Saturday, November 23, 2013

Pride Comes Before the Fall

Pride is one of my biggest flaws, and I seem to never realize the harm it causes until the damage has already been done. You live and you learn.


Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Fashiionable Inperfections are not Alwas Trendy (The Truth about OnlineProofreading)

Yeah, I know that my title should read: Fashionable Imperfections are not always Trendy. As a freelance writer turned published author, I had to learn the hard way that editing and proofreading can't always be done on your own.  I use Grammarly for online proofreading because errors are never fashionable.   The most captivating plot and seemingly memorable mesmerizing characters can be lost amongst erranoeus spelling, grammatical errors, misplaced punctuation, and a host of other errors that can be corrected by professionals.  Don't allow your bestselling ideas to be forever lost in an at best mediocre novel that readers put down simply due to an unfashionable amount of fatal flaws. 

-The Author of Fashionably Deceptive

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Nothing Was the Same

I still been plotting on the low
Schemin on the low
The furthest thing from perfect
Like everyone I know


Plotting on the Low
As I read the literary works of authors like Jodi Picoult, Eric Weber, Kwan, etc. it makes me realize the importance of always striving to perfect your craft.  So in the midst of preparing for the launch of #AFashionableRevelation, I have decided to further my education through Creative Writing courses.  I don't aspire to be merely a good writer, I aspire to be the best.  So, I will continue to plot my course according to my future aspirations.  Just because you see me in the club asking for water, so I can roll harder, doesn't mean that I am not constantly strategizing to become the next big author.

Schemin on the Low
And with my status bar set higher than most, I realize that it will take more than greatness to make Tonia the Author a household name.  I can admit than I am outspoken amongst my group of friends, but I am shy when it comes to being placed in a room of unfamiliar faces.  It seems that every big author started off pushing books out of their trunks, but I shy away at the idea of being rejected or turned away from a potential customer.  However, I realize that a closed mouth will not get fed, so I am finally ready to put on my big girl panties and open my mouth to sell this dream of mine.  Men do it all the time, and I can guarantee that I can offer a better product than most of them are pushing. ;)

The Furthest Thing from Perfect (Like Everyone I Know)
As delusional as I am (that's what makes me a great writer), I still recognize that I am just as flawed as the next individual.  Yet, even with all of my imperfections and insecurities, I am on the way to living my dreams.  And the reality is that whether I am loved or hated, I will be recognized and remembered for being the great writer that I am destined to become......June 29th (Book Release Day) will always be a day to remember, and nothing has been the same since .....


Thursday, September 5, 2013

Doing It Wrong

June 29th marked the start of the first day of my life... As cliche as that may sound, it is my inevitable truth.  If I never publish another book, the fact still remains that on that day I became a published author, entreprenuer, and small business owner.  Boy, do I look good on paper... (*pats self on back).  I am no longer just Tonia, the imaginative girl with the cynical sense of humor, I am the woman that went out on a limb, spent every extra dollar, nickel, and penny that I did and DID NOT have, and put together a fantabulous book release event at a premiere venue to match the masterpiece of a novel that I finally decided to publish after 6 years.  Everytime that I tell someone that I wrote a novel (which is rarely, because I often forget), I am usually met with a wide eyed stare followed by, "That's amazing.  I have never met anyone that wrote a novel."  And may I add in that this same novel, that I was petrified to publish, has stellar 5 star reviews on Amazon.  A certain football somebody even thought that my accomplishment was so noteworthy, that he graced my friends and I with two bottles of premium libations for my "out of the ordinary" achievement.    You would think that life is great, that I am living my dreams being #richforever, #poppingbottles, #twerkingonweekdays, #throwingitinthebag, #rockingVersaceVersace, and all of the other coonery that accompanies being rich and famous.

However, the reality is that this imaginative girl with the flames shooting from her fingers and three books in her reserve has no idea what she is doing.  My book release was absolutely phenomenal, my Amazon reviews have not seen a star under 5, and my fans are raving, but the reality is that I have no earthly idea what I am supposed to be doing next in this process.  How do I sell my masterpiece in a market oversaturated by other writers that share the same sentiment about their works of art (whether justified or not), and overcome my fear of facing a room full of black women engaging in a therapeutic ritual known as "beauty shop day" to give my speil on purchasing my novel?  Oh, how I envy the boudain and CD/DVD man that has no problem sauntering in on my therapeutic salon days to offer me the latest Kevin Hart movie or that Drake that hasn't even hit the shelves yet. 

You can't tell me that I wasn't born to write... Even though my closest friends were pleasantly surprised that I was able to produce a "real" novel almost effortlessly, I have been writing since I was a child.  While other kids were playing outside soaking up the rays, I was somewhere tucked away with either a novel or a pen allowing my thoughts to run rampant and escaping into whatever magical place my imagination felt the need to contrive.  I might not be able to dribble down the court or even run a half a lap, but give me a pen and paper and I can show you some things.  Yet, here I sit, with a five star book, no dollars, and a dream, without the slightest clue of how to sell books outside of my local fanbase.  When you say your prayers tonight, please send one up for me, because I refuse to be a coulda been, woulda been, shoulda been.....  Right now, I may be doing it wrong, because of my fear of failing at doing it right, but keep watching, because I will be something different....


Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Smoke and Mirrors

I used to live in a room full of mirrors; all I could see was me.  I take my spirit and crash my mirrors, now the whole world is here for me to see.
-Jimi Hendrix

It seems that with every celebration in my life, either during or shortly thereafter, there is cause for sorrow.  I have become so good at hiding my pain and masking Tmy emotions that even I sometimes forget that my facade is often just SMOKE AND MIRRORS.  In my 27 years, I have dealt with my fair share of joy and PAIN, but they say what doesn't kill you makes you stronger.  And it has made me stronger, but that strength creates a catch 22.

I am stronger than most, more independent than most, and according to my mother, I could be dropped off in the woods alone and make it out.  Great attributes to have, so I heard, but why do I long to be able to sometimes just be vulnerable and allow someone else to take the lead?  In the days leading up to my book release and the days that followed, factors in my life caused me to hurt more than I've hurt in a long time.  On the outside, I smiled for the cameras and celebrated my accomplishments, but on the inside, I wanted to go home and lock myself away with my bed and my tears until I decided I was ready to deal with the world again.  I've become so programmed to masking my pain that sometimes I kid myself into thinking that my life is what I portray through my own formulated SMOKE AND MIRRORS.


Friday, June 21, 2013

Reasons and Seasons

One week and one day away from the book release, and my anxiety is starting to get the best of me.  I have spent so much time focusing on the release that I am just now starting to realize that this is only the beginning.  The book release and signing mark a start to a journey that begins now and ends only at the end of my life.  I am taking a chance, making sacrifices, and attempting to live my dreams come success or failure.  And with that being said, I am starting to realize that it is not meant for everyone to come on this journey with me.

The old adeje that some people come into your life for a season, but everyone comes into your life for a reason is the exact sentiment that I feel at this moment.  The reality is that I've reached a point where I live and breathe making my dreams come true, and anything that coincides or takes my energy away from that is reaching the end of its season.  I have loved and I have lost more than times I would like to recall, but I am more than resilient enough to endure anything that is being thrown my way. 

In the past, I have allowed adversity to detour me from my main goal, but I am more than blessed to say that the person that I once was is becoming someone that I "used" to know.  Unless you are apart of my support system, you are really a non-factor.  My concern is no longer with nurturing friendships that should have been dead or saving relationships that should have expired three seasons ago. 

My indifferent attitude may come off as a snobbish callousness and disregard for the feelings of others, but in reality, I care enough to let go and allow people to grow outside of me.  At this moment, I really don't have anything else to give to anyone else, because everyday it is a struggle to not succomb to my fear of failure and remain content in my current state of being.  I am supposed to be great, I will be great, and I can not continue becoming the person that I am supposed to be without putting my focus on solely me. 

While watching "my" Miami Heat secure the championship yesterday, I happened to meet a stranger that said some things that blessed my life.  He spoke passionately about always being yourself and was vehement in the fact that he sees success in my future.  It is these kinds of conversations that spark my desire to continue pushing.  And he even bought a book on the way out the door (my first book sold to a complete stranger). :)

And with all of this being said, it is now time for those in my life to answer that tough question:  Are you here for a reason, a season, or a lifetime? Whatever your decision may be, no hard feelings, and I wish you the best- I guess.


People come into your life for a reason, a season or a lifetime.
When you figure out which one it is,
you will know what to do for each person.

When someone is in your life for a REASON,
it is usually to meet a need you have expressed.
They have come to assist you through a difficulty;
to provide you with guidance and support;
to aid you physically, emotionally or spiritually.
They may seem like a godsend, and they are.
They are there for the reason you need them to be.
Then, without any wrongdoing on your part or at an inconvenient time,
this person will say or do something to bring the relationship to an end.
Sometimes they die. Sometimes they walk away.
Sometimes they act up and force you to take a stand.
What we must realize is that our need has been met, our desire fulfilled; their work is done.
The prayer you sent up has been answered and now it is time to move on.
Some people come into your life for a SEASON,
because your turn has come to share, grow or learn.
They bring you an experience of peace or make you laugh.
They may teach you something you have never done.
They usually give you an unbelievable amount of joy.
Believe it. It is real. But only for a season.
LIFETIME relationships teach you lifetime lessons;
things you must build upon in order to have a solid emotional foundation.
Your job is to accept the lesson, love the person,
and put what you have learned to use in all other relationships and areas of your life.
It is said that love is blind but friendship is clairvoyant.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

What If

As everything starts to fall into place, I find myself with nervous jitters.  What if I fail?  What if I don't sell but a handful of books (those being the ones sold to my family and friend fan club)?  What if I never make it further than being a local known author?  Even great singers don't sell albums and phenomenal athletes haven't went pro....

I can play this what if game all day, and I am still in the process of learning that it doesn't get you anywhere.  6 years later and I am still doubting that its my time, my moment... Maybe because my fear of failure is greater than my desire to succeed.  I've been told I'm already one of the best, I've been told my destiny is to go far, and still the butterflies in my stomach have me feeling like maybe I'm not ready yet.

Today I am going to make the decision that come June 29th, I'm capturing my moment and am going to let go and enjoy this journey.  Because the reality is, what if I am really as good as the critics say that I am? 


Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Don't Believe Me Just Watch

You know your OCD friend that always stresses over everything and can't seem to function until every detail is in place.... Well, I am that OCD friend.  I have a checklist that stretches to the floor of things that need to be done by the book release date, and I am unable to check any of them off at a fast enough rate to make the butterflies in my stomach take a permanent nap. 

June 29th will be one of the biggest days of my life, unless I somehow get married within the next month to my fiance that has yet to exist.  Yet, as excited as I am, my stomach and my heart are in emotional turmoil worried that something is going to go wrong and spoil "my day."  Again, my fear of failure begins to overshadow my desire for success.  But just when I feel like I should push back my date and try this journey again when I'm ready, God shows up and shows out like he has the tendency to do in the midst of doubt. 

While sitting reviewing my list of things that have yet to be done, I recieved a text from my brother of bible study notes from yesterday.  The very first line of those notes read:

Do the ridiculous (follow your dream).

In that moment, my heart smiled because I realize that I am doing the ridiculous in following my dreams, instead of allowing myself to remain content in a career that no longer instills joy.  And following that phrase were these powerful points:

1. Don't fear.
2. Don't fret.
3. Don't faint.
4. Don't forget.

"You think you're waiting on him, but he's been waiting on you." 

There are many times that we sit and wait for God to answer our prayers, when all that he wants us to do is meet him halfway.  You don't appreciate anything that you haven't worked for and shed sweat, blood, and tears to accomplish, so in knowing that I should know that I need to keep my eye on the prize and keep pushing.  And as if God knew that I still needed an additional push to get me out of my slump, I called the club owner of the venue for my after party and realized just how easy some things are going to be because of the people that have been placed in my life.  I called him to figure out just what else I needed to add to my ever growing list, and instead of having to pull out my Ipad, I was politely, yet sternly told, the only thing you need to worry about is showing up. 

Every now and then I have to remember that serenity can come through prayer and ask God to grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; courage to change the things I can; and wisdom to know the difference.  June 29th is going to be the phenomenal day that it is supposed to be, and if you don't believe me just watch. 

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Never Would Have Made It

I can not continue this journey without getting this off my chest, and I am honestly almost in tears thinking about the blessings that God has bestowed upon me.  There have been many times when I have not understood my struggles and my trials and tribulations,but it is all starting to become crystal clear.  I would not be who I am or be able to write some of the things that I am able to write without the things that I have been through... And through it all God has placed some phenomenal people in my life... Even the ones that only made it for a season were here for a reason.

Since I have actually started to focus on publishing my first book, I have received so many thoughtful emails, text, phone calls, words of encouragement, comments on social networks, etc., and those are the things that keep me going.  On the days when I doubt myself, those seem to be the days that I receive the most support.

I don't care what anyone says, I am nothing without my support system of family, friends, and even acquaintances that have given me the courage to keep striving to reach my goals.  When I post #nonewfriends it is not because I don't value the entity of friendship, it is because God has blessed me with friends that have been there through hell and high water when I thought I wasn't good enough, strong enough, wise enough, brave enough...

Whether you have sent a text or email, said a kind word, read or edited a draft (there are so many of you), plan to buy a book, or simply just liked or commented on a social network, just know that I never would have made it without you.


Tuesday, May 7, 2013

A Graphic Struggle

You write a book, wade your way through the self-publishing process (sometimes drowning), and just when you think you are nearing the finish line you realize:  I still need a damn book cover. FML!  And then you realize that since you haven't given a second thought to your book cover, you don't have a clue what to put on the front of your novel.  I know that the old saying is, "Don't judge a book by its cover," but that is far from the truth.  Before many readers even think to give me chance, they will have already judged me by the cover of my book. 

I started the graphic designer struggle way back in January, and it has been a very trying journey to find the design that appealed to my senses as a writer and reader.  I have stressed (almost cried), pulled my hair out (my weave anyway), and was at witts end just trying to make someone see what I saw in my head.  I mean, it can't be that hard to read my mind right?  It wasn't working, and I had started to think I would have a book without a cover.

Two weeks ago, thanks to the assistance of my brother, I was connected with the designer that would be able to take my vision and bring it to life.  As of today, my graphics have been finalized, and another milestone in this process has been passed with flying colors.  June 29th, I am ready for you, but are you ready for me? #FashionablyDeceptiveComingSoon


Monday, April 29, 2013

All in the Design

This journey started in 2007, and the fact that it is 2013, and I am just now publishing Fashionably Deceptive (I wish that I could insert a clenched teeth emoji).  Even with the bittersweet realization that this journey should have been started, completed, and in phase 10, I realize that everything happens when it is supposed to happen.  Even though, we would like to believe that we are the masters of our own destiny, the fact is that things happen when they are destined to happen. 

Today I received the graphics for Fashionably Deceptive, and I could not have been more impressed.  It has been a long journey, paved with a bumpy road of graphic designers, and I have finally found one that was able to take my vision and put it in print.  Fashionably Deceptive is no longer just a manuscript on my computer and is slowly manifesting itself into the masterpeice that I know it has the potential to become.  I don't know where this journey is going to take me, but I know that my successes and failures have already been written into the design of my life.  It is just up to me be brave enough to accept that even if I don't become the next Essence Bestselling Author, I tried it and gave it my all.