Sunday, December 4, 2016

WHERE MY STORIES LIVE

People always assume that because of my profession, I graduated from a university. They never ask if I did; they ask where I went. When I tell them I didn't, they're baffled. But how 'bout this: I almost didn't graduate from high school. I had a very big F in a required science class less than 30 days before graduation. And I failed the final. And I still graduated.

I don't use social media to share my most difficult, life-changing stories. They're in my poetry, self-help books, and occasionally my blogs. This graduation story is in my book Building Faith and Character Through Life Challenges, along with other great ones, like when I was nearly paralyzed and how a crucial shift in my belief system and attitude transformed my situation at the last minute and kept me from being wheelchair bound. Or how, 5 years later, to avoid being served eviction papers, I had to literally pack up and clear out my entire apartment alone in under 72hrs, and I had the physical strength and ability to do it. Or how I almost missed out on a major career opportunity because I was considering making a move based on the pressures and fears of my friends and family and not my gut. Thank goodness I honored my spirit!

These are the kinds of things I talk about in my writings. While I'm going through stuff, I say very little, if anything at all, about it publicly. But when I'm on the other side of it and have been victorious, I tell my stories. I use them to encourage people. I invite you to get this book (link with more info below). Get it for yourself; get it for people you care about, who are struggling with hope and victory. Come see how I use faith and determination to win in my life, and lemme show you some ways to do the same in yours.

Monday, November 7, 2016

GOT MY CD YET?

Here's how you can get my poetry CD, She Is Poetry: Use this link She Is Poetry CD to pay $10, and you'll receive the download link via email (no physical copies at this time). SO simple! Don't have Paypal? No worries! Just choose the option to pay without Paypal!

Here's some of what has been said about it:

"I am enchanted with this poetry CD! This is my first thorough introduction to Charlene Hustle Diva Green and I am in love with her narrative approach to poetry. This collection of poems is spun with intriguing everyday stories that will resonate with the listener like a family painting, familiar and warm. People with a performance poetry ear will enjoy this body of metaphors." ~Nikki Skies—Author, Poet, Actress, Playwright

"I enjoyed the full-bodied work with its melodic comfort, a swig of funk, with a small touch of futuristic aromas. 'Confidence Within' is calm and collected, which was one of my favorite tracks!" ~Shay Ensley—Author, Artist, Entrepreneur

"Hustle Diva speaks with authority. She has a special way of encouraging and nurturing through her poetry, all the while being transparent about her own life lessons." ~Audra Bryant—Actress, Comedienne, Singer/Songwriter 

"I really enjoyed it very much. Your CD reeks 'confidence' and very much a woman who knows what she wants, what she is, and who she is. Happy I purchased. From one poet to another, keep up the good work in spreading the 'word.'" ~Quanda R. Graves—Author, Poet, Entrepreneur

*Includes my signature poem, "Misinformed (If the Shoe Fits)," which you can sample here, if you haven't heard it:

Saturday, November 5, 2016

START YOUR HOLIDAY SHOPPING WITH ME!

Hey, everyone! I hope you're all doing well and that your holiday season is starting out right! 
Speaking of holidays ... it's that time of year again. The shopping season is among us, and as many of you know, I have plenty of ways for you to gift people. One of my main products right now is my new line of T-shirts. They're fun, inspirational, and unique. There are two sections: Empowerment Quotes and Haiku. I invite you to peruse the options, and if you haven't already purchased one for yourself, I encourage you to do that, as well as grab something for a friend or loved one. Now is the perfect time to order, as shipping times will increase significantly the closer we get to Christmas. 

BONUS: I've had requests for custom-text shirts, so if you'd like to place an order for a T-shirt from today, 11/5, through Thursday, 11/10 (11:59 p.m., PST), and you'd prefer your own text on it, I'll do it for the regular shirt price from my site (all shirts are the same price) instead of charging the extra fee of ten dollars. Send me a separate email with your text request and font color, and I'll send you a special invoice reflecting your order. After 11/10, you can still order custom shirts, but the extra fee will apply. Here's the direct link to the shirts: http://www.hustledivaspeaks.com/Pages/TSHIRTS.aspx

If you'd rather lift someone's spirits with some great reading material, then by all means check out my selection of poetry and self-help books. Who couldn't use a dose of inspiration, right? Here's the direct link to the books: http://www.hustledivaspeaks.com/Pages/purchase.aspx

Start checking people off your gift list early! Shop with me and avoid the terrible lines and cranky people at the malls, and those overpriced items! If you know people who might be interested in this information, please feel free to forward this email to them.

Enjoy your season, everyone! And thank you, in advance, for your support! 

HIDDEN TRUTH

Your innocent words press heavily
Upon the nerve you hit

The sting of the truth you are unaware
That you have thrown in my face 
Cuts me deep—
But what can I say? 
The truth is the truth....

Funny how a moment of idle chatter and fun
Can suddenly turn into a life-altering epiphany
For one who has so many lessons to learn
Old habits to break
And inner work to tend to

Distracted and disturbed by the sound
Of your voice ringing in my head
Waking me to the error of my ways
Yet shaming me of them, too
Makes my heart feel weighted
Leaves my eyes blurred with tears
But makes me glad you said so
Cuz the bitter dose of reality you fed me
Clearly my life must have sought

Because pressing at the forefront of my brain
Were those same mashed thoughts—
I held them of myself—
But I just said they were mashed—
By excuses, by fear
By a million erroneous beliefs 
That make my head spin
Make me dizzy
Make me damn near insane
And in the end
Debilitate and paralyze me...
I can barely move

It’s hard to breathe when your mind
Is enslaved by the devil’s voice
And your hip is numb and sunken into
The permanent concave imprint
Left in the middle of the bed
Where you lie...
Spiritually dead
Not even enough hope 
To fit underneath a fingernail

Hope
Such a small word
With even bigger meaning
And sometimes I have none

Right now
I can clearly see
The value you will have in my life
Because true friends speak the truths we hide
And force us to grow
Change
And be better
And better I will be 
Because of you

©2005 Charlene E. Green
From Me to You ... Through Mine Eyes: Visual Expressions
www.hustledivaspeaks.com

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

BLUE HEAT

After Korlah Camille Kafele's post on Facebook:

"Brothas...
Get those engines checked when the light comes on...
Don't procrastinate that tune-up on that truck...
Keep oil in your car and air in your tires...
We need you to make it home...
#terrencecrutcher"

Black men
We need you

We need you to make it
Through these unpromised days
With ease
Smiles on your faces
Goals on your minds
Plans for achievement
In the forefront
Your mental strong
Your will impenetrable
Pushing you to see the light
Be the light
At the end of a tunnel
Filled with
Tricks
Traps
Detours
Injustice

Treacherous heat
In your face
On your back

And I don’t mean the sun

You already know
This kind
Far too well

That Blue Heat
Oppressive 
Toxic
Ill-equipped
To replenish
Nourish
Comfort
Your black skin

Only warmth
You'll ever get
From this heat
Is that
Of your freshly drained blood
As it rivers
From bullet wounds
Drips
From your pounds
Of innocent flesh
Like tears
Pools remorsefully
Around your
Hands-were-up
Mouth-was-closed
Full-compliance
Body
Soaks up your soul

Yes
This is
A sob story
Colorful
Unpretty
A black
Blue
And red story
About how
Every day
No matter how well
You protect yourself
Your armor
Is moot
How
Whenever you make a move
Outside your four walls
It’s clear
That the game
Is rigged
The rules are skewed
You have no control
Over your opponent
Your life

And it’s never really
Your move
Yet it seems like
It’s
Always
Your
Time

We will
Say its name
Blue Heat
Like it keeps forcing us
To say the names
Of all your fallen brothers
Hold it accountable
Shelter you from its wrath
The best we can
Never cease attempting
To extinguish
Its blaze

Black men
We need you

We need you to make it
Home
From these dubious days
Off the game board
Into our arms

Without getting burned


©2016 Charlene E. Green

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

IT'S TIME TO GET A HANDLE ON THIS ... IN ITS ENTIRETY!


Okay, everyone. We really need to talk about IT'S and ITS. *sigh* This error makes me cringe every time I see it. Please learn the difference between the two words, because they are totally  different. That apostrophe changes the whole game, and it will ruin yours  if you're not using it properly. So, let's review:

IT'S is strictly a contraction for "it is" and "it has." That is all. If you write "it's," you better be saying something in the realm of: It's [It has] been a great day, or It's [It is] gonna rain. That's the extent of "it's," people.

ITS is purely a possessive form of the pronoun "it." There is no apostrophe when indicating possession. When you write "its," you better be saying something in the realm of: The dog keeps chasing its tail. [The tail belongs to the dog.] or The jury has reached its decision. [The decision belongs to the jury, collectively.]

Please, for the love of life, stop writing things like: The sun has lost IT'S glare. What you just said was a contracted form of: The sun has lost it is glare, or The sun has lost it has glare. Or: The dog keeps chasing IT'S tail. (You just said The dog keeps chasing it is [or it has] tail.) The proper word is ITS. Any time you wanna indicate that something belongs to something or someone, using the word IT, you need to say ITS.

And if I see one more meme with incorrect it's and its, I'm gonna scream! I can't take you seriously when you post memes with sayings like: "Everything happens in IT'S own time." Nope, I can't!

Holla at me for those editing and proofreading services that you clearly need if you're making this mistake. www.cegliteraryservices.yolasite.com

Now, IT'S time for me to carry on. This post has reached ITS informational limit.

Thursday, August 4, 2016

MY FAVORITE WAY TO HELP WRITERS

Today, I did an awesome Creative Consultation with a woman who has a great project in the making, who was concerned that it had no value for anyone but herself. It has SO much value for others! I'm excited for her to finish it and get it out there! She left feeling totally relieved, excited, and fulfilled, and told me the consult was well worth the money.

I LOVE doing Creative Consultations! They're actually my favorite part of my literary services. I love talking to people about their projects and not only teaching them the ins and outs of putting together a good book, but also brainstorming with them, helping them work through kinks, and getting/keeping things moving so they can get their work published. I could do CCs all day, every day, and never get bored!

If you're working on a literary project or contemplating doing so, and you're stuck about how to move forward, then get with me and let's make that thang happen!

www.cegliteraryservices.yolasite.com

Friday, July 22, 2016

IT'S ALL BECAUSE OF WRITING


I'm a writer first. When people ask me what I do, that's my response. Then I tell them I'm also a [performance] poet, an editor/literary consultant, and a life consultant. People wonder how I got into all the other stuff and how it connects to my writing, and I tell them: Everything I do outside of writing was borne from my writing. I gotta write the poems before I perform them; and I've always been a performer, though not everyone knows that. I went to acting school in the 90s and have always had an interest in public speaking. Editing and literary consulting came after I wrote my first novel, One Man's Treasure, and was an intern for Rosie Milligan and Maxine Thompson between 2004 and 2006, both of whom are accomplished authors and publishers here in Los Angeles. I started my editing business in January 2006. My life-consulting services are based on and constructed from three of my self-help books. It's all a spin-off of writing. It's the trunk of the tree of my career. Everything else ... branches. Were I not in love with writing, none of my other ventures would exist.

You can check out the many ways I can help you, below:

Friday, July 8, 2016

HAIKU FOR EVERYONE


COMEUPPANCE

Karma's a beast, dressed
to impress, who lures you to
dance, and then shanks you


(c) 2016 Charlene E. Green

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

HAIKU FOR BLACK LIVES #2


THEIR MOVE

Black lives, pawns in this
tainted chess game, illegal
checkmates shroud the board

(c) 2016 Charlene E. Green

HAIKU FOR BLACK LIVES


GAME OVER

I bet black lives will
matter when none are left to
help them win those sports


(c) 2016 Charlene E. Green

INDEPENDENCE DAY??

HAIKU #2 FOR ‪ALTON STERLING
 
INDEPENDENCE DAY??

So much for Alton's
independence; freedom slayed
by crazed blues' bullets


(c) 2016 Charlene E. Green

FALLEN FELON

HAIKU FOR ALTON STERLING

FALLEN FELON

His past, not the point;
point is, he was not pointing
gun when shot point-blank.



(c) 2016 Charlene E. Green

Sunday, June 5, 2016

AFFLICTION

My name
Is Regret
I’m the slickest
Trickiest
Manipulator alive
You think I reside in a space and time
Separate from you
But ohhh, silly rabbit
Didn’t I just say I was the trickiest?
And I ain’t just for kids
My game is tight
I run it on all of you:
Women and men
Boys and girls
I don’t discriminate
My job is to wreak as much havoc
On your psyche
As many times a day
As I can

See, I live in the backyard
Of the intuition you refuse to heed
Where I buoyantly wait
For your train-wreck decisions to play out
Like a string of box-office flops

I’m always packed and ready
To make my ascent
To the height of your emotions
Pitch my tent
Camp out in your cognizance
Hike the trails of your thoughts
Hunt for the frailest of them
Lie in wait …
Then pray
I pray so hard
For you to second-guess yourself
Give in to the pressures of people
And life
And slip into the abyss of situations
That will be the death of your sanity

I bank on you being steeped
Chin deep
In your insecurities
Depleted self-esteem
And lack of faith in your ability
To navigate your storms

Like the uncontrollable force
Of quicksand—
Your financial fears
Need for acceptance and love
Craving for material things
That you mistakenly rely on for joy—
They squeeze you breathless
Sink you
Into a state of panic
Where you can't picture
A healthy way forward
Where you believe you have no choice
But to surrender to inferior options

I'll cheer as you tumble
Down the dark hole
Of sleepless nights
Random outbursts of unruly sobbing
Churning-stomach syndrome
Fear of retaliation
Longing for second chances
Mental and physical tumult—
OH!—
The thought
Of your constant misery
Self-hatred
And endless discomfort
Makes my glands all waterfall
Has me salivating
Like a ravenous wolf
Fangs bared
Anticipation dripping from my tongue
Like fresh tree sap
(((shiver)))
I can
Taste
Every drop
Of the remorse that will hemorrhage
Through the bitter tears
Whose streaks will tattoo your cheeks
In the boldest font
So that every time you look in the mirror
You will be forced
To remember the scenarios you chose
That backfired
The times you cocked your mouth
Emptied its chamber
And annihilated people
With words you can't take back
How you betrayed yourself
Forfeited your happiness
Repeatedly
Cuz cowardice is your addiction
The crack in your brain’s pipeline
Decomposing your faculties

And I will roar in amusement
Beat my chest with arrogance
Revel in the ease of my accomplishment
In the depth of your weakness
Then I will
Smugly make my way
Back to the yard
Where I will kick my feet up
And slumber peacefully
Delighted that your life
Has yet again
Reached a new level
Of inescapable hell

©2016 Charlene E. Green


Wednesday, May 25, 2016

DON'T SKIP THE PROCESS

I'm encountering more and more people these days who aren't clear about or being properly informed of the publishing process and journey. It's very disheartening because publishing is such a great experience and one that should be enjoyed while you learn as you go. Sadly, there are too many people not enjoying it because they're not being taught properly, so they're putting out work that's not their best. This is especially sad for first-time authors whose reputations get tarnished early on because their product is subpar.

I wrote the post below to help people get a better understanding of the responsibility that comes with publishing. If you're a writer who's planning to publish, then please take the time to read it. Don't be like me and make costly mistakes you'll regret later. This is why I'm a literary consultant as well as editor. The whole process is vital, and it's often not respected, even when its importance is made clear to authors. Respect the craft and do it right, or don't do it at all.

http://hustledivaspeaks.blogspot.com/2015/02/are-you-really-prepared-to-be-author.html

Thursday, April 28, 2016

NATIONAL POETRY MONTH |3/30|: ICE CREAM FOR DINNER

On the nights
She would
Binge on its sweet
The day had been
A bitter pill
Jammed down her throat
Dry

But the flood of its richness
Dislodged her ire 
Its arctic foxtrot through her cells
Numbing the ache
Of life's gut punches and body shots
Every calorie vital
To augment her spindly nerves

To cook a meal
Would suggest she had stamina
And a hunger for the savory
But her demons
Frequently broke bread together
Made a buffet of her appetite
Toasted repeatedly to their treachery
Guzzled her spirit
And left her to deteriorate

But there was always ice cream
Therapist without inquiry
Only panacea for her ills
Silent comrade
With the caring smile
Refuge from the firing line
Luxury like
Sturdy flannel PJs
And chin-hugging electric comforters
Mid-blizzard 
Enough apology for her troubles
To pacify her sunken heart

And when the carton was depleted
So
For the time being
Were her woes

©2016 Charlene E. Green




Monday, April 25, 2016

NATIONAL POETRY MONTH |2/30|: RUNNER

i see you
laid out for him
in your full-length glory
extending yourself
across his foundation
protecting your coveted space
so inviting
so perfectly situated
for him to use you
like the accessible
trusty door mat 
that you are

i understand you
and my soul cries for you

because the thing about being a runner is
you're never positioned
to elevate
from the ground floor
of his world

always faithfully there
at the entryway
waiting for him
to return
hoping to glean
from the vibration
of his footsteps
where he's been all day
without you
his feet
the only parts of him
you can look forward
to connecting with
the rest of him
belongs to a life
he will never
think enough of you
to let you experience with him

you must know your place
stay
in your place
at all times

do not ask to be moved
to a spot
where people will know you exist
where you'll be seen in the light of day with him
like you are in your torturous dreams

you do not get
outdoor privileges
ever

your job
is to be there
in the darkness
when he arrives
prepared to let him
wipe the ambiguous remnants
of his fulfilled days
all over your curiosity
days you best not question
days you needn't concern yourself with
days you'll spend every night
inserting yourself into
through your fantasies
where he'll introduce you
to his people
finally give you identity
where you'll watch him smile
as your nectarous flavor
leftover from his morning feast
clings to his palate
like wildflower honey
enraptures his taste buds
oozes from his mouth
dangles from his lips
: : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : :
where you wish
your name hung
like customized decor
for general viewing
where you wish
he praised you
where you wish
you could hear his secrets

where you wish
you weren't housed as one

where you wish
you could press
your lips
in a public display of affection
where you wish
he would say
i love you
afterward
: : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : :
but the thing about being a runner
is
deep down
you already know
the most attention you'll ever get
is when you're not properly secured
to be walked on

©2016 Charlene E. Green
From my upcoming poetry book You Betta Write!
www.hustledivaspeaks.com



Friday, April 22, 2016

THE FRIEND I NEVER MET

Yesterday morning, when my bestie-sister Leslie called me to tell me about Prince's death, I was in the worst position: sitting in the waiting room of the effing ER, with a large, mysterious, level-eight-pain lump in my abdomen, already in my feelings because almost a year ago, my family lost a cherished one to stomach cancer, and this thing in my stomach, which has been there for six months but not properly diagnosed, had been at level-eight pain for almost 24 hours, which had never happened ... so yeah, I was scared, to say the least. But I hadn't cried yet. Even at level eight, it wasn't the worst pain I had felt. That pain was level 5000, in 2007, when I ruptured a disk in my back and was almost paralyzed. So although I wanted to start bawling, I couldn't justify the tears just yet. But trust: my feelings were increasing by the second.

When I saw her name pop up on my phone, I knew something was wrong. I knew it. I answered with caution. She was sobbing. My heart started leaping all over my chest. Reluctantly, I asked her what was wrong, because I thought it was her that something was wrong with. I was partly right. Through her sobs, she said, "Charleeeene ....... PRINCE ........" and my whole being deflated. I felt a little lightheaded. Right that second, all I could manage was, "No, no, no, no .... no, no..." and then I looked up at the three TV screens in the ER and there it was, with no volume for me to hear a thing, and all three TVs were confirming what she was telling me. Our guy was gone. And it didn't help one bit that we couldn't be together to go through it.

Our guy. Mine and hers. He was ours. When I met Leslie, we were in sixth grade, but our friendship didn't blossom until seventh grade, and it was shortly thereafter that we discovered we had a mutual love: PRINCE. My gawd, the things we did. The obsession we had. Writing Prince lyrics on the damn chalkboard in the library when we were supposed to be working. Buying every, and I do mean every magazine Prince was in, even if it was only a teeny picture the size of one of our fingernails, so we could cut them out and scrapbook them. The posters and pics plastered all over our bedroom walls, no room for anyone or anything else. The concert my mother took us to in 1982, because she knew of our obsession with him, where we peered at him from near-nosebleed seats through a pair of binoculars and nearly wet our pants the whole time, while my gracious mother marveled at us two, our friendship, and how we loved this man together. He bonded us, helped secure our lifelong friendship, continued to be a force that kept us sane when we were separated in high school when she moved away. We still had Prince.

But in 1984, Prince's significance in my life upleveled when, in August, I watched my grandmother have a heart attack, and my grandfather and I were the only ones with her. He was busy trying to care for her, so he hollered for me to "Call the ambulance! Your grandma's sick!" I'm 15. It's midnight. My mother is on her way home from Hawaii. And my grandmother is clearly dying in front of my eyes. I call. They come take her. And then ... she is taken. In August of 1984, Purple Rain the album was out, and it was all I listened to. I had the song "Purple Rain" on repeat at that time, and after all the chaos surrounding my grandmother's death, that song is the one that I cried myself to sleep to for months and months afterward, while I kept running the midnight scenario at my grandparents' house in my head. While I thought about how I had to tell my mother, at 15, that her mother had died while she was on her way to her. While I thought about how the greatest woman next to my mother was now gone. I cried big, hard tears every damn night, and Prince was there with me. Even decades later, I wasn't able to listen to "Purple Rain" without bursting into tears.

So when Leslie delivered the news, and I was where I was, feeling all the fear and uncertainty I was feeling, and I couldn't effing hear why our guy was gone, then..... then, I cried. I bawled. I wailed like an abused child, right there in the ER, for over an hour. I was literally (TMI) slinging snot. The man sitting next to me, who was injured himself, asked me three times if I was okay, and if I needed some help. I could barely assure him that I was okay, because I wasn't, really. A man I never met but that had huuuuuge influence in my life was dead. I was sitting in the ER afraid for my life. And I was watching my whole childhood with my bestie-sister and my grandmother flash before my tear-blurred eyes. And then my mother called to tell me, and I answered her call in tears with, "I already know. Leslie just called me." She felt soooooo bad for me! I am so far from being over this, because I was in the ER for 17 hours and I haven't had time to process it in my own space, without dealing with my own medical trauma (it turns out I have a ventral hernia, which will require surgery). I need time to deal with this loss. I'm devastated on many levels.

Prince was a friend to me without having been there physically. He was as much a part of my childhood and adult life as any of my actual friends. And at this moment, I'm still in every bit of my feelings and don't know when I won't be. Because my guy is GONE.

Thursday, April 7, 2016

NATIONAL POETRY MONTH |1/30| EMPTY TRAVELS



There was a time
When I would trek
Far out of my way
To get acceptance from others

I never felt good
About making those trips
Because
Even if I got what I wanted
When I arrived
I soon realized
That all I had to unpack
When I returned to myself
Was a bag of false self-worth
Gained with
Premeditated behavior
And a suitcase
Full of their suspect perceptions

©2016 Charlene E. Green

Thursday, March 31, 2016

RISE (A PROCLAMATION)



Broken women
never let being disassembled
stop them 
from superheroing

They know the value
of their severed parts
keep them swept in a neat pile
within reach at all times
aware that their thorny jagged
is the ammunition required
to slash barriers
shred red tape
burst bubbles
dismember egos
poke holes in sexist theories
and cut through bullshit
from dawn to dusk

Broken women 
know their crumble is mighty
a potpourri of coveted gems
they know
that even when fragmented
the best parts of them—
the most craved
the most essential—
are alive and energized
can still be spotted
amid the debris
and extracted bit by bit
to self-medicate and reboot
then gathered purposefully onto their fingertips
and disbursed evenly
among the deserving
fed to the needy
used to mend hearts
repress wild temperaments
sedate lives
and butcher the path
of every rogue
attempting to thieve the peace
of those they love

Broken women
don't quell their ascent
delay their shine
hinder their grind
or stifle their smiles
cuz of a little 
disarray

They have no shame
in their altered state
cuz they know triumph
resides there
and they will forage 
the wreckage in their souls 
to showcase it
to teach those who haven’t figured out
how to be successful
at surmounting this life
while using the pieces
of their frayed spirits
as weapons
and moxie
on the way to the top

You ain't heard ... ?
winning 
is how they repair themselves
slaying 
is how they stunt
smoothing the trail for others
in spite of their mangle
is the secret to their glow
broken 
is just another word
for immortal
strength training
at its best
a temporary obstacle course 
they make their bitch
daily

a setup
for the greatest wizardry
you'll ever see 

Copyright 2016
Charlene E. Green