Friday, August 31, 2007


I don’t know a whole lot of authors who don’t have a day job. The ones who I imagine enjoy the luxury of writing full time, doing as they please while the royalty checks runneth over, don’t run in the same circles that I do. I do however imagine myself running in their circles some day very soon. Until then, and even after, I’ll work a day job. I’m very fortunate that I’m currently working a day job that I thoroughly enjoy which is the luxury I’m afforded by being a published author.

Technically, I’m an independent contractor who pimps her administrative skills. Some have called what I do consulting. Depending on whether or not I’m paying Uncle Sam after-the-fact or someone else is paying him for me in advance determines what I may or may not call it. The reality is no matter what you might want to call it, it’s still just a J-O-B.

Currently, I’m working in a video store. My job responsibilities run the gamut from cleaning person to store manager. For the most part, if it needs to be done, I do it. I’m thoroughly entertained every time I’m there. There’s always someone wanting to tell me a story about someone or something. Here, in this small town with its nosy people, good gossip runs rampant. When there’s no one there I watch movies. I’ve met some amazing people and have been allowed a peek into their daily lives and it’s truly been a sweet, sweet, gig. I also get paid quite nicely to have such a good time.

I do however get thoroughly annoyed when someone discovers I’m a published author and has the audacity to question, ‘what are you doing here?’, as if my being ‘there’ is some personal affront to them. I’ve lost count of the number of times I’m certain my expression has voiced my annoyance at the question without my having to say a word.

Why not here? What’s wrong with me being there? Are published authors not allowed to work anywhere else? Is a job that pays some bills, keeps cash in my baby boy’s pockets, and my own, a job that I should not be proud of? I like my job. I like working the register and dealing with the customers. I enjoy talking shop with the owner and sharing opinions with movie enthusiasts. I so love that I can do what I do.

Writing is such a solitary act. Sitting in front of a computer or with pad and paper in hand leaves a lot to be desired if you enjoy companionship and conversation that isn’t just happening in your own head. That day job keeps me sane and grounded and although I’ll enjoy the moment when my royalty cup runneth over, I don’t know that I’ll ever give up an opportunity to challenge popular opinion by doing a job someone else doesn’t think a published author should do.

Monday, August 27, 2007


Those who didn’t know who Michael Vick was before most certainly know who he is now. Sadly it’s not his more positive achievements that have him headlining national news today. Vick’s illustrious sports career began in 1998 with an impressive start at Virginia Tech. He was the first freshman to ever win the Big East Player of the Year Award and in 2001 he was an early entry in the NFL draft becoming the first pick by the Falcons.

Fast forward to 2004 and Vick’s strides on the football field make him a $130 million dollar man. Right after that his downhill slide began. Four months after signing his multi-million dollar contract he was sued for allegedly giving a woman herpes. The case was settled quietly between the two. In 2006 he was fined and penalized by the football league for conduct unbecoming a grown ass man. Some $20,000 worth of fines for crying out loud! Then on July 17th of this year he was indicted by a grand jury for his alleged involvement with dog fighting.

After coming to a plea agreement where he admits sponsoring a dogfight operation and promoting a business enterprise involving gambling, Michael Vick will stand before a judge today and formally plead guilty. That same judge can actually give him some serious jail time. Then again, this being the first offense Vick has been found guilty of, he might just get a slap on the wrist. Highly unlikely though because too many eyes and too much money need to make an example of Michael Vick.

Dog fighting is a vile business. Most folks know I love my four-legged friends more than I love some people. I’ve rarely met a pooch I didn’t like. I’ve met many a man I couldn’t stand. Personally, I’ve always been of the opinion that a person who can casually harm an animal that can’t defend itself could easily harm another human without regard. But that’s just my opinion.

My father was an avid hunter. All of his friends were hunters. I grew up around men who had no issues with taking an animal’s life for sport. I abhorred the practice. I didn’t need or want meat that badly to justify them shooting Bambi and hanging her in the backyard. But hunters will gladly justify why they do what they do.

Folks have tried to justify Vick’s actions, as well. Some are concerned that the punishment will greatly exceed the crime. It’s fairly certain that his career is clearly over. And let’s not forget that Michael Vick is a black man in America. Black folks know well what can happen when a black man needs to be made an example of.

I’m on the fence with this one. Although I am sickened by what the man has been accused of I know that our judicial system has allowed far too many real criminals to walk easily away from their crimes. Just ask the pedophile registered on your block or the killer who barely did a decade in jail and is now serving you fries and a shake across the counter. Better yet, let’s talk to the politicians in your government office who’ve knowingly gotten away with crimes too heinous for some folks to want to remember.

Ignorance and stupidity for a man with Vick’s resources, who was raised by a single mother isn’t an excuse for bad behavior. Following a bad crowd of family and friends who didn’t have his best interests at heart isn’t either. Michael was clearly wrong. Certainly he should be made to answer for that wrong doing. I’m just not sure what that answer should be though.

My gut reaction is to string him up by his balls, give his testicles a jolt of electricity and see if he likes having his head shoved into a bucket of water with no regard for his life. Was a time that as a black man in America that would have been his punishment for simply being too black for a white man’s liking. He should be thankful that those times have passed. Unfortunately, they’re still going to string him up but at least they’ll pretend to have some regard for his life. And more regard for the poor dogs he destroyed so shamelessly.

And then I put a face to the crime. I know that he’s some mother’s child. I know his mother regards him far more than anyone else ever will. His mother is fighting for him. She didn’t raise him to be a monster and despite his actions I truly don’t think he is one. He made a grave mistake but then there are few of us who haven’t made some grand error in the course of our lives. I think he’s a young man who got too much too fast losing the best of himself along the way, but he can be redeemed. He can still have a bright and prosperous future. He can be an example for other young black boys to look up to. They can learn that mistakes can be overcome with fortitude, conviction, love, and support. He can be a better person if given the opportunity and rebuilding his future isn’t going to be as easy as stepping out onto a football field and throwing a ball.

I see his face and then I remember my children and my fight to keep them on a path of straight and narrow and then my gut does this flip. Emotion gives way to rationalization and I change my mind.

And so I sit, on the fence, saying a prayer for Michael Vick, his mother, and the poor pets who never knew an ounce of human kindness.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007


If you were to ask, Merry and Gerald would tell you they’ve been married since forever. Truth be told though, they’ve never been married, both refusing to legalize their relationship. They’ve been together at least twenty years that I know of and who knows how many more before that. Gerald will tell you emphatically that he doesn’t need a marriage license to tell him or anyone else that he loves Merry and Merry loves him. And it's that love that makes them both want to live each day in each other’s company. Gerald and Merry have four children and nine grandchildren so you have to figure there’s been some serious loving going on in all their years together!

There aren’t many folks who don’t regard Merry as Mrs. Gerald or him as Mr. Merry. When folks refer to them it’s always as a couple, united together for a common good. Not even their offspring seem concerned or bothered by the fact that some judge or preacher didn’t get to sign his John Hancock on a state issued permit proclaiming their parents husband and wife.

Anthony and Denise have been legally married for over twenty-five years. Their state issued permit declaring them legally wed sits in a safety deposit box along side their passports, their child’s birth certificate, and her grandmother’s diamond earrings. Denise will tell anyone who’ll listen that she stopped loving Anthony years ago and he’ll quickly respond that he doesn’t much care ‘cause he doesn’t have much love for her either. Their union is so sorely fractured that it’s a wonder that one or both hasn’t been completely lost in the deep abyss of their cataclysm. The disregard, disrespect, and disgust they share for each other is nothing short of abysmal but the marriage has endured for the sake of the children, the in-laws, and just the sheer spite of neither wanting to be wrong and both obsessed over being right.

If Merry and Gerald decide to part ways all they need to do is pack and head in opposite directions. Anthony and Denise have to maneuver the legalities of having his name and hers wiped off their license. Denise is fighting tooth and nail to get out of her bad marriage but divorce is conflicted and messy and until a judge says okay, parting ways comes with a mountain of hurt and heartache. Denise worries about friends and family getting caught in the crossfire of her and Anthony’s frustrations and anger. Other folks being hurt would absolutely destroy her.

Happiness has eluded Anthony and Denise for years. And now it’s that damn permit with all its legalism that is still holding Denise’s chance at happiness hostage. Interestingly, Gerald and Merry could care less about a marriage license. Anthony and Denise don’t care much for theirs either.


I am just so darn excited about all the good stuff people have happening in their lives right now that I could just bust! Instead, I'll just give them all a shout out!

Nichelle Tramble, the critically acclaimed author of The Dying Ground and The Last King had been regaling us with tales of her new writing gig. A writing gig for a new television show that she couldn’t name. But that just changed. Just the other day she was given permission to announce the name of the show. The new series, WOMEN'S MURDER CLUB, will premiere Friday, October 12th at 9p.m. WOMEN'S MURDER CLUB is based on the James Patterson novels. I’m so excited for Nichelle that I could just bust. I know I’ll be watching. I hope you will too.

Tina McElroy Ansa, the author of Baby of the Family, Ugly Ways, The Hand I Fan With and You Know Better done birthed two new babies. The first, DownSouth Press, is a new publishing company “created to publish and promote the literature of African-American people that will enrich, enlighten and edify the world.” So how cool is that! Her second newborn is high on my want list. Tina’s fifth book, Taking After Mudear, the sequel to her novel, Ugly Ways, will drop this fall. Tina’s writing has been such an inspiration. I have been in awe of her talent since I got my hands on her very first book.

And last, but not least, national, best-selling author Deborah Fletcher Mello is eagerly anticipating the release of her eighth book, To Love A Stallion, coming February 2008. Until then though you shouldn’t miss her last novel, Always Means Forever, and for you sports enthusiasts, Love In The Lineup. Oh, hell, just read them all! You surely don't want to miss any of them.

And that’s my shameless promotional plug for the week!

So, please, support a writer. Buy a book. Go see a movie. Watch some television. And then let us know what you think about what we do.


I had never thought of myself as being a hopeless romantic but it hit me that I really do yearn for the happily-ever-after ending. The notion hit so hard that I was moved to a teary moment that could have ended in a very bad ugly cry if I had allowed my emotions to get away from me.

I want a happily-ever-after ending. Not only for myself but also for everyone who might still be searching for their Prince Charming or Queen Bee. And why shouldn’t I? Why shouldn’t we all? Why would I, or anyone else, ever imagine that we weren’t deserving of a happy ending, and more?

I am reminded that life is short. And no one ever promised that it would be sweet. I understand that I am solely responsible for my happy and no matter what a partner’s best efforts might be, no soul can bring me joy if I’m not open to receiving it.

Opening one’s heart can be quite a challenge. Then again it may come as easily as breathing. Either way, happy is a state of being that requires a level of conviction and a determination to achieve.

I’m fighting for my happy. Are you?


I was moved to write a poem
but the words didn’t fit the moment
no matter how hard I tried to twist
and bend them to fit

I wanted to write a poem
about my heart
and love
and kisses
and the gentlest touch
that leaves me wishing
for nights and mornings
and time that doesn’t get distracted
by things and stuff
that keep me from finding the right words
to bend and twist

I needed to write a poem
to you
To say what I can’t
say out loud
To capture the moment
that only a poem can do

And so I wrote this instead
just to say
I love you

Thursday, August 16, 2007


Jenna is seriously rethinking her new relationship. It feels good. Too good. So much good that she’s wondering if she might be in over her head. She knows herself well. She knows that she has a tendency to disregard the not so good when the good is feeling close to perfect. In fact, she ignores those feelings that should be raising red flags of concern. The feeling good feels better so why bother with what doesn’t feel right?

Jenna doesn’t deny that she’s been here, in this place before. Ignoring the bad feelings left her devastated when the rose-colored glasses finally came off and she could see her past relationship for what it was and not just what she wanted it to be. So now she’s doing some serious thinking but the answers aren’t coming the way she’d like. They aren’t coming because there’s just too darn much feeling good getting in the way.


I've been away. I took the baby boy to college for Freshman Orientation. He had a great time swinging from one student party to another. I attended parent lectures and worried. His great time was a whole lot better than my great time. He came back home since classes don't start for another three weeks. I voiced what few concerns I may have had. He told me to cut the cord. Cut the cord, indeed. I think I'll just go write another book instead. Something angst-ridden and sappy because that is surely how I’m feeling right about now.

Thursday, August 09, 2007


My baby boy has been kanoodling on the island of Bermuda for three weeks now. He went to visit with his older brothers. They're doing some male bonding that he's missed sorely since his older siblings left the family nest. My two older boys are like night and day. One's a rebel to his soul, always testing the limits of every boundary placed before him. The other walks the straight and narrow as if every fiber of his being depended on it. The youngest is a nice balance of them both.

The legal drinking age in Bermuda is 18. Baby boy has been having a grand time in the bars thanks to older brother #1. This has not made me a happy camper. Older brother #2 did, however, make him go to church to confess his sins every Sunday that he's been there. And, I have no doubts there was a lecture or two for the both of them about the errors of their ways.

In either case though my child has been having a grand time splish splashing in clear blue water and playing on the pink sand. So much of a grand time that I've barely heard boo from him since he left. The one time I did call to check that he was well, I was told he really didn't have time for me right then. He was too busy chasing bikinis. (Deep Sigh)

He's off to college next. I truly don't know how much more my poor heart can take. It almost makes me want another one. Then I think about diapers, late night feedings, the terrible two's, parent-teacher conferences, puberty, high school and all that would go with another one and I quickly dismiss that not-so-bright idea. I figure I'd be much better off taking up a new hobby. And then perhaps I might find my own island to go kanoodling on. Now there's a thought....


The flower man showed up on my doorstep yesterday with the most stunning arrangement of roses. An extraordinary friend sent me roses. Roses for me! I felt incredibly special and the moment moved me to tears. There are no words to describe the magnitude of my emotions other than to say I feel incredibly blessed.

Thank you! Thank you from the depths of my heart. I love you very much.

Monday, August 06, 2007


Okay, Jayne asked the question and I promised her an answer. What happened to the chocolate martini post?

Since I started posting I have written and posted exactly two posts that I subsequently deleted. They were deleted for very different and very similar reasons. The martini post was one I deleted.

Everything I write about is founded in some element of truth. Some of it mine. Some of it other people’s. And sometimes I have to be reminded that what I write might actually touch a nerve and cause someone I care about hurt. The chocolate martini post was one such post. There was a salon saga story that was the other.

Most of my family and friends know that I will twist enough of their stories and tales to move them past the point of fact into the realm of fiction. It’s what I do well. On rare occasions though the party being written about can’t get past the fact to actually enjoy the fiction. With the first salon post, the person called and asked me to remove the post, fearing that her ex might read it. It seems she’d sent him the link to my blog site and he’d been keeping up with my writings. She was afraid he’d recognize himself in my story. I personally didn’t think him swift enough to catch a clue. But I respected the request and I adore my friend. I deleted the second after some deep and thoughtful reflection. I understood after writing it that it was too close to home and would have incited discussion I wasn’t ready to have yet with the person I was writing about. I deleted it because I was afraid of the consequences that it might have incited.

My first deletion was truly altruistic. My second was cowardly. So much for chocolate martinis.

Sunday, August 05, 2007


Many, many years ago I worked in an office where one of the secretaries frequently received floral deliveries from her boyfriend/husband. Most of the women always knew that when the flower man showed up with a bouquet in his hands that they were probably for Stella. Most of us also went home after each delivery to complain that Stella was always getting flowers and we weren’t.

One day, the flower man came with friends, delivering the first of what would eventually be some forty dozen roses. Almost five hundred brilliant red roses covered every surface from the reception area to the cafeteria. But these roses weren’t for Stella. They were for Margie. The very last long stemmed rose came with Margie’s boyfriend, a diamond engagement ring tied to the pretty ribbon tied around it. Every woman in the building was in awe of the moment, each of us blown away when her tuxedoed beau got down on his knees to propose.

Then Margie said no. She didn’t say it out loud, not right then, and if you weren’t watching closely you probably wouldn’t even have realized that the poor guy had been rejected, but he was. It soon became clear that Margie wasn’t falling for the roses, no matter how pretty and sweet smelling they were. Later when I asked Margie what was making her so unhappy she told me that she could buy her own roses if she wanted them. It would seem that the two of them had neither the same goals nor were they reading from the same page of life and no amount of flowers was going to change that.

I can count on one hand the number of times a man has ever sent me flowers. I’d also have five fingers left over to count with. There was something about my conversation with Margie that day though that inspired me to buy my own flowers. And I buy them regularly when I need to brighten up my day or to lift my spirits. Yellow roses are my absolute favorite. Hydrangea comes a close second. I bought three bouquets today. Kroger Supermarket had a great special running in their floral department. Having them on my desk had made me feel better about a lot of things going on right now. They’ve lifted my spirits. But even as I sit here and stare at them, I can’t help but wish that at least once in my lifetime, the flower man might show up on my door and the arrangement in his hand will be for me.


Have you read a book by moi? If you haven’t, you should. In fact, I can say unequivocally that if you haven’t read a book written by Deborah Fletcher Mello then you have truly missed out on a reading experience like no other. So go buy a book. You won’t be disappointed.

Now, how’s that for self-promotion? I am very much responsible for promoting my books because as a mid-list author, whether I have national, best-selling acclaim or not, there is no one out here promoting me. And, truth be told, I’m not doing but so much promotion. I’m really just not good at that sort of thing. I still blush and get tongue tied when my mother announces loudly to anyone who’ll listen that her daughter is a writer with seven books published. I couldn’t begin to tell you why but perhaps it has something to do with my extremely shy personality. I have friends who’ll raise an eyebrow at that statement but I am truly very shy in certain situation. Not all of them, but most of them.

My books have done very well and I’m told they’d probably have done better if I’d been out on the road selling myself along with them. I’m grateful that I wasn’t because I’m still not sure it’s something I could have done and done well. I’ve avoided the writer’s conferences and rarely have I done book signings. That has to change though. I understand that if I really want to expand my audience that I need to get our here and meet my readers one on one. They need to know that I’m really not as up tight or as annoying as I might seem. I’m actually quite funny when I don’t try to be and I can be pretty engaging when the moment moves me.

Writing is hard work and when all is said and done, promoting that writing experience is even harder. I’ve been wading through it all like one might dip their toes into a kiddy pool just to get wet. So now I’m pulling on my hip boots so I can walk thigh high in the midst of the Promo River. Wish me luck as I go wading in the promotional waters. I plan to get good and wet.


I wear my emotions on my sleeves. I don’t fare well when I play poker because I hardly have a poker face. My eyes are neon signs for every emotion I may be feeling. My face is like a billboard of advertisement. So is my writing. This is a good thing. And, then again, it's not so good.

Typically every experience, every feeling, every thought I have or have had ends up in a story, a post, or a letter I’ve written or will write. Those who know me best know where and what to look for to discover what’s going on in my world. I have one dear friend in particular who will frequently weed out a trial or tribulation that I’ve attributed to some fictional character to resolve, knowing that it is something that’s actually weighing heavily on my own shoulders. Knowing this has suddenly made me very self-conscious about what I write. Exposing myself when I can be anonymous is one thing. Exposing myself where someone can recognize me is something else all together.

My writing is at its very best when I allow my emotions to control my words. Trying to control my emotions so that my head can control the words makes for some really bad writing. Lately, my writing has been absolutely atrocious. It truly has not been pretty but for reasons beyond my control I have had to contain my emotions to protect folks I love and care about. It’s a good thing that this situation is only temporary because I’m about to combust from not being able to let my feelings show. And, people are starting to question why I’m wearing dark shades all the time, too!

And, I say all this to explain why I’ve been posting so infrequently. But I’m well past ready to get back to the business of writing and writing well. I just might have to let the dust settle down from the explosion first though.