Thursday, October 17, 2019

LIFE KEEPS INTERRUPTING ME

I have been MIA since May. My goodness where did the time go.

It's already the middle of October and I am not anywhere close to my goal of blogging every single month.

Well, life keeps interrupting me.

Social engagements, sickness and writing has pulled me away. I guess that is a good thing; especially the writing part.

That's not an excuse; its just my reality.

Well at least I haven't been daydreaming or binge watching my favorite "Chicago" themed shows.

So, my novel is finished. It is with the editor.

My business is going very well.

My tiny house is moving forward, at a snails pace, but still moving forward.

What has been happening in your world? 

Please keep up with me on my social media pages and if you don't see a blog from me next week; leave me a message on my FB author page.

Sometimes I just need a little nudge. 

Who am I kidding? 

I need a push and a shove!

Keeping reading and I'll keep on writing. 

Friday, May 10, 2019

DON'T DO IT

Yesterday I was at a marketing event and as usual there was a business card exchange.

You exchange cards and hope to make connections with the people there and hope that they reach out to you.

We were told, in one session to get up and give a 30 second 'pitch' and I nailed it.

Being an author has helped me tremendously with being prepared. 

The speaker commended me for three things.

1. I had on a shirt with my name and company on it
2. I had business cards available
3. I knew how to give all of the right information

He called others up to do the same thing and I noticed a few things about them. They didn't have an elevator pitch, they didn't have business cards and they didn't have anything that said who they were or even their business name on it.

Now this goes for everyone. Please pay attention.

Don't ever, ever, ever buy those cutesy, odd shaped business cards. Why?

Well I received two of them and they didn't fit inside of my business card holder that I keep for such events.

I had to toss them into my purse; and if a lot of you saw the inside of a purse; you would understand.

Not only were they not the standard size, they were also very odd shaped. One was a perfect 2x2 square and the other was a 3.5 x 2.5 rectangle. 

While they did look nice; I lost interest immediately. Sorry but it's just me. 

If I have to find a spot to put your business card; chances are I am not going to ever remember where I put it or if I will ever find it in my purse.

Also, please make sure that the information you put on your business card is accurate. The perfect square business card will be trashed. Here's why. The company website; when typed in, doesn't work. The email bounces back and the FB and Instagram pages that are listed has only 3 photos of random people and no title or information about the person or company on it.

Not a good way to do business wouldn't you say. 

So when going to an event; please make sure to have a REGULAR sized business card and also order business cards in small batches. That way all information will always be up to date and you don't have to worry about being tossed in the bottom of someone's purse or worse, being thrown away because nothing on the card works.


Tuesday, April 2, 2019

WHAT TO DO NOW?

Now that you have gotten your taxes out of the way, what to do now?

Now, you sign up for those fall conferences to make sure that you get on panels or are able to speak or moderate.

Why now?

When you sign up early, you are almost guaranteed a spot on a panel, to be a moderator and may even be asked to give a keynote speech.

What could be better than being a speaker and being able to sell your novel or your works while doing something that you didn't think you could do.

I'm just getting back into the swing of things but my conference schedule includes the Creatures, Crimes and Creativity conference in Columbia, Maryland.

If you need to see what I am talking about; please follow this link. #MDC3Con is the hashtag that paid registrations can use to be entered in a chance to win a fabulous prize. They also have the opportunity for authors to raise money for the literacy program in Howard County Md.

How? By asking authors to put together a 'reader basket" that all attendees can buy tickets for and win some great prizes.

Yes, we do more than just write; we also give back to our community.

Are you signed up yet? Gasp, you're not? Well it's not to late. 

Meet me there and I promise we can share a drink, some stories and you will get a look at my newest novel.


Monday, March 25, 2019

DISCRIMINATION IN THE WRITING WORLD

At some point we have all encountered some form of discrimination.

As a writer, sometimes authors of color find themselves fighting discrimination of another kind. 

We have our own section in the book store. We have our own section but why? Some authors think this is a good thing but I don't.

My writing should be listed and shelved with every other book in the store. My book shouldn't be singled out because it was written by a black author. 

Yet, we aren't shelved with other books. We have to have our own section. This is a form of discrimination. Plain and Simple.

Our books are priced higher than books in the same genre as white authors. Our books are marketed to a specific audience but why does this have to be?

If you write romance, why can't your book be listed with the other romance writers? If you write mysteries, I shouldn't have to go to the 'black' section to find a black author's book. It should be under "Mystery" like all other books.

Not only do we face discrimination in the bookstores but we face it when we are asked to be on panels at writing conferences. Why am I on a panel with all black authors instead of on the panel with authors discussing the writing style of mystery or romances. 

Some of us are making great strides in breaking the stereotype. Cerece Renner Murphy, is an african american woman author of Sci-Fi and she is taking that world by storm. In part because there is not a black sci fi section in bookstores and because she puts herself out there as being one of the best woman writers of Sci-Fi. 

Make no mistake about it; there are a lot of black authors making a wave in the author world but not enough of them are getting the recognition that they deserve. 

Why is this? Because mainstream is not seeing them. Why? because they are shelved in the 'black' section of the book store. 

Next time you go into a store; make sure you check out my theory and while you are at it; make sure you check out the price of the books. 

That might also surprise you.

Monday, March 11, 2019

I'M BACK ON THE WAGON!!!

It's been one year...Officially one year since my world was rocked again by a vicious injury. 

One year, 22 days since I broke bones in my foot, my ankle on both sides and my leg. 

Talk about devastating!

But I'm still here...and I'm a little better.

I still limp. I still go to therapy. I still have another surgery coming up and I still wear an ankle brace. 

But I'm a little better. 

Although I was writing up a storm in the beginning; I have slacked off. Not for any reason other than, I just didn't feel like it.

Wait...what...an author not feeling like writing. Yes people it happens. 

I know I got sucked into just sitting and looking into space for so long, that sitting at a computer and actually writing, felt like...well it felt like work.

WTH! I just retired and I surely didn't want to feel like I was working again. 

Then I had to think about why it felt like work. 

Well, I am writing a murder/mystery and I have never done that before. 

I know there are pieces of the puzzle that go in a certain order but I am not a "certain order type of writer". I like to just sit down and write. 

Well writing a mystery is nothing like what I'm used to and I had to use that part of my brain that I don't like to. The thinking part. The part that says, you can't write that; it's not in order. That can't happen first because this already happened" part of my brain.

See, I like writing from the seat of my pants. I HATE outlining or having to think about the next chapter or line. But that is what writing a mystery is like; (for me anyway). So I stopped writing and just gazed at the TV, FB, Instagram and my website (s). 

Since I loved traveling, I've been doing that as well and also helping others realize their travel dreams. 

In short, I've been doing everything else except writing. Well that all ended yesterday. I had a loyal fan come up to me on Friday and said, "I'm almost tired of waiting on you to have another book. But I'm gonna keep waiting cause I love your style." Now THAT's loyalty. 

So I broke out the computer and have been typing my little fingers away. So look for my new novel soon. So hopefully my first murder mystery will be out soon..unless the publisher thinks otherwise. But anyway, I'm back on the wagon...

The writing wagon that is. 

Tuesday, February 5, 2019

TAKE CARE OF YOUR MENTAL HEALTH

I spoke to my partner, former lover and dear friend on Thursday at 2:34 pm until 5:15 pm. We joked, laughed, talked about what could have been and what might be. We talked about how we missed each other and how we always could make each other laugh.

He made plans to have lunch with me today.

On Friday morning, at or around 7:30 am; he walked from his house for about 10 minutes; went to the nearby park and hung himself.

While we all were marveling at the snow; our emails came in. Mine was time stamped at 2:30 am.

His parting words; "Milk Chocolate, don't ever give up".

Yet less than 24 hours had passed and he had given up. Deciding to take his own life rather than face another day.

Milk Dud and Milk Chocolate
As we gathered at his home, what we didn't know was that after losing his job three years ago; he fought a great fight.

He tried but the world got the better of him. His lights had been turned off more than three months prior. He didn't have gas to cook food but he managed by using his fireplace. He didn't have a car anymore and his weekly golfing buddies; hadn't seen him in over a year.

He never expressed the trouble he was having. He never expressed one word of depression. He always laughed. Always had a smile on his face but privately he was battling demons that none of us knew.

He addressed letters to each of his closest friends and family. All were different yet they were all the same.

He expressed sorrow for letting us down. Sorrow for having to ask for some form of help in his time of knowing us and then he wrote his own obituary. He wrote to each of us why he choose Feb. 1, 2019 to end his life.

For me; he knew I loved Christmas and he didn't "want me to be sad during that time of year because of him."

He wrote of how he didn't want us to be stressed or worried. Instead we are mourning and missing him. Instead we all want to punch him in the face and then hug him really tight. Instead we are arranging to say our final goodbyes.

However, in all of this; he suffered from a mental illness that none of us knew. Writing this was the hardest thing I have ever had to do because I loved that man with all that I am and now; my soul is broken and hurting. My spirit is missing the man that constantly referred to me as beautiful and my head knows that no matter how much I am hurting; he was hurting much more.

So today, I cry. Today I miss him. Today I refuse to think of him; hanging from a tree; dressed in his favorite business suit.

Today I remember my special friend and the way he told me that he loved me on Thursday and to never give up my smile for anyone.

Today I honor him. Bobby you will always be remembered as the die hard Redskin fan who loved this die hard Dallas fan to pieces.

Rest easy BP...rest easy.

Monday, January 21, 2019

FURLOUGH FOOLISHNESS

I wasn't going to discuss it here but I can't keep my fingers from typing about it. At the risk of losing some of you as my followers, I write this blog. Angry and disgusted by what is going on right now.

The president wants five billion dollars to build a wall so that "terrorists'' don't come into America. That's not the only reason. He also wants the wall to "help the women and children that are dying on their way over here." But that isn't the only reason. He also wants it to stop illegal activity from crossing the borders.

He wants the wall because that is what he wants. Terrorists live here already. They aren't coming from Mexico; they are flying over here. The women and children that he speaks of; are already here; being exploited. However, we do need more secure borders but at the risk of sounding like I'm taking his side....BECAUSE I AM NOT...what we need is to come to some sort of resolution so that the millions of people that are already here, don't starve to death or worse, start committing crimes to just put food on their tables because he is withholding their money.

See, he wants to build a wall to stop illegal activity. What about the illegal activities that happen every day, done by AMERICANS?

What about the exploitation of women and children everyday, by AMERICANS? What about the terrorists who are living here, every day?

What about those people?

We teach our children not to bully people and we teach our children to stand up against bullies. 

What do you do when the bully RUNS the country? What do you do when a bully is taking your job and holding it just out of reach? What do you do when the bully lives in the White House?

You suffer the Furlough Foolishness!

People are "hoping" that they can pay their bills this month and next month". People are hoping that they get back to work soon. People are hoping that they don't have to start selling off things just to put food on the table. 

What about those people Mr. President? Oh, but no matter because you are already rich and could care less that the 'average' American doesn't have your money.

The Furlough Foolishness needs to end and maybe instead of acting like a 3 year old...wait...make that a 5 year old bully on the playground. Maybe you could use your big words and speak like a real adult and stop throwing tantrums to get what you want. You say that the 800 thousand people stand with you. Well how many have you asked?

Because every one of the people I see on FB, Instagram, Twitter and other social media outlets; want to go to work and NEED their money. 

So, I suggest that instead of posting on FB, Instagram, Twitter and other social media outlets that the Furloughed employees get out there and MARCH ON WASHINGTON.

Show him just how many don't support this Furlough Foolishness . Maybe then he will see how many really stand with him.