Sunday, October 12, 2008

Home at last! Hey, Sterling!

SterlingFest 2008 went off without a hitch yesterday. The weather was clear, beautiful and warm; just a lovely autumn day. This was our first time vending in Virginia and in my own community no less. Tamika and I both thought it was a great opportunity to see how a more diverse population would respond to our book.

It was wonderful. There were lots of people who were a bit standoffish (is that a word?) and we weren't sure what the deal was with that, but then there were the young girls who were drawn to our table and brought parents along. And the elderly who sort of wandered over waiting for us to speak first, before they would say anything. In between that were all manner of folk--- all shades and nationalities, who wanted to at the least just say hello or pat us on the back for making it that far. Funniest still were the non-english speaking ladies who tried to take copies of the book because they thought they were free. That happened twice but they politely put them back when asked. We received tons of questions about Sisters Are From Heaven, and many well wishes for success. And yes, we sold a few copies too!

At these events we always meet someone who has a book idea of their own and needs to know how to get started or how we did it. So it's our duty to make sure they are educated (as best we can), as well as, inspired to keep going until they get published.

The community event was fun and engaging. Even though it got downright hot after a while, we pulled our sun hats low and pressed on while chatting, selling and watching all the families have a good time. My husband brought the kids over so they could partake in the festivities too. Auntie Meek and I were both delighted to see them and it was a great for the three of them to see what I mean when I say, "Mommy has to work." We chowed down on some wonderful cuisine, shout out to Kabob Delicioso of Sterling, listened to live music and as always checked out other vendors for ideas and to see interesting crafts for sell. We made a few contacts and may even have our next gig thanks to the family vending beside us. All in all it was a fruitful day.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Sisters Are From Heaven

Sisters Are From Heaven is the first children's picture book created by my sister and I. One day I was chatting with her on the phone and she told me that God gave her a message that we were intended to combine our talents and work together to produce something awesome. She said she had not quite figured it out but once she had she'd let me know. She asked me if I would be interested in such a venture and I responded with an enthusiastic 'YES'!

Truly I could not imagine anything better than collaborating with my own sister in whatever capacity. She's always been my number one fan and my best friend. A few weeks or months later she came back with the idea for the book. She had one particular photograph that sparked this idea in her. It was one I had taken of her girls one fall day when I came over to help her with the kids. Her youngest child had just been born and I wanted to come help out and give her some down time. I got the girls ready and took them out for one of my practice photo shoots. The fall foilage was beautiful and Lauren was just perfecting her walking skills. We ventured out to play and jump in the leaves. Oh what fun! We were making our way back towards the house and I got an idea for the girls to embrace so I could snap a shot. I always gave my sister copies of all the pictures I took of her kids, but this day it seemed like so much more to me. The girls had a new addition to their family and it was not just the two of them anymore. They had to make room for baby brother, but I wanted them to have something to remind them of the days when it was just two sisters relying on each other. See that's how it had always been for my sister and I. We had lots of cousins and later a baby brother, but we always remember when it was just she and I.

So back to the sister saw this photo and she said the idea came to life. She looked at it and the title of our book was born. She said it was something about the beautiful blue sky and her daughters in a loving embrace that made her say 'Sisters Are From Heaven'. After that she picked out more photos that I had taken and begin to put words to those photos. In the end, we came out with this lovely book that you see today. A true testiment of the bond we share as sisters and the love we have for each other and most importantly God. I am so happy to know that my neices share that same bond and my sister is instilling the love of God in them.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

What is Polly & Meek?

Polly & Meek Partnership is a book writing company created by Onjeinika Brooks and Tamika Jackson, two sisters from Wilmington, NC. Inspired by the beautiful photos that Tamika takes of her girls, Onjeinika began to create a wonderful children’s picture book titled, Sisters Are From Heaven using Tamika’s photos along with her positive lessons for children. The book was published through Xlibris and is the first joint venture for the sisters. Motivated to use their God given talents in more collaborations, the sisters decided to form a partnership. The name Polly & Meek comes from Onjeinika and Tamika’s nicknames growing up.

Onjeinika Brooks graduated from North Carolina State University with a degree in Engineering. She is a wife and mother of three. Onjeinika decided to take time off from her professional career to care for her growing family and to begin freelance writing. She is the owner of and author for Matrimony & Mayhem Books. She resides in Northern Virginia with her family. You may view her blog here.

Tamika Jackson graduated from East Carolina University with a degree in Biology. She works professionally in the biotechnology industry. Tamika decided to pursue her passion for photography and is now a self-taught professional. She is the owner of Portraits by Tamika, a photography company specializing in affordable on location photo sessions and small weddings. Tamika resides in the DC Metro Area with her husband. You may view her blog here.

Many Blessings,
Polly & Meek

Capital Bookfest 2008

So many new and exciting things have been happening for us and we are bracing ourselves for more to come. We officially launched our company website this week thanks to the wonderful work of our web site designer Toni Tates. We attended the Capital Bookfest 2008 on Capital Blvd in Largo, Md today. We were both up at the crack of dawn to make there in time for our 10AM and did not pack up until 6:45pm. The event ended at 7pm. We sold books, networked and Polly read our picture book in the Children's Corner inside Borders Book Store. It was AWESOME!!!

As if that was not enough, we saw reality TV star, Omarosa and Nikki Giovanni was there reading excerpts from her book and doing a book signing (see photos below). This was truly a once in a lifetime opportunity to even be in the same room as this profound poet and writer.

14 hours later, we are tired but its all worth it. Working for ourselves never felt so good. And if that was enough, we are at it again at the Sterling Festival 2008. We can hardly wait.