Ryan Fennell's blog

The Time for Voting Has Arrived

Voting Signs: Courtesy of Jupiter ImagesEarly voting has begun for the March 4th elections. Be sure to visit the Election Division for Harris County to if you have any questions. Or if you consider yourself a bit more traditional and prefer looking at paper copies, then stop by the library. Here we can provide (while supplies last) voters guides distributed by the League of Women Voters, sample ballots, and early voting locations. 

Fun Had By All at African American Read-In

Well, we talked and talked for weeks about this year’s Read-In and we were right. It was fantastic! There were activities for the kids, Kathy Culmer entertain and educated with her storytelling, the Claughton Middle School Step Team performed, and our panel discussion was filled with aspiring writers looking for advice with getting their projects off the ground.

We posted pictures highlighting the event and check out this video we made.

Congratulations to our co-host, E.B.O.N.Y., for doing such a wonderful job. We are already working on next year’s Read-In, and look forward to seeing you there.

The Ball That Has It All

Pink Broken HeartTeens, what’s better than Valentine’s Day being three days away? Our Broken Hearts Ball is just two.

February can get you down with all the emphasis on Valentine's Day and the joys of coupledom.  We're here to prove that singles have more fun!  So join us for a fun night of games, awkward Valentines, morose poetry and silent raving!

Bring your MP3 player/phone and a pair of headphones to participate in the SILENT RAVE. Friends (platonic & romantic) welcome. We'll see you Thursday, February 13th from 6:30-8:00pm.

Meet The Author: Charlotte Stallings

Author Charlotte StallingsThe Read-In is tomorrow and the means we have one more author to meet—Charlotte Stallings.

A former Vice President of Investment Strategies at Ameriprise Financial, Charlotte developed a national initiative to provide investment and financial planning advice geared specifically to women. She served as the firm’s National Spokesperson on Women and Investing Issues.

Charlotte gained expertise in the nuts and bolts of sales, marketing, business and leadership from her years at US Banks, Xerox and over 20 years at American Express. By taking risks, making mistakes and gathering information, she grew into the kind of expert that you can trust.

Charlotte has made appearances on CNN and other national and regional media outlets. She is a weekly in-studio guest on Houston’s FOX26 ‘Wake-Up Money’ segment, and is also a member of the National Speakers Association. Charlotte was selected by The Steed Society and Comerica Bank as one of the Top 25 Women of Houston, and she has been a featured financial contributor in Essence Magazine and other publications. Charlotte is the author of I Wish Someone Had Told Me: Financial Lessons Learned the Hard Way

Meet the Author: Pamela Jarmon Wade

Author Pamela Jarmon WadeThe African American Read-In is this week! This is your chance to learn from a panel of authors on how to get your own book published. And it is free! Meet one of those authors now—Pamela Jarmon Wade.

Pamela Jarmon Wade is the author of The Adventures of Little Leroy: The Legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr. She is also a contributing writer to Chicken Soup for The Soul:  Devotional Stories for Wives. Pamela is a multi-genre author whose poetry has appeared in several anthologies. She is currently working on her next children’s book.

Meet The Author: Bonnie Hopkins

Author Bonnie HopkinsIt’s time to meet our next author for the writers panelBonnie Hopkins.

Bonnie writes from a foundation of Christian principles, life experiences and observations.  Although fictional, her stories are centered in realistic, relevant, life issues that encourage, inspire and motivate readers to keep looking to Jesus.  Inherent in her stories is the message that when God closes a chapter in our lives, we can trust Him for a new beginning–because in God there is always a future and a hope.

In addition to writing, and the numerous tasks associated with a writing career, Bonnie is mentor, encourager and coach to aspiring writers. To date, Bonnie has authored three books:  Seasons, Now And Then, Again, and Destiny.  

Meet The Author: Jennifer J. Hayes

Author Jennifer J. HayesWe are another week closer to our free panel discussion on writing and you know what that means. It’s time to meet the next author—Jennifer J. Hayes.

Jennifer has been a lifelong student of romance and a shameless fan of all things happily ever after.  Somewhere in between running a successful marketing firm, hosting a relationship-based radio show, writing her column, supporting her foundation, rallying various charity events (her favorites being Heart Disease and Breast Cancer), and being a wife and mother, she managed to fulfill her latest passion in writing her debut novel, Bound by Memphis.

Meet The Author: Ron Goodwin

Author Ron GoodwinIt’s time to get acquainted with our next author joining our panel discussion on Saturday, February 8th—Ron Goodwin.

Even though Ron was a military “brat,” he still considers San Antonio home. Like his father and brother, Ron joined the US Air Force and while enlisted received his undergraduate degree from Texas Lutheran University in Seguin, Texas.

After his honorable discharge, he completed graduate degrees from Texas Southern University in history and urban and environmental planning. His current research focuses on urban history, the impacts of planning decisions on neighborhood development, and the historical development of Texas’ black community. 

Meet The Author: Gwen Richardson

Author Gwen RichardsonThe African American Read-In will be here before you know it. The event will feature a panel discussion of authors sharing what they have learned about getting published. It is going to be a wonderful opportunity for you aspiring writers. With that being the case, we want to introduce to you those authors. First up, our moderator is Gwen Richardson.

Gwen is an author, publicist and entrepreneur.  As an author, she has four published books, three non-fiction and one fiction. As an entrepreneur, Gwen is co-founder of Cushcity.com, the world’s largest African American Internet retailer with over 20,000 products online.

In addition, Gwen is co-founder and national coordinator of the National Black Book Festival.  This annual event, held in Houston, Texas, attracts over 100 African American authors from across the U.S. and is the largest indoor gathering of Black authors in the world.

Gwen is a native of Newport News, Virginia. She resides in Houston with Willie and their daughter, Sylvia.  She is a graduate of Georgetown University with a B.S. degree in marketing.

How Do You Get a Book Published?

Before you know it our annual African American Read-In will be here. We are so proud to be working with E.B.O.N.Y. on this event and this year will be something special. This year we will feature a panel of authors addressing how to get a book published. This is an excellent opportunity for all of you aspiring writers out there to pick up some solid tips and tricks for those next steps in your goal to get published. Plus, it’s free!

In addition, there will be free activities for children and a reception to follow. Join us on Saturday, February 8, at noon. We will be meeting in The Forum across from the library. And remember—come ready with all your questions to ask the authors. You won’t want to miss out on what they have to say.

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