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Archive of ‘Birmingham’ category

Jane About Town: Things To Do This Weekend

Whether you’re looking to make a difference, make a good meal, or just see a good show, we’ve got something to help you plan your weekend.

Bards of Birmingham Presents Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar Set in a Women’s Prison

julius caesar

“My name is Julius Caesar,” says the personable young man in the suit who greets you as you come through the door. “If you need legal representation, I can help.” He passes you a business card advertising his law firm ofCaesar and Associates, and directs you to a table where an attendant is receiving money and issuing tickets.

After paying for admission, you’ll turn over your ticket to discover the crime for which you’ve been charged: felony drug possession, breaking and entering, assault. And this is all before you set foot in the prison itself – a place in which the “prisoners” will interact freely with audience members, and prison guards will make sure that you don’t speak too loudly or break any rules.

This is Bards of Birmingham’s rendering of William Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar: an experience in immersion theatre in which audience members will become part of the prison population in the penitentiary in which the play is set. In this modern American setting, Caesar serves as the public defense attorney to the women of Rome Penitentiary, where Caius Cassius is the warden. Marcus Brutus and Marc Antony are both inmates, serving life sentences.

Bards of Birmingham is a unique theatre company that seeks to empower young people through the vehicle of Shakespearian theatre. The cast for their plays is drawn primarily from community children and youth ages 22 and younger.

See the Bards of Birmingham in action April 17 at 7:30 p.m.; April 18 at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.; April 24 at 7:30 pm.; April 25 at 7:30 p.m.; or April 26 at 2 p.m. All shows will be held at the Desert Island Supply Co., DISCO, 5500 1st Avenue North in Woodlawn.

For more tickets or more information email thebardsofbirmingham@gmail.com or visit bardsofbirmingham.com.

 

Birmingham’s Best Bites Book Signing

The popular cookbook Birmingham’s Best Bites, which features favorite recipes from restaurants, bars, and food trucks around the Magic City, is now available in hardback!

martie and chanda

Martie Duncan and Chanda Temple, curators of the cookbook, will be signing copies of Birmingham’s Best Bites Friday, April 17 from 4-6 pm at the Alabama Booksmith, 2626 19th Place South in Homewood.

Arts for Life

Enjoy a free fun family day at Avondale Park, 4101 5th Avenue South, Saturday, April 18 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. The day will feature music, dance, and spoken word performances and much more, including various children’s activities. Arts for Life is a festival designed to encourage African Americans to donate blood.

The Faux-lympics

The Faux-lympics will be held Saturday, April 18th at Crestwood Park. Teams sign in at 3:30 p.m. and the games start at 4 p.m. This field-day for adults will feature fun games like tug of war and sack relays. But you don’t have to be an athlete to compete; just be willing to have fun and support a great cause! An after-party with BBQ from Jim N’ Nicks, frozen treats from Yogurt Mountain, beer, wine and live music will follow the games. Faux-lympics is hosted by Gateway’s Junior Board and all proceeds go toward support of Gateway’s Residential Program, a program that takes care of and helps treat children and teens who have been severely neglected and abused. For more information, visit http://www.gway.org/faux-lympics.
 If you have an event you’d like to see featured in a future edition of Jane About Town, send the information to javacia@seejanewritebham.com

The See Jane Write Roundtable

sjw roundtable

Original Image by mcveja via Flickr/Creative Commons

I’m always brainstorming ways I can help the women of See Jane Write and recently a new idea came to me — the See Jane Write Roundtable.

The See Jane Write Roundtable will be a series of small group discussions on topics related to blogging, writing, or entrepreneurship and is an inexpensive alternative for those who need some one-on-one help, but can’t afford Java with Javacia consultations or Blogging Boot Camp.

The cost of these sessions is only $25, which is just to help cover the cost of the venue.

The first See Jane Write Roundtable will be held Tuesday, April 21 at 5:30 p.m. at Revelator Coffee Company. We’ll have the whole place to ourselves!

The topic: What is your biggest frustration regarding blogging, writing, or entrepreneurship?

My hope is that you will leave with an action plan to help you overcome that obstacle once and for all.

Roundtable discussions are great because they are meant to be a collaborative effort. Yes, I’ll be there facilitating the discussion and adding my insight, but with a roundtable discussion there is intentionally no head of the table. Everyone will contribute which means you’ll have a variety of perspectives from which to learn and glean wisdom and information.

Only 10 spots are available so get your tickets today by following the link below:

See Jane Write Roundtable
5:30 p.m., Tuesday, April 21
Revelator Coffee Company
1826 3rd Ave N Unit 101, Birmingham, AL 35203

Let’s Take Flight Together

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Do you dream of seeing your byline in your favorite publications?

Do you have an idea for a blog or business, but you’re not quite sure where to start?

Maybe you already have a blog or brand, but it’s not getting the attention you feel it deserves.

Or perhaps you’ve written a book but you just can’t seem to sell it.

If any of these sound familiar, I’d like to help you get unstuck and soar. Let’s take flight together!

As founder of See Jane Write, I used very simple but very powerful strategies to grow a small writing group into a network of hundreds of women. And this network has helped me start an award-winning business and land the paid writing opportunities I once only dreamed about. You can use these same strategies to build buzz for your blog, book, brand, or business.

I want to share these strategies with you and answer any other questions you may have about writing, blogging, or business

For the next seven days I will be taking appointments for 11 one-on-one coaching sessions.

7:11

I’m calling this my 7/11 special. No, you can’t come to me and fill a pot with your favorite flavor of Slurpee (I’m sure y’all have heard about this on the Internet), but I can fill your mind with what you need to take your next step.

If you would like to meet face-to-face for hands-on help, you can get a one-hour session for only $99 (usually $125). If meeting in person is a challenge, we can chat via Skype. This one-hour session will only cost $75 (usually $100).

This offer ends April 18. (We can meet anytime, you just need to purchase the session by April 18.)

Here’s what one of my clients had to say after we spent an hour chatting at her favorite Starbucks:

My one-on-one session with Javacia was more than I expected. She not only listened to my goals and aspirations, she provided me with practical next steps to help me accomplish each. She was friendly, yet very professional. I left with an ambitious to do list which is now my roadmap. She followed up, as promised, with websites, worksheets, and tons of information to help advance my dreams to write, get published, and speak professionally. I now consider her my writing mentor.

– TiJuana W.


You see, after we meet I’m not going to check your name off my to-do list and forget about you. I’m going to follow up with information and inspiration to keep moving your closer and closer to achieving your goals. 

If you know you need guidance, but you’re not sure this is right for you, simply email me at javacia@seejanewritebham.com with any questions you may have.

If you’re ready to fly click here for a face-to-face session or here for a Skype chat and then email me at javacia@seejanewritebham.com for next steps.

Let’s do this!

Exciting News for Style Bloggers and Aspiring Fashionistas

Megan LaRussa Chenoweth

With the weather getting warmer I have spring fashion trends on my mind and chances are so do you. Do you wish you had more confidence when browsing through stores, attending events, or just in your day-to-day life? Or maybe you just wish that you had a big “Easy Button” that you could hit when it comes to getting dressed every day and feeling your best?

Check out style coach Megan LaRussa’s FREE video series guaranteed to help you feel effortlessly chic in no time flat! And stay tuned, as she is revealing her exciting new project soon that is sure to benefit YOU!

If you attended last year’s Bloganista Mini-Con you heard Megan give us all great tips on how to be stylish bloggers and savvy businesswomen. Now here’s your chance to get tips from Megan on how to make your wardrobe look as good as your website.

Get access to Megan’s FREE video series at

http://www.southernfemme.com/freesycvideoseries.

Gus Mayer Girls Night Out

Gus Mayer GNO Social Share

Gus Mayer’s Girls Night Out is Thursday, April 9 from 4 to 8 p.m. This year’s event is celebrating StyleBlueprint’s Faces of Birmingham and the spring’s hottest fashion trends. Enjoy cocktails, hors d’oeuvres,and TAX FREE shopping. While you’re there check out Gus Mayer’s Trend Bar for spring fashions and Gus Mayer’s Color Lab for beauty tips. Fashionable prizes will be given away throughout the night, so come early to shop and stay late to win!

Get Your Press Pass to Birmingham Fashion Week

bfw logo
Birmingham Fashion Week is about a month away and press registration is now open. If you would like the opportunity to join the BFW 2015 press team, you can apply for a press pass here. The application will close on Friday, April 24.
Event Details: 
What: Birmingham Fashion Week 2015
When: May 7, 8 & 9
Where: Pepper Place located in downtown Birmingham, Alabama
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Do you have news you would like included in our Jane About Town feature? Send details to javacia@seejanewritebham.com.

 

 

How to Succeed at Freelancing

Freelancing tips FB graphic2

The Alabama Media Professionals will host a a round-table discussion on freelancing tomorrow, March 12 from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Homewood Public Library.  If you plan to attend please note that lunch orders will be taken up to (today) Wednesday at 5 p.m. at 205-680-6890 or tina@tinatidmorecommunications.com.

Girls Night Out

GIRLS NIGHT OUT-02-4

Also on Thursday, join fashion blogger Alexis Barton for a special Girls Night Out event at Belk. Hosted at the Summit location, the garden party-themed soirée will feature light bites, wine, and music from Scratch DJ.There also will be discounts (20% off with limited exclusions) and giveaways! The event is from 5 to 8:30 p.m. at Belk (the Summit location). Alexis Barton of Same Day Different Chic, who was also a keynote speaker at last year’s See Jane Write Bloganista Mini-Con, will be on hand to give fashion tips.

Post, Gram, Pin: A Social Media Workshop

post gram pin

And speaking of fashion, don’t forget to sign up for the next See Jane Write event Post, Gram, Pin: A Social Media Workshop, set for Saturday, March 21 from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Fashion blogger Bertha Hidalgo of Chic in Academia will share how she grew her Instagram following to over 13,500 fans and how she’s used her Instagram influence to grow her brand and land speaking gigs.

Heather Brown

Heather Brown of My Life Well Loved will share how she developed a Facebook following of over 13,000 fans and how she uses Pinterest to drive traffic to her blog.

I will share how I’ve used social media to grow See Jane Write and land freelance writing gigs.

Get your tickets here.

If you have upcoming events you’d like featured in Jane About Town, send info to javacia@seejanewritebham.com.

 

How to Move a Mountain

move a mountain

Anyone who knows me well knows I love TED Talks. I show TED Talks to my students at the Alabama School of Fine Arts. When I’m in a long line at the pharmacy I open up the TED app on my phone to see what new talks have been posted online. And last year when I had the opportunity to attend TEDxBirmingham 2014 I was as giddy as a kid on Christmas Day. I literally skipped from the car to the front door of the Alys Stephens Center where the event was held. It would be my first time attending a live TED event. The theme was “Rediscover the Magic “and that I did. I left inspired with a new love for my city, a renewed determination to make it better, and an even greater passion for TED.

Things were different this year. TEDxBirmingham 2015 was just as fantastic, perhaps even better. But this year I felt the giddy girl of last year’s event being asked to grow up. She was being asked to move a mountain.

“Move Mountains” — that was this year’s theme and it was quite apropos. The topics broached this year were as heavy as looming rust-stained rock of iron ore that we in Birmingham call Red Mountain. Human trafficking, our country’s broken health care system, and environmental degradation are just a few of the issues this year’s 12 speakers forced us to face.

When Sunny Slaughter’s 7-year-old daughter was raped years ago by her own husband, Slaughter was filled with a rage that no one would have blamed her for acting on. But she used that fire to fuel the work she does today working as an activist working to end human trafficking. Slaughter hit us with the statistics of the the number of girls sold not just in other countries, but also in America and even Alabama.

In closing, she said, “I’m not trying to shock you. I’m trying to scare the hell out of you.”

But how are we to move a mountain when the sight of it shakes us to our core?

The speakers covered that, too.

“Fear is great soil for growth,” Tracey Abbott said during her talk. “The purpose of life is not to be comfortable but to grow.”And despite her fear, Abbott recently quit her corporate job to found Culture Relay, a social enterprise dedicated to empowering high school girls through cross-cultural exchanges.

So feel the fear and face that mountain anyway. And here’s how you can move it:

Shift the way you see that mountain. Be willing to look at everything in a new way. You make think that our country’s obsession with sports will lead to its demise. But Andy Billings, professor of sports media at the University of Alabama, is using sports to delve into issues of race, gender, and more. Yes, it’s true that very few Olympic swimmers are black, but why is that? Are black people just not good at swimming or could it be that blacks once had little to no access to public swimming pools and thus black parents were hesitant to encourage their children to learn to swim knowing they couldn’t help them do so? And what kind of important conversations about gender can we have simply by looking at how women are portrayed on the covers of Sports Illustrated magazine?

Be willing to be radical. When Venkata Macha was only a sophomore in high school he asked a radical question: “Why isn’t there a urine test to help detect cancer?” Then he did something even more outrageous — he emailed renowned researchers all over the country asking them the same question. The result: he spent the summer before his junior year working in a lab of a Harvard University professor doing research to develop a bioelectronic chip for immediate, non-evasive cancer detection. “Radical approaches could have extraordinary results,” Vekata said.

Your radical idea may be to tunnel through your mountain. If so, just dig and keep digging. While chipping your way through you will be discouraged. But so many speakers urged attendees to see failure only as a detour, not a dead end.

Or maybe you’ll decide that moving the mountain isn’t the best way to get to the other side.

“Sometimes it’s more efficient to climb the mountain than to move it,” civil rights activist and advertising executive Shelley Stewart said during his talk.

Strap on your boots and let’s do this.

Kent Stewart is climbing mountains literally. He is on a quest to hike the Seven Summits — the highest peaks on each of the world’s continents. He only has one, Mount Everest, left to summit.

“What’s your Everest?” he asked the crowd.

To become the first woman to qualify for the finals of American Ninja Warrior Kacy Catanzaro didn’t have to climb an actual mountain, but she did have to scale a 14-foot warped wall and she had to ignore all the voices that said she couldn’t do it.

Remember that moving this mountain isn’t all about you. Kent Stewart can’t climb Mt. Everest without a team of people supporting him. You need a team to climb your mountain, too.

And ask yourself why you want to get to the other side of your mountain in the first place. Shelley Stewart urged us to be mindful of our reasons, relationships, and reputation.

“What’s the reason you really want to overcome this obstacle?” he asked. “If your motive is right your goal is more likely to be accomplished. Relationships are important, he said, because “you can’t effect change by yourself.”

And you shouldn’t do it simply for yourself.

You have the power to change someone’s life simply by clearing the mountain in your path — whether you climb it, tunnel through it, or blast it to bits, you will change the life of another person.

Cross-posted at WriteousBabe.com

How to Write and Have a Life

TOA

Yesterday morning I once again had the honor of being featured on ABC33/40’s Talk of Alabama. I was on last month discussing how I managed to exercise every day for 365 days. This time I had the chance to promote my e-course How to Write and Have a Life. (For a limited time you can view my segment here.)

People constantly ask me “How do you do it all?” because I juggle managing See Jane Write with teaching full time, freelancing part time, blogging, exercising daily, being active in my community and church, and spending time with my husband, family, and friends. And so I developed this e-course to show people exactly how I get stuff done.

TOA tips

Yesterday I offered four time management tips to Talk of Alabama viewers:

Multitasking is ruining your life.  Many people believe that multi-tasking will help them get more done and that’s actually not true. You can get more done and in a shorter period of time if you simply focus on one task at a time. Whether I’m grading papers, writing a blog post or cleaning my apartment, I can do those things in half the time if I focus on doing just one thing. And in my e-course I share a technique that I use to help with focus.

The magic is not in your planner but in the planning.  People always ask me, “What kind of planner do you use?” And I always tell them “The magic is not in your planner but in the planning.” To get more done you must be intentional about how you spend your time. In my e-course I show you have to make to-do lists that will help you set priorities and even plan out each hour of your day when you are especially busy.

Remember that “No” is a complete sentence.  Even though I do a lot, I believe in taking a day off. Each week I set aside a day when I do no work and I just relax or spend time with family and friends. If you’re consistently unable to take that day off, then you’re doing too much. In my e-course I write about the importance of realizing that “No” is a complete sentence. And when trying to determine when to say “No” it’s about vision and values. If something doesn’t move you closer to your vision for your life and doesn’t align with your values, ditch it! In the e-course I walk you through exercises to help you determine your vision and values.

Stop sleeping through your life.  I am a believer in the old saying that the early bird gets the worm. Getting up early is a great way to get more done, especially if you are a parent. If you wake up before your family does, you can have time to yourself to work on that book you always wanted to write or update that blog you’ve abandoned.

But to be honest with you, my #1 secret to getting stuff done isn’t something I can teach — it’s simply gumption.

I’m not feeling well right now and didn’t get much rest the night before my segment. Snow was in the forecast for yesterday (which as you know for Alabama is a HUGE FREAKING deal) and thus there was a chance my segment would be canceled. A part of me wished that it had been because I was so exhausted that morning. But then I stopped being a big baby and stopped feeling sorry for myself. And sometimes this is exactly what we need to do to make the time to pursue our dreams. Sometimes you just have to put on your big girl panties and do the work!

Stop making excuses and just do what needs to be done.

Click here to enroll in How to Write and Have a Life today!

 

Cross-posted at WriteousBabe.com.

You Need a Professional Headshot

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“Man!  You look like a boss!”

That was my husband’s reaction the first time he saw the portrait of me pictured above. It was the first professional headshot I’d ever had done and my husband’s reaction was exactly what I wanted.

If you want to start taking yourself seriously as a writer, if you want to transition from blogger to businesswoman, you need a professional headshot. Whether you have been asked to speak at a conference or you are being featured on a popular website, people will constantly ask you for a headshot. You also need a nice photo for your social media channels, especially professional ones like LinkedIn.

As photographer Lynsey Weatherspoon wrote in a recent blog post,  “LinkedIn, the world’s largest professional network on the Internet, deserves more than the selfie you shot in the car on the way to your job.”

Lynsey was the photographer behind my #likeaboss headshot and she’s currently booking headshot sessions in the Birmingham area for March 1st and 2nd. Book your session here. Once you book, make a note of your preferred day. Send inquiries and questions to info@lynseyweatherspoon.com.

This is not a sponsored post. Lynsey didn’t ask me to share this information with you. I just really loved my first professional headshot and I want you to have a headshot that you love just as much.

I’d love for you to share your headshots in the See Jane Write Facebook group

 

A Rising Tide Lifts All Boats

bbj ceremony

A rising tide lifts all boats.

On Thursday evening the Birmingham Business Journal celebrated its 2015 class of Top 40 Under 40 with an awards ceremony at Iron City. I was among those honored, chosen for the work I do through See Jane Write. The evening was nothing less than fantastic.  I walked in the door and was greeted by several people I’d never met before who wanted me to know how much they loved my picture — the one that ran with my article in the Birmingham Business Journal, the one I was once insecure about because I’d opted to wear a trendy Olivia Pope-inspired outfit instead of a traditional black or navy business suit. “Your picture was hands down the best,” one fellow honoree said to me. This was a great lesson in daring to be different and daring to be myself.

A rising tide lifts all boats.

A table with my name on it and people stopping and asking to take my picture all made the night feel surreal and unreal. I tried to soak it all in. I tried to figure out what I would write in my blog post about the night, but I just kept hearing the same thing in my head over and over:

A rising tide lifts all boats.

As each honoree received his or her reward, a video recorded the day of our photo shoot was played for the crowd. I’ll be honest — we were all dreading this moment. Seeing yourself on camera is bad enough. Seeing yourself on a larger-than-life screen while hundreds of other people look on is much, much worse. In the video we were each asked what helped our career take flight. Again, I dared to be different. My answer wasn’t about a partnership or promotion. Instead I spoke about getting over my impostor syndrome and self-doubt. I talked about the importance of believing you deserve success and I declared that if I want people to take me seriously as a businesswoman I must do so first.

As the ceremony continued several women made their way over to my table to thank me for what I said in my video, to thank me for saying something they believed all women needed to hear.

A rising tide lifts all boats.

Ironically, even though Thursday’s ceremony was in part a celebration of me, it was also a reminder that my successes aren’t about me. In fact, that’s why I call my organization See Jane Write, not See Javacia Write. It’s not about me. It’s about empowering all Janes; it’s about empowering all women writers, bloggers, and entrepreneurs.

In my video and article for the Birmingham Business Journal I talk about the importance of women taking themselves seriously and this week I plan to help the women of See Jane Write do just that. Each day this week I’ll be posting inspiration and information to help you take your career to the next level.

Perhaps you’re not sure where to start. If that’s the case, then let’s chat. I’m currently accepting appointments for one-on-one consultations for March. During these consultations you can ask me whatever you need to about freelance writing and publishing, blogging, personal branding and marketing, building a community organization and more. Get more details here. There’s also one additional spot available in next month’s Blogging Boot Camp, which has been set for March 15.

Remember, I’ll be posting here every day this week giving you something big or small to help your career take flight, too. Or maybe consider this information the moon pulling the waters of your work toward the sky. But don’t forget: A rising tide lifts all boats.

Jane About Town: What to Do This Weekend and Beyond

book deal

There’s only one ticket left for Saturday’s workshop How to Get a Book Deal. Local authors Marie Sutton and Anne Riley will help you write the perfect pitch to sell your book idea to literary agents and publishers. Marie and Anne also will share the stories of how they landed their book deals, give tips on how to bring your book idea to life, and discuss the good, bad, and the ugly about publishing.

marie sutton headshot

Marie Sutton is the author of The A.G. Gaston Motel in Birmingham: A Civil Rights Landmark, which was published November 2014 by The History Press.

anne riley

Anne Riley is the author of the young adult novel Shadows of the Hidden, published December 2012 by Compass Press.

Get your ticket now at howtogetabookdeal.eventbrite.com.

If you don’t snag that last ticket here’s another event for your consideration:

Author Denise George, wife of Dr. Timothy George of Beeson Divinity School, will be hosting two all-day Book Writing Boot Camp seminars at Canterbury United Methodist Church in Birmingham on February 20-21 for current and aspiring authors.

Memoir-Writing Magic!

Exciting New Ways to Turn Lifetime Memories into Book-Length Memoirs

Friday, February 20, 2015

9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Canterbury United Methodist Church, Mountain Brook

Lunch provided

$149

Self-Publishing vs. Traditional Publishing

The Major Advantages and Disadvantages of Each

Saturday, February 21, 2015

9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Canterbury United Methodist Church, Mountain Brook

Lunch provided

$149

If you register for BOTH all-day seminars, you’ll receive a special discounted price of $285.

To register, visit http://www.bookwritingbootcamp.org and click “Register.”

Looking Ahead

arc light

The next Arc Light Stories event is set for Saturday, February 28.  “LOVE IS A BATTLEFIELD – Stories About Love” will be held at the Avon Theater.  The cost is only $5 at the door.  Doors open at 7pm, and stories start at 7:30pm.

Save the Date

yallconnect

The Y’all Connect social media conference has been set for June 12, 2015.

 

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