Archive for the ‘Other Writing’ Category

Howard ROTC Conducts Military Ball

Cadets and Guests gather for Annual event

by Terrance Williams

The Howard University Army Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) conducted its annual Military ball this weekend at the Crystal City Hilton Hotel. A myriad of cadets and guests arrived for the event dressed in their Army Greens, as well as formal dresses and tuxedos for the gentlemen.

A Tradition of Excellence

The Howard University ROTC program was one of the first in the nation started for the training of black officers in the military. The program is nearly as old as Howard University itself, and has over 10 General Officers. Participants take military science classes and participate in weekend trainings, as well as physical training (PT) three times a week, and other optional and mandatory and optional events. Cadets who excel have the option of attending summer trainings such as Airborne, Air Assault, Mountain Warfare, and Combat Diver school. Upon completion of the program, a cadet is commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the Army and has an obligation to serve at least 5 years on active duty.  The military ball is one of the yearly events which cadets also participate in.

The keynote speaker for the event was the 51st Quartermaster General, and first woman to be awarded the General’s Star in the Quartermaster corp, Brigadier General Gwen Bingham. A native of Alabama, she graduated and commissioned from the ROTC program at The University of Alabama in 1981. She holds a B.A. in General Business Management, and Masters in Administration and in National Security Strategy and Resources. She spoke to the cadets about making sure you do not let others define how far you can go or how high you can achieve.

A Great Opportunity

In addition to cadets and their guests, the military ball is also attended by alumni, distinguished guests, and active and reserve officers in the military. This provides a rare opportunity for cadets to make connections with possible people who have been in their shoes, and are already at the place where they are heading. “Military ball is a great time for cadets to interact with officers,” says Junior ROTC Cadet Terrie Hoover. ” It gives us a chance to ask questions about our future careers and possibly find a mentor to successfully guide us along the way.”

For the guests it is an equally exciting event. Wilsar Johnson, a Junior at Georgian Court University in New Jersey who was invited by a cadet, commented on how much she enjoyed the experience. “It was an honor to be invited to such a prestigious event. The men and women were very disciplined and poised. As a student, it inspired me to work harder,” she said.

In addition to dinner, dancing, and a quest speaker, select cadets also received various awards and were able to participate in a raffle for gifts which varied from Howard University Bookstore gift bags to a PlayStation 3. Though the dates, speakers, and venues change, it is clear that in this regard, the Howard University Bison Battalion is committed to continuing their tradition of excellence well into the future.

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Taking Down Osama

US Special Forces Team Kills Bin Laden in Pakistan

By Terrance Williams

Late in the night of April 30, 2011, President Barack Obama announced to the nation that the FBI’s most wanted Terrorist, Osama Bin Laden, was killed by a US Navy Seal team in Abbottabad Pakistan. The news was met with celebrations at the White House and in New York City at Ground Zero, the former site of the Twin Towers.  Over the coming days, more details would be released about the way in which the raid was carried out and executed, and how the Al-Qaeda leader was finally brought to justice.

Newspapers around the globe reported on the morning of May 2 that Bin Laden was killed at the hands of a US Special Forces Team inside a compound in Pakistan. President Obama shared the news with the American people around 11:00pm EST the previous night. The raid was reportedly carried out with ‘textbook precision’, and executed nearly perfectly. “A small team of Americans carried out the operation with extraordinary courage and capability. No Americans were harmed. They took care to avoid civilian casualties. After a firefight, they killed Osama bin Laden and took custody of his body,” the President said to the American people.

A Long Time Coming

The death of Bin Laden comes nearly 11 years after the attack on the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001. This single attack, which Al-Qaeda took credit for, was the worst attack on American soil in history, causing over 2,700 casualties in a single day. Many see it as retribution, and some family members of 9-11 victims cited a sense of relief.

The planning of the raid which eventually brought down the Al-Qaeda leader was 5 years in the making. Through information obtained from Guantanamo Bay detainees, intelligence officials obtained the name of a courier who was said to have information. No one was able to provide a real name however. Upon finding and following the individual and setting up surveillance, they were led to a compound in Pakistan which was said to be over 5 times larger than everything around it, with 10-18ft. walls around it, three stories, and a seven-foot wall on the top-level as if to hide someone over six feet tall. Despite the novelty of the compound as well, various clues led officials to believe something strange was occurring inside. The dwellers burned all their trash rather than have it taken out, and the building had no internet, phone, or cable. After several years of constant around the clock surveillance, it was determined that there was a high probability that Osama Bin Laden lived inside.

Prepared for Anything

After discovering the compound and gathering enough intelligence, the SEAL team which would raid the house earlier this week began to run rehearsals. A full scale replica of the compound was built, and drills were run from August 2010 until it was time to go ahead with the mission. The team had enough time to prepare for almost any contingency.

On the morning of May 2, the SEAL team was dropped by helicopter inside the compound, and after a firefight, killed Osama Bin Laden. The entire operation took 40 minutes and ended with no American casualties.

The body was DNA tested for verification of the identity, then taken aboard an aircraft carrier to be buried at sea, ensuring that it would not be dug up or that it would become a rally point for other extremist. All Muslim burial customs were observed as well in the burial of the body.

More details will continue to surface as the days and weeks continue. However one detail remains constant, this is a huge win. A win for Obama, for America, and for the War on Terror.

Untitled…

Posted: February 23, 2011 in Other Writing, Uncategorized

Every time I feel them coming on…i fight them back to where they belong. You’ll never see me being anything but strong…

Is it possible to write 2 different books on different subjects at the same time?

Greetings dear readers.

I have returned from my short vacation and am not back in the familiar environment that is school and work. But today as an Idea for a story crossed my mind I wondered to myself, is it possible to write two books at the same time about different subjects?

When you think about it, a book takes a certain level of commitment, research, time and energy. Two books would no doubt then be twice the effort. So would 1 person who is already undertaking the time-consuming job of researching and preparing for one such project, successfully split his/her attention as to double the output without sacrificing quality.

I ask this question because today i had an idea for 2 stories which I could write, that would be absolutely from my point, and the only research required would be technical aspects. But as I’m already trying to pursue one project, would it be wise for me to start another before the current one is totally finished? I for one am always up for a challenge but I think this would even be a lot for me.

Perhaps I will just pen down the shells for the other project now and continue with what ive already been working on. I wouldn’t want to shift focus and lose any thought process I might have had. Or perhaps working on something else will just cause my creativity to flow more freely and improve my other projects. I’m not sure.

I’ll keep you posted…

Well, im supposed to be vacationing. Probably not gonna happen.

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That was my sentiment a few days ago. Currently I’m at home, a trip I dont always make often or for very long, but here I am this week.  So far it has been a nice shot of relaxation, especially since once I go back to DC its to two jobs and school starting in a few weeks. Oh joy. I cant complain however because I am blessed beyond all measures, and I thank God everyday for what he’s done and is doing in my life.

Yesterday was the Poetry in the City event on Lansing’s Capital steps, where I performed ‘Liar In Me’. I did pretty well, and saw my buddy @aseelmachi out there as well. Currently, I am focusing on submitting poems to the e-zines which I mentioned in my last post, and making more good work to submit to others later on, and to later include in the book.   Im finding out that I am continually on the right track in a lot of ways, and I hope and pray this trend continues.

Since it rained, hard, for most of the day, the poetry in the city event wasnt nearly as well attended as I feel it could have been. However, it still had a pretty good showing despite those odds. I have also found yet another medium where I can publish my poems, being the New Citizens Press Newspaper.   It always, always about exposure.  So continue to be on the lookout for new material from me, and I will continue to work to give it to you.

I feel like this may be my shortest post ever. But then again, I am on vacation. 🙂

Be Blessed

Good Morning Everyone.

Changed the set-up a little bit here. Tell me how you like it.

I have some good news and some bad news today. The good news is that I have about 5 new poems that I’ve written in the past week or so that I am both very excited about and very proud of. The bad news is that I can’t post them. At all. So for the time being you guys will not see them at all. Kinda sucks huh?

The reason I wont be posting these poems is because of what are called ‘First Rights’. First rights are basically a publisher’s right to print a persons work, exclusively. Its basically like the first copyright. When something gets published online (Facebook, WordPress, Blogspot, MyNameisTerrance.com), first rights rest with the person who put it up. So all the poems that I have posted on this blog, or on my Facebook, are considered published. Because of that, I cant submit them nearly anywhere because it would be considered a ‘reprint’, which most publications dont do. That is compounded by the fact that most publications shy away from poetry to begin with. So, what it all boils down to is that all my new work, or new best work, needs to be saved for possible submission. There is an article here that talks more about first rights for writers regarding blogs, and published work.

Now, this is not to say that anything I post from now on will not be quality work. Some of it just may be a re-post from my Facebook, and I will be a bit more selective about what I post here in comparison to what I save for publication. Remember, the goal is still publication; to get a book published. In order to do that I need to submit a good body of individual poems to other publications and increase my exposure. Its all about the writing.

Now, a preview of some of the places I will be submitting to.

Thanks to Robert Lee Brewer, editor of the POETIC ASIDES blog for Writer’s Digest (follow him on twitter @RobertLeeBrewer), and a few other poets and writer tags on Twitter, I have found a few eZines who publish poetry, as well as a few publishing company’s who take on a small volume of books per year. This also of course means that the competition will be ridiculously fierce, but it also means that I have to be that much better when I submit. A good challenge produces a great product.

Anywho, check out a few of these eZines which I will be submitting to. All of them have submission deadlines between now and December, so I have a bit of time to create more, but I also have a good amount to submit now for those with closer deadlines. Be on the lookout for “By Terrance Williams” under a poem or two in the not too distant future.

Hobble Creek Review

The Smoking Poet

The Glass Coin

Abyss & Apex

Be Blessed

As I may or may not have said before, I consider Art to be nearly any form of creative self-expression. Writer, painter, poet, singer, musician, graphic designer, blogger, even a chef can be an artist. Art is never about getting to someone else’s level, but about achieving the highest level that you can personally, therefore one persons self-expression or art might vary drastically from one person to the next. So, in light of all these things, I would like to highlight two bloggers, one relatively new to the blogosphere, and one somewhat of a veteran. Two friends of mine whom I consider to be artists in their own right and who I expect major things from in the future, Ms. Nikayla Scott and Ms. Tiffanie Davis

Nikayla’s Blog

I have lovingly dubbed Ms. Scott’s blog, ‘The Do Better Blog‘. Each of her posts somehow relates back to doing better as a community, in relationships, in handling money, in goal-setting, in all kinds of ways. The motto is ‘We need to Do Better’. While many of her posts seem to be specifically relating to the African-American community, these are lessons which transcend racial, financial, and social class lines, especially these days. We are at a point in our world history where the newly rich may have been poor yesterday, and the newly poor may have had a 6-figure job in the not so distant past. People are learning, the hard way, that poverty and unemployment, sickness, and social ills and problems are not simply reserved for the lower classes, but can just as easily affect anyone else.

One of the things which is mentioned on Ms. Scott’s blog a lot is her desire to be a producer. You will notice that there is a good amount of music videos on her blog. When she’s not being a girl and going gaga over Trey Songz, she comments on the production quality and the fact that women are very underrepresented in the video production field. This is of course true for many fields in general, but technology is still a place where women have not made nearly as many significant inroads as they have with other professions.

Ms. Scott’s blog deals with a wide variety of issues, but also brings us back down to earth and reminds us that we can all improve ourselves and DO BETTER. I feel that there should always be someone to let you know when you need to change your ways, or improve your way of doing something. Ms. Scotts blog then, would fall under the ‘essentials’ category. Follow her on twitter @itsMsScott2u.

Ladies and Gentleman, Ms. Nikayla Scott

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Tiffanie’s Blog

Ms. Tiffanie L. Davis runs a fashion blog. Fashion tips, fashion news, all things fashion. While fashion may not be something that you are necessarily into, this blog offers some simple tips and suggestions that you can follow as well. Sorry guys, it’s not really for us.

Like any Good Fashionista she makes sure to include what she is wearing and where you can pick it up yourself, but its more than that. Mixed in with fashion tips and excitement about the deals she managed to pick up for the day is a voice of realism, something that is sometimes lost with bloggers who write for a specific idea or trend such as fashion or music.

Overall, ladies, if you’re into fashion, then this is the blog for you. She includes names of designers, other fashionista’s, websites, and all kinds of other info which anyone would find useful. But don’t take my word for it. Check out her blog for yourself! And while you’re at it, follow her on Twitter @tiffanie_lynn.

Ladies and Gentleman, Ms. Tiffanie Davis