Letting Toxic People go!!!

Photo by Yan Krukov on Pexels.com

Let’s get real, toxic people are everywhere and sometimes you can be that person. But let’s focus on them okay. It can be hard to spot someone being toxic in your life and when you do realize it normally it’s at a time when you need a true friend. The challenge I think most people have is when to let them go.

Because you have become accustomed to their existence. So the idea of them not being there, you feel the loss of a friend before the friendship has officially ended and many try to avoid it so they keep their distance but kept the vision of the friend that they thought they had instead of seeing them as who they are. Now I like to think everyone has gone through this in some time in their lives because it is a common aspect of life.

I will use some recent experiences as a guide. Just play along or read along with me. Now the fact that both of these examples are men doesn’t mean that they are toxic, just the two that I will talk about were toxic for me. I’m not going to put people on blast, just the behavior.

The Brother from another mother– This type plays the big brother figure. The type you can count on when you’re going through the unthinkable but still has your back….so you think. This type feeds off insecurity acting like they are there for you. That they have your back while they sharpened that knife as they figure away to take advantage of your situation. The type of guy that uses your lack of knowledge in an unethical way thinking they are “getting over” while they are pretending that they are there for you.

I trusted words without getting a background check on their character. See before I go into the blame game I’m not ashamed to say it’s not all their fault. I chose not to confirm what he was showing me. There were times my eyebrows changed shapes but I looked past them and decided to go by the words and not the action. Because I wanted to believe the words. I wanted to believe that the guy who was playing the part of my big brother was actually being better than the original but actually he was worse. I can say I only have one regret with that situation. There was something I never got to tell him about someone extremely close to me that he didn’t know gave him something. A contribution as a way to say thank you to him. Part of her dying wish you could say.

She wanted me to tell him Thank You. She was in a way passing the torch. He was part of a small group of people who took her main fears away before she died. She used her sliding board as a way to say thank you for taking her baby from one chapter in life to the next. I’m grateful that she didn’t live to see that we were both wrong. Wrong on our version of what we thought was there but I wished she saw how I handled myself with the realization and handling what was there.

The shy friend-I think we all have had that shy guy that was close to you because being their true self around a lot of people kept them quiet but if there’s just one person in the room they can be themselves openly. It’s just your word against theirs and if they never act the way around others like they do with you then how can people believe what you say about them?

Confusing I know. This type likes to sample what they wish they could say or do to others on you but play it off as normal. You accept it as just their personality. But once again signs begin to show and you have to decide how this relationship evolves. Because this toxic type is a special breed. To give an example of this type let me break it down for you.

  1. This type will watch religious videos and not just any, but the ones where they are extremely vocal getting into peoples face and personal space for their own agenda but saying that’s the lords way but really they are just admiring the guts the people have for getting into peoples space.

2. When you try to have a conversation or debate but don’t listen to you instead turn your points of views against you. don’t hear you because honestly they don’t care until they see that you can drop them and only then do they pull back. Reality is a verbal blanket. They are using you like a punching bag for the emotions he can’t express to others and you ignore it because it’s part of their shyness.

3. When they get you to confide your secrets and parts of your past not because they truly care but because they got off on the fact that they got you to open up and for them that was a victory.

Not just because you open up, but to have in their mind information to throw back at you. Like telling a rape survivor that when they tell them that their actions were bringing back those emotions that was just you looking for sympathy. But doesn’t have the guts to give a woman a compliment. Reveling a life altering moment in their life and instead of at least saying I’m sorry, instead takes those words and actions that hurt you against you as if it was a type of control over you.

The one thing that I love about technology is that it created a little system called the phone BLOCK!!! Also video chat as that person saw me block them, because they saw that the power they were hoping they had over me finally saw who they were really dealing with. A STRONG survivor from different levels of hate refusing to put up with different levels of disrespect and if they were a true friend they would respect your boundaries from the START.

My goal from these stories is simple. Toxic people only get away with anything because we let them until we can’t anymore. Until we can’t let them absorb anymore of our spirit and whatever they envy from that person. It could be your courage, passion, stride, your faith or whatever you love. When we let our guards down sometimes that’s an opening for the wrong people BUT if you have enough of the right people in your life the impact of the wrong isn’t as great as they thought they would be.

Knowing your worth and owning it, I would say is your armor from toxic people. It might not keep them completely away but the damage isn’t severe. You will eventually see the traits that don’t match up to a true friend that’s right for you. Because you can be that toxic person for someone else. Pay attention to others’behaviors and also your own. Do this and you might not have stories like these to tell but you will also gain the knowledge of true friends. I found out about mine because one wants to push one of those stories into traffic hahaha. Can’t say you can’t love someone who cares that much about you. It’s good to know that there are others that care about you besides you.


Meet the amazing cast from….

Independent films are everywhere these days due to obvious reasons but I have to say that this one stands out in more ways than one. Sit back and get to know each of these characters and the artists that play them in an Independent film called Fair Play. Oh, and when you finish reading this check out the film on Tubi, Roku, amazon, Sling, Youtube. Also you will be able to purchase the DVD and stream it on video on demand just in time for the holidays! Just know you won’t be disappointed, more like extremely impressed.

First up……Mark Forman

How would you describe Fair Play and the character you portray?

Mark: Fair Play is a realistic film. I’ve seen a similar situation a time or two. My character (Todd) is a stand up guy with a past. I can relate to him.

What makes this Black film stand out from other independent films?

Mark: This film is a melting pot! It takes you on a ride. It’s funny, thrilling, and put you in deep thought.

 How would you like to see the film play out if there was a sequel to it?

Mark: I would absolutely love to see Malcolm get on the right track.

What do you think is the most challenging aspect of being a part of an independent film?

Mark: I think that the most challenging side would be marketing, budgets, and permits. Sometimes they can be roadblocks.

What do you think the type of image you give off playing your character Todd?

Mark: I believe that I give off a positive image. I feel like I’m a good friend and a good husband as well.

Open Mic: I’m a music artist as well as an actor. My stage name is K.O.C GO. I have an album out called “Know Pain Know Gain”. Be sure to check it out. Thanks!!!

Next is…….Brandy Specks

What impressed you about your character Sasha?

Brandy: I was impressed by the fact that she didn’t let anyone control her or tell her what to do. She had her own mind and always had a game plan for whatever situation arised. She made sure she was clear about what she wanted, especially when it came to the men that she was dating.

What were the challenges playing this character?

Brandy: Having kind of a carefree, worry free demeanor. Also having a feeling with being comfortable with juggling multiple men at one time. Lol. 

How relatable do you think Sasha is?

Brandy: Sasha is very relatable, in a sense that there are MANY women (and men) in today’s world who think and act like she does. They rely on other people, especially people of the opposite sex, to cater to and take care of them. They show no responsibility for their own actions. They use people over and over again. They don’t realize the pain and betrayal they cause when playing with someone’s feelings and emotions. Ultimately, it can turn out really bad in the end for either or both parties. We see it a lot on the news in real-life situations in crimes of passion, murder suicides, and many more horrific incidents. 

How do you think she brings the comedy/drama to the film?

Brandy: Sasha is FULL of drama! She always has a way of having trouble find her. She’s so problematic and confrontational. Not to mention, she’s the side chick to a very married ‘Jay’. And just when you think it’s smooth sailing, in comes another incident with Sasha. One way or another, Sasha has to either avoid a physical altercation or a verbal disagreement. 

If there was a sequel to the film, how would you want Sasha to be in it?

Brandy: I would definitely want Sasha to have done a complete 180 in her life and also with her outlook on things. She would need to know what it means to have bad karma come knocking at your door. I would like for Sasha to have learned from her mistakes and to treat people better. 

What are some hidden talents that no one knows you have until now?

Brandy: I can kind of juggle. Lol. I’m also really good at almost perfectly and randomly, guessing other people’s ages. 

Open Mic!!!

Brandy: Thank you for having me! Fair Play is currently available on DVD, and will soon be available on multiple streaming platforms! You can also find some of my past projects currently on Prime Video, Tubi, Vudu, Fandango Now and a few other VOD platforms. I am on social media as ‘Brandy Specks’ and ‘B Specks’ on Facebook. I am on IG as ‘@thats_specks’. 

Next up is……Sonya Gooden

In one word how would you describe your character Nina?

Sonya: No-nonsense

What is a misconception you think your character had in the film that you would want to clear?

Sonya: I would say the misconception is that she is controlling 

Why was it so fun to play this character?

Sonya: It was fun to be unapologetically raw. 

What do you think Nina could bring to the film if a sequel was to happen?

Sonya: She would bring the fire and balance advice from the prospective of a married woman and dealing with relationships. 

If Nina had a playlist for her character, who would be on it?

Sonya: Monica, Jodeci, Mint Condition and Jasmine Sullivan oh for sure Jill Scott

What’s Nina’s best quality?

Sonya: Her Honesty. 

Next in line is……Ashlie Young

Describe 5 qualities of Tia good and bad?

Ashlie: Tia is a bit messy, inquisitive, and lays it all out. She’s
forward but can be kind. If she doesn’t like you, she has no problem expressing it. I don’t know if they
are all good or bad qualities, per se, but the mess she exposes wasn’t her most shining moment.

How relatable do you think your character’s situations in the film are?

Ashlie: I believe Tia’s situation in telling her coworker, Brandi, about her husband cheating on her is relatable. A
lot of people have had to face that type of situation of finding out someone’s husband is cheating on
them and battling between whether to tell them or not. I believe people toggle between how close they
are to that person, if they would get mad at you for telling them, if they would even believe you, or
perhaps, they may already know. All-in- all, I think it’s a pretty relatable situation. There’s only 2 choices,
you either tell them or you don’t, but you have to bare the consequences of either decision.

What’s your favorite scene?

Ashlie: The scene when the customer (Patience Norman) yells out, “Beat her ass,” whenever Sasha and Brandi
were having their exchange after Brandi finds out her husband’s been cheating with Sasha. It’s like this
really serious and dramatic scene and out of nowhere you just hear, “beat her ass.” It always tickled me.

Where was your favorite location to shoot?

Ashlie: In the beauty shop because that is where the exposure happens. We had a pretty good time and many
laughs while on set at the beauty shop.

What’s one talent you have that no one expected you to bring to the film?

Ashlie: My attitude and how I can “go off.” I’m normally bubbly and goofy, so I think the way I was able to
switch my attitude, especially on Sasha, was an interesting stretch for me. (chuckles) I wanted to be
intentional about my attitude.

What in your opinion makes this film great?

Ashlie: The entire production! The whole cast really dove into their characters. It was quite an experience
seeing how everyone developed their character and how it all came together on screen.
I love how Contrina envisioned each character and their personalities in the roles. Rhonda’s organization
on set and creative eye. IDO Media’s visual concepts and bringing us to life on the screen.
I can’t thank Jalaworld Productions enough for this amazing opportunity to work with such an amazing
cast and production crew. This film was dramatically fun but humbling. It makes you want to become
more discerning about situations, take heed to red flags, take a look in the mirror, and check your

Open Mic!!!
Follow me on FB: Ashlie M. Young /Insta: @neo2rize for upcoming shows and performances.

Next is………Reyna Deese

Describe Brandi?

Reyna: Brandi is a young, well-educated business professional who will do anything for her family. She came from a single parent home so  she values hard work and is determined to live a life better than she experienced. She is a loving, committed wife to her husband Jay and dedicated to building a beautiful family. However, she has allowed her love to blind her from the true nightmare she is living. 

How would you compare yourself to your character?

Reyna: Brandi and I are both strong-minded, outspoken women unafraid to voice our opinions (or throw hands if necessary lol). We are very protective and caring for those we love. Loyalty and trust runs deep in our hearts. We love hard. We are fighters. However, we find ourselves sometimes fighting for the wrong things or reasons. We believe in seeing and fighting for the good in others despite the ups and downs we may face. We tend to fight to mend and save relationships instead of burning bridges. This is something we both need to work on. Where I think we differ though, is the amount of BS we are willing to take from someone. In reality, I wouldn’t have let the situation Brandi and her husband were in reach the level to where my life and my child’s life are in imminent danger. I would’ve been left and never looked back after the first time. 

What would Brandi say to a friend going through a breakup?

Reyna: Brandi would say, “Don’t be like me. Do not be afraid to leave a relationship that no longer serves you, especially if it will cost you your life. You are not responsible for anyone’s happiness or peace but your own. Love yourself first with all of your being, and never let anyone make you believe you are unworthy to be loved. You are God’s creation, made from love, and you deserve nothing less.”  

How does it feel to represent Houston in an Independent film?

Reyna: IT FEELS AMAZING AF! (can I say that; you can delete the af lol) Houston has soooo much to offer the film industry. We are just marinating with a lot of talent, waiting to be served as a full course meal to the world! It was an honor to work with such a talented, supportive, fun-loving, professional cast and crew. First, Contrina wrote a great, well-rounded script that gives the audience everything from drama, romance, comedy to suspense. Then she put together an all-star cast that was a joy to be around every time on set. I truly enjoyed doing what I love and am called to do with other like-minded people. Houston will be making its mark in the film industry much sooner than later for sure!  

How would you want Brandi to be played out in a sequel?

Reyna: I would love to see Brandi fully embracing motherhood with no regrets, no reservations about the decisions she made in the past. She would be thriving in her career and maybe even starting to explore dating again with someone who truly values her. Overall, seeing a healed Brandi walking in her power as a queen and overcomes. 

Open Mic!!!
I’m BLESSED! Your girl is booked and busy!! I just finished my first lead role in the suspense feature film “Induced”(Johnnard Harper). I am currently filming another feature, “The Micro ” (Brian Burns), which is centered around police reform.  A new series called “HouWood” (Cayn King) is in production in which I play the role of Selena.

I just got off an exciting high on stage performing with Vincent Victoria Presents “Starring Cherry Cola Pitts” and “The Storm is Here,” but will quickly return to the stage for his play “The Last Night of Jospehine Baker.” I am scheduled to join The Ensemble Theater’s 2022 season.  I will also be joining the amazing cast of the new tv drama series “The Szn” written/directed by Malcolm Carter in early January.

You can see me in action in several other film projects by downloading SGA TV Network. Their fall television season includes seeing your girl in “Sincerely Judy” (Shacolby Shentell), “Black” (Jeremy Becton, Qasim Barnes) and “Molly’s Diary” and “America” (Dakarai Akil). Also, I have just finished several commercials as well. You may see me in a furniture commercial for 3 Room Packages airing right now on television! Check me out and follow me at @reynajanelle_

Reyna Deese

The next Artist is…..Yolan Young

Describe Jay?

Yolan: Jay is a complicated man more so misunderstood. He knows what he wants and goes out to get it. Sometimes he may go to far. lol

How was it adding a comedic element to your roster of talent?

Yolan: lol now that is funny…I never tried to play him funny it just came out that way lol.Seeing it on screen and watching as the crowd cracked up laughing at the way I played Jay, kinda gave me the courage to jump into the comedic realm.

Would you say Jay was misunderstood or just a stalker?

Yolan: Definitely misunderstood lol

This film was a family affair for you, how do you think it worked in your favor versus working against you at times?

Yolan: I never could see it ever working against me. This will be my second film with my wife, being able to bounce ideas off each other, reading scripts together, and working together makes me less nervous even if we are not in the same scene. I love it.

How do you want to see Jay come back if a sequel was made?

Yolan: I would like for the world to see his origin story. Why Jay is Jay. Even if it might be from a prison cell. lol

you can find The Unknown Child Named Yolan on my website
http://www.yolanyoung.com or they can contact me on any of my
social media pages: Facebook @Yolan Young, Yolan Apoets

Poet fan page, or IG @apoetspoet. There, you will be able to
purchase an autographed copy of the book.

Poet fan page, or IG @apoetspoet. There, you will be able to
purchase an autographed copy of the book.

Next is….. Tabitha Lee

How would you describe Freedom?

Tabitha:  I would describe Freedom as caring, loyal and determined.

What was the moment like for you when you realized how your character was going to be played out in the film? 

Tabitha: I felt like:  Here is an opportunity to show a perspective that ranges from Love to family and self worth. Women tend to wear so many hats and we juggle so many things and at times forget to really pay attention to those issues that are going on with us Personally

There’s plenty of comedic humor throughout the film, what’s your favorite moment?

Tabitha:  LOL!! My favorite moment, was when I marched my angry behind up to “Malcolm’s” job and I  broke up with him. I enjoy being able to play the physicality of a scene within an emotion… The ladies in the scene were hilarious as well.

How do you think you did portraying Freedom that helped others display the character’s behavior? 

Tabitha: I think I did a good job with the relationship chemistry between my sister and I, which was different between my friend and of course my relation with “Malcolm”.  I think it was easy for all us to become those characters and make it look natural.

If there’s a sequel to the film, where would you want to see in Freedom’s future?  

Tabitha: A Co worker who recently saw the film just asked me that same question… She was hoping to see Freedom “ride off into the sunset” with some great guy!  But yes, I would love for Freedom to finally meet someone who truly loves her but also see how she deals with the death of her sister.

What is one question you wish people would ask you and what would be your answer? 

Tabitha: Could you play a “deranged” role that would entail you killing someone?   LOL!  Crazy I know but, I’ve always played the “safe” roles, the funny roles, the sassy friend…etc.. It would be a welcomed challenge for me to play something TRULY out of my character… 

Open Mic!!!!

I’ll be filming my next film next weekend with Jonathan Milton-Six FigureFilmmaker and I am definitely looking forward to many more opportunities to showcase this range of talent!

Ms. Lee

Next up is………Michael Fontenot

How would you describe Malcom?

Michael: Malcolm is a man that wants to be in a committed relationship but can’t do what it takes to sustain his woman. He aims to do the right things in the relationship yet his lust overpowers him every time.

What do you think Malcolm’s downside is versus his positive aspects?

Michael: Malcolm’s downside is his unfaithfulness! He’s given multiple chances from his woman to get it right but he keeps messing it up. His positive traits are he genuinely loved Freedom he just didn’t know how to appreciate a woman of her caliber! He was also a great friend.

What do you want people to get from this Film?

Michael: I want people to know that if you don’t cherish what you have at home you can lose it!

What was the best memory you have of working with your cast mates?

Michael: Working on set didn’t feel like work. It felt like a big family! I enjoyed creating the film with the whole cast. We all had time same vision in mind and that was to make this film a success. Everybody came ready to work!

Watching the premiere of the film left you with what type of emotions knowing it was a success?

Michael: The way the audience took in every scene made me feel like what we created was greatness. I left out of that theater with a smile on my face ready to create another film!

Next is artist…….Regina Cooper

What was it about your character Nicole that stood out to you in the film?

Regina: Nicole is funny, feisty and says exactly what is on her mind. She is a lot like me, especially when it comes to telling it like it is!

What do you think was the familiarity that people could connect to with your character?

Regina: Nicole and I both have the same witty personality. I am an educator, and you definitely have to have a sense of humor working with middle schoolers! Most of my friends and a few of my family members said that I pretty much played myself in this film. When I originally read the script, I envisioned Nicole to be a few years younger than myself, but despite what I thought the age difference might be, I think I did the character justice.

What were the funniest moments of the film to you?

Regina: I think the funniest moments in the film was the banter between Nicole and Sasha. A lot of our lines were made up on the fly, and much of our ad libs made it into the final cut. It was pretty fun to watch how they interact. Poor Freedom just had to deal with it. 

What did you take from your private life to help prepare you for your character?

Regina: I am the oldest of many siblings, so I had a lot of practice telling people what they should and should not do. Nicole is like the big sister who has already experienced life. She only wants the best for the people around her, and she isn’t afraid to let them know when they are messing up. She doles out a handful of tough love, but she definitely knows when to soften her tone.

What do you want people to take from this film?

Regina: I want people to understand that their actions have consequences, sometimes to the point of physical harm. You don’t play with peoples emotions, and you don’t play with the lives of folks either. Especially considering the percentage of people out here with undiagnosed mental health issues!

If there was a sequel to the movie, how do you want everyone to see Nicole now?

Regina: Nicole should have given King a chance! In the sequel, Nicole and King get together on some Stella gets her groove back type shit! She deserves it, don’t you think?

Open Mic!!!
Honestly, I think this is probably my best work as an actress.  I‘m so grateful to Contrina for writing such an awesome film and having faith in me to bring this character to life. As a little girl, I often dreamed of being in movies, or on TV, or singing on somebody’s stage. I can now say that I’ve done all three! I’m an educator of middle-schoolers and teachers, a wife, mother, published author, actress, singer, and soon-to-be candidate for principalship here in Texas. Right now, I feel unstoppable, I cannot wait to see where God takes me next on this journey!

Thank you!

Next artist is…….Corrigan Coleman

Describe the character King?

Corrigan: I would describe King as a flirt,  smooth, calm, collective, responsible. He can switch it on and off. Can be over protective of the ones he care about.

What did you learn about yourself playing this character?

 Corrigan: By playing this role I learn King is like my real life. I’m a huge flirting and carry myself well and actually have a best friend that’s a woman

Describe your first blooper playing King?

Corrigan: My first blooper, lol is when Sasha stood up and well if you seen the movie you’ll know lol

Where was your favorite location to film?

Corrigan: My favorite location was at the daiquiri shop. There was a lot of dope art work there.

How would you want King to be seen if a sequel was made?

 Corrigan: If King was to do a part two I would like King to be more flirty and a deeper dive into his life 

And finally artist…….

How would you describe your character?

Nikki: Exactly who I am. Phoenix and Nikki are just a like.

When did you know that this film was going to stand out from others?

Nikki: From the read thru and meeting the cast.

Who do you think from the cast could play more than one role in the film?

Nikki: I don’t know.

What would your character be listening to?

Nikki: Trap music and Neo Soul

If the film had a sequel how would you want your character to be?

Nikki: Sasha lol

If you want to know more about the film, again check out the film on Tubi, Roku, amazon, Sling, Youtube. Also you will be able to purchase the DVD and stream it on video on demand just in time for the holidays!

You won’t be disappointed!!!!

Wandering Ambivert

Blogger, photographer and creator are just a few titles Ambrivert holds and tells why

What motivates you?

Ambrivert: Gratitude. I’m grateful for every tiny thing and that keeps me smiling. I’m grateful for the life I
have and I don’t take it for granted. That’s what enables me to jump out of bed in the
morning and attack the day.

What is your thought process when deciding your next piece?

Ambrivert: When it comes to articles, it’s all about the process. I usually begin with the title which comes
to me through inspiration. Either I see or read something or it’s just a random thought. The
rest of the article takes shape through discovery. I begin with an idea and it evolves with a
little bit of time and effort. I try to live by, “write without fear, edit without mercy.” I usually
have a rough idea of what I want it to look like, but in the end, I always surprise myself.

What advice would you give someone who is interested in art but doesn’t know if they
have what it takes to do it professionally?

Ambrivert: Have more confidence in yourself and your craft, but balance that with always staying
humble and a student of your craft.

What’s your favorite type of art?

Ambrivert: I don’t have a favorite type of art. For me, art is anything that’s done for its own sake.
You’re doing it because you want to and you enjoy it. Art varies from a painting on a wall that
evokes emotion to a handcrafted item made out of wood, or music, or even the iPhone
you’re using every day, or a figure skating gliding over the ice. I consider anything that
inspired me as art.

How do the elements of changes in the world affect your craft if any?

Ambrivert: Good question. I try to adapt to the world and my surroundings the best I can. While also
trying to leave my mark upon it by changing it in return.

What are 3 unknown talents you would like to share?

Ambrivert: I can ice skate, play guitar and fight(I’ve been doing MMA for 8 years).

Where would be your DREAM location for your work to be showcased?

Ambrivert: At the moment. Anywhere and everywhere. I enjoy it more to see my photos used by
everyday bloggers compared to seeing them in a magazine or art museum.

Who or what first got you to channel your creativity to paper?

Ambrivert: I discovered WordPress in mid-2016 and thought why not give blogging a try. I then
proceeded to write a few photography tutorials. Between then and now I’ve had back and
forth with being active on my site. But about a year ago I discovered I am so fulfilled by
inspiring other artists through writing articles and sharing my photos.

Where do you see yourself 5 years from now?

Ambrivert: Still engaging with my community, probably from New Zealand.

What’s your favorite piece that you created so far?

This is my favorite photo

My favourite article, so far, is “10 Photography Tips
[https://wandering-ambivert.com/2020/06/17/10-phone-photography-tips/]”, as it has helped
so many people improve their photography.

What’s it like being around wildlife?

Ambrivert: An absolutely indescribable feeling. Especially having the opportunity to get close to them,
as was my experience with rhino tracking in the Omboroko Mountains in Namibia.

Where is your favorite place to capture photos of animals in their natural surroundings?

Ambrivert: Namibia.

What has been the scariest aspect of your work that would surprise people?

Ambrivert: The unknown. Mishaps are always happening. Or there’s a lion or hyena outside licking the
dew off of the tent. Although I always embrace the unexpected as it’s part of the journey and

What has been the hardest animals to get on film?

Ambrivert: Wild horses. They are by far one of my favorite animals. They are so beautiful and
majestic. I’ve been lucky enough to capture them in 2019. They were grazing right next to
the road. Usually, they are far away in the open plains.

Open mic:
Have confidence in your creative abilities. Keep it simple. Don’t overwork it. Don’t be
overambitious. Stay humble. Stay a student of your craft. Always do the best you can at that
point in time, no more. Tomorrow is another day.
I will be doing a Q&A on my site soon where you can ask me anything about blogging,
photography or creativity.

Wandering Ambrivert

Holiday Spirit

Photo by Adrienne Andersen on Pexels.com

Is it just me but when October ends December begins?

There’s no real celebration for Thanksgiving until its time to sit down to eat. The day to be thankful is somewhat forgotten. I know in different cultures it’s celebrated but its more like in private not public.

Don’t get me wrong we still have the parade and the football game but ummmmmm that seems to be about it. As life keeps changing it seems so has traditions. You could say the evolution of holidays is happening and its interesting to see from the sidelines. We watch the next generation as they create their own traditions hoping there will be a mix of the old with the new.

Sometimes it goes smoothly but unfortunately when it doesn’t we sometimes rush with judgement that honestly isn’t needed. A cycle that I believe needs to stop. Take Thanksgiving for example. How fast can you name what your thankful for?

Everyone is thankful their alive and somewhat healthy but what else? For me I can say I’m thankful for the opportunity to grow my mindset. Life is constantly changing and having a mindset that can follow along to not just agree with but understand it to fully understand why you don’t agree or agree is a blessing. and blessings should never be overlooked.

For me personally Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. More than Christmas. In my eyes they go hand in hand. You celebrate what your happy for then you celebrate who made it possible. Anyone can tell you that if I care about you I celebrate you throughout the year. I over kill it but you get the idea. I’m thankful for every breath that I take and I cherish those that help make every breath joyful.

I show this by cooking a MASSIVE amount but with a reason. Food feeds the soul so why wouldn’t I feed the souls that nourished my life? I can say this year had a lot of crappy moments and life changing at that. But it also had some amazing moments and those for once out weighed the bad ones. So that’s a celebration to me.

I know there will be a time where I won’t be able to do my tradition but I will be able to have those memories of when I did and that’s a gift in itself.

As you can see there is a reason for Thanksgiving so let’s not rush through it for a sale, decorations and a chance for a day off. Remember that its a day to tell people you might not remembered saying you loved or respected them. I think Thanksgiving is before Christmas because he’s giving you the chance to show love to others besides him. We celebrate love and other aspects of history why not each other besides birthdays?

So as I say this I want to wish everyone a much needed and deserved Happy Thanksgiving! We made it through a year of major changes and with those changes we learned how to survive and grow, love and cherish what we love. And that is definitely something to be thankful for.

Life changing Diagnosis

Photo by Wildan Zainul Faki on Pexels.com

Understanding your body is a process. Understanding what’s wrong with it is a journey. A journey I have been on for years, and FINALLY figuring out what is wrong and accepting the fact it wasn’t what you thought but much worse can be a hard pill to swallow. I think I’m a little lucky that I do have people in my life that have gone through dramatic and life changing diagnosis that can help me through this process. So I do try to keep that in mind. I also know that I have a lot to explain to whoever is reading this. This is a personal blog today. I love to showcase Independent artist and help support their crafts and with that being said I feel like it wouldn’t be right if I wasn’t transparent with myself.

I ask people daily about their lives and what’s going on with them and how they think their lives effect others. I want to do the same and my way is promoting. Don’t get me wrong I love the stage myself but I get more of a creative fix working behind the stage. It’s not that I’m scared or shy, I concord that fear in middle school so don’t get it twisted.

I learned in the early years of this magazine that I do have a good eye for talented people by seeing the progression of the artist I’ve interviewed through the years. I’m like a proud auntie in the background cheering them on. But I’m getting off track. This is about health.

I’m normally a very focus person. I need to know what’s going on so I would know how to handle the situation. Basically I’m a control freak,

but I know you can’t control everything. As I found out recently. I’m not going to be able to control my body from something. I’m not going to be able to save myself from harm and knowing that in advance is a mental middle finger to the face. I know I have some support but when your in your head your alone realizing what is happening to you. It’s like drowning and not knowing how to swim to save yourself. There’s no one to guide you because there’s nothing anyone can do.

I know in the long run I’m lucky because it’s not AIDS or CANCER but it still makes that list of things that takes you out of your life that you created and knowing where you are in the progression of it is just another middle finger. As you can tell by reading this I haven’t gotten use to saying the word yet. Because saying it makes it real. So I guess I will say it the best way I can to help you understand me……this is part of me.

My enemy

You can’t defeat me

You will lose under my spell

See my dear I make a living taking away what you love. Your daily routine won’t be the same after I’m done.

I love to take your legs and watch you fill up with fear as you roll around with 4 wheels instead of Adidas. Hands to write…naw sis unless I throw you a bone that bends

you can forget that.

Those lungs you love to inhale…. won’t work without the pain I must give to remind you

your my new destination location I love to explore the brain to see what’s up. What have you learned and love and how can I destroy it to make my day. Like a computer infected with a bug I got you now

You never new what I could do & I’m about to show you no pill or plant can ease the effects of what I can do, see I’m that illness people try to forget that never goes away. once i’m with you there’s no getting rid of like that house guest from hell I’m here to stay…..with you

I got you boo

I’m that 3rd wheel on a romantic date that menstrual cramp at the lake you won’t see the light of day because I make the sun light to bright for your skin to take I make isolation feel like your eating steak and your a vegan

There’s nothing you will like.

Well until I go to sleep then you get a break but when I awake then we’re off like the races to see who will win and I got too many victories under my belt to let you get away from me. See I take you till your last breath is your comfort zone.

I’m like that lover who likes to surprise you but my gifts are pains you never know when but when they hit you’ll know that came from me

don’t be shy say who I am when people ask are you ok? and before you say no feel my touch on your lips as I make them bleed from the dryness no oil can fix

I’m like that kitchen gadget that’s too expensive to fit your wish list! tell how I take your breath away the lover you love to hate. yep I’m that stalker that follows your every move I’m that unwanted affection you never desired but got for standing out in a crowd

I attack hard because I’m unwanted & disliked

I makes damn sure you feel it… come on sing it like that song… Say my name

respect my title, I earned it

by all those i made suffer

get use to me since I’m not going anywhere

I dare you to try say my name before I whip you like the slave I will make you

Say it as the tears fall to the ground….yes you know what you have to say

my name

my name is LUPUS

Plastic Jungle

By: Sebastian Iturralde

Plastic Jungle

Little Tomas smiled while carefully placing some of his toys inside a colorful backpack. His room had the peculiar scent of manna-scented vacuum. The morning chill crept in through the slightly opened window.

The other members of the family were sleeping when Tomas closed his backpack, and very carefully walked out of his room. He didn’t make a sound to pass unnoticed. Imagining the adventure he was about to enjoy. Surely this would be the day that his dreams came true.

When he got to the kitchen, Tomas took a couple of fruits and left his house. The cold was bearable, especially for a boy who knew what to expect on his adventure.

Tomas stopped a few steps towards the garden of his house. He was able to see the immense forest of the national park. It was a matter of minutes until he reached hostile terrain. The place he liked to travel to when he needed treasures.

“You have to be brave,” Tomas said, placing his toys on the ground around him. “We are looking for a story to share. I cannot promise that we will not fail again. The light animals have been too fast for us to catch—I ask that you follow my lead and trust your senses.”

The small toys came to life: slowly standing upright.

“We have to share their secrets with the world,” Tomas said.

The lights of the three toys came on, and they raised their arms before transforming into small all-terrain vehicles.

“Be careful,” Tomas said, “I’m not losing any of you.”

The toys began to run in circles.

Tomas crossed the garden and entered the forest. Immediately, he was covered in darkness and a dense fog rendered him. It became almost impossible to look into the distance: the flashing red lights of his companions helped him navigate through the shadows.

Just a trace of the elusive creatures he’s been searching for was enough. Tomas raised his plastic pistol and continued into the unknown.

Before long he heard a peculiar sound. Different from the constant chirping of birds. Other hunters, perhaps. Tomas had never met others like him on his expeditions.

He clearly heard the distinctive raking of a weapon. “We have one…”

As he got closer, Tomas noticed that the hunters captured one of the creatures alive. Its bright colors flashed. Its fur moved as if the animal were underwater—it was impossible.

“Who’s there?” said one of the hunters, noticing the presence of an intruder.

Tomas raised his hands and approached them.

“What are you doing here?” asked the second of two hunters.

“Looking for animals of light,” Tomas said, lowering his weapon.

One of the hunters lowered his backpack and took out a small black cube. He placed it on the ground, its structure changed, growing into a large safe.

The hunter holding the light animal began to turn the knob to find the safe’s combination. “We have seen you hunting these lands.”

Tomas frowned.

“You will no longer be able to take away the secrets of the forest,” said the hunter, as he opened the safe. “This little animal will go with us.”

Tomas watched the hunters place the brightly colored animal inside the box, then they closed it. The box began to get small and Tomas worried about the creature’s safety. “What are you going to do with it?”

“That’s not your problem,” said the hunter who had an eye patch. “You will have to find another place to get ideas.”

Tomas’s hunt only led him to find traces of the light animals. This was the first time he had seen one of the creatures in danger and he decided to face the hunters.

The metal-armed hunter took the small black square off the ground to put it in his backpack.

Tomas raised the pistol and fired.

The ammunition destroyed one of the hunter’s metal arms. The small black cube fell to the ground.

“You can never get him out of there in time,” said the eyepatch hunter and fired his weapon.

One of Tomas’s robots transformed and leapt to catch the cube before it hit the ground. Then the robot began to study cubes to find its secrets.

Tomas threw himself to the ground, avoiding being shot, and fired.

The hunters hid behind trees. “You’ll never get away with this,” said one of them.

The robots teamed up behind Tomas to find a way to rescue the trapped little light animal.

“Give back what doesn’t belong to you,” said the metal-armed hunter, as his arm became a bazooka.

“Hurry, open that box,” Tomas said, and shot the hunters.

Eventually the box returned to its natural size, one of the robots began to manipulate the lock, while the others cut the metal with lasers.

“Give back our trophies and no one will get hurt,” said the metal-armed hunter before firing.

The energy ball slammed into a tree, knocking it over with the explosion. Tomas felt the nearby heat and the characteristic smell of burnt wood.

“Hurry up,” said Tomas, “we have to get out of here.”

The robots managed to open the safe and the light animal jumped out. Tomas couldn’t believe the beauty of the creature. The colors changed with the movement of its fur.

The animal jumped on Tomas’s shoulder, and he felt the energy of the forest within him; ideas and information came faster than he could have imagined.

Tomas got up…somehow, his plastic pistol became an assault rifle. He turned his head to look at the animal on his shoulder and fired. The bullet glowed brightly, leaving a trail of light.

The hunters began to flee after the first explosion of light.

Tomas paused and noticed that the creature was still on his shoulder. “Do you want to be my friend?”

The light animal looked confused and tilted its head to the side. Then it jumped into the forest and disappeared.

Tomas returned home with new stories to share with his friends.


Fiction blogger—citizen of this beautiful planet, eternal lover of artistic creation and literature. Certain that the creative energy comes from nature.

Jesse Parent

Poet, Entertainer, Author yet his skills go beyond these labels. Explore the mindset of an amazing presence.

How long have you been performing poetry?

Jesse: I remember seeing a group called “Floetry” on HBO Def Poetry back in
2004 or 2005 and realizing I could probably use that overall structure
of poetry and music to developed an improvised theater format. In
2005, I work shopped a form I called “The Hook,” where a single poet
would go up and improvise a poem while a group of actress behind them
improvised a beat, melody, and chorus, which would then inform
improvised scene work. After touring this around the United States and
earning an Artistic Associate nod from the Chicago Improv Festival for
our work, I decided to try and see what I could do next with the
format by going to actual poetry slams. I went to my first local slam
in Salt Lake City in the winter of 2006 and made their team in 2007 in
time to attend my first National Poetry Slam in Austin. We came in
second to last (take that, Kalamazoo).

What are the titles of any books or chat books you have put out and
how can people find them?

Jesse: I have four chapbooks for sale in eBook format at
http://www.jesseparent.com titled Hit After Hit, To the Baby in My
Belly (You Were Delicious), Flattened Braille, and Ink on Paper. I had
a full length book through Sargent Press called The Noise That Is Not
You but I stopped selling it after the 5th printing.

What is your favorite poem to do on the mic?

Jesse: I have a poem called Coulrophobia which is a persona poem done from
the perspective of a creepy clown that has no idea how creepy he is. I
usually crowd walk at the end of the poem and try to find someone who
is either having fun or is terrified. This usually isn’t difficult
because folks seem to have very strong opinions one way or the other
about clowns.

What was your reaction when you first did a live taping?

Jesse: I remember trying to do a taping for the guy who had produced
SlamNation when I was in Austin at the 2007 National Poetry Slam. My
mouth was super dry and I had a hard time just performing for a
camera. It was an odd sensation to not have a crowd to feed off for
energy. I’ve gotten better at this, but performing for a camera with
no audience is still one of my least favorite situations.

How did you react when you did your first blooper on stage?

Jesse: When I first started, I had a very hard time recovering from any
situation where I did not recite the words perfectly. For an
improviser, this was a weird feeling because I figured I should be
able to adapt to any situation. I had to relearn that skill around my
own writing, where I began to take myself less seriously and just make
sure I got the gist of what I needed to communicate out so I could
move on to more memorized portions.

How did you react when you did your first blooper on stage?

Jesse: When I first started, I had a very hard time recovering from any
situation where I did not recite the words perfectly. For an
improviser, this was a weird feeling because I figured I should be
able to adapt to any situation. I had to relearn that skill around my
own writing, where I began to take myself less seriously and just make
sure I got the gist of what I needed to communicate out so I could
move on to more memorized portions.

 What advice do you give to virgins to the mic?

Jesse: Everyone wants you to succeed. It’s true. We get sick of each other
pretty quickly so when we see a new person with something new to say,
we get very excited. Even if you mess up, we are still on your side.
So have fun, try not to be a jerk, and welcome to the party!

How long have you worked with Button Poetry?

Jesse: Button Poetry first filmed my work in 2014, but I knew Dylan Garity
and Sam Cook for a couple of years before that. Sam and I actually
went to Canada to compete in a $10,000 grand prize poetry slam back in
2012, and I had met Dylan back when I made finals stage at the
Individual World Poetry Slam in 2011. So we were all friends before I
went to CUPSI in 2014 and they filmed me doing “To the Boys Who May
One Day Date My Daughter.”

You caught my attention with your piece ” To the Boys who may date
my Daughter”. What motivated you to write that piece?

Jesse: I wanted to do a poem that addressed the trope of the overprotective
father in both the heterosexual and homosexual dating arena, The
entire poem is built around setting up the last two lines. The idea
was if you feel this much love for a child in a relationship, you
should love them no matter who they love. There was also the aspect of
being over the top in a way that was unrealistic, but not everyone got
that this was satirical. But that is on me as the artist to provide
better clarity.

What won’t you perform on stage?

Jesse: I have a lot of early work that was informed by what I thought was
edgy comedy that is just so cringe worthy. I think we all have those.
So I try to just chalk those up to learning moments and put them in a
drawer for destination NEVER. I think that is a great aspect of slam,
because the audience and judges have no problem telling you when they
think you are performing trash. The trick is to listen to them and
either improve a piece or throw it away.

Where would you like to see poetry expand to?

Jesse: I’d love to see more narrative poetry that bridges into prose and
helps storytelling become more concrete and emotional. Poetry has so
many great devices, and multimedia adaptations like animations or
movie shorts can be so powerful when they are based on good poems.

What other ways do you channel your creativity?

Jesse: I have been doing improv comedy since 1992 and still perform locally
from time to time. I also have competed at the world level in public
speaking through Toastmasters International. I like to learn new
things that make me feel stupid or exposed like welding, sewing, or
blacksmiths. I think there is a whole world available and it’s
important to be uncomfortable in order to achieve real growth.

What’s one question you would want people to ask you and what
would your answer be?

Jesse: What is the one thing you miss about living in New England? My answer
is always the food. There are things I just can’t find out here in
Utah such as stuffed quahogs, chourico, and fried clams with bellies.
When I go back home I always eat too much because I miss everything
and want it in my body!

 Open Mic!!!
My daughter tells me she is non-binary
and I tell her… huh?
And we both sit in the silence.
In the music of language, this is an uncomfortable rest.
And after the dead air clears
my daughter holds up both hands.
10 fingers in total.

When we count to ten
we are just counting in base-10, decimal.
Humans like to count on their fingers
then round the loop to do it again.

When we count in binary, base-2, we still count to 10.
We just have fewer fingers.
1 – 10 – 11 – 100
We run out of room so quickly when we lack options.

And my daughter tells me
look at all these options
how the light mixes into new colors

In order to convert binary to decimal
You add powers of two based on the position of the one
Programmers will always tell you start with zero
2 to the zeroth power is 1
2 to the first power is 2
That means binary 11 is 3
It’s a little weird at first.
But you realize even in this limitation
there were always options

It isn’t that I can’t use she,
there was always a singular they
Even Shakespeare had a singular they.
It’s not that I don’t have a daughter,
I have a middle child
the 18 year old
the freshman
the former future veterinarian and current sign language interpreter
just like the former daughter is now my second spawn
See how the 3rd option was always there like 11

And my child holds their hands up like a magic trick
says watch my gender disappear
like a rainbow when you get too close

And I stand holding my two dumb thumbs
and I learn something new
how to convert my gendered language
I come up with my own tricks
imagine a mouse in my child’s pocket
so I always remember to refer to them as “they”
I cover my child’s gender
with a handkerchief in every conversation
never sparking the reveal
I saw my language in half and in then in half again
until my tongue folds into Zeno’s paradox

Sometimes the trick doesn’t always work,
and I stumble with the execution
back to just these clumsy thumbs
but my daughter
… my child
corrects me,
and I try again
because they are magic
and gender was always just a sleight of hand, anyway

Erica (Eri) Chambers

Consultant/Theater and more…..

How do you describe the type of work that you do?  I get paid to think about it.   Think about what, you ask? 

Erica: Everything from how to improve a process to building a worst case scenario plan. 

What is the your job title and what are you supposed to be doing?

Erica: I am a Senior Strategist and Solution Manager of The Eri Jordan Agency http://www.erijordan.com

What skills would you tell someone they would need to be able to succeed in your field? 

Erica: Assuming this person is a level 3 genius,  a great poker face and an amazing smile is also required.  It is very hard to look at a system or process and tell someone that it is crap.  Depending on the years and tears they have invested, it could come off a little NOT NICE.

How do you think you balance your creativity?

Erica: BALANCE (in my best Soulja Boy voice). Creativity is how I naturally live.  I don’t take time out to prepare an amazing dish.  I cook amazing dishes and plate them beautifully.  I am creative in everything I do.

Your work has you traveling at times, how do you find time to work on other aspects of your life?

Erica:  I have the time to manage anything I want.  For what I do, traveling is equivalent to a daily car commute.  Do I have a hectic schedule? Yes.  But “work” is only 20% of that schedule.  SHHHHHHhhhhh don’t tell anybody.

What drew you to the theater?

Erica: I wanted to be Clara in The Nutcracker when I was 7.  I got the part of the dancing teddy bear.  The teddy bear was suppose to March, but if you know me you know I danced!

What is your fondest moment from being on a stage? 

Erica: Performing at the Nuyorican in NYC.  How we finagled our way onto that stage was hilarious.  Being on that stage was epic.  Hearing the applauds of people feeling my story – PRICELESS

What advice would you give a young black female who is about to embark into the world not knowing what they want to do in their life?

Erica:  Try almost everything.  Research.  Lay out the risks.  Create smile milestones to celebrate the accomplishments. And remember, it is always okay to change your mind.

What do you believe is your purpose in life? 

Erica: To create a happy atmosphere 

You’re into fitness, what motivates you to make time for it?  

Erica: I only eat right because I love the food people eat on diets.  It is just a coincidence.  I am physical active, but these old bones are not fit.  I just cannot sit still.

In the perfect world we could do everything, what do you see for your future? 

Erica: Accepting an Oscar

How do you see your professional career growing as the world keeps changing? 

Erica: I’ve been working like this for over 15 years, remote and in various locations.  This “new” world isn’t new to me.  I do believe the entertainment industry has found a way to adjust, but they will do some hard evolving to survive.

How would you describe your personality? 

Erica: Amazingly Annoying 

What’s one question you wish people would ask you and what would your response be?

  Erica: How much should I deposit into your account?  My answer – Just $385,439.88

Being a Black woman in your field do you think you will or have you dealt with stereotyping or discrimination in the workplace?

Erica:   I’m over 40, born in the 70’s, raised in the 80’s, played in the 90’s and been living ever since.  Last year I watch a man be murdered on TV.  A young lady was shot in her bed.  And the discussion in the workplace, was to create more diversity programs and opportunities.  Why would a workplace environment need to address stereotypes and discrimination in place where it doesn’t exist? (Insert a very sarcastic stare RIGHT HERE)

What’s 3 things people would be surprised to know about you? 

Erica: I was church organist.  I am a huge 80’s game show fanatic.  I like the wilderness life.  

Open Mic!!!!

Erica: I am finally loving “This Pretty Black Skin That I’m In” and Family guy is my favorite show of all time! The End.

Elton McWashington Jr.

Poet, Artist, Father, Husband and so much more. A class act that withstands the test of time.

What motivates you to do art?

Elton: Purpose has always been the key motivation in me doing art, whether it be writing or visual art.  I love being creative in general, but conveying messages and impacting people is always my mission. 

What do you think the biggest learning experience will be after the pandemic is over?

Elton: I am water!  This pandemic hasn’t altered my process of doing art one bit. Creativity has always been so much more to me thank just creating. It’s been therapeutic. It’s been entertaining. It’s been a tool for introspection. My duty with having a gift so powerful, is to continue the flow of it and not become stagnant. 

How do you help Evolving your craft throughout the years?

Elton: I believe the craft, the gift, evolves the more you work with it.  But I also believe our gifts evolve through the knowledge we gain, and personal experiences.  Spirituality plays a part. Sexuality plays a part. Sensitivity. Vision. We stop evolving… the gift stops evolving, when we limit ourselves. 

How do you think the Pandemic has altered your process of doing art?

Elton: I am water!  This pandemic hasn’t altered my process of doing art one bit. Creativity has always been so much more to me thank just creating. It’s been therapeutic. It’s been entertaining. It’s been a tool for introspection. My duty with having a gift so powerful, is to continue the flow of it and not become stagnant. 

Having sons, how do you think they are understanding the Black Lives matter movement? 

Elton: Having sons, the Black Lives Matter movement has led to a lot of education about the Black experience in America. I do not believe racism will ever be completely done away with in the country, a country founded on racism. A country insistent on lying about its foundation and origin.  A country that simply reinvents the wheel as opposed to breaking the wheel. Teaching them about the nature of racism, and the importance of seeing it for what it is, is a never ending mission. 

What advice would you give someone who doesn’t know if college will help them with their future?

Elton: Being a college dropout, I am a firm believer that you can accomplish just as much without a college degree/education as you can with one. It all depends on wise decision making, being well-informed, and knowing what you as a person are willing to do and sacrifice to be successful.  I had a very good college experience. It made me, in many aspects, the artist I am today. But I have learned so much more outside of college, that I question the structure of the system versus the financial impact. 

Has there been any artwork that you’ve done in the past and looked back at it and thought WOW I did that?

Elton: Yes!  I find old poems and artwork from years ago that make say, “Man!  I did that?!?!!”  I believe my older works were much more focused efforts.

What’s your favorite part of the process of doing what you do?

Elton: My favorite part of doing what I do probably the final stage…the finished piece. I have a very active imagination, and it easy to get bored, so actually seeing a piece through to the end is a big deal for me

What’s one thing that you miss about Houston but also one thing that you Love about where you live now?

Elton: The thing I miss about Houston is that it’s HOME. I accomplished a great deal and made many considerable milestones.  There’s nothing like the place where you earned your stripes. I met and worked with so many awesome people there. I also love the Sacramento poetry community for embracing me. 

Besides family, what is important to you that you would consider your motto for life?

Elton: Since I started doing poetry, my motto has always been “Life is Deep. Don’t get caught up in the Currents.”

How do people reach you to get access to your work?

Elton: People who want to reach me to gain access to my work can visit me on IG @thedeepblu3see or @studio_trid3lpha  On Twitter look me up @deepblu3see

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