April Alisa Marquette's Blog

May 9, 2016

You know we loved him, right?

Hello Friends and Fam,

Today I just had to get with you. I have actually wanted to, for I don’t know how many days.
As of this writing, the world  recently lost a true icon and musical virtuoso, the peerless artist known as . . .Prince. Due to this loss, I — along with countless others are truly aggrieved.
superbowl prince
You may ask “Why?” You may even wonder if people like us aren’t being a bit dramatic and sentimental. If this is you, then you need me to break it down for you. Right here, right now.
Click on: Why we luh dat man Present tense, to begin to understand a bit about the man and his following.

 

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August 12, 2014

A Messy Situation

Filed under: A Must Read,Author,Betrayal,Blog,drama — April Alisa Marquette @ 3:55 pm
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funeral flowersI read an article today. It was about a messy situation that really got on my nerves. From this article it appears there was a man who died. It seems his funeral was arranged at a church in Tampa,  Florida.

However, the day before the funeral, as grieving family members attended the wake, a phone call was received. It seems the pastor of the church was calling to cancel the funeral.

Why? –Because church parishioners read in the deceased’s obituary that he was married to a man.

Now I have to ask: Does that matter?

The article points out that the living male spouse was able to make other rushed funeral arrangements. Yet he was quoted as saying, “I haven’t had a chance to grieve since I got the phone call.”

My next question is: Why? Why did the pastor/parishioners do this?

Are we not all people who live, love, laugh, and grieve — regardless of our religious, political, or sexual affiliations?

And my last question is: Shouldn’t people who aren’t necessarily like us be allowed to grieve too — in peace?

The article goes on to speak about homophobia and challenging it. It also said that while still reeling from this tragedy, the grieving spouse offered a message to the church. It was one that caught my attention. He said, “It is not okay to turn your back on people in need.”

I agree, especially if that church didn’t balk when it was time to receive those men’s tithes or offerings.

If you’d like to read the article detailing this messy situation, click here.

June 14, 2014

Reviewers didn’t fudge when they said

by Wendy Webb

by Wendy Webb

Hello lovely reader. I recently had the pleasure of reading a book by author Wendy Webb. Titled THE FATE OF MERCY ALBAN, this book is in turns creepy and chilling.  I tell you, reviewers did not fudge when they said it was gothic, mysterious and spellbinding. It is quite simply put, a good old fashioned thriller.  It is the type of book you’d read on a stormy night.

Then you will want to sleep with the lights on. I’m telling you, I had so much fun reading this. Set on a remote island, with people who seem more ghostly than alive, it reminded me, somewhat, of my novel EXODUS.

I have to tell you, this book had twists and  turns and the heroine sometimes had no idea whether she was going or coming. There is a love interest in the book, and there is another man. He is oh so ill-mannered, the very type of character readers love to hate on. There is a teenager with the proverbial near-rotten attitude and there are twists and turns, literally, that you the reader won’t see coming.

If you want to be just a bit scared, a lot intrigued, and ready for the next book when you finish, pick this up. Then go do yourself another favor, get my EXODUS. Travel to that little island, and let the goings-on give you the creeps again as you wonder ‘What the heck is going on now?’

Well readers, I’ve got to run but until we meet again, two things.

Happy reading.

Be blessed.

April

February 18, 2014

Dance that makes the heart soar

Alvin Ailey American Dance TheatherAs I’ve written in the past, I love to see dance that makes the heart soar. Thus I try to see the Alvin Ailey Dance Theater – That used to be under the artistic direction of once-dancer par excellent Judith Jamison — whenever they are in town. I happen to love this troupe that has performed for over 23 million people in 71 countries on multiple continents. I totally relate to the dances and the music that happens to be rooted in the unique African-American experience.

I also love that while creating his dances, the late great formally trained founder, Alvin Ailey called forth his memories of the American south. He summoned the universal human experience so aptly expressed in the blues, gospel music, and Negro spirituals. Doing so caused him to create unbelievable works, one of which is his critically acclaimed and most popular, entitled Revelations.

Now don’t get me wrong. The company performs ballet and other dance genres. They also strive to preserve the wholly American modern dance heritage. Now more than ever is this evident. Perhaps it is due Robert Battle, who became the Ailey Dance Theater’s Artistic Director in 2011.

I must say this year, there was a distinct difference. In the past, while watching the performers, whose ethnicities widely vary, I felt powerfully moved, and stirred. I even thought about the origins of African Dance. However, there have been subtle changes which caused myself and others who attended to question whether or not the Dance Theater is moving away from the traditional, to become more mainstream.

To me ‘more mainstream’ like portions of the 2014 show are overkill. I mean who can’t turn on their TV or tune in to YouTube to watch modern dance on any number of platforms. For me what made the Ailey experience one that I looked forward to each year was the fact that the dance troupe reminded us that African dance has always played a vital role in the lives of tribal people. Dance was used in everyday life. It was significant in religious rituals too; it was used to request success from the supernatural, and to deter danger. Dance was and still is used to express emotion, and to celebrate life’s milestones.

I know that other ethnicities use dance in similar manners. However African dancers do what some others do not. They use their body’s different centers to create complex movements; whereas in parts of the world dancers simply move the body as a whole.

I love the isolation that African dance employs, which causes different areas of the body to rhythmically move while creating a breathtaking whole. I love the mood, set by the drum, the beat — the actual steady heartbeat of the dance. The drum and the beat were carried to the new world when the enslavement of Africans began, in the 15 and 1600’s. In Spain, the Caribbean, and in the Americas, dance and the drumbeat were used to keep the African’s cultural connection with his and her homeland alive. However, in North America this became prohibited. Yet despite the oft times degrading harshness of their new existence, the African found a way to allow his and her spirit to occasionally soar.

My ancestors did so through beautiful transcendent dance. They allowed their moves, and their bodies — unlike their souls and their dreams — to adapt. Instead of lifting the feet, as prohibited, the hips took over, and the feet were slid or shuffled, as the rest of the body continued to undulate to the beat.

This type of dance is a powerful thing to watch, especially in a collective audience where the energy felt can be palpable. Not only does it speak to those of African descent, it simply speaks…to humans no matter their race, or ethnicity. This is evidenced by the millions, who like me; flock to see the Ailey Dance Theater. This is also evidenced by the dances that we see throughout the world, innumerable dances that have been Afro-Rhythmically inspired. As an African-American, I am proud to say: beautiful dance – African dance, and ethnic dance — will forever live on. I simply hope it will do so in the performances of the Dance Theater that was founded by Alvin Ailey, the creative genius now gone who also believed in African-inspired dance.

As a longtime patron of the arts I have one thing to say. I plainly say to the present and future Artistic Directors who will helm this TRADITIONAL dance troupe, REMEMBER OUR ROOTS! I say so because we want to continue to experience dance that makes the heart soar.

August 21, 2013

Do You Embrace Yourself?

thumbs up hug

Loving one’s body, and mind — employing self-love is embracing one’s self. 

With that said; as modern people, we are often bombarded from every side by the media. It hits us with messages that say we are not enough — not tall enough, or thin enough, not light enough, or tan or bronzed or black enough. The message sometimes is we’re not young, hip, or smart enough either.

Then if that’s not the case,  we may wind up receiving the same  message, but in reverse. We are too much. We are much too loud, too big –we’re obese, or we’re too old or too boisterous. It can even be suggested that we are much too under — or over — qualified. Wow! All of these mixed messages can weigh heavily on a person’s mind, whether or not they know it.

To tell you the truth, all of these mixed messages are the anti-thesis of embracing ourselves. Click here to find out why

August 14, 2013

Don’t Wanna Look Old?

Filed under: A Must Read,Author,Blog,For the Fashion Conscious,womens fiction — April Alisa Marquette @ 2:14 pm
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Don’t wanna look Old? If you fall into this category, if you happen to be someone who doesn’t want to look old before you get –say ninety-nine, then have I got something for you to check out. Written by Charla Krupp, the book  How Not To Look Old is chock full of fast and effortless ways to look 10 years younger, 10 pounds lighter, and 10 times better — exactly what it says on the cover. Roughly about 254 pages, this guide begins with how to age gracefully. Not.

Actually, the author speaks candidly about how aging can stick in one’s throat, like my  grandma’s dry turkey. It can be hard to swallow. The author speaks of how women can discover things that seemingly pop up overnight — like age spots, crow’s feet, chin hair, sagging bazooms, and bunions! Witch But don’t be alarmed. I’m speaking to those of us who don’t wanna look old before our time. The book’s author says we can do something about those things and others. She also states we can look great doing so.
So there I was, reading about the author’s proposed plan of attack on aging, and becoming more interested by the minute. Click here to see why…

July 25, 2013

Bra Sense

Filed under: Author,Blog,For the Fashion Conscious,For Women — April Alisa Marquette @ 1:10 pm
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lotta bras

You know, I discuss something different each time I blog … and there happens to be something that I’ve wanted to broach for a while now — shapewear. I’d like to discuss it because no lovely lady can afford to discount what she wears beneath her clothing. Sure, you’ve got your face done – your foundation. Then you’ve got the smoky eyes and glossy lips. Your hair is coiffed and your clothes are chic; however, what about your foundation garments? (My mom used to mention those. She even took my sister and I to stores just for that.) I ask because the right underthings can take your look, as well as your confidence, up quite a few notches.

 

If you’re a tween, a teen, or even twenty-something, you may not need to know as much about shapewear as a woman who may have lived a little longer. But you’re never too young to learn. Why? Because those sexily rounded ‘gurlz’ of yours will not always remain so. Therefore I want to discuss shapewear, brassieres — bras in particular.

 

Did you know that a bra can be one of the most important pieces in a woman’s shapewear arsenal? Not only does it re-shape but it can even re-size, and this is important because drooping bazooms can make one look slouchy, or old.  I don’t want you to be in the dark. bra confusionThe right bra can create an enchanting, smooth and youthful silhouette, no matter what your size or age. The right one can cause you to appear pounds thinner, but most of all, wearing the right bra can elevate a woman’s confidence. Then you can go get that job, confidently make the team, or stand before that audience and proudly address the issue at hand.

 

If you’ve got boob spillage, out of the sides or the top of your bra, or if you’ve got fatty bits swelling from areas like the back…then you’re due up for a new one. If your bra looks like a piece of armor – all pointy, and if it makes your gurlz resemble torpedoes which leave poke-marks in your sweaters or tees, then we need to talk.

 

Lady, if you need an inexpensive ‘breast-lift’ or if you now need more fullness, we’ll discuss it. If yours are larger gurlz that have decided to lie flat, I got you. We’ll cover that. I want to touch on fit, cup size, band size, underwire, color, and brassiere terms. So come on back, because there is a whole world of bra sense out there, and we ‘bout to get some!

July 23, 2013

Bet you didn’t know you could use coconut oil for…

Filed under: Author,Blog,Not Just for Women — April Alisa Marquette @ 2:05 pm
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coconuts

“So,” you might say, “what makes coconut oil so noteworthy?” Well, let us first discuss what it is, and where it comes from. Coconut oil is ingestible, extracted from the edible portion of a mature coconut, from the ‘cocos nucifera’ tree. Believed to have origins in the Indo-Pacific, coconuts are a staple in the daily diets of millions the world over. Yet coconut oil can be used for a zillion things.

Were you aware that this incredible oil is widely used in the making of cosmetics? It is used in creams, lotions, and skin exfoliators. It is even used in organic deodorants! I’ve found it to be an excellent moisturizer. Chasing dryness, it leaves the skin soft to the touch and looking dewy. If it is applied right after a shower while the body is yet damp, one can reap the most benefits.  In the colder months it can be added to a heavier moisturizer as a base. Coconut oil has long been used for other dry skin ailments too, ailments such as Xerosis, which is often caused by diabetes.

Used widely in India and numerous places in the world for hair care, coconut oil’s conditioning properties are legendary, and aids with hair re-growth. Applied topically, coconut oil contains proteins that are essential for nourishing damaged hair. For people of color, for those with dry, curly or kinky hair, it can be applied after washing to seal the cuticle and add a near weightless shine. Massaging the scalp regularly with coconut oil will ward off dryness. It is also a key element in treatments for dandruff and lice.

We all know that coconut oil is used in the manufacture of various hair conditioners. Yet did you know about the benefits of fatty acids like Capric, Caprylic, and Myristic Acids — which are all found in coconut oil.

Although we know it has a plethora of uses, I wanted to point out that coconut oil is used in making soap. The reason that it is often a base ingredient is because soaps using it will retain more water than those made with other oils. Therefore it yields more soap. Coconut oil is soluble, dissolvable, in hard and even salt water, which enables it to easily lather and it doesn’t tend to dry the skin like other non-oil based soaps.

Coconut oil soothes irritations like sunburn and insect bites. cocnut tree This oil with its microbial properties and barely-there non offensive fragrance is even believed to heal wounds.

It has long been used by those who tan. It is a massage oil, and some people use it as it as a lubricant. However, if you’re getting your swerve on, remember will weaken latex — thus, rendering condoms inactive.

So there you have it, just a few of the wonderful benefits of wonderful coconut oil!

July 9, 2013

Ever start the day feeling not quite right?

Ever start the day feeling not quite right? Well, I’ll tell you something. You can fix that. How, you might ask. With the power of your mind of course. A man once told me that it didn’t matter what happened to him, he could always start his day over — in his mind. So I tried it, and today I’m even going to let you join me. Watch me now… because I am going to do something we often did as kids when things didn’t go like we wanted them to. I am going to indulge in a virtual ‘do-over.’

Since I feel like crap at this moment, I’m going to have a huge cup of coffee. This one right here…coffee

Then although I know it’s laden with calories and sugar, I don’t care right now. I am am going to enjoy a virtual apple turnover. apple turnover See, I’ve even taken a ‘bite.’ Mmm…dee-lish!

When I finish it, I am going to get up in this comfy bed where I will pull the covers over my head and sleep until I feel ready to face the day. comfy bed …Reaching from beneath the cover to turn out the light.

A virtual two hours has passed. Ahhhh, now I’m waking up. I feel refreshed and new. waking up new Don’t I look it?

 

You should try it. It’s amazing how just thinking about doing a few needful things will rejuvenate!

Well, I’ve got to go, get a few things done, now that I’m all better, therefore…

Until next time,

April

 

June 19, 2013

If you’re avoiding people, I can suggest another way…

Filed under: Author,Blog,General Fiction — April Alisa Marquette @ 7:53 am
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kitty hiding

Want to avoid others? Well there is an app for that. I’m not kidding.

In one article it is called the anti-social media app. It is said to help people avoid their Foursquare friends. No need to ever hide again, peeking out from somewhere as your heart jack hammers away. I got you. I’m going to suggest another way.

For those who don’t know what Foursquare is, or those who want to read more, click here.

And as always, be blessed.

April

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