A self-inflicted challenge

In an effort to write more quick prose quo (laugh it was funny) I am going to challenge myself to write a super quick poem each morning for no less than five minutes…here we go ..some shall remain nameless..

you are….

turning leaves
turning keys
leaving you and me
it all is twisting
out of line
no longer clear
this life
one breath
another death
enduring loss
sins and lies
we pay the cost
of what we choose
to live and lose
it will go on
it will not stop
the spinning
dance of
the living
impossible it seems
but there’s no stopping
the chaos
living requires we pay
our due
its true
twisting out
turning in
our treasure will not be in
what we earn
what we save
you are the gold
you are the precious


Change is Good…

At least that is what we tell ourselves when circumstances beyond our control tornado our lives.
But than there are times when making decisions to change things up helps to create fresh energy and passion for living and creating. That is what I have been busy doing since the new year.

I have missed sharing my writing, blogging and spilling words all over the place. That isn’t to say I have not been writing bits and pieces here and there, because not writing would be like holding my breath. Which I can’t do for less than a minute before gasping for air. But I hope to write more here on the blog too.

I started a regular job in January and I have had a huge learning curve and adjustment period but now I feel like my ship is in smoother waters and it’s time to dive back into my book projects. And as I started a fresh new project I returned to the idea of using a pen name and decided that I would use one.

I have considered a pen name for many years and for many reasons so I won’t drag you through that mind field and just say that the name I created is a nod to one of my favorite books and my Great Grandfather who encouraged my love for words, writing, and learning. And so I introduce you to my new pen name…
A.J. Howard ….who was born on the fourth of May 2016.

I would also like to share other changes … but maybe that is enough for now..so I will leave you with a weekend poem that I am going to free write over the next 90 seconds.. I love doing these and they usually are not share worthy but what the heck its my blog …right ūüôā

Blows the mind this world of mine
Creeping slowly up and twists
the wrists of time
I look for reasons
but only see a distorted view
With words mingled
explanations to few
we get to choose
let it be said that peace is worth the pursuit
I will look out for you
look out for me too.

Love You.

Just a little poem…and some thoughts


You are
I am
So much more
than the Skin we arrive in
We are
The Apple of His eye
You are
I am
The song
He listens to hear
We are
His children
He Longs
To cradle in His arms
You Are
I am
So much more
than flesh and blood
We are
His breath
He breathes
You and Me
Flowing through
creating life
You are
I am
We Are
His Children

I know the chaos grows and fear shifts our thoughts into survival mode but I have to stop and remember that we are all God’s children regardless of race or religion. There is an evil in this world that is determined to divide, destroy and distract us from the truth. I want to remember everyday that it was fear and hatred that kept me locked up and suffering but it was grace, mercy and infinite love that set me free. Love heals, Love cover’s a multitude of sin’s.
Love Your Neighbor …do good to those who hate you…Love your God…these are not my words, these are the most powerful words in the world and they are from the Bible…Love Conquers …
It is a crazy world we live in but we can and should continue to walk in Love and do good. The enemy will not make it easy for us to do so but we are more than Conquerors through Christ Jesus our Messiah, God with Us.
Have a blessed Christmas.

Over Sharing & Recommended Reading

I used to call it verbal vomiting. I would walk away from a conversation and realize that I just told a complete stranger my life story in an effort to make them feel better. Are you’re eyeball’s bugging out? They should be. ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† But my point was never about how bad I had it or to say ..look what I’ve been through… it was about the amazing grace of GOD, my story was meant as backstory to the story of how Great GOD is ¬†when even an individual such as myself …says ..Yes..And that if he could have mercy on me, someone no one wanted, who knew their value in this world was not counted as much. But yet the creator of the heaven’s and earth thought me valuable enough to whisper my name. Which by the way means “valued of the Lord”. Then my friend there is an answer for you too. I think it is so cool that¬†God know’s what we need before we take our first breath and I am proof of that…and my name Iola was GOD’s way of making sure someday I would realize that He had always considered me of great value to Him.

So over sharing seems to be a terrible habit I can’t seem to break and here I go again….. I’ve been in a writing rut….not liking the word’s I write and getting stuck in what am I doing this for anyway? and …besides there are already a million great stories out there and who needs the stress and aggravation anyway? Well apparently I do ūüôā

I read several great pieces and a few not so great …of advice and have decided to take myself out of the pressure cooker of trying to get published or self publishing, which is a cooker in itself and get back to why I love to write..and if I publish great, but if not that is fine too.

I often think of my Gram who was a great creator. Her health was not very good for a great part of her life but that did not stop her from making amazing blankets, quilts, crochet afghans, toys, clothes, and a zillon other types of projects. She was making beautiful stockings to give my children the day before she passed away.  And she was not doing it for the dollar she did it because she enjoyed it and what she created brought great joy to me and others. I want my joy back. The joy that comes from creating without expectation.


Reading Recommended:

Read Ecclesiastes, [the Bible] This small book of the bible gives you great perspective…Genesis One is beautiful …Psalms 1-4 and reading through Mark

Joel Osteen’s New book I Am is good…a little heavy in the getting more bigger better department..but if you can balance that with the beauty of the Bible it really is an encouraging read..remember balance…

Monica Leonelle ebook for writers “The 8 minute writing habit” is worth the price ¬†and offers good advice.

Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert ..is good but has some curse words and can feel a bit new agey…but it was worth reading for me ..because it was one of those books I needed to read …right time kind of situations.

Goodnight Mr.Wodehouse by Minnesota writer Faith Sullivan was an enjoyable read..it felt nostalgic and reminiscent, which I enjoyed and was in the mood for such a read.

So, I read this little e book called The 8 minute writing habit: by Monica Leonelle……and… I read Elizabeth Gilbert’s book ¬†Big Magic and I read a lot of Bible scripture…I recommend all three. ¬†Monica’s little book was encouraging and so I gave her challenge a try and it did help ..that along with a couple key pieces of wisdom from Big Magic….I will take care of the writing and not expect it to take of me…In the Bible the scriptures tell me there is nothing new under the sun and that it is enough to enjoy what I am doing. I believe GOD with lead me in the way I should go.

I will leave you with a poem that I am going to free write..and see where it goes.

My Road~~

A reckless wind blew through my soul

I heard it whisper,

This way go…

along a twisting  winding road,

Leading me where I never thought to go

Sometimes covered with ice and snow

I met my love along the way,

Traveling together

We chose a vagabond life,

We had each other,

Together we were stronger,

But before I was ready he had to leave me alone.

To finish the journey on my own

Blistering heat burned my eyes

relieved by the tears I cried

A Gentle breeze cooled my brow and whispered keep going you don’t have far now.

I’m still traveling the narrow road

wondering if the next bend will lead me home.

by: iola

What do you think?


It doesn’t have to be great to create…Write on! ¬†¬†Right on!




When I say…”Be Blessed”

What I am really saying is …

Be happy, Be fortunate, Be enviable.

and what does it mean to be enviable? I’m glad you asked !

It means that you are so full of joy, peace and love that others will

be drawn to you and want, what you have.

They will be thirsty for the living  water they see flowing in you, through you and out to others.

So Be Blessed Always~


Psalm 32:1-2 (Amplified)

Blessed (Happy, fortunate, to be envied) is he who has forgiveness of his transgression continually exercised upon him, whose sin is covered.

Blessed (happy, fortunate, to be envied) is the man to whom the Lord imputes no iniquity and in whose spirit there is no deceit.


Congratulations ~

To the winners of the Goodreads.com book giveaway contest! I will be trotting your books down to the post office this afternoon. ¬†I hope that you will enjoy reading “Mattie’s Legacy” and will leave a rave review (wink wink smile) on Amazon, Goodreads, where ever and when ever you talk about books, friends, family, neighbors, clerks, on the street corner with a bull horn.

Thanks to everyone for entering and maybe we can do it again sometime.

All the Best of Everything Good and Wonderful to all, always ~

Giveaway at Goodreads.com Ends in Two Days

If you would like the chance to win a free copy of Mattie’s Legacy you still have time to enter the contest at goodreads.com . The contest ends in two days on September 27th.

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Mattie's Legacy by Iola Reneau

Mattie’s Legacy

by Iola Reneau

Giveaway ends September 27, 2015.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter Giveaway