BY SHONDA MAYES
It’s my favorite time of year! The holidays are upon us, and we’ve almost made it to the end of 2022. It’s the time of year that we get to chill with our family, argue over who makes the best mac and cheese, and wonder which one of cousin Pookie’s women will show up for dinner at Big Mama’s on Christmas day.
It’s also a time for reflection as we head into the new year. I can’t help but look back on this past year and be thankful for all I’ve survived. I gained some friends but also lost some. I got my health back on track after a few challenges and I dropped a book. While I didn’t meet all my goals, I give myself grace for that.
Sometimes, life throws us a few curveballs, and we must adjust. I caught a few of them and had to pivot as much as I could. I’m sure many of you can relate to this as well.
So, as I reflect on my wins and lessons (no losses over here), I also like to clarify my goals for the year ahead. However, before I can get to that, I must make sure I go through some spiritual maintenance. It’s so important that we take the time to prepare our minds and spirit for the year to come. Part of that includes releasing things that need to stay or die in 2022. It could be relationships, partnerships, jobs, or anything that doesn’t serve me and where I’m trying to go.
So, as you enjoy time with your family and friends during the holidays, let me encourage you to take some time to perform some spiritual maintenance of your own. Take some time to reflect. Think about what you want your new year to be, but don’t forget to express gratitude for all you have and whom you have in your life. Don’t take any grudges into the new year. Forgive those who need to be forgiven (don’t forget to forgive yourself, too) so you don’t block your blessings. Keep an open heart ready to receive all that you’ve asked for. Remember that the energy and effort you put out is also what you’ll receive in return. Oh, and try not to slap the taste out of cousin Keisha’s mouth when she tries to fix your man a plate at Christmas dinner! See y’all at the top in 2023
SUBSCRIBER GIVEAWAY: KISS ME FOR CHRISTMAS BY TEN SANTANA
CONGRATULATIONS KITTY JOHNSON!
After a devastating chain of events ruins Amani’s favorite holiday, she decides to leave her hometown for good in hopes of escaping the pain. To avoid the constant request from her family to come back to Atlanta for Christmas, she accepts her friend, Samira’s request to join her on vacation to Jamaica. Masking her holiday blues with the tropical blue waters is all that's on her mind until she meets Cruz.
Settling down is the last thing on Cruz’s mind as he focuses on elevating the family empire. Keeping affairs in order, controlling the streets, and taking care of his family is all he’s ever known until his cousin Samira brings a guest on their family trip. Amani’s presence opens his eyes to life’s possibilities from the moment they meet.
A new opportunity for love almost feels tangible until a heartbreaking secret threatens to destroy their chances. Amani is forced to face the fact that her favorite holiday may be cursed forever as Cruz is left to pick up the remaining pieces of a life that he knew was too good to be true.
HAPPY HOLIDAYS FROM INTELLECTUAL INK
Issue 22 is here. The year has come to a close, and Intellectual Ink Magazine eagerly looks toward 2023 with stories of inspiring individuals doing incredible things in their professional and personal lives. Issue 22 features Erick S. Gray, our very own resident opinion columnist. We discuss his latest movie One Lyfe to Live, and his incredible journey from Books to Film.
As always, we've got our regular features: Charlotte's Young-Foye's Five Feel Good Finds. Shonda Mays helps us reflect on our past year and focus on our future goals in Minding Your Spirit. Diamond's Literary World reviews Mary Monroe's "Right Beside You," and Haikeem Stokes takes us on a trip down memory lane with "Gone are the Titans" (Tower Records). In Write News, we have the wildly talented author Carolyn Holland and esteemed Poet Zaneta Varnado Johns.