How Could You Turn Your Baby Away?!

Today is day 7 of PRIDE month and I have been seeing a lot of Facebook posts about loving people in the LGBTQ community even though their family doesn’t.  And that’s something I never could understand; no longer loving your child.

Explain to me how you could carry a life inside of you for nine months, hear his heartbeat, fall in love with his kicks and jolts, name him, cry as he is handed to you in the birthing room and still turn him away because he is either gay or trans.  How do you celebrate countless birthday parties, watch as Christmas gifts are open, cheer for the Honor Roll, kiss the boo boo’s, and dry the tears only to say, “you’re not welcome here”?  I can not even fathom thinking that if anyone mistreats my child, it’s a wrap and then be the main one to cast them out.  How?

I understand you raised your son or daughter to be heterosexual, but parents have nothing to do with sexuality.  I know that you planned their whole life before they were born and you pictured them going to prom with that handsome guy or pretty girl.  You may have even pictured juggling soccer practice with homework and other extracurriculars.  Maybe you would have to yell because the band in the garage is too loud and they aren’t very good.  Maybe you come home one day to someone you have to chase out of the house because your daughter fell for some little boys lies.

And now, after the infamous “Coming Out” speech, you realize those things you forsaw are never going to happen.  And sure, that hurts.  But remember when you found out you were expecting?  And you said, “I cant be the same person anymore.  I cant do what I’ve been doing because I have another life to think about”.  It’s the same thing now.  Your baby just told you that he or she is different.  And this world is going to try its hardest to defeat them, grind them up and turn them into nothing.  Your child just made themselves a target for a hate crime and your response was, “Get out!”, “not in my house!”, “How could you do this to me?”.

Are they no longer your child?  The baby that you loved so much?  One conversation transformed them into a demon, an outsider.  The person that was supposed to love them the most, proudly exclaimed, “I do not love you anymore”; whether you used those words or not.  You cast them to the monsters of the world.  Why?  That’s no longer your blood?  That’s not still the same being that was connected to you by an umbilical cord for 9 months?  That you fed via your breast?  That you cried over when he left for the first day of school?  He transformed right in front of you to someone you never even met.  Impossible!

WASHINGTON, DC – MARCH 27: Two same sex couples kiss in front of Westboro Baptist Church protesters, at the U.S. Supreme Court, on March 27, 2013 in Washington, DC. Today the high court is scheduled to hear arguments on whether Congress can withhold federal benefits from legally wed gay couples by defining marriage as only between a man and a woman. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

The world is too harsh and life is too short for you to reject or deny your offspring.  Call them, text them, even if its only for 5 minutes.  Even if its the only time you call this year.  Just call.  And if they don’t answer, leave a message.  Explain that you don’t know why you feel the way that you do about their choices but you love them.  And you hope that the evil of the world hasn’t tainted their spirit.

That one phone call will mean everything to SOMEBODY.

And if you are someone who has been cast out and you’re reading this, know that you will always have a friend in Zion.  I love each and every one of you!  If you ever need to talk, feel free to contact me at any time.

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zion@offthedomepiece.com

Book Review: Neighborhood Kandii & Neighborhood Kandii 2

Neighborhood Kandii

Authoress Tee Renee

129 pages

December 29th, 2015

B019SRQP1S

(Spoiler Alert)

     I normally do not partake in urban literature but, I want to support my fellow authors by purchasing, reading and reviewing their art.  And seeing as how Authoress Tee Renee has edited my book, Julie, I was eager to indulge in the literature she has published.  I was a little off-put by the slang spelling, but, I was able to catch on.  Because Renee is an editor, I’m sure I was not sent the final copy because the entire book was centered like a long poem.  And the work was riddled with missed punctuation.  There was an inconsistency in the headers of the chapters that made my little author soul cringe.

Neighborhood Kandii opens with Kandace Mitchell cheating on her husband, Troy.  My attention was successfully caught as Chauncey inserted his small penis and Kandii just laid there.  Unfortunately, I can admit that I have been in a similar terrible situation and like Kandii, hated every minute of it.  Unlike Kandii, I didn’t wait till he was done to inform him of his… minute details.  Kandii, the main character, is the Operations Manager at Club 3000 and though she has little time to waste on her marriage, she always seems to find a moment to sleep with Chauncey (who may be her Uncle), Bobby (another supervisor at the club), and Mo (the female bartender).

If I had to pick I’d say, my favorite character is Ebony.  She is just ratchet and mean but, thinks she’s “hood, but classy…”

I couldn’t relate to any of the characters because everyone was sleeping with everyone or cheating.  I kind of felt a little connection to Lucille but, we are not from the same sexual orientation and she used to drop thousands upon thousands of dollars on young prostitutes.

There also wasn’t too much versatility in the characterization.  Everyone sounded like different versions of one person (Ebony in my opinion).  Between that and the offset dialogue, I stayed confused.  There were times when Nikki and Ebony were speaking and the narration would kind of switch so it appeared as if the other person were telling the story.

This being the second book I’ve read from Authoress Tee Renee, I was sadly disappointed.  Especially in the way it ended.  When I turned the page to discover that there were no more chapters, I was downhearted.  But, she did send me Neighborhood Kandii 2 so, I shall be reading that soon.

Neighborhood Kandii 2

215 pages

January 26th, 2016

B01B5BHN66

(spoiler alert)

     This sequel answered all of the questions that the previous book left me with.  And for that, I am pleased.  In fact, everything that failed to impress me with Neighborhood Kandii was not so in this follow-up.

In Neighborhood Kandii by Authoress Tee Renee, there was a lack of distinction between the characters as nearly all of them sounded like the same person.  Everyone appeared to have the same personality.  In Neighborhood Kandii 2, I was able to see characterization.  Ebony was still scheisty but her cousin, Nikki was compassionate.  I couldn’t quite figure Troy out.  He seemed professional and a sucker when women are involved.  But, his whole personality changed whenever he had to interact with a man.  I didn’t know if he was putting on or he came from a different past.  Although Chauncey and JDubb sounded like the same person, JDubb was my favorite character in this book because his little brother turned his back on him after he paid the ultimate price of taking the rap for his brother’s sins.

I did question whether Nikki knew Troy was married or not because, in Neighborhood Kandii, Troy kept reminding her that he didn’t want to have sex because he was married. But, in the sequel, she swears up and down that she didn’t know.  I could not tell if that was an author error or she forgot due to the injuries she suffered from the ass whooping Kandii delivered in the first book.

The book did prove to be far more interesting than the one before it, but what did stand out to me was how the Authoress chose to write her dialogues.  There was never a ‘Nicole stated‘ or ‘Lucille hesitated before saying‘.  And I believe that was the author’s choice and although I am not used to that writing style, it didn’t make the reading hard.  As my mother says, it left room for the imagination.  Because there were times when I was curious as to how people were feeling or what was happening around them, I chose to paint the picture myself.

Collectively, Authoress Te Renee, I give both of these books 3 out of 5 stars.

Book Review: I’m Free! 30 Days To A Stress Free Life!

I’m Free!  30 Days To A Stress Free Life!

Authoress Tee Renee

August 16th, 2016

50 pages

$2.99

9781537151816

 

I received 30 Days To A Stress Free Life yesterday evening and I am already done reading.  But, that does not mean that I am finished with the book.  If you have been reading my book reviews, you already are aware of how hard I can judge these books and authors.  I have no intentions on deteriorating the egos of my peers but instead, wish to assist in their improvement in this craft.  So, there is no shock that I immediately was disappointed in the size of the piece sent to me.  50 pages?  Really?  But, in the first chapter, I quickly realized that the Authoress had something to say and she did not come to play games.

I find that when people publish these small self-help books (or collaboration of pages, as I like to call them), they really just throw a bunch of words down onto a piece of paper, upload to the first self-publisher to pop up on their Google search and slap a price tag on it. And I judge them the harshest. If you dare to call yourself an author, at least be capable enough to have your “book” next to ours on the bookshelves. But, Renee carefully laid out her major points, supporting points, introduction, conclusion, sources and the entire body of work was uniform. Ugh! I love a uniform layout. I loathe when an “author” has a “book” full of unnecessary italicized and bold words, irrelevant quotes, in-consecutive paragraph layouts, fonts and font sizes!  I could go on!  Thankfully, I don’t have to because, Renee proved that she knew what she was doing.

My favorite chapter was Chapter 5 Money Matters.  A good portion of my stress derives from financial situations.  Being an author and personal chef, my income can be very unpredictable.  Tee Renee, however, supplied me with seven very good tips to follow.  Her book is full of activities to do as you read along but, on my first read through, I only stopped here.  Tip #6: Try living off of 80% of your income.  I loved that!  My brother has been trying to get me to live by the 70-10-10-10 rule.  Live off the 70%, 10% goes to charity/ tithes, 10% you invest and 10% you invest in yourself.  Tee Renee says, live off of 80%, 10% tithes, 10% savings.  I love them both.

Like I said, I am in no way done with this book.  It definitely deserves a few re-reads and calls for your attention as well.  Authoress Tee Renee, I give I’m Free!  30 Days To A Stress Free Life! 5 out of 5 stars.

Book Review: the Jots & Tittles

The Jots & Tittles

Compiled by: Elder D. H. Bonner

Momentum Publishing

Publication Date: January 10, 2018

244 pages

$17.99

978-0998073408

Ms. Bonner sent the Jots & Tittles to me for review and I was very eager to crack it open but, I soon discovered that this body of work was an anthology composed of five authors.  So, below I have decided to write a separate review for each story.  Let us begin!

Tittles are small distinguishing marks.  It is an integral part of the glyph of i and j.

The Plan by Dr. Joy Lough

Normally, when I receive a new book to review it takes me, on average, about a week to read through.  Between daily life activities and my work schedule, I did not finish in as timely a manner as i had hoped.  Finishing Jots and Tittles has taken me longer than a week to get through.  It has taken me two weeks just to make it through The Plan.  I am writing this review as I have just finished this particular short story and I truly hope that every story after this is supremely better.  I am unsure if Lough had intended to write a story or just a collaboration of sentences.  I was not clear upon the point of these pages.  The minimal dialogue was unnecessarily italicized, the scriptures were random and the content was vague and lacked suspense, drama and character.  If this piece were to be turned into a full length novel, I would not recommend.  I give the Plan 1 out of 5 stars.

 

The Color of Character by Min. Elaine Montford

The Color of Character was a breath of fresh air after reading the previous story.  This is what I thought Christian fiction was; a good story with a spritz of Christianity and Christian morals.  It didn’t have an overuse of Jesus.  It didn’t have unrealistic Christian advice like most Christian pieces.  Even the words of wisdom from the friend in the piece was something a person would need to hear.  Instead of “pray about it” or “God’s got you”.

I particularly liked how this story seemed sort of science fiction incorporating black characters.  My imagination was able to go off on its own tangent but I was still able to relate to the characters.

Montford’s style of writing was easy to read but also reflects that she herself is no novice to this game of writing.  I actually look forward to reading more from her.

I give The Color of Character 4 out of 5 stars.

 

The Other Sister by Elder D. H. Bonner

I loved this piece because I am a pastor’s daughter and this short was birthed from one of my favorite bible stories; the Prodigal Son.  I wish we knew what happened with Deran when she left because I relate to her so much.  Get money and leave ASAP.  My brother is more like Synthia.  He will save every dime and live with my parents before he just jumps out and does something.

Although I thoroughly enjoyed this story, there just seemed to be too many holes.  What has Deran been doing for the past two years?  Why was Pastor Marcus at the club?  And why couldn’t he do “this” anymore?  Was he married?  Why was Synthia talking so much about Drake in Marcus’ presence?  And why did she think he and Deran needed to be introduced?

And then it just ended!  I was so lost as to what I was supposed to gain from the story.  And that is why I give The Other Sister 3 out of 5 stars.

(unfortunately my copy of Jots & Tittles was lost in my move from Atlanta to Las Vegas so I am unable to complete this book review at this time.  I will complete once I purchase a new copy.  I am saddened though.  My copy was autographed!)

Book Review: Souls of a Kindred Flame

Souls of A Kindred Flame

By: Derek J. Garlington

Sayville, NY

EH Graphics Publishing

Publication Date: November 1st, 2016

1st Edition

191 pages

$14.95

978-0692777688

Derek J. Garlington is no doubt a most talented author who deserves as much recognition as fellow authors that also encompass the talent to captivate and craft a world for readers to get engulfed in.

Although we both hail from the illustrious Hampton University, I had the pleasure of messaging Garlington via Facebook back in June of 2017.  We briefly spoke about his book and his new film campaign.  I was deeply gratified to discover that he was turning his body of work into a film after having it been released in less than a year’s time.  As we all know, things unexpectedly arise and I unfortunately forgot about Mr. Garlington’s publication.  Nevertheless, it was recoiled in my remembrance and I quickly ordered my paperback copy.

I will describe Souls of a Kindred Flame as fascinatingly stimulating.  It actually put me in the mind of The Door to December by Dean Koontz.  The two are enormously different but equally captivating.  In The Door to December, 9-year old Melanie can see another world or dimension on the same plane as ours.  She developed her abilities by being left for days on end in a sensory deprivation tank.  And her mother struggles to help her because she cannot visualize what threatens her daughter.  In Souls of a Kindred Flame, 18-year old Devinity is a recent high school graduate completely focused on finishing her sketch portfolio in hopes of obtaining a successful career as an artist.  She is young, smart, beautiful and an avid meditator.  Whilst meditating with her MMA fighter boyfriend, Fotigui (pronounced Foe- tee- gi) atop a boulder at the beach, she makes a special connection to the past world.

My favorite aspect of this work was how the author put himself into the story.  The fighting scenes and the moment when Devinity is introduced to the Manifestation Grid are detailed in such a way that my imagination does not have to veer on its own path.  I am unaware of whether Garlington believes in the energies that he wrote about but, he did an outstanding job of explaining the different theories of reincarnation and other dimensions.

That being said, my favorite character in the story was Rachael.  Rachael was full of positive vibes and her belief in spirits and energy made her an interesting character to read about and get attached to.  She had loose blonde dreads, she lived in the woods and she was a connoisseur of the marijuana plant.  As I read, I looked forward to Rachael appearing on the pages.

I do recommend this book as a good read and I highly anticipate the sequel.  Mr. Derek J., I’m going to give Souls of a Kindred Flame 4.5 out of 5 stars.  It had elements that I was not used to reading about and did not disappoint.  Your writing style is one that I thoroughly appreciate and tip my hat to you for.