Fashion Can Be Empowering

I’m back again for another We Are The World Blogfest post! On the last Friday of the month (or in this case, close to it!) we post up positive stories that we’ve found from the past month to share with our readers.

When I first started cosplaying back in 2015, I was incredibly shy and nervous. I didn’t know what I was doing but I really wanted to try. When I was dressed up and walking through the hotels of DragonCon, I was thrilled with how excited people would get about my character. When I was myself I was super shy, but when I was in character I got to try out the shoes of someone else.

The Atlanta area is such a great place for cosplayers and nerdy culture. Between all the fan conventions and the booming film industry, cosplay has slowly grown from a marginalized group to being mainstream. I’ve slowly started seeing the same popularity grow for the fashion industry here.

It started when I was at our local Starbucks and I overheard someone talking about preparing for a fashion show only a few miles away. I was surprised, I didn’t realize that the fashion industry was growing. Then today, I read about a fashion show for people with special needs called: Johns Creek Fashion Speaks on the Creek.

The models are escorted by members of the Johns Creek Police Department and “Star Wars” characters. Of course!

The article describes how the fashion show helped an autistic man gain confidence. The age range for the show ranges from 5 years old to 83. The event pushes participants outside their normal boundary lines, allowing them to build confidence and to participate in a way they might never have thought possible.

“When those models walk that runway, they shine. I invite everybody to come see the magic, because that’s what it really is. These models are so inspiring, your heart grows 10 times its size … from the time you walk in those doors to the moment you leave.”

Linda Hickey, president of Jonny & Xena’s Spread the Words Foundation

I knew exactly what that felt like. I knew how being around so many people cheering you on and applauding your abilities felt. It’s amazing how just being given an opportunity can be so incredibly life changing. It’s so wonderful to see people be given their time to shine and to share their creativity.

Check out the articles below to read more!

Fashion show empowers people with special needs – AJC
Fashion show to feature models with special needs – Gwinnett Daily Post

Books for Families

I am excited to announce that I am once again participating in the Authors for Families event! It’s a great way to make donations for a good cause and also get some amazing books.

Here’s how it works:

  • Send in your receipt to prove you donated.
  • Then the admins let me know, and I sign a copy of The She-Wolf of Kanta & mail it your way!
I love when books show up on my doorstep.

Still not sure? Check out the stellar reviews The She-Wolf of Kanta has received over on Goodreads from it’s time on NetGalley back in November. I’m so proud of this book. (Yes, some of those reviews did make me tear up.)

Start 2019 right and help some families who need it!

Unexpected Kindness

Can y’all believe that October is just around the corner? It really is my favorite time of the year, when the weather isn’t too hot down where I live. Haunted houses, spooky hay rides, hedge mazes, apple cider, candy corn, and Halloween parties! Before we dive into a month full of spooky fun, it’s time to serve up a nice slice of optimism for your Friday. I’m very happy to be part of the “We Are The World Blogfest” once again – cause the world needs to be a little bit more bright and cheery.

Imagine you’re on your morning commute, stuck in slow traffic and going around back roads on the more impoverished side of the city. The traffic light ahead seems to be running on slow motion and you’re pretty sure the driver in front of you dropped something on the floor beside her cause she keeps bending over to reach it. It’s a Wednesday and you’re tired but you’re only ten minutes away from work. You’ve got some nice tunes blaring off your phone, so that helps.

Then you turn to notice a women sitting on the side of the road. She’s camped out on top of a large drainage grate, wearing a spaghetti strap shirt and leggings. She’s homeless, you can tell from the mounds of sheets and blankets around her. You feel bad for a moment because you realize it’s like you’re watching someone in their bedroom and it feels wrong. The woman is smiling though and smoothing out the sheets she’s sitting cross-legged on, as though expecting company. That’s when you notice the police car behind her.

You inch the car forward a bit while the traffic light goes from green to red again, still glancing over to find out what’s going on. A female office gets out of the cop car, and your heart sinks for the homeless lady. You hope she isn’t about to be arrested or something. But then the officer pulls out a bag of take-out from her passenger seat and brings it over to give to the homeless lady. They’re all smiles and the officer hangs around to chat with her for a moment while she digs into the fresh, hot breakfast.

That was my commute one humid morning, and yes, I did tear up at the sight. It was one of those brief moments of kindness that just breaks your heart and stitches it together at the same time. It makes you have faith in humanity again. If an officer can take the time out of her busy morning to help a person in need, then surely we can too.

I figured this was also a good time to announce that in October, I’ll be participating in the Authors For Families auction!

“We’re a group of primarily debut novelists eager to do what we can to reunite immigrant children with their parents, and to combat inhumane family separation policies.”

I’ll be giving away a signed copy of The She-Wolf of Kanta to whoever wins the bid, and I may be tossing in some additional swag along with it.

Please share and invite anyone who you think would like to not only get a copy of my work, but would also like to donate to a very good cause!