25May/16
Heart inside a book

Writing Samples

POLITICS

Hillary’s SuperPredator Comments Matter (FEATURED front page of HuffPost)

In Fear We Trust

Minneapolis: The New Selma

EDUCATION

Yale & Mizzou (FEATURED HuffPost College)

How Not to Make Friends at Work (FEATURED HuffPost College)

Advice for College Freshmen

Tips for College Graduates

STYLE

Mujus (FEATURED HuffPost Style)

Nubian Skin (FEATURED HuffPost Style)

Style Above the Rim (FEATURED HuffPost Style)

ARTS/ENTERTAINMENT

Sipping Beyonce’s Lemonade (FEATURED front page of HuffPost)

Syncopated Ladies (FEATURED HuffPost Arts & Culture)

Debra Cartwright In Living Color

The Bullpen-Repeat Offenders Welcomed

HEALTH/WELLNESS

Black Women & Fertility

Dream Chaser’s Guide to The Alchemist (FEATURED HuffPost GPS for the Soul)

FAMILY

Wills, Trusts, Estates

Teaching Kids Financial Responsibility

Mom Stoops to Conquer

Fathers as Standard Bearers

Woman Love Yourself

COMEDY

The Avengers, HBO Access & Sharts

A Jack O Lantern Walks on the Set of Starz’s Power

 

 

09May/14
Stylish Ronda

Chg-LA-NYC

A rolling stone gathers no moss.

Born and raised in Chicago, I followed sunshine to Los  Angeles after college. I spent my early 20s in Tinsel Town. Oh the stories! While there, a friend with contacts in the entertainment industry suggested that I start screenwriting. I shrugged her off saying, “I’m here to have fun before law school.” After a few years of fun, I returned to the Midwest for law school. In my spare time, I started writing a journal. However, when it came time to take the bar exam, all frivolous pursuits (i.e. anything not legally related) came to an end.

After practicing a few years and experiencing angst at my professional development, I had a longing to pick up my journal and start writing again. I started emailing friends my thoughts on politics, education, etc. One friend replied to my email, “Why are you still in Chicago? You need to be in NY, where it happens. Also, stop sending emails and start a blog so others can hear you.” I replied that I did not want to share my thoughts with the public. The friend was persistent about me moving to New York, especially when I started talking about needing a career change and feeling unfulfilled. Mentoring teens made me more fulfilled than the practice, reminding me of my teaching days. Plus, I started writing. One book turned into three and I wanted to be published. Always dreamed of being Lucy Maud Montgomery-esque.

Fate took matters in its own hands. Clearly, I was afraid to take the leap to NYC. A law school friend was getting married in NYC. I decided to take a week off before the wedding to play tourist. While there, I would visit my persistent “NYC is where you need to be friend.” Well she would have none of that. Why waste time hanging with her when there were people to meet! She arranged a few informational interviews for me with some strategic people. After a few days of informational interviews and taking in the city, the buzz hit me. There is something electric about this city. Things happen here. If you can make it here, you can make it anywhere.

However, realist, practical me always comes through. I could not move to NYC to be a starving author waiting to be discovered without a means to support myself. That meant getting licensed in New York. All law students dread three things: (1) taking the bar – I vowed never to take another when I passed; (2) please don’t let the “rule against perpetuities” be on the bar exam – want to irk an attorney ask them about the rule; and (3) taking the New York bar – pass rate is the lowest in the country. I vowed never to take the bar exam again, so my only hope was reciprocity. There’s the rub. Easier to pass the New York bar exam than to get reciprocity. I challenged the universe and fate. If I get reciprocity from New York, then I have to move.

My friend’s wedding was the first week of October 2010. Immediately when I returned, I applied for reciprocity. November 2010, I started my blog “Ronda-isms.” Why “Ronda-isms?” I have plenty of sayings and ways of doing things. In law school, friends would say, “that’s a Ronda-thing or one of Ronda’s -isms.” So it seem befitting that the blog take that name. December 29, 2010, I was notified that I received reciprocity from the New York. New Year’s Eve, I announced my move to NYC in 2011 to my family and friends. The application process to complete my reciprocity took another three months. Once I completed the paperwork and sent fees, I had a swearing in date of June 2011. It was official. I moved to New York Memorial Day weekend 2011 bright eyed, ambitious, excited, and determined to prove naysayers wrong.

May 25th marks my three year anniversary in the concrete jungle. I blogged about my transitions on Ronda-isms – failures, disappointments, small successes. I started a separate website about a neighborhood I fell in love with. New Yorkers are borough-centric and neighbhorhood-centric. When I moved to NYC, my friend that got married said this, “you did not move to NYC to live on any island other than Manhattan.” I live in Manhattan in the heart of Hell’s Kitchen-Times Square-Theater District. It reminds me of Chicago’s South Loop with easy access to everything within a 15-minute walk (Hudson River Path, Central Park, Lincoln Center, Broadway, Bryant Park, and every subway line).

If you are in my neck of the woods, check out my favorites – All Things Midtown NYC.

09May/14
Ronda-2a

Inspiration

These quotes always come to my rescue!

A black would not Africanize America, for America has too much to teach the world and Africa.  He would not bleach his Negro soul in a flood of white Americanism, for he knows that Negro blood has a message for the world.  He simply wishes to make it possible for a man to be both a Negro and an American. – WEB DuBois

The most potent weapon in the hands of the oppressor is the mind of the oppressed.      -Steve (Stephen Bantu) Biko of South Africa

Success is not always fame or fortune.  Success is picking up that burden and keep on walking and not letting the pain trip you up.  -Maya Angelou

The minute a person feels that he/she has done it, you end the process.  You stop learning. -Maya Angelou

It is human to go through negative experiences, disappointments and frustrations.  It is one of the ways leading us to maturity.   -Kunkel & Dickerson (paraphrase of Kierkegaard)

Affliction is a treasure, and scarce any man hath enough of it.  No man hath affliction enough that is not matured, ripened by it, and made fit for God by that affliction.  -John Donne

The elevator to success is out of order.  You’ll have to use the stairs…one step at a time. – Joe Girard

I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me and 90% how I react to it…We are in charge of our attitudes. – Charles Swindoll

Happiness lies for those who cry, those who hurt, those who have searched and those who have tried. For only they can appreciate the importance of people who have touched their lives. – Victor Hugo

Power corrupts.  Absolute power corrupts absolutely. -Fanshen (Chinese play re: revolution)

Violence breeds violence. Liberty is the necessary foundation for the development of all true values. -Einstein

There’s no such as good writing – there’s only good rewriting. -Louis D. Brandeis (Supreme Court Justice)

When a writer or an artist tries to tell the truth and tries to tell it eloquently, it appeals to all people, regardless of race. -Maya Angelou

Change is the only constant.  -93XRT (Chg radio station’s motto)

Where there is no vision the people perish. -Bible paraphrase

The great enemy of the truth is very often not the lie – deliberate, contrived and dishonest – but the myth – persistent, persuasive, and unrealistic. – JFK

For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine…instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear…they will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths. – Bible

What currently insists on truth is disproved, because Lie or her younger sister, Deception, often hands over only the most acceptable part of a memory, the part that sounds plausible on paper. – Gunter Grass

The past may not repeat itself, but it sure does rhyme. – Mark Twain

What history teaches is that men have never learned anything from it.  – Hegel

The treatment creates the disease; the illness is doctor-made. Dr. Ganaway re: repressed memory therapy

Whoever fights monsters should see to it that in the process he does not become a monster. – Friedrich Nietzsche

I don’t want to see the Republican Party ride to political victory on the Four Horsemen of Calumny – Fear, Ignorance, Bigotry and Smear. -Margaret Chase Smith (Republican senator in the 1950s McCarthy era)

God’s own country becomes stranger and stranger, but somehow they manage to return to normality. Everything – even lunacy – is massed produced here.  But everything goes out of fashion very quickly. – Einstein re McCarthyism

Subtle is the Lord, but he is not malicious. Nature hides her secret because of her essential loftiness, but not by means of ruse.  – Albert Einstein

The value of education is not the learning of many facts but the training of the mind to think. – Albert Einstein

To punish me for my contempt of authority, fate has made me an authority myself. Einstein

Wisdom is better than weapons of war. – Bible

It seems to me an utterly futile task to prescribe rules and limitations for the conduct of war. War is not a game; hence one cannot wage war by rules as one would in playing games. – Einstein

Should we be unable to find a way to honest cooperation and honest pacts with the Arabs, then we have learned absolutely nothing during our 2,000 years of suffering. The two great Semitic peoples have a great common future. – Einstein

Nationalism is an infantile disease, the measles of mankind.  – Einstein

It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.  – Theodore Roosevelt” The Man in the Arena” speech at the Sorbonne in Paris

Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds. The mediocre mind is incapable of understanding the one who refuses to bow blindly to conventional prejudices and chooses instead to express his opinions courageously and honestly.  – Einstein

Great spirits have always found violent opposition from mediocrities. The latter cannot understand it when a man does not thoughtlessly submit to hereditary prejudices, but honestly and courageously uses his intelligence and fulfills the duty to express the results of his thought in clear form. –  variation of Einstein

Old times..if you’re not careful, they’ll gut you like a fish. Rules of Civility by Amor Towles

It is a lovely oddity of nature that a person is more inclined to interrupt two people in conversation than one person alone with a book, even if it is a foolish romance.  Rules of Civility by Amor Towles

New York has such courage and enthusiasm that everything can be begun again, sent back to the building yard and made into something still greater.  Le Corbusier

Mildness governs more than anger.

Ingratitude is a crime.

Carelessness is a form of ingratitude.

Notoriety is often mistaken for fame.

Foolish love brings sorrow.

Being busy doesn’t always mean being useful.

Trust not fine promises.

The most dangerous enemy is the one within.

Death and love strike unexpectedly.

Stoop to conquer.

Learn to listen wisely.

The remedy is often as bad as the disease.

No plea will save the innocent against an unjust judge.

Nothing so bad that it might not be worse.

Prevention is better than cure.

A crust with quietness is better than a feast eaten in fear.

Be not forgetful of benefits.

Thoughtless friends bring more hurt than profit.

A poor excuse is a dangerous thing.

Brooding over troubles increases them.

The fulfillment of our wishes may lead to ruin.

Double dealing is worse than open enmity.

There is no parleying with the dishonest.

Wealth and respectability are often at variance.

Gossips are best answered by silence.

Contempt is the best answer for scurrility.

Small duties neglected become great perils.

He who enters a business should see his way out of it.

It is a common habit to talk of what is right and good, and to do what is quite the reverse.

Remember your own infirmities when correcting those of others.

If all prayers were answered, no one would be satisfied.