Not quite a memoir, but including personal internal issues, the writer chooses to use several animated short stories to describe the different phases of the Black Woman’s life. Thoughts of a Twenty Something Year Old “The Very Essence of Me” is the first book included in a series written from the perspective of well…a twenty something year old black woman. From toxic relationships with both insignificant others and parents, to identity crisis’ and motherhood, each fictional story is written to provoke thoughts of careful self evaluation within each reader. Like life in general, some of the stories and commentary are given remedies from both spiritual and practical aspects, and some are simply left opened ended thus creating a shock effect; but all are tied together with a single touch of advice in between each passage from an anonymous “Wise Woman” as titled who possesses a motherly (or grandmother to younger ladies) type of spirit.
Excerpt from Book:
A Wise Woman one told me, “Baby, don’t be a fool. One decision can lead to a lifetime of pain”
He Said He Would Change
A cold rainy night engulfs a beautiful glowing woman whose belly is swollen full of a little boy and right eye closed with pain. She frantically limps towards a small cozy looking house with its porch light on in hopes of finding a safe haven from the man who helped create the child she now carries. Her knocking is not in vain resulting in a wrinkled chestnut brown woman answering the door and ushering her into the safety of her living room. The nurturing widow of many years wraps the young woman’s wet bare feet in an electric blanket and tries to calm her in order to find out her circumstance but tears and wailing is all that could be produced. While shivers and shakes control the movement of her body, the battered woman recites over and over, “He said he would change.” Ten months prior to this devastating night, the sweet natured receptionist had made a decision to let her one weakness filter back into her life. Instead of heading to her sister’s advice and ignoring every love letter that her then imprisoned ex boyfriend sent, she chose to embrace and believe the never ending poetry and promises. Thoughts of their prior experiences, the nights of beatings and days of stalking, were simply just pushed to the back of her memory. The seductive yet sweet lines of his handwriting were too good to let pass. Convincing and deceiving all in the same, each letter led a trail to her tender heart which was ready to receive her changed lover. Within the next few weeks her newly changed beau was released from prison and instantly set up a home within her one bedroom apartment. He said he would change, and for the first month he did just that. The once abusive thug became a sensitive romantic man ready to build a life and family with his eye on the prize of fulfillment. Life for the couple was lived in perfect harmony and a month thereafter the news of a new addition was discovered via a home pregnancy test. He was ecstatic; she was overjoyed, they were together in bliss and wedding plans immediately followed. Things suddenly took a sharp turn as soon as morning sickness set in for the newly impregnated bride-to be. Her fiancé’ began to express his dislikes in everything from how she cooked to the way she made the bed. Character assassination from his end to hers soon then transformed into outright blows to her face and swift kicks to her growing tummy. Weeks grew into months with night after night of alcohol driven abuse until one stormy evening when she began to scheme her escape route. As soon as his fist met the side of her face for the second time that night, she swiftly withdrew her grandfather’s switchblade which he had taught her to maneuver with precision as a teenager, from her bra and connected the sharpest end to his neck. Leaving him bleeding on the bedroom floor, she fled without shoes, a purse, or even a jacket to protect her from the bitter winter temperature. The faster she ran the faster the thoughts and regrets raced through her head. Never did she ever suspect that her honest life would turn out in this mess, she was a preachers kid. Why didn’t she listen to her sister and do what her heart knew was right? How could she be so foolish? Would her child have to be raised without her do to a possible capital murder charge? The pain numbs her mind as the unfamiliar but kind old woman escorts her into her home out of the rain as she whispers, “He said he would change.”
Tahnee Jones was born and raised in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma until the age of eleven when her family relocated to Dallas, TX. Her passion for writing has lingered since the tender age of seven years old when she first decided to write poetry and songs, following in the footsteps of her father. Throughout her childhood she was praised by teachers for her literary work but never entered an actually contest until her sophomore year in high school where she won a bronze medal for her poetry in the NAACP ACT-SO competition. In the same competition the next school year, she again was rewarded a bronze medal for her poetry. After encountering some life altering experiences for the worse at the age of seventeen, writing was put on the backburner until she decided to pursue a rap career two years later. The harsh lyrics she wrote from her heart began to take negative effects on her personality as she transformed into someone even her own mother could no longer recognize. Just a few months into her new career, upon finding out she was with child, Ms. Jones knew a decision had to be made between being a stable mother for her child, or continuing in a reckless lifestyle. She chose her child, then shortly after chose to live completely for God leaving everything in her past behind. Just a year after being committed to salvation she was recruited to be a columnist for an internet magazine geared towards Christian teens and continued to contribute until the magazine discontinued. She also worked as a monthly columnist for B.L.O.G. (Beautiful Ladies of Grace) Magazine, her column “Dating for the Cause” focused on being able to maintain integrity while courting in a Christian relationship. Currently Ms. Jones is a contributing writer for Beautifully Said Magazine as well as a monthly columnist for Mane Dame Magazine which is based out of Dallas, TX. She also serves as Chief of Editorials over the Agape World Harvest International organization as well as organizes several women’s events under the umbrella of Greater Victory Love Outreach Ministries also known as VLOM. Her time now is devoted being on her post as a youth minister, public speaking, writing novels, and remaining the best mother she can be to her daughter. Inspired by first and foremost the Holy Spirit, she also attributes her inspiration to being a young single mother coming out of the secular world having to stand flat footed for righteousness.
Get to know Tahnee:
What are your favorite topics to write about? My favorite topics to write about would be dealing with emotional issues as a woman because I went through so much in my late teens and early twenties mentally. I always aim to impact women by sharing the wisdom that was given to me by my spiritual leader and God Himself so that they may be able to overcome as well!
So you freelance; why do you enjoy writing for different magazines? I absolutely LOVE writing for different magazine because it gives me the opportunity to impart what I stand for to different audiences. I have been told that I have a gift of being very personable and relatable with my articles and that’s my goal.
How did Thoughts of a 20 Something Year Old come about? Thoughts of a 20 Something Year Old basically started as a blog called “The Essence of Me” in which I developed short stories and posted thoughts in the form of narratives. The purpose of the blog was to provoke black women in thought concerning decisions they may be facing as well as developing an appreciation for being a black woman. One day after a few months I just decided to take it all the way and develop sequels, prequels, and some even “three-quels” as I call them along with extra commentary to help give remedies to the problems in question.
What can we look forward to in terms of the sequel and other projects connected with this book? I’m actually working on the sequel to my book as of right now and aim to have it released by early 2015. Basically, this next book will be from a more mature perspective because I’m older and know how to better handling things. The things I basically whined about in this book with be conquered with a positive mindset in the next. Also, I plan on doing spin-offs of a few stories in “The Essence of Me” which would give the reader the WHOLE background leading up to the dramatic event that takes place in the short story.
So who exactly is the “Wise Woman” as stated so many times throughout the book? The “ Wise Woman” in the book is designed to relate to the reader as any older grand-motherly type figure they might have had in their lives no matter if she was blood related or not. Personally mine is my godmother who is an old church mother (but young in spirit!) who has walked a life of faith and has an unbelievable testimony herself. Most of the quotes are actually the quotes which came from her mouth to my ears many days throughout my twenty-something life. I truly thank God for her!
What is your expectation for the reader’s behalf? The one expectancy that I have for my readers is that they be able to personally relate to at least a few of the characters in one way or another. I desire that many root issues that cause us to stumble in our minds as young women be exposed and dealt with so that we be free!
Can we get a sneak peek of a few topics we will reading about specifically? A few topics featured are of course broken relationships with a man, eating disorders, premature sex, depression as a young mother, and much more!
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