Paste to SETTINGS -> ADVANCED -> CODE INJECTION -> HEADER-field

Let's Not Capture This Moment

It was the perfect moment. Twelve writers sitting around a make shift round table, caps off the bottles of rum and white wine that half filled most of our glasses as the evening got underway. The sun had already disappeared with dim bulbs and a few sparsely placed candles providing more than enough light for us to read. And then it started. One by one each writer read pieces they had created; some that day, others the week prior, others still years before. Collectively we listened, applauded, criticized, and praised each work and how they were delivered. We launched in to discussions about meaning, symbolism, alliteration, all things only a group committed to the art could understand and appreciate. Everyone spoke and everyone listened. And when the moment ended three hours later it left a connection silently acknowledged by all. A connections shared through our common passion for the art of expression.

The entire night was inspiring, and through it all not one single picture.

I couldn't believe it myself. No one tried to gather everyone in a corner to create the perfect Instagram post. No one took pictures of the bottles of alcohol spread out around the tables. We were all deeply infused in the moment, engaged by our own words, our own thoughts, without even the slightest preoccupation of capturing the moment.

But the moment is still vivid in my memory. I can still feel the emotions of that evening without having to visit my twitter stream. We lived it. Every second of it. And it still means just as much

There is something liberating about the ephemeral. Knowing no matter how amazing or how crippling a moment, that "this too shall end." You are free to be free. To embrace that moment and then let it go. No picture can ever capture that. *******************************************************************

Read "Thoughts of a Fractured Soul," a tragedy of family, failed potential, and the Millennial struggle with ambition, expectation and the fight for independence.

Available in print and e-book format at www.kerncarter.com.

Defining Success

I spent half of my twenties being formally educated and sacrificed the other half so I can put myself in a position to be successful. I didn't take any vacations, didn't party excessively, and spent my money efficiently. And to be completely honest, it wasn't that difficult. I saw the bigger picture and knew who I was and who I wanted to be. I knew what I wanted to do with my life and my career and I lived every day with that knowledge.

Now I am finally in that position. I'm another step closer to having an impact on the world, which has always been my intention. Every day I said no to going to a club, every dollar I put into my career instead of a vacation package, every bullshit job I took so I could make ends meet while I worked on this book; now all of it is paying off. I always say this is just the beginning, but so much has been done already.

"Thoughts of a Fractured Soul" is out now and the real journey to success begins.

Acknowledgements

This is the actual acknowledgements from my book Thoughts of a Fractured Soul:

I am merely an observer. The tale I covey is simply a collection of these observations translated through my mind and onto the coming pages.

For this, there are many people that deserve to be acknowledged as part of my journey. First, to you Mrs. Selvaggi, who in 11thgrade put “The Alchemist” in my hands with a hand written note in part saying that you have complete faith that I would one day “be lifted above the crowds.” I keep that book with your words as one of my treasures.
To my older brother Kerry for reading the first ever chapter that I wrote and telling me that “it sounds like a story.” That motivated me to continue writing more than you know.
The next thank you is for Dr. Simpson. How can I put into words my gratitude for reading 181 pages of my first draft at the end of a semester, and for including comments on almost every page. Remembering that copy, I think of how excruciating that must have been for you. But you went even further and sat me down in your office to tell me that you believe in me. You were my first critic and helped me move passed my fear of making my work public.
To you, mother, for being a constant source of support even as six years went by before I finally held that manuscript in my hand. You put faith in front of your personal logic and trusted in my gift as a writer.

The final thank you has to go to Kevin Crouch. It took seeing only a few words of my manuscript for you to financially back my journey. You are my first fan and your investment in my ambition to be the greatest writer of this generation is felt through our conversations. You did what most wouldn't do, and for that I am eternally grateful.   
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"Thoughts of a Fractured Soul" is available now in print or e-book format at www.kerncarter.com.

Teaser

So since my first book "Thoughts of a Fractured Soul" is due out any day now, I decided to give everyone a short excerpt. Let me know what you think....

I’ve been here before. Though I can’t remember exactly when or for how long, I know I’ve been here. My mother carried me in her womb hundreds of miles to this very place. And as I exited the airplane for the second time, I acted as if this wasn’t anything new. I watched curiously as my older brother got excited blowing cold air out of his mouth, though most of my attention was centred somewhat in the distance where a group of tall trees stood, their branches left bare, illuminated by the melted snow. The branch that kept me still, however, had kept all of its leaves. And as I looked at this fire red tree blaze in the midst of the cold weather I realized, even at that time, there was something odd about the entire scene. My daze was interrupted seconds later when my brother blew his frosty breath in my face. I chased him through the tunnel that led inside the airport. I remember looking back outside for that tree and not being able to see it through the window. Today I debate with myself whether it was there in the first place. If you knew me, it wouldn’t be a stretch to think I imagined the entire thing.

Tightrope

The other day I was riding around with my close friend John Amoah and he asked me about my book. "Isn't your book coming out soon?" I kind of nodded my head and proceeded to change the subject. He stopped the conversation and said something like "hold on, you have a book coming out and all you can do is nod your head? I would be going crazy right now."

I told John that I am excited, but will be more excited when the books starts selling. He still looked at me like I was crazy and reminded me that last year at this time, all I wanted was my book to be published. Now I'm a couple weeks away from release and I'm worried about book sales.

"Yeah" I told him. "I really want the book to do well." He shook his head. "Make sure you enjoy this," John told me. "This is already a huge accomplishment."

I thought about what John said, and thought about how I am always looking towards the future, always planning that next step. But I've already been on such an incredible journey and its gone by so fast that I often haven't taken the time to enjoy it. I've been completely caught up in the goal and haven't enjoyed the milestones along the way.

I don't necessarily think there's anything wrong with me being focused on accomplishing my dreams, but there's also nothing wrong with stepping back and being proud of what I've already accomplished. I need to do a better job walking that tightrope, of finding the balance between ambition and living in the present.  Luckily I have great people around me to help me out from time to time, and as I continue on this journey to success, I'll depend more on more on these people to help keep me on that tightrope.

Gray Ghost

How long are you going to hide? How long are you going to talk about, think about, dream about all of the things that you could be doing, should be doing, are meant to be doing? EVERY MOMENT MATTERS, and while you continue to put off your destiny, wait till tomorrow, take more time to "figure things out," another day passes and with it an opportunity to creep closer to your calling. Another day that your aspirations become as elusive as that Gray Ghost hidden in the mountains.

Treat every reason as an excuse, every excuse as fear taking control; and if fear wins then there is no hope.

One Caring Adult

I'm three hours into a strategic meeting with the executive team from BOSS Magazine before we thankfully break for a meal.  It's Sunday, two days before the new year and the last day of the regular season in the NFL.  Everyone is scattered throughout the meeting room, some in the seated area, others eating on the round table where we've been discussing different ways to push the magazine forward.

I'm standing in the kitchen with my food on the island speaking to one of the trustees that have invested in BOSS.  He also happens to be one of the directors of Doorsteps which he informs me is an organization based in Black Creek that runs multiple outreach programs for both youth and adults that extend far beyond their local community.

As we touch on different topics during the short break, I ask him a question I've asked several community leaders and activists over the past year: "What's the difference?" What is the difference between us and them?  He asks me to elaborate and I continue.  I ask how is it that two people can come from exactly the same priority neighbourhood, share a generally similar experience of poverty, exposure to drugs and violence, marginalization, yet one of those individuals will overcome and escape the mental trap to live a positive and productive life, and the other will succumb to the trap and become a victim and perpetrator of violence, abuse and sell drugs, and become a drain on society.

"One caring adult," he says.  I wait for him to get into some elaborate digression about causality and social infrastructure, or the lack of government support, but he says none of that.  "One caring adult," he repeats.  "The difference between someone escaping and someone getting caught is often one caring adult."

By then our lunch break was over and everyone was back at the round table.  One caring adult.  I repeated the phrase over and over in my head.  One caring adult.  At first I was somewhat relieved.  "That's all it takes," I thought.  "So then there is hope."  But then I thought about how many people I know and grew up with that are trapped.  Then I thought about all the drugs and violence and apathy within the priority communities, and the families of the people in these communities and I wondered, One caring adult.  Do none of these people that are trapped have at least one caring adult in their lives? Not one person to say "I am here for you."  Not one person to say "you're body is precious," or "love yourself first because you are worth it."  This can't be true.  This can't be right.

Throughout the next few hours of the meeting, my mind reflected back to this possibility. I wasn't sure which way to interpret this hypothesis, if I should be optimistic or skeptical.  I decided to be hopeful, to believe that we need to give these trapped minds a chance.  I can be that one caring adult, any of us can.  Anyone living through the struggle needs to seek out this one caring adult and we need to make ourselves available.  One caring adult.  That's all it takes.  Powerful in its simplicity, practical in its application.  Let's create hope for all of those that are trapped and be their escape.  One caring adult.  An enlightening vision indeed.
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Read my novel "Thoughts of a Fractured Soul," available in print and e-book format at www.kerncarter.com.

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