Saturday, July 26, 2014

Blog in the Round – Passing the Torch

The amazingly talented author, Karla KL Brady, invited me to participate in the Blog in the Round. She was asked by Trice Hickman. You wonder what it’s all about. Each author answers four questions about their writing process so you can get to know new authors and/or refamiliarize yourself with your favorites. It’s now my turn to pass the torch to the super talented, Christian fiction author, Daphine Glenn Robinson and new on the scene, Berta Coleman. Please take time to check out their blogs.  

What am I working on/writing?

My mind is always soaring with new story ideas. At this time I am busy working on my sophomore novel. Anyone that knows me knows that I love a good love story, so I am very excited about this piece of work. It’s a romance novel that is currently untitled. This story takes you into the lives of a couple named Alexis and Kendall that are madly in love with one another. They are planning to head down the aisle until Alexis stumbles upon something that she considers to be an absolute deal breaker.  When she calls things off with Kendall she decides that she will wait for God to send her the right man and she pours herself into her work and a charity event for the homeless.  While Alexis is content with moving on with her life in that way, her two best friends, Vanessa and Jodi, have another idea. They feel that her being a workaholic isn’t good for her and don’t think she can move on from Kendall until she begins dating again. They take it upon themselves to set her up on a series of blind dates that will have you in stitches. On top of her friend’s antics, incidental encounters with Kendall makes moving on harder than she thought it would be. How will things turn out? You’ll have to read my upcoming novel due to be released in 2015 to find out.

How does my writing/work differ from others in this genre?

Like all of my work, my books deal with real people with real life issues. My writing style adds an element of suspense and mystery. However, by the time my readers turn the last page, they also feel inspired, as demonstrated in my debut novel, Summer Rain.

Why do I write what I do?

I write what I do because I feel like people have busy schedules and stressful lives. Personally, I love a good book because it can not only entertain me but it can also take me to different places just by turning the pages. That’s what I like to offer to my readers. I write what I do because I know that people have real life issues and many times they have nowhere to turn. I want people to be able to open any book I write and know that they will not only be entertained but they’ll also be encouraged and inspired. I hope after reading my books they’ll realize that trouble won’t last always.

How does my writing process work?

My writing process begins with me getting in a zone. I like to be in a quiet space. Usually I do most of my writing at home in my office or sitting on my bed. Other times I like to go to my favorite spot, Starbucks, where I can unwind and drink my favorite tea. Most importantly, I have to block out everything that’s going on around me so that I can connect with my characters and their situations. As a mother, wife, entrepreneur and community leader, that can be challenging because of a demanding schedule. However, I love writing, so it has forced me to prioritize the things I have to do and I make the time.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

A Ripple or a Splash?: The Life and Legacy of Nelson Mandela

A pebble thrown into a body of water makes a ripple effect. A rock makes a splash. This too can be said about the way we choose to live our lives. We can choose to make a ripple or a splash. When I think of Mr. Nelson Mandela and the sacrifices he made and the stands he took to make a difference, it’s evident that he made a big splash. His life and legacy will always be remembered and lives will be forever changed because of his selflessness. He was willing to be smaller to help a nation rise. Are you making a ripple or a splash? It’s never too late to make a difference and it doesn’t matter what you have been through. Mr. Mandela is a testament of that. Most of his impactful work was done when he was over 70 years old, after he was released from 27 years of imprisonment. A ripple or a splash? The choice is yours.

“What counts in life is not the mere fact that we have lived. It is what difference we have made to the lives of others that will determine the significance of the life we lead.” ~ Nelson Mandela

Until next time, I hope you have been encouraged, empowered, enriched and enlightened.


                                                                    (Source: ABC News)

                                          Rest in peace Mr. Mandela

Monday, September 30, 2013

A Tribute to a Teacher Who Was Much More Than Just a Teacher - Ms. Olivia Gonzales

     On Saturday, September 28, 2013, I had the honor to speak on the life of Ms. Olivia Gonzales on behalf of her students. For me it was a great honor because although she was a teacher, she was so much more. I wanted to share this with my readers and to those students who may have not had the opportunity to attend her homegoing service. No matter what school you attended, this was presented for all of us. These were words I spoke. I hope it blesses someone.
      First giving honor to God who’s the head of my life. To the pastor of Umoja Christian Church, other ministers and to Rick, Adrienne, Ramon and the entire the family of Olivia Gonzales. my love and prayers are with you. I feel honored today to speak on the life of Ms. Olivia Gonzales who not only touched my life in a special way but so many other students who crossed her path. When I heard of her passing I was absolutely crushed. As the days that followed went by, I began to reflect on the times we shared and the impact she had on my life. As an English teacher she was a stickler for speaking proper grammar. If you spoke incorrectly in her presence, Ms. G. as she was fondly called would swiftly correct you. Not only was she an English teacher but she also taught journalism. In that role, she nurtured my love for writing. As the editor of our yearbook, I remember spending countless days and nights at her house laying out the yearbooks for Crispus Attucks High School. I recall being at her house so much that I became part of her family. Yes, she claimed me as her daughter and I became a sister to her children. I’m so thankful for those lifelong bonds forged so many years ago. As students of hers, she always encouraged us. Even as adults, many of us were blessed to still receive her encouragement. I remember her excitement when I told her I was writing a novel and that I’d even named a character after her. She told me how proud she was of me and how much she loved me. I let her know how much I loved her and how she impacted my life in such a positive way.

    But the love she shared and the impact she made didn’t stop with me. As the news got out that she’d passed away I began to follow the many tributes on Facebook from former students as they poured in. Kimberly Bentley wrote, “I praise God for her life – the positivity, love, and encouragement she has been in our lives.” Shelley Ball-Pfifer shared, “I remember her fondly, we had fun laying out the yearbook. She was an inspiration and great teacher.” Damica Wilson-O’Bryant shared, “She’s the reason I majored in English. So sad.” Ric Holt wrote, “Sad to hear. I really liked her as a teacher.” He went on to say what we all knew, “She didn’t play.” Finally, Damont Nickson had this to say about Ms. Gonzales, "I gave many of my teachers..." And I'll Paraphrase this part, "a hard time. But even today I remember the teacher that faught for me. Even when it didn't make since. She just happened to attend my church and she kept me in line. She often reported me to my pastor and had meetings with the principal to figure out ways to help me. I needed that! Teachers don't always get the credit that they are due. This teacher was hard but she had a soft side and she didn't care if she did know my mother she still sent me to the office. I have come a long way and I can say without her in that classroom fighting for me and probably praying for me I would not have made it. Sometimes I sit at board tables reflecting back on how far I have come and I hear her voice in that classroom saying, Damont take life serious, people think you will never amount to anything, don't prove them right." Damont went on to say, "an angel joined heaven's choir and I have to say that she will be missed." Gina Nelson responded to Damont's remarks stating, "Well said!! Just a few typos though and I'm SURE she's trying to reach down from heaven to tell you." There were many more tributes. Way too many to mention but I’m sure you can tell that Ms. Gonzales meant the world to the many students she encountered over her decades as a teacher.

     Thinking of all she meant to her students reminded me of the words spoken by Dr. Maya Angelou when she visited Indianapolis this week. She said you have no idea how far your importance will reach in your community, your state and your country. She encouraged us to be a rainbow in the clouds. Ms. Olivia Gonzales was just that to her students. Our lives will be forever changed because she was part of it. I encourage you today and I know that Ms. Gonzales would as well, that whatever God has given you to do with your life, be a rainbow in someone’s cloud. God has a purpose for your life. Ms. Gonzales served her purpose. I have no doubt in my mind that when she met God at the gates of heaven h
He said, well done, good and faithful servant well done. Thank you and God bless you.

     Until next time, I hope you have been encouraged, empowered, enriched and enlightened.

Peace and blessings,


Sunday, June 30, 2013

Prepare For Your Blessing

     Have you ever wondered why you have setback after setback in your life? You may have asked, “When will I catch a break?”  If you have not asked this question, you will. At some point in your life, you will have a setback. If you have asked this question, I encourage you to hang in there, even if it seems that there’s no relief in sight. Hang in there anyway and stay prayerful.  Keep believing that your prayers will be answered and never give up. God will answer your prayer but only in His time. He never closes a door without the plan to open another one. Your breakthrough is coming. Know that your setback is a setup for a blessing. Prepare for it. It is coming!

Until next time, I hope you have been encouraged, empowered, enriched and enlightened.

Peace and blessings, 


Thursday, May 2, 2013

Winning Begins With Your Mind

Hey there! Welcome back to my blog. Wow! Things in life seem to be happening at lightning speed. I can’t believe two months have passed since I last shared thoughts on my page. We all know life happens but please pray for me as I make every effort to stay on task going forward. :-) I will not be defeated. That brings me to what I want to talk about today. Today, I'd like to talk about winning.

I bet we can all agree that most people like to win, right? There’s a lot to be said about what it takes to be a winner. Likewise, there are also many adages about winning.  For example, it’s been said that it’s not whether you win or lose, it’s how you play the game. There is definitely some truth to that. However, it doesn’t matter how you play the game if you don’t believe you can win. When it comes to winning, the most important thing is the condition of your mind. You have to believe you can win. Period. If you tell yourself you can’t, you have already been defeated. You can be bigger and even be more experienced, but if you are defeated in your mind, size and all the training in the world doesn’t matter.

For example, In 1 Samuel 17, the Bible tells us about a teenage boy named David, who went to battle against a giant Philistine warrior named Goliath. Without a doubt, anyone looking at the situation would be convinced that all the cards were stacked against David. Nonetheless, David’s smaller stature and all the threats and insults hurled by the burly Goliath were no threat to David. In spite of it all, David went into the battle with much boldness and confidence and ultimately defeated Goliath. It is this type of confidence that separates winners from losers. Therefore, with all the adages about winning, I resolve to this one, ninety percent of winning is believing that you can. An author by the name of Jamerson Frank once said, “Our greatest battles are with our own minds.” 

Until next time, I hope you have been encouraged, empowered, enriched and enlightened. 

Peace and blessings,


Thursday, February 28, 2013

Moving Forward or Backwards?

    As Black History Month 2013 comes to an end I reflect on how far the United States has come in the area of race relations.  Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., the nine African-American students known as Little Rock Nine and many other pioneers of the Civil rights movement, risked their lives, spent time in jail and endured brutal beatings in their fight for equal rights for all mankind.  More than half a century later, our first African-American president, President Barack Obama, is serving his second term in office.  Additionally, we celebrate Rosa Parks, a seamstress that helped ignite the Civil Rights movement by refusing to give up her seat to a white man on a segregated bus in Alabama.  Her refusal to give up her seat, lead to the Montgomery bus boycott.  This month, Parks becomes the first black woman to be honored with a life-sized statue on Capitol Hill.

     There’s no doubt we have made great strides and that deserves to be celebrated.  However, I can’t help but think that we have moved forward just to move backwards when I hear about rapper, Lil’ Wayne making offensive lyrics about Emmett Till.  You ask who is Emmett Till?  He was a 14 year old African-American from Chicago, IL.  In 1955 while visiting relatives in Money, Mississippi, Till was accused of flirting with a white woman in a grocery store. Days later, Till was kidnapped by two white men, brutally beat and shot in the face which lead to his death. Till’s mother chose to have an open casket so that mourners could see her son’s disfigured face.  Till’s brutal murder and open casket electrified the emerging civil rights movement.

     Now, I see several problems with Lil’ Wayne’s actions.  The one that keeps coming back to me every time I hear of his ridiculous antics is the fact that if it were not for the life of Emmett Till along with so many others and their sacrifices, Lil’ Wayne would not be where he is today.  The sad irony is that Lil’Wayne is one of many people who have no idea about their history and the pain and sacrifice that affords them the life they live.  I could go on about the negative effects of not knowing our history but that’s a blog post for another day.  The fact is, this type of behavior by anyone is not acceptable and should not be tolerated.

     We must continue to celebrate our success but in order to move forward we must hold one another accountable.  There are some people that will buy Lil’ Wayne’s music in spite of his ignorant, inflammatory lyrics. This is moving backwards. I realize Lil’ Wayne is not the only one that does these things. The fact is, this type of behavior by anyone is not acceptable and should not be tolerated.  When we support anyone, regardless of their race, that goes against what is right and what we believe in, we support them and their stance.  In the words of Mahatma Ghandi, “You must be the change you wish to see in the world.”

     Until next time, I hope you have been encouraged, empowered, enriched and enlightened.

Peace and blessings,