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I am a mommy, scribe, and middle-school English teacher. I am trying to cope with being separated from my beloved. DoUWantMore? email me: theprisonerswife@gmail.com

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I'm moving!

Monday, August 31, 2009

Hello Friends,

After months of thinking about it, I've finally gone and done it. I'm letting go of this blogger blog & I'm moving to my very own dot com. So update your links and meet me over at my new place:

This Side of the Wall

So what does this mean?
Ain't nothing changing but the name (and address).

If you are already linked to this blog, in a few days, all clicks to this address will automatically lead you to the new spot. So if you're a little lazy (like me) and don't update your links, you'll still be able to reach me.

Also, all of the old posts and comments you've left over the past 3 years, are also making the move. So if you enjoyed a post, poem, or a comment, it'll be there as well.

So update your links, tell your friends, & join me on This Side of the Wall!

Posted by the prisoner's wife On 2:03 PM 2 comments

What Are You Waiting For?

Monday, August 17, 2009

Hello, I'm TPW and I'm a procrastinator!

*hangs head in shame*

For as long as I can remember I have put things off until the last possible minute. When I was younger, I would wait until my mom was threatening me to clean my room. In school, I was always the one burning the midnight (and sometimes 4am) oil to finish papers and projects. Even now, I'll wait until the night before (sometimes) to plan lessons for my students, even though I know that it sucks to stay up so late these days. But I just can't seem to stop...why?

I was on Twitter (of course, right?) when @FunkyBrownChick shared an interesting link about procrastination. Although that article was a little over my head (too much scientific-speak, I mean I'm smart, but I've been on summer break!), but I did find a whole slew of articles aimed at understanding and combating procrastination. One of the articles, "Ending Procrastination" jumped out at me because I need to learn this skill badly.

Presently, I'm sitting here blogging, when I should be purchasing a plane ticket. You see, the munchkin and I have a date with beloved on Friday(!!) and I still don't have our tickets. This always happens. I wait and wait to buy them in the hopes that the price will go down (it never does), and then end up overpaying at the last minute because I'm worried something better will come along. Worry, according to the article, is another form of procrastination that stops people from acting. I totally get it. I'm not a huge worry wart, but when it comes to buying airline tickets? I worry about everything. But WHY? What am I so worried about? Clearly, I end up overpaying in the end, so it can't be the money, right?

The article on ending procrastination gives 8 strategies for reducing procrastination and I hope they are magic bullets.

1. Make a list of everything you have to do.
2. Write a statement of intention.
3. Set realistic goals.
4. Break it down into specific tasks.
5. Make your task meaningful.
6. Promise yourself a reward.
7. Eliminate tasks you never plan to do. Be honest!
8. Estimate the amount of time you think it will take you to complete a task. Then increase the amount by 100%.

Those things sound great in THEORY, but I know myself. I will procrastinate on making the list and end right back up in the same spot. I am starting to think procrastination has a lot to do with fear. Check it, I procrastinate on writing because I'm afraid to fail. I feel my writing (or myself?) isn't good enough. I harbor several other self-doubts, so I understand that sort of emotional procrastination. But what's with the airfare?

Are you a procrastinator?
What have you been putting off that you want to do?
Got any advice? I need it!

Posted by the prisoner's wife On 9:01 PM 8 comments

A Little Link Love - 8.14.09

Friday, August 14, 2009

"Fabric of my heart".
Originally uploaded by SharkeyinColo

It’s Follow Friday on Twitter again, and even though the day is young, I already know I’m most likely not going to participate (yes, I’m still lazy). But, I still like to show love, so here are some interesting posts that I came across this week. Hopefully they’ll be as useful and interesting to you as they were to me.

Drums, please!

1) Four Hour Work Week Blog—Tim Ferriss, the author of the bestseller, The Four Hour Work Week, had a great post (with accompanying video presentation) about how to drive traffic to your blog. This week I’ve really been thinking about my site and how I can make it better. With the help of tech maven Adria Richards, I’m getting ready to move this blog to a dot com (exciting, no?), in the hopes that I’ll have more control over its appearance and also increase my readership. Although I’m not trying to make money off of this blog (through advertisements), I am trying to work on my writing in the hopes that I can parlay this experience into more writing opportunities, namely a book. So if you’re serious about your blog and taking it to the next level, you want read Tim’s post: “How to Build a High-Traffic Blog Without Killing Yourself”

2) GG Spirit Writes—This week GG sent me a tweet asking me to read her post, “Fun is Not Fun When You Spell It,” because I’m an educator. She hoped I’d have some advice to give regarding some issues her son was having in school. You see, last school year her son’s eyes were opened to the grimier side of 3rd grade. You know, the one in which kids drop the f-bomb and F-U-N stands for F**K – U- N**gas. Not cool. GG has a great relationship with her son and encourages him by giving him books highlighting positive aspects of black culture, but she asks is that enough? Share your advice with her.

3) But You’re A Girl—I met technology diva Adria Richards at this year’s BlogHer conference, and every since we hung out in Lucky Strike lane # 7, she’s been my go-to girl for all things tech. Not only is she helping me move from Blogger to a Wordpress powered dot com, she also helps people to get in touch with their inner techie through offering online trainings. In her post, “Latest Ain’t Always The Greatest,” Adria talks about the usefulness of old technology. In a world where we’re always looking for the next big thing, sometimes it’s better to just stick with what you got.

4) Press Rewind If I Haven’t—Lately I’ve had a love/hate relationship with hip hop. Between Wayne’s atrocity “Whip It Like A Slave” and the garbage that passes for music these days, I stay listening to my ipod. That way I can slip comfortably into the headnod of my favorite artists (Mos Def, Nas, Tribe, De La, Badu, etc). Press Rewind houses archived articles from The Source and lets me get my reminisce on in the privacy of my own home. Recently they posted a Sure Shot from 1994 that feature Nas. Oh how I love Nasir Jones. Every Saturday night I’d listen for his voice on the “Wake Up Show” anthem, and I listened to “Illmatic” so much over the course of 94-95, I popped two tapes. Seeing this article from ’94 takes me back to when music was GOOD and I was discovering my voice.

5) Color Online—Color Online is a blog dedicated to spreading the word about authors of color. This week I had the pleasure of writing a review of Carleen Brice’s new novel, Children of the Waters, for the website. This book was a wonderful read and I encourage you to visit Color Online to check out the review and pick up the book (and not just because I wrote it either!).

Have a link in need of some love? Share it in the comments section!

Posted by the prisoner's wife On 1:15 AM 3 comments

Wordless Wednesday: Do You Still Believe?

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

200 days in, do you still believe?

In his ability and in ours to get it right?

Share your thoughts on where we are (and where you think we need to go)

Posted by the prisoner's wife On 11:51 AM 3 comments

Notes from the ER

Monday, August 10, 2009

I can count the number of times I’ve been in an emergency room on my left had. Once when I was 12, when I was pregnant, when the munchkin was 5 weeks old and fell (ok, I dropped him) out of his bouncy chair, and again last night.

Flip flops and three-year-olds do not mix. Yesterday, the munchkin was running around my grandmother’s living room., tripped, and hit his face on her wooden coffee table. At first, I thought he would bounce back up, like usual, but then I heard the screams. Then shrieks. Then blood. Blood. Blood. Blood.

I was shook.

I’ve never heard my child scream so loudly in my entire life. Blood poured out--all over my shirt, all over his face. It was crazy. Seeing him in so much pain nearly broke me. My heart opened, and I almost cried myself, but I held it in, not wanting to scare him even more.

And then we were off to the ER, and I assumed, to wait until…...

We’ve all heard the stories, people dying while waiting to be seen by an ER doctor have been reported all across the country. Here in Los Angeles, one county hospital (“Killer King” no less) closed after it was found to provide substandard treatment to patients (mainly poor w/ no insurance). Which brings me to the health care debate happening all over the country right now.

Until now, I’ve pretty much stayed out of it. The specifics of the bill being kicked around by Congress is so complicated my head hurts. I try to focus on things that directly effect me (and that I can understand), but sitting in the ER waiting room brought it all home.

I have health care. I’ve always had health care, except for the time I needed it most.

When I found out I was pregnant, I didn’t have health insurance and I couldn’t afford it either. I was finishing grad school and had just been laid off from my job. Had it not been for PCAP, a program in NYC that provides free prenatal care for low/no income pregnant women, I would have been shit out of luck.

The center of the storm surrounding the health care debate seems to stem from people who have health care, not wanting to extend it to those that do not. The opposition throws around the term “socialism” to stop any sensible debate about why all Americans shouldn’t have a CIVIL right to health care. I don’t get it. Those who don’t want to extend health care to the uninsured also find themselves in ER waiting rooms, waiting to see doctors who are busy with non-emergency health issues, right? So why not make sure we’re all healthy? If everyone is insured, which allows people to not only see a doctor when they’re sick, but to get preventative care, it makes us all healthier and more productive.

So what is this debate really about?

What would you like to see in a Health Care bill?
Do you think everyone should be insured?
Been to the ER lately? How long did you wait?

Posted by the prisoner's wife On 3:12 PM 10 comments

A Little Link Love

Friday, August 07, 2009

(photo cred: weblogcartoons.com)

If you've been reading this blog lately, you know how much I love Twitter. Every Friday, without fail, Twitter explodes with tons to tweets dedicated to recommending new people to add to your list. Follow Friday is great because it allows you to explore new people that you may have missed before. I love tweet hopping to see if the people I'm following, follow good people too. But I rarely participate in the lovefest. I'm lazy and it's too time intensive (or maybe I'm just REALLY lazy), and I can never narrow down my list to a few. I dig 'em all!

But, in the spirit of Follow Friday, I'm going to highlight a few cool posts around the web that made me think, enraged me, made me laugh, or were just plain ol fun. If you think you've got a great post worth sharing, please leave a comment with a link (but also leave a comment, cuz you don't want to be rude, right? Right!)

And now to the main event....

1) The FreshXPress--Through Twitter, I recently jumped on "The FreshXPress" a blog that tackles Pop culture, politics, love, and everything people want to read. Yesterday I read the post, "Lil’ Wayne,“Whip It Like A Slave,” and the Crisis of Coonery" and counldn't believe what I was reading. I try my hardest NOT to listen to Lil Wayne, just because his annoys the shit out of me, but I couldn't belive he had the AUDACITY to make a song called, "Whip It Like A Slave." For real?

2) Model Minority--My girl M.Dot always comes through with thought provoking posts that make my head hurt (in a good way). In the post, "So Apparently, I'm A Man" she discusses the fact that strong women, who assert themselves and what they want are considered masculine, because those traits (go getters, independent, opinionated) are equated with masculinity. Deep.

3) Slate--I normally don't read Slate too tough, but I saw a link via (you guessed it) Twitter and was completely enthralled in the post, "Does This Purple Mink Make Me Look Gay?" This article tackles the rise of the phrase "no-homo" in hop hop and how it may (or may not) change the way homosexuals are viewed in the culture. Personally, I can't stand the phrase. Many of my students (male and female) have taken to saying it. One student even said, "Can I borrow a pencil? No homo." Who knew pencils were gay? (They do make me happy though. hmm).

4) Green Lite Bites--So I'm trying to eat healthy again. I'm cooking more & eating out less. But sometimes I get bored with what I'm making and need some inspiration. I usually paruse AllRecipies.com, but the other day I stumbled on Green Lite Bites and found myself drooling. The dishes Roni cooks up look so good! If you're a foodie (or you just want something else to cook besides black beans and rice *raises hand*), check it out.

5) Aliya S. King--Ok, so I admit it. I'm not perfect! *gasp* But neither are most people. Aliya's post, "The Guilty Admission: I suck. That is All." was a funny look at how a writer/mommy/wife tries to manage it all. I found myself nodding at her lack of domestic mastery. I'm sure some of you will be able to relate!

the other day i mentioned Ananada Leeke and I would be discussing our experiences at this year's BlogHer conference on her radio show, "Sisterhood, The Blog Radio". If you missed the live broadcast, I'm bringing it to you here. Enjoy!

Got a link in need of some love? Leave a comment in the comments section!

Posted by the prisoner's wife On 1:43 PM 2 comments

A Little Self-Promotion

Thursday, August 06, 2009

(photo cred: JanBurke.com)

The internets have opened up a lot of opportunities for me and after attending this year's BlogHer conference and meeting so many women who are just DOIN' IT, I feel compelled to.do.something.

It's easy for me to procrastinate. For me, procrastination is like breathing, I do it automatically. So to step up and put myself (and my words) out there is kinda scary. But in the spirit of trying new shit, I'm kicking procrastination aside (for now lol) and getting my productive groove on.

Last week, I shot Susan of Color Online a message asking if she would like me to write a book review for her site. Color Online is a very popular book site that focuses on authors of color, and I've been looking for ways to expand my writing. I love reading and I love great fiction, so writing about things I love come natural to me. Thankfully, she was happy to have me write a review, so be on the look out for my review of Carleen Brice's second novel, Children of the Waters.

Another step of faith I've taken (I'm telling y'all, it was a productive day), was to reach out to a FABULOUS woman I met during BlogHer. She runs a site for hip black women and I noticed that, despite having several contributors, she was the one doing most of the writing. I figured, a busy sista like her MUST be tired (or up all night), so I shot her a tweet and asked if she needed writers. To my surprise, she was open to me writing for her site and so I'll be contributing really soon. (But this brings up a whole other can of worms: do I break out of my anonymity and write under my government name? I will explore this in another post. Stay tuned).

As the old saying goes, a closed mouth won't get fed. Far too long I've had ideas, wanted to do things but failed to just open my mouth and ASK for opportunities. No mas! I'm tired of cluttering my mind with shoulda, woulda, couldas that lead to nothing but self doubt and regret.

Even though I'm about to go back to work in a month, that doesn't mean I have to put my own personal goals on the back burner. I've been saying--for the longest--that I want to earn a living writing. I want to be able to work from home, be there for my son, and do what I love most: write. It's not gonna be easy to fulfill my dreams, but it's certainly not impossible. A little more hustle, and perhaps a little less sleep, and I'll get there.

One last note of self-promotion...

Tomorrow evening ( Thursday, August 6th @ 8pm EST/5pm PST) you can catch me chatting it up with Ananda Leeke on her radio show, "Sisterhood, the Blog Radio," talking about my experiences at this year's BlogHer conference, my definition of sisterhood, and what inspires me. Please listen, call in, comment, and show her (and me!) some love. {listen to the show HERE}

What is ONE thing you'd like to accomplish today, this week, this year?
Have you stopped living in the land of shoulda, woulda, couldas & stepped out to do what you want to do?
Got an interesting post or project? Drop a link in the comments section so we can check it out

Posted by the prisoner's wife On 12:00 AM 7 comments