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Song: The Forever Now

This Is Us has been a favorite show since it premiered. The series finale aired in May 2022. This song was performed shortly before the last episode. The first chords have played at the beginning and end of every episode. It wasn’t until the final season that we got a full sing with amazingly poignant lyrics.

Listen to The Forever Now

Instrumental:

Mandy Moore episode performance:

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IAW: Author Chat w/Abena Amoah

In February, I spoke with I AM WOMAN contributor, Abena Amoah. It was meant to be a 15-20 min conversation highlighting the poems and essay she submitted for my anthology about Black Womanhood. It became an hour-long conversation we both deeply appreciate.

The overarching themes in our conversation were womanhood (naturally!), motherhood, family, childhood sexual abuse and its carryover impact on adult development, freedom, writing process and personal joy.

I had wanted to do a shorter video for easier content breakdown and management. I will cut this into shorter segments for later uploads, but the flow of the conversation was so seamless, I decided to post the majority (the whole video was 103 minutes) first as a reference video.

You can order your copy of I AM WOMAN: Expressions of Black Womanhood in America here or on Amazon. Your online review is greatly appreciated.

Check out Abena’s other work on her site https://www.abenaamh.com/home.

“I’m not telling you that you have to tell your story. I’m telling you that you can.”

Abena Amoah
  • Work discussed (with approximate time marks):
    • To My Daughter inspiration (beginning to 7:45)
    • Scabs (7:50-13:15)
    • Writing process and recovery (13:15-18:00)
    • A Sermon Stands Before You (18:00-19:00)
    • What is womanhood to you? (30:25-33:00)
    • Setting boundaries (50:00-53:50)
    • Abena reads To My Daughter (53:50)

“Family does not have to go everywhere with me.
They aren’t angry about what happened to me. They are angry that I’m telling my story.”

Abena Amoah

A Sermon Stands Before You by Abena Amoah

1.
They did not tell you?
Women who break themselves
out of cages
fly with a hunger only their God can feed,
and you are no manna.

2.
She woke up one morning
and vowed to bathe herself daily in love.
Intentionally.
Softly.
Kindly.
Selfishly.
Loudly.
This, too, is her daily prayer.

3.
The woman of your dreams
is already in you.
Seek her.
Boldly.
Softly.

4.
A sermon stands before you

Those that remove each layer
revealing beneath scars that cause you to sit,
watch and listen.

~ Abena Amoah

To My Daughter by Abena Amoah

Because God has a way of letting us birth ourselves,
skin of my skin,
blood of my blood,
I have named you,
saved you a seat next to the sun,
light and warmth is inside you.
This is for the coldness of the world.

You will taste inside me
pain embedded in this skin.
You will feel the force of a push to
erase memories that have been my redemption.
You will touch dead skin
shed to keep others alive,
to keep men alive.
You will hear questions
that I have yet to find answers to — but this, I know.

You are of raw love —
the kind that breathes into you every day a new life.
You are of passion that burns —
the kind no one can put out without your permission.
You are made of strength —
the kind that leaves you standing tall
at the image of your scars.

You are of tears —
the kind that baptizes when your soul needs a savior.
You are made of beauty—the kind that is untouchable,
the kind that reflects the continent.
You are timeless.

You are made of God—
a kind that you won’t find anywhere except within you.
You are of God.
You are made of blood—
the kind that flows in your mother and her mother
and her mother’s mother,
the kind that births in you everything you
need in your falling and blooming.
And this, you will know.

~ Abena Amoah

“Some parts are ugly, but some parts are very beautiful.”

Abena Amoah
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2022 Calendar Planning: Starting the year off with an outline (Recording)

Listen to my 2022 planning outline suggestions for #indie #creatives, #solopreneuers, and #SmallBusiness owners. There are no hard and fast rules, only simple techniques for staying on track with your overall 2022 goals.

Note: The first couple of minutes are dead air, mic was off. 🙃 (Start after minute 3:00).

Please share your techniques and suggestions in the comments.

https://twitter.com/i/spaces/1ynJOZmroMXGR

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Join Me on Clubhouse/Twitter Spaces: Indie Creatives

If you’re a creative in need of a space to get or discuss ideas for your business these may be the spaces for you.

My primary topics will be writing, publishing, photography and related functions (i.e.marketing, promotion, social media, etc.).

Find me on Twitter and Clubhouse @harvestlifer . If you need an invite for Clubhouse, follow the link below.

First discussion scheduled for Monday, January 3, 2022, 8:30-9:00 AM CST

“2022 Calendar Planning: Starting the year off with an outline.”

Recording will be available for 30 days.

Twitter link: https://twitter.com/i/spaces/1ynJOZmroMXGR

Clubhouse link: https://www.clubhouse.com/join/indie-creatives/3C1q77DH/xXw0WnWP

Tandem Twitter and Clubhouse Spaces.

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Before/After: Author Photo Self-Edit

Hot off the presses! **wink**

My new look is already old. My promo self-portraits for my upcoming book, I AM WOMAN, were taken in March 2020. I finalized the book cover a few months ago and this week I edited my author photo for the book’s bio page. While editing, I decided to add the final cover of the book. Have I told you lately how much I love learning my way around creative tools? A year ago, I struggled trying to combine two photos with any semblance of seamlessness. Look at me now! 🙂

Current author photo (self-portrait) with my published books

One of the priceless things I’ve learned with editing my own images is to do as much as possible pre-shoot to minimize post-edit work. For example, I love this blouse but it’s always wrinkled. I can iron it, stream it – for this shoot, I actually dampened it a bit and put it in the dryer. I really wanted the pop of color. That being said, removing wrinkles from clothes is an editing level I haven’t gotten to yet and honestly, I’m not really interested right now.

Do yourself a favor as you’re eyeing your subject from behind the lens. What do you see that may require post-edit attention (AND TIME)? Is there anything you can do to correct the image before you capture it?

Another thing I do is take random pictures of things I like with the idea that it may be useful in a composite in the future. As you explore your creativity, nothing is wasted. Your best image may be a combination of multiple images.