Saturday, March 28, 2009


I write fictional tales about relationships. Typically the writing is very formulaic. Guy meets girl. Girl likes guy. Guy and girl fall in love. Girl and guy fall out. Girl and guy make up. Everybody lives happily ever after.

Some of the relationships I write about here aren’t packaged nearly as neatly. Most times the endings aren’t always happy. Every so often I am guilty of putting my own mess out here. It’s a form of therapy. Writing it out allows me to dissect and examine the pieces and most times make sense of the moment.

With my new relationship I have refrained from putting but so much of it out here. I didn’t think it was fair to my very special friend for me to open him up to so much public scrutiny. I was also acutely aware that he and I both had friends and family who would occasionally stop by to see what I might have been up to. Y’all know how family can be in your business. I didn’t think it was fair to give them but so much fodder to feed on while he and I tried to discover where we were going with this thing.

But now it would seem that he and I may not be going very far after all. My guy and I have hit a brick wall. Hard. I told you about that prickly truth thing. It stings like hell when you lay it out on the table and deal with it head on. We did that this weekend. Exposed the ugly of it and tried to figure out what it meant for the two of us.

I was married for too many years to a man who was in love with someone else. They had a child together during the course of our marriage. During our time together I was acutely aware of how he didn’t truly love me. Blatant disrespect was one hell of a teacher! Despite the ex-hubby’s insistence that there was really never anything between him and his other women, I knew better. I saw it every time he didn’t look at me the way I saw him look at them. I learned a valuable lesson from the experience. I discovered that having love for a person was whole-heartedly different from being in love.

After many years of heartache, I came to realize that I would do everything conceivable to insure that the last half of my adult life fared much better in the relationship department than my first half. I promised myself that I would not waste an ounce of myself on a man who had love for me but wasn’t in love with me. I would not be the woman a man settled on even though his heart wasn’t fully committed to me.

My very special friend is more confident than I am about our relationship. But I also think I’m guarding myself from having my heart broken. Only time will tell what may or may not happen. Right now though, I’m not placing any bets on my happy ending.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009


My baby is now twenty years old. He is no longer a child but he is so far from being a man that it frightens me. Right now he is completely and totally lost, trying to navigate the world without a life map. Everyone sees it, making a point of pointing it out to me like I can’t see it for myself. What no one seems to understand is that not only do I see it, but I feel it. My child’s frustration and hurt are so acute that I can feel it with every single breath I take.

I am determined to get my son back on the right path and save him by any means necessary. What I can’t figure out is just how to do that.

I have given myself five days to come up with a game plan. I asked my son if he trusted me and then I asked him to trust me to help him find his way. He’s reluctant, not at all sure what I might be getting him into but he promised to give whatever I ask of him a try.

Baby boy is exceptionally bright. He’d completed the high school math and science curriculum before he reached the eighth grade. High school was a challenge, trying to find advanced courses to meet his needs. He’s also an exceptionally talented artist. But he has stopped applying himself. His zest for life and his love of learning have diminished substantially. He walks in a cloud of depression and funk with one excuse after another for why he’s wasting his life away. He’s moody, lazy, and completely annoying, fraying my one last good nerve. But more than anything else he’s self destructing fast and I feel responsible.

Reflecting back I have tried to pinpoint exactly when he began his downward spiral. Sadly, I can almost visualize to the precise moment when thing started to go wrong. His big brother was dying from cancer. As a family we were all consumed with grief and baby boy, knee deep in the throes of high school angst, began to spiral.

Thinking back I truly believed that with time things would get better. A missed homework assignment here, a bad grade there, wasn’t horrific. Death was. But one assignment turned into many and his first year in college proved to be nothing but one bad grade after another until the child simply crashed and burned. Sometimes I think that I was so consumed with losing one child that I completely ignored holding tight to the other. Then I think maybe I held him too tight, mothering him to the point where he hasn’t been able to successfully leave the nest, spread his wings, and fly.

Now, I have to come up with a game plan to help my son become the man I know he can be. And I can’t begin to figure how just how to do that.

Thursday, March 19, 2009


Insomnia has been my nighttime companion lately. I sometimes go through these phases where I just can’t sleep no matter how hard I try. Come daylight I’m exhausted and also compulsive. I have to keep moving or I drive myself crazy.

It’s almost four o’clock in the morning and I should be sound asleep. But insomnia is in my bed, hogging all the darn sheets.


What do you wear to a seduction? A man I know had a very beautiful woman wearing little to nothing posed on his bed and he was focused on cleaning out his refrigerator. Days later she walked buck naked past him as he sat reclined in front of his big screen television set and once again, nothing.

Since lace and nudity weren’t working for his girl, she figured she would try something new. Girlfriend broke out a pair of well-worn sweats, a stained tee shirt and gym shoes, jumped right into his lap and winked and still, no reaction.

Thus, her question. What do you wear to a seduction to arouse just an inch of attention?

I suggested she think about shopping for a new man. But hey, what do I know!


Everybody knows I am a reality show junkie. For the last year though I’ve really worked on trying to kick my bad habit. I couldn’t kick my love jones for BET’s Baldwin Hills though. Now let me say upfront the show has some issues. Production leaves much to be desired and it annoys me to no end that they have tried to compact some six to eight months of living into some ten half-hour shows. It’s not hard to see that we miss out on a lot of what goes on in these kids’ lives. What I did find most engaging though were the kids themselves, eight young adults dealing with school, family, and relationships.

Some bizarre editing and some serious staging defined the drama queens from the good girls and the bad boys from every mother’s dream child. But every now and then there was a moment or a look that told a whole other story. I watch people’s eyes. These kids spoke volumes with their eyes.

My absolute favorite cast members were Justin and Seiko. I absolutely adored these two kids. My very special friend and I spent this entire season wishing the two of them would get together. We watched them be baptized together. They shared secrets and hopes, experienced some significant highs and some serious lows together. And through all of it there was something about their connection that resonated with their audience.

The finale however left much to be desired. Our favorite couple wasn’t actually a couple. Justin was dating another young lady in the beginning of the season and by the end of the season Seiko had herself another man. When Justin realizes that he feels more for Seiko that he’d been willing to admit and professes his adoration, baby girl blew him right out of the water.

But the words coming out of her mouth didn’t fit the emotion spilling out of her eyes. It is truly a rare occasion when you can witness what feels very much like true love play out on national television. But you wouldn’t deny what you saw spilling out of Justin and Seiko’s eyes.

I saw what Justin saw when they were in Las Vegas. Seiko was clearly making a connection with the hottie she’d been talking to. You could see what she was feeling. I imagine a man watching the woman he’s feeling love for beginning to feel love for someone else might be a problem. I also understand that Seiko had finally allowed herself to let what she might have been feeling for Justin go. He was dating one of her best friends after all. She wanted him happy more than anything else and if that meant watching him love someone else then she was willing to do just that. But there was no denying something was still brewing between them.

Was Justin being selfish as Seiko claimed? Maybe, but love will sometimes do that to you. Will these two incredible young people stay friends or part company? Who knows. I just know I loved watching them love each other on TV.

Thursday, March 12, 2009


I have an eclectic mix of customers who come in and out of my video store. (If you don’t know, the video store is where my EAT money comes from ‘cause despite what folks think, romance authors do not make big money, we only get paid twice a year when royalty checks come out, most times they only amount to a dollar or two, and if we want to EAT, we do other things on the side.)

But back to my customers. It’s a small town. A few small minds. Many transplants from larger, more metropolitan areas. Some highly educated. Some not. Most exceptionally friendly. One or two just a tad too friendly.

Mr. Sir is a good-old guy from a long line of good-old guys. He’s opinionated, considers himself quite liberal despite his affection for the Republican party and his homophobia, never been married, and has no kids. He’s easily pushing 70 and he visits me regularly to chat.

Mr. Sir (and that is his legal name ‘cause I done seen his driver’s license) thumps a bible when it will serve his point but forgets all about the scriptures when it serves his needs. A few weeks back he explained to me that he only dates married women. It would seem that unhappily married women will rock a man in the bedroom. I got this whole song and dance about them needing to release all that pent up frustration and anger. Mr. Sir wasn’t thinking at all about those pesky Commandments, forgetting the dictum that “thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s wife”. He did however explain when and where God said homosexuality was an abomination and an affront to the Christian spirit. That’s why he won’t watch the movie Brokeback Mountain or ride his Harley with other guys.

Today, he explained how the food industry has all of us fat people (and yes, the son-of-a-biscuit called me fat) fooled. Seems fat-free really isn’t fat free at all. He then gave me some diet advice, telling me not to waste my time with that granola bar and yogurt I was snacking on. According to Mr. Sir, all I need to do is stop bending my elbow at the table. His words, not mine. Then he asked me if I had started dating since my divorce. When I told him that I’d found a really great guy, he nodded his head excitedly. Then he told he that he had thought so since I’ve really fixed myself up lately. I wanted to ask if I’d really looked that bad before but I figured his respond would only annoy me.

I smiled politely, convinced him to rent a movie I knew had a latent homosexual theme, then sent him on his way. I’m sure he’ll thank me tomorrow.


Fifteen years ago an unplanned pregnancy disrupted Justin’s plans. A star high school athlete, young Justin decided to forgo his dreams to play professional basketball overseas. Instead, he manned up, enrolled in courses at the community college, got himself a decent job with those brown-uniformed delivery guys, and became a father who afforded his child a stable environment.

Justin has always wondered where his life would have led him had he and his high school honey resisted those youthful urges and had remained celibate. What Justin does know is where he didn’t go. As he tells his story you can still see the hunger and longing in his eyes.

Justin and the girlfriend didn’t make it. Justin and his son, however, have an extraordinary relationship. Junior adores his father and rarely do you see one without the other tagging close behind. Justin has been diligently preaching to his child that a few quick minutes of pleasure aren’t worth a lifetime of loss. Junior himself has some high aspirations and dad doesn’t want to see those dreams curtailed by an “oops” moment. He’ll tell you that once life and responsibilities get a hold of you, it can sometimes be impossible to get those dreams back.

Regret kicked Justin in the gut big time this week. Junior who has always been a healthy kid found himself in the hospital with a bout of something that had folks worried for a few minutes. Thankfully, he’s recovered. His father on the other hand will never be the same. After some medical testing to insure Junior’s proper diagnosis, Justin was informed that there is no way possible that he can be Junior’s biological father. It would now seem that some other man is his baby’s daddy.

Justin is angry. The high school honey doesn’t see what the fuss is all about. Despite Justin having been led to believe that he was the first and the only where he didn’t think he could have any doubts, he now discovers that he was instead one of many. Girlfriend’s response to hearing the news was to shrug her shoulders and tell Justin he’s fed the kid for so long that they look just alike. Then she told him to get over it.

I asked Justin what he planned he do. He sat quiet for few minutes, reflecting on the hand that has been dealt to him. Then he manned up, smiled, and said he was going to make sure his son pursued every last one of his dreams.


I am experiencing an overwhelming sense of sadness. I feel wounded and my feelings are hurt and I understand that much of it is of my own making.

Since I was seventeen-years old I have been mothering children. I mothered six of them in total and the line between which were mine and which weren’t blurred a long time ago. I loved my five boys and one girl like any mother should love her children; effortlessly and without pause. I claimed each of them as my own because in my eyes, they were.

They have each grown to be wonderful adults, one or two a little more wonderful than the others. And I like to think I had a little something to do with that. I also acknowledge that I may have had a little something to do with their few flaws. My relationship with their father greatly impacted my relationship with them. Sometimes for the better, and sometimes not. And even now, my lack of relationship with my ex has managed to define where I stand in their lives and it would seem that I’m not standing anywhere at all.

My children have not spoken to me in months. No calls, no cards, no nothing to let me know that they are well and fine. I have only heard from them when someone has been in need of something. Far too many messages have gone unanswered and I have now decided to just let it all go.

My very special friend doesn’t agree with my decision. He thinks I need to keep pushing until they bend. I’m thinking that over twenty-plus years of love and dedication shouldn’t necessitate an ounce of pushing. Needless to say the whole darn mess makes me overwhelmingly sad.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

I'M BACK!!!!

I’m back. I'm also fat, happy, hair-less, infection free and feeling better than new. Since the clouds have begun to clear, I've been writing with a vengeance. Last night I couldn’t type the stuff spinning in my head fast enough. You almost got a dozen posts today but I had only been running on three hours of sleep and was starting to feel it. When a strong cup of Starbucks coffee (with two extra shots) didn’t get me buzzed for even a hot minute I knew I was on the tail end of a fast declining slump. Sleep was calling my name and had no intentions of leaving me alone.

But I had a great weekend. I spent most of it with my very special friend. We both got a hold of each other and neither of us was interested in letting go. Reality knocked on the door at some ridiculous hour Monday morning and reminded us that we had responsibilities and our good time had to come to an end.

As we parted company the man said something that threw me for a serious loop. His words stung but the truth has a way of doing that when you least expect it. I know that he doesn't have a clue that his simple comment was like a good slap to my spirit. Then just like that something in my head shifted and the spell of really bad writing that I was experiencing moved right on up and out of the way.

The crap I wrote when I was sick is now flowing like melted butter on hot toast and I’m excited about all the stuff that is spinning in my head. I’m excited and I’m going to write until there is nothing else left for me to type, because at some point, I’m going to have to deal with the truth and who the hell knows what might come after that.


At some point in time every couple experiences speed bumps in their relationship. Even my very special friend and I have had to navigate a mountain or two as we have grown closer. Speed bumps aren’t much fun and require a little patience as a roller coaster of emotions spins a slow revolution and the good time takes a serious nose dive. Success is usually dependent on whether or not the two can make it unscathed over those hills together or not.

Bruce and Desiree have hit a major bump and what I find most compelling is that neither one seems willing or wanting to slow their roll and confront their issues so that darn speed bump doesn’t leave them stranded alone on the side of the road.

The couple was introduced through mutual friends. Both were a bit gun shy, having been burned in previous relationships and both bought some unpacked baggage into the mix in the way of children and other-parent conflicts. Both agreed to take things between them slow, not wanting to make the same mistakes they may have made before. Fast forward two years and the duo have seriously begun to talk marriage and life time commitment. Or so Desiree thought. She’s suddenly discovering that Bruce’s baggage is lying spread eagle across their relationship highway waiting to spin them and their relationship right out of control.

The couple are now taking those steps to blend their respective families. Desiree’s kid has no opinion about her mother and her mother’s special friend. The kid has said all she wants is to see her mom happy without having to endure the details. Desiree’s kid is also a young adult who is more concerned about her own good time and relationship issues. She has little use for what her folks might do. Desiree and her ex-hubby have no ties, support and custody no longer an issue between them. Desiree has unpacked her luggage quite nicely.

Bruce’s kid is younger, no longer a child but still far from being grown. His kid also has a mother who clearly hasn’t let go yet, still hopeful that just maybe she and Bruce might make things work between them. Desiree believes her man when he says this is the very last thing he would ever want, but Bruce has had to tiptoe around his ex-baby-mama to keep the drama down to a minimum. Unfortunately his tiptoeing has been at the expense of Desiree and her feelings. And even more telling, neither Bruce’s ex nor his child know the true nature of the relationship he has with Desiree. Bruce's bags are still quite full.

Desiree thought she and Bruce’s kid had bonded nicely. Bruce had told her that his child genuinely liked him having her for a new friend. Curiously, although the two claim themselves a couple in private, intent on making lifetime plans, neither of them has bothered to sit down across the table to fill their kids in on what they are hoping for.

Now Bruce says he isn’t quite sure how his kid would feel if he were told their good friend Desiree is really the woman he loves and wants to marry. If that becomes a problem for junior, then it poses a bigger problem for Bruce and whatever it is he might be feeling. Then of course there is still that prickly situation with his ex-spouse who Bruce is certain would cause problems just for the sake of doing so.

The mutual friend thinks Bruce is playing Desiree to satisfy his need for a good time. As an outsider looking in, I see all kinds of warning signs and red flags trying to get their attention. But I’ve also seen how Bruce looks at Desiree, how lovingly he treats her, so I don’t necessarily agree that the woman is being played. You’d have to be deaf, dumb, and blind not to see the wealth of love that exists between them. But I also don’t think the kid or his ex-wife are what the problem is between Bruce and Desiree.

Truth be told, Bruce really isn’t ready for a life time and Desiree is wanting to rush fast toward the future she dreams of. Sadly I’m not confident that they can make it over this speed bump together since neither is willing to put their mess on the table and deal. No matter what each is trying to pretend, the way they’re going, I see a serious crash and burn on the horizon. Speed bumps aren’t at all forgiving.


The young man caught my attention at the check-out counter of my favorite store. As he stood in line behind me he made a point of complementing the scarf I was waiting to purchase. Green was his favorite color.

Two young ladies closer to his age asked him about the tattoos that adorned his well-worked biceps and I couldn’t help but overhear him say he was twenty-four years old when they asked. Minutes later he chased me down in the parking lot, politely asking for a quick minute of my time. Since I had more than a few to spare I indulged him.

Mr. Justin Johnson introduced himself, announcing that he has two books that will be released some time this year, intoning that he hoped I would consider supporting his writing. Of course this immediately set off my writer’s radar. Now, like some writers navigating the publishing process have been known to do, Justin Johnson spun me a sweet little tale about not being quite sure when his books would be released since he was “transitioning” publishers. With raised eyebrows I asked if he was “transitioning” or if he was actually self-publishing. Justin Johnson tap danced a reasonable response that most lay persons would have probably bought hook, line, and sinker. Those of us who’ve been done by the publishing industry more times than we care to count could easily decipher the fact from the fiction and I imagine Justin Johnson has just begun to wallpaper his home with rejection letters.

Justin Johnson then gave me his sales pitch, noting that the first book was a collection of poetry and the second, a tome on relationships. I was intrigued by the prospect of both since Justin Johnson gave an articulate and somewhat profound dissertation on the dynamics of age and maturity between men and women. I was intrigued enough to actually give some serious consideration to reading what Justin Johnson might have published in the future. I gave Justin Johnson my business card, told him to keep in touch and if his writing was any good that I’d be delighted to read and perhaps promote his work.

I got the distinct feeling that Justin Johnson is a young man who is going to be exceptionally successful some day. He had great energy and it took him less than a few minutes to get me genuinely interested in what he might have to offer this world. With an amazing grace, much maturity, and plain, old-fashioned, good manners Justin Johnson is making sure that no matter what his future holds, this world will know him and his name.

Justin Johnson is a young, black man who appears determined to reach his full potential. He’s a native son, who is setting an amazing standard for other sons to emulate. I imagine his mother is immensely proud. I know I was.

Wednesday, March 04, 2009


So I’ve been thinking about sex. I recently received comments back from my editor about my next Stallion book. Her advice was that I needed to seriously ramp up the sex. I had to step back and evaluate that for a minute because in this particular book, I thought I had ramped up the sex. In fact, I’d ramped it up so much that in my esteemed opinion it was reading more like soft porn with a tiny bit of romance tossed in. Until I read her letter I was very excited about the sex I had written about ‘cause I seriously thought it was really good sex! If I remember correctly, I even blogged about it I was so excited.

The character, baby brother Luke Stallion is young, just shy of 26. He’s a young man I imagined would be having a lot of sex and a lot of very good sex. I mean, he has that whole 26-year old, energizer bunny, stamina thing going on. If he were 46 or 56 I think I would have been less inclined to have him getting his groove on as often, but hey, that’s based on what I think I know about older men and their abilities. As well, young Luke is exceptionally athletic and limber. A man with acrobatic skills who can bend and twist without something hurting has an advantage over a man who can’t. We all know that with age what we could do at 26 might not be feasible at 46 or 56 if we want to function the next day and some men acknowledge that in their old age their desire might require a little blue pill assistance every now and again. Now, I know I'm generalizing and there are exceptions to all the rules so don't email me about how you're pushing 75, still able to get your leg behind your head and how you have no problems getting it up every other hour with no medical assistance.

Back in the day, when I was young and dumb, sex was much overrated. It sounded romantic, seemed necessary to maintain a relationship and when you tossed in surging hormones, it seemed to fit the bill. But really, most times, no one ever knew what the hell they were doing. It was awkward and quick and the aftermath left one contemplating what the fuss was all about. Marriage didn’t help the matter much when you tossed in small children who consumed all my energy and time and a horrific partner who was…well…I won’t even go there. I waited over half my adult life to experience really great sex and now that I know what that’s like I figured I was better informed to write about it.

So now I’m in a quandary. Realistically, how much is too much or not enough sex in a relationship? What’s normal? And how do you translate that into fiction without it feeling unrealistic or just too farfetched? How do you make it believable and have it read well? And how do you figure out how much is too much or not enough?

I’m at a loss here and it has me thinking a lot about sex.

Tuesday, March 03, 2009



I am stuck in this vicious cycle. I sleep. Attempt to write. Watch bits and pieces of bad videos. Sleep. Watch another piece of the same video with no clue to what’s going on, then sleep some more. Between the sleeping, video watching, and writing obscure crap that makes no sense whatsoever, I’m being pumped full of antibiotics, pain meds, orange juice and Campbell’s chicken noodle soup. I’ve been doing this for one week now and I’ve about had my fill of it. Being sick bites big time!

The other day I got the brilliant idea to venture out to the store for cookies. I could have easily sent someone else but I needed a change of scenery and some fresh air. Besides, cookies were going to make me feel better. And they did, right up to the moment that I was standing in the check-out line and the man behind me started to hack up a lung. The kennel cough was bad enough but then he had to toss in some sniffling and wheezing with snot running out of his nose and I was too through. He did all of this and not once did he think to cover his mouth with his hand or make use of a tissue. It was just too nasty! I handed my precious cookies to the clerk, said thanks but no thanks, and ran out of the store. When I got home I took a hot shower, saturated myself with disinfectant, popped an extra dose of antibiotics and crawled back into bed. I’ve been here ever since.

Although I feel much better than I did last week, I’m still not one hundred percent. But I’m getting there. And it didn’t hurt that my very special friend with his sweet self bought me two packs of cookies to make me feel better.