Monthly Archives: July 2014



July is the color for bright gold,
Gives courage to step out bold.

Displaying one’s internal worth,
Offered by parents at new birth

Richly sporting that gold all day,
Others may, step back and say.


Put on your sunglasses. It’s bright.
Don’t squint. It’s not your sight!


July 15, 2014

Struggles of the Women Folk: A Critique



On June 28th, I blogged on a writer’s ability to ‘evoke emotions in readers.’ Well, after finishing TM Brown’s Struggles of the Women Folk, I was highly moved. So after clearing it with TM Brown, herself, I have much to say regarding this literary piece.

It touched me deeply and parts of it moved me to tears because it tied into my own life. The main character, Georgie, experiences a series of challenging events which test her endurance. I could distinctly hear Georgie’s voice as she anguishes through the many trials and I will discuss two of them.

She is unable to save her friend Sissy and Georgie feels a sense of helplessness as she watches and listens on the sidelines. It reminded me of my dearly departed friend, Carolyn, who was taunted, teased  and fought by some of our classmates in the 8th grade .  She was bi-racial and had very long hair and the other girls hated her for it. However, she had a heart of gold and we understood each other and could talk about everything.

As with Georgie and Sissy, Carolyn and I were close but I could not save her from the storms of life. I could only be as close as possible and let her know that I was there for her when the seas were raging. It proves that friends can be closer than sisters. These spiritual sisters can later become our protecting angels from afar as Sissy becomes for Georgie.

Later in the Struggles of the Women Folk, Georgie has a child born under unusual circumstances. In the black community these phenomena are not taken lightly and my own southern roots helped me to be aware of these beliefs. In this case, the daughter, Angel will be a seer and considered to be a very special child.

But, when Georgie is duped and Angel is taken from her, I felt for Georgie as she becomes listless and inattentive to her daily needs. Life threw her a curveball that she was unable to catch, but aid and assistance did show up when she felt that she was at the bottom of the well. The cavalry did arrive.

I could go on and on about this work, but I will close by speaking on Brown’s brave use of dialect. Few have pulled it off without losing the reader such as Zora Neale Hurston did in her short story, “Sweat” and in her novel, Their Eyes were Watching God. TM Brown does it masterfully as she again, captures the voice of the women in the back woods and rural parts of Virginia. This is a must- read book for anyone who enjoys good literature!

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Flying high as eagles soar,

Hoping no rainfall will pour.

Visiting others from all around,

Tourists with bags and kids abound.

A truckload of patience is the key,

As you wait in long lines to go see,

Those places the brochure showed,

As you search for the best mode,

Of transportation, that fills the bill,

Getting there safe to close the deal.



Omar Opens Doors for Authors!



Readers:  Please meet Omar Luqmaan Harris- founder of the Author Discovery Daily!  He is a marketing guru, author, entrepreneur, consultant and a book publishing expert.

Hi, Lynn. Thanks again for the opportunity to collaborate with you here. Please see my answers below.

1. How do you gather you information for the Author Discovery Daily?

Well, Lynn, the Authordiscovery daily is a tool that I use to aggregate all the interesting news happening in the book and author discovery world on twitter on a daily basis. Creating your own daily digest is pretty easy. Go to and create an account to get started. I focus on specific keywords and influencers to get my news, so lets me enter in the influencers I’d like to collect stories from based on their tweets as well as lists of influencers. Then I design the background and sections of my paper and the application does the rest. It’s a great way to guarantee that you are always tweeting something of value to your followers and it nets me a consistent stream of followers, interactions with interested folks, and good conversations.

2.  I see that you have several tabs such as headlines; photos; videos; arts & entertainment; technology and business. If a writer is pressed for time, where would you suggest they zero in to get the most vital information?

The most vital information in the paper is found usually under business and technology which are the tools you need to know as a writer to get discovered by readers online.

3.  Why are you particularly interested in helping authors get discovered?

I’m interested in helping “good” authors get discovered by more readers because the more good work readers find at a variety of price points the better it is for all of us. And also, I have learned a lot from independently publishing 5 books in the past 4 years and I feel I have an obligation to give back just as the indie authors before me so generously gave back to teach me the do’s and don’ts of online promotion and marketing.

4.  How will it benefit you as a marketing guru if more authors are led to your site?

Reputation is the new currency online and the better reputation I have the more people I can reach and help. The more people I reach and help the better the overall image of indies and the better we all do with our respective readerships in terms of sales and engagement.

5. A re you getting the responses you want from writers? Why or why not?

When I first launched back in November 2012, the response was relatively timid. But as I began writing more about my unique approach to online book discovery, called the “discovery web”, the better the response I’ve seen. My biggest barrier to larger response is my ability to keep blogging on a regular basis. The more I share the better the response!

Thanks a lot Lynn!

When I Think of Summer 2014



As an educator and school librarian, when I think of summer, I think of freedom.  It is a time where I can take a breather from the busyness of daily stringent routines, schedules, grading, meetings and disciplining of wayward souls.  It is a time to release overall tenseness and a time to truly exhale.

So, summer is a time to let it all go and enjoy the simple pleasures of life.  This could be sitting on a beach in quiet meditation. For me, that would be writing by the water and letting my thoughts flow like the ebb and tide as the waters flap against the rocks.

Or, it could be sitting by a pool watching children run and jump and play in the water, with an ever watchful eye.  Always attentive to make sure the little ones are safe.


A place like Chicago has such a short window for summer. It is a time when I get to wear  tank tops or sleeveless blouses which rarely happens in the Windy City.  Those toes get to wiggle free in sandals and the skin gets to breathe after being covered during the other three seasons.  How liberating!

Outside of beaching, writing, hanging by the poolside or being a fashionista, the summer reminds me of  a time gone by when I would drop the top of my convertible Fiat Spider. It was nothing  like cruising up Lake Shore Drive with the wind blowing and good  music blaring.   Now, that is a real summer in Chicago.

But on a more grounded level, summer is  great time to chock down a good reading list. I have already read some interesting books written by my newly found Twitter friends.  I have read Haskins’ Riding the Waves; Poore’s Watery Ways; Smolders’ Ripping the Veil; Golden’s The Invisible Hand; Hill’s Song of the Sea God; Hedges’ Jigsaw Pieces and am now reading Brown’s Struggles of Women Folks which is allowing me to revisit some of my ancestral roots.

Through reading, I have visited Los Angeles, the Netherlands, the Dominican Republic, Tampa and the UK.  I did not have to board a plane to get there.  Oh, the beauty of the printed word!

So, as a librarian, I would say to people of all ages, if you can not get to the beach, write by the water, visit the swimming pool, showcase those new clothes or drop the top on that convertible, then get a new book. Take that vicarious trip and your summer will be filled with adventure!






Set it to Music!



I was writing a piece yesterday.  I have found that if I put music on, it sets the tone for the scene. This works for me.  I was dealing with the affairs of the heart so I put on soft love songs and this helped me get in the zone.  If I am writing in my living room, I simply change the cable channel to Music Choice and choose the genre of music that will help my fingers glide across the keyboard.

In another instance, I was writing about a character on the expressway making a long trek, so I put on some light classical music and the instruments playing helped me capture the rhythm of travel.  I try to choose music that is not distracting to the pouring out of my thoughts.  I don’t want to start singing when I should be filling up the page with prolific words. So, yes, music eases my mind as a let it roll out into print.


Precious Times


Make the most of these precious times,
Today’s pennies are tomorrow’s dimes.

Whether using pen, computer or paint brush,
Slow down the thoughts. Create! Don’t rush.

Get it done now! Work hard today.
Don’t hold back. Keep nothing at bay.

Fill the empty screen, canvas or page,
Your work may be seen as a wise sage.



Smoothing Out the Thoughts


I write to smooth out my thoughts.  When my thoughts get on that

merry- go- round and keep rehashing the same old hapless events, I

pull out my trusty pen and paper and I write.

I put pen to paper and write in longhand.  I do not keyboard at these times.

As I draw out each letter my thoughts slow down and things began to fall into place.

Worrisome events take on a new perspective and I am able to minimize the negativity

as one does a computer program.

Just shut it down and do not look at it until another time.  This is what

journaling does for me. It helps to clear my mind and dire situations began

to look more hopeful.  I realize that often times, I have not truly filled up the gratitude

page. So by the time I jot down all the positives that have occurred,

I can see the light down at the end of the tunnel!



Blog Versatility

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Our blogs allow us to show our versatility. Though we may be fiction writers, our blogs allow us to venture into other territories that we would not normally write about while working on a new novel. Here, I have conducted a few interviews with some Twitter writers about their works, posted some recent poems and used my blog for overall reflections or book analyses.

The writing process is so varied and we never know when we may have posted something that will inspire a new writer or open up the streams of a blocked writer. So, though there is no method to the madness, blogging is our chance to be a bit all over the place and even showcase our multiple wares.

The bottom line is to keep the fingers moving and keep writing as often as possible. When writing is done on a daily basis, it makes it easier to write when that next story idea rolls across our minds. Then, we will not hesitate to get those ideas down before they evaporate into thin air as dreams often do.


When I Think of Bronzeville

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Traveling south of McCormick Place, you will see,
The huge statue of The Migrant and you will be,
Entering Chicago’s large, historic Bronzeville.
Full by those who came to close the deal.

It houses the people of color, who came,
To the North in search of the very same,
Rights that were denied them in the South.
They came to put food in the babe’s mouth.

Martin Luther King Drive runs down the center,
He bravely acted as the people of color’s mentor.
Years before known as South Parkway Street
Then filled with jitneys, to help those with tired feet.

Bronzeville- a place of warmth and happy smiles.
From those who traveled, oh so many miles.
Good cooking, soul food on that plate.
After working menial jobs, often very late.

Music, jazz, R & B and soul in a loud beat,
Skating, dancing, beaching in the heat.
Giving a backdrop of life in constant motion.
Yet, church on Sunday for regular devotion.

Yes. The symbolic Migrant stands tall.
Shoulders held high; answering the call.
Suitcase in hand, hopes all abound.
Oh, Bronzeville! Bronzeville! Love that sound!