Back to the basics…

Skinny Black Girl posted something today that resonated with me.

I am not new to this blogging thing. After I was engaged in 2008, I started a blog on Blogger detailing the details of planning a wedding while a fulltime graduate student. I did not do it to gain followers and I was surprised when I amassed a few loyals. Around the same time, I joined the now defunct PNN site because they posted an advertisement for a writing opportunity and our interviews were our posts. PNN quickly became a tight knit community, rather than a hostile group of competitors. We posted daily, commented on each other’s posts etc. I cross-posted a few times and shared my wedding journey with my new friends. We even organized a small meet up in Philadelphia and I met these dynamic, encouraging women in the flesh. I am proud to say, we are all still cyber friends today.

When I started blogging at cakeandeggs, I did it initially because I wanted to build an audience. I wanted to throw my voice in the mix because my ultimate goal was to be a published author. I thought I could be transparent and write instead of going to therapy.

I did not realize then what a business blogging was. It is definitely about the content but also about page views, social media followers, page clicks, etc.

I stumbled upon Drea of Thedreadaily.com’s blog earlier this week and she said, “Create good content on a consistent basis.”

Consistency.

I have been struggling with this. I like comments, I like getting emails from people who say my words have touched them, and I kind of, sort of really like the support.

I have been struggling with finding my so-called niche, where do I fall in this blogosphere. What do I contribute? When people ask what I blog about, I stumble over my words because I know I am supposed to say something insightful, inspiring, and unique. Something that will make them bookmark my page, follow me on twitter, and stalk my online presence.

I have written about this several times on this blog.

If I can be all the way honest, I just write for myself. I know I will never become a popular blogger. I don’t know how to write for myself and include other people.

Sometimes I post a lot. Sometimes weeks pass by.

That is not good for consistency. That is not good for page views. Google recently sent my analytics and…

It is what it is.

My about me states:

I started this blog as a way to track my journey from aspiring to published author and connect with other like-minded people. In between heavily edited pages, life goes on. When I’m not ranting about how much I hate query letters, you’ll learn about my life as a newlywed, the books I’ve read,  challenges with my day job, and just my day to day thoughts. Sometimes it will be pretty and other times…not so much. I hope that you will get to know me a little better word by word. Enjoy the ride.

Sometimes I am caught up in the whole blogging as a business and I have to go back to the basics. I am writing about my journey, wherever life takes me.

It means I write about everything and nothing at all. It means sometimes I post several times a week and sometimes I do not.

If that means my page views are less than stellar or I never fit neatly into a niche, I think I am finally okay with that.

Welcome to cakeandeggs.com.

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Lets play the “10 Books” game

I never participate in challenges on Facebook but I actually saw something similar on Writers Digest and thought I would try to compile a list of the ten books that have impacted me in some way.

It was actually really hard to make list. Every time I picked a book, another title popped in my head. I have to say that this is not an all-encompassing list. These are just the ten books I chose today, this month, this year. As you can see, I snuck in a few more titles.

Bad Feminist by Roxane Gay-I literally just finished this book. I am going to save my thoughts for the upcoming book review

Someone Knows My Name by Lawrence Hill- I love historical fiction and this particular one was done really well, in my humble opinion. This was an accurate portrayal of slavery; it as heartbreaking and at times difficult to read. Read my review. Continue reading

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What about Janay Rice and other domestic violence victims?

I could go on and on about my disappointment with the NFL for the way they initially handled the whole Ray Rice debacle. I could go on for days about my disgust with Ray Rice’s actions.
As I passionately discussed the day’s events with my husband, he said something that made me squirm uncomfortably in my seat.
“At the end of the day, what does this solve? What about other victims of domestic violence?”

He’s absolutely right.
Underneath the rubble that is now Rice’s career, lays the most importance piece to this story, what about Janay Rice?

What about the women who face domestic violence daily behind closed the doors, stories not splashed on the media? Continue reading

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You are a Boy

 

The other day my husband told me a story of a young Black mother with two young kids in tow. The youngest, maybe two years old, started crying. She turned to him and screamed,

“Stop being a bitch, you’re a boy!”

This is the edited version. I actually left out a few curse words.

When I first heard this, I was appalled and furious.

How dare she speak to a two year old this way? He is two, a mere baby!  Babies cry for various reasons, fear, pain, hunger, etc.

Then my self-righteous anger turned into sorrow because I remembered Ferguson and Mike Brown, Trayvon Martin, Renisha McBride, and the countless others. Continue reading

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My Beloved Summer

 

Hello September.

Wow, I feel like I just a lost a game of hide and seek with Summer. Like, where’d she go?

Just when I finally started to enjoy Summer, she left me, until next year.  (I know technically we still have a bit of summer left, but it all seems to go downhill after Labor Day.)

We moved into our new place Memorial Day weekend and my days have been filled with our version of HGTV Renovation as well as learning a few hard to swallow  lessons on the joys of home ownership.

Prior to moving into our new place, I was convinced that I absolutely could not live anywhere that needed home renovations. Although this place is far from a fixer upper, we have had to tweak some things to make it “our own.” Continue reading

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If this is Postracial America…#Mikebrown #Ferguson #imtired

Even as I attempt to write this, I find myself at a loss for words.

What else is there to say?

The news of Mike Brown, the latest Black man to die a senseless death at the hands of a police officer, hit me like a bag of cement. I avoided Twitter and all other social media just to have some peace.
What peace?
When I look in the mirror, this black face looks back at me. When people first look at me, what do they see first? My blackness or my gentle eyes?
Just like my skin, I cannot avoid the news because for every Mike Brown or Trayvon Martin splashed on the news, there are hundreds more killed without so much a whimper.
Here we are again. The same place we were just a short while ago. How many times must we end up at this same place?
Black women have been burying their Black sons for generations. Even while nestled at their bosoms, did they know even then? Could they sniff the presence of Death waiting in the wings?

I’m tired. Continue reading

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Guest Post: I HAVE A VOICE

 

I had the pleasure of meeting Patricia Phillippe when I attended Celebrating the Voices of Haitian Women Writers presented by The New School Office of Intercultural Support. We have kept in touch via social media and when she emailed me about her upcoming trip to Africa, I was more than happy to lend her Cakeandeggs to use as a platform. Please read below and any way you can support Patricia would be greatly appreciated. 


As a child, family members said I was too sensitive and as I grew into adulthood, this statement would be repeated many times by others.  At some point, I must have internalized the message that something was terribly wrong with being sensitive.  With being me.  I shut off that part of myself and became cold, distant, and focused on being a superstar to compensate.  I went to a prestigious university and excelled in my career.  But a light switch turned on shortly after my 40th birthday.   My life felt empty and in spite of all my accomplishments, something was missing.  I felt like I did not have a voice nor a space to put the real me.

In 2010, I started a journey of healing in my life and started exploring the ways I could show up authentically and push past my internal roadblocks.  Writing turned out to be an incredibly powerful tool for healing.  I allowed myself to be vulnerable and blogged about the journey of showing up in my life.   I experimented with poetry and other forms of creative writing by taking workshops and engaging in encouraging and uplifting writing communities.   This enabled me to connect with the deep well of emotions bottled up.  I volunteered as Managing Editor of Kalyani Magazine to provide opportunities for other women of color to discover and share their own strong, powerful voices through writing.  All of these experiences showed me that there was indeed a space for me in the world.  That I am a kind-hearted, loving, and compassionate woman with a great deal of light and love to share.

In September, I will spend three weeks in Malawi, Africa facilitating writing groups with VoiceFlame for local teachers, orphaned girls and village women to help them discover the light within themselves through writing.  You can be part of this empowering mission to transform and heal lives by supporting the I HAVE A VOICE campaign and sharing it with everyone in your network.  Your support, encouragement and radiant energy are greatly appreciated.

Patricia Phillippe is an honest, powerful, courageous and intuitive woman. She is a life-long learner with many personal passions including travel, music, film, reading, writing, volunteering and exploring. You can find her on twitter as: @writehealteach or on her Tumblr

 

 

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Dancing the Night Away: A Shoe Story

Image courtesy of ninewest.com

 

Hey guys, hope you have been enjoying your summer! I’ve been busy trying to check things off my summer wish list.

I had the opportunity to write a post for one of my favorite bloggers, Darby of  Choices, Voices, and Sole! We actually met in real life at the Blogging While Brown conference in 2012 and have stayed in e-touch ever since!

Hey, I’m Martin.”

“I’m Brenda.”

We met the night before at River walk. He was the groom-to-be’s friend and too damn cute for his (or my) good. We didn’t speak much past the basic pleasantries, but I spent a lot of time looking. He was tall with broad shoulders and impressive biceps, a football player’s body. My favorite part though? His smile, it was almost shy.

I was not supposed to go to the wedding reception; I was simply on vacation and roommates with the bride’s cousin. Last minute — and I mean super last minute due to flaky guests — I found myself at the reception, seated a few tables away from my new crush. I was dressed a bit casual for the wedding, the dressiest thing I had with me was a short black and white flowered dress with a deep V-neck that I paired with my black patent leather nine west heels.
Back then, I wasn’t a big dancer, not in public anyway, but surrounded by my roommates I felt more uninhibited.

 

Read more at Choices, Voices, and Sole

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NYC Summer wishlist

 

Thanks to Truly Tafakari’s post on her visit to New York, I started thinking about all the NYC things I wanted to do and still have not done.

I realize its July but there is no time like the present. Besides, why do the tourists get to have all the fun?

  1. Go on a boat cruise–my gym actually owns a yacht so I can make this happen.
  2. Go to Central and Prospect Park: I have an image I am running in Central Park wearing cute printed leggings and then just hanging out basking in the sun. Cannot promise I will actually do the running part. Lol. Update: I went to Prospect Park on Sunday with my close girlfriend and enjoyed laying in the sun catching up.
  3. Outdoor concert: Last outdoor concert I went to was at Penn’s Landing in Philly for Boys II Men and it was awesome seeing them live for the first time.
  4. Winery: I love wine, so the idea of walking through a vineyard tasting wine is everything to me.
  5. Beach trip: I never make it a priority to go to the beach and I actually like lying on the beach or wading in the water (I do not swim). I want to go to Long Beach with a few girlfriends and chillax. I will need a few more weeks in the gym first though.
  6. Continue reading

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Life in a marital institution: 20 years of monogamy in one terrifying memoir by James Braly

image courtesy of barnesandnoble.com

 

“That’s why our arguments always drive me crazy. Because I’m not getting any sex, and I didn’t get much before I stopped getting any, so I don’t have much experience to fight back with. I can never say, with any authority, “You’re wrong. Normal woman are really like this.” Because I don’t know any normal women. I know Jane, and before her, I knew Anna, who became a paranoid schizophrenic shortly after she dumped me for art school and I wrote ‘The Devils You Know’. I’ve been on two first dates in my life—one of them with a woman who was clinically insane, and the other with a woman who is driving me crazy.”

James and Jane are at a crossroads. They have seen more than ten marriage counselors hoping just one of them will help them save their seemingly hopeless marriage. With twenty years and two kids under their belt, it is getting harder to relate to one another.

Twenty years ago, Jane offered to edit the angry poem James was writing post a bitter breakup and instantly he fell in love. After taking her number on a napkin, he waited the customary three days before trying to call. He was unable to reach her for three weeks. Continue reading

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