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Shirley Gale

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Everything posted by Shirley Gale

  1. Hello Pioneer, I hear you. I think we can discuss this issue until the end of time. What a great discussion to have. I will say this, racism and sexism are both powerful and ugly. I am a combination of both, therefore I see through both lenses. I believe that the world is changing--has changed. Women all over the world are starting to fight back. The role of victim is transforming a little each day. If Hillary is elected, I think there will surely be less victims in terms of White women and prominent Black and women of color. That's surely something to make the sexism shake his head and ponder. But, since I am not a seer, I guess we will just have to wait and see what really happens. Hello Troy, I hear you as well. I want to say that I never said that President Obama was smarter than Hillary Clinton. If this came off as the implication, it was certainly not what I meant. I feel that those who voted for Obama saw him as a very intelligent man. I still do. We can't strip of him that too! Now how he chose to use that intellect while in office is certainly up to discussion. Whatever the case, Hillary is the last person right now to speak ill of her President. Why is that I wonder? She was in the trenches with him. She saw first hand what went on with his proposed policies, along with the constant obstacles that were put into place to stop many of his plans/actions. Why isn't she slamming him with the rest of the world? She's a smart woman. I think this is yet another reason why Mrs. Clinton will have a fight on her hands. She continues to uphold the President. Oh, I can hardly wait to see the outcome to all of this madness. Finally, please know that I have never underestimated Donald Trump. My husband and I have had many debates about this dangerous person. There were some instances earlier on that I even agreed with him on a particular stance he had about building up the country. However, the more he talked, I more I heard the Donald Trump that I hear right now. You know, it doesn't take a genius to know how dangerous he is in terms of where he will take this country in both foreign and domestic affairs. I really don't know who will try to run this country in the very near future. But I can certainly agree that racism, sexism, strong political will, and lots of big money will be at the forefront of it all. *** I don't know how much time I will have left to devote to these discussions. I've had time to do this because I've completed another of my writing courses and I'm waiting on the final proof of another one of my books. I have thoroughly enjoyed being a part of these discussions. I will certainly drop in as often as possible. Thanks for the mental stimulation
  2. Okay Troy, you've got me going on this one. Your statement: "Surely a man, even a Black one with little experience, or a reality-TV celebrity with zero experience, would be a better president, than even a strongly qualified woman." Some years ago, I would firmly agree with this. However, not in today's political climax. Older White men cannot discriminate against Hillary for her race because she is White. This is a given that leaves sexism as their weapon of choice. I have no doubt that this population of men is going to give her a fit at the polls. Do you feel that Barack Obama, the Black man, defeated Hillary, the White woman, because of her gender? Or did he defeat her because of the time, his powerful persona and intellect, the damage from the Bush administration, and/or the fact that he is a man--Black or not? I think just like with O.J. Simpson, we, not only Blacks, but a very confused, scared Nation needed a change and Barack Obama was just the change in skin color, charisma, and intellectual and oratory make-up that we needed at the time. If, in this case, "sexism" is the power tool that will determine Hillary's fate, Trump is sure to win. But it isn't. I think she isn't liked for a number of reasons--any one of which could be her undoing if she was not the color/person/woman/wife/Secretary of State that she is. There are many factors here. I do agree with you that sexism is going to jam her. But surely if this was a Black woman running with the exact same qualifications as Hillary, sexism would be beaten out by racism every time. Again, this is my opinion as a Black woman. Personally, I truly wish Bernie could have won the Country over. I am more of the revolutionary type regardless of the color of the proposed leader. I love how involved our young folks are in all of this. After all, it's all about the future of their world. Thanks always for stimulating my mind.
  3. Hi Troy, This makes me wonder how I’m perceived in a first sight impression. Am I seen first as a woman, of female gender? Or does my Black skin color overshadow the woman that I am? How does my appearance in terms of my age impact any of this—meaning am I perceived as an older, Black woman or am I a woman who happens to be Black who is up in the years? I would think that one would have to determine how they want to discriminate against you based on his or her perception of who you are. I really don’t know how one discriminates against me without knowing who I am or what I am all about. Lots of time people seem to like me until I open my mouth and share my thoughts—and then they decide how they want to treat me in terms of my race, age, and/or gender or my gender, age, and /or race. This is a tricky one. I would like to think that people discriminate against other people for a combination of reasons based on their perceptions, experiences, ideologies, and beliefs. If, for example, a man who sees me and believes that I should behave in a certain way as a woman and somehow I violate his beliefs, then there it is. But if this same person uses his ignorance to see my Black skin as a threat of sorts, then he will act accordingly. But what if this person has a disdain for woman in general and is prejudice against African-Americans? In this case, I could get a double-dose of discrimination. It’s not so simple to just discriminate against women, black women, or black women in a given age range. For me, when I see a person whose race is different than mine, I think I see race first, followed immediately by that person’s gender. When I refer to another, I usually refer to him or her by saying that Black man or white woman, or that Hispanic girl. I never say that man who is African-American or Black or that woman who is Caucasian. With that being said, I think race-first may be the answer in how first to discriminate against another. As far as Secretary Clinton is concerned, if I had to describe her, she would be the White, woman, Secretary of State who is running for the office President. Now if I were a racist, I think a disdain for her race would trump everything else--I would only see a white woman with no regard for what she stands for or who she really is--my judgment of her would be clouded by an ignorant perception. Sorry I couldn’t resist the trump part. In conclusion, it is is likely that the choice to discriminate may be to notice race, gender, age, and occupation/status in this order. There is nothing research-based in this. This is only my opinion--a very thought-provoking opinion I might add.
  4. I'm a little late coming into this discussion. I have so much to say about literary critiques and Dyson that I could fill this page, but I will only say this: Bad books persist because of sheer greed in certain aspects of the literary industry. As long as lots--and I say lots--of money can be made off of vanity publishing and "bad" indie authors, bad books will continue to be written and presented. It's a tough market out there for decent, aspiring, unknown authors. It's not a game to be played unless you are prepared to compete as a literary warrior. This means that you must be prepared to learn your trade, seek and accept advice, brand yourself in ways that gets noticed, and write, write, and write some more. As such, I welcome critiques. I learn from them so that I may develop, grow, and put out a strong, competitive product. But these critiques must be fair in their assessments of what is quality, what is now, and what is needed--especially for our multicultural reading audiences. From my perspective, in today's market/political and economic climate, being too diverse or too Black isn't going to get too many front doors opened right now. Sorry, I find that it's just not in fashion. Therefore, avenues like CreateSpace help to put credible authors like me onto a path where I can at least go through the back entrance--that is even if that door is opened. If not, guess what? Then you must creatively think outside the box! And that's hard too!!! Now about Dyson. I don't like anyone who says "Nigger please..." in reference to our President. President Barack Obama has endured enough disrespect from people on the other side of the aisle. He has also endured disrespect from those who are supposed to support him. Now from us! Enough already. Like it or not, the man is the President of these United States--a certain amount of respect must be afforded to him by the mere fact that he is our President and Commander-in-Chief. Not too many of the ones talking about him could step into this shoes, fight his battles, and come out any Blacker than he already has. It's difficult to support us--Black people--when we don't even stand up for ourselves for the most part. We want "our" President to stand up with us as a people when we don't even take time to educate ourselves to see what is being planned in our communities. We are too busy living the now and cannot begin to see and plan for tomorrow. When it's time for many of us to enter into the political arena to vote, where are we? Not at the polls--that's for sure. Our President is a human being in need of his people. Sorry, folks, we weren't there for him anymore than we feel that he was there for us. "Nigger please" has a broad application. Dyson really upset me with this. He could have disagreed with the President's performance without going there. As an intellectual, I only saw ignorance on his part. No, I don't like or agree with every thing this President has done while in office. But I believe with my whole heart that if he had been greeted and treated like a favorite son and you know what I mean, this particular outcome would look a lot different. Look at Ryan. He has already been turned into a superstar. This is an example of a favorite son. He has been and continues to be groomed and mentored. Unlike what happened to Barack Obama. He is young, white, and aspiring. Hell, they already want him for President. We need to give our first in the White House a little more respect. If he can't get it from us, then who? Dyson, please go somewhere and be quiet for a change.
  5. Hello Troy, Thanks for posting my information about Literacy on the Go! I had a man to stop me in the parking lot of one of our libraries yesterday to comment on my literacy touting Armada. He and his wife were very impressed with what I am hoping to achieve. Also, here is the link for what I posted about Wade Hudson. Please know that I plan on purchasing another spot on this platform for my books. But I want to wait until The Hunt for the Magic Pearl, Second Edition is published. This second edition is really nice! I want both my books to be featured at the same time I hope you know how awesome you are! https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/making-all-us-visible-pages-literature-shirley-perry-church?trk=prof-post
  6. Thanks Sara and Cynique. I am trying so hard to impact our struggling children in the best way that I know how. Also to Troy. Of course you're right--I knew that I was giving them "free" advertisement when I did it. However, I cannot tell you how many people have asked me if my book(s) are on Amazon. I just wanted to eliminate another step in trying to get my books into the hands of my reading audiences. At some point when my brand is familiar enough, I am going to restructure how I market. Right now I am pitching to a few corporate giants in hopes of having them to do a little advertising and marketing for me. We'll see how that goes. Please know that in every one of my queries and, in many of my book announcements, etc., I have aalbc.com down as one of my organizational memberships. I do try my best to spread the love for African-American businesses. Just the other day I did an entire post on my LinkedIn page for Mr. Wade Hudson. I really don't even know him. But, as an African-American publisher, I appreciate what he's doing and saying about multiculturalism and diversity. I try so hard to do unto others as I would have them to do to/for me. But we all know that it doesn't always work out that way. All one can do is to keep trying--and for the little guys and gals out there competing, this sometimes means giving props to the giants. Thanks always for your input and recognition.
  7. Cynique, I don't want to get into this fray. I have too much on my plate as it is. But I want you to know from my heart that I truly love you and totally respect your years and the wisdom that comes from those years. I knew from day one that you would challenge me. Sometimes, It made me angry,but most times it made me think. The thinking part is what allowed me to grow. Keep being the beautiful lady of wisdom that has allowed your strong mind to continue on. There is so much truth in the words that you speak! Keep living and keep it moving sista girl. Shirley
  8. How utterly refreshing to wake up to this. Thanks so much for sharing this video about this amazing young woman. In a brief recap, this is what I picked up on: Jolyon spoke of questioning being essential to one's development, saying that we don't ask sufficient questions of our governments. She spoke about writing from one's internal world and, how writing is the mechanism for freedom of the mind and imagination. She spoke about the importance of having great covers for books and how these covers are the objects of beauty!!! In addressing on how best to publish the interiors of children's books, she said that while "full color" is very expensive to produce, it is essential in children's books because they will experience plenty of black and white in their worlds as they grow into their lives--let them experience color, she said. And finally, she spoke to culture as being the foundation to a narrative. Troy, I absolutely agree with you. This is exactly why indie presses are important. I love imaginative book covers, both my books' interiors are in full color, and I totally agree with her about questioning. Self publishing my books via independent publishing allows me to own my imagination and creativity in how I direct what I write. This lady is awesome. Thank God for her!!!
  9. Hello Celestial Greatness and Troy, In this instance, I am using diversity strictly as it pertains to children's literature. As an adult, looking back through my child's eyes, I seem to only remember reading European literature and history in school. I was bored too death because for one thing there was nothing in it that pertained to me and my chitterlings, pigs' feet, collard greens, black-eyed peas, watermelon eating, big crazy family, Black culture. I loved the foods that we ate. It was sustaining and damned good. As a child I had no idea about cholesterol, nor did I care. I just knew that I hated being embarrassed when someone spoke ill about what we ate and it happened more often than I wanted to imagine. I almost fought a lady once when I lived in GA and she had the audacity to talk bad about me, a "N" word eating watermelon. I should have had a book right then depicting me enjoying the biggest slice of watermelon ever!!!! Now look at how watermelon is treated on menus. It's not only delicious, but it is very healthy--and as an a part of the agricultural industry, it can be lucrative for farmers. This is my a wonderful representation of my/our cultural diversity--Black children and their enjoyment of Watermelon. Sounds like a great title to me. Sorry, I get a little carried away at times. Back to books. And then when I did got older and could pick and choose the books that I preferred to read, many of them were filled with untruths and outright lies. When I went with my daddy to the White church that he cleaned on Saturdays and Sundays, I would often go into the nursery and look through all the wonderful, colorful children's books. I saw long, straight, blonde hair, blues eyes, and happy endings. Not one of the characters looked anything like me nor did they live in a neighborhood like mine. So as a result of what I'd read, here's what my confused mind did: I went home and put white towels on my head to cover my nappy hair and pretended to be a blue-eyed Cinderella until my Momma told me to take that shit off my head. Having shared that memory, I want our children to see themselves behaving on the pages of our books just they are--good and bad. I want them to visit their histories and cultures via the pages of diverse literature--whether that literature pertains to Africans, Latinos/Hispanics, Asians, whomever. I want to see and hear our varied languages--colorful and brilliantly presented. I want to experience our pains, joys, and sorrows on the pages of good books. I want to see our triumphs as well as our failures. This is diversity in literature to me. This is why I write about intelligent R.A.T.S that represent our young males doing battle with intolerant green giants. This is why I write about beautiful dark-skinned mermaid princesses who are courageous, smart and clever survivors. This is only a peek of what children should see in their literature so that their minds can soar into all sorts of possibilities, so that they can hear rich and varied vocabulary, and so that they can become great and creative thinkers. This is the diversity that I speak of. Now about hate. Hate is a destructive force. A quick step back into the dark days of our history says so. For that matter, just look around us right now. I don't want to hate to move me. I don't want to teach hate in a way that is destructive. But I do want to make children aware of hate and how to handle it when it comes at them or when they feel a need to use it. I must respectfully disagree--hate is a power that destroys from the inside out if it is improperly handled. Love, hate's opposite, can be easily transformed into destruction. It is indeed a slippery slope when we speak of these two very powerful emotions. Thanks so much for the opportunity to exchange views. This is how the power of knowledge is shared and how our great minds are challenged. I absolutely appreciate your input!
  10. I am going to do just that. I hope he is on LinkedIn too. This is a fight that I definitely plan to help win. I have received awesome critiques from my instructors and peers at Gotham Writers Workshop on The Peanut Butter Trap: Hate Is Such An Ugly Word and The Hunt for the Magic Pearl, Second Edition. CreateSpace has been a Godsend for me. Both my books shout diversity. I must get them into the hands of our youths. I am on this 100%. Thanks so much for your recognition and support of my efforts.
  11. Thanks Troy. I appreciate it Just so you know, I am looking to submit to Just Us Books, Inc. and Marimba Books. I didn't know of them until I visited the homepage. Thanks!!!!
  12. Hello Troy, I know I'm a little behind on what has been happening here on AALBC.com, but I just want to let you know how good this site looks and flows. I just visited the homepage and it looks great. I also took time to read and print out a copy of the "Ten Steps to Promote Diversity in Children's Literature" by Wade Hudson. I definitely plan to share it. Even as an author who is out there pushing my own work, I still try my hardest to support other authors--especially us. It's a difficult road toward acceptance and recognition in the literary industry. If we don't support our own, who will? Just like the article says: "You can make a difference!" We, together must make a difference for our struggling reader/learners. We've got to put a cork in that infamous pipeline to prison. Again, if we don't, who will????? While I am still very busy trying to market and promote my books, I'm going to try to stop by to visit a little more often. Thanks so much for caring. My best to you always, Shirley
  13. Literacy on the Go! If you spot my Armada (you really can't miss it) and you can tell me the day, time, and location where I'm driving, you can be entered to win one of my awesome books for FREE! Just enter your email contact information on my website. It's that easy! I will contact you when you win. I'm going to be driving from Texas to Virginia to Washington D. C. starting late June 2016. I am also planning a road trip to Chicago to visit libraries, schools, and community centers in the Fall of 2016. Look for me. I'm coming to talk about literacy and the lack thereof. How far will I go to promote literacy? How far will I go to help struggling children? How about all over the United States! How about all over the World Wide Web (WWW.com) The big question is: How far are you willing to go with me? You can start by supporting African-American Children's Authors. We work hard to provide the great literature that so many children need. Visit my updated website at: www.readtoachieve2.com to see what I've been up to. Remember the importance of Reading to Achieve with all children! My brand is: Read to Achieve the Magic! (TM). I would love for you to share what I'm up to!
  14. Cynique, OMG!!!! I had a few minutes to spare and thought I would drop by. I am coming back as soon as I can. I will be back with both my books from CreateSpace no less. CDBurns will be so proud. I am in love with CreateSpace. They are professional publishers on every level. I am also totally enjoying the courses that I am taking at Gotham Writers Workshop. Of course, I am blowing it out the water. I really would like to teach online for them someday. Now, Cynique, I love your challenges, but not like this. This is not the way to exercise your brilliance-of course that is only my opinion. Behave yourself!!!! See you soon. Perhaps, I will come up with a poem just for you. Shirley P.S. I pulled The Hunt for the Magic Pearl completely away from Archway Publishing. It is now being published in its Second Edition--"so much better" with less costs in production. I got this great advice from being a member here.
  15. Hello Troy, I just watched the video from beginning to end. What a fantastic job you have done sharing and explaining this platform. I absolutely love it. I am busy getting ready to launch The Peanut Butter Trap, Hate is Such an Ugly Word via Amazon's CreateSpace. I am really excited. I am praying that my proof is all that I expect and more. The cover is awesome. I am also attending my online courses at Gotham Writers Workshop. This is already a great experience for me. I can already see the benefits in my writing. For my first book, The Hunt for the Magic Pearl, I have filed a complaint with the Indiana State Attorney General to report what transpired with Archway Publishing. If nothing else, I can be released from the contract and I have hopefully put them on notice. I am awaiting a response from Attorney General's office. I am saying this to let you know that I am busy, busy, busy and loving every minute of it. I have not abandoned aalbc.com. I really do appreciate all that you are doing for the African-American literary community. Keep on making good things available to us, we all need this. My best to you always, Shirley
  16. Shirley Gale


    As a reader, rape connotes violence and robs me of any ecstasy in the act. The title took me there. There are rape victims who did not come forward initially because they admitted to being aroused when they were being victimized by that sinful lust. I guess this is where my mind went. That's poetry for you. It's all up to interpretation. We do indeed create our own truths. On another thought, I wish I hadn't hit that lowercase i in my response. I certainly know better!!!!!
  17. Shirley Gale


    This is a powerful and sad expression of an act that violates the soul. i hope your words are used in healing somehow. Thanks for the courage to share it in its raw essence.
  18. Tracy Bradshaw 1st Sawbear got to go camping, visit Orange Beach, and fly on an airplane! He got his picture made with the pilots and had great adventures in Kansas City. The rough drafts are completed and can be viewed on Shutterfly. Dear Shirley Perry-Church, I love your writing about Bernie Sanders. It makes him a real person. We don't always think of presidential candidates as real people. He doesn't want to get out of bed in the morning, and for goodness sake he even farts! You bring candidates to a regular people level, and I like that. Thank you for sharing. Tracy
  19. Hi Troy, Yes, it is a good site with lots of benefits for the members. Here is the link: http://www.napw.com/authors/search?category=children%27s+books&commit=&keywords=&page=2&utf8=%E2%9C%93 I will get the Google Analytics to you soon. I am not so familiar with it and I need to find it in my brain first. I have only played around on it once or twice.
  20. What you are about to read is my 1st homework assignment for Gotham Writers' Workshop. I created this narrative based on my African-American cultural experience. My perception of Mr. Sanders may well be different from others due to my prior knowledge of the man. The Bernie that you will read about comes solely from my limited research and overactive imagination of what he might be like in the mornings. The homework assignment was to pick one person from a list of people that intrigued me. I was tasked with writing a scene showing this person getting up in the morning and getting ready to go out. I had to imagine my person getting out of bed, asking myself where is he? What is the place like? What is his attitude about having to get up? What is his morning ritual like? And what, if anything, does he eat or drink? Please be aware that this narrative contains colorful language that may be offensive to some in this reading audience. As a writer and new author, I would welcome your feedback on this assignment. Rise ‘N Shine You Old Fart 4:00 a.m. The alarm clock was blaring Ray Charles’ 2004 hit song, “Hit the road Jack and don't cha come back no more no more no more no more. Hit the road Jack and don't cha come back no more.” It was time for Bernie to get up. Since starting the campaign, he’d set the radio-clock alarm to its maximum. He couldn’t afford to miss a beat. “Oh, shut the hell up,” he said, hitting the snooze button. After having to get up to pee during the night, Bernie had just managed to fall back to sleep at 2:30 a.m. “Bernie,” his wife yelled, having been awakened by the loud blast of song, “You didn’t!” “Of course, I did,” he said. “It’s better out than in.” “That smells awful,” she said, turning away from him and pulling the heavy covers up over her face. “You need to get your old ass up right now!” She ordered. “Look, that’s the way a good fart is ’pose to smell,” he said, laughing and kicking back the covers. He could depend on his faithful morning gas to give him the boost he needed to get kicked out of his own bed. In his mind, he believed that his loud, obnoxious farts deserved to win a trophy. Filled with a lethal concoction of smelly gas and a bladder filled with ammonia-strength pee, Bernie willed himself to get moving. 4:20 a.m. “Time to rise and shine to give God the glory,” he said, half singing his favorite verse. Before putting on his famous wire-framed specs, he curiously rubbed an old crusty booger from the corner of his bad eye while digging deeply into his right nostril to find a competitor. Absent-minded, he rolled the hardened mucous between his pointer finger and thumb and plucked the tiny ball out into the darkness. Such was Bernie’s get out of bed ritual—farting and tossing crusty nasal remnants into oblivion. “Damn it’s cold in here,” he said, taking quick steps toward his ever faithful, white porcelain toilet that patiently awaited his return visits. “Ahhh,” he said, watching the golden fluid drain steadily from his slightly crinkled-up man part. Ain’t no dialysis happening here, he thought, giving a proud gaze at the flow, eventually shaking off the last of the few drips. Bernie considered himself to be in pretty good shape for an old man. Flexing his muscles in the bathroom mirror, he was all too pleased that he could still have a good morning pee of this magnitude. He knew of younger fellows in Congress who could not drain nearly as well as he could. 5:00 a.m. The hot steam coming from the shower head seemed to huff and puff, hanging billows of fluffy clouds in the bathroom. Bernie looked forward to having the hot water send its warmth to his cold extremities. Often feeling like a cold-blooded reptile, the shower was the perfect heat source to warm his aged bones so that he could move with the competitive swiftness of his younger opponent. 5:10 a.m. The shower having done its job, the aged man staggered out of the bathroom like a happy drunk. Admiring the man still tucked inside of him, he stood in front of his full-length mirror wearing nothing more than his wrinkled, old, ghostly-white skin. “Got to get going,” he said as he looked over at the clock that was eating away his precious minutes. “I know she’s already out there. I can’t afford to let her retake the lead—there’s just too much at stake.” 5:20 a.m. Damn that coffee smells good, he thought. The coffee pot, percolating with lively song, was as old and faithful as he—always willing to serve. He grabbed himself a huge cup and filled it to the brim. Strong and black, he thought. Just the way I like it. Sipping cautiously, the hot liquid would be the energy he needed to stand down those insatiable reporters. 5:30 a.m. “Bernie Sanders is still holding onto a slight lead over Hillary Clinton…” the TV reporter announced. His television channel was permanently tuned to MSNBC or CNN. “Shit, I’ve got to get on out there,” he said, talking out loud to himself. “A slight lead is nothing against her.” 5:35 a.m. “Oh, quit your honking—I’m coming,” he yelled to the door. Looking almost homeless in a semi-wrinkled suit with his white hair untouched by a comb, Bernie headed toward the front door to meet his impatient driver. “See you later Baby,” he called back to his wife. “Gotta go kick ’em in their political asses.” 7:59 a.m. Arriving in the nick of time, a reporter waiting in the front lobby of the Iowa State Capitol asked, “Mr. Sanders, do you still think you can maintain your lead and secure the Democratic nomination for President?” 8:01 a.m. Fully rejuvenated, Bernie responded, “Yes, Son, I sure do!” ********** I have a deep respect and admiration for Presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders. This assignment has been critiqued by my esteemed instructor. His comments and suggestions proved to be valuable in teaching the elements of Character Development I.
  21. Thanks for the advice Troy. I will look into the buy button. I have gone to Google analytics. I didn't know exactly what I was looking at. I will go back to it to hopefully gain a better understanding. About Galveston: when the storm hit Galveston Island, it almost equated to what happened to the poor people caught up in hurricane Katrina. It is just a matter of time before this plush area that I speak of will be vacated by the poor and developers move in. That's just my thoughts. The cruise ship industry is right there. The beach is right there for the tourists, but so too are the poor non-contributors. If I had the capital, I would love to buy some of the property. I had even thought about putting a bookstore in Galveston on one of those side streets where no one seems to care about. But then I thought, who would come to purchase the books??? There are a lot of abandoned houses and buildings--prime property for future development investment. In about 5 to 10 years, I believe that Galveston is going to take on a serious change in those poor areas. I would love to see future planning and development. But my home is not in Texas and I don't even know where my husband will take us in the next few years. Hopefully in the direction of Virginia. In terms of my books, I have some serious marketing strategies planned. I am one to think outside of the box and I think I have some good stuff in the works. I will keep you posted as I move along. It has only been a year since putting my book out there. I have to remind myself that it takes time. I know at my age, time is at a premium. About the NAPW. It is huge organization for women. It stands for National Association of Professional Women. We just had an awesome conference call with the Houston Chapter President to see how they can help us more in our business endeavors. By all means look them up and let me know what you discover. As always thanks for the advice.
  22. Hello Everyone, Like I said, I was half-joking and half-hoping. I know it would take mega bucks for the miracle that I speak of to take place for us. Anyway, moving on, I have changed my shipping. I only had it set that way because it took time to order the few books that I needed from Archway. Also, my shipping is based on weight. For my books and t-shirts it is $4.50 to ship. The cost goes up for the mermaid wall dolls because they are heavier and fragile. By the way, I have gone up and down Galveston Beach to check out their mermaid figurines and there wasn't a single pretty Black mermaid doll, painting, or sculpture no where to be found. Galveston Island/beach is surrounded by poor Black folks. But you hardly see any of us on the beach walking around. I was totally amazed by the poverty that is found only a hop, skip, and a jump from the tourist parts of the beach. When I went there to pass out business cards and talk about my book, I was floored by the lack of us!!! About my website, with my book ad on aalbc.com and NAPW, my visits went up quite a bit in the last few days. However, I am only getting window shoppers. My goal is to figure out how to get my visitors to make a purchase. I cannot lower the price of my book anymore without practically giving it away. I cannot and will not turn my mermaids white. So who knows what will happen for me. I will have to find my target audience somehow. They are out there somewhere. Virginia Beach, for example, is famous for mermaids--that's why I love my home so much. I was raised seeing mermaids--of course they were white. Also, Authonomy is down. By the time, I placed my manuscript on the site, two days later, everyone received notice that Harper Collins was discontinuing the service. Troy, I don't have any stats on the number of Blacks that actually had an opportunity to get their books reviewed by the editors and accepted by Harper Collins. I am sure that, like everything else, there were disappointingly few. Finally, I want to say that I go out of my way to support my people as much as I can--especially when it comes to our children. I do not understand why we don't support one another more. Our dollars run out of our communities as fast as we can get our paychecks. I really must move on from this because this is really disheartening. As a true believer in God, I just keep on doing what I am lead to do. Right now that mission is to keep writing and pushing to see how far I get. Again, thanks to all of you, Troy, Chris, and Cynique, on aalbc for your kind enthusiasm and support. I truly appreciate this site and believe me, I am always telling people about it. Troy, I am noticing that when I post, sometimes my post will not fall in order of first to last. It has done this twice. Could I be doing something wrong? Thanks
  23. Hello Cynique,

    I didn't know where to post this so that it could be somewhat private, so I thought I would take a chance to do it here. I would like to ask a big favor of you. I know that you are from and or currently live in the Chicago area. As such, I think you are an authority on the population there. My story, The Peanut Butter Trap takes place in Chicago. I believe that the contents holds true for what the youth are experiencing there. As such, I would love for you to review my manuscript and give me a thorough critique of what you think. I had it reviewed by Kirkus and while they provided a semi-positive review, I know they missed the point entirely. I would love for you to look it over.

    Now, if you don't have time, I thoroughly understand. Please know that this will change nothing in our developing relationship if you cannot do it. I think very highly of your intellect and I value your opinions. 

    Please let me know your decision pretty quickly. I am going on Lightning Source or Create Space to publish it as soon as possible. Also, if you like, I will happily send you a "free" copy of my expensive book, The Hunt for the Magic Pearl for you to gift to a young girl. Just think you can get it while it's hot!!!! Yeah Sure. (LOL)

    Thanks so much for all your great posts and responses. If yes, I can attach the manuscript to your email.

    Shirley G. Perry-Church

  24. I am certainly connected to your passion in this poem. Very nice indeed.
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