Welcome! This episode is another installment in our COVID catch-up series…I’ve been chatting with past guests on Planet Noun—to find out how they’ve been faring during this rough year…known as 2020.
This time, it’s a first time guest to the show…but THIS dude…I haven’t seen in SOOOOOOO long. We overlapped at college for a bit where we sang in the same choir…then poof! No sightings for many years—until Facebook came along. Still haven’t seen him in person since the 90s.
His name? Brian Watts… author and host of Knowledge is the Key on Envision Radio. He’s also an author and an educator. We talk about a range of things including how his love of travel led him to Kuwait, how getting pulled over by the police so many times factored into that decision and experiencing the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic in another country. We also talk about his book—which delves into how parents can help their children to help themselves.
Let’s get to it with Brian Watts…on Planet Noun!
Thanks for listening to Planet Noun where it’s all about the People, Places, Things and Ideas that teach us, prompt us to make a difference and do more with what life presents.
If you don’t remember Debbie Allen uttering those words on the television show Fame, we can’t be friends.
But seriously, what I’ve learned from interviewing folks on the 30 previous episodes of Planet Noun, is that there’s a cost to realizing goals and aspirations. Even when it seems like luck, trust and believe—there’s a lot of work that goes into being ready for that “lucky” break and being ready when opportunity calls.
Today’s guest is Keosha Turner—a woman who has a busy life, but she manages to write fantasy books in her spare time, like a page turner called The Disappearance of Magda Harden.
In this conversation, learn more about Keosha’s path to writing, and her writing plans.
I’ll have to circle back to see if anything has changed, because this episode was recorded a little before the COVID-19 ish hit the fan and a national emergency was declared in the United States.
So if you’re looking for something new to read—even as things are opening back up…check out Keosha Turner!
And good news—the second installment of the Magda Harden Series will be out in July…that means not only one, but two of Keosha’s books for your spring/summer reading list!
Oh, and if you don’t know that “Fame” reference I referred to earlier, that means I’m getting old…and you’re about to get schooled, lol:
There’s a quote that says — move boldly in the direction of your dreams. I love that one…but Sometimes we all need….wait…let me speak for myself….I need a nudge to get me moving in the direction of those dreams, aspirations, and goals written in all those notebooks around the house. Is this you? Do you know someone like this? Either way—keep reading.
My guest today is Doctor David Arrington, COO of Arrington Coaching…author of the book “Promotable: How to Demonstrate Your Value, Highlight Your Potential & Land Your Next Promotion.”
We talk about a bunch of things…from the book he released in February, to the role his family plays in the business, lessons learned along his life and business journeys, and lessons he hopes his children glean from his experiences.
So some disclosure here—I’ve known David for YEARS. We met through the woman who would become his wife. But I met her during our high school years in Los Angeles. We went to the same school for a time.
A few years later, we met David and they hit it off. I have the honor of being one of the people who can say — I was present as part of his origin story unfolded.
Well, let’s get to it with Dr. David Arrington of Arrington Coaching — right here on Planet Noun.
Learn more about what Dr. Arrington’s company can do for you and your organization at the Arrington Coaching website.
You can also explore the various courses available at David’s training site—Arrington Training. Offerings at Arrington Coaching include free and premium courses.
One good thing about books is you can read those during pandemics, when you have to shelter in place or are abiding by stay at home orders. Dr. Arrington’s paperback is available from Amazon. So is the e-book.
I could end this book review by right there, but it wouldn’t explain WHY I think Dr. David Arrington’s, founder of Arrington Coaching, has given readers a good thing.
Well, let’s get to that. Why should you snag a copy this book?
Reason #1: It’s a quick read. I read Promotable: How to Demonstrate Your Value, Highlight Your Potential & Land Your Next Promotion in two sittings—I put it down the first time only because it was time for bed. I had stuff to do the next day, but guess what? I used one of David’s suggestions during a meeting.
How about THAT?
Reason #2: I like this book because it doesn’t drone on and on, but gets straight to the point of how you can become more promotable and prove your value at work. It’s also packed with extra resources and links to additional reading material—including probing questions to ask yourself, and free worksheets to help you think through the things you desire in your career.
Another thing I enjoy is that the author’s personality shines though this-here work. Full disclosure: I’ve known this dude for decades, and his wife even longer than that. This book is not only a helpful read, it’s also a throwback journey down memory lane with film and old-school hip hop references!
Long story short: With so many books out there, it’ll be worth your while to pay attention to this one. Click the image to learn more.
So my sister and I met up for Essence Fest during the summer…it was the event’s 25th anniversary. And we had a BALL! We mainly went there this year for the music and the marketplace that showcased all of these black-owned and produced product.
So we were meandering through one aisle…and a gentleman approached us and started talking to us about our skin. We were both satisfied with our current products but wanted to learn more about this brand. Then he introduced us to the product line creator…who is today’s guest on Planet Noun…
So we tried the moisturizer on our hands…and were impressed with how our skin felt…supple-soft…and the product had no heavy scent…another plus for us.
Now sis and are loving Three Notes Skincare!
But how did this business get started? Simple…It started with an issue that needed a solution.
Take a listen to Tanzania Crew—founder of Three Notes Skincare—on Planet Noun.
00:00—A skin problem needs a solution
24:38—The meaning of Three Notes
35:30—Good news for the company
Today’s guest—Tanzania Crew—founder of Three Notes Skincare. She joined me from the Memphis area. We met at Essence Fest where there were LOTS of quality products for sale in their marketplace at the convention center in New Orleans.
Here are some other products and sites Tanzania mentioned during out chat:
Doughful website: An online marketplace for folks who create doughful deserts to those who plan events where such artfully crafted treats are served up and eaten. Learn more on the Doughful website: https://www.doughful.com
The Pupp Cleanse This book sparked from the time when Tanzania got a rash after the birth of one of her children. She developed an intense rash and chronicles the process she used to eradicate hers.
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Sometimes romantic relationships SUCK. Especially when they run off the rails…whether it be from growing differences between relatants or if someone just up and decides they don’t want you anymore, but they don’t bother to tell you about it.
Basically—when someone ghosts you.
Today’s guest experienced ghosting…she was the ghostee—if you will. Old boy turned her loose, but didn’t verbally communicate that to her—and wouldn’t communicate with her as she tried to get to the bottom of things.
So Lenina Mortimer wrote a book about it—to help someone else along the ghastly breakup recovery path.
Take a listen to Lenina Mortimer, author of the book “I Ain’t Thinking About You…The 8 Step Guide to Finally Letting Him Go Using the Breakup Funeral Method.”
Let’s get this mourning in motion…On Planet Noun.
1:50—Getting the un-holy ghost(ting)
3:09—Discovering the root of dysfunctional relationships
6:24—Creating the Breakup Funeral
14:51—Timing: When is it best to hold a breakup funeral?
19:20—Why separation is healthy after a breakup/Why the Breakup Funeral is a communal experience
25:54—Running into the ghosted
30:09—A love letter to black women
35:32—Self-care is crucial to breakup recovery
38:50—Steering clear of breakup traps
41:31—To forgive or not to forgive?And when?
Get your e-book copy
Find out more about Lenina Mortimer and her work! Let’s start with a link to her e-book “I Ain’t Thinking About You…The 8 Step Guide to Finally Letting Him Go Using the Breakup Funeral Method.”
Lenina’s also on social media. You can learn more about her coaching services there. Facebook Instagram
There’s a neighborhood in the dusty corners of the ‘hood, not terribly far from where the rich people live, where too many young teen girls have gone missing lately.
Then it happens—again.
This time, it’s 13-year-old Chanita Lords who has vanished from a neighborhood in Los Angeles known as The Jungle.
It’s another case that strikes Detective Elouise “Lou” Norton in the heart and gut because she grew up in that neighborhood. Norton also recently solved the case of her long-missing older sister Tori, whose bones had finally been discovered at a shopping plaza not far from where she was last seen all those years ago–part of the scant remnants of her last living day. Tori had been literally under their noses, yet just beyond reach.
So Lou takes another trip down memory lane to The Jungle, and to a family that still lives in the same apartments where Lou and her family used to reside.
Part of her walk includes revisiting and reuniting with families whose members were problematic on the bullying front back in the day. Now, it appears that foul attitudes and bullying jackassery were passed down to the next generation.
Lou manages to balance, though not always seamlessly, her unwavering dedication to police and detective work to keep other girls like Chanita from being snatched–while knowing how folks in her old neighborhood feel about the police and understanding why they do.
As part of the murder mystery backdrop, Rachel Howzell Hall continues to weave in relational dynamics between the characters in Lou’s life. From the ultra-tense sentiments she harbors toward her dad who ditched their family and is trying to make amends, to the tensions that arise based on cultural and environmental differences between the way Lou was raised and how her partner, Colin Taggert, grew up in Colorado.
But they still work well together as partners in crime solving, along with the other members of the homicide team. Part of the relational story includes a coming out and its aftermath between two longtime friends, and Lou’s attempts to juggle work and kind-sorta-but-not-really-but-still-kinda-sorta blossoming relationship with an Assistant District Attorney who seems like a great guy.
As for the murder mystery, Howzell Hall‘s writing, as always, keeps me guessing. Who are the main suspects? What’s up with the three mean hood chicks who lived in the same apartment complex as Chanita? Did they carry out one of those Lifetime-esque jealous cheerleader-type of murders and dump the body in a nearby park? What about the mom who had a roughneck boyfriend? The convicted pedophile who lived nearby? The girl’s counselor at school? Some of her schoolmates? Who, what-the-what, when, where, how and why?
Who killed Chanita and tried to deter investigators by injecting bug repellent into her thighs?
Who’s sending the ciphers and other mysterious notes? Who killed AGAIN? Is this a serial killer? What about the other missing girls? Who, when, where, what-the-what? How and WHY?
Well, that’s about all I can say without saying too much. But yes, is a page-turner! And I’m so gratified that I guessed the right killer! But the detectives thinning the field did make it easier, though.
To find out more, check out this read— Trail of Echoes. It was published in 2016.
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When you know what you do best, sticking to your guns—as singer-songwriter PJ Morton writes and sings—is how to get your life’s work done.
Today’s podcast guest is N’Namdi Olufemi Bryant, a singer-songwriter and host of the podcast “For the Love of A Cappella.” We get into some themes of his latest album during this episode. It’s titled “If We Could Only Talk.”
So N’Namdi and I had been talking about doing a podcast together for MONTHS, but as usual, life takes on its own plans. We were going to have him on before an album release earlier this year, then tech difficulties took over his project.
But the idea was still in both of our orbits. So—lookie here—I saw on Instagram that N’Namdi was in Washington, D.C. I said to myself—GIRL…..let’s make this happen! If you don’t ask him if he’ll have time for an interview—it’s an automatic no!
I asked if he had an time to chat. He said yes, and here it is! It all worked out.
So we met up at the Mansion on O Street. It’s a tourist destination located just off the bustling Dupont Circle, and has a fascinating trove of history tied to it. It’s also where N’Namdi sometimes performs.
There are so many themes to this podcast, and to preserve the integrity of the conversation flow, I tried not to do too much lifting and pasting of interview parts. We talk about negative self-talk, and what N’Namdi does to overcome that hurdle. Also—a discussion on imperfection and about the different ways he stretched his vocal range.
During our talk I learned some things I didn’t know in the decades since we last saw each other.
So let’s get right to the conversation, where we start talking about his podcast “For the Love of A Capella,”and where he got the idea for his program.
07:55-Why it took him more than 10 years to complete one particular song arrangement
11:05—The makings and stories behind his current project “If We Could Only Talk”
21:30—How Kermit the Frog came up in our conversation
26:06—The road to vocal range
31:51—The time we talked about skylines and smog
33:39—Homeless in Huntsville, Ala. and Nashville
49:59—The part about albums, hilarious singing telegram and touching ride-share driver stories
That was N’Namdi Bryant…singer, songwriter, musical arranger…lover of a cappella! His new project “If We Could Only Talk” and his other albums are available on various online platforms–including iTunes.
Whew! This book may be fewer than 60 pages, and it’s an enjoyable read—but a dense one. By that I mean there’s lots to reflect on… And reflect some more. This book is a workshop!
Based on the title, I imagined a sassy, finger snapping read. That’s in here—along with research-based recommendations. I love when sass and humor meet academic research. I really relate to the tone of this book.
I also love the humor! Plenty of that in here, too…along with hope. That’s what I really, really like—all the steps are meant to get folks to hope.
My favorite parts include Chapter 4 and practical ways to get to acceptance—radical acceptance—and no longer blaming ourselves when someone we’re dating “ain’t actin’ right.”
Oh, and the necessity of forgiveness to get to a place of healing, and looking ahead to what we want life to look like after we’ve fully moved on.
There are 13 chapters total in the book, eight which outline the path leading to and including The Breakup Funeral™. Each chapter will ask you to do some thought work that involves accessing your deepest emotions surrounding the breakup (or breakups–plural– if it applies?) and any past influences that may impact your dating choices today. There are writing prompts that provide an outlet for all of that self-exploration and excavation.
Lenina Mortimer, the book’s author, recommends going through the eight steps in order because each step is builds up to the recovery culmination—The Breakup Funeral™.
Lookie here, seriously consider (then get) this book if you’re grappling with a recent breakup. Heck, you may want to check it out even if a relationship ended a while ago, but you’re still grappling with some residual grief. Even if your emotions and your mind ‘been known’ the person ain’t coming back, even if you don’t WANT them back—but you haven’t found it in you to start the path forward to thriving again… This book is also for you.
“I Ain’t Thinking About You” gets 5 out of 5 planets!
Amazon announced today that all current and new Prime Student members can subscribe for access to the premium tier Amazon Music Unlimited for an extra $0.99 a month. This comes just ahead of the new academic year as students are preparing to head to campus.
Students who subscribe to the add-on service will have ad-free access to more than 50 million on-demand songs and curated playlists, and be able to tell Alexa what to play via the Amazon Music App for iOS or Android, and all devices where Alexa’s digital spirit lives.