Author Feature ~ Dr. Debraha Watson


photo (1)What is your writing process?

I primarily write as the narrator or observer. That way I see all and know all and can analyze the thoughts and emotions of my characters.  I probably developed this style of writing as a result of listening to the oral stories told by my elders as they sat shuckin’ and jivin’ on the front porch or gossiping around the kitchen table.  I started writing as a child in a little pink diary that had a lock and key. Over the years I graduated to legal pads and pencils, typewriters, word processors, PC’s and the iPad.  I love to write in the early morning before the sun comes up.  The spirits are busy at that time and they whisper in my ear as the refrigerator hums in the background.  I love writing in silence, on any writable surface but I can also take myself away in a crowded room if a character is insistent on making an entrance.  Sometimes it starts with one word, a sentence or If I’m lucky an entire paragraph.  I love developing characters.  Some I find on the city streets, in my classroom, in the church and in my dreams.   I admit I’m not disciplined in terms of writing every day.  However, when I do decide to tell a story I allow my soul to open up and I ask the Spirit to guide my thoughts and emotions to deliver a positive message.  I do agree with the writer E.B. White who said “A writer who waits for ideal conditions under which to work will die without putting a word on paper.”

 

Bio

Dr. Watson holds a Doctorate in Adult and Higher Education from Capella University; a Master of Arts in Adult and Higher Education from Morehead State University;  and a Master of Science in General Administration from Central Michigan University. She has been invited to speak at numerous workshops and conventions throughout the United States and Canada.  Most recently, she was featured on the LGBT Radio Nation Show the topic being Intergenerational Communication.  Dr. Watson has also been a guest on the Rhonda Sciortino radio show Crack the Code and the Detroit Area Agency on Aging Senior Solutions Radio Show.

As an author, Dr. Watson shares her personal foster care journey having spent twelve years in the system in her memoir; If Not For Dreams: Memories of a Foster Child and is also anthologized in Growing Up in the Care of Strangers edited by Waln K. Brown and John r. Seita. She frames her discussion to educate, motivate and provide insight to the challenges faced by youth aging out of foster care.  She also penned a novella, Dancing Under the Same Moon and has been featured in several other publications.

Another creative outlet is contemporary abstract art.  Dr. Watson states” the creator gives us many talents.  Whether it’s writing or painting I take myself out of the way and trust the creative process.” Her work has been shown at the Detroit Artist Market, National Conference of Artist Gallery, Jo’s Gallery and The Juanita Ford Gallery and the Charles H, Wright African American Museum.

Since her retirement, she has ventured into yet another genre, film making. Starting a production company, Reel Women Speak is dedicated to impacting the lives of women through visual media. Women will have the opportunity to become empowered, enhance and develop their quality of life and recalibrate their future, thereby strengthening families and transforming communities. Collective Voices: Wisdom of our Lesbian Elders is her first independent film.  Dr. Watson states that “whether it’s in my writing, art or film I have a deep need to recollect traditions and generational legacy, this perhaps comes from listening to stories from my elders specifically, African American women sitting, laughing, talking on porch steps or around the kitchen table.”

Debraha Watson describes herself as a mother of two adult children, a film maker, poet, short story writer, essayist, editor and retired higher education administrator.  “I can be driven or complacent.  Insecure or egotistical like all living creatures I am passing through stages.  I am recovering, discovering and growing.”

If Not for DreamsDancing Under The Same Moon

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Stay Connected to Dr. Debraha Watson

Twitter: @watson_debraha

Facebook: Reel Women Speak 

YouTube: Reel Women Speak TV

 

Poet Feature~ David L. Watkins


A Young Man’s Advice

I told my friends, “My girl’s pregnant – looks like I’m gonna be a father.”

Pookie shook his head and said, “You still with her; why bother?”

The fellas all joined Pookie with laughter and derision.

I softly spoke, “This ain’t  no joke. I’ve come to my decision.

I’m the oldest on this block, so let me put in my two cents.”

The fellas sat in silence, but the atmosphere was tense.

I waited for a moment…my head was tilted skyward.

“First of all, my brothers-I promised-I gave my word.

I said ‘Baby, stick with me. My life is in reversal’

She said, ‘It’s got to be real. It’s not just a rehearsal’

So, listen to me fellas. She’s the only one.

And what they found on the ultra sound – Ima have a son !

(Do the right thing for her and the child that she’s carried)

So, fellas, let me tell you…your boy secretly got married.”

Moondog took out his toothpick. He said, “Your son ain’t royalty.”

I replied, “He may not wear a crown, but I will show him loyalty.

I wish my dad had been there during my growing years.

Maybe he could have helped me to stop these flowing tears.”

Eightball looked shocked; his head was cocked.

He asked me, “Man, you’ve cried?!”

I nodded as I told them all, “At times I wished I’d died.

Frustration and depression – just words that mean you’re sad.

I’m just sayin’ I’ve been prayin’ that I could see my dad.

He was still young when he left us. But that is where he failed.

Mom couldn’t compete. He loved the street.

But that street life had him jailed.

The streets had him hooked every way he looked.

He was bruised and accused and finally booked.

And now he’s doing thirty years, so don’t tell me I can’t shed tears.

So I’m gonna treat my son as if he were nobility.

I’ll help his mama all I can for his upward mobility.

And if he wants to join a gym or club, I’ll tell him, ‘Sign up- ’cause the

worst thing you can do, son, is end up in a line-up’.

I’ll help him with his history, his science and his diction.

But most of all: advice, to avoid a court conviction.

The fellas left me by myself. I hope they listened well to me.

‘Cause I’m the oldest on this block…that the guards call Cell Block D.

 

david's picAuthor: David L. Watkins

Publisher: DLW Publishing

Website: http://dlwpublishing.com/

Genre: Children’s Books

Twitter: @davidwatkins617

Amazon Author Page: David L. Watkins

Facebook Page: BooksbyDavid

Benny and the Basketball BullyABC Series

Author Feature ~ Victor ‘Billione’ Walker


Tell us your favorite book, but don’t tell us the name of the book until

the end of the blog post.

 

Billione1

 

When I read those words, something in me shook uncontrollably until I fell

dramatically onto the floor of my apartment in Ypsilanti, Michigan. I

remember that day. No one was there but me, but it felt as if my ancestors

were with me, and had delivered a love note to me, passed down through the

ages that said I was not unusual.

 

I am straight forward, demanding, and direct. However, I am also shy,

observant and compassionate. I am a great number of complex things, but

most of all, I recognize that I, just like everyone I know, have been

enacting a story that if not changed will destroy the earth.

 

No one told me this; I felt it from the moment I was born. Much like the

narrator of this book, I sought a teacher who could help me make sense of

that hum of culture’s mythology in my ear. I have been held captive by this

mythology and have always been looking for a way out.

 

From this book, I learned that I no longer have to be at war with the

earth, my community, or myself. This book was given to me as a gift from a

close friend. In fact, many of the most powerful books I’ve read were given

to me as gifts, suggesting to me they have come down from the ages and

chose me¾ but I digress.

 

What would you say if I told you a telepathic gorilla changed the way I saw

the world and everything with it? You would call me crazy, I’m sure.

However, I indeed learned that all things in the world are necessary and

dependent on each other and if humans continue to destroy everything we

touch, there will be no hope for any of us.

 

The only way I can describe my favorite book is to tell you that the

journey is an individual experience that will either anger you or liberate

you. There is no way to read it and rest in the gray area: Either you will

love it or you will hate it, but you will feel passionate either way.

 

I’ve read it at least 10 times and find it to be moving every time. It has

reshaped my thinking and helped me evolve hoe I approach issues in my life.

If you ever want to truly get into my head and see how I think and what

motivates me, read this book and embark on a path that changes everyone

that steps foot on it.

 

The author is Daniel Quinn and my favorite book is entitled Ishmael.

 

Author: Victor ‘Billione’ Walker

Twitter: @Billione

Facebook: getbillione

Website: http://getbillione.com

Book: No Tea No Shade

No Tea No Shade