Monthly Archives: January 2016

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The Graduation

We all have parents or grandparents that have shared their life stories with us. Some of us listened out of politeness while other listened eagerly as we learned about the past. The Graduation was my way of honoring my mother by telling her story – a story that I heard several times and yet was always fascinated by. Tempie Ruth was a remarkable woman who grew up in rural North Carolina during a time when education was not considered a need for women, especially women of color. And yet despite all the hardships she faced, she was determined to obtain her high school diploma. Her story was a story of strength and determination.

Because she believed so strongly in education she instilled that thirst for knowledge into her children and thus established a new generation of educated people in her lineage. It all started with a country girl’s dream that she could be more; so she made that long walk down dirt roads in the dark to catch a dilapidated bus. Mom fought for her education with every step she took; an education that so many wanted to deny her because of her gender and color. Mom graduated from high school in 1945.
Fast forward to today, when you have buses that pull up in front of your house and yet the dropout rate for kids is unbelievable. Strength, drive, courage, and determination should not just be words assigned to a bygone era.

The Graduation has been featured in Cultural Resources – The African American Lectionary. See link below.

It was read by Shawanna Copeland in a YouTube video – see link below.

Education is one of the keys that can lead to unlocking the door to your success. Have an inspired day!

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Why writing?

That question is one that always amuses me. I don’t think one chooses to be a writer any more than one opts to be a teacher, social worker, policeman or fireman. I think that some talents and traits are just more suited for certain career paths. We go where the passion in life leads us. For teachers it is about educating the next generation. For social workers – they want to save the world (I know that from personal experience), one person and family at a time. For police officers they risk their lives to protect and serve others and the same is true for fireman. We all have a passion for something and some of us are blessed enough to pursue our passions. For a writer, I think, it is the need share a story. To allow those characters that are playing around in your head to see the light of day. And you hope that others enjoy your characters as much as you enjoyed watching them dance across the pages to come to life.

For me, the first real story that I drafted was in junior high school. Our instructions included taking a current movie, one in which we did not like the ending, and creating a new ending. Without giving away my age, the movie I selected had to do with a female crime fighter. My ending included a love interest for our heroine (no surprise there – I love a good romance story). My instructor told me that I had a “unique” writing style. I remember that word “unique” standing out because uniqueness is not always a good thing. At least in my world – that is right up there with having a quirky personality. It depends on who utters those words and your frame of mind when hearing those words as to how it is perceived. Anyway, I digress – that story earned me a B+. Other stories came to follow and for that teacher, he started me on a path of creativity. Teachers play such an important role in the lives of their students; their words, whether those of encouragement or constructive criticism, can have a profound impact. To all those teachers out there who doubt their calling – please know that you make such a profound and lasting difference. Thank you!

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About me

0100beb8efde544e5a269f16a864004dc34a139715Hi, my name is Bernetta. I’m a wife, mom, writer and co-founder of Luminous Expressions. I believe that we should allow the positive side of life to rule our decision making. The old adage that the glass is half full verses half empty is my personal philosophy. Recently, I had several friends suggest that I do a blog. My wonderful husband and I have been married 31 years (that’s right, I was a child bride), and he is still my best friend and confidant. For some reason, the fact that we have such a loving and endearing marriage has others believing that we have some secret formula to a successful marriage. We had the pleasure of raising two amazing sons. So to say that I’m a romantic is an understatement. I believe in finding that one person in all the world that you are truly meant to walk through life with.

My blog will be focused on writing, romance, family and those things that truly inspire me. Hence, the name – Luminous Inspirations. I’ve been blessed to be a part of the Chicken Soup for the Soul family as a contributing author with three short stories published in the following books: Chicken Soup for the African American Woman’s Soul (The Graduation); Chicken Soup for the Beach Lover’s Soul (Sunset ); and Chicken Soup for the Working Mom’s Soul (Back in the Saddle Again).

Check out our website and some of the amazing writers hosted on You can also find my two romance books on Amazon. Those titles are: Second Chances and Etched Upon My Heart.      

Until next time, happy reading.

You can reach me at