Saturday, May 11, 2013

It is often said that there is nothing more precious, strong and enduring as a mother's love. As a mother and having the love of a wonderful mother, I must agree.
Today I have the honor of presenting to you the inner thoughts of two women I’m proud to call ‘friend’. So sit back have a cup or glass of your favorite beverage and enjoy ‘A Bouquet of Love’. And to all it applies -- Happy Mother's Day!
 All-Star Cheerleader
While I lay claim to the all-star cheerleading mother of all time, I know that what she did wasn’t easy.
She had four children of her own. Their personalities were so diverse that DNA testing would be required to validate with any degree of certainty that we were ‘blood kin’. Then take into account the countless first and second cousins, children of family friends that needed to live with us for a little while. Not one went hungry, without clean clothes, medical care, a place to sleep or felt different from her own children.
She stood four-foot ten inches, had an eighth grade education and more sense than many Ph.D. candidates. She remains an untiring cheerleader and encourager, teacher, leader and strong tower. And I remain in awe at all this ninety-three dynamo does.
So, today for all those times I forgot, for my brothers who didn’t think you knew how to raise a boy, to our cousins, friends and neighborhood children I want to not only say ‘Happy Mother’s Day’ but also extend a truly heartfelt ‘Thank you’.
Jeanette W. Hill is a playwright, director, producer and author. You can visit her online at:
Seedtime and Harvest Time
As a young child, I never even knew we were (by the country’s definition) “poor.” I never knew I was supposed to be inferior to anyone else. I never knew there were things I couldn’t or shouldn’t be able to do in life. I credit a lot of this to my wonderful mother. What she taught me as a baby. What she told me as I grew up. What she expected from me, knowing there was greater inside of me than what was in the world that would, without a doubt, try to stop me from being all God had called me to be.
My mother made sure that we, her children, knew we could do anything in life if we believed and worked hard enough for it. Growing up, I really thought we were rich. In all that ever mattered in life I suppose you can say that my siblings and I were. We had the love of a mother who worked diligently to ensure we had what we needed. Even greater than that: We had a mother who introduced us to the Lord. She and my father didn’t send us to church; they took us to church—the ultimate concept of showing, not telling as we continued our relationship with God the Father (who gave His only begotten Son that we might be saved), Jesus (who shed His blood for the remission of our sins that we might have eternal life in Heaven), and the Holy Spirit (our Comforter and Guide).
I have the privilege of being on both ends of motherhood. I am the daughter of Josephine Davis and the mother of Jeffery, Jeremy, and Johnathan. Being a mother, you quickly learn it’s no cakewalk by any means. There are things you may have never imagined you find you’ll have to deal with. But once you’ve given your heart away to that child, it’s worth whatever you may have to do or go through. Love is truly a powerful thing. And the love of a mother will move mountains if and when a mountain gets in the way.
Mothers are like those who work a garden. The ground might be hard, but she’ll take what is needed to break up the soil so she can plant those things she desires to grow. She takes the time to plant the seeds or bulbs in the ground, knowing that what she has planted will, out of necessity, be out of sight for a certain time. Equally, she knows that even though no one can see what has been planted or what is happening below the surface, something is happening. Roots are taking hold. A shell (if applicable) is being broken open so that the tender plant can begin to break ground and move upward. And as she waits patiently, she’ll see that budding plant spring forth.
But a mother knows that when she sees the first sign something is indeed growing, her work has only just begun. She must nourish it in order for it to grow and grow strong. She must work to keep weeds at bay. There are times she might have to pinch back or prune some offshoots, move those plants that are too crowded some distances from each other. Not to hurt the thing that’s growing, but to make it bear bigger and stronger fruit. She’s diligent in keeping the bugs away, as certain parasites can eat…destroy what is promising to eventually produce. Then comes the time when what was planted has matured and is producing. She picks fruit from it and smiles, seeing that the produce has turned out even more wonderfully that she may have ever imagined. And in those times when there are problems with the fruit, she works to save what she can, knowing full well the effort that went into this labor of love. If it can be saved, she will do whatever she can to accomplish just that.  

So to the mothers who have given so much,
to mothers who may not know how much you’re appreciated or loved, to the mothers who have wondered how you made it through: Please allow me to say on behalf of all the lives you have touched in a positive way, “Thank you.” Continue to be steadfast, unmovable, always abounding, and know that (in the end) your labor will not be in vain. After seedtime, there will be a time of harvest. Talk about a bouquet of love!   
Vanessa Davis Griggs is the author of 15 novels (which includes The Blessed Trinity Series) with number 16, The Other Side of Divine, releasing July 30, 2013. She also contributed ten devotionals to the Sister in Faith Holy Bible released by Thomas Nelson.
Visit her website:


Thursday, May 9, 2013

The Watsons Go to Birmingham -- 1963

The Hallmark Channel is releasing an original movie, The Watsons Go to Birmingham, based on the works of Christopher Paul Curtis.
The story is of the Watson family who travel from Flint, Michigan in the summer of 1963. It will be the same year that four little girls die in the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church Bombing.
The movie is expected to air in September. Ironically, September 15, 2013 is the 50th observance of that bombing.      
I’ll also keep you abreast of the progress of ‘Tell Them’, my one woman monologue as Denise McNair, the youngest victim of that bombing.


Monday, May 6, 2013

From the Writer’s Well

 What’s Your Fit?
Last month we spoke of the necessity of turning the often told tale into one that is uniquely yours. Today I’d like to take this a bit further by asking this simple question – What’s your fit?
By that I’m asking, what’s your comfort zone? What's your skill set?
Far too often authors will jump on the ‘popular’ bandwagon in order to cash in on the latest literary trend. My response to that is to be careful. Readers have an expectation of what they want from specific genre's. If you haven't truly mastered the art, wait until you have. Your reader deserves that.

Does that mean only write what you know? To a degree, yes. But what I’m really suggesting is that you not jump head-long into a genre without the proper tools, (writing style, formula knowledge, a compelling rather than lukewarm story).
That said, there are two questions to consider as you ponder crossing over into something new. 
What Is My Fit?
Most have the desire to write the great American novel. Few will accomplish that goal, but there’s no harm in trying. Begin by making a list of your strengths and weaknesses. Do so by employing all the honesty that’s within you. Share that list with a trusted (honest) colleague for their input.
How Do I Grow Beyond Where I Am?
Knowledge truly is power. Taking writing classes, attending literary conferences, reading online and print articles and/or joining a writing group, can be quite helpful. You might even consider writing practice stories and having them critiqued. Most important – read in the genre you're considering writing in. 

There are many more outlets to pursue in your quest to grow as a writer. Space does not allow me to list them in detail here. However, I would be remiss if I didn't leave you with this one last suggestion – write your vision.

Setting your sights and efforts on becoming the best writer you can be is admirable. As admirable as it is you'll be better armed for the task with the assistance of a written plan that includes the weaknesses identified on your original assessment list.

That written mission is your roadmap leading to the completion of your goal. Be mindful to not just write it, but to also go over it as often as possible. And, don’t become impatient. Rarely will the manifestation of the new craft materialize overnight.