It was a few years ago that I stumbled upon this dream during a rather nightmarish period of my life, and without any road map, except some inspiration along this journey, I have been at it. The tide is now changing and I want to bring you along for that ride. I feel it necessary to provide a bit of context so that when you see me reaping the rewards of what has been tremendous sacrifices, you will know that this dream truly wasn’t an overnight fling. I have flirted with entrepreneurship since realizing the need to be more available to my three young kids, one of whom has a special need. As a single mom, the 6am departure and 9pm return was taking its toll, and a change had to be made. I had stumbled upon writing as a way of healing from the divorce, and stumbled upon reciting when I recited for a celebratory event for families, including mine, who had gone through this counselling program for children coping with divorce and all that goes along with that. I have since given up my home and car and have downsized, first to paying other people’s mortgages that were higher than my own, because I wanted to keep a semblance of normalcy and did not want my children mocked or bullied in the upscale Brampton neighbourhood that was our home. An individual had suggested a basement apartment at the time to which I frowned upon terribly as it was unimaginable to leave a ravine with deers in the backyard to a basement apartment. Plus I know how cruel kids can be and I did not want to subject my children to bullying or mockery, so I continued to pay other people’s high mortgage in their new homes, and moved every two years or so when they sold. Last year, with my kids being all grown, I decided that I would make the switch and try the basement apartment, so I rented a brand new, never lived in space that was made to feel like a suite at the Hilton, but the one thing that I couldn’t get used to was the small windows. I owned and operated a construction cleaning business, but it grew faster than I could handle it and so it caved, after reaching out to a family member for help and was shot down. I had nine different GTA Builders as clients, with Mattamy Homes being my biggest. What did happen from that however was the funds to self-publish my first book, The Culmination of Marriage between Me & My Pen, and I have self-published three other titles, including a children’s book and nine Black History Month poster poems. I worked for the Courts as a Court Services Officer and a Court Reporter and was able to say I’m on the schedule, I’m off the schedule, since it was a casual position. This allowed me to volunteer mostly, at quite a few celebratory events, ranging from Women’s Shelters, to Citizenship and Immigration Canada, to the Ontario Black History Society, The Black Business and Professional Association, The Planet Africa Awards, The Aroni Awards, Mount Sinai Hospital, Sunnybrook Hospital, Consul General of Jamaica to New York, The Jamaican Government, Queens Park, The Jamaican Canadian Association and York Regional Police to name a few. Working in schools, starting with the schools my children attended, I realized the joy of reading and presenting to kids, and so I continued and today, I am one of the recommended presenters to a number of boards within Ontario addressing issues such as cultural identity, acceptance and appropriate use and understanding of cultural language/racial slurs amongst students. Equity and Diversity workshops for numerous companies, my poems serve as PSA’s for a number of youth violence prevention initiatives, I host and keynote several events, too numerous to mention, among many other ventures. I have recently embarked on a fine art project with my poetry on canvas, and this has been the most amazing thing that I could have embarked on. I have had meetings to showcase my new project and have met with a resounding yes, at every turn, since sales is my one of my strongest attributes, and I am so grateful for this reception, because it is now allowing me to pack my things to move yet again to big windows and scenery, and to purchase the vehicle that will allow my commute around town to be a lot more efficient. I am glad that my children can now see that though dreams can be born out of nightmares, if you persevere, and make the necessary sacrifices of the dream, they most certainly do come true. I am so excited to share the rest of this journey with you all, beginning with my upcoming international trip. Nuff love, NAW