Starting Your Dreams Later In Life and Embracing the Detour

Jenee Darden speaking at Creative Mornings I know it's been a while since I've posted anything but that's because of my job. I'm working as a reporter covering Oakland and I host an arts segment on the radio where I get to interview amazing artists from around the Bay Area. Plus I'm publicizing my book  and building my speaking career!  You know what's funny? I thought this would all happen by the time I was 27-30.  Nope. That wasn't God's plan for me. I'm finally beginning to do the things I've wanted to do and I'm almost 40 years old. Some people reading this who are 40 will say 40 is still young. But some younger people reading may think 40 is nearly ancient. But I'm writing this post for those who like me, thought their career and personal dreams would come true much early in life. I'm here to tell you not to give up.  You know, death inspires life. A number of my relatives and friends have passed away, ranging in

Cocoa Fly Gets Poetic and is Published in Solo Cafe 8 & 9

On top of writing news articles, radio scripts, blogs and Tweets -- I write poetry. I was published in solo cafe 8 & 9 vol 2: teachers and students.  My poem "Office Hours" is dedicated to the late phenomenal writer and my UC San Diego Professor Sherley Anne Williams.

I'm honored to have my work featured alongside great writers like Kwame Dawes, Camille T. Dungy, my mentor and the collection's editor Lenard D. Moore, and many other literary talents.

The photos you see on the cover are of publisher Glenna Luschei and her late husband Shelby Stephenson. The book opens with Glenna's memories of her husband, his death and poetry. I never met them, but judging by her writings, it is beautifully clear that they were in love. My heart went out to her as I reading about their travels and simple, yet intimate times together. But I also couldn't help but hope that I'm blessed with such a love in my life.  Her husband was hospitalized after falling while trying rescue a bird that had flown into their living room picture window. His wife said he always cared for living creatures. I thought that said a lot about his character.

Sherley Anne Williams
Speaking of character, you must read my late professor's book Dessa Rose. It's a highly respected novel in the black literary cannon. And it's such a great story. I was blessed to take her final class. She was an amazing woman. Prof. Williams grew up poor and picking fruit in Central California to becoming a respected writer and college professor. Prof. Williams was respected around the world. She truly was an example of the power of will and an education. Prof. Williams was the first black female college professor I ever had. She put a hurting on my papers when it was grading time LOL, but people like her are the reason why I'm a published writer.

You can read more about how I met Sherley Anne Williams here.