Day #8 of the Digital Sisterhood Book 11 Day Countdown Campaign: Read Chapter 11 Excerpt


DC Women Entrepreneurial Leaders at DSN Women in Social Media Focus Group, November 2010

DC Women Entrepreneurial Leaders at DSN Women in Social Media Focus Group, November 2010

DC Healthy Living/Green Living/Life Coach/Spiritual/Yoga Social Media Women Leaders at DSN Women in Social Media Focus Group, September 2010

DC Healthy Living/Green Living/Life Coach/Spiritual/Yoga Social Media Women Leaders at DSN Women in Social Media Focus Group, September 2010

Happy Tuesday!

It’s Day #8 of the Digital Sisterhood Book 11 Day Countdown Campaign. Today’s blog post features an excerpt from Chapter 11 of Ananda Leeke’s new book, Digital Sisterhood: A Memoir of Fierce Living Online. The title of Chapter 11 is Finding My Tribe of Digital Sisters. Enjoy!

DC Nonprofit/Social Justice Social Media Women Leaders at DSN Women in Social Media Focus Group, October 2010

DC Nonprofit/Social Justice Social Media Women Leaders at DSN Women in Social Media Focus Group, October 2010

Chapter Eleven: Finding My Tribe of Digital Sisters (Copyright 2013 by Madelyn C. Leeke)

“The new world of online media, social media, blogs, and virtual communities has brought like-minded women closer together than ever before.” Joanne Bamberger, author of Mothers of Intention: How Women & Social Media Are Revolutionizing Politics in America

Throughout my online journey, I have discovered my tribe of digital sisters on social networking sites that focus on niche areas, blogs that maintain an active and supportive audience, and at conferences, events, and meet ups.

Finding My Tribe on Social Networking Sites

After I published Love’s Troubadours, I realized I needed the support of women entrepreneurs who were using the Internet to market and grow their businesses. One of my friends from Black Author Showcase networking site gave me a link to the Black Business Women Online (BBWO), an online network for African-American female entrepreneurs established by LaShanda Henry, an author, web entrepreneur and work-at-home mother.

When Henry launched BBWO, she worked hard to build and encourage a strong sense of community. She made sure the site was filled with an abundance of blogs, discussion forums, groups, and videos that provided information, resources, and training tools to support entrepreneurs at all levels in their businesses. She even added her own e-books including some of my personal favorites, Black Women Online, Create Your Own Ningalicious Network, and Internet Marketing Power.

Today, BBWO is home to over 9,000 members who are some of the most diverse and successful women entrepreneurs. They are unique because they support other women business owners as they promote their businesses. That means they share advice, connect other women to people in their networks, and purchase each other’s products and services. Pam Perry, a PR coach, BlogTalkRadio show host, social media strategist, and chief visionary at Ministry Marketing Solutions, Inc., and Jai Stone, founder of TheBrandCoach.com, are two great examples of BBWO members who give back to the community.

When I started using BBWO on a weekly basis, I read Perry’s articles and watched her videos that were packed with information and strategies that helped me to serve as my own publicist and tap into my network for PR support. One of the biggest treats I got was meeting her in person during the 2010 Blogalicious Weekend Conference where she facilitated an informative session on how to use blogs to market your book and build a tribe. Since then, I have faithfully watched her YouTube channel, listened to her BlogTalkRadio show, and read her blog, SlideShare presentations, tweets, and Facebook status updates for additional advice.

Stone’s strategies on how build a brand and gain brand recognition through the use of social media were instrumental in helping me identify and express my brand in the digital space. In 2012, I finally had a chance to meet her at the Digitini blogger meet up sponsored by Everywhere, a social media firm, in Atlanta. I was able to personally thank her for helping me develop my brand and business. We reconnected and had a peer mentoring session a few months later during the Shop Your Way “Fashionista” Afternoon Tea at the Blogalicious Weekend Conference in Las Vegas.

Finding My Tribe in Blog Communities

While I was writing my memoir, That Which Awakens Me, I discovered Pink Heels, a blog established by Jennifer Moore, a business and career coach and yoga teacher, to empower women to find their passion in their business, career, and lives. Moore’s blog was a cozy digital sanctuary that often found me sipping tea as I read blog posts. Each week, her blog featured interviews with inspiring women including artists, authors, branding specialists, business owners, coaches, marketing consultants, tech professionals, and yoga teachers. They offered best practices and wisdom on a variety of topics.

The Pink Heels blog community was very friendly, helpful, open, positive, and welcoming. They were generous with their kind, insightful, and witty comments. They asked and answered questions and offered feedback that included tons of information, life lessons, and resources. That’s why it was so easy for me to join in the fun!

Through the Pink Heels community, I met women who became my peer mentors. They included Tara Joyce, communication designer, founder of The Rise of the Innerpreneur blog, and writer; Leah Piken Kolidas, founder of Art Every Day Month, an annual art challenge that encourages bloggers to add more creativity to their daily lives by inviting them to make art and post it on their blogs each day in November, and Creative Every Day blog; Jennifer Lee, author, coach, and founder of Artizen Coaching and Life Unfolds blog; and Jamie Ridler, creative living coach and founder of Jamie Ridler Studios and The Next Chapter, an online book blogging group.

Joyce’s Rise of the Innerpreneur blog helped me embrace my identity as an innerpreneur, a person who uses her business to find personal fulfillment and satisfaction through her work. Her blog posts provided resources and tips that guided me in redesigning my business’ mission so that it aligned with my personal growth goals. Her monthly profiles introduced me to a community of like-minded innerpreneurs who shared how they were redefining and achieving success on their own terms.

Kolidas’ Art Every Day Month (AEDM) challenge was just what the art doctor ordered for me in 2008. I was in the middle of making a collection of artwork for That Which Awakens Me and reached a point where I was overthinking my creative process and taking myself way too seriously. My joie de vivre in making art was nonexistent. I needed to rediscover my creative play mojo. So I dived deep into Art Every Day Month and abandoned my thinking cap. I purchased a small sketch book, crayons, magic markers, glue sticks, and construction paper from CVS and placed them in my purse so I could create art on the go. I made whatever my heart felt called to create. I stopped judging my process, criticizing my artwork, and proudly took photos of my artwork and posted them on my author blog and the AEDM Flickr group. Each week, I visited the AEDM blog and Flickr group to read about other bloggers’ creative experiences. I also left comments on their blogs. They began leaving comments on mine. I noticed how our comments created a kindred bond. By the end of the month, my creative heart was wide open.

Lee used her Life Unfolds blog to express her creative heart’s journey from Corporate America to a more authentic life as an artist, author, coach, and entrepreneur. It remains one of my favorite blogs to read. When I first started reading it, I was inspired by how she used her yoga practice and intuitive painting to take better care of herself; reviewed books that gave her golden nuggets of wisdom to share with her blog audience; received guidance and support from her team of advisors, a personal coach, business coach, and mentors; participated in Kolidas’ AEDM Challenge and Jamie Ridler’s The Next Chapter online book blogging group for community and inspiration; utilized collage techniques to chart her goals and develop a vision of her first book, The Right Brain Business Plan: A Creative Visual Map for Success; and shared how she was coping with her book writing process. My connection with Lee was strengthened when we commented on each other’s blogs, discussed her creative journey on my Go Green Sangha Radio show, and had dinner at Teaism while she was visiting D.C.

Joining Ridler’s The Next Chapter online book blogging group was directly influenced by Lee’s earlier participation. Ridler organized the book blogging group by setting up a blog that served as a community gatherings space for women bloggers. They were free to visit, post comments about their experiences and takeaways, ask and respond to questions. The group read a series of creative and self-development books, ranging in topics from creativity to spirituality to money.

The book blogging group was reading 12 Secrets of Highly Creative Women by Gail McMeekin when I joined in January 2009. At the time, I was in search of a community that could encourage and support me as I finished writing That Which Awakens Me. Even though I read McMeekin’s book when it was first published in 2000, reading it with the group was more powerful because we were committed to sharing how each chapter impacted us and our creative journey for twelve weeks in a row. Each week when I read the blog posts written by my fellow group members, I learned I was not the only one who experienced a range of highs and lows during the creative process. I also learned how to take better care of myself and nurture my authentic expression.

The next two books that we read included Wreck This Journal by Keri Smith, a book that encouraged the spirit of play and silliness in art making, and The Joy Diet by Martha Beck, a book that helped me identify, embrace, forgive, listen to, and set healthy boundaries with my inner critic. I continued to use the book blogging group as a source of support during my final editing process for That Which Awakens Me.

Finding My Tribe at Conferences

2009 marked the year I witnessed the power of women in social media in real time. It started with an email I received from my digital sister, Jessica Solomon, founder of The Saartjie Project, about the Feminism 2.0 Conference (Fem 2.0). After visiting the Fem 2.0 web site and learning that it was a pro bono project of Turner Strategies that examined the presence and power of women online, and the connection between new media and women’s advocacy, I made the decision to attend the conference.

Fem 2.0 conference organizers worked with 14 women’s organizations, new media entities, and online networks to produce a one-day conference that took place on February 2, 2009, at George Washington University in D.C. Their efforts gathered over 250 diverse women of African, Asian, European, and Latina descent. It was truly powerful to witness the interaction of every generation of modern womanhood: baby boomers, Gen X, Gen Y, and millennials. Women who defined and embraced their own definition of feminist, womanist, and empowered woman were present. Women who chose not to identify with any labels were also there.

During the conference, I attended the “At the Cross Roads: Organizing the Next Generation of Feminists Online and Off” session. The energy surrounding the conversations in that session reminded me of the conversations I had with women during the UN Conference for Women in 1995. It was inspiring to watch women having a “meeting of minds” across generations and media platforms. I carried this feeling with me throughout the rest of the conference. When I ended my day, I realized I had found a community of sisters and tapped into a powerful network of women online.

9781491706398_COVER_FQA.indd

You can purchase Digital Sisterhood on Amazon.com.

If you are in Washington, D.C. on October 19, please plan to attend Ananda’s author talk and book reading from 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. at the Joan Hisaoka Healing Arts Gallery, 1632 U Street, NW (three blocks from the U Street/Cardozo Green Line Metro Station). Click here to register for the event. See you on October 19th!

Day #7 of the Digital Sisterhood Book 11 Day Countdown Campaign: Read Chapter 9 Excerpt


Happy Monday!

It’s Day #7 of the Digital Sisterhood Book 11 Day Countdown Campaign. Today’s blog post features an excerpt from Chapter 9 of Ananda Leeke’s new book, Digital Sisterhood: A Memoir of Fierce Living Online. The title of Chapter 9 is Blogging Sets My Writer Spirit Free. It discusses how Ananda started blogging in 2005 and the lessons she learned.

Photo Credit: Leigh Mosley, www.leighmosley.com

Photo Credit: Leigh Mosley, http://www.leighmosley.com

Chapter Nine: Blogging Sets My Writer Spirit Free (Copyright 2013 by Madelyn C. Leeke)

“I love blogs, and I also love the concept behind blogs: the juicy meta of this idea that you can represent yourself, your ideas, your work, your thoughts, your art – a random or wild or skillful or free or calculated version of the nexus of artist – person – marketer – public private self in html for the world to jump into like a birdbath, squawking back about what they see.” Deb Rox, author of Five Ways to Blank Your Blog

My debut novel, Love’s Troubadours – Karma: Book One brought me to blogging. Wayne P. Henry, my book editor, suggested I try blogging as a way to overcome my writer’s block and to establish a regular writing practice. Wayne thought blogging on a regular basis would help me relax and surrender to the natural flow of my creative process. Desperate, I pushed past my own skepticism.

On February 1, 2005, I posted a poem on my author blog hosted by Blogger.com. In that moment, I knew exactly what Yoani Sanchez, author of Havana Real: One Woman Fights to Tell the Truth about Cuba Today, felt when she wrote, “I’ve only written a few lines, but now I am a blogger.” For the first two years, my blog served as a safe haven. I blogged about my writing journey, archived my research for my novel, and shared excerpts from my draft manuscript. Most of my research included articles, quotes, photos, YouTube videos, and links to blogs and web sites related to Love’s Troubadours’ characters and subject matters. They included Afro-Latinos, art, Black men and women, Buddhism, chess, fashion, feminism, historically Black colleges and universities, Haitian art and culture, home décor, Indian culture and history, London, music, museums, online dating, popular culture, spoken word poetry, travel, women’s issues, and yoga.

The more I blogged, the freer I felt in my writing practice. After a few weeks of blogging, my goal of developing a consistent writing practice began to manifest. I was able to use parts of my blog posts as dialogue or background in my novel. In addition, I developed a weekly ritual of reading other blogs such as Cathy Delaleu’s Lyrically I am Yours, a Haitian-influenced art and poetry blog; and Natalie Lue’s Baggage Reclaim, a London-based dating and relationship blog. Each time I visited these blogs, I learned how other bloggers shared their life experiences and interests. They used stories, diary entries, essays, prayers, poetry, photos, podcasts and videos to communicate their authentic voices. I also learned how they interacted with their blog readers through the discussions held in their comment sections.

My blogging life expanded in 2006 when I joined Myspace, a popular social networking site used by a lot of musicians and creative professionals at the time. I used my Myspace blog to cross-post my author blog posts. I also started following people who shared the same interests in art, books, films, music, popular culture, self-care, and spoken word. I read their status updates and blogs, watched their videos, and left comments on their pages. Several people like author and filmmaker Abiola Abrams and Yasmin Coleman, founder of A Place of Our Own Books and Book Club, started following me back and commenting on my page. We developed a social networking relationship that caused them to visit my author blog and leave comments on a regular basis. They also shared my blog links with their network.

After I published Love’s Troubadours in August 2007, I was able to tap into my author blog and Myspace audience for author interviews and support with my online book party and virtual book tour. Joining Black Author Showcase, a social networking site for African American authors, literary professionals, book clubs, and readers that was established by Diane Williams, Stanford Battle, and Rey O. Harris, gave me valuable information on how to use social media as an author. It broadened my book’s audience, exposed me to writing and publishing resources, and introduced me to new social networking sites. I also cross-posted my author blogs, became friends with many members and left comments on their pages, participated in the discussion forums, and shared helpful information and lessons learned from my author journey. As a result of my active participation, I was selected as Member of the Month and was interviewed on Black Author Showcase’s Talkshoe.com radio show in February 2008.

Later that year, I began using my author blog as an online journal for my second book, That Which Awakens Me: A Creative Woman’s Poetic Memoir of Self-Discovery. Many of my blog posts that featured artwork, poetry, reflections, and stories were included in the book. I also started attending blogging conferences like Blogging While Brown, the first international conference for bloggers of color. This experience deepened my understanding of social media, strengthened my online relationships with fellow bloggers, inspired me to explore podcasting and video blogging, and created a network of support for my book launch.

By the time I published That Which Awakens Me in 2009, my blogging life had helped me to:

  • Identify and sustain my passion for writing books.
  • Maintain a regular writing practice.
  • Overcome writer’s block.
  • Communicate and stay connected to my audience which included readers, workshop participants, and creativity coaching clients.
  • Create and experiment with content for my books.
  • Give back to others by sharing helpful information.
  • Promote and market my books and services as a writer, speaker, coach, and workshop facilitator.
  • Generate content that could be used in author talks and interviews.
  • Obtain interviews and positive media coverage in print and new media.
  • Learn about and stay updated on social media and the ways authors use the tools to promote their work and services.

My podcasting and video blogging became the centerpiece of my digital life after That Which Awakens Me was published. Although I maintained my author and yoga blogs on a weekly basis, I increased the time I spent communicating with my audience on Facebook, LinkedIn, Ning.com social networking sites, and Twitter. I also began experimenting with several podcasts, live streaming shows on Stickham.com and UStream.tv, and videos about my author journey, creativity coaching, yoga practice, and passion for entrepreneurism, green living, women in social media, and spirituality.

It’s been nine years since I entered the blogosphere. My author and yoga blogs have been incorporated into one blog that captures my adventures as a creative professional, yoga teacher, and Internet geek. With the support of an editorial calendar, I write about yoga-inspired topics on Yoga Mondays; social media and technology on Internet Tuesdays; and the arts and creativity on Creativity Thursdays. My passion for fashion, food, fun, and my D.C. lifestyle is expressed on my Tumblr blog, Ananda@16thandU: Lifestylista in Love with DC. With this blog, I don’t adhere to a blogging schedule. I do it when I have something to say which means there are times when it goes weeks without an update.

Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and Twitter are essential to my blogging life. They serve as my go-to source for audience engagement, content distribution, information sharing, and networking. I also my email lists, niche communities like BlogHer and SheWrites.com, and StumbleUpon, a web search engine that identifies and recommends content to its users, to share my blogs’ content.

I’m still a diehard fan of podcasting, live streaming, and video. Digital photography and photo-sharing sites like Flickr, Instagram, and Pinterest have become my new favorites. I enjoy sharing photos from these sites in my blog posts, tweets, and Facebook status updates.

 

9781491706398_COVER_FQA.indd

You can purchase Digital Sisterhood on Amazon.com.

If you are in Washington, D.C. on October 19, please plan to attend Ananda’s author talk and book reading from 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. at the Joan Hisaoka Healing Arts Gallery, 1632 U Street, NW (three blocks from the U Street/Cardozo Green Line Metro Station). Click here to register for the event. See you on October 19th!

Day #6 of the Digital Sisterhood Book 11 Day Countdown Campaign: Read Chapter 3 Excerpt


Happy Sunday!

It’s Day #6 of the Digital Sisterhood Book 11 Day Countdown Campaign. Today’s blog post features an excerpt from Chapter 3 of Ananda Leeke’s new book, Digital Sisterhood: A Memoir of Fierce Living Online. The title of Chapter 3 is In the Beginning Was the Click. it discusses the first time Ananda logged onto the world wide web as a first year law student at Howard University School of Law in 1986.

Photo Credit: www.howard.edu

Photo Credit: http://www.howard.edu

Chapter Three: In the Beginning Was the Click (Copyright 2013 by Madelyn C. Leeke)

“I never expected to be a techie” Esther Dyson, author of Release 2.1: A Design for Living in the Digital Age

Never, and I say never, did I expect to be a techie, geek, or computer lover. I didn’t see it coming. It happened with my first click in 1986. Terrified is the best word to describe my mental state as I sat watching my first-year law classmate Lisa turn on a desktop computer in the Howard University Law Library. I had spent four years at Morgan State University avoiding computers and the computer lab despite the warnings of my computer science major roommate that they were an inevitable part of everyone’s future. Her geek girl warning made no sense to me. What did a French major like me need with a computer? It was hard to understand (said my inner technophobe). If I touched it the wrong way, I could easily break it (like the other electronic gadgets I killed in my past) and pay a fortune to have it fixed. I thought,  “Hey, it’s the 80s and an electric typewriter got me through high school and college, and will do the same for law school.” My first legal writing class homework assignment required me to learn how to use LexisNexis, an online legal research and news database service. It destroyed my typewriter strategy.

Panic set in as I pulled my chair next to Lisa’s. I was about to lose my digital virginity.  She made room for me to sit directly in front of the computer and guided me as I typed in my log on information. When I saw the LexisNexis logo appear on the screen, I imagined a world of danger would follow. We did several practice searches that were surprisingly easy. Then she showed me how I could access current news from the Washington Post. As a self-proclaimed news junkie, that became my piece de resistance! My fear of danger disappeared. It was replaced with what I now call the Internet geek thirst.  I sat at the computer for the next 45 minutes with a goofy smile plastered across my face and my eyes pressed to the screen scanning a plethora of articles. It was official. I had made my debut as a web-utante (a phrase I discovered while reading the November 2011 issue of Glamour)!

The computer and LexisNexis became my new BFFs. My only wish was that we had more time together. I dreamed of having a LexisNexis connection at home. Our relationship deepened during my first summer legal internship at the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law in Boston, Massachusetts. A second-year legal intern taught me how to use LexisNexis to conduct searches about potential employers, a skill I practiced frequently during my fall interviews as a second-year student.

At the end of my second year, I landed a summer law clerk position in the legal department of The MAXIMA Corporation, a computer firm, in Rockville, Maryland. My supervisor, David R. Smith, MAXIMA’s General Counsel, assigned me to work with a computer programmer in one of MAXIMA’s subsidiaries. My job was to interview the computer programmer and prepare a timeline of facts to support one of MAXIMA’s lawsuits. During the process, I developed a basic understanding of computer programming terms and how the subsidiary operated. By the end of the summer, I had become friends with several people who worked for the subsidiary and made a point to stay updated on their work. I used the LexisNexis computer in MAXIMA’s legal department to research articles about the topics we discussed.

My third year of law school began with an invitation to extend my MAXIMA law clerkship. There was no hesitation in my voice when I accepted. How could I walk away from an employment experience that felt more like play than work? How could I pass up a chance to learn more about computers? How could I deprive myself of unlimited access to LexisNexis without having to compete with my classmates for time at Howard’s Law Library? I couldn’t. There was no turning back. My summer MAXIMA crush had developed into a full-blown love affair!

9781491706398_COVER_FQA.indd

You can purchase Digital Sisterhood on Amazon.com.

If you are in Washington, D.C. on October 19, please plan to attend Ananda’s author talk and book reading from 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. at the Joan Hisaoka Healing Arts Gallery, 1632 U Street, NW (three blocks from the U Street/Cardozo Green Line Metro Station). Click here to register for the event. See you on October 19th!

Day #5 of the Digital Sisterhood Book 11 Day Countdown Campaign: Read Chapter 2 Excerpt


Happy Saturday! It’s Day #5 of the Digital Sisterhood Book 11 Day Countdown Campaign. Today’s blog features an excerpt from Chapter 2 of Ananda Leeke’s new book, Digital Sisterhood: A Memoir of Fierce Living Online. The title of Chapter 2 is Truth: I Am My Mother’s Daughter. It discusses the impact Ananda’s mother, Theresa B. Leeke has had on her life and digital experiences.

Theresa B. Leeke

Theresa B. Leeke

Theresa and Ananda Leeke

Theresa and Ananda Leeke

Chapter Two: Truth: I Am My Mother’s Daughter (Copyright 2013 by Madelyn C. Leeke)

“Information, media, and technology opened up a new world for me.” Theresa B. Leeke

One morning while I was sitting at the 16th and U Starbucks drinking my Venti decaf Café Americano with three pumps of raspberry and a dash of my own rice milk, thoughts about my mother Theresa occupied my brain when I should have been writing this book. Little did I know those thoughts would inspire this chapter. Don’t you just love how the universe and the creative muse conspire to work it all out?

Musician. Feminist. Sorority Leader. Educator. Traveler. A former paper girl with a newspaper route and dreams of being a radio DJ in Indianapolis, Indiana. These are just a few words that describe my mother. Her passion for information, media, and technology decorated the landscape of my childhood. It started with her listening to an early morning radio show, WTOP-AM. The show provided updates on local news, politics, traffic, weather, and school closings. My mother was in the know 24/7/365.

Her passion embraced the headlines of the Washington Post newspaper and the evening news on television. It also greeted me each week when JET magazine, the Indianapolis Recorder newspaper, and the Catholic Standard newspaper arrived in the mailbox. Each month it showed up when her favorite magazines, Ebony, Essence, and Ms. appeared on my family’s kitchen table. Because of her voracious media appetite, my brain inhaled it all!

When I turned 13, I developed a healthy appetite for lipstick, fashion, entertainment, and women’s issues as a result of reading my mother’s Essence and Ms. magazines, and discovering my own favorites, Mademoiselle, Glamour, Right On!, and Vogue. All of the articles I read inspired my desire to expand my wardrobe while I was a seventh grader at Kenmoor Junior High School in Landover, Maryland. I begged my parents for money to purchase outfits, shoes, and accessories. My mother told me I would have to make do with what she and my father already purchased unless I found a job. She suggested I consider becoming a paper girl like she was when she was in elementary school because it would allow me to earn my own money and spend it the way I liked. The power of being able to earn and spend my own money excited me. So I talked to my brothers, Mike and Mark, who were ready to retire from delivering the Washington Star, the local evening paper. They gave me an opportunity to shadow them on their afternoon route and weekly collection process. It didn’t take me long to fall in love with being the neighborhood paper girl. I even expanded my paper delivery enterprise to include the Washington Post, the daily morning paper, when I entered the eighth grade. That move helped me acquire a deep desire to always read the Style, Business, and Metro sections before reading any other part of the paper (I still do it today!).

Nowadays, my mother’s passion for information, media, and technology is still going strong. Her favorite news sources have expanded to include CNN and MSNBC; the Washington Post, Washington Afro-American, Washington Informer, Prince George’s Journal, Catholic Standard, and Indianapolis Recorder newspapers; and WHUR-FM and WTOP-AM radio stations. Her magazine collection includes Black Enterprise, Ebony, Essence, Good Housekeeping, Heart and Soul, JET, Prevention, Real Simple, Soap Opera Digest, and The Oprah Magazine.

She has one laptop for her music and work as the director of liturgical music and gospel choir director for her Catholic church. Her second laptop is used to access the Internet, email, online banking, Amazon.com, and her work with Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Inc. and the Phyllis Wheatley YWCA. Whenever she travels, one of her laptops goes with her. Her iPod is loaded with gospel music to keep her company. Hotel WiFi service and business centers are essential to making her stay a favorable one.

YouTube is one of her favorite places to visit online. She enjoys watching videos featuring gospel music singers and musicians. They help her prepare and select music for her church’s weekly Masses and concerts. She also shares them with her choir members as a way of introducing them to new music.

Facebook is her online community du jour. She uses it to stay in touch with family, friends, former students she taught in the D.C. and Maryland Catholic schools, sorority members, and colleagues. Her Facebook status updates give voice to her spiritual inspirations from Joyce Meyer to Joel Osteen, her feminist perspective and commitment to women’s rights, her support of President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama, her commentary on popular culture, and her sense of humor. Her digital camera allows her to capture, post, and share photos with family and friends on Facebook. Her membership in various Facebook groups fuels her community building spirit.

One of her best friends is her Samsung Galaxy smartphone. It keeps her plugged into her email and accessible via text to family, friends, and people she is working with through her church, sorority, and community organizations. Skype has allowed her to maintain a long distance connection to family and friends who live in other states and countries.

9781491706398_COVER_FQA.indd

You can purchase Digital Sisterhood on Amazon.com.

If you are in Washington, D.C. on October 19, please plan to attend Ananda’s author talk and book reading from 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. at the Joan Hisaoka Healing Arts Gallery, 1632 U Street, NW (three blocks from the U Street/Cardozo Green Line Metro Station). Click here to register for the event. See you on October 19th!

Day #4 of the Digital Sisterhood Book 11 Day Countdown Campaign: Listen to Audio Blog of Chapter 1 Excerpt


Happy Friday!

Today marks Day #4 of the Digital Sisterhood Book 11 Day Countdown. This morning, author Ananda Leeke recorded an audio blog that features an excerpt of Chapter 1 from her new book, Digital Sisterhood: A Memoir of Fierce Living Online. The title of Chapter 1 is Imagining the Digital Footprint of My Womanline. The excerpt introduces you to her great-grandmother Eunice Ann Thomas Roberts and explores what she thinks her digital footprint would look like today. Click here to listen to the audio blog.

Online Events:

Mark your calendars for several author chats with Ananda in October and November.

1) October 23 @ 9-10:00pm EST – Author Twitter Chat – Follow @digitalsisterhd on Twitter. Use the hashtag #digitalsisterhood and Tweetgrid.com, Tweetchat.com, or Hootsuite to participate in the conversation.

2) October 30 @ 9-9:30pm EST – Digital Sisterhood Radio Author Chat – Click here to listen to the show. The radio show has a chat room that allows you to ask questions and make comments. The show will provide live tweeting. This means that you can ask questions and make comments on Twitter too. Follow @digitalsisterhd on Twitter. Use the hashtag #digitalsisterhood and Tweetgrid.com, Tweetchat.com, or Hootsuite to participate in the conversation.

3) November 13 @ 9-9:30 p.m. EST – Google Hangout Author Chat – Visit Ananda’s Google+ Page for more details.

9781491706398_COVER_FQA.inddYou can purchase Digital Sisterhood on Amazon.com.

If you are in Washington, D.C. on October 19, please plan to attend my author talk and book reading from 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. at the Joan Hisaoka Healing Arts Gallery, 1632 U Street, NW (three blocks from the U Street/Cardozo Green Line Metro Station). Click here to register for the event. See you on October 19th!

Day #3 of the Digital Sisterhood Book 11 Day Countdown Campaign: DS Wisdom of Diverse Women


It’s Day #3 of the Digital Sisterhood Book 11 Day Countdown Campaign. Today’s blog post shares the meaning of digital sisterhood as seen through the eyes of various digital sisters who have inspired and influenced author Ananda Leeke.

Early on in her writing process, Ananda realized that her book, Digital Sisterhood: A Memoir of Fierce Living Online, was deeply rooted in the community of women she has come to know via the world wide web. That’s why she made sure to share digital sisterhood wisdom from a diverse group of women in the first pages of the book. Check out the diverse women’s wisdom below.

Photo Credit: Jacqui Chew

Photo Credit: Jacqui Chew

“Digital sisterhood is a state of mind. It is about empowerment and respecting diversity.” Jacqui Chew, founder of iFusion Marketing

Photo Credit: Ebony Utley

Photo Credit: Ebony Utley

“Digital sisterhood means that women feel like they have a safe space to say what they want to say.” Ebony Utley, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Communication Studies at California State University, Long Beach, author, Ms. blogger, and 2012 Digital Sister of the Year

Photo Credit: Everywhere.com

Photo Credit: Everywhere.com

“Digital sisterhood allows us to connect with each other outside of our comfort zone.” Danica Kombol, founder of Beirut or Bust: Curious Travel Adventures and Random Thoughts blog, co-founder and managing partner of Everywhere, and 2012 Digital Sister of the Year

Photo Credit: Stacey Milbern

Photo Credit: Stacey Milbern

“Digital sisterhood is all I had. When I was blogging, I was writing to my sisters.” Stacey Milbern, founder of Crip Chick blog and 2011 Digital Sister of the Year

Photo Credit: Monica Coleman

Photo Credit: Monica Coleman

“Digital sisterhood is the kind of sisterhood that can be created without knowing somebody in person, but knowing them through media.  It is the sharing about sisterhood, and the creation and connection of sisterhood in digital media.” Reverend Monica A. Coleman, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Constructive Theology and African American Religions at Claremont School of Theology, author, founder of Beautiful Mind blog, and 2012 Digital Sister of the Year

Photo Credit: Willa Shalit

Photo Credit: Willa Shalit

“Digital sisterhood is females who are connected through energy rather than blood. And you know energy passes much greater distances and is much lighter, and much more powerful.” Willa Shalit, artist, author, founder of Fairwinds Trading, co-founder of Maiden Nation, and 2012 Digital Sister of the Year

Photo Credit: Julie Diaz Asper

Photo Credit: Julie Diaz Asper

“Digital sisterhood for a lot of folks is the first time that they can find new tribes locally. Digital sisterhood is taking sisterhood and magnifying it because now you can go and find all types of people who have similar interests, and build communities offline.” Julie Diaz-Asper, Chief Executive Officer and co-founder of GigGoin and Social Lens Research, and 2012 Digital Sister of the Year

Photo Credit: Karon Jolna

Photo Credit: Karon Jolna

“Digital sisterhood is a movement and it is an extension of the movements that came before it.”  Karon Jolna, Ph.D., Research Scholar at the University of California at Los Angeles’ Center for the Study of Women, and Program Director for Ms. in the Classroom

9781491706398_COVER_FQA.indd

You can purchase Digital Sisterhood on Amazon.com.

If you are in Washington, D.C. on October 19, please plan to attend Ananda’s author talk and book reading from 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. at the Joan Hisaoka Healing Arts Gallery, 1632 U Street, NW (three blocks from the U Street/Cardozo Green Line Metro Station). Click here to register for the event. See you on October 19th!

Day #2 of the Digital Sisterhood Book 11 Day Countdown Campaign – Listen to Audio Blog


Happy Digital Sisterhood Wednesday!

It’s Day #2 of the Digital Sisterhood Book 11 Day Countdown Campaign.

Some of the books Ananda Leeke read while writing Digital Sisterhood book.

Some of the books Ananda Leeke read while writing Digital Sisterhood book.

When Ananda Leeke writes a book, she reads lots and lots of books. Reading other writers’ words helps her expand her own knowledge base. It also helps her to become a better writer.

Listen to Ananda ‘s audio blog about some of the books she read while writing her new book, Digital Sisterhood: A Memoir of Fierce Living Online.

9781491706398_COVER_FQA.indd

You can purchase Digital Sisterhood on Amazon.com.

If you are in Washington, D.C. on October 19, please plan to attend Ananda’s author talk and book reading from 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. at the Joan Hisaoka Healing Arts Gallery, 1632 U Street, NW (three blocks from the U Street/Cardozo Green Line Metro Station). Click here to register for the event. See you on October 19th!

Launch of Digital Sisterhood Book 11 Day Countdown to 10/19 DC Book Reading – Day #1


Today marks the launch of the Digital Sisterhood Book 11 Day Countdown to 10/19 DC Book Reading. For the next 11 days, Digital Sisterhood Network will be sharing audio blogs, blog posts, photos, radio shows, and videos that offer an inside look into author Ananda Leeke’s book writing and publishing journey

Photo Credit: VoiceBo

Photo Credit: VoiceBo

For Day #1 of the Countdown, we invite you to listen to a VoiceBo audio blog (4 minutes) that features Ananda reading an excerpt from her Digital Sisterhood book introduction. Also, check out her Internet Geek Tuesday blog post that includes an excerpt from her author interview (published in book).

9781491706398_COVER_FQA.indd

Reminders:

You can purchase Digital Sisterhood on Amazon.com.

If you are in Washington, D.C. on October 19, please plan to attend my author talk and book reading from 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. at the Joan Hisaoka Healing Arts Gallery, 1632 U Street, NW (three blocks from the U Street/Cardozo Green Line Metro Station). Click here to register for the event. See you on October 19th!

9 Things You Can Do Before October 19th Book Reading:

Great News: Ananda Leeke’s New Digital Sisterhood Book Available on Amazon.com


ds-amazon
Guess what book is now available on Amazon.com? Digital Sisterhood: A Memoir of Fierce Living Online by Ananda Leeke. The Kindle version will be available in the coming weeks. If you are in the D.C. area, click here to register for the October 19th book reading at the Joan Hisaoka Healing Arts Gallery located at Smith Center for Healing and the Arts, 1632 U Street, N.W. (three blocks from the Green Line U Street/Cardozo Metro Station). During the book reading, you will have an opportunity to see New York City-based artist Tim Okamura’s first DC exhibition, Depicted/Connected which features a portrait of Leeke entitled “Sun Rise on U Street.” She works as an artist-in-residence for Smith Center and posed for Okamura’s painting in June.

You Are Invited to Ananda Leeke’s Digital Sisterhood DC Book Signing on October 19


Photo Credit: Artwork by Dariela Cruz, http://daridesignstudio.com; Copyright 2013 by Madelyn C. Leeke

Photo Credit: Artwork by Dariela Cruz, http://daridesignstudio.com; Copyright 2013 by Madelyn C. Leeke

 

You’re invited to attend an author talk and book signing for Ananda Leeke’s third book, Digital Sisterhood: A Memoir of Fierce Living Online on Saturday, October 19, 2013, from 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. at the Joan Hisaoka Healing Arts Gallery located at Smith Center for Healing and the Arts, 1632 U Street, N.W., Washington, D.C. (three blocks from the Green Line U Street/Cardozo Metro Station). The book will be available for sale ($23.95) during the book signing. Click here to register on Eventbrite.

About the Book

Ananda Kiamsha Madelyn Leeke became a pioneer in the digital universe twenty-seven years ago, when she logged in to the LexisNexis research service as a first-year law student at Howard University School of Law. She was immediately smitten with what the World Wide Web could do. Later, while attending the UN Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing, China, in 1995, Leeke found herself in an Internet café, where she experienced an interaction that changed her life.

Over time, through interactions and conversations both online and in-person, Leeke developed the concept of “digital sisterhood.” Embracing this revolutionary concept led to a complete career reinvention that finally allowed her to embrace her enormous creative spirit. She found in her digital sisters true “sheroes” and virtual mentors. Her blogging and social media adventures highlight the lessons she learned in the process, the reasons she launched the Digital Sisterhood Network, and the experiences that caused her to adopt what she terms the “fierce living” commitments.

In her memoir, Digital Sisterhood, Leeke details her journey, sharing experiences and insights helped her and her digital sisters use the Internet as a self-discovery tool and identifying leadership archetypes that shaped her role as a social media leader. 

About the Author

Ananda Leeke is a lawyer turned “Jill of many trades.” She is an innerpreneur, author, artist, coach, and yoga teacher. She founded the Digital Sister Network and currently serves as a blogger ambassador for AARP, Macy’s Heart of Haiti campaign, and Maiden Nation. She currently lives in Washington, D.C. Visit www.anandaleeke.com.

11 Things You Can Do Before October 19th Book Reading