Keith "K. L." Belvin

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Monday, August 6, 2012

2008 Black Writer's Conference Changed my life.

Here we are a few weeks away from the Black Writer's Conference. Unfortunately I will not be able to attend. However, sometimes you only need to do something once for the Lord to change the direction of your life and possibly the lives of others. My writing career was push into high gear from chance meeting over a book mark. God is great like that. 
 Four years ago, I attended the Black Writer's Conference. My fist book had not yet reached my house and all I had was the proof copy. However I took the trip to Tampa, FL, to learn more about the literary game, network with fellow authors and to see if my poetry book had what it took to be in the literary game. When I began to write many told me "don't write poetry it doesn't sell." Well I have always been hard headed. To push my writing career forward, I needed to do some heavy networking and making connections.

Once I landed in Tampa, I settled in. On the first day of this three day conferences, I made sure I spoke to as many people as possible.
Later in the day, the conference was in full swing. While standing in the lobby wide eyed and happy to just be a part of things; a statuesque young lady came over to speak to me. She stood a little taller than me. I am six foot tall six feet one or two. One of the first things I noticed was her beauty. She came over holding a bookmark and said a friend of mine at the table, where she bought it, said to come over and talk. I was a little confused but I was open to speak to anyone. It’s was part of my overall plan any way. The young ladies name was Patricia Haley. I remember her name since she was one of the presenters of one of the seminars I wanted to attend. After speaking to her, she mentioned the bookmark hit a soft nerve with her. It’s been a few years; forgive me if I get this wrong. The book mark said, "To be the butterfly you can be, you have to let go of the caterpillar you are now" If I am wrong I am sorry to whoever wrote the bookmark.
            Patricia said "she often feels like the caterpillar.”I could see and feel her dismay. I wanted to cheer her up. This lovely intelligent woman is sounding so negative about herself when others would kill to be where she is at and with the looks she has. A person cam and asked to take our pictures, she refused and said "I don't take pictures. When I asked why? She responded I take bad pictures" I said impossible, you mean, you took bad pictures.  There is no way you’re going to know how the picture is going to come out. Well we took the picture and it was great. 

Now let me tell you this. I am a happily married man. However, if I had been single and if Ms. Haley had been single (I didn’t ask her status), I would have wanted to get to know her better the way a gentleman should.
            Later that evening around 1 am or so, I saw everyone coming and going in and out off the hotel, heading to and from the various night spots in Tampa.  I was not in a partying mood so I sat in the lobby with my note book. My spirit was buzzing from the conversation I had earlier with Patricia. My mind was a buzz trying to figure out, why did this wonderfully talented woman feel this way about herself? What is missing or not getting through? Here she is, one of the conference presenters here to help educate others and she has doubts within herself. Well like most poets, when the feeling won't leave its time to create. So create is what I did. I sat and decided what words would fit this feeling I have inside of me. A few hours later I had a poem I felt Patricia would like. I had planned on reading it at the poetry contest they were going to have later that day. Upon getting up in the morning, I thought to myself reading the poem for a show would be wrong without Patricia’s permission. Even though these were my words, they were based on another’s pain and our conversation. You have to be fair when someone share’s their inner most thoughts with you.
            That afternoon I told Patricia I have something for you to listen too.
This is where two lives changed. The Lord is truly great since I tribute all my gifts to Him. She asked "Am I am going to need a tissue" There was another author I had met the day before standing in tow who wanted to hear what I was going to lay down. Well, let me say this, this was the first time I simply wrote a poem for a stranger to be read to them. As I began to read the emotion inside me pulled on the emotions inside Patricia. The tears which came down her cheek were singing to my soul. I never expected such a display.
Patricia whipped her tears and gave me a hug. I signed my poem for her and gave it to her as a gift. I then looked over at the fellow author and she too, was in tears from the emotional moment shared by my muse and me.
            Well I can home to finish out the summer and lost contact with Patricia.  I started extending my Facebook journey over the year. By the time for the 2009 conference came around and I was unable to make it. In searching for information I came across Patricia’s profile and sent her a add request. She said she was excited to hear from me. She explained how my poem changed her life. I looked at her photo album, and found she had pictures all over with one of the biggest smiles you could ever wish to see on a person. My heart was filled with joy to see this transformation (BTW this is the name of the poem).  She told me to read her note from last year written a few weeks later after the conference ended. At the bottom of this note are Patricia Haley’s words towards my poem. It was such an honor to read.
            To this day I don't take what I write lightly or am I scared to offer my words. I have seen the power of honesty with the feelings God places inside of me. I would say to any poet, "Please don't short change yourself by writing and then hiding your work. Share your words with as many as you can because you never know who will be touched by them. My poetry and first book, "A Man in Transition" wasn’t even for sale and here I was shown by God I had a future as writer. I have since written 2 books, been a part of 3 anthologies  and created a publishing company which has produced works for 8 other authors. And here many say don't write poetry as your first book. 
            Father in heaven I thank you for allowing me to meet my sister Patricia Haley who I pray never goes back to being that caterpillar, but remains the sensual, intellectual beautiful butterfly. Patricia, meeting you changed my life. GOD BLESSS

Here are the words Ms. Haley wrote along with my poem. Stop by her FB page if you want to say hello or to do business with her. She is a tremendous speaker. She make a great guest for your event.

""This poem was written just for yours truly. It was based on six degrees of separation, and one singular conversation, that was communicated from one person to another. It started with me finding a wonderful bookmark at the Black Writers Reunion Conference, and I believed that the bookmark was especially made just for a girl like me. A conversation started, and from that, the birth of a poem. This was written by an incredibly talented person named KL.""


The caterpillar moves into position.
The Time reaches near, his end is the beginning.
How does he feel on the brink of oblivion?
We share the same existence as that caterpillar.
The vices, baggage, issues we carry come from the weight of contemplation.
If we are to conceive the newness which is to be our future, we cannot resist
the impending death of right now.
The womb is spun as the caterpillar assumes the position.
The cycle begins and magic is abounded.
Movement stills and the Creator whispers sleep.
We step forward to address our internal bondage.
The cocoon is slowly closing, we ask openly "am I really ready for
Deep inside the Great One sends word "Leave that weight with me".
The butterfly springs forth with only the memories of its previous life.
He must face the world as the new creature he has become.
With each stroke of its wings the change is complete.
It is time for the world to see the new you.
No wings as the butterfly, but a soul cleansed of the blockage.
With your head held high, chest pressed to the sun, arms raised, you are transformed

by K. L. Belvin

All my Books. come to to pick a copy.  
Our Company is called Bravin Publishing where our motto is
"Writing From The Heart, The Way It Should Be"

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