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January 4th, 2020

11:32 AM

A Public Service Message: Would You?

Readers,

Let me ask you a simple question. Would you hang with a dude that doesn'€™t have your best interest at heart, that doesn'€™t care for your existence or would even love you? Would you spend hours and hours listening to what this person says even though you know deep down inside his suggestions aren'€™t good for you? Would you even consider him a good friend? A useful ally? A kindred spirit? Would you even believe a thing he says?

Would you believe he has been involved in many lives before, always with a promise of something better but it turns out to be the worst thing these folks have ever gone through? Would you give in to imaginations of fame and wealth only to find the reality is less than you expected? Would you believe this person said they had your back only to discover the deep cuts on it?

Would you believe this person promised you a kingdom but you discover it is anything but what he promised? Would you believe this person guaranteed friendship but uses the opportunity to destroy you? What if this person, isn'€™t a person......but an entity at war with your soul? What if that entity pledges to '€˜bring you down'€™ and you comply unwillingly based on all the false promises above? What if you just didn'€™t care anymore and let the entity have his way with you?

What if at The End, you find out too late all your efforts were in vain and you gained nothing as a result? What if you felt cheated from a life you could have had if you ignored this entity at the beginning? Here'€™s another important question to consider: what if you spent eternity with this lying, cheating, and deceitful entity? How would you feel?

Muse on these questions when you have time.

This has been a public service message from

Thoughts on a String, Jan 2020

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January 2nd, 2020

10:04 AM

Archive: For Men, This Is How It Really Goes Down

Wrote this a decade ago (wow!) Enjoy!
 
Over the holidays, I watched a movie called The Book Of Love: The Definitive Reason Why Men Are Dogs€ It'€™s a movie first made in 2002. The movie was filmed as a documentary with three bachelors going into detail about their relationships with their past girlfriends and why it didn'€™t work out with each of them. Rather than go into detail, what caught my eye and inspired this post is that at the end, there was a scene that brought back some negative feelings, closely tied in to The Depths of My Soul. So much so, I felt I had to start off the New Year sharing with you my own thoughts of "€œhow it really went down".€

I'€™m beginning to wonder if women believe we as men have feelings or not. If we look past the conditioning about us by the media and society, there are good men out there who are positive achievers in life wishing to make our mark on the world. We also seek loving wives, growing families and a solid future. We'€™ve been brainwashed to believe is that men, especially Black men, are up to no good and are dogs simply because we are such. However, one of the characters in the movie I strongly identified with, in fact, two. These men honestly reflected on their relationships and were even damaged by the actions of their women forcing them to close their feelings off, placing borders on their emotions and requesting signed agreements. A bit over the top, I know for men....but women have also said the same thing to me once before. Let this be known right here and now for 2010. Black women have not cornered the market on emotions. We men have them too.

The following is what I'€™m hearing from Black men:

We can'€™t stand rejection and we can'€™t stand it when our women say we'€™re full of '€˜the stuff'€™, aren'€™t worth much and will never be. Despite our bravado and self-bragging, those words hurt. They wound us and if women seriously believe that, then why as a Black man, should I continue to love you? The choice has been made, your heart has been set, and you'€™re not willing to settle for an apology. At least that'€™s what painful words like that mean. Funny, but I hear and read that from people who claim they'€™re down with our people. Really? How can we find unity within our sexes if I'€™m no more worth a pile of feces to you? How can I be the '€˜king'€™ you want me to be if I'€™m no more than a piece of dung on the sidewalk? You seriously say you love me sista, but you continue to hurt me over and over again with the most destructive weapon in our bodies, our tongues. But of course, women have not captured the market on hateful, spiteful words. Unfortunately, we men are just as guilty in the rift between us. But Sista, please love me for who I am and what I can become. Please, don't hate me. I need you.

We men don'€™t like to reveal much to our women for the simple reason it can be used against us at a later date. The movie had examples of women taking advantage of their men, efforts of changing them, etc. While we have seen these experiences in our own lives. All men ask is that you accept us as we are. If you approached us because you saw potential, then discuss it with us. Don'€™t try to dictate what you feel is good for us because then it'€™s one sided and two, would you like it if we tried to change your wardrobe, the way you eat, controlling your life to suit our purposes? Relationships are supposed to be where you share things in common with your mate. If you both want to be happy and make changes together, talk about it. A man who wants to improve will listen to his woman and will even take her suggestions to heart. On the other hand fellas, we should become defensive when those suggestions are made. We do have the right to accept or deny the request, but at least hear her out.

I do believe that if we men started getting our feelings out on paper and in books, a lot more women will understand us better, rather than believing what they’ve been force fed mentally. There are vastly more women than men reading these days, so if men just started to write out their hearts more and more, that bridge between us will close. Not all the way – but a little at a time. Just take a look at the bestseller list if you don'€™t believe that.

A personal note, part of the reason I wrote The Depths of My Soul was because I went through the hurt, the pain of emotions of not feeling good enough, not feeling '€˜up to par'€™ with you women out there. I had to settle for being the friend, lost love, etc. I went through all the feelings, emotions, and shed more than a few tears in my life. The son of a friend of mine loved the book because it was '€˜real'€™ to him. The movie convinced me men want to share, we want to tell the world how we feel. However, as you will find out.... there are reasons why we’re becoming the new Invisible Men among our women.
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January 1st, 2020

12:28 AM

Welcome to 2020!

Hey peeps,

Thoughts on a String is officially fifteen years old!

Fifteen years worth of content written by yours truly! Hopefully the author of this blog has kept you interested and coming back for more!

Thanks to all of you for your support. I promise to keep this going for as long as Bravenet will let me  (smile)

Happy New Year! Let's get it!

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December 31st, 2019

11:31 AM

Happy New Year's Eve ! (a look back at 2019)

The final day of the year causes different reactions from everyone who makes it through this special day. For one, it'€™s a day planned for a party later in the evening as the clock strikes close to midnight and the beginning of a new year. For others, it provokes feelings of reflection and remembrance. In this past year personally, there'€™s a lot to celebrate but it came with a cost. As you reading this may know, I suffered a stroke in July. Hours, days and now months after that experience, I don'€™t know where my life is going to lead. All I can say, it'€™s in the Lord'€™s hands.

This first year after the passing of my father, I spent more time in the company of young people who take education seriously. Those days on assignment were a welcome relief from the days spent in a house without my father in it. As his caretaker for years, the feeling of emptiness since his passing could have overwhelmed me were it not for the students who filled my days up with hard work and a smile. I look forward to 2020 with the same outcome as this year; a very positive and profitable one.

Moving forward, I plan to publish more books. It''™s been quite a long time, but I assure you readers the wait for new material won'€™t be long. Aside from the completed draft of Storm Over South Central, it has to go through the process a book goes through in order to be fine tuned, polished off and pushed out for public consumption. It won'€™t be the only one, there are other projects, other plans and with the digital age, a chance to create more literary works for the different platforms available.

For those of you who have sent cards, emails and prayers regarding my health, thank you. They meant so much during my recovery and I plan to continue on this process, this journey towards a healthier and happier life.

I didn'€™t want use this entry to talk about myself, since there are people who won€™t see 2020 with us. They'€™re gone from this earth such as the late, great Itibari M. Zulu, the man who offered me the opportunity to run the L.A. Black Book Expo for several years. He will be deeply missed by all who knew him.

Thank you all for your support! On to 2020!

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December 22nd, 2019

10:29 PM

Archive - From the Director's Chair: New Image Weekend

I returned from the New Image Writers bus tour and man, are my arms tired!

Well, I'€™m not THAT tired, but I digress.....

Many thanks goes to author and New Image Writers founder Martha Tucker for allowing Staci Robinson, Anjuelle Floyd, Pamela Samuels-Young, Mary Wilridge, Corlis Martin, Sheila Spencer, and some guy who tagged along, the opportunity to make a bit of history the past weekend of October 12-14, 2007. Personally, it was fun hanging out with such talented people and I can’t say enough about the love we received the whole weekend!

The bus tour kicked off inside the Four Points Sheraton Hotel in Culver City. We were treated to an inspirational song, a proclamation and some breakfast before we made our way to the first of our many stops, Spa 313 in Inglewood. At the spa, Martha insisted we speak to the patrons inside, talking up our books. Usually I would be nervous, much less shy in approaching strangers discussing my two books, but due to the advances made in promoting the Los Angeles Black Book Expo this year, I was able to read a poem or two. We were tailed by a local station, KTLA during our trip. They showed film of us leaving the Four Points and our time at Spa 313. We showed our appreciation by leaving our reporter on the scene books to remember us by. (poor guy, lol). From there, it was on to our next stop, the Inglewood Main Library.

We were able to have a discussion in the library about the purpose of the New Image Writers and even invoked a question from an aspiring writer who wanted to know how to break in the writing business. After we gave our new author tips to follow, we had lunch in the front of the library. I could see the looks and smiles on everyone’s faces. This was turning out to be a good trip and for the rest of the day during stops at the Crown Books in the Baldwin-Hills/Crenshaw Plaza, and Smiley’s Books, everyone was psyched for the next two days at the Black Writers Festival hosted by the Cameron Eugene Jackson Library.

For the rest of that historic weekend, you’ll have to log on to North Bay Media Review.com for the rest! (smile)

In retrospect, the bus tour was a great idea and I hope all new and aspiring writers out there with a positive message contacts Martha and becomes part of this brand new group out to make a difference. For the record, we can never have enough writers groups out there. If we as authors stress networking as a pathway to success, then groups like the New Image Writers, International Black Writers and Artists of Los Angeles and the California Writers Collective, are great to have.

Thanks to Martha, the New Image Writers are gonna do big things and to think, it all started at the Los Angeles Black Book Expo! The power of networking does work and they are living proof of that!

Many thanks to Algerita Lewis for keeping us on our toes the whole time!

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