Monday, December 22, 2014

Happy Holidays - Time to resolve to be kinder

As we prepare to celebrate the holidays, remember to include kindness in your holiday menu.  With so much bad news in the world, use the occasion of the HOLYdays to resolve to be kinder, more trusting, more loving and more gracious.  Try it on Christmas and extend it to each day thereafter.

Merry Kindness


Happy New You!

Monday, December 1, 2014

Just adjust

OK.  I'm dating a guy with glaucoma. He has difficulty seeing -- and especially at night.  At first, when he made that admission, I thought it would be a problem.  He couldn't accompany me to evening events without compromising his health

Then it occurred to me!  We can do afternoon activities.  And, we have had so much fun going to Museums, tests, and other places that close at 5:00PM.  And, most venues do.

So, with a little adjustment, and a turnaround in my perspective, we have discovered that there is a lot of fun to be had -- before the street lights go on!

It's just a matter of making a small adjustment.

Friday, November 28, 2014

Eliminate the stress during the holidays - JUST SAY NO!

All right.  I know holidays are connecting with families but if the family posses a problem, eliminate the stress and don't do it.

My family is dwindling and only my nephew and his wife remain.  They invited me to Thanksgiving with her family. This group is very strange. One brother is an ex-convict. Her sister is a certified schizophrenic and another aunt is an alcoholic.

After being with them for a gathering last summer, and in other settings through the years, I knew I can only take them in small doses -- not over 30 minutes.

So, when I got the invite to Thanksgiving, my memory harkened back to those times when I could barely tolerate them.  So, I decided to minimize the stress and say NO.

I went, instead to dinner at a friend's where I had a great time.

It made me realize that you have to keep yourself sane.  So, if it's going to be stressful, don't do it.  JUST SAY NO!

Friday, November 14, 2014

You can have fun in the daytime

I'm dating a guy who has glaucoma and doesn't like driving at night.  That, at first, stunted our fun.  I would go on to my evening functions solo.  But I wanted to share these experiences with him. Then, it occurred to me that, with a few adjustments, we can have fun doing day things.  So, instead of nighttime fun, we frequent museums, matinees and recreational centers that have activities during the day.  So, we've made it happen and, on the upside, it allows me to go to bed satisfied because I've lived up to the phrase: "Have a good day."  And, I've had one…during the day.

Friday, October 31, 2014

Extend a hearty congratulations

When someone has done a good job…don't hold back with the praise.  Recently a quasi competitor of mine hosted an awesome event that attracted all of the city's A-listers.  It was the Harlem Fine Arts Show.

I was so impressed with her ability to gather all of these stars in one setting.  Instead of getting jealous or envious, I sent her a lot of luv.

And so, on this blog, I congratulate Lynn Norment on a phenomenal event at the Merchandise Mart.  Based on the smiles and the tremendous networking as well as the tremendous talent the artists exhibited, she deserves Buddah Bows!

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Fate is my friend

I was recently in Detroit supporting a sorority sister as she and her husband opened their spa.  It was an awesome event and I was so glad I made the trip.  Just the smile that greeted me made the trip worth it.  But, while I was there, I visited the Wright Museum of African American History.  It was a beautiful visit and the exhibits, memorabilia, artifacts and the overall presentation of the Museum are beyond words. I've always felt Karma was with me because, as I was about to visit my final exhibit and enter the area, a lady said:  "Hi Soror!"  Well, I was carrying me AKA bag and she is a member.  We chatted and it turned out that she is the Vice President of the Museum.  From there, it was nothin' but love.  She gave me a personal tour of the Museum, and shared historic nuggets that I never would have learned.  To top it all off, she gave me a ride to the train depot where I caught the train home.  Had I been a minute early or late, I'd have missed her as she was on her way to her office. It was a memorable visit that became a delightful experience because of this fortuitous meeting.  I've introduced her to AKAs in the area and she made the outreach to them. A fortuitous twist of fate created this meeting and resulted in a new bond and a lifelong friend.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Stay one more minute

I get anxious at events and want to leave.  That happened recently at a party. It was for a radio friend and I got cranky during the tribute speeches and decided to leave.  But, then I decided to stay one more minute.  There were a lot of friends there I hadn't seen.  So, I decided if I'd stay one more minute, I can get past the speeches and connect with old friends and new prospects.  So, while the speeches were droning on, I kept saying "One more minute."  It was worth it for the new friends I met, the old friends I re-connected with and the new prospects I could tap.  It was just worth it for me to say "Stay one more minute."

Friday, October 3, 2014

It's an investment-- Not a cost

I recently hosted a dinner party for former clients, friends and prospects.  It was a way of saying "I may be retired, but I am available for select assignments."  There were about 20 people there and it was a perfect platform for me to be a hostess and to use the power of my hosting position to make my point.  Immediately, I got an assignment.  It paid for the dinner -- and then some.  So, the dinner was an investment -- not a cost!

Friday, September 26, 2014

Seeing Life through the eyes of a child

As part of my retirement, I've started going to places I've always wanted to go to.  The other day I visited Kohl's Children's Museum.  While it is a place geared for pre-kindergarteners, I got a lot of delight out of seeing the sights and sounds of the world, through the energy, eyes and ears of a child.  It was a cathartic experience that made me feel so uplifted being around those who have not become jaded.  How refreshing.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Reconnecting is so important

Last Saturday, I reconnected with my Alpha Kappa Alpha team.  Members were in town for a Committee meeting that I'd convened many times.  They didn't get out of their meetings until past 10PM but I resisted the urge to stay at home and to meet them and make the trek Downtown to their hotel.   What a glorious time I had catching up, reminiscing and basking in the love of those I've touched.  So, whenever possible, and regardless of the inconvenience, make time to reconnect with those you love.  It can be memorable and restorative.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Sometimes you have to wait for second impressions

I don't know if I dazzle on first impressions.  So, I've always waited for second meetings.  Now, I'm single and many years ago,  I dated a guy who my friends insisted I'd like.  My first impression could be summed up in one word:  DUH!

Again, my friends insisted that I go out again.  OK, I said.  On the second date, I saw him in a different light and that led to three, four, five and more dates and a long term relationship that ended after five years -- and amicably.

On Friday, I again went on a first date and I felt the guy was a tad bit country.  But, then I remembered my friend from years ago and decided to give it a second chance and look at him through different eyes.  Country can be charming if flipped over and can lead to another C - commitment.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Do your due diligence

I had a great time taking Amtrak home from Mississippi but I didn't do my due diligence. I assumed there was wifi as I'd planned to do a lot of work.  No wifi.  I also didn't know that because I had a Pullman car, I got free meals. I didn't eat dinner because I didn't like the menu and went, instead to the cafe car and paid. Had I known about the free meal, I'd had found SOMETHING on the menu to like. But I did get breakfast. But, it was OK.  I was not distracted by the Internet so I enjoyed the scenery, read books and the rocking of the train helped me to sleep better.  And, it was another scratch off my bucket list.

Monday, September 1, 2014

Caroline Wozniacki and Serena Williams - Besties inspire friendship model

I love those two tennis players.  After being dumped by Rory McIlroy with such lack of grace, Caroline has regained her tennis form..(as has he and his golf.)  The fight she waged in her match against Maria Sharapova was heroic and inspiring.  But, equally wonderful is the way Serena embraced Caroline after the public dumping.  Even though both are competitors, the friendship and caring Serena exhibited out-trumped the drama on the courts.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Celebrate every small victory for the bigger reason

My great nephew, at seven years old,  celebrated communion in May, my great niece graduated from eighth grade in June and my niece received her Master's degree yesterday.  On each occasion, we had a big family party complete with balloons, food, cake, and LOVE LOVE LOVE!  In each instance, it was a great time to uplift a family member and showed they were love.  And, it was a wonderful occasion to bring the family together in love.

Friday, August 8, 2014

Rethinking a long-time relationship

When friction begins to surface in a relationship, it is time to reevaluate it.  My handyman has become surly and unpleasant of late.  Yesterday, when he displayed a little attitude, I decided it is time to get the ledger and look at the pros and cons. If the cons outweigh the pros, it is time to gauge if the relationship is worth keeping.  Sometimes, as Dwyane Wade did, it is time to take a break.

Sunday, August 3, 2014


I'm big on loyalty and I abide by an honor code. If I am close to you, or if I was responsible for putting you in a position of prominence, I feel I should be drawn into the inner circle. Failing to do so is the beginning of the bridge being burned.  Recently, I got a company a $20,000 a month account for a client I worked with.  When I asked about one particular aspect of it, he refused to tell me…citing confidentiality.  I told him I would not share the information, which I was bound to discover anyway.  They, again, refused.  I was charged with determining if they should continue the contract beyond the initial 90 days.  I nixed it because I had to rescue them because they had difficulty learning the culture of the organization.  So, I did a lot of rewrites and overhauls. But, I am convinced that had they been loyal, and shared the information, which I knew by then, I would have tried to save the account for them. So, that scintilla of disloyalty cost them.

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Friday, August 1, 2014

Congratulate yourself!

Today is the first of the month and my official duties as PR person for Alpha Kappa Alpha are over.  Looking back over eight years of ups, downs, in-betweens and many crises, I can say that there were joys and rewards amid the tumult.  Today, I reflected on the strides I'd made and decided to congratulate myself!

Monday, July 28, 2014

It still hurts

I have to acknowledge when I hurt.  Yesterday, I went to a function and was headed toward a spot where a friend was when I learned that ___________was there.  She and I were great friends once but, during our friendship, I entrusted her with my Dad's care during a period when we were looking for a caregiver.  Instead of helping, she  swindled my dad/me out of some money and was part of the nightmare surrounding my Dad's death. The money wasn't substantial enough to sue her but, the act showed me her true character.  So, at this function,  when I learned she was there,  I stopped dead in my tracks.  As much as I wanted to greet my friend, I realize that the memory of her fraud remains an issue with me.  Until I'm able to come to grips with the pain that she caused my family, I suppose I'll do what I did yesterday:  Turn around and go home.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Celebrating a great run

After eight years as head of PR for Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, my term ended on July 18.  It was a great run although it was filled with ups and downs. At times, it was quite tumultuous.  My successor trained under me.  She has skill sets that will help take the Sorority to the next level of greatness.  Kudos to the new administration of Dorothy Buchanan Wilson on a great beginning.  And to Leona Dotson, I wish nothing but success as she builds on the foundation that I laid.  She will be great!

Monday, June 30, 2014

Join in!

I tend to be a loner…opting to be a free spirit rather than follow the crowd. Having a lot of folks in your life can both enrich it but also complicate it.  However, it is fine to do group activities.  I was invited to participate in a 5K walk and said YES.  I had a ball, got even giddy.  Realized that it is uplifting to be around people and enjoying group events.

Gotta keep doing this!

Friday, June 27, 2014

Be gracious

I'm about to leave a position I've had for eight years.  I will be honored for my longevity and for taking the agency to new heights.  After all, I have been there for two administrations.

I am tempted to talk about the ups and downs of my tenure, including the slights. As much as I'd like to slam my detractors, that would not be the time.  At the banquet I will be gracious and accentuate the positive.

It's better that way.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Let it go - do it anyway

Over a year ago, I had a big blow up with a friend.  We both held to our positions and we both thought we were right.

On May 28, he celebrated his birthday.  We haven't spoken in a year.  I'm not sure that I want the same type of intense relationship/friendship because of what came to pass between us.  However, on some level, I miss him.

So, I made the gesture and sent him an e-card for his birthday.  He responded asking how I'm doing.  I responded, via e-mail:  GREAT!

We haven't corresponded since and he hasn't reached out.  But I'm glad I opened the door to restore some semblance of a friendship anyway.  Yes, I let it go and reached out anyway.

And I feel good about it.  It's great therapy and cleansing to let it go.

Monday, June 2, 2014

Praise to Serena Williams for being a loyal friend

I don't often stray from business-related posts, but Serena Williams' loyalty as a friend got my attention. Hence, I'm devoting this to her.

Serena is Caroline Wozniacki's friend, although they are competitors on the court. Recently, Caroline was dumped unceremoniously by golfer Rory McIlroy. After she'd sent out invitations and tried on bridal dresses, he got cold feet.  Well, at least he didn't leave her at the altar. He ended the marriage plans -- and the relationship.  She tweeted her pain out and asked for friends to walk with her.  Serena promised she would.

Regretfully, both lost early at the French Open.  It was particularly hard for Caroline because Rory won his post-breakup tournament.  Caroline, probably more in pain, lost in the first round so she didn't get any vengeance on him.

After they were both knocked out early, I saw in the news where Serena and Caroline were hangin' out in Miami, at a Heats game, on the beach, doing girly stuff. I'm sure Serena's company helped cushion the sting of this public dumping and I have nothin' but love for Serena for truly walking with Caroline.

Monday, May 26, 2014

If they mess up, you have to make it right

In preparation for my pending retirement, I've been, slowly, saying goodbye to clients and referring prospects to others.  Recently, a publicist learned of this and asked me to refer clients to her.  About a month ago, I did just that.  A couple of  days ago, I spoke to her on another matter and asked her how the referral was going. She gave me one of those UH OH  responses, which meant she didn't follow through.  I was very disappointed and called the client, went by there and is now taking the client on to maintain my credibility.  I didn't want to do it and the fee is much less than what I'd charge but, you gotta do what you gotta do to make amends for someone who you referred and who proved to be unreliable.  But, a Facebook friend gave me the perfect script for future screw ups like this:  "I know this person to be reliable and professional. if that's not the case let me know right away because my relationship with you means a lot.  

Friday, May 9, 2014


It is exciting to be part of a movement that is so inspiring.  With the horrifying global news about the kidnapping of hundreds of Nigerian girls, I got the fever to make a difference.  When the Sorority called, I was up late creating a sign, with my non-artistic self.  In the end, mine was really the best so, when you're doing something lofty, you discover talents you didn't know you had. And, I was glad I made the trek to the Sorority to participate in the rally.  It was great to be a part of an effort to effect REAL change!

Friday, April 4, 2014

Cultivate a relationship with those you pitch to

I recently attended a seminar where the presenters said reaching out to the media should begin only three weeks out from the event.

I disagree.  Maybe I'm too old school but I start months out reaching out to the media and establishing contacts. I keep notes of every conversation and create a bond with the media.  By the time you begin sending releases, you've cultivated a warm relationship with the media and land a better chance of them running your releases, booking you on your show or covering your event.

It's about creating connections that lead to media hits.

Monday, March 31, 2014

Let it go!

I recently worked on a campaign for a friend I love and admire.  Also helping was a woman I'd had problems with in the past.  I started to be chilly towards her but didn't remember what the original problem was about.  As we coordinated to work toward the goal of our candidate winning, I gained an appreciation for her and was sorry we'd had this standoff.  As a result, we've restored our friendship and mutual admiration.  To make matters better, our candidate won so there was a victory on a multitude of levels.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Send via REAL MAIL

I recently attended Alpha Kappa Alpha's  Southeastern Regional Conference.  Two members were assigned to me as my escorts.  They were gracious, efficient and on point.  They kept me on time and, informed on each activity. At the same time, they provided me space to wander off on my home, since I'm a free spirit. I gave each one a gift to show my appreciation.   After I got home, I told them I would let their bosses know -- including the BIG BOSS -- how pleased I was with them.  They sent me back e-mail addresses.  I told them I want REAL addresses so I could send the letters in the mail. In this day of social media, e-mails, voice mails and messages via text, it is more meaningful to get a real the mail.  I still get a thrill from going to the mail box and opening the mail.  I'm sure the compliments I sent in the mail about them carried a bigger punch because of the time and effort invested to send it in the mail.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Adrienne Pope-Kelly Washington

I'm going to take a point of privilege as the blogger here to single out a special lady:  She is Adrienne Pope-Kelly Washington, the Regional Director for Alpha Kappa Alpha's Southeastern Region.  She is very witty, very generous in spirit and the absolute epitome of a leader.  I've worked with her for four years and am amazed at how deftly she handles a meeting.  She is always gracious...but firm.  Adoring but resolute in her approach to running her region. And, she is creative and humble. Those in her region LOVE her and, while I'm not in that region, I can be counted as among those who love her.  This is a special SHOUT OUT to Adrienne as she begins the final three months of her term.  She is AWESOME, PRICELESS, KIND and WONDERFUL as in A P-K Washington.

Friday, February 28, 2014

Consult a lawyer

Recently, I was contracted to handle a conference.  The client sent me the agreement and asked me to hurry and get it back to her because they want to start March 1.  It looked pretty reasonable to me but, as a precaution, I had a lawyer review it.

She found a major oversight as the client indicated that the fee included hotel and airfare. That would have required me to pay upwards of $3,000.  It was the client being slick but it was caught.  I talked to her and after going back and forth, they relented and paid it.

So, had I not faxed it to my attorney, I would have absorbed my own airfare and lodging.  The fee I paid her was well worth the mistake that would have cost me thousands.

Thank you, Counselor.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Forget the past - make it right

Many years ago, I worked with a theater company and had a minor tussle with the director, causing me to leave.  I regretted it because we had genuine respect and affection for one another.  But it happened and I left ....but never made it right.

Fast forward 30 years:  She now lords over a beautiful theater built from the ground up. Her theater is a Chicago mainstay and she is truly doing AWESOME things.  Yesterday, I went to the theater and saw a great show as well as saw the new structure -- which is a monument to her tenacity. Luckily, she was there.

We hugged and I complimented her on her success.  Suddenly, 30 years were washed away as we exchanged numbers, pleasantries and vowed to pick up where we left off.  We didn't have to apologize because the vibes were so positive.  The looks we exchanged were genuine.

But, there is a lesson in that:  I was too immature to do the right thing then but I'm poised to make it right now.

Friday, February 21, 2014

Indulge guilty pleasures

I didn't want to... but I kinda like BET's Mary Jane with Gabrielle Union.  It depicts some authentic interplay among characters and it captures real-life situations.

When you've done press releases, pitched and worked hard to get exposure for your client, it is nice to have a guilty pleasure like Mary Jane!

Indulge without guilt!

Monday, January 27, 2014

And...I went

Last week, I talked about supporting a friend whose husband had died -- too soon.  Well, I went to the funeral and attended everything!  Had I had second thoughts about going, those were dispelled with her gratitude for me being there.  I was there...I was there...I was there.  It was so uplifting.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Drop everything and be supportive

Last week, the husband of one of the regional representatives who works under me died.  I really like her and admired her devotion, as chronicled on Facebook.  She was strong, devoted and the embodiment of the vows: "In sickness and in health...until death us do part."

The couple has two teenaged boys and the road ahead will be tough for her. Plus, she was let go from her job as a journalist so, with her husband's nearly-two-year-long illness, she's the embodiment of the Biblical figure, Job.

I galvanized the team to make a donation, since Money is what is needed as opposed to a plant or flowers.  I waited for news on when services would take place.  She lives in Birmingham, Alabama so it isn't like I can drive to the services in Chicago.  Wouldn't you know that it will be held on a day where I have several appointments and obligations.  At first, I thought about not going.  Then, I rethought how much an outpouring of support would uplift her.  So, I dropped everything -- cancelled all appointments -- to be there. To me, there is nothing more important than being there when a person truly needs uplift.  That's why I'm going...Nothing else matters.

Monday, January 6, 2014

Social Media Opus II - Be nice

Recently, and as the last blog underscores, I was savaged by folks in a social media thread.  Today, I'm seeking a realtor and put the word out on Facebook.  One of those who was particularly cruel inquired about it.  When I saw her name, I went back over the thread to confirm that she was who I thought she was.  I plan to tell her why she won't be considered.  Those intemperate, uncivil taunts, come back to haunt you.  So, even when on the other side of an argument, be civil, be nice, and be aware of what your behavior and intemperate, mean-spirited comments can cause....good or bad.  In this case, we wouldn't consider her at all for this opportunity.  I'm not being vindictive, but merely protecting us from those who are unkind and do not reflect our values.