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What are the Ingredients for a Good Read?

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Posing with Shirley and Bernard Kinsey

Posing with Shirley and Bernard Kinsey

Ask any reader what the ingredients are for a good read and you’ll get as many answers as there are readers.

And yet, that was exactly the topic of a program at Cerritos Library in Cerritos, CA presented by the Orange County (CA) Chapter of the The Links, Inc. in collaboration with The National Black MBA Association Inc., Los Angeles Chapter.

Five local authors and I shared our journeys and gave our viewpoints on the writing process and the highlights of our books.

Signing books at Cerritos Library

Signing books at Cerritos Library

Daniel Armstrong, a dream coach, author and lawyer inspired us with his story of the love writing instilled in him as child by his mother who encouraged his early efforts to write letters to the President. Later inspired by his experiences in Ghana, Africa, he wrote the motivational book, “How to Live Your Dreams: Find a Tree and Get Started.”

Gary Phillips
got his experience and calling to be a community organizer from growing up in South Central Los Angeles. Drawing on his experience in activism, printing and teaching incarcerated youth he writes stories of chicanery misadventure and human condition. His popular murder mystery, Citizen Kang, was serialized online by The Nation.

Attica Locke,
novelist and screenwriter, acted as the panel moderator. Her first novel, Black Water Rising, was shortlisted for the prestigious Orange Prize in the UK in 2010. She has worked for many years as a screenwriter , penning movies and TV scripts for Paramount, Warner Bros., Disney, 20th Century Fox, Jerry Bruckheimer Films, HBO, Dreamworks and Silver Pictures. Most recently she wrote the introduction for the UK publication of Ernest Gaines’ A Lesson Before Dying.

Paul Woodring, an electrical engineer, “intrapreneur” and entrepreneur, boasts many notable accomplishments. In the early 1980’s he directed the development of the first microprocessor based life support ventilator, a product that went on to become the most-used life support ventilator in the U.S. In 1996 he formed InVentive Technologies which developed the first touch screen ventilator that allowed for use of invasive and noninvasive ventilation in the same device. His first novel, Inventions, is an intriguing story of a Black character’s experiences in the high tech world of 1970’s emerging inventions and romance.

Bernard and Shirley Kinsey, known for their collection of African American art, books and manuscripts that span from 1600 to the present, gave a presentation , “What You Didn’t Learn in High School?” Based on the Kinsey Collection Exhibition at the Smithsonian American History Museum, their mesmerizing presentation spotlighted the struggles and achievements of Blacks throughout history. The Kinsey Collection was recently chosen by the Florida Department of Education as the curriculum to tech African American studies to 3.6 million children statewide.

During my presentation I shared how my idea for Color Your Life Happy: Create the Success, Abundance and Inner Joy You Deserve began as a blog and later became a book designed to help those who believe they have no voice or choice, find a way to rejoice. Drawing from findings of positive psychology and ancient truths, I packed each chapter with a unique mix of practical advice, creative activities, poetry, anecdotes and colorable cartoons.

A good read? It’s fiction and nonfiction, history and intrigue, mystery and romance. A good read inspires, entertains, instructs.

Thank you to the following groups for making this event possible and available to the public: City of Cerritos, Cerritos City Council, the beautiful Cerritos Library, the Orange County (CA) Chapter of The Links, Inc. and the National Black MBA Association, Inc. Los Angeles Chapter.

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