Jackson Community Expo

Yesterday, I was invited to participate as a vendor at the Jackon Cash & Carry Supermarket. This was my second event as a vendor. I really wasn’t feeling my best; but, I just made the most of the opportunity. There were a few entrepreneurs; it was great! I was really nervous. Of course, Ms. Gigi pulls me to the side to try to talk some sense into me. It worked (for the most part).

I didn’t sell any books, and that’s ok. I was just glad to collaborate with other people and learn about business. Ms. Meredith McGee was also there as a vendor. She pulled me to the side and shared a lot of knowledge with me. Basically, she told me about how to get exposure, what to do, what to say, and who to connect and reach out to. I enjoyed the knowledge that she shared with. By the end of the event, we both decided to swap our works and review them. It feels good to work with other authors as we continue to uplift and genuinely support each other.

Also, another young lady stopped by my table. I was so amazed at the fact she was excited about wanting to purchase and read my book. She was like, “Girl, it’s amazing to be a published author. In fact, it’s a blessing. God is going to take you places with this book. So you might as well strap in and get ready. I feel it is very vital as an African American to know who you are dealing with ‘image’.”  And her name was Jasmine as well.

I guess God is getting ready to take me places; I am scared and uncertain of the “where.” But I am trying to work on my faith. I know God has never let me down, abandoned nor forsaken me. To me, I’m just a small town, countrywoman just trying to find my way, trying to actually live life instead of existing, and find out who I am. And somehow I keep getting pushed back to “Square 1.”

Overall, I enjoyed the meet and greet with the other vendors. Hopefully, things will pick up. Still working on local promotion.

Next entry will begin to fill in the gap as the backdrop to catch you guys up.

Before I forget, I just updated my author/poet website: mcjasz2205.wixsite.com/jnmcghee.

I’m still working on linking my WordPress blog to my website, so I won’t have to keep starting new blogs. I will figure it out soon.

More updates to come.

Until then:

“Speak your truth, Live your truth! Use your voice.” © – Jasmine N. McGhee

 

Book Signing for December 8th – Secured!

Hello, everyone! I’ve been so busy trying to schedule a book signing. So I was finally able to secure a time, date, and location. This will be my first, official book signing! It will take place at a local library on December 8th from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. (The rest of the info is on the flyer that’s at the end of the blog). I’m so excited yet nervous at the same time. Also, the Downtown Marketplace in Yazoo City, MS will be selling a few copies of my book in their store! They were really nice, helpful, and supportive.

Other than that, local promotion is going pretty good. It started off on a rocky, uncertain start. Once I found my footing, it picked up some. But all praises and glory go to the good Lord. I’m just so happy and humble that he has truly blessed me beyond words. As I prepare for this book signing, I’m hoping everything turns out ok.  The flyer is ready; I’ve been printing and hanging them in local businesses.

My goal was to do at least two book signings before the end of the year. However, it was so many other writers and authors trying to do the same thing around the same time.  So I just told myself to do this one; and, at the beginning of next year, I would try to schedule another book signing.

Thanksgiving is tomorrow! I can’t wait to eat to my heart’s content. I have so much to be thankful. This year has been filled with ups and downs, false starts, detours, etc. Overall, I can say that I have so much to be thankful for. My new nephew, my heart, Deon’tae – my D-Baby. I’m a published author; I’m connecting with other like-minded, creative individuals.

So Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

After everything slows up, I’ll do a couple of backdrop entries about what happened after the book was published along with the birth of my nephew. 🙂

I promise.

Book Signing Flyer #2.jpg

Little Girl Still Not Heard. The Story Continues to be ignored

Today is the day. A decision has to be made…

So, I had purchased a book review and an author review for $60. This individual claimed to support Indie Authors. I’m thinking, “Well, maybe this person can help. I’ve been getting lies, the runaround, etc.” When I woke up this morning, (I wasn’t fully awake yet) I read that review. It felt like someone sucked the life out of me. (The book review is a reblogged entry if you want to read it).

Basically, I’m a “failed poet.” “This book is the most difficult, most underrated form of art using words. Clumsiness, some metaphors seem forced, artificial, and not at all inspired. This short book is an example of what a few neatly placed words can done (it’s supposed to be “do”), what can be achieved within the confines of letters and punctuation.” And my book received a 4-star rating. On the contrary, my book was critiqued not reviewed.

To be honest, I don’t even care about the rating. It’s the wording of the review! Poetry is an art! Just like a painting, sculpture, or anything. It’s not the beauty of words; it goes beyond that!!! There’s a story within the poems that I’ve dedicated my life to writing, to convey.  For some reason, nobody is listening to the doggone story! They’re so busy trying to restrict my poetry to guidelines, rules, and how “they” think it should be. The cliche’, “You’ll miss the forest looking at the trees.” This review is a prime example.

Nobody doesn’t want to listen to the story, yet everyone is very quick to say, “everyone has a story to tell.” But who truly wants to listen? Who out there has the open mind to really see what the little girl is saying in that book?!

There is a huge difference between a writer and a poet. I’m a POET! Someone once shared “poetry burns the soul and evokes emotion.” A true and profound statement.

As I stated, I am that little girl. Yes, my story still goes unheard. Perhaps, if it was a novel, it would be more receptive. My allegiance is to poetry. I’m open to all types of literature. Poetry won my heart a long time ago. It saved me when “people” didn’t have the time to listen, care, or just have the time.

Being a published author is one of, if not the only, accomplishment in my life. Like, “Hey, after all the hurt, pain, multiple types of death, it all lead me here.” Now, I’m undergoing another type of death: the death of the soul, the death of a poet. Poetry used to be held in such high regards. In this decaying, withering, society, most wouldn’t know what art was if it was right in front of them.

I’ve been facing so much rejection because I’m a self-published author, or my book is poetry. But, I kept trying, trying to connect, trying new ideas…..

My worst fear: my poems out in the open; I can’t protect them or keep them safe. As long as they were on my computer, written in composition books and journals, and within my safe haven, I could control who I wanted to read them and put my poetry away. However, that’s no longer an option.

There are some who share my vision while others heartlessly mutilate my soul.

“Sorry, Little Girl. No one is listening still. So let’s go back to our unreality. Pretend we have a few like minds there. The world’s reality is not my reality. Their sense of rules is overbearing and unrealistic. But prejudice, isolation, and fake patriotism is the drivel that fuels society’s sanity. If rejection doesn’t kill me first, then I will be the world’s main course. And those that speak “truth” will be silenced within Dante’s Inferno. Never to be seen or heard from again: The ‘One-Hit Wonders’.

Subjected to mediocre meanings such as the period, an end. A comma, a possible addition. A semicolon, another addition making it more complex. Letters birth words involving the alphabet. How else would man have learned to categorize, to define the ‘thing,’ the ‘it.’  Yes, ‘it” could be anything. But what would yours be?

Let art live. Just let it be. Stop trying to cut it up, define it, understand it. It simply just the ‘is.’ Words do cut deep, and the truth is supposed to free the soul. Do you really want to be set free? Or be condemned to the world’s crumbling, archaic method of thinking?

I’m an artist; I will die an artist. But I will choose my demise.
NOT YOU!”

© – J.N. McGhee, poet (first), published author

 

 

 

 

Opening Act: First Appearance as a Published Author

So, there’s so much to divulge! But I will have to do another entry later in the week. I was invited by Ms. Gigi Gates to participate as a vendor at her 2nd Year Anniversary of Moving Forward Seminar. This was quite a challenge for me. I’m a published author now, yet I’m still shy and meek. However, this was an opportunity to meet potential customers, market/promote my book, and gain other opportunities such as speaking engagements to share with others.

My mother and sister went with me, and I’m so glad that they did. I was a nervous wreck. My mind was all over the place because I had so much to do: setup the table, where to place stuff, where to sit, etc. But my mother and sister took the initiative and helped ground me.

The event itself was outstanding! So much knowledge, so many women that came to support Ms. Gigi and her vision.

Also, I was able to engage with these women and provide a synopsis of my book. I sold a total of 6 books! I celebrate the small victories, and I was asked to come to a future speaking engagement. I was excited but still shy at the same time. Overall, November 11th was a very special day for me. The venue, where the seminar was held, was actually a bookstore. I spoke with the owner, Tamarah Mack. She agreed to sell my books at her establishment. I was overjoyed. I gave her five copies and signed a consignment form.

God is really opening doors for me! A few weeks ago, I wanted to give up on the local promotion because it wasn’t getting anywhere. Now, look!

That’s all for today. The next entry will be a backdrop to catch you up on what’s been going on since the publication of my book.

All I can say is God can. He will. He’s able!

Read Poetry: Unchanging Penitence, by J.N. McGhee

Poetry Festival featured my poem “Unchanging Penitence” on their website. Yes, this poem is also in my book, “Little Girl Blues: Existence of an Image.” It’s on Amazon, Goodreads, Alibris, Abe Books, Book Depository, and Indie Bound! Get your Copy Today!

POETRY FESTIVAL. Submit to site for FREE. Submit for actor performance. Submit poem to be made into film.

Genre: Dark, Sad

Love + me will always = pain.
Disappointments and knowledge are the results I gain.
Mending gradually yet the heart remains the same.
Closets are filled to capacity with no vacancy to place the blame.
I hate myself, this flesh never seems to redeem.
Outward appearances capture strangers’ eyes; their conjured reflections evade my dreams.
I’m not good enough; I will never be seen for who, not what, I truly am.
Perfection, requirements, and preferences overwhelm me like a dam.
Scars, bruises, and blemishes leave their mark.
Constant remainders chipping away at me like tree bark.
Beating myself emotionally, physically, mentally has left sensations numb. Damaged beyond repair; I’m an invisible shadow.
No sense of place nor time.
Just a faceless phantom.
No matter what people do to me, for it will never come close as to what I do to myself on the inside.
 I’ll return…

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