Angelia Vernon Menchan

Angelia Vernon Menchan is an author, publisher and public speaker who owns two publishing companies, MAMM Productions and Honorable Menchan Media. Mrs. Menchan is also a Budget Officer and former Job Corps Counselor. To date she has published twenty-three books of her own work, both fiction and non-fiction and more than eighty ebook novellas on You can access her bibliography on search words: Angelia Vernon Menchan

Contact information:
Phone numbers: 904 714 2272 904 303 2679

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Thursday, February 21, 2008

What Inspires One To Purchase A Book?

I have been asking myself a lot lately what is it that inspires one to purchase a book,
Is it the cover, the blurb, word of mouth, the author's blog, website, what is it...
These days, for me it is mostly word of mouth and continually purchasing those writers I have always loved...
I check out websites, I read a few blogs, and I can honestly say that alone has never inspired me to purchase a book, not even the newest thing which is trailers, I view them, find some of them very entertaining, others less so, but to date I have yet to purchase a book based on that,
Then I pondered what used to inspire me,
And truthfully I purchase a lot less books than I used to,
Mostly because I review books and that makes up for a lot of what I am reading....
But before that I was pretty much inspired by the same things,
Word of mouth and purchasing books by authors I knew,
The word of mouth made up for the new authors,
I can remember when black authors started to fill the bookstore shelves,
It was the early nineties and I would go to the Waldenbooks in Millilan, HI and fill my arms with whatever books that came out by Black authors, during those times it was Terry MacMillan, E Lynn Harris, Connie Briscoe, Gwendolyn Parker, Sheneska Jackson. Eric Jerome Dickey, J. California Cooper...and the list goes on...
We didn't know what a webpage, blog or any of that stuff was, but man did I love books...
Today I asked a friend at work, (nonAA) what inspires her book purchases,
She told me, referrals and authors she has always loved, she also told me she browsed bookstores, used and new ones, looking for jewels...she also told me that other than my blog, and only because I tell her when I post it, she never looks at stuff online about her favorite authors and I tell you she has a lot of them, this woman purchases 10-12 hardcovers a month!
Then a bulb went off in my head, I thought about all the bookstores, particularly Black bookstores that are closing and I wondered if our desire for technology and bells and whistles is what led to their demise...because it is certainly easier to check out something on line and stay on line to purchase it....hmmm...
As an author we also wonder what it is that inspires people to purchase our books...
Is it the website, the blurb, the blog, the cover or is it old-fashioned word of mouth, or continued support of your work by those who have read it before....For me it's mostly the latter, word of mouth and continued support...and referring my work to others...I guess that makes me an old school bookseller in an everchanging world...I can live with that!


On and On and On...

I often wonder what it’s like to be ON all the time,
Sometimes I watch comedians and think,
They must be real quiet at home,
I can’t imagine what that must be like to have to turn it up to full volume,
All the time,
I can remember in my youth, I would have friends who had to be the life of the party,
They always had on the shiniest clothing,
Laughed the loudest,
Danced the wildest,
I would often wonder,
‘Does it take all that to have a good time?’
I see it nowadays with folks who are always selling themselves,
Not necessarily when they have a product,
But just constantly selling,
Telling the world how wonderful they are,
Seeming not to realize that usually that can be seen,
And doesn’t have to be told,
That’s the same crowd who never stop chattering,
Talking incessantly,
Cutting off anyone who is speaking,
Or sending all their emails in HUGE, bold letters,
Where does that come from?
This past weekend I was sitting with a couple of people and the conversation,
Never ended,
It was as though there couldn’t be any down time,
As soon as there was a pause,
One or the other would fill the air with words,
I was a tired sister when I rolled up out of there,
Some of my best times are with folks,
Who can converse with the best of them…
But know how to take a pause and allow the beautiful quiet to roll around them,
Many of the young people I talk to are like that,
They can allow no down time,
It’s as if there is a hurricane of words in their bellies,
And if they don’t spew them out they will implode or explode,
Gotta get heard, be seen, make a point, prove something...
That’s one of the biggest challenges, telling them they can get the same or usually,
Better results if they simmer down, slow down, listen to what’s being said,
Roll it around inside, allowing it to make sense, then responding….
It’s amazing how many good decisions are made under those conditions,
There will also be less apologies to make, because a well thought out response or reaction, will usually have a greater impact…with a lot fewer casualties…
So I tell them turn it off sometimes,
Take it easy,
All the good stuff takes time…


Wednesday, February 20, 2008

READ,,,Who Me?

The past couple years I have spent so much time writing books, reviewing books, talking books…but I never stopped reading books…so I temporarily forgot that there are lots of non-readers, who are quite proud of it, almost snobby about it….
This morning as I drove in, I remembered some of my non-reader encounters and had to chuckle to myself, glad it was still dark, because at some points I was flat out laughing…
I remember living in Kentucky in the early eighties, I was in my dwindling-twenties, with a two year old, living in military quarters…I had an interesting mix of neighbors, all ages, races, nationalities…cool…
However, there was the woman next door, a sister, who I enjoyed talking to, she was pretty funny, but she thought my life was a bit soft and by default so was I. One of the things that set her off was my reading….didn’t make sense to her…
One day a bunch of neighbors was playing volleyball, I love volleyball, right after basketball and before track, those were my sports….
I was invited to play…she of course had to chime in with…’She can’t play, she probably wants to read a book…”
I did of course go back to reading after we beat her team to dust, and I spiked all over her a few times…if you gonna bring game, I suggest you stop by Parker Brothers…
The next scenario was many years later, I was working on a Wildlife Refuge and one of my favorite things to do at lunch was read, most of the teachers, counselors, administrators found that a good time to gossip about the kids we were supposed to help and I didn’t want to partake…from across the room a woman chimed…
“I heard that readers live through others, they would rather read than do.”
Most days I would have waved her off but I felt I a little b#yatchy so I said,
‘Please share, tell me what scintillating, globe-trotting, avant garde activities you have partaken in lately, then we can compare notes…’
Psssssst, exactly, when you come to the fight, get strapped…
And the one that really tosses me these days is when a WRITER says, ‘I don’t READ’…
Whew…I haven’t even come up with a comeback for that one…
What I will say is that one of the coolest things about writing has been to introduce people who didn’t previously read to books….
So many people I know and by default people they know have read my work, many saying they hadn’t read a book since they were in school and many have been out of school for years…Cool
With my latest book, my greatest pleasure have been hearing parents say to me,
“This is the first book my child read or read in it’s entirety… one parent even said,
“My daughter usually watches trash talk TV when she is home, but she read your book and told me it was just as fun, but with a good message” Cooler…
But the coolest thing is when I walk past a group of youngsters and their eyes are fastened to the pages of a book and all they can concentrate on is the words on the page…
I take time to tell them what a lovely activity one they can take anywhere...
While they are sitting a bench somewhere resting from their latest athletic endeavors….they can read…
While riding in a car, sitting in an airport, flying through the air, or lying on a beach…
They can read…
Reading doesn’t take away from anything, it only adds to and enhances while expanding one’s mind…WAY COOL

Love and Blessings,

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Quiet Time...

I’m often asked how I refuel,
I guess that is a very valid question in these days of doing everything,
Multi-tasking, wearing of varied hats…
My answer is pretty simple,
I get quiet…
My preference is when I quiet down on my own,
But sometimes my mind and body will force me to quiet down,
I have always been one of those persons, who when not feeling like engaging,
I don’t engage, you can’t make me, force me or embarrass me into it…
Those who are close to me have come to accept it,
Some better than others,
But accepting is all I require,
Now by quiet, I don’t mean non-functional,
During those times I make sure,
I hit my marks,
Take care of my business,
But I don’t entertain much of the excess stuff,
I will respectfully decline invitations,
Extraneous conversations,
Saying, ‘No thanks, can’t do another thing right now’ or smile sweetly as I glide on by a conversation…
At home, during these times, you will usually find me in a corner of the sofa,
Feet tucked beneath me, coke or coffee nearby,
A book or three scattered around me,
This occurs rarely,
But it does occur and during that time I always ask my people,
Not to second-guess, read anything into it, take it personally,
It is simply a way of resting and rejuvenating the machine…
Sort of like a ‘Grown-up Time Out’…
We all need them…


Monday, February 18, 2008


Young people are so good at cutting to the chase,
Breaking it down,
This weekend Maya Angelou spoke in Jacksonville, she has been moving through the state,
This month and considering her age, almost eighty, that is amazing,
She is one of my Sheroes...
Anyway as some of you know, she is backing Senator Clinton for president,
And that seems to have set many Black folks on edge,
Hadn't bothered me a bit,
I figure that if one can't choose what they want to do at eighty,
When can they...
This is what led me to the young person's angle...
I was talking to one of my kids and we talked about the issues of voting,
I was asked how I felt about Dr. Angelou's stance,
And I said what I said above,
We all have choices as to what we will or will not do,
And making them is personal,
They of course agreed, but wanted me to explain,
Why is it that "WE" want everyone to be like, think like, vote like, US...
I really couldn't give a clearly defined answer, other than to say,
That is usually how we have won or attained most things,
By banding together, otherwise it didn't happen...
I was then asked was it right...
I honestly answered, 'It's only right if it's where your heart and research leads you'...
I went on to say, 'It's hard to change minds, hearts or history and if a group mindset is what has driven you, it makes if difficult to at a minimum vocalize opposite opinions. No one wants to be considered a sell-out so many who don't agree remain silent. And sometimes many who are vocal do something entirely different once they cast a ballot. It takes enormous courage to do what works for you, particularly when the majority is doing something different."
He said, "That is peer pressure at it's worse..."
Umm Hmmm.
I told him that was one of the things that had endeared me to Dr. Angelou years ago, I had heard her say, (paraphrased), 'We must stand on the side of what we believe and is the right thing even if no one else supports us.' At the time she was talking about if we heard or saw someone do something that didn't feel right to us....such as making a racially or sexually insensitive remark...
And what I knew for sure, is that when she took her stance as to who she was supporting, she was doing that, from her own perspective, she was excercising her CHOICES....


Saturday, February 16, 2008


Check out Shelia Goss 02/16/2008


Gwyneth Bolton 02/17/2008


They are two of out finest and most supportive!



Friday, February 15, 2008

What Is Up With That?

Yesterday I was home and when I am home on an unexpected day,
I read a lot of blogs,
Emails, etc.,
And yesterday, I had to ask myself, What Is Up With That?
There was a plethora of posts and conversations about feuds and percieved feuds,
Many were celebrity driven,
And those I blow off because we are only guessing,
About the whats, whys and wheretofores,
But around the blogosphere,
There were several posts about jealousy,
Lack of support,
In the world of literature,
And those always catch my eye,
But leave me stumped,
I am totally unable to wrap my mind around what's going on,
Because what I know as a reader,
Is that I will read whatever I choose to whenever I choose to and the only things,
Stopping me is whether I can purchase more books,
I feel intelligent enough to discern for myself what is a good book,
And if I want to read it or not...
I also feel that as diverse as we are there is room for all kinds of books,
As a writer,
The only person I compete with is Angelia,
My goal is to be the best writer I can be,
I don't even know how to label what I do,
So I call it what works for me,
My most recent book, Is No Not Clear Enough for You, I entitled Ageless Fiction,
My young readers call it Urban Christian,
My women readers are calling it Romance,
The elders are saying, 'It's about time...'
I am just grateful and pleased they are calling it....
Even though I say, 'What is Up',
The truth is I probably don't even want to know...
Because ignorance can truly be bliss,
And I live in a pretty nice neighborhood,
On a street called Oblivious...


Is No Not Clear Enough For You?

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Self Romancing


I know we are all going to give and get something nice today from our loved ones,
But it's also nice to do a little bit of self-romancing,
Take the time to do something you hadn't done for you in a while,
Do you take showers for the sake of expedience,
Then soak in fragrant bubbles and oils....while sipping on a favorite, colorful beverage,
Make sure the lights are low and the fragrant candles are burning,
Is it your normal thing to only eat salads at lunch,
Then make sure you treat yourself to something really calorie-laden and luscious,
I am thinking Ice Cream Sundae with toasted pecans, walnuts, sweet black cherries, chocolate shavings and real whipped cream...
Or if you normally only read serious stuff,
Find a lovely romantic read and get lost in the pages of the book,
With your feet up, dressed in your most comfortable outfit,
Try this,
Stay in bed with the covers up to your neck, with soft music playing (Sade, maybe)
while you do nothing but lie there, thinking of nothing of any importance,
Now all of you know this sounds mighty indulgent,
And isn't that what romance is all about indulging the senses,
And spending time with someone you love...
And real love starts with self love....


Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Love or Respect

Love or Respect, which is more important?
Well, to be respectfully loved or lovingly respected works for a sister,
But I am going to have to say,
It depends on where you are, and what you are doing...
One of the most exasperating things to me are those,
Who are looking for love in all the wrong places,
Work being one of those,
When I come to work, my goal is to get it done,
To the best of my abilities,
And to be paid well for my efforts,
If I have a friendship or two, then more the better,
But Love, uh uh…
Which brings to mind one of the biggest compliments ever paid me by one of my students,
Her name was Pleshur,
I will never forget the day I met her,
She was in orientation and attitude brimmed off her like paint fumes,
Immediately I understood,
She appeared to either have a birth defect,
Or she’d had a stroke and the side of her face was twisted,
I was sure she had taken a lot of hits from insensitive people,
I knew my work was cut out for me,
The first few months,
She would only come by as required, mostly to complain,
She didn’t like the dorms or the food and she hated being in the boondocks,
After all she was from the Bronx and we were in Oklahoma on a Wildlife refuge no less,
I allowed her to vent, I needed her to come back,
Sometimes when she wasn’t due to come by, she would peek her head in to get hard candies off my desk,
One day she took it upon herself to tell me, “Ms Angi, everyone seems to think you are all that. But not me, I really don’t even like you.”
Nodding, I simply looked at her,
“You wanna know why?”
‘Only if you want to tell me…”
“Just because I don’t.”
‘Okay…” She got up stalking out, making sure the door rattled.
She didn’t stop coming by and we had many conversations,
Often about her career choices, educational accomplishments...
But many times about how she felt about things,
I will never forget the day she left,
She came by to thank me…she had a couple things she thought,
She would never have, a diploma and was trained to be a medical assistant,
She looked me dead in my eye saying,
“I still don’t really like you and I don’t think you are all that…But…
I do respect you and I thank you…” I swallowed down a lump…
“You wanna know why?’’
‘Only if you want to tell me.’
“Because you always made me do my best and you didn’t care if I liked you or not, you still treated me right….” She sprinted off to catch the bus…
I stood there until I could no longer see the bus, knowing…
In that case RESPECT was better….much better...

Love and Blessings,

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Why Blog?

I have been asked the Why Do You Blog Q by many,
There are a number of reasons, the most truthful being,
I like to, particularly in this forum, in many ways it is like an online journal...
When I started writing, I didn't want to blog, not in the way that many did,
My son actually set up my Myspace account,
And while I enjoyed stopping by and commenting on blogs,
It just never quite worked for me, too much something...
I guess because it was work, any many ways it felt like another job...
About a year and half ago, though I wrote a local article, entitled, 'What Makes You Jealous',
And it inspired much conversation,
I was amazed at how that word caused so many to react,
As a result of that I had a stream of emails from people who wanted to explain to me why they weren't ever jealous,
Or confess that they were but they didn't want to call it that...
This went on for days,
Finally one woman suggested I start a blog,
Hmmm, still I wasn't sure,
But one day I sat down and researched it and a blog was born,
I knew I simply wanted to Ramble, so that's what I called it,
And I love it because I can 'talk' about anything,
And anyone who chooses to come by can and either join in,
Or they can glide by saying nothing,
I get emails from folks about my blogs moreso than anything,
Because I have learned that to many a blog is a lot like an answering machine,
Many just don't want to leave their voice print,
Other times I am sitting somewhere and someone will say,
"Girl I read your blog today, so and so told me about it and I just want to say, it is just what I needed today...'
That is the same way I post on blogs,
I have those I check and post on as often as they post,
The ones that inspire me, entertain me, enlighten me, or simply brighten my day,
Others I read and glide on by,
I understand the simple rules, everything is not for everyone,
And somedays you are going to hit your blog marks,
And other days....well you feel me...
Someone asked me how do I get people to participate...
I told them that I send out new blog post info to those who post regularly,
The others come and go...
I also told her that I only send it out once,
Folks know if they want to come by or not...
So I blog because I like to, sometimes it's just fun, other times it's like therapy,
Many times it's just a way to RAMBLE...


Monday, February 11, 2008

About A Book...

I want to thank Lady Gwyneth Bolton once again, for supporting my work, the interview is posted on her blog today...Gracias, Merci, Danke Schon and Thanks A Bunch...

New Review:

Title: Is NO Not Clear Enough For You?
Author: Angelia Vernon Menchan
Publisher: M.A.m.m. Productions
Reviewed By: Idrissa Uqdah

Ageless Fiction

What I expected to be a Young Adult title, turned out to be something that was a good read for women of all ages. Is NO Not Clear Enough For You? By Angelia Vernon Menchan is a quick-witted story about young people who are learning the real life lessons while struggling to stay in God’s grace.

The main character, sixteen year-old Malaaka Green is the daughter of a single mother who made some choices early in life that she is determined Malaaka will not repeat. Somewhat estranged from her parents since she became pregnant with Malaaka in her first year of college, Ava Green has done her best to make up for her mistakes. Her parents, from the old Christian school still have not been able to let go of the past and their emotional distance causes Ava a great deal of pain. Although they dote on their grand daughter; the elder Greens can not forgive Ava for what they see as her “fall from Grace”. Ava on the other hand has to learn to forgive herself.

Malaaka is a smart and sassy young woman. She is very focused and obedient with goals and aspirations. Although she is spiritual and very involved in the church; she still knows how to have fun and how to enjoy being a teenager. Malaaka also has a mind of her own and doesn’t bow to peer pressure just to be popular. And that in itself, is what seems to make her so popular and so well loved by teens and adults alike in her community.

This coming of age tale is positive reinforcement without being preachy. The author gives her teen characters a voice and the realism of today’s young people is evident in their actions. Yet; the storyline is full of good advice and mother wit. The adults in the novel are also very real to life and handle the responsibility of mentoring and nurturing the youth of their community in a very practical way.

This is a book that you will want to buy two copies of; one for you and one for your teenager. You will want to share the lessons learned and encourage the young people in your life to reach for their own stars while making sure that they make good choices for their lives.

I found Is NO Not Clear Enough For You? an entertaining read and a refreshing portrayal of an African American community that seriously takes on the adage that It Takes A Village To Raise A Child.


Friday, February 8, 2008

Work Like A Woman!

She Works Hard For Her Money, So Hard For it Honey....falalalala...

Sisters we be busy...
I tell you I don't know any women who aren't doing so many things at once,
Or maybe it's because I am too busy to see them!
A couple days ago at work, one of my friends walked into my office,
She wanted to tell me she had read my new book,
And since I always make time for that, I stopped to listen,
After several minutes she simply sat there,
So did I, it was so nice to exhale,
We talked about all we had going on...
Then she asked me the million dollar question,
"How do you do it all"...
I was immediately tired...
I told her about being organized, etc.
I also told her I take time for myself, pamper and reading days...
But having said all that, I knew it was true, I was working like a woman!
It feels like these days we aren't happy if we aren't mulitasking,
Racing off to the next great venture....
What up with that?
I don't know....
I have slowed down a bit this year,
I had to...
But still...
A few weeks ago, I was walking out of church with a couple of friends,
One turned to me saying,
"What do you do at home all day, now that your kids are grown?"
Before I could say anything or recover from the hysterical laughter bubbling from my throat,
The other started telling her all of my tasks,
At that point I had to sit down a minute...
She looked at me and said, 'Well she doesn't look like she works...'
Whatever the heck that meant!
Well work I do as does most women I know....


Thursday, February 7, 2008

Where are They?

I find myself periodically wondering where are they now...
In my personal life, I have met a gang of folks, from '78-99 we travelled the world,
Moved twelve times, met a lot of people,
Try as I might, I couldn't keep up, though there are a few,
Yvette, in Columbus, GA, hadn't had my eyes on her face since '92, but keep in touch,
Have a running communique, that's my GURL...hey YY...
Then of course there is music,
We all know, they come, they go,
I remember this song from maybe 1970, 'I know that I'm in love' by ChiChi and Pepi,
Loved it, never heard from them again...
Now the writer's game...
I have read a lot of books,
There were years when I was in some little European outpost,
With no American TV and a sleeping infant and it was nothing for me to read a book or two in a day...
There is my own short tenure as a writer,
I realized the other day that in March it will only be two years since I took up a place,
In cyberspace, joining groups, etc.
And in that very short period of time, I met a lot of writers, writers to be and wanna be writers...
And many have gone on to parts unknown...
Where are they?
What caused this nosiness,
Is one of said writers sent me an email the other day,
Telling me they had happened across my blog,
Saw me on the APOOO Author Salute....woo hoo,
And wondered what had made me stick it out,
After asking her why she stopped writing,
She told me a number of things, mostly how tired she was of the game,
Lack of sales, less than favorable reviews, etc.
So I told her, 'I stick it out because I am a writer, and writer's write. Long before I ever stepped into cyberspace, I was a writer, long before I published, blogged or did anything I was a writer. Not only that but I am a longevity kind of chick. Write or Die. I know that most things worth having or doing, takes patience, training, perseverance and a VERY THICK SKIN, when it comes to reviews or opinions on your work...mmm hmm. I was non-delusional, un-illusional, which didn't cause me to be I can hang around and do what I do. Not only that, I take most things with a grain of salt, tossing the remains over my shoulder... I only expect things of and from myself, though I am most appreciative of what is offered me in terms of support or advice, I know that at the end of the day, getting my work to stick is up to me. I also told her that there is a huge world out there beyond online and a writer can find ways to sell books, if selling books is the aim.' Silence....
Finally she thanked me, moving on...
So I guess the answer to the Where Are They Q, at least in the writer's game is many people leave when they discover it isn't easy, fame and fortune isn't automatic, that some people will love your work, others will not, and most importantly, that no one can do those things for you that you aren't willing to do for yourself...

Just Rambling,


Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Writer's Rites...

I have been reading a good deal about how writer's write,
What their rituals are,
And I love reading about them,
I guess I have rituals,
I always write straight into my computer,
I am always writing in my head, and until my memory fades,
That serves me very well,
I forget very few things, to the chagrin of family, friends and foes...smiling...
I also need music when writing, but music is always playing around me,
In my car,
On my laptop at work,
In my head,
Other than that I simply sit down and start writing,
Allowing ideas to unfold, as I type,
When I am tired I get up and walk away,
I have been asked about writer's block,
Not sure I have had it,
However, when a story is going nowhere,
Or sometimes when it is going everywhere,
I will eighty-six it, until a later time,
Some stories I have never come back to,
I knew they probably didn't need to be told,
I have folders and folders and more folders of untold stories,
One thing that inspires me is snippets of conversations,
I love when I can visualize what someone is saying,
Then make it come alive on the page,
One such phrase occurred when I walked past two women talking,
Woman one said, "He left me"
When woman two asked why, she said, 'I cry too much'
Immediately I visualized this man coming home everyday to a wet face...
I could literally see it unfold before my eyes, a large, sad face with leaking eyes,
I literally saw him packing, not feeling good about leaving,
But knowing he wouldn't stay...
Immediately a story was born,
Now whether I will use that in a book or if it becomes a book,
Remains to be seen but I will use it in someway....
That is one of this Writer's Rites...


What Will It All Mean?

We are living in amazing times, politically...
No matter how this all turns out we will have seen so many firsts, yet again...
I have always been intrigued by firsts...
In lesser ways I have done a few first things,
And I never knew how to feel when it was pointed out to me...
Happy because it was me?
Or distressed because it was usually such a simple thing, surely some other Black student, person, woman had done that?
Yesterday it felt particularly poignant, as I sat in a staff meeting, there were twenty +,
There was a tap on the door,
Someone opened it and the Black fedex guy walked in to get the machine signed,
He looked at me, then looked again, my instincts told me he wasn't double taking cause I was cute...
I could see the startled look on his face,
Then it occurred to me,
My goodness, I am the only Black person, or person of color in this room,
Hadn't given it much thought in years,
I am excited by the possibilities,
And the implications,
Last night as we heard the GA returns come in,
One of the talking heads found it intriguing that Senator Obama,
Had not only cleaned up with the Black vote,
But had cleaned up with the Male vote, crossing racial boundaries,
Intriguing times indeed,
I can't wait to see how it all plays out,
And I am waiting with bated breath to see...
What Will It All Mean...


Is No Not Clear Enough For You?
Signed copies, Free Shipping

Tuesday, February 5, 2008


Many friends my age ask why do I bond so well with the youngsters,
I usually laugh saying, "Because I am a child at heart..."
And that is true to some extent,
But the greater truth is I love how open young folks are,
Open to love,
Open to embracing differences,
Open to belly laughing,
Open to dancing to inner music,
Open to eating weird food,
Open to at least trying new music,
Reading a different kind of book,
Open to change,
Just open to living,
An open mind is a beautiful thing,
Even the most hurt kid, will try something new and different,
I love watching the light come on in the face of someone who has just experienced something new,
Eyes shining,
Giggles bubbling to the surface,
I have friends like that who are my age,
But mostly the ones that occurs with are the young people,
I guess it is because they haven't become consumed by appearances,
Aren't yet bogged down by what folks will say,
One of the things that makes my heart soar about today's youngsters,
That group between thirteen and about twenty-five is they truly embody,
"You Do You, I Will Do Me and Together We Can Just Be'...
And that says a lot, because I understand that to mean,
I will allow you to be you,
And I need you to allow me to be me,
And together, with all our differences,
We can get something done,
I like that...


Monday, February 4, 2008


Positive reinforcement is one of the top five things a parent can provide for a child,
Love, food, clothing, shelter, positive reinforcement…
After years of talking to young people and have them talk to me,
I have learned that our kids are often what we say they are…to them…
Children who hear messages of empowerment are empowered,
Kids who hear messages that they will never amount to anything,
Will many times fulfill that prophecy…
Of course there are exceptions to every rule,
But my experience and observations have born this out,
One of the most startling things to me when I was a Job Corps counselor was discovering, there were parents who didn’t want their kids to do well,
Who would actually tell them they didn’t need advanced education,
Or who would block them from opportunities,
I struggled to wrap my mind around that, until one day a parent revealed it to me by saying, “Well he has a high school diploma, I never even got that, so why does he need college or the military, he doesn’t need to get too big for his own good…”
A light bulb went off in my head, the wind went out of my sails and I am sure the ‘mad’ vein was pulsing in my throat…I wanted to scream, ‘This isn’t about you!!!’
But I knew it was, because this person was unable to reinforce success to her child, because she was too busy comparing what she hadn’t done to what the child would possibly do!’
I was amazed because I was of the mindset that in order to preserve all of us, we would have to encourage the next generation to do even better than we had.
I recall a my son’s seventh grade teacher telling me my son was cocky,
I asked why, because if he had been disrespectful, I was going to handle him…
She told me, ‘No, he is very respectful, he just thinks too highly of himself. He feels he can do anything. He told me you told him he could.”
‘I sure did tell him that…he needs to know that the only thing that stands between him and his dream is a pillow and he can do anything, anything he chooses to do. I am sorry as an educator you find that cocky.’ Her eyes didn’t quite meet mine after that exchange.
I am sorry but I told my kids, my nieces and will tell any kid who crosses my path that their success is available with belief, hard work and perseverance….
But they also need someone in their ears, all the time, POSITIVELY REINFORCING them, telling them they can do anything…Because They Can!



Is No Not Clear Enough For You? @