Monday, May 15, 2017

STILL AT IT

Some may think that I have completely forgotten about writing since I have been busy designing my tiny house.

That is not the true.

On Friday, May 12 I was able to sit on a panel discussion about the "Business of Writing" at the Festival of Literary Arts.

During this panel I was able to learn some tips and tricks from the best in the business like +OmarTyree and +JessicaTilles.

On this panel +AustinCamacho spoke about the changes that he has seen happen in the years he has been in the business.

Gone are the days of packing books into your car and driving down to the local Borders book store to set up and sign your new novel. Borders was a very friendly author book store that welcomed all authors into their stores with open arms.

Those days are now replaced by packing boxes in your trunk and heading to the local barber shop, beauty salon or local mall to try and sell books to a crowd that believes that if you are an indie author; your book can't be good.

Omar Tyree said it was "numbers that got him noticed" in 1994 with his novel Fly Girl. He sold 25K book,s by hand, by doing what he knew best. Hustling on the streets and at work. It didn't hurt that he was also a writer for a large newspaper and had connections that would help him reach those numbers.

Today you need luck, numbers (as in books sold) and your hustle. You have got to be willing to work at being an author like you work your normal job.

This is going to require you making an effort to sell yourself as well as your writing to people who have no idea who you are.  This will require you to work more than 40 hours some weeks and it will require you to have a budget for everything that needs to be done for your novel.

So, this goes back to me. I'm still at it. How? On June 7th I will be on +KLoweryMoore's Internet radio show. In July I will be traveling to Indianapolis for business but while there; I hope to sell some novels because after all; I will have a very captive audience and my author persona will come out if anyone asks me about what I do.

You see; I'm still at it.

Are you?

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

WHAT EXACTLY AM I?

A lot of you have questions about my last blog post. I intend to answer all of your questions here.

So you want to know what am I? What do I do? Why am I doing it? and How does it all work?

First, I'm a 51 year old woman who has 5 children and 9 grandchildren. (With a set of twins on the way for a grand total of 11) Yay me!

Second, I am a future, tiny mobile home owner. Tiny House on Wheels as some of you know it or like +HGTV says, Tiny House Big Living.

Third, I am a woman with two men in my life that love me unconditionally and whom I love with all of me.

Fourth, I am not crazy, stupid, going through a phase, wasting money, waiting on someone to save me or marry me and I am not desperate.

Fifth, I am an author, speaker, talk show host and motivator of all things in the writing world.

I am living my life like it is golden. And yes, that is a Jill Scott song. Get it on ITunes and really listen to the words.

I have decided that after having cancer, having survived starting over at 45 and managing the 'new' dating world; that I deserve to live my life like I WANT TO.

Not according to the 'world's' standards but by my own standards.

I don't tell you how to run your family, business or life so I am not asking permission from anyone to run mine.

I am happy. I am content and what makes me happy is not what would make anyone else happy.

If you can't be happy for me, please don't be sad for me. I am doing just fine because...

I am living my life like it is GOLDEN.


Wednesday, April 26, 2017

YEAR OF REFLECTION

Tomorrow is my birthday!

I will be 51 years old!

Gasp, clutch the pearls; I told you my age.

Yep and I'm proud of every year and every grey hair that I have earned.

I am an author. I am (almost) a tiny home owner. I am the mother of 5 grown children and grandmother to 9 (with another set of twins coming in July) and I am polyamorus.

Some of you don't know what that word means but it means, to have many loves. In short. I can date openly and whomever I date; will know about each other.

Unlike what some of you are doing; which is called "CHEATING".


Now, not to much on that subject except this. Being a polyamorus woman means I can date whom I want but not have sex with everyone. This isn't an orgy. It's about having a great, open relationship with someone that you have developed feelings for.

Have questions; feel free to ask in the comment section of this blog.

Now, on to why I am telling you all of this.

Someone close to me, has a 'day of reflection' on his life every year on his birthday. This year I wanted to do the same.

I have thought about where I am in my life and the choices I have made and I have to say, I'm pretty damn proud of myself. 

I don't have to ask anyone for anything; except for the occasional shoulder to lean, cry or hold onto to. I have the cutest car ever! (Baby Blu Mercedes) and I am about to buy my 'dream' house. (Yep; the tiny house is my dream house)

I am an author who loves writing and speaking to others about writing and about the business of writing. 

What more could a woman ask for?

Well there is one thing I want.....

I want to be a part of the NFL draft experience . (Hopefully next year)

So I welcome my 51 year on this planet and I can say; I'm good.

Are you?

Monday, April 10, 2017

MORE THAN ONE

As an author, we never want to be compared to someone else. We try to create our own identity and our own voice. 

But let's face it; every story has been written more than once. Sure we might have a different spin on it but its basically the same story we have read before.

How many times do you think they can remake Cinderella? Well if you go to the movies; at least 7 times, starting in 1950. Why does that happen? Because we love the story and we love to watch adaptations.

The same can be true with King Kong. We first saw him in 1933. On average a gorilla will live to be about 40 years old; but King Kong...well he is still going strong at 84. Still making movies; with his next one in theaters now.

Just like with Tiny Home builders. Not two are alike. 

I started looking at tiny homes about two years ago. There were not many out there. Now; you can't look at Pinterest or YouTube without seeing dozens of builders. Some have 50 houses and some have one. Some are made really cheaply and some are luxurious. 

Whenever you make the decision to write, go to the movies or even build a house; know that there are more than one option available.

Do your research. Make sure you know what you are getting or watching. Don't go to the new Kong movie and expect to see the same type of Kong movie from 2005 or even 1933.

I had to pull back on my tiny house love and look for companies that were reputable and also had more than one house under their built. Imagine my surprise when the one tiny house company hadn't actually made the house for a customer; but more for themselves and were 'hoping' that customers would come knocking. 

Why am I telling you all of this? 

Remember this, being an author is more than just writing. It's also about doing your research. It's about you making the best 'version' of your story as possible and it's also about telling it in a slightly different way.

Monday, April 3, 2017

BLACK, WHITE, CONFUSION...WHAT IS IT?

A lot of people discuss the benefits of going tiny or living a minimalist lifestyle. I have now joined in on that conversation.

In addition to being excited about it; I have also learned a few things along the way.

One of the things I have learned is that I am much more tolerating of different lifestyles. I no longer care what the 'crowd' is doing.

I also learned that no matter what you do and who you try and please; not everyone will agree with you.

You can only please one person at a time and why shouldn't that person be you.

Living in a tiny house is not going to be for everyone and while telling people who asked about it my goals, I have found that not every one agrees.

When I have spoken to people about going tiny I get two reactions.

The first one: congratulations and you must be so excited. If you have any questions let me know.  Check out this website and you should check out the tiny house movement online (Facebook, Instagram and YouTube)

The other is: Are you sure you want to go tiny? I don't think you can go tiny, I couldn't do it. Are you crazy? Why?

The thing that bothers me the most is this one thing.

The ones that seem supportive are mostly Caucasian people and the non supporters are my African American associates.

There are communities of tiny homes popping up all over the United States and very few of them are inhabited by black people. I have met exactly one other person who has built a tiny house. She is an African American woman and she and I had a long conversation.

She said she came up against the same thing. Her African American circle weren't very supportive. Although some of them were; the majority of the people who were supportive were the people who were not in her circle. Or they were her Caucasian friends.

It's not that our black friends don't understand but it's harder to convince them that as a black woman I haven't lost control of my mind. I have done research and the common thread is that the tiny house community can be a little clique'ish. Not because they want to but people going tiny aren't that many. They form circles and stay within those circles. They form their community and they help each other. Because there are not many black people building, buying or wanting tiny homes; we have found ourselves on the outside. Hopefully that will change with more and more 'us' buying, building and living in tiny homes. The +TinyHouseTrailblazers is one such group that is trying to do this. Check out their website.

I know that it doesn't come down to black or white but it comes down to understanding vs having questions. Sometimes questions can sound like non support but most times if you explain why you want to do something; most people will begin to see your point of view.

If they don't remember. You can only please one person at a time and it might as well be you.

Monday, March 27, 2017

WHY AM I GOING TINY?

I have gotten this question a lot of times and I give a very short answer.

Today; I am going to give you the longer answer. 

The reason I am going tiny is because my needs in life have changed. I have reached my milestone age. I turned 50 in 2016 and started rethinking my life. 

A health issue reared it's ugly head and I had to re-think a lot of things that I took for granted. 

I stepped down from an amazing job for Intrigue Publishing because my health needed all of my attention.

Lucky for me; I had two men in my life that took excellent care of me and gave me the courage to take life by the horns and fight it until I won.

I had been researching tiny houses since 2015 when I stumbled across the show Tiny House Big Living.

I was like a child wanting for Santa. Every week, I altered my schedule to make sure that I was home to see the entire episode. 

This new 'movement' as it was called, caught my attention.

If you have seen my small 'reading room' you all know that I like small spaces. That space is no bigger than 3x4 sq feet. I love this room and stay in it most of the time. 

The size of my home will be 8 x 24. This model is owned by Regina in Florida. This will be similar to the one I get. 

Regina's 24 foot tiny home
My other reason for going tiny? Financial gain. I have paid cash for a small plot of land. I will pay cash for my tiny house. I will not have a mortgage. I will pay for my land taxes once a year. I will not pay for water because I have well water. The only 'utility' I will have is electric and now I am thinking of trying to use solar power. 

Another reason for going tiny is that I can travel with it. Did I mention that the tiny house will have wheels? YES! Do you feel that excitement? All I need is a truck to haul it. Wait; no I don't. All I need is a +U-Haul  that will tow something that is 12,000 lbs. 

So my reason for going tiny is simple. I want to enjoy life. I want to be able to take a trip whenever I want to. I want to live stress free and going tiny makes perfect sense, for me.

Could you go tiny? Leave a comment and let me know.






Wednesday, March 22, 2017

INSOMNIA DOESN'T HAVE TO BE BAD

I have been suffering with a really bad case of insomnia. 

I now celebrate anniversaries with it. This year will make year 3 that we have been together.

It's not something that I could have wished and would never wish this on anyone. 

Watching the world change from light to dark to light again; on an almost daily basis is not something that you should do more than once or twice a month. I do it almost 4 or 5 times a week.

I have learned to adapt. Which is not good.

My sleep therapist says, I "have trained my brain not to turn off and thus the awake periods are getting more and more advanced."

He suggested I buy a +Fitbit Flex Wireless Activity Sleep Wristband  to track my sleeping and restful periods.

Well, let me tell you; this has been interesting. 

I have gone from 4 hours of sleep a night to less than 2. I have at least 419 (on average) minutes of restless sleep. Which means I have slept less than three minutes at a time during an average 6 hour  night. It also tracks how many times I have 'awake" moments. That number is well over 600 minutes. In an average day; there are 1,440 minutes in a day. I'm horrible with math but you get the picture.

I am using my awake moments for good, so don't you worry.

I am writing more. It seems like I do my best writing when I'm dead tired. Imagine that!

I am working on a new novel; sparked by a conversation on Facebook between me and my friends. 

What happens when two women suffer with insomnia? When the sun comes up, what was done in the dark will come to light.  I have a title picked out already and now it's time to see what kind of trouble Britney and Nina get into.

So I"m using this to my advantage. I am also taking a travel class. Why? Just because I want to and let's face it. There is not a whole lot to do at 2 A.M. besides troll the internet or watch TV and most of the shows on at that time are telling me how to lose my cellulite, buy real estate or cook a chicken in less than an hour in the new gadget of the week. 

I am also planning my tiny house and although I can't wait to move into it; I also like the process of planning it. 

Did I mention that I have become compulsive as well? Well that is for the next blog. Stay tuned....