Monday, December 27, 2010


So, I started the whole exercise and diet thing a little early. I figured there was no point in waiting until January 2nd to get started since I’m typically done and finished by January 30th. I’m thinking if I switch it up and start a little early, I might be inclined to do good for a little bit longer.

And I’m really not dieting. I’m invoking a “lifestyle change”. Toward that goal I’m determined to make exercise FUN for the New Year because I hate to exercise with a passion. Sweating is only good during really great sex NOT while looking foolish on a treadmill or whatever other gym apparatus I’m inclined to pretend I know how to use.

So, a month or so ago I started taking line dance classes. And I am having an absolute blast! I am whole-heartedly uncoordinated, have strained muscles that I have no business using, and have laughed until my stomach has hurt. The instructor, a delightful woman named Leigh, is incredible! She has slowly maneuvered my two left feet into a left foot and a right one and I actually know which to move when. I am taking my Electric Slide obsession to a whole other level!

I’ve been inviting family and friends to join and come have fun with me because it has just been the best time. The dance class is supported by a wonderful group called the Bull City Sliders. They are all incredibly talented dancers, totally helpful to all us newbies, and fun to watch. They showcased this particular dance number (see YouTube video below) at the Southeast’s largest line dance party this past July and they’re already in the studio prepping for the 2011 event which will be held in Atlanta.

Next on my list is pole dancing. That's right. I'm going to learn how to work me a pole!! Then I'm gonna buy one (a pole, that is) for the house and I might be inclined to take my newly acquired skills to the club if I get real good! Those classes start in January. I figure there is no point in wasting the assets God blessed me with. By the end of the 2011 year I’m determined to step it, drop it, swing it, twist it, and have me one hell of a good time while I do.

Friday, December 24, 2010


Dear Santa,

So it’s been a while since I last wrote you a letter. It was the early 1970’s if I recall when I asked for a pony for the third time and for the third time didn’t wake up to find one in the back yard. The third time, not that I was counting or anything. I don’t hold a grudge but I think you should know, for future reference of course, that a Chatty Patty doll does not measure up when a girl is expecting a pony. Neither does a dishwasher when you’re wanting diamonds and wool socks from Wally World when you kind of had your hopes on Broadway tickets. But hey, I’m sure with all the letters you have to read each year and all of the requests that you get, meeting everyone’s expectations is a bit of a challenge for you and some things are bound to get missed.

With all the things happening in the news lately that peace on earth, good will toward men thing seems to be kind of a hit or miss for you as well and I know plenty of other folks have been asking for that too each and every year. But hey, I get that there’s only so much that you can do. I can just imagine that you’ve got your hands full trying to reel them elves in with all that eggnog being guzzled and I won’t even get started on the reindeer. Bright nose my behind! Rudolph may want to try a 12-step program for what ails him!

But I digress! Santa, I’ve been in a bah humbug kind of mood. It’s been a little chilly down here in the South and you know I’m not a fan of cold weather. You can drop a dusting of snow on Christmas morning, just for effect but keep the bulk of it up there where you are. Trust me when I tell you it really won’t be missed. It doesn’t need to be eighty degrees but below freezing isn’t working either. And if you can’t swing that, two round trip tickets to an island paradise (all expenses paid, of course) would work nicely.

I’m thinking, Santa that I’m probably sitting on both your naughty and your nice lists this year. You know how I tend to do things! So when you’re doing that checking it twice thing and you think you’re seeing double when you run across my name, don’t sweat it. I’ve earned every ounce of that coal you have for me because I have had a very good year being as bad as I wanna be! Just throw in one of those fancy grills for the deck this summer too and I think it will all balance out nicely.

Look at you with your rosy cheeks, just blushing! At least when I was being bad, I was very good at it. And I’m just saying!

But I really just wanted to wish you a Merry Christmas, Santa and to tell you that I’m over that pony that you never brought me. I’m riding Stallions now. Big ones. And I already have one of my own. A stallion that is. A girl didn’t want to risk you getting it wrong. Again. And I’m trying really, really hard to be really, really good to him. Even though he kind of likes it when I’m bad. But that’s a whole other letter for another time. I might even write a book about it.

So, keep doing what you do best, big guy! And by the way, you’re still looking good in your Santa suit. What did you lose? Ten, fifteen pounds? It’s a good thing too because they’re not making chimneys like they use to.

Yours truly,
Still singin’ and swingin’ and getting’ merry like Christmas,


Saturday, December 18, 2010


I have the holiday blahs. I was determined that this year would be different. There was going to be a tree and decorations and the baking of Christmas cookies and all those things that I have very fond memories of. I am so far from bringing those warm reflections to fruition that it’s like a wide divide of one big ass mountain between the want and the reality. Right now I am just ready for Christmas to be over.

Sitting in reflection today I realized that I am just emotionally exhausted. It has truly been a long year. So long and exhausting that I am just too darn tired to think about any holiday spirit. Fortunately, I know that this too will soon pass and me and Old Saint Nick both will be right back to our usual holiday tricks. At least that’s what I am hoping will happen.

Recently I took a trip to Columbus, Georgia to see my baby boy graduate from OSUT training. I am now the immensely proud parent of a United States Army Infantryman. As a parent, there is such a sense of accomplishment when you can witness your child not only do well, but excel at something they want for themselves. There is also great satisfaction in hearing them speak of their life goals and to know that they actually have a viable plan to attain those goals.

I have always been overwhelmingly proud of my son, even when he was challenging my last nerve. He is a young man with a beautiful spirit. He has an exceptional sense of humor and is keenly intelligent. He has never been materialistic or vain. I don’t think he has ever met a stranger and he lives by a code of conduct and honor that made the military the perfect fit for him. He is a man of great integrity. Like most parents experience, we had our period of rebellion where he floundered miserably, but I was fortunate that it was a very short period and he quickly recognized the error of his ways. If he hadn’t, I would have had to break his pretty little neck and I really didn’t want to do that. As he paraded across the field at the National Infantry Museum and Soldier Center, I knew that I had done good and he will do even better.

Next up for baby boy is Jump School. On his quest to be a member of one of the Army’s most elite corps he needs to be airborne-qualified. Next up for me is how to make Christmas happen since there is no way for me to stop it from coming all-together. Figuring out the New Year and my own goals is also on tap. I have a few jumps of my own to make and need my own wings to fly. It would seem that my son and I both have our challenges ahead of us.

Monday, December 13, 2010


He was only days old when his father laid him in her arms. He wrinkled his little face as if he were about to cry and then he just snuggled down into her arms and drifted back to sleep. In that moment he became her world, her lifeline to something she didn’t even know she needed.

They grew up together. She mothered him to the best of her ability, delighting in every one of his accomplishments. She was there for his first steps, his first words, more firsts than he will ever know. She was also there for the insanity between his father and the mother that birthed him, the duo so consumed with their own frustrations and anger that they sometimes forgot their precious baby boy and how their abuse of each other impacted the family around them.

But she refused to forget. He was her heart and she had fallen in love with him the day his father laid him in her arms.

He is now a man and the passing of time has not been kind to them. The baby she once held as her own is estranged from her, the two of them casualties of a war that was not of their making. Too much time has passed in silence, things that should have been said gone unspoken.

But what has not changed is him having her heart like no other. Because she fell in love with him when he was only days old.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010


He gets up each morning and gives thanks for the blessing of a new day. He is grateful for each and every one because he is not supposed to be here. An airplane accident almost took him that first time. Cancer keeps trying to take him now.

He’s cheated death many times and with each breath that he draws, death is reminded of its failing. He tells everyone who listens just how blessed he is and just how much he appreciates the opportunity to live his life to its fullest.

He called to wish me a happy holiday. He started the conversation by telling me how much he loved me. We bantered back and forth like we have done since we were little kids. I asked about his health and if he was taking care of himself. And like always, he assured me that he has everything under control. And just like always, I knew that he probably didn’t. That he was just taking each and every day, one at a time.

His zest and exuberance ignited my own. Everything I have to be thankful for flooded my spirit with a vengeance. I have so very much to be thankful for. That he is still here with us, reminding me with regularity that I am loved, is high on my gratitude list.

He made me laugh and even now I can’t wipe the smile of happy from my face thinking about him. Hearing him laugh fills me with tremendous joy.

We ended our conversation the way we started it. Telling each other how much we loved one another. I scolded him to be well and to take care of himself. He promised he would. Then he reminded me one more time of just how very blessed I am and just how very much I have to be thankful for.

HAPPY THANKSGIVING! May you each have a safe and blessed holiday!

Thursday, November 18, 2010


You could not miss the bruise to Melissa’s face. Her left eye was black and swollen, a harsh contrast to her porcelain complexion. And her porcelain complexion was mottled black, blue, pink and red. She casually milled about the room as if nothing was wrong and those around her pretended not to notice. I don’t pretend and so I asked, others raising an eyebrow at me as if my doing so was catastrophically wrong. But I asked her what happened to her face, already knowing the answer, and knowing that her answer would be a lie.

She laughed, fanning a hand in my direction. “Teeheehee! It was so silly. I can’t believe it happened. I was brushing my hair and dropped the hairbrush and it accidently hit me in the face. Teeheehee!

I nodded and commented. “Really? It looks like that brush was still attached to your husband’s fist.” The room was suddenly aghast 'cause heaven forbid anyone say outloud what everyone had been thinking to themselves.

None of us have seen Melissa since, knowing that she often disappears when her many bruises need to heal. Since I’ve known her, I’ve heard too many stories of how clumsy she is. She has randomly fallen out of chairs, and down steps, even tripping over the family cat at the most inopportune moments. But everyone knows her husband beats her and despite the best efforts of family and friends she continues to stay, believing that with four young boys she has no other options.

I had a dear friend once who I suspected was being beaten at home. Then one day, I witnessed the abuse with my own eyes, her husband slapping her so hard that he sent her flying across the room. I picked up the telephone and called 911. Her husband told me that I would never set foot in his home again. I assured him that he would be leaving that night well before I did. Hours later my friend was frantically calling family and friends to get him bailed out of jail. Our friendship is only a semblance of what it once was and I have no doubts that her husband is still beating her.

Growing up, my Granny use to say that a man only had to hit a woman one time. “One time,” she emphasized, her head bobbing eagerly against her shoulders. “He’ll have to fall asleep at some point,” she’d conclude. “I guarantee, once he falls asleep, he won’t hit any other woman ever again.” Then she’d tell me about her favorite crooner, Al Green.

Many years ago, Al got into a dispute with a lover. Then Al fell asleep. Al found religion shortly thereafter. Granny had a boyfriend who fell asleep once too. I heard years later that he never ate hot grits again. He also never hit my Granny again.

I knew a woman once whose young granddaughter spilled the beans about the situation in her home. Her daddy ceremoniously punished mommy and big brother as the wind blew. Grandmother was taken aback by the bruises that battered her grandchild’s back and legs. She was appalled to discover them on her only daughter as well. Days later grandmother welcomed her son-in-law into her home with open arms and the lure of some freshly fried chicken. As son-in-law sat down, excited to be dining on a home-cooked meal, he was ill-prepared for what came next.

Grandmother started swinging a cast iron frying pan with every ounce of energy she had in her. The first swing cracked two ribs. The second broke his arm. Sum total Grandmother swung that frying pan twenty times, praying the following prayer as she did. “Lord, please forgive me my sin. But I don’t want to have to kill him for hitting my babies again. Amen.” Then she put down her pan and called him an ambulance. When help arrived, Grandmother told them he tripped and fell down the stairs. Son-in-law didn’t have anything at all to say. He also never hit his wife or child again.

With so many resources and support available to battered women I certainly don’t advocate violence as an answer to violence, but I can’t help but think that both those old women were on to something. Perhaps if Melissa had slapped her husband back with a frying pan the first time he slapped her, or maybe if she’d waited until he'd fallen asleep and then had helped him find some religion, those of us who care for her wouldn’t have to continually point out that she deserves better than bruises and black eyes.

Friday, October 22, 2010


The ABC television show, Primetime: What Would You Do, puts paid actors in scenarios where they create awkward, uncomfortable, and sometimes discriminatory situations to film the genuine reactions of passersby. Watching tonight, one story moved me to tears.

One of the actors, dressed as an intoxicated, homeless man, falls to the ground in the middle of a busy sidewalk. As he lay there pretending to be unconscious eighty-eight people walked by, barely giving the man a second glance. And then came, Miss Linda Hamilton.

Miss Linda has some age on her. She is black, disabled and also appears to be homeless. Miss Hamilton’s efforts to get help for the man are unsuccessful, the passers-by ignoring her as well. But Miss Hamilton persists. She refuses to leave the man’s side. She gives him a nickname, calling him “Billy”, humanizing the stranger lying on the street. She pleads to people passing by to please call for an ambulance but no one does. Frustration and discouragement are painted all over Miss Linda’s face. It is finally passer-by number 115 who finally stops and dials 911.

Miss Linda’s efforts to help the homeless man were genuine. Miss Linda is a shining example of the person we all should try to be. Miss Linda showed that it shouldn’t matter who you are, that you should always show kindness and compassion whenever and wherever you can. Miss Linda is my role model.


I try not to get caught up reading reviews of my books. And although I may try hard, I sometimes can’t help but want to know what readers have to say about something I’ve written. Most especially when I’m in the midst of a series and trying to finish a sequel to a previous book. It kind of helps to know what readers loved and what they didn’t.

My very first book review had the potential to end my writing career before it even started. The reviewer essentially hinted that I might not want to give up my day job. I didn’t, but not because I didn’t think that I could write or be successful at it. I understood from the review that I just needed to bring more to the table if I was going to get it right. Numerous accolades and an award later, I feel like I’m headed in the right direction.

Recently I read the following review from a reader who identified herself as “Keepin’ It Real”. She had much to say about my last book, Promises To A Stallion. Her review wasn’t negative but one line struck a nerve.

"I get sick of the "billionaire" Stallion story line, as it’s so annoyingly unrealistic, but it’s a story and if she wants her readers to get caught up in the fantasy realm so be it.”

SIGH! All I could think was she so nailed that one. Don’t get me wrong. I love my Stallion boys. I love their individuality, their respective styles, everything. But I do hate that everything about them has to be so over the top, so annoyingly unrealistic, that Nancy-Next Door can’t fathom that kind of relationship for herself. I hate it so much that writing Stallion Heat, brother Matthew’s story, proved to be particularly difficult. I’m still on the fence about the finished product.

I do want my readers to get caught up, but I want them to get caught up in the magnificent possibility of finding an amazing love and life partner. Let’s be honest. Black men who are billionaires are hardly a dime a dozen, nor does your average black female have the opportunity to hobnob with one. When writing Promises To A Stallion I got slammed by the powers in charge for making the story too realistic. I was told that the discussions between the characters were too every day. The powers didn’t want every day. Travis Stallion, the hero, needed to not only have more wealth but he needed to flaunt it more as well. I whole-heartedly disagreed. I won’t say either of us, the powers or me, was happy with the compromise.

I know that some readers like the fantasy of that which might be unattainable. I also know just as many would like to see a damn good story with a regular Joe stepping up to the plate and being just a really great guy. iIt's mixing the real with the not. Balancing the dynamics of both is proving to be my newest challenge.

And just a quick footnote: The above image was done by Ryohei Hase, an illustrator out of Tokyo Japan. Ryohei specializes in realistic fantasy art. Cowgirl is one of my favorites.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010


One of my favorite writers/bloggers shared this on his facebook page. It brought to mind some of the comments I've heard lately about Will and Jada Smith's young daughter Willow, and her new song/video - Whip My Hair. A few folks aren't feeling Willow's hairdo, feeling it is clearly a hair don't. Mama Jada let her shave the side of her head and baby girl is rocking her tresses in her own way. I've got mad respect for a nine, about to be ten -year old who doesn't feel any need to conform to what everybody else thinks her hair should look like. It's her style and she rocks it with a level of confidence that some women three, four, even five times her age have never been able to master. On one recent interview both she and her mother commented that "it was just hair".

I've boo-hooed my fair share of bad hair experiences here before. Even now, I'm torn between what to do or not do with my hair. It has grown out again, just beginning to brush past my shoulders and now I'm bored with it.

I've done the weaves, the braids, the perms, au natural, and some styles that would scare the bejesus out of Madusa. Thinking back though, one of my all-time favorite hairdos happened the summer I was fifteen. My mother, in one of her off-beat moments, got creative with my hair. My shoulder-length strands were cornrowed up on the sides, banded down the center of my head with multi-colored rubber bands and the loose ends then curled back in a mohawk that outdid mohawks. I absolutely loved it!

At the family reunion there was no end to the comments that were made about my hair. The one that stuck most in my head came from an older relative, now deceased, who told me to take that mess out of my head. Apparently, it wasn't as refined or as socially acceptable as she thought it should be. Subsequently, when school started, my tresses were bone straight, pulled back into my requisite cute-girl ponytail.

To this very day I still fall back to that bone-straight, ponytail. It works, even when it doesn't work. So pondering my own hair don't, this Sesame Street video made me smile. This was definitely my feel good moment of the day!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010


I have been purposely enacting change for months now. Change in how I handle difficult situations. Change in how I deal with difficult people. Change in my quality of life. Change, whole-heartedly, different from what I have ever known before. It has been like a free fall, exhilarating and damn scary.

Then tragedy stuck. It came on the heels of loss. Loss so significant, that I was left to re-evaluate every aspect of my own life. And then I had a light bulb moment, one so monumental that when it hit, it knocked me right off my feet.

Life is short. Tomorrow is not promised to us. Which is why making the most out of today is monumentally important. And though it is so easy to say, it is not necessarily easy to accomplish because life will inevitably get in the way.

I have a good friend who has invested an unfathomable amount of energy in being angry. Angry at her current situation. Angry at family and friends. Anger so pervasive that it has taken full and complete control over her entire life. Her anger prevents her from making the most out of her days and subsequently each and every day for her is filled with far too many regrets. Some of those regrets are inevitable. Others, not so much. For me, enacting change was necessary to stall my own anger and keep me from having too many regrets.

Making the conscious decision to live one’s life differently comes with a multitude of pressure. It also comes with much responsibility. I thrive under pressure. I’m really not big on responsibility. Discovering such about myself has been enlightening.

Change manifests more change. The doors are wide open and I take much delight in stepping over to the other side to see what opportunities might be out there for me. I have a good friend I hope will take the walk with me. She needs a good free fall.

Wednesday, October 06, 2010



God looked around his garden
And found an empty place,
He then looked down upon the earth
And saw your tired face.
He put his arms around you
And lifted you to rest.
God’s garden must be beautiful
He always takes the best.
He knew that you were suffering
He knew you were in pain.
He knew that you would never
Get well on earth again.
He saw the road was getting rough
And the hills were hard to climb.
So he closed your weary eyelids
And whispered, ‘Peace bethine’.
It broke our hearts to lose you
But you didn’t go alone,
For part of us went with you
The day God called you home.

Rest in peace, cousin. You will be missed.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010


I had forgotten what that kind of fear felt like. Then I read this morning’s headlines and I was gripped with panic I had hoped to never experience again. Nine US troops were killed in a helicopter accident in Afghanistan today. Yesterday, a retired military man opened fire on two women at a convenience store at Ft. Bliss in Texas.

When my oldest son was deployed to Iraq and then Afghanistan I lived in a constant state of panic. Son-shine flew black hawks for many years and every accident and bombing and loss of life absolutely crippled my spirit. There was always that wave of panic until I heard his voice and knew he was well and then that sense of relief that it was not my child who wouldn’t be coming home. For sixteen years of his military career I tried to prepare myself for the absolute worst, praying for the very best. And with every ounce of bad news that came over the airwaves I experienced fear and panic.

My son loved the military. He was a career soldier, Uncle Sam his very best friend in the whole wide world. The last time he came home, on leave from his second deployment in Afghanistan, he was diagnosed with cancer, a very rare T-cell lymphoma. He died two months later.

I had mixed feelings when baby boy announced his intent to join the US Military. We are a country still at war and I could not pretend that everything would be well. But he is so much like his older brother that I could only accept and support the decision that he had made for his life.

Baby boy left for boot camp recently. The last time he was allowed to make a telephone call I could not deny or ignore the sheer joy that I heard in his voice. For him, boot camp is summer camp with guns. He is having the time of his life and his experience has served to reinforce his desire to be a Green Beret, one of the military’s elite Special Forces soldiers.

Baby boy is just beginning his military career. I imagine that every time I read or hear that something has happened on a US military base or to the soldiers who are serving so bravely, fear and panic will consume me.

Thursday, September 09, 2010


Once again, I'm changing hats and shifting my attention to one of my "other" jobs. Near and dear to my heart is the Hattie J. Woody Scholarship Foundation, which I am the executive director of, and so it is with great pleasure that I announce our fall fundraising event.


Please take a moment to visit the Foundation's blogspot and spread the word about what we are trying to accomplish.

Everyone associated with the Foundation is extremely appreciative of any and all support gifted to us. We know that without the generous support and endorsement of those who believe in our mission that none of this would be possible.

I, personally, am grateful for everyone's encouragement. From the depths of my heart, thank you in advance of the love.

Sunday, September 05, 2010


It is an incredibly beautiful Sunday afternoon. My favorite guy and I enjoyed a morning walk and breakfast then renewed our spirits and energy together in prayer and quiet reflection.

I am in awe of the many blessings that are continually bestowed upon me. I give thanks for a supportive partner whose wise wisdom and sage advice keep me grounded and assure me of his unconditional love. Together, we are a formidable team and as his hand held mine I knew that there is no challenge that he and I cannot transcend.

I am thankful for family and friends whose hearts and spirits move me to tears and laughter. They have come out in full force recently to offer support and advice and to remind me that I do not walk through any dark valley alone. They reminded me just how powerful love can be.

I am thankful for my children who are all well and happy. Extremely happy! Their accomplishments move me to tears and it warms my spirit to know that with all they entertain and strive for, the foundation I gave them has served them each well.

Life is good. I am blessed and highly favored. For every ounce of it, I am grateful.

Saturday, September 04, 2010


On occasion, something I write strikes a nerve with someone. One recent post in particular not only struck a reader’s nerve, but practically severed every vessel in her body. Apparently I’d held up a mirror and she saw her reflection gleaning back at her. She didn’t particularly like what she saw. When I consider the post I’m sure others don’t much like what they see in her either.

This reader isn’t someone I know well, but for whatever reasons she felt violated as if I’d secreted myself into her life and had somehow managed to unearth every one of her dirty little secrets. With her dirt exposed, she attacked. It was her expectation that I would fall for the okie doke and strike back. But such is not my nature...usually.

This person’s antics have put me in somewhat of a predicament. In considering my options I have to consider the impact my actions will have on those I love most. A trusted friend tells me I would be a fool to let her bad behavior go. I ponder whether or not it would be more foolish of me to entertain the madness.

And it is madness. It is anger and frustration coming from this deep, dark, ugly place of total unhappiness. It is jealous rage masked behind righteous indignation, determined to prove a point where none exists. It is bad behavior at its worst and although she pretends to do what she does to protect her family, it is her family that is hurt most, embarrassed by the sheer absurdity of it all.

But I harbor no ill-will toward this person. My heart actually breaks with sadness because her bad behavior will inevitably leave her all alone and much unloved and though, it seems, many have told her so, she still doesn’t seem to see it.

As a little girl, my grandmother frequently admonished me to take care of my looks. She was a woman whose beauty had served her well and she felt that such would benefit me as well. It was my mother who slapped that thought right out of my head, admonishing that one day my outer beauty would fade and all that I would have left to stand on was what was in my head and my heart. “God don’t like ugly” was her daily mantra.

God don’t like ugly. What has been said and done to me was beyond ugly. But that’s okay. I know that two wrongs will never make any of this nonsense right.

Friday, September 03, 2010


Brenda’s having some issues. She’s not happy and everyone else would seem to be her problem. It started back in grade school, Brenda never getting to be the hall monitor. Rude and nasty soon became Brenda’s natural demeanor.

Brenda was hell on wheels in high school. The boy’s by passed Brenda for the girl with the brighter eyes, longer hair, and prettier complexion. Brenda didn’t have a clue that her attitude was what actually turned the boys off. Brenda hasn’t been able to hold onto a man since and now she’s bitter.

Since Brenda’s not happy, she doesn’t want anyone else to be happy either and so she’s on a mission to see just how much torment she can bring to folks who really don’t give a damn about her and her issues. She’s rude, nasty, and obnoxious to sales clerks and restaurant staff. She tends to be loud and toxic to friends and family. And friends and family have had about all they’re willing to take.

Brenda doesn’t see the error of her ways. She doesn’t understand why people are always commenting on her constant negativity. Brenda can’t relate to ugly on the inside being even uglier on the outside. She can’t comprehend that nasty has never served her well and never will. Brenda doesn’t want to do better even though what she’s doing isn’t working for her.

A bitter woman is like a boil on one’s ass. Most folks are way past the point of being ready to lance old Brenda right out of their lives for good.

Sunday, August 29, 2010


Jena is only fifteen and shouldn’t have a care in the world, but she feels like the weight of the world is pressing on her shoulders. An unfortunate incident this past week left her feeling completely lost and now she is struggling to regain some semblance of herself.

Jena’s first crush rejected her. The two had been friends since forever but boyfriend wasn’t looking to make Jena his girl. So Jena moved on with a boy who gave her attention right up to the moment she gave him some. Her very private moment suddenly became fodder for high school twitterdom, the boy boasting about his conquest to everyone within a mile of a cell phone and keyboard. Surviving that humiliation was bad enough, but Jena did. Twitterdom soon found some other young girl to tear apart.

Last week Jena finally found the courage to come out from under the rock she calls a room to socialize with her peers. Heading to the movie theater, Jena wasn’t at all prepared for the barbs and catcalls her former friends blasted her with. Hearing that boy and his brat pack call her a “ho” and “slut”, chanting it over and over for everyone to poke fun at, brought her to tears. And no one, not even the crush who called her his friend, bothered to come to her defense.

For me, I had to wonder why her first crush didn’t say something, if only to tell that boy who got some that what he was doing wasn’t cool. Being one of the popular kids, he could have made a difference. That difference might have meant the world to Jena.

A former acquaintance was fond of saying that a good run was better than a bad stand any day. It was his opinion that saying nothing was much better than putting one’s self at risk to point out the error of another’s ways. I didn’t whole-heartedly agree. Jena’s crush would seem to.

In sixth grade Beverly was the class bully. Most of the girls and many of the boys were scared to death of her. For whatever reasons I became the object of Bev’s dysfunction, the girl intent on making every day as miserable for me as she possibly could. The final straw came when Beverly ordered me ostracized, no one in our class allowed to talk, walk, or eat with me without her permission. When lunch time rolled around I was left sitting by myself, everyone else gathered around Bev. That first day was devastating. The second day my friend Liz returned to class after being out ill. When lunch time rolled around, Bev barked out her order. My friend Liz told her no and that day she and I sat together and shared our two lunches.

Liz telling Beverly no, that what she was doing was wrong, made a monumental difference, and meant the world to me.

Liz believed in taking a stand to right a wrong when she saw it. Liz didn’t believe in running. I found the magnitude of her convictions empowering. My friend Liz died in a tragic car crash when we were fifteen. I imagine that if she were still with us today, she'd be taking some mighty big stands on some pretty important issues.

I wish Jena had at least one great friend like Liz.

Friday, August 27, 2010


So, it was one of those good days. I had no where to go and nothing I absolutely had to do and so I did absolutely nothing. Then I was motivated to cook. I haven’t really cooked in a good long while. Fast food has been my nemesis to say the least. And so I tossed on a pair of sweat pants and one of my well-worn tee shirts and headed to the grocery store.

I knew what I wanted to cook, yet I struggled for thirty minutes trying to figure out how to make that meal low-calorie and healthy. After thirty minutes I gave up, figuring there was really no good reason to ruin a good thing, then I headed for the kitchen.

The pork chops were pristine. I seasoned those babies up and let them marinate in the refrigerator for a few hours. Then it was on to the gravy for the baked spaghetti. One large chopped onion, a sliced green pepper, two large jars of stewed tomatoes simmered sweetly, while spaghetti cooked al dente. When all that was done, I layered the two in a baking dish with a pound of grated, extra-sharp American cheese. At least another pound of cheese decorated the top. As I slipped that casserole into a low oven I was feeling a pinch of guilt but it only lasted as long as it took me to pan fry those first few pork chops. Adding a leafy green tossed salad did, however, make me feel much, much better about the overall calorie count.

Then, when the meal was all done, plated pretty, and ready to be eaten, I didn’t have any appetite at all. But that was perfectly okay, because it had truly been one of those good days.

Monday, August 16, 2010


It’s become more and more apparent that when it comes to this space there is no happy medium between the personal and the professional. I am so fed up with having to pull up my big girl panties to keep other people pacified that I imagine if I have to do it one more time, the elastic is going to break and then I’ll really be showing my ass.

At best if I compare my personal life to an exotic meal in a five-star restaurant, then my professional posts will simply be reviews of the bread and butter with no mention of the meat, vegetables or the dessert. One would think that if I like the dessert I should be able to say so but I’m suddenly having to bite back my words and hold my tongue and there is simply nothing sweet about that.

So, what do I do? I have agonized over my options and then it came to me.

I need to do what I do best. If that means tossing back an extra bourbon or two or three, then blasting the beef and lambasting the pie, then so be it. I’ll just drink good bourbon and tip the bartender well.

Sunday, August 15, 2010


I’ve had two back-to-back, event-filled weekends. One was very different from the other but both were truly great times.

Last week I celebrated a friend’s crystal anniversary. The event started early and ended late. Great food, much booze, tons of fun, and a wealth of laughter filled the time in between. I was able to catch up with old friends and made some new acquaintances and felt like quite the social butterfly when all was said and done.

This weekend was a family event, a reunion of loved ones coming together to celebrate their past, the present and the promises of the future. It was family I didn’t know and had never met before. The entire weekend was whole-heartedly one of the most spiritually uplifting experiences that I have ever had.

Both weekends have left me reflecting on both my personal and professional life. Once again I find myself questioning how best to balance the two, most especially when it comes to my writing and this particular medium.

For some time now I have had to temper my emotions and subsequently censor my writing for all the wrong reasons. For more times than I care to count I have been admonished about some of my writing being better reserved for a private journal that only I can see. It seems that I never know who might be reading my posts, ready to run and tattle about something I put in print. And though I have said many times before that this is my space, to do with as I please and all else be damned, I still want to be respectful of those I love and care most for and how my words might impact them.

But with nine books behind me and many, many more to come, much of me is already in print for all to see and we don’t even want to talk about what might be in the pipeline about to come. I need to write and sometimes I just need to write about the good and the bad of my stuff without feeling like I need to watch what I say and how I say it.

So time with family and friends and some serious self-reflection has me contemplating how best to balance the many sides of me.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010


I’m going to make a sex tape. I’m told that’s the in thing to do these days. In fact, most recently Laurence Fishburne’s teenage daughter announced that she has done just that. Like her, I’m hoping to fast track my way to credibility. To hear her tell it, everyone Montana Fishburne admires (Pamela Anderson, Kendra Wilkinson, and Pamela Anderson) has done the deed on film and scored major bucks and notoriety from the experience. According to Montana, it shot Kim Kardashian’s career right to Emmy Award winning-heaven. That’s why Montana stripped and spread ‘em for the cameras. To be like Kim.

If that’s the case then I don’t see why I can’t just jiggle enough cellulite and shake my ta-ta’s for a film crew to guarantee myself a Pulitzer Prize. Lord knows I have plenty to shake! Do you know any other author who’s caught that clue yet? I’d be the first and I bet it wouldn’t be a hot minute before the rest of pack are shaking body parts on film to try and outdo me. To hell with great prose or true talent. Nudity and sexual prowess is the key to success if we believe an ounce of what Montana believes.

It would probably be just my luck that whoever my co-star might be, Dick Dread maybe, or Harry Hung perhaps, they might actually outperform me. I mean, could I really compete by just moaning and groaning while I performed some serious sexual acrobatics across a countertop when junior Dick is dancing to some guy’s knees? I can just see it now, a lengthy erection stealing all my thunder.

But hey, if sex tapes are the way to fame and riches what do I have to lose? Why lay claim to integrity and respectability when debauchery and good old T & A pays better? Montana is 19-years old and we all know how brilliantly intelligent we are at the age of 19. That’s when you know everything the rest of the world doesn’t have a clue about. Montana is brilliantly intelligent.

And if things don’t go like Montana anticipates, the girl falling flat into Jaime Foxworth or Karrine “Superhead” Steffans-like obscurity, then at least she can say she put forth her best effort. At 19 there would still be time for her to turn things around and lay claim to something that really matters.

I, on the other hand, would just have a sex tape floating around the internet, cellulite jiggling through the datasphere. No Pulitzer. No credibility. Nada. So maybe making that sex tape isn’t such a good idea. ‘Cause let’s face reality. I’m no Kim Kardashian. And news flash to Montana. “ Baby girl, neither are you.”

Monday, August 09, 2010


Parenting is a challenge in and of itself, most especially when the cute baby reaches adolescence and that not-so-cute, I-know-everything, you-know-nothing stage. But parenting shouldn’t be an act of devastation where the parent is more of a child than the child is.

Kevin and his mother have a relationship that is riddled with nonsensical drama, most of it caused by mama. Mama’s issues run deep and no amount of rationalizing with her would seem to work.

Mama has spent most of Kevin’s teen years buying his affection. Kevin pouts, throws tantrums and Mama goes on a spending spree rewarding him well for his bad behavior. Then when Kevin opposes her, doing what teens tend to do at his age, the woman turns into Linda Blair, spewing carnage as her head rotates in circles on top of her thick neck. When that happens no one is safe from the fall out, not the baby boy, the daddy, or anyone else unfortunate enough to cross her path. But the only one who truly suffers is her son.

Despite son-shine’s maturity, his mama permits him to do things a boy his age has no business doing. It’s not rocket science to see a disaster-in-the-making, but mama would seem to be deaf, dumb, and blind if it means pissing off the boy’s daddy. And like children will do, their child has mastered the art of playing one parent against the other for his own personal gain.

Mama blew a fuse recently. Since then baby boy has barely cracked a smile. He needs things to change but the change he thinks he needs won’t solve his problems. It might make things easier for the boy because Mama won’t have anything to complain about. But like life will do, I’m sure it won’t be long before they’re all right back in the same cycle the kid would desperately like to run from and Mama’s head starts spinning in circles while she spews.

Saturday, July 31, 2010


Tomorrow is the official release date for PROMISES TO A STALLION. Thanks to early shipping, many have already gotten their hands on a copy and the feedback has been wonderful. Everyone’s kind words have warmed my spirit and motivated me to keep the stories coming.

PROMISES TO A STALLION is the story of Stallion cousin Travis Stallion. Staff sergeant Travis is home on leave for thirty days. An unwitting pawn, Travis delivers a Dear John letter from her overseas fiancé to the beautiful Tierra Braddy, breaking the woman’s heart. Hoping to take the sting out of her heartbreak, the rugged, caring soldier goes out of his way to comfort the incredible woman. When he finds himself falling for the love-wary beauty Travis maps out a campaign of seduction to persuade Tierra to take that fateful walk down the aisle…with him.

PROMISES TO A STALLION was a fun story to write. Motivated by a real life love story I was challenged to write a believable story of a couple meeting, falling in love, and marrying in thirty days. Until I’d encountered such a couple I didn’t believe such a thing was possible. I know firsthand that relationships are tough. I couldn’t imagine making such a definitive connection in such a short period of time. What I was reminded of as I laid out the details of this book was to never say never. Once I could imagine the possibility, Travis Stallion took shape and came to life. The possibility of what could happen in thirty days suddenly took on a whole new meaning.

This book is one of my favorites. It’s laugh out loud funny, sexy and sensuous, heart-warming and engaging. I hope you’ll enjoy it.

Friday, July 30, 2010


I swear, I am the bane of all computers. I’m like kryptonite to a keyboard. In the past year, my personal computer has blown up on me no less than three times. The last time it heaved its very last breath, it took much money to recover the files that I failed to back up. Then the computer geek technician advised that it needed yet another hard drive replacement. Opting for a much cheaper route I commandeered baby boy’s computer, applying its depreciated value against my son-shine’s outstanding debt to mommy dearest. That computer is now in the shop getting what…a hard drive replacement, having blown up on me last week. Thank goodness for baby boy’s extended warranty!

My very special friend has allowed me to use his computer while I am laptop-less. Then last night, while attempting for the umpteenth time to write a blog post, his electronic gadget heaved a low sob and went blank. I pushed buttons, unplugged cables, re-plugged cables into different outlets, pushed buttons some more and then sheepishly told the boyfriend that yet again, I had killed another one. (BIG SIGH)

So now I’m at the library. If this one keels over there are nine more for me to get my hands on. If need be, I’ll play musical computers until I can get this post written and actually posted. Let’s keep our fingers crossed.

This summer has had its share of extreme highs and some exceptionally low lows. I am in desperate need of a vacation but there isn’t one coming any time soon ‘cause I am broke. The very special friend got to go gallivanting on an island cruise for a week. I had to work and got left behind. I won’t say I was jealous but I admit to having had some issues. I did get pretty gifts (of the gold and diamond variety) when he returned, so I could only pout so much. And he has promised me our own private holiday before the year is out. So, like most things, I know I’ll get over getting left behind.

At the moment I am in a serious state of flux, caught between my wants and my needs and not quite sure what direction I’m headed in. With the SOLD sign officially posted on my grandmother’s residence, I need to find me a house. I am desperately wanting to finally have myself a home. The very special friend has been kindly housing me but he’s not ready for anything permanent and I don’t want to wear out my welcome and risk ruining all that’s good about our relationship. I feel as if I’m trapped between the proverbial rock and the hard place.

There’s a part of me thinking that when I do make a move, it needs to be out of the state of North Carolina. I’m feeling like it’s time to make a change but I haven’t determined to where. I thought about the big city of Atlanta. Phoenix is still on my radar as well. Then for two nights in a row I dreamed of Kiawah Island with its haunting whispers calling me to come home. I’m looking forward to wherever the wind may blow me. Of course, then I have to question what that will do to my nearly perfect relationship.

And I’m writing. There’s a book deal on the horizon which will allow me to spread my creative wings and fly outside the constrictions of writing romance. When the ink is dry on the paperwork I’ll be able to tell you more. As well, I am one step closer to self-publishing a literary piece that is near and dear to my heart. I had never seriously considered self-publishing anything, afraid of all that would entail. But fear has been the motivating factor to move me in that direction; me being afraid that if I don’t put myself out there that I will never know what I might accomplish.

So, with the comprehensive editing behind me I am on to layout and design, seeking a printer and having angst over distribution. I'm not quite sure what I've gotten myself into but since I'm already knee deep into it, it has truly become a sink or swim adventure.

The balance of the year should be quite interesting. There’s my 30th high school reunion on the horizon, a wedding, or two, or three, much relationship drama, I’m sure, and who knows what else might be thrown in my direction. So hang on tight. I think this ride is about to get bumpy.

Thursday, July 08, 2010


Hey there! I am finally back from my extended break. I've spent the last few weeks trying to decide what I wanted to do with my blog and my writing. I was seriously considering giving it all up for good, dejected that writer's block was becoming more prevalent and my writing career wasn't progressing like I wanted it to. The crux of this blog was becoming too depressing, reading like a perpetual woe-is-me pity party. It was more than I could take so I can only imagine what others were beginning to think about it.

And then in a moment of self-reflection I made the decision that I wasn't going any place any time soon. I love doing this. Sometimes I forget just how much and I have to be reminded. And then I'm enraptured by words...words on a page...words in a song....words strung together with such precision that the emotion is all consuming and I can't help but be drawn back to what I love most...words, in all their perfection.

It took a moment of clarity to remind me that I'm not done yet. There are too many sunsets I haven't seen....too many stories I have yet to tell...many the miles to get where I need to be. My thanks to Sara Bareilles and the beauty of words sung with such sheer perfection that I couldn't help but be reminded.

So, if you want to take this ride with me, strap on your seatbelts and hold on tight. I have a sneaking suspicion that I haven't come close to hitting my stride yet.

"Many The Miles"
(Sara Bareilles)

There's too many things that I haven't done yet
Too many sunsets
I haven't seen
You can't waste the day wishing it'd slow down
You would've thought by now
I'd have learned something

I made up my mind when I was a young girl
I've been given this one world
I won't worry it away
But now and again I lose sight of the good life
I get stuck in a low light
But then Love comes in

How far do I have to go to get to you
Many the miles
Many the miles
How far do I have to go to get to you
Many the miles
But send me the miles and I'll be happy to follow you Love

I do what I can wherever I end up
To keep giving my good love
And spreading it around
Cause I've had my fair share of take care and goodbyes
I've learned how to cry
And I'm better for that

Sing how far do I have to go to get to you
Many the miles
Many the miles
How far do I have to go to get to you
Many the miles
Send me the miles and I'll be happy to
Follow you Love

Red letter day and I'm in a blue mood
Wishing that blue would just carry me away
I've been talking to God don't know
If it's helping or not
But surely something has got to got to got to give
Cause I can't keep waiting to live

How far do I have to go to get to you
Many the miles
Many the miles
How far do I have to go to get to you
Many the miles
But send me the miles and I'll be happy to yeah
How far do I have to go to get to you
Many the miles
Many the miles
How far do I have to go to get to you
Many the miles
Many the miles
Been talking to God don't know if it's helping or not
Many the miles
Many the miles
How far do I have to go to get to you
Many the miles
Many the miles
Oh send me the miles and I'll be happy to
Follow you Love

There's too many things I haven't done yet
Too many sunsets I haven't seen

Sunday, June 20, 2010


Despite the challenges between us I am still very much my daddy's girl. My father was the first man I ever fell in love with and set the standard for all the men who came into my life afterward. No man has ever challenged me the way my father has. Nor has there been any other man who I have wanted approval from like I have yearned to have it from my daddy.

Today, we honor those men in our lives who stepped up to do what they needed to do to get us from childhood to maturity. We honor those me who paved the way and set the standards. I honor my father today and with much love, wish him a very happy Father's Day!

Monday, May 31, 2010


I got called out on the fact that for the last two years I’ve let my personal life interfere with my writing and subsequently, my writing sucks, big time. This struck a too tender nerve because I have always, in the past, allowed my personal life to dictate my writing. Some of my greatest moments have played out in black and white, the most simplistic words twisting into exquisite poetry. The ability to spin emotion onto paper has been one of my greatest gifts and somewhere along the way I tripped over the box, got all tangled up in the ribbons and bow and started writing with a broken pencil.

I have to admit that lately I’ve been holding back, holding out, and just not holding down what I know I need to be doing. I’ve been so busy biting my tongue and simply ignoring what has been in my heart to release that I haven’t been writing and what I have written, hasn’t been any damn good. I have felt it with every fiber in me and I chose to ignore it, not wanting to make waves, rock the boat, and risk sinking simply because of something I might have confessed under the guise of someone else’s story.

Writing use to keep me sane, my most difficult moments finding their way onto white paper. For too long now I have been teetering on the edge of psychosis, closer to falling off the brink than not, simply because I’m hiding myself behind syntax that hold no emotion instead of allowing my passion to dwell smack dab in the middle of my words.

Knowing what is wrong is one thing. What I struggle with, is how I might fix it.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010


For the first time I am starting to think that “Nothin’ But A Word” has finally run its course. On July 16th I will have been blogging for some four years and with a few hundred blog posts behind me I’m starting to feel like I don’t have very many more left.

Doing this has begun to feel like a painful chore. I’m finding it difficult to be funny and cute when there are times that I would much prefer to be melancholy and not cute. The melancholy doesn’t much move me so I can only imagine what it might be doing to those of you who actually read my dribble.

Recently, my very special friend felt that one of my blog posts was, and I quote, “an unfair distortion of the truth”. And it very well may have been. But as I explained to him, this is my space, and my truth as I see it and my emotions as I feel them. Damn the other side. They can go get their own blog and tell it their own way. The little bit of something and whole lot of nothing that I rant and ponder about here is mine to twist and turn as I see fit.

But twisting and turning life into entertaining anecdotes is becoming more of a challenge and requiring energy that I simply do not have any more. So for the first time, I really have to give some serious consideration to whether or not this is something I really want to continue doing. I really have to ask myself if this is finally the end.


Gary had a torrid little affair with one of his co-workers. At the time Gary and his cohort were both married to other people. That torrid little affair produced a too cute bundle who became his mama’s greatest joy.

Gary questioned whether or not baby Gary was truly his, ‘cause Junior’s mama also had a husband. Gary couldn’t fathom a wife not sleeping with her husband, even if she was sleeping with him. It conveniently slipped Gary’s mind that he wasn’t sleeping with his own wife which was why he was doing the do on the other side of town in the first place.

Girlfriend readily offered a paternity test but Gary passed, feeling that not knowing was best for all concerned, most particularly his wife.

Fast forward and not once did anyone ever ask a thing from Gary. No child support, no time, no nothing. Nada! His gal pal figured he would have to man-up all on his own, or not.

Gary chose not, having neither the testicles or the moral fiber to do what was right. Now Gary’s son is all grown up, still not knowing the man who donated the other half of his DNA. Not knowing that the new acquaintance who recently befriended him is actually is half-sister. Not knowing because Gary ignores his new friend requests and mama’s not telling until she absolutely has to.

Sunday, May 23, 2010


I observed an ex-wife and a current girlfriend meeting each other for the first time. The moment was amusing because although everyone was going through the motions of being mature and adult-like about the whole encounter, it didn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that what was being said between them was whole-heartedly different than what they wanted to say to each other.

The man in the middle, surprised by the unannounced arrival of his past, was clearly wishing for a hole to fall down into, his anxiety evident by him not introducing anyone in the room. And then the ex–wife figured out who the current woman was and all the fun began (with my very loose translations of the encounter, of course).

Ex-wife: “Oh, this is Dara? This is the girl that spends the night at your house sometimes? (So, this is your new slut?)

The new girlfriend smiled smugly but said nothing at all. But you could see her thinking to herself: (Beyotch, you know damn well who I am and I’m neither a girl nor am I a sometimes houseguest).

When boyfriend didn’t bother to respond, ex-wife persisted.

Ex-wife: “Is this the one? (And much louder for emphasis.) “Is this the girl who spends the night at your house sometimes?” (I mean, really, is this the cheap tramp you think can replace me?)

Boyfriend: “Yes, this is her.” (Please, please, please, do not start any mess up in here tonight! Please don’t have either one of them act a fool up in here tonight!)

Girlfriend, still smiling smugly, eyebrows now raised at boyfriend, and still not saying anything. (Her?! Oh, any other time you introduce me as your friend, and by my name. Now your ex is here and you don’t have anything to say!)

Ex-wife: “Oh, well nice to meet you. Now I can put a face to the name. (I’m gonna remember you, trick! You can bet on that!)

Girlfriend: “It’s nice to meet you, too. (Actually, it doesn’t mean much to me at all, but hey, I'll play. If you can lie, so can I!)

Now, the encounter passed quite quickly with the ex-wife asking boyfriend if she could have a brief conversation with him and the two of them stepping outside out of earshot. When boyfriend returned he had nothing to say and his girl didn't press the issue. She respected the “please, please, please” in his eyes. I can only imagine that he heard something whole-heartedly different once they were closeted behind the privacy of their bedroom door, and then again, maybe he didn’t.

What was interesting is the body language that spoke volumes. The ex-wife wanted control. She also wanted to devalue the relationship the couple had between them. If her ex-guy’s new friend was only a girl and only a sometimes, then maybe…just maybe. But clearly, she didn’t have a clue about the dynamics of their coupling, not privy to the private moments between them.

And the girlfriend wasn’t moved one way or the other, because she did know. She knew the woman who wanted control truly had none. She also saw firsthand that the ex-wife was neither a threat nor a challenge. She saw what we all saw. The ex-wife was clearly no competition at all.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010


Allow me to extend my thanks to those of you who have already made a donation. My little friend Trevon is still in need of some serious help. Won't you consider making a donation? I have some books I'd love to give away for your efforts.

Click below for additional information. Thank you.



Friday, May 14, 2010


My father and I do not have the best relationship. More times than not I leave his presence questioning what I could have possibly done to have him hate me as much as he would seem to. It sometimes takes me months to reconcile that it’s not me that he’s detesting, but is instead, a choice I may have made or something he thinks I might have done that has him so hostile. During that period of reconciliation my father and I usually do not communicate, neither of us having one word to say to the other. My father has spent most of my adult life not talking to me. I have spent most of my adult life wondering why.

It has now been a good few months since he and I have had a pleasant conversation of any kind. The last time we spoke the man called to cuss me out, calling me names that no man should ever call any woman, most especially his daughter. Daddy had not been happy about my cleaning out my grandmother’s home, discarding trash that should have been discarded years before. It would seem, according to my father, that I had no right to touch a thing. I had no right even though I was living there. When I made that point, he responded that my living there could easily be rectified. Subsequently, I no longer call my grandmother’s house my home.

For the first time, in more years than I know, my grandmother’s home will no longer be in our family. My father is completely accepting of this. He doesn’t much care if I am, or not. Others in the family don’t want to be bothered, preferring to avoid my father’s wrath, if such a thing is possible. Too many have told me that it’s probably for the best. My father hasn’t told me a thing, silence surrounding us the few times we have been in each other’s company.

With Father’s Day fast approaching I cannot help but think about the man who use to be my daddy. More times than not, silence would seem to be the only thing we have between us. It would seem that my father and I don’t have much of a relationship at all.

Sunday, May 09, 2010


Two years ago I reached out for donations to help send a young friend to the National Young Leader’s Conference in Washington, DC. Some exceptional people gave generously and my young friend was able to represent her family, friends and community beautifully. That young lady recently completed her freshman year at UNC-Charlotte, well on her way to a thriving technology career.

I am once again moved to hold out my hand and ask folks to open their hearts and their pockets for a young man whose spirit and achievements are a true inspiration. Mr. Trevon Tapp is twelve years old. He’s from the very rural community of Roxboro, NC and he has not only exceeded every challenge and expectation put to him, but has contradicted every stereotype that exists about young, black men.

Trevon is in the seventh grade at Southern Middle School, an honor student with a 4.0 GPA and in the academically gifted program. He plays football and basketball and loves to read. He is a member of the youth choir and dance ministry at his church and in 2007 participated in the National Young Scholars Program at Wake Forest University in North Carolina.

Trevon was recently interviewed and selected to participate in the People to People Student Ambassador Program’s trip to China this summer. The objective of the program is to promote international understanding while building leadership skills among America's youth. The 17-day experience includes meetings with government officials, interaction with students his own age, educational activities, and home stays with host families.

People to People was founded by President Dwight D. Eisenhower in 1956. He believed that if people from different cultures could come together in peace and friendship, so eventually would countries. Since its founding, People to People has launched many international programs, including Sister Cities and Project HOPE. People to People Student Ambassadors are carefully interviewed and evaluated before their acceptance and it is truly an honor and a privilege for Trevon to be considered and selected.

This opportunity will afford Trevon the chance to broaden his perspectives of the world and gain a better understanding of another culture. He will also be able to earn high school and college credit because of the many educational elements in the program. It’s an opportunity not afforded to many minority youth.

The program tuition is $6,000 which includes all transportation, accommodations, meals and educational activities. Trevon’s mother is the only person with a steady income in their home and she and his father sacrifice daily to provide for Trevon and his baby sister. Trevon needs sponsors and I am honored to be able to help fundraise on his behalf. We are asking contributors for any monetary amount to help him reach his goal. He has been fundraising diligently, hosting bake sales and neighborhood events to promote his cause, but as time draws closer, he could use a few more helping hands.

Won’t you consider giving? We are selling “event” tickets for this on-line fundraiser beginning today. With every $25 “ticket” purchased I will give the donor a signed copy of my latest release, LOST IN A STALLION’S ARMS. For every $100 donation I’ll give the donor a signed copy of my current book and a signed copy of my August release, PROMISES TO A STALLION. Donate $250 and I’ll send you signed copies of every book I’ve published through January 2011.

“Ticket” purchase options have been set up through EVENTBRITE, hosted by the Hattie J. Woody Scholarship Program, with payments being easily made 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.

As well, payments can be sent directly to the program, payable to: People To People Ambassador Program, People To People Office of Admissions, P.O. Box 34902, Seattle, WA 98124-1902. Include Trevon’s name and ID#10056029 on your check. (If you pay directly, you’ll need to send me copy of your cancelled check to claim your signed books.)

Every dollar is a step in the right direction for Trevon’s future. If you can, please help me help this baby’s dream come true. Let’s afford him the opportunity to participate in this life-changing experience. Let’s help him raise those funds.

Thank you.


Tuesday, May 04, 2010


I get more material listening to small town gossip than should be allowed. In this here small town of mine, folks love to talk. They love to talk about themselves and each other and every ounce of it is fuel for my writing spirit.

Today alone I came home with enough material for another ten books. Downtown was crowded with news-types looking to score a scoop on the Rielle “I Can Help You!” Hunter vs. Andrew “Johnny Won’t Be My Friend” Young sex tape case. The duo was in court today and the locals had much to ponder, most especially since Johnny “I Don’t Know That Baby” Edwards has allegedly rented digs downtown and is rumored to be developing quite a cozy relationship with one of the bar stools in the local pub. Marital fidelity is a hot topic around here, Johnny’s and everybody else’s. (Everybody else got some serious stuff going on behind their closed doors!)

Girlfriends stabbed boyfriends, boyfriends kicked dogs, husbands done left wives, wives done did the delivery guys, mama’s are sleeping with their son’s best friends, the best friends are doing the neighbor’s sister, and that was just what kicked off the weekend!

And I done started me another book where I had to change the names to protect the guilty!


Oh, how good does it get!!!!!

I am in TV-heaven right now. Just when I thought my reality TV obsession was all obsessed out, VH1 premiered their new lineup. Now I’m hooked, again, and loving every minute of it.

Brandy and Ray-J: A Family Business follows that well-known duo and their parents. The set-up of the show is that Sonja (Mama Norwood) who has been managing her children’s careers for the past 15 years is now ready to reclaim her life. She’s ready for her children to run the family music business. Throw in their father, Willie’s (Papa Norwood) nonchalant attitude and “children” who aren’t necessarily ready for responsibility, plus Mama's mean-as-spit demeanor, favoritism and a serious touch of family dysfunction and it makes for some entertaining TV.

Then we have Basketball Wives, the brainchild of Shaunie O’Neal, the soon-to-be ex-wife of Shaq. It follows the doings of seven women who have been or are currently linked with NBA players. Now, only one of the women is actually a wife, but each and every one of them has taken the drama straight to the net and dunked it. You can just see the backboard shattering with each episode. The cast includes Royce Reed, the former Orlando Magic and Miami Heat dancer and mother of NBA star Dwight Howard’s son, Jennifer Williams, wife of Eric Williams, Evelyn Lozada, ex-fiancée of Antoine Walker, Suzie Ketcham, ex-girlfriend of former NBA star Michael Olowokondi, Erikka Moxam, a stylist from Miami, Gloria Govan, fiancée of Matt Barnes and Shaunie. I’m going to enjoy sitting on the sidelines for this one!

Changing channels, Bravo premiered the second season of Housewives of New Jersey tonight! Delusional Danielle is back and the season looks like it’s going to deliver more than the two new babies being introduced. They kicked off the first night with a Barney’s New York shopping spree, a $1,000 plate fundraiser for the local sheriff, a Danielle drive-by, and some of the best politically-incorrect behavior from Theresa and the Giudice family. Gosh, I love these women almost as much as I love the Atlanta cast.

Toss in Jack Bauer sending my Monday night right over the edge as the final season of 24 winds down and Time Warner has me hooked for another few weeks.

Can it get any better!

Friday, April 30, 2010


When Wally and Diane have problems, Wally has seven really good female friends to turn to for advice. And like most female friends of single men, his really good female friends always have something to say about his personal life. Diane however doesn’t have the same network of support to turn to. Diane made the mistake of turning to a male acquaintance for advice only one time and she is still paying the price for having done so. Clearly, according to Wally’s seven friends, there had to have been more going on with Diane and what’s-his-name than Diane has been upfront about. And even Wally finds it hard to believe that there was absolutely nothing to Diane and that man.

Convincing Wally that something was truly nothing has proven to be impossible at best. Knowing that Wally doesn’t trust Diane or what Diane feels for him breaks her heart. Knowing that any conversation about the nature of their relationship will turn into a castigation of everything Diane has ever done wrong, starting with what’s-his-name, has proven to be more than Diane could ever imagine having to bear. The burden of it all has completely ravaged her spirit.

After everything they’ve shared, Wally should know Diane’s heart. Diane can’t expect seven people who have never met her and who know nothing about her to have any idea why she might do whatever she has done. She would expect Wally to know and even try to understand. Instead, Wally’s allowed the ugly of it all to fester into a concrete wall between them.

Maybe, if Diane keeps banging her head against the bricks long enough, Wally might find some forgiveness in his heart and the two of them can move on. Then again, maybe he’ll just keep listening to his friends and move on without her.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010


Hey, did you miss me? I've purposely been AWOL for most of April. I needed some down time to step back, review, regroup, and and revive myself. Subsequently, I didn't write. Not one word. For the last few months everything around me has been nothing but clutter and mess. The clutter had gotten to the point of being overwhelming and it just became too darn difficult to function in the midst of it. That is changing. It has to.

LOST IN A STALLION'S ARMS has been well received. Romantic Times Magazine gave it 4-Stars! Readers have lauded it with praise. Can't begin to tell you how that took the edge off of everything else I was going through, especially since I haven't been writing.

My baby boy and I have been spending more time together. I've discovered a side to my child I didn't know existed. He's discovered much about me, as well. He'll be leaving me again in the very near future. Son-shine has enlisted in the military. His paperwork has been signed and delivered He'll be headed off to bootcamp soon so I'm getting as much of my mommy-fix in as I can possibly muster. He's excited about what lies ahead for him. I'm happy that he's happy.

The old people are still old. My father, mother, and grandmother haven't been well. I find myself forgetting what it was like to have them at full capacity. I am reminded daily that life is both precious and fragile.

My very special friend and I are still holding strong despite the many odds against us. Those moments where I can't imagine my life without him have proven to be far greater than those moments where I ponder what in hell I had to be thinking. Our relationship has truly been a learning experience. Sometimes I am in awe and wonder of the lessons. And of course their are moments when I'm cramming to make the grade, adament that neither he, nor I, will fail.

Spring fever hit with a vengeance. Prom season rolled around and young love was suddenly in full bloom. A young friend paid me a visit yesterday to share her prom experience this past weekend. Her date had been a friend she'd known since they had both been in grade school. She was aglow with excitement, sharing the details of the event. I found myself enthralled by her energy. And I couldn't help but smile when she said she was "crushing hard" and the boy didn't have a clue. "It's absolutely ridiculous," she gushed. "I have to plan what I'm going to say to him three whole days in advance or when I'm near him, I completely forget how to have a conversation!" She was hoping their time together at prom would prove to be a turning point in the relationship. With graduation fast approaching she was hopeful that her future prospects might be more promising.

As she said her good-byes I was suddenly intrigued by the possibilities of my own future. I imagine that what I might be dreaming for myself might not be what God, and fate, have in store for me.

And then I wanted to write. Needed to write. Desperate to tell the stories that have been building inside. Anxious to give substance to emotions that have begun to consume me. And so I will. I will write.

Friday, April 02, 2010


It’s amazing that no matter how things may change, some things forever remain the same. I was partnered on a project that I was initially excited about. I thought it had great prospect. I saw it being an opportunity for me to grow with and learn from. After a considerable investment of time, emotion, and resources, I deluded myself into thinking that I was actually accomplishing something meaningful, headed in a positive direction.

Then just like that a member of my team knocked the wind out of my sails, and I realized that absolutely nothing had changed. The progress I had become comfortable with had instead been a delusion of my own making. Things were as they had been at the beginning and I might as well have been starting from square one.

Confronting the parties involved, I discovered that my expectations were as far from reality as one can possibly get. I was made to understand that instead, me and my expectatons were an inconvenience, standing in the way of other plans and ideas. I was made to understand that simpatico would only be found when the moon and the stars aligned just so and doing nothing was more appealing that stepping out on faith and trusting in each step of the journey.

It was an inconvenient truth and as I simmered from the hurt of it, I came to understand that being considered an inconvenience might very well need to be the catalyst for me to step out on my own and follow a whole other path on my journey.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010


So, I am officially counting down the release of my next book, LOST IN A STALLION’S ARMS. I am so excited that I’m about to bust! Baby brother, Luke Stallion’s story, will officially be released in five weeks, and oh, is it wicked!

Luke Stallion makes me hot! The boy is twenty-something young and as perfect a male specimen as one can imagine. The heroine, Joanne Lake, is full-figured with great attitude. I call her my poster child for women who aren’t a size sixteen small but love every dip and curve of their voluptuous bodies. Together the couple makes for some serious heat and steam. I still break out into a sweat when I think about the seductive encounters I get them tangled up in.

In case you have some doubts, here’s a little taste of what’s to come. If you haven’t pre-ordered your copy, please do. I promise you won’t be disappointed!

Excerpted from LOST IN A STALLION’S ARMS by Deborah Fletcher Mello

Joanne paused for a brief moment. “What’s your definition of foreplay?”

The man’s eyes widened in surprise. He suddenly laughed, mirth rising out of his midsection and flooding his entire body. He laughed hard, the wealth of it moving him to tears. He pressed the cloth napkin in his lap to the corner of his eyes dabbing at the moisture that had clouded his vision. “That was a good one!”

Joanne laughed with him. “I know. So answer the question.”

Luke nodded. “Wow! My definition of foreplay,” he repeated, enthralled by the energy that spun from her eyes. Pausing, Joanne could see his mind racing for an answer.

“Why don’t I just show you,” he said finally, lifting himself from his seat and extending his hand in her direction.

The woman was clearly curious as Luke entwined his fingers between hers and pulled her to her feet. She couldn’t help but follow behind him as he led her back to the front of the nightclub and the dance floor that was jam packed with couples shimming hot against each other.

The music had a rich Caribbean flavor, calypso beats with a hard bass line. One couldn’t help but be moved by the pulsating tones. Pushing his way to the center of the crowd and an expanse of empty floor space, Luke turned to face her, his shoulders starting to bounce in time with the music. He raised his arms to chest level, his large hands clasped into tight fists, his torso shimming from side to side. Taking a step toward her, his pelvis gyrated seductively, the man’s hips swaying for attention. His eyes were locked on hers and Joanne could feel herself falling fast into the stare he was giving her.

Joanne began to gyrate her own hips. She danced slowly at first, her body moving instinctively with his. Moving with him was intoxicating. Heat was rising quickly between them and Joanne suddenly wanted to strip right out of her clothes in exchange for a rush of cool air. When Luke took another step closer, his pelvis meeting hers as his hands fell to her waist, pulling her to him, Joanne thought she could easily pass out from the sudden rush of emotion that flooded through her.

The man was moving in sync against her, his gyrations tight and precise. Joanne couldn’t remember when her arms had swept up and around his neck until she became aware of her fingers lightly caressing the nape of his neck. Their bodies were pressed so tightly together it was if they were one unit instead of two. Then Luke pulled some fancy footwork on her, spinning her around so that her back was against his chest as he pushed himself against her buttocks. Unable to resist Joanne gyrated with him, savoring the sensation of his rock hard frame kissing the cushion of her soft curves. She raised her arms over her head, her fingers snapping in time to the music and then dancing against him like a stripper on a mission she lowered herself to floor level and slithered back again, her body never losing contact with his.

The man slipped his arms back around her waist, spinning her around to face him. The look in his eyes was pure, unadulterated lust, his hunger setting every nerve ending in her body on fire. Both of them felt like they were going to combust, heat radiating from every open pore. As Luke continued to move against her, his left arm holding her tightly around the waist, his right hand moved up the length of her back, his palm coming to rest against the back of her head. Then without warning, Luke slipped his fingers into the short length of her hair, his palm cupping the nape of her neck. He tugged gently as he dipped her over her arm.

The gesture took her by surprise causing Joanne to gasp loudly and then he leaned down over her, pressing his mouth against the curve of her neck. The sensation of his lips against her bare skin was electrifying, overwhelming her senses and Joanne moaned loudly, forgetting that they were surrounded by a crowd of people. Desire raged rampant between them. The sensations were intense and unyielding.

Luke planted a soft trail of kisses up the length of her neck toward her chin. Joanne tried to murmur an objection, nothing but a low hum bubbling past her lips. Her eyes locked with his and before she could draw her next breath, Luke slowly caressed her mouth with his own, grazing her lips once, and then again, the soft touch teasing.

Joanne pressed her palms to his chest. Her clarity was suddenly skewed, desire sweeping every coherent thought from her. She could barely remember her own name as he lifted her back up. Luke smiled, moving to wrap both arms around her as he pressed his cheek to hers.

He whispered into her ear, his breath blowing hot against her flesh. “I’d say that was just my intro to foreplay. To give you a full definition, I would need a whole weekend alone with you.”

Joanne struggled to breathe, words caught tight in her chest as she tried to ignore the hands that glided like hot coals against her skin. The music had transitioned to a slow and seductive tune. Without missing a beat the two had slowed their roll, their gyrations measured as they continued to move one against the other. A slow smile pulled at her lips as she lifted her eyes back to his.

“I think I get the picture,” she said softly, stammering ever so slightly.

Luke smiled back, his expression smug. “Are you sure? Because I don’t mind painting a complete portrait for you. I don’t mind at all!”

Pushing herself away from him, Joanne glanced quickly around the room. “I’m sure,” she said, her gaze returning to his. “But I’ll have to pass.”

Luke eyed her curiously. “Why?”

“Because we’re friends. And I don’t engage in foreplay with my friends.”