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.
Ntozake Shange is one of those authors where I may not remember exactly what she said, but I remember how it made me feel. The first book I read of hers was either For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide / When the Rainbow Is Enuf or Liliane. If I recall, the main character Liliane talked to a therapist throughout the story about her life. Then, I remembered watching Tyler Perry’s adaptation of For Colored Girls at Bowie State University. (The book was better). Not to mention Ntozake Shange’s personal journey of self-discovery is amazing. If you haven’t read her work, please do. For those who have read her books, what’s your favorite?
Although I don’t care for the DC/Marvel Universe, I make exceptions. Marvel’s “Jessica Jones” is one of them. She’s the lead super hero in the self-titled show, and her methods are a bit unconventional. Some may say she’s a bit rough around the edges, but you can tell that she really cares about people. I feel like she’s relatable. Based on the premise of Jessica Jones, I gave my character Savannah, in my upcoming book, some of those characteristics. Have you ever watched a show and wanted to create something similar? I think it’s cool when art can imitate life.
I think Jessica Jones is fierce, and I’m so glad the new season is available on Netflix. I wasn’t expecting the show anytime soon, so I was pleasantly surprised to see it was back. The actors are all good, and it’s the only Marvel show I can tolerate. If you haven’t seen the show, then check it out. Fun fact: Each episode of "Jessica Jones" Season 2 was directed by a woman.
Have you ever liked someone’s work, but you know nothing about them? That’s how I feel about actor Leonardo DiCaprio, but I also feel the same way about R&B artist Kehlani. I think her music sounds good and heartfelt, but I don’t know much about her. Even though, it’s been a year since I bought her album “SweetSexySavage”, which inspired my Stone Sister Series, Kehlani’s persona escapes me. I know her story, but I still feel like I need to get to know who she is.
The only way I found out about Kehlani was through my friend Krystin. She calls Kehlani “Baelani”, which I guess is a thing for all Kehlani’s hardcore fans. Kehlani isn’t my favorite artist, but she gets honorable mention. She’s a great performer. I saw her live thanks to my friend and her music got me through my writing. While I wrote my book Savannah, I channeled the “Savage” portion of Kehlani’s album. “Personal”, “Do U Dirty”, and “Gangsta” were my top three on the CD. (Yes, people still buy CDs). “SweetSexySavage” was great, so I’m looking forward to her next project.
Listening to music as I write keeps me going, so I recommend you do the same. If you haven’t heard of Kehlani, I posted one of her buzz singles below.
Now that February is done :’-( it’s time to get into March, Women’s History Month! This month reminds me of my time as a Gender & Women’s Studies (GWST) minor at University of Maryland Baltimore County (UMBC). I took a class about women’s representation in media and I really enjoyed it. The class was diverse, and the teacher made it fun.
In honor of Women’s History Month, I’m going to highlight different women and fictitious female characters in all my blogs. If you all have someone in mind, let me know by leaving a comment. That person just might show up on my list.
So, kicking off Women’s History Month, I challenge you to look up the term “womanism”. It was coined by Alice Walker, and I think the concept is interesting. To learn more about womanism and its origin, click here.
Roxanne Ridge writes for the youth. Not to mention, writing is peaceful.