Who you gonna call?

124079-Think-For-YourselfI went to a business expo and one of the speakers, who was a fellow author, talked about people she comes across on a daily basis who have shied away from following a dream or a passion. Nowadays, it’s hard to convince people to stay the course and follow their dreams because there is always some naysayer on social media or some other platform who has nothing else to do with their day other than to tell you how much your dream or goals suck. You find yourself making an honest attempt and putting in the hard work only to feel let down when someone throws shade on your dream. She spoke about her path to writing and then publishing and how shock set in the moment she read her first review. She vowed never to write another novel because of how nasty and cruel the review was while other people seemed to love it. For three years, she put off writing another novel until her son asked her what was taking her so long. She told us it was words from her son that encouraged her to pick her pen back up again and read. He asked her why would she let a few nuts in a barrel of millions control what she does with her life and whether she ever writes again. He told her he was proud of her for doing what some people only dream of doing and because she took that first step and published her first book, he looked forward to reading her next. The next day, she started work on her second novel and now she is seven novels in and loving the path.

When it was my turn to introduce myself and talk about what I do, write romance novels, I talked about my path to writing and how, even now, I don’t let any of the reviews of my books taint my decision to write or not write. I love all of the reviews, good and bad, but what I’d like for people to do is learn to make a decision about what you like or don’t like on our own. We are becoming a people who take to other’s to decide what choices we’ll make in our lives. Who you gonna call?

I’ve always said like what you like if you decide that’s what you like and not like whatever you decide isn’t for you, but make it your own decision. People don’t know how to think for themselves anymore, but they wait to see what the masses think. I wanted to see a movie with a friend once and he refused to see it because he heard it was awful and based on what people were saying on the internet, he wouldn’t waste his money. I went to see the movie anyone on my day off and I laughed the entire movie it was so good. When it came out on DVD, I bought a copy just for him and we watched it one evening and you know what? He LOVED it! He was all set to not like this actor because other’s told him he wasn’t funny, but I tell you at one time I thought I was going to have to get some tissues he was crying fro laughing so hard. I told him next time just go see it and not make a decision based on someone who doesn’t live, think or act like you do. Be your own person!

One good example is Kim Kardashian. Now I see how social media has a love/hate relationship with Kim, but you can’t knock her hustle and thankfully, she doesn’t give two shades about what anyone has to say about anything. By way of those who love and and hate her, trust that someone is watching everything she does, buying what she sells and promotes what she says by tweeting and retweeting her every word and that’s what it’s about. It’s about going through life not allowing someone else dictate what your next moment or next move will be. i respect her for her game and however she chooses to increase her bank account, I say go for it. As others are sitting home and complaining about the next picture she puts up or the next wild thing her husband does, she’s throwing up the finger as she heads into the bank to check her new balance! I’m the same way when it comes to my writing. You can’t write or live to please everyone. For me, if I love what I wrote then I have mad love for it and nothing anyone can say or do will ever, ever, ever change that. See, the way my self-esteem is set up, I am my own woman and I dance to the beat of my own drum and it makes me happier than I’ve ever been in my life. Miserable people are miserable and like to spread their misery because no one finds anything about them to like so they want to share how much they don’t like anyone or anything else. It’s perfectly okay. Who you gonna call?

I look at our youth of today and they can’t survive without everyone loving and liking everything they say and do and if they are not the popular one’s, they look for a way to tear other’s down. You have to find your life is worth living, no matter what someone else things about it. Just do you, boo boo! You will find that when you walk through life not giving a hoot about those who have a problem with you, you’ll spend it trying to always make them happy. I live for me, yet I respect everyone’s desire to live their life their way in their own space. I pick a movie to see because I want to see it. I read a book because I love reading and none are perfect, but all are someone’s hard work. I drive the car I want because I like it and if you don’t, I have no problem driving by you. I’m currently buying a new house and buying it where I want to live because the bank said yeah, you can do that girl and so, yeah I’m doing it! For the few people who said why would I move so far from work and my answer is because I want to. If you don’t visit me now, should I not expect you now that I’m moving so far away? Yeah, let me take a lifetime and think on that one. I didn’t make these decisions based on making a million phone calls and asking someone what I should do. I did it because you only live once and for this one life I’m living, I’m going to do it my way. Who you gonna call?

When I choose the next book to write and I put it out, I feel excited and happy that I’ve made another achievement, doing something that I’m very passionate about and I do it thankful for those who decide to read my novels. You don’t have to, but you choose to and I hope you continue to do so. All of my books are my favorites and my most favorites change according to the day. Today my favorite four of my own novels are

unbreak cover photoBossy2Bachelor_Not_For_Sal_Cover_for_KindleHeartthrob Cover

Now, this list will change tomorrow based on how I’m feeling, but trust, I love every single book I’ve put out and I choose what to write based on what I decide to write about and how I want to write it. I’m like Kim Kardashian, while some sit home and critique my art, I’m actually following my dream and achieving some goals while other’s choose to sit home and not chase any and that’s okay too. Who you gonna call?

Who am I gonna call? No one because when I make a choice or a decision, I easily live with it because it came from my heart.

Happy living 🙂

Cheryl

 

Rise Up, Or Nah?

Rise

I rose early for no reason other than my body was ready to do so. I went into my kitchen, turned on the Keurig as I do most mornings to prepare my daily cup of tea. I’m off today because it’s a holiday set aside to celebrate the life of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Stepping away from that, which I will come back to in a minute, let me jump over to a video that caught my eye early this morning. Jada Pinkett-Smith posted a video to her social media accounts where she’s making a statement about the lack of color being represented and accepted at this year’s academy other than Chris Rock being asked to host. She’s disappointed, but forgiving of the fact that we have had to beg and plead to be invited to the table though we carry great power in this nation. I made a statement yesterday on my social media accounts that we need learn to love, honor, respect and support each other and not be as concerned about others giving us the pat on the back we feel like we need to have acknowledgement that we’re doing a great job. Her video stood out for me, not just because of the content of it, but because I had a situation recently that bothered me a little.

I was part of a conversation where someone said to me that (without divulging the actual conversation) they wanted me to pretty much do a dog and pony show, perform a few tricks, say my name a thousand times so that someone would know who I was and reward me for the hard work I do. While he was talking, I thought about the tons of awards that I already have, yet the few I see others with and still I need to put on a show like I’m in the middle of the three ring circus and if I do well, I may be asked to come back again. It didn’t matter that in a year’s time, I had received four high honors where some had yet to receive any, yet I have to do something extra special and the premise was, “so that they can know your name; know who you are.” My first thought was, they still need to know my name and know who I am? Why am I being pointed out to do this extra two-step to be recognized further? Why are you not telling them who I am and what I am capable of doing? People know and remember the names and talents of those they want to remember and that dog and pony show won’t matter. I realized at that moment that I’m not a hoop jumper and my days of putting on a dog and pony show to be seen and heard are in my past because I did the most, I stood out, I played the game and starting over by doing those things I’ve spent a lifetime doing just to get another small pat on the back isn’t what or who I am. I have the expectation that if I am to be rewarded for a task/job well done, that it will come my way because of the contributions I put forth that shouldn’t include that show full of stars and lights, fancy talk, Sunday attire and a smile that would plastered on only for that occasion. I should have the ability to be recognized along-side those who are awarded for doing very little when it’s clear I do a lot more. I was insulted and I relayed that sentiment because I know the power I wield is worth more than song and dance I was being asked to do in order to be seen and heard. Ask anyone, they see me and I have no doubt they hear me and what I produce is right in your face, but in a world where that’s not enough for ME, I choose not to tell someone a story they should already know because the end product you received, came from me or was there a mysterious person who you gave credit to for the great job I did.  I’m not the only one who encounters that tactic daily, but I am the one who will not be placed in center stage to perform a show when you already know and have seen just how good I am, so if you’re going to reward me, thank you and if not, I’m still good because I know how to pat my own self on the back and encourage myself. I don’t do what I do for a golden statue from you because if what I provide has a positive impact on one person, then I’ve done what I’ve set out to do. My audience is not those who want me to stand before them and plead for my talent and work to be accepted, but it’s the people I help who need a better understanding so that they can have a productive life. With that in mind, I stand with Jada when she says we no longer have to beg and plead for respect or attention when we can provide that for ourselves. For me, I’m happy, healthy and someone’s life is better because of the product I provide and that right there is my acknowledgement of the good job I do and that works for me.

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. wanted more for us and he fought so that, hopefully, w wouldn’t have to fight as hard. He took punches, kicks, screams, death threats, his life being monitored twenty-four seven, the lives of his wife and children at risk everyday, yet he didn’t play nice on the playground to make those who thought they mattered more feel good about themselves. Instead he took the road that paved a way for me and others like me to see that we can have, live and do better for ourselves and we should never give up striving for that, if not for ourselves, than for those who are coming up with and after us. Everyone deserves a world of equality and justice and no person is born entitled without putting in the work. The point is to make sure everyone has an equal opportunity to achieve the same goal without any one person being put in a place to perform extra for something someone got because they know somebody or because they are stereotyped as being the person who should get the upper hand simply because their skin tone is a few shades lighter. When is that hurdle ever left behind in the rear view window, never to be seen again? There are those who don’t really want to see us succeed, but telling us they do is more of the politically correct thing to say. We have the power to make a change, but it won’t occur if we continue following the status quo. I agree with Jada Pinkett-Smith that we need to do some things different and not scratch and claw for recognition, but it’s time we did more to recognize ourselves in a way that gives us inner peace. Those we thought we wanted that pat on the back from aren’t as important to our livelihood as be may believe; we just have to make the moves to make sure we are in position to control our own livelihood. It’s time to stand up, rise and and do what we need to do to say it’s okay if i’m not invited to the table because I have this really nice table over on the other side of the room that it fit around right nicely. I look good at that table, I feel magnificent at that table and at that table there is joy and love for me that though you may have wanted me to believe I wanted and needed from you, I really didn’t. I was going along with what I had been taught, but now it’s time for me to be the teacher because I’ve sat under teachings that provide me with the sustenance I needed and some I didn’t, yet i’m going to take it, nonetheless and use it to show those coming behind me that they can make a difference without begging and pleading to be let in through a door that never had my name on it to begin with. Yeah, it’s beyond time to take stock in self-worth and walk into your destiny and stop leaving that destiny to someone to provide.

Rise up, or Nah? I say rise up and not just walk, but run into the life you were meant to have and not one that has been planned out for you. Where you see a brick wall, bring along a sledgehammer and knock that sucker down. When you see a river that you don’t believe you can swim across, learn to swim better than any Olympic swimmer and get your behind to the other side. When the valley is deep and rugged, come with an ATV that can get you across that rough terrain. When you no longer see a path, be the first to build one so that one day your name can be on that street as the one who paved the way. Where you see that others are weak and you’re the strongest, jump in and bring to the table what’s needed for success for all involved. Where you have the means and the know how, develop a DIY (do it yourself) mentality and move on to the next impossible task, proving the impossible is possible. You don’t need a pat on the back when you know the power of what you bring to the table. Design a tool that looks like a hand and every time you feel that you aren’t getting recognized for your achievements, use that tool to pat your own self on the back and keep it moving and then when you have the opportunity, you take the time to pat someone on the back not because you made them put on an embarrassing, unnecessary show, but because you truly believe they provided what needed to be celebrated.

Rise up, or Nah? Yeah, I say rise up and help to change a generation that seems to be lost within themselves, not knowing how to get out. Our children want not because they are being told and shown that they are nothing. They are down because the generation before them was down and still found a way to survive so they have no problem with just surviving to make it from birth to death. Some don’t even care if death comes for them early because they couldn’t see beyond the day they were living in. They saw no future filled with happiness, family, love and respect. They saw ridicule, disenchantment, bitterness, disappointment and most of all, no way out because no one cared enough to help them. We have the power to help a generation rise, who want to rise and believe that not everyone you encounter want your help and that’s okay too, but for those who do, find a way to make a difference in their lives.

The time to rise up is in every second of every day. What will you choose? Rise Up, Or Nah?

http://www.cherylbarton.net

Rise, Rise Up and Walk

follow-your-dreamsI was recently asked where do I get my energy and why does it seem like I have more hours in the day than the 24 that everyone else has. The question was asked, “when do you sleep?” Then the statement was made, “you must never do anything besides work and write.” Well let me make this very clear; I sleep as much, if not more than most people at night and I mean I get a good night’s sleep. It’s true I work a full-time job which I’ve had for the past 27 years. I won’t say much about that other than to say I’m thankful for it. When I’m not working or writing a new novel, I’m out line dancing, karaoke, going to the movies (which I love doing even in this strange world), I enjoy hanging with friends eating steamed crabs, I enjoy traveling and most of all, I love time with my family, which I do often. I enjoy indulging in a good mystery, espionage or crime novel and every chance I get, I have my eyes glued to the television watching something sci-fi or one super hero or another (Yes I love Arrow, Jessica Jones, Shield, The Flash, etc) and anything else even similar to that. See, my life isn’t just working and sleeping.  I find a lot of time to also enjoy life, but what I don’t do is sit around and wait for things to happen for me. I’m a go-getter and that will never change.

My question back to this person was, “what kinds of things do you do in your spare time?” The response I got was, “what spare time?” So in other words, other than working and taking care of your kids and husband, you don’t really do anything else. Did you ever have goals or dreams for yourself that you have not been able to fulfill? Your kids are basically all adults now and you and your husband should be enjoying a sense of empty-nesting and really finding lots of fun things to do. I got a side-eye on that comment.

The conversation at this point got interesting as she starting telling me about plans she had been thinking about for years of projects she wanted to do, businesses she wanted to start and dreams of being an actress in local plays; nothing big like Broadway, but she’s always wanted to try out for one of the local playhouses. We talked about why she hasn’t started on any of those things and I heard nothing, but a lot of excuses of why she hasn’t or why she can’t.

When someone asks me, how do I do so much, be prepared for me to come back with, why don’t you do more? From what I’m told there is this one life to live and I don’t want to get to the end of if still holding on to a dream or a goal that I could have worked toward and possibly fulfilled. I want to at least make an attempt. I never wanted to be a romance author, but once I put that first book out, Bachelor Not For Sale, I realized I could be so much more. I took on starting my own publishing company and now I’m about to expand that into publishing the works of other writers; helping some writers to become authors. I don’t know how far this business will go, but I never would have discovered I could get this far if I had not gotten up and did something about it.

There is a saying that says, “nothing ventured, nothing gained.” If you don’t start none, there won’t be none! I say make today the day that you rise, rise up and walk into your destiny. Get your vision board out and start working on that dream. You may or may not see it come to fruition, but I believe you will get sense of satisfaction just by cranking away at it.

I went to the store today and brought my friend a journal and gave it to her with a note telling her to start writing down all of the things she ever wanted to do, but  never did. Start with the small things and accomplish those one by one. Once you see how easy it is to get through those, write down some bigger ones and start tackling those and each time she accomplishes something, make the next goal or dream a little bit bigger. One dream she told me about was she’s always wanted to make these personalized throw pillows. She’s had a sewing machine for years and it’s been gathering dust. Many years ago she made them and people always told her that she should make them and sell them. As a friend, I told her to make sure I was her first customer. I knew what it felt like to work on a dream and have a few supporters who purchased my first book, not caring how good or bad it was, but they did so because they believed in me.

Rise, rise up and walk into your destiny and let nothing stand in your way. There are enough hours in the day for you to spend some time on your own dream and not just those of the people around you. There is this ONE life to live. What will you do with it besides what’s expected.

http://www.cherylbarton.net

Live a Dream and Build a Dynasty

dare-to-dream (1)

Dreams of a better life are real.  They are promises that though you may feel down or bound, it won’t last forever if you take that first step toward making a dream a reality.

Not everyone started out at the top.  Some started at the bottom and they erected a ladder that enabled them to climbed toward a dream that others may have thought impossible.  They had hope that though they may not get there today or even tomorrow, as long as they keep that dream alive and work toward it, they could do more than imagine how big of a dynasty they could build.

Don’t just dream a dream, but live in that dream and imagine the higher heights it could take you to.

Check out “A Purpose-Filled Dash: Living an Empire State of Mind” now available on Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

http://www.cherylbarton.net