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Day 1- Digital Library

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Okay, I have a ton of DVDs, Blue-ray, and movies. These are bulky and dust collectors in my home. I have bought movies with the digital copies and never cataloged them in one place. Today, that is what I am doing.

‘Movies Anywhere’ will combine movie libraries across iTunes, Google Play, Amazon, and VUDU from multiple studios. This also meas when you are traveling, and just want a couple of hours of downtime, your movies can go with you.

It’s easy and simple. Walmart even has Vudu, it’s own version of this. You can save the Red Box fees and just from the comfort of your own home, rent a movie for up to 30 days in some cases.

Today, Vudu is even having a 48 hour sale on movies and you can save up to 75%. There may only be one or two movies in there you want to actually watch, but ya gotta start somewhere.

You can even buy the digital movie in any store or online and decide which service you want to stream it to like Google Play or Amazon.

How cool is that?

So, what are you waiting for, let’s get started. Tomorrow, we are on to the junk drawer in the kitchen.

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Developing an Appreciation

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It is difficult in a day and age when so much is accessible at your fingertips to appreciate the thoughtfulness of a gift that was created by hand. A one-click world desensitizes us on the beauty of an individual sitting behind a desk or table, creating a gift, filled with thought, for the recipient to appreciate in the years to come.

Today, I want to share with you a gift I was given in 2005, that initially I scoffed at, but over the years, have developed a deep sense of appreciation. Trust me, there have been a few crappy gifts that I’ve gotten, which, I’ve learned to smile and be grateful. It was the thought after all, but sometimes you have to ask, what the hell were you thinking?

My first year as a marketing assistant at the Marriott, my boss, the Marketing Director gave each of us a homemade Christmas CD.

Yeah, pretty much.

My thoughts were, you are the marketing director. You have unlimited access to companies, promotional materials, sample products and more. All year, you could have easily ordered one sample item and put in the marketing closet. Instead, you give us a home made Christmas CD. We aren’t dating. Why you giving me a mixtape? To make matters worse, it was basic.

This basic.

This is the one from 2006. The first CD, labeled Christmas 2005, was just as rudimentary.

I took it home and showed my husband, who immediately asked, is anything good on it?

Truthfully, I didn’t know. I was too busy focusing on how cheap the man was and after all my hard work, why he didn’t think i deserved an actual gift. Hell, an extra day off would have been cool with me. However, Hubby said something which made me pause. “You two are always talking music.”

It was true. Although my boss and I saw eye to eye on many marketing strategies, a few matters and approaches to campaigns we agreed to disagree. When we reached an impasse, he would change the subject to music. Music is what we had in common, so I played the CD and guess what, I loved it.

That stupid CD is now part of my holiday traditions. At dinner time every year, I play the one he gave me as a present in 2006. At least that gift has the songs labeled.

It is hard to develop an appreciation for what others deem worthy to provide you as a gift. At what point do we cherish the idea of being thought of for another to take the time and make an effort.

Wherever you are Mr. DeSandy, thank you for the Christmas present. Over the years, I have really developed an appreciation for your annual gift.

Lost in the library: what to read next?

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National Book Club Conference ‘Book of the Year’ Award Winner

From her more than three hundred appearances for film and television, stage and cabaret, performing comedy or drama, as an unforgettable lead or a scene stealing supporting character, Jenifer Lewis has established herself as one of the most respected, admired, talented, and versatile entertainers working today.

This “Mega Diva” and costar of the hit sitcom black-ish bares her soul in this touching and poignant—and at times side-splittingly hilarious—memoir of a Midwestern girl with a dream, whose journey took her from poverty to the big screen, and along the way earned her many accolades.

With candor and warmth, Jenifer Lewis reveals the heart of a woman who lives life to the fullest. This multitalented “force of nature” landed her first Broadway role within eleven days of her graduation from college and later earned the title “Reigning Queen of High-Camp Cabaret.”

In the audaciously honest voice that her fans adore, Jenifer describes her transition to Hollywood, with guest roles on hits like The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air and Friends. Her movie Jackie’s Back! became a cult favorite, and as the “Mama” to characters portrayed by Whitney Houston, Tupac Shakur, Taraji P. Henson, and many more, Jenifer cemented her status as the “Mother of Black Hollywood.”      

   

When an undiagnosed menatl illness stymies Jenifer’s career, culminating in a breakdown while filming The Temptations, her quest for wholeness becomes a harrowing and inspiring tale, including revelations of bipolar disorder and sex addiction.

Written with no-holds-barred honesty and illustrated with more than forty color photographs, this gripping memoir is filled with insights gained through a unique life that offers a universal message: “Love yourself so that love will not be a stranger when it comes.”

My favorite book fairs

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There are book conferences.

Then there are family gatherings.

Welcome to IRAE!

Every year we gather in a warm city in Florida to meet, chat and refresh our souls. These are my friends. My family. The women who inspire me everyday to be the best writer I can be.

“People say, ‘What advice do you have for people who want to be writers?’ I say, they don’t really need advice, they know they want to be writers, and they’re gonna do it. Those people who know that they really want to do this and are cut out for it, they know it.” — R.L. Stine

I hope to see you at IRAE in April in Daytona Beach Florida.

Click here for more information.

Book signing tour for my latest work

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I think one of the hardest parts about being an author is actually getting out there and meeting the readers. Your first thought is what if they hate it? You can’t escape.

However, I have been blessed.

“I believe myself that a good writer doesn’t really need to be told anything except to keep at it.” — Chinua Achebe

From Florida, to New Orleans and home to Birmingham, I got out there and met the readers. I love you all. Thank you for letting me grow into the author I really want to be, and hopefully, I can grow into the writer I was meant to be.

“If the book is true, it will find an audience that is meant to read it.” — Wally Lamb

Girl Crushing on Authors

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I love to read as much as I love to write and yes, I fan girl my face off when I get to hang with my favorite authors.

I finally had the opportunity to meet this lady. I tell you I fan girled like a fool. I lost all of my professionalism for a moment and had to take a selfie with her in my car. I know. I know. But it’s Kimberla!

“Everybody walks past a thousand story ideas every day. The good writers are the ones who see five or six of them. Most people don’t see any.” – Orson Scott

There is nothing more awesome than hanging with your crew and people who get you.