Monday, December 17, 2007

New Release: AJ's Serendipity

Available Now!

The last thing Greek Alejandro Melonakos expected to
find when shopping for food for his restaurant was the
love of his life, but that was exactly who he found when
he spotted Black American Samara Grossman across the
marketplace. Will he be able to convince her of his love
and gain hers in return during her five days on vacation,
or will his serendipitous find be all for naught?

Yes, I decided to release this as a bona fide book based on all the wonderful responses I got from it during the summer. Thank you so much for your input. I really appreciate it. This version is essentially the same, except cleaner and more fleshed out. Once again, thank you so much to Aliyah Burke for creating such wonderful characters such as AJ Melonakos and loaning them to me. And it's so rare to read a romance completely from the male perspective, so I think it's something fresh for the market right now. Anyway, I hope you enjoy it for your first, or second (or third or fourth . . .) time and don't be afraid to let me know what you think!


Monday, December 03, 2007

And the Winner Is . . .

Which unfinished story would you like for me to continue on the Google Group?

The Blueprint


Gym Story


NaNo '07


Trust Fall


Vietnam Story

Total Votes : 70

Wow! I'm kind of sad The Blueprint got NO love. :( And *laughs a little* y'all are going to have to wait awhile, because all the chapters I've written for Vietnam Story are already up on the group! Well, hopefully one day you'll all get to buy these lovely stories because I've a.) finished them! and b.) an agent/editor liked it so much they sold it to a publisher. Thanks so much for voting! And hopefully VS's muse will come back so I can start writing it again!

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Poll: Which Story to Continue on the Google Group?

This poll will close on Sunday.

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I have to say something about yesterday before I move on to the main topic of this post. My mother, Adrenee Gwenell Glover Freeman, died on November 28, 1992 at the age of 42. That's fifteen years ago. Yesterday was definitely one of those "some days are harder than others" days, but I thought I should say something here in commemoration.

So . . . segue, anyone?

50,234. Yeah, I won NaNo 2007. So I'm four for four. This one is still yet untitled, but I'm proud of it. I think I actually see my growth as a writer with this one, so hopefully now that the pressure's off I can still write on it and find more excitement for all the other writer I let drift (hello, Vietnam Story and Gym Story and Trust Fall and The Blueprint and I'm going to stop now before I depress myself lol). Anyway, I posted chapters 1-3 on the Google group, but here's a nice excerpt of chapter 3 to entice.

I hope everyone had a good week.



It was as if the sun had decided to rise inside the cabin, it was so hot and bright to Deborah. She groaned and burrowed underneath the covers, knowing that would do little to muffle Aunt Flora’s calls for her to rise or to stop the sun from shining, until Deborah realized no one was yelling at her and she was so warm. Normally she was shivering as she awoke.

She pushed the covers from over her head and sat up slightly, a little confused why her body shook from such effort. Her chest ached. Nothing looked familiar. She wasn’t in the kitchen as she normally would be. There was no Aunt Flora bustling about getting mush ready and complaining about how Deborah would sleep the day away if her aunt didn’t wake her up. She looked down and recognized nothing she wore, other than the fact it was too large for her frame. She clutched the fabric and breathed slowly, knowing it wouldn’t do to lose her wits. She was certain she hadn’t been sold off, so why—?

She spied her original clothes to her left, neatly folded with a brown glass bottle lying atop them. She remembered her errand, the storm.


She didn’t see him anywhere. The space next to her was empty and cold. In fact, she didn’t even remember him sleeping next to her. As soon as he had pulled the covers over her form, her eyes had closed and sleep had claimed her. Truth be told, it was one of the best sleeps she’d had in months and one of the most comfortable.

She really didn’t want to get up . . .

“Mister Owen,” she called, knowing she would have to anyway. She should earn her keep; she wasn’t anyone’s mistress, after all.

Silence answered back, and Deborah eased into a sitting position. She breathed heavily, slightly winded, but at least she could hold her body up, but she did scoot her way to the sofa to help brace herself. She let out a long sigh and pressed her hand to her head. It ached mildly, but it wasn’t anything she couldn’t handle. Thank goodness it stopped snowing, too. Maybe she could find her way back to the farm.

She heard tree branches pop under the weight of the ice, and a faint crack pierced through the air. Deborah hoped Owen was all right. Even at her usual strength, she knew she didn’t have the ability to bring him to safety as he had with her—at least without a mule and some rope.

A burst of winter suddenly invaded the room and she shuddered, grabbing the blankets and wrapping herself tighter.

“Deborah?” he called out.

“I’m awake,” she told him, shifting so she could look behind her. He was closing the door and holding something in his hands.

When he met her eyes his smile widened, and he held up his hands. “Rabbit!”

Her stomach growled. “Rabbit?”

“You look better,” he said, going into the kitchen. “Do you feel better?”

“I do,” she assured him.

He returned with a tin cup filled with water. “Drink.”

She took the cup with a bemused smile. “Normally it’s me tellin’ Miss Luella to drink. She likes tea with syrup in it. Aunt Flora’s in the kitchen makin’ mush and then I go feed the animals—”

Owen tipped the rim of the cup to her mouth, and she parted her lips just in time to let the water slide through them. After a few swallows, she pulled the cup away and glared at him. “I can’t believe you did that!”

“You weren’t drinking!” he said, giving her a wink.

“I was talkin’,” she muttered, and took another drink so she could hide the smile that was trying to emerge. When she finished drinking all the water, Owen took the cup from her with one hand and squeezed her elbow with the other.

“There’s a whole heap o’ snow out there,” he said, his eyes looking gray in the sunlight. “Not nearly so cold, but it’s hard to walk. Good thing it’s also hard to run or else we would be eating those beans again.”

“That rabbit big enough to feed both o’ us?” she asked skeptically. It didn’t even look like enough to feed him, let alone both of them!

Owen looked toward the ceiling and gave an exasperated shrug. “If we do it right—”

“One meal, at most,” Deborah said. “But I’ll be fine on the beans—”

His fingers were cool as they touched her lips. The contact felt nice, especially since her skin was still a bit chapped, though they didn’t hurt like before.

“I found the witch hazel,” he mumbled, pressing his thumb against a corner of her mouth. That explained why her lips felt better; he must’ve tended to them while she slept. She blushed at the realization, and harder when he smiled at her. “Among other things. I figure we might be here for a while.”

“Thank you,” she whispered. “A while?”

He nodded. “Like I said, a lot of snow. Everything is white. No markers to let us know if we were going the right way anyway. Do you have any idea where we are?” Deborah shook her head. “Well,” he sighed, his fingers now drifting over her jaw and heading toward her scarred cheek. “One day at a time.”

“One day . . .”

Monday, November 12, 2007

Writer's Digest Self-Published Book Awards

I didn't become a finalist *woe*, but I did get a very pleasant judge's rating and comments, and a shiny certificate for my participation.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Oh, hello.

It's been a month. Heh. Things have been full of me spiritually regrouping, so to speak. Now it's National Novel Writing Month, so I'm currently working on that right now. 50K words in a month sounds pretty daunting, except I've done it for the past for years, starting in 2004 with Being Plumville. That worked out fairly well, didn't it? ;). I've won every year I've done it. 2005 was The Blueprint, although that novel isn't done, and last year it was Manna Tree, which is. This year's NaNo is called NaNo07. It has no title, but I'm thinking that I tend to like historical settings for NaNo, except for last year's of course. This one is set in the mid 1850s, surrounding the events of Bleeding Kansas. That's all I'll say about it at the moment, but I got the idea during my day job as I was proofreading an American history textbook. Go figure. Anyway, right now I'm currently ahead of pace, and hopefully it'll stay that way.

At any rate, this is just a note to tell everyone I am still alive and writing my own original fic. Want proof? Here's the first single-spaced page of NaNo07. It's not beta'ed or spell-checked or anything, as one of the rules not to edit (yes, I do fudge it a little, sue me!) I hope you enjoy!




The heavy dark clouds had besieged the sky like an invading army, and its cavalry of freezing rain, sleet, and snow attacked with merciless precision. Deborah thought she’d left the farm early enough to beat the storm, but Mrs. Fogg had started talking so, asking how Miss Luella was getting on; and if Mister Grayson was going to try for Kansas City and a proper doctor now that he had gotten that wheel on his wagon fixed; and she how couldn’t wait for another one of Aunt Flora’s buttermilk pies. She’d bounced on the balls of her feet, her bottom lip tucked between her teeth as she gave wary glances to the sky through the window just above Mrs. Fogg’s head. Nevertheless, she had nodded and given appropriate mews of agreement when Mrs. Fogg had poured the brewed remedy in the brown glass bottle and promised to pray for Miss Luella’s cough to go away. The illness had gripped poor Miss Luella since before Thanksgiving, and the remedy had been the only thing that had managed to ease it. Though the remedy hadn’t been low, Mister Grayson had wanted to get more before the storm arrived. It had smelled like a big mean one; yesterday, the air had been so still and silent even Miss Luella’s coughs had whimpered out her body as if afraid to hurry tempest along. Deborah would’ve fetched the remedy yesterday, but Mister Grayson had to go into town to pick up supplies for the oncoming storm, and Mrs. Fogg lived three miles in the other direction. Mister Grayson didn’t feel comfortable leaving his wife with only Aunt Flora to look after her, the woman older and not as mobile as Deborah was, and since the ground was already snow-dusted from an earlier, yet gentler snowfall, Deborah would be much more able and quicker to retrieve help. Had Mister Grayson not sold off her husband Isaiah a few months before they had moved here year ago, he would’ve stayed with Aunt Flora and Miss Luella while she went off to Mrs. Fogg.

At the rate she was currently going, however, Deborah doubted she was making any better progress than Aunt Flora would have. It felt as if she was sinking into snow and earth and not moving forward at all, instead just marching futilely in place. Cold speared its way through her threadbare wool coat. The snow melted and pooled in her too-big brown pegged brogans, saturating her holey socks and making water squish between her toes with each step she made. The remedy bottle tinged from each pelt of freezing rain, but the squalling winds soon drowned out the sound, joining the snowy brigade and conspiring against her quest home. They lanced frigid precipitation against her naked face, though she’d gratefully her nose and ears had lost sensation early in her trek. Though she’d tried to hide her hands in the sleeves of her coat, they still tingled with the retreat of feeling. She had to get back, though. Miss Luella still needed the remedy, and with this storm going like it was, it would be a long time before Mrs. Fogg could gather more ingredients for another brew, or for anyone to go to Mrs. Fogg’s cabin to get more should she make more. Not only that, Miss Luella had always been so kind to her and Aunt Flora, and Deborah didn’t even want to think about what Mister Grayson would do should his wife become worse. He loved Miss Luella dearly . . .

Deborah’s calves and thighs burned, growing leaden, as if the muscles swelling and constricting simultaneously against the fierceness of the storm. Her head ached, frozen raindrops and snowflakes falling upon her head like mallets. Another squall and an unseen ground hazard sent Deborah stumbling into the snow. Icy shock seized her body, and though her brain demanded her arms to lift her body, she was too exhausted to heed the command.

“Oh, Lord, help me,” she whispered, forcing her panic into a tight ball deep in her belly. She prayed the bottle didn’t break, though she wouldn’t be able to tell because her entire body was soaked and she could no longer feel her hands. A traitorous sob stole from her mouth, but she clamped her chapped lips close together so that more wouldn’t follow. She was stuck outside an unforgiving tempest and had no idea where she was. She didn’t know if she’d past the point of no return . . . didn’t even know where that point would be. Everything around her was gray, white, and dull. She recognized nothing.

Thursday, September 27, 2007


I didn't get chosen to continue to the second round of the contest and I've gotten another rejection for RJC. Yes, it smarts, but onward. I had one agent months ago say she loved RJC, but I haven't heard from her since. I'm going to start scoping out more possibilities and start again. Maybe I should start sending out others, for works that aren't done? I don't know.

Rejection's the name of the game, folks. Some days it's easier to take than others.rjc

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Updates and Reviews

I have been doing writing, just none of it original. So, I've been on a mini-hiatus, re-reading old works to hopefully get myself back into the swing of things. I've also entered a Contest on, bit late notice since the voting for Round One ended two days ago, but I figure I should tell you anyway. Again, I've pretty much been avoiding anything having to do with writing in order to get a creative refuel so to speak.

Finally, I have a review from Cocktail Reviews for Being Plumville. Go check it out and spread the word about Being Plumville or me in general :-P.

I hope everyone is having a great day and wearing black to support the Jena 6 (I am.)

Friday, September 07, 2007

I am . . . (or what I discovered in Maui)

A literary fiction writer with an emphasis on romance, according to Manus & Associates, anyway.

Romance: Romance is unabashed escapist fiction, following the love story of a (usually female) protagonist, and intended to sweep women readers away from their day-to-day
problems. The Romance Writer's Association defines its genre simply as "a love story with an optimistic and emotionally satisfying ending." However, also key to Romance novels is an absence of moral ambiguity. Courage saves the day, justice triumphs, good defeats evil, and it is always readily apparent who and what is good and who and what is evil. Almost uniformly, Romance involves the "taming" or "civilization" of a wild man by a woman. Sub-plots and minor characters are kept to a minimum; these are not multi-layered works. Romance readers are seeking to relax and enjoy. Romances should be easy to read, but should strike strong emotional chords. Marriage is almost without exception the desired goal of a Romance plot.

Literary: Literary is, of course, a qualitative term, arrived at not by formula or definition but by aesthetic judgment. But, in general, a literary novel tends to be much more character driven than a commercial novel. But just what qualifies a book as literary is difficult to identify, and open to debate even among well established literary writers. Some cite moral ambiguity, an effort to grapple with dark and light and to see a situation in its full complexity, as a key characteristic. Others might point to layers of meaning, or resonance, of the careful use of language itself. Many speak of the "truth" of a novel, of an ability to address the human condition. Still others might stress universality. A dozen other qualities of "literature" might be discussed, but with most of them, whether a book possesses it and in what degree can never be an objective matter.

That fits me, right? The type of work I do? I don't think my romance is escapist, although there is much romance and love an intimacy. I don't tend to, or like, for that matter, escaping from real-world problems. It grabs me more when the real world tries to impede, but the characters, somehow, someway, make it through those problems to their "happily ever after", even if that "ever after" is peppered with more trials and dark times. Those moments do not outweigh, strip, or even diminish that happy ever after. How else can people know they are happy without the sad times to highlight and underscore it? The hope is the happy days are far more numerous than the sad, and that is the arc I want the characters to have; the hope and see that hope come into fruition, or at least the beginning of it.

At the Maui Writers Conference, I had the ability to talk with agents, editors, other fellow writers on the continuum of the writing enterprise. There were screenwriters, LGBT writers, Inspiration writers, Horror writers, Nonfiction writers, Romance writers, and me. LOL. I didn't know what kind of writing I did, although I knew I wasn't fitting as neatly into romance as I apparently I should've been. Few of my "favorite" books were written by romance writers. To Kill a Mockingbird certainly isn't; Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry isn't, but there is love in those stories, hope. They spoke to me because they moved beyond romantic love, they wrestled with the humanity of things, the good and bad, but somehow, they managed to end on that bend of hope. When I spoke to the agents, editors, and fellow writers about my writing, I always said "I THOUGHT I was a romance writer, but . . ." They helped me work through my confusion, the murky area of why couldn't I place myself in one genre or another. One agent told me to put myself in the broadest genre possible and let the publishing houses figure out the rest, and though romance is pretty broad, it's not broad enough.
Or at least not yet.

Another thing agents and editors said was writers should think of themselves as a brand. Shoppers tend to buy by brand, or buy products that complement or are comparable to each other. A big thing is P-n-Ls (Profit and Loss reports). A house isn't going to buy a book unless they think it will sell, and the best indicator of that is when an author writes a book of a similar brand to another author. In romance, for example, Susan Edwards and Cassie Edwards are comparable brands because they both write historical romances with mainly Indian men/White women as the theme. For me, that is hard, because I don't know of many writers who do similar things as I do. And when you are a writer who has a hard time finding comparable authors, it makes you that much more of a risk to an agent or a house. They want originality, but not TOO much originality. Understandable because it's a business. Frustrating as hell because I'm a writer.

True, there are many who write IR fiction, but there is the "don't mention race" school and the "only mention race" school. There is the "old school" IR and the "new school" IR. There's paranormal IR and very few historical IR. It's all over the place. With my writing, I try to pull from all the schools into one. There is something I like about each school, but as a reader, I want all (or as many of) those YES! buttons pushed, not just some of them. The button that pushes me the most, however, is style and how an author puts words together to make my reaction visceral, whether it's a good/pleasant reaction or not. If I don't, I come away with, "it's all right . . .". I don't like that feeling, and I try not to leave my readers with that feeling. I'm well aware some of my stories will be more successful at not leaving that feeling than others, and I have MUCH more to learn, but that's my goal.

Anyway, Maui is gorgeous. The hotel was beautiful, Wailea Marriot Resort and Spa. It was a very, super-quick weekend, but I learned much about myself and met some wonderful people and got great advice. God willing, I'd go again. This conference was just what I needed to get me excited about writing again, especially since I have more of an understanding of what kind of writer I am.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

A Six Minute Short Story

This is an exercise I did while in Maui. It is unedited and raw. I promise to share more about what I learned, but I won't be able to decompress until this weekend. In the mean time, I hope you enjoy!


The chords didn't sound right to him, the dissonance painful instead of uncomfortably soothing. He pounded his fist against the keys, and his ears twitched from the racket he caused.

"Damn it!" he cursed, rubbing the red key prints on his hands.

"Caress the keys," a smoky feminine voice said in his ear.

He jumped, surprised. He'd thought he'd been alone all this time.

She smiled at him, his mentor's daughter, and stood next to him at the piano. She stroked the keys almost erotically, and her fingers fell into place. The chord she played made him shiver with delicious discomfort, the seventh just perfect and accessible to her whereas it'd been elusive to him.

"Sheet music, my ass," she chuckled, patting him on the head before sauntering away.

Growling slightly, he took the paper down.

Friday, August 31, 2007

Where did the past twenty-five days go?

I know it's been a while since an update. I apologize. I've been busy, busy, busy, and trying to write and all that jazz. Right now, I'm a little over three hours away from getting on a plane to attend the Maui Writers Conference in Hawaii. I've never been to Hawaii, and I'm going alone. I'm nervous, and excited. Hopefully, I'll make some very good connections in the writing world to help me break through. It's hard with the constant rejections, knowing you have a good piece of writing, certainly no worse than much of the stuff published now. If the people have a face to the name, perhaps that would be better? I don't have a bad face, and my haircut is fierce, if I do say so myself!

I'm working on projects still. Gym Story and Vietnam Story are in a semi-hiatus because I haven't had the time necessary to work on them, and I've been trying to write shorter stories to post, but those have turned into longer stories. Funny. Anyway, maybe this trip will inject some "hop-to-it" in me. I hope so.

I entered a contest on for Romance First Chapters. I encourage everyone to join and then vote for me! :-D You loff me, I know ;). It's free, but in a probably "shooting myself in the foot" move, please only vote a ten if you'd like to see the next chapter. Also, please comment. I'd like to know what people think, since I don't know how you specifically vote. You don't have to tell me, but comments are nice :).

The novel I chose was Manna Tree. Was that a good choice in your opinion? Let me know!

Finally, I wish all my US folk a happy and safe Labor Day. Can't believe the summer is basically over. What's up with that?!



Monday, August 06, 2007

Nice (June 29, 2005)

I'm trying to find inspiration, and for me, sometimes that means reading old writings/stories/logs, etc. This one is old, two years old to be exact, written based off characters not completely of my own creation. Fan-fiction-esque as it was. Anyway, it's a bit . . . racier in terms of what I usually post on this blog, but I stumbled upon it again this weekend and I actually liked it. Shock. I did write this one, though, which is why the fact it is old is important, back when I was more shy about this type of writing than I am now (still shy, just not quite so shy). Anyway, some of you may recognize it, but I hope you enjoy it anyway. Happy Monday!


His hand is warm on her bare back . . . warm and large, and she smiles as she feels her skin drag across her back muscles, nestling her head in the pillow her arms hug to her face.

His lips kiss her shoulder blade—whisper-soft like a snowflake—and she purrs at the delicate action.

“What are you thinking?” he asks against her skin, that warm, large hand sliding across her back and underneath to her stomach. His fingers play with the area around her navel, dipping inside and causing her to clench her abdominal muscles. The cotton sheets slide lower down her body as she stretches out her leg, bringing her stomach more fully into his hand and touch.

She hums. “This is nice . . .”

His lips are now at the nape of her neck, using his free hand to smooth the hair away and expose her flesh to him. His tongue darts out, warm and moist, and she thinks briefly of the tropical Bahamian sun she experienced when she was 18. She loved that sun . . . wishes she had the opportunity to experience again.

“Nice?” he asks on a chuckle, the hand at her stomach sliding up to cup a bare breast. “Is that all?”

His front presses against her back, and she feels the male curves and valleys of his body. Smooth chest, shredded abs, hard penis all in concert to bring her body and mind into a new awareness of him. His thumb on her nipple also serves that purpose.

“You sound disappointed,” she says, muffling a giggle, eyes still closed as the hand now travels south to the juncture of her thighs. His fingers meet no resistance, her body growing accustomed to the pleasure his gives hers, and wanting more of it. She sighs, spreading her legs a little wider so his fingers could have better access.

“I was hoping for bloody brilliant,” he admits with a laugh, his teeth closing over the shell of her ear as his tongue soothes away her injury. She shudders at the sensation of a wet mouth on her ear and his fingers inside of her. Soon, that mouth blazes a trail to the crook of her neck, and she feels his tongue tracing . . . something . . . and she shivers again.

“How do you know ‘nice’ isn’t ‘bloody brilliant’?” she asks, peeking at him over her shoulder. “Perhaps I was only trying to be efficient . . .”

“Efficient,” he mutters in her neck before kissing it again. “There’s no need to be ‘efficient’ now . . .”

Indeed not, for they have been lazing in bed for the better part of the morning. Usually, she is up with the sun, taking a walk in the park to get her ready for the day. Now the thought of leaving the bed . . . leaving him . . . is entirely unacceptable.

He applies pressure with the hand on her stomach, and she complies, turning over so she lies on her back. He stares at her as if seeing her for the first time, and she says nothing. His eyes caress her almost as effectively as his hands do, roving over her eyes, nose, cheeks, ears and lips. They move down to her neck and he licks his lips before tasting the area where her Adam’s Apple would be if she had one. The tongue trails down to the valley of her breasts, and his nose nuzzles one nipple, then the other, before flicking the last with his tongue. She moans, spreading her legs so he could settle between them, his length hard and pulsing against her inner thigh. She winces at the feel of him because she’s still tender from their first joining—her first ever—but the wincing dims in comparison to the pleasure he has given her . . .

Those large, warm hands, drag down to her hips before cupping her bum, bringing her pelvis closer to his, making his heat touch hers and making them both groan.

“I can’t stop touching you, love,” he whispers against the underside of her breast, meeting her brown eyes with his. His teeth nip her before kissing away the injury, and her hands rake through his black hair, now spiked every which way from sleep and other activities.

“You don’t have to,” she says, the last word on a gasp as his maleness slips into her womanhood. She clamps around him immediately, loving the sensation of him filling her.

“Even if I touch you here?” he asks, letting her know where “here” was as he thrust into her.

She giggles, the sound husky, and brings his head down to hers. “Especially there . . .”

He grins and kisses her, his tongue sliding inside and mimicking the thrusts he makes into another pair of lips. She has always loved his kisses, the feel of his tongue against hers, his lips on hers, his arms holding her . . .

He shifts positions, pushing himself to the hilt inside her before getting on his knees then on his bum, the new position causing him to swell and go even deeper inside her.

“This is new,” she says, partly on a moan as her body adjusts to him.

“Just trying to keep it fresh and not-so-efficient,” he says cheekily, pressing a chaste kiss to her lips before pumping his hips again.

She hugs him tightly, her lips hovering above his and one hand clutching the hair at the back of his head while the other grips the small of his back. She works her hips, trying to get the best friction or to make him go deeper or for him to stroke her just there . . ., all the while trying not to explode at the feel of his mouth and tongue now at her neck, tracing the word she finally recognizes:


She is his—completely now—just as he is hers . . . whether he knows it or not. She kisses and bites his shoulder alternatively before clasping her to him and trembling violently as she succumbs to the bliss he gives her.

Guh— She doesn’t know what she wanted to say—the pleasure removing all ability to think at that moment—but it was probably his name . . . or God’s name . . . she buries her face into his shoulder.

He continues to pump and she continues to let him, for although she’s reached her peak he hasn’t, and quite honestly, she loves the feel of him inside her. His breath is now ragged and harsh in her ears, and she caresses the space behind his because she knows he’s extra sensitive there. She whispers, “come for me” against his lobe.

He grunts, hisses, and then slams into one last time before she feels jet after jet of his release hit her inner walls.

She pulls back, wiping away the moisture from his face, and her lips pull into a smile. His follow hers, and he rests his forehead against hers.

“Nice,” he says. “That was nice.” His hand sweeps against her sweat-slicked back, bringing her closer to him even as they remain intimately locked together.

She giggles and kisses him, nodding when she pulls away. “It was . . . and it is.”

It is the first of many nice moments.

Saturday, August 04, 2007

Just . . . Something . . . forgive errors


Neither had thought to bring a blanket, so the fresh-cut grass itched their skin a little bit, and random ladybugs and other insects used them as pathways, and thankfully little else. She’d had the foresight to search for anthills and dog poop, and he had smiled at her consideration for him.

After all, he was to be her pallet for that afternoon, anyway.

She was sleeping, snoring softly. Her breath was warm against his chest, tickling him slightly. Her body curved around his so completely, their legs tangled, her arms around his torso, her cheek atop his beating heart. Some of her hair had fallen out her chignon, and he brushed it behind her ear. Her hair, her skin, everything about her was soft and pliant, and when she snuggled further into him, he smiled and kissed the top of her head.

It was moments like these, contraband and dangerous, that were so precious to him, not only for their rarity, but for their substance. Now, he was just a boy and she was just a girl, his girl. There was nothing but the sun and a breeze with them, along with buzzing of flying insects or the sporadic calls of birds as they flew above. No need to keep up appearances now.

A large cloud passed overhead, darkening the shadow they were under even more. Soon they would have to make it back. It didn’t take that long for her to go to the post office, and his parents would be home soon. It wouldn’t do well if they arrived to an empty house.

“Baby,” he murmured against the top of her head. She barely stirred. “Darlin’, wake up.” He shook her shoulder gently.

She nuzzled her cheek into his chest before she opened her eyes. He tilted his head back as she rested her chin where her cheek had been. She gave him a drowsy grin.


He chuckled low in his throat. “Afternoon.” A kiss to her forehead. “We have to go soon.”

Her face crumpled right before she placed it in the crook of his neck. “Five more minutes.”

Her lips were soft and slightly moist, and he felt his body shudder from the point of contact throughout his body. He slipped his fingers to her nape, the heavy plait she wore brushing against his knuckles.

“A lifetime,” he murmured, resting his forehead to the top of her head. “Unfortunately, that cannot start now.”

“Or this lifetime,” came her muffled response.

Sighing, he pulled her face away from his neck. His thumbs caressed the swells of her cheeks, her brown eyes sad and wistful. He hated he put this expression on her face, especially when not minutes before it was the perfect picture of peace.

“Sweetie,” he breathed, brushing his nose against hers, then tilting his head so his lips grazed hers. She clung to him and deepened the kiss, grinding her hips into his in reaction. He groaned low in his throat, knowing his body was more than ready to give her what his heart, in good conscience, could not. He would not take her innocence from her. That belonged solely to her and to her husband, and unfortunately, he could not be the latter.

They linked fingers together as they broke their kiss, and he placed their joined hands over his left breast. He looked down at their connection, she dark, he light, and he saw nothing of the ugliness and the abomination folks in their town saw.

“Beautiful,” he whispered. He ran his thumb along her knuckles and his blue eyes met her brown ones. “Absolutely beautiful.”

She smiled brightly at him. “Can we be beautiful for five more minutes?”

He didn’t answer her, instead returning to his prone position and cradling her body back atop his.

No smart man should ever be in such a hurry to leave his utopia, no matter how fleeting its time there actually was.


Can be anyone, but yes, I did have a couple in mind. I hope you enjoyed it.

Friday, August 03, 2007


That's been my life for the past week, so I apologize for dropping off the face of the proverbial earth. Yes, this week was sent Priority mail from hell, complete with getting more rejections for Manna Tree and RJC than I ever thought possible, so I'm going to need a weekend to recover. All e-mails and such will be answered, now that I have my computer back *snuggles*, and maybe, just maybe, I'll gathered the tatters of my imagination and creativity and write something worthy of posting.

Don't hold breaths, though.

Two bright spots--saw a dear friend of mine at the bus stop yesterday. She's in town for a year, yay! That makes me happy. Also, RAWSISTAZ gave Being Plumville a five-star review on Amazon. I'm not upset at that, either :).

Anyway, I hope everyone's week has been way better than mine.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007


I need an infusion of inspiration in the worst way. I cannot write, though I so want to write, but I am stuck. I am a sputtering car, and I can't go anywhere even in neutral. I don't know how I'll get that inspiration back, but all of my personal creativity has been sucked completely dry. I detest the feeling. I don't like it. Now that the free read is completed, I do miss it, and I've opened up just about all of my WiPs and . . . nothing is biting. Maybe I need to reread some, I don't know. I just need to get back to writing, or I need something to happen so I don't feel so suspended.

Well, anyway, I hope things are going well with you out there.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

The Book Squad Interview

Check it out! I'm on around minute 17 or so. I will say I enjoyed the interview! Karyn and Wendy were very fun and their show is fun as well. I encourage you to check out their show every Friday at noon EST, I don't think you'll be disappointed at all! I think I'm getting more used to talking about my work, although I still find it a little uncomfortable because I am shy and I am not generally my favorite subject, but I do know if I want to"turn this hobby into a career" as my uncle says, I'll have to bite the bullet on numerous things, this being one of them.

I am a beautiful woman and a good writer.

That has been my mantra for weeks now, especially when I'm often the only person who will ever say those things to me on a given day.

But anyway, I hope you get a chance to listen and that you enjoy!

Sunday, July 15, 2007

AJ's Serendipity 12--Finale

It's finished! :'(. I'm a little sad about it, actually, and a whole lot more relieved! I would like to thank Ms. Aliyah Burke for letting me use her character for this "fling" of a story, and I want to thank you all for sticking with me! This is it. I doubt there will be more, and there will be no Frankie or Spyros story. Sorry! That was never in the plan and it still isn't. Just AJ and his Samara. Anyway, I hope you enjoy and please forgive errors. For one final time, please check out Ms. Burke's site or go to SYG to read the final chapter.



“Samara?” he asked cautiously. What did this mean? She wasn’t dressed to go out, but given the time, it was after eleven-thirty at the very least.

Samara made to stand, and he helped her, grasping her hand gently in his. He didn’t let go once she was settled on her feet.

“I told Frankie I wasn’t feeling well,” Samara said quietly and without preamble. “It wasn’t a lie, but it wasn’t a complete truth, either. I needed time to think.”

AJ felt as if his lungs were in a vice, and he squeezed air out and sucked it into his body. “Okay . . .”

A deep breath. “Instead of me coming with you, why don’t you come with me . . . to meet my family?” Samara said in a rush.

Involuntarily, his hand squeezed hers in surprise. “What?”

“I asked if you wanted to meet my family . . . my parents . . .”

“What are you really asking me, Samara?”

Samara blew out a breath and glared at him. “Look, I don’t know if you know this or not, but women don’t like ultimatums, especially Black women. Shoot, we can do bad all by ourselves, and most of the time, it’s not even a choice. But you listen and listen good, Alejandro Kyriakos Melonakos. Just because I love you, don’t think your shit don’t stink, got it?”

Thursday, July 12, 2007

The Book Squad

Hi everyone!

I'm going to be on The Book Squad tomorrow from 12-1PM on WMET 1160AM with Karyn Langhorne and Wendy Coakley-Thompson. I should be on in the first thirty minutes, but I encourage you to listen to the entire show. Also, if you miss it, there should be a podcast up of it at some point on the web site.

I hope you can check it out!

Sunday, July 08, 2007

AJ's Serendipity 11 and Chat!

Hello everyone, happy Sunday! Here is the next chapter of AJ's Serendipity for you. You can find it in the usual places, Aliyah Burke's site or SYG. Also tonight at 8 PM there will be an author chat featuring me hosted by The Sweetest Taboo. For those who are not registered at the site, the link to the chat room is here: Sav's Chat--8 PM. You will need Javascript in order to participate. I hope to see you there!

Enjoy the rest of your Sunday!


The next morning, a knock on the door roused them. Dimitri, the earlier riser of the two, was more functional, having already showered and dressed, and he answered the door. It was a little after eight in the morning. AJ, though still suffering jetlag, seemed to lack the energy to do anything but roll over and steal more shut-eye.

Moments later, he felt the bed dip, and he was more than ready to tell Dimitri to go away when he felt gentle lips upon his cheek.

He smiled. Frankie . . . what would your sister say?”

“Meh, I’ve had better . . .”

Amid Dimitri’s whoop of laughter, AJ flipped Samara onto her back and gave her a thorough kiss. “Better than that?”

“I think I might need another kiss in order to make a fair judgment,” Samara said, even as she brought his lips to hers. This time, AJ was gentler, savoring her taste of mint and fresh breath.

He winced in apology. “Does my breath stink terribly?” he asked, even if it seemed a little moot.

“I wouldn’t complain if you brushed your teeth,” Samara laughed. She pressed her nose against his. “Good morning, AJ.”

“Good morning, agapi mou,” he murmured, kissing her forehead quickly before leaving the bed and going to the bathroom. He brushed his teeth quickly and washed his face.

Agapi mou, what does that mean?” AJ heard Samara ask Dimitri.

“My love,” Dimitri replied, then AJ heard him chuckle. “You’re adorable when you blush.”

“Cousin!” AJ said, coming out the bathroom and giving Dimitri a playful glare. “No flirting with my woman!”

“I’m merely stating a fact!” Dimitri said, wrapping his arm around Samara’s shoulders. “Your woman is insanely adorable, actually, whether she blushes or not!”

“Y’all need to stop,” Samara mumbled, averting her eyes and blushing furiously.

AJ sat on the edge of his bed and tugged Samara to him. He kissed the palm of her hand, his eyes locked on her visage. “You’re right, though, Dima,” AJ said, his voice full of wonder. “She is adorable, and kind, and giving, and gorgeous . . . and mine.”

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Putting it out in the universe

1.) I am a beautiful woman.

2.) I am a good writer.

3.) One day, I will say these two things with far more conviction than I do now.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Happy Fourth!

I hope everyone is enjoying the day off, and if you don't have the day off . . . sorry? I hope at least it's overtime you're earning today!

Well, update on my writing . . . got another rejection for RJC from an agent. I didn't get passed the query stage with this one. It's a little disconcerting, but meh. I know it happens in the lit game. I just got shoved back a few steps, but I'm keeping on trucking.

On Monday I met with David Updike, he's a coworker of my godmother's sister, and his son actually works where I work, and he went to Harvard and he's John Updike's son. It was good to talk to him, to talk about self-publishing and the themes about it and how agents do and publishers do and how much it's about politics and business as much as talent--probably more so. I'm glad we got to talk. I'm reading his book Ivy's Turn and I like it so far. He has a good voice for teenagers, since that is the age of the two main characters.

And I'm writing, sort of. I'll leave it at that :).

Again, have a great day!

Sunday, July 01, 2007

AJ's Serendipity 10 and Yesterday

Hi everyone, Happy July! It's Sunday, which means there's an AJ's Serendipity update. You can go to Aliyah Burke's site and read it or SYG. I hope you enjoy and please forgive errors!

Also, yesterday I had the Harlem Book Fair at Roxbury Community College. I really enjoyed myself, and yay for my sister being so nice and great to be my partner for all six hours. It was also great to meet folks from the SYG (hi, Sharon-divisionred!) and meet other local authors in Boston. I sat next to a woman who wrote poetry, and it's fantastic, so I encourage you to check out Tichaona Chinyelu. Also, I was on a panel about self-publishing, and I learned as much as I hopefully informed. What I've learned most about it, is I have to be less shy and more assertive, or at least I'm learning to do that. Even at the book fair, when people walk by and pass my sis kept telling me I had to speak up. If I don't believe I have a good and worthwhile product, why would anyone else? I'm a work in progress, I admit--not just in terms of my writing, but in everything, but that's another topic :-P. All in all, I'm glad I had the opportunity to be part of the Fair.

And, now, the excerpt! :)


“Ready?” Dimitri asked, clipping his pager and mobile to his belt. He shoved his wallet in the pocket of his khakis. His black Polo shirt accentuated his fitness despite Dimitri’s casual look. The Melonakos men were broad by nature, but Dimitri’s Navy training had defined his more.

“I look all right?” AJ asked.

Dimitri quirked his lips. “What, you turned into a woman after using the bathroom? Now I know to avoid it!”

AJ growled at him and would have huffed if he hadn’t caught himself. “I’m serious!”

Dimitri smiled and nodded, as if seeming to understand his opinion was important to AJ’s peace of mind. “You look almost as good as I do, cousin.”

AJ smiled as well, and clapped Dimitri’s shoulder as they left the room. “You’ll love her, Dima.”

“Sorry, I’m already taken.”

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Harper Lee: Dropping the Mic--A Tutorial

I just finished reading To Kill a Mockingbird today. Harper Lee is the most GANGSTA white woman evar in life. Okay, one of the most gangsta. I loved the book. Absolutely loved it. I'm in love with Atticus Finch. Do I care the man is fictional and old enough to be my great-granddaddy? Hells naw. His sense of humor was fantastic, but more than that, his sense of decency and respect. I just . . . you don't see people like that NOW, let alone back in the day, and him being a white person at that. The way he taught his lessons to Scout and Jem . . . the way he led by example, with quiet humility . . . they don't make me like him like that anymore, or if they do, they're invisible. Got to be.

But back to Goddess Lee . . . sheer brilliance to use a young white girl to narrate the story, someone who has yet to be prejudiced in the ways of the older generation, whose lessons are tempered with a man who is far ahead of his (and, let's face it) our time, whose older brother is a sponge to his father's lessons, to Dill, whose little heart is broken by the things he saw take place in the courthouse. Even Dolphus Raymond and Miss Maudie Atkinson and Mr. Heck Tate and Link Dees . . . Mr. Walter Cunningham who all teach Scout something about the politics and nuances of living in the South, nay, the country, and in turn, the reader. "Good" people do bad things, allow things to happen, place the onus on one so the entire community can go on like it does. That a town has no problem sending a man to his death because it's "inevitable", the speech Atticus makes, his closing argument . . . *fans self*. I wish there were more Atticuses in the country.

And THEN The fact she was one and done . . . I mean, does she need a follow up? She wrote what many writers aspire to write in one go. Do I care if Truman Capote helped her? Not one damn bit. HER name is on that book. Nothing wrong with assistance . . . Symbiotic relationships, if you will

Yeah, if you haven't read it, read it. This is a book I'm going to read again because I KNOW I missed some things the first time. Speaking of, I need to read Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry again. So overdue. That's a Comparative Lit paper if I ever read one!

Sunday, June 24, 2007

AJ's Serendipity 9

Update! Go to Aliyah's site or to SYG to read the entire chapter. Have a great Sunday!


“What are you reading, handsome?”

AJ looked up to see a stunning redhead with smooth, alabaster skin; bright, blue eyes; and perfectly bee-stung pink lips grinning at him. There was a dusting of freckles on her bare shoulders that added to her attractiveness. Her hair was a heavy, wavy curtain draped over one shoulder, clearly meant to entice. If there was no Samara, he would’ve been.

Returning her smile, AJ showed her the cover of the book, and she appeared to nod in approval. “Do you like it so far?”

“I’ve not been displeased.”

The redhead’s smile widened and she held out a hand. “Noelle.”

AJ used the index finger of his left hand as a bookmark and shook Noelle’s hand with his right. “AJ.”

“A strong grip,” Noelle said, her blue eyes looking at their joined hands briefly before meeting his gaze again. “Nice.”

AJ smiled again and eased his hand from hers. “Thanks.”

It was odd not to have the desire to flirt. He felt decidedly out of his element. Flirting had been as second nature as breathing to him before he had met Samara. Now, all he wanted to be was left alone with the book Samara had insisted he read. He knew the woman was interested in him, but AJ didn’t know how to tell her he wasn’t—he’d never had to do such a thing before.

“Leaving or going?” Noelle asked.

He blinked at the text in confusion before turning his green eyes to her. “Sorry?”

“Home. Leaving or going? Although I hear a faint accent, so I’m assuming leaving . . .”

He smiled genuinely as an image of Samara appeared in his mind. “Going. Definitely going.”

Saturday, June 23, 2007

What kind of writer am I?

Or more specifically, if you had to categorize my writing, where would you put it? There's no wrong answer per se, although if you say "horror" I think I'd cry a little lol. As I start submitting manuscripts to agents, etc, I find it is difficult to categorize some of my work. Gym Story, I think is obviously a romance, but is RJC? It's a little frustrating, because I just write the stories and worry about the other things such as genre later, if at all, but as I realize agents/editors/publishers like categories, it makes someone like me a little more challenging I suppose. Anyway, I'm in a reflective mood. I hope everyone is having a great weekend, and AJ's Serendipity will be up tomorrow as usual.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

AJ's Serendipity 8

Here is an update. You can either go to Aliyah's site or my group. The excerpt is below, and Happy Father's Day!



Samara took a deep breath, and then buried her face in his chest. AJ held her fast to him, his face concealed by the top of her head. He loved her. He loved this woman. Somewhere deep inside him, he knew she loved him in return. It wasn’t right they had to be separated like this.

“I’ll be here in the morning,” he vowed. “Don’t worry about the taxi; I’ll get it for you. Four-thirty.”

“Thank you,” Samara said. “But you don’t have to, though—”

“I do,” AJ murmured, kissing her temple. “You know I do. We’ll exchange information then.”

She nodded and pulled back, sliding trembling fingers to his cheeks. They then went across his lips and his nose, and his eyelids fluttered shut.

“Wow, I’m going to miss you,” she sighed.

“Not for long,” AJ said, lifting up his mouth to kiss her palm. “We won’t be separated for long.”

Her eyes held her skepticism, but she mercifully kept her mouth closed. AJ bent his head and kissed her softly. “Sweet dreams, Samara. See you in a few hours.”

Both he and Spyros were solemn and quiet on their way to their flat building. When they reached their individual doors, AJ decided to break the silence.

“Are you coming with me tomorrow morning?”

“Yeah,” Spyros said. “I’d like to say goodbye.”

AJ nodded once. “Then I suggest we’d get some sleep then.”

But sleep didn’t come, at least not for AJ. As soon as he entered his flat, he placed a call to a local taxi service and requested a pick up at four in the morning in front of the flat building. Afterwards, he undressed and climbed into bed, but he was too wired to rest. His mind kept thinking of things he wanted to do, of the life he had begun to plan with Samara since seeing her in the market. Five days? Five days might as well be five minutes as far as AJ was concerned. It wasn’t long enough, yet he shouldn’t be ungrateful for God’s gift. That was what Samara was, a gift. His and his alone. How could he in good conscience let her get on that plane to be flown out of his life for who knew how long? But he would, because it was to be.

For now.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

#1 NYT Bestseller

I just finished reading The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini. I figured if two different people recommend the book to me (and by two people, I mean these two people probably have no business knowing one other, being one was from SC and one was from Boston), then perhaps I should read it. I'm glad I did, and I understand why it was a bestseller, #1 at that. It was not a fun book to read, a nice fluffy book to read. It was a sad, melancholy book--written in the first person no less. There is rape, murder, suicide, betrayal, despair, hopelessness . . . and yet so simplistically human that one cannot help but to appreciate it. There were no fluffy words, overly-complex sentences that take away from the narrative. This was Mr. Hosseini's debut novel, and it was a fantastic one. It's not a romance, and I'll be honest and say I don't generally read non-romance books, but at the heart of it there is the desire for love, compassion, forgiveness. The reader takes a look in a place few people will ever visit, nor will they have the desire to visit, especially American readers. He humanized that demonized country of Afghanistan, and yet Mr. Hosseini's story of redemption isn't new. In fact, it is one of the oldest stories any human can tell. The ending wasn't neatly wrapped up with a bright bow on the top, but it was open-ended, allowing the reader to see the horizon of hope just as the protagonist does. The simple storytelling, and by simple I mean unobtrusive, is what I appreciated the most as a writer. No need to revolutionize the English language to write a compelling book after all. Straightforward writing, love it.

Anyway, I encourage folks to read it (because bestseller or not, one can never have too many readers of a book apparently :) ) and I'll check out Hosseini's latest book A Thousand Splendid Suns.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Scaling Back and Moving Forward

Hi everyone, I took down most of the excerpts to Gym Story and Vietnam Story since I won't be posting anymore updates on either story anymore, but I kept up the first few for refresher. I'm about to start pubbing Gym Story, and since I plan on pubbing Vietnam Story, I figured that was the best thing for me to do. Nevertheless, for you folks in SC, more importantly, Richland County--you can check out my book soon! This is a big deal to have your book stocked in a library, and I'm humbled and hug my hometown and city *squeezes Columbia and Blythewood*. The books aren't available yet, but soon. So exciting!


Sunday, June 10, 2007

AJ's Serendipity 7 and Tags

Hi everyone! Happy Sunday! Here is part 7 to AJ's Serendipity. Go visit Aliyah Burke's new site and blog! It's beautiful.

Also, I guess to "celebrate" her new site, she tagged me. Pft. Lucky I like her so . . .

Here are the rules:
1. Each player starts with eight random facts/habits about themselves.
2.People who are tagged need to write their own blog about their eight things and post these rules.
3. At the end of your blog, you need to choose eight people to get tagged and list their names.
4. Don't forget to leave them a comment telling them they're tagged, and to read your blog.

Here are my eight random facts. Enjoy!

1) I play(ed) the viola from elementary school to high school, and some in college, and after graduation (as in the day of) I was on a bus to play at Carnegie Hall with the school district orchestra.
2) I can be heard singing background on Kate Schutt's track Peter Please on her Heart-Shot CD.
3) I don't really like chocolate unless it's wrapped around peanut butter, although I do love hot chocolate.
4) I used to write fan fiction.
5) My favorite Harry Potter character is Severus Snape, followed closely by Albus Dumbledore, and my least favorite character is Harry Potter. Go fig.
6) I am shy.
7) I got into every college to which I applied (5).
8) I multitask because I cannot focus too long on one thing, and if I do, it's an accident :-P

I don't think I know 8 people to tag who haven't already been, so if you want to do this, then feel free.

Anyway, here's an excerpt to Part 7:

She was nude.

There were no straps on her shoulders, and he knew for a fact the swimsuit she’d been wearing had straps. Also, given the way her cheeks were more red than caramel, it seemed she realized he figured out what her current state was.

“Samara?” he asked, confused and a little humbled. “Why?”

She shrugged and took a deep breath, licking her lips. “You asked me to trust you. I said I did, but . . . I haven’t been proving that very well. You also said you wouldn’t hurt me, and I do believe that, too. So . . . I’m doing the final thing you wanted me to do—be myself. This is she, all one hundred eighty pounds of her. I don’t think I’m ever going to get smaller, but I will probably get larger, so I reckon this is the best I’m ever gonna look—”

His mouth cut off the rest of the garbage coming from her mouth, him finally crossing the final distance between them to do so. He gathered her body to him, felt it tremble so violently that he broke the kiss and tucked her face into his neck.

“Shh, my love,” he murmured into her wet hair. He caressed her bare back gently. “It’s okay. Relax. Just feel me. Get used to my body.”

She was so soft and pliant. He loved the armful she made, how every one of her curves fit into his hard body. He swam them over to the ladder and set her on a rung, but still kept her close. Her breasts were mashed into his chest, her nipples hard. Soft, womanly. How could she think he wouldn’t it find it glorious?

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

My Mistress Is Music

Let it be known that I think I am a better writer than I am a singer, which might not be saying much, though I do think I'm a fairly decent writer, so I reckon that means I can carry a fairly acceptable tune. In college, I joined The Kuumba Singers of Harvard College and I did the choir, and the subgroup Sisters of Kuumba for all four years. I knew I liked music before, but this choir just opened up an entirely new creative side of me that I'd been rather hesitant and shy and unsure to embrace. I don't know if I've still fully done it, but definitely more than I had before I joined the choir. If I couldn't write, I'd want to be a singer, which is, incidentally, not the world's most ideal backup job in the world. There are so many people who I have met who are doing the do who came from the choir: Soulfege, Johanna, Shelby Braxton-Brooks, and so many others who are going on to be doctors, lawyers, community leaders, future anythings and everythings.

(Singing Guide My Feet at Black Alumni Weekend at Harvard in '06. And yes, I'm in that clip and so is sis, shout out! :D)

Nevertheless, I've been listening to some tracks from the new CD they just put out, Our Spirit Stands (yes, I'm on some of the tracks, no solo . . . well, not really . . .), and they've been very necessary to my life right now, particularly Call on the Name of the Lord and Shout and Spiritual Medley, but particularly the first two. The soloist for both is Teddy Maynard, whose voice was hand-installed by God himself, and the tracks were written by Sheldon Reid, the director of the choir, as well as two other student members (for the first song, CotNotL). I just go to this place of right. Hold on, just a little while longer . . . sometimes you need that encouragement, that reminder. I sing those songs, the songs of my ancestors, their melodious diaries and I pray I am the manifestation of their fervent hopes. I know some of my peers and contemporaries can make us shake the head, but there are others, more than others who are doing the do, but hey don't make the evening news. Keep on keepin' on, because as you know the revolution won't be televised.

(This is Teddy sangin' in the Spring Concert this year. The actual name of the song above is Living for More, also written by Sheldon Reid. No, I'm not in that clip. I'm in the audience ackin' a foo' like a good alumna ;). )

But, since I've been out the choir, I realize I miss singing. I sing in my room, which probably annoys my poor neighbors, but I really miss it. I could re-join the choir, but my time in that has passed I believe. It's time for the new members to shine and be dope, and I enjoy watching and listening to them as much as I did singing in it. But, if you're ever in the Cambridge area in the beginning of December or the end of April, or if you hear about Kuumba touring in your town, I encourage you to go listen. They're phenomenal.

Sunday, June 03, 2007

AJ's Serendipity 6

Hi everyone, the radio interview went well, and Ms. Robinson was very nice! It was a good experience :).

And, in the spirit of such a good interview (and because it's Sunday) there is an update of AJ's Serendipity. We are on part 6 now, so I hope you enjoy. You can either follow the link or go to the google group to read. Below is an excerpt :).


“You want to see the painting?”

Her eyes went wide and she nodded, scrambling to her feet. AJ led them into his bedroom where he tore off the brown paper that covered the art. When the framed painting was revealed, both let out a gasp of awe.

“Oh, my,” Samara breathed. “Oh, wow . . .”

Even though he had seen it before, he was just as breathless as Samara. The painter had a hell of a lot more talent than one should have when painting for pennies and tourists. Or maybe it was just he and Samara who had inspired the masterpiece before them. It was as if the artist had captured the love they felt between them, had seen it before they did themselves. AJ thought back to what the artist had said, about him and Samara being in love. Can two people fall in love in an hour? Enough for strangers to see? How could this artist see and Samara . . .

There were tears falling down her cheeks as she gazed at the art. Concerned, AJ lifted her face to his and used a gentle thumb to wipe away her tears.


“You . . .” she began, then shook her head and looked back at the painting. “I never . . .”

“You never what, darling?”

“That look . . . you only see that look in movies.”

“The look?” AJ repeated, staring at the painting in confusion.

Samara licked her lips and glanced at him helplessly. “It’s only been three days . . . that painting . . .”

AJ caught on, and he grinned despite the hammering the heart was doing inside his chest. “He gave us the painting for free because of that look, Samara. What he captured in that painting . . . it’s as rare as it is pure. And it’s true. Dear God, Samara . . . it’s so true.”

Friday, June 01, 2007

Radio Interview

So as a change of pace, I decided to announce the fact I'm going to be on the radio BEFORE I actually am instead of AFTER. It's a new concept I'm trying out lol. Anyway, this Sunday from 2-3PM I will be on WILD 1090 AM in Boston for Studio V with Victoria Howard Robinson. I don't know if there is a way to listen online, but hopefully I'll get a tape someway so I can listen to myself (even though I really don't like the sound of my own voice, but eh, what can you do.) If you're in the New England area, I hope you can listen! I'll be talking about Being Plumville at the very least, so yeah. That's the announcement :).

Monday, May 28, 2007

A Change in Plans

So today I was supposed to get on a flight from Columbia to Washington DC to take a shuttle to Boston. Lo and behold, I missed the check-in window, so I had to take an alternate flight flying to Charlotte, then Boston. I was a little miffed, because that meant I came home a whole hour later than originally planned, but after I sucked my teeth, I sucked it up and proceeded to take the itinerary change in stride.

I sat next to a really nice man named Robert on the flight from Charlotte to Boston. We got to talking about Columbia (because apparently the in-flight magazine had a spotlight on the city) and then about life. You know how convos with people you don't know go :). Then he asked, "are you a writer?" And of course, I said yes, admitted I had a book signing just yesterday, and showed him the book, my personal copy. He asked if he could buy it. I hesitated, because it is my personal copy, but it's a sale! It's someone who might tell someone else about the book! And then I said he could buy it for what I charged at the book signing if he wanted a signature. But he went above and beyond that price, which shocked me to death! Of course I signed it, and I even put the flight time and date and that he sat next to me! He was such a nice guy and it was such a nice experience, and I probably would've missed had I gone on my original flight.

All I have to say is, that's God right there. Thanks, Robert! :)

Sunday, May 27, 2007

AJ's Serendipity 5

There is a link to Part 5, and below is the excerpt!


“Come to me, darling.”

She bit her lip and complied, and as soon as her fingers grasped his, he pulled her to him for another embrace. He cupped the back of her head and held her tightly, closing his eyes and letting the feelings she evoked run through him. He’d never been in love before, not like this, and it was obvious to everyone except for the one person who needed to see it most. Then again, she didn’t know what she was looking for, and he had decided he would show her.

“Are you very hungry?” he murmured, not wanting to break the spell they were under.

“Not really,” she replied just as quietly, pressing closer to him. She began nuzzling his chest and he smiled.

“You like holding me, precious?” She nodded. “Would just like to do that, then? We can sit on the couch and cuddle.”


AJ separated from her so he could put on some music. Traditional Greek music filtered through the room. She was already on the couch, her posture a little rigid, and he stood in front of her. “Would you like something to drink? Water? Wine?”

“Water, please. I don’t drink.”


“I don’t like the taste,” she said with a small scowl.

AJ grinned. “Would you like to taste Greek wine? Lysimelis? It’s similar to Merlot, but I think it is sweeter. Do you like sweet things, Samara?”

Samara giggled and nodded. “Trying to get me drunk?”

“No,” said AJ, crouching before her and cupping her cheek. “I want you in control of all your faculties, precious. I don’t want you to forget this night or regret it, but wine might relax you, okay? Just a taste.”


Going into his kitchen, AJ pulled down two glasses and filled one with water and left the other unfilled as he used one hand to hold the empty glass and wine bottle and the other hand held the water. He set the items on his coffee table before going back to the kitchen and pulling out some snacks from the basket that remained from their picnic.

“Here we are,” he said, putting the items next to the previous ones, and he earned Samara’s smile. “I’ll get the wine opener and then I’ll be ready to join you.”

“No rush,” Samara said, but he disagreed. He was in a hurry to spend time with her, and had been for the past three days.f

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Home (cue Stephanie Mills)

So yesterday I had interviews. I was home yesterday for a total of twenty minutes--two ten minute breaks before going out and handling business. It was really surreal. I had a paper interview Country Chronicle for an article. Then I had a radio interview on 620 AM (Columbia). Urban Scene with Don Frierson (possible relation, my father was born in Columbia). And turns out he went to school with my mother, and he knows her and he started waxing poetic (which, actually, isn't a surprising thing, because apparently my mother was, as they say "all that and a bag of chips") AND he was the host of my elementary school's 54th Anniversary Reunion. I had a brief lunch with my friend who I might not see for the rest of my time here, and I think the waiter was flirting with me, but I couldn't be sure because I'm really rather awful at flirting! lol But I was looking cute, and he wasn't bad looking either, so we'll say he was ;). Before the reunion I went back to the radio station and gave a little blurb on my friend's radio show (dressed for said reunion), and we chatted a bit outside before I went to the convention center where the reunion was held. Saw all my old teachers from my second grade to fifth grade teachers, my old PE coach. It was very nice to see them all; the people who planted seeds and shaped my early education.

Home. Roots. They can be wonderful things.

So today I'll do some more things to get ready for the book signing tomorrow. I hope you can make it! 2-5 Columbia Museum of Art.


Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Happy Birthday!

To me :-D

I'm 24 today. Where did the past ten years go? Ten years ago I was just finishing 8th grade and will start freshman year in high school. Now I'm a college graduate and there's a book with an ISBN and my name on it. Not too shabby, eh? Here's to hoping to everyone who might be having a birthday today or soon (shout out, Geminis!) that I hope y'all have an awesome year!


Sunday, May 20, 2007

AJ's Serendipity 4

It's Sunday! Which means, there's an update! Here's an excerpt and the link! Also, you can go to the google group for an update as well!


AJ's Serendipity 4


“I’m going in,” AJ muttered in to Spyros in Greek after the fifth man approached Samara. He needed her in his arms before he got them thrown out and himself in jail.

Fifth Man and Samara were dancing to a song he didn’t recognize, but it had a pulsing beat and a mean bass line that apparently compelled Samara to shimmy her hips in a most enticing manner. Every time Fifth Man tried to bring her closer, she would skip out of his reach so fluidly one would think it was intentional to her dance steps. AJ, however, knew otherwise, and was intent on showing all the other men just to whom she belonged.

Without a word, he slid one long, strong arm around her waist and brought her back flush against his front, bending his legs as they dipped and swayed to the music. Fifth Man glared at him and started to say something, but the warning in AJ’s eyes had him holding up his hands in surrender and leaving to find another dance partner.

Smart man.

Samara’s shock wore off after Fifth Man left. “Who—?”

“I didn’t know you could move like that, precious,” AJ purred in her ear, his eyes watching Spyros turn Frankie’s attention on him. Frankie smirked and went at it, a challenge in her eyes. Spyros was definitely more than up for it.

As for Samara, she still hadn’t moved since he rounded her up in his arms, so he bent his legs again and swayed once more. Her hands went to his forearms as if steadying herself.

“Come on, love,” he whispered though the music blared. He was absolutely sure she had heard him given the shiver that went through her body. “Dance for me.”