Archive for November, 2006
November 22, 2006 | Writing
You know, we all talk about getting ‘the call’. To be published, how exciting it will be. Well, I’m going to be published! Not my book, it’s not ready for public viewing, but by January, 2007 it will be. I’m going to be published in a black romance anthology.
About four to five months ago, a published author friend, Dyanne Davis, sent me an email telling me to submit a short story for a black romance anthology being put together. Dyanne didn’t have to tell me once, she had to tell me three times before I pulled out a story idea that’s been rambling around in my head for some time. First off, short stories are harder than novels. How do you cram an entire plot, develop characters and have a happy ending in such a short word count? It took me a few days and Sloane Taylor even looked at it, although I don’t know if she remembers doing so. So after a few days of editing it, tighting it, mumbling and grumbling over it, I sent it in. Rejection is such a mother and I didn’t think I’d be accepted. Then Monday, November 20 I receive an email from Kim Louise, a co-editor and contributing author for this anthology, telling me I was going to be included in the collection. My short story, The Red Dress, made it through two review rounds. I stared at my computer screen for at least five minutes – stunned. I’m still stunned and excited.
My story is about a magical red dress available in a consignment shop. The dress calls to women who are experiencing self esteem and romance problems. Once they put the dress on, no matter what their shape or size, they begin to feel beautiful, because the dress conforms to flatter their body. The dress also helps their self esteem. If the woman, while wearing the dress, experiences emotional doubts the dress will constrict, pinch or do whatever it takes to make them dismiss the thought. Once the woman’s issue(s) has been resolved, she is compelled to return the dress to the shop so it can be cleansed and prepped for the next woman. Needless to say, it’s a paranormal and no, I don’t know where such a dress shop is located. However, if I ever come across such a shop, I’m wearing the dress first.
I chose the color red because it is a vibrant color. When you wear red you’ve got to be willing to have your physical flaws for public viewing. We wear black because it’s so forgiving, hiding bumps and lumps. Women have many hangups about their size and shape. Advertising doesn’t help. Add to those woes, women trying to find a soul mate, will sometimes behave in ways detrimental to their our self esteem and well being as a person.
I tried to write the story with a moral for women, and with JGirl in mind. If you truly believe in yourself, set your standards high and don’t let others intimidate you because you don’t wear a size three, you won’t so easily settle for someone who can’t appreciate your inner beauty and you won’t lower your values just to have any man.
I’ll keep you posted. The anthology is going to be published by Parker Publishing, LLC and will be called Soul Love: The Ultimate Collection “Celebrating African-American Romance Fiction”
November 13, 2006 | Family & Life
I’ve been rather busy the past month or so. Fixing the little fixes in my manuscript, finder bigger fixes that need to be fixed, and helping JGirl move out on her own. Yep, the college grad found a job in her major, in the city (out of state) she wanted to live in and she moved into her own apartment. All in two and half months following graduation. Now I can hear a lot of parents shouting ‘Congratulations! She’s got a job, she’s on her own!’ Yeah right. I realize how difficult the job market is right now and how lucky she was to land a position she truly likes.
I made the trip with her to move and it was the first and perhaps last time, she and I will ever ride in a car for over ten hours. Not enough Starbucks, because I was afraid I’d have to make pit stops every hour, prolonging our trip. Once I dropped her off, we found an apartment the day I was leaving, that is ten minutes tops from her job. I flew home and happily thought about how proud my parents would be of her. I also wiped my brow with relief, just a little more helpful assistance from her Papi and me and she’d be flying solo. So what happens the next morning when I turn on my computer? There she is, “Hi Mommi.” What the f**ck! Her company has Yahoo Instant Message. So now, every weekday I know when she arrives at work and when she leaves. It’s the inbetween hours that are interesting. We can converse briefly about how she’s doing, but this is also a way for her to ask about problems with her hair, her car, her stomach…. JGirl is grown alright. Let me give you an incident which proves when they grow up, move out, but they never really leave. JGirls’ mantra when she experienced a problem with, her bank not getting her information correct was, “My Daddy will be here this weekend and if you haven’t fixed this, he’ll be in to see you.” Yep, Papi was on his way down that weekend, but he had no idea he was going to have to do battle with a local bank. I bet they were scared.
Okay, that wasn’t the incident, but this is. Halloween, I’m trying to pass out candy to the multitudes that show up on our doorstep, when she calls. JGirl is at the gas station and the gas door won’t open. Of course, she’s on empty. ‘Hang on Chicka’, I almost said, ‘Mommi will be right down in nine hours, eleven if I stop and get a Starbucks Venti.’ I didn’t think she’d see the humor. So we discuss what she should do. I tell her to go to Sears, she tells me Sears isn’t open. It’s six o’clock here, so it’s only seven there, but she says it’s not the same, they close early in the south. Huh? So I answer the doorbell one more time, then I google Sears, and from Illinois call the Sears automotive in her area. Hey, they are open!! Then we discuss what happens if she runs out of gas on the way to Sears. Well I tell her, as I open my front door three more times, she has AAA, so if she runs out of gas, they’ll come and they’ll be forced to open the gas door. Now she’s upset because I’m choosing to answer the door and pass out candy instead of devoting one hundred percent of my time to her problem. We go through a few more scenarios each one spelling increasing doom, ending with her needing a new car. Finally, she makes it to Sears and they pry the door open, but she must take it to the dealership to be fixed. Long story short, she does and the repair work takes a day longer than she wanted. Meanwhile as she waited for her car to be repaired, being the mature, on her own woman she is, she IM’s me and ask me or Papi to call the dealership and see what the holdup is. Outcome: her car was fixed on time. Conclusion: A parents job is never done!