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Since my bout with librarian blues there have been other disappointments. But I will keep turning every circumstance into a benefit based on my deep prayer to be best writer I can and to thereby help people believe in and go for their deepest, biggest, wildest dreams. So here's been what's happening on up side after I quit singing my sad song:
1.) I was invited to New York City to appear at Langston Hughes Community Library and Cultural Center in Corona Queens soon after it was awarded a SGI-USA Liberty Award for its efforts to foster multicultural awareness. The head librarian who invited me had no idea I was affiliated with SGI-USA until after he asked me to visit. Straight out of "There Are No Coincidences in Life" bag.
2.) A school librarian in a different Cleveland suburb, raved about my book and my appearance at her school. She posted her comments on Amazon.com and BarnesandNoble.com.
3.) Zambian schools (yes, Africa) will be carrying book!
4.) Children in an online G.R.I.T.S kids' book club (“Girls & Guys Raised in South”) voted to interview me and feature me and Taneesha’s Treasures… on their Web site. The club’s founder is a Texan librarian.
5.) Taneesha’s Treaures… was listed in October newsletter of Black Caucus of American Library Association.
6.) Taneesha’s Treasures… was prominently displayed as a holiday stocking-stuffer in nationally distributed November-December, 2003 issue of Black Issue Book Review.
7.) Taneesha’s Treasures… was featured in Fall 2003 SGI Quarterly—an international Buddhist publication.
8.) Children’s groups in Zambia, Kenya, South Africa and Malaysia are reading book.
9.) The Poet’s & Writers League of Greater Cleveland selected Taneesha’s Treasures…to be included as part of their Writers & Their Friends program in which story will transcribed into a play and performed onstage at Cleveland Playhouse in a highly publicized event—only 25 written works are chosen to be featured in this way.
10.) I've been nominated for inclusion in Who's Who in America, 2005. Recently, I went back to suburban library to find out if, in light of my recent successes, librarian had changed her mind. Turns out she hadn’t, but that was okay, because I had totally transformed mine. I could tell this was so, because when an assistant librarian said, "The person who has your book is out today; so give me your address and we'll mail it back to you," my heart beat stayed steady and stomach was knot-free. I wrote my address on a slip of paper. Then, instead of needed to fight urge to slink out of nearest exit in disgrace, I casually checked out a couple of books for my kids before leaving with my held and sprits high.
Later, when I received my book in mail from librarian I did not take it as tangible proof of some personal or literary defect. Instead I understood that Taneesha’s Treasures of Heart was not book for that library at that time. And I was grateful to have book back, because Louis Stokes branch—the main branch—of Cleveland Public Library had me down as a featured author for a Kwaanza event and my sales had been so great I was running low on inventory and more books were being printed. I needed my book returned to me so that it could get it into hands of someone who would appreciate it. And with gift of hindsight I saw that I had also needed librarian’s initial rejection of my work—it was push that set me on my journey to a higher state of mind.
In 1995 M. LaVora Perry became the first African-American staff card writer in the world’s largest publicly-owned greeting card company—American Greetings. As such, her words have appeared on gift items on three continents. Taneesha’s Treasures o the Heart is her first book. She lives in Ohio with her husband and three children. Visit M. LaVora Perry online at www.fortunechildbooks.com.