Little Girl Blues: Existence of an Image (The Blog)/ One-Year Anniversary

This will be a short blog.

Today marks the one-year anniversary of my blog. I cannot believe it’s been a year already! Time surely flew, didn’t it? I’ve experienced so much such as disappointments, rejections, becoming a published author and obtaining the role of an aunt, and many more.

I know I’ve mentioned this before, but when I started this blog, it was only to support my cousin. I had no idea what I would blog about, if people would read it, or even take interest in it. However, I am proud to say that this blog has 50 followers! Others would think that’s not a lot of people. I’m glad that these individuals have chosen to follow, witness, and listen to my story as I continue to grow while finding my voice, myself.

I’m still working on making my blog current; I’m glad I don’t have too much more to catch up on. First, I just want to thank every one individual who has ever commented, liked, read, and followed this blog. I’m truly grateful and appreciate your loyalty. Second, I want to thank my cousin, Precious for this awesome idea. I didn’t know that this blog would lead the actual publication of my poetry collection; yet, it all worked out for the greater good. Third, I even want to thank my invisible haters. I had no idea I even had any. But they were fake supporters, opportunists who claim to support “indie” authors, and pretenders who try their hardest to keep you down while they shine. Personally, my favorites were the ones filled with jealousy. Why? I don’t know. Just as I’m struggling to make my dreams come true to self-fulfillment. Guess what? You can too. Anybody can.

I hope this blog continues to reach and connect other people out there; the voiceless. Just as I share my story within every entry. You can do the same too! Also, I pray that the blog will grow as I know I will. But I can’t do it without you.

Again, thank you! My story is still ongoing, unfolding.

It’s not over.

Happy Anniversary, LGB!!!

Chance of Lifetime: The L.A. Art Show

This will probably be a short blog entry…or not.

Well, back in January, I got the chance to go the L.A. Art Show and Aldis Hodge would be among the other artists to meet and greet while discussing his artistic collaboration with another beautiful artist name Harmonia.

Yes, this trip was spontaneous. Totally unplanned, but what the heck? When I plan stuff, it never turns out right. So, this time, I tried something different. I book a room; my drive was like 1 day, and 2 hours away. I started driving Friday, on January 12th. I knew Aldis would be at the event on the 14th. I wanted to make sure I was there. The drive was long especially when I had to drive through the state of Texas! My goodness! As I was driving, I began to think, “Lord, am I ever going to get out of this state?” I did enjoy the scenic route. The multiple states I had to drive through just to get to Los Angeles; the things I saw, the various speed limits, etc. However, once I got to Arizona and New Mexico, I was just drenched in sweat. When I left, it was cold like 32 degrees. In Arizona and New Mexico, desert heat! I couldn’t stand it.

But on January 13th, around 11: 34 p.m., I had made it to my destination. I was exhausted; the place where I booked the room gave me the 3rd degree about paying a security deposit. I told them I didn’t see that on their website and asked why they didn’t inform me of that information when I call to confirm my reservation. Some stranger, a guy, offered to pay the security deposit for me. I was grateful because I threatened to sleep in my car if I had to. They gave me the key to my room, and I just fell across the bed, passed out.

The next day,  I got up early to take a shower, get dressed, and pack. Of course, I had no idea where anything was located. Thank God for Google Maps (it works, sometimes). I didn’t have to drive far just an 8-minute drive. I found the Convention Center; it was massively HUGE! I’m thinking to myself, “I really got to get out more.” I park and go inside. I had no idea what the dress code would be for an event like this, so I dressed up a little with my blue jean, denim sneakers. (I was thinking about wearing heels; I’m glad I changed my mind.) The event opened at 11:00 a.m., but Aldis would not be there until 1:00 p.m. I stood in a very long line for a long while. Finally, the line began to move. Once I received my stamp, I started taking pictures of me, other people, and people asking me to take pictures of them.

The art gallery was littered with multiple art pieces from so many other artists. To be honest, I started in the middle and worked my way to the left side; I never made it to the right side of the gallery. That’s how spacious this place was. I took so many pictures of the art; it kind of made me connect to my creativity, my vision. I felt like I was meant to be there to witness other forms of talent with art: sculpturing, painting, crocheting, glass, mural…too much to count.

However, I looked up and Aldis Hodge passes right by me. Earlier, I was looking for his art piece, trying to find the section he would be in. Oddly, like me, I had passed by it. I was one of the first people to see and meet him and his mother. I asked his mother to take a picture with me. She was a little hesitant at first, but I got her to take 2. The funny thing is meeting Momma Yolette, Aldis’ mother, I almost fainted! I was hyperventilating, burning up, trying to speak…His mother had to calm me down. Why did I do that? Once, I had read how Aldis and his elder brother, Edwin acknowledged their mom: what she taught and sacrificed for them. To be in her presence, I was just in awe. How embarrassing (the story of my life).

Then, I took a picture with Aldis and Ms. Harmonia. He asked my name, shook my hand, and was like, “It’s nice to meet you, Jasmine.” I’m like, “Wow, is this really happening to me? I’m a small town, countrywoman. Stuff like this doesn’t happen to me.” I left right after the pictures were taken.

My grandfather lived in Lancaster, so I stopped by for a visit. He bought 2 copies of my book and asked me to autograph them. I just look at him and laugh to myself. I had to leave because I had to make it back to work on time. Plus, there were reports of snow hitting Mississippi. I thought I would make it before that, but I got caught in it. It was very windy when I arrived in Midland, TX. I thought my car was going to be blown off the road; I have a small car.

Before I reached Dallas, it had started snowing. It wasn’t heavy until I arrived in Shreveport, LA. I had to call my friend because I was scared. I’ve never driven in snow before. He stayed on the phone until he couldn’t anymore. I made it to Mississippi safely around 5:30 a.m. I had decided not to go to work; I couldn’t anyway. The bridges had iced over so bad that many cars were either sliding off the road or sliding into the bridge. Thank God I made it home.

3 things I will admit:

  1. Although, I’ve never driven in snow before; just watching it fall in front of me and to the ground was simply beautiful and breathtaking.
  2. Meeting Aldis, Momma Yolette, and Ms. Harmoina was one of the most treasured life experiences I will cherish for the rest of my days.
  3. The LA Art Show was definitely worth the trip. Other than Aldis and Ms. Harmonia, I hate I didn’t get to meet any other artists. Just seeing those art pieces was awe-inspiring.

With that being said, at least I’ll have another crazy adventure to tell my nephew, D-baby when he’s older. The crazy, spontaneous antics of TeTe Jasz.

Yea, I can’t wait.

*More blogs to come. I was aiming for 4 in one day, but 2/4 is not bad. Just more for me to write tomorrow.*

Here are a few pictures from the LA Art Show. Trust me, that’s not even half of them.

 

 

 

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Backdrop Pt. 2, In the Interim: The Gap after the Publication of My Book and the Birth of My Nephew

It’s the last week of March. I’ve been meaning to keep my blogs current, but I will have to divulge the “why” on another blog entry. As for this one which is long overdue, I have to fill in the gap on what happened after my book was published along with the birth of my nephew.

Shortly, after those two events happened simultaneously, I was asked to come and speak at my Alma Mater, Jackson State University (JSU), to the graduate class of publishing and marketing. I shared my experience with them about being a self-published author, the marketing ordeal, etc. Overall, I admitted to having fun with marketing my book once I found my footing. I told them the various software, tools, and methods that I used and felt would be easier for me. At the same time, it helped me really tap into my creativity on another avenue. Some asked questions; others asked about the book cover, formatting, and all. One of my old instructors asked me, “Why did you choose self-publishing instead of traditional?” I answered, “Most traditional publishers do not feel that poetry will sell. However, with self-publishing or independent publishing, it opened so many opportunities for me. I got to connect with other “indie” authors, writers, graphic designers, and the other creative individuals. In the beginning, I had no idea how to market my book. I reached out, asked others about the methods used to promote their book, and they were all too eager to share their knowledge with me. It was so exciting to be able to ask for help or ideas that these individuals just opened up and advised on what to do. It wasn’t a competition. Once I had what I needed, I just had to apply what they revealed; for the most part, it worked. A couple of students acknowledged that I inspired them to write or even publish their books, poems, or whatever. When my presentation was done, I passed out my author information, encouraged them to contact me if they had any questions or needed help, and I exited that class with a smile on my face. For the first time in a long time, I held my head up. I didn’t look down at the ground as I was walking. I corrected my posture, strutted, and told myself, “I am somebody. I do matter. There are people who are looking at me, admiring me; though, I don’t know who they are. I still want to give back, plant a seed, and hope the seed takes to their soil like so many others before did for me.”

A few weeks later, I connected with my other poetry groups. I didn’t even know there were so many poets in Mississippi. (Lol, I guess they were in hiding.) Years ago, before I graduated from JSU, I had met with a group of poets called the MS Society of Poets, or as I call them, The Belhaven Poets. Why? Because they meet at Belhaven College. I wanted to become a member, but for monetary reasons, I couldn’t join at the time. Yet, I was invited to come and share my poetry. And I did. They were in love with my poetic babies. Before, I didn’t want to share because I’ve always met such negativity, skepticism, and rudeness about my poetry or how I write it. Afterward, one of the poets pulled me to the side and said, “Your poetry is something else. It’s very thought-provoking; it provokes awareness: emotionally, mentally, etc. Don’t you dare stop writing! Continue to write! Continue to be you as you’re fashionably are! Don’t let anyone take that from you! Who cares what others think or say. These are your words; let them unfold and tell your story! No one can stop you except you!” I was so shocked when she said that. But those words left an imprint. It’s funny I haven’t thought about those words until now, as I’m typing this blog. I forgot her name, but I will never forget her or what she planted inside me.

My other group is the Anonymous Poets; I love these poets. There is nothing but a handful of them; they still meet anyway. These are more seasoned, experienced poets. And I’m the only “young’un” as they refer to me. Deep down, I know it makes them happy to have a “young” poet among them. Perhaps, it makes them feel young at heart. Besides, I’m really an old soul myself. What others do or what they are into, I’m just not into it. Just the simple things do it for me.

 

Whenever I meet with them, I feel right at home, spiritually. It’s an indescribable feeling to be among the same individuals who share your passion, who crave the words and emotions that need to be expressed without ridicule or judgment. We’re all there to just share our thoughts, our vision: to just birth creativity and let it be. Not tearing it to shred because it doesn’t fit one’s “criteria.” Poetry is energy; it flows, and it comes from within our hearts, our spirits, our minds; the very thing that comprises human beings. It’s been a while since I’ve been with them, but I will return to that welcome table. Count on it!

In a couple of my previous entries, I talked about my 1st Author Vendor Event with Ms. Gigi, and the Jackson Expo, my 2nd Author Vendor. Now, I’ve caught up to what happened last year. And, well, lol, that’s last year.

This is 2018; I got to get caught up from January to now.

Hope you’re ready for it.