I Have A Big, Huge Announcement!!! – FAIL….

photo above courtesy of Canva – done by moi =)

Okay, let’s take a deep breath now…..because since my last post? Ya’ll really wasn’t going to hear from me again, I declared in my soul that I was just going to give up writing, PERIOD!!! Why Lord!!!! did you give me this gift to be humiliated, my writings are a BLAH, BLAH, BLAH I mean, so like – why do I write, what’s my purpose and how is that purpose serving others???????

This was just the lighter side of the conversation I had with myself during the last week….so, why did I feel that way? Well….just keep reading; here we go…

So, if you’ve been following me (avidly), then you know that I have been working on a book, entitled “Billy Wolf and the Kids of Heavenly Hills Elementary” the book is about bullying and how this one person brought doom and gloom to a school in which didn’t really have any issues, this bully taunted everyone – I mean, no one was off limits; finally someone decided to take a stand against him, someone in whom no one would have expected to take down Billy Wolf. Now, I was sooooo excited about promoting this book because I felt like it’s a topic that our world and children deal with constantly, my goal was to get the books into schools and hopefully be able to talk to kids about the effects of bullying. I got my proof copy in the mail, looked it over and was just about to push the “approve” button, but decided to wait because I had put out an ad to a couple of sites, looking for people whom would help me market it………………………….What did I do that for!

I thought that maybe, the people reading it would be able to give me an idea of the market in which I was trying to reach and make some suggestions as to where I can take it, let’s just say positive feedback wasn’t what I got back and all the excitement of telling everyone today that they can now purchase the book on Amazon and so forth – can to a screeching halt when this particular person said…

I was just wanting to know – Do you have any kids? I mean did you do research before you created this book? Kids are on a much higher reading level now, they’re into chapter books and the 6th grade is now middle school age, not elementary. And what Happened to Billy?, It seems like the story just started with him coming and there was an ending but nothing in sight to say who tried to help him – I also think your book is a little racist. 

WHAT DID YOU SAY

It took everything within me to not SCREAM!!, like really? Racist? and there comment was, “Well, it seems like you have this African-American young man, torturing the Caucasian kids” and I’m like thinking in my head, I have no idea where you seen that at  because clearly, there are other kids of a different race in the book, and why would I do that??? with trying to put this book into schools???? I made it very clear to the illustrator that I wanted the kids to be all colors because bullying affects all races, all origins, all creeds, all nationalities – it’s the one thing to me that isn’t prejudice.

But it was the way she was talking to me, like I was some 3rd grader whom needed to be punished for getting a C on my homework. She clearly over-talked me and every time I wanted to explain or say something – she wouldn’t take the time to listen and when she did; it was very brief and time to go. Another comment I got was that the book wasn’t long enough for older kids and not short enough to hold the attention span of smaller kids andddd.…the fact that I talk about faith in the book, really struck a nerve because schools have taken a backseat to religion, it has now been reduced to “a moment of silence”  I was so done, I literally went days with approving the book and just shut down in which is where the conversation at the beginning of this post came into play….

I shut down – I didn’t want to write again, I cried and cried and cried and cried; did I mention I cried? I was done….threw in the towel; was going to shut the blog down and never come back, Until – I talked to God.

Once I got over myself, It was like God brought this back to my mind: 

J.K. Rowling – the famed author behind the Harry Potter series was turned down by multiple publishers – for years! If she had given up after being rejected, we all would be like “Harry Potter” who?

The thing is, she didn’t give up! I’m sure there were many publishers whom didn’t see her vision, I mean – what type of story is this?, they probably were all saying – but the girl, kept going – she believed in herself even when no one else did, sort of remind me of the Donald Lawrence song “Encourage Yourself” in which in life is what we all will be faced to do at one point or another. So you know what I did? I replayed all of their comments over in my mind and took out the negative emotions I allowed myself to feel and made quite a few changes to the book according to the positive things that I allowed myself to see…because there were some positive ones.

And, since this book will not be able to go into schools because of the “faith” aspect of it; I embraced that as well because now, it allows me to be able to make changes according to how I feel God wanted me to make them. You see, in a sense I sort of was trying to take certain things out of the book (such as the scripture) to make it appealing to a general audience (note, I said “I”) – but maybe these comments were God’s way of showing me that I needed to be me and do it the way he wanted. So yes, Billy Wolf and the Kids is officially a christian book, that hopefully offers a little bit of funny, love, redemption, encouragement and inspiration to anyone whom decides to pick it up and give it a read.

So, while the BIG announcement I had – did not turn out the way I wanted and was an epic fail. I’m encouraged today, it will be okay….I’m taking my time and going through every page, bit by bit and when the time comes to officially make a HUGE announcement?

I will be completely ready this time….

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Roshonda N. Blackmon – Creator of A Blog, A Magazine. It’s JustsumInspiration, Author, Speaker & Encourager

P.S. There will be no post for next Thursday – It’s My B-Day!! or this upcoming Tuesday 4/10 I’m taking a week off =) But, If you follow me on one of the social sites below, I’ll still be posting quotes. I love you all!! (smooches) 

 

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The Dumbing Down Process, Goes Something Like…

photo above courtesy of vigilantcitizen

Different - drums

You see those drums above? Yeah, me too – those drums have played a significant part in my life – all my life actually; As I watched year after year after year of those drums just sitting, waiting on someone to give them a good “BANG!” I couldn’t play them because I never learned how. Can you believe, I just learned how to play them in my very late thirties and oh, how I love the sound – why hadn’t I learned how to play them all along?

Let me explain…

While those drums are very real, they aren’t ones that I actually own. You see, I believe in life we all have our very own set of drums that sit in front of us each day, waiting on us to give it a good “BOOM!” Those drums represent our voice, our personality, our characteristics in which makes us totally different from others; those drums represent our life and determine if that life is ran by our own motivation or lessened by the un-motivation of others.

When I was a little girl, my stepdad hated the way I talked….he would tell my mom “Make her quit talking like that!” this confused my mom as she was trying to figure out “Talking like what?” According to my step-dad I talked too proper, in which he later referenced as “White-folk talk” and felt like this little black girl, shouldn’t talk like them.  I mean, I didn’t know their was a differential “this is the way you talk” language for whites or blacks, or any other race for that matter. I didn’t understand what he meant, all I understood was that it made me feel bad and for a long time….at that point I dumbed down and wouldn’t hardly speak to anyone….if I got criticized for using my voice, then why use it at all.

As I got older, I began to realize that I was different from other family members – I loved to read and found it very comforting, a hobby that not everyone found fond. But reading took me away from the abusive world in which I had come to know, like when my step-dad would get drunk; he would come home and let’s just say “All hades would break loose” it was a very difficult time; so getting lost in a book and being taken away by someone else’s “perfect” world was my escape. I loved to spell and could spell anything…one day, my uncle got the dictionary and began to call out words to me and I would spell those…I was curious about the reproductive system and found reading, writing and poetry fascinating…but when people got jealous because they felt as if, I knew more than they….I dumbed down, soon those A’s and B’s became C’s and D’s.

different4“Are You Serious?” was the question my aunt asked me one day when I volunteered to go to the grocery store with her. She had just gotten her food stamps and told me that I could get anything I wanted out of the store for coming with her – well, after browsing the store I decided that I wanted some cereal, but not just any kind of cereal – I wanted a box of “Frosted Shredded Wheat” which are still my favorite cereal today. When I took the box off the shelf and brought it over to my aunt to put in the basket, she looked at me with this puzzled look on her face. “Nikki, are you serious?, this isn’t’ what you want – go and pick out what you want, I said you could get anything! she said laughing, but I didn’t budge – because those were what I wanted – after going back and forward with trying to convince her of my choice, she abruptly stated  “Those are white people cereal, you ain’t white!” – Really? because I didn’t know certain cereal were made for certain races/cultures. After we got home and hearing her mock me, laugh and basically call me weird…..I dumbed down, maybe it was best to just be like someone else – after-all, there was obviously something wrong with me.

Different1Because of those incidents and many more similar or like them, I have to be honest…being “me” was not on the good list of things that I wanted to work on or through. I always desired to be someone else, someone new, someone popular, someone cute, someone special, someone…….other than Roshonda and I dumbed down to that for many, many years. When I turned 30, it was like a light bulb went off and I had did this 360 over night; call it what you will but for me it was liberating, I suddenly didn’t care what anyone thought – I wore what I wanted to wear, no matter how unmatched or weird it was and did my own thing – those drums were getting a good dusting off and I was geared up to give them their first concert. My “let’s do this” personality and award winning smile (so I’ve been told…lol) were getting me noticed and I liked it, but just like it was when I was a kid/teen/young adult – not everyone did. Soon, I found myself going back into the dumb down hole of mediocrity like everyone else, ever heard the term “When you’re in Rome, You do as the Romans” yesss…while that may be true, it’s not always good to be like everyone else just because EVERY-ONE else is or chooses to be….sometimes it’s good to veer off course and just – do – you.

So, what are you saying Roshonda you may ask – well, I’m saying you were given one life and in this life you sometimes have one shot to make a difference or live your life the way you want too. Don’t let someone make you feel bad about your bubbly persona or your sunshine smile or even your positive personality. My mama used to always say this about cliques/friends and/or people  “Either they are going to pull you towards them or you’re going to pull them towards you” but mama left out the part…..you can just leave the group =)

You my friend were born to STAND OUT! you were never meant to FIT IN! or Dumb Down to someone’s level – you were created to make them rise to YOUR level. Don’t ever be afraid to be you because those drums are waiting on a player, will you be the one to book it’s next gig?

This is for you finger pointing

u are lovely

Because if you’re not being YOU, you’re not being TRUE! And who wants to leave this earth being a copy! 

 

Roshonda N. Blackmon – Creator of A Blog, A Magazine. It’s JustsumInspiration, Author, Speaker & Encourager