A Reflection of Who I Am

Archive for the ‘Children and Youth’ Category

I Act-So Smart: Mentoring the Youth


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Good writers have two things in common: they prefer to be understood rather than admired; and they do not write for knowing and over-acute readers.

-Friedrich Nietzsche

Sunday, January 11th, I had an awesome opportunity to facilitate the weekly Gloucester County NAACP Act-So chapter meeting.

What is ACT-SO?

The NAACP’s Afro-Academic, Cultural, Technological and Scientific Olympics is a year long achievement program designed to recruit, stimulate, and encourage high academic and cultural achievement among African-American high school students.

ACT-SO includes 26 categories of competition in the sciences, humanities, business, and performing and visual arts. Almost 300,000 young people have participated from the program since its inception.  Source: NAACPConnect

We had a conversation on “Writing Essentials”.  I met the nicest and most respectful teens who are participating in this national competition in the area of their passion…

  • Engineering
  • Photography
  • Writing: Essays, Short Stories, Poetry and Spoken Word
  • Drama
  • Dance
  • Music

They followed an agenda and during one point introduced themselves and talked about their competition area. When it came to my point in the program, I took the opportunity to critique their introductions. I wrote their names and disciplines down as I heard and understood them. When I read my notes back to them, six (6) out of the eleven (11) names were incorrect. I stressed when they stand before the judges, they must speak in strong voices to the last person seated in the room The person must be able to hear the proper annunciation of their name and the reason they are participating in the competition. It was a good start. It allowed me to stress, they needed to write out their who they were, why they were there, and what they were passionate about before hand. I challenged them to keep a journal as they participated in the Act-So competition.

I then went on to talk about how to become a great storyteller. Regardless of their discipline, storytelling is crucial to their presentation. We talked about the following:

  1. What makes a great storyteller.
  2. How to get started writing or telling their story.
  3. How and where stories are captured.
  4. How to define their main characters and keep them consistent throughout the story.

We discussed their personal mission and their passion. And I gave them a list of personal challenges for them to think and write about.

These high school students carried themselves as freshmen and juniors in college. I want to say to their parents and guardians, “Well Done!”  I want to thank Mrs. Larae Carter and her team of Mentors for inviting me and opening up yet another way for me to keep the process going. I am not giving back, I am paying it forward. That is what teen mentoring is all about.

We, yes I am on board as a mentor, are looking for more mentors. If you are interested please contact me at ActSoSmart@gladstonepublishing.com.

Gladstone Publishing Services: http://www.gladstonepublishing.com
One Smart Lady Productions: http://www.onesmartladyproductions.org

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It’s About to be Birthed!


It's About to be Birthed!

Pearl, The Little Light that Shines

“Inspirational book for the young readers, as well as, appealing cross-generational readers.”

Even as we grow older, our memories keep drawing us back to the past. Some memories bring smiles, and some overwhelm us with sadness. Despite some of the sad memories, P. J. “Pearl” Richardson, at age 60, decides to write about both the good and bad memories to illustrate how one does not have to be victim of their past.

In her first book, “Pearl, The Little Light that Shines”, she tells of her various relationships and adventures, and how she allows the light of Jesus to shine through the hurt, pain and disappointments in life. Her light inspires others to gain a positive outlook on their lives. Her stories bridge across all age groups as she begins telling her story at age 10. Each of her stories has a message each age group can learn a little more about living a fulfilling life by rejecting the negative memories.

Visit Pearl J. Richardson’s blog – http://thepearlineoyster.com as she reveals some of the stories behind the stories and the characters.

Pre-Order Today! Save $2.00 – Shipping Begins May 1st.

Writing Brings Joy


In March, I decided to give up my hours reading posts on my personal Facebook page for Lent. I know what most would say, “That is not a sacrifice.” For me it is. I work on manuscripts, blogs and websites in the privacy of my home. Facebook offers me a chance to socialize with the outside world. In bible study, my Pastor taught us about the true meaning of the Lenten season, and how it was not just to give up something to eat, but to really sacrifice something that is pleasurable and replace it with something that is holy or meaningful.

I have many client projects that are keeping me busy, but I wanted to do something for myself that would be dedicated to the Lord and my family.  Finances are always an issue and I wantHadana-FCed to focus on bringing a steady sustaining income into the household, not just money from projects as I complete them.  So in addition to spending a great deal of my time studying “The Lord’s Prayer” for which I am writing a reflection paper; I also decided to publish a couple of my own manuscripts. Of course the big one is my collaboration with P. J. Richardson on “The String of Pearl” series, but I also had a gem that I collaborated with my young niece, Hadana Trinity Smart. At the time, Hadana was seven years old. She is now eleven and still just as gifted and wise as can be.  “Hadana and the Skating Club” will be released in the next couple of weeks. I am putting the finishing touches on it.

I was also blessed to work with a young teenager, a senior in high school, Joy R. Brooks who did a wonderful job designing and illustrating the book cover. I gave her a photo of Hadana and described a scene from the story. What you see is exactly how I described it to her.

I pray that the Lord will bless these two young ladies with a life that will allow them to grow with their gifts.

I pray that you will support us when the book is published and share it with your friends and family. The book is written with young folk from ages 8-10 in mine, but can be enjoyed by all.

“Pearl, The Little Light that Shines” will soon follow.

 

Don’t Hesitate…Keep Writing!


As I was editing my book,”Pearl, The Little Light that Shined” I realized how much of Pearl’s childhood experience mirrors my own Adult development.  Pearl found herself alone most of the time, but she was productive during those times alone.  I find myself alone, during the day, most of the time doing my One Smart Lady thing. I am very productive.  I do not need someone looking over my shoulder to see if I did what I said I would do.  My vision is very clear of what the end shall be. Pearl is a great storytelling with a huge appetite for learning and sharing.  I have a huge appetite for learning and sharing and have been told that I am a very good storyteller.  I also do not take it personally when my posts are ignored or overlooked.  I have done my part…I’ve shared. I got an A+ in Kindergarten for learning how to share early on.

I know that what comes to me, is coming through me from God Almighty…El Shaddad.  He has instilled in me the gift of bringing forth fruit from my client authors’ projects.  These projects are a testament to their own experience and relationship to Jehovah…Lord of All…who reveals truth to those who have a connection to His wisdom and love.  Our God, Elohim, the Creator, has given us all the power to create, and if you are a writer and/or published author, don’t let your creation lay dormant. It’s time to bring it to the masses…so they too know how great our God was to you, and can be to them.

So don’t hesitate…keep writing…and envision your finished project.Image

What lies behind us and what lies before us
are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

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