Introducing The Next Chapter – Happy Book – Blogging Group – My 2010 Winter Creative Women’s Online Community

Greetings All!

If you have been reading my blog, you know how much I adore Jamie Ridler’s Next Chapter book blogging groups.  They are amazing and always keep me uplifted, inspired, and on track with my personal and creative goals.  I write about their powerful impact on my creative journey in my new book That Which Awakens Me: A Creative Woman’s Poetic Memoir of Self-Discovery (available on –

This year I joined Jamie’s Next Chapter – Happy Book Blogging Group.  We are reading The Happy Book by Rachel Kempster and Meg Leder.  The group officially began on January 15 and is taking a new approach to book blogging in 2010.  Jamie calls it “The Happy Book Mail-Around.”  104 creative women bloggers signed up to take part in this grand experiment. Click here to learn more:  Jamie divided us into four groups: Bliss, Giggle, Mirth, and Glee.  I am a member of the Giggle group. So is my dear sistalove Jennifer Moore of Pink Heels blog.

Since I am just getting started with The Happy Book journey, I thought I’d share my top four happy moments in January.  See below. 

FYI – I just ordered The Happy Book from  What a happy moment! I’ll be posting weekly updates on my Happy Book journey over the next several weeks.  I invite you to join me in sharing your weekly happy moments in the comment section of my blog.

Enjoy your weekend!

Peace, Creativity, Compassion, and Gratitude for Daily Happy Moments,



Ananda’s Top Four Happy Moments in January

1) Happy Aha Moment

On the morning of January 13, I boarded a plane at BWI Airport to Indianapolis to attend my grandmother Dorothy Mae Johnson Gartin’s funeral.  While on the plane, I read an article in the February issue of O Magazine that included the following quote:

“You’ve just got this glow about you – some combination of wisdom and inner peace, plus a lovely self-awareness.  You’re not sweating the small stuff; you know what feels good, feels right, and you simply don’t muck around with the rest.  You’re not a kid anymore, and we mean that as a high compliment.  There’s a new kind of lightness about you. And your hair has never looked better.”

Reading these words help me see who I have become at 45.  So I tore them out of the magazine and pasted them into my pink 2010 day planner I purchased during my NYC birthday weekend in December.

2) Happy Yoga and Reiki Healing Touch Moment

My cousin Finis gave me a magnificent Christmas gift this year.  It was all about reflexology … The Reflexology Path Kit by Barbara and Kevin Kunz – (Barnes and Nobles sells the kit online). Finis  also gave me a great pair of reflexology socks.  These gifts were exactly what  I needed to take my yoga and Reiki healing touch personal practice and business to the next level.  So far, I have been studying and using the kit’s tools.  It is an exciting learning journey that will bless my body, life, and clients. 

Photo Credit: Photo Stream

3) Happy President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama Moment

This photo was taken right before President Barack Obama gave his State of the Union address on January 27.  I love the affection that he and First Lady Michelle Obama shared.  Priceless moment.  I also loved his tie and Michelle’s dress.   

4) Happy Inner Shopping Goddess Moment

My inner shopping goddess has been prompting me to check out a pair of sassy black patent leather Bandolino boots for several weeks (since Christmas).  On January 28, I answered my inner shopping goddess’ call and popped over to the Bandolino shop in Pentagon City Mall. Guess what I discovered? A fantabulous yes FANTABLOUS blowout sale on those sassy black patent leather boots.  My new best boot gal pals are a pair of size 7 1/2  patent leather boots.  My feet are nice, warm, and fashionable.  I love the boots so much that I named them Joie de Vivre #2 … JDV2 for short. The first Joie de Vivre is my lap top!

Why do Black women blog?


Hi All,

Last night I hosted a juicy discussion on BAP Living Radio ( with the following brilliant Black women bloggers:

-Patrice Elizabeth Grell Yursik, journalist and founder of and Afrobella social networking site and

-Sondra Lewis, makeup artist, fashion editor, and founder of Chic Chocolate For Fashionistas, Stylistas, Urbanistas In DC & Beyond

-Shwana Ruth-Bridges, attorney and founder of Character Corner: The Blog Where Hip Hop Meets Scripture

-Lori L. Tharps, writer, speaker, founder of My American Melting Pot blog, and author of Kinky Gazpacho: Life, Love & Spain and

We talked a lot about the power and freedom of expression Black women have discovered in blogging.  Blogging allows Black women to explore their creativity, build community, and establish connections with others.  Blogging gives Black women the space to tell their stories in their own authentic voices.  Blogging opens the door to new creative possibilities for Black women. Blogging builds sisterhood among Black women.  Blogging offers Black women a chance to advocate for causes and campaigns that reflect their personal interests.  Blogging allows Black women to share their thoughts and information about race, gender, books, motherhood, fashion, beauty, culture, politics, popular culture, spirituality, health, travel, and so much more.  Blogging serves as a form of therapy for Black women … a way to release stress … an opportunity to inspire and honor others.  Blogging makes it possible for Black women to earn money with online ads.  Blogging helps Black women brand their businesses, build their audiences as a writer/author, and market their creative efforts with assistance from Twitter and Facebook.  Blogging helps Black women network online and offline.  To hear more about the ways blogging and social media have impacted Black women’s lives, click here to listen to the show (episode 21 – aired on June 3 – 1 hour, 42 minutes):  Be sure to tune into BAP Living Radio episodes on Black women in social media on June 7, 9, and 10.

More about social media … Today I read several blog posts that I think social media folks might be interested in.  See the links below.

1) Barack Obama’s Blackberry As An Effective Communication and Business Tool –

2) Is Bing the Search Engine of the Future? –

3) Marketing vs. Advertising vs. Public Relations: An Analogy –

4) Blogging for Small Business –

5) Internet Marketing: A good Investment During an Economic Slowdown –

6) 3 Questions Entrepreneurs Should Ask Themselves –

7) Is Twitter Evolving from the Facebook to the Myspace of Microblogs? Analyzing Twitter trends and demographics –

8) Out of bounds –

9) Audience or Community –

 Happy Blogging!

 Many blessings,