Maya Angelou’s Reminder To Love Life

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Maya Angelou is the number two poet out of the top 500 on PoemHunter.com, and she only has 28 poems listed. She’s listed behind Robert Frost and beats William Shakespeare at number three.
Though it should really come as no surprise with poems such as “I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings” and “Phenomenal Woman.”

Maya AngelouThe death of such a beautiful writer has got me thinking. There will come a day when I can no longer write. That day will come for you too, and what will they read?
Tweets are pouring in as Maya Angelou trends on Twitter, most of which quote pieces of her work like, “My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive,” and the eloquence of it all is inspiring.

She left us a long list of beautiful words invoking passion, something that every writer can only hope to do in their passing.

maya2Miss Angelou leaves a soft and lovely elegance that begs for purity and love. As the world takes the day to reflect on her work, I’d like to remind you to learn “The Lesson.”

The Lesson
By Maya Angelou

I keep on dying again.
Veins collapse, opening like the
Small fists of sleeping
Children.
Memory of old tombs,
Rotting flesh and worms do
Not convince me against
The challenge. The years
And cold defeat live deep in
Lines along my face.
They dull my eyes, yet
I keep on dying,
Because I love to live.

Let us not forget the love we must carry for life, and the truth we all live. Let the pouring rain remind you that you live. Let the drenching days remind you to love. Always keep on. Live your life’s passion.

With all the love within me,
Brandy D.

 

 

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Redefining Ideals Of Media

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It’s almost mind numbing to think our thoughts and actions have been shaped by media.
It makes me want to reconsider every thought I have (i.e. Is the mind numbing-ness thought something that the media now wants me to have? Is the media now shifting for us to reconsider our actions?)

As a writer, more specifically journalist, therefore media contributor, what is my contribution to all of this?

Some people, dare I say most people, see advertising, marketing, newspaper and magazine articles, but don’t analyze them.

What are these writers trying to tell me?
What information am I allowing my psyche to consume without consideration?
How are these opinions forming my views?

These are important questions to consider as a media consumer, which all of us are.

I came upon this Huffington Post article titled “7 Ways The Beauty Industry Convinced Women That They Weren’t Good Enough.”

“1. Your natural hair color isn’t pretty enough.”
“2. Your body hair is gross.”
“3. Your skin is too dark.”
“4. Actually, your skin is too light.”
“5. Your cellulite’s an eyesore. It must be banished.”
“6. Your unmanicured nails are unsightly.”
“7. Your eyelashes aren’t long enough.”

As a woman, I’ve considered all of the above, but personally my battle has always been with weight. However, most of the concerns above have never shaped my mentality, and I think that’s mostly because I was raised by a man. These beauty ideals weren’t ingrained into me because a man, a good man, doesn’t define a woman based on these silly statements.

But when I think of my grandmother, coming in to her own during a time when beauty was being restructured by the media, I wonder if she questioned things like shaving her armpits, tanning, or making sure her nails were done so that “her man” would love her more, or so that she would be more pleasant upon a man’s gracious eyesight.

Then I think of my lady friends, and every woman I’ve ever known.
These beauty ideals have truly shaped women’s identity.

And it’s all because someone made a product and preyed on the weakness of a group of individuals to get rich.

Now, I’m not saying that beauty standards should be reshaped, but I am calling for a more enlightened future.

As a consumer, I am asking for you to THINK and ANALYZE every commercial or advertisement you see.
As a contributor, I am asking you to CONSIDER what you are promoting and why. Is it for the betterment of another’s life or the betterment of your own?

I’m challenging every individual involved in the creation of media (bloggers, writers, musicians, advertising consultants, marketing executives, etc.) to create for the betterment of MANKIND, not the betterment of YOUR pocket.

This is a plea from a little girl who’s wished for worldwide peace, equality, and happiness her entire life.
This is a plea from a woman who wishes to change the world and who tries to be the change she wishes to see.
I don’t expect society to change in the blink of an eye, but I can dream it.
I can influence others to do the same.
I can at least call for the beginning of a new media, a new understanding.

I know I’m not the only one with these ideals, and I also know that fame and money has suppressed many more of these thoughts and desires than you or I could ever count.

But is it really worth it?

Can judgement be redefined by a higher standard in the media?

That is a question only to be answered by time and action.

In progress and success, let us not think only for our individual futures, let us think of the future of the human race.

(Insert cheezy quote here about the future of love and kindness and world peace.)

You, as a contributor and consumer of media, really are the future. You have a choice to believe what you see and read. You have a choice to control what you create.

Media is the future, and we all make an impact.

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With all the love within me,
Brandy D.

 

Beyond Good and Bad

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When there is no room for things to get better, must they get worse? If each moment is taken with not only a grain of salt, but sugar as well, you’ll never need either again. Right?

My point is to receive moments as moments, neither good nor bad. Progress. Persevere.

Labels can be debilitating, and we should never hinder our own progress by limiting life’s moments with their self titled meanings.

While researching to add credibility to my words for this post, I came upon a blog post titled “Good or bad hard to say, so let’s go with the flow,” (it’s good, read it).
This post uses allegories to convey my thoughts and purpose for writing today (it’s such a great feeling to find commonalities in thought).
My favorite part is an excerpt used toward the end about why it’s important to go with the flow…

When people see some things as beautiful,
other things become ugly.
When people see some things as good,
other things become bad.

Being and non-being create each other.
Difficult and easy support each other.
Long and short define each other.
High and low depend on each other.
Before and after follow each other.

We are in the middle of it all.

Maybe it’s the Pisces in me, or maybe it’s my dad, but I’ve always been a “go with the flow” type of person.

In the last few months, my world has whirl-winded around me. It’s not always easy to stay neutral in good or bad situations, however, it is important to understand that we cannot control everything.
The better something seems, the worse something else must be (the poet in me always finds its way out).

Like Roger Miller said, “The good ain’t forever, and bad ain’t for good.”

Try not to dwell on the good or the bad, learn to be more accepting of both, live in the moment and go with the flow.

After while y’all

*Writers’ Note*
In my personal experience, the bad times in my life always make for great inspiration.
Inspiration cannot be controlled, it comes to us (by undefined means). Good and bad cannot be controlled either, but it’s all about perception.
As writers, we define our feelings using words as our medium.
We must be able to utilize moments, take advantage of the good and the bad without letting it define us.
Capitalize your moments. Adapt.

Inspire and be inspired.

Branding Brandy

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One of the most valuable lessons I’ve learned in my communications classes is branding.

Currently, I have one blog, other than this, which is basically the junk drawer of my mind. It is where I post my writings, any of them. I began it a few years ago as a kick starter to my writing career. Now, it has more or less become a journal.
While I do believe a blog of the sorts is important to have (for my sake and those around me) it is lacking in professional quality.

In light of graduating college in a couple of weeks, I’ve been thinking about branding myself. I write in many different styles (poetry, prose, journalistic, short story, essay, etc) and have absolutely no online organization of who I am as a writer.
In the social media consumed world we live in, it is very important to have a presence.

This is only the beginning folks.
Please be on the look out for my new blog, coming soon and sure to please.

Namaste

Daily Writing Tips

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There is a website that AdviceForWritersBrand@gmail.com receives daily writing tips from, called…..
Wait for it…..
Daily Writing Tips.

I’m not one to talk much about grammar, I prefer subject matter and inspiration when it comes to talking about writing.
But knowing your grammar is necessary, and the folks at Daily Writing Tips even have a special category for Grammar and Grammar 101 (it’s a Grammar extravaganza over there).
Along with grammar, they have categories titled Book Reviews, Misuesd Words, Vocabulary, Word of the Day, Freelance Writing, and the list goes on and on.

I’ve added their website to the blogroll here at AFW. It’s a great page to check out (because you certainly aren’t going to get all of this information from the one man band here at AFW).

I hope you enjoy,
Brandy Danielle

He Stopped Loving Her Today

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George Jones died today at age 81.
The Tennessean said, “Country Music Hall of Famer George Jones, a master of sad country ballads whose voice held the bracing power, the sweetness and the burn of an evening’s final pull from a bourbon bottle, died Friday morning at a Nashville hospital. He was 81, and was often called the greatest male vocalist in country music history.”

George Jones

George Jones lived and passed in Tennessee.
Clara Robinson, former manager at Johnston and Murphy in Nashville, Tennessee, developed a personal relationship with him and his wife during the years she was employed there.
“He was my friend,” Robinson said, “He and his wife were always so friendly.”
She said he would spend thousands of dollars at a time on clothing, sometimes even buying one of everything in the catalog.
“One time,” she said, “he bought so many shirts, and it turned out they were a size too small.” She continued on saying that instead of returning the clothing, he gave it to a man that worked for him.
Another story Robinson told was that the assistant manager at the time played guitar, and showed a great interest in Jones’ music. The next time Jones came to the store he brought two back stage passes for the man.
These stories exemplify the kind heart that resided in one of the best country music singers of our generation.
“‘I messed up my life way back there, drinking and boozing and all that kind of stuff,’ he told The Tennessean in 2008. ‘And you wish you could just erase it all. You can’t do that, though. You just have to live it down the best you can,'” states The Tennessean.

According to this obituary, “Country music scholar Bill C. Malone writes, ‘For the two or three minutes consumed by a song, Jones immerses himself so completely in its lyrics, and in the mood it conveys, that the listener can scarcely avoid becoming similarly involved.’ Waylon Jennings, in his song ‘It’s Alright’ expressed a common jealousy when he said, ‘If we all could sound like we wanted to, we’d all sound like George Jones.'”

George Jones rests as a country music legend.

“He said I’ll love you ’til I die
She told him you’ll forget in time
As the years went slowly by
She still preyed upon his mind”

(Courtesy YouTube)

Brandy Danielle