#SandraBlandsLifeMatters

Without even immersing yourself in Social media, CNN, FOX or any news outlets you are still witnessing a devastating abuse of power in the case of Sandra Bland.

Sandra Bland is me, my sister, our girlfriends, mother's, aunt's and cousins.
And all Sandra Bland did was not properly signal, get stopped for it and "sass" Officer Brian Encinia.

That's it.

Personally, anyone I know, with the weight of their life and their day, the rush to their destination and the anxiety of being stopped by the police; ANY OF US could've been Sandra Bland. And for all of those who do not THINK for one minute that these are unique circumstances, think again. Because unless you live under a rock, buried in a deep ravine, the abuse of power in this country is everywhere. People's lives are unjustly "plucked" from this planet with disregard to life's value in what seems like everyday by those sworn to protect us. When will that stop?

There's no overt conspiracy against police, no police hate here. But what the hell is happening? 

After stopping Sandra Bland, everything else the police officer did was 1000% wrong. None of Sandra Bland's "offensive demeanor" or "black woman attitude" warranted her forced exit from her vehicle. Within that traffic stop, Sandra Bland's rights as an American Citizen, as a woman and as a human were violated.

And to add another insult to her unnecessary death, the transparent cover-up currently in progress is crazy to watch. Where's the accountability? Where's the: "I messed up." "We messed up." "We were wrong." Nope. None of that. Instead, there's this calculated plot to cover up an avalanche of wrongs. What is right with any of this?

There are actual "justifications" being thrown around.
How dare Sandra Bland not respect him? How dare Sandra Bland get sassy with that officer! He's got a badge!
How dare Sandra Bland have ever wanted to die in her past! 
How dare Sandra Bland ever get depressed in her past!
How dare Sandra Bland have weed in her system!
How dare Sandra Bland be a woman!
How dare Sandra Bland be a *gasp* black woman!
How dare Sandra Bland drive a car!
How dare Sandra Bland live!
How dare Sandra Bland die in police custody?
How dare she!

My heart bleeds for Sandra Bland, her family and the senselessness of Sandra Bland's death. And the insulting of our intelligence within the "investigation" we're witnessing. It's heartbreaking.

Sandra Bland is all of us. Sandra Bland does not deserve to be forgotten or swept under the rug. Sandra Bland deserves justice. Bottom line. 

#AllLivesMatter. I just hope that police officers, state government, federal government and all of the rest of us remember that. 

#sayhername #SandraBland #justice

Not-so-Stranger Danger

Yesterday, I watched the 20/20 exclusive Robin Roberts interview with 2 of the 3 kidnapping survivors from Cleveland: Amanda Berry and Gina DeJesus. (Michelle Knight, not interviewed, was the first woman kidnapped) and I was glued to the screen the entire time. It was a great interview. These women had serious strength and showed great courage despite the circumstances at hand and their survival instincts to stay alive were inspiring.

At the time of their kidnapping,  Gina was just 14, Amanda was almost 17. On Twitter, I saw some feedback with people asking why would the young ladies get into a car with a stranger. Answer to that is, this man was no stranger.

This man preyed on his own children's friends and took advantage of the fact that these girls were familiar with him.

Problem is, this can happen oh so easily. I have a now 11-year old son. And like so many other families, we have a daily routine. The driver of our daily bus ride that we do small talk with, the crossing guard that crosses us, the deli clerk that gives us the morning bagel, the same security officer and parking attendant that we come across EVERY SINGLE DAY could be a predator. That's the real world that we live in. We have everyday people that we'd think can trust. After that interview, we are reminded that nothing is ever totally certain.

As far as I can see, that man was in a position of trust. He was a school bus driver. He was a parent. The lessons about life that we teach our children are hard enough without the horrible monsters on earth that make the world that we've created an even smaller & scarier place.

I wrote a book years ago called, "I Won't go with Strangers", (Amazon and in PDF form) about a girl on her daily routine, confronted with realistic scenarios, with her making the decision to not go with a stranger. I wrote an earlier entry called "Why Losing Leiby Kletzky Hurts so Much" and spoke about a boy that was "safe" in his own community, familiar surroundings and he also wasn't immune to the monsters that lurk and prey on innocent children.

Now with that said, there are no certainties that what happened would or wouldn't happen again because sadly, it happens everyday. But as long as we teach our kids to be aware, use their instincts & intuition and educate them on who monsters can be, whether they are strangers or sit on our couch, we can give them a fighting chance.


Groundhog Day...



So, game on, y’all. Been in hibernation for awhile, hence the Groundhog Day. Well not really hibernating. Ok, so it seems like it because I’ve been scarce. But since my last blog, I recorded and released my first album, Scandal. I am really proud of it. It started out as a bucket list/promise fulfilled. But it unveiled something in me that I missed so much. An evolution of expression. I dug deep and meant every word.

I do karaoke about once a month and although I bring the house down when I do it, the songs are still someone else’s. I wrote and sung my own songs and it was an emotional undertaking. It’s not the most quality sound but it’s me. Raw and I absolutely love it. My next plan is to release videos for 2 songs on the album: “Pretty” and “Lose Again”, when the weather gets warmer. It has been so cold out there.

Besides my music, I released 4 hard copies of my children’s books: Stickboy and Cookie are Friends, Cookie’s First Day of School, Don’t be a Follower, Stickboy and I Won’t go with Strangers. Those and 5 other books are still available in PDF form but it meant so much to me that I actually hard published those books. There’s nothing like being an author without hard copy of your own books.

My goal is to be a writing guru, so to speak. Songs, books, more kids books, scripts, you think it, I write it. And I believe that I am on my way to that.

I’m writing songs for several artists, as well as myself and definitely working on movies and television pilots. I’m on fire!

Being focused is really hard at times, but I was told a long time ago that if you aim at one thing at a time, you can do it all. I’ve slowly checked a few things off of my list and they’re big things. I’ve made myself proud and as you see my grow even more as a creator, you will be proud of me too.

See y’all soon.  <3 p="">

To see what I've been up to, go to:

Where I'm coming from...

Ok. So I've been "finishing" my memoir, "Saggy Boobs, Stretch Marks and Saddle Bags" for the past year. And although the anticipation is building and my friends & fans are patiently waiting, I'm still struggling to finish. I even have the cover of the book done.

 Mind you, the chapters are finished. I know that my book needs a little more "Me" behind it but subconsciously, I've honestly been looking for every excuse in the world not to finish. I didn't know why. 

Then I thought about it, as public as I am, I'm realizing that the constant unveiling of myself within this book  reveals a chunk of exiled pain, in which by keeping it locked inside, I've hurt myself so much. 

The book is a mental and emotional exposé of sorts, a way for me to let go because I'm important to myself and my life story hasn't reflected that. I don't want to hide anymore. I'm hoping that my stories that caused me to hide from life in the first place now forces me outside of myself to help those who needs to hear it. It's not about just me.

I must keep that on mind.

Belief Relief

In 2013, I've had several scares.

In January, there was the breast cancer scare. Benign. In March, I got hit by a car. I'm alive. In September, I had a biopsy on my thyroid. Benign. I'm healthy and I want to world to know that I'm fine!!!

 Passing it all with flying colors. And that's just 2013.

So now, I am moving towards my next birthday with a huge weight off of me. Funny thing about relief. The valleys become wider. The sun, moon and stars shine brighter. And your dreams are bigger again. Possibilities are endless all over again. I call it belief relief.
When you get that sigh of relief and breathe fresh air, that's the perfect time to pounce on your dreams and make it real. Like actually hold it in your hands and make all things you've ever dreamed of, real. Belief in self, pursued with gusto and new life.

So. I'm back.

I speak with more authority. Focus is crisp. My thoughts are clear. My love is so much more passionate. I've had more than my share of second chances at life this year alone. I've gotta do more than play numbers with my luck, I have to float this boat out of harbor and make my dreams come true, come what may.

Life is short. And as "The big things" happen, it cements my need to appreciate the life that I've been given, show my love for the gifts I have and live true.

In 2014, I finished my album, Scandal, released hard copy versions (Not just PDF) of 4 of my kids' books. All I kept thinking was, "You can't sit on your dreams. It's like having a gift that never gets unwrapped." Doing that makes no sense, right? Been doing that. Time for me to do what I need to do. Live my life.

Updates:
My new projects for 2015 include:
Writing songs for other artists.
The release of another Stickboy and Cookie Book; "The Big Start."
The release of my new Young Reader series, "Bam Roberts."
A new book called, "Saggy Boobs, Stretch Marks and Saddle Bags." Plus a  bonus book (Shhh...)
I'm really excited about it.

Throughout all of my excitement, I'm pacing myself, yes. But my focus on the prize is so much more clear. My mission is to still sow seeds and keep folks talking... good stuff though. Good stuff.



M.I.A. -to- Now here to stay

So, I've know that I've been M.I.A. (Missing In Action) lately.

Most of 2012 to be exact. When the year started and the ball dropped, I knew everything was different, I felt fresher, creative and optimistic about everything. From finishing books and illustrations to expanding my book writing business to include adult and YA fiction. Editing opportunities multiplied Then, at the very beginning of the year, the sledgehammer dropped. My son got very sick and nothing else mattered but him.

Although there was nothing I could have done, I was guilty of being so busy and self-involved that I had been neglecting my son's needs. But I now I know that was not true and there was nothing I could have done differently to prevent any of it.  But EVERYTHING (not Bam-related) was getting dropped. I picked up the tiniest of editing jobs, just to keep some income, but nothing overly time consuming. Money was starting to be a huge problem for the first time in years. Then the custody battle happened. I grew so angry and felt betrayed. I've always strived for balance in my life and now everything was "out of wack" and all over the place. Nothing on this earth is more important than my son. But now everything was falling apart. People I considered friends started dropping like flies.

Then we moved. A huge move. Great adjustment, new environment, best thing for my son and I so far. Then he got a clean bill of health. It was a short battle but I won custody. All of my prayers answered. And I got plenty of new beginnings. Good stuff. Picking up the pieces wasn't easy but it all fit together in the right way.

Now that the end of another year is approaching, so many good things are on the horizon for me. Setting myself up with opportunities I never knew existed. My brand is growing and now I'm working on myself so much more. Me time. I never imagined that! Although at the time I thought life was over and sunk deep into hopelessness, I learned that everything happened for a reason. And although it was hard and most of you got the negative stuff all year and I really needed you, I understand the timeout some of you put me on. Everything is never as ideal as we would like it to be and some weren't used to me being as dark as I was. Granted. Point taken.
I wouldn't have been able to make it without God and the great people in my life that truly love me and stuck by me close and far: good, bad and ugly. Although everything is still coming together and nothing is perfect, my life has a new perspective. I also know that I'm in a better position to be that same (but better) lighter and brighter Birdie. 
You'll see. Stay tuned.

Fire Lighters and Fire Fighters

I heard a term used yesterday that had me thinking a lot. Fire Lighters and Fire Fighters. 

I believe that everyone is born with a flame. Whether it's a burning desire to be something special or just stand out from everyone else. There's a fire in all of us and there are circumstances that dictate whether or not we keep it lit.
It starts with the natural fight within that we are constantly conflicted and questioning our every action. Then there's the people around you that constantly test your fire power. 
A fire lighter is a person that see you for who you are and who you can be. Ignite and nurture the flame in you. 
Fire fighters put out that fire in you. They tell you what’s wrong with everything you're planning, resist change, discourage and minimize your power)
Ever since I heard this terminology, I've been thinking about what I want for my life and my son's life.
Now I have to think about the people in our lives that don't want the same things for us, even making it harder for us to achieve our dreams and goals. I've been self-employed for many years now. That means I only get paid when I earn money. There's no Birdie Fund somewhere for me lying around. So I have to make my own money however I can. I don't complain about money. I do what I can.  If I can't "afford" to hang out with you, it just means that all of my dollars are all accounted for, including future dollars (for now). With that, I hear sometimes, why don't you go out and get a job?
If only it were that simple. I'm a businesswoman. If whenever the money got scarce businesses packed up and dried up, how many businesses would last? 
It opened my eyes when I asked myself: Who has been there for me, encouraging me every step of the way with my accomplishments? And who is always planting those seeds of doubt that permeate my foundation?
I can't blame anyone else for my missteps or my shortcomings nor can anyone else take credit for my accomplishments and talents. So I can't point the finger when I choose to stop pursuing something out of fear although I have in the past. I am the one that chooses my friends, chooses my actions and chooses my future course. I can also choose who keep in my life.
There's a difference between a reality check and extinguishing a flame. Don't be so damn negative.