Friday, December 31, 2010

Change is Good for the Coming New Year

I've changed the name of my writer's blog.  Recently I found that there is another writer's blog called The Urban Muse that is much more popular than mine, so in order to cut down on any confusion, I changed my blog's name to The Urban Musings of an Old Newbie.  And in fact, this name is more indicative of what this blog is about.

As I said in my opening post, I have been writing since I was 8 years old.  But now, in my 50's, I've decided to actively pursue that which I've been praying for.  This morning as I lay in my bed, listening to my religious programming, I heard an evangelist say that if we want change, we have to do something towards achieving that change.  Sometimes, it's not enough to just pray.  Sometimes, while we're waiting on God to change things for the better in our lives, He's actually waiting on us to change the way we conduct our lives in order to make room for the blessings He wants to give us.

So, in this coming new year, I vow to make some key changes in how I go about furthering my writing career.  Basically, I vow to write.  Cut back on the research, the study, the reading about writing, and just write.  For many years, Procrastination has been a very close acquaintance of mine, actually I allowed her to move in and set up house.  Well, it's time for her to vacate the premises.  So, I'm giving my old roommate a swift kick in the wheelchair out the door.  I'm learning to walk again,  to walk towards my destiny.  I'm learning to move myself out of my self-imposed stupor and I'm throwing Procrastination's twin sister, Fear, out the window as well.

Along with a new year comes anticipation coupled with trepidation.  Fear of the unknown is universal, but I think it's particularly detrimental to creative people.  We are constantly questioning ourselves: will they like what I write? Will it sell (which should never be a question for a serious writer)?  Will I be rejected (notice I said "will I," not "will my writing...")?  These questions are bound to concern us.  What we as writers must learn to do is to write in spite of wrestling with these doubts.  Write, even if you don't feel like it.  Don't worry about word count, just write something.

In 2011, I promise to invoke change, to do something daily that will inch me ever closer to the realization of my dream.  Most importantly, as a writer, I promise to write.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

More from my Poetic Journey

Happy hump day, everyone!  I'm still enjoying the slow days of my vacation and decided to treat you all to some more of my poetry.  These are inspirational poems that I wrote while I was on a rather unpleasant job.   I've had more than a few jobs, and it seems whenever I start to get depressed about my surroundings or the fact of having to work a 9 to 5, God gives me some encouraging words in the form of poetry or prose.  So here are two poems born out of a lousy work day.  Hope you enjoy and are uplifted.

12/12/08 – Lunchtime
Blessed is God’s Kingdom and His Righteousness,
His Sovereignty reigns high above the nations.
His Majesty, His Grace, and His Faithfulness,
is worthy of prolific dissertation.

Blessed is the Holy One of Israel,
His Love and Sacrifice remains unmeasured.
The Blood He shed removed the keys from Hell,
to free mankind from death and Satan’s fetters.

O Holy One, Son of the living God
Your Truth shall reign throughout eternity.
O Holy One, Son of the living God
Destroy the yoke of mankind’s enemy.

Behold His Son, His Truth has come at last
The Fleshly Word of God among us dwells.
Whose Name far reaches the shadows death has cast,
whose Love exceeds that which the fullest heart can tell.

O Holy One, Son of the living God
Your Truth shall reign throughout eternity.
O Holy One, Son of the living God
Destroy the yoke of mankind’s enemy.

The breath of life into the dust He breathed.
The living soul of Man, God’s crowning glory.
Gave name to creeping things, the wild beasts of the field,
and called her Woman, thus begins the human story.

In firmament and earth, His greatness is revealed.
The birds rejoice, sing of His matchless Power.
Take heart, the living Word, our sword, and shield,
Will grant us shelter in the strength of His strong tower.

O Holy One, Son of the ever living God
Your Truth shall reign throughout eternity.
O Holy One, Son of the ever living God
Destroy the yoke of mankind's enemy.

Take heed the shout, as Thunder claps the sky!
Angelic Hosts arise, stand at attention.
To sing the Praise of King of Kings, most High!
For gifts of Love, too numerous to mention.

Should God so freely care for such a lowly being?
Great healing tides caress the sorrow within my breasts
On Calvary, this earthen vessel, He redeemed,
Beneath the covering of His Wings my soul takes rest.

O Holy One, Son of the living God
Your Truth shall reign throughout eternity.
O Holy One, Son of the living God
Destroy the yoke of mankind's enemy.

O Word of God, the Son, Ancient of Days
who stripped His glory for the sake of His Creation.
For mans’ redemption from his sinful, evil ways,
He shed His Blood and gave His life for every nation.

This Jesus Christ, Son of the ever living God
Whose sacrifice remains unmatched until the end
of time and space, we praise the stem of Jesse's Rod,
Our hearts rejoice to know that He shall come again!

O Holy One, Son of the living God
Your Truth shall reign throughout eternity.
O Holy One, Son of the living God
Destroy the yoke of mankind’s enemy.

© Cheryl Pastor, 2008

Friday, January 9, 2009

He’s a Wonder in my soul
This Jesus of Nazareth
He healed me and made me whole
This Jesus of Nazareth

He died on Calvary
This Jesus of Nazareth
To release and set me free
This Jesus of Nazareth

He was born in humility
This Jesus of Nazareth
Before time, He predestined me
This Jesus of Nazareth

He relinquished His Heavenly Glory
This Jesus of Nazareth
To establish my redemption’s story
This Jesus of Nazareth

He defeated Death, Hell, and the Grave
This Jesus of Nazareth
My soul He came to save
This Jesus of Nazareth

He’s the Son of God the Father
This Jesus of Nazareth
No need to look for another
This Jesus of Nazareth

By all accounts I should be lost
This Jesus of Nazareth
That I may live, He paid the cost
This Jesus of Nazareth

For He’s the God of every nation
This Jesus of Nazareth
To Him belongs all Exhortation
This Jesus of Nazareth

My spirit He resurrected
This Jesus of Nazareth
Then His Power He injected
This Jesus of Nazareth

To live for Him is my decree
This Jesus of Nazareth
For it was He who died for me
This Jesus of Nazareth

His blood removed my guilty stains
This Jesus of Nazareth
He told me not to be ashamed
This Jesus of Nazareth

So when I’m feeling down and out
This Jesus of Nazareth
I lift my head and give a shout to
This Jesus of Nazareth

© Cheryl Pastor, 2008

Sunday, December 19, 2010

A Writer's Dilemma

I am not sure what to do next.  I have this story that I started about 2 years ago.  I haven't finished it because I really don't know what I want it to be.  A novel? A script? A short story or novella?  I've done a few scenes but I'm not sure if they connect well.  I've even done character bios in order to get a better understanding of the characters in the story, trying to find a way into the lives of the story's two protagonists.

This story is yet untitled.  I'm including a sample of the story here.  Tell me what you think.  If it turns out to be a short story, I'm going to enter it into an upcoming contest.  The deadline is in March 2011, so that gives me some time to tweak it just right.

Hope you enjoy the read.


The Rescue

            “Move those people back!  Get that guy out of here!”  Chief Fire Officer Lambert barks orders with the authority afforded him by his 20+ years as a fireman.
            “Miss!  Miss!  Are you okay?  Can you hear me?” asks Fireman Jim Browski.  He maneuvers around the telephone pole and looks through the shattered passenger side window of the mangled vehicle.  Janoa is slumped over in the seat, her head resting on Carla’s right arm.  He turns on his flashlight to get a better look inside the car and notices the right side of her face covered in bloody lacerations.  The smell of alcohol escapes from inside the wreckage.
            “This one looks pretty bad.  She took the brunt of the accident.  It looks like her legs are crushed underneath the dashboard.  She’s pinned in pretty tight.”  Browski yells.  “We’re going to have to use the crane to pull this car away from the pole and then we’ll need the Jaws of Life to cut her out of the vehicle.  Hey, Eddie!  Get the crane and the Jaws over here, pronto!  These smaller numbers don’t hold up too well under pressure.  They fold like paper.”
            “Yeah, pretty much,” replies Fireman Paul Jensen, not speaking loud enough for Browski to hear.  Jensen is on the other side of the vehicle, where he sees another young girl whose head is lying against the driver’s side window.  The impact of her head against the glass cracks the window without shattering it completely, making it hard for Fireman Jensen to see her face. He shines his flashlight into the vehicle and notices movement as the girl tries to lift her left hand up to her head.
            “Hey, Browski, looks like the driver is coming around," yells Fireman Jensen.  "Miss!  Can you hear me?  Move your hand, if you can!"  The young girl lifts her hand a little ways up, but it quickly falls back onto her left thigh.  "That's good enough, Miss!  Hang on!  We're doing everything we can to get you and your friend out of there…"
            A crane lifts and pulls the car away from the pole.  Using the Jaws of Life, the firefighters first free Janoa from the passenger side of the car.         
"Get those paramedics over here!  Alright people, let 'em through!"  Chief Lambert maneuvers the paramedics through spectators and a cluster of other rescue workers. 
Paramedics, Jeanette Roland and Brice Capland, assess Janoa’s condition as critical and work to stabilize her.  They remove her from the car and gently place her on the gurney.  Inside the EMS truck, Jeanette continues to check her vitals.  The driver sounds the siren, clears a path through the crowd and heads for the hospital.
Another set of paramedics are on the driver’s side of the vehicle working on Carla.  Paramedic Angela Rice dabs the blood from her face, checks her vitals, stabilizes her neck with a brace and with the help of her partner, paramedic Rick Bowler, removes Carla from the driver’s seat.  Angela and Rick place her on the gurney and into another EMS truck.  Once inside, she tries to test Carla’s level of consciousness by asking her questions.  
“Miss, can you hear me?  Do you know what year it is?  Miss!  Miss!”

Distant voices, blurred bodies, and flashing red lights bombard Carla's senses.  Where am I?  What's happening?  Why can't I move?  God, my head feels like it's splitting.  Carla feels a shaking as the giant crane pulls the car away from the telephone pole.  She hears the sound of crushing metal to the right of her.  What is that noise?  The Jaws of Life working to free her best friend's mangled body from… Carla starts to cry.  Janoa!  God, why isn't she moving?  Oh my God, what's happened?  What have I done?
            Carla feels Janoa’s head on her right arm.  Janoa still hasn’t moved.  Carla‘s head begins to throb from the deafening noise of the sirens.  Her body feels stiff, inflexible, and she aches all over.  With a sudden, violent jolt, the passenger side door is ripped off the vehicle and a bright light flashes inside the car.  Then the voices return.
            “Miss, are you conscious?  We’re going to get you and your friend out of there, just hang tough.”
            Carla feels herself blacking out.  “Janoa, someone…help…her…I’m sorry…I’m so sorry…      please…”

            Carla wakes up in the ambulance and looks into the comforting eyes of Paramedic Angela Rice. 
            “Janoa…where is she?”

            “Is that your friend’s name?  She’s in the other ambulance, probably at the hospital already.  I’m sure they’re taking good care of her.  Tell me your name, Miss.  Do you know who you are?”
            “Carla…my name is Carla Jenkins.”
            “Well, Carla Jenkins, I’m Angela Rice and I’m going to do my best to make you as comfortable as possible.”
            “Thank…you, Angela, did you say?”
            “Yes, that’s right, sweetheart, Angela.  Now just relax, we’re almost at the hospital.”
            Carla starts to fade out again.  “Janoa,” she whispers.  “Make sure…they…help…her…”

A Rude Awakening

            Carla awakened to a small beam of sunlight streaming through a tear in a dingy window shade.  The pain in her head shattered her eyesight as she tried to comprehend her surroundings.  Where the devil am I? she thought.  Carla struggled to focus through a haze of the previous night’s drunken escapades.  She slowly turned over in bed.  Lying on her back, she squinted at a brown water-stained ceiling.  “God, why do I keep doing this crap?” she whispered to herself. 
            A voice mingled with the sound of a flushing toilet startled Carla and she sat up.
            “Hey, you woke yet?” the voice inquired. “Don’t mean to be rude or nothin’, but you need to get a move on.  I gotta’ go to work, right?  You problee need to be somewhere too, huh?  Hey! Ya’ hear me?”  As Carla looked in the direction of the unfamiliar voice, a large, muscular silhouette emerged from the door of the bathroom.
            “Ya hear me, girl?” the voice continued.  “I mean, sorry to rush you and all—had a real good time—but the night is over.  Gotta’ move on, keep it pushin’, ya know?”
            “Yeah, yeah, I know,” Carla whispered.  She climbed out of bed, each movement a premeditated attempt not to alert the nerve endings in her brain.  Still, the pain in her head screamed for her attention. Carla bent down to gather her clothing from the floor.  Then, barely able to drag one foot in front of the other, she shuffled her way toward the tiny, dimly lit bathroom.
            On the way, Carla caught a glimpse of herself in a dusty mirror attached to a pock marked dresser.  She chuckled as she secretly accused the run down piece of furniture of looking at least 150 years old, and not in a good “Antiques Road Show” kind of way.  Her smile soon faded, however, once Carla realized that she and the dresser had more in common than she cared to admit.
            “Hey, where ya goin’?” asked her previous night’s mistake. “We ain’t got time for you to get all gussied up.  I gotta’ go, and so do you.  My girl’a be home from working the nightshift soon, and—”
            “Your girl?” replied Carla with more than a slight attitude.  “That’s why you’re rushing me, so your girl won’t discover she could do better?  I can’t believe that you brought me here to sex me up and you’ve got a woman—who works the nightshift, no less!  Gives you plenty of time to party hardy, huh Romeo?”  She quickly started to dress; first bra, then panties, then…
            “Hey, didn’t nobody twist yo’ arm to get you here.  All that drinking you done, you were ripe and ready!  And my name is William!  So you need to get yo’ clothes on and get out!  Now!”
            “Alright!  I’m going, William!” Carla spit out his name as though it had put a bad taste in her mouth.  She finished dressing and started to leave when she noticed she didn’t have her purse.  She spotted it on a chair in the corner and went to retrieve it when William grabbed her arm. 
            “The door is this way!” He tried to push her out of the apartment.
            “I’ve got to get my purse, you idiot!”  Before she knew it, Carla was screaming at the top of her lungs.  William pulled her over to the chair, grabbed her purse, and slammed it into her chest.    “Let go of me, you moron!  I can walk!  I said let go!”  Ignoring her pleas, William jerked Carla around like a rag doll and threw her out the door.  She stumbled, almost falling.  Then she caught herself and turned toward her opponent.
            “Maybe I’ll just wait around a bit.  Then me and your girl can have a little talk—maybe compare notes!  How does that sound, William?”  Carla was becoming what she hated most, an hysterical woman.  What is wrong with me? Why do I care so much about having to leave in a hurry?  It’s what I do, anyway.  What’s different about this time?  Angry, self-loathing tears streamed down her face.  Carla was at war with herself.  In her mind, the voice of reason instructed her to shut up, walk away, and let it go.  He was a fly by night encounter.  One of many she’d had over the years.  What was the big deal, why all the drama, now?  Yet her feet wouldn’t listen and her mouth wouldn’t obey. Instead, she continued to spew venom like a pro, until…
            Carla couldn’t breathe.  At first, she didn’t understand what was happening.  Then it registered—William was strangling her.  In a matter of seconds, he’d lunged at Carla, pushing her against the wall across from his apartment.  The more she struggled, the harder he pinned her against the wall.
            “Let…go,” Carla gasped.  The rage in William’s eyes had a sobering affect, and for the first time, Carla was afraid she might not make it out alive.
            “Now…you…listen…to…me…you…stupid...cow,” William said slowly, each word deliberate and spiked with an angry southern drawl. “I told you that my girl will be here soon, and that you got to go.  You not gon’ stand around and talk about nothin’, ya hear me?” 
            Carla felt her stomach turn at the smell of William’s hot breath mingled with stale liquor.  She tried unsuccessfully to turn away as William continued his tirade, covering her face in spittle.
            “She ain’t never gon’ see you, never gon’ know you was here.  That’s the way it’s layin’, you got me?” 
            William finally released his grip from around Carla’s neck, but continued to pin her against the wall until he got the answer he wanted. 
            “Yeah…I…got…you,” Carla wheezed. “You can let go now.”  William backed away from Carla, watching her every move as she picked up her purse off the floor and staggered down the hall to the elevator. 

            At 7:00 a.m., the October morning was crisp.  Carla walked out the front door of the Colbert Arms Apartments to her red Toyota Camry, parked half a block away.  The fresh air helped to clear her head and Carla was thankful to have made it out in one piece.  Again, her voice of reason returned, followed by her old acquaintances, guilt, remorse and a flood of hot tears.  She pressed the keyless entry button, disarming the alarm.  Then she stepped inside the car and slammed the door shut.  Once inside, Carla gave in to her emotions.
             “God, why am I so stupid!  Why do You let me do these things!  Jesus, why won’t You help me?” 
            She rested her head on the steering wheel and took two deep breaths in an attempt to gain control.  Then she reached inside her purse, grabbed some tissue, and dried her eyes.  After regaining her composure, Carla put the key in the ignition, started the car, and pulled out from a small side street onto Gratiot Avenue.
            Driving home, Carla wondered how she would explain being late for work, yet again.  Her lifestyle was clearly starting to interfere with her job at an Advertising and Public Relations firm and her work ethic was slowly dissolving into a state of apathy.  Still, Carla loved her job and was thankful that she had such an understanding and patient boss.  The fact that most employers would have fired her after the first or second infraction was not lost on her, and she dreaded having to fabricate another series of lies.


            Carla arrived home at around 7:45 a.m.  She dragged herself up the stairs of her apartment complex, struggled to push open the front door, and stumbled into the lobby.  Stanley, the daytime security officer, sat at the front desk drinking his morning coffee, watching the security monitors, and occasionally skimming his newspaper.  He looked up from his desk as Carla took slow, deliberate steps towards the elevators and instantly knew to keep his naturally upbeat personality to a minimum.
            "Hello, Ms. Jenkins.  How's it going for…?
            "Not fast enough," Carla quickly replied.  "Sorry, Stanley, not much for talking this morning. Maybe you can have a halfway decent day for the both of us.  See ya'."
            "I'll try, Ms. Jenkins.  Take care of yourself, now."  Stanley shook his head and let out a deep, sympathetic sigh as he watched Carla approach the elevators.  To him, she looked more pitiful with each step she took.  Though he never really knew her personally, Stanley remembered the days when she looked happier and much more confident.  She was a woman on a mission every morning:  she looked good, she smelled good, and always seemed as though she could conquer the world.  Now…well…Stanley thought to himself how sad that his admiration had turned to pity.  Pity for a once vibrant woman, a woman who seemed to know where she was going and how to get there.  Pity for a woman who'd somehow lost her way and no longer knew her purpose.  How sad, he thought to himself as he took another sip of his coffee and directed his attention back to his paper and the security monitors.

            Carla stepped off the elevator on the 6th floor.  She walked down the hall, suddenly stopping just before reaching her apartment.  What the crap am I going to say to Mom? she thought.  God knows I don't want to hear another lecture.  Oh well, might as well get it over with.
            Carla stuck the key in the lock and opened the door.  Soft gospel music was playing on the CD player and the smell of fresh coffee mingled with bacon wafted throughout the apartment.      "Thank God," Carla whispered, "at least I don't have to cook.  Man, I am one selfish…"
            "Carla, is that you?"  A melodious, high-pitched voice from the kitchen rose above the music.
            "Mom!"  Another voice from the kitchen, filled with excitement.
            "Hey, you two, it's me.  How ya' doin’?"  A lanky, caramel-skinned 8 year-old girl, with a beautiful face and brown almond shaped eyes, darted out of the kitchen and ran down the hall to greet Carla.  Her hair was in two ponytails, one high, one low, and she wore her school uniform:  navy blue skirt, white shirt, and burgundy jacket.  The ensemble was accentuated with white tights and black patent leather shoes.
            "Mom!  Where've you been? Gram and me…"
            "Gram and I," Carla retorted in her teacher voice.
            "Gram and I have been waiting for you.  It's almost time for me to go to school, I was afraid you wouldn't get home in time to take me."
            "Well, I'm here now, so get your coat and book bag and let's go, kiddo."
            "I have to finish my breakfast first, then I'll be ready to go.  I'm glad you made it Mom, I didn't want to be late again for class.  Mrs. Willerby, that’s my teacher, anyway, Mrs. Willberby says she doesn't like it when her class is interrupted by strablers."
            "You mean stragglers." 
            "She doesn't like when her class is interrupted by stragglers."
            "Yeah, that's it.  Straaaagglers."  Tatiana smiled as she slowly sounded out the word.
            "Okay, well, finish your breakfast and let's get a move on."  Carla tried not to notice her mother leaning against the wall, arms folded, with a disapproving scowl on her face.  Muriam Jenkins was a formidable force; tall, statuesque, and still beautiful at 57.  Large, light brown eyes accentuated a pecan-brown complexion and an artist's sculptured bone structure, crowned with a salt and pepper mane.  She had watched in sorrow as the loss of a best friend and the subsequent loss of a father slowly changed the behavior of her daughter.  Still, Muriam refused to give Carla up to her own pity and self-hatred—at least, not without a fight.
            "You know, you really should go in with Tahtie and explain to her teacher why your daughter is a straggler," Muriam said sternly.  "After all, it's not her fault; she doesn't drive herself to school. I'm surprised Mrs. Willerby hasn't already requested an audience with you regarding Tahtie's tardiness."
            Here we go, Carla thought.  Truth be told, she had received numerous letters from Mrs. Willerby, requesting a meeting regarding her daughter's tardiness to class; a fact that Carla was unwilling to share with her mother.
            "Look, Mom, I'm sorry I can't stick around for another one of your infamous tongue lashings.  I've got to use the 60 seconds I have left before Tahtie finishes her breakfast to make myself presentable so that I can drop my baby off at school and then break the sound barrier trying to get to work on time.  I really don't—"
            "Again, who's fault is that?  If you would get home at a decent hour, maybe even stay home with your daughter sometimes, you wouldn't be so stressed out doing the things you need to do, like getting your daughter to school and yourself to work on time.  Ever thought of that, Carla?  And what are those marks on your neck?"  Muriam yelled, as Carla walked away from her into the bathroom, and slammed the door. 
            "God, help me," Muriam whispered. "What am I going to do with that girl?  Jesus, if you don't fix this, it won't get fixed."   
            Muriam stood quietly praying in the living room and staring at the many pictures of Carla painstakingly arranged on the mantle above the fireplace.  Carla taking her first steps while her father held her delicate little hands in his.  Carla, dressed in her favorite pink tutu, receiving an award for best in kindergarten dance recital.  Carla with her best friend, Janoa, on high school graduation day.  All images of happier times.  Muriam took a deep breath as she fought back tears.  Change is not always good…

            Tatiana finished her milk, wiped her mouth with the back of her hand, and yelled to her mom from the kitchen.
            "I'm finished, Mom!"  She ran into the living room only to find her grandmother standing there alone. "Gram, where's Mom?  I'm ready to go, now.  She's still taking me, isn't she?"
            "Yes, baby, she's still taking you.  She's just in the bathroom freshening up a bit.  You know that after she drops you off, she has to go on to work, so she needs to change her clothes."  Tatiana looked down at her shoes and let out a long sigh.
            "Am I going to be a straggler again, Gram?"
            "Yep, looks like it."

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Oops, I mean, yaaay! I did it again!

More good news.  As I sat at my computer on my job, checking my email, I found out that I'd sold another copy of my collection of poems, Affirmations and Other Poems.  Yaaay me!  I know that two books doesn't sound like much to you maybe, but for me, this experiment that I'm conducting is going quite well.  I mean, of course, I'd rather the momentum pick up considerably and that I maybe sell 15 or 20--thousand--in a day or even a week's time, but I'll settle for two in 7 days.

I'm still trying to find my way in the marketing strategies department and I'm sure I'll learn as I go.  What I don't want to happen is for my time as a research zealot to interfere with my time as an actual writer.

I love to write.  I really do.  But in the back of my mind, I'm fighting with the notion of not being good enough, even though I've experienced minor success as a writer throughout the  years.  When I sit down and really put my fingers to the keyboard, some pretty good stuff usually comes out.  It's just getting my fingers to the keyboard that's the problem most of the time.  I'm doing better, but I must admit that there is still PLENTY of room for improvement.

My two week vacation begins on Monday of next week and I've already made plans to dedicate my time to writing and acquiring writing assignments.  I've gotten a couple from my job already, from teachers and I just recently received a writing assignment from one of my friends at church.  So word is slowly but surely getting around.

What I really want to happen at this juncture is for my creative writing to take on a life of its own.  I want the novels to gush from my brain, be filtered through my heart, and rush through my fingers like water.  And while I'm waiting for this metaphor to become a reality, I promise myself and my future readers that I'll at least put the ideas for my stories down on paper.  Some words are better than no words, wouldn't you agree?

The following are some words I wrote last year.  I hope you enjoy them.


How gloriously the richly written word,
pays tribute to those brave in thought and deed,
to future generations shall be heard,
in victory's wake, triumphant warriors bleed!

Cheryl Lynn  ©April 28, 2009
This Gift Before Me

Place this gift before me
and I will unwrap it,
slowly, meticulously,
as not to disrupt its perfection.

Place this gift before me
and I will touch it,
deliberately and delicately,
to preserve its value.

Place this gift before me
and I will handle it
with care and compassion,
for it is precious in its existence.

This gift that is before me
was flown on the wings of suffering and endurance,
has stood the test of time and trial.
It is worthy of respect, love, and admiration.

Place this gift before me
and I will treasure it,
for it is unmerited, unmatchable,
undeserved...wondrous in its place
inside my heart.

I cannot earn this gift that is before me,
yet it follows me, lives within me, transforms me,
and brings great wonder to this place
inside my heart.

Cheryl Lynn, © April 2009

Saturday, December 11, 2010

My Writer's Marketing Plan, Part I

In a previous post, I talked about the need for a viable marketing plan if the world is to be privy to your creative wordplay.  I've been writing a long time; the problem is that I'm practically the only one who knows I've been writing for a long time.

I'm not really sure if I'm doing this right, but I'm giving it a try.  Here are some of the marketing strategies I've implemented so far.

I've joined:
Author's Den 

The next part of my strategy is article marketing and press releases about my book.  I'll let you know how that works out for me as well.

I've been doing some research on writers who have self-published on Amazon and Smashwords as Kindle authors and they all have one thing in common:  They have more than one or two titles for sale.  The funny thing about this is that some of the authors have even admitted to not being that great of a writer, but they've found a readership and that's really all that matters.  The other thing is that success in this medium allows you to do the one thing that brings a writer joy and that is to write

 And to be honest, that's all I've ever really wanted, is to make a living at the things I love to do, write and create art.

I hope you stick around for the journey of a writer who finally gets to write.


Thursday, December 9, 2010

My first sale!

Hello everyone!  Hope your week is going well.  I just want to give a shout out to my great friend and mentor, Vanesssa Brantley Newton of Ooh La La Design Studio for being the first to purchase my collection of poems, Affirmations: and Other Poems.  Vanessa is a children's illustrator extraordinaire and I have admired her work for quite some time.  She is magnificent and I consider it an honor that she thought enough of my writing sight unseen.  Thanks so much Nessa!  Check out her lovely blog when you get the chance!

Poetry has always been my first love and was the start of my writing career.  It was a great time for African-American female writers, (back in the early and mid 90's) and I gleaned a wealth of inspiration from many other writers, both great (Alice Walker, Toni Cade Bambara, Gwendolyn Brooks) and small (local writers on the HIP-ology poetry curcuit in Detroit).  So today, I'm feeling pretty generous, and have decided to share a couple of poems from the collection.  Enjoy!


There was a gathering in the field of Sisters,
sitting around a grand table sipping tea,
exchanging words like diamonds on their tongues,
writing their very essence on the wind
like so much brilliance…
And the stars came down from Heaven and listened—
as these Sisters gathered in the field
weaving tales of woman’s love for family and kinship,
spreading their wings in flight through HERstory times,
back to Great-Grams who gave them Queenly Beauty,
dipped in sun-ripened plum juice,
poured in finest crystal,
shimmering reflections in golden rivers
of spiritual revelations like so much Africa Blood
pumping life through the veins of the Nile,
giving birth to her future generations
of Ebony, Bronze, and Topaz daughters
gathered in the field…
as the stars came down from Heaven, listened,
and later…
whispered all they’d heard
to the WORLD.

© 2010, Cherrie Lynn, Affirmations: and Other Poems


Enduring the inevitable loss of your
presence.  In your absence,
the inability to touch.  The linking
of our souls, hearts in the distance of space,
so empty…needing
your embrace unable to feel,
touch, hold
holding me.
© 2010, Cherrie Lynn, Affirmations: and Other Poems

Monday, December 6, 2010

Musings of an old Newbie

When I first decided that I was going to write for a living, I was in my 20's and full of fresh ideas.  I considered myself to be the quintessential wordsmith of my neighborhood.  I was doing the poetry circuit around the greater Detroit Area, was reading at coffee houses, and had numerous poems and articles in anthologies and newspapers.  Once, I even had an editorial piece I did for a local newspaper read in a 4th grade class by my boss's son.  She was very impressed and called my phone from her office to tell me how even more impressed her son's teacher and classmates were with my essay.  Wow, I thought, this could be the beginning of something amazing. 

Fast forward to the present, and I'm still waiting for the beginning of the amazing thing to happen.  The difference is that now, at the tender age of 52, I realize that your dreams can take more work to accomplish than the everyday grind so many of us are trying to free ourselves from.  Routine, sister to familiarity and her evil twin, procrastination, can also breed contempt; either for change, or for altering what has over a period of a lifetime, become the norm.

In the day of the superfast information highway known as the internet (boy, that Al Gore is really something, isn't he?), you would think that it'd be pretty easy to get the word out about your products and/or services.  Well it is, for those people who are highly adept at (oh, how I hate this dreaded term) MARKETING.

Marketing, the nightmare of every creative person whose only wish is to create and have people knocking down one's door for the next fabulous creation of the century.  Add social networking to the pot and according to the experts, you have a whole new arena of potential customers, patrons, or whatever terminology you want to use.  For some, at least according to the millions of emails I get from the marketing gurus, this new area of business networking is the best thing since ketchup.  For me, it simply means more work than I had initially anticipated.

All griping aside, I'm fairly excited about my new choice of careers.  I am a writer and have been since I was 8 years old.  I created my own comic books and wrote lyrics to go with instrumental songs I'd hear on the radio.  And now, after a mere 46 years, I've finally decided that I'm willing to do whatever it takes, marketing wise, to get my work out there.  I sold my first short story as a ghostwriter last week. And I've just uploaded a collection of poetry for Kindle on and on entitled, Affirmations: and Other Poems, under the pen name Cherrie Lynn.  I'll be featuring the book here on my blog as well for sale as an ebook.

This blog was created to share my writing dreams, aspirations, triumphs and failures, as the case may be. And once I make that transition to becoming the next J.K. Rowling, you'll all be my witnesses;)