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 amazon.com. You can access her bibliography on www.amazon.com search words: Angelia Vernon Menchan




Contact information:
Website: http://acvermen.blogspot.com
Email: acvermen@yahoo.com
Phone numbers: 904 714 2272 904 303 2679

Thursday, December 30, 2010

EXCERPT FROM ZEN COOPER WOMAN-CHILD GHETTO-GENIUS



“Whoa baby girl, you need to watch where you going.”

Zen had been walking and reading, and not paying attention. She had walked smack dab into Crazy Charlie. Charlie Jones was a very tall, muscular ex-Vietnam veteran. Zen knew he wasn’t really crazy, but was playing a role. She wasn’t afraid of him. Charlie was part of her community.

“Sorry Charlie…” she grinned at him and he grinned back. He treated her like a little sister and everyone on the block knew not to mess with her.

“Girl what that you reading?”

He grabbed the book from her and was surprised to see what it was.

“Dang girl, that’s some heavy reading for a little girl like you. Seem to me like you would be reading romance novels.”

Looking straight up at him, she rolled her large eyes.

“Now Charlie, you know I ain’t got no time for no romance novels. I have every intention of getting up out of here and romance ain’t gon’ do it.”

He smiled. He loved when she tried to talk all slangy. It sounded funny to his ears.

“So what grade you in now?”

“I’m in the tenth grade…”

Shock and surprise showed on his face. He knew exactly how old she was and that she had just turned fourteen. What she didn’t know was that Crazy Charlie was her father. Her mama had told her it was someone else and he went along with that because he thought it was better. But he had always looked out for her and half of his ‘crazy’ check was placed in her mama’s hand each month. If anyone were to look really close, they would be able to see it. The curly hair, the Indian cast to the face, the height, but no one was looking. Not even Zen and that was a good thing. The name Zen had been his choice.

Friday, December 17, 2010

BOOK and LIFE ISH



I am up at 5 am, writing and having coffee, it takes me back 5 years when I was finished with Black's Obsession, was sitting reading it and did not have a clue what it all meant if anything....one month later I published it, unbeknownst to the world and here we are 10 books later and still growing...Who knew, only God, to be sure.

Because that first book of mine was an unedited mess, however, it was mess with a message that seemed to resonate with people, a message that Black men were about more than the media portrays, they LOVE, TAKE CARE OF THEIR FAMILIES, ARE EDUCATED...

That Black Women are honored, revered and are practically worshipped by their men, their children, those in their communities...

That it really does take a village to raise children;

More importantly, it was about humans, flawed people, people who make mistakes, have affairs, have same sex desires, go to church and still mess up, but while doing all those things they try to do better, become better, live better...it was a book, but much like life...

That is really all I set out to do when I started writing, tell stories about life...complex people with choices and decisions and who overcome and sometimes fall short.

I didn't have an idea of numbers or ratings or reviews and didnt care a hella lot, guess what I still don't. Because what I did was stay true to what I knew and know and tried to give the best product I knew how.

So every time someone purchases a book or books, asks me to a book club event, or to do something online or to show up and speak to someone, I am still surprised, pleased and feeling blessed to do so. Because I didnt plan any of this, I listened to myself, and mostly to God who has always said to me, 'My child, do your best, while believing on me and I will do the rest.' I am trying to be an obedient child.

LOVE AND PEACE!

angelia

Thursday, December 16, 2010

BITTERSWEET



CHRISTmas is on of the bittersweet times for me. Sweet because I do remember the reason for the season, always. And I love shopping for my loved ones and cooking the traditional meal, the cook each year, ham, greens, mac and cheese, potato salad, cranberry sauce and my now famous coconut cream pies. Also, it should be a blast this year to see my granddaughter's face when she sees her gifts. As usual we will spend time with the kids, go to church and drive down to visit family. All good stuff and mighty BLESSED...

The bittersweet part is that I miss my mom and her funny, loving ways. The way after all was said and done, we would sit on her porch, Mench would be with his family, the kids off somewhere and just she and I would talk and laugh, and talk some more. Also that coconut cake was the best. Now I feel a bit lost, spending time with my aunt, sister, niece and all is wonderful, but a certain ummph is not there.

Spending time with my inlaws is also nice and they treat me like family, but that lady with the grey 'fro and the laughing eyes is irreplaceable.

By the end of the day I am usually happy for all that has transpired but glad the day is over...

I know I am BLESSED beyond measure, a big fine man who loves me, really cool kids, an awesome grand princessa and am able to do mostly what I wish to do...I just really MISS that unconditional, total love thang I shared with my Mama...Ms. Ora Lee...

LOVE AND PEACE!

angelia

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

I LOVE IT, I DO...




Last week, I went to Spartanburg SC to talk to Teen Mommies Read, my RAWSISTA, Kim Floyd had asked me if I would and I told her I would love to. Talking to young sisters is a passion of mine. Something I would do for nothing at all. Because what I know for sure is that if there had not been a battalion of women in my life who cared about me and my future, God only knows. I could see after talking to these young ladies; how much they knew, thought they knew and would have to learn. I also saw love, pain, inertia and uncertainty...I saw real live women-children who had become mothers much too young and needed someone to be as honest with them as they could in as loving a way possible. I tried.

So, although I know, {someone made a point to tell me} that it is just a little something and that I will not be around these girls on an ongoing basis, that will not stop or hinder me from doing what little I can. Because what I know for sure is that sometimes we can simply plant seeds and though it might look like the ground is not fertile and nothing will grow there, sometimes it does.

It has been years since I was a Job Corps counselor but every now and then, some kid who I said something to will send me a note, email, facebook message, saying how some little thing I said made a difference. And that is really all I am trying to do, not change the world, make anyone do anything...just strip myself bare naked and share what I have encountered, learned, experienced, messed up on and overcome. That is all...

Be PEACE!

ZEN COOPER: WOMAN-CHILD/GHETTO GENIUS, coming January 19, 2010.

angelia

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

THE SKIN I AM IN...

I developed a rather tough skin by the time I was thirteen, I was in a rather precarious home situation, a lot of things was going on around me that I had no control over and to deal with it I had to toughen up, not allow situations to mess me up...

Now by tough skin, I don't mean hard, things still touched my heart, I still cried when I was hurt, laughed when something was funny...but I learned to not let what people say about me or those I love, change the course of my life and for that narrow window of time, people had much to say.

I literally forced myself to walk with my head high and my sights on the possibilities of a life that lay ahead.

By the time I was fourteen, I had a job,in a fast food restaurant, yep,money was money baby...I went to school, made great grades, worked about 20 hours and week and saved ten percent. And the thing is this, no one was necessarily telling me to do any of these things. I KNEW, that if I wanted a life beyond what I could see, those were the things I had to do.

I can recall so many days I walked to work, rain or shine and the few nights I walked home down pine street, turning on to broadway, because that was the only way I could get to and fro. And I didnt allow anything that anyone said, to deter me.
I recall someone saying, I was working in a stupid job, a smiled and patted my real leather handbag I had bought with my own money that held my bank book...

I recall the people I worked with wanting to know more about my life, my family, our business...I had nothing to say, because I knew even then not to get down like that...

I recall leaving that job at 17 and moving on to another job with a scholarship for college classes, while still in high school and having Mrs. Jones tell me it was because I was smart and she knew I loved the skin I was in.

I am saying none of this to brag, but to inform that sometimes, no matter what our circumstances are, and I had plenty, my mom was in a relationship that consumed all her time, the place I was living consumed young people and turned them to lawlessness and the like,but I knew even at the tender young age that I was that I didnt want any part of any of that.

I wanted a life filled with work and respect and a semblance of honor, I wanted to be loved, but needed to love myself first, I wanted to be cared for but needed to be able to care for myself, I never wanted a man to say to me, 'If it were not for me, you would be nothing...' So Iworked, I presevered, I loved and believed in me and walked please to be in THE SKIN I AM IN...guess what, ain't nothing changed but the weeks on the calender...

Be Blessed!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

LOVE'S MANIPULATIONS

I woke up this morning, praying and thanking God for how he has Blessed me. It has nothing to do with things, or never having any trials. Because there have been times in my life when I had almost nothing and the trials have been many. What I am thanking HIM for today is Love and being loved and never having too many expectations of anyone other than myself. I have never felt I had to prove my love to anyone by doing anything I didn’t feel was right.

I can recall talking to so many of my girlfriends back in the day who had sex with this one and that one. I asked why to one of them and she told me, ‘Because they say I would if I loved them…’ I can remember asking her, ‘Well if you loved them, did they love you and if they did where are they now?’ Of course, she had no answer, because what they were doing was manipulating her. Playing on the innate desire that people have to be loved. It has worked since the beginning of time.

And that kind of love manipulation doesn’t just play out in the man woman-thing. I see it at play in families. One of the things that used to really bewilder me about some of my family members was if they didn’t like a person, they didn’t want me to like them either. Well, sorry for that, I am a thinking human being and my liking or disliking a person was MY choice.

Then I see it with people telling their grown children who they should love, marry, have children with. I have seen so many relationships with real potential break down and fall apart because of meddling family members.If you see a family full of divorces, dig a bit,you are bound to find busy bodies. People who think they are looking out for their good of their ‘children’ when in fact they are simply trying to exercise their will. I often wonder if people even realize or understand how UGLY that is. I don’t think so, I think we are living in a culture where people are just downright meddlesome and they want things to go their way and they will do any and everything to make it so.

The if you love me you would syndrome…

Well. I will say if you love me you would leave me to make my own decisions, with the understanding that if I mess up, it is my mess up, the same as if I triumph, it is my triumph.

Me and my husband often talk about what has led to our marriage being a success and we count Love and faith, but, we both know that one of the biggest things was that we kept people out of our business and for the formative parts of our marriage we lived away from both sets of family. If we were broke, we were broke, if we argued we argued, if the kids misbehaved, they misbehaved and other than prayer and working together we didn’t discuss it hither and yon, we dealt with it in our home. Because we knew that talking to our families would just force them to take sides and once they did all of their mad feelings, based on what we had told them would rain down on our lives.

What we did was when one of our family members had something, anything, to say against the other, we put them on brakes, told them to mind their business, that it was our marriage and that we would not allow anyone to speak badly of the other.

I recall when I was pregnant with my youngest son, my husband went home to a funeral without me. I was feeling extremely pregnant and some kind of way. So off he went with my eldest son. I stayed in bed all day. When he got back, he told me my mom had confronted him. I was shocked, we had been married seven years by then and she had never done anything like that. I immediately got on the phone and called her, telling her to never meddle in my marriage and that if she had any concerns she should have called me. She apologized and told me she was sorry and that it would never happen again. And it didn’t and from that day forward as before, she treated my husband with respect because I would not allow her to do it any different.

I have said all this to say that if someone is meddling in your business, saying to you, if you loved me you would or disrespecting you or your marriage, only you can stop it…by not talking about it with them, not going to them with your mess, not making them feel they have any say and mostly by not compromising yourself…those who love you, really love you and want what is best for you will behave accordingly…

BE BLESSED!
angelia

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

GROWING WRITER-WOMAN

I had to smile this morning when I opened my email, there was one from someone who has Purchased and read everything I have written…it was asking when was my last 2010 book coming out. I smiled because I usually always have a book that comes out right around the end of the year.

Actually, my latest book last year came out in September, which was Mrs. Black? But the momentum from the book transcended time and was selling very well at the end of the year. It was a follow up to a series I had started in 2006, it was the feature of several book clubs and RAWSistaz had it as one of the holiday reading challenge books.

In previous years, Is NO Not Clear Enough for you came out December 1st 2007 and Schae’s Story: A Woman’s Transformation came out December 1st 2008, so I totally understood the question.

But, this year I am in a different place, have gone through sea changes and am not as compelled to force out a book because it is a certain time of the year. I am now in a place where I can take my time to write and publish books as the stories occur to me. I have absolutely no worries that if I don’t plunk out five books a year, the masses will forget about me. I have become more GROWN as a book writer and I know that those who wish to read what I offer as a writer will wait with and for me. And those I have yet to reach will be there also, because God has always shown me what faith brings.

I am forever GRATEFUL to those who have been there with me through all the books and supported me as I grew as a writer and as a person who writes. Every single day when I pray I give THANKS for that.

These writing changes are mostly indicative of how this year has allowed me to change as a person. I have spent much of my life, compelled to do and over do for anyone I love. This year has taught me that we can do and overdo to our own detriment and most importantly that because you do much does not mean the people will value you any more. I have asked God to intervene with me in those areas and to allow me to follow my heart and do that which is best, not that which is expected and though I have suffered some growing pains, it is occurring.

So as this year winds down and the new year cranks up, I am working on my own growth, as a child of God, a woman, a writer…and all things inclusive in that…

Be BLESSED!
Angelia

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

WE ARE DIFFERENT...


If there is one thing I have said ad nauseum over the past month is, PEOPLE are different.

Black people are not only different than other races, we are also different one from the other. The same applies to women, women are not all the same and they will not respond to stimuli in the same way. I become very exhausted in these conversations where the automatic response is, ‘If that had happened to me I would have done such and such.’

Maybe you would have and maybe you would not have, but at any rate, what does what you would have done have to do with what I would do, should do or might do. Let me say this, nothing. There are some universal truths about a certain group of people but individually we differentiate.

One conversation I was in had a much older woman saying what she would have done in the case of another older woman’s situation. I blinked, because I knew she was just talking and didn’t have a clue. I also understood that there was no talking to her, because she genuinely believes her way is the only way…Whew.

Then there was a discourse about how women should respond when they ‘think’ they know what their man is doing; OR even thinking, egads! I had to interject in this one to be sure. Because running amuck based on thoughts when you could be dead azz wrong just might speak to the relational divide we are suffering. And besides is a man and a woman at least; at a very minimum entitled to their thoughts? Because God knows if my man were to have dismissed me for some of the thoughts that have run through my mind, he would have curbed me years ago. For real. When in the world did we need to be that in control? After awhile all I could say was, WE ALL DIFFERENT, WE ALL DIFFERENT…LALALALALA….

Another was a simple discussion on food. I said I didn’t like beans, unless they were green beans. Oh my God you would have thought I had said I was going to dance naked in the square covered in chicken feathers. They questioned my ethnicity. Saying all Black people like beans. Umm not me. They questioned my upbringing, saying THEIR mamas made them eat whatever she cooked. Umm, mama did too. With the beans she usually cooked meat and rice, so I ate that, with no beans please. And here is the one that gets me every time, the ‘now that you have a little money’ mantra. Umm no, didn’t eat beans when I was broke as a joke, just ate more rice or potatoes thank you very much. Again, we are ALL DIFFERENT…sheesh.

I actually do get folks wanting those they love, like,or are forced to be around to have some commonality. We usually do, women have womanhood, black folks have blackness, readers have books, writers have words. But, that thing that makes us, profoundly us is usually those quirky idiosyncrasies that make us stand out and define us one from the other.

However, I have come to the conclusion that in many cases it isn’t a simple wanting a commonality but to simply have folks cosign and agree with us, even when we don’t. Folks just want to control something...

Well, my LOVES, that ain’t going down here and LOVE YOU, I do…
Be Peace!
angelia

Friday, November 19, 2010

No is a GOOD THING...

The other day I received a text from one of my girls, she told me she needed two copies of the 'NO' book. I knew she meant Is NO Not Clear Enough For You? A book I published exactly three years ago, with my main readership being young women. She wanted a copy for her {22} and her sister {15}. I told her the MamaDeep delivery system would get it to her. That is the one book, that I have given away more than any. And though one reviewer found it a bit preachy {oh my soul} most reviewers and more importantly,READERS, love the story, a young girl who has found what empowers her to say no to things she is not interested in AND a way to reach other young women. Because to me NO is a most powerful word that frees you from burdens and allows you choices...

As a teen coming of age in the early seventies, I know for a hard cold fact that if I hadn't said no to all the grown ass men, who were trying to get at me, or all the alcohol and drug use that was abundant at the time, who the heck know where I would have been. Instead I chose to say yes to good grades, working a job starting at 14, reading books and mostly me.

Now, in my 50s, which are the LOVEliest years...I am still having to learn to excercise the NO word. Because if I did not I would never have anytime for me, I would work 7 days a week, write 12 books a year, cook gourmet meals each day, see my mentees all the time, purchase every book everyone I know writes, attend every online venture anyone is having...give all my money to anyone who asks...

It is true...I kid you not...but having learned to say...Umm I am tired and taking of this afternoon...need to regroup....
Or I am so grateful ya'll love my work but this write or die woman really needs to publish less books...
Or honey, please stop and get some food on YOUR way home, I's tired...
Or children, I love me some you...but umm no...
Or if I attend some of your events or buy some of your stuff; it doesnt mean I love you any less....
And finally, the acmenchan atm is closed until much replenishment or perhaps even longer....
WHEW, that felt really good and makes me KNOW, NO is a good thing...

Go on Try it...

LOVE AND PEACE and the POWER OF NO!

ANGELIA

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

CHOICE, BEAUTIFUL CHOICE...

I love a good discussion; revel in a debate, but I don’t want anything to do with a conversation that is focused on bashing or forcing a mindset change. I have changed my mind many times, and there have been times when it was based on a good conversation or debate, but never because someone felt that the only way to see things is their way and if you don’t, they will resort to street-fighting.

I have seen a good bit of this over the past week as voting occurred and with the release of the Tyler Perry’s new movie, ‘For Colored Girls.’ The way I feel about voting is that all of us as right thinking, caring about our future adults should exercise our God given and hard won right to vote. I also believe that even if we look similar and have similar histories and circumstances it is our choice who we vote for.

As individuals we get to choose. We may not agree, may have totally differing reasons for our choices, but we do have the right to choose. We also, alas, have the right to choose not to vote. It breaks my heart that we don’t see how important our votes and choices are, but here again is choice and I am not going to get in a bloody nose battle with someone after the voting is done because they didn’t do what I wished or my way. What sense does that make, ultimately. Don’t change a dang thang.

As to movies, I am bemused and amused by how wrapped around the axle we get about THAT. I read For Colored Girls who have Considered Suicide 35 years ago and loved the poetry, filled with pain and some hope. As to the movie, I plan to go this week with an open mind and heart. Only because I wish too. I have also been fortunate enough to engage in some intense, rollicking, agreeing to disagree conversations about it, where regardless of how people felt they remained respectful. One of my faves had several men opine about why they weren’t interested in seeing the movie. And while I didn’t necessarily agree, I totally felt it was their right to chose.

Now yesterday I saw several, can I say rather unNice and downright contentious debates going on and I chose to glide on by. Because while I felt everyone is entitled to their opinion, I don’t get down with slinging mud for mud’s sake. I also don’t feel it is my place to tell Mr. Perry how to produce and direct his movies. The man knows what he is doing and he is wise enough to know that everyone is not going to agree.

I am unsure why people feel they can tell writers what to write, singers what to sing, designers what to design and directors what to direct. There is a simple solution you know to all of this, if you don’t like it, don’t spend a dime on it.

Seems so simple to me, though it seems that MY PEOPLE, yes I said it, feel we have the right to tell everybody how to do their own thing, whether we are doing a thing or not. And to those of us who have our own artistic endeavors, we might want to be mindful, because the next thing getting bashed might be our thing…

Be PEACE…
angelia

Friday, November 5, 2010

REVIEW FOR DELILAH by SHELIA GOSS



5*****

Delilah by Shelia Goss, is Ms. Goss’ debut as a Christian fiction author and what a debut it is. Delilah is a naturally beautiful woman who has been hired to bring down Samson, who is the Senior Pastor of a growing church and engaged to be married to Julia. While on someone else’s mission Delilah makes the ultimate error and falls in love with the handsome pastor.

On the other hand, Samson knows he is weak for Delilah but his focus is on marrying Julia, who he considers to be a Proverbs 31 woman, thus perfect wife material, but Delilah had other plans. I absolutely loved how Ms. Goss fleshed out these characters and never made the good characters too good or the not so good ones beyond redemption. She literally made me care about what happened to them and had me praying for some and rooting others on.

From the first words I was captured by the storyline and loved the naming of the characters and the tasteful way she wrote about the characters shenanigans. The book was highly entertaining, yet never lost sight of the Christian message. I recommend Delilah to those who love Christian fiction and to all readers who enjoy great writing and story line.

Delilah was provided by the author for review purposes

www.sheliagoss.com

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Some Bitter with the SWEET...

One of the things I learned early on is that if you take the sweet, you will have to swallow some bitter. Just the way it is. A few weeks ago I was at a book conference and when I was done speaking one of the sisters asked, who mentored me, since I mentored so many. For several minutes I was speechless.

Because it occurred to me that in the past several years I had been left mentorless. My mom died in 03, my godmother in ’04, my aunts Elouise and Sadie in ’05 and with a couple of teachers, those had been my mentors, nurturers and more importantly the women who gave me a bit of bitter with my sweet. They all told me how smart I was, in some cases how beautiful and what I was worth. But, baby, they all especially, mama, aunt elouise and my godmother they straight told me what I needed to work on, straight up. And when I think of them, I smile at some of the things they said and how they said. So, finally, I answered, 'they prepared this child in the way she should go..."

I recall when I went to work at 14 and I was going on and on to mama about what the lady I worked for had said, mama looked at me in that way she had and said, ‘Angi, that is all well and good, but don’t let that white woman fill your head with a bunch of foolishness, there are a lot of things you can and will do, but the one thing you can never do is change the brown skin you in.’ and she said it hard!

My feelings were slightly singed, but there were so many times over the years, I had to thank my mama, for ‘keeping it so real.’

Then there was my aunt elouise who would just jack you up, out of nowhere and remind you where you came from, she would make you homemade biscuits or sweet potato pie, but baby, she would cold-cock you with her cutting wisdom. Her motto was, ‘no matter what your man got, take yo ass to work.’

My godmother on the hand thought I was the chosen one and made no bones about it, she was there when I was born and helped wash that proverbial ‘veil’ off my face. She would give me the man talks, ‘Don’t take no wooden nickels and sex should be as pleasurable for a woman as a man…”

I miss those women who loved me soft and hard.

Now as a mother, mentor, grandmother, friend, et al one of the hardest things but necessary ones is when I have to pull off the gloves and just say it. Because we are not good mothers or mentors or friends if we always say what they wish to hear….
We have the responsibility to tell the loving truth…

“We have to say son, I love you, I do, but you need to get a damn job! Also, don’t make any more babies you cannot raise.”

“Daughter, you look real good in those tight jeans, but you better make sure what kind of message you want to send. Because I know you think it don’t matter now, but one day you will need to be more than fine.”

“Girl, that is really a cute handbag, but you know doggone well you cannot afford that when the light bill is due and Christmas is coming.”

“Child, love him all you want, but love yourself more and when someone anyone, tries to get you to do anything that is not right for you and if they say, you would if you love me, say, ‘Hail to the no…” and get gone.

“Son, pull up your pants when you go on a job interview. I know that’s the style, but you need a job not prove to anyone how hip you are.”

Because I kid you not, if we just give them the sweet stuff and none of the bitter, they are going to be so unprepared for the world, because the world is not going to mollycoddle them.

But remember they also need some sweet with the bitter. The goal is not to beat ‘em down but to build them up, realistically…

Be PEACE!
angelia

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Sometimes we just WRONG...

This morning I woke up thoughtful. Wondering if people ever think, ‘What if I am wrong…” I know I have thought it on occasion…(smirk).
What started this train of thought was yesterday I was having a somewhat heated exchange with someone and her words to me was: “I want to be right.” I said, ‘I know but sometimes you aren’t.”

After a lengthy conversation and us cooling down considerably, she admitted that there were many components of what I did that she didn’t know at all. Nodding, I had to say, “So please do me the favor of not pretending to.” Her face reddened and I further expounded by saying, “you often nod your head when I am telling you something or say I know, when I know and you know that you don’t know and that is a conversation ender for me. Because, why should I try to explain if you know.” She nodded and admitted that she had already resolved that she would do better. Well, alright.

She also knows that when I don’t know I will freely say I don’t and then I will research and take classes or courses until I figure it out. And if I am wrong, I have LEARNED as hard as it is to say, ‘I was wrong.’
And that is what set me to thinking about how much sometimes mess up in our quest to be right at all costs.

If we make a mistake in hurting someone, do we go back and say, ‘I was wrong…”

If we walk away from a job, that we need really badly, do we even try to go back and say, “I made a mistake I was wrong.’

If we have always done something the same way, over and over again and continue to get the less than great result, do we even admit to ourselves, ‘Damn, I am wrong and really need to do something else, or do we continue to do that wrong thing, hoping that at some point we will throw it against the wall and it will finally stick.’

I know for myself that I feel so many internal changes going on inside me and there are some things I have had to flat-out admit I was just wrong about. And that the only way I can do better, be better, live better is to admit my wrongs, ask for redemption and move on. And to work every day, trying to be less, and do less wrong as I go and when I am wrong be woman enough, to admit my wrongness each time…

Because I am not so much focused on being right all the time, but moreso on being wrong less…

Be PEACE…
Angelia

Monday, November 1, 2010

THEY WANT TO....

One thing I have learned over the years is that people want to keep you in a place where they feel most comfortable. Their memories are based on a time when you were how they wanted you to be. And mostly I surmised, to my chagrin was when you were more dependent on them or in a lesser situation.

I laugh hysterically sometimes when I have a family member say, “I know you”…in some kind of way. I laugh because I have not lived for any length of time around any family member in over thirty years. For twenty plus years I visited every couple of years and in the last eleven, usually three or four times a year. And if they were asked to describe me, usually they would describe a teenager or very young woman…because that is how they remember me and for whatever reason that is what they are most comfortable with. Because the truth is we can only usually ‘see’ growth or change if it is of some advantage to us.

The same is particularly true when you are on a spiritual walk. Everyone who knew when you drank, cussed or were up to some other shenanigans are lying in wait to remind you of when you were more ‘wordly’ and will call you hypocrite quicker than they can call your name. Because they knew you when. I kid you not, I have heard people mention someone’s transgressions that are decades old just to try and keep them in their place. I must confess I had to learn not to be hurt by that when someone I love, who professes to love me would fling out some remark about how ‘you used to not go to church, ‘ or you used to be real partial to ‘gin and juice.’ All of which is true. But, I also used to be a newborn baby and not have any gray hair….and as sure as that changed, so can a person.

Actually I understand, because the truth is this, if we are stuck, we struggle with someone who we deemed to be just like us to change. Sometimes, I see people staring at me when they don’t think I am looking, as though they are trying to figure out what the hell happened. And I have literally had people ask, ‘what motivated you to school or that career or to stay married or to write books or to mentor or to…’

Because they literally cannot understand how it happened if it didn’t happen to them. I tell them that faith and work and staying focused did it. Grinning, I say, ‘That even when I didn’t go to church, I believed and prayed. And even when I loved my gin and juice a few times a week, it didn’t stop me from going to school, work etc and doing what was expected of me.’ That usually garners a few shocked giggles, because they weren’t expecting me to be that honest. And then I usually get the standard line, ‘You were always so smart with your head in them books anyway.” True that.

This past weekend I was at the funeral of my aunt, who was almost 100 years old and I saw many people I hadn’t had my eyes on in, probably 35 years. I could literally feel my face burning from the stares. A couple even asked me, “Girl, where in the world have you been living. And how did you get away from here and stay.” I basically smiled telling them that I am in town quite a bit, just don't venture out far from the family. Some asked what I had been up to. I gave them a simple response. “Praising, loving working, trying.”

And that is what I tell the young people I talk to. That one of the hardest things to do is change, be different than those you love and who love you. Because as quiet as it is kept, everyone who professes to love you is not always deliriously happy when you do something different than what they are doing. Whether it is leave home and never move back, or write books or stay married or learn to love Jesus. So try not to take it that personal while on your journey of growth because at the core of it, it is not about how they feel about what you have done, it is how they feel about what they have or have not done. Just sprinkle love and prayer over them like holy water and keep moving….forth.

Be BLESSED…
Angelia

WWW.ANGELIAMENCHAN.COM

Thursday, October 28, 2010

MY GIRLS....

This morning driving across the bridge, with the lights twinkling below I had my mind on my girls. Those girls who I have most contact with and how they are growing.

There is my Princessa, who at 20 months of living has been walking over a year and talks up a storm, she is so smart, funny and charming…and has so much personality. I love watching her ‘read’ and talk on the phone. I also love the way, when she is tired, she climbs on her NaNa’s lap and snuggles, smiling…

Then there is Princessa’s mama, my daughter in love Posh, who I have literally seen grow before my eyes in the last year and a half. She is pint-size feisty and walks like she is running, but she is smart, vulnerable and tough. I love how she is learning to navigate life’s waters with her head held high and though still easily hurt, she gets up each day and makes it work as wife, mother, and WOMA N-GROWING…

When I met my stylist Gabbi, though she looked like a baby, I thought she was in her late twenties…I almost fell off my chair when I discovered she was barely in her twenties. She is so cool, calm and collected and not to mention has her own business…styling hair and making potions that soothe and heal the skin. But inside is a girl-child who has been through so much and reached out to me, asking for guidance and being willing to open up and listen, absorbing like a sponge…

Shanieka has been in my life for years and she is my child-friend. She has a certain pained fragility but that never stops her from working, doing and planning. And she gives as good as she gets, sometimes we will go months without talking and then out of the blue she will stop by leaving flowers on my doorstep and other times we will agree to disagree…

Phe, my mentee at work came to the game with mad skills at such a young age, but she also brought heart pain and over these past three years I have watched her bloom, blossom and become the fierce capricorn chica that was hiding under that 'tude...able to laugh, live and love...

But what I was thinking this morning was how fortunate I am to have these girls in my life, who trust me with their hearts and business…who I love and who love me back…IT IS ALL GOOD…and I am so GRATEFUL that God has decided to place these girls and all the others on my life path so that we can all learn something….

Be PEACE…
angelia

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Right-Sizing

This past Sunday I watched a televised focus on those who are running out of unemployment after 99 weeks, which is the maximum that one can receive. It was heartrending in so many ways...but I also saw the inherent message inside the pain.

I thank God that my husband and I havent been directly impacted by job losses etc, but we have been impacted indirectly because it has touched our children and loved ones.

However, as sad and as discouraging as it is and has been, there is so much to be learned. There is the lesson that most of us can live on less than we ever knew. Many times it is about prioritizing. The Man and I actually have game plans for if the bottom falls out. We have literally sat down and discussed how we we would handle it and what we would let go of if one or both of us lost our jobs. Yes, we have, without either of us having lost them. Because we know that nothing is promised to us and that on any given day, in any given life the bottom could fall out.

Truth is, if you get up in the morning, and you are alive, then the battle is not over...if you switch the light switch in a house, any house and the lights come on...count it all joy...if there is a loaf of bread and a bottle of water...well you feel me...

It is so easy to get caught up in what you don't have, but the reality is to focus on and thank God for what you do have. Sometimes things happen as a way of correcting us, making us look up and show gratitude and appreciation for that which we have been blessed with. And if it isnt happening to us, it should make us grateful and work ever harder to maintain what we are Blessed with. There were so many times in years past when I was ready to grab my handbag and call it quits on my job. But every time before I did that I would think of all those people who would love to be in my position and I stayed to work another day. And you know what, my change in attitude made things look better.

I am in no way telling anybody, that it feels good to be unemployed, or to have to ask for help. Because it isnt. What I am saying is that some times God will right size our lives, allowing us to feel the pain of not having, so that when he blesses us next time, we will be more appreciative...

BE PEACE...

angelia

Monday, October 25, 2010

Names and Words...

“Sticks and Stones will break my bones, but words will never hurt me.” Of course, we all remember this childhood ditty. But like many things we say offhand, it is so not true. There are words that hurt. I have been told they sometimes hurt more than fists, but are simply harder to detect.

So many people I know can recall every hurtful word they have ever been called, no matter how long ago it was. And we all know that there is the word that a person of another race better never call a black person, ever. And women can say all they want to that they don’t mind being called a B***** or H*, but if said in the wrong context (not that there is a right one) by the wrong person and it is earrings off and fists balled up time. That is why we have to be especially careful about what we say, how we say it and to whom we utter it. I have learned (and I had to learn) the power of words and their impact. I spent years wounded (was called lots of names by some I loved) and became quite the wounder,(saying lots of things to those I loved).

I knew how to use words in such a way that I left my victims hurt and bloody. Never had to cuss even, just lashed them. But through growth and understanding I came to understand how those words were impacting people and more importantly how it lessened me. I venture to say I am still a work in progress, because sometimes when I feel backed into a corner, the tongue sharpens. I will say that I have come a mighty long way.

However, words also have a way of healing and repairing. I am going to venture out and say that people want love and acceptance whether they are willing to admit it or not, particularly by those we love and accept. And I am here to tell you that words said make huge differences. Sometimes, there are people who do everything in their power to rankle you and have you say something ugly. My advice for that is to place space between you. I confess right here in front of God and everybody that there are a few people I have become almost a mute around because anytime we engage it is bound to go awry. That is knowing when to hold and when to fold, or knowing when to speak and when to nod. HaH.

More importantly we need to say,I love you, I hear you, I forgive you...you are special, you are smart...I support you...and when we have to say, I cannot support that we can make it taste and feel better by how we say it. Sometimes, a simple, "I love you, but I cannot support that because..."

I know many are thinking, it is so hard not to say such and such to so and so: or to bare my feelings to him or her or them. I agree; but it is best to not block your own blessings by saying it or not baring them. And something I have learned for sure, that what we say and how we act is our own choice. Every morning before my feet hit the floor I pray to be better, do better, say better. When I fall short I simply ask forgiveness, forgive myself and move on….


SPEAK POSITIVE!
angelia

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

RECIPROCITY, adieu...

I was asked a question yesterday by someone who really cares about my well-being and it stung…because the truth still hurts…
The question was simply, “Do the people who you go out of your way for, ever go out of the way for you…”

I didn’t like the question and tried to avoid answering it…they wouldn’t let up…
Went on to say, “I see you running here, running there, supporting this, supporting that, but I never see any of these people reciprocating…” Damn, I don’t want to talk about this. However, it didn’t stop the conversation, because this person cares that much…

“I totally understand wanting to be supportive…because that is who you are, and the better to give than to receive thing is admirable… but you know what it is absolutely okay to be supported and to receive…I know you have supporters, the same people over and over…but damnit I makes me a bit mad…”
Finally, I found my voice…”I know…and sometimes it does irk me, but I cannot mandate that…I am blessed beyond measure and I know…I am thinking about changing some things, working on that…”

They looked at me quizzically, because they know me and they know that I will continue to do a lot of stuff. But, they also know that when I am done…I am done.

I guess that is why I always pay my own way, don’t l like owing anyone anything and when I decide to do something different, I won’t have any IOUs out there. I can usually fold up my tent and roll away, with a clean slate. What I also told this person who cares so much is that no one is stopping me from having or doing anything, whether they show up or not…the cupboards are still full, the blessings are still flowing. Also, I don’t keep tally boards, board with columns of ‘I did this’; ‘they did that.’ My goal is to do those things I can and to continue moving forward. I also said, ‘Because I don’t say anything doesn’t mean I’m not aware….’
But, I will say I am so glad, that occasionally someone will pull me up and remind me that reciprocity is not a bad thing…and I love and thank them for it….

Be PEACE…
angelia

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

SOMETIMES IT'S US

One of the hardest things to admit but the most freeing is that sometimes the problem lies within us. We are reluctant to admit and those around us, who love us don’t want to hurt our feelings. So we get to continue living in delusion…so here goes.

The reason you don’t have a job might not be because the economy is bad because you lie in bed until noon and expect the jobs to be waiting for you when you get there. Or you have quit so many jobs, that your resume is not conducive to being hired when there are so many looking for jobs. Or you are as a broke as Job’s turkey but feel too good to do the jobs being offered, nothing from nothing leaves nothing….

Maybe your books or other items aren’t selling because people are ‘hating’ on you, it could simply be because they aren’t interested in what you are writing, or they have seen or heard some of the things you are saying all over the internet and just, ‘Umm no, cannot support that.’ Because what people remember more than anything is ‘how’ you are, not what you are selling. And they may never tell you, but they will tell someone.

Maybe people aren’t supporting what you do because they feel you are always asking for what you aren’t willing to give. Or they have come to not believe anything you say, because you have dropped the ball on them many times and always have an excuse about something. Most people will only believe you once, maybe twice if you have the same old story about why you haven’t done this that or the other. They may nod and even commiserate, all the time, thinking, ‘Lying, so and so…
Does any of this sound familiar?

I know for myself that I have personally blocked my own blessings. When I first started writing there were so many things I wouldn’t do and had very good reasons for it. Hah! What I had to admit to myself was that my own fear was stopping me, not anyone else. I learned that I had to move me out of the way and get things done and I also had to learn that sometimes the blessings come through circuitous routes. Sometimes I might not sell any books at a venue, but someone who was there will come back later and ask me to do something else, which will then lead to selling books. And much of it has been how I presented myself. I have learned that if I act like I got it going on all the time and don’t need anyone, then no one will be there. Also, I learned that if my hand is always out in asking and not in giving then I end up with empty hands. We have to give to get and occasionally admit we have flaws to be seen as people worth supporting.

This isn’t a map or mandate for anyone to do anything, just the words of a woman who has learned a lot and is willing to share, because as I have said before, ‘You don’t have to go through everything on your own, you can sometimes learn and listen from those who have been there and done that…’

LOVE AND PEACE!
angelia

www.angeliamenchan.com

Friday, October 15, 2010

WHAT THE HELL HAPPENED....

I was talking to someone yesterday who asked me to serve on a board of an agency that is about young women, I gladly said yes...young women is my ministry...

However, as I drove home, all I could think of was the upside-downdedness (I know that is not a word literatis) of this male female dynamic with the young people I I know...personally all the young women I KNOW in their twenties and thirties are making things happen, with the young men, umm not so much, the numbers are dire, actually....

Young women far outnumber young men in college, even high school graduation, and in minority communities the numbers are outrageous...
More women are becoming doctors than men...more women are climbing corporate ladders, what is up with that...

Is it the lack of fathers...surely that contributes, but what about the young men who had fathers, who were always there, why are they dropping out of school, unemployed are underemployed...is it racism...of course racism exists...
But what I am am seeing is not that in many cases...
In too many cases it is wanting easy...Walking off good jobs, not considering the children when making decisions, too many babies, in too many places...
It is feeling that the world owes something because mama always gave too much...
It is having no shame in allowing their women to pay for everything...
It is thinking with penises instead of brains...

And go on and say I am man bashing...I am not...
I am married to a hard working, MAN, who has always provided for his wife and children and only places God before them...and I know lots and lots of these men...
But far too many are not that and they have no excuses whatever,
Daddy was home...
Middle class lifestyles...
Education opportunities...
So if that is true and they still won't do,
Will somebody tell me WHAT THE HELL HAPPENED...SERIOUSLY

angelia...

Saturday, October 9, 2010

LOVED TO DEATH - ROSA FERGUSON BLOGTOUR



Rosa Elmore Ferguson is the author of LOVED TO DEATH: A Different Kind of Love Story and LOVED TO DEATH: The Truth Unfolds. LOVED TO DEATH: The City Speaks will be out in early 2011.
Born Infant Sleigh, Mrs. Ferguson, and adoptee, has been searching for her biology for over forty years. Rosa uses her writing to release the frustration and anger caused by failed attempts to find out who she is and where she came from. The author would like her readers to have a better understanding of what can happen when they become a part of an unsuccessful adoption triad.

Mrs. Ferguson is the proud mother of two sets of twins and currently resides in Olive Branch, MS with her husband.

In LOVED TO DEATH: A Different Kind of Love Story and the sequel, LOVED TO DEATH: The Truth Unfolds readers are introduced to a fictional Gaston City, Indiana and will see it through the eyes of Morosa Denise McKinley. Morosa is the adopted daughter of Morrow and Rose McKinley. Adoption, love, murder and intrigue seem to rule the day with the underlying theme being the pitfalls of adoption and what happens when a person isn't allowed to know the truth about themselves. These are the first two books in the LOVED TO DEATH short story trilogy

Follow the author along her virtual blog tour and as she chats with readers about her books and the challenges she faces in finding her roots. Enter for a chance to win a copy of LOVED TO DEATH: A Different Kind of Love Story and LOVED TO DEATH: The Truth Unfolds courtesy of the author. The winner will be announced at the end of the tour. Please visit the author’s website at www.RosaFerguson.com. .

Now, let’s have a conversation with Rosa about her books and her quest to find her biology. Leave a comment and be a part of the conversation.

Friday, October 8, 2010

WHERE IT COMES FROM

A couple days ago I was talking with an elder and she told me, "You are now where you were headed.." For the first time I didnt have to ask her what she meant, because I felt it also.

I recall being a young child and listening to people whisper about me, "she has been here before," "you know she special, she was born with a veil over her face." "Lawd, she so grown," Ouch...I didnt want anything to do with all that, just wanted to be a kid.

However, life and God always has other plans...he took me through a childhood that was sometimes filled with trauma, placing me in situations that I would say no child should be in...however, I now know that it was preparation for the work I was here to do...

No one really understood, how I walked through that mess on 20th Ave for three years with my head high and my dignity intact,and not giving in to what was going on around me, sometimes having to literally fight my way through...

Or how by thirteen I was working a job and maintaining a GPA...
Or how not completing college to get married made any sense for the smart girl...
Or going back to college with two kids, a soldier husband, and a full time job was even necessary...
Or choosing to write books that grew as I grew...

I can honestly say that sometimes I didnt know where it all came from, I was often all alone in being me...
But now it seems that day by day and layer by layer it is being revealed, God is whispering in my soul, "You waited for me, didnt take your eyes off me, didnt fall for the easy way, NOW I will breathe life into your dreams..."

That my LOVES is where it comes from!

angelia

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Refocusing, Siztaz and Stuff!






It has been more than a minute since I had the time to ramble anything…but all things in good time…my ‘New Year’ jumped off to a running start. Spent the weekend of October 1-3 in Atlanta with my RAWSISTAZ and it was a blast. Met many of the people who I speak to online almost daily; Met Tee who has been championing my books for years and so many other of the Sistaz, I refuse to name,for fear I will forget someone and they were all equally important to me in different ways. I was also very pleased to meet LA Banks and learn what true graciousness is from someone so well-lauded and accomplished, also got to meet the amazing Daniel Black, author of Perfect Peace, They Tell Me of A Home and The Sacred Place. His reading, singing and spirit are as wonderful as his writing. And it was also great to let people know me…it is always better to feel a person in person…true sisterhood was felt and enjoyed by all of us…

After returning, the MAN and I went home to be with my mother–in-law for a medical procedure…it was awesome even to sit in a hospital waiting room and talk with family…so wonderful how there were seven of us who were there the whole day to be there…also was nice to see how attentive my MAN is to his mother…Be Still My Heart…

As for my writing, I realized that I have to refocus my energies, I am very pleased to have written 10 books in less than five years, but I know that I need to focus on getting out the message of:
RE-Rambled: Food and Thought

That is my ministry and I have come to realize that there are many young women out there and some not to young who can really benefit from me taking my time and focusing on them. So it will be….
I AM SO GRATEFUL TO BE ABLE TO DO THIS THING I DO…AND HAVE IT DO WHAT IT DOES!

GOD BLESS!
Angelia

www.angeliamenchan.com

Thursday, September 23, 2010

WHY I DO IT, HOW I DO IT!

This has been a week filled with epiphanies and reflections and resolve, the resolve to move forth. For over four years I have been writing and publishing my own work and it has been a joyous journey, mostly. Now, I will not tell you that I haven’t had any days when I have wondered what is wrong with me, trying to hustle books…hmmpphh…but mostly it has been a joy. I am not sure if it is because I own my own work, I don’t have anyone telling me when to write, what to write and how to write…I just get to write and tell my own stories, share my own experiences.

Now, I know there are those who probably are saying, ‘If you let someone else publish it, you will make more money, more people will know your name…They are right! I am just not personally ready for all that…I have a career, that I have no intentions of leaving until I retire…soon and very soon…also I love the pace of my writing life, I can do as many things or as few things as I choose to do…

Then there are those who say, ‘You are scared that your work will be rejected and you need more than your family to read your work.” They are wrong! I have actually had a few offers and not just my family reads my books, I have a pretty decent and diverse readership. Those who heard about my books and bought them and then told people about them. Don’t get any fat residual checks in the mail…but have never lost money on any venture and always turn a profit, ain’t begging nobody for nothing. Thanks to God for that and my man. Hee Hee!

Will I ever change my mind, I might…I am a few years from retirement, my man has retired once and will retire again and thanks be to God we will be able to get on the road and do our thing…and I have absolutely no doubt at all that I will sell more and more books as time progresses. Arrogant? Oh no, never that.
But what I know for absolute sure is that God has always taken care of me. There were times in my young life when I didn’t have a thing. But was never afraid that I wouldn’t because even then I trusted God to provide and I did my part by believing and working.

I recall 15 years ago I had spent 10 years working in retail management and I was tired. Had made good money but the dog eat dog world was killing me. Killing me. Sitting in the cafĂ© with a friend prior to leaving Hawaii, I told her, “Pauline, I think I am going to be a counselor.”
She looked at me like I was crazy, telling me that wasn’t my background and that I wouldn’t make as much money. She was right as rain. But I never doubted. Moved to Oklahoma and enrolled in Cameron University. Had a job first as a bank officer, which I left. Two days later, Treasure Lake Job Corps called me for a two day temp assignment in the counseling office, was there three years as a counselor. See what I am saying…God delivers if we do our part.

Moved here in ’99 with a job as a biological admin, I wanted a better job, earning more money and had every intention of leaving that job, well I did but never left the office, was promoted in ’02 to Budget Officer and am still here in the better job, earning more money…Are you feeling the trend yet?

2006, vanity published a book, Black’s Obsession that was so flawed it brings tears to my eyes. Got mostly average reviews but no one seemed to not like it or the message, and to this day many of the people who have read all my books considers it their favorite, some say a ‘cult’ classic…hah…I was cussing up a storm and stuff…whew…4.5 years later many of those who felt that book wasn’t so good are the same people who are flabbergasted I am still in the game and that people are actually talking about and purchasing my work…see I am telling you this proves that ‘What God has for you, is for you…”

I am saying all this to say, that I am never in a hurry to get where I am going, sometimes I get there fast and other times I take circuitous routes, but what I always do is own what I do, while fervently praying and putting in the work because what I know for sure in this over 50 year journey that it ain’t over…there is always more to be done…

JOIN ME AND DERA WILLIAMS TONIGHT AT 7EST AS WE DISCUSS Mother Wit with Yolanda Spinks and others at Booksand.net LOVE and

BLESSINGS!
angelia

Thursday, September 16, 2010

GROWING WEARY...

Yesterday was one of those days that I felt like if someone asked me for a glass of water, they might have been out of luck. Honest. I was weary. I felt put upon and I was convinced I would never do another thing for anybody. Of course, that was never true, but damnit it was my fantasy. I woke up to emails and text messages with this one asking for that, and that one asking for the other. Then there were the couple of things I asked of people and didnt even get a hell no from them. Then I looked at my spreadsheet of things that I had out there with absolutely no response or reciprocation and I was burning. Usually, my husband will calm me down, tell me it is all for the greater good. But, not this time, he was right there with me. He and I fumed and fussed about cutting off this one and that one and he ‘reminded’ me of all the money I had put out over the past year with no return on my investment and I heard ‘I told you so’ all up and through his words. Damn.

I got in my car, drove to work, worked for an hour, walked in, told my boss, I was on my way home. Considering I have worked for and with him over 11 years, he smiled and waved me adieu. He knows me and the ‘voice’ was in play.

Well, I got home, worked a bit, fumed some, prayed a bit, wrote a few things, prayed some more. But lo and behold, things continued to occur. I was ready to change my will and a few other things by this time. When the man got home we had a pity party together. And then we went to church.

For the past several months we have been working through the sermon on the mount in Matthew, and I was ready for Pastor C to bring it home. But when he stood up he said, we were studying, Galatians 6:9. I looked at the man and he grinned at me, I shook his hand and allowed the passage to pour down over me.
Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.


HAVE MERCY

Pastor C, brought that message home, declaring how we all get tired, we are human and we feel used and put upon. But, we must not stop doing good because if we hang in there, do good and not give up, God always rewards us at the proper time….

Did, I say HAVE MERCY…

I felt tears in my heart and eyes because that was what I needed. I needed a kick in the butt that the little bit of good I can do is not even about me and that even if it goes unappreciated, and people take things for granted, even take my kindness for weakness, that I must soldier on in doing what God has asked of me because my rewards come from HIM and HIM alone and it comes at the time when he has deemed it so. Thank God for that, because I know for myself that true Harvests are not quick. We must plant seeds, nurture them and wait.
I am good with that, because over and over again, it has been proven true.
AMEN…

Angelia
www.angeliamenchan.com

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

IT'S ABOUT MORE THAN SELLING BOOKS~



Something I learned early in the writing game is that it’s not just selling books. When I first started writing I didn’t care if I sold only 10 books, I just wanted to write. Selling was a bonus. I cross my heart to God. However, once I entered groups I discovered that many thought I was cuckoo for cocoa puffs, no one seemed to understand my reasoning. Many laughed outright in my face, others made remarks and innuendos and still others were mad at me, because they were trying to sell me their way to do things. For a brief period I became very confused…and starting throwing my money hither and yon. To no actual avail. I was in this booklet and that booklet and on this place and that place. Sold a handful of books and it didn’t come close to what I had spent. Then I said, ‘Angel, hold up wait a minute. You are a business woman, been working since thirteen, you know how to sell some stuff and you know your brand.” Duh!

So in early 2007 I quit almost every group I was in and took to the road. I did festivals, churches, radio, hired a local publicist, hooked up with local book clubs and guess what I started selling books. People started to talk about my brand and me. Now, don’t get me wrong, I didn’t sell books at every venue. But, I knew that going in. What my focus was in some cases was to let them know I existed.
I recall going to the Zora Neale Hurston festival in 2007 and probably sold 25 books in two dayS, but you know what the benefits of being there are still resonating, many of those people who I gave cards to and talked to are still purchasing and promoting my work.

Also as the advertising thing, I learned where to spend my money. I learned who was in it for the dollars only and I learned who was trying to promote work of authors and get some residual benefits for themselves and believe you me, there is nothing wrong with that, because we can all benefit the other. I tell you if you treat me and my product respectfully, you have someone who will support you forever. On the other hand if you take my money and act like you have done me a favor by taking it, well sayonara.

I am a grown woman who has been working for forty years and one thing I know for sure it is about more than selling books. It is about making relationships, supporting and being supported and giving the readers something that will make them come back for more, even it’s simply a few minutes of your time. But, don’t take my word for it, get out there and try it for yourself!

LOVE PEACE and BOOKS!
angelia

Monday, September 13, 2010

BUSY WOMEN!

Over the past several months I have had to pause at my own busy-ness and the busy-ness of others as it impacts me. And it is mostly women. It seems that men are able to go to work, work the job, come home and sit down and leave it go…not so much with women.

Speaking for myself, this year I have spent many days working overtime; in some cases because there was no one else to do the work. One admin assistant resigned early this year and hasn’t been replaced and my agency had unexpected occurrences that upped the workload for me. However, I do know that I could have just let some things slide, worked on the must dos and allowed the when I cans wait. But, I didn’t do that. Was not wired to. Please note I am say was not…
And with my writing, while it brings me joy and I would do it, even if I never made another dime, I didn’t have to write or publish or participate in 5 books in one calendar year. No one but me is pressuring me to do those things. I also am going to have to learn not to open my mouth and offer my services so often, when it comes to personal relationships, work, writing, et al. I cannot be all things to all people and still be true to me. And I am working on that fervently…

Also, I have tried to do business with a bevy of women who are as busy as I am or moreso and truth be told we aren’t getting very much done. I have been told this has to wait or that has to wait or they avoid me like the plague for fear I am going to ask them if they did the so and so or the such and such. And when we do engage in conversation the first thing out of their mouths is how busy they are. And I know it to be true. What I also know is that we are getting nowhere fast doing all this stuff and multitasking is not working. And if it is it is working to the detriment of our health, our rest, our peace and our relationships. All of those things are falling by the wayside as we take false pride in having people tell how we got it going on, which brings me to a cautionary tale.

Yesterday, a young woman who I love dearly fell apart in my arms. She came and sat next to me, I looked at her and she started crying. Hurrying her to the rest room , to keep folk out of her business, I asked her what was wrong. She told me, her husband was going to leave her and probably take her son. I didn’t ask her why, because I knew. She is lovely, hair always coiffed, nails done, dresses beautifully, but she works too much, has a career that she places first before her family, she works on several local committees and is all over the place doing things. Her cell phoneS rings constantly, the back of her car is filled with work and she has three computers. Most days she walks in the house with food from this restaurant or that one and she often forgets it is there because she is doing the next task. She is a busy woman.

After she cried awhile I asked he what was she willing to give up. Her busy-ness or her man and child. She didn’t answer me at first and I know why. The poor thing had been taught and told she could have it all, be successful, beautiful, raise super kids, be married to that fine man of hers and never have to give up a thing. I am going to put myself out there like this and I don’t care, I really don’t what anyone says. BUT AS WOMEN WE CANNOT DO EVERYTHING. Sometimes we must chose and gasp, compromise. I know a mad woman or two is going to say why does women always have to compromise and not men. I say this, you don’t have to do anything. However, if you have decided you want to be married and have children, there are certain things that will come with that and it isn’t that deep. Your man and your children want and need your time and they don’t want to come after a job, or tasks or a phone or your family or your friends. They want to be a priority and if they aren’t, sometimes, you will lose them or they will make you miserable doing things to get your attention.

So, it becomes a choice. No one is asking a woman to give up a six figure income to stay home barefoot and in the kitchen. What is being asked is that we slow down, assess what is real and what is important. Do those things that provide for us, sustain us emotionally and spiritually and let others do some of this shit. We do not have to be that busy. We really don’t.

angelia

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Not so funny...


My man and I suffer from the same malady, tough talk but real soft when it comes to those we love. We get a kick sometimes out of talking trash about how we aren’t going to do this, that or the other. Then do it…
Sometimes he will say, ‘Baby don’t do such and such, or don’t say such and such…’ and I listen to him, then he will come home and say, ‘Umm, baby, I did such and such…’ We laugh, because we both know we are suckas…that is until we stop laughing and realize we have been played.

Yesterday was such a moment, the man had put himself out over and over again on a situation…I had kinda-sorta warned him, but he didn’t listen…so I sat back, smiling, knowing the time was coming…and he ended up taking a shaft to his heart…I felt it with him…

But, you see that was one of those God lessons, because though we both knew and had talked bad, and laughed about it…we had not done what we knew we should have done and God decided to send that arrow straight to the soft, warm place where it could be felt and appreciated. Almost immediately we both knew it was time for some collective changes…
Time to stop just trashtalking…
And laughing…

And simply remove ourselves from the equation and allow God, life and experience to take it’s course…
Surely, we will be in the situation again, with another, because that is who we are…but dagnabit, we don’t have to get bit by the SAME dog, twice….surely!

BE THE PEACE YOU SEEK~
angelia

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

The LESSON in it~




2010 has been a year filled with Blessings! My faith is constantly reinforced, my marriage is strong, I get to spend time with my children and their child, work is good, I have published three books since January with a fourth coming in November and people are purchasing them. Not only that so many people in the literary community such as Tee C. Royal and RAWSISTAZ, Anjuelle Floyd, Yolanda Spinks of Booksand.net, Shelia Goss and more than I can even say have been so supportive, in ways I could not have imagined.
However, with the blessings come the lessons. I had to learn that sometimes you can do something with your heart in the right place and have it be the wrong thing. Lesson! Ouch!

I also learned that sometimes, even when others are saying no, we must stay on the track we are on. That is pretty much how I have lived my life. Praying, working and allowing God to work in my life. And every single time I do something different than that or allow other voices to replace God’s or my own, I stumble and get an Oops upside the head moment. Fortunately, for me God and the man I married have no problem letting me take it on the chin and feel the folly of my choices…then allow me to come to my senses and they never have to say I told you so…well God doesn’t…hah!

As I roll into a new year, I know that there will be more lessons to learn and more Oops upside the head moments, because that is how I grow. But I also know that I am going to have to learn not to be so eager to put myself out there so much when all the signs are screaming, ‘Angel, ummm maybe not…’ Double hah.
Just last night I was about to reach out and do a thing and it is almost as if my arm went rigid. I stopped, prayed, glanced at the man sitting next to me who winked as if he were reading my mind and I stopped. Lo and behold I got up this morning and found a message that corroborated that I made the right decision to not reach forth…Oh JOY, the lessons….

Be PEACE!

angelia

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

I'M HAPPY FOR YOU, BUT!

What does it mean to be happy for someone? To me it means that no matter what is going on in your life, you are happy when others do well and excel. Even when you arent doing so well yourself. Period. What I have come to discover is that there are a lot of people who say I am happy for you, but…

Which seems to mean, I am happy for you, but I wish it were me…

I am happy for you, but why is all this good stuff going on…for you…

I am happy for you but, I have to take back what I thought I knew when you told me your were going to do that…

Or, I am really not happy for your azz at all, but I feel I have to say I am…

This weekend I was thinking about my life and life of others that I love, at all the times we have been in the darkness, marching through the trenches, yet never gave up or stop believing that God would bring us through and when he does, we are almost mute in giving praise, because we know that those we want to be happy for us, or rather with us, really aren’t.

I remember when I first started writing, there were those who totally ignored the fact that I had even written a book…they received their copy (free), read it and never said a word to anyone…professing with their mouth how ‘happy’ they were for me…

I will confess here that I was hurt, because each time someone said, “Oh my goodness, I didn’t know you were writing books. I asked so and so about you the other day, and they never even mentioned it.” A little dart would hit my heart, because I knew that someone who I had given the book to and who claimed, ‘happiness’ had not even mentioned that I wrote books.

For a while I wondered why, mostly because when someone asks me about someone I care about or am happy for, I will immediately say, they are doing such and such or working here or there…or something.

But in time I came to realize that I would have to chart my own course, do my own thing and make my own noise. And I tell those in my life who are trying to do something, that they too will have to do the same. Because, mama, daddy, sister, brother, lover, homey, friend may profess ‘happy’ for you and they may genuinely be.

But, it will sometimes, be a very quiet, damn near mute happiness that will never pass their lips beyond saying to YOU, how happy they are. But soldier on, because what God has for you, no one can stop, my life and my writing is a living testimony to that….

BE YOUR OWN TRUMPET

Angelia
www.angeliamenchan.com

Thursday, September 2, 2010

HAPPY 10TH ANNIVERSARY RAWSISTAZ



Four years ago when I published my first book, I started surfing the net looking for African-American book clubs. The first one that incorporated on my computer was RAWSISTAZ. I filled out the form and sent it forth and received, 'you are accepted.'

Well, I didn’t have a clue, was as green as the proverbial rainforest. In short order just by being part of the group, I learned there was more to writing a book than writing a book. Some of it was quite painful, particularly, learning how little I knew.

But there were so much more that was immeasurably beneficial. Tee C. Royal and many of the authors who participated in RAW4ALL, provided me with so much information on how to truly self-publish, how to market and mostly how to interact with others in the sometimes upside down world we call publishing.

Four years later, and I must say that Tee and RAWSISTAZ are still the most avid supporters of authors and readers in the literature game. They provide many services, such as Black Book Chats, simply for the love of the written word, they also provide honest, concise reviews that make readers want to pick up your book and read it.

Most importantly, they have gotten the word out to the community about how viable African-American literature is and has opened doors for other such entities to go forth and prosper. I simply want to say;

CONGRATUALATIONS, TEE C. ROYAL AND RAWSISTAZ , for opening the door for so many of us and continuing to support all writers and readers with integrity, professionalism and love of the written word. I sincerely THANK YOU for supporting me.

PLEASE LINK HERE FOR MORE RAWSISTAZ INFORMATION

WWW.RAWSISTAZ.COM

Angelia Vernon Menchan

Monday, August 30, 2010

Substitute Me - Review



Reading Substitute Me by Lori Tharps made me think. The premise of the book was Zora, a thirty year old African American woman becomes nanny to upwardly mobile Caucasian family and somehow ends up in a relationship with the husband of the family. Seems like a cut and dry babysitter and husband get it on type novel, but it is so much more.

The story is told from the points of view of Zora, Kate, the wife and finally, the husband. And what was so intriguing were the voices of each. I was at time startled by how Kate thought about African-American women, particularly her being surprised and offended that her white husband could even be remotely interested in, sexually or otherwise with a Black woman. The way Kate thought of the gap in Zora’s teeth, or her dreadlocks or her thick but and thighs. It took me back to my own experiences when white women would literally imply that because a black girl had a big butt, or a certain texture of hair that they knew their men wouldn’t be interested. I never tried to disabuse anyone of the notion, but I knew better.

What I also know is that men and women will often say they don’t like certain things because they know that is what the partner wish to hear. However, the greater issue is how one race can invalidate another’s attractiveness because it doesn’t mesh with what they find attractive. A direct quote from Kate, was , ‘Why did I work so hard exercising, if he was attracted to that. Why would he choose her when he could have this? What is up with that? Damn.

And as hard as it is to swallow, I know it to be true. Several years ago I had women in my office ask me what was my secret in getting my man. It was so insulting, because they couldn’t see that my curly hair, toffee colored skin, abundant curves were at all appealing, because I didn’t fit in a box of what was attractive to them. Whereas I can look at a woman of any race, age or national origin and see what would make them appealing. Because I don’t see through such a narrow prism. Or maybe, because as an African American I have been taught to see other beauty. It really explains why so many young girls feel so badly about their bodies and appearance.

Substitute Me is a leisurely read that is filled with information and subtle nuances that made me think, cringe and wonder.
Angelia Menchan

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

O' MISERY

Hadn’t blogged in a minute or two, been busy, busy, busy…however there is something that has been on my heart the past several days and it is misery. Yes, misery, you all know the old saying, misery loves company, well I am going to say that there are a few amongst us, who love being miserable. These people literally bring ants to a picnic, rain to the beach, oil to the water…

And guess what? The only thing you can do, sometimes, is pray for them and avoid them like the plague. There are people who I really dig, who I have had to cut smooth off, because I couldn’t stand seeing, feeling and hearing all that misery that surrounded them. It is too much, trying to get through this life and to have to carry others burdens, piled atop yours. It can kill the JOY in your life, if you aren’t careful.

You know them, the woman who has had a string of bad relationships and as soon as you say yours is good…she will tell you how horrible hers is and that all men are not good…and almost say you are lying...

Or the person you cannot talk about your faith around because the first thing out of their mouths is Christians are hypocrites…and venture to tell you every negative preacher story they ever heard...or commence to reminding you that in 1982, you drank liquor..

Or the older woman who has run everyone off, even her own kids, because she is so mired down in the past and old grudges that she cannot enjoy life at all and will do her level best to make sure you feel her pain…

We all have times when we are sad, everyone has gone through a situation, been dogged by a lover, didn’t get along with mama or daddy, had a bad church experience, been molested or some such atrocity…but I am here to tell you what I know, I have experienced many, many things…that learning to rejoice in what is now, rather than being mired down in what was then will change your life and it will enhance your relationships. I am telling you, that no matter how much a person loves you, they do not want to hear your sad stories all the time. Relationships are built on giving and sharing. And God knows I want to be there for those I love, but I also want to hear about your joys, your triumphs. I want to hear you say nice things about others.

We have to look outside ourselves in order to really live. And check this out, it is okay, absolutely alright to seek help if you are unhappy or need to get past some issues. Because, I tell you that misery might like company, but company ain’t always feeling misery…

Be The PEACE you Seek!
Angelia
www.angeliamenchan.com

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

ORDER MOTHER WIT



MOTHER WIT is a ficitionalized look at some of the current and lifelong issues that plague the mother-daughter, mother-stepdaughter relationship. The stories also speak to how fractured those relationships can be if not nurtured and how uplifting they are when cultivated and appreciated...check it out...

PLEASE AND THANK YOU!
angelia






Monday, August 16, 2010

WHAT WE ARE TEACHING THEM..

This past weekend my Granddaughter went on a road trip with her PaPa and I. It was wonderful, tiring and BLESSED...

However, as we spent time with our elders, I realized again that we have to be very careful of what we are imparting to our children. We can learn so much from those who are older than we are, but we can also pass down fear, superstitions and falsehoods if we are not careful.

As I listened, I was amazed by how we want people to be afraid of the things we are afraid of...it is as if to say,,,I have been afraid X number of years and I am still alive; that may be true, but how much have you missed out on because of your fear, how many opportunities and adventures...

Then there is the food thing, wanting to stuff children full of fat, calories and salt, saying they are just babies... and that is true, but that is how we create a culture of fat, diabetic, sluggish kids,,,sorry but food is not always love,,,sometimes it is a legacy that will have them taking insulin shots and high blood pressure medicine...

Also, if we have daughters, nieces etc, we are going to have to consistently tell them there is more to life than looks and sexuality...
And teach our boys that work and responsibility are paramount and that we will not prosper from their wrong doing,,,

And please for the love of GOD and all things sacred, teach them to tell someone if ever any one touches them or says some inappropriate,,,and elders please believe them and do something about it.

BE PEACE,,,

angelia

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

SHE FEELING MOTHER WITTY!

There are times when I feel like going into mother mode for the masses, because there are so many things that aren’t being taught to our children and young people.

The other day I was dealing with a situation where a young wife was running down her man all over to anyone who would listen. It wasn’t necessarily that he had done anything to her, it was more because she didn’t feel she was getting the attention she craved and frankly because she was perpetuating legacy. When we spoke she said to me, ‘But my mom, aunts, etc. were all that way…it’s no big deal. I told her, ‘honey it is a huge deal, there aren’t many men with any dignity who is going to allow you to run him down all over town, when he is doing all he can to please you. Not, only that, there is the component of you are sleeping in the bed with that man and if you trash him, you are for all intents and purposed trashing YOU.”

She looked askance at me, but I could see the light bulb going off because I was probably the first person who had said those kinds of things to her. I also, knew that legacy was a hard change…it takes getting up each and every day and consciously making a decision to do a thing and following through. So many ask me about how I managed to stay married for 32 years. There are many things, and some I won’t share…umm hmmm. But, one of the biggest at least for me is that no matter what went on behind doors in my home I didn’t take to the streets with my business. Didn’t call mama ‘nem or even sit around with my girls over wine and bash him. I prayed fervently, we argued fervently at times and worked that thing out, together.

On the flip side, I have to say to the young brothers, if you take a woman on as your wife, your boo or whichever, you really need to remember she is a woman. I don’t care how ‘strong’ she seems to be or how much she has it going on, she needs your attention. And attention doesn’t mean diamonds, big houses or money, or it shouldn’t. Many times it means listening to her, really listening, without already having your mind made up. Or doing that thing you know she loves, that might not necessarily appeal to you. If you know she likes reading books and you don’t, suck it up and take care of dinner one night, allowing her to sit in a corner and read. These may seem small and trivial but I assure you, you have my word, they go a mighty long way to being in a healthy love thang…

MOTHER WIT NOW AVAILABLE

Angelia

Thursday, August 5, 2010

WALK AWAY, QUIT, SEE YA!

Had a wonderful day yesterday, celebrated 32 years married to my love…and this morning that made me start to think, think about how quickly we walk away, quit, stop speaking…and this isn’t about marriage at all but life. I rolled around all the people I know who walk away or quit something the minute it doesn’t go their way…they are so out of there, it is as if people don’t even know that sometimes you have to just be still and stay in place to have things happen…

If I had a tickle for every time someone told me they had quit a job or walked away because something hadn’t gone their way, and for no real good reason. A few years ago someone came to work for me temporarily and she was a hard worker. Thinking about hiring her permanently I asked her what happened with a previous job, she told me, “They said something I didn’t like and I cussed them out and quit. I don’t allow people to disrespect me.” I asked, “how?” She told me quite confidently that they were taking up money for something and when she didn’t give, she was asked why and she got mad and left. I understood not appreciating being asked about your giving, but to quit a job that provides for you and your child. Uhn Uhn. Of course, I didn’t hire her either, couldn’t run the risk of having something I said cause her to cuss me out and quit.

In recent times I have run into a couple of these experiences personally. Had someone ask me to write something, I didn’t feel comfortable with it and declined. Months have passed and a person who communicated me for years does not speak any longer. Wow.

Or even more trivial, in my opinion, I was talking to a person about books. The person was of the mindset that certain kinds of books shouldn’t even be written. I disagreed. I feel that we all have stories to tell and if a person tells their stories, via erotica, romance, poetry, street literature, prose literature, et al. and there are people who wish to read those stories, then they should be allowed to write and tell them. That is what democracy is all about in my mind. Well, the person from that day to this has chosen not to say a word to me, about books or anything else. Double WOW.

Because as goofy as this may sound, I am under the impression that one of the things that make us interesting is not our sameness but our differences. And our ability to cohabit and coexist while agreeing, disagreeing or agreeing to disagree. We were all created as individuals and if the only way we can deal with people is if they are some Stepfordized version of us, we might want to reevaluate that, or I am guessing we will spend scads of time, walking away, quitting or not talking to folk. Hmmm.

BE THE PEACE YOU SEEK~
angelia
WWW.ANGELIAMENCHAN.COM

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

A WRITE Woman

There are times when I find people staring at me, then I look and they look away, sometimes they simply tell me what they were thinking and I love it; there is a woman who sit in front of me in church sometimes, we have developed a relationship of sorts and she ‘knew’ I was a writer, however, I am not sure the concept of what that meant really resonated with her. Shoot, anyone who says they are writers are writers, right…#snicker#
Anyway, the other night she held a copy of my book in her hand, Schae’s Story and I watched her looking at it over and over, and over…Schae’s Story sells well amongst my church sisters, she resonates with ‘em for real…
So, finally I turned to another conversation, we were waiting for the service to start and when I turned back she was really looking at me, I didn’t say a word and finally she said, ‘this is really a book, book, do you really write all this…” Smiling, I replied, “Yes ma’am, that is one of ten books…” She shook her head and started reading…
That happens all the time, people often ask where do the words come from, the stories and how did I decide I could just write books, publish books, convince people to actually purchase and read the dang things…the truth is, this…it has never occurred to me that I CANNOT do a thing I really want to do…never. If I can pray it and believe, God has promised I can do it.
The stories come from living and me being a life observer. All my life I have paid attention to all that goes on around me and I record it in my brain and heart, then try to tell it in my own way. As to the writing and the publishing, that came from a desire to do it and the audacity to not allow anyone or anything stop me, and believe you me, there were many who tried to throw salt in my game…not directly but by saying things like, umm you gonna write about that, or saying, girl that is too deep, people aren’t trying to hear all that, or I know you ain’t going to talk about that…they were as subtle as a rock…but I knew that I would have to close my ears and stay in prayer and that as I grow the stories I needed to tell would present themselves…and I am proud of each and every story I have written or told, at the time they had to be told in that way, the first book had cussing, the second and third book were mad sexy, but as I wrote, I grew and as I grew my writing changed and as always God allowed his child to find her own way…and I as I stand here, less than a week away from publishing book ten, MOTHER WIT…I know and you better know there are so many other stories inside this woman dying to be told and through God’s grace and providence, they will be….
PREORDER MOTHER WITH @








LOVE, PEACE and BLESSINGS~~