Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Hurricane Katrina and why the time is now ........

Katrina's Destruction

Today WGCI's own Crazy Howard Mcgee and his morning show(of which I am a proud member)did something that is practically unheard of. The number one radio station in Chicago ...... the powerhouse station that prides itself on playing the hits stopped the music and devoted the entire morning show to talk to listeners in Chicago that had connections to people in the areas that were affected by Hurricane Katrina. Some grew up in the small towns of Mississippi or cruised down Canal Street in New Orleans. Others hadn't talked to family members or friends and couldn't get in touch because of the power outage and downed phone lines. One in particular - Nate - was on the phone with his fiancee and three children when the water started to seep then gush into their home. This was Monday. The line went dead as he begged them to press towels under the door to stop the flow of water. He hasn't talked to them since. It broke my heart.

Tomorrow I board a plane headed for the beautiful island of Bermuda. I will be there for to broadcast live in celebration of Crazy Howard's 10th anniversary on WGCI. I will be there to smile and sign books at my first official booksigning. I thought I would be there to relax and have some much needed downtime. But now I find that I am leaving with a heavy heart. My thoughts and prayers will be here with the thousands that so easily could have been me. I am not sure how those who have been dealt such devestation can ever rest easy again. I'm not sure how any of us can.

My mother faced such turmoil just this past winter as she spent time with her mother in Jamaica. We couldn't reach her for two days but she made it home to her husband, two children and 6 grandchildren. Not like the mother who begged her husband to just let her go so he could save her children. He doesn't know if she made it or not.

In light of the tragedy a co-worker has vowed to mend a relationship with his estranged father of more than 30 years who just happens to have made it safely out of New Orleans. And others have just vowed to mend. Sometimes it takes destruction of this magnitude to make it happen.

So when I read an email sent by a fellow member of an online book club it gave me pause. It touched my heart and I asked her if I could publish it on my blog. It is as follows:

Hey all,

As I sit here thinking about all that has happened to our world in the past few months, with the latest being the devastation of Hurricane Katrina, my heart is heavy and I am in a reflective mood.

I just want to put something on your minds and in your hearts. Do you have someone you have fallen out with? Is there someone you haven't talked to in a long time? If so, now is the time to fix it. Don't let another day pass with angry words left between you. Even though whatever it was may have seemed serious at the time, in the whole scope of things, it's really very minor. What's most important is love. You never know if you will get a chance to fix that wounded relationship. Hug your family and tell them you love them, because as the Bible tells us, tomorrow is not promised.

And most importantly, and I apologize if this offends anyone, but if you don't have a right relationship with God, now is the time to fix that also. I believe in Him, and I believe in His power. I also believe that one day this world is going to end and that we will all have to stand before the judgement seat. And I know that I want to be one of the ones who makes it into heaven.

Again, I apologize if this offends anyone, but this was heavy on my heart (for personal reasons also) and I couldn't go another minute without sharing it.

If you are able, please do what you can to help the hurricane victims, especially those in New Orleans who have lost everything. Maybe we can start a Literary Relief Fund? I don't know how we would go about that though? Anyone have any thoughts?

Much love,

Renee Williams

Stuff Happens! Event Planning
For All Your Literary, Personal and Business Events

Thank you Renee and much love to you all.

Monday, August 29, 2005


Add me to your calendar!

HOTT 1075 FM Radio Sept 2,2005 - BERMUDA

The book signing location: HOTT 1075 FM Radio 49 Union Square Mall, Hamilton HM12 Website: And will be held in conjunction with: True Reflections Book Store 53 Reid St. Hamilton HM12 Right on the corner of Parliament and Reid streets, this shop has Bermuda's largest collection of books, puzzles and other items related to black Bermudian, African and Caribbean history. Afro-centered greeting cards, posters and lithographs are also available. True Reflections celebrates ethnic culture and art. Jewelry from the Ivory Coast, Kente cloth accessories and African print shirts are popular with visitors and locals. Various striking fabrics are available by the yard. For Travel Arrangements: please visit: "Easier Said Than Done is a stellar debut novel written with style and wit. Woods makes a big splash with a wonderful plot set in sexy Jamaica with characters that feel like folks we know and care about. Get a copy--no, get two... one for you and one for a friend." -Yolanda Joe, Best Selling Author, My Fine Lady

ISBN: 0-9755092-6-8 Borders Books Nationwide Distribution: Baker & Taylor & Publisher's Email: Category: African-American Literature Price: $14.95 (US) Trade Paperback, Page Count: 305 for more information!


August 26, 2005

Vania Hudson
Simply Elegant Event Planning LLC

Chicago, IL ( - Simply Elegant Event Planning (SEEP), in conjunction with the Chicago School of Massage Therapy, will hold its annual Women's Day Celebration at the Tinley Park Holiday Inn Convention Center on Saturday, September 10th from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Nikki Woods, WGCI Radio personality and author, is hostess for this event.

Throughout the day complimentary massages await attendees along with workshops that stress the importance of good nutrition and fitness, financial empowerment, and tips on how to relax and cope with hectic daily living.

Pastor Gale Colon, Living Waters Church Ministries is the motivational speaker with entertainment by Chicago gospel groups The Heavenly King Jr.'s and The Douglas Singers as well as an Authors Forum featuring Lisa Altalida, Melissa Young-Freeman, Paula Stinson, and Nikki Woods each speaking on strategic dating pointers, life-changing experiences, and erotic poetry.

Other keynote speakers include Sean Armstead, Phenomenal Fitness on healthy eating and exercise; Gia Buyers, masseuse and tai-chi expert; and Melanie White, Harmless as Doves, self-defense pro.

There are also exhibitors representing Chicago-land small businesses who will showcase products on beauty, wellness, spirituality, and financial planning.

Organizations responsible for ensuring the day is filled with fantastic giveaways include The Fine Arts Sponsor, Kreations Arts & Imports, Angel Greetings, representatives from Avon, Mary Kay Cosmetics, and Party-Lite Candles, Flowers Unlimited, and

Chestnut Wine Bar & Grill, the Official Take It Easy Sponsor, will end the days events by giving a Wine Tasting Cocktail Party for 10 to one lucky attendee. Tickets are available by visiting or

A portion of the proceeds from this event will be donated to the Chicago School for Massage Therapy for equipment and other materials.

About Simply Elegant Event Planning, LLC
Simply Elegant Event Planning (SEEP), a full-service event planning company, provides the highest level of the Ideal Client Services Experience (ICSE). Host to its annual Women's Day Celebration and Pageant Showcases, SEEP specializes in corporate meetings, weddings, theme parties, and other private affairs. Learn more about Simply Elegant Event Planning at

Sunday, August 28, 2005

Dorrie Wheeler has Tha Biz!

It's a different twist for me to be on the opposite end of questions. Normally, I am the one asking, probing, attempting to extract information that may or may not want to be given.

This interview was a pleasure, not only because I love any opportunity to promote my book but also because I know the interviewer - know her in the way that only the internet can make possible. She sounded as nice on the phone as she did in her emails. Can't wait to meet you in person, Dorrie. Thanks for the good look.

Oh, and check out the other interviews. A sistah can't be mad at seeing her picture sitting next to Yolanda Adams, Tamara Gregory, Ray J, and Jodley Watley. Not bad company to be in.

Hit the link:

Friday, August 05, 2005


Promo Pic

There are not many things that I dread in life. But if asked in an interview to pick one thing that I just hate, I would undoubtedly reply, "taking pictures." Impromptu pictures, staged pictures, family pictures: I hate them all. But I especially hate taking PROMO PICTURES. The last promotional picture I took for the radio station was 2 1/2 years ago. I was 9 months pregnant with my last child and you can tell. My hair looked good though, nice and healthy - thanks to the hormones but I cried for days after it was first posted on the website. That was thanks to the hormones as well. I called it post-picture depression.

Two hair cuts, 25 "pregnancy" pounds and one bouncing baby later, that time rolled around again. I had been planning to take pictures for months in order to promote the new books. I definately was dragging my feet but then the station decided the website needed a new look as well and the picture taking schedule shifted in overdrive. I was given 2 days. (Yes, Ladies, 2 days. Ya'll know this process takes a lot longer than 2 days.) I had just gotten back from a trip to Jamaica so I was sporting tan lines, a sunburned nose and braided hair. So in two days, I had to figure out how to get my groove back with wardrobe, hair options, etc. etc. etc. It also meant that I had two days to mentally prepare for the actual process. Now it's not like I am opposed to people touching me but to sit for hours of hair and make-up and wardrobe adjustment, brushing here and lifing there - to me is akin to Chinese water torture. Now here comes the disclaimer: I had the best from hair to makeup to photographer. Thanks Jessie, Debbie and Rodney respectively. But by the time the last layer of mascara had been applied, the last strand of hair sprayed motionless, and my breasts adjusted - they made me remove my bra to prevent unnecessary lines - I was ready to scream.

Did I tell you that I hate taking pictures? I don't want to forget that part.

So I posed, smiled then posed again and smiled some more. I was instructed to pout, lean, swivel and a myriad of other things before he declared us done.

Done was not even the word for what I was.

But when I saw the final product it switched from done to impressed .... I didn't look half bad. I actually looked like I was enjoying myself. And there was more than one good picture. That's a first.

So I have now switched from the FORCEFULLY PHOTOGENIC to the PHOTOGENIC FOX. And you know what? I like it!

I present to you (please insert dramatic music) ...... THE PROMO PICTURE ......

PS. And yes, I want to know what you think. I've already had a few people tell me that they like the old one better (see sidebar). Phooey on them ...... (smile)

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

To Blog ..... or not to blog!

"What the heck is a blog?" That's the question my father posed to me when I casually asked him to check out my latest project.

He's used to my "projects" (God bless him) but most of the time doesn't understand them and never hesitates to question. Of course, keep in mind this is the same man that HAS NEVER had call waiting on his home phone. I attempted to explain but still didn't fully understand the new phenomenon my self. Don't think my stuttering followed by a blank stare boosted his confidence any. But because he loves me, he checked it out .......

And I checked out some things as well ..... like what a blog actually is.

Technically the word blog is the abbreviation for "WEB LOG". As one blog provider explains: A blog gives you your own voice on the web. It's a place to collect and share things that you find interesting— whether it's your political commentary, a personal diary, or links to web sites you want to remember. Many people use a blog just to organize their own thoughts, while others command influential, worldwide audiences of thousands. Professional and amateur journalists use blogs to publish breaking news, while personal journalers reveal inner thoughts. Whatever you have to say, Blogger can help you say it.

Ain't that the truth? When I started my blog, my thirst to discover other bloggers that provided fresh and innovative thoughts, humour or knowledge became unquenchable, most written in clever prose. Now I'm hooked and surf daily, reading the most intimate thoughts of strangers ..... and some friends. Yes, friends. It's amazing the number of "undercover" bloggers that I have discovered. Y'all coulda hipped a sister a little quicker. And now that I belong to the club, I am here to tell you that "It's ok." Don't be afraid to stand up and be counted!

I think the quote by Isabel Colegatesums it up, "It is not a bad idea to get in the habit of writing down one's thoughts. It saves one having to bother anyone else with them."

That's the reason I write, journal and now blog.

With blogs, you can be bothered at your own risk ......

If you'd like to find out more about about blogs. Log on to

Oh, yeah ...... I'm OFFICIAL!

Easier Said Than Done - Cover

Date Reviewed: July 26, 2005

Ebony Energy Publishing, September 2005
305 Pages, Paperback, $14.95
ISBN: 0975509268
Genre: Fiction

RAW Rating: 4

Yep, it's easier said than done...

Kingston Phillips is an entertainment executive based in Chicago who has carved her way into the industry, nabbing one of the top rappers for her new division and garnering the respect of her boss. All is lining up well for Kingston, and she has two good friends who share in her happiness and a kinda-sorta boyfriend in the wings. Or so it seems. Just as things start running smoothly, her grandmother dies, and she must return to Jamaica for the funeral. In addition, she finds out some things about her boyfriend that make her realize she's better off without him.

While in Jamaica, memories overtake Kingston as she deals with the death and funeral arrangements, her situation back home, and the decisions she has to make regarding her future. She encounters family drama with those who should be closest to her and is forced to relive events of the past, including tragedy and heartache. Kingston also finds out that her grandmother has named her the executor of her estate. This causes more stress between the family members, and Kingston is left to decide how she will proceed with her sanity intact. Kingston has much soul-searching to do as she later finds out her grandmother not only made her executor of her estate, but with the request that Kingston return to Jamaica and live in the house so she can oversee the estate fund. Added to the chaos is the fact that her ex-boyfriend lives in town, and he's trying to pick up where they left off in their relationship. Kingston must decide what she will do professionally, personally, and romantically, but it is all easier said than done.

Though the novel is fiction, it touches on many aspects of other genres such as romance, a bit of suspense, and a bit of drama found in relationship-type novels. There is something for everyone. The writing isn't overly complicated, the characters are well-structured, and portions of the book were so moving, I found myself feeling as if I were part of the cast and actually going through the ups and downs featured in the book. Nikki Woods molds a realistic and engaging story about the importance of family, friends, and community. She showcases the power to heal from past pains in order to move towards the future. It is a highly recommended read, especially for those with close ties to their family or those who long to have them.

Reviewed by Tee C. Royal of The RAWSISTAZâ„¢ Reviewers

Tee C. Royal is a freelance reader, reviewer, and proofreader residing in the suburbs of Atlanta.