Month: December 2018

Developing an Appreciation

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It is difficult in a day and age when so much is accessible at your fingertips to appreciate the thoughtfulness of a gift that was created by hand. A one-click world desensitizes us on the beauty of an individual sitting behind a desk or table, creating a gift, filled with thought, for the recipient to appreciate in the years to come.

Today, I want to share with you a gift I was given in 2005, that initially I scoffed at, but over the years, have developed a deep sense of appreciation. Trust me, there have been a few crappy gifts that I’ve gotten, which, I’ve learned to smile and be grateful. It was the thought after all, but sometimes you have to ask, what the hell were you thinking?

My first year as a marketing assistant at the Marriott, my boss, the Marketing Director gave each of us a homemade Christmas CD.

Yeah, pretty much.

My thoughts were, you are the marketing director. You have unlimited access to companies, promotional materials, sample products and more. All year, you could have easily ordered one sample item and put in the marketing closet. Instead, you give us a home made Christmas CD. We aren’t dating. Why you giving me a mixtape? To make matters worse, it was basic.

This basic.

This is the one from 2006. The first CD, labeled Christmas 2005, was just as rudimentary.

I took it home and showed my husband, who immediately asked, is anything good on it?

Truthfully, I didn’t know. I was too busy focusing on how cheap the man was and after all my hard work, why he didn’t think i deserved an actual gift. Hell, an extra day off would have been cool with me. However, Hubby said something which made me pause. “You two are always talking music.”

It was true. Although my boss and I saw eye to eye on many marketing strategies, a few matters and approaches to campaigns we agreed to disagree. When we reached an impasse, he would change the subject to music. Music is what we had in common, so I played the CD and guess what, I loved it.

That stupid CD is now part of my holiday traditions. At dinner time every year, I play the one he gave me as a present in 2006. At least that gift has the songs labeled.

It is hard to develop an appreciation for what others deem worthy to provide you as a gift. At what point do we cherish the idea of being thought of for another to take the time and make an effort.

Wherever you are Mr. DeSandy, thank you for the Christmas present. Over the years, I have really developed an appreciation for your annual gift.

Prado Sloe is on the case…

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I am very excited about this new series. No, it not the Blakemores, but a defective detective who on the case.

This intro story is going to be a freebie to the readers. I wanted to take a moment to introduce the main characters, give you the background information on their lives, so when they hit their first case, I don’t have to waste time explain stuff to you.

I am loving the way I have plotted these ten cases over the course of a year in the life of this new partnership.

I will keep you up to date when it is ready.

An Author’s Day Out

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Today was one of those days. It started out rough, even after my first cup of coffee. Even though I wanted to write, my mind was all over the place and having a decent conversation with anyone seemed out of range. I needed to get out.

My Christmas shopping is nowhere near done and there are personal matters which needed taking care of like last month, and before the year ended, I wanted to get out and get a few things done before the en of the year.

First stop, city hall. I ran into my Commissioner, Ben Hasan. He was gracious enough to take a photo with one of the citizens he represents.

I left the Commissioner and headed inside to the tax office. I wanted to do a bit of research on local abandoned properties as well as properties up for auction for tax levies. It would seem that if the property is still occupied, the residents has one year to vacate the premise. If the bank still has a lien or if there is an outstanding mortgage, the bank has to pay the buyer of the levy the cost incurred plus 20%. Interesting.

I left the Commissioners office to discover the Mayor was having an open house.

After helping myself to a couple of free sammiches and shaking hands with people I didn’t know, I figured, since I was downtown, I would pop into the library. It is one of my favorite places to go. Plus I got to say hi to the librarians. I also dropped by Augusta State University to say hello to my favorite college campus counselor.

Pictured left to right from top (Mashell Fashion, Director, Augusta-Richmond County Public Libraries, Erin Prentiss, Outreach Manager, Sharon, the Administrative Assistant with pizzazz and duck lips poses, KJ White, Assistant Director, Autumn Holliday and Rosalyn Holliday).

Overall, it was a fun day. I even did a little bit of Christmas shopping, took photos of locations in my next serial, Prado Sloe, and had a lot of smiles.

The next time you are feeling down, get out there and have fun.

Girl Crushing on Authors

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I love to read as much as I love to write and yes, I fan girl my face off when I get to hang with my favorite authors.

I finally had the opportunity to meet this lady. I tell you I fan girled like a fool. I lost all of my professionalism for a moment and had to take a selfie with her in my car. I know. I know. But it’s Kimberla!

“Everybody walks past a thousand story ideas every day. The good writers are the ones who see five or six of them. Most people don’t see any.” – Orson Scott

There is nothing more awesome than hanging with your crew and people who get you.

My favorite book fairs

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There are book conferences.

Then there are family gatherings.

Welcome to IRAE!

Every year we gather in a warm city in Florida to meet, chat and refresh our souls. These are my friends. My family. The women who inspire me everyday to be the best writer I can be.

“People say, ‘What advice do you have for people who want to be writers?’ I say, they don’t really need advice, they know they want to be writers, and they’re gonna do it. Those people who know that they really want to do this and are cut out for it, they know it.” — R.L. Stine

I hope to see you at IRAE in April in Daytona Beach Florida.

Click here for more information.

Lost in the library: what to read next?

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National Book Club Conference ‘Book of the Year’ Award Winner

From her more than three hundred appearances for film and television, stage and cabaret, performing comedy or drama, as an unforgettable lead or a scene stealing supporting character, Jenifer Lewis has established herself as one of the most respected, admired, talented, and versatile entertainers working today.

This “Mega Diva” and costar of the hit sitcom black-ish bares her soul in this touching and poignant—and at times side-splittingly hilarious—memoir of a Midwestern girl with a dream, whose journey took her from poverty to the big screen, and along the way earned her many accolades.

With candor and warmth, Jenifer Lewis reveals the heart of a woman who lives life to the fullest. This multitalented “force of nature” landed her first Broadway role within eleven days of her graduation from college and later earned the title “Reigning Queen of High-Camp Cabaret.”

In the audaciously honest voice that her fans adore, Jenifer describes her transition to Hollywood, with guest roles on hits like The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air and Friends. Her movie Jackie’s Back! became a cult favorite, and as the “Mama” to characters portrayed by Whitney Houston, Tupac Shakur, Taraji P. Henson, and many more, Jenifer cemented her status as the “Mother of Black Hollywood.”      

   

When an undiagnosed menatl illness stymies Jenifer’s career, culminating in a breakdown while filming The Temptations, her quest for wholeness becomes a harrowing and inspiring tale, including revelations of bipolar disorder and sex addiction.

Written with no-holds-barred honesty and illustrated with more than forty color photographs, this gripping memoir is filled with insights gained through a unique life that offers a universal message: “Love yourself so that love will not be a stranger when it comes.”

What’s in My Writing Hopper

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Every now and then I want to write the darker side of human nature. I want to dig deep and cut away to bad men who want to be loved. That is why I wrote Blind Date. It was supposed to be a sweet love story, but then I opened a bottle of wine.

I’ve decided to go back to The Company and pull out the rest of the team. However, this time, I’m entering the darkness with a heart warming story of a man at a crossroads in his life and his next decision, will change everything. His code name is Stop.

“There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.” ― Maya Angelou

Every decision may cost you.
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