I’m Returning to My Roots

Before I became a book author, I was a radio personality and talk show producer and host. I am proud to announce that I am co-hosting a new blog talk show for those who love the Lord and literature as much as I do. Please tune in as me and my co-host, fellow author Ta’Mara Nicole, discuss our first topic, Spirituality vs. Religion. Is there a difference and if there is, which one most fits you?

Spiritually Speaking Launch Flyer

Eugene GibsonOur special guest will be Dr. Eugene Gibson, Jr. He is the Pastor of Olivet Fellowship Baptist Church in Memphis, TN. He is also a professor at Memphis Theological Seminary, and teaches annually at McCormick Theological Seminary and United Theological Seminary. Last but not least, he is the author of Courage Under Fire.

Eat, Pray, Write

Novelist at Work“So, you’re on an Eat, Pray, Love tour,” said my good friend Randy after I shared with him that I am taking a hiatus from traditional employment to take a much needed extended vacation.

“You’re right,” I replied.

Until he said that, I never thought about it like that. I justified my actions by merely stating that I wanted a break from life as I know it. I think each of us should step out of our comfort zone and do something others would consider odd at some point in our lives. And when I tell people that I voluntarily returned to the world of freelance writing, an often stressful if you don’t hustle you don’t eat way of life, the look people give me tells me that this is my odd thing. Heck, sometimes I wonder if I made this decision in an irrational fit of emotion while I was overwhelmed with the impending death of my mother. Especially when I look at my bank account and remind myself that money will not magically appear on the first of May and I better drum up some clients….FAST. Yet, whatever the case, what’s done is done. My job is no longer my job. They hired someone new last week. So there is no looking back, only forward.

Unlike the blockbuster movie “Eat, Pray, Love” starring Julia Roberts, I am not a successful New York Times Bestselling author and I will not be traveling to some unknown land to feast on unhealthy, fattening food, find spiritual enlightenment, or meet my soulmate…I will be traveling domestically. Actually, my journeys have already begun. A week ago I went to New Orleans and while there I took a food tour where I was introduced to the Muffalata, the beignet, the Po Boy, and the praline. Mmm mmm good!  As I embark on this journey of rest and self-enlightenment I have three main goals.

1. Spend More Time With God
I’ve slacked off in this department and I know it. I used to spend every morning reading my Bible and pray every night. It’s time that I get back to it. Being disconnected from God is never a good thing.

2. Write one or more books
Not having enough time will no longer be an excuse for being unable to write. I will also spend time focusing on how to better market the books I do have as well as myself. Anybody need a guest speaker? I’m available.

3. Travel
Yep, I’m going to put those flight points I racked up to good use. I want to go to some places I’ve never been, see some things I’ve never seen, meet some people I’ve never met, and eat some food I’ve never eaten. Before the summer ends I plan to travel to Las Vegas, Tampa, Atlanta, Chicago, Detroit, and probably Dallas. At least I hope to go all of those places…I’ll see what my wallet dictates and where the universe leads me.

What I hope to gain most during this time is a newfound sense of purpose which will only come by strengthening my relationship with God. I hope to gain a better idea of what I want this next chapter of my life to look like because after living in Memphis FOREVER I am open to moving. I also hope to get some great tales to share with my readers. As I do, you better believe I’m going to eat some good food. I’m not opposed to love but I’m not looking for it. It or more correctly, HE, will have to find me. Wish me luck!

If you could take a hiatus from your job what would you do?

Rainy Day Inspiration

woman in rainI don’t write poetry often but I was inspired by the rain beating against my window this morning. Enjoy!

STROLL

I took a stroll in the rain today

I wanted to feel the tears of God cascade down my body as I shed my own

I needed Him to wash away the pain I felt because of the things that man said and did to me

The lies

The empty promises

Meaningful words like future, love, mine that he threw about so carelessly

I took a stroll in the rain today

The cold wetness didn’t compare to the chill I felt when I realized that I was alone yet again

Alone isn’t so bad but lonely is torture

Starting over is the last thing I want to do

I took a stroll in the rain today

My heart hummed a song

The rain as it hit the ground kept time

The cars whizzing by were my off key band

My feet as they trudged along added timbre

My song was sad with a twinge of hope

No one heard it but me and God

I took a stroll in the rain today so I could ask God a question

Why?

He said you always pray and ask me to remove the men from your life who aren’t right for you

Then when I do you cry

Why?

I took a stroll in the rain today

To feel God’s embrace as He kept me safe

Have you seen my latest television interview on Fox 13 News Good Morning Memphis. Check it out here.

Reflections of the Beginning

As I sit here going over edits for the final book in the Someday Trilogy, Forever and a Day, I am reminded of why I wrote the first book, Someday. Thank you to everyone who has traveled with me through this journey of literary self-discovery. I hope you have enjoyed my progression.

Shortly after I released Someday, I penned a letter to my readers explaining why I wrote it. I thought it was worth another look.

 

FROM THE DESK OF JAE HENDERSON

I was hesitant to write this book. Although it is fiction, people often intertwine the author with the main characters. I was afraid that if I wrote a book where the main characters were celibate someone would try to make me the poster child for celibacy, put me inside a box or worse—on a pedestal. I was afraid that if I accepted one of those roles and then publicly faltered that my weakness would cause someone else stumble in their Christian walk. But God told me that it wasn’t about me, or what others would think of me because He had a message for me to relay. This book is my humble attempt to do so. I call my brand of fiction moral messaging, and this is the first of many moral messages. Every literary picture I paint is meant to plant seeds of wisdom in order to allow self-examination through God’s word to take root. We all have room for improvement.

What makes me qualified to write this book is the fact that I am a Christian and beautifully human. I’ve lived a life of celibacy successfully and unsuccessfully. And whether I was practicing abstinence or sexually active, God still showed me His love, grace, and mercy each day. Just like so many young women, I am striving daily to be the woman He created me to be. I am grateful for His unconditional love, and He has commissioned me to share it with others through my writing. He loves you the same way.

For most of my life I have been considered a “good girl,” known for doing what my family expected of me and what thus saith the Lord. Then, there came was a point where I tired of being “Ms. Goodie Two Shoes” or a “Holy Roller” because it seemed like everyone was enjoying life more than I was. I decided to try things the world’s way adopting an “if it feels good do it” philosophy. I soon realized that life wasn’t for me. I found out the hard way that my heart is directly connected to my body and giving myself to someone who had no or very little feelings for me only left me empty with meaningless sexual experiences to talk about. If I had the misfortune of developing feelings for my partner I also had the scars of heart ache, pain, disappointment and sometimes even embarrassment to show for my efforts. I discovered that I am 100 percent woman –full of heart and emotion and by refusing to acknowledge that I was abusing the part of me that makes me who I am.

Your morals are entwined into the very fabric of who you are. I encourage you to embrace them and not run from them. I came to the conclusion that I like being the good girl, and the Holy Spirit doesn’t seem like a bad selection to roll with. Yet and still, I’m not perfect. I have made and will make mistakes but I serve the perfect One.

I wrote this book to encourage those who were also raised with the knowledge that our bodies are precious and they are not to be given to anyone and everyone. To us, sex is more than a recreational activity. This book is for those who have tired of the world feeding us lies that the way to get a man is to perform your best sexual tricks as soon as you meet him. Perhaps you have heard that we are missing out on a whole lot of fun or we are selling ourselves short by not using our innermost parts to entice others for personal gain. Some of us still believe that our bodies are meant to be shared with someone we possess deep affection for and who cares for us deeply as well. Some of us are wise enough to know that real love transcends the physical and that true intimacy is obtained when two people’s minds and hearts connect and what happens physically can be a beautiful expression of that connection. This book is for those who realize that some things can’t be rushed and whether you are waiting to get to the altar or waiting for him to take the time to truly get to know you—you are worth waiting for. This book is also for those who want to live a Christian life but get weary at times and need a little encouragement. And its for those who just love a good love story. You’ll find one within Someday.

Many people have asked me if my main female character, Tee, is really Jae. I must admit that a few of my main character’s experiences are loosely based on my own, but she is not me. As the story evolved, Tee began to take on a life of her own, carve out her own place in her world and take ownership of it. She is her own woman. You’ll find out why I love her so much as her story unfolds.

Now, if you happen to be like Tee, still waiting for your prince and at times it seems that he may never arrive know that God has not forgotten you and He will answer your prayer SOMEDAY. You must be patient as He carefully unfolds His master plan for your life. I’m sure it’s greater than you could have ever imagined. You are His child, and He loves you that much. I pray that you enjoy my first novel. Be blessed!

Jae