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Review: The Little Flower Vignettes: Story Behind the Story

The Little Flower Vignettes: Story Behind the Story
The Little Flower Vignettes: Story Behind the Story by Florita Bell Griffin
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This book is not a fiction. The stories told are not a figment of the author’s imagination. The emotions and scenarios described are facts embedded in history and the memory of one little girl. This is the medium chosen to share these facts. This book is based on real life. It really did happen, though hard it may be to believe. It is not a story of abuse, but love. It is not another piece of literature that highlights the weakness and frailty of black people, but it is one of hope. This is not a book that supports a mediocre mind-set, but it speaks to the strength within each of us and what happens when that strength is fully realized in one person.

You will be greatly inspired and challenged to reach higher, and remove the limits you have placed on yourself. We are all born to be great, and to overcome every obstacle. This is a testimony of that truth.

You may be forced to question the title “Little Flower.” The only thing little about our main character is her physical body, but that was a long time ago. Little Flower is the interpretation of her name, and rightly so. She loves flowers. But more so she adds a level of beauty to our history that flowers do in gardens. She has overcome impossible obstacles, and achieved much. She has experienced all the pit falls of child hood and the glory of adult hood. This author simply wants to tell her story. You will laugh, cry and applaud as you flip through these pages. It is by no means an easy read and when you get to the end, you may find it difficult to pull yourself out of the chair, or bed…but the time you spend on this journey will be worth it, and you will want to take it over and over again with and without your children.

This is literary art at its best. It uses words to provoke, inspire and more importantly paint a vivid picture that will last for many generations to come. I am not trying to sell you this book. I am telling you that this is a rare gem that you most certainly need to own.

Dr. Florita Bell Griffin has taken small snippets of her own life and weaved a very interesting tale of faith, love, honour and the experiences that eventually made her who she is. It is very easy to make the connection between these ‘vignettes’ and the Author who pens them. It is very clear that these are her most treasured memories, and I can’t help but feel that there is still more stories that need to be told. So consider this book only an introduction and expect more from this author. After all, how else can we preserve our glorious history, if not with books?
Her writing style is simple, which makes her a very good children’s writer. So this book is an introduction to her first children’s book. Is it strange that as an adult, I also enjoy reading it? Maybe that speaks to the diversity and multi-cultural appeal of this book. It was so easy to become engrossed in the story from the very beginning, which is good in that it makes a very easy and emotional read, but it is bad as your emotions will be escalated to unforgettable proportions at the end. This is a story you won’t know until you read it, but you will never forget after you have read it. As a matter of fact, you will want more.

Florita was born and raised in the era of the civil rights movement. Her Father was a pastor and a civil rights advocate, so you can imagine what she went through as a child. The book takes us through an unforgettable journey from the time when J. F. Kennedy and Martin Luther King were assassinated to a very pivotal time in the life of the author, a time none of us are ever seemingly prepared for, and very few survive. The Author remembers vividly being at both funerals for those two great men killed in the line of duty, so to speak. They were our advocates; our eyes, mouth and ears in a society that struggled to accept men of colour. She captures the essence of the times, and the emotional atmosphere of those unfortunate events. These events begun to shape her life, and she was very young. How she remembers is a miracle in itself.

Her father was a strict disciplinarian who had one rule, “Always follow my rules.” Of course PKs (Pastors Kids) are known to break rules, and “Little Flower” was no exception. She did her best to follow the rule, but every so often a situation calls for an independent decision that may be considered breaking the rules. Sometimes the good we do, goes against the grain and is usually accompanied by some serious consequences, but men never cease to do good. After all, this Author has a heart that is bigger than simply submitting to self-preserving rules. As children, we can all agree that we obeyed to avoid being spanked, which was our version of persecution as children. But isn’t persecution worth it, when it is administered because we did good.

Florita is a success story that America needs to hear. If you spare the rod, you will spoil the child. In her case, the rod was never spared but try to compare her life to the kid who was never spanked? Don’t be deterred or fall prey to the pity you may feel when reading such portions of the book. The author never undermined her experiences, but adequately highlighted that she learnt from each of them.

The flow of the story is also very good. It follows somewhat of a chronological or linear order with snippets of events and emotions that happen momentarily over several years. We are forced to fill in the blanks as we read, and there are many gaps to be filled. Each chapter is a turning point in the life of the author and we don’t necessarily need to know the details of the in between. Remember the title of the book is “snippets” which can be interpreted as the life changing moments in time that shaped the future and character of the author.

Florita has lived a very eventful and interesting life, and her experiences may not be any different from anyone born and raised in America during the civil rights movement, but how many had a chance to tell their stories. I am sure their children and grandchildren may have heard, but most of us haven’t, until now. It is good to note that Florita’s father excelled in a time when blacks were still considered to be slaves. He owned a car company, and may have even been the first black man to drive a limo. Well, maybe this is a fact in the world of “Little Flower.” She did see the world a little differently from most little children.

That is the true beauty of this book. We see the world and all that is going on through the innocent eyes of a child. At no point are we given over to any other perspective but her own. It is her interpretation of the world that we read, her interpretation of the actions around her, her interpretation of the death by assassination of two of the greatest men who ever lived, her interpretation of life, love, faith, resilience and death.

In Little Flowers eyes innocence exist, and those who stand up for those who can’t defend themselves are her heroes. Every mistake she makes is an opportunity to learn something new. Her Father’s strict, disciplinary characteristic drives her to succeed in all she does and inspires her to attempt the impossible. For her, there are no limits except that which one puts on themselves. If you can believe it, it can be achieved.

Every adult will enjoy reading these stories. Every child will enjoy reading these stories. Every child will enjoy being read these stories. I see this book at the bed side of every black American child. It reminds us of where we are coming from. It highlights our rich history, and some of the very people who gave their lives to make freedom and equality a reality. The beauty about it, more so the best thing about it is that we are given this unique opportunity to see it all through the eyes of a little girl, a Little Flower.

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Author Interview Cleveland O. McLeish

Savvy Writers & e-Books online

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Cleveland O. McLeish

Today’s Author Interview is with Cleveland O. McLeish, a prolific writer, screenwriter and play wright. 

Cleveland, thanks for telling us a bit more about yourself and your books. How would you describe your book to someone who has not yet read it? For example your latest work Chloe.

Chloe represents everyone who has ever made a difference in somebody’s life. She was that unplanned pregnancy that came with an option to abort, who grew up to change the world…or did she.

Chloe is a mystery/thriller that will keep the reader guessing. I have a friend who read the book, and skipped to the end, only to be forced to go back and read the book from where she left off.
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What inspired you to start writing ?
I have been writing plays for my church since 1999. It was fun to be able to add some structure to the…

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Posted by on January 18, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

Why Christian Drama is important to Churches.

Since more than a decade or so the drama teams portraying the Christian dramas have been associated closely with the churches of all denominations. These dramas are most popular during the holiday seasons and are a great way for families to educate their children about the Christian values and faith. The Christian dramas include not only extended stories and plays, but songs as well, which offer entertainment and education to their audiences. These dramas are important to the churches and there are special church teams which work on them not only on the Sundays but also on weeknights.

These dramas are a distinct way of disseminating the teachings of Jesus to the congregations in a unique and creative manner. Particularly special Christian plays are created for the occasions of Easter and Christmas which mark the most vital events on the Christian calendar. The church gives importance to these drama teams responsible for creating Christian dramas as they assist the churches in helping the people connect with God by motivating them through the stories other than preaching about the same.

Furthermore, the Christian dramas work wonders when it comes to connecting with the children who can get the answers to many of their questions through the creative storylines and be firm in their faith from a very young age. Also, the children will be able to learn the gospels through these dramas in a more effective and quicker manner. In fact most of the church teams responsible for Christian dramas also have special teams for children as well, for performing simple songs and hymns.

The main aim of the Christian plays is to motivate and stir an interest in the individuals who have short attention spans or are demotivated. This is the reason the churches are taking help of this mode of action to engage and entertain their audiences for which they even act out bible stories from time to time during the year. Not only do the Christian plays help in highlighting a moral issue and create awareness about the same but also, teach the target audience how to resolve the same with character.

These plays are a distinct way for the Christians to come closer to God. The aim of the Christian dramas coincides with the aim of the churches of spreading the words of God to His creation. The performers and the story tellers who act in these dramas are revered by the church as they assist in serving God and bringing others closer to Him.

For more information about Christian plays get in touch with;

 

Cleveland O. McLeish

Visit: http://www.christianplaywright.org

 

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Christian Drama and Bible Studies

Christian drama is a great way of introducing audiences to the finer elements of Bible, scriptures and worship services. In fact, committed and devout playwrights are using a variety of dramatic elements combined with dance forms and even music to present Biblical happenings, tales about legends and fictional stories. Drama scripts in fact are perfect for Bible studies as they can pinpoint not just morals but solutions to real life problems through references to the Bible. As a result, emotions can be channelized and audiences can be made to appreciate the preaching in the Gospel in a much better way.

In some Bible studies, the actors are called upon to improvise. In fact, actors place themselves into the shoes of the characters while filling gaps with real life experiences, thus bringing a personal level of participation into the drama scripts. Christmas drama scripts in particular are a great way of enhancing awareness on Biblical text. As one of the more recognizable techniques, drama is used along with chorus speech, tasteful décor, imaginative lighting and interpretive reading to leave a greater impression on the audiences from different backgrounds and different walks of life. Many tales like The Spirit Leads Paul to Macedonia, Jesus Dying on the Cross and Rising Again and Onesimus-Philemon, are interesting ways of remembering tales from Genesis, Exodus, etc. and looking at them from a new light.

Drama and Bible studies are closely related as Christmas drama scripts assist the church in evangelism. It is a great way of bringing non-Christian audiences to the theater to watch a play on Jesus Christ and thus get a chance to enhance awareness about Christianity in general. This is also equivalent to doing the Lord’s bidding, spreading the teaching of the gospel as Christians had been asked to. Free and spontaneous participation from children is also expected at times. In some cases, the drama is purely based on the acting skills, as they are organized without scenery, properties or special costumes. Drama ministries have always used drama scripts and skits to spread the gospel to those who are not aware of it, especially the modern generation.

Drama and bible studies are also closely associated, considering, it helps portray personality conflicts and the way to deal with them. Group theater and community services will also benefit from dramas instead of outright sermons that fail to keep the audiences interested and involved. Drama scripts that offer actors an entire range of emotions to act, on Christ’s crucifixion, for example, can have a very strong impact on the audiences. Moreover, drama scripts and liturgical worship sometimes leads non-committal followers into greater adoration and commitment towards the scriptures as well as towards religion. With the help of a director who can develop the characters and bring out the tale well with all its emotions, helps take a subject to the audience. In some cases, drama can be used to expose relevant issues related to modern religion and its deterioration, conveying a strong message for the audiences to grasp and ruminate over.

For more information, and to view Christian Play Scripts, goto: www.christianplaywright.org

 

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Christmas Play Scripts

You can perform many religious activities and one of them is to put your effort into a Christmas play! There is a great scope and you can even write Christmas play scripts to show the traditional Biblical stories in a unique and presentable way. Christmas plays usually include the stable where Christ was born. There are many other things that are included in a Christmas play and many Christmas plays are based on the later life. All the Easter play scripts show the time of Christ and things related to that pious time. These plays are particularly famous with children because these are directed in such a way to attract children to teach them about their religion. Children are amused and learn great lessons at the same time. Play scripts that are well written and afterwards well directed to show the best to children.

Producers of Christmas plays usually try to keep the story simple and meaningful. The main audience targeted is Christian children; therefore it is important to keep the story in line with the age group to demonstrate the things in a simple way. Christmas plays are usually done with the help of a narrator. The narrator tells the story and other cast members simply perform on the stage in front of the audience. They perform silently and the narrator has the task of telling the story in a loud and clear voice. The narrator has the duty to tell the story in a descriptive manner, so that nothing is missed and the whole message is conveyed to the children and other people. 

Easter plays are usually accompanied with music and in this way the audience takes more interest in the performance and story. It is a very popular way to make the audience participate in the play with their singing. People love to participate in the singing and in this way the play successfully serves its purpose. The combination of narrator and music has to be at its best if you want your play to be successful. The narrator should speak well and the music should be calm and soft. It gives the perfect combination and entertains the audience. Christmas play scripts have become a popular way to deliver a religious message to the general population, especially at Christmas time. 

There is another thing that requires consideration and that is the costumes to be used in the play. Costumes should be in accordance with the religious requirements of apparel of that time period so that children can learn what type of clothing was worn then. Christian plays are a good way to make young boys and girls learn the true essence of the religion and those who perform Christmas plays at the time of Christmas are giving their best to the nation. This is a highly humble act and it should be encouraged because our youth need to know the history of our religion. Play scripts are a powerful tool that can be used to teach youngsters! 

Shalom (Peace)

Cleveland O. McLeish

Visit: http://www.christianplaywright.org

 

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Drama Kit 1.0 – Taking your Drama Ministry to the Next Level

The traditional way to share the message of God is good, but why not have a fresh new change on how you can spread His word? Christian play scripts are not just good ways to present valuable Christian stories, but are also great tools to get more of your community involved in your ministry activities. Play scripts usually require more than just a couple of people involved; and it’s not just about the actors!

You can take your drama ministry to the next level by making use of our Drama Kit 1.0 which is a great package of Christian play scripts which you can use for year round performances. This Drama Kit comes with 6 skits as well as 12 full-length Christian plays which you can use for presentations on special occasions where you would like to share God’s message while involving your community more.

How can this be a great way to involve more people?

As previously mentioned, these Christian play scripts do not just require actors to play the roles. The whole community can take part if you wish by having groups assigned for costumes and props, sounds and lighting, as well as spreading word around your place about auditions or more information about your upcoming play.

You can use this Drama Kit to build a better sense of unity in your ministry. These plays also promote a sense of responsibility to individuals with assigned tasks since their participation can make or break the success of your presentation.

Using the Drama Kit is a fantastic way to share the word of God and fostering better relationships within the community. Each person involved can feel a sense of accomplishment as the audience applauds their work when the curtains open and close.

Savings on Year-Round Christian Plays

Each Drama kit contains play scripts of various themes which you can use all throughout the year. For your drama ministry, we are providing Easter play scripts as well as Christmas play scripts which show stories of forgiveness, redemption, freedom, hope, and love.

Easter play scripts can serve as a refreshing change to your usual Easter celebration by imparting new stories which are reminiscent of the values and lessons Easter brings. You may have had Christmas play scripts before, but with the play scripts we have included for you in our Drama Kit, you can expect to have more interesting stories which can leave lasting messages to your audiences.

While we also offer custom playwriting services, our Drama Kit is a great way to have unique Christian play scripts for your ministry to perform while being able to save on purchasing several quality plays at once. When you decide to avail of this Drama Kit, you will have one exclusive and award winning play which we have only made available in this package.

If you ever have questions, doubts, or concerns, you can send us an e-mail and even join our mailing list to receive free scripts so you can have a better idea of what you will be getting. You can also check out https://www.christianplaywright.org/Drama%20Kit.html for more information.

 

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Qualities of a Good Christian Play

A good Christian play, apart from the obvious theme and message, needs to have certain other qualities to entice the audience and arouse interest in them. Play scripts shouldn’t be monotonous or tinged in monochrome. Audience appreciates different shades that remind them of their everyday life and its struggles and dilemmas. There are a few characteristic traits that connect all good Christian plays, written for churches, theatres and school groups.

Soaked in family values

Christian drama scripts usually have family values at their core. Whether it is the relation between husband and wife or parents and children, there are strong family ties at the heart of the play. There are drama scripts that can be used to perform even at community theatres where the audience appreciates sound family values and emotions.

Tailor-made for specific audiences

It is not always possible for play scripts to satisfy everyone. One size doesn’t fit all. Good Christian plays on the contrary are tailor-made towards a target audience and are written to carry the message to its specific audiences. That is why certain drama scripts cater to gender restrictions, age restrictions and restrictions of cast, subjects touched or even length. Christian plays are not necessarily drenched only in family or emotional drama. There is a touch of mystery, drama and comedy as well to keep the audiences engrossed through the 60 – 90 minutes that it usually lasts for.

Everyday choices across true Christian principles

This is the defining aspect of Christian plays. The playwrights have a thorough understanding of Christian principles and try to elucidate it through the challenges faced by the characters and the choices they take. The script is highlighted by the tough situations and problems faced by the characters and how they wade through it without really breaching their Christian principles. If anything, the play scripts focus on how the best of people struggle in life and how they can still come out with flying colors without really sacrificing their principles. A very vital attribute of the script also lies in how dear ones offer strong support and courage to the individuals to help them see through the tough situation.

For specific events

Given that the drama scripts are staged generally during holidays, a lot of scripts also cover Easter and Christmas or use Christian heroes and the story of their faith. A very recurrent theme in Christian plays is history. Apart from historical stories like that of Abigail Adams, there are Biblical plays too, like the story of Esther. These are perfect for dinner theaters organized during Christmas festivals or holidays. Short stories, scripts on shepherds and the three Magi, fantasy stories woven with Christian characters, etc. are also commonly on offer.

Interchangeable roles

Quite a few Christian plays use characters which are interchangeable. In other words, to tailor the play to the audiences, the characters can be either male or female. Some plays also try to dig out insights from classic Christmas stories and elucidate it to the audiences, targeting children and teens.

You can visit us at www.christianplaywright.org for more information. 

Shalom (Peace)

Cleveland O. McLeish

 
 

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