Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Showcasing...Coming Around 360 Degrees!



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Doug Kauffman is not unfamiliar with loss, betrayal and pain, but his life was yet to feel the wrath of their sting when the seed for Hope 360 was planted twenty years ago on the campus of Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia. Doug was business-minded and studying for a degree in marketing, but one of his professors told him he would one day be in ministry. Two decades later, in the midst of a personal pain, a dormant dream was awoken to birth Hope 360, a Saint Paul, Minnesota based non-profit ministry.

Doug started several businesses after college, and in 1999, Doug entered into the real estate business part-time and became full time in 2006. He had a beautiful life. He was earning as much as $220,000 some years, more than enough to support his wife and four boys. Meanwhile, the seed spent years developing roots, digging beneath the earth for sustenance. In 2009, it began its painful sprout upwards pushing through what was familiar and comfortable.

The storm of the 2008 recession had just struck the landscape of the world, and Kauffman Properties was hard hit. In the space of nine months, all his properties with the exception of the one he lived in with his family went into foreclosure. A couple of weeks after, Doug filed for bankruptcy. For a husband and father of four boys, the death of his income source was a blow, but thirteen days after he filed for bankruptcy, he found out his wife was having an affair and pregnant for the other guy. He received divorce papers seven days after, and divorce proceedings ensued resulting in half-time custody of his four boys. “That was the most difficult experience of my life,” he said. At the onset of the real estate market crash and prior to its collapse, Doug had started working at a sales job to make ends meet. The emotional trauma of foreclosures, bankruptcy, infidelity and divorce was heavy on him, and nine months after he got the job, he was fired.

“I got a wake-up call after I heard of my wife’s affair. I sat in my car for about 20 minutes wondering what life would look like as a single dad and a divorcee. However, I felt God impress on my that yes, it was over with my wife, but I needed to raise my boys and I needed to draw closer to Him.” Sitting in his car, heartbroken and distraught, Doug felt an overwhelming sense of peace. In that season, the dream that was lodged in his heart rose again, and he felt God asking him to hold on to it.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

3 States and Multiple Cities for 6 Weeks


I'm getting ready for my six weeks work-vacation, but I am not excited. Whadaheck does a work-vacation mean anyways? It means I am getting out of Minnesota for six weeks. I will be resting, meeting face to face with some clients, writing, networking, reconnecting with old friends, resting...you get the gist. :)

Anyone would be psyched about laying on the beach in 84 degrees weather (yes I checked, and that is the temperature in Miami, Florida). I should be ecstatic about seeing the MLK Memorial and indulging my belly at Eastern Market in DC. I should be doing a flip-flop, because I get to see one of my closest friends while enjoying the craziness of the City of Philadelphia. Don't get me wrong, I am pumped about my trip, but the idea of packing kills all my joy.

The only items I know to take right now are bikinis, sunscreen, my laptop, flash drive, external hard-drive and lots of books to read. All other items are up in the air, and I'm not sure how they'll fall. I'm yet to get started, but I plan to carve time out tomorrow to start, but I also need to wash and protein-treat my hair tomorrow...ICK!

So so not excited!

How do you pack for a six weeks multi-state and multi-city trip?

Monday, February 27, 2012

Alliance Media Production is Seeking a Talk Show Production Intern

Ever wondered what it's like to work in the fast paced world of Television Production?

Position: Talk Show Production Intern

Company:
Alliance Media Productions (AMP)

Location: Metro DC Area

Hours: A minimum of 10 - 15 hours per week for a period of 6 months is required

Compensation:
This is a part-time, non-paid internship position with tremendous and invaluable hands-on experience.

Afrikan Goddess Magazine is Seeking 2 Marketing Interns


Postition: Marketing and Media Relations Interns (Two openings)

Company: Afrikan Goddess Magazine

Location: Washington DC Metro Area

Hours: 8-10 hours per week, including at least one Saturday/month.

Pay: Paid, School credit

Afrikan Goddess Style Magazine is Seeking A Style Editor

*Position has been filled*

Postition: Style Editor 


Location: United States (East Coast – Between New York and Washington, DC metro area)

Pay: Unpaid. 

Perks: Attend fashion-related events on our dime.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

A Sweet Serving...

A potential client contacted me a few days ago on Facebook. We later connected by phone to discuss his non-profit's needs. When he got off the phone, the first thought that popped into my head was "I cannot do that, that is a lot of work." The next second, another voice whispered..."You can do it. You have the training and skills this non-profit needs to turn its vision into a message." 

As we move forward into the first official consultation phase, where I get to understand the organization's vision, I have had to keep reminding myself that I can do it. I saw this quote today, and it was appropriate for me. I hope it sparks an ember of strength in you too.


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"A voice in me said, "You have to rise to the occasion or the best in you will die." We always have that voice; we just have to make a choice to listen to it. We all have it; that's God's given light. It's just whether you have the courage to step into your destiny." Lily Yeh, artist

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Alert...Do Not Swoon!

I want this dress from the Editalo Designs 2012 Spring Collection. It is perfect for a date night paired with a pair of studs from an old Alert post. Why am I thinking of date night? Well, because there is this gorgeous man I have my eyes on. I am 2000% positive that he's got his eyes on me too. :)

Dear Mystery Man, 
If you are reading this...we both know what we both know. Stop beating around the bush, and let us go on that dream date. If you're slow, I'm sure another equally gorgeous man will swoop in. I tell ya, I can see them hovering around waiting for you to take a misstep, slack a step behind me or look back. If you snooze, you lose

Your's with Love,
AdeOla

That is my shameless plug for a date. :) Now, I need to tweak my budget so I can get me this dress. Date or no date!

Anyways, go here to read my interview with the Olatide Adeniyi, creative designer behind Editalo Designs. We talked about how Editalo was born, her fears and challenges, her 2012 Spring Collection and plans for the future. Also included is a special JostStart discount for use on Editalo Designs online shop

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In other, but similar news...Editalo Designs will be showcasing its Spring 2012 Collection at my Alma Mater, The George Washington University. The African Student Association presents Taste of Africa. The events is at 8pm in the Marvin Center Grand Ballroom.

If you live in the DC/MD/VA area and have no plans for tonight...head over. Editalo Designs items will be on sale at discounted prices for all event attendees.

Have a wonderful week guys! Be safe, but have fun.



Beloved, You are Loved Absolutely!

Friday, February 24, 2012

Scribed: Shadows

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Fleeting shadows
No bite
No mark
Reality?
Truth beckons
Dead images pull
Truth is at the corner
Shadows fly fleetingly
Blue skies,
But shadows dull the ground
Obscuring reality.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

The Making of Editalo Designs Spring 2012 Lookbook



Editalo 2012 Spring Collection

For a special JostStart discount, visit Editalo Designs online store and enter "joststart2012" at check out to get 15% off all items until Dec 31st 2012. Yes,every time you shop Editalo this year, you are guaranteed a 15% discount.

Production Team:
Olatide Adeniyi - Designer, Editalo Designs
Jennifer Okosun - Designer's Assistant
Ajibike Adeniyi - Floor Manager
Cheryl Ukegbu - Make-up Artist, Amaka Consultants
Wale Akingbade - Photographer, Wale Photos
Femster - Videographer, femsterimages

Models:
Imelda Araujo
April "Minxy" Barnes

Music:
Rihanna - We Found Love

Location set:
Washington, DC


Wednesday, February 22, 2012

JostStart...Olatide Adeniyi of Editalo Designs

It is lunchtime in Washington DC, and you can find Olatide Adeniyi of Editalo Designs in one of two places: the fabric store prepping for her next creation or the post office shipping off an order. Tide’s life is one of a disciplined entrepreneur. Tide, pronounced Tee-Dey, is an American-born Nigerian raised in Washington DC. She has a Bachelors degree in Economics and is presently getting her Masters in Finance. 

Editalo Designs was launched in Summer 2009; a year after Tide was inspired to design her dress for an event. Editalo is Tide's full first name, Olatide, spelled backwards, and it is reflection of Tide’s personal style: subtle and glamorous. In her own words, " The simplicity of Editalo Designs is striking. It is the piece you pay attention to on a lady at the mall. It is simple, but with a stunning detail.”

Last year, she was featured on the front page of the Washington Post Style section, before she went on to the 2011 New York Africa Fashion Week. We discussed her journey, the future and her new collection. One trait stood out during our interview, she has an assurance in whom she is and where she is going. An amazing trait to embody in the fashion field.

JW: You are a self-taught designer and tailor, have you taken any classes?
Editalo: I have never taken a class, and I do not use pattern books either. I study and learn concepts from my clothing, and I make and cut my own patterns. I was not taught professionally.I intend to take some professional classes, because it is important to be better at what one does.   

JW:Is Editalo your full time job or is it a midnight hustle?
Editalo: A midnight hustle. I work as a finance analyst at a consulting firm in the Maryland area.

JW: That must be overwhelming. How do you maintain balance?
Editalo: It may be hard to believe, but I don’t find it overwhelming, because I do not take the six hours I have after my 9-5 for granted. I make good use of it, and Editalo Designs is always something to look forward to after my 9-5. I also try to avoid social media sites as a pass time so I can concentrate on designing and sewing. 

JW: Any plans to go full-time?
Editalo: Definitely. I am looking at my current sales trend in determining when to invest in it full-time. Editalo is experiencing growth. When I started, my clients were my friends. Now, I have both national and international clients, and my monthly orders have grown. There is potential to go full-time, but at the right time.I do have concrete plans and two of my goals have been accomplished: open an online store and showcase at a Fashion Week in New York. One goal I’m still working on is opening up my own shop. 

JW: What were your fears when you first thought of launching Editalo?
Editalo:
I had two. I was scared I would not have the time to invest. However, because I enjoy doing it, the time appeared and the fear disappeared. Another fear I had was meeting customer’s demands, but I realized I had control over my time. I resolved that fear by limiting the amount of orders I take; I don’t take an order if I cannot guarantee a reasonable turnaround time. 

JW: Where you scared of failing?
Editalo: I was not, because I did not start out with the notion of success. I designed my first dress for a friend’s wedding, when I could not find a dress I liked. Out of that decision came the desire to design and Editalo was born. It started, because I love it; it is a reflection of my personal style. It was flattering when people began ordering, it meant they liked and appreciated my style. 

JW: What are your fears moving forward?
Editalo: I want to keep the same mindset I started with; I do it because I love it. I sometimes compare myself to Mark Zuckerberg. He said he didn’t yet know what Facebook was in its first years, but he knew it was something good. I feel the same way about Editalo Designs. There was a lot of pressure after my feature in the Post, but I don’t want it to be about winning titles like “The Best African” designer. I want it to be fun, cool and lighthearted, but I will give my best and see where it goes. 


JW: Speaking of pressure, how do you deal with the plethora of advice on the Internet and from family, friends, and strangers?
Editalo: I seek out and listen to advice, but I don’t let people put pressure on me. My advice to anyone starting in this business: follow your heart & not all opportunities should be taken. Focus on your long-term plan, but be flexible. It is easy to get distracted by what everyone has to say. 

JW: Was there ever a point you felt like quitting? 
Editalo: Oh yes, after I launched in 2009. Some personal issues came up and I wanted to quit, but I realized I had established a foundation for my own business. One-day, I could be my own boss, my perspective changed from hobby to business.  

JW: Do you have a mantra that keeps you moving?
Editalo: “Act as if it were impossible to fail.” I make decision quickly, if it is not life threatening, I just do it. Like your title: JostStart, I don’t over-analyze. I plan, and do it.

JW: What is the role of social media in promoting & growing your brand?
Editalo:
It is a big tool for marketing. You might have a website, but people want regular updates. I try to update my fans &clients about major changes, but I wish I had the time to do more with social media.  

JW: What is your biggest challenge as an entrepreneur?
Editalo:
I am the promoter, manager, shipping handler and accountant. I juggle it all. I recently hired an assistant. She assists with recruiting and fitting models for photo/video shoots. I can finally focus on designing while she handles most administrative work.
 
JW: How have you financed Editalo?
Editalo: I have financed myself, but I hope to attract investors for my next show.

JW: What inspired the Spring 2012 collection?
Editalo:
The Spring 2012 collection represents sophistication and features sheer fabric, mesh materials and cutout dresses. One goal was to cater to a wider audience including full-figured women. I incorporate a few trends in my designs; I mix the subtlety of Editalo brand with recent trends.

JW: Which of your collections would you wear? 

Editalo: Both, but I am a fan of my last collection. I have a small frame & love high wasted hemlines with full skirts. The difference between this collection and the last collection is sophistication versus flirty.
JW: Back to Tide, do you have any pet peeves?
Editalo: I can’t stand it when people are indecisive about little thing. Just do it already

JW: Dream Travel Destinations?
Editalo: Paris: for the fashion, landmark and scenery. Italy: for the food and culture.

JW: Any sinful indulgences?
Editalo: I’m obsessed with my beige Beetle convertible. I wanted one since I was 15. When I graduated college & could afford it, I literally ran to the Volkswagen dealership.

JW: What do you do for fun?  
Editalo: Spend time with friends & family. I take contemporary & ballet dance classes

JW: What JostStart advice would you give someone with a business idea? 
Editalo:Act like it is impossible to fail. After you’ve done all that you need to do, don’t over think it, JostStart. Have a plan and follow through in small doses.

[Tide's Beige Beetle]
***
Dear readers, there you have it ...Inspiration can come from the most mundane of things, but it remains an inspiration if it is not acted upon. If the first step you can muster is to write out a plan or tell someone about it or provide your services to friends/family...take that first step. JostStart!
A big shout out and thank you to Olatide Adeniyi for her time. You are appreciated!

For a special JostStart discount, visit Editalo Designs online store and enter "joststart2012" at check out to get 15% off all items until Dec 31st 2012. Yes,every time you shop Editalo this year, you are guaranteed a 15% discount.

All featured designs are from Editalo Designs Spring 2012 Collection. 
Photo Credits: Wale Photos
Makeup: Amaka Consultants

Monday, February 20, 2012

My Adventure: The Pressure Cooker

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I have always had a pretty good idea about the kind of life I want for myself and what it would take to get there. But dreams do not always translate into reality. I'm not a get married before 30, have two children, buy a house, work 9-5  (DO NOT TELL MY MAMA). Don't get me wrong, I have dreams of love and children, but ever since I could remember...I have had an angst in my core about the predictability of every day living and dreams. I have always been an ambitious competitive dreamer.

As I grew older, my dreams evolved, but the foundation of what I desire has remained the same. Success is an item on the list of things I hope to cross off someday. However, my definition of success and the proposed path to get there is changing. My pursuit of success has become a pressure cooker, and the pressure is amplified when you enter into the equation, the kind of life my parents, family, friends and world expects of me or lovingly think I deserve.

I recently interviewed my first JostStart: Dreamers to DOERs entrepreneur; the interview is scheduled to be posted on Wednesday. While interviewing her, she said she tries her best to avoid the pressure to succeed. According to her, not every opportunity should be taken, identify your short and long-term goals, seek out advice, be flexible, but do not let the pressure from others determine the course of your life. The pressure can be good sometimes, but not when it controls your every step or move.

Wise advice!

On my writing journey, I have come to realize that there is a plethora of advice available from fellow writers, bloggers, family, friends, acquaintances, tom, dick and harry. Sometimes, it gets pretty overwhelming. I feel the constant pressure to utilize social media to the very best of its ability, to blog better, attract readers, pitch or query an editor, edit to death, go for a walk to find inspiration and get married ASAP before my womb dries up (that is my mom) :). It is easy to sink under the avalanche of good advices if I do not know myself, have a vision for what I want and where I am going. It is a flood of information. Advice overload. 

Everyone has something to say...whether solicited or not. 

A few days ago, I sat down to re-evaluate the path that is best for me in actualizing my dreams. The one thing, I have wrestled with and settled in my heart a while ago is that I'm not in a rush to publish a book or have all the dreams in my head come to pass. Do not get me wrong, I want to publish best sellers that become box office hit, and I'm going to do it. I want to write for magazines and one day become an editor. I want to work as a journalist. The vision I have for JostWrite goes beyond where I have started in freelance writing, and even far beyond writing. I am a believer in step by step, bit by bit, little by little, day by day and poco a poco. It took me a while to rein in my overly ambitious and competitive spirit which had caused me friendships and angst with co-workers in the past. It took me a while to learn patience is a valuable virtue. It took me a while to have faith and believe that my dreams are mine not to be stolen by anyone. It took me a while to believe and enjoy the journey. It took me a while to believe that God has a much bigger dream for me than I have for myself. I'm still learning many of the aforementioned. When the pressure to succeed sucks the life out of my passion...writing, then I know I have wasted the journey not enjoyed it.

Others might term my approach as laid back or lazy, but in my own personal space I know I'm still subscribed to the 10,000 hours of hard work. I'm not going to let laziness, procrastination or not keeping up with change get in the way of growth, but it is okay if I cannot take in the thousands of advice the world has to offer. 

Ironically..., it took an advice to get me here. :)

Beloved, You are Loved Absolutely!

Saturday, February 18, 2012

A Sweet Serving...

--> Race, culture, ethnicity, love, God, Salvation and Christ are on my mind lately. I came across this quote a few weeks ago. God created the differences we see in humans, but I wonder if the differences he created are a means for us to break each other down or a platform that allows us to be free in who we are as people groups and as individuals. It should be a freedom that allows us all to be the unique part of Christ we are called to be. I do not believe that the difference that God creates in us is a tool for division; it is a vessel of freedom and acceptance. Freedom to appreciate the diversity and creativity of The Almighty God, and acceptance of the who that we all are. However, we tend to create division, by either mocking the beautiful difference in others or by creating our own differences. Society is warped, but I want to choose better even when tongues wag and arrows are pointed straight at my choices. I always say... "I will never be the very thing I detest."


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"To love all others in the family of God means that you do not limit your love to your own denomination or group; to your own social or financial status; to your own race; to your own political perspective; or to your own exact theological persuasion. If any of these things mean more to us than our common salvation and the common Lordship of Jesus Christ, then something is very wrong. Parents are exasperated and even disgusted, when they see their children fight and seem to hate one another. How must God feel when He sees His children fight among themselves?  
David Guzik, Pastor

Friday, February 17, 2012

What I Would Wear in my Kitchen Vs What I Actually Wear...

February has been a wonky month so far, and I need to tie my shoe strings and get back to work. It's not a bad thing, because I was wrapping up a few projects. The majority of the heavy lifting for these projects were done in December and January, and February got a little rest.

This week has been extremely slow, and I had no desire to blog. I was feeling all kinds of blah, not sad, but contemplative. I'm thinking deeply about the direction I want this blog to go in relations to JostWrite as a freelance writing outfit. A few changes are taking place in my head, and I will be initiating them step by step and little by little. Two projects I am sure would stay are "Showcasing"and JostStart: Dreamers to DOERs."

Next week would be busy and fun. I'll start initial work on a writing project for a client. It has been exciting to have a few projects wrapped up, rest a bit and get right back to new projects. I am thankful for the direction my writing is taking, I'm all about growth, and  whether slow or fast...growth is appreciated.

The month of March/April is full of travel plans. I love to travel, last year was an unusual year for me, because I did not travel like I did in previous years. My friends and family get pissed at me sometimes, because I'm never in town for any holiday. In 2011, my broke-behind stayed put. I'll keep you all updated later, and I see extensive international travel in my future.

Moving on to fun stuff, remember my  What I Will Wear in my Kitchen post from early January. If you do not, just click and take a quick peek at the pictures. Okay, GO!

Welcome Back! CUTE INNIT?

I had a crazy surreal moment last night. I kinda lived a few of my kitchen dreams without even planning to. However, I'm kinda sexy,but also not close to sexy. lol. I made soft-shell tacos last night, and alongside making tacos, I prepared a big pot of a traditional Nigerian vegetable dish call efo-riro with turnip green, spinach, red pepper, onions, bonnet pepper, fish and smoked turkey. I love cooking, and this is the first time I have cooked in a long time.  Below are pictures of my meals with my not so sexy back-side and the satin bonnet on my head (Goes to show how I look most days when I sit in front of my laptop acting like I'm all glammed up, I lied). Don't these look somewhat like the pictures from What I Will Wear in my Kitchen? Not as glamorous, but you know close. The only thing still missing is that "State of the Art Kitchen." Sigh!

The view of my well sculptured back is a wonder to behold...lol I had to do that.


Beloved, You are Loved Absolutely!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

JostWrite Favorite Things


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I like budgeting. Personal Finance intrigues me, and I enjoy checking my account, paying bills and planning how to pay down debts. I'm not a big fan of debt...(Who in the world loves debt anyways?), but I do enjoy as I work towards paying it off. I like saving and watching my savings grow. I love giving, the world will be a better place if we gave her money, time and gifts.

So Spreadsheet and reconciling accounts are my buddies, however, I am not a math guru, just in love with personal finance and debt freedom.







Monday, February 13, 2012

Afrikan Goddess: The Pursuit of Polygamy

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Obviously, the fact that there is no picture of a first lady is quite telling. The thought of one human male married to eight women can sometimes be hard to comprehend, however, it is the reality in many countries. It is tradition. It is culture. It is a way of life. And the president of Togo, President Faure Gnassingbe outshines his South Africa counterpart when it comes to practicing his tradition, his culture, his way of life. He is reported to have eight wives, none of them officially serving in the capacity of first lady, none of them visible. Togo is one of the poorest countries in the western part of Africa, yet polygamy is legal and widely practiced.

In the past weeks, we have featured several of Africa’s first ladies, and they each come with their own identity and signature.  Some are passionate about a particular issue, a few are outspoken and politically engaged, a handful have received national and international awards, while one or two have to share their roles as wives and first lady with another.  As we dig further into the lives of Africa’s first ladies, we are aware that depending on the country or part of the continent we feature, the offering coupled with the culture would be different.  In Togo, the issue of polygamy raises its head again, and we wonder about the men who choose polygamy and the women who willingly or, in some cases, unwillingly step into this marriage arrangement.

To Continue, Click Here...

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Whitney Houston...I Will Always Love You!

I love this song, and I just got done reading an article in Essence Magazine about her new movie Sparkles set to hit theaters on August 10th. My heart breaks!

Life is too short to waste on trivial things. Every day and every death proves that. Live life to the fullest with no fear and with lots of love. 


Friday, February 10, 2012

The Amusement in War...

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 ...is puzzling at best?

I finally finished A Woman in Berlin. Pheww! The author was an anonymous young female, and in her diary, she juxtaposed pain and humor in her personal recount of eight weeks in the conquered city of Berlin, Germany. World War II was moving towards its end, and no one was sure if Hitler was dead or alive. Any information was news, whether true or rumored. In war, the good and bad of humanity shines; it is a time of nakedness. Possessions get lost, just as easily as a life can be wasted by the shrapnel of a bomb. We are open, bare...,but there exist a mystery about what is to come. Who dies next? Who gets raped next? Is it ever going to be over?

Men emasculated! Women violated!

The author was a journalist and editor during and after the war. The book gave light to her strength, her analyses of the human condition, what she needed to do as a woman to survive, our collective tendency to survive and her audacity to dream. War is like a glass ceiling, sometimes unbreakable. Black paint was smeared all over to obstruct the view of the future, but this author scratched a line in and peaked through in a desperate effort to makes sense pass the eight weeks of bombs, death, rape and hunger. 

In war, the casualties go beyond the loss of loved ones or the neighbor we barely knew. The losses are written on the faces of the people death left behind. The losses are in the broken spirits, the maimed heart, the deflowered 15 year old girl and the helpless father. In war and all that accompanies it, there are fragmented pieces left behind.

The stripping of a woman. The groveling in a feces infested alley. The lawlessness. The order. The blur. A kaleidoscope.

Men lose their sense of dignity, self-respect and power
Women lose...well, dignity, self-respect, power and the very essence of them.

What stood out to me about this dairy was the amusement she carried through all of her writing. Humor in what she was seeing, feeling and experiencing. It seems that as darkness engulfed her, she needed to find the humor in it all.  Her dairy reflected the tenacity and passion that governs the human experience. Ironically, in war, we are united as never before. The pauper and the rich citizen...all scrambling to avoid death, standing in line for quotas...all men and women as one. When the bullets fly, it does not discriminate.

However, in war, we are separate. As a woman, there is the constant awareness that a stronger arm might grab you. Rape of the German women was so rampant, it became the first thing asked by other women. "How many times did you get it?" was an enduring dinner-table conversation to the discomfort of the men and the freedom of the women. It was a form of therapy. Agony encountered in a few seconds of charged testosterone supported by grunts, groans and cries was an immediate worry, but also the least of worries when hunger ravaged the linings of the belly. The author, like many of the women, chose to be spoken for in the safe arms of a Russian lover.  The rewards were protection and food.

I was equally amused alongside the author towards the end of the book, when she came to the  realization and conclusion that the Russians were brute and uneducated, but the core of them was no different from the Germans. The humanity of us all and the evil we commit, regardless of our nationality, struck her
"...today at the pump, I heard several people say, "Our boys probably weren't much different over there."
 It made her question, the propaganda against the Jews.

In addition, I was impressed at human's resilience. A few weeks after the war was over in Berlin and adjacent towns, people began lining up to get business license for an idea they had. Life was heading toward normal, that is, whatever you will describes as normal after a war.

Her last sentences were of hope:
"Does Gerd still think of me?
Maybe we'll find our way back to each other yet."

Life moved on...

Next on my Reading List is The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

A Sweet Serving...

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"Twenty years from now, you will be more disappointed in the things you did not do than the ones you did. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover."
Mark Twain, author



 

Monday, February 6, 2012

A Recap of January's Intentions...

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The year, I'm focusing on monthly intentions as a step to accomplish my overall 2012 intentions. You can read my intentions, specifically for JostWrite, here. Below is a recap of what I accomplished and did not get through in the month of January. These include personal, professional, health-wise and all.

January Intentions, Recapped...
  • Commence work on website, logo and business cards...Keyword is 'COMMENCE', & I did. :) Hopefully, I'll have it all together in Feb. Work is in progress, so that is good.
  • Post a Showcasing article...Read here.
  • Confirm a February Showcasee...Accomplished in early Feb, but it's done & I can cross it off. I'm so excited. I try to have a showcasee ready two months in advance, but life got in the way.:)
  • Finish edits on a friend's manuscript & send back with critiques...I enjoyed doing this.
  • Apply to 30 jobs...Did not get to 30, but I passed the #20 mark, and interviewed too. :)
  • Spend time praying and reading my bible in the mornings. M-F...I can't describe the difference this has made in my life. I want to do this forever. I take weekends off.
  • Work on my Manuscript PP. M-F...Yes, yes and the characters are growing. Oh Lawdy! I also take weekends off.
  • Go to bed latest by 11pm Sunday nights -Thursday nights... 80% compiled. A life-saver.
  • Wake up latest at 8pm M-F...70% compiled, a life-saver. Feb is a wonk, & I need to fix that. :)
  • Start and finish "A Woman in Berlin"...Finished it 3rd day in Feb, but it's done. I'll let you know my thoughts soon.
  • Exercise at least 3 days/week: weight training and aerobics...major fail. 100% fail :(
  • Pay tithe...DONE!
  • Save 5-10%...DONE!
  • Give beyond my tithe...DONE! This always give me joy.
  • Write and mail a letter to A21 Campaign girls...DONE!
  • Introduce JostStart: Dreamers to DOERs...Yes! First interview done, others scheduled. :)
  • Blog M-F...Yes, 95% complied. I switched things up for February to help me get more done.
  • Get a new phone...Have you met my iPhone 4? I'm in love. :)
  • Compile my online portfolio materials...I started work, but then lagged behind. :)
  • Finish a clients work...Interview process is taking longer than I expected. I still need to finish two more interviews, but it is going & I'm enjoying it.
There you have it. My February intentions are next; I will share them the first week of March.  Until then, wish me luck as I slay monsters step by step, little by little, day by day, poco a poco.
The journey of a thousand miles begins with the first steps.

Beloved, You are Loved Absolutely!

Friday, February 3, 2012

Scribed: How Dare You?

A few months ago, I wrote and posted Sway of Your Hands! It is a short story about a woman thinking back to the first time her boyfriend/lover slapped her. It was the beginning of a series of physical, verbal and emotional abuse. Recently, in my writing group, I attempted writing with an angry voice to the prompt "Love is Practice...," and what I produced turned out to be the follow up to Sway of Your Hands. However, now, the character is angry and asking "How Dare You?" questions. At this point, I think she is still asking these questions in her mind, she is yet to actually confront her abuser or leave him. 


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How dare you tell me you love me when your hands are swaying back and forth? Your kind of love, it blows. You say you love me with the words that bubble out of your lips, the lips you employ in kissing me to jelly and then hurling insults at me. How dare you act out your love in thumps and punches...slurs and hurls? How dare you leave my face, beautiful as it is, black and blue?

I remember the first day I met you; it was in the nation's capital on the corner of 22nd Street and K Avenue. I had earlier seen you in front of the Foggy Bottom Metro. It was a rainy day, and I had stopped, rather reluctantly, to pick up an umbrella from a roadside vendor. I saw you standing in line and complaining at the slow pace of the queue.  You were cursing at the vendor.

"It is fucking wet out here, move your sales." You bellowed.

I should have know that the coupling of me and you would explode, scatter, shatter into the thousands pieces of a broken heart. I was naive, but your love was in wealth. The cruises. The shopping spree. Oh, and it was in us creating thunder rumbles underneath my favorite blanket. The one I got at the Target over at Columbia Heights.

How dare you practice your kind of love on me with the sway of your hands? Punching, hammering, yelling, kicking, hurling me and my heart against the frame of the bed you took me in...over and over again. How dare you?

How dare you rip my soul open? Another woman laid bare in her mess. Fighting, pushing, crawling, and creeping. I'm looking out the window. I met you on a rainy day, but it's still raining. The rain drops are slashing against the panes, and they match the tears running down my face. How dare you lay dead to my touch because another makes you shiver? How dare you? How dare you?
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How dare you make me get rid of my heart? My soul. My love. Our child. We made it together, but you were not ready, but we made precious together.

How dare you lay me bare as you thump over me? Over and over and over and over again.

Love is practice, you had a lot of training in abuse.
I love you so, but how dare you?

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

One Day~One Lunch

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I am bringing you yet another opportunity to give. I'm a firm believer that the world would be a better place if we, in addition to taking care of ourselves and our own, took care of our neighbors. I am committed to letting you know of ways to give of your time, your money and talent.

On Friday, February 3rd, I will be participating in the One Day/One Lunch project. I'll give up lunch that day, and donate whatever I would have spent on lunch towards Eagle's Nest International based in Guatemala, a non-profit catering to orphans and children.

The project was launched last year, February 3rd, by a teenager, Addisyn Block. Her family recently moved to Guatemala as missionaries to work at Eagle's Nest International. I blogged about the family here, or better still visit their blog here. I am an advocate for adoption over abortion, and do my best to support families that adopt. The idea for One Day/One Lunch was inspired by a trip Addisyn took to Ethiopia with her parents to pick up her adopted baby sister Havyn. She was impacted by the poverty she witnessed and decided to do something to make a difference. Read here about the launch of One Day/One Lunch project. The project raised more than $6,000 for the Adami Tulu Preschool in Ethiopia.

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This year, the goal is the same, to raise money for needs at the Eagle's Nest International. Addisyn is asking YOU, yes, YOU to join with others to make a difference in the life of a child. On the one year anniversary of One Day/One Lunch, let's go without lunch and give what we would have spent on lunch to Eagle's Nest International. The fund raised will be used for scholarships. In addition, she is asking that we take a step further and challenge friends, family, coworkers, classmates and churches to join in raising money for a worthy cause. If you are not willing to give up food, give up a manicure, coffee or a February magazine subscription.

If 100 people gave up lunch of approximately $10, we can raise a thousand. You can give more if you so desire. The idea is to give. Everyone can give no matter your creed, religion, race, political affliliation or lack of...

Sacrifice lunch or something else on Friday, February 3rd to help a child go to school. That small sacrifice will make a huge difference in these children's lives. 

According to a blog post by Addisyn, "Education is the key to breaking free from the cycle of poverty and yet so many of us take it for granted. It cost approximately $450 a year per student to attend the New Day Christian school on Eagles Nest campus. $450 a year for a child to not only be educated in math and science but more importantly in the word of God. While not all of us have $450 laying around, if a bunch of us came together and gave what we could, gave up our lunch money for one day- together we could make a difference.
To give go here.
(scroll down for school scholarships please).
I plan to give on the 3rd, would you consider joining in the cause?
Beloved, You are Loved Absolutely!
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