Friday, April 17, 2009

First Annual Awesome Women Awards (AWA)

Welcome to the First Annual Awesome Women Awards (AWA), honoring Everyday Women, who pursue their dreams and passions with courage and dedication despite family obligations, personal challenges, and limited or no capital.These women "make a way out of no way" for themselves and their families.

Their talents range from writing to animal training. Most, but not all, are in their twenties.You might not see them on Oprah, CNN, Tyra, or Inside Edition (yet). Nonetheless, every day they make a difference in the lives of those around them. Here are this year's honorees:

Sgt. Evelyn Pollard, (U.S. Army, Iraq) wife, mother, soldier, Combat Life Saver instructor, writer, and avid reader

Dionna Phillips (Yonkers, NY) wife, mother of three, foster mother of one, entrepreneur, and founder of "Special Moments," (a non-profit organization that promotes events for mothers and their children), dreamer, and creative force

Erica Moyler (NYC) mother, fashion designer co-partner in Fabric Twins, (who create and wear different designs made from the same fabric) singer, entrepreneur, and visionary

Amour Staggers (NYC) actress, film buff, aspiring playwright, raconteur and adventurer (

Erika Washington, (Las Vegas) wife, mother, writer, knitter, and "blogger extraordinaire"(

Cathe B. Jones (Las Vegas) writer, artist, comedian, graphic novelist, musician, animal trainer, founder of Las Vegas Quill Keepers (a support and resource group for women writers) and a powerhouse of information on using technology and social networking to promote one's writings, ventures, or ideas.(

Diahann Moyler (NYC) mother of four, grandmother of three, dedicated occupational therapy practitioner, aspiring author, event planner par excellence, and lover of life

Denise Moyler (NYC), mother of seven, grandmother of three, beloved sister and daughter, fun-lover, and future college grad

T. Rose Smith (NYC) founder and executive director of The Development and Finishing Institute (that teaches manners and etiquette to girls and young women of color), publisher, entrepreneur, writer, and world traveler (

If you know an Awesome Woman, leave a brief comment about her.

Stay focused.


Natasha Jarvis (NYC) friend, mother, entrepreneur, aspiring designer, and fierce business woman. (posted by Miss Amour)

Trinessa Brown (Yonkers, NY) intelligent, phenomenal friend, and hardworking mother of three. (posted by Sassy)

Bernice Sandoval (NYC) wife, mother of four, stepmother of one, student, entrepreneur, owner of Wynn Optics in Harlem, NY (posted by peadiva@aim)

Monday, April 13, 2009

Working the Muse: Plots and Plans

I love writing!

Even when working as an editor for various magazines or newspapers, my passion was for reporting/writing.

Presently, I have three books, at various stages, ready to be born. The first is a memoir about the relationship between me and my son--who died in prison--during his 19 years of incarceration. It's six chapters from completion. (I'm seeking an agent or publisher.)

The second is a docu-novel based on the life of Dr. J. Marion Sims, a 19th century surgeon, who performed experimental surgery on several slave women to perfect a surgical procedure for a condition called vesico-vaginal fistula. I have read his memoir and researched the medical procedure he describes.

The third book is a medical thriller, set in a major urban hospital, where doctors are testing an experimental drug on un-informed low-income women who are patients at its clinic.

In additon, I'm working on three pieces for a 2009 anthology published by Las Vegas Quill Keepers (, a support and resource group for women writers in the Valley. I've been a member for over a year.

Cathe Jones, founder of LVQK, writer, comedian, artist, musician, animal trainer, and graphic novelist (, provides invaluable information on book and magazine writing, publishing, editing, book proposals, queries, and social networking.

As member of a LVQK sub-group, Quill Kids, I'm reviewing children's books to learn the do's and don'ts of writing for various age groups. My forthcoming children's book is tenatatively titled, Mali Starr, Big City Dog.

My publishing plans include a booklet, 30 Days of Minute Meditations and revising and updating a reference for adult education instructors, Teaching Health and Wellness in the ABE/ESL Classroom, A Guide for Teachers.

Despite having considerable experience as a journalist (Food and Wine Magazine, Essence, The Village Voice, Black Enterprise, Newsweek) and freelancer, I have had only two articles published in one Vegas publication, Fun&Fit. Since, I'm relatively new to the Vegas writing scene, I intend to do more networking at local writers' functions and blitz local publications with queries.

Likewise, I plan to utilize "The Writers Block," an online writers chat group ( as another promotional platform and resource.

Although, I enjoy my day gig as an adult educator, it doesn't provide the satisfaction and excitement of writing. So, stay tuned as I pursue my various ventures and provide updates on my writing/publishing accomplishments.

Stay focused!