It’s funny how so many people want to write a story these days, but don’t know what they want to write about. How does that work? Continue reading “Writing Your Story|The Concrete Elements”
The Henrietta Lacks movie is finally here and after months of being so excited for its release, I don’t think I’m going to see it. I had the privilege of meeting the Lacks family in October 2016, when I was assigned to do a story on them for a Baltimore-based magazine. This was definitely a privilege that I will always hold dear to my heart, especially because the Lacks family are very weary of people approaching them for information, understandably so, since they’ve been taken advantage of over the years.
When I first met the family I knew next to nothing about Henrietta Lacks. I was shocked that in all my years of schooling and time in a health education environment, I’d never heard of this woman and the remarkable contribution she made to science. The more digging and research I did, the more I realized why I’d never heard of her…she was a poor black woman from Virginia with limited education, who was being medically treated during a time when consent was non-existent. As far as researchers were concerned, she didn’t exist…some of them didn’t want anyone to know she existed by changing her name in connection to her specimen over the years. While talking with the family, I learned that no real compensation has been given to them, and many of them still struggle to get the medical care they need. Huh???? How is it that the descendants of a woman, whose cells reshaped and magnetized the world of research can’t afford medical care? So when I learned that a movie was being done based on her life story, I was super-excited. The movie is being done by HBO – awesome!!! Oprah is going to be part of the project as well – super awesome!!! This meant the family would get some type of recognition and compensation not only for what their mother/grandmother went through, but for the invaluable contribution her cancer cells made to global research. We’re talking vaccines for polio, HIV research, and cancer resistant research; that doesn’t even begin to cover what Henrietta’s cells have done for the world of biomedicine. Just look up the term “HeLa”. According to the family, enough is not being done and they’re not too happy with Oprah either.
Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m not a medical expert nor am I a lawyer in any way shape or form. I don’t know how the world of bio-based movie making works and how the family should be involved. I just figured since Henrietta’s life was headed for the big screen that the family has been recognized or compensated at this point. Well according to them, that hasn’t happened, and they’re tired of being overlooked. Should Oprah have cut them a check? Should Johns Hopkins give them unlimited access to medical care? I don’t know – the family should’ve been taken care of by now. One thing I do know as of this moment, I won’t be seeing the movie.
If I change my mind, I’ll let you know.
The other day my phone was BOMBARDED with new messages and emails regarding social media changes, to include Facebook, Periscope and Apple products. Whooptie do. I don’t mean to sound sarcastic but the same thing happens all the time if you ask me. Something new is introduced to the world, everyone goes haywire about to pee on themselves and then the hype dies down…sooner or later something newer and better comes along, making it easy to forget what all the hype was about in the first place. Continue reading “Do these 3 Things to Survive THE CHANGE!”
I can’t believe how long it’s been since I posted here. I never imagined being this busy and caught up with trying to get other things done. But more on that later, right now I’d like to get to today’s topic!
I attended one of my networking meetings today. I’ve discussed the importance/necessity of networking groups in the past, so I’ll just reiterate briefly how they are VITAL in the world of solopreneurship. Being around people with similar goals and visions pays off immensely. I’ve been in this particular group for at least a year now and it’s consisted of the same group of people for the most part, so they’ve seen me from day one of hardly having an elevator pitch, Continue reading “Value Yourself, Value Your Business!”
Here’s a list of the most popular posts here on New3Creation. It was quite interesting going through the list because the posts that I thought would be most unlikely to be read were liked the most, and vice versa. Check out the list, be entertained…this will likely be the last post for 2014.
I must say there is so much in store for New3Creation in 2015. There will be more features, contests and even podcasts! This was my first year actually exploring the freelance world and I must say the journey has been quite fulfilling. So please stay tuned and don’t be strangers! Your support and interest is much appreciated.
Top 10 Posts of New3Creation
- 10 Things I Learned After Moving out of Mom’s House – A Daily Post assignment that I randomly participated in; I never realized it would be my most popular post on this site.
- Daily Prompt: It Ain’t Gonna Bother Me No More – Another Daily Post assignment – this one dealt with my view on fear and how it can be a good thing instead of something that cripples.
- Daily Post – I Would Never do That to You…. – I’m venting about taking advantage of folks who are vulnerable and have certain weaknesses. People’s insecurities can really get the best of them, making them nothing but toxic towards their friends and family.
- ….And Say Simply Very simply With Hope Good Morning. Remembering Dr. Maya Angelou – a tribute of thoughts to the late Dr. Maya Angelou.
- The Joys of Networking|5 Powerful Ways to Boost Your Freelance Business – I have to say I was quite pleased with the success of this article. It’s one of my first “real” articles about freelance writing and it got a good amount of attention from other writers. If you’re writing or plan to get into freelance, this article should certainly help you out for your journey!
- Daily Post: Groundhog Wars – I chose to write about my horrifying experience with groundhogs in my yard…I have to say, I used to think they were cute furry creatures that chewed on sticks, but learned some hard lessons about these animals and applied what I learned to daily living…
- Don’t Just Talk About it, BE About it! – I should’ve titled this, “Don’t Talk about it WRITE about it!” But hey, you learn as you go along, right? This post gives words of encouragement for those starting out with things they want to do in life.
- Back track… – a reintroduction of myself, what I plan to do and what my vision entails.
- Poem: I Can Laugh Now – this was my first stab at poetry in years. If you’re in a dark place trying to find your way out, this poem should be uplifting for you.
- My plan – a personal look at having a vision and planning. I share the experience of becoming a homeowner.
There you have it. The top 10 posts on this blog. Like I previously mentioned, it’s been a great year. A lot of reflecting, building and of course CREATING went on. Things are certainly in the works for the coming year.
Happy Holidays and best wishes for 2015!
I recently heard a quote by actress Sandra Bullock that pertained to surrounding yourself with people who are ahead of you in life. This is for every area of life because the things that influence you can affect your career, family life, etc. Here are some reasons why this saying is true and necessary.
You save yourself a lot of pain
People who have been places before you know the deal. Yes, it’s a fact that we humans have a curious nature, and like to learn things the hard way. But when we do learn we usually realize that those advising us were right? If they are open to passing that wisdom onto you, don’t reject it. In fact, embrace it with both arms. Listen to them every now and then. Why go through unnecessary pain and disappointment due to ignorance. If you’re already aware of certain things, you’ll make better decisions thanks to words of wisdom from those that have been down that road already.
You’ll be ahead of the game
Taking heed to real words of wisdom will take you very far. For example if someone in your circle is good with money and advises you at a young age, you’ll develop great financial habits by the time you reach adulthood and won’t have to deal with being down and out with debt and bad money decisions. You’ll even be ahead than most people in your age group. That’s pretty awesome.
When (not if) adversity hits, nothing is more important to keep you afloat than strong social support. Your inner circle should consist of sensible mature people that want to see you get ahead. Not only is there less drama in your life, but you’ll also be surrounded by level-headed people who will provide healthy support during tough times.When you get out of a traumatic situation, you’re in the process of building yourself up again so the words you hear can make or break your world. Being surrounded by naysayers usually means you’re surrounded by those who are fearful, insecure and envious. Don’t set yourself up for regression; surround yourself with those who want the best for you and will be honest with you whether you like it or not.
Your confidence will build
This is especially true if you listen to the advice of older people. Think about it; friends your age tend to say the craziest things – things that either get us in trouble or get us nowhere. Well this is likely to happen if they only know as much as you do. The company you keep will help build you up, particularly in the area of confidence. They’re not around you to tear you down, they want to make sure you progress and make wise decisions.
You don’t have to worry about your friends being threatened by you
To piggy-back off the previous reason, mature people who are well established in life have nothing to lose. They don’t mind seeing you move forward – that’s exactly what they want to see! They’re not threatened by your brightness, you drive or your knowledge. In fact, they celebrate those things about you and will root you on during hard times and when you’re on a quest to achieve something in life.
On a personal note….
I’m not just writing this to meet a post quota for the week; I live by this information. I’ve learned over and over the importance of healthy social support. If you’re surrounded by people who are already established and understand your plight, you’ll go very far. They’re not around you to belittle you or your dreams. They want the best for you. This is true in many ways for me, even when I started my freelance writing business. If you have a vision or plan, healthy friendships are key!
What’s your experience with good or bad social support? Do you surround yourself with people who’ve been there and done that?
For my participation in DC Ladies’ Blogtober Event, I’m sharing some things I’m thankful for. Besides, it’s good to sit down and reflect on certain things that have happened to you and why. There’s nothing like eye opening insight, folks!
- Another year of living beyond mere existence.
- Loved ones – not because they’re family, but because they actually care about me. The love is not out of family obligation. Hallelujah for that type of love.
- Improved ability to express myself
- Crappy co-workers – they really teach you how to build character.
- New friends – networking rocks!
- “Mah boo” – thanks for being so understanding!
- Twitter – it must be a cold day in hell…that’s all I can say.
- My weird sense of humor and those who get it.
- Being more than a survivor.
- More than one option to commute to work.
If this list wasn’t too lame or made you think, I also have one about things I learned after moving out of mom’s house. Check it out and let me know what you think!
These past few months of blogging and freelancing have been very interesting for me. There’s tons of information out there which can be quite overwhelming. But over time I’ve learned to filter out information that’s actually useful. One topic that I’m constantly researching is writing and social media. What purpose can social media serve for my writing? How can the two actually connect? To be honest, I’m sort of old-fashioned when it comes to making connections, I’ve been very skeptical about relying on social media to promote my writing/brand.
Besides being fast and seemingly convenient, social media can be an excellent avenue for promotion. Novelists, authors or more established writers can find success using the likes of Facebook or Twitter to promote their latest product. There are also pretty good websites out that that can be used as promotional platforms such as Amazon and Writer’s Digest. The choices are many and the possibilities could be great.
The thing is, using social media for writing purposes can be very hit or miss in my opinion. Quality vs. Quantity tends to come to mind when faced with the options of Facebook and Twitter. Sure, these avenues are successful for other areas such as personality promotion or music, but I personally think it clashes with the uniqueness of writing. Writing is a promotional tool within itself, so it makes little sense to use another promotional tool that’s based on social grounds, especially for the sake of numbers. If the material is good, it will get noticed and spread. It doesn’t matter how many followers you have or how many times you’re “tweeted”. Blaise Lucey does a great job of breaking down the effectiveness of Facebook for authors. This information helped me a lot in making a reasonable decision for promoting my brand.
I’m not interested in numbers or a lot of tweets, so I will not be using social media as the main platform for my brand. It may change over time, but right now I’m not seeing it. Instead, I will use it in a well thought out way that will help promote my work and my services. Just a side note, I had a Facebook account for 5 years. In the beginning it was fun; I got to connect with old friends and family members. When all of that wore off, it became pretty pointless. Plus it seemed to become invasive of what I was doing, my likes and where I did my groceries. The whole thing became annoying so I decided to shut it down. I have been thinking of opening another account, but strictly for the use of New3Creation. As my role as a writer continues to grow, it’s been easier for me to come up with a strategy that will be effective and cause me to stay in touch with my audience effectively. In the meantime, I’m keeping it “old school”. There are a few freelancing events going on in my area over the next couple of months. If you ask me, there’s nothing better than a meet and greet. I know good connections will be made in such a setting, and I’ll be sure to post my experience and share with you all once it happens. Stay tuned!
Writers, have you found social media to be beneficial for your work? If so, what specific sites are you using???
8 Writing Assignments I Hated as a school kid
Book Report on “A Tale of Two Cities” – This was probably one of the worst assignments for me as a student period. As I got older I definitely learned to appreciate Charles Dickson’s work, but as a middle school girl more interested in music videos, reading this book was the pits. On top of that I had to give an oral book report to the class for a grade. We were instructed to make outline notes on index cards….well I used at least three packets of index cards to cover all the points in the book! By the time I was halfway through, half the class was asleep and the teacher rushed me to finish up my report. I guess she was bored too.
Essay on what I did over the summer vacation – In my opinion, there was nothing less stimulating for a writing assignment. Who cares what I did over the summer? Why did we have to write about it every year when school started? Most summers were spent babysitting my siblings, attending summer camp and Vacation Bible School. Boring!
Book report on “Lord of the Flies” – I didn’t like it then and I don’t like it now. This book freaked me out the first time I read it. The boys killing each other was shocking, and the pig head statue gave me nightmares. Discussing it in English class was horrible because the teacher really wanted to get deep with the pig head. Ugh.
Interpreting Toni Morrison’s “Beloved” – After reading it for English Advanced Placement (Honors) class over the summer of senior year, the teacher was so eager to discuss it once class started. She was also looking forward to our written insight on the book. I wasn’t. Morrison’s work was slow to grow on me so reading such graphic scenarios and having to write about them grossed me out.
Responses to math word problems! Ugh!!! – Not exactly literature, but those word problems were definitely a writing assignment! I dreaded any question that started with “Two trains leaving different stations at the same time…” I could never figure out who arrived first and how!
Drills on subject and predicates – I was pretty good at these assignments, but after a while they really started getting on my nerves. I guess the teacher wanted to make sure everyone mastered it before moving onto the next lesson. So annoying….
Prepositions and adverbs…another ugh!
Diagramming Sentences – What made this so crappy was how the teacher would be so lively and into these exercises! I definitely wasn’t by myself on this one. The entire class groaned when it was time to diagram sentences. It just seemed so much more complex than it had to be!
Looking back I am definitely grateful for the English teachers I had growing up. They were serious about their job, they loved the students and they made my life miserable! 🙂 All for good purpose though because they taught me to have pride in my writing and the beauty of literature.
What about you? What writing assignments made you cry out in despair?
I’ve learned a lot since beginning this writing journey. I’ve met some great writers who don’t hesitate to help and I’ve even fallen in love with reading again. With that being said, my reader attention has been heightened, taking more notice of words everywhere I go…they resonate with me in a fresh new way. Without further ado, here are 5 quotes I’ve heard over the course of my life that have changed me in more ways than one:
“The head is a beautiful mechanism; use it, but don’t be used by it.” – Osho, philosopher
When it comes to writing, the mind couldn’t serve as a better tool. That’s where thoughts, ideas and wonderful stories are birthed. But I’ve learned of the strong connection the mind has with the heart. It’s important to have a balance between these two components because on their own, both can get carried away. It’s good to have an imagination, but we have to be grounded at the same time in respect to reality.
“Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.” The Bible
This scripture has done a complete change in me not just as a writer, but as a person. Trust me; I am NOT speaking from a religious standpoint, but rather a practical one. So many people spend time trying to be like someone else and don’t take the time to discover who they are. It wasn’t until I was ready to do some self-reflection that this scripture came to life for me. Many things in the mind need to be attacked and uprooted because they’re the cause of many setbacks and sad stories. Changing the way you think will open so many doors for you and reveal the path to your destiny. Okay, I don’t mean to sound like some mythical speaker, but it’s true. J
“If you think the grass is greener on the other side, water your own grass!” – unknown
I read this somewhere, and cracked up laughing – but I don’t remember where I read it! If nothing else has motivated me to work on my craft more, it’s definitely this lovely quote. I don’t know who said it, but it makes perfect sense to me. There’s nothing wrong with admiring other people’s work, but being able to circle back around and use what you’ve observed for your own improvement is the whole point. Besides, the grass isn’t always greener on the other side although it may seem that way.
“Life is not about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself.” – George Bernard Shaw
Believe it or not, this quote inspired me to begin my writing journey. So many things in other areas of my life have blossomed besides my writing. Once I heard my sister say it to me over the phone one day, it set things in motion for me. I was not going to sit around anymore. Whatever I was dissatisfied with in my life was about to get dealt with. I started cultivating; tending to things I wanted to see happen, and boy, have they started happening! At the same time, I’ve learned that there are questions that won’t ever be answered and things that are beyond my control. So I just work on what I can….I create! Such a perfect tie into writing! There are a few outlets in this world that allow such a powerful event to take place.
“Anything that’s too easy is not good for you.” – My ninth grade Earth Science teacher
Don’t asked me what I learned in Earth Science, because I’d be lying if I told you. That darn class was at 2 in the afternoon and I just remember being spent and ready to go home. Plus her classroom was always hot! That just made it even more difficult for my brain to process any information during that time of day.
But I digress.
During class one day we were having an off-topic classroom discussion about life in general. She decided to through some words of wisdom our way and they definitely stuck with me. I’ve come to understand how I must work hard. When I do, not only is it rewarding, but I know that no one can my my way and discredit me or tamper with what I have. Especially since my reward wasn’t handed to me; I worked hard for it and deserve the benefits I’m reaping from it.
Do you have an empowering quote that changed your life? I’d like to hear about it!