Today's speaker spotlight is on the incomparable Denene Millner who will be making a couple appearances at the conference. She will be a panelist on the "Mom 2.0" session, as well as gracing us with a book reading/author insight during Sunday brinch.
I must disclose that I love Denene! She's smart, funny, gracious, humble, beautifual and she keeps it real. She's an accomplished writer and parenting expert and most of all she's a devoted mom and wife. Here's a little more about Denene in her own words:
"I’m a parenting and relationship expert who’s written or co-written 18 books exploring love—between men and women, parents and children, siblings, and friends. I’m also a member of Parenting magazine’s Mom Squad of experts, who help women negotiate the ins and outs of motherhood. In my spare time, I write entertainment, relationship, and travel features for magazines like Essence, Health, and Heart & Soul, and run MyBrownBaby (www.mybrownbaby.blogspot.com), a blog where I give thought-provoking, insightful, wickedly funny commentary on motherhood, pregnancy, childrearing, sex, work and relationships—all filtered through the lens of the African American experience. I’m also obsessed with African American art and children’s books, and, in my next life, I’ll have the astonishing ability to whip up drapes and fancy pillows. I live near Atlanta, Georgia with my husband, three children, and goldendoodle, Teddy.
Here are some extra tidbits about me:
I would never tell my Dad this, but he was right to make me go to the prom with my brother’s best friend, Mike. Had I gone with the guy I really wanted to go with, I definitely would have broken curfew (11:30) and I definitely wouldn’t have come home a virgin.
If I had a spare ten minutes every day, I would troll the internet looking at art by and featuring African Americans. I’m obsessed. Romare Bearden is my favorite; to me, his work—especially his collages—is absolutely magical. And these days, I’m really digging Tamara Natalie Madden, Franks Deceus, and April Harrison. Alas, I’m too broke to buy their art, and can NEVER find that spare 10 minutes because I’m too busy writing.
If money was no object, I’d buy an original Romare Bearden (as explained in the entry above this one).
I work from home these days—no getting dressed up, no traffic, no wasting money on expensive lunches, no annoying co-workers (my dog Teddy is the perrrfect officemate!). But if I sit down to my MacBook and I don’t have gummy bears, double bubble bubble gum and a Hersey’s chocolate bar with almonds? Oh, it’s a situation. Everything must stop until I get my fix. There’s magic in that sugar!
If I had my way when I was little, I would have grown up to be an architect and interior designer. Alas, my Physics grades sucked, so I ended up using my left brain in other ways (writing) and, for kicks, rearranging the furniture and drooling over Ethan Allen, zgallerie and Williams Sonoma furniture.
I am talented, sweet, no-nonsense, thoughtful, and a bit of a procrastinator —#workingonthat. And while I love my face and round hips, this baby weight is k-i-l-l-i-n-g me. (Yeah, my youngest child is 7—and? #whatsyourpoint?)
If I were granted three wishes from an angel, it would be to see my mom one last time, so that she could see the beautiful flowers her grandbabies have become, so that I could thank her for her grace, wisdom, and firm hand, all of which have factored greatly in my accomplishments and the woman, wife, and mother I’ve become, and so that I could tell her just one more time how much I love her. With that, I wouldn’t need any more wishes.
When I think no one is looking, I sang, chile—loud and strong and wrong. Especially if it’s a Stevie Wonder song. Stevie makes me happy!"
You can reach Denene at MyBrownBaby (http://www.mybrownbaby.blogspot.com) or
on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/mybrownbaby. You can also read some of her work at essence.com and parenting.com, and get her books at major traditional and online book stores.