renaissance negresse GoFundMe Update!

Hi, Folks,

Thank you for your patience. It has been some time since I have written. A lot has happened.
I suppose it would be realistic for me to address the coronavirus.
This is a time that is challenging most of us to remain calm, remain smart, and remain at home as much as possible.

Just as there are stages of grieving, I’ve noticed there are stages of varying emotions in dealing with the repurcussions of staying home for weeks at a time.

We were already at a low hum of basic touch-deprivation. Now we are at full blown touch starvation. We know we have several months more of this, at least, so it’s important to remain calm and do what we can to feel better.

During this time, a lot of people are doing what they/we can to help others. I am deeply moved by volunteers of various kinds, including those who make face masks and then donate them to health professionals.

Artists and healers are coming out and showing their true colors as well. After all, this is a time of deep soul-searching, and of reminding ourselves of who we are and why we are here. This is a time for self-reflection, and of acting in great gestures of love and kindness.

My April 2020 contribution to Wisdom Magazine’s online edition is called “10 Tips for Managing Fear in Highly Challenging Times” and has been receiving very positive feedback. You can read it here: https://wisdom-magazine.com/Article.aspx/5234/

Since I last posted, I’ve done poetry readings and musical performances, angel readings, and attended my 2-5 individual and therapy appointments, and have been diligent at taking my medications on time.

My housing situation is still as precarious as before, albeit for different reasons. I am still at the same place, and I am limited in how much detail I have agreed to share or not share. I am happy with my nesting partner, but that is not the only person I live with.

Oh, my update on applying for disability – I have been continuing with every step of the laborious process. In June I went for a hearing, and a few weeks later I received notice of rejection from the judge. The letter was dated long before I retrieved it (my fault, I had been away for a week and forgot to thoroughly look for my mail when I arrived) and it may be too late to submit my materials for reconsideration. I still am trying.

My disability attorney told me I can still submit my additional materials (a letter from my psychiatrist stating that my new diagnosis reflects my inability to work, plus a letter I will write which will talk about how my diagnoses negatively impact my ability to work).

I am encouraged by a dear friend to continue trying, and I am aware that it can take years to receive disability benefits. I watch a lot of Judge Judy and I lament how good some people are at working the system. A family member once told me that looking for a job *is* a job.
I now am convinced that applying for dsability *is* a job. Maybe that’s why I’m not so good at it 🙂 I wish I could have someone speak for me at the hearings. As soon as I open my mouth I sound like a radio announcer, and then the mania makes me sound so bubbly it’s impossible to think I’m someone who needs help. But trust me, I sounded just as good and have been just as bubbly, at times, when living at homeless shelter or sleeping at the airport or 30th St Station. Oh, the curse of presenting well!

I wish I had a concrete goal to tell you I’m fundraising for. The nebulousness of my wanting is partly why it’s taken me so long to write.

Right now, I want to move to a room somewhere. Ideally it’s a room in a West Philly cooperative household, but I’m open to other situations.

My therapist told me to look into the possibility of an empty apartment that someone has left temporarily, so they can shelter at home with others. I thanked her for the idea and I really appreciated it because it’s an example of something that’s possible.

Here are the facts:

I have no job, and no income (other than the occasional gig, which right now isn’t happening).

So I cannot pay rent. I can fundraise to pay rent (and it’s possible that I may have rent if I get the Black Women’s Arts Festival nonprofit status in the next few months and begun fundraising for it there, and use some of those funds to pay me a salary)

I would put most of my things in storage for the time being.

An ideal situation would be if I met a potentially romantic partner and we clicked and I could live with them. That would be the closest to the ideal (the ideal is that I’ve accomplished my life skills goals and able to provide for mysef…. but in the meantime, since I’ve been working on these issues for years!!!! – in the meantime just living with someone would be great – that is, after all, what I’m doing now, and what I’ve done two other times in the past.

Has anyone ever used a GoFundMe as a personals ad? Hey now!

I’m a non-smoker (I prefer non-smoker, but the two other times I lived with someone, they smoked inside the home, so it’s not a deal-breaker)
I don’t drink (social drinker, but prefer to avoid, because I like knowing my meds are working optimally)
I’m mildly allergic to cats (after a few weeks I adjust to the cats I live with. I love cats and really enjoy the company of the two I live with !)
I like dogs, too.
I’m into housekeeping. If I live with one other person, as a mate/partner, I will contribute to the household by basic housekeeping (dishes, laundry, etc.)
I’m fairly quiet. I wouldn’t play music loudly at odd hours, etc.
I’m a morning person and not a night person.
I’m not a party person, but that depends on the kind of party it is.
I’m into communication and problem-solving.
I work well with deadlines and agreements.
I don’t drive, so the place would have to be close to public transportation.
I’m willing to relocate, so even though I would be nervous about, and need to make alternate plans for my therapy and medications, I could move to outside of the tristate area.
I’m particularly drawn to Oregon and Seattle WA (I love rain!) I would also consider Aurora, CO.
I’m also willing to talk about a long-term plan sometime in the future, since it may be easier to plan for then rather than for now (for instance, I know I’m organizing, with an advisory board, Philadelphia’s 14th Annual Black Women’s Arts Festival, at The Rotunda Sat-Sun Sept. 19-20, 2020. So it would be easier to remain in the area during that, but still have talks about a possible visit or relocation to the Pacific Northwest later on dooon the roood!)
If you live alone, you have the space and the interest to live with someone like, romantically, please message me here, or at cxmusic at gmail dot com and I’d be happy to answer your questions about what I’m like, what my diagnoses are (I’m nice to live with and I can provide references 🙂 My medications are to reduce my irritability, and to help calm my sometimes racing thoughts. They work well. I was already nice to live with even before my medications 🙂 It’s the depression and other symptoms that make it hard to keep a job. They don’t make it hard to be a nice person to live with 🙂

On Sept. 10, 2019 there was a blowup where I live. Over the next few days it calmed down, but that doesn’t mean it would be better for me to move along now, Sally.

If I had the means, I would have moved out by now. I haven’t been active in my fundraising due to my inability to my mental health symptoms (depression, low energy, mania, difficulty to focus), and also because I didn’t have a job and didn’t know how I would keep whatever living situation y’all would donate to help me into.

But when we ask for what we want, miracles happen. They happen because the Universe is vast and abundant. We never know how what we desire will show up.

I have written two blog posts before about how having the desire or putting out the call “Let me be a blessing” and praying for relief brought my current living situation, which again, is very happy for the most part. But it’s time for me to leave, for various reasons, including my health. (I am the only one here who is staying home except for when it’s absolutely necessary. If I don’t have to go to the pharmacy or get groceries, the latter of which I’m considering having delivered next time – oh wait, I can’t do that using my SNAP/EBT card  – never mind…) I don’t leave the house. But I’m still being exposed to COVID-19, and I really don’t want to be. Fortunately I am not elderly, and I don’t have a lot of underlying conditions, but I’m 51, heavyset, and have hypertension.

Have you been experiencing panic attacks about coronavirus? I’ve been having mild ones, and they feel as if I have shortness of breath (don’t worry, I’ve no other symptoms, although some people are asymptomatic). So already having that going on, and living in a place with poor air quality (cigarette smoke, scented candles and incense, all not my choice or doing), I just don’t want to take any chances with a disease that attacks the respiratory system.

I want out of here. Will you help me? 🙂

You can donate funds.
Or perhaps you either have a place that’s just sitting there, and I could house/apartment sit.
Or perhaps you live someplace and wouldn’t mind having me as a roommate whose share is tidying up.
Or perhaps you want to be a patron and help me find a place that I wouldn’t have to pay for until I can…
Or perhaps you are interested in seeing if we are compatible romantically and then we could keep house/apartment together?
(I’m bi and open to diverse kinds of people, over the age of 25.) I very much prefer a sober lifestyle, or social drinking only. I’m really into recovery (from abuse/addiction) so I’m a “safe” person to be around if you’re trying to stay clean. My “drug of choice” is food, so no worries about my bringing any drugs or alcohol into the house.

So many options, and all of them bring me joy to speak about!

I look forward to hearing from you, and I thank you for listening!

Here is the latest video I posted on YouTube last week: it’s my song “Letters From Heaven” from what I’m calling The Cassendre Xavier Physical Distancing Show! https://youtu.be/I3j3-4yem1Y

And to end on a high note, here is my song “Hope”, from my album of the same title: https://youtu.be/iJdnfbYt6hE

In art, spirit, and community,

Cassendre Xavier
renaissance negresse

Donation links:
GoFundMe: https://www.gofundme.com/CXYear50
Paypal: https://www.paypal.me/CXInspiration or Send Money to cxmusic (at) gmail.com

Website:
http://cassEndrExavier.wordpress.com

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10 Tips for Managing Fear in Highly Challenging Times

“10 Tips for Managing Fear in Highly Challenging Time by Cassendre Xavier” http://wisdom-magazine.com/Article.aspx/5234/

Contents:

With Coronavirus COVID-19, we are facing a global pandemic not seen for a very long time. We are worried about our very old, very sick, or very young loved ones, and we are living our usually active and social lives largely shut-in. We are even more touch deprived than ever before, and many of us are watching our funds dwindle before our  eyes.
How can we manage overwhelming fear during this very difficult time?

Here are some tips that have helped me, and also that I’ve seen help others around me:

1) Focus on the present. Whenever you are becoming upset, worrying about a loved one with underlying conditions, or who is advanced in age, switch the focus instead to the moment before you. Look to, at, and into, the now. The present. It’s really true that cliche that the present is a gift. In this case, focusing on the present can liberate you from the grasp of crippling fear. Fear leads you down a road of hopelessness, helplessness, even more worry and even more fear. Don’t engage! Turn to the pressent. In the present you will see all your blessings. You will see health within you and around you. You will see abundance everywhere. In the now you will see that for the most part, nothing you fear is actually happening, or very little of it. The present keeps you focused on what’s really happening in the moment. And for the most part, you’ll be able to see that you’re really worried about nothing. Focusing on the present keeps you from engaging in too many “what if’s” and it resets your emotional set point much closer to what you actually want to attract. The present keeps you more positive.

2) Count your blessings. There is so much to be thankful for. If you have a full fridge, a place to lay your head at night, people who love you, and hope for tomorrow, you’re rich by many standards that count. When you look around for things to be grateful for, you’ll lose count.

3) See if you can help someone. Helping someone doesn’t necessarily mean reaching out to an elderly neighbor, although that’s a wonderful thing to do. Helping someone could be just reaching out and saying hello, via text or email, via social media  – just to let them know you’re thinking about that. A little encouragement can go a long way.

4) Be creative. Now is a marvelous time to dust off the watercolor brushes and paints, or mandala coloring books, pull out those knitting or crotchet needles, sing into the tape recorder, whatever you’ve wanted to do – now is the time. And with things like Skype and Zoom video chat and conferencing, you can do it with friends, too!

5) Build or engage with community. Social media is a beautiful place to be right now. I used to not pay too much attention to Facebook except to promote my events, fundraisers, or creative projects. But now the people connecting to do beautiful things is too gorgeous to ignore! People are talking about how they are getting through this time, and sharing stories and articles of inspiring other people doing even more wonderful things. It’s amazing! I suppose in any period of great difficulty, people have come together to help one another out, and to do beautiful things. Now is a time to find out about this, and get in on the action! Share your story or commend someone on theirs!

6) Keep building hope. Whatever you’re going through, someone else is going through that, or worse. As you build hope for yourself, and you share what works for you, you encourage others on their path also. Another reason to never lose hope is to help someone else. Hold on just a little bit longer, and then tell us how you did that – what thoughts you had, what helped you get through. This is the gold – this is what sustains us – sharing as we say in the recovery movement, our “experience, strength and hope.” It works!

7) Practice radical acceptance. There is no way to completely turn around what has happened. There is no way to avoid what is now happening. Or rather we could, but all of those methods would be unhealthy and impermanent anyway. The only way to get through something like this is with strength and grace. And what helps us get through that is by accepting what is. It is what it is. This all is happening. It is real. People are dying. But we who are alive can do something – we can stay positive and help one another. We can apply love to every challenge and survive to live another day. We can do it!

8) Practice self-love and self-care. During this time of social distancing it’s more important now than ever to take care of ourselves. Give yourself special and extra attention. Be kind to yourself. Even if you’re depressed, take extra care to bathe and groom yourself – this is essential for staying healthy, especially now. Give yourself hugs and take care of your physical needs for touch, however you wish, and without guilt. Be your own best friend and lover during this time – even if you’re partnered. Be good to yourself, even more now because you may be called upon, or inspired, to help your neighbor, a friend, or a family member. You will need all your reserves to get through this difficult time. We need you!

9) Love one another. We are called upon one another during times like this to be a resource of assistance for many people. We may choose to participate  or not, but we are needed. There are many ways to help. Almost every professional I have spoken with on the phone today has been extra kind to me. I can hear the care in their voice. I believe that care is real – it isn’t just customer service they’ve been trained to provide. This feels different. We are being kinder to one another, and it’s a beautiful thing.
There are always opportunities to be more loving or to add love to a situation. Look out for them and start practicing little ways to show love, every day, and all around you. Love will help heal this situation and make it end more quickly.

10) Lighten up and have fun! Laughter heals so much, we’re aware of this now. I personally think that when I smile or laugh I am tricking my body into thinking that everything is going well. Of course, I realize that spiritually, all *is* actually well!
During this time of worry, it’s more important now than ever to get our laughs in. Don’t worry, laughing isn’t disrespecting the memory of those who have passed. It honors them because they wouldn’t want us to be somber all the time. We are raising our vibration, and staying healthy. We are attracting more miracles – we are healing our bodies and strengthening ourselves to live through another night and face another day. We are building courage and hope!
When you can, watch funny things on TV or YouTube – whatever makes you laugh, be it comedies or stand-up, or cartoons. Maybe your the type of person who enjoys watching people trip and fall or do stupid things. No judgment here – watch it an laugh! Even better if you get one or more people involved in the laughter with you. Laughing will add a powerful healing element to all of your work. And, again, it’s super great for your health, and don’t we want to improve our health and boost our immune system especially now? Heavens yes!

Thank you for reading, and may you stay healthy and safe during this challenge. We will get through this!

Cassendre Xavier has been writing on various topics for Wisdom Magazine since 2009. She is a multi-media healing artist, whose work and calendar you can visit at https://cassendrexavier.wordpress.com

 

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Diary of a renaissance negress – February 16,2020

diary of a renaissance negresse

Sunday, February 16, 2020

WHO IS THE RENAISSANCE *NEGRESSE?

 Haitian/Chinese-American multi-media healing artist Cassendre Xavier coined the term *”renaissance negresse” in 2002. A musician, writer, actress, and visual artist, Xavier (who sometimes works under the names Amethyste Rah and Amrita Waterfalls, and is also an ordained interfaith minister) says the term describes a black woman who is skilled or gifted in 3 or more arts. Xavier is a recipient of a Leeway Transformation Award for her work as a community cultural arts advocate, having founded and directed several Philadelphia arts initiatives including the Women’s Writing & Spoken Word Series (Est. 2002) and the Black Women’s Arts Festival (Est. 2003), as well as several peer support groups related to personal growth, creativity, healing, and recovery. She is originally from Brooklyn, NY and has been living creatively and joyfully in Philadelphia since 1990. [*”Negresse, Negre: In the French- and Spanish-speaking Caribbean Islands, these words often have a connotation of affection, entirely non-racial in meaning. `Ma petite negresse, mon negre, are equivalent to `My dear, my darling, my sweet.’” [From Masters of the Dew, a contemporary classic novel by the Haitian author Jacques Roumain, translated by Langston Hughes and Mercer Cook.]

If not now, when, right? 🙂
I have been wanting to write for months, but haven’t. No excuses.
Actually, I have written. I have written emails, poems, and essays. I’ve shared my writings with friends and on Wisdom Magazine online.
What I haven’t done is written on social media much, nor to my email list, except in the few occasions of gigpluggery (aka “gigpluggation”).

Before I begin, I wish to do a series of shout-outs, if I may. *If* that would be permissible to thyselves? 🙂

* Rupert Wates, musician, for being a musical mentor and longtime psychic friend. Brother Aquarian who shares my birthday – or do I share his? 🙂 https://www.rupertwatesmusic.com
* Stacey Lorin Merkl-Wates, for being such a loving and supportive longtime friend across the miles, the ethers, and on the inner planes. I love you! https://realizeyourbeauty.org/home
* Alex Kudera, novelist and warm supportive dear friend of many years. https://kudera.blogspot.com/
* Stephen M. Wilson, whose “a cross between Tracy Chapman, Sade  & Enya” carried me many years and now inspires me to work to attract an updated similar description of my music 🙂
* My family of origin: mother, sister, brother (and his family), and my precious nieces and nephew.
* Extended family of origin: cousins, aunts and uncles whom I don’t see nor chat with often, but who remain in mine heartal reggiones nonetheless. I love you all!
* My former collaborators, Spirit McIntyre https://spiritmcintyre.bandcamp.com/ and Amor La Luna https://m.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100022061701130&ref=content_filter . Thank you for working with me – I enjoyed much of our times together and I always wish you well on your current projects!
* Venue directors: Theresa Shockley (Community Education Center/CEC https://www.cecarts.org/, where I produced my 5-castmember play “Sex for Survivors” for the 2003 Philly Fringe Festival), Gina Renzi, executive director of The Rotunda http://www.TheRotunda.org, which has been home to the Black Women’s Arts Festival since its inception in 2003, as well as other CX events including the release concert of my 2005 CD “Beautiful”. Also,  beautiful aRtivist Larry Robin, of Robin’s Bookstore and Moonstone Arts Center https://moonstoneartscenter.org/, both of which have been venues for my projects The Women’s Writing & Spoken Word Series (Est. 2002), and the Black Women’s Arts Festival. Moonstone has also been a fiscal sponsor for BWAF. Recently, I’ve really enjoyed Moonstone’s Poetry at the Pub series, which happens at Fergie’s Pub. I featured my poetry on September 4th, and I look forward to returning in March for the group reading of poets featured in Moonstone’s 2019 anthology. Looking forward to it, and more updates on my literary efforts soon!

I’m sure I’ve produced events at other venues, and I apologize if I’ve not listed you here. The ones I’ve listed are the ones I’ve had the longest-lasting relationships with.
To an artist and event producer, a venue and the managment behind it, functions as something of a fairy godmother and invaluable sponsor/dream-maker. This kind of relationship can be incredibly enriching, and I appreciate  you all!

Also a big huge thank you to my m/patrons, whom I will mention again at the end of this message. Thank you!!

BIRTHDAY  AND GOFUNDME UPDATE
Last week I turned 51, and had an absolutely wonderful few days in celebration of that. Some of it I will share publicly, and some I will reserve for my more private audience, if you will. (As it were!) More about the public vs. private audience later in this message.
My GoFundMe campgain “My Fiftieth Year” http://www.gofundme/CXYear50 (I’m guessing at that address, by the way!) will continue throughout my 51st year as well, and I’ll be posting another update about that one of these days soon 🙂

GAG ORDER UPDATE
As some of you may know, on September 10th, 2019 there was a blow up where I live, and until I move out it is not safe for me to write about or otherwise share in a public way certain aspects of my life. I live with 2 people, 1 of whom wants me there (forturnately the one who makes that decision), and 1 does not.
As an erotic artist, and one who is a late bloomer quite eager to be fully self-expressed in this way, it is difficult, very difficult, to remain silent completely. So I’ve been looking at ways I can still express myself, while respecting the privacy of my entire household.

I have temporarily deactivated my presence on several sites, including my blogs, but I recently decided to still write for them. (Keeping my expressions bottled up was really starting to feel horrible.) Today I have sent two poems and one essay to three of my blogs, and later tonight I will send them to one of my temporarily deactivated sites. This means that when I do activate them again, all my writings from now one will appear. This makes me feel wonderful!
Same with my blogs – when I activate them again, the writings I am sending to them now will be there. It feels soooo good to know there will be a record of my real life actual existence!

Further, I will gladly privately email readers who wish to receive my writings on:

Polyamory
Sexuality/Erotica

Just send me an email to cxwriting at gmail dot com (I wrote it out this way to avoid/reduce spam)

Email only, please. I am not interested in using Facebook Messenger, and again, I am not active on any other sites at this time.

Because of what happened on, and in the 9 months prior to September 10th, you must be open about who you are. No anonymous email addresses, please. I have to be super private about this, and I have to know who you are. If you’re shy, keep in mind, I’m the one writing the smut! 🙂

One of my favorite things about my sweetie, is that he reminds me of something I have lived my erotic artistic life by, the Gnostic Gospel credited to Christ, “If you bring forth that which is within you, that which is within you will save you. If you do not bring forth that which is within you, that which is within you will destroy you.”

I believe that which is within me will come out one way or the other, and I want it to be public. Not all of it – a certain amount must be for a particular audience that is into it. But the vast majority of what I write about sex and sexuality can be suitable for the general public, I believe.

The other day I was listening to my music online, and I thought to myself, that there is no way that someone who can creates music like that, if she would also write about her sex life, that she could not make a decent income. It just doesn’t make any sense 🙂

So I’m here willing and ready to start making some sense of my financial life, recognizing the direct corrolation between energetic output (or lack thereof) and monetary income.

It’s not a straight line to the answer  – the road is certainly curvy. But the answer is there, somewhere. I believe it will present itself as I present myself.

MENTAL HEALTH & DISABILITY UPDATE

It’s so funny that I go from what I want to do, what I believe I can do, to my mental health update!
Over the years, I happen upon musical acquaintances of mine in town. They are busking, usually, and sometimes they sound wonderful. Or they are not busking.
Many times, I think to myself: These folks are very talented, and they sound marvelous. Why haven’t they made it yet? And I’m not talking about musicians who have gigs and day jobs and just happen to want to busk from time to time. I’m talking about musicians who are not gainfully employed (I’m guessing/assuming), and 15 years later, I don’t see much progress in their financial lives. My guess is always this: mental health issues.
Sure, some of us weren’t reared to know how to make a living as musicians. We weren’t taught that at home, nor in school, most of us. It would make sense that we wouldn’t be navigating that part well in our lives.
But I think that more often there are behavioral issues at play. I think one of the biggest parts of success and financial stability is the ability to make and keep relationships. And not just with anyone, but with those who would help make a significant impact in our financial lives, not just others who are like us – talented, but also struggling and perhaps dealing with similar mental health issues.
I can’t say that I see specific symptoms in my peers who are still struggling financially. I can only guess because I know that’s my own story. We can present very well, as intelligent, articulate, and yes, talented individuals  – great. But where’s the money? Where’s the stability? Where’s the record deal? Where’s the solo-indie record deal? Where’s the relocation to another city where we can be new and fresh and actually make some money? Where’s the significant day job that could pay for all of this? Where’s the team?
  That’s one of the biggest things about being successful, in any artistic field: having a team of some sort.

Here’s my story as one of those musicians who’s been at it a long time and still hasn’t “made” it financially.

Two words: Bipolar, and PTSD.

Both of those things impact relationships and all sorts of other things that make it difficult to achieve long-term financial stabilitational qualities 🙂

And guess what – last year I received a new diagnosis. I have been very shy to share it publicly because of the stigma, and I only just shared it publicly last weekend when I presented at the 15th Annual Poly Living Conference in Philadelphia. My workshop was “Mental Health Issues & Maintaining Poly Relationships.”

I don’t think I’m ready to write about my new diagnosis now. Maybe I’ll make it a teaser 🙂
Maybe I want to give it the proper attention that it needs. (The longer I live with mental “difference,” the more honor and special attention I want to give to it. It’s a serious thing. I don’t want to just brush it across the page.)

But I will share that I was talking to my psychiatrist last Thursday and I said,
“I don’t feel much of an understanding of [my new diagnosis] as I did  of bipolar disorder.”
She asked, “Well, is there a difference? What would be the difference between your understanding yourself as having [the new diagnosis], or just having an understanding of yourself?”
I said, “Well, maybe because I had it for such a long time, I have a lot of understanding of bipolar disorder. And having all these resources to learn about and identify with it, really  helped me understand myself in relation to it.”
She nodded in understanding, and said, “Oh, okay.” And I continued, “I’m sure that as I learn more and more about [my new diagnosis], I will probably feel that way too at some point.

Dr. asked, “Is there anything you would like to know about [your new diagnosis]?”

I said yes, and I don’t remember what exactly I said, but she answered, “There are features of bipolar and severe mood swings in [your new diagnosis], but why you have this one now is because of your inability to have worked for so many years. That’s what differentiates the two.”

So, there ya have it. I wish I could’ve had her write that in a psychiatric evaluation, since I am now in the process of appealing my second rejection of my application to receive social security insurance (SSI).

Two days ago I began taking a second, additional mental health medication – so now I’ll be on two, and I’ve never been on two mental meds before. I feel good about it – I think it will help – I’m expecting it to help. I can’t believe it’s so expensive – $329 cash for a monthly supply. Super grateful for my Medicaid, which covered 100% of it. I have heard nightmare stories of people who don’t have health insurance and pay cash out of pocket – and I’ve made a note of Good RX, which apparently is very helpful in findind reduced rates for medications.

In the meantime, I thank my lucky stars (?) that I’m indigent 🙂

I have to say that one of the worries I have as I envision becoming an earner is losing these perks of being broke.  I just have to trust the Universe that all will be well. It must be!

I’ll be writing again about my mental health situation, and updates, if I have any, of my application for SSI.

SAYING GOOD NIGHT NOW
I’m a little tired. I’ve done a lot of writing today, and I’ve been active outside of that – well active for me these days anyway 🙂
This morning, I got up, leaving nesting partner in bed, and cooked some food not only for today, but to take with me on a week long trip I’m leaving for tomorrow. Wish I could tell you all about here, but alas, *someone* could be watching, and I want to have a home to return to when I get back! If you’d like to be on my Amrita Waterfalls/Endowed Goddess  email list, let me know – cxwriting at gmail dot com (you can also message me on Facebook Messenger, but I will not send you writings there – just send me your email address if that’s easiest!)

I did quite a bit of cooking today, actually. And also writing. Oh, and I folded clothes 🙂

I wrote this blog post, “Diary of a renaissance negresse: February 16, 2020”
I wrote a poem, “Black BBW Body Love – Mine”
And I wrote an essay – “Poly Love Blues & Bliss: Black BBW Envy”

(To receive the poem and/or essay please email me at cxwriting at gmail dot com)

TO MY M/PATRONS
Right now I’m listening to my albums on YouTube (search “cassEndrE xavier”). My channel is http://tinyurl.com/CXYouTube or http://youtube.com/cassEndrExavier

A little over a week ago I received an email from CD Baby, letting me know I’d received income from many sources – only sold 1 CD (live at the kraftbrau, kalamazoo!), but sold lots and lots of musical downloads. Well, not so much that it was more than $10 total 🙂 But enough to know that when I’m performing out more and making more albums, those of you who are buying there, will buy more there, and my income will be higher, and this is good and I thank you so much!
The reason I mention YouTube is that for the first time in the 18 years I’ve been selling my music online (first CD was posted on CD Baby in 2002), and  for the first time in the 12 years I’ve been on YouTube (joined in 2008), my music has not only been heard there, but sold there. Thank you so much!
I’m also on Spotify:  https://www.tinyurl.com/CXSpotify
iTunes: https://www.tinyurl.com/CXiTunes
Amazon: https://www.tinyurl.com/CXAmazon
Napster, and other places.

For those old school West Philadelphian’s among ye, my CDs and chapbooks of poetry and personal growth/mental health writings are sold at:
Bindlestiff Books
4530 Baltimore Ave
Philadelphia, PA 19143
http://bindlestiffbooks.wordpress.com

The best time to visit or call are Saturdays and Sundays early afternoon (between 1pm and 4pm.

Thank you for reading. I appreciate you!

Make yourself a beautiful day!

Cassendre Xavier

“renaissance negresse”

$15,000 Leeway Transformation Award-Winning musician, writer, actress, visual artist, and community cultural arts organizer.

Founder & Executive Director of the Black Women’s Arts Festival (Est. 2003) and the Women’s Writing & Spoken Word Series (Est. 2002).

Official website: http://cassEndrExavier.wordpress.com

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Mental Health Workshop at Poly Living Philadelphia Feb. 8, 2020

Hi, folks! Just a reminder that I’ll be presenting my workshop “Mental Health Issues & Maintaining Poly Relationships” at the 15th Annual Poly Living Conference, in Philadelphia this coming Saturday, Feb 8, at 10:45am. Day passes are available, and you can also just walk in! Please enjoy my related Wisdom Magazine article “Soulmate Attraction for the Rest of Us: Mental Health Issues”, which uploaded today, as my articles there appear on the first of every month! http://wisdom-magazine.com/Article.aspx/5201/

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Nifty Factoid About My Upcoming Show with Rupert Wates!

Dear Friends!

DID YOU KNOW? You can support a show without even attending! If you’re a long distance fan, you can buy a ticket, and I can offer it to a local. In addition to our other advance ticket sales, I have 2 seats so far to give away to my Saturday 12/21 show! Please support if you can! “Rupert Wates with Cassendre Xavier at The Living Room in Ardmore PA” https://m.bpt.me/event/4427944 Thank you so much!

Cassendre
Multi-Media Healing Artist

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Women Composers Concert Today!

I took a picture of this flier when I saw recently it on the front lobby bulletin board at Glenside Library. I may or may not make it out today, but I will certainly help to spread the word! (It’s about a concert featuring women composers!)

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Housing and Travel/Tour (GoFundMe) Update!

Dear Friends & Supporters!

I am very happy to be finally sitting down to write you an update on my recent fundraising campaign to address a housing crisis I am still in the middle of.
I really appreciate your interest and your donations.
The incident that created my sudden need to start looking for “housing” happened on Sept. 10th. Since then, there has been a slight reprieve, but the situation is still what it is. A good thing was that I set a target date of one month from initial onset, which means that I ought to have found another place by October 10th.
Bad news is that that hasn’t happened. Good news is that setting a date helped me reach a breakthrough:

“Housing” doesn’t resonate nor feel good to me. I feel unempowered and have no resources to “get housing.” “Housing” is an emergency category. It is something that requires dependence upon the social service agencies that don’t seem to be there for the likes of me.
What does feel good and resonate with me? “Travel/Tour.” That’s exciting! That is in the arts category. It is something I feel empowered and resourceful and experienced in. It’s a dream.
People will support an emergency crisis or urgent need. But people LOVE to support a DREAM.

So, I feel very good about this.

So far, my plan is to:

Use my channel (be an artist)
Share my journey (whatever I’m going through – share it)
Keep moving towards my dreams, with my challenges as who I am today.

With this huge breakthrough of having replaced “Housing” with “Travel/Tour” I realized that the vision board I made on my 50th birthday this year (in February) is still very accurate. In fact, this supposed housing crisis can be viewed as little more than a nudge (or swift kick in the hineal reggiones) to gits ta movin’ towards said goals (to, in this, my 50th year, 1) Organize Philadelphia’s 13th Annual Black Women’s Arts Festival, 2) Produce Colorado’s first BWAF in the year 2020 3) Finish and release a book 4) Finish and release an album. The idea is to travel to do poetry readings, to gig, and to produce BWAFs. And to write about it all.

I have already been doing this in varying degrees:
A few gigs here and there
A poetry reading co-feature
Co–organized BWAF Philly 2019
Traveled to Colorado in April to begin working on the first CO BWAF there…
Prepaid work hours with a book layout person – he’s just waiting for my manuscript…

My challenge now is to become active as a multi-media artist (“renaissance negresse”) in my 50s as I was in my 20s and 30s. To do it with the challenges I have now that I didn’t have then.
And to talk about it in case my story and experience resonates with and helps someone else on their journey. That is my desire.

My challenge is also to overcome depression and procrastination to:
Collect and distribute gig fliers
Make business cards
Post announcements of my upcoming appearances.

What I’ve done so far with some of the funds I have received was book 2 nights at a hotel February. The reasons include:
For the past few years, it has been a tradition for me to spend my birthday in a hotel. I love hotels and since right now my family of choice is not assembled (but it’s a comin’!) I at least can enjoy the company of myself 🙂
If I am in a fix for lodging during that period of time, I at least should not have to spend my birthday in too much discomfort.
If is during the weekend of the 15th Annual Poly Living Conference (in Philadelphia). I frequently am a presenter there – and in fact presented at the Rocky Mountain Poly Living Conference when I visited Colorado in April…
So, there is a chance I may again be a presenter, and it would be convenient to already be in the area during that weekend.
I feel relieved that I already have lodging arranged for my 51st birthday. I hope you don’t feel this is irresponsible use of your kind and generous funds!

Meanwhile, I am trying to overcome depression and procrastination to prepare for my social security disability insurance appeal which will be heard in court very soon.
I don’t know what to expect with that, but I am open to the best and am open to being pleasantly surprised 🙂
If I can find a way to not have to speak at the hearing, I have a better chance. In my experience, as soon as I open my mouth, people think I can rule the world and therefore don’t need any help. (That’s why I need to be speaking and singing more!)

Anyway. Not much more to say. I will try to write again.
Thank you again for your donations.
My goal is to rent a room somewhere, and it doesn’t really much matter where as long as it’s in the US for now. And right now I’ve not enough for the standard rates and conditions, but I also don’t how much to ask for. I suppose I should have a better plan. Sorry if I sound too flaky. I guess that’s why I’m in the shape I am, huh? 🙂
Good news is that I am able to manifest a place to live from time to time – and this time it lasted 3 years. So I am holding on to the vision of being able to attract and manifest another good situation, in which my presence is a blessing to someone.
It will happen 🙂

I’ll keep you posted and thank you for the birthday (hotel stay) gift 🙂

In art, spirit, and community,

Cassendre Xavier
Multi-Media Healing Artist
renaissance negresse

Donation links:
https://GoFundMe.com/CXYear50
https://cash.app/$CXInspiration
https://paypal.me/CXInspiration

Website:
https://cassendrexavier.wordpress.com

“My 50th Year” Vision Board – Part 1 of 2 https://youtu.be/x6EeDtB43_I

“My 50th Year” Vision Board – Part 2 of 2 https://youtu.be/Sm9e-ab-r2k

Housing and Travel/Tour Update – Part 1 of 2 https://youtu.be/XcsxqqmkSRo

Housing and Travel/Tour Update – Part 2 of 2 https://youtu.be/rqjVHgdG6ro

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Volunteers Wanted This Weekend!

BWAF Philly 2019: Philadelphia’s 13th Annual Black Women’s Arts Festival! We are looking for folks to help with stage management, assist the vendors, do mild crowd control, and just in general be on hand to support Yorz Truli, the founder and executive director (Moi!) and venue staff, venue director, sound engineers, etc. (All respectful persuns are welcome!) Volunteer shifts are 2 hours, you don’t have to message me first – just show up and say, “Need any help?” or something silly like that!
Location: The Rotunda, 4014 Walnut St, Philadelphia, PA 19104
Dates and showtimes:
Saturday, September 21, 2019
1:00pm – 9:00pm
Sunday, September 22, 2019
1:00pm – 5:00pm
Attendance is free. Space is drug, alcohol, and smoke-free, and wheelchair accessible. It’s all-ages and kid friendly. Have a wonderful weekend, everyone!
P.S. Oh, and if anyone’s interested – I’ll be singing and playing guitar today, Saturday, at 5:40pm until a succinct 6:00pm. 🙂

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Special Needs Adult/Disabled Artist – Sept. 20, 2019

Special Needs Adult/Disabled Artist – Sept. 20, 2019

TABLE OF CONTENTS

A) GREETING
1) HOUSING/FUNDRAISER UPDATE
2) BLACK WOMEN’S ARTS FESTIVAL UPDATE
3) MUSIC UPDATE
4) WISDOM MAGAZINE ARTICLE UPDATE
5) YOUTUBE UPDATE
6) WHERE MY CDs and CHAPBOOK ARE SOLD
Z) FAREWELL BLESSING

CONTENTS OF TABLE

A) GREETING
After, I dunno, maybe three years of mostly social isolation I am particularly touched to see how many of you, my appreciators, are still there, and here supporting me one way or another. Whether it’s your prayers, holding a vision of my success, sending a warm and encouraging email, showing up in real actual physical persun to an event of mine (shocker!) or sending a donation to one of my online fundraiser, I am so appreciative! Thank you so much. You remind me that although I may not write “Me! Me! Me!’s” as often as I used to, or gig as much as I used to, or upload YouTube’s as often as I used to, I am still here, too 🙂
I started using the term “Special Needs Adult” for myself a few months ago, because I identify with the term “special needs child” except that I’m not a child. And I also add “Disabled Artist” because I saw a peer artist use that and she and her partner are both disabled artists who seem to be doing just fine. I figure if I use that title, I too, a few years from now, could be doing just fine – no major housing crisis every few years because I can’t work enough to keep my bills paid. Oh how I wish I had listened to my first therapist, who in the early 90s, told me I had a mental disability. But mental health stigma being even stronger back then than it is now, I didn’t want to admit there was something with my brain – and also quite frankly I didn’t believe her. (Denial.)
I used to always think of admiting a weakness as strength, that only when we admit we have a problem, be it an addiction, a personality flaw, or a disability, can we then address and work around the issue and then be much more successful and effective than if we continue to deny or ignore it. It took my being in my late 40s to come to that realization. It was 2015, actually, and I was in a women’s homeless shelter. I remember sobbing into the arms of the only friend I made there (we are still friends today), that I was starting to realize there really was something wrong with my brain. So began the journey, and now here we are – here I am 🙂

1) HOUSING/FUNDRAISER UPDATE
On Sept. 10th there was an incident that made my moving out much more urgent than before. I called for a fundraiser, and gave myself the date of Oct. 10th to hopefully find a place. In the interim, I’ve been receiving donations at http://gofundme.com/CXYear50 but I don’t really have a clear cut idea of how a persun who can’t work at least in the typical ways, has no recent work or landlord references, gets a place. So, I decided to relax and not focus on that for the moment. I will continue to meet with my life coach and therapist and focus on today and tomorrow. One of the most important things to do is stay in feeling of having what I want. My life coach reminded me that what helps us manifest things is to feel the way we will when we have it. Find that feeling, and hold it for as long and as often as possible. She said that this feeling will help attract what we want, as well as help to remove the obstacles to what we want. And my therapist reminded me that I manifested a place to live for 3 1/2 years (where I am now). In session today, I suddenly realized that, “Hey! I tend to manifest places to live easily – I always have. But they just don’t last long.” And that’s when she pointed out that this one did. That was really helpful to remember. It’s always been very easy for me start working on something, once I know I have done it before, even just a little bit.
One thing I do know is that I love being an artist. I am so excited about the Black Women’s Arts Festival this weekend (more on that later). Not even the performances, but just being there and running, or helping to run the event. I really love the hustlery and bustlery. I can’t believe it’s only 2 days a year of my life. I really must try to figure out a way to have more of that kind of thing in my life. I feel certain that this, along with other things I will do to earn income, will help make me resolve and solidify my housing issues. Thank you for listening!

Alternate methods of donation:
https://cash.app/$CXInspiration
https://paypal.me/CXInspiration

Check or US Postal Money Order – Payable to Cassendre Xavier
Mail to: Cassendre Xavier, c/o Bindlestiff Book, 4530 Baltimore Ave, Philadelphia PA 19143-3705

2) BLACK WOMEN’S ARTS FESTIVAL UPDATE
I am the founder and executive director of Philadelphia’s 13th Annual Black Women’s Arts Festival. It’s happening this weekend (starting tomorrow), Sat-Sun, Sept. 21-22, 2019. Sat hours 1pm-9pm. Sun hours 1pm-5pm. Location: The Rotunda, 4014 Walnut St, Philadelphia, PA 19104. Free. All respectful persuns are welcome. Non-smoking, no alcohol, all-ages, wheelchair accessible. Very thankful to outgoing producer Amor La Luna for her stellar contributions to BWAF in the previous two years.
Please join us!
http://instagram.com/OfficialBWAFphilly
http://facebook.com/BWAFphilly

Wanted: Organizers and volunteers for BWAF Philly 2020
Email: BWAFphilly (at) gmail.com
Or via Facebook Messenger

3) MUSIC UPDATE
I don’t sing or play my guitar anymore unless I have a gig booked. So, because I’m singing and playing guitar at the Black Women’s Arts Festival tomorrow (Sat 9/21) from 5:40pm-6pm yesterday I practiced for less than an hour. The good news is that I started by trying to write a song, and I haven’t written a song in years. My guitar needs to be tuned and I have no idea how I’ll sound tomorrow if I to belt anything. So, that, plus the fact that I know there will be several bands that bring the house down makes me think I don’t need to belt at all tomorrow, although I would like to. I don’t know, I still may. I know I have to use my instrument – the instrument that is my body as an artist – to sing. Even if I may not still be committed to the guitar as my instrument. But I realized a few days ago, that I do want to sing. That’s it. I love to sing, and I have a voice that should be used and heard. There is a lot of healing in my voice, both in my giving and in my receiving it. Meaning both from the inside and the outside.
I have had always had false statements blocking my road to success as a singer. I thought the music industry was corrupt and cruel and would destroy me. I am not a nightclubber, and I thought all singers had to be out late at night and perform in those partying kinds of settings. I also thought I had to look a certain way or I just would never get to be heard or seen. I believed all those things when I was more conventionally attractive than I am now. I was in my twenties, I weighed less than I do now, I removed my facial hair 🙂
Today, I’m 50, I weigh 220, and I sport a rather significant lady goatee – proudly! I don’t know what that says about what my music career will do over the next few years. But I’m not worried about that. I’m just going to continue pursuing what makes me happy.
My music is sold online various places:
http://cdbaby.com/all/cassendre
http://tinyurl.com/CXiTunes
http://tinyurl.com/CXSpotify
http://tinyurl.com/CXAmazon
http://tinyurl.com/CXBandcamp

And a store that sells my CDs (and chapbooks) is:
Bindlestiff Books
4530 Baltimore Ave
Philadelphia, PA 19143

4) WISDOM MAGAZINE ARTICLE UPDATE
One of my greatest joys in life is writing a monthly column for Wisdom Magazine online. I’ve done this since 2009. Special Needs/Disabled Artist tip: You may notice when you review my archives that sometimes I skipped a month. This was due to my bipolar symptoms – mania and depression. I had asked my editor if I could submit two or more at a time when I was manic, to help offset the times I couldn’t send any when I was depressed. I don’t think I told her the mental health reasons at the time – I only asked to send more than one periodically. She said no, and I don’t recall the exact reason why, but I believe it had to do with her system, and it being more convenient to do it the way I was asked to. So I tried to continue, even though I had missed a month now and then, due to depression. At some point, it was becoming a pattern of my skipping months, and so I asked her again, only this time, with the mental health backstory. She obliged right away. Since then, I have been much more consistent in submitting my articles by deadline, each month.
I’m really proud of the one below, although the title may be a wee lengthy! I had been having some challenges with a partner, and wrote the article. But being a conflict-avoidin’-like-the-plague-Libra, when we got together next, he very gently intuited what was bothering me and we never even had to do this exercise! Enjoy!
(P.S. And I really do believe resentments block intimacy, and should be cleared as soon as possible, no matter how minor they may appear to be!)
Soulmate Attraction (& Tantra) for the Rest of Us: Clearing Resentment for Improved Intimacy:
http://wisdom-magazine.com/Article.aspx/5103/

5) YOUTUBE UPDATE
I’m recording a lot more these days. In my 20s I was all about sharing my life as an artist – my struggles and such. I suppose I did in my 30s as well. But in my 40s that mostly stopped for various reasons – I think mostly to do with the way the music industry went insofar as CD sales go. I guess I gave too much value to selling CDs, and lost hope when that stopped in my life. Traveling folk artists can still do well. I know that , but I may have another story a brewin’ as an artist. We shall see what that will be! Meanwhile, I will share my journey via my little free government phone ($15/month for unlimited minutes, unlimited texts, and enough data for my needs)!
Here is the video I recorded today:
Special Needs Adult/Disabled Artist/Housing GoFundMe Update

6) WHERE MY CDs and CHAPBOOK ARE SOLD
At a cute and charming little West Philly bookstore called:
Bindlestiff Books
4530 Baltimore Ave
Philadelphia, PA 19143-3705
http://bindlestiffbooks.wordpress.com

Z) FAREWELL BLESSING
I am super sleepy. I saw a great documentary on YouTube today about the importance of sleep. It’s called “The Price of Sleep,” and is about how the diagnosis and treatment of sleep disorders is rapidly becoming big business. We need 8.5 of sleep nightly for the body to do all the healing work that it does. Most of us are sleep deprived. Good sleep prevents diabetes as well as other conditions. Very interesting!
Anyway, I hope to be in bed soon, but I know I have to go get my laundry from the dryer first.
Hey! Did I say this was a farewell *blessing*? Well, let’s get on to the blessing part, shall we? 🙂
May you get plenty of sleep every night, and feel the rewards.
May you become adept at navigating your emotions to help more quickly attract and attain your desires.

Wishing you a wonderful day, and I thank you for reading!

In art, spirit, and community,

Cassendre Xavier
renaissance negresse
Multi-Media Healing Artist
http://cassEndrExavier.wordpress.com

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My upcoming artist support group & workshop series!

Blog version: http://cxwriting.blogspot.com/2019/05/my-upcoming-artist-support-group.html

By Any Means Necessary: Support for the Challenged Artist

A workshop and peer support group series with Cassendre Xavier

Dates and Time:

The following Saturdays, from 1:00pm-4:00pm:

May 25
June 1
June 15
June 29

(Registration Deadline: May 19)

Location:

Leeway Foundation

The Philadelphia Building

1315 Walnut Street, Suite 832

(8th floor, elevators/wheelchair accessible)

Philadelphia, PA 19107

Are you an artist or creative person struggling with some real life issues that present a major challenge to your creative output? Life happens, and creative people need extra support to get beyond those challenges and still create, by any means necessary.

Don’t let a midlife crisis, economic hardship, physical/mental health issues, or difficult relationships stop you from being the fully self-expressed creative you were born to be and were years ago. You can create again, and you can become an artist, in ways that work for you and your own particular audience!

In this gentle, inclusive and interactive workshop-meets support group and vision team, you can learn skills and build your own “tools” to get over significant hurdles to creativity. Accountability and peer support as well as making deadlines for everything are some of the tools to higher creativity.

About the presenter:

Cassendre Xavier is a “multi-media healing artist” known for her award-wining work as a performing and recording singer-songwriter-guitarist, spoken word artist, poet, and community cultural arts organizer. She has released albums, written-produced-acted-and directed a cast of 5 in a play, and is currently working with Black Women’s Arts Festival 2018 & 2019 Producer Amor La Luna on the 13th Annual BWAF in Philadelphia (Sept 21-22, 2019 at The Rotunda) as well as working on producing a BWAF in Denver Colorado in 2020. Cassendre’s main work on a day to day basis, however, involves dealing with the symptoms of bipolar and posttraumatic stress disorders, which were diagnosed in 1993, she was in her early 20s. Now at 50, Cassendre attends 14 medical appointments per month for various health issues and struggles to find time to be the artist she once was. Cassendre has also faced significant financial challenges over the years, has been both shelter and street homeless, and continued to create, perform, and produce events during those struggles. During those times, she met other people who have done the same. Financial hardships do not have to stop creativity!

Cassendre says: “I’ve been dealing with an artist crisis for years. I stopped gigging, and I rarely even pick up my guitar and sing. As a typical bipolar, I have millions of ideas, but it’s really hard for me to get settled and actually write an entire cohesive work, or book, as has been my longtime dream. I know as a healing artist, that the best way for me to solve problems is to do so within a structure of a group teaching setting. I look forward to being more productive as an artist, now that I have a place to share what I have learned in the process. Having a place for accountability is one of the greatest helps to an artist, and I am so grateful to be able to create that for others as well as for myself.”

Cassendre’s previous arts-related workshops/classes/self-help groups (in Philadelphia) include:

1)…AIM: Artists in Motion: a peer support, networking, and accountability group for artists. (1996; Homes and cafes.)

2)…Creating & Supporting the Active Artist (a 12- week series) (2002; Wise Women’s Center/W.I.S.E. The Women’s Initiative for Self-Empowerment, West Philadelphia)

3)…How to Record & Release Your Own CD (a 12-week series) (2005; PASCEP-The Pan-African Studies Community Education Program)

4)…Active Artist 101 (a talk) (2006; Mount Airy Learning Tree)

Cassendre is also known for her inspiring quotes and writings on social media as well as her monthly articles at Wisdom-Magazine.com.

Cost: Courtesy of the Leeway Foundation, which funds women and trans artists creating art for social change, this series is free of charge to attend. However, the presenter requests upon completion of the series, that attendees fill out a questionnaire to assist in improving future workshops. (The completion of this questionnaire is appreciated, but optional.)

Qualifications:

Open to women, trans, and respectful male participants.

Be over the age of 21.

Participants must have been productive artists for at least 5 years (been published, exhibited visual art/work, screened original films, acted in publicly seen roles, performed music publicly, created saleable product of some sort, etc.).

Be willing to work with a group; give and listen to suggestions from group members and presenter.

Commit to attending all sessions.

Registration (Deadline May 19):

Space is limited, and all attendees must be pre-approved.

If qualifications above are met, please post a comment or email the presenter at cxwriting @ gmail dot com (email address is split up to prevent spam).

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