April Alisa Marquette's Blog

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.

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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.

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!

June 21, 2013

Consider Stillness

Filed under: A Must Read,Blog,Books,Contemplation,Daily,Devotion,Inspirational,Peaceful,Stillness — April Alisa Marquette @ 9:03 am

You know you loved a book when it stays on your mind, and when what you felt when you read it stays with you…

April Alisa Marquette's Blog

There is a book that I’d read a while back and I could not think of the name of it. I knew that upon beginning to read that particular book I’d garnered such a sense of peace. I could see the cover of the book in my mind, but the words just would not come clear.

Then I remembered. I’d been so enamored with the book that I’d had to blog about it, thus this re-post. Do enjoy…

I’ve recently begun to read Thomas Merton’s ‘A Book of Hours.’ A monk at the Trappist Monastery of the Abbey of Gethsemani, Merton has led the way for many in their search for the divine. Upon reading the first few pages of the book, I sensed the peace that this devout servant strove for. I like that he advises us to listen, in silence, and to surrender to silence when we are…

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June 13, 2013

Wanna get fit? No gimmicks here.

Filed under: Author,Blog,Books,Exercise,Fitness,Health,Walking,Workout — April Alisa Marquette @ 8:26 am
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fat girl

Hello there,

It seems we’re in that portion of the year where everyone wants to get and appear fit. Still, there are so many gimmicks out there. Every clown and his mama are trying to take your money –for some DVD that you’ll never use, or for some class that you’ll sign up for but never go to. Or worse yet, for some meal plan that will starve you and make you meaner than the devil. I know. I’ve been there.

So I know you’ve heard this before… You can walk your way to fitness. Hang on. Don’t shut me down. Just let me say it again –because it’s true. Walking can help you shed pounds.

I know because there was a time when I looked like someone had blown me up with an air pump. I’ve even got photos to prove it. I’m not going to let you see them, and quit laughing; it wasn’t funny, and it sure wasn’t pretty. However, walking truly helped me. It can help you too. It’s simple. To read more, click here

June 5, 2013

This phone call was no harmless prank.

Hello friends,

The Call  I’ve been meaning to tell you about a movie I saw recently. Halle Berry stars in it. Morris Chestnut is her love interest and the name of the flick, directed by Brad Anderson is The Call.

Now I’ve got to tell you, when I saw the trailers I didn’t think it would be something I’d really want to see.
Boy was I wrong!
To read more, click here

February 27, 2012

Book Review: Iniquities by April Alisa Marquette

Book Review: Iniquities by April Alisa Marquette.

Read Tamela Quijas’ stunning review of ‘Iniquities’ Book III in The Cohort Trilogy!

 

November 17, 2010

Is DWTS A Dancing Contest or a Popularity Contest?

I am so disappointed, actually I feel betrayed. Sure, it may seem petty, but I have to talk about it. I’ve been watching ABC’s ‘Dancing With the Stars’ (DWTS) on television, and as a writer, editor and motivational speaker , I don’t have a lot of time to just kick it. So this has been my little gift to myself, the time to sit and absorb the music, the dance, and the beauty. The thing is: now it’s time for the finals… and my favorite is gone. What kind of foolishness is this? I was rooting for Brandy and Jennifer. However, now I have to sit back and see how I feel, now that one of them is gone.

Like Fox t.v.’s ‘American Idol,’ ‘Dancing’ is starting to get on my nerves. Why? Because the audience gets to vote. Hey, I’m all for democracy, but I still think there should be some type of DWTS electoral college. I believe the judges should have the last say, or they should at least be able to rescue someone if the voting public, the viewing audience gets it wrong. And I say the viewers got it wrong last night, because there is no way that Brandy the singer, who has blossomed into a wonderful dancer, should have gone home. The fun of the show was knowing that she and actress Jennifer Grey, a superb dancer in her own right, were going to be in the finals.

The excitement, for me, was that they would face off, against each other, since they happen to be the top two dancers. Both have beautiful moves, they give it their all — granted Jennifer cried a little too much for me, and someone said that Brandy wanted the Mirror Ball Trophy a little too much — but each dancer has to have their quirks right? However, the other people who are left to go into the finals… honestly, I don’t think they should be there, plain and simple. Bristol Palin seems to be a sweet, and she appears to slowly be emerging from her shell, quite possibly stepping out of her famous mother’s shadow. Kyle Massey happens to be a Disney favorite; he is charming and such a showman! But he and Bristol are not the greatest dancers, to put it plainly. Both have repeatedly been in the lower scoring tiers. In my opinion, at least one of them should have to watch from home, or they should have to watch the finals from the sidelines. Yet they are in the finals!

To the show producers I have something to say. If the judges have given a dancing couple the lowest scores, and this is consistently the case, eject that couple. Applaud them for effort, but eliminate them, let them go home. Or other viewers may begin to feel like I feel. They may even ask the question, does popularity matter more than achievement? Or perhaps viewers may ask: is the show more about who (or whose family) can best manipulate the media? Producers, you hired the judges because they are professionals; they know dance, and theory. They know what true dance aficionados are looking for, whereas the viewing audience may simply see the show — not as a dance contest, but as a popularity contest.

November 3, 2010

Sowing — What Makes This Story Relevant

Hi all,

I want to share a story with you. It is one that I co-authored with Jessica Janna, renowned New York evangelist and song stylist. The name of her book is Sowing. It is the second install in her Relinquish and Reap Series, a collection of her memories.

Jessica, who is now seventy-something, recounts her years as an adolescent in the purse-sized book Sowing. She shares with readers some experiences of hers that became her secrets to carry… until now.

To read more about this remarkable woman of faith, take a peek at the review written by BellaOnline.com’s Christian Literature Editor, Lyn Sedmina.

It is my hope that after reading the review and the book, you will see what makes Jessica and her story — told in seven volumes — one for each decade of her life — relevant.

Available at Amazon.com, BarnesandNoble.com, and Books-a-Million.com

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