Octavia makes it to the Semi-Finals

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CHICAGO SINGLE MOM COMPETES FOR MAGAZINE COVER AND $25,000

Single mom, healthcare worker, author and former Miss Michigan competes for Final Eight in the 2020 Maxim Covergirl Contest

 CHICAGO, July 20, 2020 – South sider Octavia Reese, Principal Epic Trainer at Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago, author, cellist, and single mom of three boys is competing for Maxim Covergirl 2020 and $25,000. The competition, which began in May, features thousands of models from around the world, and Octavia has now advanced to the semi-finals. From July 20 to July 30 Octavia is up against seven other women competing for the title, the cash, and the springboard into the world of modeling and entertainment. Octavia has to place first in her group to advance to the Final Eight.

“Someone like me has never been on the cover of a magazine like Maxim before,” Octavia said. “And it’s about time.” Octavia calls herself The Modern Man’s Renaissance Woman.

“I chose to market myself that way for this competition because I am a renaissance woman, and so many women today are. We aren’t ‘allowed’ to have just one job. We’re raising children, juggling work and homeschooling during a global pandemic, managing professional goals outside the home, and somehow finding time to care for ourselves. We do it all without recognition or reward. And the world should see that in a beautiful and sexy way.”

Competitions like this aren’t new to Octavia. She was Miss Michigan 2005 and competed for Miss America. Even then, Octavia was advocating for visibility of well-rounded, educated, ambitious women. In her books, The Hibouleans, Octavia created a world where leading teens, Taryn and Priya, are STEM fanatics and use their math and science knowledge to solve clues as they embark on a life-or-death treasure hunt against terrifying shape shifting Hibouleans. She said she wrote the series for all the brown girls out there that love problem-solving, strength-building, lab experiments and dream of having superpowers and being the hero in epic adventures.

“It’s incredibly important, not just for young Black and brown girls to refuse to believe their skin color is limiting, but it’s just as necessary for everyone else to begin to envision women of color as main characters with depth, too, not just restricted to silent supporting roles or inferior stereotypes,” she said. “We need an entire cultural shift – we have as much a right and a capacity to lead and grace magazine covers as anyone else.”

To win this round of the competition, Octavia simply has to have the most votes.

“I’ve always wanted to shake up traditional beauty standards,” she said. “I never saw women that looked like me on the covers of magazines or in leading roles in the books and films I enjoyed. It’s 2020 and I still don’t see it enough. If Maxim presents itself as the magazine for the modern man, it should also promote the modern woman. We are all shapes, colors, ages and have skills and talents that deserve to be showcased and valued.”

Octavia plans to use the prize money to help finance graduate school, something she’s had to put off for years to focus on providing for herself and her children.

Vote for Octavia online at https://maximcovergirl.com/2020/octavia-reese. Anyone with a valid Facebook account can vote once daily for free or choose to buy extra votes, which support Jared Allen’s Homes for Wounded Warriors. The Semi-Finals round ends July 30, 2020 at 10pm CST.

FORMER MISS MICHIGAN RETURNS TO DETROIT BOOK FEST TO NORMALIZE WOMEN OF COLOR LEADING SCI-FI FANTASY ADVENTURES

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FORMER MISS MICHIGAN RETURNS TO DETROIT BOOK FEST TO NORMALIZE WOMEN OF COLOR LEADING SCI-FI FANTASY ADVENTURES

Author and former pageant queen promotes stories with Black women in the leading role

 DETROIT, July 15, 2019 –  Octavia Reese, Detroit-native and Miss Michigan 2005, will return to Detroit Book Fest on July 21 with the next two installments in her sci-fi fantasy series, The Hibouleans. Last year, Octavia’s first two volumes aimed to inspire young women to fearlessly delve into STEM-related subjects through her epic adventure treasure-hunt story. This year, Octavia wants to remind fans about the importance of normalizing women of color in the protagonist role for any genre of adventures, especially sci-fi and fantasy.the Hibouleans Octavia Reese

“When Disney announced Halle Bailey will take the lead as Ariel in the new Little Mermaid, I was thrilled,” Octavia said. “But not everyone was.”

Octavia was referring to critics from various social media platforms that were upset to learn Ariel would be played by a Black actress.

“If people can get upset about the skin color of a half-fish-half-human fictional character, it only proves we still have a long way to go when it comes to accepting women of color in leading roles,” she said.

In her young adult series, The Hibouleans, Octavia created a world where leading teens, Taryn and Priya, are STEM fanatics and must use their math and science knowledge to solve clues as they embark on a life-or-death treasure hunt against terrifying shape-shifting Hibouleans. She said she wrote the series for all the brown girls out there that love problem-solving, strength-building, lab experiments and dream of having super powers and being the hero in epic adventures.

“It’s incredibly important, not just for young Black and brown girls to refuse to believe their skin color is limiting, but it’s just as necessary for everyone else to begin to envision women of color as main characters, too, not just restricted to foreign supporting roles,” she said. “We need an entire cultural shift – we have as much a right and a capacity to lead as anyone else.”

Octavia, who now resides in Chicago, represented the state of Michigan in the 2006 Miss America pageant, and is also a cellist and composer. She wrote The Hibouleans book score, too – the musical theme that accompanies her characters’ adventures in the series.

“As a musician, I also hope to show my audience that Black women can do anything – we can be queens, scientists, authors, physicians, Hibouleans, cellists and even mermaids.”Cello Goddess Open Octavia Reese Miss Michigan The Hibouleans

Find Octavia, her cello and The Hibouleans Volumes 1 – 4, this Sunday, July 21 from 10am – 4pm at Detroit Book Fest. For more information, visit www.detroitbookfest.com and www.octaviareese.com.

 

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Thank you, 2018

I normally post these reflections on Road to Relovery, but 2019 has a new vision for that — you’ll see more of my thoughts here. Well. What a year.

When I first stepped out to reinvent myself and really become the person I always wanted to be, I adopted a mantra to get me through the tough times: #andshewillflourish.

Sidebar, this has oddly come full circle. I quoted Louis C.K. in the article linked above, and here we are four years later, I am rising, and he is, well… learning…

Anyway.

I needed to remind myself that no matter how dark the night is, the sun will always reappear. I told myself just as winter always comes, so does summer. I reminded myself that when you go through something difficult, you still go through it. Through. Motion. Movement. No one says “I’m going into something never to emerge again.”

No, you go through. And so I told myself, when you do go through, and through you will, you will flourish. You will be fine and you will flourish.

And so, while not short, or easy, or seamless, or fully pleasant, or smooth or comfortable, I am going through something and finally seeing that light at the end.

I have a lovely home. My boys are thriving. I have incredible friends. I adore my circle of chosen family. I transformed my hobby business into an official business. I republished my first three books in the format I always dreamed. I sold nearly 400 of them. Independently. I’ve started two other novels. I attended 15 events in the name of The Hibouleans. I have about 50 consistent subscribers to the first podcast my business launched just three months ago. And all of this… within the last year. I’ve kept my head down. I’ve stayed focused on tiny wins. And so. When I stand up and look back, I see how much land I’ve covered and how many mountains I’ve scaled. And no, I didn’t do it alone. Keep your friends close, kiddies. The real ones. The have your back in many moment ones.

I’m happy. I’m content. I’m not just good — I’m thriving.

2018 has been good to me. And as this year, finally one more full of abundance than scarcity, closes, I am looking forward to 2019. Because my mantra has arrived. Flourish. There’s no more #andshewillflourish; the will is gone… she is flourishing now.

Octavia Reese BESTNINE

Looking back on those early adventure days, I used a fun goal – A Word A Day – to keep trekking along on my Road to Relovery. This year, I’ll be doing A Haiku A Day. I haven’t written a haiku since fourth grade. This will be fun.

#staycurious #sheisflourishing

An amazing season for Tavinda Media

Hey friends and followers, have you seen what’s happening at Tavinda Media lately?

Well, there’s a lot since we launched at the end of August 2018. Here’s a recap of the last three months:

  • Stalled. co-host Nan Higgins has signed a contract with Bold Strokes Books for her novel, London Undone! Way to go, Nan!
  • FML is ramping up for their first full Episode and have launched a brand new way to keep in touch via email. Subscribe here and never miss a forking story!
  • Octavia Reese (yeah, that’s me!), author of The Hibouleans has her last book signing and performance coming up December 15 at Soulful Chicago Holiday Book Fair. Last year, she started with one volume, this year she has the first THREE installments of the series.
  • Tavinda Media podcasts are radiating across the pod-waves. Find Stalled., FML and Dream on multiple podcast libraries including iTunes and Spotify!
  • Tavinda Media is also on Patreon. If you like what you hear and want to contribute to the whole team’s efforts, please don’t hesitate to pledge onto one of the patron tiers.

If you haven’t yet, head over to www.TavindaMedia.com to learn more and stay in touch. So many great things to come!

Tavinda Media News