Sunday, February 28, 2010


My best girl friend sent me a card once that read, "Fall seven times and stand up eight."

For many, many years I carried that card with me where ever I went. It was a great source of inspiration through some difficult times, some rejections, and more moments of wanting to just give up and not give a damn than anyone cared to count.

A while back I secreted that card away, knowing that old Japanese proverb had accomplished its goal, my best friend and that piece of paper moving me forward to better times and a different frame of mind.

During a particularly contentious moment this weekend I went looking for that card and for a brief moment felt a wave of panic when I could not immediately lay my hands on it. Then I realized I really didn't need to, the words so ingrained in my spirit that there was nothing else for me to do but stand back up.

And so I did.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010


A few months ago I told a lie. It wasn’t planned or intentional and when it happened, I would have done absolutely anything to take it back. Life, however, doesn’t always give you a do-over.

For too many years I existed in a state of self-preservation. Sometimes a half truth or a full blown lie could keep peace in my home and the ex-hubby from going on a rampage. There were times when I weighed my options, a full blown lie was better than the fall out.

Fast forward out of that relationship into a new one and I have been challenged to break some seriously bad habits. My very special friend is a man with much integrity. His tenets of truth, no matter the consequences, are admirable. Trying to meet his high standards have kept me on my toes. Trusting that this relationship would be different than my last, and therefore my behavior must be different as well, has been a true learning experience.

When I told my lie I honestly believed that I was keeping nothing from becoming something. I was wrong. Nothing instead became an insurmountable wall that came crashing down on top of me.

I am still paying the consequences for my untruth. No amount of apologizing or explaining has been able to take the bad taste of it away. I am reminded of my failings when I least expect it. I have been made to understand that my actions have cast me in a whole other light, doubt surrounding everything else I do. I’m not going to get me a do-over.

Some lessons don’t come easy. But they do come.

Monday, February 22, 2010


At first, I wasn’t much excited about having another birthday, but my birthday weekend was a great experience.

I had a wonderful time at both of my book events. The first was a larger crowd with a multitude of activities to celebrate Black History Month. I met some great people, made a few new friends, and overall was pleased with the reception and turnout. It does a spirit good to be able to introduce my Stallion boys to folks who have never read me before. My thanks to the staff of the Wake County Public Library for inviting me to participate.

The last event was for those die-hard romance readers, who already knew me and my boys. How absolutely exciting it was to meet DIVAS WHO READ, a book club out of Atlanta, Georgia, who took a road trip all the way to North Carolina to see Altonya Washington, Cheris Hodges and myself. The ladies were an absolute blast and I can’t begin to say enough about how much I love book clubs. It was my first time meeting Altonya and a great time catching up with my author pal Cheris. My sincerest thanks to my good friend, Cheryl Underwood for coordinating such a spectacular event.

My very special friend treated me to a romantic meal and a few birthday surprises that evening. My baby made me feel especially loved and I love him for it. It was a sheer pleasure to be able to just sit back and relax with good friends and I wouldn't change one thing about my whole day.

So, now I’m back to the grind, churning out the first few pages of a new book and putting some finishing touches on a novel I just completed. And I am overwhelmingly happy. I turned another year older. I’m a little more wiser, but I’m aging beautifully like a robust wine with much too much emphasis on the robust part. However, when you consider the alternative, having a birthday isn’t such a bad thing after all.


I wasn’t going to mention it. I wasn’t going to mention it because I didn’t sleep with Tiger so it didn’t much matter to me who he was doing during his spare time. Then he publicly emasculated himself last week issuing an apology for his many indiscretions. The man was already small so I imagine that after that fiasco whatever was left of Tiger’s manhood is probably seriously lacking in size right about now. So now I’ll mention it.

Tiger didn’t owe me an apology. He didn’t owe anyone else in America an apology either. The woman he professed to honor until death did them in, is the only person he needed to apologize to and he only needed to do that in the privacy of their home, their marriage counselor’s office, or with their family priest running interference.

I have no doubts that Tiger has probably uttered plenty of apologies when Mrs. Tiger was swinging that golf club in his direction. Him having a press conference to tell the rest of us how bad he felt about what he’d done, was in my opinion, even weaker than his actual indiscretions. I think his PR person dropped the ball big time with that one.

As cheater’s go, David Letterman acknowledged his indiscretions best. He said, “Yeah, I did it. Yeah, I got caught. And no, I’m not going to discuss it with the rest of y’all.” Then David went home, quietly took his ass-whupping from Mrs. David and kept doing what David does best.

Tiger should have taken a few pointers. Tiger should have said, “Yeah, I did it. Yeah, I got caught. And no, I’m not going to discuss it with the rest of y’all.” Then he should have gone home, taken that ass-whupping from Mrs. Tiger and then gone on out to play a round of golf. He would have had an advantage with that five-iron lodged up his posterior cavity. He also would have seemed less pathetic.

A friend said she felt Tiger also needed to apologize to all those other women and the list was quite lengthy. I whole-heartedly disagreed. Those ho’s knew Tiger had a wife when they were dropping their panties. Tiger’s wife wasn’t a secret. The National Inquirer and every other news source spilled that news when the couple pledged their love and fidelity to each other. It didn’t much matter what Tiger might have been whispering into their ears, ‘cause as long as he had a Mrs. Tiger with a legal license between them, they should have sent his ass home.

I think Tiger’s ho-train should be the one’s apologizing. Let’s face it, bad behavior, no matter how famous the dick, is still bad behavior. And when you’re ugly on the outside, it surely doesn’t help you to be ugly on the inside too.

Thursday, February 18, 2010


I figured there would be no better time to promote and kick off the return of the infamous Stallion Brothers, than on my birthday. So, if you’re in the area with nothing to do, come see me!

Saturday, February 20, 2010
10:00 am – 12:30 pm (3:00 pm)

Wake County Public Libraries celebrates “Black History Month: A Cultural Event for All to Experience”, at the Commons Building off Poole Rd. The Friends of Wake County Public Libraries will be co-sponsoring this family-friendly program.

Activities will include: a kids room, a quiz bowl, musical entertainment and a talent show. There will be a guest speaker, Ann Atwater of Durham, sharing her experience as an African American civil rights spokesperson. Other special guest include: Ken Smith/WRAL, jazz singer Toni Denise, keyboard artist Eddie Hinton, Mighty Gospel Inspirations, acapella singers - Marc, Kevin & Michael, comedienne Yolanda H. Mitchell, W. H. Amos Praise & Worship Mass Choir, and local author Deborah Fletcher Mello.

Participants are encouraged to pre-register for activities, as well as the entire event. Large groups are welcome. For more information or to register, call any Wake County Public Library.

The above event will go until 3:00 pm in the afternoon. However, I will only be there until 12:30 and then I’m off to my next event.

Love at the Library
Saturday, February 20, 2010
2:00 pm – 4:00 pm

Holly Springs Library
300 W. Ballentine St.
Holly Springs, NC 27540

Join authors, Cheris Hodges, Deborah Fletcher Mello, and Altonya Washington as they dish all things romance. For additional information, please contact sheryl.underwood@wakegov.

Both events will be a great time! Hope to see you there!

Sunday, February 14, 2010


Mr. Ben, one of my most favorite guys, succumbed to his old age recently. He wished his nurse a good night, copping one last feel of her ample bosom, then drifted off to sleep. He never woke back up. He hadn’t been well for the last year or two, everyone predicting his demise when it seemed expected. But as was his nature, he never did what was expected of him. After a while we’d all become convinced that he would outlive each of us so the finality of his life has left us breathless, our hearts completely devastated.

Mr. Ben was one of my favorite people. He was a dirty old man who could be cantankerous and ornery, flirtatious and loving, comical and humorous. He was charming and annoying and he touched a piece of my heart like no one else. The last time I saw him he didn’t remember my name but he blessed me with his magnificent smile and winked a grey eye as if we shared a secret.

Mr. Ben was not his real name. That name was a private joke between the two of us. It seemed fitting to use when I was moved to write about him. He was a great source of inspiration and I was able to write about him often. I hope you'll go back and read some of my Mr. Ben posts to discover the world that was uniquely his.

I don’t often repeat blog posts but I thought it would be a fitting tribute to repeat the one I first wrote about my sweet friend. Sweet dreams, James Johnson, and remember to keep your hands to yourself!

STRICTLY DICKLY - September 14, 2006

Mr. Ben is well in his early nineties. He is a gregarious old man with quite a scandalous history if you believe even a third of the stories he is known to tell about himself. Mr. Ben was serious eye-candy back in the day because he’s quite dashing now with his snow-white crown of curls, the prettiest chocolate complexion anyone could wish for, and gray eyes that always twinkle. He has this infectious laugh and smile and I imagine that it didn’t take much for the ladies to fall for his very Southern charms.

Mr. Ben stops by every so often to chat and this week he came to tell me about his new lady friend. She’s younger, somewhere in her seventies. Last weekend this lady friend invited Mr. Ben to her place for Sunday supper. After an old-fashioned meal, she invited Mr. Ben into the bedroom for dessert -- a little taste of her sugar and sweets. Unfortunately, Mr. Ben had to decline. It would seem that his “johnson” was suddenly diabetic and not UP for the task. He let his friend down gracefully of course, telling her that he thought it was a little too soon for the two of them to be rushing into anything. Mr. Ben was quite comfortable sharing his dilemma with me. It seems that I’m a really good listener. As well, he thought I might have some advice for his situation.

Now, since I don’t have a “johnson” of my own, nor have I had much experience with “johnsons” that don’t work, I wasn’t quite sure what kind of advice I could offer so I just told him to relax. I muttered something about nature kicking in when it was good and ready. And I did all of this with a straight face. Later, as I was recanting the episode to a friend and finally rolling on the floor with laughter, I was reminded of a show my artist friend, Olivia Gatewood and I did a few years ago. It was “organic” art, a series of gourd sculptures that Olivia created. We actually had the audacity to display them on the front wall of the gallery, right in full view of the window.

This was some cutting edge stuff in this here small town ‘cause Olivia used snake gourds. And snake gourds look like penises. Very large, Mandingo warrior-sized, overly erect penises. These things were a high-end, decorator version of a super-deluxe vibrator. And, we gave them some great names like: Cup Runneth Over, Family Jewels, Speaking In Tongues, and Little Red Corvette. The reactions to them were priceless!

One of my favorite moments was a couple visiting for the first time. She was very conservative and a tad uptight. He was much more open-minded. She took one look, rolled her eyes skyward and scurried in the opposite direction as if they might bite her. He, on the other hand, took some time to examine each one. By the time she’d circled the gallery and back he was still standing and staring at our display. She then said, “I should have know you’d still be here staring at those things!” Her husband just shrugged his shoulders, turned to me and said, “Don’t pay her no never mind. She feels the same way about mine!” Well, you could have wiped me off the floor I laughed so hard.

Now, being strictly dickly, I can understand how a man might be challenged if junior’s not coming to attention on command. And I don’t care what anyone says about size. When you’re digging for gold, an extra inch or so on the end of that shovel comes in mighty handy. And if a man has started some serious bedroom acrobatics, performing a superb floor routine to get the audience warmed up, then he surely can’t be happy if he goes for a triple flip thing off the high wire and falls flat on his assets.

And did you see the season opener for that show, Nip Tuck? Who would ever have known that men actually think about the size of their testicles? I didn’t even know they came in sizes, much less that you can actually change the size with implants! And then of course that raises all kinds of questions. How large can Mutt and Jeff actually get? Are the kiwi-sized ones better than the walnut-sized? Do the walnuts perform better than the golf balls? What happens if side A is larger than side B? Are they all anatomically proportionate to the length of their handle? Is there a world record for the largest pair of balls? The smallest? If the “johnson” curves left or right, do the backup dancers sing or swing?

Great balls of fire! It’s almost too much for a mind to handle. But since I write about body parts a heaving and a shuddering in ecstasy, this is information that might come in handy one day. One never knows...

Saturday, February 13, 2010


A Recipe for Love

2 Hearts Open To The Impossible
2 Heaping Cups of Kindness
2 Armfuls of Tenderness
2 Cups of Friendship
2 Cups of Joy
2 Cups of Forgiveness and Understanding
1 Multitude of Togetherness
2 Minds Full of Tenderness

Toss daily with Affection, a boat load of Cuddles, Humor and Patience. When appropriate, dim the lights and slowly mix together. Serve with Warmth and Compassion, Respect and Loyalty.
Repeat daily.


Thursday, February 11, 2010


A kid cussed me today. It wasn’t my kid ‘cause I would have snatched a very large knot in her very narrow behind had it been. I still may when I see her next. This child was perturbed because I refused to give her information that she didn’t need to have. I was extremely polite, explaining that I wasn’t at liberty to share the info she was so desperate for. I also referred her to the individual who had the answers she wanted and who would better be able to assist her. Unhappy, this young snot felt it necessary to end the conversation with a rousing, “F@&K, You, B#TCH!” just before slamming the telephone down in my ear.


I don’t handle moments like those well. In fact, to say that I am still pissed off about it is putting it mildly. It didn't help that the person I referred her to totally disregarded her bad behavior.

Other people don’t seem to understand why I’m bothered. But I have issues with such blatant disrespect, especially from youngsters who are still sucking on their mama’s tits with daddy paying their bills. Kids who don’t think anything of talking back and showing total disregard for adults irk me. A friend says it’s my age showing.

I don’t know if it’s so much my age showing or just my refusal to be accepting of bad behavior. I watched the daughter of a family friend cuss her father, telling the man to say out of her business with some very colorful expletives. I witnessed her father turn a blind eye, accepting her rudeness as if there were nothing wrong with it. I’m inclined to think that had he snatched her tail the first time she did it, he wouldn’t have had to worry about her ever doing it again.

Umpteen years ago I would have had a knot snatched in my tail but good had I even thought about cussing either of my parents that way. I still remember my mother popping me in my mouth the first time I swore, repeating a word I’d heard my daddy say. I was barely four years old and you can bet I didn't make that mistake ever again. You just didn’t do things like that and for the life of me I cannot understand how or why we have gotten to a place where bad behavior, particularly from children, is as acceptable as breathing.

Tuesday, February 09, 2010


I’ve come to the conclusion that navigating a relationship can be down right exhausting. I was just finding my way back to a degree of normalcy from the devastation that had been my marriage when my very special friend and I ventured into the realm of the unknown.

Like couples do we’ve been exploring compatibility issues and expectations, taking inventory of what works between us and what doesn’t. That whole song and dance thing can really take the wind out of your sails.

Most folks assume my guy and I are married. Those who know differently will occasionally ask when we plan to take that next step. That’s when he and I both start humming…huh….wha…..aaaa…umm. That subject was one we briefly touched on when we first became involved. It’s not a subject either of us have felt a need to revisit. We each have very different reasons for not doing so.

Young love has its advantages. No baggage. No complicating factors like financial entanglements, ex-partners, or children to complicate those feel good moments. There is a greater willingness to throw caution to the wind and just jump, allowing whatever is meant to be happen. My guy and I aren’t so young anymore. We come with luggage, some of it still packed. We're liable to break something if we just jump.

Right now my guy and I are seriously bonding. What has surprised us both is the vulnerability that comes with such a powerful attachment. We don’t want to take our bond for granted, but we haven’t yet worked out a strategy to maintain the strength of our union. We’re well past that period of exhilaration you feel when you first fall in love. What’s happening between us now is whole-heartedly different. But where it will take us is still unknown.

Right now we’re just trying to maintain our balance. Day to day pressures of jobs, careers, finances, kids, lack of time, and too much pressure has sapped our energy. Even though neither of us means to I think we’ve put “us” on hold while our attention is being pulled in too many other directions. We’re both exhausted and unfortunately, although I wish I could, I can’t just manipulate our story and write us a happy ending.

Saturday, February 06, 2010


Last night I went to see Tyler Perry’s new stage play Madea’s Big Happy Family. It’s the first time Madea, in all of Tyler’s glory, has been on tour in five years. My baby sister gifted me with a ticket as an early birthday present. It was my first time seeing a Tyler Perry stage place that wasn’t on DVD and this experience was particularly touching because the show is dedicated to Tyler’s mother who passed away in December.

The evening itself was a great time and I walked away with knowledge of some new truths.

As a writer, when you find a formula that works for you, keep working it. Tyler has reinvented the same drama again and again and his audiences are absolutely enthralled each and every time like it’s their first experience with it. Tyler’s formula however will not work for everybody, so imitation would not serve another writer well.

Big, beautiful voices singing big, beautiful songs absolutely nourishes your spirit.

Tyler Perry is a man who is very secure with himself and very secure with his insecurities.

Theater seats, particularly those at the RBC Center in Raleigh, NC are not particularly comfortable if you are carrying any excess weight at all.

Acting a fool in the front row will get you escorted out of a theater fast ‘cause Tyler don’t play like that. “Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live”, was how he put it. The man is a living embodiment of his faith in God. He will readily call on the name of Jesus and inspire those around him to do so as well. And I must make note that the woman who was escorted out was neither blind, infirmed, or from Haiti, ‘cause you know how folks do when they start telling stories.

Tyler’s success is a direct reflection of some serious hard work. Very few of us will ever work that damn hard and subsequently never know that kind of success.

I still have some serious issues with crowds.

And my sister still needs to test the waters even when I tell her she’ll get wet. It sometimes will not make for happy, family or otherwise.

New truths are always interesting.