Poetry for Breast Cancer Awareness

#breastcancerawareness

A reminder that during the month of October, $2 from every Amazon order of my poetry book “Toni’s Room” will be donated to Praise Is The Cure, a local breast cancer support organization founded by a mom and accountant who is a breast cancer survivor and a true warrior for her family. 💓

Order your copy before November 1st. I will post the sales report from Amazon and you get to deduct the amount from your taxes. 😁

#winwin

Amazon.com/author/tonilove

“TONI’S ROOM book signing/ reading and open mic August 24th!💓🎤🎶📚💿

You are cordially invited to my “Toni’s Room” book signing and open mic birthday party on August 24th in Philadelphia PA at the 4050 Gallery!

The gallery is located at 4050 Haverford Avenue.

The open mic list starts at 6:30 to 7 p.m.

The open mic will start at 8 after the Toni’s Room reading. I’m excited to have Sisters Laying Down Hands to accompany me and bring the vibe and the ancestors into the room.

This is presented by Music and Art for the Soul, a Carolee Production. I’m so excited to to share this moment and celebrate with my friends fans and all my loved ones. The cost at the door is just $5, we’ll have cake and beverages and lots of great music and fun. Books can be purchased in advance of the signing on Amazon or on my Toni Love site . Just let me know that you will pick it up at the signing.

💞

I will have another reading on September 15th at Pendle Hill in Wallingford PA from 2 to 4 p.m. at their amazing Sunday Coffee House. Stay tuned for more information.

Either way I hope you are well and that I get to see you soon!

Make today great.

#loveistheanswer 💞

She’s here! 💞 “Toni’s Room” is now a poetry book!

She’s here! I did it Daddy! 💥The paperback version of “Toni’s Room is available for sale! 🤸🏿‍♀️💓 I dedicated my first poetry book to my children because they are my biggest fans. It is currently available as Kindle version and paperback on Amazon. I am planning a few local book signings and also have signed copies available to order on my website at 👉🏽bit.ly/tonilovemerch . Thank you all and especially my coach Gwenn Prinbeck for gently pushing me to uncover all that I am.
“What’s the greater risk? Letting go of what people think – or letting go of how I feel, what I believe, and who I am?” ~ Brene’ Brown

Let’s Stay in touch!

Media, PA
For Inquiries and Promotions:
tonitalove2@gmail.com

International Day of Women : The blessings that come when you show up! 💙 #strengthsourceproject

Browsing through my Facebook feed I come across a notification that a friend tagged me in someone’s post. As one who is both a businesswoman and artist I know a diverse group of people and am a bit picky about what I’m tagged in with the permanence of social media. Much to my surprise I saw the photo taken of me last year posted on the photographer’s Facebook page and appeared both digitally and I’m print on page 5 of the Philadelphia Inquirer!

The #strengthsourceproject is this beautiful collage of photos and stories capturing the moments that built the character and resilience of women of all colors, ages, shapes and class. It’s a brilliant compilation and I’m honored to be a participant.

If only you knew how sad I felt that day. I had just found out my daughter was diagnosed with dysgraphia, a severe learning disorder that makes it difficult and frustrating for her, an advanced reader to process writing. The same exact day my son’s school counselor called about him exhibiting signs of anxiety and depression (the dance partners of a highly gifted and intuitive brain), avoiding teachers and classes as a result. As their sole caretaker l was overwhelmed with the decisions I had to make on my own knowing I would also not receive the financial support.

I was going to cancel the meeting I set with Carrie for the photo because I just wanted to go somewhere and cry. I wore bright colors on purpose to lift my spirits. She was so warm and compassionate when I met her in Fishtown by Franny Lous Porch and reading the other women’s stories really gave me the strength to deal with it all.

And oh the blessings that have come because I showed up! Aside from this acknowledgement in the paper, since that day my children have benefited from angels in the form of teachers and therapists. My daughter has been tutored by a retired teacher for free and my son’s therapist only charges me a tenth of his normal fee because I was transparent and unafraid to speak my truth and ask for help.

My strength is my truth and I’m grateful that my transparency is able to help other women. The stories on the blog are powerful. I hope you get to read mine too. Please share your favorite in the comments. It’s okay if it’s not mine. I’m every woman 😊

Monday Motivation: Expect the Extraordinary!

I used to be afraid to ask for everything I wanted because I was always told in words or actions that I wasn’t worthy. Now I intentionally surround myself with people who believe in me and push me to dream bigger and expect the extraordinary to happen. This season in my life is an exciting and reflective time for me. I see things I thought were impossible happening and miracles are manifesting. I am claiming what’s mine, I believe dreams do come true and I am worthy!

Don’t settle for less than you desire. Remove those negative thoughts from your head and if the people closest to you are placing those thoughts on your mind you may want to seek a new support system. 💜

❤Toni Love

#loveistheanswer #loveyourself

Download “The Restoration”

Not One (New original poetry by Toni Love)

 

Mothers of Black Sons and all who support in solidarity are welcome to join us as we stand together United against racial injustice, police brutality and inner city violence. We need your collective voice, wisdom and support to effect change. Please come out Sunday, October 16th at 12noon. We will march from Broad and Cecil B Moore Avenue to 1401 JFK Boulevard, Philadelphia. In addition to being a poet, I am the mother of a young black male. I am honored to be on the program and will recite this piece as well as my poem “Born of Warriors” written after the #PhiladoCastille murder.

MOBS can be contacted via email at : millionmomsphilly@gmail.com. Please also donate as little or as much as you can to MOBS Go Fund Me which will help cover the cost of permits and travel to our state and US capitols. Gathering as one unit is an essential part of the healing process. I hope you come.

~Toni #loveistheanswer

Not One   

Not mine, son
Not mine

Not my son
Not my brother, nephew, uncle or current lover
Not my neighbor cousin or future husband

Not mine, not hers
Not anybody’s
Son

I am not saying “no more”
I am saying “not one”

We with the millions of ancestors behind us
Forge a force you will feel into centuries

Your gated communities will not be safe
Your land will not be prosperous
Your wealth will not sustain you
Your privilege will not save you

We are millions today plus millions from centuries before us
We are far more than your eyes can see

We gather together
Seen and unseen
When mothers pray
The heavens come forth to listen

So rest assured and be forewarned
There will be a price for your descendants to pay
If you ever look at our sons in a disrespectful way

We, collectively are not playing with you today

No more
Not one
Not
One
Son

(c) Toni Love Publishing

 

 

 

Toni Love in Baltimore Oct 7th at Peace & A Cup of Joe!

I’m heading to Baltimore in a few weeks..Yay!

14424751_1227907010605372_8344844015376353191_o

I love my city but the only way I grow is to push myself outside of my comfort zone, so I’m venturing out to Baltimore, Maryland in a few weeks.  Heard Through The Grapevine, a fun, lively and classy open mic poetry event hosted by the fabulous Simply Sherri of Simply Poetic Entertainment includes a wine tasting. The intimate setting at Peace and a Cup of Joe, 713 W. Pratt Street is the perfect backdrop for a night out with friends or lovers. The doors open at 7pm and the first ten people will receive a FREE download of my new EP titled The Restoration .  I’m truly excited and looking forward to seeing my Baltimore, Washington DC and Virginia family! I will have copies of  my new EP The Restoration for sale as well as my signature  Toni Love T-shirts while they last.

Please be sure to follow me on Twitter  and Instagram and like my Toni Love Fan Page to stay updated on my latest shows and my weekly broadcasts on #Periscope. You can also find me on Reverbnation! Check frequently for new videos, shows and updates on upcoming performances.

If you’ve had a rough week, and need an emotional lift, come out on October 7th and I’ll be sure to give you all the love you need!

Thanks for visiting! Love, Toni

Rewriting my story and owning it!

wpid-fb_img_1422847297693.jpg

I was clearing out my “drafts” folder and realized this post was never published. Two years ago, just eight months before the release of my debut EP “The Restoration”, I was given the opportunity to share the stage with two Maryland-based poets which was my first time as a paid feature. For me that was a milestone. I don’t get asked in my own city, maybe because I’m new on the scene, maybe my age and maybe because I don’t fall easily into any type of spoken word category but I am learning to sit comfortably with being not popular. I am okay with being different because it’s about the process of creating art for me and the energy I get when I know the audience is responding and feeling my written word. Ironically a month from now I will be featuring for the same poetic prowess Simply Sherri in Baltimore for her Heard it Through the Grapevine and I am looking forward to the experience. It’s a treat to be surrounded by the energy of the artists in the DMV and I can’t wait to see them again, they always give me so much love in return!

Anywhoo…just thought I’d post this and I hope that I will see you in October! Visit my  Facebook page for updates and more information or CD Baby to hear samples and download my debut EP titled “The Restoration”.  I truly appreciate the love!

I’m starting to understand how this life journey works. Half way into writing my story, just a few months from reaching what is supposed to be my golden year and I am finally giving myself permission to rewrite my story. Every few years I get to the end of a chapter, look back, reflect, revise, and restate my vision for my life before I move on to the next. This past Saturday night was one of those times when thoughtful contemplation met up with years of unconscious manifestation and moved me towards a new chapter in my life. When Sherri of Simply Poetic Entertainment contacted me to see if I would be interested in co-featuring at her first Philadelphia edition of Heard it Through the Grapevine, I was pleasantly surprised! I met her once as the spotlight artist (opening up for her and the other feature) last August so when she contacted me I had to make sure feature meant what I thought it meant before I got really excited. As she expanded on the details I knew I had to say yes. An evening of wine and love poems; that had Toni Love written all over it!  I started to think about the poems that I would recite. The flyers and event page went all over social media and I promoted the show with the same reserved passion that I always do but I was still nervous about making sure I carried my weight as a performer. 

I arrived early, asked them to save me a glass of Sangria from the wine tasting (I can never eat or drink before a performance, it makes my stomach uneasy!) and sat down to calm myself. What many don’t know is that I almost always completely blank out before a poetry reading. I can’t remember anything I’ve written and I often grab a book or start printing out poems so that I’ll have them in written form just in case. My biggest fear is that I’ll stand up and forget everything.  I panic, I pace and then I remember to sit down and breathe. As I sat I saw faces of love walk into the small gallery one by one. Friends who lived on the block I grew up on, a sorority sister who drove a few hours to get there, fellow poets, my Italian mother (that’s my nickname for her), and my brothers. I watched them add chairs as the room filled and the walls expanded. By the time I took to the mic it was standing room only. I was still nervous but excited and overwhelmingly grateful at the same time. Sherri said “you have a lot of support here..I’ve been asking who they are here to see..”  It was a vision that I didn’t know would be replicated seven months later at my EP release party. There’s nothing like looking out into a room full of faces that reflect genuine love. Nothing. 

I recited four poems and sang a bit too. It was an exciting night! The quote below is a comment sent to me the next day from the host of the event. I hope to see you at a performance venue soon. I will always return the love.  #loveistheanswer

Toni Love: I knew when I met you last year you were a dynamic performer and would wow that crowd. Your energy is incredible and your words were amazing. Let me know when you get that CD done, so I can get one.

Who Am I? I Am You & We Are Connected!

MTONITA FEATURE AD JPG

You may have seen my face, maybe took a minute to listen to a sample track or even purchased my debut EP titled “The Restoration”, but do you know my story? I love poetry because I love telling a story. I love music because it adds color to lyrical expression. When you listen to my CD, you experience the two dancing together. I tell a story of love, loss and renewal within each track on “The Restoration”. You can purchase it on iTunes, Amazon Music and CD Baby. If you would like an autographed copy, please purchase from my site —-> Toni Love Merchandise where you will find Toni Love T-shirts as well!

I am excited about my interview with Connected Woman Magazine! Although I’ve been fortunate to have my poetry featured in other online publications in addition to being interviewed for several online radio stations, this is my first magazine interview! It was a new experience for me and a lot different from radio interviews because I was given detailed, probing questions in advance and had to take the time to  write thoughtful, honest responses. Some of the questions were more difficult than others because it required me to dig deep into my past and revisit places I’ve long tucked away. This interview process was a welcome experience because it made me think about how my poetry could be used to guide other woman towards healing so they too can be restored.

I hope you take a moment to visit the Connected Woman Magazine online edition tomorrow, June 8th. I am honored to be featured along with several other fabulously connected women, and I hope you are inspired by us all. I am you, you are me and we are all connected!

Thank you in advance for the LOVE!

~Toni  #loveistheanswer

 

 

The Balancing Act: You can have it all, just not all at once.

wpid-wp-1404782549159.jpegI remember the day I started writing again. I was a full-time stay at home mom and business owner, six years into my marriage, lobbying with my son’s school to get his IQ tested and nursing an infant. I wasn’t getting much sleep at night and had to find time to juggle clients, housework and bills, babies and PTA meetings during the day. Needless to say my house never looked like the spotless ones in the Parenting magazines! One day while checking e-mail, I came across one from a dear friend from high school. She came into my life at a time when I was my most authentic self – proud, brave, strong, emotional, nurturing, vulnerable and fearless, and I wasn’t afraid to write about any of it. She asked me if I would consider writing an essay for her upcoming anthology. I thought she was either on medication or feeling sorry for me! I placed writing aside to be mom, wife and business woman and there was not time to sit in my feelings or even sit and write about it. I barely found time to sleep and she wanted me to reclaim some brain cells and write and essay?! We had several conversations about it and I am sure she heard the exhaustion and defeat in my voice. I politely said thanks for the honor but there’s no way I could fit it into my schedule. But she wouldn’t give up on me. I received an email the next day which I will never forget. Aside from reading the uncomfortable praise about my writing and the effect it had on her as a young woman, she told me that it is okay to give my self permission to be more than just a mother and a wife. That I could do all of that and still write. I could take my son to school and still write. I could nurse my daughter and still write. I could cook and clean (well, not much cleaning) and still write, and that I could be the best wife I could be and be a writer too. She also reminded me that my children were watching, and more importantly my daughter was watching. Did I want her to grow up being shown that she could not have it all? That folding clothes and running to doctor’s visits; that caring for her husband and children was more important than sharing my gifts from God?

The next day I agreed to take on the challenge of writing the essay. I spent late nights at my laptop, sometimes with a nursing infant at my bosom and sometimes in-between naps, but I followed her editorial wisdom, put on my big girl pants and dusted off my journals and pens. I can’t say that my ex (husband at the time) was happy about it. As a matter of fact, he rejected my offers to him to read my draft and at the time of my book signing years later, he still had not read one word of my essay. Nonetheless, I had never felt more fulfilled, more proud, motivated and accomplished than when I received the published anthology in the mail. I cried and thanked my Creator for giving me the strength and the support to write such an emotional essay about my mother. She was my mother, my best friend and now my muse.

Five years later, I am still writing and working with new situations to balance. I am reading poetry and working on my first poetry CD. I am still self-employed, I am still home to greet my children when they get home from school, and I still have a home to take care of, but now I am doing it alone. It’s not easy finding quiet time to write. Most nights I am too exhausted to do anything after the kids’ bath and bedtime, so I keep my laptop by my bed in case I wake up in the middle of the night with an idea and want to write. I collect journals so there’s always one in my briefcase, bedroom or car for convenience. Thankfully with today’s technology I can also log into my blog from my smart phone and jot down some ideas or save an inspirational quote, meme or picture to my phone that will jog my memory to write. I love getting out at night and I try to support local artists, writers, poets as much as I can in the area, however I have to pace myself because it can be costly. Not only do I have to pay the entrance fee, but I sometimes end up paying a sitter up to $15 an hour to care for my kids, so a night out to an open mic just to get paid nothing can cost me fifty to sixty dollars depending on how long I’m staying out. So I pace myself, and try to get out at least twice a month. If it’s a new venue, I go to check out the energy and the crowd, or I may go to a familiar place to support fellow artists and be inspired. It’s an investment in myself and much-needed “me” time, so I budget for it, find the time in my busy schedule and am blessed to have family and friends I can rely on at times to care for my children (and save me money!). I’ve learned how to find balance between my responsibilities as a mother and business woman and my need to express my life experience with words. It’s never easy to leave my children with a sitter on a school night and interrupt their normal bedtime routine. It’s not easy getting in my car and traveling into the city at the end of an already long day. And sometimes it’s very frustrating when I really want to go out somewhere to read my poems or hear other artists and my sitter cancels on me, or one of the kids get sick. But to quote India Arie’s lyrics to Life I Know.. ” it’s all alright ’cause this is the life I know”.

I just want to spread love, encouragement, passion and healing through my poetry. I’m thrilled when someone hears my words and is inspired. I’m more thrilled and proud of the fact that my children are learning that they can have it all…with balance,

Blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑