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Mr. Eugene Griffin, Health Educator, Street-Outreach worker, and Community Activist, Alameda County Health Dept., Oakland California., born and raised in Oakland Eugene has fought his way back from homelessness and knows the pitfalls of the streets. His goals it to educate all from his past mistakes, for a better life for All who he encounters. "Just spreading a good word or two"!
https://www.iheart.com/podcast/53-Melinda-Cochrane-De-28418919/episode/reverend-daniel-w-bates-interviews-28662952/ out at
Malik Al Nasir is a Liverpool born poet, film maker and social activist. After a troubled childhood in the care system in the 70’s Malik emerged semi-iterate. That all changed in 1984 after "https://www.theguardian.com/…/j…/19/gil-scott-heron-saved-me" a chance meeting with ‘Gil Scott-Heron’ who mentored him from the streets through University to a masters degree. Malik’s band Malik & The O.G’s released their debut album Rhythms of the Diaspora Vol’s 1 & 2 Ft. Gil Scott Heron and The Last Poets in 2015. On Nov 1st 2017 the ‘Africa EP’ is released off the album on ‘MentiS RecordS’ and a "http://malikandtheogs.blogspot.co.uk/…/the-revolution-will-…" promotional tour is booked for the UK and Canada in October Nov 2017 with members of Gil’s band and Canadian songstress Rita Carter’.
November 17, Melinda Cochrane Interviews Dr. Will Moreland
Dr. Will Moreland was raised in one of the roughest cities in America- Compton, California. Growing up wasn't a piece of cake: surrounded by gangs, drugs, murder, and having a father in jail, didn’t make things easier. Throw in a low self-esteem, a speech impediment and you have the beginning of Dr. Will’s journey.
After many tough years in California, Dr. Will made the choice to join the Army. In the Army, he began to transform his life. Committing himself to personal development and education, Dr. Will started to see changes in his life. Earning his Doctorate degree at the age of 27- he was ready to go to work. When Dr. Will was released from the Army with an Honorable Discharge, he was passionate about helping others discover the power of leadership and personal development. He started his company to help individuals, organizations and associations develop their leadership potential. For the last 15 years, Dr. Will Moreland has traveled to over 40 different countries to train leaders and organizations. He has written over 40 books and has received multiple awards over the years for his work in mentoring, business and professional speaking.
He has been married to his beautiful wife Dr. Kristie Moreland for 20 years and they have two wonderful children, Karah and Champ. The family has lived in Arizona since 2010.
Kay Kinghammer is a full time poet, currently living in Seattle, Washington, USA. In the last two years, she has been published in “Granny Smith Magazine; Prospective – A Journal of Speculation” volumes 3, 4, 5, 6, and 7; “Electric Windmill Press”; “Pacific Poetry”; and “A New Ulster”. Her work has been included in the following anthologies; “The Blue Max Review” – an anthology from Rebel Poetry in County Cork, Ireland, and “The Inspired Heart” – an anthology from Melinda Cochrane International in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. Her first full length collection of poetry, Inside the Circus, was published by Loyal Stone Press in May, 2013.
She was one of the original organizers/readers at Red Sky Poetry Theater and at Campus Poets and Writers. She was also a graduate of Clarion West (1984) Professional Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers Workshop. She says that one of the most prolific and joyous times of her life was when she was a member of the Mercer Street Poets, a group of women poets, who critiqued each other’s work and did occasional readings.
She has been a featured reader at the Whidbey Island Poetry Festival, and in 1992, at the Seattle Music and Literary Arts Festival, Bumbershoot. She recently read at the Fermoy International Poetry Festival in County Cork, Ireland in early August, 2013 and was featured at Breadline, a monthly reading series in Seattle in late August, 2013.
The best thing about growth is it allows you to change your mission. We are now offering an online publishing platform for writers. This will allow writers to have a closer connection to their readers. Each writer accepted will have a unique membership page which only their readers can access. This will allow the authors to build their readership. It has been a wonderful journey to publish so many in hard copy form- but from this point on Melinda Cochrane International will only be publishing in this format. It promises to be an exciting new journey both for the company and writers who are accepted.
Don't forget to check out the submission call and if you are interested do send an email through the contact form. Melinda Cochrane CEO Melinda Cochrane International Books.
We are happy to announce that Melinda Cochrane International Books will be working with two new editors: Chelsea Moran and Lindsay Waldron who have now joined our team. We will be adding their editor's page shortly. As well, due to demand the submissions for new books is now open. Please use the submission form for any information on the cost of our services. This marks the fourth year for this company and as we expand with a new team we hope to further assist you in your dreams to be an author.
Today, it is quiet outside as I sit here reflecting on my life. I am doing so with a level of realism and humble reverence knowing that some have accomplished far more than I. But, what hit me in this reverence was that we often do not value the actions and successes we have because we are always looking at what the other person has done- somehow comparing our journey with an invisible measuring stick. The trees around me in their beauty that surrounds this day, however, need no comparison. They simply exist as if to simply please us and to give us spiritual shelter.
When I look around me I see the houses dotting the shoreline- symbols of affluence and wealth - metaphors for the lives within them. Then I observe an old woman with her granddaughter, pushing her in a swing, the child glowing with pride at being able to swing higher each time and the grandmother joyful at having the strength to provide the child the needed momentum. Slowing, I scan all the small happenings around me- the vender with his truck selling hotdogs and the man pulling his boat out of the water. Simply living unnoticed without many to say they had. Then the answer of why I was deep in thought hit me.
You see I'd just been through surgery for Thyroid cancer. It left me unable to even do the things that were unnoticed by anyone. I began to see my success as being able to eat- being able to talk louder- to be able to take off the tape on my scar and to be able not to receive chemotherapy.
But it wasn't this that made this day a beautiful pictures of happiness- it was the fact that all these people- whether owning homes on a lake or vending hotdogs or pushing a child in the park were doing and living. They were living their own lives without measurement- unnoticed by the world, not followed or liked by anyone. Somehow, in the simplicity- untouched by social media- they were the bigger successes because the measurement of their life was simply the moment they were living in. And, that sums up what I've taken from this journey with cancer- to quiet life and to sit back and enjoy the moment. To make sure to see the world around me not through a lens of comparison but through a realization that these small moments contribute to our stories and to spend less time looking to be approved or validated for them- to simply be.
By Melinda Cochrane
My late grandmother was Iranian and had a 'khajeh', a eunuch, in her childhood household. But I didn't know what that meant until last month, when I began researching her background for a novel I'm writing.
Grandmother was a privileged northern Tehrani and had always had servants. She would often boast that she'd never cooked a meal in her life. As a middle-class Canadian immigrant, I considered the fact that she had a eunuch exotic, an icky marker of her social background. Her father worked for the Qajar Shahs (kings) in turn of the 20th century Persia. Things were different then. I left it at that.
Last week I found an article about the Qajar period, and discovered Qajar eunuchs were black slaves. My jaw hit the ground.
Grandmother having had a eunuch was bad enough, but this information made it worse. It put things in a different light. The person she was referring to was forcibly taken from his home and people. Castrated. Made to babysit my grandmother and her siblings and ferry them to school. His whole life expended on some rich brats on the other side of the world.
I remember her telling me "Iranians aren't racist! We are very open towards black people." Well, yes. So long as they are free labour with no future.
I remember she was proud of having a eunuch. It came across in how she talked about him. But somehow his personhood didn't come across until I realized he was black. Vistas of his family's agony and my family's shameful conduct opened up. I have no idea what the man's name was. I think it was Iranian, which is why I didn't realize he was black. She primarily called him 'the eunuch', as owning him marked her aristocratic status. His cultural life and identity were erased in the meantime, even his name becoming Iranian.
I have a visceral reaction arising from histories of Muslim traders of black slaves, legacies of North Africans devastating tribes of the south, narratives of conflict in Sudan of brown-skinned oppressors of black skin. These are terrible histories that I would rather downplay.
But the past cannot be erased. I'm learning a lot as I delve into novel writing. I chose historical fiction to write my grandmother's story. My grandmother lived through two world wars, two invasions, a CIA backed coup, lavish oil years, the Iranian revolution and hostage crisis, and years of Iranian pariah status. Just thinking of the shift from mules to iPhones in her lifetime boggles my mind.
I thought she and the seismic changes she lived through would be my focus. Instead, I've found her life and my relationship to it changing. I am politically rebellious, sensitive to inequalities, and an ethnographer by instinct. Instead of my revealing her life to others, I find I am revealed by it.
I am smug in my belief system. But then it's easy because I don't have to relinquish anything for it. I can have my slave owning grandmother and eat moral righteousness too.
Yet I am hardly in a place to cast stones. Because of my wealthy family, I was able to immigrate and have a Canadian passport. I can now travel visa-free or get a visa on arrival in 171 countries and territories; Afghan passport holders do so in only 24. The world order is rigged for the rich to get richer, and I am now on the winning side, with all the wealth it has siphoned out of Dutch, Portuguese, British, French, and Spanish (and Muslim) trade in African slaves, European colonial subjugations of Asia and the Carribean, and Spain's looting and devastation of South America.
These histories exist, even if they make us want to turn away. Canada's wealth is predicated on the devastation of those who were here before (yay, 150th?). Even shopping is a zero-sum game: somebody, somewhere, has paid or will pay for the cheap goods I buy.
I am in no place to cast stones. I live blithely on the happy side of normalized inequalities, just as my Qajar aristocrat grandmother did. And I'm only here because she came from a class that could afford to send its descendants abroad.
So I'll temper my scathing morality lectures several notches, as it's clear, so to speak, that my own house is made of glass. And even though 'the eunuch' in my historical novel was supposed to be fair-skinned and pudgy, I am going to put him back as he was: dark-skinned, foreign, a person in his own right.
And quietly, in my heart, I offer thanks and an apology to this man whose own family history, to my deep regret, may well have ended through its intersection with mine.