When a Story Is More Than a Story

I’m currently working on a few writing projects and one of them is really tugging at me. Why? Because it’s personal and that’s all I’ll say. I already have a title for this particular story and an idea for the book cover design, but I don’t know if I’ll ever publish it.

I don’t know if I’m ready to share such a story and I’m being serious when I say that. One things for sure: Putting it all down on paper brought me a measure of peace. In other words, writing it all down made me feel better.

Imagine that. Pen strokes and some raggedy pieces of paper was all I needed to relieve years of…

Yeah, I’ll just end it right there.

Until next time…

Too Funny

A few weeks ago, I was trying to figure out the brand name of my favorite doll. I needed to know it for an upcoming Q&A, but for some reason, I couldn’t remember the type of doll she was. I knew that the doll resembled a Black stuffed doll and had a little baby in her arms, but that was it.

Soooooooo, I texted my Mom to see if she remembered and her response was absolutely hilarious. My Mom is one of those people who says what she thinks. Most of the time she’s not trying to be funny, but she is. I love it! My Mom doesn’t care for texting, but check out her reply. She inserts the best emojis. 😂

The good news is that my oldest sister remembered the brand name and when I goggled it, she popped right up! She was a Hugga Bunch doll.

I had the cutest name for her, but I won’t reveal her name here until after my Q&A. When I texted my Mom the picture she said, “Yeah, that’s it.” Mom was right, she did have a big head and a little baby in her arms!

Mom, you are so awesome!

Until next time…

An Advanced ‘Thank You’

This is the year for great things to take place and I wanted to take this time before the Fall comes to thank all of my readers, subscribers and supporters. I’m sharing this on all of my blogs ahead of time.

Some of you have been with my blog since the beginning of time when it was just the few of us. Soon, you will be able to witness how far this indie author has come. Who can remember my first profile photo for this blog?

None of us can really pinpoint what the future may hold for our writing, but the most important thing is to keep on writing because you never know where your writing will take you.

Once you reach that level and most writers know what I’m referring to, don’t be afraid to look back on all the obstacles you have overcome. Think about the hard times, think about the bumps you may have encountered along the way and if you experienced heartache or pain along the way, keep that in mind too. Why? Because such reminders will keep you humble.

My heart is full knowing what is to come. I know I’ve said that a few times before, but it’s really full. There are not enough words to explain. 🙏🏾❤️🙏🏾

Until next time…

Hazel Scott

Born in 1920, Hazel Scott was a Trinidadian classical and jazz singer, actress and pianist. She was considered a musical prodigy at a very early age due to her musical abilities. Most notably, her rare ability to play two pianos at once. In fact, she was the first to do it.

Hazel was given scholarships by Juliard at an early age because she was extremely talented and gifted. This was unusual and unheard of because prestigious scholarships were not offered to Black people at that time.

Because so many people were obsessed with Hazel and her musical abilities, she was given her own show, The Hazel Scott Show. Hazel was the first Black person to have her own television show.

Hazel was big on civil rights and equality and she did not allow racist or prejudiced Whites to control her. Hazel controlled her own wardrobe, insisted on final cut privileges before she would perform and she refused to play live for segregated audiences. Her defiance and stance made her a force to be reckoned with because she also refused to play stereotypical roles.

One aspect of Hazel’s life that I did not know was that she was married to the late Adam Clayton Powell Jr., a man who needs no introduction. As a Black man, Adam too played a pivotal role in fighting for civil rights and equal rights for Black people. Their son, Adam Clayton Powell III, is the only child from their marriage.

I can go on and on about Hazel Scott because I found her to be intriguing, but I want you to take some time to read more about her on your own time. If you watched this year’s Grammy’s, Alicia Keys payed homage to her and did an amazing job.

To see a brief clip of Hazel in action, click here.

Until next time…

Ten Questions

I was given the following ten questions to share on my blog. These were some really good questions. I was eager to answer them and share them on my blog.

1. What was the first book you learned to read? Green Eggs and Ham by Dr. Seuss

2. What, according to you, is the hardest thing about writing? Staying focused. My mind tends to wander when I’m writing.

3. What is the one thing you wished all readers would do after reading one of your books? Leave a review! I’ve received almost a hundred direct messages from readers who enjoyed reading my first novel series, The Chronicles of Neffie. Very few took the time to also leave their review on my book. Good or bad, I want readers to leave a review. The Chronicles of Neffie has more ratings on Goodreads than Amazon.

4. Do you have a set schedule for writing, or are you one of those who write only when they feel inspired? No schedule. I write when the inspiration and motivation hits me. I don’t like to force it.

5. If you had the choice to rewrite any of your books, which one would it be and why? My debut novel Poka City Blues. I rushed it because I was anxious to publish it. A huge mistake on my part. I was told by some top reviewers that if I had of taken a little more time to tweak it and spent more time on promoting it before its release, it would have done far better because of its reading potential.

6. What is your take on the importance of a good cover and title? I think it’s very important. If your cover looks like crap and your title is boring or sucks, you can forget about readers buying your book(s).

7. Which character(s), created by you, do you consider as your masterpiece(s)? Neffie and Miss Reisa from The Chronicles of Neffie. Neffie is by far the most loved character I have written about and Miss Reisa is by far the most hated. I’ve been blown away by the direct messages from readers. Readers who read The Chronicles of Neffie are anxious to see what happens to Neffie in the second novel series. On the other hand, I’ve had some readers express a desire for Miss Reisa’s demise. Many want her to die because of how sneaky, conniving and cruel she is.

8. Do you see writing as a hobby or a passion? Both.

9. How active are you on social media? I’m not that active. I rarely post on Instagram or Twitter because I find both to be quite boring to me. That’s one of the reasons why I linked my blog to Twitter. My blog posts counts as “tweets”.

10. What advice would you give to your younger self? Stress less and don’t sweat the little stuff.

Now I have a question for you. What was the name of the first book you learned to read? Leave your answer in the comment section below.

Until next time…

Invisible Man

Invisible Man, published in 1952, is an award winning novel by the late Ralph Ellison. It touched on personal identity, individuality and the Black experience.

I personally found this novel to be both deep and telling. I could relate to some of the things he wrote about because I’m Black and I know how it feels to be “invisible” at times. Invisible in the sense where I’ve been purposefully overlooked or left out due to my color. Such experiences happened while at work and yet, they think I don’t notice. I notice it, but I must confess, I’m used to it. The majority of Black people are.

Since I’m an observer and thinker by nature, I would like to hear thoughts from those who also read this amazing novel. Regardless of your race or racial background, I would like to know what were your thoughts on Invisible Man. I enjoy hearing other people’s opinions and point of views. As always, if you are too shy to leave your comment, you can always shoot me an email.

If you have never read Invisible Man, you should. There is a reason why it won the National Book Award.

Until next time…

Moms Mabley

For Black History Month, I had to blog about the late Jackie “Moms” Mabley. I couldn’t end Black History Month without talking about her. I grew up listening to her comedy records.

Moms Mabley was a stand up comedian whose comedy roots started in the Chitlin Circuit. Moms Mabley and her stand up acts were in a class of its own. She was sharp, blunt, honest, but she would also have you in tears from laughing so hard.

Born as Loretta Mary Aiken in 1894, Moms Mabley used comedy to deal with her tragic childhood. At the age of 11, she was raped by an elderly Black man and when she was 13, she was raped by a White sheriff. At the urging of her grandmother, Moms Mabley ran away and ended up joining the traveling minstrel show that starred the infamous comedy duo Butterbeans and Susie.

Determined not to allow her painful past to stifle her, Moms Mabley went on to make an incredible name for herself. A name that was echoed and still echoed worldwide. Moms Mabley has often been imitated, but she will never be duplicated. She is the original Queen of Comedy.

If you want a good laugh that will leave you in tears, click here. You can thank me later. 👌🏾.

Until next time….