To: Poets Niche
Issue #48 - moni's top 10 E-ZINE (minus 1)
(The Poets Niche Official Weekly Newsletter)
Thursday, October 7, 1999



                      Gloria Ware ©

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This week's issue:


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        (unknown author)

One of my teachers had each one of us bring a clear
plastic bag and a sack of potatoes.  For every person
we'd refuse to forgive in our life experience, we
were told to choose a potato, write on it the name
and date, and put it in the plastic bag.  Some of our
bags, as you can imagine, were quite heavy.

We were then told to carry this bag with us everywhere
for one week, putting it beside our bed at night, on
the car seat when driving, next to our desk at work.

The hassle of lugging this around with us made it clear
what a weight we were carrying spiritually, and how we
had to pay attention to it all the time to not forget,
and keep leaving it in embarrassing places.

Naturally, the condition of the potatoes deteriorated
to a nasty slime.  This was a great metaphor for the
price we pay for keeping our pain and heavy negativity!
Too often we think of forgiveness as a gift to the
other person, and it clearly is for ourselves!

So the next time you decide you can't forgive someone,
ask yourself. . .isn't your bag heavy enough?

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2)  THE POETS NICHE GETS A FACE LIFT - As promised, Walt
has done it again!!!  He has created a link directly to the Poets Niche
Webpage.  Our new and improved website address is

moni:  Why the new facelift for the Poets Niche, and what do you
hope it will achieve?

Walt:  The new look is designed to focus on particular aspects
of the Poets Niche experience that make it what it is for our
close to 200 members.  The goal is to make the full scope of
what we have to offer (and there's a LOT!) more readily apparent
to new people visiting the site.  It will help  with taking us
the next level of popularity as well as help in getting
potential investors and strategic partners.

moni:  What direction do you see the Poets Niche taking as the
New Year approaches?

Walt:  With the New Year, many new things will happen.  Now that
we've established a powerful and unique identity for the "Poets
Niche", from a business standpoint, we may decide to secede from
the website and set up an independent structure
for the Poets Niche complete with our own staff, promotion
campaign, etc.

I anticipate that the NicheNetwork Associates concept will
continue to grow as people start to realize the financial
success that is possible through  what we've created.  Word of
mouth, book signings, referrals, commission payments, personal
growth and an all-round good time will continue to be had by
those on the planet fortunate enough to be part of this unique

If you have not already seen our NEW HOME PAGE, I invite you to
see it for yourself.  The new addition to the page, "MEET THE
FAMILY," is like a family album.  It's a collage of interview
snippets and family photos.  If you're a featured poet and would
like your picture to appear on this site, please email a gif, or .jpg
picture of yourself to Walt at ( so he can
include it on the webpage.


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3)  WHIRL TOUR UPDATE - Kat was the FIRST Poets Niche Member and
Featured Poet to host her own whirl tour and book signing, on
September 29th at Sevy's Restaurant in Dallas, Texas.  After
talking with Kat to get the double scoop before you guys, I
asked her to share her experience with us.  Here's THE WHIRL

moni:  How did you feel on the morning of September 29th, then
when everything got underway?

Kat:  Finally!!!!!!!!!

moni:  Any special guest?

Kat:  No . . . Well, yeah - ME.  It was my night.  Although I did
invite our Mayor, he called to say he could not make it, but
wished me all the best.  He promised, however, to buy our book.

Moni:  Any Poets Niche members or media turnout?

Kat:  Unfortunately, no.

moni:  Did you say anything special about the Poets Niche?

Kat:  I shared with my guests the story of how the Poets Niche
came to be, and told them about upcoming endeavors - i.e., Short
Story Niche.

moni:  Pictures?

Kat:  Can you believe I forgot the camera!  I guess I was too

moni:  What was the turnout like and what did folks have to say
about our book?

Kat:  Lots of congratulations and happy for you's :-) Twenty-six
loyal friends, acquaintances and family members came to support
us.  And, I sold 26 books and have orders for 9 more.

moni:  Now that you have done it, what advice would you give
other members who want to host their own Whirl Tour?  And how
for you and others to follow?

Kat:  Your information was right on the money, MONI :-)  I should
have tried harder with regards to following up with the media.
I should have also been very clear on the costs of the place.
That was my biggest let down.

moni:  With your marketing background, what tips would you like
to offer to your fellow members in terms of marketing their own

Kat:  Use every opportunity to share the information about the
book and other writing opportunities that you have taken part
in. I have a writing service where I write text and marketing
material for companies.  I like to call it "Paper Communications
Consulting".  I promote this service whenever possible.  I have
business cards and a simple brochure available to mail out and I
sent invitations to everyone of my customers, acquaintances and
friends.  I have also researched information from books on
self-publishing and marketing your own books.  They were very

THANKS KAT for being candid and sharing your experience with us.
Please feel free to contact Kat with your support and questions
at (

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The New York book signing on October 2nd was hosted by Walt and
poetry, power and PROFIT in NYC!  Once again, Poets Niche
members came out to support our third stop on our Whirl Tour --
New York City!!!  Karen Roberts, Taheba Byrd, Jezula Antoine,
David Weeks, bams (yep, all the way from Michigan!), and Ajani
were there to read and autograph copies of "COME INTO OUR
WHIRL", which were selling faster than stain remover at a white
house intern used clothing sale!   Special guests Bree, and
Maxime (Jezula's brother) rocked the "mike" with their unique
offerings!  Comedian Steven Kimbrough -- who was our hookup
for our midtown Manhattan location -- was on hand to share a few
thoughts as well!  (Thanks Steve for the hookup and sending folks
our way.  Bree joined the Poets Niche, and you can read her comments

Karen Roberts couldn't wait to share her thoughts with us
regarding the NY event, so she posted the following message on
the Poets Niche Bulletin Board:  "Peace &Blessings to all of my
Poets Niche Family.  Just a quick note to tell all who attended
the NY book signing, that I truly enjoyed meeting all of you.
It far surpassed all of my expectations.  Can't wait to do it
again.  moni, I am sorry I missed you my sister, but I know that
we will meet soon.  Until then, stay blessed!"

FROM BREE - On this past Saturday Oct 2, I was fortunate to
speak with a friend of mine (Steven Kimbro) who was facilitating
a get together for the Poets Niche in New York City.  I
mentioned to Steve that I write poems and he invited me down.  I
met Walt that night and was able to read a couple of my pieces.
I liked the warm reception of the group and decided to join.  I
bought the book Saturday and went online to sign up.

It sounds like a good time was had by all.  I wish I could have
been at both events to meet everyone. But, there's always a book
signing popping up somewhere, like the one in New Orleans on
November 20th, hosted by moni herself.  And, rumor has it, that
the DC/MD/VA members are planning to host their own whirl tour real

Did you know, if YOU host a book signing in your area, you get
copies of the book at wholesale price and YOU get to keep the
profits from all the sales at the event!?!?! hmmmm. . .E-mail
Walt at for more details.

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Remembering Grandfather (Part 2) by /bams (c) 1999 -
[Sat, 24 May 1997]

Grandfather asked me what kinds of books I was reading.  All
kinds, I told him; I just love reading, anything I can grab, I
said.  Do you have a library down here, Grandfather?  "No
chile", he said, "but we'll take you to one if you want, or to a
store to get you more books, if you want". Thanks Grandfather;
wanna read with me?  "I can't read, Rose; neither can your
Grandmother".  Can't read?, I thought; adults that can't read?
My head was spinning from all this, and I told Grandfather that
I needed to go to sleep.  "Night, Rose.  I hope you feel
better".  Better would never come again, I said to myself.

Grandfather was cool like that, noticing me, noticing things,
that other folks would look right over.  Grandmother treated me
like a little baby, but Grandfather listened to me, and never
ridiculed me, not even when I told him silly things.
Grandfather was cool like that.

He and I bonded silently, though I didn't quite understand it
back then.  I was embarrassed for him when I'd hear Grandmother
yelling at him from their bedroom, and he'd basically just take
it.  I looked the other way when I noticed him sneaking a drink
or two from his whiskey bottle behind her back.  And he, in
turn, didn't report me to Grandmother for sneaking around the
house at midnight to watch "The Rookies" on TV (all I cared
about back then was my books and TV, especially when I found
myself as the only child in that whole neighborhood; what *else*
was I supposed to do?)  He laughed along with me when I laughed
at Grandmother's superstition about sitting still during
rainstorms, even though he believed it too.

And he was protective of me.  The only time I ever heard him
raise his voice was when I went shopping in the local department
store for my daddy (you're still coming down here, right Daddy?
"yes honey"; when, Daddy? "soon, Rose, real soon") and the mean
ol White lady kept following me, eventually barking out "what do
you want?"  I'm looking for a gift for my daddy; "well, hurry up
and get it and go!"  Why?  What did I do?; "Do you want me to
call security?"  "LEAVE HER ALONE!", my Grandfather roared.  And
she did.  We went elsewhere.

I was so desperately homesick, for my daddy anyway, and I'd keep
calling him to see when he was gonna come down with me;
Grandfather would try to comfort me, and Grandmother would tell
me to stop worrying about it, I'd be ok.  They tried, but I was
miserable.  So they tried a different tack, by emulating, as
close as they could, "normal" home life.  Grandfather couldn't
read, but he wasn't a dummy; neither was Grandmother. They got
along just fine, and as I found out, they had *no* problems
knowing their money.  They told me I'd be getting an allowance
so I could get my books and stuff, and I thought that I'd be
able to get over on them; slick as I (thought I) was, I just
*knew* I could tell them that a $10 bill was actually $1, and
how would they know the difference?  BZZZT!  They could count
money better than me!  So much for me being slick.

But they still couldn't take my mind off Daddy, who had long
since missed the one-month deadline for coming down there.  Not
having any kids to hang with, nor the chickens (I never went in
that backyard again), I escaped to my books.  Grandfather would
take us on long rides in the country, but I'd be separated from
them by continents, universes, and centuries.  He didn't try to
make me talk, though, which made him ok by me.

One day, he asked me if I wanted to go fishing with him and his
friends; ok, sure, fishing, no problem.  He took me to the local
bait shop to get a pole and let me pick it out; I picked out the
longest bamboo pole in the whole store (I loved that fishing
pole.  Tried to bring it back with me on the airplane.  Didn't
fit in the overhead compartment), woke me up at 4am (*4am!!!*),
and we headed down to the lake.  He told me some of the best
stories I'd ever heard, and I noticed things about him that he
never showed when he and Grandmother were in the same room
together; like, he had this amazing smile; and his hair was
beautiful in its silver and brown glory; and he was a lot taller
than I thought at first.  And he never once made fun of me for
being squeamish about those nasty worms; he tied them onto my
pole, and I was able to catch 14 fish that day (sunfish, I
think, but he made it seem like I caught 14 trophy fish.
Grandfather was cool like that). We got home with those 14 fish
in my bucket, and Grandmother told me I'd have to clean them
then help her cook them.  No way!  I wasn't about to pull fish
guts!  "Then you better give them away", she said.  No problem;
I took them down to our neighbor, who looked at me like I was
crazy.  Grandfather just laughed, and I laughed with him.

...but I still missed my daddy, and when I realized that he
really wasn't coming down, I started getting miserable again.
Such a sod was I that I started making my Grandmother and
Grandfather miserable too.  After a couple of weeks of this,
Grandmother talked to Daddy and told him that he should send for
me.  My Grandfather was hurt by it, but didn't say much.  A
couple of days before I was supposed to go, he and Grandmother
gave me the music box of theirs that I had loved so much (and
kept over the years, until my boys broke it); I didn't
understand why they were so hurt by my leaving, since I never
wanted to be there in the first place.  I knew I wouldn't miss
England, much, but Grandfather was a cool old guy who never did
me any harm; I didn't want to hurt him.  When we said goodbye,
he smiled sweetly at me, and told me to be a good girl, and he'd
come visit me one day up north.

He never got up here; though my husband and I went to visit
Grandfather and Grandmother a few years back, I don't think he
really remembered me.  But I remembered The Old Man.  And though
that period in my life was painful for me, I remember him now,
with the veil that time places on pain; and I can see clearly a
gentle soul that offered a young girl a bit of peace, for a
time.  Grandfather was cool like that.

/bams, who could see myself in a Grandfather I shared no blood

                           THE END

[See moni's top 10 Issue #44 for Part 1].  Please feel free to
send your support and comments directly to bams at
( bams, this was way too cool!!!!

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5)  POETREE U SAY - Data News Weekly - In celebration of the
renaissance of poetry, Data News Weekly will begin featuring
poetry in their Poetry Corner.  Please mail your poems to Data
News Weekly, P.O. Box 51933, New Orleans, LA 70151;
Attn: Mona Duffel.   Please be sure to tell Mona that you are a
member of the Poets Niche and that moni sent you!!!  MONA,

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
First Romantic Tales Short Story Contest Judges include Janice
Sims, Marcia King-Gamble, Monique Gilmore-Scott and Donna Hill.

Eligibility: 18 years of age or older
Deadline: December 31, 1999
Entry Fee: $0
Prizes: First: $300.00 - Second: $150.00 - Third: $75.00

Submission Requirements: All manuscripts must include a cover
sheet with the following information: author's name, age,
address, home phone, e-mail address, title of manuscript and
total word count.  Manuscript length should be no more than
2,500 words.  Manuscript must be authors own work and
unpublished.  All genres are acceptable.  Manuscript should be
typed, double spaced and single sided E-mailed manuscript must
be in Word Perfect, MS Word, TXT, or RTF format.  You may
electronically mail your manuscript.  If you are sending a hard
copy and wish to have your manuscript returned, please include
an SASE with correct postage.  Otherwise, your manuscript will
be recycled.  Submissions that do not follow guidelines will be
discarded.  Judges decisions are final.  E-mail your manuscript
to (  The winners will also have
their manuscripts read by a publisher for publishing
consideration and will also be featured on
Good luck!

moni, for more information on this, please visit:
(  This page contains all
information necessary.  Should any of your members require the
"snail-mail" address in which to send in their submission,
please have them contact us.

Thank you!

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6)  WEBSITE TO CHECK OUT - It's getting harder and harder to
decipher which literary magazines, anthologies, and contests are
legitimate.  To protect yourself from shams and scams check out
(  Who knows, this
website may be a scam too!!!

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7)  MISSING IN ACTION - The following members are MISSING
IN ACTION:  Jaci LaMon, Felicia Mason, Jo Ann Taylor, Craig Gill,
Angela Jones-Carr, Tina Marie Clark, Angela Singletary and Shevette

We pray that all is well with each of you.  We've been missing your
thought provoking poems, and hope that the spirit will hit you to

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8)  POEMS OF THE WEEK - The summer heat was extinguished by the
taste of rain.  And positive thoughts before dawn would bring
forth a new day, dousing any self-denial.  I no longer wondered
about the secrets you kept while you slept, because the truth
just has a way of finding the light even through the leafy
darkness.  Our featured poets for week 54 are:

              SECRET by Ella Valentine
              LEAFY DARKNESS by Cesar Vargas
              JUST by Karen Roberts
              SELF DENIAL by Silas Swaim
              THOUGHT'S BEFORE DAWN by Jim Roche
              SUMMER HEAT by Chris Hare
              TASTE OF RAIN by Sonya Swanson
              WHILE YOU SLEPT by LaShunda Colvin

Please support your fellow members by checking out Poems of the
Week 54 and sending your love and comments directly to them.

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9)  THANK YOU FRIEND - True friendship is very precious to me.
I've been lucky enough to have such a friendship with this
special person for over 16 years.  [We're such old friends that
her son baby-sat my son.  Well, both our sons are
college graduates, live in New York, and working on their
Master's Degrees].  Throughout the years, she has supported my
so-called "writing career", been the voice of reason, provided
me a shoulder to cry on, took care of me when I was sick, worked
on my last nerve (I'm sure I worked on her last nerve at least
once), and dried my tears with laughter.  I simply want to say
to my dear friend VIRGINIA FAVAROTH [who I call Auntie "V"]. . .
I LOVE YOU!!!  And, I know it's been hard (not really because I'm
a saint, Saint Monica, that is), but. . .THANKS FOR LOVING ME
ALL THESE YEARS TOO.  Anddddd, yes Aunt "V", my novel will
be finished before you turn 60!!!!  Oh yeah, she loved COME INTO
OUR WHIRL, and she can't wait to read our next book!!!

Below is moni's Poem of the Week, which was written for Aunt
"V".  As always, your comments are greatly appreciated!

Until next week…
much love

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  WATCHING FROM ABOVE [for Auntie "V"]

Well daughter, conceived from our everlasting love,
we are proud you are ours to guide while we watch
you from above.

There's much work to be done for yours still here.
So listen closely to what they say, for now is the time
for you to guide their way.

Like a frog sitting still on a lily pad, his tongue is used
only for his prey.  Silence your tongue to those who only
want your ear, and open your heart to understand their fear.
Remember, nothing is gained by diminishing their pain.

Temper your opinions with more understanding.  Be less
judgmental because you've walked the same path.  Deal
with unanswered, unfinished, and unresolved issues before
he sun sets to take you to your final rest.

We know these things to be true because we've been shown
the way.  Be not afraid in the manner in which you receive
these words.  God has all different kinds of angels helping
guide us your way.

There's so much more we want say.  Just know, we're together,
your mother and me.  And every time the lights flicker, remember
we are there to guide your every stride.

We are always watching you from above, our daughter, conceived
from our love.

Monica D. Blache ©

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