None of the above is the reason that I feel my upcoming book is my first, and not my second, The reason for that is the mostly negative life changing events that I was experiencing at the time my first book came out. I was suffering from depression at the time the first book came out, although I didn't know that. I had just lost my mother and the racist, but well paying, job that I had at the time. I was working a boring job where I was severely overqualified and underpaid. Plus, the person I was married too had checked out of the relationship, but hadn't informed me (you know how you keep trying until you realize you are the only one doing so). So, things were rough. Really rough. I had no book release party. No celebration. In fact, the highlight of the announcement for me was commuting three hours from that terrible job to open the box of newly arrived books just to look at and hold a copy. Just me. No one else there to enjoy that moment with me. No one else that cared at the time. The sad thing is that things in my life got worse before they started to get better so that night with the box of books ended up being the highlight of releasing my first book. Still, its important that I say that all of the negative events that were taking place at that time set the stage for the much more positive environment that I find myself in today. Sekou Ture said "quantity makes quality" or in other words, keep working, never give up, and never let anything or anyone discourage you, no matter how bad things may look. Keep believing. Keep working. Keep moving forward. Use the negativity as a channeling mechanism to keep you fighting back. That's me. I refuse to let anything convince me I can't move forward or that humanity can't either.
Fast forward five years to November/December 2014. I just got notification four days ago from my (new) publisher that they have completed editing my sequel novel (the publisher of the first book never edited it), and I've spent the last four days spending every waking moment available joyfully re-reading the book in order to sign off on it. This evening, I pushed the button emailing my approved copy of the 330 page, 141,000 word manuscript entitled "The Courage Equation" to this new publisher. They have committed to release this book by the December holiday, 2014! Needless to say, as the soul group Shalamar sang three decades ago "The second time around will be so much better than the first time!" I will definitely have a celebration when this book comes out. In fact, I'm going to spend the rest of the year celebrating. And, although I feel my first book had a strong message, the message in this book I believe to be groundbreaking. This five year work picks up where the first book left off. It's a story that isn't being told by anyone else out here. African women, many born in Africa, uniting with white women to wage a sincere struggle against racism. Positive African men who are forced to battle against their sexism and work with the women on equal terms. A positive depiction of Africa as the backdrop for the story and people fearlessly standing up against racist terror, sexual assault behavior, and institutional discrimination. In other words, I'm extremely proud of what this book has to say and the way that it says it. I'm glad to be working with a publisher that seems (at least so far) to respect the integrity of this work, and I'm grateful to be in so much of a better position in life today than I was in 2010.
My point in this post? That capitalism is a decadent, anti-human system. It will do everything it can to sap your spirit and make you think there is something wrong with you when things don't go the way they should. The lesson that has been reaffirmed for me is if you don't have a process in place that reminds you of your humanity every second of every day, you will have no choice except to fall victim to this system's mechanism to break you down and steal your soul. Believe in yourself because doing so makes it possible for you to believe in humanity. And, if you can believe in humanity, you can believe positive change is possible. I believe all of that and my life is a living testimony to those principles, despite the efforts of so many and so much to derail my work and crush my spirit. So, yes, I'm celebrating. I know that anyone who reads "The Courage Equation" will be inspired, but more importantly than that, I know that even if not one person reads it, I've already won, but the beauty is with this book, unlike my first one, I know people are going to read it. And unlike my first one, I have no anxiety about people reading it and I'm prepared and better experienced at being able to put it in people's hands. Watch out world because this mission is in full swing and no force on Earth can stop us! Last, but not least, I want to thank every person over the last five years (and there have been many) who has expressed kind sentiments of personal support and you know who you are. I heard each and everyone of you and your words live within me everyday!