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Member of the Month

Member of the Month: Randi Pink

The See Jane Write Member of the Month for March is Randi Pink.Randi Pink2016 is sure to be a big year for Randi. On March 12 she will take the stage at this year’s TEDxBirmingham to give a talk on how collective misconceptions can transform the world into a place of fear and prejudice. Then, in September, Randi’s debut young adult novel Into White will hit bookshelves.

Into White tells the story of 16-year-old Latoya Williams. Toya lives in Montgomery, Alabama, attends a mostly white high school and has trouble fitting in. After a run-in with a bully, she wonders if her life would be different if she were different. She prays to a higher power to make her “anything but black” and the prayer is answered.

“Diving into the mind of a complicated sixteen-year-old girl was a challenge, but it was such a joy,” Randi says. “Toya is a multidimensional young lady – she’ll make you laugh and then you’ll turn the page and find yourself in tears. She’ll piss you off, and make you wonder why you cried for her in the first place. That’s my Toya, and I’ve selfishly held onto her for too long. I’m proud and excited to introduce her to the world.”

I had a chat with Randi recently about her upcoming book and TEDxBirmingham talk, about how to get a book deal, and about the writing life.

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Member of the Month: Mandy Shunnarah

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The February See Jane Write Member of the Month is Mandy Shunnarah.

Mandy is the bibliophile behind the book blog Off the Beaten Shelf.  

“I’ve loved reading for as long as I can remember,” Mandy says. But it was in fourth grade when she realized just how special her relationship with reading was.

“That was when I noticed that other kids who finished their work early would draw, talk, or pass notes, but I would always grab a book,” she says.

Mandy has been a part of See Jane Write for years, often volunteering to lend a helping hand at events and always being supportive of other members. Mandy recently moved to Ohio, but stays connected to her fellow Janes through the See Jane Write Facebook group.

Recently I had a chat with Mandy about books, blogging, and why she loves being a Jane.

Tell See Jane Write readers more about your blog. What can readers find there?

I write about books, reading, writing, and libraries. I share books I love, discuss diversity issues in publishing and the quirks of reading culture, and share my interactions with books, as they’re a huge part of my life. I feel like my life is made so much more complete because I get to vicariously live the lives of all these characters I read about, so my goal is to inspire people to read more.

What tips would you give for someone who wants to read more but just can’t find the time?

I would say to get really creative. Think about all the blocks of time during your day where you can multitask and fill them with audiobooks. Maybe you’ve got a commute to work, or there’s a line at the coffee shop, or all your co-workers are going out to eat at a restaurant you hate so you go somewhere else. Maybe you’ve got dishes to wash and laundry to fold. Maybe your partner is engrossed in something that you have no interest in whatsoever. These are all things that you can do while also listening to an audiobook. Reading doesn’t just have to mean curling up for hours in front of a fireplace with a book in one hand and a cup of tea in the other. Sure, that’s fun, but few people have time to do that every day, so audiobooks can be a great option for putting a book in your head while doing other things. I’ve even started to enjoy tasks I previously hated, like doing the dishes, because I know it gives me a chance to listen to a book.

Tell us more about your Facebook community.

I started the Off the Beaten Shelf Book Nerds community on Facebook because I constantly run across book news on the internet and wanted a fun way to share it with the book lovers in my life. We share things that are both serious and funny, like the latest Pulitzer winners and funny pictures with #booknerdproblems. The group has people who read 50+ books a year and people who read 5. It’s a strictly no judgement zone, and everyone is super friendly. Anyone who loves books and wants to read more is welcome to join.

You’re in school studying library science? Tell us more about that and what you’d like to do with that degree.

Yes! What I love about library science is that it seamlessly blends the old and the new, the historical and the technological, the art and the science. That’s the intersection where I feel most at home and I’m drawn to the opportunities library science presents in this arena. My dream is to digitize a history museum’s 3D collections (like making digital renderings of things like sculptures). So I’ll be working with historic objects, parsing out the information from those objects that people want to know, then using technology to make that information accessible to them in innovative ways.

There may be people who can’t visit museums due to disabilities or classrooms of children across the world who wouldn’t otherwise be able to come to the museum, but if they can see the object online—zoom in, be able to click on different areas to see facts, have a mini library of online resources showing prior research on the object and the time period the object is from—they can still benefit from the museum’s work. Museums exist for the express purpose of public access, so I love the idea of making the museum accessible outside its physical walls.

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What do you think it is about books that captivates you so?

Books captivate me because, with fiction, humans are building entire worlds based solely on their imaginations and creating people that in most cases don’t exist and articulating these really complex emotions. To me, that’s the closest to being a god that humans can ever hope to achieve.

Can you tell read why you choose to continue to be a part of See Jane Write even though you no longer live in Birmingham?

Because Javacia doesn’t make junk. Everything she does through See Jane Write is chocked full of value, practical tips and examples, and teachings that guarantee results. The level of care she puts into this group and the love and attention she gives her tribe astounds me. I’ve been a member of See Jane Write since I was 21 and I’m 25 now and don’t want to see a day when I don’t have this incredible woman and the community she’s built supporting my dreams. Even now that I’ve moved to Ohio, I still get the benefit of the Facebook group, her informative Periscopes, The Jane Jumpstart, virtual coaching sessions, her online courses, and recorded events. See Jane Write might be based in Birmingham, but women everywhere can benefit. I’m practically begging her to start a chapter in Columbus, Ohio!

Be sure to follow Mandy’s blog Off the Beaten Shelf

 

Member of the Month: Brie Cash

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The See Jane Write member of the month is Brie Cash of the I Am Woman Network.

When I met Brie last year, I had no idea she was facing so many hardships because, quite frankly, she always looks fabulous.

But as the old saying goes, you can’t judge a book by its cover.

“I have spent the last year and a half in a nasty custody battle,” Brie shares. “Most of 2015 I was homeless going from friend to friend.”

But from these hardships was born an idea — the I Am Woman Network.

“I prayed for purpose and He gave me a vision that is leading to my purpose,” Brie says, explaining that the I Am Woman Network exists to “equip and empower women to live purposefully.”

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Member of the Month: Stephanie Naman

The See Jane Write Member of the Month for November is author and blogger Stephanie Naman.

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By day, Stephanie is the VP/Creative Director at the advertising agency Luckie & Company, where she works with big-name clients like Regions Bank, Little Debbie, and Alabama Power. By night, she’s the author behind the mother-daughter mysteries Murder on the First Day of Christmas and Murder in a Two-Seater

And recently Stephanie launched a new blog — Auntie Venom, a website for teen girls aimed at “taking the sting out of growing up.”

I am tempted to try to write something to show you that Stephane is one of the smartest and funniest women writers that I know. But I think letting her speak for herself will get the job done.

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Member of the Month: Tracie Threadford

 

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The See Jane Write member of the month for October is personal finance blogger Tracie Threadford.

Tracie is a member of the See Jane Write Mastermind program and is one of those clients that blog coaches love to have. Tracie signed up for the program because she wanted help with relaunching her blog and help with turning that blog into a business. Tracie loves makeup but she also has a passion for helping others improve their personal finance. I encouraged Tracie to find a way to combine those two interests and she did just that, dubbing herself as your “Money Makeup Artist.”  This is why Tracie is a dream client —  she works so hard and when I give Tracie advice, from the smallest tip to the most challenging assignments, she takes my suggestions and runs with them. (She is also hilarious and I spend half of our sessions together laughing hysterically at something she’s said.)

Read on to learn more about Tracie, her blog, and how she plans to give you a money makeover.

Tell us about your blog and the products and services you hope to offer readers in the future.

My blog is a personal finance blog. I offer tips and advice on cleaning your credit and living a frugal lifestyle. Right now I am working on my signature program, Pretty Money: Total Money Makeover. This program will teach basic budgeting concepts that anyone can use. In the future, I hope to offer my readers courses on investing, cleaning their credit and a short course on frugal living. My goal is to empower the family unit to create sustainable wealth for generations to come. I also plan to host a financial seminar in January of 2016. It will encompass finance and tax advice. Through my business, GlamPowerment Enterprises LLC, I aspire to do community outreach to low-income families and help them change their financial situation for the better.

How did you get interested in personal finance?

I became interested in finance after I became totally broke with no options other than to declare total bankruptcy. I grew up in home where I was taught basic financial principles but when I became an adult I strayed away. After declaring bankruptcy, I felt really low as a mother, a woman, a wife, and a person. I felt as if I had somehow failed. I vowed that I would not let the poverty mindset stick, that I would not wallow in shame and brokenness. I vowed that I would implement all the knowledge I had been taught and study to gain more knowledge so that I could change the trajectory of mine and my family’s future.

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You have a clever way of combining your interest in finance with your love of makeup. What tips would you give to other bloggers looking for ways to marry two interests that seem completely unrelated?

I would tell other bloggers to take a look at all of their interests, their passions, and see what meshes, what goes together. I would tell them to just do what comes natural to them and see what comes out of it. I had to “makeover” my finances so that just came natural to me with makeup, because in the makeup industry we give people makeovers. I like the way that Jennifer Dome King married her fitness and fashion together, I thought that was clever so I said, How can I do that? and that’s how i came up with finance and makeup. I am multi-passionate, so it was quite easy to marry the two.

If someone reading this wants to makeover her finances, what’s the first step she should take?

I feel the first step is get your credit straight. You can’t do anything if your credit is out of sorts. Even if your score is not low per say, you would still want it high enough where you would get a lower interest rate on things like a mortgage or car loan. You know, if your credit is not up to par then you are going to pay high interest and that is going to cause a ripple effect. You will spend more money over time, and in the interim you will be paying higher notes. The goal is to have more of your money in your pocket so that you can do things like invest.

What do you enjoy most about being a member of See Jane Write?

There are so many things I enjoy about being a member of See Jane Write, it is so hard to name just one thing. Since I have to pick, I would say the fearlessness of the other members. They are so encouraging and so willing to help the newer bloggers such as myself. The camaraderie is unparalleled, like nothing I have ever witnessed before. There is no shade or hating — and that’s almost unheard of when you get a group of women together.

What have you accomplished so far through the mastermind program?

I have started my blog and newsletter, started a Facebook group, landed a freelance writing/editing spot with WOW Magazine as the fashion editor, I held my first webinar and I have been asked to speak at a marriage conference in February 2016. I also have overcome my fear of networking.

Why did you decide to join the See Jane Write Mastermind program?

I decided to join the mastermind program because I felt deep down inside that this was the boost I needed in order to set my vision in motion. I needed a tad bit of prodding and I knew YOU would be the one to help me get over my fear and just do it.

Be sure to visit Tracie’s blog, join her Facebook group, and check out her latest article for WOW Magazine.

Would you like to be the next See Jane Write member of the month or do you know someone who would? Send your nominations to javacia@seejanewritebham.com

Member of the Month: Christina Renteria

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Fashion and beauty blogger Christina Renteria hasn’t been a member of See Jane Write long, but I believe she deserves to be the Member of the Month for August for one simple reason: This girl has gumption!

I met Christina at a party hosted by Birmingham Bloggers. She told me about her blog PinkLuxpl. We started talking about her goals and aspirations for her blog and I could see a fire in her eyes and hear passion in her voice. I knew this young woman was about business!

I gave her tips on how to land an appearance on ABC 33/40’s Talk of Alabama. A few weeks later she emailed me to tell me she’d been booked for a segment. This is just one of many examples I could give that show Christina is the kind of woman who goes after what she wants. I hope that learning more about her will encourage all the ladies of See Jane Write to do the same.

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What’s your blog’s focus and mission and how do you hope to see it grow in the future? 

PinkLuxpl is a not only a beauty and fashion blog but a community where all women can learn and get inspired. The focus and mission of PinkLuxpl consist of helping women gain confidence to be their true beautiful and stylish self. I strive to inspire women to step out of their comfort zone whether it’s trying a new lipstick color or trying the color blocking trend. I hope to see PinkLuxpl in the future not only become the “IT” blog for beauty and fashion but also a business.

Can you give us five tips on how to dress like a fashion blogger even if we’re not one? 

  1. Find your style.
  2. Make sure you are wearing the correct size. Seeing a size7 may feel better than a size 9 but not being able to breathe is not a great feeling.
  3. Break the rules. Wear multiple colors, prints, and have fun.
  4. Always accessorize. A black t-shirt and jeans looks 10 times better with a statement necklace.
  5. Always be confident in your clothes!

You recently hosted your first Twitter chat. How did it go and how did you get the idea to try this? 

It was amazing! It was so great to chat with my supporters. The idea of having twitter chat started because I wanted to interact with my readers. However, I had no clue it was called a “twitter chat.” The same day the idea popped in my head I received an email alert that a fellow blogger had a blog post discussing how to host a twitter chat.

I advise all bloggers to host a twitter chat. It is a smart thing for bloggers to try because it helps you to determine your ideal reader, build your community and read the view points of your supporters. Choose a topic you love, set a time and date, post about it on social media. Treat it as a girls night in!

 
What have you enjoyed most about being a part of See Jane Write? What has been most helpful to you as a blogger?

I have enjoyed attending the educational seminars, events, and constant motivation to be not only a blogger but a business woman. When I get an email from See Jane Write I have a celebratory scream because I know it will be filled with motivation and a new lesson. The educational events and Q&A posts in the Facebook group have been the most helpful to be as a blogger.

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In addition to fashion, you focus a lot on confidence. Where do you get your confidence and what advice would you give to women struggling in this area?

I love to discuss confidence with women of all ages because I never want them to go through life feeling like they can’t — can’t wear a bathing suit, can’t go after that job title, can’t be on TV.

I gained all of my confidence from being bullied. I know you are probably wondering how. I went through a deep depression after graduating high school because I was terribly bullied. I was called words no one should ever hear on a daily basis. I turned that negative life experience into a positive and was determined to help girls and women always feel confident.

My advice to women struggling with confidence: stop listening to those criticizing you, step out on faith, and complete a goal. I stopped letting those hurtful words determine my worth and my destiny. I stepped out on faith and completed a goal when I started PinkLuxpl and by doing so I found my passion.

 

Would you like to be the next See Jane Write member of the month or do you know someone who would? Send your nominations to javacia@seejanewritebham.com

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