Wednesday, June 24, 2020

Ola Zuri - back in action and ready to face the world!!! #BLM!!!

It has been quite some time since I last posted anything here and a lot has happened in the world of me, Ola Zuri!

As previously mentioned a few years ago, I have been dealing with some major health issues. Well, lucky me to have found yet another health issue to change my world. After many, many surgeries over the past four years, I am finally back and grooving and in the creative spirit!

Over this time, I have continued to do my best to get representation by a literary agent or a publishing house, yet, to no avail. 

I will continue to persevere and will keep doing so until someone believes the books I write for all children within the adoption and foster care world deserve a voice, deserve to be heard, and deserve to be empowered from within!

It is now overhaul and revamp time and I am looking at areas to expand and change the entire look and layout of the book series plus I'm looking at a variety of other books and options for me to pursue.

One of those areas is, of course, the Black Lives Matter movement. I have had a lot of experience in this area and it is exciting to see so many people rising up together to have the injustices of a people who were brought to North America to 'work' for the majority against their will. This is a time when people are having their eyes opened to those injustices in which too many black people have lost their lives, whether due to wrongful imprisonment, or peonage through prison labour, or at the hands of the police all because of the fact they were black, something impossible to change.

Here in Kelowna, BC, Canada, there was a BLM movement rally in which I spoke at. Below is the link to my speech, as well as a link to a response letter I wrote regarding a negative article about the rally itself.

The change is now people - we are rising from the deep and we will stand together until the world changes! Back Lives Matter for now, for always, and forever! They always have and now it is time to stand up for them!

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Ola Zuri reigns forth after many obstacles placed in her way!!

Wow! It certainly has been a long time since I have posted anything on this blog site. Being ill for the past four and half years definitely has taken a lot out of me for me to not have checked in here for over three years! Migraines causing stroke-like issues, finding out I have a rare bone disorder in my ankle, surgery, osteoarthritis running rampant in my various joints, more surgery, and still having a family of four to raise on my own! Phew!! How do I do it!?! Slowly but surely of course!!

As I said I have been quite ill and have been down and out when it comes to blogging, however, I have always been involved in the children's books I write because those will never tire me!

So, what has kept me busy in the world of the books you may wonder... I have been going to as many places as I can to promote the literature and provide kids with these empowering books! Not as much travel as I would like, however, at least I'm out there promoting!

I'm constantly writing to as many literary agents and publishers because I want the manuscript for When Is It My Turn to finally get the recognition it deserves. I have been in touch with many people within the foster care and adoption world obtaining as many reviews and endorsements for this manuscript in hopes of being able to approach the literary agents and publishers with the commendations I have received. All I need is for one person to see the manuscript and take those powerful and meaningful words to heart and realize this story is a keeper! It is a best seller because it is a story by a former foster child and forever a transracial adoptee writing the thoughts and feelings out for the innumerable amounts of children who are not always able to find the words and courage to speak what they are feeling. I am there to help them find their voice and stand up and see who they are inside, who they have always been, however, have never known how to voice it!

When I first started out on this book venture I had the title of Believe In Me and after some deep thought, I changed the title of my series to To Be Me instead. Why would I change my title!!?? Well, I think when I hear the words To Be Me, there is a reference of being able, being strong, allowing oneself to believe that it's okay "To Be Me." I realized the Believe In Me phrase and thought is strongly demonstrated in the words directed at the reader throughout each book and it wasn't necessary as the title of my cause as well.

I like to have some information to hand out to everyone who comes to any of my presentations and promotional tours. The following is what I generally have available:

Although I have a cover photo for When Is It My Turn displayed on the flyer, as well as any informational material, including my website, I know this will not be the actual cover once the story is picked up by a publishing house. 

My goal for When Is It My Turn is to have someone pick it up for publishing and then hopefully pick up the first three books and re-issue them all as a series of stories for children, pre-teens, and early teens. These books are my passion and I am excited to get them all out and into the hands of the many children, families, schools, support workers, professionals, and everyone who ever felt as though believing in themselves was not something they could do! 

I will continue to persevere and promote these books to everyone and anyone!!! My passion will not be quashed by the thanks anyway letters and thrown to the curb rejections - I know my cause is an important one and nothing will deter me! I love all of the kids and won't let their voices fade away! 

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

As time flies... in the eyes of a foster care child.

Another summer, fall, and winter have passed and we are almost at the end of another school year with homework, extra curricular activities and tons of stuff to rush around and do almost completed.  My kids have been enjoying their days and are excited for the summer holiday break to arrive and have some down time again.

Down time?!  I always wonder about those words and how they play out in a child's mind... down time for us adults seems quite obvious -- we need some time to rest, relax, not think about anything and hang out.  What is it that kids are thinking... it seems their down time usually happens every day when school is done -- they are then either off to a fun filled time at a sports practice or game; off to enjoy some type of artistic experience; or even home to watch a bit of tv or play video games, either on the computer or tv.  These all sound like down time items to me -- as a parent, we adults are usually working long days to ensure our kids have the warm home to go relax in; provide them with rides to the variety of activities usually chosen by those same kids and generally have to provide meals for these kids to consume on a daily basis.  Down time -- sheesh!  As a parent of four energetic children, from tweens to teens, I want more of this so called down time and now!!  :oP

Even though I am currently off work, due to this lingering illness, I still am required to ensure I am able to provide my children with the home they need, the food necessary to stay healthy, and be available to drive them to various activities or friends homes so they can enjoy their down time without any glitches.

A big glitch for me -- I am not always on top of my own game, health wise, and tend to want to have some extra down time for me when the kids are home.

Right now, I am learning to focus on one commitment at a time compared to the twenty things I know I need to do, or at least feel I need to do at one time.  Running myself down has been a large contributor to my feeling less than my usual energetic self.

When I focus in on the one area that gives me energy and strength, I always feel pumped!

That area, of course, is writing the stories for the children!!  The next children's book is titled When Is It My Turn, and has actually been in my head for a long time.  The story is about a group of children who are in the foster care system and have not been selected to be a part of anyone's family.  Children who sit every day wondering why they are not in their own forever family as they see other children around them who are chosen to leave and join a family.

How does a child know it is okay to feel what he/she is feeling -- to know the thoughts of getting older is not always a good thing when you are a part of the "system?"  Children need to have some reassurance about who they are and what is inside of them when they are the ones who are still waiting... they need to know it's okay to feel what they feel as they are growing up without a family around them.

This book speaks to them in a way they will understand because some of the emotions they feel, every day while waiting, are brought forth in this book for them to read and figure out.  I am excited for someone to pick up this book and be amazed at the impact it will have on a child who feels alone inside.  These words are powerful words, strong words for the children.

As summer comes, I will await what happens with this story and go from there.  If I am still unable to find a professional publishing company to take this story and run with it, I will take it by the reigns myself and fly!  So many children deserve to not only read the words, hear the words, and believe the words, they need to know these words are for them, for each of them, to start their own healing as they live each new day with themselves!!  I will never stop what I do because there are always more children to come!

 I love what I do and I can't wait for so many others to read this story and love what I do too!!!!