Sometimes you have to see it before you SEE it!
I have this idea for my character,"Lil' V.
She is me at 5 years old. I had the biggest
imagination ever and pretended all the time.
Didn't have a clue as to how powerful all of
that daydreaming and imagination was at the
time. Now as a grown woman, it's so hard
sometimes to imagine the good and the positive.
Constantly having to change the records of
the subconscious mind because what we think
about we bring about and I remember so vividly
having adults tell me to stop daydreaming and
get your head out of the clouds and somehow,
they taught me to doubt myself and to think
that others where better than me. That
others deserved beauty, hope, joy, creativity,
love and peace more than me. This is the
rebooting of Vanessa Brantley-Newton.
I go back now and I get to speak to my
5 year old self and I tell her to dream big
babygirl and after you have dreamt big, dream
even bigger. So big that when it actually happens
you will know that it was something greater
that brought you too it! I tell her that
no one is better than you and even when
they come against you and say all manner
of evil about you, you have to know yourself
and love yourself. Embrace the you that you
are. That she is not the failure or the lack,
or the disappointments that have come in her
life. That these are some of the ingredients
that were needed to make big Vanessa into
who she needed to be for life. That there will be awesome
people like Bella SinclairEric Barclay, ShellNita Jo, Melissa
KJ and a host of others who come to visit this little blog. I am so blessed.
One day this little book is going to find it's way into the world of children's books.
It's gonna hit the shelves and speak very loudly to another little
5 year old who has a dream! Sometimes you have to see it before you see it!
Her Grandmama was gone, but she remembered the powerful
words that she shared, "Baby!", she said,
" Your words have power to create your reality so speak life,
love and abundance. Speak well of others even when they don't
speak well of you for in doing so, good will come back to YOU."
And so, I speak life, love and abundance as often
and as fast as I can creating my reality. Thank you Mama.
"Once the Pink Lady faced her fears she became stronger, wiser and more yes, fashionable!" Thanks so much Kate Thacker!
Facing your fears helps you to move forward with strength, courage and wisdom. It's been inside of you all along! Working on myself and my dreams. It may be a while, but know that I'm thinking of you all!! Be good!
If they can see themselves then they can free themselves!
Ari dared to be awesome because he was awesome already.
He went running and flying into his destiny! Okay, now it's your
turn. See your inner wild child. Love him or her and then free
yourself to run to your destiny! Gotta fly!!! See you later good
Hey Blogger Family!! Just popped in to say, "Hello and I miss my Beautiful Peeps!" Life has been interesting and full of surprises! I want to say Thank You to ALL of you who emailed, called, and encouraged me. Thanks so much for your kind words and support it meant the world to me. I appreciate it so very much! I'm still standing and I'm still here quietly watching and listening. Learning that we are so much stronger, bigger and better then we even know and it's not what people say about us, but what we believe about ourselves! Our situations should never define who we are and it's not what people call us, but what we answer too. Not asking, "Why me?", but rather, "How does this serve me?" Not feeling sorry for myself, but understanding that there is a bigger picture and plan and what doesn't kill you fattens you for the rest of the journey and the journey is great! All things are working for my good because God is intentional never failing and still I rise and still I move forward and still I live in abundance, joy, peace and love. Nobody and nothing can take that away from us! My joy, peace and love belong to me. It's easy to dance in the sunshine of praise, but can you still do the same dance in the storm? I've learn that I can dance in the storm, lift my hands to the sky and smile with tears streaming down my face, because I am loved and I love me some Y'ALL! I don't dwell on the negative cause it just doesn't serve me. If you live long enough there will be some rough patches, but know this, nobody get to tell you when you can speak, dance, rejoice, or smile! ONLY you get to do that. So I will keep it moving and I will keep smiling! Thanks again you Bella Sinclair, KJ, Shell, Michelle,and so many other wonderful and beautiful people who have encouraged me and supported me. Love to you all!
Here's the thing about that children's book, "A Birthday Cake For George Washington": I can't imagine a sane, rational, reasonably intelligent African American approving a story that depicts slaves as happy. What I can certainly see, though, is the nuance of the lives our people lived during a time when our folk were in bondage. I haven't read the book; only accounts of what's in the pages, mostly from people who haven't read the book and have no idea who its editor and illustrator are. I can tell you, though, as an author of 23 books, five of which were edited by Scholastic's Andrea Davis-Pinkney: nuance, track record and dedication to our children MUST count for something. Andrea is the award-winning children's book author who, as a writer, filled bookshelves with almost two dozen children's books featuring Black characters we treasure and love, and, as an editor, opened doors for many Black authors whose sole wish was to chronicle the lives of Black folk for brown babies, including treasures like Walter Dean Meyers, Derrick Barnes and yes, me. Without her, our shelves would be that much more barren. The same goes for the illustrator extraordinaire, Vanessa Brantley Newton, whose illustrations have graced countless books showing the joy and wonder of beautiful Black children and families. Both of these sisters are dedicated to showing the beauty of us, and as a colleague, writer, parenting expert, mother and lover and collector of Black children's books, I do think both Andrea and Vanessa deserve the benefit of the doubt--at least an airing that extends far beyond calling them Klansmen, racists, ignorant, clueless and whatever other insult I've seen lobbed their way. I read Andrea's explanation for publishing the book and, while I cannot say I could get behind a book about happy House Negroes, I can appreciate the nuance for which Andrea, Vanessa and the author were reaching. Perhaps it is the same nuance that found its way into, say, "Life Is Beautiful," the award-winning film about a father who fools his child into believing that Auschwitz is a "fun" camp full of wonder, even as he understands their impending doom. Of course, this we'll never know. The book has been pulled. We'll never know if there was room there for the tough, nuanced discussions we could have had with that book on the shelves. I will say this, though: I do hope that moving forward, all the people coming for Andrea and Vanessa's necks could consider actually supporting the Black children's books that have gone out of their way to shine a lovely light for our babies. I hope, too, that after all the ruckus dies down, the publishing world considers easing up on the slave, Civil Rights and Black icon narratives and instead focuses on a new kind of Black children's book, one that considers the everyday wonders of Black children's humanity. Bring on the stories of Black babies pushing past the first-day-of-school jitters. Let's see books about Black children enjoying family get-togethers, going to church, making friends in the park, bonding with grandparents, taking care of their dogs, using their big, beautiful imaginations. (I'm actually working on a project myself that I hope helps to fill some of this void--stay tuned.) Let's use this as an opportunity to celebrate us, rather than mindlessly tear us down. Andrea and Vanessa deserve that much. So do brown babies.
Denene Millner of My Brown Baby.
She was looking for abundance
"What is it?" she asked.
I told her, abundance has a different meaning
for everyone. For me, it has nothing to do
with having a whole lot of money, or
friends, or a big house and car.
Abundance to me is living a full life.
Eyes wide open to see it all and
enjoy each sweet and bitter moment.
Abundance is having what you need and
then overflow to share it with others.
She loved how it rolled over and over
in her mouth when she said it!
Like the finest butterscotch candy
ever dancing on her tongue. I will
live in abundance.
Thinking out loud.
Have an abundantly fabulous day y'all.
I can't hear, "I love you" from folks who don't love themselves.
If you don't love you how can you love someone else?
I don't always get it right, but I love me some me
and this is just the way God wants it to be.
I love my face so round, brown and full,
I love my hair kinky curly as soft as lambs wool.
My brown eyes, my lips, my arms and legs
And all the joyful thoughts that run through my head.
I love me some you, brown, white or yellow,
I love me some you, all the girls and all the fellas
I want you to love you because your special it's
true. If you spend your time wanting to be someone else
who is going to be you?
Stop comparing yourself cause you can only do you
Learn to love yourself and others will learn to love you too.
And just incase they don't you are still fire all by yourself.
The secret to love is love yourself
and then you can love somebody else.
Written by Phat Mo.
Stilling myself today.
So much movement negative and
I need to know that these senseless
killings of innocent souls is not
norm. Singing soft songs to myself.
Sometimes so low that nobody else
can hear. I need to sing something
positive to deafen the aching soul
within. Why can't we just be?
We were created to be free. To love.
Teach me to love like you love
I want to love like you love.
My Client and friend Ms. Heidi B. Fuller will have a book that is coming out in December called,
" My Mama Taught Me Better Than That" 600 and somethin' quotes that will make you laugh and holler
out loud! Check out on Facebook @ Heidi B. Fuller on facebook.
Another long time blogger friend Rachel Ashe is sharing her awesome new project
Check it out!
Thinking about all my dear family and friends in Low Country
South Carolina, Beaufort,Sumter, Edisto Island,Charleston,
today who have lost so much due to the hurricane.
Weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes
in the morning.
Praying for brighter days ahead.
Renee never thought of her job as work.
She got to fly to the most exotic places
and stay in gorgeous hotels. She was
only reminded when passing out peanuts,
liquor, and giving instruction in case
Have a great week everyone!
So I asked the little girl, "What happens when you close your eyes?"
She said, " In my dreams I am a princess trying to escape my palace room
where they make me stay all day and all night. I can only get away
when I close my eyes and fly. I fly right out of the window in the
dark blue night. Fluffy clouds swirl around me and bright blue stars
light up the nights sky. The air is light and I am
even lighter. My long braids fly in the soft wind like wings
taking me higher and higher. I feel God and the angels. They whisper
sweet healing words to me. I feel better. I feel like I don't
want to ever go back, but then He says,"You have a purpose and I
have a plan. Run to your destiny for you are safe in my hand.
Safe in my hand." When I wake I am back in my room safe and sound.
I have a good feeling inside my tummy. I know that everything
is going to be alright cause I have a purpose and He has a plan.
I will run to my destiny cause I am safe in His hand. I am safe
in His hand.
This is Bo and I need y'all to help me
find the rest of these sheep before Friday aight!
Cause I left them alone and they ain't come
home yet! I mean like, What up?? So like
holler at a little sistah if you see them aight.
My contribution for #Whimsical Wednesday
We always had the laying around. Playing underneath them and wrapping our little brown bodies in them to keep warm on cool Autumn nights. Pieces of left over history, dreams, stories, hand me downs and bits all stitched up together to make a quilt. They didn't make them for show. My Grandma would say, " Only the white women got to make dem kind. The real pretty ones with diamond and log cabin patches. Didn't nobody have time to make dem kinda ting." They made the kind that was called ," Necessary Quilts." My Grandma called them " "Nesasity" She was Gullah Geechee. The community of women would come together and work to create a quilt for each family. They would work on one and finish that one and start someone else's. They would sing songs and talk about the happening in the community and pray. Some used the quilts to hang up against the crack in the clap board houses to keep the cold out. Some to make a mattress for the family to sleep on. They even used them for storytelling, teaching the Bible and yes, even as maps to get to freedom. Now I am trying to learn how to make these quilts so that I might share them with my baby girl and leave a legacy for my family. This book is about a very talented woman named, "Harriet Powers". Harriet was a fantastic quilt maker artist. This book tells her amazing story and I got to do the artwork for. If you are quilter or would like to be one, or just like quilting stories, you are going to love this book. "Sewing Stories " By Barbara Herkert. Illustrated by your's truly. Coming soon! I'll keep you posted!