Tuesday, November 29, 2011


It’s well past my bedtime and I’m up baking cookies.  I can’t sleep and baking cookies makes me feel better.  And I need to feel better because I’ve had myself a day.
Every family has its fair share of crazy hanging from the family tree.  My crazy decided to visit, planting their branch right in my living room for five hours longer than I could tolerate.  Had I been able to leave I would have.  But since it was my living room there was no place for me to go and crazy was having far too much fun wreaking havoc on everyone’s sanity to get the hint that they’d worn out their welcome. 

Too much crazy taxed my last nerve and I snapped.  My Zen aura was all discombobulated and I was well on the way to kicking crazy right in their too wide ass.  When crazy pushed my very last button I responded with a resounding F*ck you!  Crazy responded with their own choice words.  I’m not proud of my own bad behavior or my potty mouth but in the moment it really felt good.  Then, it didn’t.

I learned years ago that I need to keep crazy as far from my front yard as possible.  That branch of the family tree is better planted in places where I’m not expected to weed, feed, or nurture it.  Planting crazy in my garden is like planting kudzu in the South.  It overwhelms everything and everybody and no matter how hard you try to get rid of the pestilence, it always manages to thrive. 

And now that crazy’ has finally gone I’m baking cookies so I can feel better.

Sunday, November 27, 2011


The holiday weekend is winding down.  We’ve eaten leftovers from the leftovers, no one even wanting to think about another slice of turkey or spoonful of stuffing.  Now we’re squabbling over who gets the final few slices of chocolate pecan pie and who snuck the last almond cookie, leaving the empty plate still covered on the countertop. 
It was a delightful holiday and a great weekend.  There was much quality time with my favorite guy, a ton of fun with family, and catching up with old friends.  We enjoyed good food and some really decadent desserts so tomorrow it’s back to the gym.  There was a surprise marriage proposal, an early baby delivery, unexpected gifts, and the completion of my latest book.  I couldn’t have planned a better holiday if I’d tried.  I hope everyone's holiday was as magnanimous.
I have had much to be thankful for.  My blessings have been many.  It’s been a very good year.

Thursday, November 17, 2011


Despite the sudden cold weather and rain, today was another really great day.  I had a wonderful lunch event at the Wake County Express Library in downtown Raleigh, NC.  It was a small, intimate group and we had a great conversation about books and writing. 

After a wonderful meal (antipasti, chicken & gnocchi soup, and vegetable lasagna), a really good bottle of red wine (Cavi Roscato Rosso Dolce) and an incredibly sexy dinner companion, I came home to get my reality TV fix with the XFactor results show. 

And now I’m a bit perturbed, so much so that I’ve been a tweeting maniac on Twitter tonight.  Finally think I have the hang of it with all the practice I’ve been getting!

Was I surprised by the bottom two?  Yes and no.  Was I disappointed by the outcome?  Yes and no.  What really galled me though was the attitude of the young contestant Brian Bradley, who calls himself Astro.

Now, don’t get me wrong.  I think the kid has mad skills.  He freestyles like someone twice his age with three times the experience.  I believe that with some proper guidance and great business advice he has the potential to have a very successful career.  But he is still incredibly young, with not an ounce of maturity under his belt.  And beyond any doubt, he is whole-heartedly wearing that big chip on his shoulder that 15-year-old boys, seem to think is a badge of honor.  Astro’s chip is the size of a big ass boulder though.

My son-shines had boulders too until I had to wear some behind out to help them get their problems fixed.  It's amazing what a good butt-whipping will cure!  I so wanted to reach right into the television to shake the piss out of Astro, I can’t tell you how much!  And then he swiped away his tears and I had to remember he is still very, very young and he was hurt and disappointed to discover that not everyone is going to show him love when he wants it. 

Just as my mommy sympathy kicked in, he tweeted that it was "POLITICS", and we shouldn’t be fooled by what we don’t know.  The kid irritated me all over again.  Someone forgot to tell him that his public image should never reflect the politics happening behind the stage.  And politics don’t have a damn thing to do with him exemplifying respect and decency to win him $5 Million dollars. Found myself tweeting that he needed to show his talent and not his behind.  He idolizes Jay-Z and I wish Jay-Z could whisper some advice in his ear.  Remember when Jay took on Oprah?  Even Oprah had to show him some love and respect after the fact.

I hope that young Brian will learn a valuable lesson from this experience, because he will find himself on the bottom again and probably sooner than later.  It's just the nature of success and failure when you are fighting to attain a dream.

Not everyone shows us love when we want it.  I only have to read a book review or follow sales to know that.  And then there are those who will go to bat for us when we least expect it, like showing up at a book event on a Thursday afternoon in the cold and rain.  Astro has a host of fans who are going to bat for him.  That’s why he needs to learn that his “Disney” smile and a better attitude will get him a hell of a lot farther than that damn boulder on his back.


So, what are you doing for lunch?

I'm reading from, and discussing my books in downtown Raleigh, NC this afternoon, from 12:00pm until 1:00pm.

I'd love for you to join me!

Wake County Express Library
336 Fayetteville Street
Raleigh, NC  27601

Monday, November 14, 2011


I have never considered myself an outdoorsy-type.  It was out of character for me to commune with nature if there were buggy-things around.  The family tells many stories of my summer adventures on my grandfather’s  South Carolina farm when I’d throw tantrum after tantrum if something even buzzed by my ear. 
My appreciation for nature came as a result of my baby boy who preferred the outdoors over everything else.  From the moment he was able, he would often rise early, head out the back door and disappear into the woods that bordered our property.  He’d scavenge things that intrigued him and then bring them back for me to identify, explain away, or just be in awe of.  Soon I was trailing behind him to scavenge my own treasures.   Discovering the outdoors through his pale grey eyes was absolutely enchanting, even with the bugs. 
Hiking wooded trails was one of our favorite past times.  We trekked a mountain side together right before he left for the military.  It was quality time, the likes of which, I will hold near and dear to my heart forever.  I hadn’t made the opportunity to do any hiking since.  Not until today. 
This time of the year is my favorite.  There is something about the fall coloration and the crisp, clean air that moves my spirit.  Today was picture perfect for a hike and so I found a two-mile trail in a mountain-like setting that I’d never explored, tied up my favorite boots, packed that requisite bottle of water and disappeared into the woods with one of my favorite friends. 
As I stood on an overlook, staring out to the expanse of yellows, reds, golds, and browns that bordered the most peaceful blue-green lake, it took me back to ta time when I was certain that all was well in the world.  When life was good and blessings were abundant.  And as I reflected in prayer, love beside and around me, I was reminded that it sometimes takes communing with nature to know that life, with its many contradictions, can still be good and personally, my many blessings continue to be abundant.
It was a very good day.

Tuesday, November 08, 2011


Rap legend Heavy D, whose real name was Dwight Arrington Myers, one of the most influential rappers of the 1990's, died earlier today. He was 44 years old.

His massive musical hits included Is It Good To You, The Overweight Lovers In The House, Big Daddy,  and my personal favorite, Now That We Found Love.  He also wrote and performed the theme songs for In Living Color, MADtv, and The Tracy Morgan Show.  Drawing on a promising acting career he'd made appearances in brief movie and television roles including Life, The Cider House Rules, Boston Public, Living Single, Bones, Law & Order: SVU, and most recently, Tower Heist.

As Kelley L. Carter reported for MTV, "Heavy D was the big guy who could move. His size never stopped him. He moved in ways that intimidated the slimmest dude in the crowd.   He was smooth, dapper and celebrated the around-the-way-girl through song; his music helped soundtrack 10th-grade dances near and far, and his colorful, danceable and at times sensitive brand of hip-hop clearly proved to be wildly influential to new-millennium household names like Diddy or Drake.   You'd be hard-pressed to find anyone who came up after Heavy D that doesn't cite him as an influence — and if they didn't say it out loud, their showmanship certainly was a giveaway."

Heavy was on the list to be my ninth husband.  He will be missed.

Sunday, November 06, 2011


I come from a praying family.  Most of my kin stand firmly grounded on a foundation of faith, unyielding in their belief in a higher power.  For a very long time I struggled with my own faith, unsure of what I believed in, determined to find contradiction in everything I’d been taught and was being told.  When I finally opened myself to what I could not see and began to trust in the power of prayer, life changed drastically for me.  I suddenly found solace when I let go and let God.
Recently, I’ve been challenged and my spirit has been in crisis.  With things I’d been most confident of, I’ve not trusted my intuition.  I have felt my faith wavering and I have not been able to pray.  A few years back, I bumped heads with a woman I admired, respected, and thought of as a dear friend.  With my feelings hurt, believing that no true friend would have done to me as I felt she had done to me, I’d closed that door of friendship, deeming her toxic to my spirit and a detriment to my growth.  We had not spoken since, our only knowledge of each other’s lives coming only from mutual friends.
Two weeks ago I received news that this woman was not well, diagnosed with an exceptionally aggressive carcinoma.  My first instinct was to rush to her bedside to apologize.  I wanted her to know how much I regretted my own actions and that I have thought of her often and with much fondness.  I had hoped to make amends, to be a friend as she endured what she was going through.  And then for no discernible reason, I second guessed myself, deciding that I needed to “think” about my decision before I acted.  And through it all what I could not do, what I did not do, was pray for guidance.
I took two weeks to “think”, where I mostly did nothing at all, and then this past Friday, the option was taken from me, my friend losing her battle with cancer.  After learning of her death, I found my spirit completely battered, crushed beyond recognition.  I will live with many regrets, but this one was of my own making.  Then suddenly all I could do, all I wanted to do, was pray.
To get there though I had to seek out my praying family for support, retreating to my mother, and her church, and a host of friends and family who stand firmly grounded on that foundation of faith.  As I struggled to pray, they all prayed with me, and they prayed for me.
My spiritual journey seems to be unending but I’m determined to make the trek.  I know without any doubt that I need prayer in my life.  I need my faith.  Mostly, I need to let go and let God.
I’m so sorry, my dear sweet friend.  I will miss you dearly.  Rest in peace, Janet Knight Ledbetter (7/23/1945 - 11/4/2011)

Wednesday, November 02, 2011


Y’all might remember how this works. Every so often a thought will cross my mind but never quite make it into a full blown post. I call them dribblings, just random, trivial stuff that passes through my thoughts.

Do we really give a flying fig about Kim Kardashian filing for divorce? I mean, really. Girlfriend made in excess of $17 Million for 72 days of wife work. And I’m sure it wasn’t really hard wife work. Looking at cutie patootie Kris Humpries, I’d bet she spent more than half of those days on her back, or quite possibly her knees. I mean really, how strenuous was that? She made $5 million performing wife work with Ray J for 30 minutes on camera. Did we really expect more than that from her? Since 2000 she’s averaged a boyfriend a year, having more ex’s than that video she starred in. She’s changed men the way some folks change their drawers. If anyone should have an issue with her relationship drama it should be E! Entertainment and the dumb ass who signed that multi-million dollar check. Let’s just give her a Thank You For Saving A Sister tee-shirt and move on! Kim already has.

Is it bad parenting to knowingly allow your teenage child to have sex with their boyfriend/girlfriend in your home while you wait around the corner for them to finish the deed or is it bad parenting when your teenage child has sex with their boyfriend/girlfriend in your home and you don’t have a clue that they are doing the deed?

Is it politically incorrect to give an overweight friend a bottle of Fat bastard wine? Really, I’m asking. It’s a pretty cool vino if you like that kind of thing. Made by a French guy named Thierry and his buddy Guy, it’s not bad. It has a big, robust flavor, deep color and a richness that’s pleasing to the palate. And I like the unique name. Fat bastard! But would it be insulting to give a bottle to a fat friend?

Guys go to the gym like women travel to the restrooms – in packs. I get them herding together with the free weights. It’s necessary from a safety perspective, needing someone to be the spotter so they don’t hurt something important. Like having a designated driver after a night at the bar. But what do they need to spot when they’re working out on one of the machines? Three guys standing behind their guy pal while he takes his turn on the elliptical machine is really not cool. Not cool at all.

An acquaintance asked what I thought about her guy keeping pictures of his ex around his house. I thought since it’s his house he can pretty much do whatever he pleases. She said she’d moved in and was now living with him. The pictures had been out of sight for over a year, now they were back again. I repeated. It’s his house and he’s making sure she gets the hint. She needs to find her own home and put her own pictures up then she wouldn’t have an issue with him and his. Just what I thought.

Is it remotely possible to get movie butter flavor with pop-at-home/on-the-stovetop popcorn? Or am I just wasting a whole lot of popping corn?

So much for dribbling. Time to get back to writing!