Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Green Smoothies at my raw food class on Nov. 8!

Dear Friends,

New development! I'll be making green smoothie at the class yonder:


Next class: Raw Foods for the Rest of Us: How to Eat Better Without Being Perfect. Sat 11/8/14 – 11:00am-1:30pm– A www.MtAiryLearningTree.org class. Location: Unitarian Society of Germantown, 6511 Lincoln Drive, Philadelphia, PA 19119. Read article including two upcoming classes and class info and links at http://bit.ly/1nDs7nw.
[Pictured: Myself holding copy of my "Expanding Your Capacity for Joy: A Raw Vegan Comfort Book, Sourcebook & Journal" http://cxbooks.eventbrite.com and with Arnold N. Kauffman, owner of Arnold's Way Raw Vegetarian Cafe & Education Center in Lansdale, PA, when I was trained there and lived in Arnold's raw-friendly and raw-supportive house, Eden. http://arnoldsway.com]

--

-- 
Make yourself a beautiful day!

Cassendre Xavier
(aka Amethyste Rah, aka Amrita Waterfalls)
“renaissance negresse & ARTrepreneur”
(musician/writer/actress/fine artist)
Leeway Transformation Award-Winning founder & executive director of the Black Women’s Arts Festival (Est. 2003) and the Women's Writing & Spoken Word Series (Est. 2002). 

Monday, October 27, 2014

Fennel and Mercury Retrograde




When the planet Mercury is in retrograde, communications are at their all-time most chaotic. You will find yourself often misunderstood and having more than the usual amount of conflicts. It is the worst time to sign contracts, start or finish projects, problem solve, or travel. If you find yourself in one of these situations, take extra care to communicate as clearly as possible, and do not rush. If possible, put any of the aforementioned activities on hold until Mercury goes direct again.
 The plant fennel is ruled by Mercury. 
 Poet CAConrad told me this years ago when I was telling him how much I enjoyed Tom's of Maine fennel toothpaste. He said, "You're basically charging your mouth with fennel" when Merury is in retrograde.
 I recently purchased some fresh fennel and was excited to sautee it as I'd often seen it look very delicious roasted on television cooking shows. I was going to do that today, then remembered that another writer friend, Jhett Bond, told me a couple of days ago that Mercury is in retrograde. So the fennel will have to wait. But I did search recipes online and was pleased to find that fennel can be sauteed with just about anything - I saw asparagus, broccoli, red cabbage, beef, fish, and shrimp. No matter what you like to sautee, chances are fennel can go with it. If you try it, let me know how it goes!
 

2014 Retrograde Dates

In 2014, Mercury will be retrograde during:

  • February 6–28
  • June 7–July 2
  • October 4–25


I searched for a while for the dates in 2015. Nnot so easy, apparently :-)
-- 
Make yourself a beautiful day!

Cassendre Xavier
(aka Amethyste Rah, aka Amrita Waterfalls)
“renaissance negresse & ARTrepreneur”
(musician/writer/actress/fine artist)
Leeway Transformation Award-Winning founder & executive director of the Black Women’s Arts Festival (Est. 2003) and the Women's Writing & Spoken Word Series (Est. 2002). 


(c) Copyright 2014 by Cassendre Xavier. All rights reserved. Permission granted to reprint with permission, provided full author credit and link are included: http://cassEndrExavier.com. (Never let it be said!)

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Me! Me! Me! CX Museletter: "Gratitude & Sucky-ness" ediccione

Me! Me! Me! A Cassendre Xavier Museletter

The "Gratitude & Sucky-ness" ediccione, if you will. (As it were.)

Sunday, October 26, 2014


Dear Friends,

So I was sitting here doing a last minute volunteer bookstore shift (I already have paid work at two bookstores - one job, two bookstores) and needed to run in and get something I left here at this one - I have keys to all three - and this is the one I can run in and out of and keep things in overnight or over the weekend
And I was thinking about a problem I have, and how I am writing about it and teaching about it and getting better with it and helping people with theirs (eating better)...
How it came up was I was looking at the menu of a Chinese restaurant and how I order brown rice and how that's better but I still have a tension headache because I've eaten 3 takeout Chinese restaurant meals in the last two days and even though it's mostly steamed tofi and broccoli (plus the usual meats and the porks that I also like), my hypertension is still like Ow!! So, apparently it's best to go without the brown sauce. It's not a heavy MSG place, but you just never know...
 Anyway, I was thinking about how lucky I am to be able turn just about every aspect and area of my life into art. Art that is healing, entertaining, and sometimes even financially profitable!
 I was feeling super happy and lucky and wanted to write a letter of gratitude to the universe. Then I wanted to find pictures to go along with it so I searched on line and found some.
 I found the pictures, but as I was going through them I was feeling very happy to see them, but then I was feeling bummed thinking about my problems. Then I realized, well, maybe that's why I'm so happy about stuff in my life - because I've got some major sucky-ness in it, too, and I at least ought to have something to balance it out!
 Oh well. Anyway, I'm glad to be glad, and I'll take the sucky stuff any day just to have all the sweetness I've been lucky enough to have. 

Please to enjoy:

ME ME ME! CX Museletter “Celebrating Abundance” ediccione http://cassendre.livejournal.com/21099.html
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This was taken years ago at Tin Angel for a women's literary performance event produced by Denice Witkowski, of Vitamin D Productions. (Photo credit: Unknown.)


The cover of my first spoken word guided meditation recording, under my self-assigned
soul name Amethyste Rah, featuring music of light by Thaddeus, available at 
(Graphic design by Giscard "Giz" Xavier, art direction: Cassendre Xavier)

Cover of my album Live at Tin Angel, which was honorably 
mentioned as the #9 of the Top 21 Local CDs of 2007 (M. J. Fine, Philadelphia City Paper)
(Photo credit: Barbara Kigozi, courtesy of the Leeway Foundation. Graphic design by Kerry E. Wison; art direction by Cassendre Xavier.)

Back cover of my first chapbook, Secrets & Lies: Poetry and Other Words (2005/ARtivist Publications)
(Photo credit: Jane Skipwith and Lisa Balle-Marie Woods. Book design by Cassendre Xavier.)


My butch side, which surprisingly gets a lot of play...from MEN. Who wouldda thunk? :-)
This picture was featured along with one of my raw recipes in The Butch Cook Book, edited by Lee Lynch, Nell Ward, and Sue Hardesty. You can see more pics of me there, here: http://bit.ly/1zwiPPC.
(Photo credit: Tamara L. Xavier aka Moon Wisdom)

This was taken at the Black Women's Arts Festival (I always forget which year) by Sarah Stefana Smith. I love all the contrastic colors here. I was also pretty high raw so I love the way my skin looks against the colors. The Living Plants hold a lot a of light and this Light shows through to our skin! Please enjoy my Wisdom Magazine article "Raw Foods for the Rest of Us: How to Eat Healthier Without Being Perfect" which also includes information about my upcoming raw food classes at Mt. Airy Learning Tree and Arnold's Way Raw Vegetarian Cafe & Education Center: http://bit.ly/1nDs7nw


Random NYC passerby took this picture of me and my brother Giscard "Giz" Xavier, (record producer, musician, recording engineer, photographer, graphic designer) outside of the ASCAP offices, where we had a meeting with his attorney, who is also the same attorney to Ani DiFranco, Maroon 5, and Howard Stern. I wanted to bring him a present, so we went to K-Mart and I bought a nice big plant for his office. He really liked it! My brother has engineered several of my albums, and is best known for co-writing City High's hit song "Caramel" featuring Eve. I'm so proud of my brother! (Wiki's full facts on "Caramel": http://bit.ly/10uaqNi)

-- 
Make yourself a beautiful day!

Cassendre Xavier
(aka Amethyste Rah, aka Amrita Waterfalls)
“renaissance negresse & ARTrepreneur”
(musician/writer/actress/fine artist)
Leeway Transformation Award-Winning founder & executive director of the Black Women’s Arts Festival (Est. 2003) and the Women's Writing & Spoken Word Series (Est. 2002). 


(c) Copyright 2014 by Cassendre Xavier. All rightsen reservanitzkhen. Permission granted to share parts or all of this article as long as proper credit is given where due. Lest I come after you with my, well, no, I probably won't do anything, dagnabit! (Never let it be said!)

Friday, October 24, 2014

For my Orin & DaBen fans out there!

Hi, Folks!

I was just posting this on one of the Facebook Groups I started long ago (I know, I know, when do I sleep?!) :-) and thought I'd include you in it, in case, you either are into this kind of thing or could be helped by some learnage of it. *Enjoy!

Greetings, everyone, and very special thanks to new members of the Orin & DaBen (& Thaddeus Music) Professionals Group! Thank you for being here! 

My name is Cassendre Xavier, and I started this group some years ago after releasing several guided meditation recordings (http://tinyurl.com/CXMeditations) with the background music of Thaddeus. I wanted to reach out to and be around more similar artists and healers doing this work and incorporating the LuminEssence products into our offerings and expressions.
After a very busy and challenging time in my life, I'm returning to my regular practice of studying the Orin & DaBen materials, as well as listening to Thaddeus music (http://orindaben.com/pages/rooms/mp3player_all/all/) as I write and meditate. I am also writing about self-care and taking the time for one's spiritual life. I have learned that it is very easy to lose this essential and empowering part of life when intense challenges appear. So, I'm back and I'm writing about the experience in hopes of reminding myself not to let that happen again and to also assist others on their journey of increased self-care and self-actualization, two things I've found the works of Sanaya and Orin to be extremely effective in teaching over the many years I've worked with them. Please enjoy this excerpt from the 25th Anniversary Revised Edition of Sanaya's first, wonderful, and essential Orin book "Living with Joy", an edition of which I super highly recommend: http://bit.ly/1vYJAZn. (Source: http://www.orindaben.com/pages/excerpts/lwjexcerp)
[Pictured: Living With Joy book cover. Author: Sanaya Roman.]

-- 
Make yourself a beautiful day!

Cassendre Xavier
(aka Amethyste Rah, aka Amrita Waterfalls)
“renaissance negresse & ARTrepreneur”
(musician/writer/actress/fine artist)
Leeway Transformation Award-Winning founder & executive director of the Black Women’s Arts Festival (Est. 2003) and the Women's Writing & Spoken Word Series (Est. 2002). 

(*Pronounced always and of course thusment: "ungh-JWAH" - The French Way. Oueh!)

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

You Know You've Worked in a Lot of Bookstores When...

So I'm going over the LGBT books and considering buying "In Every Laugh a Tear" a novel by Leslea Newman. I'm at a used bookstore that is my day job. I work at two bookstores for pay and volunteer at another. I hold keys to all three. And I've worked in some capacity at three more different ones in this city.
 I open the book and it's inscribed, "For Cassendre - Zie Gezunt! - Leslea Newman". (Zie gezunt is Yiddish for "be healthy").
 I think this is a Law of Attraction moment because for weeks I've thought of Leslea, because she's one of the most prolific authors I know - from "Heather Has Two Mommies" to "A Letter to Harvey Milk" and many more.
 This book was signed the day I introduced her reading at Giovanni's Room LGBT bookstore. I spoke of how inspiring Leslea was and that I spent a lot of time looking up her multi-genre titles in Books in Print. I looked up other multi-genre prolific authors for inspiration in those days (mid 1990s), among my sheras were Diane Ackerman and Tee Corinne.
 Leslea, when she came up to speak about her latest book, said mine was the best introduction he had received. I was exceedingly as surprised as I was proud.
 My co-worker asked me when I showed her this book and said, "Open this..." She said, "You gave it away?" And I said, "I've moved so often." And it's true. A lover once pointed out I'd moved about 9 times in 15 years. And this was in 2008. I've moved at least 3 times in the last 3 years. And each time, I give away lots of books.
 But in the end, the ones that are meant to, return to me.

--

-- 
Make yourself a beautiful day!

Cassendre Xavier
(aka Amethyste Rah, aka Amrita Waterfalls)
“renaissance negresse & ARTrepreneur”
(musician/writer/actress/fine artist)
Leeway Transformation Award-Winning founder & executive director of the Black Women’s Arts Festival (Est. 2003) and the Women's Writing & Spoken Word Series (Est. 2002). 

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Busy Writers: Write More with TV, Google Drive & Public Trans.! (book excerpt)

Dear Friends, 


Please enjoy this excerpt from a forthcoming CX book!


  1. Keep a notebook or notepad with you at all times. It doesn’t have to be large, but large enough to write more than a few sentences per writing period. Use this when you have a few minutes between activities, meetings, errands, etc. Write book outlines, quotes, notes of ideas you have for future projects, add to chapters of books you’re working on, poems, anything of any length. Date every entry. Use a special color of ink to differentiate these writings from anything else. These, after all, will be added to your manuscript(s) which will become book(s), recordings of your books, or material that will be included in your guided meditation/spiritual/personal growth/self-help recordings. It’s even better if the notebook or notepad is a beautiful or special journal that looks different than your other notepads.


  1. Create a Google Drive account. It’s free. Just open a Gmail email account, find Drive, and use that to write. You’ll be able to save your work, format, and either use it as is, or transfer it to another format, etc. Google Drive as word processing is great because as long as you have access to that email account, you can easily find your writing. No more lost thumb drives or lost files if your computer crashes. Any computer, anywhere, will have your writing.


  1. When you’re watching television, open your special writing journal and transcribe the contents into your new manuscripts.


Here’s what I do:


I have a gorgeous, small, hardcover journal into which I write various things, including manuscript content. That journal was purchased years ago. You probably have several beautiful journals already, you jst need to find them. Not all are easily portable. Luckily there are many available in bookstores, or even drug stores, that are lovely and affordable. Go window shopping sometime; you’ll enjoy it!

Manuscript content I write in a special colored ink. This way when I open the book, I can see my future books in that color of ink. I don’t drive, and use public transportation, which I love for many reasons, including the fact that I can read a lot and write some.

I date all entries, title them, make notes of various kinds.

Then, when I get home and am watching TV, I type those contents into my Google Drive.

I have a folder called “Manuscripts” and in that, a list of different titles of what I’m working on. I click on whatever manuscript titles that match my entries.

Happy writing!




Special thanks to:

Lee Lynch, prolific lesbian novelist and multi-genre writer, who introduced me to and suggested Google Drive (then “Documents”) as a word processor to write and save writing. I’m proud to be contributor to one of Lee’s books: The Butch Cook Book, edited by Lee Lynch, Nell Ward, and Sue Hardesty.

Doreen Virtue, whose various works, including I’d Change My Life If I Had More Time: A Practical Guide for Making Dreams Come True (book) and Healing Your Appetite, Healing Your Life: A Spiritual Approach to Life & Weight Management (audio live lecture), teach that we can accomplish our goals in “little chunks of time.”

The Laws & The Orders, Hallmark Movie Channel, Comedy Central, and especially Investigation Discovery for hours of entertainment as I fatten up my manuscripts!



-- 
Make yourself a beautiful day!

Cassendre Xavier
(aka Amethyste Rah, aka Amrita Waterfalls)
“renaissance negresse & ARTrepreneur”
(musician/writer/actress/fine artist)
Leeway Transformation Award-Winning founder & executive director of the Black Women’s Arts Festival (Est. 2003) and the Women's Writing & Spoken Word Series (Est. 2002). 

Thursday, October 16, 2014

ME! ME! ME! CX Museletter "Rovics/Nachmanoff" Ediccione

“ME! ME! ME!” A Cassendre Xavier Museletter


The “Rovics/Nachmanoff” ediccione, if you will. (As it were.)


October 16, 2014


And a bright shiny tootin’ good day to YOU!


Dear Friends,


I’m changing the format a little bit to get this here thing done sooner rather than later. I always wanted to write letters for a living and in a way, this is it!


It occurs to me it’s been a mighty long while since I’ve written this missive of feelings and updates, and news and such.

I don’t really want to talk much about my feelings these days. These days I’m lettin’ my fingers do the talkin’. I’m writing a lot. And getting more professional about the sitcheeation. That’s all I’ll say for now as what I’ve been really enjoying is not talking about stuff and instead doin’ it and then presenting it to you for your considerage.


I also want to thank my dear friends who encourage me in their own ways, more than they know, because I’m not in regular contact. But I’m very appreciative on the inner planes and it’s because of you, SLM in NY, T in CA, AK in SC, and DG in PA, among others, who, with your words of praise about my writing and efforts to be helpfully creative, inspire me to do my work. Thank you!


I’ve been updating my website. It now has more current stuff on it, and I’m trying to include a “Contact Form” on as many pages as possible because it really works in getting feedback from folks. For instance, just a couple of days ago I posted an update about the Women’s Writing & Spoken Word Series, including the latest schedule of featured readers going into February 2015, and included a contact form at the bottom for submissions, and within 2 hours one person had submitted her bio and other required info (thank you, Debra Wright-Powell for spreading the word about us!). ‘Twas very exciting indeed! Visit it at http://cassEndrExavier.com.


I’m very excited about my upcoming workshop “Raw Foods for the Rest of Us” in Mt. Airy on Saturday, November 8th from 11:00am-1:30pm. It’s in the Mt. Airy Learning Tree fall catalog and I’m super proud not because I’m presenting there (I did before, years ago, a lecture called “Active Artist 101”, but because I’m living my dream of teaching what I want to learn and getting help for myself in certain areas of my life, while assisting others on their path using techniques that have worked for me. For instance, how do make sure you get enough salads and green smoothies when you live with a family that has a full fridge (not enough storage space for you) and it’s so easy to eat non-raw, and no salads? You get permission to buy a fridge of your own, but you aren’t prioritizing saving for and purchasing it. Is it self-sabotage? Is it just life and you have other much more pressing expenses? I’m working to find those answers and create workable self-loving solutions to use and share with others whom I’m sure are going through similar challenges to being in the habit of eating more healthful foods. That’s what “Raw Foods for the Rest of Us” is all about! It’s a joy, honor, and privilege to do this work. And the universe supports me abundantly in doing so! Course Info: http://bit.ly/10z4zWA or visit http://mtairylearningtree.org.


So much on The YouTubes, people, has been posted by Moi in recent weeks. You’ll have to just see for yourself by going to http://bit.ly/1txE8xD to see for yourself. (Long link: https://www.youtube.com/user/CassendreXavier/videos)


Music, heh? You, well everybody, including God, always want to know what I’m doing with the music… Two (2) upcoming concerts: Wed Oct 22 – 6:30pm – I open for David Rovics at fundraiser for IWW. Calvary United Methodist Church, 815 S 48th St Philadelphia, PA 19143. 48th http://lehighvalleyiww.org/?p=236. Tickets are $10. And Thurs Oct 23 – I open for Dave Nachmanoff at the Lansdowne Folk Club http://www.folkclub.org. These and my other events are listed heretoforeward yonder: http://cassendrexavier.wordpress.com/calendar/.  You can probably sense a touch of resentment when it comes to music. I’ve been having a very difficult time doing what I want musically for a few years and I’m not sure what it’s about. Again, something I’m looking at, working on, and will share about as the time it passes. Oh, don’t worry, you’ll be informed, that’s for sure! Meanwhile, just know that I haven’t completely removed myself from the shelf nor world of music performery. And when I actually have a guitar and mic in front of me, beauty still happens, even if it’s not with the circumstances I dream about. Two words are coming to me right now: Action. Plan. Know what I mean? Dreaming and frustration won’t do much without it. I’ll keep ya postified (aka “posterated”)! P.S. Music is still important enough for me to name a museletter ediccione over (“Rovics” as in David Rovics and “Nachmanoff” as in Dave Nachmanoff) even if I didn’t deem it as important nor as exciting as listing first. I just realized there are some emotions here and so I will probably be called upon to talk about them again. Oy vey already!

I’ve been experiencing a lot of synchronicitation lately. I’ll be dealing with an issue and open a book to a page that talks about. I’ll hear an unusual name on TV, and then in persun see or hear it again. For instance, I only have two (2) music gigs in the next couple of months, and they both “happen to” be with deuds named David/Dave. I believe when things like that happen on a regular basis it means you’re on the right path. You’re doing the right things and you’re having the right thoughts. I think it’s Spirit saying, “Good job!” I think it means your channel is becoming clearer. And I don’t know how that is in my case because I’m eating so much dairy I need a daily allergy pill just to not have my eyelids blow up in a most unattractive fashion. Not to mention the noseblowery (aka “noseblowage”) and other unattractive sinus-related symptoms. But yeah, short of the dietary blockage (perhaps the greens and citrus and ridunkulous amounts of Vitamin C are counteracting some of that), I think I’m doing some really good work in tailoring my thoughts to what I want and making myself happy and doing work that brings me joy and is full of good intention for others. Even my work on my jealousy is good - whenever I feel jealous of someone, I train my thoughts on wishing that they have more than I do. If I want a million dollars, I wish 2 for them. And I’m careful to make sure I’m wishing they have more contentment, too. Because someone could be absolutely miserable with 2 million dollars. I wrote an article about jealousy, in October 2010. It’s called “Jealousy & Envy: 7 Ways to Heal and Grow” and you can read it here: http://wisdom-magazine.com/Article.aspx/1894/.

Lately I’ve also been thinking about how I’d really like to receive more clarity on how I’m blocking my happiness and how I can clear those blockages, finding easier ways to achieve my goals, and reducing the difficulties and challenges in my life. Life has challenge, but sometimes we attract excessive challenge. I believe we can learn to stop doing that. And I’m on a mission to learn how in my own life, and share what I’ve discovered. This morning I saw a man lugging a huge suitcase to an entrance of a train station I know did not have an elevator. I remembered all the times I see folks laboring unnecessarily, and it reminded me of how I do that in my own life. I always ask the universe to show me the proverbial “elevator” in a given situation. How do I heal this habit to self-sabotage (in relationships, with money, with my diet and lack of sufficient exercise), etc. Show me the elevator to the musical and literary career of my dreams, I ask. I believe this is an ongoing process of healing, and transformation. We don’t just “get it” overnight and never do it again. I do believe in quantum healing and miracles, for sure. But if there’s something you’ve been working on improving in your life, I think it’s best to relax and notice your progress. You are doing it! I wrote an article about this, in December 2009. It’s called “Expecting the Universe’s Elevator” and you can read it here: http://wisdom-magazine.com/Article.aspx/1425.

Well, the clock says it’s time for me to go, send this museletter through my various networks on The Internets, then print before heading quickly off to my day job. I hope you enjoy(ed) reading it, and that you forgive the typos I was not able to catch and correct.

Many rich blessings to you, and remember, nothing’s keeping you from chosing to be happy at any given moment. Enjoy your life!



-- 
Make yourself a beautiful day!

Cassendre Xavier
(aka Amethyste Rah, aka Amrita Waterfalls)
“renaissance negresse & ARTrepreneur”
(musician/writer/actress/fine artist)
Leeway Transformation Award-Winning founder & executive director of the Black Women’s Arts Festival (Est. 2003) and the Women's Writing & Spoken Word Series (Est. 2002). 


© Copyright 2014 by Cassendre Xavier. All rightzen reservanitzkhen. (Never let it be said!)

Permission granted to reprint part or all of this article, provided that this credit is given, as well as as inclusion of contact website http://cassEndrExavier.com. Thanks for spreadin’ the good word!


Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Women's Writing Series Latest Schedule & Call for Features

Dear Friends:

I just spent some time inviting folks to feature at the Women's Writing & Spoken Word Series. 
The Women's Writing & Spoken Word Series (Est. 2002) is "a nurturing environment that celebrates women in the craft of multi-genre writing". It happens on 2nd Thursdays of the month, from 7pm-9pm, at Big Blue Marble bookstore in West Mt. Airy, Philadelphia. It's always free and open to the public, and always includes a Mixed-Gender Open Mic. Women writers from diverse backgrounds and at all levels of "accomplishment" are welcome to feature. Each event typically has two (2) features, who read/perform/share for up to 20 minutes each. In more recent years, we have video recorded featured readers and posted the clips to YouTube.

Would you like to be a feature? Please send the following for consideration:
~ A 200 maximum word bio about your writing. It can be written in a style that's as serious or as whimsical as you wish. Please include this bio in the body of the email - no attachments.
~ A pic attachment of yourself - face is best.
~ Public contact info (URLs of blog, website, Facebook, email address, etc.) This will be included at the end of your bio.
~ Answer to this question: May I or someone else on behalf of The Women's Writing & Spoken Word Series record a short video of you (1 to 5 minutes) to post publicly on YouTube/the internet?

Latest schedule:
Nov. 13: Victoria Brownworth; Lisa R. Nelson
Dec. 11: Phyllis Voren; To Be Announced (TBA)
Jan. 8: Debra D'Alessandro; TBA
Feb. 12: Susan DiPronio; TBA

As you can see, we get booked early and we get booked fast! So if you're interested, act now, for the offer, it ends soon!

Here's the link to our gracious hosting venue: http://bigbluemarblebooks.com
[Image: Official logo of the Women's Writing & Spoken Word Series: a handcrafted book by former Series feature Amira Hanafi, who now lives, writes, and makes art in Egypt.]

Saturday, October 11, 2014

The renaissance negresse is street smart!

Being a tough, hyper-vigilant survivor sure comes in handy sometimes, like now, confronting untreated mentally ill folks touching my stuff at the station! For example: "That's my bag. So, you don't need to touch it." This is like when I was busking, only 5 times as "interesting"!
[Pictured: Cover of the book Nowhere to Go: The Tragic Odyseey of the Homeless Mentally Ill, by E. Fuller Torrey, M.D. Courtesy of Internets, The.]

--

--
Make yourself a beautiful day!

Cassendre Xavier
(aka Amethyste Rah, aka Amrita Waterfalls)
“renaissance negresse & ARTrepreneur”
(musician/writer/actress/fine artist)
Leeway Transformation Award-Winning founder & executive director of the Black Women’s Arts Festival (Est. 2003) and the Women's Writing & Spoken Word Series (Est. 2002). 

Friday, October 10, 2014

The Black Women's Arts Festival News October 2014

The Black Women's Arts Festival News

October 2014

TABLE OF CONTENTS:

1) LETTER FROM THE FOUNDER/DIRECTOR
2) CHANGE TO COMMERCIAL FOR-PROFIT STATUS
3) NOW PLANNING NEXT BWAF! (PHILLY 2015)
4) BWAF NOLA 2016 UPDATE
5) BWAF ON YOUTUBE
6) HELP US RECLAIM OUR BLOG 
7) FESTIVAL PLANNERS WANTED
8) STAY IN TOUCH WITH US


CONTENTS:

1) LETTER FROM THE FOUNDER/DIRECTOR
Dear Friends and longtime appreciators of The Black Women's Arts Festival (BWAF),

I am very happy to be greeting you again with an update about this wonderful, inclusive community event!
 I'd like to start by talking about "I" vs. "We". For the last year or so I've taken great care to use the word "we" wherever possible, for various reasons, including my admiration for similar arts initiatives with a vibrant staff. 
 However, recently I've decided to move to what's more comfortable for me and that is to say I, whether it's politically correct or not!
 Sometimes we are we and sometimes we are me and for a very long time, BWAF has been Cassendre Xavier. I'm not so sure there's anything wrong with that, and I believe when we accept the entire truth of our lives and circumstances, then we can create real change and improvement. I wouldn't be surprised if ironically by my saying "I" when I really mean "I", BWAF attracts a whole troup of people as impassioned about forwarding this cause, so that BWAF becomes a "We" in ways it hasn't been for several years.
 There are also lots of other similar arts initiatives that are run by one artist/consultant with a team of helpers, that is still an "I", depending on how you look at it.
 So, I hope going forward the change from saying "we" to "I" will show results all participants in the growth of BWAF will be proud of!
 There are many exciting updates I'm announcing today and others in the works. Please do stay tuned to be updated on the journey forward, onward and up!

In art and community,


Cassendre Xavier

Founder & Executive Director of The Black Women’s Arts Festival (Est. 2003)

Website: http://BWAFphilly.org  




2) CHANGE TO COMMERCIAL FOR-PROFIT STATUS
In the spirit of following my bliss, which as been the source of all my success as a multi-media artist and community cultural arts organizer, I have chosen to once again leave the nonprofit model for what I'm more comfortable with and rewarded by, business as I'm accustomed to and greatly enjoy doing. Since its inception in 2003, BWAF has been under Cassendre Xavier Enterprises, then the New Beginnings Nonprofit Incubator of Resources for Human Development, then Cassendre Xavier Enterprises again, then the Moonstone arts organization, and now Cassendre Xavier Enterprises again. While there are benefits to being a nonprofit organization, there are also drawbacks, and I've found there are benefits and drawbacks to every single endeavor or experience in life, so the key is to do what you love and only what you love (or what you must, in order to be able to do what you love). 
 Being a nonprofit never felt "right" to me. And I think it's time to explore the greater depths and levels of business with this exciting enterprise that is BWAF. Along the way, I know I will grow, learn, fail, and exceedingly prosper, because that is where my heart is and will remain.
  As of August 14, 2014, BWAF very amicably ended our partnership with Moonstone, and re-entered the commercial arts world as a for-profit under Cassendre Xavier Enterprises. I am confident this will prove a smart step for both entities going forward, and I look forward to reporting these positive updates in future announcements!

3) NOW PLANNING NEXT BWAF! (PHILLY 2015)
The next Black Women's Arts Festival will be Saturday & Sunday October 24th & 25th, 2015 at The Rotunda, 4014 Walnut St, Philadelphia, 19104. Being one year away means the planning has begun. I have been in regular contact with Gina Renzi, director of The Rotunda, potential BWAF organizers, and more that will be announced upon finalization. I am very looking forward to producing this event at one of the richest community cultural arts venues in the country!

4) BWAF NOLA 2016 UPDATE
There are only three (3) months until planning begins for New Orleans' first Black Women's Arts Festival! As stated in previous BWAF Newsletters, BWAF NOLA 2016 will begin production in January 2015 with myself and former BWAF Philly Creative Director Monica McIntyre. I look forward to writing updates about this exciting endeavor!

5) BWAF ON YOUTUBE
There are many exciting (I am really using that word a lot, sorry! --Or am I? Nope, not really sorry --- this IS all very "exciting"!) videos of Black Women's Arts Festival events on The YouTubes which you can enjoy by clicking thyself in the hereward direccione: http://bit.ly/BWAFYouTube. Oh, and tell your friends!

6) HELP US RECLAIM OUR BLOG 
Because the BWAF blog http://bwafphilly.blogspot.com login was never switched to a Gmail account, access to it is now lost. Does anyone know of a way to retrieve it? Any advice would be most appreciated!

7) FESTIVAL PLANNERS WANTED
Would you like to assist in the planning stages of BWAF Philly 2015?
Organizers are wanted to serve in the following capacities:
a) Volunteer Coordinator
b) Promotions
c) Advertising
d) Publishing 
e) Sidelines
g) Graphic Design

While these are not directly paying positions, there may be opportunities to earn income later in the year via various projects you may or may not be directly involved in. For now it's best to think of these positions as volunteer.
 If you'd like to discuss the possibilities further, please choose one of the contact methods listed below, or reply to this message.
 Thank you for your time and interest in The Black Women's Arts Festival!


8) STAY IN TOUCH WITH US

Business email: BWAFphilly(at)yahoo(at)com

Like us on Facebook:http://facebook.com/BWAFfanpage

Follow us on Twitter: http://twitter.com/BWAFphilly

Join our official email list by sending a blank email to:

BWAFphilly-subscribe@yahoogroups.com.

View our message archives at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/BWAFphilly

Official URL: http://BWAFphilly.org 

Postal address: C.Xavier/BWAF, 4530 Baltimore Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19143-3705 USA







New YouTube: S. Renee Bess at Women's Writing & Spoken Word Series

October 9, 2014 - Author S. Renee Bess features from her latest novel "The Rules" at the Women's Writing & Spoken Word Series at Big Blue Marble Bookstore in Mt. Airy, Philadelphia. Watch the video here: http://youtu.be/7tfg2oVcRgw

ABOUT RENEE BESS:
S. Renée Bess is a Philadelphia bred former high school teacher, who has been writing fiction, in one form or another, for many years. Her short stores have been published in the "Labyrinth Newspaper", Piece of My Heart, A Lesbian of Colour Anthology, and Ma-Ka Diasporic Juks: Contemporary Writings by Queers of African Descent. She is thrilled to have had the opportunity to publish her novels. Renée is dedicated to the act of writing about African-American lesbians.
"It's important for us to tell our own stories because we need to affirm our right to exist in the world and in the body of lesbian and gay literature...many times we are not only invisible to the non-black gay and lesbian community. We are invisible to each other."

All books available for purchase in print and in e-book formats from:
www.amazon.com; www.bellabooks.com; www.moonhorsebooks.com
www.barnesandnoble.com; www.queerbooks.com; and booksellers nationwide.
For more about Renee Bess, please visit http://reneebess.com/author.html

ABOUT THE WOMEN'S WRITING & SPOKEN WORD SERIES
Founded in 2002 by award-winning multi-media artist Cassendre Xavier, the Women's Writing & Spoken Word Series is "a nurturing environment that celebrates women in the craft of multi-genre writing". The Series is free and open to the public, and always includes a Mixed-Gender Open Mic! 
We are always seeking new featured readers, from all walks of life and at all levels of writing "accomplishment". For submissions/information please visit http://WomensWritingSeries.org or email WomensWritingSeries(at)yahoo(dot)com

Thursday, October 9, 2014

October News - The Women's Writing & Spoken Word Series

The Women's Writing & Spoken Word Series Newsletter - October 2014

TABLE OF CONTENTS:


1) NO LONGER A NONPROFIT

2) BACK TO ONE VENUE-ONCE A MONTH

3) YOUTUBE UPDATES OF LAST MONTHS FEATURES: MALEKA FRUEAN & PHOENIX MYSTIQUE

4) THIS MONTH'S FEATURE(S): RENEE BESS AT BIG BLUE MARBLE BOOKSTORE THURS/9TH

5) NEXT MONTH'S FEATURE(S): VICTORIA BROWNWORTH & LISA NELSON

6) UPCOMING: DECEMBER: PHYLLIS VOREN & TBA / JANUARY: DEBRA D'ALESSANDRO & TBA

7) CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS: FEATURED READERS WANTED

8) CONNECT WITH US ONLINE


CONTENTS:

1) NO LONGER A NONPROFIT
Greetings, Friends, and welcome to a new edition of the newsletter of The Women's Writing & Spoken Word Series!
My name is Cassendre Xavier, and I'm the founder, curator, and current host of the Series, very pleased to be greeting you now (smiling).
 Here are some updates for you, beginning with the fact that we have very pleasantly ended our partnership with the Moonstone arts organization. It just feels like the nonprofit model is something more for other folks than for us at this time. The Women's Writing & Spoken Word Series has, as of August 14, 2014, once again returned to for-profit, commercial status, as a project of Cassendre Xavier Enterprises, as it has always been prior to our experiment with the nonprofit model. As always, we are friends with Moonstone and if it should ever be a match, we'll be very happy to try again. For now, though, I'm excited about navigating the arts world as a business that I'm accustomed to and very enjoy running - which isn't nonprofit. Thank you for all your support either way over the years!

2) BACK TO ONE VENUE-ONCE A MONTH
We were excited to have a 2nd venue, the Walnut Street West Library branch of the Free Library of Philadelphia, and received nothing but the best and most professional assistance from setting the appointments to realizing it wasn't going to work out as planned. We found the Monday 5:30pm-7:30pm time slot we were given to be too difficult to secure featured readers. I still very highly recommend that branch of the Free Library, and am also a Friend of Walnut Street West Library, which is always open to new members! 
 So, while it was exciting to announce that the Series was "Now Regional & Multiple Venue!) we're back to one venue, and with my current work schedule, I'm sticking to that for the time being. So, on 2nd Thursdays from 7pm-9pm, the Series meets at Big Blue Marble, a lovely and vibrant community bookstore in beautiful Mt. Airy, Philadelphia! We hope you come see us there soon, if not to feature, but to participate in our Mixed-Gender Open Mic, or just to watch, listen, and enjoy!

3) YOUTUBE UPDATES OF LAST MONTHS FEATURES: MALEKA FRUEAN & PHOENIX MYSTIQUE
We just uploaded 2 new videos, one of Maleka Fruean featuring (http://youtu.be/jj8S8adPNwE), and one of Phoenix Mystique (http://youtu.be/0s0990kSvUQ) who both featured last month at Big Blue Marble. 
Our original channel  (https://www.youtube.com/womenswritingseries) will be updated soon with new videos.

ABOUT MALEKA FRUEAN
Maleka Fruean is an unfurling of motherhood, writing, and community. She's read in communal houses and venues all throughout Philadelphia and has had her poetry and flash fiction published in journals with cool names. This year she helped work on a midnight imagining, baked a blueberry pie from scratch, wrote a witchy folk song, and took place in an amazing writing workshop for women writers of color. She's currently working on a collection of short stories. For more about Maleka, please visit: http://malekafruean.com/ 

ABOUT PHOENIX MYSTIQUE
Phoenix Mystique is a wearer of many hats. She is a singer/songwriter/poet/mother/knitter/self-taught baker & cook – not necessarily in that order! She has been honing her performance skills for years and has performed at The Clef Club, October Gallery, The Art Sanctuary, 7165 Lounge, Sole II Sole Restaurant, Soulstock Music Festival and at various coffeehouse / lounge gatherings and community festivals. Phoenix is currently reemerging in the performance realm, after a hiatus to concentrate on the birth of her second daughter in February, and is now poising herself to reach new heights of artistic expression. Phoenix is also preparing to enter training to become a certified doula, as her other interests lie in women's health & activism. So all in all she can sing you a song, bake you a cake, knit you a scarf, stir your soul with a poem and (soon) help you birth your baby…all while raising hers! STAY TUNED!!! For more about Phoenix, please visit www.facebook.com/thepmystique,www.soundcloud.com/thepmystique
, and/or www.facebook.com/phoenixrisingearthknits.

4) THIS MONTH'S FEATURE(S): RENEE BESS AT BIG BLUE MARBLE BOOKSTORE THURS/9TH

Thurs October 9, 2014, 7:00pm
Hosted by Cassendre Xavier
Big Blue Marble Bookstore
551 Carpenter Lane
Philadelphia, PA 19119
215-844-1870
Free, open to the public.
Includes Mixed-Gender Open Mic!

Greetings, Friends!

You are invited to another exciting edition of the Women's Writing & Spoken Word Series at Big Blue Marble Bookstore in beautiful Mt. Airy, Philadelphia.

This month features writer Renee Bess.

ABOUT RENEE BESS:
S. Renée Bess is a Philadelphia bred former high school teacher, who has been writing fiction, in one form or another, for many years. Her short stores have been published in the "Labyrinth Newspaper", Piece of My Heart, A Lesbian of Colour Anthology, and Ma-Ka Diasporic Juks: Contemporary Writings by Queers of African Descent. She is thrilled to have had the opportunity to publish her novels. Renée is dedicated to the act of writing about African-American lesbians.
"It's important for us to tell our own stories because we need to affirm our right to exist in the world and in the body of lesbian and gay literature...many times we are not only invisible to the non-black gay and lesbian community. We are invisible to each other."

All books available for purchase in print and in e-book formats from:
www.barnesandnoble.com; www.queerbooks.com; and booksellers nationwide.
For more about Renee Bess, please visit http://reneebess.com/author.html

-- 
Treat yourself and be there with us!
Source/Share: http://bit.ly/1n3FCfW 
 

5) NEXT MONTH'S FEATURE(S): VICTORIA BROWNWORTH & LISA NELSON
We are very excited to announce that next month's featured readers will be Victoria Brownworth (Bio: Bio | Victoria Brownworth) and Lisa R. Nelson. More author bios coming soon! 
Thurs November 13, 2014, 7:00pm
Hosted by Cassendre Xavier
Big Blue Marble Bookstore
551 Carpenter Lane
Philadelphia, PA 19119
215-844-1870
Free, open to the public.
Includes Mixed-Gender Open Mic!
 
 
 
 
 
 
Bio | Victoria Brownworth
Victoria Brownworth is a journalist, writer and editor based in Philadelphia. She's published nearly 30 books as both author and editor, has been anthologized
Preview by Yahoo
 
 

6) UPCOMING: DECEMBER: PHYLLIS VOREN & TBA / JANUARY: DEBRA D'ALESSANDRO & TBA
December 11th will feature comic/writer/event host Phyllis Voren and SheWho singing group member/writer/longtime WXPN Amazon Country radio host Debra D'Alessandro. More writer bios and info coming soon!

7) CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS: FEATURED READERS WANTED
We are seeking features for the forthcoming Series events... 
The Series is on 2nd Thursdays at Big Blue Marble Bookstore, Mt. Airy Philadelphia, 7pm-9pm. Free, open to the public, always includes Mixed-Gender Open Mic.
 We like to book 2 readers of differing: ethnicity, sexual orientation, spiritual belief, and/or performance style. Ideally, there is always one woman of color and one LGBT woman. 
Submissions info: Please send:

~ A 200 maximum word bio about your writing. It can be written in a style that's as serious or as whimsical as you wish.
~ A pic attachment of yourself - face is best.
~ Public contact info (URLs of blog, website, Facebook, email address, etc.) This will be included at the end of your bio.
~ Answer to this question: May the Women's Writing & Spoken Word Series record a short video of you (1 to 5 minutes) to post publicly on YouTube/the internet?
~ Please email your bio, pic, public contact info, consent or no consent, and your date(s) of availability for video to: WomensWritingSeries(at)yahoo(dot)com AND cxwriting(at)gmail(dot)com

8) CONNECT WITH US ONLINE 
Please sign our official email list. This will subscribe you to our newsletter and other updates: Visit http://groups.yahoo.com/group/WomensWritingSeries, or send a blank email to: womenswritingseries-subscribe@yahoogroups.com. If you are on Cassendre Xavier's email list, no need to sign up here!

You can LIKE us on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/WomensWritingSeries

Our email address is: WomensWritingSeries(at)yahoo(dot)com (surely by now you know to replace (at) with the "@" symbol? (Smiling!)
 
 

In art and community,

Cassendre Xavier
Founder, Curator & Host of The Women's Writing & Spoken Word Series (Est. 2002)

Facts that haven't changed since the beginning: The Women's Writing & Spoken Word Series is "a nurturing environment that celebrates women in the craft of multi-genre writing." Features are from diverse backgrounds, at all levels of accomplishment as writers, and readings include a Mixed-Gender Open Mic! 
Links that change over the years: Visit us at http://WomensWritingSeries.org and view our archives athttp://bit.ly/1mZZVIl
Current address for snail mail submissions: C. Xavier/Women's Writing Series, 4530 Baltimore Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19143-3705.
The Women's Writing & Spoken Word Series is a project of Cassendre Xavier Enterprises.
  
[Images: Renee Bess; Cassendre Xavier by Channelle Washington; Maleka Fruean; Phoenix Mystique; Women's Writing & Spoken Word Series official logo by Amira Hanafi. All used with permission and copyright of respective creators.]


The Women's Writing & Spoken Word Series News is...

Copyright (c) 2014 by The Women's Writing & Spoken Word Series, and Cassendre Xavier Enterprises. All rights reserved.