May Your Words Reach The Right Hands.

August 4, 2015

The idea is notto live forever,but to

It was one of those emails I knew I’d tuck away for safe keeping. Standing by the PO boxes in the post office while waiting for triple A to retrieve the set of keys locked in my car, I checked my email. Usually my inbox only consists of LivingSocial promotions that I don’t want or can’t afford. But yesterday, there was an email entitled “Twenties Unscripted” with a heartfelt note from someone who had just finished the book–someone I wouldn’t characterize as my typical reader.

It all sort of felt like the Universe’s way of coming full circle. That same morning I typed a snail mail note to subscribers telling them that all you can hope for as a writer is that your words land in the right hands and shift something for someone. We don’t always know whose hands those will be, what those hands will look like or the texture of life’s fabric that those hands have touched. But, whenever I click publish or stick a stamp on an envelope or sign the front of a book, that is my silent prayer: may these words land in the right hands and shift something for someone.

I guess it’s a tall order for whatever deity I pray to on any given day. It’s a tough charge for me as a writer. It isn’t something I’ve always wanted or considered. But, eventually as a writer you evolve from me to we, from venting to connecting, from just being glad you got something on the page to praying that what’s on the page reaches the right person, at the right time.

Yesterday was proof that my prayer was answered.

Some words are a direct godsend–no call waiting, no interference, no operator and no lost connection. Raw talent is just writing the words that go from God’s heart straight to your hands. Maybe that’s why raw talent has become extinct, because we live in a world weighed down by interference and laden with lost connections.

When it comes to the support I have received, I have learned that people will surprise you in both horrific and fantastic ways. I’ve made grossly inaccurate assumptions about people I thought would never read my work, only to find their faith in me outweighing my own. I’ve bet it all on people who left me high and dry, strung out from the overdose of broken promises. I’ve been wrong more times than I’ve been right when it comes to people, yet somehow I’ve always been loved. Someone has always had my back. I have always been kept. My words have never failed to reach the right hands. Maybe that’s less a testament to people and more to that proverbial amazing grace. But, whatever it is, I will take it.

Maybe there is not any typical reader when it comes to Twenties Unscripted. Maybe that idea of a typical reader connotes some exclusive club and expected set of eyes, both of which choke the universality of good and golden writing. Good and golden writing builds bridges and traverses time. It strips race and gender, age and experience, and instead heightens that fragile and fierce sense of humanity brewing inside each of us. So, maybe there is not a typical reader for me. Maybe there are just words mounted on faith, written with love and sealed with a prayer.

May these words reach the right hands and shift something for someone.


Clear The Runway, I’ve Only Just Begun.

July 30, 2015

clear the runway

I have this thing about dates.

July 24, 2011. August 18, 2011. October 21, 2014. April 27, 2015.

Those are all dates I can’t forget. See, some days are bad days, and some days are rock bottom days. Those were all rock bottom days, for reasons ranging from minor to mammoth. They were days when I took voyages to the most doubtful, dim and demonic places in my head and camped out for way too long. They were days I pitched tents on every insecurity and uncertainty I ever had. They were days when I told myself I would never make anything out of my dreams and I would never make it out alive. Those were days I could not walk away from unscathed.

There are other dates I can’t forget.

March 12, 2013. March 1, 2014. April 8, 2015. July 16, 2015.

Those are dates that catapulted me to new places. Dates that wrapped duct tap across the mouths of everyone who ever uttered one phrase of doubt about my capacity and calling. Dates that put a full tank of gas in the machine that is Twenties Unscripted. Dates that reflect conviction, sacrifice and resilience after the rock bottom days.

There will be more days like March 12, 2013 and April 8, 2015. I do not hope, and I do not wish, but I know. And I know because there will also be other days like October 21, 2014 and April 28, 2015. They will all balance one another out. They’re all fuel for the engine. Life is very cyclical that way–it’s all about riding the high when you’re up and banking on the comeback when you’re down.

So, I’ve learned to say a quiet prayer of gratitude. I know that it all stitches together the fabric of my journey. I know I am on a journey worth taking. I’m on a path worth trekking. I am in a deep sea worth treading.

That knowledge about my purpose is scary for some people. Unnerving. Off-putting. Planting my feet firmly in the very reason God put me here is not something everyone can handle. I’ve learned that. People love you when you’re up-and-coming. When your words are free. When you can be their protégé and don’t establish yourself as the prototype. When that thing you do on the side is simply a “hobby.” When you still blanket your words with self-deprecation. When you hope and don’t know. When you wish and don’t do. When you wait and don’t act. When you will still play in mud. When you focus on the drama. When you waste your days tweeting away.

People love you then.

People love it when you’re up-and-coming, but they don’t quite love it once you’ve come up.

They are worried you are going to arrive and leave them somewhere in the dust. You’ll surpass them. You’ll take their dream deferred and turn it into a dream done. You’ll manifest the very thing they have sat on for years.

What they don’t realize is that you may leave them in the dust, but, you will never arrive. You should never arrive. If you arrive at one destination, there is always another one to turn toward.

I don’t want to arrive. I want to keep pushing, keep driving, keep thinking, keep inventing and keep expanding.

Publishing the book anchored Twenties Unscripted. That’s how I saw it–an accomplishment, sure, but also an anchor. I’m proud of it. But, nothing for me is ever one and done. Tomorrow ends a month that has been a behemoth in the lifespan of my work. But, I’ve only just begun. Everything is strategic. Everything feeds the next thing. Everything is just one more anchor. You want to know my secret? There it is.

If you see something drop, I’m planning something else. If you see something launch, I’m on to the next thing. You should always be wondering what’s next. There is always a next. Everything clears the runway for me to keep going and see just what the end is going to be.

Thank you for everything this month–congratulatory notes, book purchases, shop purchases, showing up to the book party, texting me, tweeting me, saving me from myself and having my back. It could not have been a colossal month without your love and loyalty. I mean that from top to bottom, beginning to end. Thank you. And thank you again. One more time–happy third anniversary to Twenties Unscripted.


book blog tour promo


August is all about a Womanhood, Writing, and Relativity blog takeover! Join me and 14 other bloggers as we dive into everything about the book–everything from the writing process to finding an authentic tribe to root for me. Head over to the blog tour page to learn more, follow along and buy the book if you haven’t done so already!

Back 2 Basics Recap: The More You Express It, The Less It Haunts You

July 29, 2015

Back 2 Basics 2

I almost didn’t raise my hand.

After listening to several women pour out their hearts and watching them rip bandages off their wounds, I figured my spiel would be perceived as a cop out.

Except deep down, I knew it wasn’t.

I remember all the sleep I lost over the past month as perfectionism debilitated me in ways I never knew possible. I remember how my heart sped up when I caught some typos in the book. I recognize the dent at the bottom of my copy from the moment I hurled it at the wall, frustrated by the things my eyes caught too late. I remember that sour sentiment of defeat washing over me, and I remember listening to all of the demons in my head even after I told myself I would stop heeding to their calls.

So, I raised my hand.

And I stood in front of the other women and showed them a drawing of a stick figure with several thought bubbles surrounding her, all of which represented some variation of “You are not good enough.” I told the story of hurling the book against the wall. I relayed how a friend had to talk me off the ledge at the eleventh hour when I was going to halt the publication and just pretend I had not already mailed 50 presale copies.

And, afterward, like all of the women before me, I taped that drawing of the insecure stick figure to a hanger and hung her in a figurative closet. I hope she stays there. In that closet. All the way in NYC.

C10 love from both installments of the series with Roconia of and Yetti of

C10 love from both installments of the series with Roconia of and Yetti of

The second installment of Back 2 Basics provided each of the women with a chance to not only face our insecurities head on, but to also focus on constructive ways to deal with them. See, we always say that: “Everyone has insecurities.” It’s this general bit of knowledge we throw around, thinking it somehow makes us human if we can just state facts and move on. But, we hardly ever deal with insecurities. We don’t call them out on their shit. We don’t divulge the ways they have incapacitated us.

Back 2 Basics required us to call our insecurities out on their shit. That felt good. Liberating. Rare. Real.

Aside from my own restoration brought about from recounting my perfectionist tale, I took away other things, big and small, from the afternoon: the affirmation card that “Everything I need comes to me at the perfect time.” Gratitude for the joke from the woman next to me when I arrived late. Memories of the love and authenticity that spilled over the room when Roconia told her story.

Newest addition to the workspace, compliments of C10.

Newest addition to the workspace, compliments of C10.

As a friend of mine recently told me, when you create an event, you are the apparatus. You are the vessel. You are the springboard and you are the stimulant. It’s not an easy task, and you are at the mercy of other people’s pockets and whims–one of which is fragile and the other of which is fickle. But when that event is all said and done, you have created a space that would not have existed otherwise. You have built a bridge for someone to cross. You’ve dug out a tunnel for someone to traverse. You’ve handcrafted a sword for someone to slay her demons. So I believe that what Yetti has created now twice with the Back 2 Basics series is no small feat. I’m reminded that sometimes the more we talk about the things devouring our spirits, the less power we give them to haunt us. In a culture where many of us have been taught never to air our dirty laundry, I’m appreciative to someone like Yetti who has meticulously carved out a safe haven for women to share our stories, shed our layers and speak our truths.

I’m glad I raised my hand.

I gave my perfectionism one less opportunity to haunt my spirit or blemish my success.


I Is For Inspired | The Deep-Rooted and Complex Place

July 28, 2015


aml beauty tour-2This post is part of The Layers of Beauty Tour created by GG Renee of All the Many Layers. Follow the tour through the blogs of 25 women exploring the complexities of womanhood and beauty from A to Z.  Click here to keep up with each post and enter to win a giveaway package of goodies for your mind, body and soul.   #LayersAtoZTour

If I told you that you’re beautiful, some days you wouldn’t believe me.

Some days you get caught in the online web of believing that your face needs to be beat. You keep wondering how in the world Beyoncé could have possibly woken up like that. You pick yourself apart. You hate your feet. You hate how your clavicle protrudes in every photo, no matter how much you will it to do the opposite. You feel like a pariah in a world that praises curves and worships contours.

If I told you that you’re beautiful, some days you wouldn’t believe me.

You would remember that time during freshmen year of college when you sobbed to your best friend and told her that guys liked her more because she was light-skinned. You would remember trips to Miami where your dresses never fit quite right and you never fit quite in with the salacious South Beach scene. You would remember feeling like every set of male eyes always landed somewhere other than on you.

Back then, if I told you that you’re beautiful, you would not have believed me.

But, today, I am telling you that you’re beautiful.

And, today, you will believe me.

Today you’ll remember that male gazes and likes on Instagram pages are not the metrics of beauty to which you heed. You’ll abandon this idea that beauty starts and ends with what people deduce from what they see. You’ll know that beauty comes from that deep-rooted and complex place, the rich and rare combination of self-worth and self-regard and inspiration.

You, my love, are an inspired woman.

deep rooted 2

That’s where your beauty begins. It comes from this sanctuary in the pit of your belly, a place that is ignited by vision and conviction. A place moved by what you extract from interactions and observations, both grand and molecular. A place where you translate that inspiration into words that set the world on fire. Your beauty rises because of the vessel you choose to be, the purpose you choose to honor and the calling to which you choose to surrender.

An inspired woman is a beautiful one.

She has planted her feet firmly in the things that mean the most to her instead of giving in to the whims of the world.

For the world, beauty will always change. It will always be this insatiable and unsatisfied beast. It will always favor someone in one moment and shun them in the next. But, for an inspired woman, her beauty can’t waver. It isn’t up for debate. It’s not susceptible to the shifts in someone else’s standards.

No, for an inspired woman, beauty rises from that deep-rooted and complex place.  For an inspired woman, her beauty is all her own: beginning to end, top to bottom, left to right. That definition of beauty propels her throughout the voyage. Serves as her bridge over troubled water. Feeds her, keeps her and carries her.

You, my love, are an inspired woman. Hold that. Know that. Keep that and carry that. When I tell you that, believe it.


Book Launch Party Photos | 7.16.15

July 27, 2015

Here are some of the photos from the book launch party. Thanks to my wonderful friend and photographer Jazzmin Williams (@jazzthenoise) for capturing a night I won’t soon forget.

The book Twenties Unscripted: A Journey of Womanhood, Writing, and Relativity is now available as a paperback and digital version. Head to the book page on Twenties Unscripted to purchase your copy!