January 14, 2009

Memoir & Writing: K. L. Belvin, author of A Man in Transition

The Author

K.L. Belvin was born and continues to reside, in South Jamaica, New York. At 41, he is a father of four, teacher for the New York City Department of Education for over eleven years, a born again Christian, and is recently re-married. His lovely supportive wife is his strength, best friend, and editor of most of his work. Together they started and run Bravin Publishing, LLC. In June 2008, they released Belvin's first manuscript called A Man in Transition, a book of poems, stories and personal observations.

In the future, they hope to be able to give authors a home where they can have their work published and read without the worry of being taken advantage of, all while showing a united front in marriage and business. The creation of Bravin Publishing is Belvin's way of presenting himself as a role model for today’s youth and the African American community.

Belvin obtained his A.S. in business from Kingsborough Community College; City University of New York, a B.S. in education from York College; City University of New York, and he holds a master’s degree in education, specializing in curriculum writing, assessments and teaching from Walden University. He anticipates beginning his Ph.D. studies in 2009.

You can learn more about K.L. Belvin at his website, his MySpace page, and on his blog.

About the Book

Through K.L. Belvin's words:

What do you call a man who cheated on his wife numerous times, fathered multiple children, was driven by his ego, drank, and partied as if there wasn’t a tomorrow and even turned one of his children into the police? Through his new found life with the Lord, today he is a devoted husband who loves his wife with each breath, takes care of all his children, and honors his responsibilities. He holds a master’s degree in education while teaching today’s teens. He now spends his time trying to heal others who were on the same path he was to destruction. In each poem, you will see "A Man in Transition”.

Through poetry, short stories and observations, I offer you a glimpse into my life as misogynistic adult, turned master of education. Reared by my mother, grandmother, and for a short time great grandmother, I open a window into the interpretations of life from the perspective of a Christian educator.

Teaching today’s young black males, many growing up without their fathers or significant male role models, I use poetry to show masculinity instead of the usual choices offered to so many. “A Man in Transition" speaks to the center of this changed man’s heart while providing a glimpse into a past that will make you shake your head.

Click the cover to order your copy of A Man in Transition today!

On Memoir Writing

What do you think is the lure of memoirs for readers?
The lure of a memoir to readers is the self identification with the writer. Readers are a different type of person. They use reading as a means of escape. In a memoir, the idea that you stand in the place of the writer and live their life throughout the pages is too attractive for some to steer away from. I also think the lure is the judgment of a person and or their actions. People make decisions everyday based on judging the actions of others. To be able to do the same with an author is a sense of power. There is no one to tell you wrong or right with whatever you judgmental path you take. Each page becomes justification or renouncement of how you feel towards a particular author’s personal journey. For many there is no way to resist the opportunity.

Do you think there is a bit of egotism on the part of the writer who focuses on memoirs as a mean to “tell stories”?
I wouldn’t call it egotism on the author's part. There are times you want to use your life to simply tell a story so those that reader can get a clear picture of what you’re trying to offer the world. In some manner I believe it’s more therapeutic than egotistical. I don’t feel authors jump up and down and say see me, look over here, my story has to be shared or the world won’t keep spinning. I can’t see it being the motivation. In my book even with the use of poetry, I want my story to be taken in and understood. Not for ego sake but with an idea of helping others to learn from my own mistakes and triumphs. Ego can be held under the microscope with a memoir; however, I don’t see it being the force behind the motivation to write.

Writerly questions: Why did you, as writer, feel compelled to write your story?
Of course. Very rarely as a writer will you simply trust your story to another. You may ask for help but the task of being understood in the written form is a solo feat. A writer knows what parts of their story holds the greatest connection to their soul and that must be told by them in the way that it happen precisely so the reader can look at the words and travel to that moment in time with the writer, thus feeling exactly what they felt and then having to make their own choice of what action should have been followed. If it's similar you’ll get that little smile a reader gives the world. It’s that little “Yes I'm with you and I would have done the same thing.” If the choice is a different one they give another very familiar look; it’s the same look you had when you took a test in school - not of worry but a hint of confusion. The reader now wants to read more to see if you were justified in your actions. A writer knows this and has to make sure their reasoning is clear. That can only be done by writing their own story their way.

Why did you feel compelled to share this story with others?
Now my response is going to border on egotistical but it’s the truth for me. I felt compelled to share my story because I knew there were others who thought my words were going to offer a different visual to some common ideas. For instance, the idea that all men are dogs, my story shows that we can be, but we will change. Much has to happen for the change to occur; nonetheless, the change has still come. Show that there is hope for any man who really wants to make amends for his past sins. There is also the “Once a cheater always a cheater stance”. No we don’t all remain cheaters. My book is my testimony to the Love I have for my wife and how that sustains me now. There was a time it didn’t because I didn’t know how to love me. I share my story in poetry form to bring light to many men who truly want to be someone different than who they have been. The process required humbling myself and giving up the life I had and taking on more of spiritual and religious life. It’s what was needed to serve as an anchor for my wife and me to make it back to happiness. There are other areas that compelled me to write, and they fall along the lines of sharing my thoughts about my feelings for my children. The joys and pains of being an educator in an urban area compels much of what one does. There was also the need to show that poetry can become a means of expression to tell a story in an emotional way. There was a time when poetry was on top, but like tap dancing, it’s a lost art trying to survive. This is why I felt compelled to write. I want to share a piece with you and show how poetry can allow you in to the places of a man’s heart we hide from the world. If other men would reach into their own place and allow people in, so much would be revealed that could heal so many wrongs in the world. Call me a dreamer, but I believe that.


Perfect Woman
(If Only in My Mind)

I ask myself, why I am so lucky. Is there a reason I am so blessed?

But, you’re never supposed to question God’s work. I say God because how do you explain her patience with me.

There is something about the way she understands my needs.

Are there other women who would love another’s children like her own?

Would another woman be strong enough to trust God and take you back when you have tasted someone else’s fruits?

Her soul is pure enough to douse the evil that once filled my own.

My vanity, pride, and smugness have been replaced with concern, endearment, and gratefulness.

I now concern myself with more than just my own needs.

Her smile fills my heart with joy.

Her tears burn at my soul and demand my immediate attention or screams for forgiveness.

I am blessed with an equal, so again I ask why I am so lucky.

Does God see something in me I don’t see? He must.

She is sexy beyond belief, even when she sleeps.

Can that comfortable look come from what I have brought to her life?

The world is funny, one minute you’re all alone, next thing all your dreams are being answered.

Thank you, God!

Well, the only course of action is to leave all my worries, fears, and concerns at God’s feet.

Something about having the right woman makes each day, night, and morning special.

I really do have the perfect woman if only in my mind.

This is how I see my wife, for it is with her I am even a better man than the Lord has made. Combined with her soul, I feel there is nothing I cannot accomplish. That can only be done by submitting one’s life to the Lord and trusting that what He gives back is a perfect you, regardless of what others think and feel.

1 comment:

Klthewriter said...

Good Afternoon Shon,,
Thank You for asking me to offer my insight.. It was a pleasure and honor to respond about Memoir and Writing..
You posted right at a time when I needed a shot in the arm in terms of my writing. God Bless..

K. L.