Part C: Marianne Curtis: Mentor of the month of May

A newspaper journalist in Manitoba, Canada. Nearly 20 years of media, publishing and freelance writing experience.   1st book,  a personal memoir Finding Gloria hit #1 on the best sellers list on Amazon in Canada, USA and the UK several times.  2013 - Received a YWCA Woman of Distinction nod for inspiring others by sharing her story of struggle and survival after recovering from childhood abuse, bullying, and sexual assault.  Other titles: Moondust and Madness: a collection of poetry, Behind Whispering Pines, and Brian's Last Ride. November 2014 - Curtis will be releasing Rae of Hope: Stories of Survival, a collection of stories written by bullying survivors from around the world.  
A newspaper journalist in Manitoba, Canada. Nearly 20 years of media, publishing and freelance writing experience.  
1st book,  a personal memoir Finding Gloria hit #1 on the best sellers list on Amazon in Canada, USA and the UK several times. 
2013 – Received a YWCA Woman of Distinction nod for inspiring others by sharing her story of struggle and survival after recovering from childhood abuse, bullying, and sexual assault. 
Other titles: Moondust and Madness: a collection of poetry, Behind Whispering Pines, and Brian’s Last Ride.
November 2014 – Curtis will be releasing Rae of Hope: Stories of Survival, a collection of stories written by bullying survivors from around the world.

In the previous issue of Mentor of the Month, Marianne Curtis told us that she began writing as a source of release, a way for her to keep sane during very challenging times in her life. Her writing now not only helps and fulfills her but also assists and encourages others who may be experiencing difficulties in their lives.
Today Curtis shares, in more detail, her experiences as she wrote her books. She also has an upcoming book (this November), which is a compilation of stories shared by people in the hundreds who are trying to find healing. Many of them sharing their stories for the first time.
Tell me about your experiences while writing your novels? (Both Finding Gloria and A Discreet Betrayal) Was it challenging to get started and then got easier or vice versa? Continue reading “Part C: Marianne Curtis: Mentor of the month of May”

Letting the Cat Out of the Bag, sort of..

write-a-bookOne of my biggest dreams is to write books. Thought-provoking books with captivating story lines and fascinating characters. Inspiring books that speak to those who want to make a career in writing and any other of the fields I have, and intend to explore in the near future. I spend a ridiculous amount of time writing, tossing and rewriting, hoping for a masterpiece to something incredible. And with each article I write, including those that never make it to a second pair of eyes, bring me closer to that dream. Because in doing, you experience. It is from that experience that you not only get the courage to step out boldly and fulfill your dream, but you also learn from your own errors, and discover your greatest attributes. To top that, it helps you to either work around your weaknesses or work on them to become better at whatever you are pursuing.  Continue reading “Letting the Cat Out of the Bag, sort of..”

Our Girl, Lupita

 Her warmth, her eloquence and the confidence she exudes is remarkable.
Her warmth, her eloquence and the confidence she exudes is remarkable.

I chose to hold off. I decided I would not talk about it until most other writers move on to other stories. I mean, she was everywhere in the media. Her warmth, her eloquence and the confidence she exudes is remarkable. Like a wild bush fire her name quickly spread across the globe. Every woman, every girl, every ambitious individual, every parent and every child with a dream connected with her. Lupita Nyong’o is an example and an inspiration. I have tremendously enjoyed her speeches and talks, enjoyed her personality and the manner in which she carries herself. She has a way with words that captivates me each time I watch her.  Continue reading “Our Girl, Lupita”

Mentor of the Month [April]: Interviewing The Abstract Artist

Shayani Ann Turko is an emerging writer and visual artist, currently completing a four year degree in Communications at the University of Winnipeg. She is also the Facilitator and current team leader of the Awakening A Bold Love (page available on Facebook), which is a grassroots group of creatives, who desire to lead the way in ushering in a new paradigm for faith, community, missions and life. Apart from organizing and directing multi-dimensional, multi-artist, art shows for the Awakening, she is also the editor of “I am dark but lovely”, which is the digital magazine of the Awakening, as well as its main web page.

Sometimes it is through our darkest experiences that we discover our deepest passion. At times, when we have struggled, suffered and perhaps even failed a few times, is when it gets crystal clear. What we desire out of life, the ambitions we want to fulfill and the life journey we would like to embark on, suddenly glares right into our faces.
This is true for Shayani Turko who at a very trying time in her life, discovered her love for abstract art. As a staunch christian, Shayani boldly states that God is the center of her creations. Shayani explains that she used art and poetry to express her pain through which she gradually experienced deep healing.  In her exact words Shayani says that through abstract art, ” suddenly, I found my voice!”
For the month of April, Shayani will be sharing with us her narrative as an abstract artist from an angle like no other; a perfect combination of faith, passion and genuine love for others.
In today’s issue the artist shares her challenges expressing that by having patience, focusing on a specific goal, resisting discouragement & realizing that she does not have to prove herself to anyone, she has been able to overcome many difficulties in her field. Continue reading “Mentor of the Month [April]: Interviewing The Abstract Artist”

Stimulate Your Passion for the Job

To be more successful we need to recognize that it is our own responsibility to find fulfillment in our careers.
To be more successful we need to recognize that it is our own responsibility to find fulfillment in our careers.
I strongly believe that emotions towards what we do for a living are a great motivator for success or failure. Many successful individuals repeatedly point out the importance of passion. As much as the purpose of the job is to provide a source of income, we spend an awful amount of time working each day. While some of us may be business owners and others employees at a variety of organizations, it is important that we recognize that to be more successful, we need to make it our responsibility to find fulfillment in our careers.  Continue reading "Stimulate Your Passion for the Job"

How about some random polls?



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© Valerie Chela N, all writers herein and Memoirs of a Kenyan, 2013. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s authors and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to appropriate author of content and Memoirs of a Kenyan with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Mentor of the Month [February]:Seeds of Leadership

Yves Vandal is the Director of Communications and Client Services at Manitoba Student Aid. Over the past several years, Yves has been a leader in multiple industries which he mentions in our interview below. Let us welcome him to Memoirs of a Kenyan, as he shares with us some tips to becoming successful inspiring leaders. 

I believe that a leader should try to balance professionalism while being a real person to the people he/she serves.
I believe that a leader should try to balance professionalism while being a real person to the people he/she serves.

You have managed people for a good length of your professional life.  What have you found to best motivate people to excel in their careers?
I’ve found that the best motivating factors include a chance at an opportunity to expand on one’s experiences and a chance to prove one’s ability to his/her co-workers and leaders.
I’ve had the privilege contributing to the development of a number of team members, doing the organization’s part in helping them achieve their personal and professional goals while being able to congratulate a team member on a job well done or due to their ability to accomplish something out of scope of their normal work is very rewarding.
In developing team members, you become an employer of choice.
In developing team members, you become an employer of choice.

I think that many leaders in many sectors often fear developing their team members because they believe that their efforts will be for not, and that the team members will move on to other opportunities resulting in an effort lost.  I don’t believe this.  In developing team members, you become an employer of choice and thus, increase the quality and quantity of candidates that want to compete for positions in your organization.  Increased competition always equates to high quality candidates.
If you had the ability to change how most professionals approach their work and plan out their careers, what would you change?
If I could change how most professionals approach their work and career plan, I would try to let younger professionals understand that their goals at the beginning of their careers more often than not, are not their goals at mid-point or at the end of their careers.
I think many people, including me, thought they’d follow a specific path from the beginning to the end of their careers.  We underestimate the transfer-ability of our skills and knowledge from industry to industry.  Throughout my career, I’ve led people in the restaurant industry, the health industry and now in student assistance industry.  When I first started out, I never would have believed it, if I was told where I’d be at this point of my career.
It does create an enormous amount of excitement.  I ‘m still considered a young leader and I can’t even imagine where I’ll be 10 or 15 years from now.
What are some of the key leadership lessons you would like to pass on to others?
The most important leadership lesson I’ve  learned, is that as a leader, you are here to serve your team members and not the reverse.  It is the responsibility of a leader to find out what tools and supports their team members need to do their jobs as effectively and efficiently as possible in a way that is inclusive of their own ideas and not solely based on a leader’s observations.
Creating an environment that fosters positive experiences and a chance that on any given day, people will have fun at work.
Creating an environment that fosters positive experiences and a chance that on any given day, people will have fun at work.

This should be accomplished while creating an environment that fosters positive experiences and a chance, that on any given day, people will have fun at work.
How is a good leader expected to carry him/ her-self? And why is this important?
I believe that a leader should try to balance professionalism while being a real person to the people he/she serves.  The importance of maintaining a certain level of professionalism is that it sets an expectation for others to conduct themselves in a similar manner.  It’s also important for your team members to know about their leader’s life so that they feel like their leader can relate to their life/professional challenges.Leadership
© [Valerie Chela N, all writers herein] and Memoirs of a Kenyan, 2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s authors and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to appropriate author of content and Memoirs of a Kenyan with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

The Old is Gone

I lived because, at dawn my eyes would open. Because my heart never failed to beat.
I lived because, at dawn my eyes would open. Because my heart never failed to beat.

Although perfection I continue to pursue,
I recognize the world of difference between,
For many nights I was frail,
Completely broken and without sight.

I’d hit rock bottom,
Succumbed to a meaningless existence, Continue reading “The Old is Gone”

A Tribute to Nelson Mandela

Nelson Mandela
“Today, he’s gone home….he no longer belongs to us, he belongs to the ages” Barack Obama. (Photo credit: Festival Karsh Ottawa)

Last Thursday we lost a great man, a hero like no other. An icon who dedicated his being to bettering the lives of others. He struggled, suffered and fought so that we would see a brighter future. He fought so that you and I, could learn to love one another. So that we could accept even those who are different from what we know. He challenged us to embrace our differences.

This great hero, Continue reading “A Tribute to Nelson Mandela”

Good Ol' Memories

As many of you know, this past Wednesday was our first anniversary. I still cannot shake the rush that came over me Wednesday morning when I opened my e-mail account to find, staring back at me, a congratulatory message from WordPress.

Why, thank you WordPress!

First, I was humbled by Continue reading “Good Ol' Memories”

365 Days And Counting..

Yesterday, Memoirs of a Kenyan reached it’s one year mark. I am excited to share this moment with you.

I’ve always been a dreamer. And writing, for as long as I can remember, has been central to me.

Memoirs of a Kenyan is a dream. A dream that’s being realized. A dream that continues to explore its avenues and to expand.

At Memoirs of a Kenyan, we believe in dreaming, but we also encourage you to work on those dreams.

Stay tuned for a recap highlighting lots of the fun stuff we’ve been up to throughout the year!
© Valerie Chela N, all writers herein and Memoirs of a Kenyan, 2013. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s authors and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to appropriate author of content and Memoirs of a Kenyan with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

A Fizzy Drink, Midnight and Me!

Bed Jump
“and land mightily on the ground, my drink flying about it the air. (Photo credit: jamesjyu)

This is ridiculous! It’s the middle of the night yet I am wide awake.

I shift and turn under the covers. Two minutes this side, one minute the other and still nothing feels quite right. Total discomfort.

I sit up. Continue reading “A Fizzy Drink, Midnight and Me!”

A Woman is Much More Than her Power to Seduce

successful business woman on a laptop
(Photo credit: Search Engine People Blog)

This article is a counterargument to an article written by SovietLover on The Reporter and The Girl blog. He talks about how women have the essential tools; smile, cleavage, high heels and humor that enable them to accomplish their goals. Check out SovietLover’s article for more details. Here’s my take.
True, a woman has all the necessary tools at her disposal to get ahead in life. These tools, to strongly point out, entail a lot more than sexuality and seduction. A woman is much more than her body and her power to seduce. Instilling this ideology in women is a step in the wrong direction. Continue reading “A Woman is Much More Than her Power to Seduce”

Why are we like using the word ‘like’ like all the time or whatever?

Whatever happened to simply thinking quietly or developing a thought completely before attempting to speak? Or sticking to the conventional non-word fillers such as “um”?goodgriefI won’t deny it. I too struggle to keep certain words that add no meaning whatsoever out of my speech. “Like” is one good example. Occasionally, and against my better judgement, this word crops up in my vocabulary. I make a conscious attempt to avoid using it and a few other words that I could still communicate greatly without.
There are several words that tend to be used an awful lot when we barely need them in the first place to communicate. Continue reading “Why are we like using the word ‘like’ like all the time or whatever?”

The Culture of Shaming

Shaming is slowly becoming a culture of its own. It addresses issues that are not acceptable in our society by creating a sense of guilt and dishonour to individuals who are considered narrow-minded or ignorant.
Here’s a recent example:
Following Miss America Nina Davuluri’s victory many tweeters where shamed by their peers and the general public because of their racist tweets in regards to Nina’s Indian heritage. Many of those who were shamed ended up blocking their user accounts or privatizing them to avoid these attacks.
What is your take on the act of shaming?


© Valerie Chela N, all writers herein and Memoirs of a Kenyan, 2013. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s authors and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to appropriate author of content and Memoirs of a Kenyan with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

The Gift of Family

There is no better feeling than the love of family. This particular statement takes me back to my childhood when I would faithfully spend an hour each week watching a TV show by the name Seventh Heaven. It was an incredible educative show about family support and encouragement, that sort of thing. I absolutely loved it. But that’s besides the point.
Last week I made a trip back to my home country. Prior to that trip I knew I had missed everyone

Logo der US-Serie No Ordinary Family
Logo der US-Serie No Ordinary Family (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

back there and the lifestyle. But believe me I had not realized just how much until I arrived back home and was surrounded by beloved family and friends. Although I was only there for a week, it was worth it every last dime.  Continue reading “The Gift of Family”

Style Buzz with Isabella Nabwire: New Fashion Series

http://bellathecoffeeberry.wordpress.com/
http://bellathecoffeeberry.wordpress.com/

Isabella Nabwire O. a.k.a Bella Candice is an intelligent young God-fearing lady. She is a law student who speaks passionately about her field of study and the nitty gritties involved there in. She is beautiful and very vibrant. Her love for fashion oozes off of her impeccable fashion sense. Her love for fashion is clearly inborn as she certainly has a way of owning her style as she confidently goes about her business.
Isabella admitted to Style Buzz that she is afraid of the dark. Almost immediately she countered her confession announcing her love for chocolate. Isabella enjoys a good laugh and likes to spend time with her family and friends. She stated that she is a “neat freak”. She also enjoys warm baths, shower gels, towels and anything fluffy. But most of all Isabella is “a crazy rumba lover.”
Isabella is also a fashion blogger Continue reading “Style Buzz with Isabella Nabwire: New Fashion Series”

Feel Good Wednesday: "In Pursuit of Happiness"

When you help other people, you help yourself ...
(Photo credit: deeplifequotes)

Helping others has a magical way of causing us to feel good about ourselves. A study carried out by Michael F Steger an assistant professor in the Department of Psychology at Colorado State University indicated that virtue-building activities such as volunteering that the individuals’ under study were engaged in caused more happiness than hedonic behaviour.  Aristotle is also reported to have argued some 2400 years ago, that people are happier when they spend sometime in their day carrying out virtue-building activities. Continue reading “Feel Good Wednesday: "In Pursuit of Happiness"”

New- Fashion Series

What’s your fashion style? I know030813-Miranda-Kerr-350 a lot of people never consider themselves stylish or fashion forward but the truth is we all have our unique style. Your style says so much about you than you actually think. I would like to start a series called ” Style Buzz- My Style is -insert 1 or 2 words to describe your style.” In my case it would be, “My style is Sexy and Comfort”.
We invite and encourage willing participants who would like to be featured to drop us an e-mail at memoirsofakenyan@hotmail.com or to fill out the “Contact Us” form on our contact page. Which ever option you choose, your subject line should read “Style Buzz”. Continue reading “New- Fashion Series”

Feel Good Wednesday: Self-Loving, Self-Esteem

self-esteem
self-esteem (Photo credit: Key Foster)

Good Morning beloved friends.
We are here again on this magnificent Wednesday morning. It is quite lovely outside. I hope it is as beautiful out there for you. If not, stay warm and remember to stay positive.
Today’s Feel Good Wednesday article is a post that we have seen before here at Memoirs of a Kenyan written by our very own Mimi early this year in May. The reason I feel that we should revisit this post today is because we all need to learn to love and respect ourselves. If we don’t see the beauty in ourselves, others too will not see it. It begins with us, as individuals. Our self-esteem tells others what we want them to see.
In her post Mimi captured the vitality of self-love and respect in a  manner that paints a vivid picture of where we want to be-in respect to our self-image. Please, enjoy…http://herebyhangsatale.wordpress.com/2013/05/08/beauty-is-in-the-eyes-of-the-beholder/
And, Happy Feel Good Wednesday!
© Valerie Chela N, all writers herein and Memoirs of a Kenyan, 2013. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s authors and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to appropriate author of content and Memoirs of a Kenyan with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.