What to ask an author

30 Day Blog Challenge, Writer's Craft
Today, Tayari Jones is interviewing Khaled Hosseini, the author of Kite Runner. She's been compiling and polishing questions to pose: When you go see an author, what types of things would you like to hear discussed? — Tayari Jones (@tayari) September 21, 2013 Over 500 tickets have been sold for the event, so I want it to be informative and fun. — Tayari Jones (@tayari) September 21, 2013 First of all, I love Tayari's approach to life. I really enjoyed meeting her in person during the release of her novel, Silver Sparrow. She was vibrant and full of encouragement. I follow her musings and world traveling via social media, and I always find her updates authentic, thoughtful, or inspiring. The tweets above are no exception.  She realizes Hosseini may be…
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Six years ago

30 Day Blog Challenge
Once upon a time, I drafted some ideas for a story. I wrote a few pieces as the characters began introducing themselves to me. I've never edited nor even really revisited those pieces in all these years. I simply wrote them and went on with life - which was graduate school at the time. That's my disclaimer. This is one 'em. *shivers* ========================= Laysha stands on the damp grass, watching, waiting, eyes trained on Casey. Though the fans gathered are talking and laughing, she hears nothing. She barely feels Yogi's chin against her shoulder. Yogi's voice, miles away, registers "Four hundred. Your girl's up." 'Laysha nods, distractedly. "Umm-hmm" she breathes. She thinks to herself, This should be good. See what she's really made of. Hmmm. They put her in the…
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Spelman’s Wellness Revolution: Let it roll!

30 Day Blog Challenge
There are quite a few 18-year-olds walking around Spelman College in 40-year-old bodies. This and similar data pointing to a culture of "wellness illiteracy" helped Spelman President Dr. Beverly Daniel Tatum launch a Wellness Revolution. Dr. Tatum spoke at the 3rd Annual Black Women's Life Balance and Wellness Conference on September 14-15, 2013. She opened with the story of a Spelman graduate turned lecturer who died at the age of 34. She was well on her way professionally, but her life came to an untimely end due to obesity related complications. Dr. Tatum then linked this experience of a former student with the lives of her current students. As entering freshmen enroll, the health center collects medical and wellness statistics so they will be prepared to meet their needs. About half…
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Getting back to great

30 Day Blog Challenge, Temple Building
Just completed a 4.02 mi run - One time for another great run. YEEEEAAAAHHHHH. #running #templebuilding http://t.co/qt4yzGiK7R #RunKeeper — nicole means victory (@ndcollier) September 18, 2013 Some runs are just good runs. This morning's run definitely goes in the books as a good one.  Why? I found a new route that works well. Because I'm in a new area, I'm mapping and remapping routes as I run. This morning I found a couple of good stretches without too many turns to memorize. Moreover, today's route  didn't take me over too many ginormous hills nor past too many dilapidated houses. I ran 4 miles. Again. Although I used to run 4 miles 3-4 times a week, it was all on relatively flat land. I'm building the stamina to run 4 miles…
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Other ways to serve

30 Day Blog Challenge, Politics, News & Notable
Prompt from BlogHer NaBloPoMo: Would you ever want to run for public office? Why or why not? No, I don't have interest in holding public office, much less going through the stress of running. That being said, I am interested in politics and I would consider being more involved in the political process if the opportunity arose. It's been on my mind a lot lately: What is the best way to get progressive women involved in local politics? And not just involved, but have a fighting shot? #p2 #fem2 — nicole means victory (@ndcollier) September 15, 2013 I'm not a PR person (despite my first job out of undergrad). But I do think smart, progressive women need a voice in local government. — nicole means victory (@ndcollier) September 15, 2013…
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Dancing Buddha

30 Day Blog Challenge
I'm a salsera. Specifically, a casinera. I've been dancing casino-style salsa off and on for maybe 7 years. In the past couple of years, mostly off, but yesterday, I rejoined my fellow casineros! Dance, like running, is a great teacher. When I take lessons, I often learn much more than the turns being taught. Yesterday I learned about being swayed by self-doubt. [caption id="attachment_2187" align="alignright" width="258"] Jorge and I getting down![/caption] Casino salsa reminds of square dancing in a circle. There's a caller, and everyone does the called move in sync. Afterwards, we're told to switch partners and complete another move. Sidebar on partner dance: if you're a good follower, you needn't know the move by heart, but you should still be able to execute it well, provided a good…
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Halfway…

30 Day Blog Challenge
Today marks the halfway point of my 30 in 30 challenge for September. More importantly, it marks the completion point for one trip around the sun with my love, Blue. One year ago today… @ndcollier #love #cocoblue — Phillip Harp (@PFunkZillaZilla) September 15, 2013 Yeah, we're those people. Holding hands in the grocery store. Sending cards just because. And why not? Time flies. You're the pilot. [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=STC3I6SwLp4&w=560&h=315]
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…but how do you want to feel?

30 Day Blog Challenge, Personal Narrative, Productivity, Temple Building, Women's Health
I'm home, after a day of inspiration. And like I've been for the past few months, I'm tired. I'm not bone tired or weary, but I've just noticed that I'm not as energized as I used to be. There are many very specific reasons for that, but they all boil down to one: change. [caption id="attachment_639" align="alignright" width="258"] One day after work, I did handstands and cartwheels in this grass.[/caption] Over the past several months, I've changed a lot and so has my environment. From my zip code to my job responsibilities, to aspects of romantic and platonic relationships. Personal goals and professional goals have shifted. Exercise habits have changed. Food. The amount of time I spend in the sun or the ways I engage nature. The amount and type…
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When in doubt…

30 Day Blog Challenge
In 2010, I wrote a long letter of encouragement to a friend in faith who was mired in self-doubt at the time. I subsequently shared it with a mutual friend Tia, who graciously reminded me of it today. Perhaps I'll do some revising and share it more fully. For now, here are a few excerpts: With regards to cause and effect, you must remember that every single thought, word and action is a cause. All the minutes and seconds you spend in worry and doubt are causes for failure. Every single moment. Whatever is in your heart becomes your prayer and that is what becomes manifest. You must guard your heart and really challenge yourself to stop that negative thinking when it appears. It's going to appear (you're human), but…
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When more is better

30 Day Blog Challenge, Personal Narrative, Temple Building
Now I remember why I like running 4 miles better than running 3. — nicole means victory (@ndcollier) September 11, 2013 Distance running didn't come naturally to me. I'm a sprinter, and have been ever since I outran the neighborhood boys back in grade school. In my 20s, I tried distance running a few times, but it never really stuck. I rarely felt as if I could breathe very well, and my legs always itched. I figured out the solution to both of those things years later - a histamine blocker and pacing. Yesterday's run was a good one. This route had manageable hills and after 3 miles, I had energy left, but no time. It takes me anywhere from a half mile to a mile to get warmed up. During those first…
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