Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Treat Everyday Like Day One!

I am taking on a new way of viewing things, life, etc....

Everyday is DAY ONE! 

Why? You may ask, why should I treat everyday as day one? Well.... Because day one is when we are at our best, (at least in my world). Think of Day one of a new job, a new diet, a new activity period, it is when you try the hardest, put on your best face and it is when you feel the most positive. Anything is possible on Day One.

This is my new approach to life in general but more specifically to my career as an author, because to be honest that is what I am aiming for. When I started writing so many...many years ago it was for the pleasure of it. It was my escape from a realm that I didn't want to face. These worlds/lands/new existences were my way of saying..."Screw you world!" I, for one, wrote for the pleasure of writing. I can't say I was big on sharing the ideas and thoughts that floated from my mind to the page (INTROVERT). There are so many notebooks, filled with works that I will never share with the world. But that is my choice. When I decided to finally publish, it was more of a personal challenge, a way to face a fear head on. I can't say that I honestly thought it would be something I would do forever. No money in writing, starving artist...blah de blah. But the more I write, publish and hear feedback, the more I know that this is what I what does that mean?

It means I have to become a lot  more serious about spreading the word about ME. I have to face and conquer yet another fear. Writing about myself (as hard as it may be sometimes) is one thing...talking (verbally, I mean) about entirely different world. When I talk about myself I feel like I am experiencing my own personal earthquake and my entire body is trembling. I also feel like the world can see and hear this happening. But after a few recorded interviews I realize that its all internal. SOOO.... this is one of the things I have put on my list. To get interviews and talk about ME. And not just in interviews, in life. I see the people who have no problem with speaking out about what they do at any given moment and I tell myself I can never be so bold. But it isn't bold...its business and that is the side of this that I need to amp up if I really want to continue to do this on a long term basis.

Everyday is Day One... So Day One I will speak about myself, bold an proud-like. I will hunt down the sales and the chances to be heard and I will show off my work because it deserves to be shown. I believe in myself and my work, if I don't show that...who will?

And so it begins....

Join me March 8th for one many chances to talk about ME and my work when I am interview by G.P.A(Greatest Poet Alive) Mr. James Gordon.

Sunday, February 23, 2014


So Excited to share this story.....

I wish I could say that had pleasant dreams when I was finally able to get to sleep, but I didn’t. I dreamt of myself, crawling up the side of a volcano. The heat of the surface was agonizing as it burned my skin and my flesh pulled away from my body each time I pushed forward. I continued on regardless of the pain even as I began to choke on the ash and sulfur that filled my lungs. I moved forward. I was nearly there, at the mouth of the beast. The call of the power, my stone, a smooth pink rock that pulsed with power. I felt it and I couldn’t deny it. I looked up and I could see it floating along the edge in the current of the sea around us. The closer I got to it, the brighter it glowed. I finally made it to the rim, skin burned away from most of my body. I was able to get to my feet and I smiled as I felt the hungry pull inside of me. I wanted the power, and I could feel it completing me as I got closer to it. I needed it to make me whole. I reached out for the small stone and stood on my toes as I stretched myself out and over the rim of the volcano. Just as my fingers grazed the smooth surface of it and I could feel the impulse from its power but it was a brief taste. Quickly I felt the vortex begin to grab hold of me. The strong suction grabbed hold of me and pulled me down into the mouth of the volcano. I could smell myself burning, but I didn’t care, as the last of my melted into a sick stew inside of the pot of hot lava, I was still reaching out for the stone.
I woke up drenched in sweat and the smell of sulfur was still a potent presence in my nasal passage. This time I recalled every detail of the dream and I wished like hell that I could erase it from my memory. I rubbed my face and checked my body. There were no bruises or burns. I was afraid that would be another cliché of my life to appear. I already had daddy issues, a life that was a total lie and a super-hot guy trying to fix me. I had read this story so many times and each time I would turn the page and thank the powers that be that I would never be that girl, but there I was, sickeningly disturbing dreams and all.

APRIL 19 2014 

Friday, February 21, 2014

Never A Ranker

I know I am not the first, last or only author to go through this. But I have to say, it blows to watch your work sit, get a few awesome reviews and then, nothing. I am so happy for everyone who is having major success, but I just can't figure this out. What am I doing wrong? And then I realize just how much I have slacked on my end with promotions and simply spreading the word about myself. A little here and there and when I do what I need to, I tend to see results, but its not enough.

This year I want a book that ranks and I am determined to do whatever it takes to make that happen. So I will be doing my research and making whatever lists and charts, graphs, whatever it takes. Last year I had a goal, step out of my box, and start to really make a presence in the writing community and for the most part, I think I have done that and will continue to do so. But NOW I want people, the readers to find my books and love my books! This must happen! Because I love my work and I believe in them and I know that if I do what it takes, others will also enjoy them. The ratings can't be a total lies!

I am so frustrated and I just need for there to be a change. I love being an author and I want to continue it and do it forever, but if the ranks don't happen, the money wont come and I am not sure how much longer I can afford it. Putting my thinking cap on and hankering down.

This year.... I WANT TO RANK!

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Happy Valentine's Day!!! Meet Josephine Massey!

I have to say that I am so excited for this release as it is the first that really steps me away from my usual YA feel. (Not to mention I created this fabulous cover all by myself! And yes I am giving myself props...everyone should from time to time.) Josephine's story is a powerful one that I cannot wait to share with the world. And in just 24 hours, that will happen. 

AND SO.... because it is Valentine's Day...and because I am such a know I am... I thought I would share the first chapter of Last Stop (The Sighted Series, book 1)... I truly hope you enjoy it...and check here to read the rest on FEBRUARY 15TH! 



The conductor yells as we approach the end of the line. “Last stop!” He is an older man with a voice that has long since dropped to the lowest level of baritone. The loose flesh of his neck jiggles above his collar as he calls it out. This is my stop. Usually as I approach my home, the last stop on the last train, I am the only one left on board. Only once a week there is also a young boy, a track star. Most people know him because his face is often plastered all over the local sports section. He is tagged as a future Olympic star. Each time his is there, his Father is waiting for him by the doors as he exits.
Each time I witness his welcoming I wonder what it would feel like to have someone waiting for me on the platform, but there never is. Just the warm night’s breeze and a flickering light that always seems to be moments from going out, yet it continues to hold on. Sometimes I compare that light to the idea of life in general. We are all just flickering lights, waiting for that final surge of electrical impulses before we fade to black. My more morbid side often rears its ugly head. There is no one there to welcome me, to walk me to my car and ride the ten blocks to my apartment, no one who feels pleasure because of my safe arrival.
“Last stop!” The conductor yells it again, as if the added octave is necessary. It’s just me and he knows it, but he calls it out all the same. In a way, I appreciate it. It makes me feel less pathetic, like perhaps there’s someone else on board who has drifted off to sleep while riding along. On a bad day, when the world has decided to shit on my existence, it has just the opposite effect; like being at a restaurant full of couples and the Maitre d’ yells out ‘Party of one!’ You sulk over to your table and pray that no one is watching, but you can feel their eyes on you.
I step off the train and onto the waiting platform, he nods, and I nod, it’s something like our ritual. I turn away as the doors slide shut and the train pulls out of the terminal. Last stop.
The platform is old, as in barely holding together. Apparently, they feel that there is no need to do any repairs or maintenance, hardly any upkeep is ever done, and if it has been done that says something sad about whoever is responsible for it. Why let this place wither away? I guess it’s mostly because there aren't many riders left that come out this far. Most people either drive, or remain local for work. That’s most likely why the schedule has become so limited. You can only catch the train from this platform a few times a day. It’s also probably the reason that the train only waits about ten seconds before shooting off in the opposite direction. No one is going to come running for it. Last train, last stop, either you are there when it arrives or you find another way.
I hear the train’s whistle fade off in the distance behind me. The old wood creaks beneath my feet as I walk towards the exit to my car, which waits for me alone in the parking lot. This better not be the day the damned thing decides to give out on me. It’s in desperate need of a long list of repairs that I have been most effectively ignoring. The check engine light has been on for nearly two months, and no, I am not proud of that fact. I keep saying I will take it to the shop. I will have to soon. I rationalize this major act of neglect with the idea that I don’t drive it that much. Just to and from my apartment, to and from the last stop on the train.
I am just nearing the bench that sits next to the old light, a pair never to be separated. No one sits on that rotted old bench because rumor has it, Edward Hill died there. Right on its tired faded out wood. It happened about 15 years ago, the random death, forever unexplained. As far as I know, that bench has been sitting there untouched ever since. I don’t know how much stock I can put into the story. The sad tale of a lost soul tied to a bench, the reason the light flickers but never goes out. It’s too movie story-line. Why would a ghost hang around an old rundown train station? What is the point? There is nothing there.
It doesn't bother me for the same reason that it does bother most people. Most are afraid of apparitions, the boogieman come to get them. What’s my reason? It’s simple really, I don’t want there to be life on the other side. I don’t want to have to deal with more of this monotony, an eternity of it in a bright white light of flesh dissolving flames. My hope is to one day close my eyes, fall asleep, and that is it, it’s simply over. Last stop, nothing further, no return ticket. The coward’s exit as some would call it.
The wood creaks louder, they will definitely have to do something about this soon. Of course, ‘they’ refers to the city or whatever corporation is responsible for making sure the damn thing doesn’t fall apart, but then again, maybe that’s what they are waiting for. The platform collapses and this is no longer the last stop. Great, that would mean either driving further into town or taking the bus. At this time of night, the bus is filled with nothing but crack heads and crazies. I think I will look up tasers when I get home. I heard you could buy one on Amazon for a good price.
I’m just about to pass the bench; thoughts of Edward Hill are being replaced by more things to add to my shopping list when my purse strap suddenly snaps. Perfect, just what I need. I bend down to pick up the lip-gloss that rolled under the bench, (its way to light a color for me, maybe I should just leave it there) and some pens that fell out of the side pocket. Underneath the bench, I see something shiny. Silver I think. I know what you are thinking, hell; it’s what I would have been thinking had I been reading this instead of living it. You are thinking that you would never reach under there for whatever it is. Well, you’re right, I shouldn’t, but of course, I do. Hell, there wouldn’t be a story to tell if I didn’t.

I dangle the moon shaped locket over the cup of jewelry cleaner. I hope to be able to restore it. Maybe the old thing is worth something and I can use it to pay for that taser or at the very least, the few dollars it will cost for me to replace my purse. Damn, I loved that purse. It was my Mama's. She is long gone now, no closet left for me to rummage through. There was no possible replacement for a bag that held such sentimental value. I could almost hear her nagging me about how I had just destroyed a perfectly good purse.
My Mother was a nut about her bags. She took better care of them than most people did their children. Each one could have been 20 years old, but they all looked brand new. ‘Nothing says more about a woman than the condition of her handbag.’ She would often scold me as she was scooping one of mine up off the floor.
She passed away about two years ago. Got very sick out of nowhere, it was one of those random illnesses that often go around. A ton of people got it, a ton of people died, my Mama's name was just another on the list to flash across the bottom of the screen on the nightly news. I remember it, her name, Trudent Massey. It wasn’t the greatest name. Everyone called her Trudy as if that was any better, but there it was right under the word, bold print, all caps, EPIDEMIC. I closed my eyes for a long time after that, trying to erase that image. That couldn’t be my last memory of her, my last thing. Every time I thought of her, this couldn’t be the first thing to come to mind, but there it was, clear as day in my memory two years later.
I sigh; Mama would have had no problem restoring this old thing. I really miss her. I drop the locket in the cup. It hits the bottom with a thump, and splashes the cleaner on the table. I wipe up the spots with a paper towel, and head for the shower.
 It’s a nice night outside, but it’s hot and sticky, inside my apartment. Great, the air conditioner just went out and the windows barely open. That’s the life of a studio dweller. At least it was mine. All my own and I was proud of that. Creaky floorboards, thin walls, leaky faucet and all, it was mine. I remember the day I moved in. I was so happy not to have to return home after college. I hadn’t planned to spend three years here. I cross my fingers that I will soon be out of here. Condominium life here I come!
The shower was refreshing as I expected. The second I stepped out, it felt like I never got in. Beads of sweat forming on my brow faster than the water could dry on my skin. I dry my hair. Yes, I am a black woman who washes her hair more than once a week, and yes, I know the stereotype. My friends all make fun of me and call me insane, but it comes with the territory. Hell, that's why I chopped my long locks off and decided to rock the shorter doo, I love to work out and I sweat a lot. I absolutely hate sweat, so there was no way in hell that I was going to go a week or more with my hair caked with the salty substance. I saw an easy solution and I opted to take it. Chop, chop!
Luckily, I was born with a face that could handle just about any style, and I had proof. My Mom loved to do hair, it was how she made ends meet and I was her usual test subject. If I could say nothing else, my shoes and clothes may have been worn down, buy my hair was always the best in class. Girls often would try to become friends with me not because of my athletic prowess, or my artistic flair, but for a chance at free hair styling by my Mother, something she never actually did. My friends came and went. I wasn’t exactly the social butterfly. Even if I had wanted to keep them around, they would have gotten bored and left eventually. I didn’t really understand females. I grew up in a family full of boy cousins. Even now as an adult, I look at them and sometimes wonder why women are the way they are. Total disconnect for me.
Heat was an annoyance, but it was one of the few things left that really made me feel alive. The sticky feeling of my skin was a response to something real. It told me that I hadn’t slipped away during the countless hours logged behind the desk at my job. I doubted that I would even notice if I had. That job was like a slow death in its own right. Except that death has no time card to punch.
I turn the fan on, I know it will only circulate the heat, but at least it will create somewhat of a breeze. I get dressed in my usual lounge attire, no matter what the weather, shorts and a tank top. My stomach growls and reminds me that I had foolishly decided to skip lunch, yeah; I’ll never do that again. This is a lie I often tell myself. It’s just one of those things that comes with having a career you actually enjoy, some days you just get caught up in it and have no time for the common necessities of life. I love my true career, not my job; my job just pays the bills. My passion, when it pays, pays well. It was getting to that big payday that could drive a girl insane.
I am a photographer, nature is my muse and I just landed a huge account working with a magazine that features none other than our mysterious Mother Earth. It took over a month of pitching and test shots and then of course negotiations before I actually got it, but I was in! The wonderful life of freelancing, at least that’s how I choose to think of it today. Most of the time: especially when you are just starting out, freelancing is a total hassle and a pain in the ass, but in the end, it’s worth it. This is my shot to step into another bracket, to move further into town, to not be the last stop, and not to forget, it’s my chance to leave my crummy day job in the dust. Can you say no more time clock? One step closer to the true American dream!
I turn on the oven, and take out a pan. I hum as I rub the sides and bottom of the pan with olive oil. In my refrigerator, sits marinated chicken breasts. It always pays to think ahead. Once the chicken is in, I drop some chopped veggies into the steamer and reheat some rice to go with it. 
While my meal cooks, I return to the cup that sits waiting for me on the table. I pick it up, swirling the liquid around inside of it and expect to hear the chain and locket clamoring against one another. I don’t. I stick my finger in the cup and it isn’t there. Odd, I bite my lip as I slowly pour the liquid down the kitchen sink, no locket.
Cut to me crawling around the floor searching for the locket. It’s gone. After a while I give up, my apartment isn’t that big, so, there aren’t many places it could be. I chalk it up to one of those things in life that often go unexplained. I know that I had it in my possession at one point. I am not crazy, maybe it just wasn’t meant for me to keep. I believed in the oddities of life, the unexplained occurrences that keep life interesting.
Dinner finished, and lunch prepared for the next day, with a full belly I watch a bit of television and digest my meal. I do some stretching before finally landing on my pillow. As I drift off into what I expect to be another dreamless slumber, because I haven’t had a single dream in many years, I think about the locket.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Take A Deep Breath...

Yes, it is obvious that being a writer (or an artist of any sort) is like hopping on one of the scariest rides of your life. Everyone tells you about how it will be hard and you have to stick to it. What they don't tell you is that the emotional pit falls of real life do not vanish. And it become so easy to get lost in our made up worlds, and the world that surrounds it, that writer's life. But when you get hit, knocked hard by real life issues that may cause you to falter, how do you recover?

Some people suggest using that emotion as fuel to drive your writing. And that is all fine and dandy until you realize that when you are so torn up about something, it becomes nearly impossible to write and create. (At least for me, I get too wrapped up in trying to figure out how to fix things and going over it with a fine tooth comb.) And that was(is) my problem, that complication with learning to let go of those things that honestly can't be fixed with immediate actions or written words (no matter how crafty we may get). Sometimes you have to admit to yourself the facts, someone else messed up or you (I) messed up, give it time to heal and accept that it may not.

Obviously I write this post because recently something happened in my life that had a deep impact on me. I learned some valuable lessons about myself that I hope to never forget.

  1.  I can no longer be to eager to please anyone regardless of the status or type or relationship it is. I want to make people happy and insure that they smile, but never if it may hurt someone else in the process.
  2.  I can never be too ready to accept the negative things someone has to say about me. I am human, flawed and I will make mistakes. All I can do is accept this about myself, learn from the mistakes I make and move on with life.
  3.  Sometimes silence is best, when my guts tells me to stop acting or speaking, I need to listen.
  4.  Nothing lasts forever. Just because something is there now, doesn't mean it will be or needs to be there forever. 

Embarking on an exciting journey with trips and book signings, launch parties and finally moving into my first apartment. My life is taking off, and the only thing I need to be concerned about right now is making sure that the success I am having continues and enjoying the journey I set out to take.

Time to take a deep breath and release it, along with all the drama and unnecessary stress.

I am human, I am flawed, I make mistakes. But that does not define me. 

Much love to you all! 

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Public Opinion....

I find it....disturbing.

Message I just got, "maybe it's just me - but the poster for Never Deny The Sight - i find very disturbing... what is the genre?"

Now is the time to take a moment and collect my thoughts.
A. I want the pic to be disturbing because well.. the story kinda is! <3
B. The tone of the comment seems as if the person is being judgy... yeah, comes with the territory.

my response:
"Its supposed to be  :-) and Never Deny The Sight is just a tagline its called Last Stop. Its paranormal"

following comments. :
"hmmm - couldn't tell from the poster what the title was...if you put your name under the title it helps"

my thoughts: well, if you read the promo pic it's pretty clear (this is my defensive side of course, everyone is entitled to their opinion and stepping into the public eye basically means you give them open reign to toss it in your face)

My response:

"will keep that in mind. Thanks. I am actually happy that you find it disturbing though! :-)"

Yep, I think I handled that well <3!

Lesson learned today, always keep a level head, take a deep breath and be diplomatic. Being an artist of any sort is an emotional experience, you put your all into every detail and put it out into the world. It will be judged and not all will do flips over it. When faced with this, take a deep breath, smile and move along.

Super Thrilled about my upcoming release...prepare to be disturbed!