Monday, December 31, 2007


This year flew by. I can’t believe just how fast it got away from me but the 2007 year is waving a hearty goodbye as Baby New Year is readying himself to take over. This definitely wasn’t one of my best years so I can’t say that I’m sad to see it go. In fact, I’m so ready to see it long gone that I will be welcoming in 2008 with bells on.

I took a quick minute to reflect back on my resolutions from last year. Clearly I was on some serious drugs when I even imagined myself attempting to keep them. I think I took wishful thinking to an all-time high. The only resolution that I remotely kept for the entire year was not sweating the small stuff and that’s probably because I didn’t have much small stuff to angst over. My pot of big stuff however over flowed frequently this past year.

For 2008 I’m going to fall back on old people wisdom and just let life do what it’s going to do.

I’m not going to promise to diet and exercise. Like my granny said, “Girl, you might be big but you’re healthy. Now have another slice of pie and be happy. Someone, somewhere, loves a woman with a butt and thighs!”

I will not angst over my divorce. To paraphrase Tina Turner and the lyrics to What’s Love Got To Do With It?, I’m thinking about my own protection.

I’m not going to worry about relationships in general. A friend of a friend said, “The right man at the wrong time is still the wrong man.” I imagine things will be sweet when and if they’re supposed to happen.

Mr. Ben told me that "if you don’t use it, you’ll lose it". I’ll apply that to life it general and live it as fully and as completely as I can.

Mr. Ben also said, "SMILE. It’s good for your face." I plan to smile and laugh as much as I possibly can.

As for the rest of it, who knows. Like Ray Charles told us. “It’s gonna do what it do, baby!” So I’m just going to let it.

Have a safe and blessed New Year!

Thursday, December 20, 2007


I'm off for the holiday. The to-do list is miles long and I am quickly running out of time. As always, I can't just take off and not leave you with a little holiday cheer to sip on.

Enjoy and may each of you have a safe and blessed Christmas and may your Santa grant all your wishes and many more.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007


I find myself doing a lot of research on weddings and honeymoons. I'm always looking for ideas for some story or another that showcases just how beautiful the union of matrimony could be.

Different things inspire me. The colors in a wedding bouquet. A gorgeous wedding gown. The beautiful bride and groom. A wedding cake that veers from the traditional. I like to find these things to piece together my own interpretation of a perfect wedding.

I happened upon this photograher's blog site via another author's blog. I have just been captivated by Ross Oscar Knight's work, returning time and time again to explore his space. The man is exceptionally talented and I admire what he can do with a camera. I have challenged myself to translate such beauty into words, much like he has translated it to film.

Click the link below. I had to share this with you. It is truly a wondeful piece of photo-telling! What Ross had managed to capture through his lens is just breathtaking. I could just feel the joy this couple shared on their special day. They were such an exquisite couple. The imagery is simply amazing and love is just spilling out of the photographs.

If you're in the Atlanta area, look him up. If I should have a romantic event in my life some time in the future, I'll surely be headed South to hire him to photograph the moment.


Ross Oscar Knight

Thursday, December 13, 2007


Music burns in perfect syncopation,
Fragrant metaphors of whole and half notes
Inciting tapping toes and snapping fingers.

I choreograph a solo performance,
Because you will not dance with me,
And there is no audience to cheer us on.

I’ll wear my best tap shoes,
With the delicate heels
That balance my love for you on shaky legs,
And when I pirouette out on stage,
At least you will know that I was there...
...Willing to dance...for you…

Wednesday, December 12, 2007


* Taking your boy’s phone call before your woman’s is not cool. Hanging up on your woman to talk to your boy and then forgetting to call your woman back, is not cool. Calling your boy and not calling your woman at all, is truly not cool. To paraphrase Erykah Badu, the next time you want some ass, call your boy, your woman is too through.

* When your woman is craving your time and attention, wanting to spend some quality one-on-one time with you that doesn’t amount to just an afternoon quickie in a back room, don’t get her hopes up and then disappoint her. It doesn’t take a brain surgeon to realize when you’ve made your woman an afterthought behind your family and friends. You’re woman isn’t a brain surgeon and she’s figured it out already.

* A woman likes when you do that thing you do when the two of you are doing that thing you do. You need to do it more.

* I will not entertain the thought of putting my life on hold while you try to figure out what you want to do with yours. I will not risk you deciding that what you want is more valuable than what I want. I would hate to do that and then discover that what you want does not include me.

* Size does matter.

Monday, December 10, 2007


Imagine being given an opportunity for a life-changing experience and then being unable to participate because you do not have the funds. I have a young friend who is in that position at this very moment. T’Keya Fox is an exceptional young woman, doing some exceptional things. She’s a seventeen-year old high school junior who is striving for excellence in every aspect of her young life. I haven’t met many young women with her drive and initiative and from the first introduction I was truly impressed with her. T’Keya has some lofty goals for herself and continually demonstrates her intent to achieve each and every one.

T’Keya was recently selected to represent her Burlington, NC high school and community as a National Scholar at the National Young Leaders Conference in Washington, DC this spring. T’Keya’s academic excellence and extraordinary leadership potential was recognized by the high school teachers who nominated her for this honor.

Being afforded such an opportunity comes with an exceptionally high price. Conference tuition and the costs to get there and back home are expensive. T’Keya comes from a single parent home, her mom working two jobs to support the family. Like most of us, there is little money for “extras”. T’Keya being able to afford the fees associated with this endeavor unfortunately falls on that “extras” list. T’Keya requires financial assistance to make this dream come true and although the Congressional Youth Leadership Council hosting the event is sensitive to her need for help, the best they do is make suggestions to the child to guide her in fundraising.

So, on behalf of my friend T’Keya, I’m reaching out and fundraising from my heart. I’m doing this because T’Keya is a young black female at the pinnacle of her future and I want to see her succeed. I understand that without support things could easily go in a different direction for this sweet child and I do not want to see that happen. Thus far she’s made some excellent choices for herself and I believe that with continued support and love from family and friends she will keep doing that. There’s a big world out there for T’Keya to experience and I’d like to see her afforded every opportunity available to her.

I’m holding out my hand and asking folks to open their hearts and their pockets. Towards that goal I am hosting an on-line fundraiser to generate whatever funds I can. Between December 11th and February 28th I’ll be selling “event” tickets to raise as much money as I can possibly raise. With every $25 ticket purchased I’ll give the donor a signed copy of my next book, To Love A Stallion. For every $100 donation I’ll give the donor a signed copy of my next book and a copy of my June 2008 release, Tame A Wild Stallion. Donate $250 and I’ll send you signed copies of every book I’ve published up to June 2008.

A payment method has been set up through PAYPAL. You don't need a PAYPAL account to pay by one of the acceptable payment methods. Just click the "I don't have an account" button and it will still be just fine. If you need more info about T'Keya or the conference, please hit the comment button below.

Every dollar is a step in the right direction for T’Keya’s future. If you can, please help me help this baby’s dream come true. Let’s afford her the opportunity to participate in this life-changing experience. Let’s help her raise those funds.

Thank you.

T'Keya Fox Fundraiser!

Monday, December 03, 2007


I fully intend to rock the cutest little black dress come New Year’s Eve. Every muscle in my body feels like it’s been twisted in two since I went back to the gym to try and get myself in shape. I’ve been exercising everyday now and I hurt. But it’s going to be well worth all my efforts.

No matter what it takes, me and my little black dress are going to make some heads turn. I don’t have me a New Year’s date yet, and no New Year’s place to go celebrate, but whether I have someone to wear that dress for or not, I fully intend to be cute in it.


Years ago Oprah had a relationship expert on who stated that couples needed to focus on themselves first and their children and families second. I remember well the gasps and declarations from an audience of women who couldn’t fathom putting any man’s needs before the needs of their babies. It was explained that a couple who focused first on themselves was better equipped emotionally to take care of those children and all the other external issues that a family needed to face on a day to day basis. I remember balking at the thought myself. Wasn’t enough love in the world to get me to think of my children’s wants and needs only after I’d considered their father’s. I just couldn’t wrap my mind around the concept.

Then I met Sheila and her sister Bev. Both were married with children. Bev’s husband had her full attention twenty-four seven. Sheila’s children had her attention first and her husband was an afterthought in their relationship. Needless to say Bev had a much better marriage than her sister and surprisingly her kids were happier and better adjusted as well.

Bev and her husband have always put themselves and their relationship at the very tippy-top of their priority list. They have proven time and time again that the peace and balance they find with each other carries over to how they deal with their children and their family.

Sheila says the disregard in her relationship started while she and her spouse were dating. Time and attention for each other came well after time and attention for everyone else. It became habit for them to think of themselves only after they were finished dealing with everyone else’s issues. A typical date for the two rarely involved them being alone together for any significant amount of time. After they married Sheila put her children first and her husband eventually resented that he fell somewhere at the bottom of her priority totem pole. He didn’t do a much better job, allowing the needs of work and his extended family to supersede Sheila’s needs. Sheila eventually felt disregarded and was unhappy with her relationship woes.

I’ve watched the two women do that dance couples do with each other and clearly Bev and her husband do one mean cha-cha and tango. Sheila and her spouse on the other hand couldn’t do a two-step if someone painted the dance steps on the floor and included video how-to instructions for them to follow. I’ve seen a few relationships end this year, including my own, and although the reasons for each one failing might have been different, they all had one thing in common. None of us listened to the expert.

Monday, November 26, 2007


Hope you all enjoyed your Thanksgiving holiday. I know I did. For the first time in a very long time I did absolutely nothing. Barely got out of my pajamas this year. Truth be told it was some much needed rest. I slept long, slept well, and now I’m feeling substantially reinvigorated.

Went to the movies last night with a group of women who had me laughing to and from the theater. We had a great time and saw a really great movie. If you have an opportunity don’t miss the experience of the new movie, This Christmas.

This Christmas stars an ensemble cast that includes veterans actors Loretta Devine, Delroy Lindo, Idris Elba, Regina King, Sharon Leal, and Mekhi Phifer, and the talents of youthful Lauren London, Chris Brown, Columbus Short, and Malcolm Moore.

The movie is so much about family. This year, Christmas with the Whitfield family promises to be one they will never forget. It’s the first time in four years that the Whitfield siblings are together for the holidays in their family home and they come with baggage galore. There’s the usual tree trimming and light hanging wrapped in a multitude of secrets and scandal. The soundtrack is off the chain for those who love themselves some old school and Chris Brown just sings his sweet little heart out. This movie was truly a treat for the eyes and had an assortment of eye candy to satisfy any holiday sweet tooth.

I have to tell you this movie had me wishing Christmas Day were here already. I left the theater with the Christmas spirit and can’t wait for the holiday to get here. It brought home some great memories of Christmas’ past and had me planning for many a future holiday as well.

Kick off your holiday with a great feel good movie. This one is a keeper and I can’t wait to see it again.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Gobble, Gobble, Gobble!

It’s that time of year again. Celebrations reign with family and friends, and folks come together to give thanks for their blessings. I have much to be thankful for. Every so often I need me a swift kick to remind me just how truly blessed I am.

This hasn’t’ been a good year. Truth be told I haven’t had a truly good year in a good long while now. But it was a blessed year. For every door that was closed another opened. Challenges came and were surpassed and with each one I was in awe of my own personal strength to be able to overcome the adversity. Personal drama fueled fictional fantasies and I have been writing like I haven’t been able to write for some time. My heart was opened in ways I had never fathomed possible and as I approach the holidays I feel a tremendous wave of relief and comfort washing over me.

Last week I couldn’t imagine myself cooking a thing for the holiday. Today I can’t see myself NOT cooking. My gobble, gobble, gobble will go into the oven at the crack of dawn. My baby boy will get his favorite mac and cheese. Friends will enjoy home baked challah, cakes, and pies. I’ll find comfort in the decadent aromas of my kitchen and the abundance of food that will grace my Thanksgiving Day table.

I am immensely blessed and grateful for the opportunity to not only acknowledge that fact but to give thanks for each and every blessing.

Happy Thanksgiving and may you each have a safe and blessed holiday!

Monday, November 19, 2007


I swear I learn something new every day!

America 's High Tech 'Invisible Man'

By Tyrone D. Taborn

You may not have heard of Dr. Mark Dean. And you aren't alone. But almost everything in your life has been affected by his work. Dr. Mark Dean is a Ph.D. from Stanford University. He is in the National Hall of Inventors. He has more than thirty patents currently pending. He is a vice president with IBM. And, he is also the architect of the modern-day personal computer.

Dr. Dean holds three of the original nine patents on the computer that all PCs are based upon. And, Dr. Mark Dean is an African American. So how is it that we can celebrate the 20th anniversary of the IBM personal computer without reading or hearing a single word about him? Given all of the pressure mass media are under about negative portrayals of African Americans on television and in print, you would think it would be a slam dunk to highlight someone like Dr. Dean. Somehow, though, we have managed to miss the shot.

History is cruel when it comes to telling the stories of African Americans. Dr. Dean isn't the first Black inventor to be overlooked. Consider John Stanard, inventor of the refrigerator; George Sampson, creator of the clothes dryer; Alexander Miles and his elevator; Lewis Latimer and the electric lamp. All of these inventors share two things: One, they changed the landscape of our society; and, two, society relegated them to the footnotes of history.

Hopefully, Dr. Mark Dean won't go away as quietly as they did. He certainly shouldn't. Dr. Dean helped start a digital revolution that enabled the works of Microsoft's Bill Gates and Dell Computer's Michael Dell. Millions of jobs in information technology can be traced back directly to Dr. Dean. More important, stories like Dr. Mark Dean's should serve as inspiration for African-American children. Already victims of the 'Digital Divide' and failing school systems, young, Black kids might embrace technology with more enthusiasm if they knew someone like Dr. Dean was already leading the way.

Although technically Dr. Dean can't be credited with creating the computer - - that is left to Alan Turing, a pioneering 20th-century English mathematician, widely considered to be the father of modern computer science -- Dr. Dean rightly deserves to take a bow for the machine we use today. The computer really wasn't practical for home or small business use until he came along, leading a team that developed the interior architecture (ISA systems bus) that enables multiple devices, such as modems and printers, to be connected to personal computers. In other words, because of Dr. Dean, the PC became a part of our daily lives. For most of us, changing the face of society would have been enough. But not for Dr. Dean.

Still in his early forties, he has a lot of inventing left in him. He recently made history again by leading the design team responsible for creating the first 1-gigahertz processor chip. It's just another huge step in making computers faster and smaller. As the world congratulates itself for the new Digital Age brought on by the personal computer, we need to guarantee that the African-American story is part of the hoopla surrounding the most stunning technological advance the world has ever seen. We cannot afford to let Dr. Mark Dean become a footnote in history. He is well worth his own history book.

Monday, November 12, 2007



Saturday, November 17, 2007

3:00 PM

East Regional Library
946 Steeple Square Court
Knightdale, NC 27545
(919) 217-5300


Cheris Hodges

Deborah Fletcher Mello

Monique Miller

Hosted by
In The Spirit Book Club

Historically, I've not done many of these book things but when In The Spirit Book Club invites me to do their book thing, I go. I met this amazing group of women at another author's event. I'd arrived late and was trying to navigate my way through the crowd to any empty seat. Unfortunately there weren't many but a lovely group of ladies waved me in their direction and I gladly plopped by big butt down.

My first book hadn't dropped yet and I was feeling so out of place but these ladies were welcoming and warm and soon I was having myself one good old time. When they learned that I was soon to be published, the groups' president wrote down my name and number and promised that her group would read my book. Not only did they read me, but they made sure that I had presence in their local library and three of my books have been featured readings for their group. They've continued to show me much love and I consider their club president one of my dearest friends.

I always enjoy myself at this event and look forward to being invited every year. So, if you're in the area, please come on by and join us. I assure you it will be one heck of a good time!


I have a friend who thinks it is the funniest thing that I never drank Kool-Aid until I was well into my teens. Every time the subject comes up he is rolling on the floor with laughter. I can’t help but laugh myself because what family back in the day didn’t raise their children on Kool-Aid? Well, mine didn’t.

My first experience with Kool-Aid was at a cousin’s house during a summer break. I thought it was the coolest thing to be able to make a full pitcher of drink from that little packet of colored powder and a bucket load of granulated sugar! I can actually remember returning home and sharing that knowledge with my mother who looked at me like I’d just told her we’d built an atomic bomb out of shoe leather and toothpaste. She was not amused and it was many years later before she finally broke down and allowed Kool-Aid into our home. It was also that presweetened variety as well, not the little flavor packets that you could sweeten yourself.

My dear friend laughed himself silly when I told him I’d never eaten canned vegetables, potted meat, Vienna sausages, or government cheese either. Not that he could talk because he never ate grits. I mean really, how many Southern Baptist black children do you know that didn’t grow up eating grits? I know I ate me some grits and I wasn’t Southern or Baptist!

I was raised in an extremely white, upper middle class neighborhood in very wealthy Fairfield County, Connecticut. My friends were kids who got BMW’s for their first communion and Mercedes Benz’s for their bar mitzvah’s. I wore clothes from Lord and Taylors and Bloomingdales, and I’d be the first to say that I grew up privileged, prissy and just a tad pretentious.

Ours was the first of only four black families to integrate the neighborhood and until fifth grade there were only two black students in the elementary school I attended. I attended a black church and spent my summers on my grandparent’s South Carolina farm where I learned to pick cotton and eat watermelon right off the vine.

Growing up, I was an anomaly. I wasn’t blonde or blue-eyed, my mother wasn’t a stay-at-home Mom, and my father worked three jobs and none of them were on Wall Street. During my fifth grade year busing became en vogue and suddenly there were other black kids filling up the classrooms. That’s when I discovered just how different I truly was. I didn’t feel different or look different but to everyone else I was suddenly too white to be black and too black to be white. I was called Oreo, half-n-half, high yeller, wannabe, jigaboo, and a host of other expletives more than I was called by my name. It truly wasn’t pretty.

I’ve had to deal with issues of race most of my life. The environment I was raised in called it into question on a daily basis. I was either treated differently because the color of my skin was different, or I was treated differently because I spoke and behaved differently. Out of sheer necessity I learned early how to walk in two very different worlds but I was never made to feel welcome or comfortable in either. Fast forward a few years and I marry a man who is biracial, straddling a fence of black/white and Portuguese parentage. He still doesn’t have a clue where he falls on the color wheel. Our children are an amalgamation of many ethnicities and they could care less. Depending on the mood of the moment they’ve been known to check either the black box or the other box proudly. They listen to rap, classical and hard rock, eat chitlin’s, pizza, and Puerco guisado, and genuinely can’t understand what all the hoopla is about race and why people fear it so.

When I was first called about my very first manuscript, the editor at the time spoke to me on the telephone for a good fifteen minutes about my book. The conversation was curious at best and then she asked if I would please email her a picture of myself. I thought it a pretty strange request but hey, a real publisher was interested in my writing so I was ready to send as many photos as she wanted. Ten minutes after she received the email I received my second CALL and an offer to purchase my book. I later understood that they needed to be sure I was what I claimed to be, a black woman writing black romance. Apparently that didn’t come across over the telephone line.

I have no doubts that the majority of my readers are black women. Interestingly though, I had a book signing recently where I sold a lot of books. Only one of my fans who came to see me was a black woman. Most of the books sold were purchased by non-black readers, male and female. I thought for just a brief second that there was actually some progress being made and then one elderly “fan” felt compelled to expound on what she thought about me and my writing. The praises were plentiful and complementary and then she leaned in, her hand pressed against my shoulder and said, “I do like your writing. It’s not like you’re really black, dear.”

As a black author published in the romance genre I find myself once again straddling that fence where I understand that I’m not necessarily welcome nor is there any concern that I’m comfortable. I’m discovering that to write what I want to write I will clearly have to walk in two very different worlds or make the conscious decision not to be published at all.

I wish I could be as dismissive about race as my children but I can’t. My race plays a fundamental role in where my books are shelved in the stores, if they’re carried in certain bookstores at all, and whether or not I can get a book deal for a book that isn’t black romance. I’m not blonde this week and since my last blonde disaster I doubt highly that me and Miss Clairol will be trying that ever again. I’ll never be blue-eyed and there is nothing prissy, privileged or prissy about me.

I am black. I was born black and guaranteed I’ll die black. I’m a black woman and one hell of a force to be reckoned with. And I’m a damn good writer no matter what I happen to be writing about. I’ve got a lot of storytelling left in me and just like my Kool-Aid, the flavor I tell them in will be however I choose. Since I don’t plan to go anywhere any time soon, pull up a seat, grab yourself a glass of Kool-Aid, choose your own flavor, and join me. I’ve got a great story I’d love to tell you.

Sunday, November 11, 2007


I am a collector. I collect tea pots, pottery, paintings, and some “stuff” that people can’t seem to figure out why I have to have. But I have an affinity for beautiful things. Many of the things I collect I acquire simply because I find them beautiful. Beautiful things bring me immeasurable joy. Today was the last day of the county’s Open Studio Tour. It’s an annual event hosted by the Artist’s Guild to promote the work of local artists. The tour enables you to walk into an artist’s workspace to see how they do what they do. It’s also a fascinating opportunity to acquire something beautiful where you least expect it.

There were only a few studios I wanted to visit. Artists whose work I’ve admired for some time and wanted to see what they had that was new. And then there was one artist, Laura Farrow, whose work I wanted to experience for the first time. Laura Farrow is a sculptor. Some of her work is influenced by her experiences in Africa, Tanzania specifically. Some of her work is influenced by her fascination with indigenous cultures. Other pieces are influenced by the human experience of just being a woman in a big wide world. Her artwork is truly extraordinary and for the brief time that I was able to walk her studio I became enamored with many beautiful things.

I asked Laura why she’d named her studio, BROKEN TUSK and she told me a story about the Hindu, elephant-headed deity, Ganesha. Ganesha is the Lord of success and destroyer of evil and obstacles. He is also worshipped as the god of education, knowledge, wisdom and wealth. He has the head of an elephant and the body of a human being with a substantial pot-belly. Ganesha has a broken tusk which he holds like a pen in his lower right hand. It is said that Ganesha broke off his tusk in sacrifice to write the Mahabharata, the great Hindu epic. Laura said she was taken with the idea of one sacrificing a piece of themselves for their art and thus BROKEN TUSK STUDIO came to be.

Her explanation resonated deeply with me. I understand sacrificing a piece of one’s self for one’s art. I do it with each story I tell. Every book I’ve ever written holds a part of me that I’ve gladly given away to be able to do what I do and do it well. I’ve discovered recently that my best writing comes when I’ve been willing to expose myself, no matter how vulnerable that might make me. It’s that vulnerability, when I let down my barriers and allow myself to spill into my words that feeds and nurtures my best work. It’s when I’m broken and I give those shattered pieces of myself away that my writing grows and my spirit soars and I am left with something that is sheer beauty for someone else to read.

Thursday, November 08, 2007


I absolutely LOVE the cover of my newest book! That's two out of eight in my absolutely LOVE pile. We're making some serious progress.

I'd gotten a peek at it months ago. At that time I refused to get excited because experience has taught me that the powers in charge are alway subject to change and therefore my cover could have undergone a transition as well. It happened with book #5, Love In The Lineup. The original cover I'd been presented with was incredible. The cover that ended up on the book wasn't. I found out about the change when the cover showed up on The moment wasn't pretty.

But had this cover up on its site today. This cover made me very, very happy. If these two aren't Marah Briscoe and John Stallion I don't know who else is. I only wish I could see more of John 'cause the brother is one picture perfect piece of male speciman. And he's got the mouth of a God. Does this man not have the most perfect lips?

TO LOVE A STALLION was such a fun book to write. I had an absolute blast putting pen to paper and bringing this couple to their happy ending. The two together are so smooth that they remind me of sweet cream and chocolate pudding. I'm hoping everyone else loves their story as much as I loved writing it. I assure you it's one heck of a good read!

Wednesday, November 07, 2007


I am loving Rissi Palmer and it's just like she sings:

It`s the way I think not how I talk
It`s a pride you feel that makes you walk the walk
Come Sunday morning palms up in praise
It`s all about my mama `nem
And how I was raised
It`s a state of mind no matter where you`re from
Living like your grandma done....

Saturday, November 03, 2007


There is a debate raging on whether or not married folks can or should have friends of the opposite sex. Since I was a kid most of my friends have always been male. For no particular reason, not all women jive well with other women, or men with men, for that matter.

I married a man who was adamant that no good could come from such relationships. He firmly believed that no man just wanted to be “friends” with any woman, particularly one that he was married to. Subsequently, I severed ties with a number of really good friends. It's a decision I deeply regret. After many years I came to understand that his issue with my friendships had to do with his insecurities and the issues of trust between us more than anything else.

This past Sunday pastor preached about infidelity of the heart. The gist of the sermon was how to have an affair with your spouse and not have an affair with someone else. Pastor maintains that married couples do not need, nor should they ever have, friends of the opposite sex. Pastor claimed God made men and women to be attracted to each other and there is no way to deny that attraction. Somewhere in his bible there was scripture to support the sin and evil that could come from such liaisons. I personally didn’t agree with everything pastor had to say, but then that was me. I just knew from my own relationships, my friends and I weren’t interested in jumping into bed with each other just because they were male and I was female.

I’m not a woman who has a problem with her spouse or companion having female friendships. If I’m in a relationship with a man I love and trust then I trust that those friendships will never cross the line to disrespect. Not every woman feels the way I do.

Piper’s hubby has female friends. Piper is well acquainted with most of them. Piper has never had an issue with any of them until lately. There are two or three of these friends that clearly don’t have their friend’s best interests at heart.

Friend Number One is an old classmate of Piper’s. This friend seems to spend an exorbitant amount of time telling Piper’s husband about Piper’s old trysts and liaisons. Piper has an issue with this since most of the telling is fabricated, exploited, or blown completely out of proportion. Piper’s having difficulty reconciling why the husband seems to enjoy the friend disparaging Piper every chance she gets.

Friend Number Two doesn’t think Piper’s the best woman for the husband and doesn’t mind saying so. This is a friend who gets great pleasure from predicting doom and gloom for the duo. Piper can’t figure out the draw here either.

Friend Number Three clearly wants to be more than friends. She’s an ex-girlfriend of the husband’s and wants to be in Piper’s shoes. This friend likes to jokingly make threats about doing Piper harm. In fact, at least one of her daily text messages to the husband is a message that she wants him to relay to Piper about kicking her butt, smashing her face, or breaking one of her limbs. Piper doesn’t get the funny-ha-ha about it that the husband seems to think she should.

I had to tell Piper the husband has clearly crossed the line. Friends or not, no man who truly values and respects her would allow any friend of his, male or female, to disrespect her so blatantly. The fact that her husband does says more about him than I think Piper cares to know.


Jesse’s got some issues with his girl Taylor. Taylor and her ex-hubby share custody of an adolescent. Occasionally, Taylor and her ex have to participate in parent events to support that child. This is how it should be. Jesse understands those situations require the two to be in each other’s company. Boyfriend might not like it but he'll have to get over it. Jesse knows that it is the child’s best interests that need to be taken above all else so he sucks up his issues and tries not to let his own insecurities cause them all unnecessary drama. Jesse will be the first to say he fully supports what’s best for little Junior.

The kid has been dealing with some heavy issues lately. Parents at each other’s throat can do that to a baby. Feeling neglected and ignored hasn’t helped the child much either. So Taylor decided to take Junior away for a mini vacation, some quality parent and child time to get them back on track. Jesse fully supported that knowing how important it was to Taylor to strengthen her relationship with her offspring. When the ex-hubby decided to tag along for the ride, Jesse hated to admit that he had some serious issues. Parent events is one thing. Mini vacations are a whole other animal.

Jesse’s been rationalizing it to death. Taylor said she really didn’t want the ex-hubby to go. She wasn’t much interested in spending her whole weekend with her ex. Jesse really wanted to believe that. But when Taylor didn’t put up much of a fight when it was time to pull out of the driveway, taking the ex-hubby along on her and Junior's good time, Jesse had to admit he didn‘t know what to believe. Jesse got left behind and he won’t say it out loud but it hurt a hell of a lot more than he thought it would. Now Jesse isn’t sure what to believe about this whole mess because his insecurities are raging rampant and out-of-control.

So, here’s what I know. People don’t typically do things they don’t want to do, unless of course their hands are tied behind their back and they’re being held hostage with a gun to their head. If Taylor really didn’t want the ex to tag along she could have easily told him this trip wasn’t for them the family but for her the mother and Junior the child. If Taylor and the ex-hubby aren’t together the way she continues to claim, then the ex-hubby shouldn’t have had a problem with that and if he did tough. He‘d get over it. Taylor should have just let it be his problem if he wanted to make it one. The ex-hubby could have easily taken Junior away for quality parent-child time on another weekend.

But I also know children. And I know parents will sometimes do what they might not want to do because it is best for the child. From the beginning, none of this was about Taylor and what she might have wanted, but all about Junior and what he needed. I have no doubts that he wanted his daddy and his mommy along on his good time. Taylor did what she needed to do as a parent first. I can’t fault her one bit for that.

Jesse needs to reel in his insecurities. His lack of confidence in what he shares with Taylor could very well put them some place he’d rather not be. If there is anything to Taylor and her ex-hubby time will surely show that hand when and if it needs to. If there is anything at all to Jesse and Taylor, Jesse will man up and just let this go. Eventually that hurt he’s now feeling will heal. In the end though, Taylor’s baby is what matters most. The adults will just have to work out the rest of their issues on their own.

Sunday, October 28, 2007


I’d forgotten what it was like to write just for the sake of writing. I’ve been fighting to write what other folks want from me and then feeling frustrated because I haven’t been able to write at all. I’ve known since I was a little girl that writing was my passion. It was the one thing I could do and do well and be completely fulfilled doing. It never mattered to me if I made money doing it. I just wanted to tell a good story and have whoever read it be moved by my words. I wanted to take others to the places I traveled to in my mind, to share that part of myself that people might not have been able to see. Writing elevated me above the mundane routines of everyday life and when a story came, when I could twist it and spin it until it was just right, I was in my glory. When I focused on the words rambling in my head and the voices crying out for my attention, there was no challenge I could not conquer, nothing that could ever best me.

And then I found myself writing what other people wanted, trying to fulfill other folk’s expectations, and more times than not, the words failed me.

I can’t do it anymore. I can’t do light and fluffy. Life isn’t like that and no matter how hard I try I can’t get to the happy ending without letting life do what it does naturally. It needs to throw me and my characters a curve or two. It needs to be difficult and complicated and sometimes downright messy and nasty. It can’t always be pretty because life isn’t like that. Sometimes it has to hurt so deeply that I question whether or not I can rise above it and then I do. That’s what I need to write. Those are the words spinning out of control for my attention. I am desperate to write for the sake of writing because I’m still passionate about the beauty of words and the tales they can tell. I don’t want to stop being passionate about what I love to do.

I’ve decided to let other’s do fluffy. I just can’t do it anymore.


John’s not getting it and so I’m going to explain it to him in English he can understand.

No woman wants to feel like a car that's being test driven. She doesn't feel pretty when the man she’s head over heels in love just seems to like that she's got all the right parts in the right places and everything seems to be working well. She doesn’t want to feel as if he's decided she handled better than the other car he was test driving last so he'll keep her around because it seems like it's the right thing to do. She doesn’t want to be the one he decides to be with simply because his friends tell him how good he looks behind the wheel or his family proclaims she handles much better than his last ride. Most especially when he thinks it’s necessary to keep running back to that other car to see if the ride has gotten any smoother since the last time it broke down on him and left him stranded on the side of the road. No woman wants to be just something for him to take a ride in while he’s still spending time in the garage trying to get his favorite car to run like he wants it to. No woman.

John's been test driving Leslie and Wendy. Wendy was his first ride, that classic vehicle he can’t move himself to let go of. He keeps thinking that if he puts enough parts into her engine and he keeps trying to polish away all of her rust that she might still be the sweet ride he wants her to be. John can’t seem to accept that Wendy’s rust is glaring and no amount of Bondo will ever hide the damage that’s underneath her surface. Wendy will keep breaking down, forever leaving John stranded on the side of the road.

Leslie, on the other hand, has done everything she can possible think to keep the shine on her own chassis and ensure every ride John takes is a ride he’ll never forget. Leslie has never left him stranded, never broken down, and she can’t help wondering why John finds it so easy to toss her aside to go see if he can get Wendy to run right. Leslie is a classic in her own right and she doesn’t deserve to be parked in the back while John’s trying to get Wendy to run. John seems to be oblivious to the way Leslie is feeling about things. Leslie deserves better than she's getting. Leslie deserves love and attention from a driver who truly appreciates the treasure that she is.

I can’t say much more to John. He seems to be enjoying the roller coaster he’s been riding on. He’s bought stock in Bondo and doesn’t seem to mind patching and repairing Wendy as the moment moves him. Sadly, John may very well miss the boat and not have a car to drive at all.

And I will say this to Leslie because no one else will. Girlfriend, it’s time to get off this ride. There’s many a driver ready and willing to put you first. They would be proud to have you hold that place of honor in their showroom. Although you keep holding on to hope that Wendy will break down for good and John will realize she's not the vehicle he would want for himself, you may very well have to leave John right there on the roadside. Unfortunately, that’s where he seems to enjoy being stranded most.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007


A young woman posed an interesting question to me, believing that I might actually have an answer to her dilemma. Boy, was she wrong! Jasmine is in a new relationship with Ben. Ben has an ex-wife. I had an ex-wife once. In fact, I had two ex-wife’s and a few ex-girlfriends. I say I had them because although I wasn’t the one who’d been married to and divorced from these women, their presence in my life was undeniable. They had children with the hubby. Children who lived in our home full-time. I shared parenting responsibilities. It made for some very interesting moments.

Ben and his ex have a child as well. Ben’s ex has free reign in Ben’s home, coming and going as if she still lives there. In fact, her time with Ben is substantially more than Jasmine’s time with Ben would seem to be. As well, Jasmine is more aware of the ex than the ex is aware of her. This keeps things peaceful for Ben. It ain’t doing much at all for Jasmine. Only one of the hubby’s ex’s had the audacity to believe she still reigned supreme in our home and only because the hubby allowed her to. Took me a good long while to nip that bad habit and until the hubby and I were on the same accord there was many a Queen Bee battle waged between us. I said the moments were interesting!

It took me many years of personal growth and maturity to understand that the ex had as much influence in our lives as she did because the hubby truly hadn’t let go of the emotional bond between them. It took a grand slap to the back of my thick skull to understand that bond didn’t have a damn thing to do with their children. But I was young at the time, hardly out of my teens. I didn’t know any better but I soon learned.

Jasmine spent a good half hour trying to convince me that Ben truly does love her. I could see her holding on to hope that Ben’s promises would ring true for the two of them. I also understood that Jasmine was trying to convince herself that the two of them could make their relationship work more than she was trying to convince me. Ben’s ex though may prove to be the challenge that Jasmine can’t overcome, most especially if Ben doesn’t want to get over the woman. I learned that the hard way too. Not a lesson I’d wish on anyone else to have to learn.

Jasmine asked me what I thought she should do about her ex-wife blues. I wanted to tell her to run fast and run far but I didn’t. I understand that the heart will make you do what it wants to do. I didn’t have an answer for Jasmine. I just knew if I had to do it all again, it’s something I wouldn’t do.


Y’all know how I do this. And if you don’t, it’s not hard to figure out. Dribbles are random thoughts that will never manifest into full-fledged posts but for whatever reason, they’ve stuck themselves into my mind and I can’t let them totally go. So, I dribble…

  • Why does it take one pizza, a chocolate chip cookie, and a bag of potato chips to gain ten pounds and then take 280 hours of exercise and 30 days of grass and carrots to lose two?

  • When a man says he loves you and wants you in his life, but he loves her too and can’t let her go from his life, he’s really trying to tell you that he doesn’t want you in his life. Not really. When a man truly wants you, he‘ll tell you, her and the whole world without a moment of hesitation or doubt. You know this. Now accept the fact that he really doesn’t love or want you in his life and move on.

  • Dirty little secrets always come out sooner than later. It was never supposed to be a dirty little secret.

  • I’m obsessing over little black dresses. I’ve purchased five in the last two months. Each little black dress is cuter and sexier than the one before and the thirty or so little black dresses already hanging in my closet. Sadly, I can’t remember the last time I felt cute and sexy enough to wear a little black dress, much less have a man in a very nice suit to wear it with. I need to start obsessing over something else.

  • Sometimes just getting your feet wet isn’t enough. Sometimes you have to dive in head first and allow yourself to be fully submerged before it makes sense and feels right. So stop worrying about getting your hair wet. Dive.

  • Commitment sucks, relationships are hard work, and love can truly hurt. So what do you do when you’re sick and tired of the hurt and you don’t have the energy for the hard work?

  • I’ve had my fill of fair-weathered friends. No, I don’t have any books to give away. Tell your great Aunt Bertie to call the bookstore and order it like everyone else.

  • I swear there is some sort of life force with a warped sense of humor who gets a kick out of making sure that every time I run into a fione man that I look like I’d just been run over by the fugly bus. And when I look good, and I mean really good, I’m assured to run into toothless Dave, jobless Mike, and Waldo the Wonder-Boy-Without-A-Clue. I’m about ready to kick the humor out of some serious life force ass.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007


There is something incredibly sexy about a cowboy on a horse. It is pure power personified. The only thing sexier is a powerful black cowboy on a horse.

There is an annual black rodeo event hosted here in this small town of mine that I usually do not miss and wouldn’t you know it, I missed this year’s event. I swear, a woman feels like a kid in a candy shop at this function because the men are FOINE. And I do mean FOINE. They come in tight jeans, tighter tee-shirts, boots, chaps, and it is typically one delectable chocolate confection after another to satisfy any sweet tooth. And these are chocolate confections who are also successfully employed as doctors, lawyers, Indians, and chiefs.

For a woman in need of some old-fashioned attention this is truly the place to be ‘cause there is no lack of men wanting to give you a ride on his horse and I’m talkin’ the four-legged variety. Although I’m sure there are some other horses that get ridden as the evening wears on, I personally don’t know nothin’ ‘bout that kind of thing. I go to enjoy the camaraderie, the rodeo events, and the barbecue.

This event and these beautiful black cowboys inspired the series I’m working on now. In February 2008, with my book To Love A Stallion, I’ll be introducing John Stallion, the first of four brothers. Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John Stallion come from Dallas, Texas where everything is large and powerful, and they are no exception. They’re all successful, wealthy, old-fashioned, charming, and the kind of men that can melt a woman where she stands with just one look.

I’ve been riding the Stallion boys for months now and it has truly been one heck of a good time. I’m winding down to the end though, getting ready to let them boys out of the corral so others can enjoy them as much as I have. And all I got to say is, they are truly some sort of sexy.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007


Veiled threats can come in all forms so when a man tells you that your failed marriage will not end the way you might want it to, you should trust that he does not mean you any good. Lisa is learning fast that her husband Ralph can smile his way through any amount of torture he can put her through and not think twice about doing it. The man relishes knowing that he’s got her so twisted that she can’t figure out if she’s coming or going. Fear had never been something Lisa had felt for the man but now she’s afraid. Few will ever realize that she’s more afraid of what she could do to him than what he might even imagine doing to her. And that’s because she’s raging.

Lisa has walked a short tightrope with this man since forever. Her entire marriage was built on his needs with no regard for her own and her sacrificing everything she could to make him happy. Her own joy was so irrelevant that it took years for Lisa to even believe she was entitled to an ounce of joy for herself. But Lisa now believes and she’s angry that someone who once professed to care for her would go out of his way to try and take that joy away.

Lisa cannot remember ever owning so much anger. She’s warped with rage, unable to focus on anything but getting out of the prison she feels she’s been locked away in. She feels like she’s been backed into a corner and she’s fighting tooth and nail to get herself out. Lisa refuses to do another day of time behind Ralph's bars. But behind her closed doors she’s so consumed by the hurt and pain of despising the man so deeply that she’d do almost anything to be rid of him for good. Almost anything…

And then Lisa remembers it won’t always be like this. Happiness is hers if she’s willing to fight for it. Life can be what she chooses for herself and not what someone else thinks she’s entitled to. It always had been. It always will be. And though her earlier choices may not have been the best, Lisa is now choosing to be happy. She is choosing a life without the drama and the tears. She is choosing love, no matter where that might take her. And she's choosing for herself, refusing to let Ralph or anyone else decide what's best for her.

Ralph believes he’s won each time he makes her cry. Lisa refuses to shed another tear for the misery she finds herself in. Ralph is right and Lisa knows beyond any doubt that Ralph doesn’t mean her any good. But she’s got a message for Ralph. It might not end the way she had hoped it would. But it certainly won’t end like he may think either.

Sunday, October 14, 2007


I was cleaning out some drawers and found a folder of "stuff" I've collected over the years. Clippings of articles, inspirational passages, and interesting stories that made me stop and pause. When I found this piece and reread it, the words resonated like they had never done before. I remember when it was being passed around, folks forwarding it from friend to friend, thinking that one day I would pass it on to someone in need. I needed it myself today and now I'm passing it on to someone else who might be in need as well.


by Veronica A. Shoffstall

After a while you learn the subtle difference
Between holding a hand and chaining a soul,
And you learn that love doesn't mean leaning
And company doesn't mean security,
And you begin to understand that kisses aren't contracts
And presents aren't promises.
And you begin to accept your defeats
With your head held high and your eyes open,
With the grace of a woman, not the grief of a child.
You learn to build your roads
On today because tomorrow's ground
Is too uncertain for plans, and futures have
A way of falling down in midflight.
After a while you learn that even sunshine
Burns if you get too much.
So you plant your own garden and decorate
Your own soul, instead of waiting
For someone to bring you flowers.
And you learn that you can really endure,
That you really are strong
And you really do have worth
And you learn and learn ... and you learn
With every goodbye you learn.


The heart is truly a complicated beast and matters of the heart can be quite challenging. Despite the obvious euphoria and exhilaration associated with being in love, it is an emotion that has proven itself to be mysterious, complex, and overwhelmingly difficult to comprehend. To truly define love is damn near impossible but to experience it in all its magnificence can be life changing.

I think the pain we sometimes associate with love has more to do with the baggage we attach to it than to love itself. All of our “stuff” can truly give love a bad name. Negative emotions we experience with love come from our own fears, doubts, anxiety, perceived rejections, broken trusts, anger, jealousy, envy, and the like. That broken heart truly is not broken, just inundated with all the garbage we’ve made it carry.

I write about characters who are beautifully flawed. They unload their baggage between pages 145 and 175 to discover that when they allow themselves to truly open their hearts and feel, the love they discover can complete them and they were already whole before love came their way. Moving my hero and heroine past their frustrations and difficulties to their happily ever after ending comes with relative ease by page 299. Wouldn’t it be nice if reality and our own personal relationships could be the same?

Thursday, October 11, 2007


Jessica’s got a relationship dilemma that truly has her questioning her sanity. Jessica and West have been together for months now. Their romantic relationship developed after they’d built a dynamic friendship. Because both were coming off the heels of really bad relationships they’d decided to keep their attraction to each other a secret from family and friends as they made their way around your typical new relationship bumps.

And then they hit some serious bumps. Each one more devastating than the one before. So much so, that both of them were feeling overwhelmed, out of sorts, and seriously challenged. But Jessica was fighting tooth and nail to hold on to what she had with West and he with her because she truly believed in the beauty of what they shared together. And she loves him, heart and soul.

Family and friends could see the duo had become closer, still not knowing though just how close the bond had actually grown. And still the couple decided they weren’t yet ready to share what was between them with everybody else. Then West became ill. Ill in like confined to a hospital bed ill and Jessica was suddenly questioning her sanity.

Jessica didn’t learn about West being sick from West. An acquaintance called to share that news. West’s family appreciated Jessica’s concern but they didn’t consider her a part of his inner circle and so they didn’t think it appropriate to keep her abreast of his condition. After all, she was only a “friend”. Jessica didn’t have a clue what to do. Clearly, if West had needed her, he would have made sure someone had contacted her, at least that’s what Jessica wants to believe and then she wonders if maybe West didn’t want her by his side during a time when the person you claim to love should be there. Jessica’s ready to storm the hospital to go see about her man, but wanting to respect the agreement between them she’s pacing the floor waiting for information instead.

And now Jessica’s feeling crazy and questioning every ounce of her sanity. Pacing the floors, wringing her hands, trying to hold back tears crazy with worry about West and not having a soul who can tell her what’s going on or what it is she should do.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007


I am usually on top of my game, but recently I’ve strayed so far off the playing field I’m not sure I’ll ever be able to find my way back onto the track. I’ve been weeding out unhealthy situations in my life and that has included some long time relationships. One in particular has had me pulling my hair out and wishing I could stick pins in my eyeballs to divert the pain elsewhere.

While trying to let this relationship go, I recently made a major mistake. I truly believed that I could have a rational discussion with an irrational individual and as I should have expected, it didn’t work. Even after acknowledging all that was wrong with us, agreeing that apart was far better than together, the poor fool still didn’t have a clue.

And because he was clueless, he showed his ass. (My grandmother’s description of his behavior, not mine!) I didn’t know you could call a person as many derogatory names as he had the audacity to call me and then he wanted to know what the real problem was between us. I’m sorry, the problem is your total lack of respect for me and mine, you sorry son-of-a-…

I was so tempted to blow a few derogatory names back at him, but I didn’t. I bit my tongue instead and then I cried. Understanding that this person and this relationship bring out the very worst in me was why I needed to let it and him go. Toxic doesn’t even begin to describe how we can be with each other, the aftermath of time spent in each other’s company leaving me broken, feeling as if I am just a fragment of my true self. It’s taken some deep, deep soul searching to realize and understand that I don’t have to allow any individual to tear the core of my soul to shreds while doing it in the so-called name of love. Some things aren’t right, and tearing a loved one down to build yourself up is just one of those things.

And so I’ve let that go and I’m in a better place for doing so. I’m unpacking my baggage and getting it well out of my way. If it’s not working for me, it’s got to go from my life and it’s got to go now. So, that’s one bad relationship done and finished and sadly, I’ve got a few more that need to go.


I really wish I had the option of having a total and complete meltdown, forsaking every one of my responsibilities to wallow in my own personal pity party. I’d even invite other folks to join in. But I don’t have that option. Other people seem to enjoy the opportunity when it moves them, but I’ve never been one of those privileged to do so. Sure, I would like to spend a few weeks in my pajamas, hiding beneath the covers with boxes of chocolate cherries, Almond M&M’s, Orville Redenbacher popcorn and the television remote, bemoaning every bad thing happening to me, disregarding all the bullshit running through my mind and causing havoc on my daily life, but that’s not going to happen. It’s not an option for me no matter how much I would like to withdraw from the realities of life and just not give a rat’s ass.

I am obligated to keep standing, to keep smiling, to keep fighting for my joy because as a woman, and a mother, and a nurturer, it’s expected of me. Most women know that fulfilling such an expectation isn’t always an easy thing to do. I’ve placed an unholy amount of pressure upon myself and I am petrified of failing. I’m also determined not to fail and fall because if I do, then not only do I fall but those I love most may very well fall with me. And I just can’t have that happen.

I have my moments though. I had one last night in fact. I allowed myself to feel sorry for my circumstances. I let myself feel so bad about everything and about nothing that I spent hours crying like a baby in want of a pacifier. It was that ugly cry too, where you hyperventilate, throw up, and your face swells up all red and puffy where no amount of makeup can hide the truth of it. Then I got angry and I screamed and yelled and called people hateful names and for a brief moment I didn’t feel bad doing so. Once the rage subsided I crawled into a corner with a bag of potato chips and a half gallon of fudge ripple ice cream and I watched Tyler Perry’s new talk show. One hour of watching successful people talk about their success was enough for me. I got up, got over myself, and went to bed.

When I got up this morning, I stood up, I smiled, and I made the choice to keep fighting for my joy and happiness, no matter what it might cost me. I don’t wear pity well and makeup won’t hide the ugly of it. My reality is that having a meltdown isn’t an option, no matter how it might seem. So that pity party isn’t going to happen any time soon.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007


Jenny kneels in prayer every night. Sometimes she prays two or three times per day. Jenny is always praying the same prayer over and over again. Praying that God will bring her and the man she loves back together. I hated to do it but I had to tell old girl to get up off her knees. That was one prayer she truly didn’t want answered.

Her man is a good guy. In fact, he’s truly a great guy. And the reason he and Jenny aren’t together is because he’s busy loving someone else. He was also decent and honest enough to tell Jenny the truth and not string her along hoping against all odds that he might actually fall head over heels in love with her. I have great respect for the brother’s integrity.

Jenny hasn’t yet realized that her heavenly Father is doing her a favor to not bring them back together, most especially since her man loves someone else. Unrequited love is hardly the type of suffering the good Father had in mind when he said we’d have some tribulation in our lives.

Like most of us, we expect that the person we love will love us back. We expect that things can be fixed when they become broke. Jenny is expecting her man to come running back to her, convinced that she can make him understand just how much he’s loved. It’s those pesky expectations that become problematic. Jenny needs to remember that you can’t make someone love you, no matter how hard you might be loving them.

As soon as Jenny gets up off the floor, she needs to accept the fact that her man ain’t hers. She needs to accept that although she might love him, he loves another. Acceptance will be the first step to healing her hurting heart. As long as she keeps holding onto hope that God will change that poor man’s mind and bring him back to her, she won’t be able to move on with her life. And Jenny truly needs to move on.


Good old Mr. Ben’s up to no good. Again. Apparently the man’s been out and about visiting places he has no business being. Number one son had an all-points bulletin out after him yesterday, having not a clue where the old geezer had disappeared to. Finally tracked him down visiting the local massage parlor trying to get massaged. Unfortunately, Mr. Ben left home without his wallet and they don’t give you credit at the massage parlor. It seems that the massage parlor ladies know Mr. Ben well so they called for someone to come and get his old butt.

Once he found his way back home I stopped by to visit him, to ask what he’s been up to worrying folks like he’s been doing. The man was tight lipped for a quick minute, and then he let me in on his secret. It seems that Mr. Ben has himself a raging case of blue balls. Now, I can’t attest to that fact personally, but that’s what he told me, and rather matter-of-factly as he took a quick moment to peek over his shoulder to insure Number One Son couldn’t hear him.

Now, it’s sometimes hard to take the stuff Mr. Ben says seriously, but he was quite serious about this condition he seems to think he’s suffering from. Apparently, blue balls is not only uncomfortable, but life threatening. Mr. Ben said so. Which is why he needed them massaged so that the buildup of pressure in his lower extremities doesn’t’ travel to his heart and cause his brain to explode. Then he asked if I would oblige. Apparently you get points toward your heavenly journey when you lend an old guy a helping hand with such a life-threatening problem. After I told him he would have to massage his own balls 'cause I wasn't going anywhere near them, Mr. Ben told me I was going straight to hell, no heavenly journey points for me.

Now, I don’t usually coddle Mr. Ben’s moments of perversion because he really doesn’t know how to let some things go and his obsession with his penis is just such a thing. But I couldn’t resist asking him if his balls were a pale shade of Carolina blue or something more along the lines of a deep, dark military blue. I personally thought this was a valid question. The man looked at me like I’d sprouted two heads and a tail for being so ill informed. Seems his balls aren’t actually blue, just in need of some attention.

Like I told Mr. Ben, what the hell do I know! I don’t have balls and I definitely don’t have blue ones. It appeared to me that this was a personal problem the old geezer was going to have to fix by his lonesome. Seems I was wrong there as well. He asked for a ride over to Ms. Beulah’s house. According to Mr. Ben, Ms. Beulah is a specialist at fixing blue balls and I’ll never be able to look at the deacon’s wife the same ever again.

Monday, October 01, 2007


So, I go do that annual checkup thing with the beaverologist and I’d forgotten just how uniquely disturbing it is to bare all your private goodies for the good doctor to play with. Men complain about that one finger and the rubber glove, but that’s nothing like having your feet strapped in stirrups while cold gel and metal is being heaved up your nether-lands and a man is asking how book sales are going. And I won’t even begin to express an opinion about the bubbly med student oohing and aahing over his shoulder like she’d never seen such a sight before, most especially since she has her own and had been oogling other people’s who-who’s all day long.

Like most women I have my fair share of gynocologist horror stories. Thankfully they've been few and far between. One of my most memorable moments was some fifteen-odd years ago when I was being treated for a pre-cancerous cervical condition. I had to undergo an in-office procedure where they took off the top layer of diseased cells. The doctor was using a new piece of equipment. Suddenly he bolts from the room, mind you never saying a word, leaving the door wide open for the whole office to view me in my glory. The next thing I know every doctor in the practice is standing between my legs admiring the view. Seems the doctor was really excited about how well that equipment worked. Had I known we were going to have an audience I would have sold tickets and popcorn.

I've only had one doctor I was prepared to slap and he was only my doctor for that one visit. The man was past retirement, hands shaking, eyes glazed, looking like he was about to drop dead of a heart attack at any moment. I was new to the area and sadly, he'd come highly recommended. I didn't know speculums came in assorted sizes until this doctor. He started the exam with the wrong size and proceeded to test three others before he found one that fit. The moment wasn't pretty and I never went back again. Then I found Dr. Ira.

As beaverologists go, Dr. Ira is a woman's best friend. I swear he doesn’t forget a thing you tell him though I surely wish he would have forgotten one or two facts I’d been ill-advised to share with him over the years. Doc is quite the paternal figure with a keen sense of humor and a wealth of fatherly advice he dispenses along with his usual “lose some weight, chunky butt” spiel. Do you know that man even had the audacity to check obese on that damn checkout sheet they’ll send to my insurance company. And, why does my insurance company need to know that I’m bloated like a beached whale, anyway? Is that pertinent to getting them to pay the bill or what?

Now once I got past the embarrassment of having a relative stranger diddle with my do-goods, the doctor and I had a very nice conversation. And what I walked away with, besides a mammogram appointment to squeeze the girls in a torture device, was that I need to take better care of myself. The doctor reminded me that I deserve some of the attention I’ve been lavishing on everyone else. He reminded me that my health is as important as anyone else’s and this temple we call a body deserves some serious love and attention.

What I also took from the doctor was that my ‘situational’ stress was grossly impacting my physical health. The doctor told me to let my mess go or continue to suffer the consequences. Easier said than done is what I was prepared to say and then the doctor told me to get over myself. “Be well because you want to be,” he said. “Right now you have a choice. Next year you might not be so lucky.” He had a lot of other stuff to say as well and as I nodded and took it all in, I couldn’t help but think that if any doctor had to play with my goodies, I’m surely glad the good Dr. Ira is the one playing with mine.

Monday, September 24, 2007


ARRRGH! I swear, this book I’m trying to finish is giving me a major migraine and I've got a proposal I need to be working on. We’ll totally disregard the fact that everything is late and not fashionably late, but more like agent and editor ready to ring my neck late. It’s late because editorial changes on book one dictated a major rewrite. So, not only is it late but the characters are just not gelling. He’s not giving me any warm and fuzzy feelings and she is starting to wreck my nerves. And I can’t begin to tell you why I’m having such a difficult time pulling this one together.

For the first time ever I actually know the story. I know the story like I know my name. I know everything my hero is supposed to do and everything the heroine is supposed to say. They’ve had more conversations together in my head than I care to remember and I still can’t seem to get it to feel on paper the way I need it to feel. And I’ve been having a major migraine trying.

I think part of my problem is that this book is part of a series. I don’t do series well. The one and only series I’ve done thus far came quite by accident. The story had three friends. My readers kept asking about friend’s number two and three. So, they each got a book. Books that stood on their own without each other. That series came together but as I wrote each book I wasn’t aware of it being a series. They were just three free standing books that had a connection of sorts.

This series is situated in a place that connects the characters and subsequently the stories and to write it I am required to continually be aware of that connection. And I’m just not doing that well. I was truly done with the characters with the first book. Resurrecting them for another tale isn’t feeling quite as natural as I would like it to feel which probably accounts for why I can’t get them to feel right on paper.

I’m determined though to be done with this book. Come hell or high water the agent and the editor won’t have to ring my neck after this week is out.

Sunday, September 23, 2007


I’m back. Bet you didn’t even realize I was gone. But I was. Death and funerals took me away for awhile. They say birth and death comes in threes. So, I’m done with the death. I lost my brother-in-law and an aunt within days of each other. They were numbers two and three for me this year. My dear friend’s mother was the first. In a few months time, we’ll welcome new life. Beautiful babies – three of them. It’s that whole passing on of spirits thing I told you about. The brother-in-law has a daughter who’s expecting. The aunt has a niece on her husband’s side of the family who’ll give birth any day now. I haven’t found the third baby coming yet, but I’ve been dreaming about her. And I’ve been dreaming about her family – dreaming that they are my family.

People look at me crazy when they discover that I believe in haints and spirits. And I do. I’ve heard and seen too much in my lifetime to deny the presence of energy that sometimes walks with us through our lives. My aunt took ill unexpectedly, suffering a heart attack. She’d gone through bypass surgery and then suffered from pneumonia and other assorted complications that made her recovery impossible. The day before she died she was sleeping so peacefully that her husband and daughter said it was if she didn’t have a problem in the world. When she woke up she told them that she had truly been through something. Seems her grandmother and her mother came to see her. She said they stood by her hospital bed smiling down at her and that her grandmother held her hand briefly before the two women turned and walked out of the room. She said they never looked back as they disappeared out of sight but that when she asked if she could come with them, she heard her mother’s voice tell her that she would be back to visit her again the next day. The next day my aunt fell asleep again and died. The old women took her along that time.

My friend has been dreaming about his mother. In the first dream they were in a house and water was coming up through the floorboards as they walked side by side. I think his mother was sending him a message. She knows he’s been under a lot of stress and pressure trying to keep home and family from falling apart. Mother was letting him know that she is still there supporting him, keeping him afloat, still holding tight to his hand. In the second dream there was a pond, a body of water contained outside. Mother was playing with the children in the yard. He was inside the house looking out. The pressures aren’t swelling out of control like before. They’re contained. Mother feels more comfortable letting go. She knows that he’ll eventually be just fine. I don’t doubt my friend thinks me a bit crazy too but intuition tells me I’m right. His mother’s gone but she hasn’t left him completely. Her energy is still here, still keeping watch, still holding on, knowing that he hasn’t been ready or able to let go.

An acquaintance once wrote that she felt her late husband’s presence in her bed at night. They’d lived and loved together for some twenty-plus years. She told me that one day she found herself laughing more, and living more, her days feeling fuller and less empty. She says that with the laughter came a new friend and then one day she realized the hand she imagined was holding hers in her sleep wasn’t there anymore. She was okay with this because she believed her late husband was as well.

When my beloved grandfather died my granny use to walk the fields in the early morning, talking to herself. We worried about her mental state for days when she told us she was talking to her beloved husband, believing that he was still there, still tilling the land as he’d done when he was alive. Talk to the dead, she use to say, you’d be surprised what they have to tell you. When granny was feeling out of sorts she’d go to the fields and search for answers. One day, when her home was empty of family and friends and she was feeling lost and alone she asked Papa for the answers and they came to her that night in a dream. Granny dreamt that Papa was walking her to class, carrying her books to school. The next day Granny enrolled in classes at the local community college. With school came new friends and experiences. At the age of 78 Granny received her college diploma. By then she’d stopped walking in the fields. So I believe and now I’m waiting for the babies.

Thursday, September 13, 2007


When family steps into some mess they usually know how to step in it good. Jim and Tim were born so close together that most folks assumed they were twins. Few knew that there were actually ten whole months that separated one’s birth from the other.

Tim and Jim had been at odds with each other since the beginning. Tim, the youngest, was the favored child. Parental preference was showered down on him simply because he looked most like his Caucasian father. Older brother Jim was acutely aware that the darker tone of his biracial roots placed him second in their father’s eyes. Daddy found it necessary to remind him every time his younger sibling was allowed to tag along while he was left behind. Where their black mommy was during this time is a whole other story.

By the time Tim and Jim had reached their teens they were waging daily battles to prove their worth with Jim always failing in good old padres color struck eyes. These brothers battled for approval and value, the fallout from the wars they waged tainting everything and everyone around them.

Tim stepped into the mess first. Her name was Daisy, the high school honey he thought would be with him until the end of time. Then Jim stepped into that mess right behind him, swaying old Daisy right out of his brother’s arms. Clearly, Daisy wasn’t your average take-her-home-to-mama material. The judge had declared this when Daisy was proven to have been stepping into mess all around town. Daisy insisted though that Tim was the daddy but these were pre-DNA testing years so no one ever knew for sure.

Fast forward some thirty-odd years and Tim and Jim haven’t spoken since forever. Neither knows the others families, both having missed out on a wealth of history. Harboring bitterness over a past neither could change had stolen time these two brothers should have shared. Neither had ventured to extend an olive branch of forgiveness, both figuring that they would always have time. Sadly though, Jim’s time failed him, the man dropping dead before he and his brother could reconcile.

Mess spreads thick and foul if you don’t clean it off your soul before you move on. Now the aftermath of Tim and Jim’s mess wants to know his daddy. Denial has been the only thing Daisy’s baby boy has ever known and denial continued to be the only thing his alleged father and uncle gave him. Now that DNA may prove Daisy right, it could also prove her wrong, and a young man who never knew his daddy, may no longer have a daddy he can get to know.

Monday, September 10, 2007


HGTV’s reality show Design Star has narrowed their selection down to two choices for the American public to vote on. Kim Myles has my vote hands down! I think this woman is absolutely priceless. She has the most engaging, warming spirit and this infectious laugh and smile. I thoroughly enjoyed every moment she was on camera. I love everything she’s done this season and one day will have her decorate my dream house. I hope that happens soon because I have no doubts that before long she’ll be well out of my dream price range. If you haven’t watched the show, catch the repeats. I’m sure they’ll have a few leading up to the final announcement next Sunday. The other guy is very good as well, but Kim is better. Just my opinion. Voting closes on the website on Wednesday. So vote, for Kim.

Name: Kim Myles
Age: 34
Home: Queens, New York
Profession: Hair Stylist/Design Enthusiast
Education: Associate's degree in Performing Arts — Pacific Conservatory of Performing Arts
Why I should win: I was built for this — I just didn't know there was a category for me until I watched Design Star!
A designer's best friend: Imagination and fearlessness.
My secret weapon: A sense of humor.
My design style boils down to: Global-urban elegance.
What is your formal design training: Nothing formal. New York City is my university, design magazines are my homework and HGTV is my lecture hall.