but not too far. Still maintaining my studies, a social life, now a "sorority girl", attending church and traveling. Boy, those were the days!
Fast forward to my senior year, I opt'd to transfer all my studies online and relocate to the city I was raise, Cleveland, Ohio to serve as an intern at a law office which housed 7 attorney's. After completion of my intern, final paper and final exam I returned to Mountain State University to walk with my graduating class, earning my Associate of Science Degree in Paralegal Studies and Bachelor of Science Degree in Legal Studies.
Did I face adversities? YES! A couple shared above. Then there's...
Financial: Early on... between the meal plan that was REQUIRED if you stayed on campus and the tuition, my mother was strapped.
Attending a Private School: When I became interested in becoming an Alpha Kappa Alpha Woman like my mom... there were no (fraternities or) sororities on the yard. Let's just say, West Virginia State saw a lot of me.
Car Accident: Yep, I traveled a lot as a young adult via train, bus, plane and/or road trips. One time, I was traveling back to school from a visit home and fell asleep on I-77. I give it ALL to God that I walked away with only a aching body and broke glasses. The car on the other hand, DONE. The contents inside the car... finished. Till this day, I refuse to start a distant travel late in the day or without the proper amount of rest. Even still, I can't pass Parkersburg without reliving the moment in my mind.
Debt: After totaling my car, my credit went downhill because of all the charge cards that I PRAY you say no to... I had. I did not have reliable transportation to work, due to the reasons shared. And, vehicle totaled and all.. I was still expected to make the payments. You're smart, you know how that ended.
I'm sharing this "college bound" piece to perhaps save someone from self-doubt of any sort. Trust, you will face some hard times. But give it your best, ask for help when needed. Seek space when and if a situation becomes toxic. And those who know me personally will tell you, I will be quick to say college is not for everyone and that's okay. Be okay with your decision, after you have given all you've got... GIVE MORE!! Don't just give up!
Anywho, years later... I obtained my Master's Degree in Criminal Justice Administration. Am I done with college, can't say for sure. Yet, I can say w/out a doubt.. I am not done learning.
I hope this piece gets your through your first semester and on to the next. You got this, I am rooting for you.
Ha, by the way... I did make it to Bethune Cookman's campus one year during Spring Break. My friends and I went to Daytona Beach. And then came trips to New Jersey, Philly, Massachusetts, Virginia, Texas, local get-aways… yeah, I enjoyed my college years. And not to mention, friends for a lifetime!
Ha, there is so much about this fiction that I enjoyed. For starters, I legit pulled out my hot pink pen to check the things off "The Never List" that I have already done. This was before even cracking into chapter one.
I think we all have or SHOULD have a couple girlfriends like Chanel, Jack and/or Vannie. The way that they would come together to celebrate the most important milestone of each other was a nice touch. I laughed so hard when Vannie (aka Bannie) pulled out her gift from Jack. It took me back to a "special delivery" I received once. Anywho, out of the 3 fellas... hands down I am rooting for Shadow. Yeah, he lacks in a VERY VERY important department. Yet, he is about pampering and he sees her worth. I guess we can not have it all. Although, he may have competition. And I am not speaking on the starter or the "long lost" that let his true self come to light.
Marking off # 36... the Bonus Never, the cruise was everything. The reading literally brought a smile to my face. Chanel was pleased... I am sure. That said, this read was great. Add it to your collection by clicking on the cover. I'm here thinking, what awaits in this authors next book, The Marriage List. P.S. To the author, Jack's Monday is my Thursday... lol.
I've been Sunkissed! How to describe Aubrey, one of the main characters without giving the story away?! Here's how: an EXPLORER that's INQUISITIVE and all around has a kindred spirit.
The circle of life is so real. Through Sunkisses, the author Larsee Mac created a vision for her readers (young and seasoned) that proves how important teamwork is when it comes to growth.
I truly enjoyed this children's book. Not to mention, the interactive activity at the end for the reader to perform at a later time, great touch. What are you waiting for? Click on the cover and go get Sunkissed!!
I have been up and down about writing this review. Reason being, I've had a membership with Bluebird Studios since just months after it opened. In the beginning, it was located still in Charlotte, NC but off Providence Rd. At that time, the only massage therapist was the owner, Madeline R. Burroughs. As the clientele grew, she needed more space and hired more practitioners which was totally understandable and awesome! That said, I followed her and remained a upstanding client for YEARS. Not to mention, I would always pre-schedule my services 3 months in advance with her (and I tipped).
Late 2017, on a few occasions my draft would come out on different dates than what was arranged. Luckily, that never put me in a bad situation with other transactions. Then also, the lead practitioner, Madeline would call (gave a weeks notice tho) asking could my appointment be changed. I never tripped just appreciated the courtesy of her phoning in advance. Yet, on a occasion... I was in need of the same revision... that was not honored. In the meantime, I had purchased gift cards off GroupOn for others, I'd also treat my mom to a massage from time to time. Strange enough, I referred someone to this business... that person expressed how rude Madeline got with her when she requested.. not once but twice not to have Jazzy (the dog greeter) in the space during her massage. This info was disclosed to me from this friend (whom began a membership later cancelled due to unprofessionalism from the owner). Although, I never let that change my view of the service. However, as time went on I pondered ending my membership. I inquired to the owner and agreed to end my membership in Nov/Dec which is suggested a 30 day notice. Therefore, I left on good stands... on my end. The final payment came out in Dec 2017. During that time, the owner which was my therapist was leaving for medic leave. Therefore, she and I spoke... I signed the "ending the membership clause" and I told her, I would love for her to do my final massage. Without hesitation, she disclosed that she would be back in Feb 2018... so it will not be til then. Mind you, this was Nov 2017. No problem, I understood and made a appointment via the website after it was announced that she has or will be returning. I instantly sent her a card, to the business congratulating her on her bundle of joy.
Fast forward til about 2 weeks ago. I received a call from Madeline, I immediately began to give her praise on her bundle. After that, she says to me... I am calling to let you know that I have returned as a manger for a awhile. Therefore your upcoming appointment will be with another practitioner. At that moment, it was a brief silence. Then I restated her comment JUST to make sure I understood correctly. I soon shared with her, basically I waited to schedule my final service to accommodate her leave. And if I was interested in another massage therapist (which I am sure was a great practitioner) that I would not have allowed this closing to carry on for months. She then became really unprofessional! Stating that she called me out of respect and did not have too! She mentioned how shocked she was at my response. I responded saying, you are completely entitled to you thoughts. Yet on a professional level and dealing with my funds that already were applied back in Dec 17... that is not accommodating. More importantly, her tone is what was alarming. She quickly, said... I will refund your money and then disconnected. Needless to say, I was very blown back. I even phoned back and got voicemail but was seeking the turn around date of my refund. Soon after, that info was provided via email. Yes, that refund was rec'd within that time amount stated. However, I hate that a business relationship ended so sour due to being a person of principal. Nonetheless, I hope that very best for this business. I am going to HOPE the owner was just having a bad day!
One would think, after a couple published books in... I'm use to this feeling. WRONG! In my personal and professional life, I appreciate order. That said, I knew weeks ago the day I planned to submit my manuscript for print. Yet, I still get nervous. Clearly, I know most things done allows a redo. But sometimes at a monetary value. Not to mention, timing is everything.
So, let me paint the picture for you. Prior to submitting Wednesday Just Got Better, the day Leland dialed 9-1-1 I proofread via print (and in color) and over the laptop more times that I could count. Like any other author, I felt the desire to change the content here and there. One day, my husband was like "Rayn, the more you read it... the more you will want to revise." I think that is human nature. Yet, I would still print, view, revise and REPEAT. Then finally submission came. I followed my "Before You Submit" notes, did a little meditation, hit submit and then walked the dog. That is the short painting. The true canvas was very detailed.
Being a self-published author comes with upfront cost, long nights and research. Meaning, this method of publishing you not only serve as the author or the visionary. You are the creator for marketing and develop. In my opinion, the success of your book is depending upon the bounds you've set. Will I ever opt to publish traditionally? Good question, I am not certain. The method I have followed thus far works, it's just very hands on. Then I ask myself, Would You Want It Any Other Way?
Please note: It's ideal and suggested to hire an editor for your work if you are publishing traditional or non-traditional.
After you submit, treat yourself to a No.1 Author On Board car sign by clicking on the sign below. Speak greatness over your work. Happy Submitting!
During CIAA, I attended a Meet the Authors brunch. The joys of rubbing shoulders with fellow bloggers, aspiring authors, and published authors. This was such an inspirational crowd. Each of us represented a unique stage in this world of writing. Hence, one wrote their story but has yet to turn it into a book. Another was inspired by the efforts of the matriarch in their family now just seeking the perfect editor. Then there is the author turned youtuber which I have already subscribed to her show! Of course, the author that has graced many college campuses with the passion to educate females on knowing their worth. The author that just wants to give back! And have you met a person that has written and published their book in 30 DAYS?! So, this is to just name a few of the talents from Saturday.
Being surrounded by like-minded individuals on this journey was amazing. The joy of bouncing experiences and ideas around the table had no choice but to get our creative juices flowing. Not to mention, the menu and cocktails at the venue, Brio Coastal Bar & Kitchen were delightful.
I must say, this is surely a different season for me. In the past, my CIAA functions never consisted of networking events. It was more of a day party here, step-show there and the greek party on Thursday night was a MUST. Not to mention, I'd start the first day of the tournament waking up at 5 AM to attend the live Steve Harvey Morning Show. I'm sharing that to say, my focus is changing... I can see it. I feel it. I've always been geared towards networking. Yet, turning my hobby into a business or better yet just becoming more passionate about this journey has me ready for this shift.
(*) The Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association (CIAA) is a collegiate athletic conference, mostly consisting of historically black colleges and universities. CIAA institutions are affiliated at the Division II level of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA).
This fiction was very inconsistent. Nevertheless, I read it to the end. I guess I was seeking a ending that tied the chapters together. I even found myself going back over the chapters thinking... perhaps I missed something.
The beginning of the novel... I had a visual or an understanding of the main character Mahogany, her grandmother and mother. THEN right before Mahogany's aunt and her family were introduced... the story line became cloudy. For instance, every death in the book happened without leading the reader to that moment. One chapter, the character is alive and breathing. However, the following chapter... Mahogany loses yet another family member. Also, to add to the confusion... it's a part in the book that suggest that Mahogany knew Aunty Ann before her mom died. Prior to that piece, the story described them meeting for the first at the grandmother's service.
My goal is not at all to "roast" the author but to provide a feedback. The story line is there but needs a re-edit. Hoping the writer (whom I tried to find on IG) takes this back to the drawing board, I would LOVE to read the revised version and of course submit a second review.
Here you will find book reviews, author rants, writing tips, and so much more created by yours truly for your reading pleasure.
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