“So…What’s Next?”

I self-published my second book this year.

Now I’m gearing up to begin my third one.

Oddly enough, I don’t feel as though I’m an author…or at least, I wouldn’t consider myself one yet because I haven’t sold enough copies in my opinion to deem myself as one. At this point, I’d say I’m an aspiring author.

I’ve sold about 5 copies of To Whom It May Concern (total) as of today. I don’t think I’ll consider myself an author until I’ve sold approximately 10,000-50,000 copies.

And one day, I’m sure that will happen. In the meantime…

I’m moving on to the next project.

This season has taught me quite a bit. I’ve begun to get the hang of PayPal, making an inventory to keep up with sales using Excel spreadsheet, working on improvements for marketing and promotion, having options available for those who may not be able to get the book in digital format, keeping your audience abreast with what’s going on, etc. I love the freedom and creativity that comes with being an artist, but there’s still a business side to this publishing stuff and it’s important to know those things.

There’s also a legal side, and I’m brushing up on all that as well.

So, in case you haven’t been following along (or if you don’t feel like going back to read previous posts) I mentioned before that my third book will be a rewrite of my first: Uncomfortable Truths.

Uncomfortable Truths was a rushed work that didn’t go on to sell as much as I hoped it would. I was disobedient in how I handled it and now I am seeking to redeem it by doing exactly as the Lord tells me and writing it the way He’d have it be written. I will not go on to share what exactly all of that entails, but I will say that I’m already liking where He’s going with it. I’m actually excited when I think about it…

I’d go into the spiel on what this rewrite will be about, but I’ll save that for another post. For now, enjoy the work I’ve got out now and continue to share, like, comment, pray and all that other good stuff.

Oh and…I plan to get back to my music blog (Selective Hearing) ASAP. I’ve neglected it for far too long.

And…also…I’ve dusted off my Tumblr. My commentary is more relaxed, loose so if you’d like you can follow me along on there as well: The Soapbox. I’m working to start a gaming Tumblr as well called The Spoiler Commentaries. It’s not up and running yet, but as soon as I get it going, I’ll be sure to post a link.

Thanks again to all of you for your love and support. Continue to pray that the Lord strengthen me and that I stay in His will.

Take care and God bless.

Poem for Sandra Bland

Because today is the anniversary of her death, I wrote a short poem on my Facebook status:

They tried to smother out your flame
Your candle was extinguished
But no one could put out the blaze
Left in place of your name
I love you, Sis
I miss you
Continue lighting the way

#SayHerName #SandraBland #BlackLivesMatter

One Year Since Sandy’s Death…

Today marks one year since my friend and Soror, Sandra Bland, passed away.

I am asking everyone to please be sure to pray for her family, her friends, her sorors and all of Delta Alpha (her chapter.)

I am also asking that you not let her death be in vain. Do not let any of the deaths of those who have passed away over these short few days (both Black lives as well as Blue lives) be in vain. Start the reconciliation today, seek the Lord and meditate on His Word, and continue to push for change.

We cannot allow these types of things to become the norm. We must do something about it.

Sandy

#SayHerName #SandraBland #BlackLivesMatter

Black Ghost, Gun Smoke (Poem)

I still wish…
I hadn’t watched that second video

Watching someone die
On camera
Does something to you
Sometimes
Flashes
Of Alton Sterling’s last moments
Appear before me
Filling up every space of my sight
Until all I see
Is him before my eyes
Withering and shaking
On the concrete
Arms outstretched
As though he was trying to hold on
To his very last moments of life

I was in shock for two days
I’ve seen people die in movies

But then they got back up…

I think,
Somewhere in my mind
I could not accept the reality
Somehow
I was still waiting for him
To get back up
And when it all just wouldn’t compute
I tried to lie to myself
And say
Maybe I didn’t see what I saw
Maybe
Maybe it didn’t happen

Perhaps
This is what some of those
Who sprout off “All Lives Matter,”
Are doing
When they see the obvious
And the brain does not comprehend
What they just saw
The cop isn’t supposed to be
The bad guy
This cop is not the bad guy
He’ll get back up again
There had to be a reason
There had to be…
…right?

Another day
Another Black man dies
And another
Found hanging
They ruled it suicide

(Yeah…okay)

Meanwhile
Parts of Louisiana
Still look like Hurricane Katrina happened
—yesterday
And Flint, Michigan
Is still waiting on clean water

People defile the cause
By retaliating on police
Hours after a peaceful protest
People of all colors coming together
For peace
Protestors posing with policemen
Everyone is praying out
Shots spray out
People injured, officers down

No…they won’t get up again
My God,
They won’t get up

My eyes are warm most days
From burning with anger,
Grief
And sadness
I see people moving on
Like none of this ever happened
Tell me,
How can one move past it
When you won’t even acknowledge
What the “it” is
That you want to move past?
That’s like saying,
“Hey you there!”
In a crowd of thousands
And everybody swivels their heads
“Who me?”

We’ve been pretending for too long
It’s about time we accept our new reality

BANG-BANG
Man down
BANG-BANG, POW-POW
Shots ring out, another man
Another man
Another man down
BANG-BANG
People are playing with fire
Setting both sides of the fence ablaze
And we’re all getting burned up
In the process

BANG-BANG
POW-POW
I looked down at my timeline
And all I can say
Is, “Wow…”
Don’t let their deaths be in vain
Don’t let it all be for not
Because you’re slow to remember
Because you quickly forgot

BANG-BANG
POW-POW-POW
BANG…
Bang…
What if it was your door
Someone knocked on?
What if your family had to get a phone call?
What if it was your friends
Who had to learn they’d never see you again?

No, no, no, no, no
Black skin, Band of Blue
No…no…
They won’t ever
Get up
Again

The elephant has been here for too long
You may not like me
And I may not agree with how you see things
But I would hope
We could come together
To learn from one another
Let’s learn from our history so we don’t
Repeat it

I pray no one else ever has to be haunted
By a person’s death
Whether on a live stream
Or while sitting in the backseat
Because we as a people
Could not find a way to settle
Our indifferences
And

Dissolve our intolerance

I looked around
And slowly but surely
Everyone’s acting as if
It never even happened
And in essence
It’s almost as if all those lives
That have died
Never even existed

This is not the end…

To be continued

Perfect Timing

Today’s tidbit comes on the brink of a very tense and climatic situation in our country. I feel weary about all the evil I’ve seen over the past few days…then I looked at the snippet for this day:

2016-07-08 09.31.59

No matter how hard life gets, regardless of all the evil that surrounds us every day, all we have to do is continue to carry our cross. Let’s keep doing the will of the Lord and following in the charge that He has given to each of us.

(Poem: “Lights Out” snippet,) from my book To Whom It May Concern