Tuesday, February 28, 2012

No Sweeter Name

What is in a name?
 A name is comprised of everything that embodies you. Your actions, attributes, personality, and character are all attached to your name. Now, we all know that there are negative names given to and spoken about people. But I'm not talking about those kinds of names. I'm talking about the name you were born with or the name you embrace with esteem.
So what does your name say to the world? I hope it says it all. All things positive, assuring and full of goodness. I hope you speak your name BOLDLY and PROUDLY with total confidence in yourself and in everything that represents YOU. Because your name is special. And you are special too, no matter what you've done or will do!
Featured in the video link is the recording artist, Cherubim. She is singing a christian song from her debut album, It's Time. Her music wraps you in the arms of love. As a mentor to many, she inspires people to, "look at yourself through the eyes of God where you'll see how great you really are. Because He saw you and said it was good."
We don't have to share the same religion to understand Good. Like the title of her CD, we must decide, It is Time. Time for us to know ourselves, love ourselves and cherish ourselves intimately... because deep down inside, we MUST believe that our name, like the name of God is sweet. No sweeter name....
Check out Cherubim at the link below 
Cherubim Singing No Sweeter Name

Friday, February 24, 2012

Encourage Yo'Self

Have you ever had to talk to yourself and speak positive and encouraging words? When and if you did, were you in front of a mirror? Or washing dishes? Or crying on your way home from school or work? It doesn't matter. We've all had those moments when doubt seems to want to overtake us. So don't worry. There is hope. If you only believe, you will see that you've already won. Your victory, your success, your accomplishment is there. Beyond the trees. Around the fold. Down the road. In a short while.
 So, whatever you do, DON'T GIVE UP. Keep the mind frame of a winner and have these pep talks with yourself when ever you need them. But DON'T GIVE UP!
Not only are you destined to succeed, someone you may have never met is depending on YOU and your SUCCESS to inspire them. Yep, you read this correctly. Your success is not only for you, but for someone else as well.
 So, hang in there and keep keeping on. Things are going to get better. Better for you and better for me. In the meantime or in between time, ENCOURAGE YO'SELF, you beautiful, intelligent, talented, chosen to impact this world, girl, lady, woman...... we all need it and could all use some. I'm showering down mine on you, so shine some this way for me. OUR DREAMS AND SUCCESSES ARE GOLDEN.  


Wednesday, February 22, 2012

REAL Talk with Writer Ni-Ni Simone

Hold Up! Stop the press! Ni-Ni Simone has entered the building. Now please everybody, I know this is going to be hard, but let's try to control our standing ovations, wild applause and loud cheers although everybody knows that when it comes to books about the real, day-to-day situations teenage girls' face, no one tells a story like the fabulous, Ni-Ni Simone.

Her writing is honest and trendy like new fashion. She writes stories that are so engaging, you'll find yourself in a trance as your eyes race across the pages, full of excitement and anticipation, wondering what's going to happen next. Like your favorite reality TV show that is full of drama, crazy conflicts and real life scenarios, her books are just that good and if you're not careful, you'll be all tripped up in the head, questioning if one of her characters is really your boyfriend, your BFF, or even yourself.

Ni-Ni's writing is in a class of her own. She is not afraid to write about the deep, unspoken and often hidden situations girls face on a daily basis. Her characters are familiar like the faces you see in your third period class and her stories read like the conversation you had on the phone last night.

To Date, Ni-Ni Simone has written: Shortie Like Mine, Upgrade U, A girl Like Me, Teenage Love Affair, If I was your Girl and The Break-Up Diaries. Her books sizzle while mirroring the happenings of teenage life and if you don't already know, try to read just one, and you'll discover an addiction to her books that's as real as a craving for chocolate or as serious as your need to coat your lips with your favorite shiny pink lip gloss. Please enjoy our interview below.

1.   What or who inspired you to write your first book? 
When I was 9 years old, I used to rewrite the endings to my favorite TV shows (i.e Smurfs) and my mother would comment about how good of a writer I was. At the time, I didn't realize it was something special until many years later a friend of mine inspired me to write a young adult novel. I took the challenge as an opportunity to see what I could do. I wrote my first novel, Shortie Like Mine in 2 weeks. From there, it was no turning back. I was hooked and have been writing every since.
2.   Out of all of your books, do you have a favorite? 
Shortie Like Mine is one of my favorites. When I wrote the book, I felt like I was the character, Seven, going through the various situations with her. I also LOVE my new book coming out, No Boyz Allowed. The character in this book, Gem's message is one I think all teens can embrace.
3.   Do any of your characters mirror people you actually know or come from situations you’ve faced? 
Not particularly. My characters come from a combination of different people and events. For example, Seven's mom is like my mom in the sense that she was protective and no non-sense. But for the most part, I let the stories speak for themselves. I like to lose myself in each particular story and allow the story to take shape on its own.
4.   What books have most influenced your life? 
In college, I was an English major, so I fell in LOVE with Shakespeare. I love his plays, Mid Summer Knight's Dream and The 12th Night. I also LOVE Terry McMillian, Toni Morrison and Alice Walker. 
5.   If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything about any of your books?
NO! If anything about my books would be different, my journey would be different and I wouldn't want to change my journey. It has made me who I am.
6.   Can you share with us a challenge that you faced as a teenager and how you overcame it?
When I was in the 10th grade, I was suspended for being accused of fighting. The fight never happened although all of my friends stopped talking to me and made false assumptions about me. I was crushed and it was a difficult time because I couldn't understand why my friends completely shut me out. But it turned out good for me in the end. My parents transferred me to another school which worked out good. I ended up finishing high school in 3 years (instead of 4) and going to college early.
7.   You write stories about intimate issues teen girls face; boys, peer pressure, body image, acceptance, sex, teen-pregnancy, alcoholism, drug addiction, physically and emotionally abuse etc. What inspires you to write about these issues? AND above all, what is the central message you want girls to grasp from your novels?
I am inspired to touch everyday girls and these are some of the real issues girls face. I don't want to preach messages about what girls should or should not be doing. I want to show them through their own experiences the outcomes that they can have. Above all, my central message is that you can be anything you wish to become, no matter what the circumstances are.  Keep believing and working towards your goal and what you desire will manifest itself. 
8.   We've heard that you’re really into fashion, music and celebrity gossip. Who can we catch you listening to?
    I LOVE Jay-Z, Beyonce, Oprah and celebrity Gossip, LOL.  
9.   Can you tell us more about your new project?
      I've got 2 new books coming out. The first is called, No Boyz Allowed. It's about a girl name Gem who learns what it is to be loved. Then I have, Hollywood High, which I wrote with Amir Abrams. This book is about super rich teens who we think have it all (money, fame, clothes, cars) but we learn about the not so glamorous side of their lives (loneliness, drug abuse, eating disorders etc). These are both fun books in the same lane as my others. Readers will be impressed.  
10.   Can you tell us about your website and the ways teen girls can interact with you?
    I love to hear from my fans. Feel free to visit my website at www.ninisimone.com. There are ways to send me messages in my, Hall of fans, section. Also, fans can send me pictures of themselves holding my books and I post them on Facebook and on my site.
11. Do you have any words of wisdom you can leave with us?
To ALL of the, "Gems" of the world; Wherever there is hope, there is love. Wherever there is Love, there is God, because God is love. Wherever you have God, you have the ability to be whoever you want to be.

Ms. Ni-Ni simone



Friday, February 10, 2012

When No One's Looking

How do you act when no one's looking? Do you still give it your all? Do you dance, sing, work, try, persevere as hard as you would if someone was looking? Success comes when we do our best under any circumstances. Spotlight or no spotlight. Shining lights or darkness. A peeking eye of attention or no attention at ALL.
So, it is best to give it your ALL-ALL THE TIME, shoot for the stars regardless of whose looking, strive to reach the finish line and go forward with positive thinking .... at ALL times, even when you're tired, sad, or feel like giving up. Even when it doesn't seem like that thing you want to happen will come to pass. BELIEVE that it WILL happen for you. Your desires WILL be realized, Your DREAMS will become your reality, if you continue at it, even when you think no one's looking.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

A Chat with Writing Diva, ReShonda Tate Billingsley

ReShonda Tate Billingsley has won many awards and has created her own space amongst the greatest in the world of commercial women's fiction. A writer who freely declares, "I am an 'open book'," ReShonda writes page-turning stories about REAL situations offering positive messages we can relate to. Enjoying success in a changing industry, ReShonda shines as a national best-selling author, professional editor, ghost writer, public speaker, talk show host, freelance reporter, actress, MOGUL, and literary sensation. 
Though many of us know her because of her mind-sizzling stories, she is doing it ALL! To date, she has successfully published over 21 titles (8 adult novels, 8 teen novels, 1 non-fiction book, 3 anthologies and 1 poetry book) and doesn't plan to stop any time soon. She has a movie deal in the works, a popular book tour that is attracting large crowds and an Image Award nomination.
   With her calendar full, tour dates booked and book deadlines looming, she took a minute to chat with us about her teen series titled, The Good Girlz. Please enjoy the insight provided by this, Woman on the Move. 
     What inspired you to write the Good Girlz teen series?
      I wanted to write drama-filled pages that teens would want to read. I noticed that teens weren't interested in the books I read when I was growing up, so I wrote stories that were interesting with positive messages (without all the sex and demeaning aspects) that I wouldn't mind my children reading.
     What is the central message you want girls to grasp, understand or learn from the series?
     The Good Girlz Teen series is focused around the 10 commandments. Each book has a fun and engaging message inspired by the bible. That way, young girls are having a good time reading stories they can relate to, while also learning a message that will help them.  
         Many teen girls are dealing with difficult situations concerning; boys, self-esteem, body image, fitting in, family life etc. How do your characters speak to these issues and help teens find solutions and inspiration?
     My characters reflect real life situations. I write about the good, the bad and ugly aspects of being a teen. My characters make mistakes and learn from them, learn what to do and what NOT to do and ultimately take a second look at their actions so they can make better ones. These are some of the messages teen girls can learn from my books.  
         You’ve done it all: books, movies, tours etc. What is your message about achieving your goals, persevering past obstacles and dreaming BIG?
    Don't let ANYONE but YOU determine your destiny. There were people who told me 'NO' and said that I couldn't make it. I found another way to make it happen and came to realize that I have to believe in MY OWN DREAMS and find out a way to make them happen. 
   What do you like to do when you’re not writing? Are you a fan of any current fashion or music?
    I am a BIG Reality TV fan. I watch Real Housewives of Atlanta, Love & Hip Hop etc. I play music on my I-PAD. I also have my 11 year old daughter who keeps me on top of all the latest dances and music.   
    What project are you currently working on? Will there be any more books in the Good Girlz series?
    Currently, I am touring my latest book, Sinners & Saints that I co-wrote with novelist, Victoria Christopher Murray. I also have a movie in the works (which I executive produce along with actress Regina King) and another line of books for teens.   
    What advice or words of wisdom would you share with girls who are going through their teen years?
     It doesn't matter where you've been, it only matters where you are going. Don't EVER give up. Stay determined to achieve your dreams and if someone tells you 'No', find another way!
   ReShonda is proving that any and everything is possible when you believe. She has managed to stay on top throughout all of the changes in the book publishing industry and has created a brand loyal readers embrace. She is.... the Queen of her Dynasty. 
  Visit her website at www.reshondatatebillingsley for more information or connect with her via facebook and twitter. Whatever you do, don’t get caught without one of her books.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Ode to Passion & Purpose

Here’s 2 U….
My passion
My purpose
My God-Given Gift.
My love
My joy
My life-fulfilled wish.
My reason for living
My connection to Good.
My arms around humanity
Love flowing freely as it should.
I sing
I dance
I smile
I’m free
Because passion and purpose is connected in me.
I’m touching this world
Bringing light to darkened eyes
Sharing the God in me
Helping girls stand tall and rise
Fierce, wild and free
Catch hold of your purpose
And Passion will ignite your destiny 

Author Dev B. 

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Natural Beauty

Willow Smith has shaved her head bald. Cheers to her. Because there is nothing more beautiful...............sexy......................attractive..................affirming................and powerful than a young girl comfortable in her own skin and hair.  Please continue to represent for the girls who need to see natural beauty.
Love the new look, Ms. Whipmyhair Willow. You Rock!