"America, we cannot turn back. Not with so much work to be done. Not with so many children to educate, and so many veterans to care for. Not with an economy to fix and cities to rebuild and farms to save. Not with so many families to protect and so many lives to mend. America, we cannot turn back. We cannot walk alone. At this moment, in this election, we must pledge once more to march into the future. Let us keep that promise - that American promise - and in the words of Scripture hold firmly, without wavering, to the hope that we confess."
Friday, August 29, 2008
Tuesday, August 26, 2008
Michelle Obama has become a very public figure and has accepted the role of aspiring First Lady with sheer grace. She has also accepted the uncomfortable scrutiny that comes with that responsibility. Since her husband announced his candidacy, she has taken some serious flack. I bet the conversation between the two to make that decision, as well as the subsequent conversations as the last few months have unfolded have been quite interesting.
For some time now she’s been hit by a wave of unflattering and sexist media portrayals. Critics have called Michelle everything from unpatriotic to cold. I’m certain some of the more disparaging remarks haven’t sat well with Michelle or Barack. They certainly haven’t sat well with me or many other black women who have been inspired by our sister’s strength and fortitude.
I was duly impressed with Michelle’s opening speech at the Democratic National Convention. She epitomized what many black women strive to be: strong, independent, and successful. She exemplified what a black woman with her own convictions can accomplish on her own if she sets her mind to it, independent of a spouse or partner. She also belied the stereotype that strong black women are also angry black women.
Michelle openly spoke of balancing a successful career with the responsibilities of raising two beautiful young daughters. I remember when Hillary Clinton was campaigning for her husband. The media ran with her comment about not sitting home and baking cookies. Having observed Michelle Obama these last few months I have no doubts that she’s home baking cookies with her babies as well as being a successful career woman and supportive helpmate to a man she loves and adores.
From the beginning Michelle committed herself to her husband and his dream but not at the expense of her marriage and her family. Nor has she been willing to compromise her principles or her beliefs. She stands independent of Barack while standing whole-heartedly by his side. She will undoubtedly be an admirable First Lady.
Friday, August 22, 2008
I believe that everything happens for a reason. People change so that you can learn to let go. Things go wrong so that you can appreciate them when they’re right. You believe lies so that eventually you learn to trust no one but yourself, and sometimes good things falls apart so better things can fall together.
When I first started writing romance, those sexual encounters were a challenge. Over the years I’ve learned to let myself go and in the process, let my characters go as well. The writing came much easier after that. So, brother Luke is having himself one heck of a good time. And Joanne Lake, the story’s heroine, is much enjoying the fruits of his labor.
Deanna doesn’t deny that she was loved. But she also accepts that she was not liked. Her mother didn’t like her. Her mother’s disregard began when her child was very young. Her mother’s issues took precedent over her daughter’s well-being. Deanna’s mother would claim to know everything about her daughter but their argument proved she didn’t know anything at all.
Deanna has chosen to walk away from the memories, and her mother, in order to keep herself whole. Their argument proved that her mother would rather see her child broken than risk being exposed. She was a good mother, her child the bad seed, and that’s the only truth mom wants told. Heaven forbid the secrets come out and bad mommy is exposed for the world to see.
Monday, August 18, 2008
He doesn't sing just to make sound
One day I turned away
And walked a path of my own making
I must sail sometimes against the wind
And anchor my burdens in harbors of hope
Heavy may be the footsteps that skip against the sand
Weighing down the clouds of expectation
And when I pass through the door that
Seemingly lead to no where
I will trust that grass
Does grow green on the other side
And bricks will mark the path that
Spins my destiny into the tide
And the path of my own making
Will land me in the port of heaven.
Or write poetry only to have words to write down
There is more to his mind, his thinking complex
The issues involved are not from the text
He doesn't struggle just to lose
Nor shoulder his burdens to be made a fool
The defining spirit that cements his plans
Comes on the wisdom of men who ran
He doesn't hang his head just to rest
Or challenge his doubters as some sort of test
He strives to be the best he can be
To prove he has the right to be free
He does not ride on hopes and dreams
Or walk a path of make-believe
He will not yearn for what might be
But will hold steadfast to his reality
He doesn't build bridges just to lay bricks
Nor does he cut down trees for the logs and the sticks
He doesn't travel just to roam
He builds a house to have a home
Thursday, August 14, 2008
I’ve got a severe case of something I’m not ready to name yet and they tell me there isn’t anything I can take to make it go away. But I've got it bad! Sometimes I can deal with it just fine, actually enjoying the ride it takes me on. Other times, like now, I wish there was pill that I could take that would end it once and for all and return me to a state of single, female normalcy.
I was bemoaning my state of mind to a good friend who advised me to keep busy. I keep wondering just how much busier can I be? My day planner is so full there isn’t any white space left for me to write on. I get the stay busy rule. But it doesn’t stop me from longing for the companionship I’ve come to enjoy. It doesn’t make me forget the joy and laughter I’ve been privileged to share. I doesn’t keep me from missing those moments when I feel like all is well in my small world and for me, right now, all is well when my guy and I are together.
Thankfully, tomorrow may be a whole other story.
Tuesday, August 12, 2008
When does a discussion become an argument?
I just left a discussion that has me reeling like I’d gone ten rounds with the heavyweight champ. I’m feeling much battered and bruised and it’s the second discussion of its kind that actually reduced me to tears. Now, I’m trying to understand why because the other party is convinced that our conversation was just a discussion and nothing more.
For me, when two people are disputing the validity of the topic being considered, it’s an argument. When one or the other becomes defensive, it’s an argument.
In this matter there was no agreement on how I’d handled a situation. I became defensive although I concede that maybe I was being sensitive. But no one likes being told they made a bad judgment call whether they did or not. I was told that I just did what I wanted to do and not what I should have done. I was offended by that because I did what I thought was best in that moment and I did such with good faith. It wasn’t like I’d randomly decided to go against protocol because I just didn’t like the rules so I made up my own rules.
I see discussions as free flowing exchanges about a topic. Typically in a discussion there is no finger-pointing, no postulations of right and wrong and rarely any utterances that leave one party feeling small and inadequate. I realized that I view my recent exchange as an argument because I walked away feeling inadequate. I’d been scolded, albeit politely, but scolded none the less.
I readily admit that I did not handle the conversation well. The moment I was made to feel inadequate I shut down and there was no further exchange, just more scolding. My shutting down only served to further incite the situation. Wherein the other party's point was made, taken, and understood, ending it there wasn’t enough. We kept hammering at it until all I could do was cry.
Now as I sit back and reflect on the whole exchange I’m mortified that what amounted to a sum total value of $4.00 has left me questioning my judgment and abilities, broken my spirit, and completely ruined my day.
Monday, August 11, 2008
Wednesday, August 06, 2008
Two of my past books have me scratching my head in wonder. In February 2007, my sixth contemporary romance novel, In The Light of Love was released to fairly good reviews. It was the story of Talisa London and Dr. Jericho Becton. The couple encounters each other at an Atlanta hospital fund-raiser and then find themselves working side by side in a war-torn African nation. If I can say so myself, this was a damn good book. It was this engaging tale of faith, commitment, and the spirit of giving and the reviews weren’t half bad at all.
As part of my vision for that story, I pledged to give 50% of all the royalties I earned from the sales for the first six month period to WORLD VISION to be used toward food and supplies to aid the women and children suffering in Darfur, Sudan. WORLD VISION is a Christian humanitarian organization dedicated to working with children, families and their communities worldwide to reach their full potential by tackling the causes of poverty and injustice. And this is where my issues come in.
I haven’t made that donation yet. I haven’t made that donation because to date, I’m told I’ve not sold enough copies of that book to have earned any royalties at all. None at all. I’m still shaking my head at my last royalty statement. Every book before it and every book after it did amazingly well. It however, hasn’t done much of anything at all.
I have one other book that I thought would have done extremely well and it didn’t. Love In The Lineup was released in August 2006. This was Roshawn Bradsher’s story. You may remember Roshawn was Jeneva (The Right Side of Love) and Bridget’s (Always Means Forever) best friend. Roshawn was the reason there was even a series about those three women because everyone loved Roshawn’s spirited personality.
Now, Love In The Lineup was funny as can be and HOT. I even managed to get a condom on beautiful Angel Rios while the man was skinny-dipping in a swimming pool. That sexual encounter was spontaneous, unplanned, and took some serious maneuvering to accomplish. The aftermath left you breathless!
So what happened? Where did I get it wrong? What could I have done differently? And, how do I keep from making the same mistakes with Luke and Matthew’s stories? I’m a little baffled and admittedly, a lot nervous.
But I’m also still committed to honoring my pledge for WORLD VISION. The crisis that still exists in Sudan follows on the heels of two decades of civil war waged in northern Uganda. The Ugandan conflict left tens of thousands of civilians dead, witnessed at least 20,000 child abductions and displaced more than 1.6 million people. To date, as many as 10,000 people have died monthly since the conflict began in Darfur, Sudan, mainly due to pervasive – and preventable – disease and hunger. The brutal, ethnic conflict has driven over 2 million people into homelessness, their villages pillaged, burned, and destroyed. Health care is extremely limited, and killings and sexual assaults are rampant. With the lives of thousands of women and children threatened, I am hoping to give a gift that will help to provide lifesaving food and relief to these children and families as they work to rebuild their lives.
I know about rebuilding a life. And I know about needing a helping hand. If you haven’t read In The Light Of Love, please do. If you have, and you enjoyed it, buy a copy for a friend.