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Interview: Vela Magazine Founder Sarah Menkedick on Women Writers and Sustainable Publishing

AgapeBlogged:

Great interview!! Let’s continue to champion, sponsor and encourage our fellow female writers!

Originally posted on Longreads Blog:

Cheri Lucas Rowlands | Longreads | Oct. 2 2014 | 10 minutes (2,399 words)

Three years ago, Sarah Menkedick launched Vela Magazine in response to the byline gender gap in the publishing industry, and to create a space that highlights excellent nonfiction written by women. Last week, Menkedick and her team of editors launched a Kickstarter campaign to grow Vela as a sustainable publication for high-quality, long-form nonfiction, to pay their contributors a competitive rate, and to continue to ensure that women writers are as recognized and read as their male counterparts. Menkedick chatted with Longreads about her own path as a writer, the writer’s decision to work for free, building a sustainable online publication, and the importance of featuring diverse voices in women’s nonfiction.

* * *

Let’s talk about Vela’s origins. You created Vela in 2011 as a space for women writers in response to the byline gender gap — yet it’s…

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Just Hold On

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Photo reposted from Joel Osteen Ministries via Facebook

                                                                                                          Photo courtesy of Joel Osteen Ministries via Facebook

Making the choice to devote your life to God is one of the best and easiest choices you will ever make.  Following through with that decision is the hard part. 

Follow through has always been difficult for me.  I like to think of an idea, pass it on, then move on.  Or…I’ll start the project, then start another one, and then another one.  Weeks later, I’m swimming in deadlines and guilt.

In the past few weeks, I’ve learned that it all requires one step at a time.  No matter what you do, you can’t rush God’s plan; so you might as well take your time, enjoy the lesson and the test.  The key is truly knowing that every test can turn into a testimony if you grind you heels in and be determined to not give up or give in.

In all reality, my electric should be cut off right now; I barely have food in the fridge to get through the weekend.  But I refuse to worry about my needs… God already told me He would supply all my needs (Phil 4:19), and He has.  My electric is still on; my neighbor, who happens to be a chef, came by yesterday to see if we needed anything, because we were on his heart…

I can promise you, that if you make the committment to God, He will reward you with an enjoyable life, even in the midst of the trials.  Since I’ve committed – truly committed myself, opportunites are opening for me left and right!!  I have been invited to seminars and trainings that I normally would not have access to.  I’ve put down bad habits that used to feel like my lifeline and I no longer even have a remote yearning to indulge in that lifestyle anymore.  God took all that away, to provide me a better way.  Life has been challenging, but it is now far from dull and boring. 

I continue to “press toward the mark” (Phil 3:14), because I have no doubt that the best is yet to come.  Not just for me, but for all that choose to believe and recieve!

Stay blessed friends! ;)

A mission to serve

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Alicia Keys is always at the hem of social issues that continue to plague our youth; issues that stifle the fight of the dreamer; issues that are destroying our education and political system.

As one of her biggest fans, I enjoy following her causes and finding any way that I can help. So last week when she released her latest song, “We are here”, I was immediately captured again.

I’ll be posting more details tomorrow about the campaign, but I saw the quote above and just had to share it.  This quote made me think of Alicia’s question to the world…”Why are you here?” 

My posting question to you tonight friends, is…Why are you here? My initial, knee-jerk response is – to serve God.

Leave a quick comment as to why you think you are here.  I’d love to see what you are thinking and feeling! And I’ll add some of your comments on my next post…and somehow I’m sure we can get the comments to Alicia Keys to let her know that, We are here too!!

Doing good for others never gets old; and it’s an amazing feeling!

i-n-d-e-p-e-n-d-e-n-t…do you know what that means?

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Irony can be such a fickle beast, or your eccentric best friend.  I was talking to my daughter and her bff last night about being an independent woman, and having no shame in that.  About never putting yourself in a position to have to ask a man for anything.

Then today, I find this awesome blog called The Fickle Heartbeat, http://wp.me/p4sXoP-65, and this post http://suitsandglutes.wordpress.com/2014/06/05/miss-independent/.  The first quote of the article almost slapped me in my face with my grandmother’s spirit.  If I didn’t know better, I would’ve thought my grandmother was ghostwriting that post!

Independence is truly the most profound lesson that my grandmother taught me.  I remember when I turned 16, she shared some candid stories and advice about protecting myself and falling in love.  It was pressing on my heart to share these stories with my daughter and her friends, who affectionately call me Mom too.

I plan on writing a ‘listicle’ for The Fickle Heartbeat about lessons to impart to our daughters.  But I want to address a different vein of the same arm here.  And maybe this vein will generate another opportunity for a ‘listicle’.  My biggest concern is that all this talk is for naught, if your daughter does not truly understand what it means to be an independent person. 

I was honestly annoyed at my own daughter in speaking to her and her friend last night.  It wasn’t so much that she did anything disrespectful, just typical teen behavior, like, here goes my mom…again.  I could see I had her attention for the first few minutes but she soon became distracted and the intensity of the conversation totally took a turn.  Despite that fact that her best friend was listening intently, I was completely distracted by my own daughter’s lack of interest, and I could see it was eeking over into her friend’s ability to focus.

She’s probably heard these conversations a thousand times, so I can borderline understand her lack of interest, but still.  It came to me in reading the post I referenced, that maybe the issue isn’t the topic, but her lack of understanding of the topic. 

We can wonk at our kids all day like the teacher from Charlie Brown, but do they really hear us?  I can teach her all about being an independent young lady and making progress for herself, on her own.  But will any of those seeds take root if the foundation is not strong enough to feed the seed?  Foundation being an understanding of what independence truly is and why its so important…not just teaching about how to be independent. 

As much as I sometimes tire of hearing myself speak, lol, I think another conversation is due.  Success, in my opinion, is truly rooted in a person’s ability to take on a task and master it for themselves.  ‘Each one teach one’ is difficult if you don’t pay attention to the initial lesson yourself.  You’ll mess around and teach the wrong things…and you are accountable for everything, I mean everything, that you teach or pass on to others.  Set an appropriate foundation and watch the fruit blossom.

~ Proverbs 28:10 Whoever misleads the upright into an evil way will fall into his own pit, but the blameless will have a goodly inheritance.

Your turn ~ What advice would you give about teaching the meaning of independence?  Or, what have you been taught about independence that you found invaluable? 

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Rand Paul: We Must Demilitarize the Police

AgapeBlogged:

Very poignant article, thought provoking…All I can say is the truth will come to light if you tell it in the dark. We must keep beaming the light to eviscerate the darkness.

Originally posted on TIME:

The shooting of 18-year-old Michael Brown is an awful tragedy that continues to send shockwaves through the community of Ferguson, Missouri and across the nation.

If I had been told to get out of the street as a teenager, there would have been a distinct possibility that I might have smarted off. But, I wouldn’t have expected to be shot.

The outrage in Ferguson is understandable—though there is never an excuse for rioting or looting. There is a legitimate role for the police to keep the peace, but there should be a difference between a police response and a military response.

The images and scenes we continue to see in Ferguson resemble war more than traditional police action.

Glenn Reynolds, in Popular Mechanics, recognized the increasing militarization of the police five years ago. In 2009 he wrote:

Soldiers and police are supposed to be different. … Police look inward…

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How to Win Her Heart

AgapeBlogged:

I love love love this blog.. and this list is so on point. You’ll learn and laugh at the same time. Pay attention boys…oh excuse, men… lol!

Originally posted on The Fickle Heartbeat:

How to Win Her Heart

Shared by matildathemoonraker.

Not testicle you pervs, Listicle.

A combination of a list and an article, wha-la: listicle! They are all the rage right now, everyone’s doing one; apparently a large faction of you are also doing something called a Fire Challenge too so it’s obvious that while everyone’s doing it, it may not be the best idea. What the heck! Seems like a listicle is less harmful than a fire challenge. So here’s mine.

NOTE

I saw a listicle on how to win a girl’s heart, it was lame.
I’m an old snarky hag I guess and not a girl, here’s what I would want.

12 Moves To Win Her Heart

1. Someone to dance with her.
Slow dance, shake-your-booty dance, swing dance, all night long dance.

2. Ask questions about her deepest thoughts and really want to know the answers.
Like wise, I want your dirty…

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Footprints in the sand ~ remixed

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Photo courtesy of Chytrausphoto via Instagram

Hip Hip Hooray!  What was once lost is now found! 

My house is kicking into high gear, anticipating the beginning of school and sports.  Not only are my children going back next week, but so am I!  I have been attending classes part time at a local community college for 2 semesters now, and with God’s blessing, I’ll be graduating with an Associates in Communication in the Spring.  Definitely something to look forward to!

We also have been blessed to celebrate several birthdays since my last post, including my daughter turning 15!  My head is still reeling from that one…lol. 

In the process of all these preparations and celebrations, I have been cleaning out supply drawers and hard drives.  Clearing out all of the reports from last semester, I found an old folder of my poetry.  I was amazed at what I have written in the past.  Some of it was truly boring!  But I was melancholy about where I was emotionally and spiritually.  Some of the poems sad, some happy, some vengeful.  All of them are true to the place of my heart, at the time.  Writing has always been my only real release…the only place where I can place my real feelings without guilt or consequence…and know that God still sees it, even though I didn’t speak it.  With every poem, a piece of me was grafted onto a slice of solace, to be archived for my hearts time capsule.

But I am at the point where I want to release even further.  So I’m going to share not just blog posts, but poems as well.  I admittedly don’t write poetry like I used to, but in sharing these poems, I’m hoping to rekindle the flame.  And through this process, please feel free to leave me feedback, good or bad or otherwise.  I promise I won’t be upset at any constructive criticism!

~this first one was inspired by a friends vacation photo, of the beach…mixed with another friends excitement over the moment he fell in love… hope you enjoy!

Footprints in the sand, remixed

 So beautiful she sits,

a shadow in the midst

of the son

~ and that she truly is.

Suns setting, waves crashing

Warm sand between our toes

Didn’t expect this weekend

to get to this.

Such intimacy

captured in a glimpse.

She turned to me,

hair 10 ways to the wind,

and handed me her scissors.

See, she’s a creative and crafty one.

Bag lady to some,

but in those bags are gifts galore.

And her smile indulges me even more.

She looked at me

With an intense stare and said,

“I want you to cut my hair.”

A moment passed as I pondered

Her odd request in a daze

But she never once broke her gaze.

“You see, I’m going ‘natural’

See all this new growth,” she giggled

as she fluffed her hair affectionately.

“But the ends are relaxed, dying.

With you I sense new beginnings,

new breathe, new life, thriving.

Cut away the dead ends

So we can move forward to

being more than just friends.”

Though I know nothing of cutting hair,

Her trust in me, her face, her eyes,

her prophecy over our lives,

made her request undeniable.

As I sat with her wrapped in my arms,

scissors in hand,

she sighed deeply and laid against my chest,

cradled to my heart.

I didn’t know how to do

what she wanted me to do.

And maybe she could tell.

She simply took my hand

and said, “Let God guide you”.

Is this the lesson?

As I cut away inch after inch,

praying for God’s guidance,

watching this woman yield to my hand,

which is yielded to His,

I simply fell in love.

~~~

Hope you enjoyed that!  Stay blessed friends! ;)

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