My Story as Told… at Mixed-Race Faces


‘Not location, not race and not the skin colour make the basis of a friendship or love but the heart and soul’.

Yesterday, my story was featured @mixedracefaces. It is amazing to me that colour of one’s skin is a problem still and to so many… But then, on the other hand, it isn’t surprising because there are people out there who benefit from division. Those folks as well as individual ignorance keep us fighting with each other rather than celebrating our differences. When is this going to stop?

Well… Those naturally or ideologically divisive groups and individuals won’t change even if they are confronted with a better way. But then, ignorance can be cured (I believe) – with education and/or conversation. Hence, being mixed-race, I feel that it is necessary to talk about these things i.e. diverse cultural expressions or different colours of faces…

Initiatives like this one here encourage and remind me that as much as attempts to divide and conquer are part of this world so are the attempts to unite people… Without further ado, please click here to read my MIXED-RACE FACE STORY Enjoy! 🙂

JOIN ME ON INSTAGRAM TOO

Everywhere & Always – A Story Waiting to be Told


“It was one of those afternoons when the beautiful summer sun chased even zealous hermits out their four walls. All but one. Her curtains were closed all day. She didn’t notice the sun’s rays and her skin couldn’t feel its warmth…”

Yes, there’s a new book in the making!

The first draft is done. Yuppie! However,… Yes, there’s a however… I have a bunch of revisions ahead of me still. There’s a vague release date in my mind but I’m not going to share it just yet. Undoubtedly, it is going to take some time before the book’s out. That’s not a bad thing though. Quality is what I’m after…

So, I’ve already spent some time revising the first chapter – over and over and over again…

I believe it is strong enough to capture your imagination, but… Yes, there’s a “but”. I thought it’d be smart to ask a few other storytellers for feedback. I’m waiting to hear from them, at the moment. Once I’m confident that I’ve done the chapter justice I am going to share it with my e-mail subscribers. I can’t wait!

Please Join Us if you’d like me to share glimpses of my novel in the making with you.

So now… The title…  [drumroll] “Everywhere & Always”

It is a story of a multiracial friendship between four people from  different cultural backgrounds… Taking place in a world that doesn’t always get it… It is about their pursuit of happiness; identity search and breaking away from the society’s expectations to pursue their own respective destinies…

Life events force Ai, Alma, Emilio and Jack to face their fears and make choices: love or money; truth or freedom; forgiveness or torment, sadness or joy… Ohhh…

I feel like giving away a little more… I hope this isn’t a spoiler. Nope, I don’t think it is. The book begins with “trouble in paradise”. Yes, their friendship is tested, and the journey begins. I’ll add this for good measure – one of the characters is a drama queen… who’s suffering from depression to top it all off.

But don’t worry – the others are lovely… or not… 😉

Click to Subscribe (via email) and Find Out for Yourself.

My Poetry Collection & Self-Publishing Update…


Love, don't Fear - Book CoverSince publishing “Love, Don’t Fear”, I have learned a few valuable lessons not only about book publishing but also about myself. Previously, of course, I had discovered that I could do with a little more patience – you’ll find the post on this topic right here “If it’s Broke – Fix It”. 🙂 

Back to right now, though… So far, I have received great feedback from “Love, Don’t Fear” readers – thank you! Yet, I have also received some useful suggestions, on how to improve the book, from the pros. I believe that every writer needs an editor, not only because two heads are better than one, but also because of the strong emotional connections we all have with our works. Such being the case, I try to stay open to constructive criticisms.

On that note, yet digressing slightly, I am currently a one-woman band as far as publishing is concerned, but I am writing my first novel which I hope to publish traditionally… If you are a literary agent, open to submissions, and interested in my work, please get in touch. Let’s talk…

Back to “Love, Don’t Fear” – yesterday, the collection turned one. Happy Birthday!!! (note the emotional connection I was talking about) 😄

giphy

I thought this would be a good time for an update/upgrade if you like. Before I share what changes were made exactly, let me reassure those of you who have already purchased and read the book. The changes aren’t very significant. However, if you’d like to receive a FREE updated version, in the form of an e-book, please contact me at monika@monikaribeiro.net .

I decided not to change the book’s edition, because as mentioned – these changes aren’t that significant. Plus, I’ve updated the price too – partially to reflect alterations, but equally to reflect the time passed since the book’s publication.

To cut this long story short, after considering the advice given to me by two trustworthy (traditional and non-traditional) publishers, I have:

  • updated a few titles;
  • changed the order of poems to improve thematic connections; 
  • added two poem descriptions.

I hesitated about the last one because out of the two people who were my advisers – one said: “add descriptions” and the other one said “don’t”. Well, there are 25 poems in the book and only 2 of them have descriptions now. Based on the readers’ feedback, I believe that most of the poems are self-explanatory and relatable. Plus, I don’t want to completely take away the joy of the reader’s own interpretation. What do you think about this one? 

One more change, that I made on my own initiative, was adding a few additional images to enhance book marketing on Instagram, etc. By the way, please do join me on the platform if you haven’t done so yet – @monikaribeiro.writer 😊

So, yes, the book has been around for one year now, but I believe it is ever-green… It deals with relationships, people, emotions that are difficult to express and stories that happen or could happen in real life. This book is about love, life and doing the above without fear… I think that the need to read this type of stories will always be in us. I believe the book is a little bit like wine which gets better with time.

In closing, to complete this “Love, don’t Fear” update, I would like to share some of the words written by those who read and enjoyed it:

“…‘Love, Don’t Fear’ by Monika Ribeiro is such an amazing book – filled with heart-warming and heart-breaking poems… These poems made me feel less alone.”

Angelina, Nanny from Florence – Arizona

“It is a book for someone who feels challenged by their relationship and can’t find the words to express how they feel. You will discover your own truth in the emotions of these poems.”

Joy, Singer-Songwriter from New York

“I found myself in many of them (poems), especially the story of a broken friendship… Smooth language, very beautiful clarity of words, fantastic wisdom…”

Lina, Artist from Ireland

Please grab your copy of “Love, Don’t Fear” HERE if you’re in the US, or HERE if you’re in the UK. Its digital format is available on Amazon worldwide.

Alternatively, if you’ve read the book, please consider sharing your thoughts by e-mail or in the comments below.

Thank you for being here. I appreciate you! 🙂 

Number Seven – Poem


Number 7 Man

Even when I do all 6 tasks just right

You still focus on the seventh

Which is done, just not quite…

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Your kudos last but a minute

Criticisms never stop

It’s annoying just like dripping water

Drop, drop, drop, drop, drop (it)

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7 is a symbol… of perfection

Is that what is needed to avoid rejection?

How about 6.99?

Will 6.99 secure your affection?

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As You turn Love into Math

You’re turning joy into pain

Can we scratch number 7?

So, His Passion can reign!

.

Can we cover one another

For as long as we’re alive?

I have never met a 7

Not even a 6.5

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Poetry Reading – Collaboration with Desiri


Desiri and i 2Welcome back to “Love Don’t Fear” stories and collaborations 😊

“I saw her smile” is a story of a girl who keeps searching for love in all the wrong places. I have shared this poem before, but I’m super happy to present you with Desiri Okobia’s rendition of it. Desiri (aka Miss Dee) is the author of “Diaries of a Visionary” and an English Literature teacher. Currently, she is preparing to launch her new book – a wonderful novella I can’t wait to read. In the meantime, however, please enjoy “I saw her smile” as well as Miss Dee’s powerful delivery.

A while ago, I’ve had an encounter with a lady on social media (I don’t know her personally), but she had read the poem and started messaging me about it. She told me: “If you don’t remove this piece from print – I will sue!” She accused me of thoroughly researching her private life to share it through my writings…

Whaaaat?!

Well…

To some extent, this tale may indeed be “hers” – not because I knew about her experiences, but because it is timeless and universal, while the principles it bears are gender-less… Truly, this poem is about (and for) all the girls and women, in all the corners of the world, who ever felt like they needed to be in romantic relationships (bad or good) before they could be whole.

Having said that, I asked Desiri why she picked “I saw her smile” – she told me she simply liked the story. So, even if you’re not “a girl who never smiles”, I believe that you’ll enjoy the narrative within the poem. As always, you’ll find drama and pain and all that stuff here, but ultimately it is a one woman’s journey from darkness to light.

FYI, “I saw her smile” can be found in my recent Poetry Collection “Love Don’t Fear”, so please go ahead and pick it up on Amazon if you like what you hear.

Please enjoy the YouTube video below and let me know your thoughts.

Just don’t sue – I haven’t been spying on you 😊

‘Love Don’t Fear’ Collaborations


POETRY AND BOOKS

DesiriiOne of the greatest American novelists Ernest Hemingway is quoted to have said “Writing, at its best, is a lonely life.” And yes, writing is solitary – it requires concentration and dedication, but that’s not what this post is about… This post is about collaboration.

“Love Don’t Fear” is filled with relationship stories, hence my need to share the book’s creation process with others came as no surprise. Ayo (foreword) and my husband Miguel influenced its title… During an impromptu ‘brain-storming’ session, Miguel put “Love Don’t Fear” out there and I knew that was it! One day, I might share the circumstance in which he got inspired, but that’s a whole ‘nother story… for later… maybe 😊

Moving on, I invited other fellow artists to contribute in the post-creation process. I can’t wait to share the fruits of these wonderful relationships with you. I hope you enjoy what’s to come and that we can connect through it…

On this note, let me introduce Desiri…  

Desiri Okobia (aka Miss Dee) is an author and English literature teacher from London, UK. In her book “Diaries of a Visionary”, she shares her experiences, positive energy and strong passion for God. She writes: “I made plans to move to America and pursue my career as an actress in Hollywood. By this time, I had built up my acting portfolio by attending a theatre school in London, taking part in theatre productions and appearing in some TV shows… …New York is similar to London, and I was used to the city life. I had it all planned out: first New York, and then eventually I would move to LA and work as an actress, live in a nice house on the beach and drive a red convertible. Yep! That’s all I wanted to do…”

Desiri’s honesty makes me smile and her story brings to mind a well known saying: “Man plans, God laughs”. Pick up “Diaries of a Visionary” (on Amazon) if you’re so inclined – find out how the Maker interrupted her American dream, see her growth and enjoy the rest of this inspiring tale…

Back to “Love Don’t Fear” collaborations, Desiri will be reading “I saw her smile” – the full recording will be here soon. Meanwhile, please enjoy this short snippet with her powerful delivery of the story about a girl who never smiled… until she did. 😊

There’s more to come. In the meantime, go ahead and pick up “Love Don’t Fear” on Amazon. ♥

The Perfects Tale – Poem


Mr and Mrs Perfect

Mr & Mrs Perfect sat on a Tree

J-U-D-G-I-N-G

They kept looking down from the highest branch

“Let’s gossip a little while we’re having lunch”

.

“We’ve got a great view and so much spare time

It’s free entertainment – we won’t spend a dime!”

They looked down upon peeps – never looked within…

Birds pooped on their heads. The Sun burnt their skin

.

“Oh, we look so noble. Oh, we have no flaws…

Let’s leap to conclusions. Let’s sharpen our claws

Let’s pay them no mind. No! We know it all!

Let us fix their problems whether big or small…”

.

Seemingly quiet, reserved, even shy…

They don’t confront issues and never ask why

Yet, they judge, speculate, imagine, assume…

They’re the last to commend & the first to foredoom

.

They have an opinion about everything

They’re so out of touch… like yang without yin

Their faults may be quieter, but equally wrong

Their talks sound so strange like ding without dong

.

As they’ve sat there for days filled with evil thoughts

Their hair-dos got messy. Their dreams turned to naughts

Their skin started peeling off from way too much Sun

What they needed to do has been left undone…

.

A wild swirl of wind drove dust to their eyes

Their aura attracted a large swarm of flies

Finally, they resolved to come down from on high…

Now, they’re here undercover – next to you and I

.

undercover giphy.

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And that is the Perfects’ tale. Yes, this tale is true.

Let’s end with a riddle – I’ll give you a clue…

Do you know a Perfect? Yes? I know one too.

Am I one of them? Or could it be you? 😉

.

Excuses for Loving You – Poem


Colourful I love You Pic

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I love you because when I told you to go

You said you would not and you didn’t budge

You are dark & sweet. You’re my favourite thing

Way ahead of chocolate – even chocolate fudge!

.

I love when you look at me like a little boy

Who’s just been presented with his favorite toy

Stimulating my soul in untainted liberation 😊

I like how you do it. Mmm, such a sweet sensation.

.

Many times, I wondered if our love was right

When our days were nights, and we saw no light…

Yet, after each storm He’s taken us through

I remember how much I love the essence of you.

.

They thought I loved you because I loved drama,

And I had become what they call a baby mama.

.

Some thought it was purely awe-inspiring sex

And I’d dread my future if you were my ex

…Looking at another girl like a little boy

Who’s just been presented with his favorite toy

Sad Face Dried Flowers

There may be a grain of truth 

In all the above…,

But those aren’t the main excuses 

For You being the One I love…

.

The main reason why I hope to love you forever

Is bullheaded trust that God joined us together.

Even when I feel like we’re going under –

I believe we have no right to put us asunder.

Ayo, Music, Poetry – We Will Overcome!


Ayo & MeToday’s post is a little different, but not entirely. After all, Music is Poetry’s 1st cousin, isn’t it? On this note, I hope you allow me to introduce one of my favorite musicians Joy Ogunmakin.

Ayọ is a fantastic singer/songwriter. Her debut album, released in 2006, reached Double-Platinum status in France, Platinum and Gold in a few other European countries. It was released in America as well. The rest is history… Joy released her fifth record titled “Ayọ” in October this year. Currently, she is touring France with her music. That’s where we met last weekend. It was so much fun! One of the musical highlights of this trip was her concert at Théâtre des Bouffes du Nord, in Paris. It was epic! (as my daughter described it). However, music is more than a job for Joy. Initially, it helped her cope with a rather traumatic childhood caused mainly by her mum’s drug addiction. During the concert, she said: “I had to play music to overcome”.

I didn’t study writing at school. Writing wasn’t something I wanted to explore or even thought I could do, at first. Today, however, it is such an integral part of me that I cannot imagine not writing. Thankfully, I’ve met people who, intentionally or unintentionally, helped me and encouraged me to express myself in this way.  Ayọ is one of those people. We all have something to overcome. I don’t know exactly how far my pen is going to take me, but I also feel like I need to write to overcome so I do.

I have a feeling there’s something you also must do to overcome… What is it, and are you doing it? We may not be trained to do it & the circumstances may not be perfect. We might experience the lack of resources from time to time & 10.000 other reasons to not do what we know we should be doing. We may have 99 great reasons to fail, but we needn’t fail if we do what must be done to overcome. “Don’t be evil” as Google defines their corporate code of conduct, but do it whatever your ‘it’ might be…

If you’re doing what you’re supposed to be doing, the right training, people and resources will find you… Let’s do it, and let’s overcome. 

Enjoy this short excerpt from Ayọ’s concert. Be inspired 😊