Turning Bumps Into Books

Turning Bumps Into Books

Turning Bumps into books

By Butterflyy – Guest Blogger

This article is being brought to you by cityCURRENT, Get Involved & Power the GOOD!

Turning bumps into books; I think everyone has a creative side.

I choose to turn my light bulbs experiences, my failure, my success, and my fears into books. You may choose gardening, another person may choose music, another person may choose pottery. Some people choose to just sit on their experiences, well not I says the butterfly.

I chose to write. Writing for me is therapeutic, so whenever I am going through something I write. When I’m happy I write, when I am sad I write, when I’m overjoyed I write, when I’m confused I write, when I’m in love I write, when I fall out of love I write. As you can see, I write about everything.

According to my grandfather, my creative juices span as far back as three years old. He always said I would do great things because of the stories I would tell. One day he and I were talking and he said he enjoyed listening to me concoct stories; the more I told the story the bigger my eyes got, adding tall tales that any stranger would believe. He was the greatest for believing in me before I knew what belief in myself was.

My grandmother would say “Ms Hollywood you are special” from time to time, giving me ideas about story topics.

“Ms Hollywood, you are special”

Well let’s move forward to 2009 when I penned my 1st book. It was during a rocky marriage riddle with dual addictions that turned into emotional loses, physical ailments and eventually internal reconciliation. Unfortunately it wasn’t published until June 27, 2011, my literary birth. I grew from writer to published author

Book 1:

If you Change the Words you Change the Meaning – an addicts struggle to let go

“Pen to paper has healed my spirit”

Writing my story was me reclaiming my voice and I have not stopped writing since. Pen to paper has healed my spirit, comforting me in ways that no one would understand except another writer.
Another “bump into book” was on August 29, 2015. I could have relived the worst part of my beloved city, but why when I am grateful for having survived. Homeless not hopeless: it was because I decided to write. This time in the form of comfort, memories, and for the good times. What came out of my pen was a 10th anniversary cookbook:

Book 2:

Still Cooking Across the Canal – 50 recipes with a colorful lagniappe section.
Do you have a “bump into book” story? have you ever wanted to write but didn’t know where to start? Writing is the easy part for me, I actually found “the bump” in publishing the books. You know, the editing, formatting, and cover design. Fortunately for me I’ve learned a lot over the past 7 years and even though it’s not as hard as I thought, I still leave the technical stuff to the experts, which leaves room for my thoughts to run fluidly.
If I can answer your questions I will, if you need a writing coach I am available for hire, or if you need encouragement contact me. That’s free! To order a signed copy of my books, connect with me!
Turning bumps into books is fueled by a desire and passion that is uniquely yours, my desire and passion to live and love my own story first, per a good friend of mine,
is a blessing that has reaped the rich reward of meeting new people, traveling to new places, and building new dreams.

butteryflyy allen

Guest Blogger

Ellen “Butterflyy” Allen currently resides in Memphis, TN, where she is a GirlBoss. With ventures in the arts community as an author and poet, she credits being a native New Orleanian as the foundation for her welcoming nature. Ellen also finds great passion in the many hats she adorns as a writing coach, speaker, entertainment host, blogger, and talk radio co-host. She writes “To Her for Her”, the theme behind BSLinspire/Breaking the Silence through LIterature (the non-profit she founded in 2011). Ellen is also a mother of three and grandmother to three GrandKings.

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Memphis = Open Mic Nights

Memphis = Open Mic Nights

Memphis = open mic Nights

explore local talent

By Butterflyy Allen – Guest Blogger

MSM Mission Works brings life insurance to multi-cultural middle-class America. Click to learn more!

It is said that there is nothing to do in Memphis. However, locals have plenty of activities available. Every night of the week  Memphians can gather at open mic nights to hear sultry sounds, poetic verses, liberal thoughts, or even comedy, music, and dance. We have a wide variety of talented souls in the fair city of Memphis. The rich history and culture that is here is not just music and Beale Street. It’s also in the mayhem of poetry. One of my greatest loves and passion is the art of words. On any given night here in the city you can indulge in Neo-Soul, spoken word, or fantasy, that comes to life in the dimly lit, intimate setting of local venue.

The Word

Monday nights are always awesome at The Word. The Word is an open mic spearheaded by one of Memphis’ own internationally recognized poets, Darius “PhatMak” Clayton. Every Monday at 8pm, you are invited to the warm and artsy setting of Slice of Soul Pizza on Madison Avenue. There is a cover charge of $5.00 with food and drink for purchase.

The walls of this establishment are lined with the local artists’ renditions of self expression. It holds plenty of seating options with a family atmosphere. Some might rumble a bit because their voice cannot always be heard over the laughter or cries of children, but overall it’s a great experience. The pool of poets, comics, singers, and dancers all come together in one united front for the arts.

When I first ventured into the building for open mic, the food was on point. I loved the veggie pizza, which used to be loaded with everything. Now it’s okay at best. On any given Monday night, you can expect your trip to The Word to cost you about $20, with food and drink purchases.

 

Mot & Ed’s Southern Eatery

Tuesday nights, you can catch the bi-monthly open mic at Mot & Ed’s Southern Eatery, home of the double stuffed turkey burger. If you are a Memphian and you have not visited Mot & Ed’s, then you have not seen your city. Starting September, open mic will be held every other Tuesday. Sign-up begins at eight, first come, first serve. Again, poets, singers. dancers, comics, and the like are invited to sign up. The cost is $3 if you are performing, $5 for supporters or spectators. This is a small cozy, intimate venue. The open mic is hosted by different artists throughout the city, so no one person has the spotlight, and of course you can also order food.

Mot & Ed’s is operated by Edna Hawkins, the cook. Table seating is available but limited. The menu has an array of choices, however, if it’s a packed house there will be a lengthy wait, because everything is cooked to order. I keep it simple, as my order usually consists of fried okra. Your Tuesday tab can run you a crisp $20 bill.

 

Clicks hump day comedy show

Wednesday nights does not belong to poetry, but there are many things you can get into on a Wednesday night. 8:30 p.m. at Clicks, it is Hump Day Comedy hosted by Oscar Pruitt. Clicks is a sports bar off of Winchester in Riverdale. You can join the open mic, enjoy food and drinks from the bar, and play a little pool. My handful of visits was to support my comic associates, and it is just not my type of setting. There are drinks and bar food like wings. You can most likely bring a $20 and be comfortable with one drink and one menu item.

brinson’s Open mic

Thursday nights is Brinson’s Chicken and Waffles, they have an open mic that’s little known. The crowd is small but it’s family, and you can grab something to eat and drink. It’s not as intimidating as a room full of strangers, so grab the mic, your talent has a platform.

Brinson’s is welcoming and it has a lot of character, with open floor plan and table seating. They have a pool table, mixed drinks, and a cook that knows how to fry some good Southern fish. I also love their fried okra, when they have it. So on any given Thursday, you can join the open mic crew at Brinson’s. You can look to spend about $25 on drinks and a menu item.

 

 

Art Unplugged

Every 2nd and 4th Sunday, Art Unplugged has featured artists from Memphis and surrounding areas, showcasing their love of words. Blow Hookah Lounge & Cigar Bar in Cordova welcomes all to embrace the mic.
 
I like the welcoming feel, it’s spacious has a pool table to the back which could be a little bit of a distraction during the performance. The bar is wide open, the food is good and the price is moderate. However, the talent is off the chain. You should arrive early for better seating, and line your pockets with about $30-$35 because there is a $10 cover charge. 

Visit one of Memphis’ many open mic nights and enjoy the local talent and good food, or showcase some talent of your own!

butteryflyy allen

Guest Blogger

Ellen “Butterflyy” Allen currently resides in Memphis, TN, where she is a GirlBoss. With ventures in the arts community as an author and poet, she credits being a native New Orleanian as the foundation for her welcoming nature. Ellen also finds great passion in the many hats she adorns as a writing coach, speaker, entertainment host, blogger, and talk radio co-host. She writes “To Her for Her”, the theme behind BSLinspire/Breaking the Silence through LIterature (the non-profit she founded in 2011). Ellen is also a mother of three and grandmother to three GrandKings.

See All Articles by Butterflyy

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Homeless VS Homelessness

Homeless VS Homelessness

Homeless vs homelessness

By Butterflyy Allen – Guest Blogger

I am passionate about people. When we know better, we do better. Our opportunities aren’t the same, we tend to judge others according to our lot in life. It is unfair to assume that everyone knows better. Let’s look at the state of homelessness versus being homeless.

Homelessness to me is the chronic state of being without a fixed living arrangement. In my viewpoint, the chronic nature of an individual who seemingly dwells in the streets has more to do with mental illness than financial responsibility. If we look at the shelter situation here in Memphis, we can rightfully conclude that we are lacking understanding and rational thinking. These facilities have put a price on people without the financial and mental wherewithall to secure a nights stay. What kind of debacle have we created? In the minds of those already needing help and assistance we are poisoned as a people.

Homeless to me is being in a position where you are not the issue, with sea captain of your domain. Of course, I am speaking from a biased viewpoint. Having experienced the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in 2OO5, I found myself homeless. No, I did not spend a night out in the dark. No, I did not spend a night without proper shelter, but I was definitely put in a position where I had to rely on someone else for my shelter and it extended beyond my control. Financially, I was incapacitated and unable to secure and maintain my own.

Now back to Memphis and the crisis within. As I drive pass many corridors in the city, I often wonder, where are the instruments for change? There are programs here in the city that are designed to help homeless people, by force or by choice. We have a problem with space and availability, coupled with the economic situation. We are losing the war because we want to focus on the fight, between the haves and the have not’s. Between the two deficiencies of homelessness and homeless. Wherein lies the hope for better.

 

We have facilities, we have government funding, we also have private donations. What we don’t have is the education of both those living in a chronic state of homelessness and those micro- managing the help. Where is the accountability of those overseeing the funding for these facilities? Where is the accountability for those receiving payments from those that are paying, and then telling them that they didn’t pay enough or they’re 2, 3, 4, 5 dollars short and they can stay the night? Where is the accountability for those showing favoritism because of the color of our skin, where is the accountability, what are we lacking, when will we start to do better?

Some may say, how can you help people that don’t want help? First and foremost we have to work on assisting people to see the need for help. Yes, it is a lengthy process, especially when you’re dealing with mental health issues, but requiring finances is the last thing that should be on the agenda. By being an advocate for change, we put our feet to the pavement. Where are the outreach workers as some would say, “foot soldiers”, case management requires coming from behind the desk, where are the hierarchies who avoid this mental health crisis here in Memphis.

I am here for it, I am starting with the Union Mission. 383 Poplar, do you know better or you planning on doing better?

butteryflyy allen

Guest Blogger

Ellen “Butterflyy” Allen currently resides in Memphis, TN, where she is a GirlBoss. With ventures in the arts community as an author and poet, she credits being a native New Orleanian as the foundation for her welcoming nature. Ellen also finds great passion in the many hats she adorns as a writing coach, speaker, entertainment host, blogger, and talk radio co-host. She writes “To Her for Her”, the theme behind BSLinspire/Breaking the Silence through LIterature (the non-profit she founded in 2011). Ellen is also a mother of three and grandmother to three GrandKings.

See All Articles by Butterflyy

 

 

Interested In Joining Our Guest Blogger Program?

Duncan Williams Presents:

It's Happening in Memphis

Benefiting the memphis botanic gardens

2018 
Live at the gardens lineup

  • May 26th - SUMMER SYMPHONY AT THE LIVE GARDEN
  • June 1st - RASCAL FLATTS
  • June 20th - MIDLAND with Trent Harmon
  • June 29th - TRAIN
  • July 12th - BOY GEORGE & CULTURE CLUB with the B52'S
  • July 28th - GLADYS KNIGHT
  • Sept 7th - BIG & RICH

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