Thursday, December 07, 2006

Put Dad On The Phone, Please!

My sons think it should be dark outside before you retire for the night. I have tried to convince them that this is an urban myth like the idea microwave bacon is only for breakfast. Why? What’s wrong with bacon, lime jello, and corn on the cob for dinner? It’s better than nothing. I’ve had nothing. Believe me, it’s better.
Anyway, I like to go to bed early and, if I had my way, I wouldn’t get up until noon. As I’ve said a million times before, there is nothing you can do at 6 AM that I can’t do at 1 PM, including eating bacon. My beloved parents; however, love to get up with the roosters. That’s fine. They actually put clothes on to eat breakfast. Whatever. That’s fine. They call other morning people and talk loudly about the obituary pages. That’s not the way I like to start the day but it’s fine with me.
So here’s the problem. Several times a week they call me before the last star has stop twinkling to catch up on the latest activities of their grandchildren. Actually, that’s not a problem. The problem is - Hmmm, I don’t even know what to call it. Here’s a typical conversation.
“Good morning, darling. It’s Mom.”
I glance at the clock glowing in the darkness on my nightstand. There are only three numbers on it. I groan and mumble. “Gudma.”
“And how are you on this beautiful day that the Lord has made?”
“Coffee. Need coffee. Pray for me.” She continues to talk while I brush my teeth, make my bed, and cook breakfast. I nod occasionally. After an hour, I’m coherent.
“Your father wants to know who won the game last night.”
“Amon’s team won. He scored ten points.”
“Amon won. He scored ten points,” she repeats to my father. I hear him say, “That’s great. How many rebounds did he get?”
“He wants to know how many rebounds he got?”
“Ten,” she quotes proudly. I hear the rumble of my father’s voice again. “Your father wants to know if you’ve winterized your yard yet.”
“Yes, two weeks ago. Why don’t you put him on the phone?”
I wait impatiently for her to tell him, “Two weeks ago. Jimmy, she wants you to pick up the phone.” After a pause, I’m told, “He said he’ll call you later. He needs to feed the cows.”
“Okay. Hey Mama, the boys got good report cards. Junior brought that English grade back up.”
“He did! That’s wonderful! I’m going to send them both a surprise.” I hear Dad inquiring about the wonderful news. My mother recycles my words while I bang my head against the nearest wall. “Your father says to tell them that he’s proud of them and keep up the good work. He wants to know if you’ve had your oil changed.”
“Mama, why do you have to translate if we’re all speaking English? Tell Daddy to pick up the other phone or this conversation will last until dinner.”
“Oh, silly. Your father is busy. He’ll call you later… What? Honey, your father says to bring that ham he likes for Christmas brunch. He’ll pay for it.”
Sigh. “Yes, ma’am.”
As if that isn’t bad enough. When I call them and my father answers, he never even tells my mother that I called. Then I have to hear her complain, “We haven’t heard from you in six hours. You know I worry.”
“Mama, I talked to Daddy for thirty-seven seconds yesterday.”
“You did? Where was I?”
“I don’t know. It was around seven last night. I thought you were out.”
“He was talking to you? I was sitting next to him on the sofa. Well, you know he doesn’t like to talk on the phone…What? Hold on….Your father says send him a schedule of Amon’s games.”
“It’s in the mail. Mama I’m going to bed.”
“Are you ill? It’s only seven o’clock in the morning.”
“Yeah. I had jello, corn, and bacon for breakfast. Made my stomach hurt.”
“Jimmy! She said -“
Here we go again. See why I’m tired?

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Five Things You Should Avoid Asking An Author

Friends, I have been going nonstop since last November promoting and marketing my book with bookstore signings, book club meetings, online/telephone chats, seminars, booths at conferences....I'm gone almost every weekend. I turned my oven on yesterday just to make sure it still works. I've been to twelve states and I've taken pictures with everybody and their mama. This is my third book so I know to expect certain things. For example, during a two-hour signing at Barnes & Noble, I will repeat the synopsis of my book 20-30 times. I don't mind. I will answer questions on every subject from my make-up to my age. I don't mind. My feet will hurt no matter what shoes I wear. That's life. I just wish people would not ask me the five following questions over and over and over again...
1. Is that you? (Pointing to my photo in the book.) You look different in person.
Answer: Thank you. With a lot of make-up and good lighting, you too can appear almost attractive. Sorry, to disappoint you with my age spots and wrinkles.

2. Is this a true story?
Answer: It is a novel. Novel means fiction. Fiction means I will not admit it has elements of truth, therefore, I will not subject myself to a potential lawsuit. And, I might actually have an imagination though it's hard to believe me after seeing that re-touched photo.

3. What do you do with your royalties/profits?
Answer: Why? I pay bills. What do you do with your paycheck?

4. Will you read my 800 page novel for free and tell me what you think I should change? Answer: First, that's called editing and people make a living doing that full-time. Honestly, I'd love to right after I write my next book, work at my day job, take care of my family, update my website, pay bills, go to church, tour at my own expense, do interviews, volunteer in the community and write press releases. Yes, I do want to help in any way I can, but I cannot give away my time. Most writers have another job for a reason. I recommend reading books on writing, going to workshops, taking classes, or hiring a writing coach. Invest in yourself. That's what I did. I'm not mean. I'm tired.

5. You should go on Oprah!
Answer: Oprah doesn't interview fiction writers with one self-published novel, but if you got a hook-up. Holla!

Friday, September 29, 2006

Vow of Silence

I took a vow of silence last week. Actually, it was more like a vow of low volume. It wasn't something I was planning to do. I was planning to carry on, as usual. I felt perfectly fine about my speech patterns until I heard this anger management specialist on one of the morning talk shows. He was discussing the harmful effects of yelling. According to him, it harms the yeller and the yellee.
He wasn't just "talking" about the subject mind you. He was using that pompous, pedigreed tone of voice experts employ to make themselves seem more intelligent. At one point, I imagined a perfect stranger taking his favorite pen out of his hand, whereupon he'd announce, "Now, that wasn't very nice was it?"
After they played a videotape of this maniac woman yelling at her kids for some petty offense, I realized I was that woman. Not all the time, but more often than necessary. Depending on my mood, I arbitrarily raise my voice in objection to rule violations my sons commit. Not only is this causing me medical problems like laryngitis; it is also undoubtedly making my children deaf. That has to be the reason they play their music so loudly, right?
So for their sake and mine, I made a vow to not yell about anything for an entire week.
On Sunday, my youngest son came home from church and allegedly changed clothes at my sincere and soft-spoken request. He put on a pair of droopy shorts with his dress shirt. He did not remove his black, silk Christmas socks. Then, he went outside and played basketball in his good shirt and holiday socks. I wanted to yell, but I didn't.
On Monday, my oldest son told me he had plenty of gas. On Tuesday, he asked for gas money. I wanted to scream, but instead, I gave him two dollars and advised him to take shortcuts.
On Wednesday when I told them to wash their hands for dinner, they did so over the cooked pasta draining in the sink. I had a baked potato and canned tuna. They said the spaghetti was great. I did not raise my voice even an octave.
On Thursday, someone forgot to remove their muddy shoes before entering the house and the kitchen floor looked like the course for a dirt bike race. I pointed to the mop and went to my room where I muffled a sound very similar to a scream with my pillow.
On Friday, I dropped a frozen chicken on my foot and hollered like I was on a thrill ride at Six Flags for a full minute. I don't care what that guy said, I felt so much better after that scream. Now, I certainly don't advocate yelling at your children -- though it seemed to work well for my mother – but I do believe you should engage in some type of activity each week that allows you to use all of your lung capacity.
By the way, I do not recommend dropping a frozen chicken on your foot. That really hurts.

Monday, August 21, 2006

Flags Are Not Flaws

I had an interesting evening last night. I met with a co-ed book club in Frisco which is FAR north of Dallas. I was looking forward to the meeting because I've only met with one other book club that was co-ed and the discussion was pretty tame. The title of my novel, When A Sistah's FED UP, makes most men have a knee jerk reaction that it's another "male bashing" book. One, it's not. I selected the title to appeal to the primary audience for romance novels which is females. Women purchase about 80f novels. However, all my characters have flaws because that's reflective of life as I know it. Can the couple grow with or around those flaws is the question?

Anyway, one brother launched an eloquent diatribe about how the divorce rate is not really related to communication problems as reported in most research. He believes people should make sure they're marrying the right person initially. There's some truth there: however, I married in my early twenties. My ex and I both changed a lot. I think a statement that concrete doesn't leave room for growth and change which, hopefully, occurs in the same direction, but not always. That's where communicating about expectations and disappointments comes into play. But, that's just my opinion.

I do believe you need to invest considerable time getting to know your prospective mate: make sure you share interests, core values, and goals at a minimum. However, I know personalities, goals, and feelings often change as family dynamics shift and saying "never" about anything is inviting temptation. So the gentleman goes on to talk about how we need to pay more attention to the red flags that pop up early in the relationship. I'll amen that. People will tell and show you who they are if you listen long enough. That new love and all consuming passion tends to make us blind to the flags, but they are often there. Another person suggested we go into relationships thinking we can change our partners' flaws. Yes, there are some cosmetic things we can work on, but you are what you are. Country boy. Princess. Perfectionist.

In my novel, the main characters are college sweethearts who get married young because the wife becomes pregnant. She gives up her career aspirations to raise the children, but later returns to college, then, law school, and eventually becomes Mayor of a mid-sized Texas City. So, the group agreed the fact Mayor Henry was in college pursuing a degree should have been a big red flag to her husband who really wanted a homemaker like his more traditional mother. Does he really have a right to resent her ambitious nature?

For most of the very polite meeting- (most book clubs spend a lot of time screaming their opinions)-, I was whispering with the nice lady next to me as we commented on the others' observations. Meanwhile, this red flag debate was getting heated. There were the usual comments about women having unrealistic expectations for a potential mate. These remarks came from males and females to my surprise. True, some women AND men have a laundry list that's a bit too long when it comes to finding a partner. Most mature adults are willing to tolerate the imperfections (flaws) in their loved ones because they know they, too, have areas of weakness.
After three hours of point-counterpoint, the woman next to me said the most profound thing I've heard during my entire book tour this summer. She said, "Flags are not flaws." That's deep. I tend to agree.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Depression City

This column, well allegory really, was published in 1998 when I was a columnist for a major daily in my area. The response I got from readers across the country was overwhelming. Hundreds of emails and letters. In retrospect, this was the beginning of my idea to write a novel with the theme of spiritual anorexia. To my amazement, I still get request for copies of this editorial so I thought I'd share it again - just in case someone out there might be helped by it.

Depression City
In a perfect world, everyone would live in a suburb of Contentment, in the city of Happiness, but this is not a perfect world. On the outskirts of Happiness, in the valley of the shadow of death, is another city--dark city where the sun genuflects and defers to the cool, pale rays of the moon. It is a colorless city filled with colorless people wearing blinders while struggling to pull huge carriages filled with troubles, heartache, and pain. No one is actually from there and no one should be there for long.
Most of the residents of this city don’t even know where they are or precisely how they came to be there. Lost inside their own skin, they vainly search to find themselves, to find a way out. Far too many residents of this eerie place drown in a bottomless lake of tears. That is remarkable when one considers that in this city, Depression it is called, everyone cries alone.
I have been to this city.
I have been there with friends and family for a few days as we mourned the death of a loved one. I have been there alone for days that became weeks when geographical isolation and my own personal insulation deceived me into thinking that joy was meant to be shared, while sadness was meant to be hidden behind a smile that never reached my eyes. Believe me when I tell you, this place is very bad. If you have not been there, don’t be so harsh in your judgment of those who reside there. They would gladly leave if they only knew how. It’s easy to find but it’s so hard to leave. I wish I knew why. There is certainly nothing appealing about Depression.
The food is tough and tasteless. The air is always cold and heavy. Sounds are muted and a loving touch often feels like a jab from a boxer’s glove. It’s a strange, awful place. Yet people often remain there for years. Some even build mansions where they store their payload of disappointment and guard it zealously with insecurity.
So you might be thinking, “What do all these people have to be so sad about? They’ve got jobs, families, and food on the table. They just need to deal with it and move on.” Well, like the saying goes, your blues ain’t like mine. We all react differently to the various stresses of life. Some people need a little help to “deal with it.” Help might be in the form of a physician, a counselor, or a good friend with a big shoulder.
Asking for help is not a sign of weakness. When you’ve lost your way, you need guidance, like a map. Once you’re back in familiar territory, store the map or discard it completely. But you’ve got to get out of there as quickly as possible. The longer you stay, the harder it is to leave.
My plea is to the millions of people who suffer from depression, but if only one of them heeds my advice, my plea is not in vain. Get help. You can feel better. Believe me. I know.
I have been to this city.

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Where's Daddy?

As a little girl, I remember leaping from my Princess bed early in the morning,before the alarm sounded. Actually, the alarm was my mother yelling, “Get up, Pumpkin! It’s time for school.” So, before Mama hollered, I raced to the bathroom, brushed my twenty teeth, then rushed to my parents’ room looking for my daddy. Daddy was coaching then. Between scouting, teaching, and coaching several sports, he frequently came home after my 9 o’clock bed time. Just as often, he was already gone when I awakened in the morning. But if I hurried, every now and then, I would catch him before he left for work. In my parents’ bedroom, I looked for his whistle and watch on the dresser. If they were gone, I skipped down the stairs to the kitchen. Usually, I’d see the sports pages folded neatly on the table next to his empty cup of coffee. I knew it was his cup. No lipstick. Idon’t know why Mama put lipstick on to drink coffee.
Standing in the kitchen, feeling the coolness from the linoleum seep between my toes, I listened for the sounds of my daddy - his voice or his laughter. But, all I heard was my mother humming in the bathroom, applying more lipstick, I suppose. Finally, I would walk to the front door looking for Daddy’s muddy shoes. No shoes. No signs of daddy.
“Mama, is Daddy gone?”
“Yes, Sweetie. He said to have a good day and he left your lunch money by the coffee pot.”
In our neighborhood, daddies worked and they worked hard. Many of them had two jobs or more. If we spotted a dad during the week day, we knew he was either laid off or very, very ill. Weekends were different. Then, we saw fathers everywhere -mowing, playing dominoes, and cooking on the grill. Come Monday, they were all but extinct, leaving only inanimate traces of their existence. Things are different now. We have stay-at-home dads. Men who turn down promotions and positions that require excessive time and travel away from home. I know fathers who have taken maternity leave along with their wives. I think that's awesome Yet, I realize these options are not available for everyone no matter how badly some men might want to be home with their families.
There are mortgages, tuition, and taxes to pay. There are cars and insurance premiums or huge medical bills for families without health insurance. Gifts and uniforms. Fieldtrips and braces.
Oh yes, mothers make these sacrifices too. So do grandparents who should have retired years ago. As an adult, I now realize the world is not as black and white as I once believed. These are complex problems with no immediate solutions for many Americans. Some people want to live luxuriously, but others just want their lights on one more night. They work sun up to sun down simply to make ends meet. When they do, month after month, and year after year, that’s a sure sign of their love and devotion.
Hmmm. That’s all. No moral to this story. Just thinking about my pop and all the hard working daddies out there doing the best they can with their available resources. Hang in there. You are missed, but greatly appreciated. Love ya, Daddy!

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Book Tours

Book tours are highly overrated. Yeah, you get to meet folks like Dana Owens, aka Queen Latifah---after standing in long lines to get their autographs when you're at the same event. But when it's your turn to be on the other side of the table, the lines are a lot shorter. Okay, there are no lines. And the stress level is a lot higher. I don't know how on earth some authors have time to do these blogs daily or weekly. I barely get to eat daily. This month alone I've been to D.C. twice, Maryland, Newark, New York, Dallas and I think I went home one night, but that could have been a dream. In Owings Mills, MD I sold so many books I had to go get some more from the trunk of the rental car. Then, there was the book store in Baltimore where I talked to fifty people and sold six books in two of the longest hours of my life. The manager said it was only five, but I counted. It was six.
My ankles swell from standing for hours, passing out book marks that people throw on the ground as soon as they're out of my view. And my hearing is permanently damaged from the fluctuating cabin pressure in "da plane, da plane!" I'm on my third set of luggage. Suitcases don't like books it seems.
But when the coveted Essence Bestseller list came out at the beginning of May, I was on it. Self-published, unknown, exhausted me right there on the same page with Alice Walker, Walter Mosley, and Bebe Moore Campbell. At #6, I didn't quite make the printed version of the magazine which stops at five, but I was on the online list of the top ten.
Maybe it's a fluke, I tell myself. If all these people are buying my book, why am I standing in the hall at the mall in front of a bookstore begging someone, anyone to listen to a brief synopsis of my book? I'll tell you why. I write because I breathe and I breathe because I eat. If I don't eat, I can't write, and if I don't sell all those books in my garage, I can't buy food. It's a vicious cycle. But I'm chasing an elusive dream and I can't run fast...if I don't eat. I love being a writer, fat ankles and all.

Friday, April 28, 2006

Never Give Up

Guys, I can't tell you how disappointed I was when I logged on for an online chat this week and there was only one other person in the chat room. I logged on a little early so I wasn't too concerned at first. But fifteen minutes later, there were still only two of us. That's like having one guest show up at your birthday party after you invited your entire fifth grade class. I was humiliated. I sent out at least sixty emails inviting friends and readers to join the chat. My friends sent out emails. The website hosting the chat had been promoting it for a month. I mean, I know I'm not famous or anything, but dang, I thought my mother, sister, and boyfriend would log on and pretend to be loyal, avid readers of my books.
Yep, it was just me and someone named Zawadi. Me and gender-neutral Zawadi in very small font on my monitor. Two blue names in a square white sea. Me and anonymous Zawadi and I didn't really count because I had to be there.
Zawadi is an unusual name, I thought. I must have a guest from overseas. I decided that's equal to five Americans. I had to console myself between the screams in my head and that equation seemed to work.
So Z. and I chatted about the book. Turns out Zawadi is a she who hadn't read my novel, but she liked the title. Great. I can't say much about the plot anyway because it's romantic suspense, but it's really tough when all you can do is give a synopsis and try not to ask personal questions. It's not like you're IM'ing with a friend, after all. After what seemed like nine hours, but was actually twenty minutes, the founder of the website who also moderates the discussion joined us. She said the server was down and no one could log on. Zawadi and I got on just before the server crashed. Ever feel like it's raining on you and you alone? Turns out this catastrophe had NEVER happened in like 9 million forums. Ain't I the lucky one? So I forgave my friends and family in my heart while the moderator sent out an email to her members giving them an alternate way to log on. Eventually, we had eight or nine folks. Nice, but not the millions I was hoping for. (So I'm an optimist.) We did have a good discussion and guess what? It so happens Zawadi is a very famous multi-published author and a publisher.
I'm self-published so you know I was thrilled with that last title.
Just goes to show why you should always give 110% 'cause goodness knows my first inclination was to log off and pretend I forgot the thing was scheduled. I typed away for an hour and I did my best to keep it interesting and lively even though I wanted to cry because the turn out was so small. I'm so glad Mama taught me to finish what I start. Next day, I had fifty emails from friends and readers telling me they tried and tried to get into the chat. Oh well. Y'all hang in there. One out of a million is okay - if it's the right one.

Sunday, March 19, 2006

A Rainy Night in Texas

Well, actually, that's a sunny day in Shreveport, Texas. I was there last weekend for the Romance Slam Jam Conference. My mother and I went. It was her birthday. I won't say how old she is, but she looks great. I suppose it wasn't much of a present to take her to a writing conference, but that's all I had. She enjoyed it. (She said.) We went to this park by the river and it was lovely. I wish the weather was warm and dry tonight. It has rained nine inches and it hasn't stopped. A block from my home, the rain in the river that used to be a creek is French kissing the bank. I expect it to be in the street by morning if we don't get a pardon from the sky very soon. My sense of panic rises with each raindrop. Flash flood warnings are being broadcast nonstop. They've warned us not to drive unless we have to. If the rain reaches the end of my cul-de-sac, driving is not an option. My oldest son is home from college so we have another vehicle to load with as many belongings as possible in the event we must evacuate. I don't think I have flood insurance because it hasn't flooded here in a hundred years. I read my policy but it's a bunch of gibberish. I see water damage but nothing about floods. I was rushed to ER from the office on Wednesday because of stabbing chest pains. Now this. We've moved some electronic stuff upstairs and put chairs on the tables. I'm sure it's unnecessary but I keep thinking of Katrina and how some of those folks might have thought the water wouldn't come through the levees. Then again, some people did know; they knew a lot more than they (fore)told. Perhaps someone hasn't told me everything about the river that once was a creek - the brown water rapids less than a football field away from my precious photo albums. I've packed medicine, my laptop, a few clothes, my Bible, and a check my son got for his birthday. Fifty dollars seemed like an enormous amount of money when he received that check. My deductible is gonna laugh at fifty dollars. That's the deductible for the insurance I might not have. Hmmm. I need to check the news. I dunno why I'm doing this now. It's been a month since I blogged. I guess I'm nervous. I usually clean when I'm nervous.
Surely the water won't come this far...Will it?

Friday, February 24, 2006

"Passengers must avoid carrying things without their knowledge."
For some reason, I begin to laugh hysterically. I'm at the airport, of course, when I hear this announcement. I'm on my way to another booksigning in Denver, or is it Missouri, or Austin? I dunno. It's the weekend so I'm going wherever every other tired person at Gate 2 is going. Anyway, they make this announcement several times. They keep reminding us not to leave our luggage unattended. I wonder how you can avoid doing something without your knowledge. Where's Freud when you need him? Not that I want to talk to a dead guy, but I bet he'd know.
I think about looking in my carryon to see if I have something I didn't have knowledge of having. I'm sure there's a stray nickel or an old luggage tag in there. Does that count? In fact, there are several cards and scraps of paper in my wallet I haven't looked at in years. Expired memberships. Frequent diner cards. Old receipts. I don't know what they are anymore. Do they count if I have no knowledge of what they say, but I know they exist in a relative, cosmic sense?
"Avoid carrying things without their knowledge." Whose knowledge? I know about my medicine but do the pills know about me? Can they see anything through that brown bottle? Should I introduce myself? Hello migraine pills. I'm Moe. I swallowed your friends but don't hate me. I'm truly sorry. Let's be friends.
And what if someone put something in my carryon I had no knowledge of but I open it and discover some previously unknown entity. Now I'm knowledgable. Will they arrest me if I tell someone in security? Ignorance is bliss I think.
I leave my bag zipped and continue laughing. The man next to me stands and walks away shaking his head. There's a stain on his pants. I bet he has no knowledge of it. Hmmm.

Friday, February 10, 2006

Thoughts on Sex

According to S. Freud, men, both married and single, think about sex a dozen or more times a day. Women, especially women with children, are far less likely to think about sex. Freud says we average one fleeting thought a day unless we’re on vacation in which case we equal the men. That’s Sherman Freud, by the way. He’s the guy who delivers the bottled water to my home. He was right about the Steelers in the Super Bowl so I’ll entertain the thought.
After pondering this baffling statistic for a while, I decided to closely monitor my thoughts for an entire day just to see if Freud was right. I chose a Monday because I’m still fresh then and, therefore, most likely to have fresh thoughts.
6AM: Rise and shine. Okay-just rise. Put on robe and make coffee. Wake children. Consider calling my boyfriend and something shiny distracts me. Drink coffee. Go to work.
8AM: Start work. Act friendly, help people. Wonder what to eat for lunch. Admire assistant’s new hair style. Room is hot. Adjust thermometer. Count days until next vacation.
Noon: Go to Mexican restaurant. Order Greek salad with French dressing. Waiter is attractive, nice cologne, ripped body. Almost think of sex then remember youngest son needs new jeans. Grow like weeds. Eat salad and make grocery list.
2PM: Call my Boo at work. He says, “Hey baby, what’s up?” Flashback to our second date when he called me “baby" for the first time. Feel warm and fuzzy momentarily, then I remember labor pains. Tell him I have to go and hang up. Spend several minutes looking at a paper clip. It's shiny.
5PM: Drive home and change into something comfortable. Help with homework while cooking dinner. Open mail, return calls, read newspaper. Read about sex but have no independent thoughts about the subject.
10PM: Prepare for bed. Think about sex while brushing teeth. Notice teeth are yellow. Need to whiten again. Not romantic. Crush thought and go to bed.
12PM: Did not hear phone ring 14 times (according to caller id) with booty calls. That would be any call after 10 pm. Hear son scratch his ear and shiver in his bedroom. Get up, wash son’s ear, apply cortisone, put extra blanket on him. Go back to bed.
6AM: Rise for a new day.

Gosh, I guess ole Sherman’s on to something. Just to make sure I wasn’t weird, I called several friends of various ages, races, and professions. Friends assured me that I’m normal and possibly above average. No one had an explanation for the thought drought. Everyone updated me on their children’s latest accomplishment and their horrendous work load. We concluded thinking about intimacy is another responsibility like paying bills or balancing the checkbook. If one partner enjoys it more, they should have at it.
Wait, I think I’m about to have one of those thoughts. Nah, it was just gas. Gotta get a tums. See ya.

Sunday, January 29, 2006


I'm hyped. My first novel, When A Sistah's FED UP, has made the Dallas Morning News Bestseller list! This is a photo of my friend Lora and I celebrating the good news. That's me on the right.
I'm not one to brag or rest on my laurels 'cause I haven't like cured a disease or anything (yet), but I am going to pause a moment and smile. I've worked my tail off to bring this project to fruition. With a lot of help from family/friends and a lot of prayer, it has come to past. My first two books were nonfiction, but When A Sistah's Fed Up is 40% imagination, 40% observation, and 20% life lessons. The main character Faith Henry has the Superwoman syndrome. She's mayor, wife, mom, volunteer, cook, counselor, and everything else for everyone else. Her to-do list is so full she doesn't have space to put herself on it. Consequently, she suffers from "spiritual anorexia." I believe the soul is immortal, but the spirit, our passion for existence, dies a slow, painful death when we stop feeding it things we enjoy. The thing I enjoy most other than my loved ones is writing. I learned the hard way I must make time to pursue my passion. If I could only make one point with this novel, with my life, actually, I think it would be --- don't forget to have fun sometimes. In the final season of life, who reminisces over pictures from work?