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Shanghai-Part II
I finally got to old town. I found historical buildings converted to
house modern day stores, including a Starbucks and McDonald's,
wedged right next to street stalls selling foods on a stick and other
Chinese goods.
When in Rome, right?
When I saw the choices, my courage waned. I was not a Bizarre Foods
Queen on this trip. Instead I chose to watch while a traveling
companion did his thing. His choice-a bird looking creature impaled
on sharp choptick, head and all. He chewed in what seemed like slow
motion, and it dawned on me then--All the open space around us, the
kind of space that would normally be teeming with pigeons, was
totally devoid of birds of any kind. My stomach turned over and
excuse the cliche, but I really did throw up a little in my mouth.
He was eating the rat of the sky. Other tourists stopped to watch
the over-sized hairy american eat the unidentified birdie. We moved
to find a restaurant, preferably one that served food we co…
I've been on blog silence. I've been busy, casting Marrying Up (more
about that later) and doing a little bit of traveling.ShanghaiWhat do do when you have only one day in China? Everything you can.
After 16 hours of flying, I opted not to go to sleep. Instead, after
showering away the airplane grunge, I headed out for a drink with my
new chinese friend. It was a Sunday, but not the Sabbath here, so
everything was as open as a whorehouse in a Navy port of call.
Shanghai never closes, so even at ten pm on a Sunday, lights flashed
and locals filled the streets.
Locals-Let's explore that. I was told Shanghai was the expatriate
city of China, so it took a minute for me to see Chinese faces. What
I was seeing looked more like downtown Brooklyn that the Far East.
After a few drinks and the required tourist photos, I slept a little
and rose early, like 5AM early, and waited for the sun to come up.
I wasn't trying to be romantic. My body was confused and since …

Why I Shop Online for the Holidays

Today is "book in store" day. Yep, my new book is finally here. Women read the title and they get it right away, but men? I'm not so sure. Guy, I'm not saying we don't need you. Of course we do. That's not the point.
Most people laugh when I tell them the name of my new book, but some ask me "What does your husband think about that?" You know what, he gets it.
No Girl Needs a Husband Seven Days a Week was not intended as an instructional manual on how to get rid of your bothersome significant other, instead it was supposed to be a look inside today's marriage. So many of us grow up looking for the knight in shining armour or the fairy tale happily ever after, only to be disappointed once we make the leap into matrimony. We find that its nothing like we thought and that "Until death do us part" may come earlier than we envisioned because one of us is plum going to kill the other.
Inside my story, you'll find three indepen…
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Me with Morgan Miller, The Queen of Sole in Miami Beach

Custom Shoes, Miami & Singelringen

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So, how was Miami? Certainly warmer than San Diego. I thought I was doomed to have a busted trip, but in the end it was saved by my stumble onto a custom shoe store. That's right, custom shoes.
Morgan Miller wasn't my first dance with shoes made especially for my tootsies. I actually had some made a few weeks ago by costume designer Ann Roth. (www.annrothshoes.com).
I picked the heel and the fabric along with a final embellishment and they arrived at my door with cards for me to give out to tell folks where they'd come from.
This time, I went to Morgan Miller (The Queen of Sole) in Miami Beach, picked a heel, picked a top and an embellishment. I even picked the color of the label in the sole. After two fittings and thirty minutes, Viola! Shoes. I REALLY liked this concept and Morgan and family were all very kind.
They even presented my shoes to me on a silver platter.

Other parts of my trip: The crowded Miami Book Fair, an interview with The Marc Bernier Sho…
Sigh.  You know stuff happens to me when I travel, right?  I thought I'd overcome the travel gremlin, but I was wrong.  I got back from San Diego late last night.  It was a quick trip, there and back, no room for error, or so I thought.  I covered all bases.  I was willing to risk being rusty, by removing all creams, lotions, potions, and lipsticks from my bag.  I even left my computer at home.I hopped on my SouthWest plane so I could be on the west coast with a full day to burn.  I was ready, seeing as how I'd heard that it never rains in sunny southern california. Ha! Ha!   When I stepped off the plane I had to double check the city I'd landed in.   It looked more like Seattle than San Diego. The day was gray and overcast and it was COLD.   No, strike that, freezing. My leather coat that is a winter coat in San Antonio was being eaten whole by the San Diego chill. I tugged it around my body, trying to keep out the cold and tried to find a Starbucks. The beach is not pleasant in …

New Book News

Hello Reader-Friends!

The countdown is on! My next book, No Girl Needs A Husband Seven Days a Week will be released in a few days. I'm excited. Remember that pre-orders are very important to an author, so I would certainly appreciate yours. Here are some early reviews from The Harpercollins first look program--

I LOVED this book! Nina Foxx is a wonderful author and I hope she continues to write because THIS BOOK is one to make you GIGGLE out loud and say, "oh no she/he didn't!" If you have girlfriends, then you can relate to this book. If you are married and struggling, you can relate to this book. Taking care of an elderly parent? Get this book. Nina Foxx writes so beautifully about the beauty of friendship and sisterhood, and I definitely recommend this book.
— Shelly (Henderson, NV)

This book was wonderful. While it dealt with serious issues such as infidelity, imprisonment and oh yeah, men. Foxx dealt them a witty, touching and ultimately memorable hand. With we…

Macchu PIcchu

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I thought I was in shape. And then I went to Machu Picchu. The day started innocently enough. After the night before, I drank more Coca tea and felt I was recovered from my altitude sickness. We were going to take the train to Macchu Picchu.
We were greeted at the train station by Peruvian dancers and mimosas, and then we boarded the most luxurious train I have ever seen. I felt like we’d stepped back into time when train travel was the way to travel. We were seated our a lavish dining table and plied with food and drink, including pisco sours, a form of whiskey sour made with Peru’s national drink, Pisco. I’d seen that on the travel channel too and didn’t want to think about the traditional way it was made, by people chewing the ingredients until they fermented, then spitting it into a vat.
The three car train ambled up the mountain path while musicians strolled its length and we snapped pictures of the country side, passing farmers and shepherds. Electric pole sliced through…

Altitude Sickness and Llama meat

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Llamas and Alpacas and Altitude Sickness.

I planned to hit the ground running. I hunkered down on my flight and worked it all out in my mind. It was midnight. We’d sleep on the plane, transfer at 5:00AM to a shuttle flight to Cusco, shower and be on our tour at 9. Riiiight.
First, both of my kids started wailing. The little one just wanted to go home. She hated the layover hotel and didn’t want to experience another no –tell motel. The big one wailed because they sat us ear the back of the plane and she hates that, she said it made her feel un-cared for, like I purposely told American Airlines to put us in the back of the plane.
“Mom, why didn’t YOU put us in first class?”
After I stopped laughing and helped to dry her tears, I told her that she was lucky to be on the flight at all. It would have been far cheaper to leave her home with a relative.
“But mom, I have flown first class before.”
She has not.
The closest she came was in the bulkhead row peering through the curtains,…

Trip to The Sacred Valley-Stuck in Miami

Right out of Dallas, we had a problem. Our flight from Dallas to Lima was delayed by more than an hour, making the possibility of making our connection ot Lima slim to none. That would cause an even bigger dilemma, if we missed that flght,we couldn't possibly chnge airlines in Lima as planned to get to Cusco, the heart of the Sacred Valley. American Airlines could or would not tell me anything except that I should go to Miami and they would talk to me there.

Note to self: In the future, let's try to avoid four connection trips.

I pulled out my I-phone and did a search If we missed that connecting flight to Lima,there were no other flights that night, exept one on LANperu, ther partner airline. I called the red trouble phone again. No, they could not get us seats on that flight, at least not from Dallas, so we crossed our fingers and got on the plane.

Bad move.

We rolled into the gate just as the flight to Lima rolled out.

We missed it by ten minutes, so did ten other people.
I…

Creating the Play-Finding Venues

The Things The Femme Fantastik will Teach you about your friends/ The Femmes A la Mode

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The Texas/Oklahoma leg of the Femme Tour was fabulous, of course. We broke in Berta by meeting her at the door with a new Femmetini. Reshonda got to watch Hell Date to her heart's content and carmen is now hooked on it too.

Things I learned:
One of us knows her way around a bar. Like for real. She can make a delicious tasting drink with whatever you happen to have in your refrigerator. No names. But I think its one of her weapons.
Another one of us can really drink anything. Again, no names, but she's new.
One of us can't drink at all. Its just not a good idea to let her imbibe then attempt steps.
Another one will steal your Tums. The girl asked me for one and then took the whole bottle and put it in her bag. I'm told that the girls ate them as after dinner mints in Oklahoma.
One of us REALLY can't eat fast food. The rest of the people in the car regretted that stop at Wendy's between Killeen and San Antonio for the WHOLE trip.
The highlight for me is wh…

Marrying Up Again-casting

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Hey Folks,
We are bringing Marrying Up, The Stage play back. Here's the casting information--




Funny Laundry detergent

I got this from my sister in an email last week and its definitely good for a chuckle. Happy Monday!

Welcome to the Country New Shopping Buddy

Sometimes I feel the need the re-post. Or at least incorporate something I wrote a long time ago into one of my posts. This past week has made me feel that the time was near.
I needed a new dress this week. This is the wedding season or something, and with three upcoming weddings in three entirely different states and two countries, I felt the need to shop. Alas, all of my shopping buddies moved away, and then I moved away from my favorite stores, and sometimes, shopping is just not a solitary thing. I pondered my dilemma, then called up a woman I'd met recently, one who felt like she had the material to be a friend.
She recently immigrated to Texas from New York by way of Connnecticut, and she lives very close. The sister (whose name I promised I would not mention) just seemed to be so cool. I invited her and her spouse out for drinks with a group of folks to try and introduce them to our small community a few weeks ago. She was feeling a little uncomfortable and always se…

Exercise before Excorcism.

UPS dropped a box on my doorstep this morning and I screamed when I opened it. Happy screams, it was a box of Galleys (advance reader editions) of No Girl Needs a Husband Seven days a Week. I react the same way to every book. That initial box opening is always like the first time. Don't we wish more things could be that way?
One things for sure, things are getting back to normal. I have galleys in my hand and new proposal in. The kids are back in school so peace is restored in my daytime household.
And the critters are haunting me again.
If you are a regular reader of this blog, you know I have my issues with nature. Natural water. Wild animals. Pestilence.
I thought I'd appeased the earth goddess and we'd made amends, but the more things change the more they stay the same.
I'd dropped my kids at school and headed back to the office. I'd decided it was a mail day, so I stopped at the bottom of the hill to retrieve the mail. My mail box is long as opposed …

Cat-trip

My good friend's son has left the nest and she has been taking car of her "grand-cat" ever since. Recently she had to send the cat to be with his daddy in his new home in another state. She sent me the following email and I laughed so hard I almost peed my pants.

We recently shipped our grandcat "Trips" to New York. A couple of days before his trip we sent him to the vet to get groomed, get his shots, and his nails done (blue vinyl tips). Needless to say, he was traumatized.

Two days later we packed him in his FAA approved case for his trip airplane trip to New York City. The vet gave us some anxiety medication for Trips to take before he got on the plane.

Unfortunately, we did not have these thorough instructions on how to give him the medication. Here they are for you, just in case you need to give your Cat or Dog medicine.


CATS

1. Pick cat up and cradle it in the crook of your left arm as if holding a baby. Position right forefinger and thumb on either s…

On The Road with The Soul Expressions Tour

In my email today: 'Glamour' Editor To Lady Lawyers: Being Black Is Kinda A Corporate "Don't"

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'Glamour' Editor To Lady Lawyers: Being Black Is Kinda A Corporate "Don't" The latest issue of Glamour advises readers use Kimble leave-in conditioner followed by a flat iron followed by a curling iron followed by spritzer and augmented with hair extensions to achieve "Mary J. Blige's loose beautiful curls." Um, how about time better spent solving the mortgage crisis? Well, a recent slide show by an unidentified Glamour editor on the "Dos and Don'ts of Corporate Fashion" at a New York law firm shed some light on the topic, according to this month's American Lawyer magazine.First slide up: an African American woman sporting an Afro. A real no-no, announced the 'Glamour' editor to the 40 or so lawyers in the room. As for dreadlocks: How truly dreadful! The style maven said it was 'shocking' that some people still think it 'appropriate' to wear those hairstyles at the office. 'No offense,' she sniffe…
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Me with Daaimah Poole, Nikki Turner, Stephanie Perry Moore and Tracie Howard, Trisha Thomas, Terri Woods, Lori Bryant Woolridge and Selina Montgomery
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Me and the girls with Billy dee Williams in Country club Hills, Illinois

Sunrise over Navy Pier

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6:30am
4:30pm
There was a long drive between Ft Wayne and South Bend, so they bus
wrangler popped in a movie. There wasnt enough testosterone on the bus
to get us to agree to watch 300, so we settled on Dreamgirls. As the
movie unfolded, several truths revealed themselves. First, Beyonce
ain't got a thing on our bus mom, and second Earl Sewell'e performance
got him voted the biggest Dream Girl on the bus.NinaSent from my iPhone
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Walmart country. Somewhere on Indiana
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With the Ft wayne store manager. Se real fans greeted us with screams
and shouts. They were excited to see us not scared.

Soul Expressions Tour Stops Traffic in Ft Wayne

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10:00a Two hour bus ride to Ft Wayne. A bus driver ran in to meet us.
She literally pulled her bus off the route to come and see what all
the fuss was about.
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6pm. We finally made Indianapolis. The crowd had grown to a mob!
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With Grace Aollo, author of Girl Soldier
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There was a crowd waiting for us in Fisher, Indiana, too.
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Our tour bus. Me, Reshonda Tate Billingsley @ Lori Bryant Woolridge
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10:00am
There was a crowd waiting at the first Walmart in Lawrence, Indiana.

Soul Expressions Day 0

Eighteen women and One man. Okay, two men if you count Billy Dee. This is going to be interesting.
The authors arrived through the afternoon and we were all really cordial at first. many of us knew each other at first, but I don't think there was any author who knew everyone. We ranged from new authors, to those like Beverly Jenkins, that had been around the writing world awhile. Everyone was in awe of someone.
At 6, w were summoned for orientation. They showed us a movie of the last tour, but one thing for sure, our tour was unprecedented. This had never been done with African American Authors before. It looks like we are going to have a blast. We have a "bus mom" and a bunch of other people that are supposed to help us get where we need to be and a bus wrangler whose job it is to make sure that we are all on the bus on time and no one gets left in the middle of Podunk.
That should be interesting.
And hard.
Did I say there are eighteen women?
I'll let you know …

Soul Expressions Day 0

Eighteen women and One man. Okay, two men if you count Billy Dee. Thi is going to be interesting.
The authors arrived throught the afternnon and we were all really cordial at first. many of us knew each other at first, but I don't think there was any author who knew everyone. We ranged from new authors, to those like Beverly Jenkins, that had been around the writing world awhile. Everyone was in awe of someone.
At 6, w were summoned for orientation. They showwed us a movie of the last tour, but one thing for sure, our tour was unprecedented. This had never been done with African American Authors before. It looks like we are going to have a blast. We have a "bus mom" and a bunch of other people that are supposed to help us get where we need to be and a bus wrangler whose job it is to make sure that we are all on the bus on time and no one gets left in the middle of Podunk.
That should be interesting.
And hard.
Did I say there are eighteen women?
I'll let you know…

Stylin'? At the Red Maple

Every time I go home, my younger sister has to take me out, show me
how grown she is. She even found a place last night on a Monday
night, and you should have seen her face when I agreed to go. She
got all dolled up, put on her short shorts and her cute top, then
yanked her hair up into a pony tail so that it wouldn't look like she
exerted too much effort.
It was Monday night after all.
We ended up at the Red Maple in downtown Baltimore.
At first the place looked deserted. Truth be told, I was a little
worried, but I soon discovered that you had to walk in, go all t he
way back and down a few stairs to find the folks.
She stopped at the bar to buy me a drink (more display of her her
grown-ness), and it immediately struck me that there were about fifty
women in the place and three men. And if you left out the two of us,
the three men had more hair than all of the rest of the women combined.
Most of the women were on the floor dancing, and when they put on
"Walk it o…

How to Free your Whatnot

Last year, while on the Femme Fantastik Tour, we got to talking about hygiene while we were trapped in the car for hours.  We talked about hair.  We talked about nails and of course, we talked about bikini waxes.   Brazilian waxes were made famous by Sex in The city.  There was one hilarious scene where Carrie went to get waxed and was surprised when they took it all off. Now if you have ever shaved to get ready for bikini season, you know what a pain it can be and if you get in-grown hairs, that's just ugly.   No surprise, I wanted to wax.  The Femmes and I swapped stories about getting the deed done, and they laughed at me when I told mine. I didn't go to a salon.  I was too shy to expose my who-who in that manner. "I do it myself." Their mouths dropped open in disbelief.  "The whole thing?" "Yup," I told them.  "Brazilian." "Doesn't that hurt?" I paused a minute to think about it.  "Not really.  Childbirth was much worse.  O…
Reader Friends,
Summer is whizzing by! I'm happy to announce that Marrying Up is now available in mass market paperback, just the right size for travel, beach reading or giving as a gift. It's never too early to get started on Christmahanukkwanzaka!
A DESCRIPTION:
The ring is not enough . . . .
. . . not if, like Paris Montague, you come from a long line of women who "know" how to marry. In her family, the unspoken rule has always been: "never wed someone who's not as well off as you," and her mother wants her last unattached daughter to find a wealthy "Mr. Right" right now. But Paris is doing just fine with her no-strings-attached relationship with her sexy secret lover, Tyson. The man may not have money, but he knows how to push all the right buttons.
Then JaBari Nolan enters the picture— rich, charming, and oh-so-fine, with definite husband potential. But Paris can't shake the feeling that there's something shady going on with the all-to…

White Linen with a Little Chocolate in Hotlanta

I have fun every time I go to Atlanta. Last weekend was no different. I was there Hank Stewart's Sixth Annual White Linen Affair. It was interesting although felt like the odd-woman out (or at least the only heathen). Most of the authors were Christian fiction, but I got a chance to talk to some old and new friends. I met up with old friend Victoria Christopher Murray. Here she is telling us the four ways to handle a breakup. Pay particular attention to the glee she expresses when she is talking about slashing. Okay, just kidding...







Then there was author Sherry Lewis, whom I met first on My Space...





and last but not least, Children's Book author, Diane Mason.









The funny for me? CeCe Micheala looked at me and I looked at her. We both had one of those "I know I know you moments" about each other.....

I also had a chance to check out the new restaurant Geisha House Sort of Nuevo Japanese. The food was good but very small and a bit overpriced, but you know what? T…

On Women for Obama

I was excited when I go the invitation for two reasons. I
hadn't been to a luncheon in an entire year, since moving to San
Antonio, and two, it seemed like a chance to get involved. Last time
I felt emotionally attached to a political election was twenty years
ago (I was only five), when I volunteered to work on the initial
campaign of the late Ann Richards. I was glad I did that, Governor
Richards ended up being dear to me until she died just recently. She
remembered me by name the few times we saw each other while traveling
on Southwest airlines and several times over the years she asked me
to speak to her students and I gladly did so. It was time to get
involved again, this time, Women for Obama was kicking off their
efforts in Texas and Michelle Obama would be the guest speaker at a
luncheon in a private home of a friend of a good friend.
I'm glad I went.
Of course, it was a pleasure to see my old neighbors and buddies. I
missed them. But I was in for even…

Behind the Scenes with The Femme Fantastik Tour

So I'm a techno-geek. I like gadgets almost as much as I like shoes. Almost. When I saw the MacWorld address and first glimpsed an Iphone, like everyone else, I got a little excited but I thought that was it. But I found out what stuff I was made of yesterday. I knew I would get an I-phone, but didn't know the jones for it would hit me like a addict fiending for a hit.
I got up yesterday, and decided I needed to bypass the multiple coffee machines in my house and go to Starbucks. Imagine my surprise when my car drove itself right past Starbucks and ended up cruising my local AT & T store. I needed to know if there was a line. Had people camped out? They hadn't. Relief.
I went back home and my family was still asleep, so I proceeded to go about my day.
I worked.
Ran errands.
Peeked at that AT & T store again.
uh-oh. There was a small line now.
We went to dinner. I found myself rushing them. Feeding my pre-teen with a spoon like her peas were pablum. If an…

E-mail blunders

I read down the thread in forwarded emails. You find out interesting things when you do. I did that today and had to chuckle, I'm sure the original sender of the email did not intend for me to read the comment sent earlier to someone else. It was pretty harmless. Yes, it was a comment about me, and its a good thing I'm reasonably good natured or I'd be dusting off the pins I was planning to stick in that person's voodoo doll.
Just kidding.
There's no dust on them.
Seriously though, it got me thinking about all the email and cell phone faux pas that really burn me up.

1. Email is private. Even if its left open, Really. Just don't read someone else's. And if you do you can't be mad about what you find.
2. If you forward, delete the chain, unless you want it to be read. And delete the many cc's, especially on those horribly annoying chain emails.
3. Just don't send those chain emails. I've told you everything I intend to in those &…
I'd been taking things at my usual break-neck speed for several days, so it was high time I slowed down to a more leisurely Parisian speed. The kids wanted to go to Eurodisney, but we could go see Monsieur Raton at home, so we opted for a Parisian amusement park instead.We chose the Jardin de Acclimation. Part park, part amusement, park zoo, a sort of schizophrenic place, literally smaller than my back yard. Its been around awhile. At one point, in the 1700"s, the zoo was an anthrolpolgie exhibit where they'd displayed africans in cages.After locating it on a map, I pondered how I would get there. It looked to be between the Arc de Triomphe and The Grand Arch, so how far could it be, right? Ha! Ha! I wouldn't be fooled twice. As it turned out, the best way to get there would be by train. Acck! I whined. I complained, but I finally acquiesced. I was going to have to go underground. After I was sedated, we figured out the route. Ten minutes later, we were there.…