Why It’s Great to Write as You Grow Up

Originally posted on Josh's Pursuit of Something or Other:
I believe that my passion for writing began when I was in the fourth grade. No, wait, it was second grade. Perhaps first. Yes, it was first grade, Maybe later. I recall writing my own story for the very first time in first grade. It was a Harry Potter fanfiction. It was typed on the computer in yellow font. It was a masterpiece. That story is gone, lost on some old hard drive (or perhaps I never even saved it. I was, after all, six). I do remember the plot, however. [Let me set the scene by saying that I imagined Harry and Ron are in a dark corridor, with eerie lighting.] Harry and Ron were walking when Harry asked, “Where’s Hermione?” and Ron said, “I don’t know.” Then, a voice from behind them said, “I’m here!” But Harry and Ron realized that it was not Hermione, but actually Voldemort. [End] Intense. Chilling. Suspenseful. Romantic. Still slightly more eloquent than what I remember writing so long ago. I also wrote a Harry Potter fanfiction in second grade, titled “Harry Potter and the Terrible Thing,” or something along those lines. That story was written in a Harry Potter notebook, and it is currently in the possession of my friend Erin (who laughed until she cried when she read it). I can’t remember the plot of that story, only that Snape was…

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OPRAH TURNS 60!

She was so poor that as a child, she often wore dresses made of potato sacks. At age 17, she won the Miss Black Tennessee beauty pageant. Now she is the only Black billionaire in North America. Turning 60 today, Oprah Winfrey! Oprah Winfrey has been ranked the richest African-American of the 20th century and the greatest black philanthropist in American history. She is also, according to some assessments, the most influential woman in the world. From 2006 to 2008, her support of Barack Obama, by one estimate, delivered over a million votes in the close 2008 Democratic primary race.  In 2013, she was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Barack Obama and an honorary doctorate degree from Harvard. Oprah was born into poverty in rural Mississippi to a teenage single mother. She experienced considerable hardship during her childhood, saying she was raped at age nine and became pregnant at 14; her son died in infancy. Sent to live with the man she calls her father, a barber in Tennessee, Winfrey landed a job in radio while still in high school and began co-anchoring the local evening news at the age of 19. Her emotional ad-lib delivery eventually got her transferred to the daytime-talk-show arena, and after boosting a third-rated local Chicago talk show to first place, she launched her own production company and became internationally syndicated. The Oprah Winfrey Show was the highest-rated program of its kind in […]

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BELIEVE IN YOURSELF

I was reading the comments people had left on my blog and someone had said “you use to write inspirational blogs that made me visit often, what’s wrong?”  I didn’t have an answer to reply- I had just said thanks for your comment. I had learned that someone was watching even though I didn’t know. I normally would only write when someone gave me a story or I felt like but little did I know that someone, somewhere saw my blog as more than just a blog. I always believe that anyone could get the news from anywhere, so why blog about it? I started my blog cos I wanted to encourage people- who was I inspiring? I didn’t know. To me and many, life is lived by inspiration and that is what I want to achieve. I want my life to inspire someone else and after reading that comment- I do believe in myself more than before. Its crazy living in a world where you’re criticized for everything you do. We live our lives not caring what others say, not because we don’t care but because we realize criticism is part of it.  Life is never meant to be lived without an inspiration- its what parents and teachers are for. We must first believe in ourselves before does. Smooth seas don’t make skillful sailors  

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CHIMAMANDA NGOZI ADICHIE AT SERPENTINE GALLERIES

This January, the Serpentine Galleries’ Bridge Commission launches its fourth audio walk, from award-winning Nigerian writer Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, author of Half of a Yellow Sun (2006) and Americanah (2013). Adichie’s audio walk tells the story of an awakening, to the sound and dust of the Harmattan wind. It is read by the author. The annual Bridge Commission was launched in September 2013 to mark the opening of the Serpentine Sackler Gallery, designed by Zaha Hadid Architects, and is inspired by the five-minute walk over the bridge from the Serpentine Gallery. The inaugural Bridge Commission series focuses on literature, and runs from September 2013 until September 2014. Texts written by twelve established and emerging international writers are released monthly as audio walks, which can be downloaded for free onto visitors’ mobiles from the Serpentine Galleries website. Each audio walk lasts for the duration of the walk between the two Galleries. Authors still to come include Adam Thirlwell, Sophia Al-Maria, and René Pollesch, among others. http://www.serpentinegalleries.org/exhibitions-events/bridge-commission-audio-walks Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie writes novels, short stories, essays and poems. Her fiction works include Americanah (2013), Half of a Yellow Sun (winner of the Orange Broadband Prize for Fiction 2007), Purple Hibiscus (winner of the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize 2005 and the Hurston/Wright Legacy Award 2004) and The Thing Around Your Neck, a collection of short stories shortlisted for the 2010 Commonwealth Writers’ Prize for Best Book in Africa. The recipient of a MacArthur Foundation Fellowship, […]

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Men Shouldn’t Wait Too Long To Have Kids, Either By Rachel Feltman

It’s not just about fertility. The age at which you become parents could affect your kids’ mental health. According to new research published in JAMA Psychiatry, older fathers carry an increased risk of having children with schizophrenia, mental retardation and autism spectrum disorders. And the children of young mothers are at risk for substance abuse, hyperactivity and mental retardation. Researchers collected data from nearly three million people born in Denmark between 1955 and 2006 and then followed up during the course of the study (from 1995 until 2011) to record any instances of psychiatric diagnosis in the children. Overall, the researchers found, children born to parents younger than 25 and older than 29 were more likely to be diagnosed and treated for some mental illness or developmental challenge—even when they controlled for a family history of such diagnoses. Outside the bounds of that narrow age range, risks for various disorders gradually picked up. And significant increases in risk cropped up for parents in their 40s. When looking at parents younger than that age range, having a teenage father increased risk of mental disorder by 28%, but teen mothers posed nearly double that risk at 51%. Risks were highest for behavioral problems, like hyperkinetic disorder and substance abuse problems—though the researchers only counted those severe enough that they warranted psychiatric treatment. This could be due to the socioeconomic stress of being raised by unprepared teens, the authors suggest. Results for older parents were varied as […]

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ON THE PULSE OF MORNING BY MAYA ANGELOU

On this day in 1993, Maya Angelou became the first Black inaugural poet at the swearing in of President Bill Clinton. Maya Angelou who read her poem, “ON THE PULSE OF MORNING,” was also the first Black woman to have an original screenplay produced and the first Black woman to have a book on the nonfiction bestseller list.              ON THE PULSE OF MORNING BY MAYA ANGELOU A Rock, A River, A TreeHosts to species long since departed,Marked the mastodon. The dinosaur, who left dry tokensOf their sojourn hereOn our planet floor,Any broad alarm of their hastening doomIs lost in the gloom of dust and ages. But today, the Rock cries out to us, clearly, forcefully,Come, you may stand upon myBack and face your distant destiny,But seek no haven in my shadow. I will give you no more hiding place down here. You, created only a little lower thanThe angels, have crouched too long inThe bruising darkness,Have lain too longFace down in ignorance. Your mouths spilling wordsArmed for slaughter. The Rock cries out today, you may stand on me,But do not hide your face. Across the wall of the world,A River sings a beautiful song,Come rest here by my side. Each of you a bordered country,Delicate and strangely made proud,Yet thrusting perpetually under siege. Your armed struggles for profitHave left collars of waste uponMy shore, currents of debris upon my breast. Yet, today I call […]

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Let’s Change Our Sex(es)…

In the most recent months Beyonce Knowles, bloggers, reviewers have spoken, written and sang referring to CNA (Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie)’s presentation “We Should All Be Feminists” (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hg3umXU_qWc&hd=1) on Ted Ex Euston about gender, feminism and masculinity traits which undoubtedly is making waves, creating insightful stories into the treatment and acceptance of feminism. Following her new album release on the 12th of December, Beyonce Knowles who was also moved by the presentation, has penned her opinion on gender, using “The Shriver’s Report” which we see here (https://anastasiaruth.wordpress.com/2014/01/13/gender-equality-is-a-myth-by-beyonce-knowles-carter/) concurring with CNA that issues which relate to gender can never be viewed as a feminist problem. Revisiting the video on youtube (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hg3umXU_qWc) and reviewing what in many ways CNA was getting across, I found out that CNA never grew up with the idea that a man was better than a woman, she never saw a reason why what was achievable by a man, wasn’t achievable by a woman. Did this lead to her success? May be it did because she said she had a friend “Okoloma” (God rest his soul, he died in a plane crash) who called her a feminist when she never even knew what the word meant. She had a journalist who told her “feminists are unhappy women who had no husbands”, she had a tutor who told her feminism was a western culture and never an African way of life. However, despite the words, she knew that she wanted […]

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Married With A Concubine…

On Jarrid’s blog post titled, “I’m Dating Someone Even Thought I’m Married,” he writes: “I have a confession to make. I’m dating someone even though I’m married.  She’s an incredible girl. She’s beautiful, smart, cunning, strong, and has an immensely strong faith in God. I love to take her out to dinner, movies, local shows, and always tell her how beautiful she is. I can’t remember the last time I was mad at her for longer than five minutes, and her smile always seems to brighten up my day no matter the circumstances. Sometimes she will visit me at work unannounced, make me an incredible lunch, or even surprise me with something she personally baked. I can’t believe how lucky I am to be dating someone even though I am married. I encourage you to try it and see what it can do for your life. Oh! Did I mention the woman I am dating is my wife? What did you expect? Just because you’re married, doesn’t mean your dating life should end. I need to continue to date my wife even after I marry her. Pursuing my wife shouldn’t stop just because we both said, “I do.” Way too many times do I see relationships stop growing because people stop taking the initiative to pursue one another. Dating is a time where you get to learn about someone in a special and unique way. Why would you want that […]

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Gender Equality Is A Myth! by Beyonce Knowles Carter

We need to stop buying into the myth about gender equality. It isn’t a reality yet. Today, women make up half of the U.S. workforce, but the average working woman earns only 77 percent of what the average working man makes. But unless women and men both say this is unacceptable, things will not change. Men have to demand that their wives, daughters, mothers, and sisters earn more—commensurate with their qualifications and not their gender. Equality will be achieved when men and women are granted equal pay and equal respect. Humanity requires both men and women, and we are equally important and need one another. So why are we viewed as less than equal? These old attitudes are drilled into us from the very beginning. We have to teach our boys the rules of equality and respect, so that as they grow up, gender equality becomes a natural way of life. And we have to teach our girls that they can reach as high as humanly possible. We have a lot of work to do, but we can get there if we work together. Women are more than 50 percent of the population and more than 50 percent of voters. We must demand that we all receive 100 percent of the opportunities. This is an excerpt from The Shriver Report: A Woman’s Nation Pushes Back from the Brink, in partnership with the Center for American Progress. Download the full report here for FREEfrom January 12th – […]

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MY DATE WITH AN AHUSA (NIGERIAN WALNUT)

Originally posted on WRITE TO LIVE:
         Nigerian Walnut                My date was an ahusa (Nigerian walnut), black as the seed of Ishin on the outside but white as efun (chalk) on the inside. He was Nigerian alright; in picture but in reality, he was as British as they come. It was a nice day; he spoke, laughed and bounced around like a basketball in the hands of a happy teenage boy. I galloped behind saying as little as I could and eyeing the entrance of every London Underground Station we passed, wishing he would change his mind and relent from his unrealistic resolve not to take any transportation. He was so British in his manners, attitude and speech that I started to feel too Nigerian and he was fast to classify my attitude and mannerism as too Nigerian. so I decided I wanted to be cool; I wanted to be as non-Nigerian as possible. I wanted to prove that I had integrated myself into the culture of the British people so I shut my Nigerian mouth, said little, and laughed when he made jokes about everything Nigerian. The air was silent; I could hear my thoughts above the noise of traffic as we walked passed Victoria Station. I wanted to make conversations; I desperately wanted to be a great company, so I asked “What Nigerian foods do you like?” “None”…

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Arrested Development

Childhood rejection often hinders our spiritual and emotional growth. This is often referred to as arrested development. Since children learn to internalize pain, they may carry it into adulthood, accepting it as normal behavior. They learn the three childhood rules: don’t talk, don’t trust, don’t feel. Adult characteristics of arrested development include self-doubt, self-hatred, isolation, low self-esteem, uncontrollable anger, and barriers (self-protective techniques learned in childhood). Without God’s help, these characteristics can cause much sorrow in marriage and family relationships. Consider this … Did you experience a time of rejection in your childhood or as an adult that has been a stumbling block for you? To begin a healing process, you first need to recognize and admit your need for help. Everyone’s wound is different. Each one’s wound is his own. But no matter what causes the pain, the answer remains the same: Jesus Christ. Today’s scripture states that if we rely on Him, the Lord will surround us with His mercy and loving-kindness.

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He Loves Me…

He loves me like his skin,  He loves me like his lips. He loves my curves, He loves my flaws. He loves my act, He fondles my ears. He listens to my groan He wonders of me, He wonders for me. He farms for me He wrestles for me He wrestles with me He loves me forever He loves me for eternity He loves me for no reason He loves me unconditionally Nothing I do, makes him love me less or more. He loves me just because, just because.

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8 THINGS THAT REVEAL A WOMAN’S CHARACTER

 “Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised.” Proverbs 31:30 (NIV) Men, when it comes to dating and attraction with women, “cute” is a fine starting point. I understand that God made men and women to be physically attracted to each other, and I would never encourage a brother to marry a gal he was not at least somewhat attracted to. But “hot” is not a good ending point either—kinda like “hell” isn’t a good ending point. There is so much about a woman to know as a man contemplates whether or not to pursue her beyond friendship. A common mistake men make before asking a woman out is they make snap judgments about her based on looks and don’t take the time to observe her in action to get an idea of her character. I’m not saying that you’ve got to see if this woman can pass a comprehensive character evaluation before you go out for a cup of coffee, but I am saying to spend some time in prayer and pay attention to how she speaks to her friends and carries herself around other guys. What drives her? Whom does she love? How does she talk about the people she loves? Things like this will reveal far more about her than her exterior will. DOWN TO THE CORE Just as I’ve told the ladies, it is crucial for men to […]

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I Broke The Curse…

I broke the curse…lol- I read a novel, an autobiography. Maya Angelou’s “The heart of a Woman”. It really wasn’t bad reading a big book that had a sequence of stories, characters and conflicts. I learned a lot- I learned about Maya herself, a woman I’ve come to admire from afar- it really is true- girls gossip on each other but women help each other up. Every woman enriches every woman- am not talking about people who call themselves women because they have breasts and thighs. Am talking of happy feminists and graceful women. Maya Angelou is a mother like most women, she is a singer, a song writer, a dancer and most importantly, she is a confident woman- I didn’t say arrogant. People mistake confidence for arrogance sometimes- they think if they can speak to anyone, they are confident- hello people, if you speak in a rude manner you ain’t confident- you’re trying to hide your weakness. Well I enjoyed the book, I finished a short story while reading it(it was a good inspiration), I learned of other freedom fighters, musicians, artist, writers and so on. I read with my imagination so when I found a name, I looked for the face on google and placed myself in the scene of the story, imagining the act happening with me as the producer- Maya isn’t old- she’s wise. She is a single mother that got married several times- don’t judge […]

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