Friday, 23 January 2015
Saturday, 29 November 2014
Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;
Then took the other, just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that passing there
Had worn them really about the same,
And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I -
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.
by: C. W. Longenecker
If you think you are beaten, you are.
If you think you dare not, you don't.
If you like to win but think you can't,
It's almost a cinch you won't.
If you think you'll lose, you're lost.
For out in the world we find
Success begins with a fellow's will.
It's all in the state of mind.
If you think you are out classed, you are.
You've got to think high to rise.
You've got to be sure of your-self before
You can ever win the prize.
Life's battles don't always go
To the stronger or faster man.
But sooner or later, the man who wins
Is the man who thinks he can.
Thursday, 20 November 2014
"She's mad, and i told him because he needs to know that the woman he married," i sank on the seat opposite the mirror, " Is terrified of age and punishing the world for it.My wife my Wife," Leanna Mimimicked. Her fathers praise rang through her eardrums turning her stomache like a washing machine. "she tried to kill her because she's jealous, because she's ugly rotten on the inside, mad and forgotten,"
"What do you mean forgotten?"
" Mum feeds off attention. you think its about how we feel, or that men on the street don't wolf whistle at her anymore, she lost a job that made her feel powerful, and here she is cooking up ways to destroy the life of a girl half her age if she could kill her she would, but not for us, not because we feel bad," Leanna took in a long sigh. " Because she's sick of herself, and nobody sees it but us. The dresses that dont fit. The friends who dont pick up her calls anymore, she feels left out of everything, and were supposed to save her, when was the last time she talked about just us. Our achievements, i got complimented at my job recently, mums so obsessed with this girl, she didn't even mention it. My boss joked soon id be the boss." Her brother wiped the tear from her eye. They were a family, each one on an Island , none more desolate than their mother herself. Her world revolved around competing with a girl half her age, " i bought her a gift a while back, it wasn't flowers, she instantly launched into a monologue about Olivia Jones,"
'Olivia Jones," Wolf supplied, "is just living the life mother wanted to live growing up, and were suffering. She figured out a way to bring on the girls seizures,"
" I wish it was simple. That i could just say she's nuts and that's the end of it,"
"but it's more complex than this," he ran his hands through his dark hair, " she can hold a normal conversation, she cooks like a normal housewife, she even apppears normal when she talks, but you have that girl appear, and she starts allover again,"
"its something about that girl."
"I think its something about her past, she refuses to resolve. Ghosts, they haunt her, and that girl reminds her of someone. Someone that made her feel less than adequate."
"She tried to kill her," Bertrand put in her shiny black hair swaying in the wind, Her brown eyes now needle black. " She used the urn to try and kill her saying she'd die of axfixiation, If you saw the look in her eyes, razor sharp, she knew exactly what she was doing."
There was a ghostly silence. It hung like glue from trees, fear echoed in their hearts, each one beating a bass line. " She's too selfish to do it for her family, this is about her. Your mum's about ego. There's a way she envisioned her life, nothing in her life turned out the way she wanted it,"
" That girls done so much to..."
" Dont you get it, your mum's trying to get her power back through this one girl. Other people have hurt her, but this is about more than being hurt, it's about everything, it's about not being abandoned, not being left, and trying to mould you into the characters that she wants you to be."
I scrunched my features the way i used to when my teacher asked circumference questions.
" She's not happy Lea, no amount of torturing girls half her age will make her. She married into a life. She's jealous of what you refuse to see. She's jealous that girl is loved, look how much she has to do to get love. Women have to become sluts , whores, slags, so she's moderately attractive, anytime that girl gets male attention your mum starts making a spectacle of herself, so somehow the attention lands on her, she craves attention. You can't even have friends over without her turning it into a circus." I swallowed hard, deep down i knew the truth. It was heavy on me, but loyalty itself is a burden. " That girls problem started with your mother, your mother with her, the way she makes things up, who knows where the truth lies." She reached for a large glass of water, downing it as though it were gin. " She's emotionally exhausting, and lying, and suffocating, and i guess ill see you around." We looked at her in confusion my brother and i.
" She wont get help for her....episodes, you wont get her help, your all pretending as though everythings fine, she's a threat, to someone else's child. Obsessed, fixated,she's not normal" another pause. " What if that girl had hit her head really hard and died. That's how people die from epilepsy. What your family did was attempted murder, and for what? Because one woman refuses to grow old gracefully. " She downed another glass of water. " That's how John Travolta's son died of epilepsy, if that girl was on her own and you were using whatever you were using. It would have been murder." I wondered what we would have done after that? Would we have patted her on the back and supported her whinings about feeling inadequate? My mother is one of the most manipulative people ive ever met, she knows how to play people off against each other. She'd done it most of my life. Power hungry, Egotistical, and exceedingly cunning, lies leaked off her tongue like water, there was no doubt my mother had done her research on Epilepsy, she knew the dangers. I leaned back in my seat, i studied my brother's expression. " John travolta's son had an epileptic seizure hit his head and died in the bath." It was said with a sombre knowing.
Sunday, 16 November 2014
Business isn't just for a brilliant mind, it is accessible to everyone if you have knowledge of the digital platform. Search engine optimisation is key to success, whatever your marketing tool. Know your analytics as effectively as you know your brand. Have a keen eye and a unique selling point. What is yours ? What is the angle you aim to connect to your target audience? They speak in a language you can understand, but listen carefully. It is beyond simple questions, it is the engagement in sources that are trending, the celebrity impact, media, and culture. Know your audience like the back of your hand, how would they navigate the aisles to find your product. If you could pitch your product in simple, precise lines, how would you do it? For example Lianna is releasing a new self published piece to assist the promotion of her work. How will she market her piece and her brand. She would promote herself with useful and resourceful articles about her area of expertise and create a link where others can access her portal of information. Lianna Brands new bestseller web of deceit, a spine tingling block buster about a deadly game of cat and mouse, has sold over fourteen million copies worldwide. It is accessible internationally, and is a book soon to be translated into a multi award winning film. A page turner that has you hooked frolm beginning to end, readers are calling her the new John Grisham. What do you think? Download the first three chapters of Web of deceit, a captivating read. Are you bored this summer? Not anymore. With lovable, changeable characters, this book will have you hooked from start to finish?
How do you engage an audience? If your a writer you have less than five minutes to pitch your book across a sea of literature produced to precision. Audiences are hungry for different reads, know which market you are appealing to. Chick lit, for the modern girl on the go that needs something quick and delectable to seduce her imagination, crime thrillers for audiences with an arithmetic mind. People pick up books for the same reason, they buy a product. Within that narrative their not just looking for escapism, they are trying to find an answer to an internal question. Books are healers. Literature is the plaster some choose to put on the wound.
Generate interest for your book, whether it's picked up by publishers or not. I've always argued that people in the creative mind have to be more business orientated. Publishing is a capitalist industry like all areas of economy if they can see a market for your work they will endorse it. Yet if you venture into self publishing, you have to become both writer and entrepreneur. Social networker there are key events you can attend at meetup, eventbrite places that will assist you to build that self confidence in your work.
Publishers are identifying what is personal to you as a product. Once it's out there it's more than just your baby, it's an opportunity to acquire capital and connect with your audiences at a human level. In the scurry to be picked up by publishers and prestigious organisations, people often forget some of the the five factors, and the people their selling it to. Branding, hook, pitch, market, sale. Know your audience, the places they'll go to network, have a keen eye for the type of story that will appeal to them. Are you niche? Are you fulfilling a gap in the market? Are you answering an age old much recycled question. Look at the questions your audiences are asking online, look at last years books that were on the bestseller list, the books celebrated by key media. The digital platform is a powerful tool if you use it effectively. Word of mouth is the most powerful marketing weapon out there, go to readings like my sister Irenosen Okojie does. Get an insight into the industry, know how campaigns work, and what campaign you will use to acquire the interest of your audience. The internet creates international crossover. This means someone who is in the states can literally purchase your product without even blinking.
Market analysis, strategy, and core principles are useful for the fulfilment of your task. Go on forums , question and answer sites, What questions are audiences asking. Which books are trending and why? Understand the why, there is more to be understood beyond the simple exclamation of i am a writer respect my work. To run publishing houses, publishers have to stay financially afloat. As much as many are about engulfing the public, you need to be the writer who thinks beyond simply being a creative. Think with a business mind. Sell yourself, and pitch your book effectively to audiences. Why should they invest their hard earned cash in your style, over Barbara Delinsky, Jude Deveraux.
Mainly because you are bringing them something new, a scintilating page turner, which will keep them curled up in corners, biting their fingernails. Create that hunger and you will see results.
Checkout my upcoming ebook Lunchbox Millionaire.
and my google plus: redebony
image by Gilad
Life is a game of charades, everybody playing their social character. To yourself, always be true, be honest, know who you are. Dont let anyone steal your greater self, it is the promise of a burgeoning future. We are not icarus. Man has looked up at the sun, landed on the moon. We are visionaries, and with hope, we pick ourselves up and lead to our destination. Those who hunger to be great, it is a journey, and we all take our own clever route. As you hike up that mountaintop, dust from sandstorm stinging your eyes, know what you may become. See your infinite potential.
Friday, 14 November 2014
For 3 years someone tried to make me feel so bad about myself , so insecure so small, because they themselves felt inadequate. It was a choice they'd made within themselves, and it was supposedly my fault this person hadn't built up a healthy respect fort themselves. Validated their self esteem. I was called a Nigga consistently, by a black family, ridiculed, made to look small so they could entertain their guests. Here's what i say to people like this. In the long run those you try to destroy can build themselves back up from you as far away from your toxic self hatred as possible. The people you try and ridicule them to, are like smoke, you know when it's present but it will never last. Everybody likes attention , everybody likes to be given attention. This happened because once upon a time id had the empathy in my heart to show kindness to a guy that was lonely, lacking and had no self esteem. I didn't judge the job he did, or act superior or as though i were better than him. Yet his self hate and his own jealousy consumed him, along with the need to be validated by others. Despite telling him that he was doing good, a plus of encouragement, in return he stood back as lies were spread about me, and had the audacity to become jealous when other men who had self esteem could get close to me whilst i crossed the street, ducked swerved, ignored and chose to avoid him for the rest of my life. He was cruel, malicious, and used me as a platform to feel like a man, because without any discussions, complaints, without using me as a foundation he was just an average joe. He had nothing. My kindness had been used as a platform, to acquire respect from others, whilst he hid the truth about a mother that had a fixation with me, and clearly had mental health problems.
When you come across people like this dont make yourself vulnerable. if they have issues with self esteem you wont be a positive person, you'll be an enemy. I had something he didn't have. I was happy and i was confident within myself. Because of this kindness, he saw it as a weakness. He began to ridicule me with friends on a consistent basis, telling lies that i was an ex prostitute, trying to alienate me from as many people as possible. People close to him played the victim, bitter and envious convincing others they were under attack in some way, begging for as much sympathy as possible. People who felt like loosers at life, needed to feel like winners.
When you come across people like this know the truth, because they will twist it and long after the battle is fought will come in with swords and daggers. Why? Because they have felt powerless for most of their lives, felt weak and wanted to validate themselves. Felt as though they were worth nothing. You validating them with kindness makes them believe they can capitalise on this. After three to four years of ridicule, humiliation, spreading all my personal affairs throughout the area, and capitalising on private information about me, suddenly he had made a mistake. After an intense bout of depression, trauma, feeling consistently judged, being called derogatory names.
Men like this or women like this are full of so much self hatred they are trying to punish you for all the other people that have hurt them in their lives. You are in the midst of an emotional tornado. His defence i made a mistake, whilst strategically trying to alienate me from family, bullying and harassing me, whilst those around him pedalled lies about who i was. Anytime i tried to move my life forward positively, he'd try and reappear , happen to lurk nearby he was sick and i was sick of him. When you come across people who have tried to destroy yourself esteem, suddenly conveniently, what they did was bad. They made a mistake, now they've gotten all the attention for destroying or picking at your self confidence. Whilst you pick yourself appart day by day, just because simply put, you said the truth. Know the truth in your heart, and trust it in your heart. People like this want to destroy you, or take something away from you, then walk around guilt free. He had a daughter, a child. Whilst i was being called a harlot, and a whore, things he knew in his heart i wasn't. He would have the audacity to go to that child. Teach that child. Being a parent from my experience with my family is about growth, your a teacher.
His bouts of " i made a mistake," to reconcile his conscience to give himself piece of mind, to free himself from his issues of self hatred. Whenever i tried to keep a wider distance, he'd announce to people " that i ran away from everything," happening to be nearby at convenient times. Hoping id wave like i used to, or leave whatever i was doing and simply come out and say " yes you made a mistake, but lets move past this."
Never. My mother once said not forgiving someone is like holding unto hot coal, and allowing it to burn you. Hatred eats away at your insides making you bitter. I can happily say, he's too low on the totem pole to hate. A pathetic excuse for a man who couldn't stand up and be counted, and that will haunt him for the rest of his life. I was everything he wasn't and he hated me for it. Used it to his advantage, to make friends, to place himself in a power position and now he's more powerless than ever. He now defends, my depression was " just him messing around," day after day the torment i recieved by an obese sister, bitter because her looks were not up to scratch and a mother that was fixated on me, " was just him messing around" . Digging into my past, naming himself after the man i'd fallen for when i was younger, dredging up the past was just him " messing around." Because people laughed at his jokes, and ultimately i was supposed to learn my lesson.
I have learnt that there are people worthy of love, people you invest in, and those wgho will spend the rest of their lives wondering why they dont feel the love even when its given. Because i dared to have confidence in my dark skin, other men dared to have the self esteem and the independence to think this is an attractive woman, i dont care what anybody thinks, i will go after her. He wanted to punish me because he couldn't punish them. It wasn't anything id done, im an intuitive woman, it was more than that, it was the fact i couldn't love him.
The fact that i couldnt forgive him, because when i was at my most vulnerable, he tore me down so the people around him, would respect him. They'd pat him on the back and say "your such a funny guy," and then what? A girl who once upon a time had humbled herself, would hear him tell others, " i was nothing but a Nigga," call her a Nigga.
After all of that i am proud of myself and proud of my dark skin. I didn't need an audience to tear someone down, i judge people based on my own principles. In this lifetime no matter how he sleeps, in the back of his mind, he will remember this. When i had nothing, and he had nothing to offer me, i never looked at him like he was less than a man, i never laughed at the work he did, never ridiculed him, and never joined others to call him dumb. At that time, much like i do, i'd seen a softness, a kindness there, something that was beyond miniscule things or shallow judgements like how pretty, or smart, someone is. What he had never learned. Is that life makes us intelligent. Whatever road you take you are being taught, school is a tidy education, but the lesson's life teaches you, you never forget them.
I feel no shame in my once upon humble heart. If you are leaving a self that was once familiar to you, ready to make a transition, and it comes from pain, do not punish yourself further. In time you will heal. Forgive yourself the risks, the bad choices, the intent, in my la la land things would have ended differently, as i embrace a new reality i know things would have ended differently if he was a better man.
Celebrate the choices you made, the stories when they arrive, you'll tell your children with pride. Not winning a pathetic battle against someone with self esteem fighting for the little they had, celebrate having the kindness in the first place, and know how you will adjust in the future.
When i was younger i wrote a series of love letters to a man of mystery, every morning at six o clock , five i'd crawl out of bed and hand post shakespeares poems beyond his door. I was smitten. This didn't end up the way i planned either, but i loved the adventure, the blood pumping through my veins, the flip of a stomache every time i saw him. Because in his deep voice, and his comfortable masculinity i saw, i was all my selves. Boyish, charming, shamelessly pretend over confidence. I still remember his scent, and the way he walked, his black jacket sweeping the air.
My mistresses eyes, i recited to him. Because he was that breathtaking and what i needed to say, i couldn't voice it in words. It was potent, and sweet, creative and sensual, like i was, and until the other sixth formers came, i was unjudged.
If i had a daughter i would write letters to her in the morning she'd wake up to them at the breakfast table. You are beautiful, you are loved, you are priceless, i think often of the pancakes id make for her as we sit at the breakfast table, discussing the days agenda. We'd have pancakes and cinnamon, and a wealth of discussions, about life, knowledge, growth, and the world beyond her walls. Id tell her consistently to love herself no matter what. The world is a tough place. Not because of the things people assume, like job hunting, housing, it's more than that, your constantly looking for the right people to connect to. Connect to your inner spirit, your guardian, the all knowing self, because when those mistakes happen, its not about forgiving others, it's about forgiving yourself for making those investment. What we invest in people is priceless, we invest our time. That time you can never get back. Id tell her to navigate, let others reveal themselves as well, hope the chaos is not in their minds, and they want to share in the wrong way with you. I'd sit her on my knee and read to her, books like the catcher in the rye, Robert Kiyosaki's rich dad poor dad, and teach her how to make Spaghetti Boulognese her way. When it hurts too much i'd cuddle her and say, you took a risk on someone who didn't know what they had. Someone who chose to be weak of mind rather than strong of spirit.
The war is happiness, everything else is in between. If your happy based on the right things, if you can look at yourself in the mirror and say honestly to yourself i did this without an agenda, then youy can go home peacefully. Home is the happy place within, a self undestroyed by the monopoly of minds. Yet i would argue in defense of this article although people talk often about forgiveness being the hub of truth and the exorcism of pain. Realise forgive when your ready. Never ever let someone think they can manipulate bully you, or harass you into forgiving them to ease their mind and their conscience. Why your so bad is because despite two parties not acting perfectly, your worse because they crossed boundaries. Not because you were evil, or because you were bad, but because you didn't comply and something is tugging at them. No matter the smiles, the laughter, it is a charade and they will play that part forever. There's a difference between those who are genuinely happy and those who are truly at peace. He will never find peace, because i will never give it to him. It takes a restless soul to set out to destroy then stand in front of an audience and simply say, " i made a mistake." A mistake is spilling pasta, crashing a car into someone's back end, not messing with the sanity of someone else, out of envy and a need to control. To be looked at, as that guy. You dont know how that guy got his self esteem, you may never know his story. Forgive yourself, because when we take risks on people, at the cost of things that are valuable to us, we learn the hard way.
For a long time i was angry, furious, and then i realised, i would never see him again, and i smiled at that. I would never see him, but he would always see himself, he would always know the truth behind the things he did and why he did them, and you can lie to the world but you can never lie to yourself. I took a risk, because i believed in someone and i wanted to pep up their spirit. Not knowing that this kindness they would use as a weapon against me. Exaggerating lies. Freedom comes with truth, for him i will never be that girl again, because that girl was a nice person and she had a good heart. He wont stop me from being that version for others, but he died a long time ago. The illusion was never real, it was someone pretending to be a version,
when no one else was around, being manipulative.
We know what we see, we know why we see it. Maybe we yearn to see those things in people, but when the blinkers come off. Dont be mad at yourself, you made a choice based on a character they presented. If you have someone nagging at you, whining about the ease you "let things go" know in your heart, the decision is down to you. When the spirit is free, so is the body and most of all so is the mind. I dont blame myself anymore for the risks i took, because it cost me more than i thought it would. Social confidence, i was placed on medications, i shouldn't have been on, my weight changed, but when i look back at what i did, i realise i would do it, but for a better man. A man that's worthy of respect. People say respect is earned for a reason. This strategy protects you, it protects your sanity, and it protects your heart. Let a man like this ever teach about kindness, i sacrificed more than family, i sacrificed sanity, based on a whim, and a character he presented to me personally whilst those around him were told something different. He would die a liar, and i venture towards a greater happiness. I will never give him ease.
As red i will say one thing it takes more than a certificate to be a teacher, we teach our children, we teach our friends, we teach our family, but most of all in life we are consistently teaching ourselves. You owe no one nothing, and the people who engage someone like this, ask them whether they would forgive someone who cost them so much. Timing is everything. Free yourself, forgive yourself, give yourself peace, and trust why you made your choices. Celebrate your Xen, when you have it, it is worth more than gold.