My First Book 'When A Purple Rose Blooms' is Available NOW

I am beyond excited to announce that my FIRST book When a Purple Rose Blooms is available!! You can order copies directly from my publisher Nomadic Press. Order here
The book is a collection of essays and poetry about my experiences with black womanhood. There's lots of humor, pain, and love on every page. This book wrote itself. I had no intention of releasing a book of poetry and essays, but when I saw how much I've written over the last 20 years I thought, "why not?" and went for it. 
The book launch is tonight, 7pm at the Oakland Peace Center. I will be launching my book along with 6 other new writers to Nomadic Press. I'm in great, literary company. 
Thank you to every person who has read this blog over the years, attended my readings, listened to my radio stories or read my articles. Thank you for your support. I hope you enjoy the book! 

Get Your Mojo Back...And Your Freedom

At the 7th Annual Juneeteenth Awards Celebration
in Oakland.
The hustle. The grind. They turn your dreams into reality. Some people romanticize the hustle and the grind. They boast about hustling, grinding, not sleeping, working 27 hours a day for their dream--all of that. I don't brag about hustling and grinding. It's hard work. It's draining. But I do it because I'm passionate about my dream and my writing. But sometimes the grind can grind your spirits.

A post from Humans of New York touched me (pretty much all HONY posts touch me). It featured a woman who said she lost her mojo. She had confidence and high hopes in college and grad school. But after that, "Life beat me up a little bit," she said. "And these days I’m wondering if I have what it takes to put together a single deal. I’m not sure exactly how it happened. But somewhere along the way, all my confidence got replaced by questions. Are you smart enough? Do you have enough resources? Who are you fooling? But I’m going to start changing the narrative. I’m taking this as a sign from the universe that I’ve got to get my mojo back."

I've felt like this sometimes. As we live life happens and sometimes it sucks out the fire inside of us. I felt like this during a recent battle with writer's block. I prayed and asked God to lift me up. The next day I saw this HONY post and it reminded me that I'm not alone in my feelings. Then the day after that,  I went to speak at the Juneteenth Awards Celebration in Oakland, hosted by and We Tell Our Stories Film Collective. I spoke about lifting up Black girls and how mental health stigma in the church affected me. I'm so grateful that the audience appreciated my message. I got a standing ovation. To my surprise they presented me a certificate of recognition from the California Legislature Assembly. So many other amazing people in the community were also honored, including my friend/writer/mental health advocate Lyndsey Ellis. It means a lot when your peers and community say they appreciate you. That night, the people at the event, the friends with me gave my spirit a boost.

Prior to all of this, when I posted that at times I could relate to the woman on HONY, someone responded with encouraging words that also lifted me up. Right before I started writing this post, one of my closest friends drunk texted me that she loved me and is inspired by my writing. Nothing like a loving drunk text from a good friend. 

This all added fuel to the passion in my heart. I'm not saying that you need to be recognized by your state to get your mojo back. But if it's possible to lose your mojo, it's also possible to find it again. It may start with going to friends to lift you up. Or looking at the great things you did in the past and remembering that person is still in you. Regardless of the kids, marriage, bills, health issues, job loss, deaths, etc. --that passionate person is still in you. And maybe once you get your mojo back that passionate person inside will re-emerge even better. 

One song that I play to get me pumped and my mojo flowing is "Freedom" from Beyonce's Lemonade album. That song gives me new life every time I play it. Bey and Kendrick Lamar rocked the hell out of that song on the BET Awards tonight. That performance was EPIC. When they were kicking and dancing in the water--whooooo you have to watch it.

Free yourself from the self-doubt and thoughts of the impossible. The grind and hustle aren't easy. They aren't pretty. But as Bey sings, "...keep running because a winner doesn't quit on themselves."

Beyonce and Kendrick Lamar perform "Freedom" at the
BET Awards. Visit for more
performances from the awards show.