Please forgive me for not blogging for a while; I needed to reevaluate my understandings about life, God, relationships, and review my imprint as an author. ON THE NOVEL FRONT
: Starting a New Adult inspirational series in the midst of a sexually charged New Adult genre is precarious but I know Jacmuir
will be a significant contribution.
Every book series can’t be written in the same format because the genre needs diverse viewpoints highlighted to grow. Besides, my purpose as a writer is to write the New Adult series that’s speaks to my readers, not to follow the current trends and chase money. If only a handful of young people embrace it and learn something valuable about friendship and trust, then I’ll already be very blessed.
God is the center of my life so I’m working with him to make this story a reality has been tremendously satisfying. So I’m working hard to present Jacmuir (Book One) in 2014.
As for Book Three of the Sheridan Series, it will be completed before the end of Spring 2014. Latrell’s story has been the most research and emotionally charged of the series. I had no idea it would make my emotions so raw that I would have to take many breaks from writing it but it’s an in-depth look at Latrell’s inner demons and his quest for acceptance.
It’s amazing how cathartic the writing process can be for me. I can leave all of my family’s pain and struggle within the pages of a novel and leave unburdened. Anyone that writes in a journal should know exactly what I mean. How does the saying go, “Let go, let God.” Yeah, that’s what Wild West
is doing for me. :) I’m trying very hard to make my grandparents proud. ON THE PERSONAL FRONT
: Well I’ve had a few curve-balls thrown at me so I’ve decided to hand over the reins of my life to God. I’ve decided to stay prayed up, keep positive people around me, and follow Christ example in ALL areas of my life, not just the areas I’ve mastered over the years.
Now, I’ve always been a Christian woman but when it came to my relationships I wanted to handle that on my own terms. See, I knew what I wanted, what I had to offer, and I am a romance author so why couldn’t I just ‘handle it’?
Well, that’s because my choices were bring me more heartache than joy.
I declined a marriage proposal last week and asked God to take over the affairs of my heart. It wasn’t easy to refuse but a Christ-centered home is a high priority for me and my daughters. Just believing there's a God isn’t enough to lead a family; your actions must be aligned with Christian values too. So now I’m letting God handle my love life with the full support and encouragement of my family. That’s right – from now on ‘I Am Second
Some people say God is the ultimate matchmaker, while others say I’ll be a celibate and bitter old woman if I wait on Him. I really don’t know what the outcome will be but … that’s part of the beauty of this. I don’t have to ‘know’. I can work my job, write my novels, raise my daughters, worship my God, and enjoy my life and let God do whatever His going to do.
That’s the quick update on me. My regular blog posts will resume next week.
Have a great week.
This is my first post of the New Year. Let me start by saying I’m eternally grateful for my family and close friends. They help me in ways they’ll never fully comprehend last year. I’m truly grateful and blessed to have some wonderful people around me.
This year is a new chapter. It’s the most important one to date because the trajectory of my life has been changed by God’s grace. You never know the biggest day of your life is the biggest day. Not until it’s happening.
You don’t recognize the biggest day of your life. Not until you’re right in the middle of it. The day you commit to something or someone… The day you realize there’s not enough time… because you want to live forever. Those are the biggest days. The momentous days!
But that doesn’t mean I’m without any battle scars. Like everyone else, I’ve had my share. I may hide them well but they are there. You know, emotional scars are like road maps of my personal history. Have you ever diagramed all of your old wounds? It’s not pretty and it’s not fun.
Most of our old wounds heal, leaving nothing behind but a scar. But some of them, don’t. Some wounds, we carry with us everywhere… and though the cut is long gone, the pain still lingers.
What’s worse, new painful wounds or old wounds that bare a scar? Old wounds teach us what we’ve overcome. They teach us lessons about what to avoid in the future. That’s if we’re willing to learn. I know I’m willing. God, knows I’m SO willing.
Happiness, restoration, and peace is what I’m seeking in 2014 and I’m letting God chart the course. Only He knows where I’ll be at the end of this year and the memories I’ll be able to share along the way. I pray this year will be a filled with big days, amazing firsts, and the kind of love that will make my family jubilant next holiday season. And I wish for you …all the happiness you heart and hands can hold. Enjoy 2014 everyone!
Happy Holidays everyone, I’m so thankful for the love and adoration of my family and dearest friends. I’m also very thankful for God’s enlightenment and wisdom. He gave me charge over two beautiful daughters that never cease to amaze me. I want to take a moment to proclaim my unyielding, unwavering love for my children. Christmas time has always been a wonderful time in our family; whether the presents were plentiful or sparse I always had so much love in our hearts.
I look at them understand the depths of God’s love for me. He gave me two precious sprits that delight my heart and helped me make the best memories. Our trip to Atlanta this year was so remarkable; just me and my girls enjoying the best of Atlanta, Georgia, well…also with the rest of the authors that belong to Romance Writers of America. I’m glad we were able to visit my family and make great memories at the Atlanta Aquarium. I’ll never forget how cousin Khalid helped me touching stingrays and didn’t let me know I would get covered with water during the interactive movie. And cousin Mike was the best tour guide; he made sure we got some shopping done in Buckhead and visited all of our family.
Next year my family will hit San Antonio, Texas. I’ve never been there so we’ll explore the city together and make some wonderful memories. The hotel is booked so let’s take in the best that Texas has to offer and enjoy the Texas hospitality.
This holiday season is bittersweet for me; I had to correct something that wasn’t strengthening my family. My children made me take a long look at how they were being affected by the inactions of someone I loved. I’m thankful of their bravery to speak their truth. I know it wasn’t easy but it was necessary for our family to remain a strong, loving unit. They deserve to have people around them that enjoy, and look forward, to spending time with them. They are the best parts of me; it’s like God took my heart and created them from the best pieces of it. I’m relieved to know they entrust me with their deepest feelings.
Well, next year is about restoration for my family. We’ll make some long awaited dreams come true and fill each month with as much love and joy as possible. And if fates allows, Christmas 2014 will be the apex of some great holiday memories.
Enjoy the last days of 2013, everyone. And thanks again for checking out my blog, reading my novels, voting for your favorite author, and for listening to my radio talk show. We made some great memories this year.
I want to take a moment to enjoy what I'm feeling tonight. My heart is filled with gratitude for everyone that made all of the nominees feel special in the last couple months.
Unlike traditional awards shows that carry more romance industry notoriety, like the RITA
, the Angie awards is a fan-based platform to increase awareness of the growth of the Multicultural/Interracial/African-American romance genres. These reader-based awards serve to remind writers their fans appreciate their efforts.
Wow! What a night! My mind is still reeling. I was surprised by some of the winners and the nomination letters were a nice touch.
I'm humbled that readers made their voices heard with this platform. They reminded these authors that their talent is noticed and enjoyed by many readers. So I must take a moment to say 'I thank you for taking the time to bring these special authors to our attention.'
We are grateful be able to give readers a place to acknowledge the authors that entertained them. And we hope to inspire all of the authors to continue to nurture their fan bases.
There are some things you should stop doing in order to be successful:
Quit Giving Up! – Think about the athletes that are coached to give one more try when their whole body is racked with exhaustion. Our brain will often tell us to stop when something is getting too hard but that’s when you tap into your commitment and push through that feeling. Don’t rationalize or make excuses for yourself. Push yourself a bit, work a little longer, sacrifice something else, persist, and persevere, despite what it costs you. Both the external and internal cost of failing will be much higher.
Quit Procrastinating! – If you truly want to be successful in life, have high quality relationships, and advance your career or business, hold promises as sacred agreements, don’t miss deadlines, and make a practice to follow through on your commitments. Don’t make excuses.
Quit Having a Victim Mentality! – A victim is someone who feels powerless, and is therefore unable to take appropriate action to resolve situations adversely affecting their well-being. Being powerless is learned behavior originating from repeated childhood experiences where core needs were not met adequately.
The victim mentality can be understood as a repetitive way of negative thinking where the victim has come to believe that others, not them, are responsible for their experiences and fulfilling their needs. This can be taken further to mean that the victim mentality comes from a person getting stuck in a stage of development where they feel helpless lacking access to inner resources to take care of themselves. The victim mentality produces adults that feel entitled and demand being taking care off.
Quit Putting Yourself Last On The List! – The problem with that is that if we don’t take care of ourselves, sooner or later we won’t be of much use to anyone else—or to ourselves. Just as the airline attendant tells you to put on your own oxygen mask in an emergency before helping a child with theirs, you must take care of your own basic needs before you can attend to the needs of others. What’s more, being busy is not necessarily the same as being productive with meaningful activity.
The key to making you a priority without exuding an ounce of selfishness is simple, Dr. Phil says. "You don't do it at other people's expense," he states matter-of-factly. "It means filling yourself up mentally, emotionally, physically, spiritually," he explains. "It's not about being selfish."
And if you want to quit your job, then check out the creative way this worker gave her notice... with some help from Kanye West.
Last month CNN reported
that six out of 10 Americans now believe dating sites are a good way to meet people. That's up from 44% from the data given in 2005.
In my day job, I have two colleagues that have successful marriage, thanks to online dating websites. And there’s one action that made a big improvement in their success rate. The BIGGEST secret to doing online dating well is to take the dating to real life dating within five days. That’s right; you have to take your communication off the computer or smartphone into reality. There will be no chance of being Catfished
if you do this.
The people that are liars, attached, controlling, or the extremely shy will push back try to dissuade you from meeting them too soon. But you need to not back down. I don’t care what type of traveling they’re doing or how sick their mother is. They can take the time to meet you for coffee for fifteen minutes. If they can’t, they should have an active dating profile so -- MOVE ON!
Your time is as valuable as theirs, you aren’t getting any younger. You need to see a real person, not someone’s façade.
You can Google online dating rules to read great posts like this one at Women’s Day
but single people need to remember, you can be as picky as you want. It’s your life and NO one else’s. So stay selective and make offline dating part of your dating arsenal.
Below enjoy a great TED talk by Amy Webb. Amy was having no luck with online dating. The dates she liked didn't write her back, and her own profile attracted crickets (and worse). So, as any fan of data would do: she started making a spreadsheet. Hear the story of how she went on to hack her online dating life -- with frustrating, funny and life-changing results.
Research has shown that music has a profound effect on a person’s body and psyche. In fact some people believe music can heal. Music therapists are finding music can help cancer patients, children with ADD, and others with pain management, to help ward off depression, to promote movement, to de-stress, and to ease muscle tension.
This week, my daughter and I took a moment to recount three songs that make us feel good and I was NOT surprised that Michael Jackson’s music was featured on our list. (listen to podcast below) As we get ready for Thanksgiving take a moment to play some of the songs that make you smile, sing along, or dance around.
Let your inner child out to enjoy some music therapy, I promise you’ll feel great after you do.
With the youth fascinated with twerking, women striving ‘to have it all’, and men determined to retain their manliness, our society is putting aside more social graces and getting very crass. I know times are changing but shouldn't some social etiquette remain? I still think men shouldn’t curse in front of ladies and children. That's the way I was raised and the men in my life embraced that philosophy.
There was a time when the type of vocabulary a person used, defined the type of mentality an individual had. But as time marches on more, many men are pushing the envelope, and their constant swearing is having an effect on their relationships.
Did you know, a vast majority of women, 30 – 55 years old (70 percent) think that men that use profanity in front of them, have no respect for them.
• 60% of women believe swearing around women and children shows a lack of self-control.
• 86% believe it demonstrates lack of maturity and makes men look less intelligent (unless they’re upset,-- i.e. injured, being challenged by another man, or suffering a great loss).
The good news is, that when men use their words in a composed and concise manner, without any of the '@*&%' and '*%#!', it can leave a positive impression on their woman, colleagues, children, and bosses. (Just think of the men on People’s Sexiest Man Alive list
and you’ll see most of them never curse frequently around women and children.)
While men should
enjoy their habit of string various curse words together around their boys, but when they’re with their lady or on their job, it should be a different story. Resorting to foul language when things get rocky shows a lack of respect. Falling back on swear words to communicate a point is unprofessional and can show a lacks of self-control. Allow your ability to express a thought to be an example to others.
Cursing is a habit that adds nothing positive to a conversation, and in fact almost always leaves a negative impression. If you find yourself guilty of frequent profanity, you might do some soul-searching as to the reasons behind it.
Are you trying to project a certain image, perhaps based on trying to appear “cool” or ‘hard’? Is your habit a leftover from your sport playing day, a tough upbringing, or have you just forgotten to upgrade your language? Whatever the reason, understand the source of your foul language. Because research shows you may be more likely to advance in your career and deepen your relationships if you’re selective of when you use profanity.
Okay, thanks to some great friends, I'm in a great place, enjoying quiet weekend of getting my New Adult novel, Jacmuir
closer to publication.
If you would like to spend a day (November 9th) marathon writing your novel, there are in-person NaNoWriMo events
hosted in your local region, and virtually on Twitter
Wherever you choose to write, your commitment will be the same: to spend as much of the day working on your WIP (working in progress) as physically possible.
Work hard to make your dreams a reality and never forget... the elevator to success is broken, take the stairs.
There will be many moments when you’ll need to take a beat and reflect on your life.
My grandfather taught me that lesson, not by scolding me or with a lecture, just in our quiet conversations under his massive Willow tree. We use to sit on his lawn and enjoy the afternoon Florida breeze dancing through the droopy branches above our heads. He said, “You’ll be amazed at the things God makes you ponder when you finally sit still.”
I didn’t understand him fully at the time but I do now.
When I reflect on my life, my mind drifts to various instances; some that brought great pain and others that brought me tremendous joy. I think about the people that positively touched my life and the ones that wanted selfish gains. In my quiet moments, I remember God’s teachings and feel my grandfather’s presence as he roots for me to move toward my happiness.
For the most part, I’m on the right path but … I need to embrace the wisdom in my heart more. I need to be okay with letting go. Last weekend I was utterly devastated by the words of a person I’d treated like family. I was in a dark, cold bathroom crying on the floor as the rewind of callous words rang in my ears.
It broke me. I felt my heart actually aching as my head reeled from the moment.
Everything I knew about my connection with this person was in question. Their motives, their feelings, their promises, all of it faded to black as their current declarations rung in my ears. Words filled with venom and obstinate instantly washed away the façade of my reality.
Then the last tear fell.
I decided to accept the truth confronting me. A grand allusion was exposed and I finally knew, with all certainty, how unyielding things would be if I continued to ignore the truth.
I didn’t have to beg God for the answers because He showed me. Right there in the darkness of that bathroom, He revealed it all and my shaky breathing slowed… and the burden in my anguish started to subside.
I knew what needed to happen next… so I dried my face and exited the bathroom to wait for morning…