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Daddy's Lessons/Call for Submissions- Creative Non-Fiction

Last week, I spent the day at a high school, talking about writing and books. when I showed up, I had absolutely no idea what I was going to talk about, or if I was going to read from any of my books. On the way there, I received a Facebook notification that someone had mentioned me and made a comment about A Letter for My Mother--the book I'd edited--creative non-fiction, and since it was close to Mother's Day, I decided to spotlight this book.
     If you follow me, you know the story of how this book started. The MIL whom I'd believed to share a mutual feeling of dislike with was dying, and the thought of her leaving this plane was very painful to me.  I was bewildered by these feelings and being that I was across the country, could not go to her. So I wrote her a letter, and filed it. Later, on reading the letter, I thought it should be published somewhere and the book was born.       The task was not as simple as it seemed. I found myself shepherding, almost coun…

A Little Child Shall Lead Them

All of my Christmas Shopping is done without out me setting foot in a mall. Everything is wrapped, in coordinating paper and placed under the Christmas Tree. All of the kids know the rules; they must avert their eyes as if nothing is there. This is how Black Santa works.

     He is magical.

     The boxes are actually empty until the stroke of Midnight of Christmas Eve, when the presents materialize inside their wrappings. If you open them early, you will only find coal or air.
The offspring understand this, though I did catch Midime checking out a few boxes this week. The stockings were disturbed,too. It's hard to get away with that stuff, even if you try really hard to return the boxes back to the exact spot they were in before you meddled with them when you have a mother who studies behavior and watches people for a living.

     Yesterday, new gifts started appearing under the tree, very easy to spot because the kiddos didn't use the coordinated paper I so painstaking…

Traveling with Generation Z

Family trip.Girl is lamenting about having to carry her brand new, school issued laptop to school every day.  "I wish this was the 90s," she says. "Then all I would need was pen and paper." Flight delay. Fast forward two hours. We've decided to peruse the airport mall while we wait.  There's a record store.  She's bewildered. We try to explain. "How'd you take your music with you?" "You didn't," we say. There was no sharing with your friends. No texting.  Phone calls cost money. And oh, no YouTube. Or Snapchat. She's flabbergasted. And then she adds "And everyone shared just one phone?" We nod. "Just one wall phone." It's our turn to be confused and then it hits us. We burst into laughter. The phone was on the wall. And couldn't fit in your pocket. It couldn't surf the web or be used to write fan fiction. It didn't take pictures. And people thought hard about using it after ten pm.

7 Things I learned on Treadmill: Musings of a Figure Athlete

A Mother's Day letter for my Mother-Sister

If you've read "A letter for my Mother", you probably realize that Mother's Day is a hard one for me. Not hard, as in difficult, but more like awkward. My family lost my mother before I was old enough to make gifts at school or make her breakfast in bed, so I spent those years making Mother's Day cards for my father before that was a thing and when teachers would still say that your family of your black father raising  two small kids was not a family. My father would accept his cards filled with puns based around him being the best "mother-father" in the world with half a smile on his face and keep on going. But we went through. As I came into my own womanhood and had children on my own, I was blessed with a older sibling that stood in to help me find my way into grownupness. Although circumstances might have dictated that we not be friends, her mother had taught her to hold ALL siblings close. She'd taught her that when your parents pass on to the …

Lessons, Limits And Fishsickles

Almost two years ago, I blogged about my health journey. Along with my husband, I travelled the road towards a healthier lifestyle and lost a ton of weight in the process. (I realize that's relative).  I then decided I wanted to be a Figure Athlete and compete in the bodybuilding world. It turned out that that not only had I lost body fat in my journey, I'd lost more than 7 lbs of muscle. Yes, my clothes were smaller, but I had now become "skinny fat".      I joined a team, hiring a nutritionist that specialized in the bodybuilding lifestyle and instead of a trainer, I found a coach, someone who could guide me through bodybuilding nutrition and the right training so that I could go from body fat around 26 percent to less than 10 percent. (26 was good. I started at some unmentionable number in the 30s)     Last year, that plan wasn't to be. I was sidelined by a dance with cancer and about four surgeries that required that I not raise my heart rate the way exe…

Gratitude and Thankfulness

Nina Foxx's Just Short of Crazywas an amazing success, far beyond anything I could have imagined. Thank you all of the people who supported the effort, either through the IndieGoGo Campaign, through direct contributions or by putting their body in a seat. Over 500 people did.  There was actually one person who came every night and brought a different person with him each night, and no, he was not a relative. There were people who bought a copy of every book I had. There were companies who donated food so my talent could eat during long rehearsals, and others who donated money for concessions. Thanks to Starbucks Coffee Company, Ezell's Famous Chicken, Weichert Realtors, The City of Seattle Arts/Langston Hughes Institute (building grant) and our presenting sponsor, The Paul & SallyJanowitz  family. With your help, I was able to bring a message of positive self worth and female empowerment and draw attention to the issue of domestic abuse in our communities in an entertaining…