Thursday, January 28, 2010

Staying Busy . . . Behind The Scenes

No, as of late, I haven't been blogging much. However, I am staying busy. I've started a new writing project and I spend the bulk of my free "online" time on Facebook (

Recently, I learned A Natural Woman was profiled in the December 2009 issue of BLACDetroit Magazine (see page 15 / It was both an honor and a thrill to see my novel featured on the same "Hot On The Shelf" page as the 35th Anniversary Edition of The Black Book and Amiri Baraka's latest--Razor.

I'm in the process of scheduling another blog radio interview and hope to share a few more of the details in the coming days. Also, I'm still taking submissions for the "Natural Woman: Our Hair, Our Stories" series. So, contact me if you're interested and please spread the word.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Natural Women: Our Hair, Our Stories (Treasure's Story)

Natural Women: Our Hair, Our Stories (S. "Treasure" W.)

(S."Treasure" W.'s Story) S. Treasure w.

Background / I am a 28 year old mother of four beautiful children. I am a native of Savannah, GA, who now resides in Warner Robins, GA. I am an author with three published works under my belt.

Hairstyle / At the present time I wear my hair in a natural, baby 'fro. My hair has been natural for about five years now. The decision was made final--after much contemplation--when I was pregnant with my third child. I put a perm in my hair and it felt as if my head was being squeezed by the biggest, strongest hands in the world. It hurt like mad, and so I said, "A'ight! Decision made! Now, let me get this mess out of my hair! LOL!

Reason for wearing a "natural" hairstyle / I'd been thinking of going natural months before I actually did. The reason I did was because I wanted my daughter, who was four at the time, to grow up proud of her hair. I didn't want her to feel as if God had made a bad choice during her creation. I didn't want her to feel pressured by the socieital definition of what looked good.

Support of your "natural" look / Pretty much everyone has been supportive of my natural look. Even those who thought it wouldnt' look good changed their tune once they saw me!

Negative reactions / Once, an ex of mine said I looked like a fuzzy peach. LOL! I was in desperate need of a trim. My own negative reaction, however, only happens when I'm trying to start my locks. Because of all the different textures I have going on--kinky on the sides, curly in the back and straight up top--I tend to get frustrated. That would be the reason I haven't suceeded in having them.

A woman with natural hair whose style you admire / I admire India Arie because she knows who she is and even sings about being proud of it.

Advice for women considering a natural hairstyle / My advice to any woman going natural is to make sure that you are comfortable in your own skin, or should I say hair! Don't be afraid and hold your head up with much confidence knowing tha nobody else has to agree with you. You are beautiful! Natural and all!

Additional commentary / I have come to feel empowered by my natural hair. Once that step was taken to go against the grain of society, I found that it allowed me to dig deeper into my being. I began to act like an individual and not just say that I am one. My visions became more important because I was trusting myself and the Spirit in me, instead of needing to be validated or accepted. I am naturally Me and that's okay.

Your definition of "a natural woman"? / A natural woman is one who is not afraid to just be! Who she is carries much weight with others because she's real. She's authentic. She's one who can be who she was created to be without doubting herself or thinking that anything about her is a mistake.

If you'd like to learn more about
S. "Treasure" W.
please visit her website

"S. Treasure W.'s Story" is part of an on-going series I created that focuses on African American women who wear their hair au naturel. Check the archives (see sidebar on the right) for past segments, features and profiles. If you'd like to participate in the series, please email me for details (go to my blog's profile page or visit my website for contact information). Your feedback is always appreciated. Please feel free to leave any questions or comments you might have about "S. Treasure W.'s Story," the "Natural Women: Our Hair, Our Stories" series or Black hair in general, in the section below marked for comments.


Monday, January 11, 2010

Give It Up For The Fellas!

If you listen to people they will attempt to convince you that men (African American men, in particular) don't read, buy books or attend book signings. I know better, if only because I've seen and experienced otherwise. The pictures below don't even capture all of the men who attended or stopped by my Memphis booksignings in December.
Johnnie Blue
Memphis, TN / December 2009
From Lori's Picture Collection
The gentleman dressed in red (Johnnie Blue) is someone I met last year at one of my signings for After The Dance. Even though he already had a copy of A Natural Woman, he made it his business to show up at my Waldenbooks signing just to chat. He's also a member of an all African American male book club, which is based in Memphis and meets regularly at the public library.
A young man buying a book for his girl.
Waldenbooks (Wolf-Chase Galleria)
Memphis, TN /December 2009
The gentleman dressed in yellow in the second picture was among the first that evening to stop and purchase a copy of A Natural Woman. He told me he was buying it for "his girl." I laughed and told him he must really be into this girl if he's still buying her gifts after Christmas. He smiled and told me he routinely bought her books as gifts and he got a lot of pleasure from doing so.
The earnestness I heard in his voice truly warmed my heart.
Lori & Mike
Waldenbooks (Wolf-Chase Galleria) / December 2009/ Memphis, TN
From Lori's Picture Collection
Lori & Eric's Crew
Waldenbooks (Wolf-Chase Galleria)
Memphis, TN / December 2009
From Lori's Picture Collection
Now, I will say, I do seem to be able to get more men to buy books in Memphis, TN than anywhere else. At this particular signing, I even had a gentleman of Asian descent stop and look at the cover of my book for a couple of seconds before disappearing. When he reappeared, he had his wife and their two adorable little girls with him. The gentleman not only wanted to buy a book, he also wanted me to take pictures with his girls. I think I know why. Interestingly enough, the Asian gentleman and his African American wife had produced two beautiful daughters who bore an uncanny resemble to the woman depicted on A Natural Woman's cover, thick, black head of hair and all.

Thursday, January 07, 2010

Being Prepared For The Unexpected . . .

A Few Members of the Jackson, TN Branch

of the Page Turners Book Club

Memphis, Dec. 2009

From Lori's Picture Collection

As a new author, you soon learn that book signings and author events seldom go as planned or expected. My best advice to the uninitiated is to shore up on your flexibility, patience and resilience because you will no doubt be needing all of those things and then some.

The pictures in this post are from a reading and discussion of my debut novel, After The Dance, which took place while I was in Memphis over the 2009 Christmas holiday. The event was arranged by my friend Damika and held in conjunction with a meeting of the Jackson, TN branch of the Page Turners Book Club (led by Lakia Newsom).

THE original plan had been for us to meet-up at a local downtown eatery, but for some unknown reason, the owner of the eatery decided not to open his doors at the pre-arranged, appointed time. From what I understand, dude wouldn't even answer his phone . . . However, a few folks swore they spotted ole boy cruising by and gawking at the crowd gathered outside the closed doors of his establishment . . . LOL.

Hey, sometimes, it's like that and the best you can do is say, "Lord have mercy! My people! My people!"

Anyway, my good friend, Stanford Lewis, who'd so graciously agreed to assist me with the reading that day (even though he was entertaining an out-of-town guest of his own) went over and beyond the call of duty, and out of the blue, offered up his HOUSE as an alternative spot for the event.

Interestingly enough, MY original plan hadn't even been for Stan to assist me with that particular event. But my dear old friend not only showed up, he came through for me in a BIG WAY and for that, I will be forever grateful.

In the end, I had a wonderful time meeting with the ladies and the gentleman of the Page Turners Book Club (Jackson, TN Branch) and discussing my work with them. In spite of the unexpected turn of events, each and everyone of them keep their cool and sense of humor about the situation. Now, that's what I call "CLASS" . . . somthing ole boy from the eatery could probably stand to learn a thing or two about.

A Few Members of the Jackson, TN Branch of the Page Turners Book Club Memphis, TN /Dec. 2009 From Lori's Picture Collection The Page Turners (Jackson, TN branch) Holding copies of After The Dance & A Natural Woman Memphis, TN / Dec. 2009 From Lori's Picture Collection

Monday, January 04, 2010

Just An Overview . . . From My 2009 Mid-South December Book Signings

Yes, I'm back in Charlotte. Brought a cold back with me. But I wanted to post a few pics from my Memphis & Southaven events. I'll have to fill you in on the details later . . .
Damika is one of my favorite fans from the Mid-South Area.
From Lori's Picture Collection
Memphis / Dec. 2009
Me & my homegirl, Charlotte. We attended LeMoyne-Owen College together back in the day and we've been the best of friends ever since! From Lori's Picture Collection Books-A-Million / Southaven, MS / Dec. 2009 Stan is another one of my LeMoyne-Owen buds. He helped me read an excerpt from my debut novel, AFTER THE DANCE. He read Carl & I read Faye. Um, I'm not sure why I'm holding my mouth that way . . . Perhaps I'm still in "Faye" mode . . . From Lori's Picture Collection Books-A-Million /Southaven, MS / Dec. 2009
One of the readings Stan and I did together took place at his house.
We had a great time with the Page Turner's Book Club! From Lori's Picture Collection
Memphis, TN / Dec. 2009

Just in case you're wondering, my hair in these pic is unstraightened and chemical free. Thanks to Angela at Jazz It Up hair salon in Memphis, my hair is pulled back into flat-twists. So you see, I am still very much A Natural Woman . . .