Monday, December 09, 2013


What you see here is an addict.

For as long as I can remember, I’ve been drawn to the school supply aisle of any grocery or drugstore. I know that that’s where I can find the items that feed my pen and paper addiction. It is there that containers of pens, pencils, folders, heck, even sharpeners, really turn me on. I’ve learned to discipline myself into only buying these tools when absolutely necessary. But it is a struggle.

I can’t say the same for my addiction to binders. Notebooks, loose leaf and composition books? Gotta have them. And I pick them up every chance I get. Within these pages, I write my daily to-do lists, short stories and even the beginnings of novels. And even after said novel or short story is completed, I like to keep these handwritten pages as a rough draft of my beginnings. So I often have multiple binders available. The used ones are stored on my top closet shelf as shown above.

Recently, I stumbled upon a notebook that I began in 2010 (I also date each entry). In it, I had a list of things I was unsatisfied with in my life and how I’d go about changing them. I put the notebook away and forgot all about it. But when I found it the other day, I realized I’d completed quite a few of these goals without even remembering the list. I knew these notebooks would take me somewhere!

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

A Tale of a Fateful (Blogging) Trip: The Minnow is Not Lost

When I think about my blog I can't help but think of Gilligan's Island. That's the TV show where a bunch of folks were stranded on a deserted island and something always prevented them from getting back home. (I also think the show had closely related themes with Good Times, but that's for another post). These days, I feel like the Gilligan of the blogosphere.

I started this blog seven years ago with no plans whatsoever. I thought it would be a hobby. A place to vent my frustrations, A forum to laugh at my own jokes.

Imagine my surprise when I became immersed in the blogging world. I discovered great new blogs and all these wonderful writers were discovering my site and I was discovering theirs. It was a great forum for meeting people, but not really meeting people, if you get my drift. Suddenly, I had contacts around the country - maybe the world - and I could learn from their experiences.

But things changed, and that's where the Gilligan part comes in. I feel like I'm on a deserted island because a lot of my blogging buddies have disappeared. They've either shut down their sites or post so infrequently that I wonder about their well being. I don't post much anymore either, but one reason for that is because my regular crew isn't around to read them.

Oh, woe is me, right? Enough of the pity party. I've been terribly busy, so I haven't had the time to blog. that doesn't mean I've stopped writing, I've just been doing it in other venues. Now I'm trying to get my mojo back on this blogging thing. Yes, I'm still upset about the absence of my blogging friends (I won't mention any names, but you know who you are (!!L!!!)), but all I can do is keep my head down, blog like hell and hope for their safe return.

Saturday, March 02, 2013

Sure, I'll Be A Role Model

 Today was day one of my eight-week session of being a role model. A professional organization I belong to needed volunteers to help with a weekend workshop they were doing with high school students and I agreed to participate. Sure, it takes a commitment of getting up early on Saturday mornings and spending a full day with teenagers, but the opportunity intrigued me. And let's be honest, I'm always looking for new things to put on my resume.

This was an orientation day, so the coordinator introduced everyone and a keynote speaker addressed the audience. I also spoke to a few students and parents who were curious about what I did for a living. I only felt old twice - once when I had to explain who Maria Schriver was ( long story) and another time when a high school girl told me that she was so overwhelmed with career possibilities that she'd likely push back having children until she was at least 30. And then she gasped. And then I side eyed.

Naturally, I found an adorable boy I would have loved to have in my group. He had that nerdy teenage awkwardness, but he was so smart and so sweet that he made me think "awww" at least 9858457454545748 times. And then there was another boy I immediately didn't want in my group. He also had that same nerdy teenage awkwardness, but he seemed to think it was swagger. He made me think "shut up" at least 9858457454545748. Then we separated into our groups. Guess who was in mine? I'll give you a hint - I won't be saying aww for the next eight weeks.

Anyway, that's the evolution of my Saturday. As soon as I finish this post, I have to get caught up on my own writing which I've neglected all week. And later tonight, my real weekend will start! That's my hope, anyway.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Year Seven

This blog turned seven this month and I didn't even notice. Actually, I did notice, but not on Feb. 9, which was the day I gave birth to Strength/Courage/Wisdom. I was crossing off a day in my calendar when it occurred to me that there is this website that I'm responsible for and I'd been neglecting it terribly this year.

Because I've been rarely blogging, I know my audience has dwindled. And that's fine, because I don't write for other people. I write for me. And I owe it to myself to get into a regular blogging schedule. It's just a matter of figuring out how to do that between work and other commitments.

Despite my silence, things have been going well for me. I've been staying busy, which has made blogging pretty much impossible. In the past few weeks, I've become a sushi chef, a certified zumba instructor and Google Analytics pro. OK  I'm exaggerating, but I've made careful steps into each of those ventures. I continue to write fiction and I'm finishing up the edits on a second novel so I can shop it around.

Anyway, I have not forgotten you, dear sweet Strength/Courage/Wisdom. You stay on my mind, so I'll have to find a better way to show you love.   

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Nasal Strip Nightmares

I snore.

It’s something that I’ve been told. I even heard it after recording myself. It’s not a loud, earth-shaking sound, but it is a snore. My problem is that I have allergies and I get congested, especially at night. My nose can barely release air when when I’m awake, let alone when I’m sleeping. So those six to eight hours I spend in bed are really a fight between oxygen and my nasal passages.

Because I’m the Google Queen, I’ve found several ways to solve my problem. The only one that seemed worthwhile were the nasal strips. What you do is put one of these taped strips on your nose while sleeping and your sinuses open right up, and there will be no rumble emanating from the nostrils. I’m willing to try anything that my FSA will pay for, so I bought a pack of Breathe Right Nasal Strips.

Do you know what’s been happening? My sinuses open up as they never have before. I get into my bed and I’m out until my alarm clock goes off. I sleep hard, and I sleep quietly. But there is a downside to that. For me, that’s the dreams. I often have a dreamless sleep (or dreams I forget by the time I wake) and when I do dream, they’re pretty crazy and are usually because I’d been lacking sleep.

I’m in a whole new world with these Nasal Strip Nightmares. I’ve committed murder. Driven off cliffs. Beaten elderly men with their own canes. Watched our new CEO transform into a snarling lion. Then I awake in a slight state of panic and rip the strip off.

I could stop using the nasal strips, but I can’t. You see, NOTHING has ever made my nose feel this clear so I’m willing to make the sacrifice. It’s time for me to go to bed anyway. I wonder what I’ll dream up next. 

Monday, September 03, 2012

Becoming Black Jennifer

My freshman year of college, there were three Jennifers on my floor: White Jennifer, Black Jennifer and Track Jennifer.

White Jennifer was the one with the sense of humor. She used to run around telling jokes like "your mom is so dumb, that she asked me what yield meant. I told her slow down and she said 'what .... does .... yield .... mean?" Black Jennifer was a middle-aged woman disguised as a teenager. Right after class, she'd slip into her slippers and sweats and vow never to go outside again. Track Jennifer, who was also black, was on the track team, hence her nickname. She was cool in the beginning, but she started disliking me because I was friends with a girl who was hooking up with a guy that she liked. Yeah, it still doesn't make any sense to me either, but whatever.

Lately, I've been thinking alot about Black Jennifer. It would be 4 o'clock in the afternoon and I'd see her decked out in her comfort clothes: this was the 1990s, so her gear consisted of those bright yellow zip sweaters that Lerner/Limited/New York and Company used to make, the ones that just said USA. She'd be perched up next to the security guard --- we called him the White Black Man, because no one knew if he was white or black -- talking about middle-aged things, like the stock market and real estate. Ok, I don't know what they were talking about, but it all seemed very adult, and boring. I pitied the poor girl because she seemed to be allergic to the parties, independence and freedom that college provided.

Fast forward nearly 20 years later and I've developed Black Jennifer traits. I come home from work and I want nothing more than to unhook my bra, put on my scarf and sweats, curl into a little ball and watch my dvr. It takes a great deal of strength for me to do an after-work activity, such as grocery shopping or taking out the trash. I've become so obsessed with CBS Sunday Morning that I dvr it and discuss the most interesting stories with my dude. Same goes with some of these speeches at the RNC in Tampa. I draw the line at Dateline and 48 Hours, though. There's only so much real-life tragedy that I can handle.

It has occurred to me that I might be getting old, or growing up, depending on how you look at it. And if it has taken me all this time to reach the maturity level of 18-year-old Black Jennifer, I can only imagine what she's like today. Maybe things changed and she hit a youthful stride in her mid 30s. Perhaps she's now at the club, dropping it like it's hot. Or maybe she was able to woo the White Black Man and perhaps they're living somewhere together, happily ever after. No matter where she's wound up, I do hope she's managed to find happiness, and hopefully leave that USA sweater behind.

(Image added from

Wednesday, August 01, 2012

What Ya Say Wednesday ("Why do people use the phrase 'work like a dog?' I wish I worked like my dog .. I would sleep 18 hours a day"***)

Happy belated birthday to ShellyShell!! Please update your site so we can learn how you celebrated. I haven't taken a vacation yet this summer, so I remain envious of Tha L's trek to Zion National Park. I'm also green about these fab pix from Mykonos. I'm excited to learn that a new book about a zombie apocalypse is now available from husband and wife collaborators Tananarive Due and Steven Barnes. I'm eager to learn more about Oprah's natural hair venture. And I'm glad that I recently discovered this blog, which emphasizes that not everyone in Detroit is an abandoned building.

**Tweet from comedian Kevin Hart