The Monday Barrage

I had so much fun with last week’s roundup, that I’ve decided to continue this format of spotlighting the more interesting tidbits that have made an impression on me during the week.  This is a fun approach for me and I hope you enjoy.

1.  Audio Books

Who knew? Well, maybe you have listened to them before, but I hadn’t.  I’ve always been more of a bookworm who’s enjoyed reading and the thought of listening to an audio book felt like, well, cheating.

However, it was psychologist and philosopher William James who said, “If you can change your mind, you can change your life.”  That’s exactly what happened in this regard.

My perspective on audio books shifted during our road trip to Texas a few weeks ago. Rachael suggested that we get a few audiobooks for the girls to listen to while they enjoyed the ride.  I picked up Old Yeller, Black Beauty, and Charlotte’s Web, and I was stunned by how awesome and entertaining they are.  And I must say, Old Yeller is an incredible story! I may never have known this if I hadn’t listened to the audio book.  I still prefer holding a book in my hand over the audio variety, but my opinion has definitely changed.

2.  Syrian Conflict

The conflict in Syria has been raging on for about 9 years.  If you listen to mainstream media accounts, you’ll have the general idea that “Syrian president Bashar al Assad is a brutal dictator. Assad is supposed to have responded to peaceful protests with repressive violence by killing his own people. The U.S., UK, Saudi Arabia, and Qatar continue to maintain that Assad must go.”

It’s fascinating how the same story can be told in two completely different ways. Plus I’m aware of how propaganda can be used to shape the minds of the masses into whatever direction is needed.

I’m not saying that the mainstream accounts of what’s going on over there is completely false.  I’m just saying that I needed to read a different account to have a more balanced opinion of what’s been going on in Syria, and I encourage you to do the same.

3.  Eid al-Adha

Has anyone heard of Eid al-Adha? I was looking at the calendar on my phone and saw a notification for this event coming up on August 20th.  For those like me who aren’t familiar with this holiday, it’s a religious festival celebrated by Muslims all over the world.  Eid al-Adha, is basically the celebration of Abraham’s willingness to sacrifice his son Ishmael in the name of Allah.

“But the climax of Eid al-Adha offers an unequivocal denunciation of human sacrifice, even when it appears divinely sanctioned. Although God himself seems to order the sacrifice of a human being, it is ultimately stopped by God. As Muslim families around the world gather for the traditional holiday lamb meal, they celebrate the rescue of Ishmael and the unequivocal sanctity of human life.”

So, if you didn’t know, now you know!

4.  And the Winner Is…Juju Seeds Media!

Earlier this summer I was awarded a Community Foundation Grant (in association with the Heal Charlottesville Fund), to further my efforts toward writing, publishing, and distributing children’s books about families of color.

I am extremely excited and thankful to have received this awesome distinction.

5.  Make Your Bed

“If you want to make a difference in the world, start by making your bed.” – Admiral William H. McRaven

The idea behind making your bed each morning is that it will be the first task you complete in the morning, which could naturally lead to completing another, and another, and another, until you’ve created many little jobs-well-done.

I make up my bed every morning, so I can attest to it’s value.

6.  Charlottesville Anniversary 

It’s amazing that a little over a year ago if you Googled Charlottesville, you’d read a dozen posts about how wonderful it is to live here…including how it’s been consistently voted as one of the best places to live in the country.

Well, that was before our town was besieged by a group fueled by an ideology of hate, turning one of the best places to live, into the frontlines of the war on racial disharmony in America.

A year later, we are still picking up the pieces in an environment filled with anxiety, agitation, and anguish that was created.  But it’s more important now than ever to stand against hate in all its forms.  All justice focused people – regardless of race, gender, and sexual orientation should stand together to oppose discrimination and hatred wherever we see it.  We will forever be mindful of those who were affected by last year’s violence.

7.  Stand Your Ground

This insane law is making this country less safe – especially for African Americans! Read up on Stand Your Ground, and if this doesn’t make you feel a bit uneasy or upset, then you might be packing a concealed weapon of your own at this very moment.  For some, Stand Your Ground can be seen as a license to kill!

8. Go with the Flow 

Our van broke down on one of the hottest days of the summer.  After I called for a tow truck, the girls and I were close enough to home that it seemed to make sense to hoof it home.

The “Old Marc” would have been angry, flustered, and irritated, complaining the whole way.

But the “New Marc” did just the opposite.  I’ve realized that I can make the choice to feel exasperated, or I can just go with the flow.  I chose the latter…and with practice, so can we all!

9.  ImagineInk

My writing critique group appeared in the spring addition of Highlighter, the newsletter distributed by the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators.

Check out the article on my friend and fellow writer, Amy Lee-Tai’s website.

I love my crew!

10.  Meet Me in Hampton

We had a great time with grandma Moke and auntie Geika in Hampton, VA. this past weekend.

Check out the pics below.

Sadly, this may be the last official excursion of a summer filled with many new discoveries and plenty of adventure!


Weekend Pics








A bird on top of Booker T’s head.






























































Get Your Copy

Head over to to get your copy of The Girl Who Carried Too Much Stuff or What About Me?


Signing books for the students of Cale elementary school.







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Comments (2)

Thank you for another interesting set up subjects all bunched up into one blog post!

Marc, my friend! I’m enjoying your weekly roundup — fun glimpse into your heart and mind. It made me smile to find our critique group interview, and thanks for linking to my website. Congrats on being awarded a Community Foundation Grant and on doing such positive work for our community — and beyond!

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