words of wisdom

Words of Wisdom: Nikki Giovanni

Happy Friday, friends! Whew, we made it through the week, and it’s almost the end of the fiscal year, so I’m officially DONE with all of my year-end closing tasks. Life is grand!

I figured it was time for another Words of Wisdom post because I’ve been leaning heavily on the wisdom of others as I’ve tried to stay balanced and calm during this stressful period at work. I’ve found myself reading a little poetry to unwind a bit in the evenings.

etbscreenwriting

[…]I am so hip even my errors are correct[…]

This singular line was one of the things that made me stop and really pay attention when I first read “Ego Tripping (There May Be A Reason Why)” by Nikki Giovanni years ago. And when I came across it again, I remembered just how much I loved her words.

azquotes1

Giovanni is a poet, activist and educator, and I love her for wearing so many hats with ease. She’s currently a University Distinguished Professor at Virginia Tech, and she is still vibrant and witty at 75 years of age. She’s published numerous books of her poetry and I personally enjoyed “Quilting the Black Eyed Pea: Poems and Not Quite Poems”, one of her books in my personal collection.

azquotes2

There’s a lot to say about Giovanni, and too many poems and quotes to count. However, I think the best way to get a sense of her is to read the words she wrote about herself. I loved the bio on her website. Here’s an excerpt that I found amusing, sobering, and inspiring, just like Giovanni herself:

I was asked to  do a biography so this is it.  I am 71 years old.  I highly recommend old age;  it’s fun.  I have been awarded an unprecedented  7 NAACP Image Awards which makes me very very proud.  I have been nominated for a Grammy; been a finalist for  the  National Book Award.  I am very proud to have authored 3 New York Times and Los Angeles Times Best Sellers, highly unusual for a poet.  I am a University Distinguished Professor at Virginia Tech.  I don’t have a lot of friends but I have good ones.  I have a son and a granddaughter.  My father, mother, sister and middle aunt are all deceased literarily making me go from being the baby in the family to being an elder.  I like to cook, travel and dream.  I’m a writer.  I’m happy.

instaquote

I hope you all enjoyed this post! Savor this fantastic Friday, and I’ll talk to you all tomorrow. Take care!

(photos courtesy of AZQuotes, ETB Screenwriting and InstaQuote)

words of wisdom

Words of Wisdom: Aretha Franklin

Yesterday, the Queen of Soul, Aretha Franklin, was laid to rest. I’m huge fan of her music, as I found her voice supernatural: listening to Aretha was akin to touching the divine, even if she wasn’t singing a gospel tune. As a music appreciator, I will always treasure the amazing recordings she left us.

I won’t write much, since there are so many of other writers online that are sharing their heartfelt emotion about Ms. Franklin. However, I will share some of my favorite quotes spoken by the Queen. Have a great Saturday.

I-Sing-To-Realist-s-Quote-By-Aretha-Franklin-Q

 

Aretha-1

aretha-franklin-comeback-quotes

aretha-franklin-faith-quotes

4a8c5fa2ce87826a4c55df634a0a080a

(Photos courtesy of Goalcast, LikeQuote and Saying Images)

 

words of wisdom

Words of Wisdom: Lupita Nyong’o

essence

One of my favorite movies of this year was Black Panther. For those that recall, I was in Kenya when the movie was released and, while I didn’t get to see it before I left the country, I did see the national pride for Lupita Nyong’o, the stunner that played Nakia, a brilliant spy whose wisdom saved Wakanda from certain implosion.

huffpost2

I can’t help but think that Lupita and Nakia have a great deal in common. Lupita’s confidence, poise and intelligence are traits that moviegoers easily identified in Nakia. It was difficult to distinguish between the character and the real, life Nyong’o.

huffpost

One of the things I love most about Lupita is her pragmatic attitude toward her beauty. Slim, with flawless skin, a button nose, high cheekbones and perfect out: she’s enviably beautiful. However, when her stunning beauty is discussed, she graciously acknowledges it but also brings up how that is only one aspect of who she is. She is an endearing star that not only enchants onscreen but offscreen as well.

quoteprism

I love her energy and everything that she represents. I hope you all enjoy these quotes as much as I have! I’ll talk to you all tomorrow.

(photos courtesy HuffPost, Essence & QuotePrism)

culture · words of wisdom

Remembering Jackie: The Power of Words

On what would have been Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis’s 89th birthday, I want to reflect a bit on her legacy. You all recall that I’ve shared some of her words of wisdom before, but I thought it was time to share a quote that I’d had on my mind for a while now:

540fe67f6109f_-_jackie-o_words-lg

(Photo courtesy of Town & Country magazine)

One of the things that impressed me most about this quote is that Jackie acknowledged the POWER of words. Our words mold our realities, so we have to be careful with them. Are we using our words to “speak into existence” the things that we want, or are we regurgitating the things that depress or discourage us?

Recently, I’ve been especially mindful about the words that I’m using. I’m making a concerted effort to speak positively, using words that reflect the reality that I want to see, even if it doesn’t perfectly match what I’m actually beholding. I’m not living in a “fantasy world”, per se. However, I am focusing my attention on the best aspect of “what is” as well as discussing only the things that I want in my world.

I appreciate Jackie for stating plainly that our words are powerful and can create the world that we want to see. I’m delighted that I can use my words to make a difference, not just in my own world, but in the world of those that I interact with daily.  I’m honored to have such power and to be able to use it wisely is my pleasure.

It’s no coincidence that Jackie’s life eventually led her to a career in publishing: she always had tremendous love for words. As a writer, I can relate, and I’m thankful for her contributions to the literary world. Above all, I’m thankful for her example. She was a woman that lived with integrity, used the power of words expertly, and left a legacy of excellence. On this day, let’s remember Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis and the mark she left on the world with her words.

words of wisdom

Words of Wisdom: Sophia Loren

azquotes2

Beautiful. Earthy. Intelligent. Seductive. All of these descriptors paint a perfect picture of the many elements that make the incredible Sophia Loren. I first learned of Sophia Loren many years ago when I came across her movie Houseboat with Cary Grant. Her hourglass proportions and sultry Italian accent dominated the screen every time she was in a scene. I wanted to look like her and even sound like her when I grew up!

azquotes1

Sophia didn’t have a fairy tale upbringing. Her parents never married and she dealt with the stigma of being born out of wedlock. She also was poor and got teased for being skinny. She was always a beauty but it’s hard to see your own beauty when there are so many naysayers ready to tell you otherwise.

elitecolumn

Sophia took Hollywood by storm. After all, her physical presence fit in well with the Marilyn Monroe/Elizabeth Taylor aesthetic. Unlike Monroe and Taylor, Sophia was tall and statuesque. At 5 foot 9 inches, Loren was actually equal in height, and occasionally taller than, her male counterparts. She owned her powerful presence and used it to her advantage.

Inspirational sophia loren quotes Sophia Loren Quotes

What is most enchanting about Sophia Loren is her perspective on beauty. Her down-to-earth wisdom is a refreshing take on what really matters. Her emphasis on inner beauty is probably why she is still radiant as an octogenarian. Her love for her family and self awareness shine through in every portrait. We may not all be as physically beautiful as La Loren, but we are certainly able to take on her positive attitude.

debrasmouse

So here’s to the incredible Sophia Loren! Enjoy, and I’ll talk to you all tomorrow.

 

(photos courtesy of AZQuotes, MemesandQuotesInspiration, EliteColumn and DebraSmouse)

words of wisdom

Words of Wisdom: Judy Garland

quoteprism

One of my favorite singers of all time was Judy Garland. Like most people, I got my first introduction to Garland when I saw “The Wizard of Oz” but as an adult, I got acquainted with her other songs, as well as her life story.

pinterest

This petite powerhouse felt with feeling ugly, awkward, and unloved. She was undoubtedly talented but never happy and secure in who she was. That unhappiness bled through her lyrics, making many of her songs heartbreakingly sad. But there is beauty in everything, including sadness. Even in her most painful songs, there is still so much elegance, warmth, and passion: she took heartbreak and turned it into art.

azquotes1

Garland had such naturalness when she sang: it was never forced or overwrought. I’m sure it was quite a sight to see her perform live, with such an enormous voice coming out of such a tiny woman (only 4’11”!). Recordings of her voice give me shivers now: can you imagine what it was like to hear her live?

statusmind

It’s difficult to listen to her recordings and to not be moved by them. I only wish she could have known how beautiful, special and loved she was. I hear her singing and I wish I could have hugged her and reassured her of her immeasurable value. She deserved better, and her tragic death at the age of 47 is a reminder to continue to love and affirm those around us.

azquotes2

Judy Garland had some poignant musings, and I’m honored to share a few of them with you all today. I hope that Judy’s words move and inspire you. Take care, and talk to you all tomorrow.

(photos courtesy Pinterest, StatusMind, AZQuotes and QuotePrism)

words of wisdom

Words of Wisdom: Octavia Butler

Tell stories filled with facts. Make people touch and taste and know. Make people FEEL! FEEL! FEEL!

I’m really surprised that I hadn’t written about this incredible author before, especially since she is one of my main inspirations when it comes to my writing. I haven’t tried my hand at science fiction/fantasy, but reading Octavia Butler’s work always makes me want to give it a whirl.

jenebaspeaks2

Butler willed her success into existence. Some of her papers show the affirmations that she wrote, encouraging herself along the way. While working an assortment of temporary jobs, she would wake up early to write. Her writing effortlessly weaves fantasy with contemporary issues like politics and power struggles around age-old dividers such as race, gender and sexual relationships. Her characters – multidimensional and transcendent – stay with you long after you finish her books.

ovtavia-butler-quote2

I’ve read several of her stories, starting with Mind of My Mind though, knowing what I know now, I would have started with Wild Seed, my favorite book by Butler. Wild Seed is an origin story, which describes the long history between Doro and Anyanwu. This story sets the scene for the subsequent novels. These two powerful beings struggle with one another through centuries, until they have a final showdown that end their tug-of-war.

jenebaspeaks

I love how Wild Seed takes readers through Anyanwu’s growth into an empowered woman. I love reading about Doro’s calculated nature and how everything he does is part of his master plan. And most of all, I love how well-developed the characters are and how they navigate their dysfunctional symbiotic relationship. I found myself questioning my own journey to empowerment and self actualization while reading Wild Seed.

pinterest

On today, which would have been Butler’s 71st birthday, I’m sharing a few of my favorite quotes. I hope you enjoy!

 

(Photos courtesy of BlackMattersUs, JenebaSpeaks, Pinterest and ForReadingAddicts.co.uk)