Tuesday, May 27, 2008


I come from a family of way too many "change-of-life" babies. Change-of-life babies are conceived and born to middle-aged mothers who are supposed to be menopausal. A relative recently gave birth to a beautiful baby girl and she is still shaking her head at the absurdity of it. You see, her last child is now in his late teens. She wasn’t planning for any more babies and definitely not one coming some eighteen years after her baby boy had been born.

The prospect of two AM feedings and diapers had me cringing, the very thought moving me to reconsider my birth control options. If I came up pregnant at this stage of the game, me and baby both would be screaming and pulling out our hair. Wouldn't nothing be funny about any of it. The relative had me doubled over with laughter however as she continued to stress that she’d been in menopause because surely menapause was supposed to make a difference. She kissed her infant daughter’s cheek and proclaimed. “God truly has a keen sense of humor!”

That wouldn’t be a joke I’d like the good Lord to play on me so the minute my beaverologist declares me menopausal you can trust I’ll be closing up shop until we know for certain that this baby store is completely out of stock!


I remember him being way too young to be predicting his demise, a young man barely out of his teens and too far from his prime to be foreseeing such a short future. But Horatio Lorenzo Edwards couldn’t see himself making it to his thirty-fifth birthday. He couldn’t see it and I couldn’t fathom how he could be so accepting of a life not lived to a ripe old age of senior citizen discounts and benefits. Then thirty-six came and went, followed by forty and Horatio was having such a good old time that he quickly changed his mind, deciding that old age might not be such a bad thing after all.

But Horatio won’t see old age. Disease has managed to stake a claim on his soul, stealing in like a thief in the middle of the night to take what doesn’t belong to it. Diagnosed with lung cancer, Horatio has declined treatment, convinced that treatment is far worse than the disease itself. Horatio has witnessed treatment ravage far too many his family members without curing them completely or extending them a quality of life equivalent to what they’d known before diagnosis. Horatio claims that some broke things just can’t be fixed.

The fullness of Horatio’s life shines in his eyes. He’s a man sitting at the top of very high mountain, enjoying every ounce of the view. The joy he’s found in living each and every day to its fullest capacity floods the smile across his face and pulls you in. It has you loving life right along side of him, wanting each and every blessed day to be experienced as if it were your last. Horatio has yet to complain or shed a tear for himself. And I can’t seem to stop crying.

Monday, May 26, 2008


Family Reunion by John Holyfield

Family fuels my writing. I have no problem acknowledging their contributions to my creative energy. They share their lives with me and in return, I twist fact to fiction and change the names to protect the guilty. This weekend we celebrated our family reunion in Bluffton, South Carolina. Family came from far and wide to reconnect with loved ones and introduce kin found and born since the last time we’d all gathered together.

The weekend was a sweet reminder of all that should be truly important in our lives and what we should focus on most. Our family historian recited the history during the banquet ceremony and it was with great pride that we all sat and experienced our family’s journey over the last 146 years.

My great-great grandparents were slaves. My great grandparents were born free, just four short years after the signing of the emancipation proclamation. They grew up to be sharecroppers in a small Southern town, rooting their family firmly in land that would one day become their own. My grandmother and grandfather raised their children with values that have been passed down some six generations and we bore witness to the true fruits of their labors this weekend as parent after parent detailed the accomplishments of children who are doing some amazing things with their lives.

We are a mixed race people, coming in many different hues. We proudly claim our ethnicity and the culture of a community whose lineage has included warriors and peace-makers and many a king and queen.

Blessings were abundant at Sunday service where a cousin preached eloquently from the same pulpit our ancestors had worshipped in decades earlier. Great grandchildren gave God praise from the same choir box other family members had grown up in and as we gathered at the family cemetery to memorialize those who are now gone from us, many of us stood in awe of the moment, our history reflecting from their graves.

Family is the true tie that binds. The support and love shared between us is all encompassing. I am better for them, each and every one, and I am honored to share their stories with reverent pride. The price of that kind of fuel is well worth whatever the cost and now that my creative gas tank is at full capacity, I will do some serious writing.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Girl, what was you thinkin'?

My very special new friend and I met for dessert last night - ice cream sundaes at a popular ice cream parlor. It’s one of those places where they slap your cream on top of an iced table and then mix and spoon stuff like nuts and candy into it before slapping it back onto an ice cream cone or into a cup. The dark chocolate with almonds, fresh strawberries, and fudge mixed in was truly delightful as we sat outside and people watched.

Right next door to the ice cream parlor is this too cute Italian restaurant with a sign at the door that says your meal is made fresh when ordered so don’t be giving folks a hard time if they don’t’ fast food your meal to the table a la McDonald’s-style. It’s a romantic little joint as evidenced by the many couples dining couple-like at these adorable tables designed especially for a party of two.

So we’re catching up on each other’s day and people watching and in particular watching an exquisite woman who is watching us from the driver’s seat of her car. We can’t miss when the good looking owner of the restaurant comes rushing out with a bottle of wine in his hand and passes it through the car window for her to hold on to. Nor do we miss the cheerful banter between them as she admires his attire: black slacks, black button up shirt buttoned just enough to expose a little chest hair, and very expensive black leather alligator shoes. The man was working it nicely.

Once he goes back into the restaurant our attention is diverted back to the conversation we were having. I don’t, however, miss the fact that the exquisite woman is still sitting patiently in wait. Some twenty minutes later the good looking man rushes back out of the restaurant, waves a hand like he’s saying good-bye and jumps into his car. Now bear in mind he’s parked some five or six cars away from his lady friend. As he starts his engine the exquisite woman exits her car, bottle of wine in hand. And then my friend and I were both left wondering, what in the world was she thinking?

The man pulls his car out of his parking space and proceeds to drive off. He stops some two cars away, putting additional distance between him and the woman as she begins to run to catch up with him. Girlfriend is doing this skip-hop-run thing in high-heeled stilettos and booty huggin’ denim jeans and it was not pretty to witness. The moment was too funny and left much to my imagination.

Now I’m thinking if the two were trying to rendezvous without being noticed, that running to catch the car moment didn’t help their cause. And why didn’t the man just wait for her to just get into his car before pulling out of the parking space? He could have even back up behind her car to wait for her to get inside. What kind of man makes a sister run behind his car? If it was supposed to be a secret my girl and her man could use a few pointers because not only did my special friend and I both see them but so did half the restaurant and twenty or so other people who were hanging around outside.

Girl! What was you thinkin’?


Hot damn! Tame A Wild Stallion has gotten excellent reviews! Romantic Times Magazine gave it 4-1/2 stars and made it a TOP PICK! for the month of June. Now that's a grand, ride 'em, cowboy, kind of moment!

I have to tell you, the story had me a little nervous. I had to really work for this one because Mark Stallion wasn’t just any ordinary man. The brother is special and I was determined that all his special jump right off the pages. Michele “Mitch” Coleman was also a unique woman, not easily swayed by wealthy eye candy. It was important to me that her uniqueness not be missed. I was also acutely aware that after the success of To Love A Stallion that I had to really bring it or else. I wasn’t but so confident that I’d gotten it right and I was just a touch worried that my readers might be disappointed. For me this coupling had to be worthy of entry into the romance history books.

Thus far it looks like I done good. My baby is doing its thing out in the reading world and apparently doing it right. The official release date is June 2008. If you haven’t read it yet, please do. If you have, please, let me know what you think.

Monday, May 19, 2008


I would really like to find myself a benefactor, a charitable patron who would be willing to gift me a monetary endowment to help further my literary career. Historically, some visual artists have been exceptionally blessed to have a benefactor fund their artistic efforts by purchasing their artwork or just gifting them monies to help them create their masterpieces. I don’t know of a writer who has been that blessed.

Certainly, there have been many writers who were fortunate to win writing grants or be selected for fellowships, but nothing like having a private citizen hand them monies to fuel their basic necessities while they write that great American novel or who funded workshops and writing classes to help improve an author’s skills.

I want a benefactor who will help me publish a book I’ve already written. It’s an exceptional story that has placed second in a major, national writing competition and a story that has garnered me much attention. Unfortunately, I can’t find a publisher who’s willing to step out on a limb and publish it because it doesn’t fit the current publishing trend. The piece is more literary than drama fabulous. Self publication would seem to be the only alternative I may have if I want to see the work published. Self-publishing is an expensive venture if it’s done right and done well. Right and well would be the only route I’d be willing to take for any story of mine so I need me a benefactor.

As most of us authors are rolling into royalty season I am more acutely aware than ever before that my writing isn’t going to be paying any major bills this season and probably not the next. I’m also aware that the more I write, the more I want to be writing and that I desperately need to expand my writing horizons. I also know I’m going to need me some help to get there.

Please feel free to contact me if there is anyone willing to lend a helping hand.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008


I am in this very funky place right now. A conversation with an old friend truly has me reeling. I think most people make the assumption that what they do and when they do it makes perfect sense to everyone else because it makes sense to them. Just because there was no long, drawn out discussion about the whys and how comes of your actions, you think folks who love and care for you would inevitably understand. I know I did. I discovered yesterday just how wrong I was. People only understand what they see. They don’t have a clue about the stuff you don’t share with them or what they haven’t been witness to.

My marital status or lack there of would seem to be a point of consternation for people in my life, most especially my children. Why I chose to leave on this date and not that date, why I didn’t leave that month when I said but this month when I hadn’t, why I left at all or why I didn’t leave sooner, would seem to be a point of issue for some folks. Many are still dwelling on details I have been trying desperately to let go of.

Ending a relationship is hard. Walking away from years of unhappiness was the easiest thing I have ever been able to do. Trying to manage how other people felt about it however has been pure hell. Leaving my marriage had me making decisions on what was in the best interest of my family and even my friends before it was even in my best interest. I was too quick to give consideration to what others would want and falling into a pit of fear of what some might think. I also didn’t think it necessary to rehash and share every sordid detail to justify my behavior or my decisions. I just muddled through doing what I knew I had to do.

I can’t go back and change what I didn’t do right or what I definitely did wrong. I did the best I could with what I had to work with. And I tried to maintain my dignity and hold tight to my spirit while I did. Marriage was hard. I had hoped divorce wouldn’t be. Now I’m wishing family and friends would cut me an ounce of slack. All I’m trying to do is survive.

Saturday, May 10, 2008


I raised six children. All of them were mine whether I’d given birth to them or not, and I did not give birth to them all. I have never differentiated one from the other and most folks who know us couldn’t tell you which ones I’d carried for nine months and which ones I hadn’t. My love for them and their well-being has always been endless and continues to fill me each and every day.

One of the darkest moments in my marriage was the year the ex-hubby was asked what he’d done to acknowledge me for Mother’s Day and his response was, “Nothing. She’s nobody’s mother!” I was crushed that I could raise a man’s children as my own, one born outside the marriage, and he could say something so cruel and cold. The ill-will of that moment was diminished as I opened the homemade gifts and loving cards from my babies, proof positive that as a Mom I was doing something right. It was a difficult adjustment when my kids left home, their lives headed in a direction I could no longer control. More difficult for me than for them as I found my mothering skills needed less often.

My late son use to kick off every Mother’s Day with the first telephone call to me. I also knew that he was probably responsible for many a year that the others needed reminding to even make their own calls. His death hit me hardest that first Mother’s Day when reality set it that there was no call from him to ever come again. His siblings took up the reins though, continuing to life my spirits every year. I so look forward to their calls on Mother’s Day to say hello. I couldn’t begin to put into words how much their love and support means to me.

Don’t forget to call and honor your mother or whoever that special maternal figure is in your life. If your mommy-person is no longer around to acknowledge, take a moment to remember the good times and the beautiful moments you shared together. All those good thoughts will surely find their way to heaven to light another star in the sky. If you’re the one dispensing out that special mother love all year long, I pray that you’re remembered fondly and with much, much love.

May each of you be blessed with a safe and Happy Mother’s Day!

Friday, May 09, 2008


I met a young man yesterday who was just too smooth for words. He reminded me of an old-school player from back in the day. He had Marvin Gaye’s swagger, Barry White’s bravado, and Sam Cooke’s classic good looks in a deep, dark Hershey's shade of chocolate. He was also 29 and still wet behind the ears but you couldn’t tell him anything. Baby boy was a walking man-machine with more ‘playa-playa’ lines than the He-Man’s handbook should ever allow.

Thirty years ago I would have tried him on for size just to see if he fit. He’d have been one of those disposable toys you played with until you got tired of playing and then you’d have to toss him aside for the next best thing. That’s of course if he hadn’t tossed you first. Letting him go would have been easy though because clearly he wasn’t up to anything but a good time and a good time was all he’d have been worth.

Today, I can only smile at his efforts because the player was trying way too hard to make an impression. The most interesting part of our conversation was him telling me that I “looked like a woman who should have a husband”. He couldn’t understand how a “woman like me” hadn’t been scooped off the market yet. He lost my full attention with one too many “you so foine” lines. The “I’d date a woman your age” comment was definitely the deal breaker. I have to admit however, I was much flattered by the attention ‘cause the boy was old-school smooth and some truly delectable eye-candy. Another time and another place and I might have given that boy toy some serious consideration. That young man started my day nicely. A really good man however ended it on an all time high.

My new friend and I did dinner and a movie. Once again we had a really great time together and I found myself wishing that the evening didn’t have to end. There was a moment in the theater when he reached out to hold my hand. The gesture took my breath away. For a brief second I glanced over to stare at him as he was staring at the movie screen, my hand wrapped tightly beneath his. There was just a hint of light shining on his face and a look of pure contentment gleaning from his eyes. In that moment I had this overwhelming sense of being at home and the thought crossed my mind that I was possibly holding hands with my future.

He and I are very comfortable in each other’s presence. Even the moments of silence between us don’t feel uneasy or awkward. For lack of a better word, he has this gallant presence. He’s exceptionally attentive, always charming and very respectful. He was raised by a mother who clearly showed him how to be a man in the true sense of the word. I imagine she had to have been overwhelmingly proud of her efforts because he does not disappoint. He doesn’t have an ounce of ‘playa’ attitude and his smooth has a definite edge and some intriguing curves. I find him absolutely adorable and he makes me want to just melt into his arms and hold on for more of what has already been an exceptional ride.

My future….I’m liking the sound of that more and more. I’m liking it very much!

Wednesday, May 07, 2008


For every ex-husband who deserves a few words of thanks and for every ex-wife who knows why...

Dear Ex-Hubby,

Thank you so much for all your sweet words. How could I have forgotten why I have all this love in my heart for you, and for us, together as a couple! I’m delighted to see that your church has helped you find God because that sincere display of Christian behavior is to be commended.

My day wouldn’t have been complete without you reminding me what a horrible, horrible person I am. How much I miss being told what a whore and tramp I have been for all these years. Thank you for reminding me of all the wonderful moments we’ve shared because I certainly had forgotten how sustaining and comforting it is to have you rant and rage at me with such venom. I can’t for the life of me figure out why I would have wanted to leave all of that anger and hostility behind. What in the world could I have been thinking not to want to hold on to all the bitterness and hurt that comes when I least expect it. Just slap my forehead at the absurdity!

I am so certain that all of this nasty business between us is all my fault. What right did I have to think that you should be held to the same accountability that I am being held to? Clearly my brain was lacking oxygen to believe such a thing! Fathom my idiocy to believe that fair could be fair! I apologize profusely for that ignorance.

And thank you for knowing and sharing my future plans with me. I had no idea I was thinking of marrying again. Imagine that! How I didn't know that I want to be held hostage by yet another legal document and another man who might want to manipulate and control my life because a piece of paper says he can is just beyond me! What was I thinking to want to miss out on all of that fun and excitement! And me wanting to marry a cocksucker is even more thrilling! I don't know why I didn' t figure it out sooner that you and me not being together has to be about me wanting to be with someone else. Admittedly, I was a little slow comprehending that newsflash so thank you for clarifying it for me. You always did know what I wanted before I did!

What would I do if I didn’t have you to trounce my joy over and over again? How would I possibly survive if you didn’t call me a slut and a bitch on a regular basis? Where would I be if you couldn’t let me know what it is I’m doing that is so horribly wrong since I clearly don’t have a clue? What was I thinking to believe that my future might actually be about me wanting better for myself that didn’t involve being in an unhealthy and mutually abusive relationship. Slap my hands for that dumb thought! Just imagine how unfulfilling my existence would be if I didn’t have you to insure that I know I don’t deserve any joy that a loving man such as yourself can’t manipulate and control.

So, thank you. From the bottom of my heart, thank you!

I wish you continued success in all your efforts to denounce my name and make me out to be the villainess that you say I am. May all your efforts to steal my happiness and bring me as much sadness as you can possibly muster fill you with overwhelming joy. I owe you every ounce of misery that can be mustered up in my life and I so appreciate you wanting to make sure I pay my debt to you. I’m certain, beyond any doubt, that I deserve everything you say is coming to me and it just fills my spirit to know that you are going to do whatever is in your power to make sure that happens. What will I do without you?

With warmth, affection, and one hell of a very BIG smile,
Your stupid, pathetic, whore and slut for an ex-wife.

...Whew! I feel so much better now!