Surrounding Yourself With Light & Beauty#2: Saratoga Revisted

When most people think of California Wine Country, Napa and Sonoma Valleys immediately come to mind. There are however, about a dozen other regions to choose from. They’re not as vast as the regions in Europe, but they do offer distinct varietals in the grapes harvested and the type of wine offered. I’ve always been partial to the Russian River Valley for their oak-barrel, heavier whites (think anti-Chardonnay) and usually make a beeline for the Domaine Carneros for its magnificent French castle and sparkling wine, albeit large production facility.

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10 Things You Don’t Know About Me

“I’ve come to believe that each of us has a personal calling that’s as unique as a fingerprint—and that the best way to succeed is to discover what you love and then find a way to offer it to others in the form of service, working hard, and also allowing the energy of the universe to lead you.” — Oprah Winfrey

The wonderful thing about having opinions is the fact there are so many. I can find numerous viewpoints from people without having to agree with them on every single point. I’ve stated this previously but running an effective forum while still setting boundaries does not guarantee comfort or popularity — for the forum host or reader. I do appreciate all of you who have joined in on or are continuing this journey.

I want to loosen things up a bit while still staying true to the core message, so we’ll see how this goes. Some long term bloggers participate in various memes for that reason. I used to post classic R&B songs as part of  Old School Fridays but the blog hosts who started that ran out of steam at some point. It was fun and  one of the things that tied several blogs who were members of the then-burgeoning Afrosphere.

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abundance is where women who don’t want to wallow in powerlessness go to create a better life

I’m having a poetic epiphany!

Between Questlove, Russell Simmons, Ashley Judd and now Lisa Price of Carol’s Daughter ganging up on black women, denying our heritage, telling us the only blacks are men and all the women are white, it seems the usual denigration has been kicked up a notch while they’re kicking us in the teeth.

You do realize this means we are “winning”, right?

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The Way To Help People Out Of Mediocrity Is To Make Them Uncomfortable With It

Where are the standards?

Here I thought when a blogger referred to the slave mentality of most blacks it was harsh — except the behavior that was on display from one of my blog posts last week was revealed to be exactly that and worse. Every time I wonder how low things can go they sink further. I’m glad the blogging audience could see this unfold. Agree or disagree – we benefit from clarification. This is what I’ve observed:

  • Women who lie, lie, lie and deny, deny, deny. Unsuccessfully.
  • Women who are single-issue advocates. Once they get “theirs” it’s time to check out.
  • Women sitting on the sidelines. Coddling unsavory behavior.
  • Women comforting perpetrators as victims, ignoring the actual victims.
  • Women offering mealy-mouthed platitudes about how they “wish” it would all go away everyone would get along so they can put their masks on and go back to sleep.
  • Women who may “care” as the day is long, but will walk all over you if you let them.
  • Women using other people’s forums for further venting time, rehashing their one-sided conflicts with other people and generally stirring the pot. Whiners not doers.
  • Women who claim to not be taking sides but choosing one by settling for less.
  • Women allowing anyone onto their forums  — like a certain white guy who isn’t dating or married to a black woman, identified himself as having had personal issues to resolve and has been using us for entertainment for well over two years now. He’s dropped little bits of poison into numerous conversations. He has not produced any tangible results that have uplifted black women, but because he claims interest in black women’s issues, some of you lap it up. WHY?
  • Women who can get along with you…as long as you dance in the gutter with them.
  • Women who feel entitled to benefits without paying sweat equity or reciprocating in kind.
  • Women claiming they support a cause but have not done anything substantial to build it, grow it or sustain it. It’s like claiming to be on a diet but eating a gallon of ice cream daily.

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The Would-Be BWE Messenger Trying To Swipe Our Crowns

In the past few days a situation has arisen that needs to be addressed. In addressing it I am not assigning “blame” or value to the blogger in question but am reaffirming the importance of the BWE message. The focus should not be on the blogger but on protecting the work. Besides, I am DEEPLY OFFENDED by this would-be BWE blogger’s attempt to tear down the work because she doesn’t want to be held to a higher standard. Especially in light of the beautiful post from Halima Why I Love BWE praising the BWE movement and the lovely sentiments expressed this week – Valentine’s Week which is supposed to be about LOVE.


All shut eyes aren’t asleep!

I have been silent for months, just observing the actions of the PR Pro who had made some inroads at infiltrating the ranks of the core BWE bloggers but was never quite successful. I think she would appropriate and capitalize on the work of others for personal gain at our expense. If we let her. Which we will not.

No one is opposed to any (and all) of us earning a living, getting a book deal, etc. I’ve noticed how she has tried unsuccessfully to usurp the BWE message and position herself as the lead BWE authority without originating any work of her own. What amazes me is how obvious she has been (as a fake friend to BWE/poseur) while she incorrectly assumed she was going to get away with it.

I’m writing about this now several months after she first appeared on the scene because she’s made a fatal strategic error by overplaying her hand in declaring open “war” against one of us. This was after she hung some of us out to dry. There is no war. Let me repeat. There is no war. She does not have the significance she’d like us to assign her. We’re not fighting and no one is suffering from the aftermath of a blogger break up. I did however, have a headache because I had taken one of my no-technology days off and logged back on to find this mess!

She’s not a BWE blogger.

She has however, been allowed all the rope she required with which to hang herself.

If you read and enjoy her forum feel free to continue doing so.

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In 2011 You’re Free To Be Your Best. Here’s How To Do It.

I’m sure enough of us can recall the scene from the first Matrix film after Neo has been untethered from the pod and is in training  – when Morpheus jumps between buildings and tells Neo he can and will do the same thing and more. You can watch it here for a refresher.

“Free Your Mind.”

The funk band Parliament may have used the term in a song title long before the Matrix was released  – with some humor attached but the sentiment remains the same. Your butt (and life) will follow accordingly to your adopted mindset. Does fear take top billing? Then you may be waiting for a light change when it’s been set to green (for Go) the entire time.

This is also why Field Of Dreams has long been a favorite film of mine, but never more so than as of late.

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AOFB Year End Review: Same As It Ever Was vs. Theme From Mahogany

You know as a musician with an extensive genre acquisition I had to make song references. It’s Talking Heads, “Once In A Lifetimesame as it ever was vs. “Do You Know Where You’re Going To?” do you like the things that life is showing you/why do we wait so long to see


As we move into 2011 we may review certain key points but they serve as markers for how far we will have traveled, not for giving credence to.

Right on cue, despite the focus of some forums at uplifting black women there are many amongst the throngs who are simply present to stall and derail the growth process for others.

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Sisterhood of the Emancipated vs. Settling For Scraps

Mediocrity doesn’t indicate average engagement. It means the limitations chosen reflect one of resentment and envy towards their betters.

A commenter at another blog left a rather telling message that offered insight into her willfully-indoctrinated/haterade mindset. Mind you she’s commenting at a blog site whose motto is in defending black women. She claims she’s all for supporting black women, but doesn’t want to have to engage with any women from certain “black male hating” blogs.

I wonder what blogs those are (wink).

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The Good Wife: Character Throw-Downs, Season 2 Whiplash & Why We Need A Few Real-Life Wendy Scott Carrs

This is Part Two of my analysis of The Good Wife. I’ll quickly do a character list and why I find them so interesting and are  integral to the overall storylines. I’ll highlight the segue from Season One to Two and how pleasantly surprised I am by the addition of certain characters who’ve become key players on the show.


As a sidebar none of this would matter if the show hadn’t been experiencing an uptick in viewers. SO far The Good Wife has won its timeslot and key demographics and they’re not quite one third into the season. It’s Novembers Sweeps and they’re killing it. I know why: Wendy Scott-Carr, but I’ll discuss the addition of my new Shero (besides Kalinda of course) further into the post to maintain some continuity.

Season One was so good I of course wondered what direction Season Two would go in. It’s moved in an entirely different direction without abandoning its core characters or betraying the audience. Yes, we’re all waiting to find out when Alicia and Will get together. I’m stating it as a forgone conclusion because I think the audience wants the payoff. The writers are just not going to give it to us yet and it may not happen the  way we want.

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Mastering The Tenets of NaNoWriMo

Gaga says, “Just Dance.” Nike says, “Just Do It.” Faith says, “Write (or whatever your creative practice is)!” I wasn’t sure I would participate in National Novel Writing Month again but since I’ve just written a commercial fiction novel in two weeks I think I should.

Technically, I started on October 28 at around 3am when I woke with a nagging urge to write something down. It was more of a journal entry about something that was bothering me but the idea gave me the incentive to write a story about a young woman’s journey from her teens to her early 40’s. I’ve been waking up between 3-5am with words wanting to come out that I’ve had to respond to so here I am.

While I agree it’s not good to rely on inspiration instead of discipline I found myself more as a conduit to writing this story than having to come up with plot points and character development. NaNoWriMo is simply about writing. The editing and cleanup process happens afterwards.

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