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

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

What Were They Reading?

I love hearing people talk about books and what they got from it,
Truly proving that what one gets from a book or anything is what they bring to it,
I have a friend, El, you know who you are, who gets really worked up,
She asks me how did that happen and why did the author do this or that,
I always have to tell her I don't have a clue,
I am also fascinated by those who take away something totally different than I did,
Or when I really love it,
And they didn't,
Or they were really caught up in it,
And I wasn't feeling it at all,
I often think, laughingly,
"What were they reading?"
I am so sure they thought the same due to my responses,
Though I am not much of a dissector, I do love feeling as though,
I know the characters and can relate to them,
If non-fiction, I read to learn, to know, to be enlightened,
And while those things can surely occur in fiction,
I mostly read to relax, enjoy and to be introduced to new characters,
I particularly love those books who bring back characters,
But in different settings,
Allowing fans to get to know them differently...
I always think of my favorite character, Cinnamon in my own books,
Everyone one who has ever read about her see her differently,
Even differently than I wrote her,
It is so interesting when I hear people describe her,
Some found her powerful and empowering,
Others found her needy and dependent,
Some said savvy,
Others said not savvy at all,
Many could relate to her and her struggles, many thought she had no struggles at all,
Even more wanted to be like her vocally,
Some said, 'No way, while secretly wondering what it took to get it like that,
Still others said no way and meant it,
As the author,
I would often say to myself,
Listening to them talk,
"What in the world, were they reading?"
Then I knew,
They were reading it how they thought, wanted it, or felt it should be,
That's cool...
They were reading!


Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Love's Profits...

Ask anyone who has ever kept a diary, journal or who loves placing words on paper,
If they love to write, and almost every time the answer will be a resounding,
No one loves writing more than I,
I have always been a writer,
Carrying around a notebook,
Usually a simple bound one,
That I can jot down words in,
The other day I was looking around my home office,
And throughout my bookshelf were journals, notebooks and more journals,
Years of observations, musing and straight up crazy thoughts,
I have passed on that love of the written word to my sons,
You will almost never see one of them without a notebook of some type,
Writing lyrics, screenplays, notes or something…
However, the question these days becomes, does a writer write for love or money,
Most die-hard writers will immediately say,
For love,
And they will be telling the truth,
But the truth also is that when a writer decides to publish their work,
The intent is to get paid for what they have written,
Otherwise why publish,
I have heard many pundits rip authors a new one,
When they discover they have made a ‘commerce’ decision,
Indicating that if they were truly writing for the love of the written word,
It wouldn’t be about money,
It isn’t just about money,
But I kid you not, once the decision to publish is made,
The intent is to get as many people as possible to go into a bookstore,
Online or author’s website and pay to receive a copy of said author’s work,
That is just how it is,
Otherwise we could all write our stories and offer them up for free to everyone,
So the question becomes is it for love or for money,
I will step out on a limb and say, both in most cases,
Most of us go in knowing that as writers,
Mostly we will keep our day jobs or have other sources of income coming in beyond our writing, but we also want to earn something for our efforts,
However, die hard writers, such as myself will continue to write even beyond the days,
When people are paying for what we are writing, because we were writing before anyone was paying,
But we must keep it real, if we decide to publish our work,
The intent is prayerfully that someone will purchase it,
Don’t let anyone tell you any different…


Monday, April 28, 2008

Are You Ignoring Me?

I have been accused of ignoring…
And I promise you I’m not,
In fact in my immediate family,
My man and my sons,
They call me the Queen of Ignoring,
According to them (sic) I pretend to not hear them,
They are wrong, I don’t pretend at all,
I simply don’t hear a lot of things,
As I have mentioned many times,
I live on planet oblivion and many things,
Just don’t penetrate and infiltrate,
Especially messy stuff,
I can remember my boys disagreeing about stuff,
As long as they kept it respectful,
I didn’t much care, because there is nothing better than a good debate,
However if voices rose in anger,
I would move in swiftly to nip it in the bud,
The same is true with work,
When I get in I usually plug in my CD of the week,
Allowing it to play softly in my ear as I work,
Anthony Hamilton, Kindred, Yolanda Adams and many others have been lifesavers...
Sometimes I hear doors slamming,
Or tapping heels, racing up and down the corridor, or occasionally raised voices,
I usually slide my door gently closed on those occasions,
But mostly I don’t hear it, because I tuned that out years ago,
Recognizing it as drama and a plea for attention,
No time for that,
The same is true when sitting down with family and friends,
If we are laughing, talking, sharing or even vigorously debating,
I’m down,
But the minute that we start signifying,
I turn a deaf ear,
And start writing stories in my head,
Or singing a mental song,
Knowing that they will nudge me
When they get to the good stuff,
It means that I usually am not privy to much of the goings-on, blessedly...
And am glad about it,
Don’t have space in my head for all that,
So the standard answer to the question,
Are You Ignoring Me?
Is no, I’m just mentally removed…


Friday, April 25, 2008

The Newness!

I love discovering new artists,
It is a joy when I can peel back the pages of a book and discover new words from a new voice,
Or open a CD and feel myself floating away wrapped up in the melodies of a new singer,
I remember eight years ago, I attended Much Ado About Books, here in Jacksonville,
Colin Channer was one of the Authors, I purchased, Waiting In Vain,
I didn't get to it for a couple of months, because I had books galore,
But a couple months later, my mom was having surgery and I sat reading it, for hours,
And he took me away, gaining a fan for life, forever and ever,
The same thing happened last year, one of my APOOO sisters told me about a writer,
Named Kwame Dawes, I ordered his book, She's Gone, discovered he was associated with,
Colin, still it took me a couple weeks to get to it, found myself in Oklahoma in a vicious rainstorm, sat down to read a few pages and was mesmerized for hours, thanks Dera...
A couple of months ago, I was in Starbucks, getting my early morning infusion of caffeine, also was splurging on lemon poundcake,
As I waited my turn, I browsed through the CDs, say a CD by Lizz Wright, entitled,
The Orchard...decided to purchase it...
Well let me tell you, that young sister's voice is absolutely amazing,
I have allowed everyone to listen to it,
And everyday when I get to my office,
After I do some spiritual reading, preparing for my day,
I press play, allowing Ms. Wright take me through the day,
Wow I love the Newness,
Discovering New Talent and telling folks about,
Who and What have you discovered,
And have you told anyone about it?

Have a Wonderful Weekend,
Love and Blessings,

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Get Some!

Last week I spend a couple days learning a new system for work,
Two days of intense hands-on-training,
I can usually learn from the manual,
But I love hands on,
Gives you a feel for what you are doing,
It was the second workshop I had attended in as many months.
With my counterparts from other offices,
Most of them I know by sight and name and from mass emails,
But mostly I don’t know them, we are scattered all over the southeast and we are busy,
Particularly now in these days of doing more with less, less people that is,
On the second day I broke bread with one of my friends,
We had a long lunch,
She told me, ‘Your counterparts are very curious about you.’
“About me, why?”
‘Well, you don’t say very much, just work on what you are doing and mind your own business, also there is the buzz about you being an author and all.’
“Well that’s fine, but if they are curious about anything they can inquire, otherwise they need to GET SOME…”
‘Get some, girl what are you talking about?”
“Get some business, anyone who has time to be curious about my business, need to get some business of their own. When one is busy, consumed with handling their stuff, there isn’t a great deal of time for curiosity.” We laughed for several minutes.
‘You scared me, I didn’t know what you wanted them to get.’
Flying home later that night I thought about our conversation, realizing that idle minds really are the devil’s workshop because when a person has nothing to do that fills their time, not to mention their souls, that leaves an inordinate amount of time to ponder other folks’ activities. Idle gossip and speculation has always caused my eyes to glaze over. Now watching people and making up my own stories is something else altogether that gives me book food, allowing me to write my quirky characters. But, I witness to you, I have never spent an iota of time wondering what people do in their down time. Whatever it is okay with me, particularly if it brings no harm to me, mine and others and especially if it fills their life, their business is just that, their business. And you know why, because, I GOT SOME!

Love and Blessings,

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Writer Woman's Prerogative...

One prerogative of a woman is to change her mind,
And I change mine constantly,
I try new things, new ways, ponder new ideas and then
I do them, once I have decided it works for me,
One of my other prerogatives is to keep my mouth shut about what I’m doing,
It irks many in my life,
People seem to have the overwhelming need to know,
And I have this belief system that I tell people what they need to know,On a need to know basis,
I think back to three years ago, when I was writing fervently,
Didn’t know what I wanted to write,
My goal at that time was to be a short story writer,
Maybe publish some shorts in different magazines,
Freelance a bit,
I did that for a while, had a few things published,
But all the while I was working on a novel,
Not talking about it to a living soul,
I was praying about it and talking to myself, a lot but real quiet,
Stunned quite a few people when I actually showed them an actual book,
In fact that is what people would say,
‘Oh my God, it’s a real book…”
I then went through this transformation of what I was going to write,
That was also quite quiet, until I was ready to tell folks,
I am once again undergoing a Sea Change,
Deciding how I want to get my work out there and through what means,
It is like music playing in my head,
And once it has been spoken, and the decisions made,
I will then spring it on people,
I have to often say,
I’m not trying to be secretive,
But I am more about a fait accompli,
When I say I’m going to do a thing,
I want it to be a done thing,
Being about it,
Not just talking about it,
And when questioned, I love saying,
That’s a Writer Woman’s Prerogative!

Love and Blessings,

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Slowly, but Surely...

I am really taking my time with Schae's Story,
I am enjoying writing it,
Seeing how Schae and the people in her life develop,
How a woman who spent her life being one-dimensional or so everyone thought,
Will reveal who she is layer-by-layer, while discovering herself...
At every event or every time I run into someone who has read my other books,
The question is always,
"When is the new book coming out?"
Even when they asked me a few weeks before, Smiling Gleefully
I smile and tell them I'm working on it,
They always try to interject a date, as though that will hurry me up!
I love that, the love and the enthusiasm,
Because I know it says that someone, somewhere really love the work I have done,
When I wrote the first five books I was literally a writing machine,
Two books in 2006,
And Three in 2007,
It was as though I couldn't stop,
Now after psychoanalizing myself,
I know what it was,
I needed to get books out there,
To keep myself visible, a sort of cosmic fear of not producing,
More importantly I needed to find that one book that I wanted to take my time and promote, fervently with,
Everything I had in me,
Is No Not Clear Enough For You ?
Has been that book and I know, Schae's Story, will be the same,
So please give a sister a little time,
Allow me to do this thing I'm doing,
Until I know it's time,
At the same time getting Schae's Story, right and tight,
And I promise you when I am done,
I will bring it!

See Ya Next Week...

Love The Love,

Monday, April 14, 2008

You Know Me?

One of the things I find most amusing is how well folks think they know you,
Especially if they have seen something you have written,
I rarely if ever engage in conversations about people I don't know,
In fact I try not to say much about people I do know,
But that's another Blog for another day,
The reason being is because I KNOW I can't look at people,
Or listen to their music,
Or watch them on television or in a movie,
Or read their books and start acting like we are PEOPLE,
Because I don't know those people from a can of paint,
Lately, though I have run across people who just know they KNOW me,
Based on a character or characters in my work,
People have called me the Female Black,
Or Cinnamon Personified,
Or crept up whispering if Alexandra is my altar-ego,
They will argue me down as though we have been joined like siamese twins since birth,
Amazing and Amusing,
This weekend someone made a startling observation,
They indicated that I only came off as quiet,
Because they had read my work and I certainly wasn't quiet there,
So I must have been faking being quiet in some way, I guess because I hadn't had a conversation
With them...
I was taken aback, because one thing certainly had nothing to do with the other,
That is why many writers write,
They are very self-contained people,
Who instead of allowing the characters in their head to take over,
The place them nicely on paper and between the covers,
I have to say ocassionally, 'It is fiction!',
Cause my goodness if I were as many people as I have written about,
I wouldn't have time for my ownself (ownself is a down south word, me loves a lot)
I would never get to my reading, writing, or arithmetic, not to mention living...
As such I am flattered that my readers find the characters believable enough that they,
Can't accept that I could possibly create them,
But create them I do,
It's what I do...
And thank you very much...
I think...Grinning...


Leave 'Em With Some Choices...

One of the questions I get asked most these days,
Is does promoting abstinence work?
I tell people of course it does, but only if with all information,
I then patiently explain that what I am promoting is way more than abstinence,
I am promoting true Choices…
So many people get ‘Choice’ twisted…
Choice is more than choosing to say yes to certain activities,
But it is also choosing to say no to those activities that don’t work for you,
Or those you aren’t prepared to deal with,
Or that you just "Straight Up, Flat Out', don't want to do...
We live in an age where one in four young women have contracted a sexually transmitted disease by the time they are eighteen years of age,
In minority communities the statistics are even more startling and frightening,
I also believe that young people, men and women should be provided information about protecting themselves, from disease and unwanted pregnancy and by no means does this mean, make only your daughter responsible, boys are just as responsible or should be,
My sons were taught that the place to father children was within a committed relationship, preferably a marriage…
They were also taught that it wasn’t a girl’s responsibility to protect them from anything,
Many ‘religious’ parents think that providing information is condoning promiscuity,
Well they had better know that not telling them is condoning Chlamydia, unwanted pregnancies, herpes and AIDS, possibly early death,
Because if telling your children what to do and having them do it worked, then we wouldn't be having this conversation, now would we?
At a minimum it means missed opportunities,
And please don’t come at me with the,
‘If we did it they will to’…
That is probably the truth, but if we’d had adults who were willing to tell us the TRUTH,
And not try to sugarcoat and oversimplify things then maybe,
WE would have made better choices, valued ourselves more...
Because we pass down that which we are taught,
And if many of us are honest, I mean naked in the mirror honest,
We all know there are things we wish we’d had the courage to say no to!
Most importantly we are going to have to teach our young women,
That self-worth starts with self and that:
Male attention is not going to make you worth anymore than you already are,
And if you are asked to do anything that you truly do not wish to do the only answer is No, because saying NO others is saying Yes to You…
As I live and breathe, I know it’s true!

Love and Blessings,

Friday, April 11, 2008

Getting the Books Out!

I will be out this weekend, talking about and selling out (prayerfully)
of Is No Not Clear Enough For You? Talking about this book has been a joy, it is so wonderful to talk to young people about my work and have them respond through reading it and talking about it. For many years I thought about what my ministry was....I talked about a lot of things, did more things, allow other folks to opine on what they thought I should be doing, but I know there is nothing I love more than to relate to young people, have them relate back, get insides their heads and hearts, allowing them to give voice to all that is real, honest and complicated within them! How awesome is that. And what a Blessing for me...
Saturday I will be at:
Shiloh Metropolitan Business Expo 2008
1118 West Beaver Street
Jacksonville, Florida
10 -2
Come out and join us there will be many business-owners
And Prizes galore...
Grand Prize is a 4 Day Cruise.
Bless You All and May You Find Your Passion!

Thursday, April 10, 2008

LOVELY, Just As You Are!

Yesterday I was talking to a young friend of mine,
She is going to be twenty-nine this year,
Very lovely professional woman, who loves acting and singing,
Has a beautiful voice and an even more beautiful spirit,
But is plagued with insecurities,
Body size and other stuff,
I can usually tell when she needs to talk, she will show up at my door under some other guise,
Once she gives me whatever is in her hand, she will stand there,
Thankfully yesterday I needed to slow down a bit and had some time…
We talked about a number of things,
A play she is in, my books and then we got to the real stuff,
She asked me had I always been as confident as I am now,
I told her the truth, mostly, then, I asked why,
She told me the way I carry myself and how I seem so removed and outside of stuff,
I told her that I am removed,
Work for me is just that work,
My life is outside of here,
Then she asked me if I competed with others,
I had to ask, ‘Compete for What?’
Then she told me anything, she told me she compared herself to this one or that one,
It broke my heart because I knew that was one of the most self-defeating activities on the planet,
Making comparisons is WASTEFUL,
There is always going to be someone smarter,
More talented,
More successful, whatever,
So the thing to do is focus on what you have, what you bring,
Enhancing that and being completely unconcerned with what others have or are doing,
She smiled, asking had I ever been competitive with others,
I said, “For sure, when playing basketball, spades, running track, playing scrabble…my intention at those times is to annihilate my opponents.” We had a good chuckle.
“But beyond that no, I was raised with a good dose of reality and common sense, and my focus was always to be the best, Angelia I could be and the world had better know that if that is enough for God and me, it’s enough for them. And Sweetie, you are absolutely lovely.”
She thanked me walking away,
I knew that what I had said was just a bandage, because the world had told that woman-child,
That her curves were too much,
Her hair should have been blonde and not brown,
And she should have been taller,
But I was glad that she felt she could talk to me about those things,
Because there was a time when the advice of a Black woman probably wouldn’t have been her first choice…


Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Don't Make Me Ask...

One thing that I try to do is keep my word…if I say I am going to do something,
I don’t want anyone to have to ask me again,
I can hear a couple of my friends snickering,
Thinking of lunch dates that I didn’t make,
But I am talking business, okay :)
Anyway, I have learned to say no when no is the answer, or stay quiet when I know I can't do it,
As with many things it was a lesson I learned from my kids,
When they were seven and one, I was trying to be superwoman,
Work ten hours days while being mom of the year,
One day I remember it was the end of the week, an over fifty hour week,
Daddy was in Africa for a month,
And I was tired, I had gotten them stuffed full of chicken, broccoli and applesauce,
And in the bed, all I could think of was to sit down,
Feet up, knocked out,
After smooching them I headed out the door,
I heard my eldest say, “Mommy, don’t make me ask you…”
Turning I wanted to whine, “What…”
His eyes were filled with tears and a lopsided snaggle-toothed grin on his face,
Laying on the bed was the, “Amazing Bone”…
A book I had read thousands of times, maybe zillions...
I immediately understood, I needed to read that book,
No matter how tired I was, that was the deal…
He didn't need to ask me that...
I must admit I am a bit more cynical when people tell me they are going to do something,
If they do they do, if they don’t, no harm, no foul,
This past Sunday I was sitting in church and a woman who I had seen for years,
Sat down next to me, we had never really talked,
Immediately we started chatting, it was good,
Someone else came by asking about my books,
After they left, she asked me about my writing,
Then she asked about how did I adverstise,
She then told me she was the Governor for a major organization and they were accepting ads for an upcoming publication, for a major event, but the deadline was in four days,
I thanked her profusely, saying I could get it done…
She told me she was leaving town the next morning but would get me the info,
Then she said,
“God directed me to sit next to you.”
I said, “I know, that is how it’s been for me lately.”
Communion started,
Afterwards I thanked her again,
On Monday I forgot,
However, Tuesday came and I remembered,
I also remembered how busy she was and what she had going on,
I thought, next year…
Within minutes of that thought, my phone rang,
Even on her way to a funeral she had passed my info on,
Having someone else call to take my information,
I was so pleased,
And touched…
And thankful that the Blessings flow and sometimes you don’t even,
Have to Ask…

Love and Blessings,

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

What it Do?

What it do?
That is as grammatically incorrect as it can be, but it’s one of my favorite phrases. My youngest has said that to me for years upon greeting. It can mean anything in the family of, how are you? What are you doing? What do you want to do?
So this morning I’m going to ask ‘What It Do?” in terms of where you are right now, and where you would be if you could choose?
I am sitting at my desk, deciding which pile to tackle first,
Human Capital Issues,
I must do them all because they are a part of what I am paid to do,
Now what I would be doing if I were doing what I really wanted to do,
Is this, and do it I will,
I would wake up about seven, instead of four-thirty,
Have coffee with my man,
Chatting, unwinding, preparing,
Then about nine am I would open the doors to,
“The Young Sisters of Power Place”
Yes people, I already have a name for it,
It WILL be a place where young sisters between the ages of
12 and 18 can come for tutoring, social skills and academic enrichment,
However, that is just a part of it,
Mostly it will be an environment of love,
Peace and safety, from an ever-changing world that devalues their worth,
Where they can be as young as they are,
Where birthdays are celebrations,
And chastisement is done with loving correction,
They will be able to embrace their inner-diva,
Exploring career paths and lifestyles that are about who they are,
With those of us who know, love and appreciate them,
Who can remember once being like them,
A place of spiritual enrichment,
Where you are taught to do what you love and what is soul satisfying,
Of course I will be writing, writing, and reading,
That is what it do for me!
I talk to a lot of people who are at a crossroads,
Not sure of what they want,
Or where they are going,
Jetting here, jetting there, never sitting still for fear they will have to think about,
What it is...
Or are so trapped by what they think they want,
Not knowing if they get it,
Unless it does that soul thing,
They will always be seeking that next thing,
But I talk to a lot of others whose faces beam with,
Peace and satisfaction, because everyday when they get up,
They are doing that thing or those things that make life good, better, great…
They know what it do?
Do you?


Monday, April 7, 2008

The Reviewed!

Yesterday I was talking to an acquaintance about books and book writing,
She asked me about writing and about reviewing,
First she wanted to know how could I review a book, particularly one that I didn't like,
I told her to define like,
She said, 'Not your cup of tea,'
I laughed because I love all kinds of tea,
Which is mostly determined by my mood,
Well-written contemporary, women's fiction is my favorite tea,
Closely followed by literary fiction tea and timely non-fiction tea,
However, on any given day, I will change tea and tea time,
So, when doing a review, I have to take "Me" out of it and read the book from the,
Perspective of how well it was written, did it make any sense, engage me, enlighten me or entertain me...
Given that criteria, I feel I can write a fair review,
For me most books have fallen into the 4 range, average to above average,
I have encountered few true 5s,
And very few below 3s,
But that is all opionion I grant you,
If I truly can't fairly review a book, I pass it on,
She then asked me how I deal with reviews,
I told her with a grain of salt,
As with anyone, I love favorable reviews,
And no one has ever bashed my books,
At least not within my hearing range or so that I could see it in print,
But I have been told that most of that kind of thing is usually undercover or the infamous off-loop...I try to avoid all of that,
With my first book, many reviewed it on the storyline,
Those were good reviews,
Others reviewed it on the style and editing and those were average reviews,
I found them all to be fair,
The best reviews I have received of course are from those readers who tell me how they felt or how my work impacted them or even what they didn't like,
Those are the ones I learn the most from and the ones I remember when writing the next book,
I also tell writers who are not feeling how I have reviewed them,
'When you place your work in the hands of a reviewer, going in understanding that the reviewer can only review from his or her perspective, and that in most cases it is business and not personal. Always adding my true belief that everything is not for everybody, and as writers we have to constantly remind ourselves of this. Tea is a preferred taste in it's variations.'

Love and Blessings,
Writer, Reader, Reviewer

Saturday, April 5, 2008


Happy Birthday my beautiful niece, 04/06

Enjoy your day, living fully, joyously, prayerfully,

Aunt Cynt

Friday, April 4, 2008

Going through...Gracefully...

I am always fascinated by folks when they talk about what they have been through or are going through,
I don't talk much about that kind of thing,
Because I am truly a 'Pray about it and move on kind of girl',
I have horror stories the same as everyone,
Plenty of them,
Many occurring as a very young girl,
But even then God had placed something in me,
That allowed me to pray, forgive, learn from and move on,
And the same is true now as an adult,
I was talking to a friend this morning,
And she asked me how did I do it,
I asked what,
She mentioned illnesses, deaths and stuff that had occurred in my life in the years since she hand known me,
I told her just what I mentioned above,
She then told me that when she had met me nine years ago I looked 'pampered',
Like nothing had ever occurred bad in my life,
I giggled and sent up praises,
Because I knew it was only through Grace,
And that personality quirk I have of forgiving and moving on,
And trying as hard as I can to learn from the transgressions,
Sometimes it's a challenge for me when folks go on and on and on,
About how unfair this is or how unfair that is,
Particularly when they are talking about self-inflicted situations,
But I listen and don't try to state my case,
Because we all go through differently,
But I will say the journey is better, when you travel by faith,
And with Grace...



One of the things I love doing is giving, unexpectedly,
Particularly my new book,
Wherever I go, I have a few copies with me,
And when you have SOLD books, you can give away books,
I remember at Christmas time, my book was fresh off the press,
I was purchasing a suit for my man,
And chatting with the woman in the store,
I asked her if she had daughters, she said one, aged fifteen,
I told her I had a book for her, I ran out to get it,
When I gave it to her, and after she read a few pages, tears came to her eyes,
She then told me her daughter, 'had been in a situation',
Some man had approached her improperly,
The girl had been flattered, made a wrong decision,
And she was trying to get her to learn that no was an option,
My heart thudded in my chest, I told her to have her call me,
She did,
Another time I placed my book in a young woman's hands,
She was eighteen,
Four hours later she called me,
These were her words,
"Ms. Menchan, I have been through a lot, in fact I have been mad at God for allowing me to go through some of what I have, but, reading this book which was fun and spiritual, has me reevaluating my spirituality and looking at some things differently."
I didn't say anything, she had said it all,
This morning I woke up tired as a junkyard dog,
But I had to get up, time for my semi-annual mammo,
When I got into the office, a new woman was handling me,
All over the office were pictures of a beautiful young woman,
As she mashed me, telling me to relax and hold my breath,
I asked was that her daughter,
She said, yes, I asked her age,
She told me fourteen,
Reaching in my bag I asked if I could give her my book,
I told her what it was about,
Allowing her to quickly read a couple of chapters,
Looking up, she smiled,
Thanking me saying, "You can't even know how much this means right now."
I had once been a fourteen year old girl, so I had a bit of a clue...
I told her to have her daughter call me,
Again she thanked me,
I walked out a bit more energized,
I usually do when I can give just a little something,
No matter how small,
Because what I receive is huge....


Thursday, April 3, 2008

Paradox, Who Me?

Below is the definition of a paradox, via Webster;

3: one (as a person, situation, or action) having seemingly contradictory qualities or phases

As such I am going to have to embrace the paradoxicality in me,
I look conservative most days, particularly in a professional setting,
Hair up, pearl earrings, skirts (a little snug),shirts and cute flats for style, comfort and speed,
However, once home the pins come out of the hair and attire relaxes completely,
A paradox’s decompression,
The same is true when it comes to my working,
Budget Officer, in charge of the budget, Oh, yeah,
Then there is the work I love,
Writing books that are a bit edgy, making folks laugh, cry, talk…for real…
With characters who embrace and live life fully with no apologies to anyone,
Married woman on a ledge,
Spiritual girls refusing to hedge,
Brothers shamelessly loving a sister,
Not caring who knows or what anyone says,
That’s how I do,
Then there is the art versus commerce dilemma,
Do I write for the love of the written word?
Of course I do,
But do I want to be paid for the work I produce that many have professed to love,
You better believe it because I am a B-Woman from the word go,
Been that since the cradle,
Will be that to the grave,
Because what I know for sure is that we can do a lot of different things,
From the same source,
Without selling out or giving in,
Or following trend,
But we must be willing to defend,
The paradoxical woman within…


Wednesday, April 2, 2008

In The Mix...

I try to mix it up in every area of my life,
That is made crystal clear when you look at the people I call friends…
There couldn’t be a more diverse group of people on the planet,
To be my friend I require honesty, fairness, open-heartedness, open-mindedness, a sense of realness and the ability to laugh until your side aches,
I don’t care where you went to school, who your people are, how you look, how much money you earn, where you live or if you have a pedigree or not,
Most of the time this works beautifully, but occasionally it doesn’t work at all,
There have been times at work when my friends would try to get together and well it didn’t work a twit,
A few weeks ago, a couple of my friends came together by chance with me,
And immediately I could feel the tension,
We were discussing an issue,
One was on one side and quite vocal about it,
The other was on the other side and not as vocal, but the eyes and mannerisms told the story,
I was somewhere in the middle per usual and could see both points of view,
But chose to stay mum,
It worked itself out, but man was I tired at the end of that conversation,
That is one of the main reasons I love story-telling,
I can add all of these diverse, different thinking, different living people to the mix,
Allowing people to see how differences can work,
Painting a picture that we don’t all have to be alike,
To get along,
I am here to tell you that some of the best times of my life have been spent with people
Who are as different from me as night is from day,
But we respect each other and are willing to embrace and enjoy what the other brings to the table,
And also be willing to agree to disagree,
Not allowing it to tear us apart,
I have many friends like that,
One who is more like that than most is my girl Nicole,
We have similarities,
But so many differences,
She brings me homemade Lebanese food,
I will pass on some soulful food to her,
We can talk about, argue about, agree or disagree about anything,
But at the end of the day or the conversation we are as cool as frozen lemonade,
Laughing about the absurdities,
Willing to start each conversation fresh,
Without the baggage of the old stuff,
We also know how to keep our friends who don’t quite click away from each other…
We are by definition, mixing it up beautifully…

Blessings and Friendship,

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

It's What They Say...

I often tell people that my mama raised me, they say, ‘Of course, she’s your mama!”
I tell them, ‘Oh no, it’s more than that, not just food, clothing, shelter and teaching me how to tie my shoes, she really raised me, with common sense lessons.’
I’m telling you my mama poured common sense down on me like holy water,
Made sure I was soaking, dripping wet with it,
Much of it I didn’t get until years, even decades later but I got it and it serves me well,
One of her simplest and most poignant messages was, “Listen to what they say when they are talking about others.”
When she said that to me, it didn’t make a bit of sense,
Not one bit,
However, it all came to pass,
Over the years I discovered what she meant,
It didn’t take too long to figure out that when folks put down someone from different races, I knew,
It wouldn’t take too much to interject my race in there if I weren’t in the room,
Or if a man talked about women fast and loose,
Or skinny people put down well, less skinny people,
Well you see where I’m going,
I have learned the same thing as a writer, especially a writer, who has chosen to publish her own work,
I keep my mouth closed and my ears peeled,
And without fail,
The truth will be spoken, many times in the guise of talking about ‘those writers’…
What is so amazing to me is how much people will say when you say nothing,
I guess that’s how the slaves learned so much,
They would serve the food,
Not saying a word,
But soaking up all that was said,
Not forgetting anything,
Formulating a plan,
Who Knew?
That’s why I tell folks to be careful what they say and do in front of their children,
Because the lessons that they keep aren’t necessarily the ones you are trying to teach,
But the ones they get when they are listening and looking,