Toni Morrison. Novelist, Essayist, Editor, Professor Emeritus. The Tale…

Inspired. Informed. Educated. An iconic life exceptionally captured in one piece by author and educator Tiffani Knowles.

Excerpt cited. Read Tiffani’s full piece here

It was 1965, after splitting from Harold, when she began her career as an editor at Random House where she was instrumental in publishing American writers and luminaries such as Angela Davis, Henry Dumas and Muhammad Ali.

Yet, she knew there was a story that still needed to be told, one she hadn’t read or seen before.

At first, she was private about her own writing and would do so as a pastime very early in the morning before her boys would wake.

“I remember reading the ‘Bluest Eye’ and thought it was wonderful,” said Robert Gottlieb, a Random House colleague and the chief editor of the Alfred Knopf sub-division.

When Random House got wind of the fact that she was publishing, they wanted to keep her work in house and so, with the exception of one book, Gottlieb got to edit all of her books while they were published through Knopf.

Her first book, as Morrison claimed, intentionally eliminated the white gaze without “codes or notes explaining things to white people,” as she decided to put the entire plot on the first page.

“Quiet as it’s kept, there were no marigolds in the fall of 1941. We thought, at the time, that it was because Pecola was having her father’s baby that the marigolds did not grow.”

It was 1970 and “The Bluest Eye” boasted a story inspired by a conversation Morrison had had with an elementary schoolmate in Lorain many years before.

Her friend told her she had been asking God to give her blue eyes and he never did.

“How painful … can you imagine that kind of pain?” Morrison recounted for filmmaker Timothy Greenfield-Sanders in the “The Pieces I Am” documentary. “So, I wanted to say, this kind of racism hurts. This is not lynchings and murders and drownings. This is interior pain. It’s so deep to know that an 11 year old would think that if only she had some characteristic of the white world, she would be OK.”

Book It…

Such a thrill when dreams come through. My Book GreenLight is now available in-store Barnes & Noble, Broward Mall, Plantation, Florida. Pick up your copy in-store today or order online then pickup in-store.

It’s the perfect gift for yourself or someone who will be overjoyed for a boost of daily inspiration.

Cheers!

Writers Write. Readers Read. Together They Are One…

Think of this – that the writer wrote alone, and the reader read alone, and they were alone with each other.” – A.S. Byatt.

Oh what a feeling seeing readers with the GreenLight.

A Look Back At 2018…

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Whew, another year! It’s like it flew by in a flash! I’m a firm believer in looking back to get ahead. In business we look back to assess our performance for the year. Often it’s even mandated. I have always maintained that we apply the same principles to our own personal life. Some don’t like to look back because they believe, they must focus on the future. If you’re driving and need to change lanes it’s important to look back then make the change. Only then will we able to know when it’s safe to do so…. or face the consequences.

For me I believe it’s important to look back to give thanks. To look back to see what worked and what didn’t. If we don’t look back we won’t know where we excelled or where we need to improve. So, here I share a few of my major points in 2018.

South Florida Writers Of Color Recognition

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I love to write and was thrilled to be recognized by the South Florida Writers of Color for my writings. If I can help someone through my writings, then my purpose is served.

Two New Books Released

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101+ Empowering Quotes For New Entrepreneurs

Do you know why some people succeed while others don’t? It’s simple. They never give up. Successful people press on when the going gets tough and they become discouraged. Why Motivational Quotes for New Entrepreneurs? Because Motivation is the key to Success. With over 25 Million Americans starting or running new businesses, entrepreneurship has become incredibly attractive, yet extremely difficult to sustain. Even with the traits of fearlessness, risk-taking, passion, resilience, and creativity, difficulties arise, and Entrepreneurs need to keep going. That’s where a boost of inspiration comes in. So, get this little book of Motivation. Offer it as a Corporate or personal Gift and sow seeds of encouragement today.

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GreenLight

GreenLight is a book of inspiration which we get step by step as we walk along the way. We cannot get green lights before we are on the road. At the lights, we are told what to do. When we get to life’s intersections whether it’s decision-making, career, business, or relationships, we find out what to do. In this book of Prayers, you will find: •Inspirational Short Stories and Exhortations to Uplift You •Prayers for Difficult Journeys •Devotions to Boost Your Prayer Life. So get your copy today

 

Pride in Other’s Publishing Achievement

I am pleased to have collaborated with others on their own publishing journey. Be intentional and Get a copy of these books for your own personal needs on Amazon.

          

Coming Soon

The Reggae Music Journey

The Reggae Music Journey which tells of the Iconic Patricia Chin’s contribution to the Globalization of Reggae Music.

 

 

 

 

 

I Speak. You Read.

Poetic words by Charmaine Allwood-Hanson

 

 

 

Community And Industry Work

Serving in Industry and the community is always a pleasure. Tons of hard work, but the results are satisfying.

Hospitality and Human Resource Association of Broward County, Florida (HHRABC)

 

30 Under 30 Millennials, Washington DC

It’s always a pleasure to serve as chief judge for the annual Ignite Caribbean’s 30 Under 30 Millenials making waves globally.

Book Signings and Interviews

Book signings and interviews remained a big part of my theme in 2018. Giving thanks for partnerships throughout South Florida’s libraries, Museums, and events. Deeper exploration continues in the New Year.

Jamaica’s Minister of Education, Senator the Hon Ruel Reid
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The Iconic & Hilarious Oliver Samuels
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The Best of the Best! Artist, Singer and Song-Writer Beres Hammond

 

 

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Interviews

Helping others develop and achieve their best potential through career and new entrepreneurship is a passion. Listen to this interview on How To Evaluate Your Career… done with Kerry-Ann of Carryon Friends.

Dreams Come Through

Trip To Paris

As always the year was filled with travels but my greatest personal memory was the surprise trip from my oldest of a Weekend in Paris. All the way to Paris for a weekend? I questioned. But it sure was a memorable event that has left me with the notion that our dreams can come sometimes in ways we think not.

The Journey Begins

The greatest joy a parent can have is seeing their child accomplish their own dreams. Congrats to my youngest on achieving her BSc Forensic Studies and Criminal Justice. Mom’s real proud.

 

Cheers to you!

Finally, looking back on the past 12 months, the memories made and the goals tackled, I am truly thankful. I now look forward to the future and the expectations ahead. Can’t wait to see how it unfolds. Here’s to you and your family as we wish you health, peace, and hope that all will be well in 2019, and beyond!

How about you? What was your favorite experience in 2018? Do share. We would love to hear!

Happy New Year to you!

Cheers!

 

 

 

 

 

It’s Beginning To Look Alot Like Christmas! 11 Songs That Inspire…

It’s Beginning to look a lot like Christmas

It’s the most wonderful time of the year! Christmas! The Holidays! Whatever you call it… to me its the most wonderful time of the year! People are kind, joyful, generous, smiling, pretty-all dressed up for those office parties, and family gatherings! There’s sumptuous food, Folly jolly chocolate delights, gifts and so much more! Yes, I know there’s always the Grinch but they’re just a few, so let’s not let them spoil it for us too.

Music of the Season

The season kicks off with holiday music… and today I would love to share them all!  Hey, I’m just kidding! I will just share 11 of my favs!

  1. All I want want for Christmas is you (Mariah Carey)
  2. It’s the most wonderful time of the year (Andy Williams)
  3. Holly Jolly Christmas (Burl Ives)
  4. Feliz Navidad (Jose Feliciano)
  5. Mary did you know (Pentatonix)
  6. Silent Night (Temptations)
  7. Last Christmas (Bing Crosby)
  8. Let it Snow (Dean Martin)
  9. This Christmas (Chris Brown)
  10. You’re a mean one Mr. Grinch (Thurl Ravenscroft)
  11. It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas (Johnny Mathis)

Am I missing any of your personal favs? Do Share! We would love to hear!

Cheers!

On A Budget? 9 Gifts That Cost Nothing But Is Invaluable….

Success Strategies

For it is in Giving that we receive

My personal joy is to give! I treasure any opportunity to give! The act of giving has always brought me even more satisfaction than the recipients of my gifts.  These days being on a strict budget has brought with it the stance to be even more creative than I was in the past when giving high-priced gifts. I ran a search for gift ideas to still meet my giving needs to others. I pounced upon LiZ Evans Huffington Post’s article 20 Gifts That Cost Nothing To Make But Might Be Priceless. From the list my top 9 Favs are:

Birthdays, Christmas, Graduation…Gifts That Cost Nothing

1.When Skies are Gray.  Give this to anyone in your life who may be going through a tough time. Give them a stack of cards or books with inspirational quotes that will help them ride the…

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Cancer. My Sister’s Journey…

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She’ll have my head if she knows I’m writing this but some stories must be told.

That was how I started this story four years ago but don’t think it was ever published. It was the spring of 2003, after experiencing discomfort and a series of medical tests, the news was relayed to my sister. Not only did they find a lump in her breast but it was also malignant. Visits to Specialists left her with two options; remove the breast, or embark on a series of chemo treatment. The option of removal was an uncommon feat at the time, so after engaging family, friends and mountains of prayers, she made the decision to save the breast and embrace the chemo treatment.

Past The Worst

Over 10 years later and different rounds of chemo treatment combined with the usual side effects of hair loss, nervous system changes such as numbness, weak feelings and more…yet she still kept on fighting. Fighting to survive for her children. Fighting to see them “pass the worse”.

Why I Now Share

I write this not to seek sympathy but to share the innate character of my sister – Carleen, a stalwart! A fighter! A survivor extraordinaire! A teacher by profession, she  spent her years in New York, Florida and the Caribbean educational systems molding the youthful minds of countless children. Many were overwhelmed by the genuine care and concern she had shown for her students-many of whom she brought from non-or-minimal performance to the realms of exceeding expectations.

October Is Breast Cancer Awareness

October is Breast Cancer awareness month and for that I choose to celebrate and remember my sister, Elaine AKA Carleen. Yes she passed. 12 years hard battle. She won some. She lost some. But in the end I walk away remembering the fighter that she was. I choose to celebrate the character and personal attributes of someone who has made a difference in the lives of many.

My sister, I love you! I salute you!

For The First Time…

Mid-life she decided to move to Paris. A dream she always had. With kids grown and little or no responsibilities she decided to take the plunge! She bought a house exclaiming “it’s my first time”.

Adventure

I thought about that. I have had many first times. An explorer and lover of adventure, I have sky-dived for the first time. I have moved to different states and countries for the first time.  Not to mention my first time at writing and publishing my research on Success Strategies. A book that has helped many others for their first time.

I remember the first time I experienced childbirth…exhilarating yet humbling experience. 14 years later I did it again for the first time and the experience was no different. Wonders of the world! A little me was born again for the first time.

Travel

I now look forward to my own personal travel to a Cafe in the French Quarters…a dream to feast, ponder while I write, and ride the gondola in neighboring Venice. Now that’s a first time that I can hardly wait for as I did in my  Weekend In Paris…

Goals

Is there something you’d like to do but because it’s the first time you’re afraid? Why not take the risk? Try it. Step out in faith. Who knows you may experience Success for the first time ….all over again.

Try it!

Cheers!

 

Weekend In Paris…

Don’t cry because it’s over. Smile because it happened. ~Dr. Suess

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I have always wanted to visit Paris. This was the promised gift to myself when I hung up my student cap after years and years of continuous studies. Then the workaholic that I am, saw 4 years go by in a flash embarking on community initiatives, writing, and more.

A month ago my oldest surprised me with a Birthday Weekend trip to Paris. But how can I visit Paris for just a weekend? That’s when my youngest ‘scolded’ me. “Go”, she said. “You have always wanted to do it. Just go.” I agreed and made it into a long weekend. Wonder of wonders! I discovered I even had time to spare. Time to watch the rain, the people, and the waves of the Seine River go by at sunset.

Travel Across Continents

The flight was long but it was far from boring. I read. I wrote. I watched movies. I chatted with my oldest, slept, and I ate. Before we knew it, the descent was upon us.

Travel’s Cultural Differences

Cultural differences are everywhere. In Paris the hotel rooms are tiny spaces. Just enough to get by, yet absolutely comfortable.  TV channels are in le francais. Plugs for chargers, electrical items and such differ. Disappointed, frustrated for sure I was at first, but then it’s not about me. I travel for new experiences and that’s what I got.

A polite society…bonjour, merci, pardon,  were among the basics to know in that language and will serve as the basic entre to service. They are curt and offer no apologies. So do your research before you go and you’ll be just fine (smile).

Travel’s Cuisine

Food in Paris is divine. Delicious. Sumptuous. Absolutely satisfying. But don’t rush….it ain’t fast food. When you visit the unique restaurants among which my fav is the Cafe, you dine, taste the delectables, and chill. No rush for the check. You ask, you eventually receive.

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Transportation

Getting around you have the choice of the cabs, buses, the metro. But may God help you if you do not understand the linguistic pronunciation of the place where you are going. When you arrive at your stop, you may not even know. So ask, ask, ask information before you board. Then read as you progress at each stop.

Speaking from experience…do I need to say more? Hint…frustration (smile)

Notre Dame

Paris Sites To See

You haven’t been to Paris if you haven’t visited La Tour Eiffel, Notre-Dame, Le Louvre and smiled with Mona Lisa. Sites …beautiful. Historically meaningful. Mesmerizing. Long walks. Tired feet, but worth every minute.

The Eiffel Tower

So that’s a tiny glimpse into my Parisian journey for the first time. The trip was memorable. The photos provide the stillness of the moment.  A dream come through. Would I go back? Yessss definitely!

I encourage you to take the time to step out and achieve your own dreams. Big or small, they will come through despite the odds.

Cheers!

How Much Do You Value Your Life?

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One day a young boy asked his father, “what is the value of my life?”. Instead of answering, the father told his son, “take this rock and go sell it at the market. If anybody asks the price, raise two fingers and don’t say anything”, instructed the father. The boy then went to the market and a woman asked, “How much is this rock? I want to put it in my garden”. The boy didn’t say anything but raised up his two fingers, and the woman said “2 dollars? I will take it”. The boy went home and told his father, “a woman wants to buy this rock for 2 dollars”. The father then said, “Son, I want you to take this rock to a museum, if anybody wants to buy it, don’t say a word, just put up your two fingers”. The boy then went to the museum and a man showed up wanting to buy the rock, the boy didn’t say a word but put up 2 fingers and the man said “$200? I will take it”. The boy was shocked, went running home and told his father, “A man wants to buy this rock for $200”. His father then said, “Son, the last place I want you to take this rock is to a precious stone store, show it to the owner and don’t say a word, and if he asks the price, just raise up your two fingers”. The son then ran to a precious stone store, he shored the rock to the owner, “Where did you find this stone? it is one of the rarest stones in the world, I must have it! How much would you sell it for?”. The boy put up his two fingers and the man said “I will take it for $200,000”. The boy not knowing what to say, ran home to his father and told him that there’s a man that wants to buy the stone for $200,000, his father then asked, “Son, do you know the value of your life now?”

“It matters where you decide to place yourself”

You see it doesn’t matter where you come from, where you were born, the colour of your skin, or how much money you were born into. It matters where you decide to place yourself, the people you surround yourself with, and how you choose to carry yourself. You may have lived your whole life thinking that you were a $2 stone. You may have lived your whole life surrounded by people that saw your worth for only $2, but everybody has a diamond inside them, and we can choose to surround ourselves with people that see our value and see the diamond inside of us. We can choose to put ourselves in a market or put ourselves in a precious stone store. You can also choose to see the value in other people. You can help other people see the diamond inside of them.

Choose the people you surround yourself with wisely. That can make all the difference in your life.

Something To Think About…
Beautiful Extract from Sean Buranahiran