About Angela H

Lover of P.R., good food, stories and fashion. Writer-Thinker-Dreamer-Doer

May/June Pride magazine and book review is out!

You must put the Business issue of Pride Magazine on your reading list. It’s a great resource to learn about our community members who are making successful businesses happen!

And let’s not forget that book review by Yours Truly.  You’ll find an eyes wide open view of Black culture in its many forms. As always, you’re treated to a taste of poetry, fiction and non-fiction. Pick up your free copy of Pride today!

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Thanks Aunt Bettye! Unboxing my new Instant Pot 

We have an Instant Pot. It’s a wedding gift from my godmother, Aunt Bettye. At this moment I’m smelling black bean soup I made in 15 minutes. Two weeks ago I made an “unboxing” video, which is a thing. Can’t wait to try this amazing-smelling soup. I’ll tell you how it turned out.

First the unboxing video

New book review format at Pride Magazine

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I’m excited to share the new Pride magazine book review format! 

You’ll notice we’re featuring more books: four adult books and one for kids. The previous format was an extended review of just one book.

The new format is the brainchild of Pride editor, Lashawnda Becoats. 

This means I get to introduce even more books by African American authors to Pride readers.

Hard to believe I’ve been doing the Pride Book Review for 13 years. I appreciate Dee Dixon, Pride Communications CEO, for being open to the idea when I pitched it way back when.

The January/February issue, pictured below, is full of great articles and includes the annual CIAA Tournament calendar.

Find Pride magazines just about everywhere, including some Charlotte Mecklenburg Libraries.

My Women’s March Experience

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Here’s my essay in the literary journal,  ChangeSeven on the Women’s March on Washington.  I embarked upon this journey with my friend, Gail Summerskill. I answered a call for writers  from editor, Sheryl Monks and the crazy woman agreed to publish my piece and even asked for more! I’ve enclosed an excerpt and a link to the story below.

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Me and my bud, Gail Summerskill. We traveled to the Women’s March on Washington. This was a selfie we took on the day of the March, January 21.

EXCERPT: We probably should have taken a selfie or something, but we didn’t. We’re just trying to get it together, and of course I’m running late. At about 11:15 pm Thursday, my husband Robert dropped me off at my friend Gail’s house, along with my duffle bag, two medium-sized insulated meal bags, several bottles of water and my pillow. Gail, 63, is my bud. We met 14 years ago when we were both looking for a writing group to join. She’s the kind of person who makes friends wherever she goes. She’s genuine, caring, kind, and she has blazing red hair she keeps fresh from a bottle “for drama.”

She’s white and I’m black, and when it comes to our friendship, race doesn’t matter. It’s not that we don’t see or appreciate each other’s race; we do. But when it comes to our friendship, it’s about being friends, caring about each other’s causes and being there for one another.

Read the entire essay here

I think I found my tribe

I made an agreement with myself, and it looks like I may keep it.

My challenge, as always, is making time for writing.

As a marketing and communications professional, I am always writing, but it’s almost always for others.

In my creative writing classes, I implore my students to make time for writing, while I rarely claim the same for myself.

Last Monday, last class day for 4 weeks, something clicked — and connected . If I can give my students a piece of me for 6 weeks, could I not share me with myself for 4?

I quickly researched a coworking space that was convenient and reasonable and well, I gave me my first Monday yesterday. And I’m back here today. On a Tuesday.

Being here makes me feel at peace and creative. They have coffee, hot water and a fridge, couches, tables and a microwave. They have soothing music.

Get this: membership comes with access to meeting rooms and a podcasting studio!

If I’m able to get here no more than the once per week I originally planned over the next four weeks, the investment will be more than worth it.

Buut, if today is any indication, I will likely be using my new Advent office much, much more.

Charlotte Writing Academy’s Debra Funderburk wants to help writers at the grassroots level

Finally this article!

Wanted to let everyone know about the Charlotte Writing Academy Conference coming to Charlotte on November 5, 2015 at the Hilton Garden Inn in Pineville.

Conference Founder, Debra Funderburk wants to help all writers, and especially those interested in self-publishing, develop the skills they need for success through the Charlotte Writing Academy Conference.

She asked me to be one of the presenters at the conference and I was honored. I was also curious, so I sat down with her weeks ago, to gain an understanding of her goals and the purpose of the conference.

A writer herself, Funderburk said she was inspired to start the Charlotte Writing Academy after working with other writers who wanted to become published authors, but were stuck trying to learn all the steps.

With a flair for teaching and organizing,  Funderburk realized that writers needed a safe place to learn, so she put her talents to use to form the Charlotte Writing Academy. The conference was the natural next step after creating the Academy. Through the conference, in its second year, she found she could reach a concentrated number of writers and connect them with needed resources.

Last year’s conference was such a hit, she decided to make it an annual event.

What will writers find at this year’s conference?

The focus of this year’s conference is “The Writer’s Market”. Funderburk understands that while many people may have a “book in them” waiting to be unleashed, they also need to understand the business of writing. Self-publishing can be very expensive, so she hopes to help writers save time, money and resources through the conference sessions and the opportunity to network.

A highlight of the conference will be the keynote speaker, Jason Mott, the author of the award-winning novel, The Returned and his new book, The Wonder of all Things.

Funderburk will view this year’s conference as successful from the eyes of someone who truly wants to help people. “I look at success in a different light…if someone comes to me with a problem and I can help them solve it, then that’s a huge success for me, and that’s what I hope the Charlotte Writing Academy and the conference will be for participants.

Debra Funderburk, Charlotte Writing Academy Founder discusses upcoming conference

Debra Funderburk, Charlotte Writing Academy Founder discusses upcoming conference

Charlotte Writing Conference Schedule REGISTER HERE It’s not too late!!

Thursday, November 5th
Pre-Conference Writing Workshop
Evening Kickoff Celebration

Friday, November 6th
Amazon: An Author’s Best Friend – Susan Sloate
Secrets to keeping your readers glued to your book – Craig Faris
Performance: Every author is a Speaker – Lisa Heidrich
The Business of Writing – Cathy Pickens
Using the power of feminine energy to unlock creativity – Dr. Lori Davis
Writing: The Heart Approach – Angela Haigler
I’ve finished my book, now what? An authors checklist – Susan Sloate

Saturday, November 7th
Morning Improv
Panel Discussion
Marketing Session
Prizes & Give Aways
Dinner & Awards Banquet
Book Fair

Did I do that? An @KonMari_method mistake?

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I’ve started re-hanging the clothes that I have already accepted with joy into my life because frankly, I could only handle seeing my “hangable” clothes in a massive pile on the floor for so long.

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Picture my nice “hang-ables” on the floor. I couldn’t picture them there long which is why you don’t see them now!

Not sure if I was supposed to do that, but because Kondo says we can sort in sections, I figured I was okay.

Now that those items are back, my closet seems extra packed, even though I’ve reduced it by two garbage bags!

Part of the problem is that Kondo has us putting all seasons together. I usually separate my closet into fall/winter and spring/summer, switching out each season.

Closet was feeling too full after combining all seasons in one!

Closet was feeling too full after combining all seasons in one!

Now I am facing a packed, all-seasons closet and more clothes will need to go in there as I still have “sets” and “light jackets” to consider. This has made me question my original joyous decisions.

  • Is everything newly replaced in the now overflowing closet really a joy-sparker?
  • Did I cheat on some decisions and let my practical brain take over?
  • What if an item didn’t spark joy, but sparked a lot of compliments, should I have kept it?

If I do love everything in there, as long as it sparks joy, that’s supposed to be fine. At the same time I don’t think it would hurt to run them by one more sorting phase, just to be sure. I don’t receive joy from an overfull closet.

So before I go any further, I am going to add a step: trying on the items I have already re-hung and once again asking myself, “Does this spark joy? No really, I mean it this time…JOY!?”

Maybe I should have added that step before I moved to rehanging, or maybe I should have been more discerning with my previous decisions.

Not sure how long this added step is going to take. Kondo says the whole discarding process from clothes to books, then papers and beyond could take half a year. I’m committed to seeing this process through, so stay tuned! Check out this video for more visuals! 

Still enthusiastic (kinda) about the @KonMari_method

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So I’ve been Marie Kondo-ing my immediate surroundings, starting with my clothes. From the piles I am selecting those items that bring me joy.

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This is just one section of clothes I've piled up to sort.

I have limited time so while I took all clothes from my closets and drawers, and shoes from everywhere, I’ve had to sort them in sections, doing chunks at a time.

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I’ve probably made it through about half of my wardrobe heap and started re-hanging certain items, attempting to order them so they “rise to the right.” This rising to the right business seems somewhat subjective. More on that later.

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Are these clothes "rising to the right?" I hope so.

So far, I’ve got a garbage bag full of non-joy for Goodwill and a smaller pile for possible consignment.

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To Goodwill and a second phase of life for these items.

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This pile for consignment.

It’s been both a grueling and energizing experience.  Grueling because I am blessed with a huuuge amount of clothes that need sorting. Energizing because I am ridding myself of items that are not joyous in my life, so I feel lighter. Lighter is good.

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These hangers represent a lighter me.

Marie Kondo “Konverts” please to share your KonMari experiences.

Empty your purse at night? @KonMari_method says yes

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If you empty your purse at night, you rest your handbag and it lasts longer says Marie Kondo.

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So I tried it the other night. If you empty the bag, you have to find a place to put the contents. I found this clear shoebox.

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Doing this gave me a different feeling, I don’t know, more organized and in control.

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I placed the purse upside down on top of the box, my own idea to avoid germs, lol. In the future I suppose I could wipe the bottom :-).

That morning I refilled the purse, opting to leave out some items, like a stack of other people’s business cards. (Kondo says we don’t need them anyway).

I am so hard on handbags, this Konmari idea is the perfect plan for purse preservation!