Hello, everyone! Happy hump day! It's only a few more days until my event "A Most Convenient Read: Book Reading & Poetry Showcase. (You can purchase tickets here. I'll be reading an excerpt from Savannah alongside Kaleema M, the poet. Kaleema is a good friend of mine. You’ll get to learn a little bit about her, and she plans to put on a show that you don’t want to miss. Since Kaleema will be giving a short bio, I thought why not tell you all a little about me?
My pen name is Roxanne Ridge, but those that know me call me by my real name. If you’re wondering what my real name is, you’ll have to come to the show this Sunday to find out. Or if you peruse my website, my real name is on here somewhere. Roxanne Ridge is what I use for business purposes. Roxanne was the second choice for what my parents planned to name me, so I figured I’d pay homage to that name by using it as a pseudonym. The last name Ridge simply derived from my desire to put some alliteration in my title. Two R’s sounded nice to me 😊
The pseudonym has come in handy. I still have one foot in the corporate world, so a pseudonym has allowed me to do things discreetly. My mom was against me using my real name. Now, that it’s been a while she said I could probably use my real name, but I like the pen name Roxanne Ridge for my books. I can publish my work, and still inform other people on the process of choosing a pen name. It’s been an enlightening journey, and I plan on doing more, so I can keep you all in the know. I hope to see you at my event Sunday. Check the link below!
#itsagirlthing was the saying for That's So Girly, Inc's conference, and I was happy to be a part of it. I got to meet the founder Essence Moore, the event planner Nichelle Calander, and volunteers from Goodie Girl Bags. They put together a wonderful event for teen girls (ages 12-17) to do empowering workshops, listen to influential speakers, and arrange donation bags for ladies in need.
Everyone was dedicated to the cause, which was mentoring young girls. There was dancing and lessons in a classroom environment. The staff there provided me with encouraging words, and the teens seemed to have a good time. It was an awesome turnout, and I hope That's So Girly has many more events.
Check out That's So Girly, Inc. on their Facebook here.
More information on Goodie Girl Bags here.
For those that don’t know, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, wrestler-turned-actor, had many sayings. (I can't believe I did two posts related to the 90s this week). “Jabroni” and “candy…you know what” to name a few. This might seem like a stretch, but I think another one of his saying could relate to writers. Just imagine you ask someone a question about something you wrote. The person proceeds to give you feedback, and then you cut them off by saying, “IT DOESN’T MATTER WHAT YOUR FEEDBACK IS!”
At the time, you might be thinking you just gave the ultimate tell-off. That person will know not to mess with you and your writing, right? The only problem is you just might have missed an opportunity for some valuable feedback. I believe being able to reflect and improve writing is important. If I can receive criticism from my peers, then I’m all for it.
I know a few months ago, I mentioned dealing with criticism in my blog (read here), but now I want to talk about being open to criticism. Feedback can be a good thing. I know when I run into returning customers who bought my previous books, I ask them if they liked them. All of them said they liked my work, but I wouldn’t have been mad if they didn’t. I could either try harder next time or simply listen. Criticism isn’t a bad thing.
I think a lot of authors, especially new ones, would prefer you leave them feedback. This is my call to action (CTA). Readers, give us authors feedback. Drop a review on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and even Goodreads. I promise us authors, don’t bite. Now, authors, I didn’t forget about us. I want all of you to be open to feedback. We can’t get reviews or improve our writing if we’re defensive and closed off. So, I’ll end this on a positive note. Writers and readers, it does matter what your feedback is. Make it count.
Hey, Lisa Frank (lol)! Ah, 90s nostalgia. Anyhow, today, I start my new job. I'm thankful for the opportunity, and more than anything I want to make a good impression. The job seemed excited to have me, and I plan to do my best. One thing my friends and family say about me is I'm always looking to better myself, which includes getting to the next step in my career. Just as we plan to make a good impression on the job, I think we should do the same with our crafts on the side. By craft, I mean our entrepreneurship. Below I’ve listed some ways of how we can make good impressions as entrepreneurs.
Dress the part. For example, I’m a young adult author, so I know I don’t need to dress up, like I’m doing a business briefing, when I’m at vendor events.
Know your audience. Whenever I’m attending events, I try to keep my audience in mind. I want my readers to enjoy my work and be able to relate.
Take a chance. Sometimes, being an entrepreneur is trial and error, just like applying for a job. Maybe you might not get the job, but that just means there’s better opportunity out there. You must be prepared.
If you keep these three things in mind, then you’ll make an awesome first impression. So, go out there and be great!
Today is Friday, March 30, 2018. To some, it may seem like a regular day, but it's my day to transition. I'm transitioning in the following ways: professional life, personal life, and book life. As for my book life, I have you all to thank. Savannah: Stone Sister Series Book One is live!
Savannah is the first installment in my Stone Sister Series, and I’m so happy to debut the book. You all have heard me posting about it, but now the date is here. You can get it on Amazon or on my site here. I appreciate you all and I just wanted to say thank you and Happy Good Friday, everybody.
Savannah's release date is only a few days away! It's been a busy week, so what better way to decompress than to do yoga? When my mom reminded me of our yoga date this week, I gladly took the offer. Actually, I completely forgot that we had yoga on Sunday, so I was glad she reminded me.
When I arrived at the yoga studio Essence of Movement, the staff was very welcoming. They gave me a tour and said that I was part of the family now. I was a little late, so I had to wait for them to finish the warm up. Once I was in there, it was a new experience for me. We did various poses (i.e. tree pose, child's pose, etc.), and I had to get used to the movements. I learned that when it's come to yoga, my right side is more dominant then my left side. There was this particular pose where I kept faltering, but I pulled it together thanks to the instructor Sherrell.
Our instructor Sherrell was good. She had many positive affirmations, including "Celebrate being a human being, not a human doing." She helped us fix our poses and she was accommodating. If you're ever free on a Sunday afternoon, I highly recommend her class Yin Flow. We ended the class with Namaste. I'm glad my mom finally got me to go, and now I can say I'm a yogi!
To learn more about Essence of Movement Studio, I attached a picture of their schedule and their website is here.
This past weekend was wonderful. I had the pleasure of being a vendor at the K.E.Y.S (Keep Encouraging Youth to Succeed) first annual resource luncheon. Kiniesha Abraham serves as the Program Director, and she has a good team with her. KEYS put together a great program. The youth involved got to do outdoor activities on the sunny Saturday, and the parents and volunteers inside got to check out us vendors. I enjoyed interacting with the volunteers and youth there. Also, KEYS welcomed us with folders, including an event schedule, and lunch! I wasn't expecting a meal, but I was definitely grateful.
Overall, the event was a win-win. KEYS is doing big things in the community, and I loved how engaged the kids were. KEYS has a mantra, and all the kids knew it. We started the program by stating the mantra, and then we ended the program with the mantra. I'd tell it to you, but you'd have to be there ;-)
For more information about KEYS, click their website here.
I may have mentioned Jennifer Lawrence in the past on my blog. One of my peers jokes that I’m obsessed with her. I’ve only seen two of her movies, but I’m in awe of her success. We’re the same age. Yet, she’s one of the highest-paid actresses in Hollywood!
I could wonder what she has that I don’t, but that’s a waste of time. Plus, I know better. I'm not her, and I couldn't be her if I tried. I don’t think it’s healthy to compare yourself to someone else, especially if you don’t know what that person did to get to that point. All you can do is work on yourself.
What I try to do is admire others and think of things I can do to improve my work. For example, I admire author group Alexa Riley’s social media presence, and I try to emulate it. Looking at their page, helped me change mine. Also, I look at what my fellow authors have done, and use their examples. The point to leave with is find someone or something that inspires you and keep working toward your goals.
"It'll be an adventure," says Lara Croft, the lead in the "Tomb Raider" reboot. Meanwhile, I'm just rolling my eyes. Checking out the movie seems like the right thing to do, but I'm having second thoughts. The more I read about the movie, the less impressed I am. I was going to see the movie under the pretense that Lara Croft was a strong character, who was about to kick-butt. Also, I was going to watch the movie to reminisce about when my dad took my brother and me to see "Tomb Raider" and its sequel years ago (back in the early 2000s, sheesh). I was looking forward to the trip down memory lane until I realized that Lara Croft's character is a woman living in the shadows of her male counterpart, her father.
It's 2018, but I didn't realize it was a thing to have female characters sent in a "daddy direction" or isolated where they must "out-man the men" in order to be worthy. Now that I'm aware, the trend seems so apparent in Hollywood. It reminds me of the Bechdel Test that I mentioned on my blog. Hollywood still has work to do. I'm at least happy that Tomb Raider's Alicia Vikander acknowledges the deficit of female actors in Hollywood in an interview here.
I think when creating a piece of work (i.e. film, music, writing), we should be considerate of our audience. Also, it's good to get feedback from others before presenting your final product. Going forward, I always try to make a point to make my work pass the Bechdel Test for when it's adapted to film, which I believe it will be. My first book WTW failed to meet those standards, but my second book Zoya and third book Savannah have women that interact. A piece of work doesn't have to pass the Bechdel Test, but I prefer mine does.
So, as "Tomb Raider" prepares to come to theaters this Friday, I think I'll pass. Maybe I'll consider checking out "Red Sparrow", starring Jennifer Lawrence.
By Source, Fair use, Wikipedia, CriticalHit, RTE
Janie Starks is that chick. Janie is from author Zora Neale Hurston’s Their Eyes Were Watching God. In the novel, Janie did what she wanted and lived unapologetically. Of course, she didn’t start out that way, but the way her story, end is superb. Not to mention, I love the symbolism of the pear tree that Zora Neale Hurston depicted. Janie Starks is my favorite female character in literature. I can only hope that my character Savannah and others in my Stone Sister Series can influence other some day.