Tuesday, December 19, 2017


Just in time for the holidays?

I have seen all of the commercials for new cars, new laptops, new shoes, coats, hats.

Those commercials for furniture, kitchen appliances and washer/dryer combos.

So why not me?

So just in time for the holiday, take a look at my entry into: 

What to buy for the holidays. 

Christmas Commerical With B. Swangin Webster

Merry Christmas from me to you!

Monday, December 11, 2017


This year has been full of ups and downs. 

It started off so well and then the middle of the year happened and it all seemed to go haywire.

June 6; I will never forget. Its the day I had my first cardiac episode. You know; instead of calling it a heart attack; they (doctors) refer to it as an episode. 

Funny, it's not like an episode of my favorite TV comedy. Nor is it an episode of a docudrama. Instead it was a health 'episode' and for that I got to wear a heart monitor for 45 days. I had to adjust my eating habits AGAIN and I had to take life easy. 

I was smack dab in the middle of trying to get my tiny house money together and then this happens. 

All plans were halted and I became at the mercy of my doctors; nurses and family to help adjust my thinking, my habits and my mental attitude. 

Mind you; I didn't think I was dying but it became a thought. 

I had just turned 51; I wasn't ready to leave this earth. Besides, I had another set of twin grandchildren to wait for and I damn sure was not leaving before meeting them.

So as December continues to roll along; I have taken this opportunity to smile at all of the life lessons that happened in 2017 and can't wait to see what 2018 brings.

Hopefully my tiny house will be delivered by my birthday and I will be able to quit my full time job and just sit in my tiny (yet to be named) and write and enjoy my grand children. Until then, I hope you all are looking back on a year full of lessons and taking the time to enjoy the remaining days of 2017.

Monday, December 4, 2017


It's the end of the year, so what is next?

Well now is the time that you need to sit down and make a budget for all of the things you want to do, get or get done that involves your writing.

Are you going to transform that extra bedroom into an office for your writing? Well now is the time to get those great deals on all things that you will need. You will need a new desk, a new chair; maybe a computer or a new light. And if you use that office solely for your writing, you can deduct some of that cost on your taxes. But make sure you talk to an LICENSED tax professional about it.

Now, what conference was too expensive this year, that you might want to attend next year? 
Now is the time for you to make plans and a budget to get to that conference. Don't let another year go by that you don't attend a conference. You don't have to go for the weekend or week. Choose one that you can attend for one day. Choose one that you and a couple of your author friends can attend together. Share a room, split the cost. Better yet. Split the cost of a conference. Chose one that is at least two days long. Then decide which day you and your friend will want to attend and co-share the conference. Getting that experience is better than missing it.

Well, what if you don't want to go to a conference or fix up that room. Well you still need marketing materials, right?

Here's your chance to make a budget for those business cards, banners, table scapes, book holders and all things that you will need for your display. 
Don't forget about about things to give away. After all, we all like FREE things, right.

Now, here's the last thing you need: BOOKS. 

Your books to be exact!

You need to order a stock of your books; at least 50 to keep in your car; at work, or anywhere you are traveling. After all, YOU are the BEST salesperson your know.

So, the end of the year is almost here, what are YOU going to do next?

Monday, November 27, 2017


Let the countdown begin!

Christmas is less than a month away and I have some great gift ideas. 

Sure, they may be the gifts I want but if you are shopping for an author, feel free to use them as well.

1. Nice Pen- a nice pen to sign those new novels would be a great gift to give; especially if my name was on it.

2. Portable Hard Drive- I have been through the heartbreak of my computer crashing and it is nothing fun. This little beauty could be used to back up those important revisions you are making.

3. Professional Photo Shoot- Let me be clear; it doesn't have to be professional. I just need someone to dress me up, do my makeup and take some great photos of me.

4. Deep Tissue Massage- After all; sitting in a chair all day and writing is hard work. My back is always sore and would keep me motivated. Hint: Massage Envy offers great monthly plans

5. Pretty Journal- That I can travel with. Notes would be so much better if I had a dedicated place to keep them. Plus it would go nice with gift idea #1

6. Carry On Luggage- Now this may seem odd. This is the perfect size to keep my laptop (17 inches), journal, some extra books and all things related to writing. I would use this bag every time I had an appearance to go to. 

7. Wine- After all, I need motivation and for me; my favorite wine, from my favorite winery would do the trick. Hint: Romano Vineyard and Winery is in Brandywine, Maryland. OK; that's more than a hint. 

8. Touchscreen monitor- Yep; I have a desktop and all I want is a touch screen to go with it. That's simple, right?

9. New shoes- C'mon you knew that would be on the list, right? Size 9 with at least a 5 inch heel. Easy Peasy.

and finally

10. How about purchasing some of my novels. Give them as a set or gift them on Kindle! 

So what is on YOUR Christmas list?

Monday, November 20, 2017


You have submitted that manuscript. You waited months for an answer on whether your writing stood out. You were elated when they said YES! You received an advance! 

Now you are awaiting for your 'baby' to be delivered.

It went through edits, rewrites, more edits and now it's in cover design. You rejected the first one but the second one is spot on! Then you had to write a synopsis AND short bio.

Your novel is now in the finishing stages of book production.

But wait! You look at your desk and see it.

There's that check you received! You were scared to cash it because you didn't know if it was actually happening! You didn't want to jink it so you left it there, in the envelope until now.

You are published! 

You got an advance and now you have money!

But what will you do with that sudden 'extra' money that you have.

Here's an idea: Use it for marketing! Buy your business cards, buy a domain name or invest in going to a conference and getting on a panel to promote that novel!

See, getting money is great and getting money as an author is greater! 

However most authors look at it like 'extra' cash to spend on things NOT related to being an author. 

You have to invest that money back into your business. 

Remember, I keep telling you that you are now a SMALL BUSINESS and your business is writing. 

Buy that new laptop, Ipad, or desktop computer you've been eyeing for some time. Buy a printer or portable hard drive. Buy flash drives to keep your novels on. Buy that outfit that will become your 'author wear' when you travel and sit on panels to discuss your novel. Buy that carrying case, messenger bag or duffel bag to carry your manuscript when you travel. Buy a nice pen to sign your books with. Pay for some professional photos of yourself and your novel. There are endless possibilities.

Remember, you can write it all off come April so invest it now; you will get it back later.

So what are YOU going to do with that advance for your novel? 

Make sure you choose wisely.

Monday, November 13, 2017


With the end of the year fast approaching, you need to begin making plans now.

Make plans to get your writing schedule set for the new year. 

Make plans to attend some conferences.

Make plans to connect with authors outside of your genre.

Make time to treat yourself to that new book that you have been wanting to read.

Make time to research and visit some of the locations that you reference in your novels.

Make time to get a new desktop or laptop. (You do know that most laptops are built to last only 3 years.)

Make time to get your books in order and receipts ready for tax season. (You did keep your receipts for mileage when you drove to that conference didn't you?)

See, now is the time to make plans. 

After all; there are only 48 more days until 2018!

Tuesday, November 7, 2017


That is how I feel when I spend time with other authors. 

In the past few weeks, different writer and fan conferences concluded.

MDC3Con (Creatures, Crimes and Creativity) and BoucherCon are two of my favorites. Thrillerfest is another.

This is the time of year for the three R's. 

Refreshing your desire to write. Renewing your goals and rejuvenating that manuscript that has been in your desk for months without seeing the light of day. 

This is also the time of year for the fourth R.


Reflect on what you have done for the last 10 months. Reflect on how your writing has improved. Reflect on what it is to be an author. 

This is the time that the leaves change, your wardrobe gets warmer and your writing should become easier as the day passes. 

This is also the time of year that authors gather to talk and share ideas. They share what they have learned with each other. They share their ups and downs. They share their successes and their failures. 

They also share what they plan on doing differently in the coming year. 

If you don't have a support group to talk to; you really need to join one. 

Better yet....create one. 

Create what you need. After all; writing is a solitary thing. But the benefits of being an author is that you get to meet some amazing people to reflect, refresh, renew and be rejuvenated with.

Are you ready for your new season? 

I am.

Monday, October 30, 2017


Change is hard for people and change for me is always hard.

I've been working on this manuscript for almost a year and didn't want to change a thing.

That was until Regina (character in the novel) kept telling me that I was writing her part all wrong.

Like, what? Really?

But after stepping away from it and re-reading it. She was right.

Her part should have been much bigger. I had been making her twin sister the main character; while all along it should have been Regina.

See I thought that Regina just wanted the limelight for herself. Turns our she actually is the one driving the story. Who knew? 

So, after bidding a farewell to over 50 pages of the story; I'm back on track. 

Regina is happy. Her twin is much more rounded and I'm on a roll with my murder mystery.

See, in this case; change WAS good.

I'm just glad that the change came BEFORE I wrote; THE END

Thursday, October 12, 2017


I blinked my eyes and summer was over and now the fall has begun.

Where did all of my time go?

Well, I spent a lot of it,  recuperating from various illnesses and trying to find my drive to write again.

I'm not ashamed to say that I have been occupy my time with relationships and travel and tiny house plans but now is the time for me to sit my butt back at my computer and get these novels done.

Yes, I said novels.

Since August, I have been working on three novels, at the same time. 

Trying to finish up, The Stiletto Stalker. Working on The Teacher's Lounge and also working on a new romance; not yet titled.

See; while it may "seem" that I have become a slacker; I really haven't. 

Life got in the way but so did I. You see, I got in the way of my own writing. Every time I wanted to sit down and write; something would pull my attention away from it. Grand kids ( I have a new set of twins grandchildren, which makes 11 for me!) Work...trying to retire so that I can write all the time. Friends...yes, I love hanging out with my friends.

So you see, my life took on a life of it's own and now I'm ready to slow myself back down and get back to my first love. 


So, where did your time go? How did you spend it and was it worth it? 

I can say...Absolutely!

Wednesday, August 30, 2017


What have you done in your writing life?

Did you go to any conferences? Did you sign up to attend some conferences? 

Did you complete that manuscript? Did you submit your completed manuscript to a publisher?

Did you set up a dedicated writing space? Do you use that writing space at least once a day?

These are questions that you should be asking yourself. Remember, this was supposed to be the summer of embracing your author life.

What? You didn't answer yes to any of those questions? Why? What is the hold up? Why didn't you take the Summer of 2017 to be the summer of you embracing being an author? 

I haven't done much in my writing life except purge some old manuscripts that haven't seen sunlight since they were first conceived. However, what I did do was that I began to prepare myself for the fall conference and writing workshops. 

Being an author is never ending. Being an author is not as easy as just sitting down at a computer and typing out a great story. It involves marketing, being a business person and being your own biggest fan.

Being an author means that you are attending conferences, that you are writing at least once a day and that you are finishing up the manuscript and submitting it to a publisher. It also means that you are prepared for the criticism that comes with being an author.

So, summer is almost over. What are you going to do to prepare for the fall?

Tuesday, August 22, 2017


Writing is one of those things that can come easy for some.

But for others, it comes a little harder.

Your instincts are built into your psyche to let you know when something isn't quite right.

Use those same instincts in your writing.

Writing is done by feeling your way through your story. Some use outlines to keep them on track but when you are writing, have you ever found yourself talking out loud or acting out a scene?

This is your instinct telling you that maybe it might not work out that way. Maybe someone wouldn't say a certain sentence or phrase that way or maybe a violent scene needs to acted out so as to be realistic.  

In writing, don't fall so in love with your characters that you can't erase or delete them before your novel is completed.

Trust your instincts in this as well. 

Even that scene that you loved writing might need to go. Ask yourself the following questions if your 'instinct' is telling you that something is not right.

1. Did this event slow down the scene?
2. Can this scene be told in a flashback or memory?
3. Why do I need this scene in the novel?

If you answer yes to any of those questions, your instinct knows what needs to happen. 

Writing is about following your heart but also following your instinct. 

What is your instinct telling you right now about what you are currently working on?

Thursday, August 10, 2017


I have been very observant in the last few weeks.

Having a very high blood pressure makes you take notice of small things.

Not that I want to do that but I've been trying to find out the cause.

1. I learned that I am a high energy person. 
With high blood pressure sometimes that high energy is not a good thing. 

2. I learned that I breath slower when I'm stressed. 
Most people breath rapidly during a stressful period. For some reason I like to be different.

3. I learned that I write the best erotic/sexual scenes when I'm stressed.
Hmmm, is that a good thing or a bad thing.

4. I learned that I like mystery and thriller novels.
Yep, I am a staunch book reader and now I'm widening my book reading library.

5. I learned that no matter how small my house is, I'll always have books.
Yep, now re-working those tiny house plans because I need space for my books.

6. I learned that people that SAY they are in your corner and who SAY they will support you, don't.
Yes, this was one of the hardest lessons to learn. 

If you aren't going to support that local author, or that friend, stop saying you will. We don't need to hear it. We would rather know it.

See the difference is that everyone wants to feel like they can do something. If you can't do something, you can't do it. But when you say, out loud, that you will. Now that is where the problem lies.

You have backed yourself into a corner. Stop saying what you think they want to hear and just say what they need to hear.

"Yes, I'd like to buy that book but I don't really have time to read." "Yes, I'd like to donate but really don't have any money." "Yes, I'd like to come but I really just want to stay home and relax".

See, it's not that hard. 

Observe what people say and then act accordingly. 

That's what I do now and it's leading to less stress for me.

Monday, July 17, 2017


My health depends on me not being stressed.

It's getting harder and harder to do that. 

Life is a stress. Driving is a stress. Relationships are stressful. Hell, going into a store is stress nowadays.

You never know what you will encounter when you leave the safety of your home.

What I do know is this. My stress becomes almost non existent when I begin writing. 

My stress is poured into the pages of my writing and actually makes me happy.

Stress writing is what I call it and some of the words that come out during those times are simply, amazing!

I don't look at what I have written during my 'stress writing' but when I do, I am truly in awe of myself.

Yes, I even pat myself on the back because it's like, where did THAT come from. 

The only drawback of 'stress writing' is that I can't duplicate it. Once that stress has been alleviated, it's gone and I can't get back into that flow of 'writing'. I have to pick up the writing and make it work from that point on.

But lucky for me; every day brings new 'stress' and a new chance to 'stress write.' 

Did I mention wine is also a great stress reliever? Yep, that helps in my writing too but that's another blog later this week.

Do you stress write or what do you do as an author to relieve your stress?

Thursday, July 13, 2017


My tiny house plans
I have started a GoFundMe page to try and raise funds for my tiny house?


Because I have run up against a brick wall and this is the only way I know how to get around it.

I am not asking for a hand out. If I could get a loan for it, I most definitely would. Banks don't give loans for tiny houses. I've tried and the most they would give me is $10K which still leaves me needing $20K.

I started the page on the suggestion of someone else. They said, "you have friends that would help you realize your dream" and I am hoping they are right.

What can I offer in return?

You may get to name my house. That's right! All tiny houses have names and I want mine to be something that fits me and my house.

If you donate; you get to submit a name and if your name is chosen, you get a framed photo and your name engraved within my home.

It will always remind me that my friends are the ones who helped me realize my dream.

So, is it worth it?

You better bet it.

Here is the link if you want to help me fund my tiny house.

Don't worry if you can't, I'll still be the same person you have grown to at least like. Click below if you want to read and donate to my tiny house.

Tiny House

Wednesday, July 12, 2017


Yes, I heard someone on the radio say that this morning.

Do you love yourself? Some say it is selfish and some say its is being self centered.

What is wrong with that?

We can show love to our children, our friends, family and some co-workers but when it comes to ourselves; we often over look the obvious.

Sometimes you have to take a day to be selfish. Do something you want to do.

Go to the park, by yourself. Enjoy that picnic that you made especially for you. Oh wait, you don't like deviled eggs...doesn't matter. I do!

Go to the movies and see that thriller, romance or comedy that only YOU want to see. Oh wait, you don't want to go. Good, I wasn't going to invite you.

Go out to the bar and treat yourself to a Martini, Red Wine or just sit and listen and watch the people. Oh wait, you don't want to go. Good, wasn't asking you.

See sometimes we NEED to be selfish.

Call off from work. Take a mental day. Yes, those are what those sick days can be used for. What good is your job when you are stressed in it and can't stay home in the bed to rejuvenate yourself.

Pick a day to do this:
1. Sleep late. Turn off your phone, alarms and all other noise making gadgets.
2. Walk around in your pajamas as long as you want to. (or nude depending on your mood)
3. Don't shave, comb your hair or brush your teeth. (Hey, its your day)
4. When you do decide to get dressed, take yourself out for breakfast, lunch or dinner. Your choice and make sure it is to a place you want to go to.
5. Take a selfie of yourself doing something you want to do. (you will want to remember how much fun you had so you can do this next month too)
6. Don't feel guilty

See that last thing is most important. We often feel guilty for doing things for ourselves. DON'T.

We are entitled to it. 

We work hard all other days of the month, week and year. Giving yourself one day is not going to hurt anyone.

Imagine if you do this once a month. 

Your co-workers, kids, husband/partner and friends will notice a difference in you. Your step will be lighter. Your mood will be high and your energy will be off the charts.

Just try it once. I dare you! 

I'm having my day today! Today is the day that I am going to be selfish. After all; 

I deserve it!

Thursday, June 15, 2017


I am a very private person. I don't share much but this week I feel it necessary to share some things that many people don't know.

Late last year, I mentioned that I had some health issues. Well those health issues reared ALL of their heads last week.

Not only am I dealing with a heart issue but for the past year, I have been dealing with gastrointestinal cancer. (Stomach cancer in normal terms)

This has caused me to do a number of things.

First, I stepped down as the marketing director of Intrigue Publishing. I give of all of myself when I am marketing and when this diagnosis came, I felt that it (Cancer) needed my total focus. I didn't want to slight my authors and I didn't want to turn my back on this 'new' medical issue.

Second, I took a break from writing. Not on my blog but on my novels. I found that my energy level wasn't the same and I wasn't able to sit for hours at a computer but was able to do it in short bursts.

Third, I began chemo and radiation treatments and my final one was on Jan. 17, 2017. To celebrate, we took a cruise. We had an adventure in Falmouth, Jamaica that NONE of us will ever forget. #PricelessMemories

Four, I began plans for my dream home. Many of you have heard me talk about tiny living and this is one thing that I MUST have before my moment in this life is gone. 

Fifth, with this newest health issue, I am now beginning to see life in a different way.

My children and I have come to terms with all that is happening right now and there will be long, hard conversations that need to be had. However, I know that we will get through this.

I have two men in my life and four women that I know will always encourage me.+Austin Alex, Denise, Susan, Debbie and Carmin. (My closet circle) and my girl, my skittle +Paula Lanier

I'm living life slower. I'm living each day with laughs and smiles and I am cutting my stress levels down. No one can live a stress free life but you can alter the way you handle the stress that comes at us each day.

I don't know how I am going to get my tiny home. Why? Because no banks will finance it. No loans can be taken out for it and most tiny home builders expect full payment.

My tiny home will cost me about $32K; of which I don't have but I know that I will have my tiny home before the end of the year. Why? Because I believe that what is meant for me; is for me.

So why do I tell you all of this?

I decided that being a private person is OK but sharing, with the people close to you, is also OK.

I share this to give you a glimpse into my world. I share this, not for sympathy, but for transparency.

I'm living my life like it's Golden. I am cherishing each and every moment I have here and I am not wasting any time dwelling on what I don't have.

I am focusing on what I have. Right now; in this moment, I have a circle of people around me that love me like it's my last day.

And for that. I thank you. 

Tuesday, June 13, 2017


Last week my day had begun like all others. Except for one difference.

It was one day until summer was going to begin and I was going to have my office to myself.

I greeted the day like I normally do. With my Chai Tea and was laughing with co-workers when I began to feel "weird".

Weird in a bad way, like I needed to take a deeper breath. Weird in the way that you feel when your asthma is going to cause you problems during the day. No matter, I was getting used to it since the heat wave had gripped the DC area earlier in the month.

I decided to give my gut feeling a nod and go check with my nurse. Just for my own satisfaction.

She checked my blood pressure and was 'a little concerned' but not overly. She gave me some aspirin and told me to come back.

A little backstory: I rely on my school nurses and trust them over anyone I have every talked to. Even my own doctors.

When I went back at 10:12 AM, she took my blood pressure again and said, "Go to Patient First, right now".  I walked back to my office and gathered my things and said, "Apparently I need to go to Patient First".

I walked in, sat down but my school nurse had already called. They came and got me and while performing the 'check in process' the nurse came and said, "We are going to send you to the closet hospital".

Two days later, I was released after having a cardiac emergency.

I tell you this for one reason. No matter what you are doing in your life, SLOW DOWN and ENJOY each day.

Not knowing if you are going to walk out of a hospital is a very sobering thought.

Being put on a heart monitor and taking blood pressure readings six times a day, along with Heparin injections and nitrogylcerin pills is also the sign that you need to slow down.

My writing will continue and so will my tiny house build but I am enjoying each day and nothing is more important to me, right now in this moment, than slowing down and realizing that I was given a few more moments to enjoy the world around me.

Friday, June 2, 2017


What happened?

I look around and it's New Year's day 2017 and now, just like that, we are 6 months into the year.

We are now half way to 2018.

Half you accomplished at least HALF of what you said you were going to do on New Year's day?

I am not talking about resolutions. Well maybe I am but some of you set goals in place for the new year.

Was it your goal to be writing at least once a day. Was it your goal to start a new marketing plan?
Was it to blog more? Was it to read more books? Was it to try a new author every month? Was it to set up that website you were putting off?

What were your author goals for 2017?

If you haven't started them, it's not to late.

We still have half of the year to go.

Why not start now.

Monday, May 15, 2017


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


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


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


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


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


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


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....

Monday, March 20, 2017


This weekend, I went back down to +Incredible Tiny Homes  and got to talk to some of the participants in the Build Your Own workshop.

If you aren't familiar with what this is; this is when you get to have a hand in building your tiny home. Actually you are building your tiny home with the help of build buddies. (Your friends that have come with you to help you)

Take a look at the video and see for yourself how you can build your own tiny home for almost 1/2 the cost of having one built for you.

Incredible Tiny Homes is owned by Randy Jones. Sit down, grab a drink and enjoy this Video Tour 

Tell me what you think by leaving a comment. 

Monday, March 13, 2017


If you haven't been able to tell; +TinyHouse has been on my mind.

I'm in the process of building one. Yep; that's right (where have you been)

This week, March 18 to be exact. I will sit down with Randy Jones from +Incredible Tiny Homes  and design my tiny. (I will be on Facebook Live and on Instagram all weekend. Make sure you follow me. Follow me by clicking this link

What you also need to do is click here---> SUBSCRIBE HERE They are giving away a FREE 20 foot tiny house! All you have to do is follow him on YouTube. (How easy is that)

I am still trying to wrap my brain around the fact that I am getting a tiny house. Never in a million years would I have thought I would be able to live in something less than 300 square feet. My dream home, that I imagined I needed was always in the range of 2,00-3,500 square feet. It included a basement, a theater room, a library and a sitting room.

Well, walking inside of a model tiny home changed my mind. Well; that and my life priorities changed as well.

Even my children don't think I can live in a tiny but I'm trying to convince them to get one for themselves. It may be a little hard since they have children under the age of 10 but maybe when they get older.

So; my journey continues and I have made fast friends with Regina. Who also built her tiny house and if now living in hers. She lives in Florida and is loving her new way of life.

What makes me and Regina so different than most tiny home builders...well we are Black women. Not to say that there aren't others but in terms of tiny home ownership; black people aren't the norm.

Why is that? I am not sure but if you google tiny home owners; most live in California,Ohio, Utah or somewhere in the mid west. Well Regina lives in Florida and I will be in Maryland.

We are taking our tiny home ownership to the next level.

Of course, I'll still be a diva. I"ll still be writing and yes, I'll still have my stilettos (yes, there will be plenty of built in storage for all of my babies).

This is just one of the reasons going tiny for me is the best option. I can save money AND still buy my shoes.

It's a win-win for me.

Thursday, March 2, 2017


Many of you ask, how am I going to write in such a small space?

The answer is simple. I'll use every inch of space available to do so. Writing is not a huge deal to me. I can write anywhere and going tiny is going to allow me to do that.

Writing my next novel is going to be much more enjoyable because it will in a space that was created totally  by me.

Sure, I created work space and office space but this is something that I am creating from start to finish. From the first nail to the last screw. I will be in control of how this tiny house looks and functions.

Tiny house building companies allow you to customize your space. They encourage you to create spaces that work for you. 

What better way to do that than to create a space where I will be writing full time? I can't think of another reason to sit in an office at a desk with no windows. 

Building my own tiny house will allow me to use all of my surroundings to write. Imagine being able to wake up; go into your living room and sit at a space that is creatively pleasing to your senses.

Going tiny has it advantages as well. 

I won't have the distractions of a wondering around trying to find something to do. Being in a tiny house; you have about 250-300 sq. feet of space to 'wander' around in.

Even the bathroom will be tiny. So I can't take a Sunday paper into the bathroom with me; it will be more like a Tuesday version. 

In my next blog; I'm going to share some photos of the tiny homes that my 'tiny' will look like. I hope that you continue on this journey with me.

Monday, February 20, 2017


Many people don't understand my love with going tiny.

I'll try and explain it to you.

First, 2016 was a very interesting year. On top of medical issues that would have sidelined most people; I was able to continue to work, write and enjoy life. (It wasn't easy but I refused to give in to the illness)

In the latter part of 2016, I came to the conclusion that I don't need lots of 'stuff' to make me happy. Sure, I still need shoes, but other than that, I'm happiest when I'm in my little reading 'closet".  I took a 2x4 closet and turned it into my reading/writing nook and found that when I was in there; I was at peace and could block out all of the negative around me.

I have been fascinated by tiny homes since 2015 and began to look more closely at them in 2016. I figured I could at least do the research and find out why people choose this way of living. 

That search ended in 2016, November 12 at 5:15 am, on my way to work. I SAW a tiny house being pulled by a truck and said..wow; that looks like me. I can see myself living there. I called my partner and told him. His words were, "wow; you sound like a kid at Christmas" and I said, "I feel like I am".

I went to work and researched that company. Later that day, I needed to go to the mall and that same company was in the mall handing out brochures about their company. That was a sign to me. Actually the second sign that I needed to be in this kind of home. The third sign came when I went to Virginia to see +TinyHomesVA in Fredricksburg, Virginia. Jessica was so helpful and knowledgeable and at that moment,  it was decided. 

I am getting a tiny home.

So the search began for a builder and about a month ago I found Incredible Tiny Homes in Morristown, Tennessee. They can build my tiny but then they introduced, "Build Your Own" university. The requirements: You must dedicate seven (7) days to be at their warehouse and you must have at least four (4) build buddies and they will help you build your own. They have already had two workshops and 13 homes have been built and are now in their owners home states. Last week you read about my love affair with Regina's tiny home. I always wanted the size that she built and after seeing hers I know I made the right choice. 

Going tiny means many things to many people. To a lot of them it means economic freedom and to others it means leaving a smaller environmental footprint. To me, it means being able to be comfortable in my own space. It means, living better and freer with less bills. It means being able to travel more and it means to finally be able to write more. Being creative in a small space is such a blessing that I couldn't see myself NOT living tiny.

I know some of you won't or don't want to live tiny but for me, it's the only option for me.

For me, its about loving life and living life to the fullest and being in a tiny home is what is going to make it all worthwhile.

So continue to read about my journey here. And just so you know. The creative process is in full swing. I have just started working on another murder/drama novel and this one will prove that love doesn't conquer all.

Thursday, February 16, 2017


I think there is a song that goes something like that.

I am in love with Regina's tiny home. I met her when I traveled down to Morristown, Tennessee a couple of weeks ago to see some tiny homes being built.

Regina was there; building hers. This is her tiny and don't you just love her stairs! 

She was a part of the ITHU (Incredible Tiny House University) that is run by Randy Jones and his team. 

Incredible Tiny Homes holds workshops that help you become a tiny house owner while helping to build it yourself.

For the cost of materials and sweat equity; you can leave in 7 days with your very own home. Subscribe to their YouTube channel so you can see more of these incredible tiny homes.When they reach 100K, they will give a tiny house away to one of those subscribers.
Just click this sentence and you can see why I'm so in love.

Regina's home is exactly what I envisioned for mine. Hers is 24 feet of sophistication, diva-ness and sexiness.

She had her home delivered (or you can drive your own away but you must have a F-150 or heavier truck to do it)

Most homes weigh between 8,000 and 13,000 pounds and Randy makes sure you know the weight before you pull it onto the highway.

Regina's home features a U shaped kitchen with refrigerator, induction cook top and she will have a convection oven/microwave. She has a FULL bathroom. Yes, you read that right. A 5 foot tub, 24 inch vanity and flushing toilet. (No composting toilet for her either)

She was on FB live while her home was being delivered and it looks even better in the Florida sunlight.

She has become my new "woman crush" or maybe it's her home that has become my 'crush'. She has been very gracious in allowing me to stalk, I mean bug her, and ask her tons of questions about her build, her life in her tiny and her plans for decorating. 

The one thing she suggests you do before going tiny. PURGE! She purged a lot of her things before moving in. (she is coming from a one bedroom, thousand square foot home) but she finds that she still is making those trips to Goodwill and the Salvation army. I am sure they are happy to see her.

Her new 'tiny' home is 260 square feet.

Purge like your house is going to be demolished and you can only take the important stuff.  The key is to do it at least a few months BEFORE you move into your 'tiny' .

So, now you can see why I am in love with a tiny and you would be too if you just step inside of one.

Thursday, February 9, 2017


So if you haven't heard, I'm building a +TinyHouse and have been open to all of the possibilities that come with it. 

Except one.

Composting toilets!

Um, NO, No, Hell No and Aint No Way In Hell !

OK, so I know that some of you might not understand my STRONG dislike of composting toilets. Well let me explain the ins and outs of composting toilets 101.

First, a composting toilet is just what is sounds like. It composts your waste and then you can use it on your gardens to grow that really good veggies. 
OK, so I think I just threw up a little bit in my mouth with that sentence.

Second, I don't like smelling my own poo let alone having it in my home, un-flushed, for at least 6-12 weeks at a time. Oh, it gets better.

Third and this is for the male population. You can never, ever ever STAND to use the bathroom.  This is because your 'aim' wouldn't be good enough to make it in the small opening that the urine is to go in. (See the picture)

So the whole idea behind a composting toilet is to minimize your carbon footprint by eliminating the over usage of water. So in terms of the composting toilets, most of the time you will see these on boats (the smaller versions) so that fishermen can fish without having to worry about pooing in the river. (insert gross face now)

OK, back to the explanation. 

Composting means that when you go to the bathroom, you will divert your urine into a holding tank; that you will have to empty at least once a month. 

Stop! I have included two pictures so you will understand what I am talking about. See the container on the front; with the black strap. That's for your urine. The crank on the side is for 'mixing' and the larger part at the bottom; well that's the part that holds your poo.

You mean my urine will be in a container, in my bathroom for a month? YEP but you can empty it every day if you like but that's not the objective. And where would I empty it? "oh, anywhere that you can rinse it away with water. Or maybe just in a spot that you know won't run back towards the house".

Oh, did you miss the part that your urine and poo can never mix. Or maybe you have figured out that your poo can never be near, around or close to water.

So when you poo; you open a little trap door in the toilet, 'do your business' as I was told and then you will use saw dust or peat moss to cover your poo. You will then crank a handle (that sits on the side) and "mix" it until the poo is covered. 

Yes, you read that right people. You mix it like you are mixing up a mud cake.

Now here is where it gets interesting. You can NOT put tissue of any kind in the composting toilet. You have to wipe and discard of the tissue in a trash bag. (here is a use for all of those grocery bags you have laying around your house) You could even use baby wipes but again, don't put it in the toilet.

To wipe the toilet; you can use vinegar; but don't let any liquid fall into the section that holds your poo. "The smell will not be a good thing." And that is EXACTLY how it was told to me. Oh and then make sure you watch what you eat because maggots could be a problem. But that's "a simple fix".  Just empty your composting toilet into your garden and start again" Yeah; I couldn't believe it when they said that to me either. (I can see some of your faces already)

Can you imagine if you are having a 'stomach issue' one day. The splatter alone would make you go running to the gas station or to the nearest Lowes or Home Depot to install a regular flushing toilet.

If you don't believe what I am telling you; please feel free to look up +NaturesHead composting toilet on Youtube or Google it. You will be amazed.

Now do you see why I just CAN'T do a composting toilet and lucky for me; I don't have to. I may be going tiny but I haven't gotten to the part that I want my own poo to be taking up residence in my house with me. 

My bodily waste and I have an understanding. 

When I 'release' you from your internal prison; you and I will never interact again. That is how it is supposed to be.

Wednesday, January 25, 2017


Last week I told you all about my dream of going TINY and it has spread like wildfire.

I have spoken about it so much that I one of my co-workers has convinced her husband that they need one of their farm.

At first he wasn't into it and then she told him all about me and showed him some of the sites I had been visiting and showing him videos.

YES, if you search +YouTube   you will find lots and lots of videos on companies that build tiny houses. You will find lots of people that are 'living tiny' and lots of people in the process of building their tiny house.

I am going to have the pleasure of visiting one such builder on Feb. 6 in Tennessee. His name is Randy and he is the owner of Incredible Tiny Homes. He also is the brain child of the "BUILD YOUR OWN UNIVERSITY" in which you build your own tiny house in about 7 days. 

Not to worry because he has skilled electricians and plumbers there to help you with your 'TINY" build. 

There are lots of people who want to live tiny but don't want to give up the comforts of modern living. Who said you had to?

I am not giving up anything. I will have a FULL sized kitchen. Which means regular kitchen appliances. I will have a FULL working bathroom. No composting toilet for me. 
Side note: I'll have an entire blog on that on a later date. 

I will also have a dedicated living, bedroom and sitting area. No sharing of space for me. 

So if you don't think you can live in a tiny; its fine. No one is forcing you but I saw a video by comedian Steve Harvey that said, "Who are these people that want to live in Tiny houses? Why are their standards so low that they can't dream to live in a bigger house. If you want to live in a tiny house, you are stupid." Yep those are his EXACT words. Well Mr. Harvey I'll tell you what is stupid.

Stupid is the judgement of people who CHOOSE not to waste money for 30 years paying a mortgage for a home that they CAN'T afford. Stupid is the thinking of small minded people who judge others because they choose to think for themselves and not like everyone else.

So while everyone else pays, on average, $1800 to $2000 a month for a mortgage, I'll pay $400 a month for 2 years and OWN my own house that I can move to wherever my mood takes me.

Yeah, if that is being stupid; I'll take stupid over being smart any day of the week.