Update: Hola, Morocha, My Travels to the Midwest, Book Cover Snafus and the Brutal Months

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Update: Hola, Morocha, My Travels to the Midwest, Book Cover Snafus and the Brutal Months

#Mood and on repeat as of late.

I hope everyone one is having a wonderful Sunday. If you’re in New York, or anywhere else that’s 20-30 degrees, I hope you’re inside nice and warm, snuggled up next to someone you love with a book or binge watching your favorite show on Netflix.

I just wanted to update you guys on what’s been going on.

The Brutal Months

My oldest sister, Donette Poe, Died on February 9th. She would have been 45 years old this month. In truth, she died on December 20th when her heart stopped in the emergency room and she collapsed in front of my mother. They resuscitated her and she emerged with severe brain damage because her heart stopped for ten minutes. From that moment on, I was by her side with my mom, almost every day, watching her fight for her life. I witnessed every stage of her decline, hopeful improvement, then eventual death. I fought tooth and nail and did everything I could do to try and get my sister the best care and save her life. I still do not reconcile with the fact that my sister died. It still does not make sense for me to write it or speak it into the air. I was the one to receive the call. I still can’t get that woman’s voice out of my head, “You called this morning to check on miss Poe? Well, she expired.”

Yes, that is how they told me my sister died. I had to call my mom and siblings and break the news to them. Then I screamed from the top of my lungs and threw anything I could get my hands on. I just kept screaming, “FUCK! FUCK!” all over again. I called two friends because I was afraid to be alone in my pain. And one came over to be with me. She fed me and helped me call funeral homes to retrieve my sister’s body, as my mom, dad, and brother went to stay with my sister until she could be retrieved.

We laid her to rest on February 19th. The church was packed beyond capacity, with people standing against the wall and sitting on the stage. And the Zeta ceremony her Soros did for her was beautiful. My sister was a dynamic woman. She never complained and despite the complications and pains she experienced from her Scleroderma, she dedicated her life to volunteering, serving her community and giving back. She was a champion for the weak, broken and discouraged and now has a seat at the table, sitting in the kingdom up high.

I will miss and love her forever.


My Travels to The Midwest

In the beginning of December, I decided to travel to Minneapolis for my birthday to visit Paisley Park as I am a huge Prince fan. My love of Prince came from Donette. She introduced me to his music when I was fresh out of diapers, or maybe even before that, and I loved him ever since. I never got to speak to Donette about the trip. And almost canceled it when Donette died a week before my birthday. But my second oldest sister, M, told me she was looking through Donette’s iPad and saw that Donette was looking up weather in Minneapolis for February. I had posted a concern that the weather might be too bad to travel to Minneapolis on February on Facebook. So Donette was in big sis mode, making sure I would be OK and wanted to encourage me to still go.

I went for both of us. I went to Paisley Park because she would have wanted to and could no longer go. Here are the posts from my Instagram:

My oldest sibling, Donette was a huge Prince fan. As soon as I was out of diapers, maybe even before that, she turned me into a Prince fan too: blasting his music and encouraging me to dance to it and dancing along with me. At the end of December, I booked tickets for two nights so I can spend my birthday in February going to Paisley Park and visiting Prince locations. I never got to talk to her about it because she went to the emergency room sick. Her heart stopped for ten minutes, leaving her with severe brain damage as well as damaged lungs. She passed away last week Thursday afternoon. I tried to cancel my trip a few times, but something kept stopping me from doing it. I’d rather stay in bed and cry all day, but something keeps pulling me out of bed to live. I have moments of weakness and I have moments of strength. When I board that flight tomorrow, it will be a moment of strength. I am going to Paisley Park for you, Donette. I am going for you because you wanted to and now you can’t. I love you eternally. Love Baby Sis. #blackgirlswhoblog #blackwomentravel #blackgirlstravel #writersofinstagram #prince #Minneapolis #Midwest #paisleypark #blackgirlmagic #travelersnotebook #traveler #backpacker #nomad #travelers

A post shared by Jennifer Poe (@jenpoeauthor) on

Every Prince fan should go to Paisley Park. Words can't describe the experience. My mind is blown. I met his dove divinity. His presence is still very much in this house. Cool phenomenon true story? I was in the area where he had a huge sound stage and used to put on shows, dark purple floor and I was looking at two of his cars he had parked in there( most of his cars are parked beneath Paisley Park. So I'm done looking at the card and I turn to look at something else and the air is solid next to me Donny heart jumps because I think I'm about to bump into someone and I even jump back and am about to say excuse me but no one is there. It was creepy AF but cool! #midwest #minneapolis #minnesota #blackwomentravel #blackgirlstravel #writersofinstagram #podcast #podcasting #poc #blackgirlmagic #travelersnotebook #traveler #backpacker #nomad #travelers #podcastlife #podcasts #travelpodcast #travelpodcaster #blackpodcast #blackpodcasts #blackpodcasters #blackpodcastsmatter #blackpodcastweek #blackwomen #blackwomenpodcast #blackwomenpodcasts #womenpodcasters #womenpodcast #pocpodcast

A post shared by Jennifer Poe (@jenpoeauthor) on

Shout out to the Dakota Jazz Club! You guys made my birthday one of the most magical birthdays in a long time in spite of the difficulty my family and I are going through. This was one of the purple ones favorite places to go to support local talent and he would sit at a particular table. He went and sat at his favorite table a night or two before he died, so it was my personal mission to have my birthday dinner at his table. When I got there they told me the top was closed and they weren't serving up there. I said it was my birthday and I was a big fan so, not only did they let me sit at The Purple one's table, they gave me the whole upstairs to myself. They even gave me free dessert and told me happy birthday. I enjoyed the amazing Adam Meckler Orchestra live as I ate my dinner: chicken and sausage gumbo, Nina Simone cocktail and butter milk pie. One of the most magical nights ever! #midwest #minneapolis #minnesota ☔️ #midwest #minneapolis #minnesota #blackwomentravel #blackgirlstravel #writersofinstagram #podcast #podcasting #poc #blackgirlmagic #travelersnotebook #traveler #backpacker #nomad #travelers #podcastlife #podcasts #travelpodcast #travelpodcaster #blackpodcast #blackpodcasts #blackpodcasters #blackpodcastsmatter #blackpodcastweek #blackwomen #blackwomenpodcast #blackwomenpodcasts #womenpodcasters #womenpodcast #pocpodcast

A post shared by Jennifer Poe (@jenpoeauthor) on

A post shared by Jennifer Poe (@jenpoeauthor) on


Book Cover Sanfus

I hired a book cover designer at the beginning of the year to bring Hola, Morocha! closer to publication and was hoping it would work out. Sadly, that did not happen. While the designer I worked with is talented, It was not the right collaboration for Hola, Morocha.

Having the right book cover done is like dating: we can’t explain chemistry and why we fall in love with some and not others. But when we know, we just know.

That’s how I felt about the book covers. They didn’t excite me when I looked at them or make me want to buy the book. And a book cover is more important than the words inside the book. Humans are visual creatures.

My goal for Hola, Morocha’s! cover is to pull the reader in, to make them not only want to read the book but collect it as a cute piece of art to have on their shelves. I want the reader to feel like they just received a letter from their quirky best friend they haven’t heard from in awhile, because she lives abroad, and can’t wait to dive in and read all about her adventures.

This has set me behind by two months. I’ve learned a big lesson. I will be moving forward with another company, and what I like about them is that they charge a flat rate for e-book and print covers and their services include free promotional material, unlimited revisions, and 100% money back guarantee if you are not satisfied so there is no risk. I did not have this option before. Lesson learned. I am sharing with you so you won’t make the same mistake I did if you plan on publishing a book.

This is publishing folks.

So this is what’s been going. Next time you hear from me, I will be doing a cover reveal of Hola, Morocha’s new and improved cover with an Amazon gift card giveaway so stay tuned!

I hope you enjoy your week.

Love,
Jen

2 Comments

  1. Tameka says:

    I love you Lil Sis and I’m super proud of you.

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