Learning To Sew: A Lesson in Practice

IMG_4142My bobbin won’t thread correctly. And I’m not sure how to work my automatic needle threader.

So, every time I begin to sew the stitch refuses to take hold and the thread eventually unwraps itself.

To say that I’m a little frustrated would be an understatement. I tried several times to complete the Dr. Seuss pillow case but my blood began to boil at each failed attempt. Eventually, I gave up on the whole thing.

Somehow I had the bright idea to make another Barbie doll dress since the last one turned out so well.

I cut out the pattern, pinned the pieces and began to sew. Much to my chagrin, the bobbin got stuck and my thread popped out of the needle. I don’t know why. I don’t know how.

Clearly, I need to sign up for a few more classes, or just sell my machine and give up on learning to sew :( .

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Creating an Editorial Calendar

editorial calendarTruth be told I’m a lazy girl. Incessantly, I create detailed to-do lists. but when the time comes to sit and actually DO what’s on my list, I get terribly distracted. So I procrastinate…and procrastinate…..and procrastinate.

Eventually, I get the required work done. But I could certainly be more efficient if I check things off of my list quicker. One area of my life that could use some attention in this area is my blog. Yup, I’m a lazy blogger. Generally speaking, I blog when I want to- when I feel like it- when it’s convenient for me. Because of this my number of monthly blog posts have slowly diminished.

I certainly need to upgrade my blogging life and become a bit more steadfast. That’s why I have finally created an editorial calendar. For years, at every conference I’ve attended someone has spoken on the importance of an editorial calendar. I have always resisted the idea….because I’m lazy, remember.

Well it wasn’t until a few days ago when Mimi G made the statement “You’ll never reach the level of success that you desire if you don’t work for it.”  HIGH FIVE to Mimi G!!!!

I nearly fell on the floor when she said that because I knew she was talking directly to me. It was at that moment I realized I needed to stop complaining about my blog analytics and WORK to make them better.

That is when I came home and began organizing my writing schedule. It’s only been a week, but I’m happy to say that I’ve stuck to my calendar with precision. As a matter of fact, even though this post was published on Monday, May 25. It was actually written on Friday, May 22. I’m scheduling posts, yall!

Go Krystal! It’s ya birfday! *insert cabbage patch here* Be sure to check back every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday to make sure I have new content up. And if I get slack with it don’t be afraid to shoot me an e mail. I need to be held accountable because remember…I’m a lazy girl.

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Keeping Kids Occupied with Reading

Summer Reading for kidsToday marks the last day of school for many students across Georgia. While this day elicits joy for students and educators, it can stir up feelings of scorn for parents.

Like me, many people struggle with keeping their children occupied during the summer months. None of us want our children stuck in front of a TV screen for hours at a time.

We often enroll our kids in various summer camps: sports themed, art related, etc. And while I encourage my children to be physically active, I want to bridge the gap from one school year to the next.

Drawing on my affinity for books, I’ve developed a plan to keep them academically motivated through the summer. I hope to pass along my love for reading to my children.

Each week, they will be responsible for reading two books a piece. After the completion of each book, they will have to do a book report on what they’ve read. Many correlating activities for novels can be found online by searching the title.

To keep them on track, I’ll post a large chart on the wall that will display their progress. Of course, there will be some type of reward at the end of the summer if they reach their goal.

I really hope my efforts are not in vain. Reading lots of books will keep my children academically challenged. It will also make the transition into the next school year smooth. How will you bridge the learning gap during these hot summer months?

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The Bluest Eye, A Review

Toni Morrison's The Bluest EyeTo say that I am an avid reader would be an understatement. I fell in love with books long, long ago.

My college days were spent hidden in a corner of Thomas Cooper Library on the campus of the University of South Carolina reading everything from Dante to Nikki Giovanni.

So, for me to tell you that I’ve never read any of Toni Morrison’s books is an embarrassment. Of course, being an English major in school and an English teacher for over a decade, I’ve studied her work, read biographies on her life and stalked her profusely.

But I’ve never, ever read any of her books…until now.

A few weeks ago during one of my weekly trips to Barnes and Noble I perused the aisles in search of my next literary venture. I passed the shelf littered with Toni Morrison’s works and decided to take a peek at The Bluest Eye.

I came home and dove into the pages. Of course, her writing is extraordinary. Everything about this book is beautiful. Each page is like music. Once I got to the end I felt such a feeling of sorrow for the main character, Pecola Breedlove. What a sad, sad life she lives.

I want so much to save her from her trauma. But she’s just a character, in a beautiful story. Thank you, Toni Morrison.

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Mimi G’s Passion To Profit Tour ATL

Mimi G Passion To Profit TourIt’s been a little over a year since I stumbled upon Mimi G’s blog. I’m not sure how I found out about this amazingly talented woman, but I’m thankful I did.

She’s the one who is responsible for me creating a beautiful writing space for myself. She’s also the reason I’ve been taking sewing classes.

So I was excited to learn that Mimi was scheduled to bring her Passion To Profit tour to Atlanta. This past weekend I had the pleasure of sitting front row at the JW Marriott as she dished out her business savvy knowledge to a group of 100 attendees.

I learned so much. I met some amazing people. And I left the 3-hour workshop incredibly inspired to shift gears and create a more profitable business.  Here are some pictures from the event…

Mimi G is holding my latest book, Brooklyn! I know she will love it.

Mimi G is holding my latest book, Brooklyn! I know she will love it.

MImi G shoes

Mimi G Passion To Profit Tour

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I Heart Book Signings

Krystal Grant's book signingThe outpouring of support for my latest book has been amazing.  I’m so overwhelmed by the public response.

It’s an indescribable feeling to have your work embraced by so many people. I’m thankful.

One of the most fun parts of being a writer is book signings. I absolutely love them.

Over the past few years, I’ve has the opportunity to meet so many of my readers.   I’m thankful to get the chance to talk with them face to face. They provide me with invaluable  feedback on my work.

Krystal Grant's book signing 2

Recently, I had a book signing at my home church. It was an honor to be invited. Spending time with old friends was a wonderful experience.

It was a joy worshiping with my church family and sharing my books.  If you haven’t picked up your copy of my latest novel, Brooklyn, be sure to click here for details.

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Learning To Sew: A Lesson in Patience

IMG_4233 (1)A big round of applause for the numerous attempts I made at sewing my Dr. Seuss pillow case……

CLAP! CLAP! CLAP!

It’s been nearly two months since I’d touched my beloved sewing machine.

But when I located my instructions for making the perfect pillowcase I figured it was time to thread my needle and give it another try.

I was armed with a great deal of confidence. After all, I HAD taken two sewing classes and managed to sew my very own one of a kind garment for a very well known client. So this pillow case should be a piece of cake, right?

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Round 1: I measured the fabric, cut it neatly and placed it correctly to be pinned. I carefully pinned the fabric and sewed my 1/2 inch seam just as directed. Pulling the fabric from it’s tubing I realized that the accent piece was turned the wrong way. Out comes the seam ripper.

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Round 2: I measured the fabric, cut it neatly and placed it the opposite way. I carefully pinned the fabric and sewed my 1/2 inch seam just as directed. Pulling the fabric from it’s tubing I realized that the SAME FREAKING accent piece was STILL turned the wrong way. Again, out comes the seam ripper.

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Round 3: I measured the fabric, cut it neatly and FINALLY place it the way it should be. I carefully pinned the fabric and sewed my 1/2 inch seam just as directed. Pulling the fabric from it’s tubing I realized that NOTHING was sewn. The stitching was loose because my bobbin had run out of thread.

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Round 4: I throw the damn sewing machine in the trash can!

Well, not really. Round 4 only happened in my mind. In actuality I simply cleaned up my mess, folded my fabric and placed it back in the fabric drawer. Then put my sewing machine back in the box in the corner.

Maybe I’ll try again tomorrow after my nerves have calmed.

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Wadsworth Magnet Career Day

Krystal Grant authorIt’s such a joy to share what I do with people. I especially enjoy sharing my career with young people.

They are so energetic and bubbly. I feed off of their excitement. So when the opportunity arose to speak at a local school for their annual career, I jumped at the chance.

The students were awesome. They asked hard-hitting questions about what I do and how I’m able to balance it all. They made me laugh. They made me think. and they even taught me how to do the whip!

Krystal Grant at Wadsworth Magnet Career Day

It was a fun, exciting day and I’m thankful to the faculty, staff and students of Wadsworth Elementary for their hospitality. I’m eager to share my story with other students so send me a message if you need a dynamic speaker for your next event.

 

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2015 Striped Bass Festival

IMG_3453This past weekend I had the opportunity to participate in the 2015 Striped Bass Festival in Manning, South Carolina.

I’m always excited to travel to my home state to see family and friends. This trip was no exception.

The day’s forecast was looking gloomy with an 80% chance of showers but I was determined not to allow a little bit of rain spoil my mood.

Before leaving my hotel room the rain had already begun racing to the ground. You’d think things couldn’t get any worse but erecting our tent at the outdoor festival was no easy task. We struggled. I got angry.

Striped Bass Festival 2015

I almost packed up my things and went back to the hotel to sulk. But God sent two angels named Kee and Jerry to help us out. It took some time and we all got soaking wet. But once the tent went up I set up my display and got ready to meet and greet new readers.

2015 Striped Bass Festival

The rain lasted well into the afternoon but that certainly did not stop the wonderful people of Manning from showing up and supporting their community.

Thanks so much to everyone who stopped by my booth and purchased books. Happy reading!

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April Wishes

genieIn 2015 I’ve done a pretty good job of setting goals and working to make them happen. I usually keep a running list of things I want  tucked in the back of my brain.

This list isn’t exactly that. This list is more akin to “I want to win the lotto”…. a think you dream about, but you know there’s hardly a chance in hell that it will come true any time soon.

I’m sharing them with you because there’s a slither of a chance that if I put my desires in the atmosphere, they will manifest. So here you go…..

1) I want to have lunch with Nikki Giovanni. And not a fancy, expensive lunch…I just want to sit with her in a booth eating juicy burgers and salty fries. We would probably laugh as she spews a string of foul words, compare tattoos and talk about Tupac.

2) I want to have a body like Misty Copeland because….damn. Have you seen her? Alas, I eat too many bags of  peanut M&M’s to have a body anywhere close to Misty Copeland’s body.

3) I want to have a regular column in an online magazine. I’m no journalist, but I am a writer. And while becoming a published author continues to give me chills up and down my spine. I want to be able to reach a wider group of people on a more regular basis than my books will allow. But I have no interest in writing about pop culture, finances or politics. I don’t watch enough TV,  listen to enough current music, or balance my bank account well enough for any for that.

4) I want to go to New York City because it’s the “concrete jungle where dreams are made of...” And I have dreams, BIG DREAMS!

I’m going to start digging in my back yard in hopes of finding a magic lamp to rub. I’ll let you know when I find it!

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