Like - it's a real thing that happened!
BLACK GIRL SHATTERED HAPPENED!
(I'm kinda excited!)
I DID THIS?
NO - there was a definitive WE that did this.
Writing is seemingly a solitary process. Admittedly, I am often drifting in my own dome, alone with my thoughts and creations.
I craft, create, draw, think, write, formulate, write again, pray, write again, look inside, and then write some more. On and on until there is a work. A piece of literature that in truth I would be arrogant to call "art". A creation YES, but art ... hmmm not so much. This creation still has much of a process to GROW through.
However, once it has matured to the stage where I can share it, it has a life of it's own.
The "WE" part begins before the sharing.
It starts at the husband and children that allow mommy to devote much of her time to art.
It starts at the time spent in prayer thanking God for the arguments we have and for their disappointments.
The fact that they still speak to me is proof of God's grace.
It is also proof that they are still in this with me.
Being an artist isn't easy.
Being the family of an artist deserves its own support group, medical/therapist coding, scholarships, etc.
It starts at the community that engages my art and supports me. I continue to create because they allow me to be me. They allow me in. They allow me to be unapologetically bold without judgement; without the "I thought you were a Christian." sentiment when I speak something that is brash. Yes, I may always speak in truth, but sometimes the message isn't always nice.
It starts with my church family. I love them continually. I miss them often while I am off competing, training, practicing, working, etc. Yes, many of the times people want to hire an artist, something is in session at the place where I serve and worship. They are very much a part of my community. And though I may be missing in action, they know that I shall soon return.
It starts with the team that it takes to help your work make it into the public view. GEEZ! All of the work that I do and I still need others to come in and help. Again. writing seems like a solitary art. However, the editing process is the part where the door should be opened and someone should help. It doesn't matter if you are an editor yourself. Editors NEED editors.
It starts with the people that swoop in with their "capes" on at your premier event. They fly in like super heroes while you are having a mini anxiety attack and are completely socially awkward. They help you to be comfortable. They see your vision for you and figure it out. THEY GOT YOU!
It starts with the people that support. I will never be able to understand why yall love me. But, the love is reciprocated. Hopefully I have said or done something that speaks directly to the heart, gives a glimmer of hope, opens a new thought process, etc. Hopefully I have given ... something.
I think that is my ultimate mission. All I really want to do is give. When it feels like the world has taken so much from you, giving makes you feel as though there is something left. You make me feel valuable.
I am reminded that I am always blessed and you are a blessing to me, just because you allowed me to give my word, my art, my heart on a page to you.
To all who came together to help me pull this off.
I appreciate you.
P.S. Just in case you have not gotten your copy yet - I got one left just for you! Visit the store to purchase.