A Reflection of Who I Am

Archive for the ‘Independent Publishing’ 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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Girl Trek-Reflection on Walking


So far, I have not walked today. It is 9:20 pm. I have foot cramps and I am very tired. It has been a long hot, humid and on again off again rainy day.  I sent out the website link for  Theresa Tapp’s T-Tapp website to my GirlTrek team members. I discovered T-Tapp about 5 years ago and I swear by it for indoor walking. I am not an affiliate and I do not make any money off of recommending T-Tapp. At one time I desired to become a T-Tapp Instructor. As the years have gone by and my interest in other things became more prominent, I put that desire aside. Yet I still T-Tapp and will do the same this evening, if I do not walk outdoors, before turning in. I am determined to log my 30 minutes before the clock strikes midnight.

Hooray! I was able to take a break and walk my 30 minute commitment. I would have really felt badly if I missed walking today.

Commitment and focus allows us to succeed in achieving our goals; no matter how challenging they are. I have to tell you if you do not already know, I do not rely on my own strength or wisdom. One of my scriptures I follow is “Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding.” (Proverbs 3:6 NLT)

Tank ready for his walk.

Tank ready for his walk.

 

I walked 10 minutes with my companion, Tank, our 5 year old pit bull (it’s late). Then 15 minutes without the pit bull but with pepper spray (it’s late) and the final 5 minutes walking around my house (it’s late).

 

 

 

Yesterday my sidekick, Shanice, and I walked at Lt. Col. Samuel M. Siler Veterans Memorial Park on Chews Landing in Gloucester Township.

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Walking is the best choice for me at 64 (June 24th). I enjoy the energy I feel in my legs as my feet hit the ground. I love the fact I can still breath through my nose and occasionally carry on a conversation with my friend as we fellowship and share a prayer.

I am thoroughly enjoying my commitment to walking. I feel better during the day and have more energy. I sleep better at night. Well tomorrow morning we’re off in search of a new park to walk in. Good night.

 

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Girl Trek: Walking in Blackwood, New Jersey


 

I’m a Girl Trekker from New Jersey. There are so many walking venues in Southern New Jersey. Grenloch Lake Memorial Park is just one of many we will seek out and share our pictures.

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Grenloch Lake Memorial Park – a great place for a short walk. F.Y.I They stock the lake with trout.

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Girl Trek – The Fruit of the Spirit – Kindness and Goodness


Today’s Fruit of the Spirit was Kindness. I apologize for going directly into the next day, I jumped the gun. It has been a long day. My write up for kindness was sent to my team members last night. I have to admit myself they are so closely entwined.

Day 5: Fruit of the Spirit (KINDNESS) The Bible says, “Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these” (Mark 12:31) You have to love in order to be kind. That is why LOVE is the first Fruit of the Spirit to grow in. Now we are at day 5, I challenge you to show kindness to someone who you have challenges with every time you encounter them. God is Love. You can be too. “Hit the Grow Walking”

Day 6: Fruit of the Spirit (GOODNESS)
The Bible says, “make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge”when-found-him-pp
(2 Peter 1:5). Today, we pray for our kids. We want good kids – not just smart kids. We pray that our schools will teach knowledge and virtue. Walk to a local school, a day-care center or the library. As you walk, pray that God will lead educators to model and teach good character as well as academic excellence. If the Spirit leads you, send a local principal, dean, teacher or staff member a note or e-mail of thanks and encouragement. Go the Extra Mile: Invite a girl in
your life to take a walk with you. As you walk, listen to her. Serve as a mentor on the trail. Ask her what she cares about. Give her positive feedback, good advice and kind words. (Source: www.girltrek.org)

There is a good study on the Goodness of God and the Study of Psalms 107. So as you complete your walk today, why not turn to Psalms 107 to read and meditate on it. Then download or read on line the paper written by Ron Hutchison.

 

 

Girl Treking: Peace Within


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Even with storm clouds surrounding us, He gives us peace.

Today’s Fruit of the Spirit is “Peace”. In Greek the word is EIRENE and pronounced I-ray-ray…meaning prosperity, quietness, rest, or to be set at one with yourself again. I like the last description, “to be set at one with yourself again”.

It is so hard to stay within your wants and desires in life, let alone work on figuring out God’s design for your life. The beauty of doing this walk allowed me to think about peace. The nine Fruit of the Spirit are characters which we receive from the Holy Spirit to walk in the character of Christ. I know I have not matured in all the ways of all nine fruit. I do however recognize my growth in my walk with Christ.

Peace manifests itself in my heart and radiates through my body, my mind and my spirit because of my growing relationship with Christ. I still have a bad temper, nevertheless it has been reduced by my growth in my fruit Love and Joy. I love the God with all of my heart, mind, soul and spirit. I find joy just by know He has forgiven me and will continue to forgive me my bad decisions and choices made in the past, and will make in the future. I know my bad choices in behavior and attitude result in disappointment in my relationships with people, especially my family. However, I also know as soon as I go to the Lord and ask forgiveness and understanding, He uses it as a teaching moment and those incidents have happened less and less. The anger and hurt are no longer present, just realization at that moment, “it is what it is” and I cannot change them or the situation.

I have peace within me and that is all that matters.

John 14:27  Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.

John 16:33 I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”

 

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Girl Treking: Joy the Fuel That Motivates


On Day 2 of the 9 Day Prayer – Observing the Fruit of the Spirit. Our prayer focus is JOY! 20140602_084854We (Shanice and I) met Yvette who inspired us to walk beyond the 30 minutes and walk 4 miles. Yvette was in a car accident 12/2012 and is now up to four miles a day. She sparked such joy in our hearts, we were committed to do no less.

Joy comes without fanfare or pronouncement. When it does, it makes me feel wonderfully alive. My joy begins by acknowledging God’s beauty and handiwork. His precious gift of mercy and compassion. I know for some it may seem that he does not answer prayer, nevertheless, I can assure you he does. Yvette found herself in a position December, 2012 that changed her life. I do not know the whole story behind her car accident, yet I know other stories to understand the difficulty it takes to learn to walk again. I am now thinking about a dear friend, Donald who was in a car accident in the beginning of April. On Thursday, April 20th, I received a telephone call from Donald. I returned his call the next day. Donald had been in a car accident on April 4th and just woke from a coma. He now has to learn how to walk again. He is a gifted artist and God spared his life. We are working on a book project together, and that was one of the first words out of his mouth. “Mrs. Smart, we have to get my project done.”

Yvette gives me encouragement that Donald will walk again. I will be meeting with a videographer to put together a fundraising campaign for Donald. He is out of work now and will need help financing his project. I will do what I can do. I just know that during and at the end of the project, there will be exceeding Joy. The Lord gives us challenges so we can grow. My heart is continually fueled by the joy of the people and projects he delivers to my door step.

Tomorrow’s walk focuses on PEACE. Peace is one of the most challenging Fruit of the Spirit, because our days are filled with negative interactions in our home, our jobs and in the world. 2 Corinthians 10:30 says, “For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does.” God’s will is for us to address our issues through Love, the first Fruit of the Spirit; and Peace. Unfortunately, we are disobedient most times and wage war using our own understanding.

Tomorrow we walk praying for the knowledge of how to grow in the spirit of Peace. I hope you join in the movement to walk for your health; spiritually, as well as, physically.

Sign up: www.girltrek.org  Team Leader: Deborah Smart  Team: Smart By Choice  Location: Clementon, NJ

P.S. My walking partner is 40 years younger,
and a blessing to fellowship with on our walk.

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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.

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