Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Dream In Color

I have this curious thing I can do. I first noticed it around 12 years old, so this ability has been with me for quite awhile. Well, it's not really an ability . . . I'm not quite sure what one would call it.

Occasionally, I can dream something and it comes true or I can dream about a deceased relative, as if I'm talking to them and they are alive and well. Throughout the years, I have had dreams in which an event I dreamt of, actually happened. It may not happen the very next day or happen exactly like the dream, but it happens. Typically within two weeks. Don't believe me? Ask my relatives. The joke used to be: "Electa, don't come calling me talking about a dream you've had. If I was in it, I definitely don't want to hear it." There have also been many instances of visits from deceased relatives either while I'm awake or via a dream. Curiously enough, I'm not ever frightened. I always say, "We have nothing to fear from the dead, it's the living we should be afraid of."

Roughly two nights ago I experienced such a dream. I remember falling asleep with my thoughts clearly focused on my mother. I had a lot on my mind, situations that were bothering me. When my mom was alive she was one of the few people I could talk to who always put my mind at ease with just a few encouraging words. I would call her up sad or upset about something or another and it never failed, with just a few words of wisdom, in a calm, reassuring voice, my soul would be put at ease. Just like that. I never doubted her wisdom. Usually, I'd hang up the phone with my spirit lifted, laughter in my soul and seeing the problem in an entirely new light. How I miss those conversations and having someone in my life who can reassure and make everything okay in my world.

Right before dozing off that night, I recall silently asking God to send me some sign that my situation would work it's way out for the best. In the past, I've always asked for my sign to be something specific, like a red butterfly or a purple flower. For whatever reason, this time I didn't specify. Being exhausted, I fell asleep pretty quickly. That's what I do. When I have a problem I sleep and sleep and sleep.

The next morning I awoke feeling refreshed and eager to start a new day with a burst of energy. All was well in my world.

As I started my day, I vividly recalled the dream I had the night before. Most of the time, I never recall entire dreams, only bits and pieces. In my dream, myself, my sister and my mom were sitting in the kitchen at her house. The kitchen always was the central gathering spot, the center of activity. I was seated in the bar stool/chair at the counter, Tresseler (my sister) was at the kitchen table and my mom, as usual, was cooking something on the stove and drinking a cup of coffee.

To be honest, I don't remember any of the conversation. I just recall we were laughing and having a good time being in each other's company. And most of all, I recall the emotion I felt in the dream. That was what stuck with me and greeted me the next morning like an old, long lost friend. For a brief moment in time, my mom was back and I felt the familiar blanket of security and peace back in my life. I experienced the sensation of pure, unconditional love embrace and envelope me like a silky cocoon. And I awoke with the feeling, though never spoken directly to me, that everything would be okay. This too shall pass. . .

The words softly caressed my soul, lovingly whispered in my ear. And you know what, it did pass.

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Thursday, June 25, 2009

Rest in Peace, Michael Jackson

Breaking news: Michael Jackson, the King of Pop, is dead at 50 years old. I can't believe it. My mind simply won't or simply can't accept this. I've been in front of my TV since the news broke. Im watching CNN, BET and other media outlets as they take us through the brilliant life of one of, if not the greatest entertainer this century has seen. And. . . I keep repeating to myself, this can't be real, he's not really dead, I can't believe this. He was suppose to live to a ripe old age and pass away quietly in his sleep.

Michael's death has reinforced two clear facts: Life is short and when it's your time, it's your time.

Michael Jackson. My first celebrity crush. Who could resist the cute, brown-skinned boy with the large brown eyes and the beautiful voice? When he sang I just knew he was singing to me and only me. When he danced, he mesmerized me with his fancy footwork. I recall I was going to marry Michael, my sister, Randy and one of my cousins was going to marry, Marlon. We had it all planned out and were going to have a triple wedding and live happily ever after and become best friends with Janet.

From my early teenage years to young adulthood, Michael Jackson songs have been right there with me every step of the way. I have a MJ song for every boy I was in love with at one time or another.

In my reflection, I can't even begin to imagine what it must feel like to make a major impact on the entire world. Not just the United States, but the ENTIRE world. Some people are born to make a difference, to make a change. They are far and few between. Rare jewels. Michael Jackson was one of those people, imperfections and all.

RIP Michael Jackson. You are gone but will forever be remembered and discovered for generations and generations to come. True icons never die.

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Monday, June 22, 2009

Truths About Being a Published Author

“It has been a pleasure, an honor and a privilege to be a published author; it is one of the true joys and accomplishments of my life. Not everyone has the opportunity to realize a dream and I feel totally blessed to be in that number. During my tenure as a published author, I’ve discovered certain truths.” – Electa Rome Parks

1. You can’t please all of the people all of the time. Everyone is not going to love or even like your novels. And that’s OKAY.

2. Everyone, their mother and cousins will want to point out any editorial errors they may find within the pages of your books. Everyone’s a critic.

3. You don’t necessarily have to go to college to become a successful writer. I believe there are elements of writing that comes naturally, just like breathing.

4. Everyone thinks they can write a book. However, every book in the marketplace isn’t necessarily a good book.

5. Everyone thinks their life story should be a book.

6. Talent will only get you so far. Sometimes it’s all about being in the right place at the right time.

7. The right “handlers”, i.e. agents, editors, pr person, make all the difference in the world.

8. Every fiction novel has some element(s) of truth. Don’t believe the hype.

9. Writing is a business. Sales are the bottom line. No matter how talented you are, if you don’t have the sales, you won’t get the next deal.

10. There is such a syenergy when creative minds come together; it’s magic.

11. There is such a sense of freedom and joy in having the ability, from the very core of your soul to express yourself to the world; it’s almost like giving birth.

12. The new “renaissance” authors are making history and some are creating legacies.

13. Writing is a lonely and hard business to be successful in. Most of us can’t quit our day jobs.

14. Every author should pen at least one book that gives back to the universe in a positive, appealing manner to the masses.

15. You have to have a real love affair with the beauty and power of words in order to stick with it because the industry, like a lover, will take you through ups and down and sometimes screw you over.

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Stop the Madness!

“Four-year-old found dead while in the care of live-in boyfriend”

“Two-year old, with multiple internal injuries, found sodomized and dead in crib”

I am so sick and tired of reading in the newspaper or online or watching on the evening news about a child losing his/her life at the hands of a live-in boyfriend or a boyfriend who is babysitting for his girlfriend. It’s all so senseless and avoidable. I know I’m probably going to piss off some single moms out there, but I don’t care. Someone has to give these children a voice. They are the victims in these scenarios.

Stop the madness! I’ll say that again, in case you missed it:STOP THE MADNESS! I’ve never been a single mom, but if I were, I’d never, ever leave my child or children with a man I’ve just met and is dating. In many cases, these women are simply waltzing off to work, shopping or wherever and leaving their innocent babies behind to be slaughtered by men (monsters) they really don’t know. I don’t care if you think you love him, he loves you, he’s good to you, he throws down in bed. . . If you are a mother, single or married, in this day and age, you HAVE to be careful. There are no ifs, ands or buts. You have to be extra careful. We live in a world where there are a lot of evil predators lurking around and our children are their primary prey. Don’t hand over your children on a serving tray.

Women simply don’t know what they are bringing up into their homes---in some cases; it’s a sick pedophile or abuser. And they find out all too soon, usually later. Even if the children aren’t killed, they are damaged on a mental and emotional level from the abuse. It changes their lives forever. It breaks my heart to hear of these stories over and over again. Same script, different cast of characters. Women, mothers, wake the hell up, and quit trusting these monsters to be caregivers to your children. You are dating them, not your children. Quit being so trusting and accommodating for these men. I could go on and on about what low-life, trifling, slimy, disgusting mofos these men truly are. However, I won’t because we don’t have to give them power. We don’t have to give them our babies.

My children were probably two-years old before they ever stayed overnight at anyone’s home, family included. I wanted them to have the ability to talk and inform me of what was going on in any situation I placed them in. It’s a sad society that we live in; however, it is our reality. We simply don’t know what people are capable of. Sometimes it is stuff found in our worse nightmares. Female, and male children for that matter, aren’t safe these days. I’ve found that anybody can talk a good game and put on a nice demeanor for awhile;long enough to claim your trust and your children.

I’m not trying to sound preachy. . . I’m simply concerned. I’m simply passionate about our young people. I realize we can’t be with our children 24-7 and even with the best intentions and safeguards, bad things still and can happen. I’m encouraging women to act more cautious and responsible in who you are handing your children over to and bringing into their lives.

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Thursday, June 18, 2009

Emotions Rule Everything Around Me

There are no ifs, ands or buts around it. . . I am an emotional creature. Always have been and probably will remain so until the day I die. I wear my emotions clearly sketched (or more like carved in stone) on my sleeve like a badge of honor, for the whole world to see.

I follow astrology and I'm a quirky Pisces. Pisces individuals are notorious for being overly emotional and hyper, super sensitive (that's me), so maybe that's where I get it from; it's my birthright! Translation: Emotions always rule out over logic with me. I sincerely don't know if that's a good thing or not. Depending on different scenarios, sometimes I've embraced my emotional side and other times I've cursed it and the impact it has had on my life. For example, being a published author and having a thin skin is not a good combination in this industry. I'm not going to lie. Words, actions and rejections do affect me. In the words of Erykah Badu, "I'm sensitive about my shit". However, I've gotten stronger and alot better with my reactions.

My internal mantra is: Don't tell me what you think, tell me what you feel. And believe me, I will. I will talk your ear off telling you how I feel, why I feel that way, how you made me feel and how I'd like to feel. Emotions rule everything around me. I admit it, ain't no shame to my game, I do cry over sappy movies and I've been known to sob over a sad story on the evening news involving a child (my one true weakness). I also love happy endings and happily ever after stories. They make me smile. . .and I experience joy deep within my soul.

I've chosen friendships, jobs and men based on my emotional state at any given point in time. On an emotional level is how I relate and connect to people on a daily basis. If I don't feel positive vibes emitting from you, then I'm not feeling you and will typically keep my distance. I've always had a knack for "feeling out" people and can usually tell within moments if we are compatible. It's like there is an invisible shield that protects me from negativity and ill will. (No, I'm not a super hero!) If it doesn't feel right, I usually won't do it.

I'm so entuned or channeled in with not only internal factors, but external as well. People with their constant complaining, negativity and drama bring me down. I find myself picking up on their funk and bad attitude. I pull back. On the flip side, if you make me happy and I bask in joy by being with you, then I want to be in your presence.

My emotions have even filtered over into my novels. When readers speak of the characters from my books, they always feel as if they know them. At book club meetings, they talk of them as if they are real, living and breathing people and the question always comes up: Is this novel based on a real person(s)? I always laugh, shake my head, and repeat that my books are just a product of my very vivid imagination. Then one day someone told me that that question is a great testament because I've created characters that come to life for my readers. My readers get emotional over my characters, even if it's a love/hate relationship. As someone stated, that's a good thing. It means I've connected at an emotional level to my reading audience.

Bottom line: Sometimes it can be an awesome feeling to experience life through emotional awareness.

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Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Do You Love Me?

Wow! I love finding old treasures. I think I wrote this back in 1997/1998, maybe earlier. One of my first serious attempts at poetry.

As I am wrapped protectively, like a helpless cocoon,
In your strong, dark brown arms
During the early morning hours
Right before dawn, the birth of a new day
When it feels so right, so good
There is no doubt that you love me.

When you whisper sweetly and seductively in my ear
With a voice bursting with passion and emotion
Whispers that feel like flutters
Of a beautiful and graceful butterfly taking flight
Straight to my heart
There is no doubt
That you love me with all your heart and soul.

As you hypnotize and lock me in your sexy stare
As you look lovingly
And longingly into my trusting brown eyes
Right before you release your love offerings
Into my eagerly, throbbing womanhood
Your eyes say it all.
There is no need to wonder.

When I feel you deep inside me as we mesh into one
One heart and soul
After you have consumed the sweet nectar from my altar
Unable to distinguish you dark limbs from mine
As we ride the waves of true ecstasy
Riding faster and thrusting harder
Deeper and deeper
Out and in
Oh yeah. . .
Galloping and reaching towards the shore of pleasure
You complete me and I complete you
At that moment, I know you love me.

When you listen, really listen
And care what I have to say
Even if you disagree
When you gently hold my hand as we cross the street
When you hand me one red, perfect rose
Kiss me on the cheek, just because. . .
When you wake me from my sleep, drool and all,
With passionate, wet kisses
For head to toe
When you automatically reach for me in your sleep
Or faintly call out my name as you sleep
I know, deep down. I know you love me. Don't you?

But how can you love me, tell me that,
When the same strong hands that bring
Me such joy and divine pleasure
Can at any unexplained, unknown moment ball into heavy,
Angry fists that strike my tender face with hard blows?

How can you love me when out of anger and frustration
Instead on leaning on me,
You take it out on me
With harsh words, loud slaps and smacks
That leaves bruises, black eyes, tender ribs and busted lips.
How can you love me and beat me? I need to know.

I love the caring, sweet man who leaves love notes on my pillow
Not the angry, obsessive, possessive one
Who brings me pain and much fear in his presence.
The one who wants to control me
The one who's word is my law.

Do you love me? No, you don't love me.
You don't know how to love me
Or anyone else for that matter
But better yet, why am I still with you?
Still blindly and faithfully giving you
My all, both body and soul
Someone answer that, please.

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Saturday, June 13, 2009

What If?

Seems like I've been playing the what if game lately. I guess we all have at one point or another in our lives. It's only human nature, to be curious about other paths we could have taken.

Most of us recall reading Robert Frost's The Road Not Taken in high school English literature class. My favorite lines were:

Two roads diverged in a wood, and I--
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

Recently, the query started because a girlfriend and I were discussing what if we had never gone to University of West Georgia (which at the time we attended, had a minority popoulation of 4%) and had gone, instead, to a predominately black university or college. We debated back and forth on the merits of each. However, when it was all said and done, we never stopped to think that if we hadn't attended UWGA, we wouldn't have met each other her sophomore year, my junior year and formed a lifelong friendship and bond.

Her what if question got me to thinking about other situations in my life as well.

What if I hadn't majored in marketing and instead pursued my dream of becoming a pyschiatrist?

What if I hadn't married so young?

What if I hadn't moved back to the metro Atlanta area?

What if I had decided not to have children?

What if I had married someone else?

What if I wasn't so emotional?

What if I had never accepted my first job in Chicago?

What if I had moved to New York?

What if I had followed my dreams early on to become a writer?

I could sit here and what if myself to death. The what ifs are all part of human nature. We are curious creatures. We always wonder what's on the flip side of the coin because the grass always look greener on the other side.

I've learned to not worry or concern myself with the what if factor because we are exactly where we are suppose to be at this point in time. No matter what path we choose, the rural country road or the interstate expressway, the destination will be the same. Life isn't a series of coincidences; it's all part of a masterplan. And God doesn't make mistakes.

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Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Sleepless in Atlanta

My anxiety level is at an all-time high.

I haven't been sleeping well the last few weeks. Lets see, my restless nights, where I toss and turn, am wide awake at four in the morning staring at my bedroom ceiling, or my mind is racing in hundreds of different directions, has probably been going on for at least two weeks now.

Each morning my alarm goes off and I awake tired, with huge circles underneath my eyes. Not a good look. Not at all. These restless nights have occurred periodically throughout my adulthood. For some unknown reason, at least consciously anyway, I go weeks at a time with little to no sleep.

I recall one time, many years ago, I hadn't slept in days, but still couldn't rest at night, so I tried to wear myself out (as if I already wasn't) during the day by exercising relentlessly. All for nothing.

My mind simply wouldn't cooperate with my body no matter how tired I was. In the end, eventually, I slept again. But it made me realize, whether we are aware of it or not, the mind will let us know through physical symptons when something isn't quite right mentally.

I'm anxious. That's the bottom line for me. And I know exactly why I am this time around. My newest novel, Diary of a Stalker, drops the first of next year. It seems like that date is far, far away, but believe me, it will be here before I know it. There is always plenty of pre-preparation on my end. I haven't had a book to drop in two years and now I'm going into anxiety mode, at top speed, 100 miles down the expressway.

After the easy part, the actual writing of the book, that's when the hard work begins---marketing and promotion---announcing your baby to the world. I'm a marketing major so I absolutely love the entire concept. But I haven't been in marketing/promotions mode for two years now and believe me when I say that I take it to a whole nother level.

I literally live and breath making my book known to the entire universe, to infinite and beyond! I take it very seriously and it takes it's toll on me physically. I burn out quickly.

Then there are the typical anxiety stages of wondering and worrying if the reading audience will embrace this book as they have done with all my others. Don't get me wrong,I have a large and strong following, but it has been two years. Like any good mother, we want our new "baby" to be accepted, acknowledged and embraced into the fold just like his/her siblings. There are many silent questions of what ifs that my mind engages. Failure is never an option for me.

In the meantime, I'm losing sleep because I have tiny butterflies swooning back and forth inside my stomach. On some level I realize that with any baby all I can do is be loving, nurturing and giving of all opportunities to suceed. After that it is out of my hands. But I can say that when a "baby" is raised up right, with the proper ingredients for success, they usually do not disappoint.

Hopefully, I'll only have a few more nights of counting sheep. . .


Sleepless in Atlanta

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Monday, June 08, 2009

I Miss My Mommy

I miss her so much that my heart aches. A slow, dull, never ending ache. It never really gets better with time, not really. The pain is always there, festering just beneath the surface, ready to resurface with a memory, a song, a place, a smell. I think Mother's Day, August (her birthday month) and December (her favorite time of the years) are always the worse.

Sometimes I daydream about what I'd do or say if I could go back in time and spend just one day with her, before the sickness came and nothing was ever the same. There is always that one moment in time that changes everything forever.

Sometimes I wonder what she'd say to me if she were able to regarding my life, my family, my dreams. . .

I fantasize it would be something like this.

Dearest Electa,

I miss you too! More than you will ever know. However, I'm never far away. You can talk to me whenever you want to, just speak, be still and listen to your spirit and I'll answer.

I just want you to know how proud I am of you. I'm not surprised at your success though. I just knew all those years when you were a child, with your head buried in somebody's book, lost in another place and time, I just knew one day you'd pen your own. Even then I saw just how much joy and peace you took from reading and forever
scribbling something on pads or your diary.

I just want you to know that you are a great mother and my grandchildren not only love you but they respect you as well. You've instilled in them a spirit of caring, giving and sympathy for others who are less fortunate. They have their heads on straight, believe in God, and will grow into productive, successful adults who have much to give back.

You and your husband make a great team. He is so supportive of you and the two of you have just the right amount of balance that plays well off of each other. You made a wise choice in choosing your mate.

Electa, you have to ease off on yourself though. Don't be so hard on yourself. Allow yourself to breath. You've got to give yourself credit where it is due and you have to start celebrating your successes as opposed to shrugging them off and moving on to the next project. You work hard for all you achieve, no one has ever handed you anything on a silver platter. So slow down and enjoy your successes!

You have your head on right, even as a young child you were wise beyond your years, an old soul. You know who you are and how to treat others. You have never been a follower or gotten pulled in by peer pressure. You're secure in who you are as a person. You're not afraid to stand up for what you believe in and you honor those who have come before you and paved the way.

Continue to hold your head up high and live your life to the fullest because there are no second chances. There aren't any dress rehearsals in real life. I know you miss me, but remember it was simply my time. My path was laid out before me just as yours is. Know that I'm never far away and I'm always looking out for you and yours. I can never be gone when I live within your heart and am alive within your memories.

Continue to make me proud and be the phenomenal woman that you are. We'll meet again, all in God's time. In the meantime, make a difference. . .

I love you and always will,


Saturday, June 06, 2009

A Reason, Season and Lifetime

I believe - that we don't have to change friends if we understand that friends change.

I believe - that no matter how good a friend is, they're going to hurt you every once in a while and you must forgive them for that.

I believe - that my best friend and I can do anything or nothing and have the best time.

I'm a firm believer that people are placed into our lives for a reason, season or lifetime. I'm very picky about who I let into my inner circle, always have been. In fact, I can count on one hand the number of people I consider a true, genuine friend. I have many people who've earned the title of acquaintance, but only a few wear the coveted crown of dear friend. That title isn't won quite so easily. My friends have to be worthy. By worthy I mean: supportive, caring, loving, positive, genuine, real and lots and lots of fun. Bottom line, they have to have a good spirit and be good people. No fakes, backstabbers and crabs in the barrell allowed.

However, I understand that sometimes friendships are only meant to last for a reason. I've experienced such a friendship. A woman came into my life just when I needed her type of friendship---right around the time I was griefing and trying to get over the death of my mother. Pat was just who and what I needed at the time. She had a wonderful, gentle, caring and nurturing spirit and we clicked instantly, thrown together through work. Over the next few years, we became the best of friends and I can honestly say she brought a lot of joy into my life---right when I needed it. We had great conversation, shared similar views about life and laughed our asses off.

After all was said and done, we went out separate ways due to our positions being downsized. She moved out of state, I transitioned into another position. We stayed in touch for a brief period of time, but you know how that goes, it was never the same. Eventually, we lost contact. Years later, I thought about her and realized she was my reason. Pat was my reason. She was brought into my life to help me, teach me, provide wisdom, help me move past the grief. When her work was done, life moved her on. . . in a different direction. I think of her often and miss her.

On the opposite end of the spectrum are the lifelong friendships. They are in it for the long haul and I have one of those friends too. Sharron is the friend who knows me almost as well as I know myself. She is the one who was here before the hubby, before the two kids, when my dream was just that, a dream. She's been through thick and thin with me, she's seen my ups, my lows, my triumphs, my disappointments, my good moments and my bad. Sharron has known me since I was 19 years old and witnessed my many moves over the years. She knew my mother before she passed; she knows my sister. She's seen my moodiness and shrugs it off, she's the one who has supported my dream of being a writer since it first entered my thoughts. We've shared too many long conversations to count. Conversations that only good, true girlfriends can have and share during the midnight hours over a glass or two of good wine.

Sharron is the one who loves me even when she doesn't like me. She's the one who has argued with me through emails and made up, via emails, days later. She has witnessed the not so nice side of me when I get pushed into a corner. She has seen me get my heart broken, act a fool, lust over a man, feel sorry for myself, cry through my pain and laugh until my stomach aches with joy. She's watched me dance like no one is watching. Through it ALL, she's been here. She's a keeper.

Then there is the middle category. The season. These are the friends who are in our lives for a brief timeframe. They've entered our lives to teach us a life lesson, to help us see ourselves through their eyes, to grow and mature as a person, to gain some knowledge. . . and then like the fall, winter, spring and summer, when the seasons change, when the leaves fall from the trees and the buds bloom and turn to flowers, they are gone. Hopefully, with their departure we are a better person from knowing them. I've had these friends come into and exit my life throughout my lifetime as well. There have been more than enough. And I've learned from them all. I'm always grateful for what I learned, experienced and gained from them. With some, I couldn't tell you why the friendship ended. It was like it ended it's course and we parted, went our separate ways. The good memories always outlast the bad in my mind.

Life lesson: Friendships are precious gems from God. To have someone enter your life, make a difference, leave an impression and share a moment of your time here on earth, to really connect. . .that's a gift, women bonding is a wonderful, special experience. . .that's powerful

Friday, June 05, 2009

"Make Your Haters Your Motivators"

"Make your haters your motivators"

That was the tagline a local Atlanta radio personality used to deliver to her listening audience at the end of her show each and every day.

It resonated with her listeners because many of us know of or at some point in our lives have dealt with such people. Make your haters your motivators. These are words I attempt to live by.

If there is any one thing I've learned in my years of living, it's that everyone is not going to like you. That's life. It is what it is. It doesn't matter how kind, considerate and giving you may be, you will still have haters in your midst. Even Jesus Christ had his.

There are always, unto the end of time, going to be those people who strive on attempting to drag you down, destroy your spirit, belittle you with their negative words and/or actions. I admit, years ago, sometimes these people succeeded. Succeeded in making me doubt myself, second guess my dreams, making me unsure. Not any more! Those days are long gone. I am too confident in myself, who and what I am, and have too much knowledge as to where my blessings come from. I am divinely favored. No one, not even distractors, can take that from me.

With age has definitely come wisdom. I've learned during my journey as a writer, that you cannot please all the people all the time. Truer words have never been spoken. I realize not every reader will enjoy or appreciate what I've written. So be it. I know what I pen is not for everyone. I respect and accept that. I wish some readers would respect and accept that every author is different in how they choose to tell a story.

Every author can't be the reincarnation of Toni Morrison, Bebe Moore Campbell or Alice Walker. If I could write like them, I probably would, but I realize and accept the fact that I can't. God didn't give me that literary gift, but he gave me my talent nevertheless, ones just for me. And I'm constantly making efforts to grow and continually improve as a writer.

It used to floor me if I was asked why my books are so racy and weren't chocked full of positivity, but filled with much drama. I'd answer that life isn't always chocked full of positivity either. My novels reflect what is real, valid and prevalent in the AA communities, any community for that matter. My books touch upon issues of domestic abuse, molestation, addictions, dysfunctional families and the list continues to grow with each new novel. These are real, everyday issues that are encountered in many communities. Don't get me wrong, it's not everyone's story, but it belongs to some of our brothers and sisters.

Life is not always tidy, neat, clean and sparkling with happily ever after endings. I consciously make the decision for my novels to reflect the real world we live in, and hopefully, after my readers get through the drama and spiciness within, they realize there is always a lesson---a life lesson to embrace.

I haven't quite figured out why some people choose to waste energy on attempting to make others feel less than them. Maybe they harbor feelings of envy, jealousy, lack of self esteem, etc. These haters feel bad about themselves and desire to cause pain in other's lives as well, in order to reflect their own pain. I really don't know what the reasons are and I really don't care.

I can only make an effort to make my haters my motivators because I'm not wasting any of my positive energy on them. Their words ignite a fire underneath me, motivating me to reach higher. My personality, my life, my talent, my gift, my passion is what it is---take it or leave it. The choice is yours

Tick Tock, Tick Tock, Tick Tock

Tick Tock, Tick Tock, Tick Tock

That seems to be the rhymn I'm hearing in my mind lately. The sound of time swiftly whizzing past me at a frantic, unrelenting pace. It makes me anxious because there is much I feel I have to accomplish during my lifetime. It's as if there is this internal clock, rapidly tick tocking, inside me that constantly pushes me to succeed, to reach higher. It's much like the biological clock some women feel when they desire children at a point in their lives but do not have any yet.

Tick Tock, Tick Tock, Tick Tock

For those of you who have read my previous blogs, well, then you know I'm impatient to a fault---something I'm working on. I'm still a work in progress. However, the reality is that that still doesn't take away the fact that I feel like I'm behind schedule. I haven't checked off the top items with a big, black, bold marker on my present "TO DO LIST."

1. Be on the NY Times Bestsellers list
2. Make a big difference in the lives of young women
3. Leave my mark on the world (I don't want to die in a whisper. I want to die with a major roar).

Tick Tock, Tick Tock, Tick Tock

My spirtual intellect realizes that all things happen in time. It's just not my time yet. I'm exactly where I'm supposed to be at this moment in time. I'm going through because I'm supposed to be learning a lesson and coming out on the other side, all a wiser, stronger, better person. Then I can be a blessing to someone else.

I've always felt I was destined for greatness! And I say that without an ounce of arrogance or superiority in my spirit. We are all entitled to do great things in one form or another. God has given us that gift. I understand HE has given me a gift of writing and the ability to connect with people because I carry no pretenses, illusions or ill will in my heart. I'm real. It's all part of HIS grand masterplan.

I know there have been many times in my life when things simply happened for me---I was in the right place at the right time. Someone in a position of power or authority took a likening to me. Everything simply lined up in my favor like a domino effect. All because of divine intervention.

Tick Tock, Tick Tock, Tick Tock

Sometimes I doubt myself because things aren't happening fast enough, then fear sets in. I step back and realize all I have the power to do is to keep writing and keep keeping on. Everything else is in HIS hands. I have to take a calming breath, release, and know that HE didn't bring me this far to forsake me. HE has a masterplan for each of our lives. I rejoice in that, take great comfort in that.

Then I find myself playing the blame game; passing the buck. Shrugging off responsibility, accountability and ownership. "Well, the industry has drastically changed." True. "The industry is overly saturated with new authors." True. "The industry doesn't respect AA authors by giving us the same marketing budget to really get our names out there." True. The list goes on and on into infinite.

However, when it is all said and done, it simply doesn't matter. In the end, no one, I repeat, no one, can take away what God has in store for me. It is written, it is said, it is done.

Tick Tock, Tick Tock, Tick Tock

I may not arrive at where I'd like to be in my timeframe, but I have no doubt that I'll arrive and on time in God's world. For HIM, two years is like a minute. I'll arrive with my luggage in tow, ready to complete my mission; I feel that in my spirit, in my core. And if I feel it, believe it, then it's done. Amazing.

I used to compare myself to other authors, other bestsellers, A-list authors. I have my favorites, ones I admire just like any other reader. Their success stories gave me hope, inspired me, lit a fire underneath me and made me want to be just like them. To have all the glory and all the fame. Then one day I woke up and realized, it's okay to admire someone and to take inspiration from them, but I can't aspire to be like anyone else. I'm me and there is no other! I'm an original in all my attributes and imperfections. There is greatness within me and the world had better get ready.

Their story is theirs alone and no one can walk in their shoes. My path to success may be totally different from theirs. Maybe I won't take the same fork in the road as they did. Maybe I'll have more struggles. Maybe I'll be tested. So, I have to have my own voice and be true to myself. I have to be me.

Tick Tock, Tick Tock, Tick Tock

I'm still waiting to check off the items on my "TO DO LIST". It may not happen today, not even tomorrow, but I know with every fiber within my soul that somewhere down the line, I'll be able to check em off. What's meant for me is meant for me and it'll happen in it's own good time.

The Secret Life of Kids

Close your eyes, don't peep, and think back to when you were a kid. . . look at your own children. . . they all have one thing in common. They are dreamers!

When someone asks a child, "What do you want to be when you grow up?" The typical child can recite a laundry list of professions. "I wanna be a doctor and a rapper and a football player and an astronaunt, oh and I wanna be a famous singer."

What is so powerful about the answer is that in their heart of hearts, they truly believe it. They believe they can be whatever they want to be. It's only later, when the harsh realities of life catch up with them, when they cast aside the naiveness of youth, it's only then that doubt sets in.

I think that's why I simply adore children when they are between the ages of 5-10 years old. They say the darnest things, they have wonderful imaginations and they STILL are dreamers. They truly believe in dreaming big, reaching for the stars and the sky is the limit.

One of the great things about dreaming is that it is a powerful tool. Once you visualize a dream, work hard towards achieving it and believe in it. . . the sky really is the limit.

So, why at some point does this ability to dream AND believe vanish from our pysches? I really don't know. Most of the time, by the time children, our children are teenagers, they have placed limitations on themselves. They start to think, "Well, maybe I can't be an attorney or Mom and Dad just said I could be anything I set my mind to." What happens?

I can honestly say, as a child, I was one of the biggest dreamers you could ever imagine. I dreamed big dreams in living color projected like they were on a movie screen. These dreams traveled with me well into my twenties, but somewhere along the way, I lost my vision. I guess life was beating me down. I was picking up on all the wrongs in an unjust world. I lost my ability to imagine and create my life. Along the way, I forgot that I am the creator of my own existence.

It's years later and I never regained my ability to dream quite so clearly and vividly. However, I didn't lose all of it. Somehow, I retained some of those traits and I'm able to look beyond the tragedy that can exist in life and instead choose to see the beauty and wonder of it all. Life is so amazing, so short and so full of opportunities to leave your mark and make a difference.

I've had dreams of many things during my lifetime:
1. I dreamed of a career---I received it
2. I dreamed of falling in love---I got my wish
3. I dreamed of having two beautiful children, a boy and girl. Guess what? My dream was answered.
4. I dreamed of having positive, inspiring, support, and loving people in my life---check, I have them
5. I dreamed of seeing the beauty in each and every one of us---I try each and every day to seek that out
6. I dreamed of living my life like it's golden---that is my goal each day
7. I dreamed of being a writer and reaching people through my words---check, done, still working on it
8. I dreamed of being the best person I can be---again, I'm a work in progress
9. I dreamed of being a good wife, mother, sister, daughter, friend---I can only hope that I've acheived this
10. My dreams are endless. . .

I'm so grateful that I didn't totally lose my ability to find the child in me. . . to believe I can do any and everything I set my mind to!

So, the next time you ask yourself, "What am I going to be when I really grow up?" What will your answer be and will you truly believe it?

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My Aha Moment!

A couple of weeks ago, as Oprah would say, I had a treasured AHA moment.

It happened as I was speaking at an Open Campus event for teenage mothers between the ages of 14-18. Some of the young ladies were already mothers and others were pregnant.

The young ladies were participating in Literacy Week and as I spoke to them regarding my personal love of reading and writing, I felt such a connection and sense of purpose envelope me. There was such an amazing energy in the room that embraced me in pure love. Before my speech, at home, I had gotten down on my knees and prayed that my presentation be well received and that I be able to reach someone and plant a seed in their mind and heart.

I've spoken to groups of people many, many times since I've become a published author; that comes with the turf. However, this was the first time I had ever spoken to a group of young women. Mainly because my books tend to be racy and deal with adult relationship-based issues. My target market isn't the young adult market even though I am very much aware that they read my books.

I will say that though my books have adult themes, they do address prevalent issues found in our communities, such as domestic abuse, molestation, and dsyfunctional behavior to name a few themes. All the issues that young women experience, witness or deal with, some on a daily basis.

This event had a different spin because I was given the opportunity to share MY story, how I took my love affair with reading and writing and turned my dream into a career as a professional writer of contemporary fiction.

To witness the responsive, eager faces that held onto my every word was refreshing and edifying. Each girl had her own story as to how they were in the situations they were in, but there wasn't any judgment on my end. I felt we were exactly, at that moment in time, exactly where we were meant to be. I certainly think there is something powerful in the female bond.

I believe if we ask for it, it shall come. I can honestly say that my two great passions are writing and mentoring to young girls. Why young girls? I've always felt the need to reach out to them. The female species is so vulnerable to abuse, violence and suffering in this world we live in. We don't have to look at other countries for horrific examples, we can look in our own backyards.

So, I've always felt this burning desire in my spirit to reach out, take action and give back. That's why I was a Big Sister in the Big Brother, Big Sister Program because I wanted to be a mentor. Children will listen; they are like sponges and they really want to learn. They simply need someone positive and caring in their lives to make a difference. That's really all it takes. Someone to listen, care and share.

Ask for it and it shall come. I prayed for it and sure enough I received my request in two weeks. . . to speak to a room full of teenage mothers who are trying to complete their educations with the added responsibility of motherhood.

The universe places us exactly where we need to be and having the opportunity to make a difference. . . to be able to plant a seed. . . to touch a young life. . . AHA.


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Guess Who's Back?

Never judge a book by its cover. . .

Xavier Preston is tall, dark and handsome and the problem is that he knows it. He's a best-selling author who is accustomed to adoring female fans, both young and old, flirting with him, throwing themselves shamelessly at him and trying to get between more than the covers of his novels. And he has always been more than willing to accommodate their needs and desires. However, his womanizing days have finally ended. . . he's engaged to a beautiful woman, Kendall, and he's decided to walk the straight and narrow. Or has he?

From outside appearances, the very stunning Pilar has it all---a great career, a beautiful home and a trust fund that keeps her financially secure. However, looks can be deceiving. All that glitters isn't gold. Pilar is searching for her one, perfect soulmate. And she thinks she has found him in Xavier. She believes in going after what she wants with a vengeance. . . and she wants Xavier. And that is not negotiable.

When Xavier meets his fanatical fan, Pilar, who declares herself his #1 fan, he gets much more than he bargained for. What starts out as a one-night stand quickly spirals out of control and into a dangerous game of obsession and pain with both parties playing to win.

Think you know what goes on behind the literary scene? Think again.....

DIARY OF A STALKER by Electa Rome Parks. . . coming soon. . . January 2010!

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Songs in the Key of Life

Writing is my therapy, always has been. When I'm sad, I write. When I'm happy, I write. There's nothing more comforting than pouring out my feelings on paper or the computer. When I'm sad, writing releases some of the pent up hurt and when I'm happy, writing captures the excitement of the moment. Writing expels the essence of me.

All that to say, I feel the urge to release some emotion tonight. I attended a funeral, a Homegoing Service, about two weeks ago. The church was packed to capacity with folding chairs in the aisles and people standing along the walls. There were flowers as far as the eye could behold. The deceased died of lung cancer and many family members and friends stood at the front of the church and spoke highly of the dearly departed. It was strange to see her life summed up neatly on the church program.

I thought to myself, if I died today, would the church be packed for me? Would people speak fondly of my life? Would I have made a difference? Would the legacy I hope to leave live on?

Life is short. And lately I feel as if I can't do enough fast enough. Anyone who knows me knows that patience is not one of my virtues. I try but patience is something I'm still working on. Whatever it is, I wanted it yesterday.My dreams are no different.

I have so many dreams and aspirations.I've been lucky to discover what my true passions and gifts are: writing and mentoring, mentoring young girls to be exact. Many people go their entire lives and never figure out exactly what they were meant to do during their short stint on earth. So, I'm one of the lucky ones.The hard part is actually achieving them.

I pray. I've always believed in the power of prayer, just as I've always relied on the power of words. I constantly pray for God to help me realize my dreams to the fullest and to be an inspiration to someone, to make a difference. One of the greatest fears I have is that I live life and never touch anyone, never make a difference in anyone's life. For me, that would be tragic. . .To die with a whisper. . . never quite having the chance to roar or soar with the eagles.

I guess what I'm saying is that I pray that God will guide me along the right path to fullfill my destiny. I pray that he will place people in my midst who will aid me in achieving. I pray that I'll continue to grow in my craft. I pray that he'll have me at the right place at the right time. I realize he knows what is in my heart, that my heart is pure and unselfish, and that I'm willing to work hard, be persistent, stay focused and determined on the road to victory.

I realize there will be many peaks and valleys along the way, several ups and downs because I've experienced them and they have only made me stronger and wiser. STRONGER AND WISER. What a blessing. I wouldn't change any of my life experiences because they have made me the person I am today.And you know what, I like the person I am today!

Everything happens for a reason and I feel my time is coming. I can sense it is just around the corner, already made it across the bend. I just have to remain patient. I've always been a dreamer. I believe I can do anything I put my mind to. That never left me from childhood. I never stopped dreaming and believing.

What was meant for me, I will achieve. And when it is all said and done, hopefully someone will say, "Electa stood for somethng. She believed in love, truth and doing what's right. She touched many through her books and lived by the motto: to whom much is given, much is expected.

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What makes me happy?

What makes me happy?

Simple question. It's a question that I often ask myself. Especially when things aren't going well.

Today is one of those days.

I really can't explain why I'm in a bad mood; I'm just in that state of being. Nothing was said, no one stepped to me the wrong way, I'm not sick, I'm not hurt, I didn't have an argument with anyone. . . today is just one of those days.

I realize it doesn't take much to make me happy. It never has. That I know for sure. I'm not a materalistic person, never have been. I don't own a large home, drive an expensive car nor have a lot of overpriced knick knacks in my space.

It doesn't take much to make me happy. If I sat down and compiled a list, it wouldn't be extensive because I'm a very simplistic person, that works for me. Helps me to get past all the superficial so that I can realize my divine destiny.

My children (Brandon and Briana) make me happy because I can clearly see the wonderful adults they are growing into and knowing I had a hand in that, wow, that brings me joy. I know without a doubt that they are confident, intelligent, compassionate young adults who will grow up and be productive citizens of the world who will make a difference, no matter how big or small. They are my legacy.

Love makes me happy, basking in it makes me glow. Having someone in my life (my hubby) who supports me, encourages me, lifts me up when I'm down, laughs and cries with me, provides a shoulder for me to lean on. . . that is happiness. Being in love brings me a sense of protection, security and clarity. The act of love, knowing I can bond with someone on such a spiritual, emotional and physical level. . . that brings happiness.

My immediate family is a great source of happiness. We have history. Who else can say, "I knew you when you were knee high to a cricket?" Who else can still call me my childhood nickname? "Hey, Sweetpea!" They love me unconditionally like no one else ever will. I can always go home with no regrets. They love me just for me, take me like I am. Family keeps me on point and focused. That makes me truly happy.

My friends, my genuine, real friends make me happy because they know me, point blank. They know my moods; know when to step back and leave me alone and know when to offer a tissue for a good cry or laugh until our stomachs ache with laughter.They make me happy because we've created many happy times together. That's magical.

Being real; keeping it real. . . that makes me happy. I don't have a fake bone in my body. If I like you, then I like you. If I don't, there is no pretense and life goes on. I can spot a faker a mile away. WARNING: I DON'T NEED FAKE ASS PEOPLE IN MY LIFE. I don't need to cut down others in order to make myself appear larger than life. I don't desire to be the loudest to be heard or seen. My actions and quiet reserve will rise to the top eventually. Realness always shines through. I don't have to brag about my degrees or use big words to prove how intelligent I am. I know and I shouldn't have to prove it.

Beauty is happiness. A sunrise, a red, fragrant rose, a child's smile, the setting sun over the peak of a mountaintop, the stillness of a first snow, great works of art, a beautiful song, a sexy man---all make me happy.

Writing is my happiness. Happiness comes in the form of having the ability to bear my soul through the stroke of a pen or the keys on a keyboard. No one can take that away. When I write, my soul speaks loud and clear. . . no stuttering. Writing heals all my ills. . .

Quitness is the starting point for happiness. Just being still and listening to my spirit brings me a sense of well being. When I'm overstimulated, I react in a negative manner. I don't need a crowd of people in my life. I'll take a few genuine, wonderful friends over quantity any day.

One of my favorite movie quotes is: "I would rather have 30 minutes of wonderful than a lifetime of nothing special."

Being compassionate to others makes me happy. Being compassionate is the center of our true being. Life is so precious and short and I've experienced many deaths during my lifetime, so I speak from experience. People can be so nasty and evil to one another. Everybody vying for some imaginary spot on the top of the totem pole. In the end, it doesn't even matter.

Emotions, feeling something on a deep level, connecting with someone makes me happy because it proves I'm alive. Once you stop feeling, then you are already dead.

Quote from Steel Magnolias: I find it amusing. Men are suppose to be made out of steel or something. I just sat there. I just held Shelby's hand. There was no noise, no tremble, just peace. Oh god. I realize as a woman how lucky I am. I was there when that wonderful creature drifted into my life and I was there when she drifted out. It was the most precious moment of my life.

As I write this, I realize each and every day is a powerful journey in which I'm reaching for my happiness with open, outstretched, eager arms. . .

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Y'all, I'm so vain!

Y'all, I'm so vain! (Yes, I'm bringing out the southern drawl). I'm not proud of my vanity, but the truth will set me free.

Yesterday, I did something that I thought I'd never, ever be able to do. . . I've tried before. . . several times, but failed miserably. I never thought I'd be writing this because I can't believe it myself, that I've done this.

A moment of silence, please. . .

I gave up soda, Coca Cola to be exact. Cold turkey!!! That is major for me; a major lifestyle change.Y'all just don't know how major this is! All in the name of vanity.

Let me back up for a minute, take a breather, and give y'all a little history. That way you'll appreciate this moment more and share in my joy and accomplishment. Okay, I've always been petite, okay skinny. I guess I'm one of those rare individuals who can eat anything and not have to worry about exercising or gaining weight (I'll tell you some stories later of what I used to do to try to gain weight back in the day, drinking a milk shake a day, drinking supplements, etc).

Anyhow, the one and only vice I have ever had is the consumation of Cola Coca. I'm squeaky clean, the geek of geeks, when it comes to everything and anything else. I can honestly say that I've never smoked a cigarette, of any kind. I will even suffer from a headache because I hate taking pills of any kind.

My one vice is drinking sodas, at least three cans a day. And that's after cutting back from my six a day that I used to drink. I was purchasing cases of soda like most people purchase six packs or twelve packs of beer. My friends kidded that I should have Coca Cola stock.

This has gone on for years and years with me not having the willpower to stop. I know the caffeine and sugar isn't good for me, but hey, I just couldn't give them up. Just the image of an ice cold, Coca Cola (not Pepsi, there is a difference), hearing the pop and hiss of the tab being popped, sent me running for one over ice with my special straw.

I tried a few times over the years to stop drinking them and I'd go into instant withdrawal symptons: nervousness, shaky hands, irritability, headache and absolutely no energy. So, I eventually compromised by decreasing the amount of my consumption.

So, you ask, what happened? What made me quit cold turkey? Well, I will tell you. . . I stepped out of the shower one evening, checked myself out in the mirror and noticed a small pooch, that was my stomach (LOL). From what I have observed, small pooches can turn into larger ones. And that is just not happening, not now, not ever!

After my horror, I made a decision based out of total vanity that water is my new drink of choice. It doesn't matter that I absolutely hate the taste of, or lack of taste, of water. But, you know what? It doesn't matter, I will do what I have to do. When I weighed my choices: soda and pooch or water and no pooch, the decison was quite easy. A couple of hours later, I savored the taste of the last Coke I will EVER consume. It was a memorable moment. I think a tear or two rolled down my cheek.

It's now Day 2 and I see Coke's everywhere, ads on TV, sales in grocery stores, the Coke men at the vending machines, even in my dreams. . . Today, I had to do one of the hardest things ever. I order a Chik Fil A #1 and had to substitue WATER for my Coca Cola. I almost cried. You just don't know how badly I wanted that Coke.

However, I know I will survive because I'm a survivor. And I don't want a damn pooch!

P.S. I'll keep you posted. I have to get through the weekend!

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It's My Birthday! It's My Birthday!

It's my birthday! It's my birthday! Go, Electa! Go, Electa!

Seriously, I feel so blessed to be alive and healthy for another year. And to have the outpouring of birthday wishes that I've received today is an added bonus. It warms my heart to no end. Big hugs and smooches to everyone.

I believe in and I try to give people their "flowers" while they are alive. Life really is too short and sometimes we get caught up in just getting by, doing the day to day, rolling with the ups and downs, that we take the people in our lives, especially the ones that truly matter to us, for granted. We forget or neglect to extend common courtesies because we think they will always be around, always be there. I learned early on that is not always the case.

I try to live my life in a manner in which I'm kind to everyone and try not to take anyone for granted. When I was younger, I used to have this theory that I wouldn't live to see 30. Strange, I know. Yeah, I'm probably in need of some therapy. I came to this belief after witnessing my aunt die at 32, my dad at 34 and a sister at 1 year old. I thought perhaps we had some type of generational curse going on. I just know that when I hit 30, I felt so blessed because I was alive and well.

Life lesson: Be thankful for each and every day and don't take the people in your life for granted. Tell your significant others that you love them.

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Why? Why? Why?

My birthday is March 2nd! Happy birthday to me, happy birthday to me!
In honor of my upcoming celebration of another year of life, I was mentally compiling a list of my Top 10 "whys". Not saying I'm complaining because I love my life, but damn, sometimes I just have to ask myself:

1. Why wasn't I blessed with a butt?
2. Why aren't I photogenic?
3. Why did God forget me in the breast department?
4. Why do people mistake my kindness for weakness?
5. Why did I get the skinny genes and not the brickhouse ones?
6.Why didn't I recognize my gifts/skills early on?
7. Why wasn't I in line when God was giving out passes for the rich and famous?
8. Why did my mom have to die?
9. Why do some people consider me standoffish, when I'm really just quiet?
10. Why did my dad have to die?

**Honorable mention: Why do people insist on calling me Electra instead of Electa?**

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Electa Said What?

Pisces are not typical people. They are too idealistic and impractical for every day run of the mill living. Pisces are sensitive and instinctual rather than bookish or mechanical. When Pisces find the right situations, they are capable of some incredible deeds. Pisces completely and wholly engage in a chosen path, to the exclusion of everything else. This obsessive compulsive energy can be healthy and not. Pisces can be workaholics (and other kind of -aholics too).

The above description is so me! And of course, I'm a Pisces. (Yes, I'm totally into astrology). Yesterday I spoke of how I'd gotten writer's block for the first time ever, and let me tell you, it ain't cute. I think I have too much on my mind and I need to focus. So today I decided I'd just go with the flow and see what comes out in the process.

Since most people, from the outside looking in, see me as a very private person in some ways, (translation: I don't tell all my bizness ), sharing only with my inner circle of friends and family, I decided I'd share today. Hopefully, after this creative writing exercise to get the juices flowing, my myspace friends won't think less of me. This is going to be a sorta free form blog. So, I may be all over the place. Here goes:

I really don't see myself as a typical person because I have a lot of quirky, border-line eccentric ways about myself. I believe in a lot of theories and ideas that most people don't. Sometimes I feel like a square peg in a circular world. I can be very quiet and into myself (living in my own world) and then later I can be loud, outspoken, opinionated and having the time of my life. I hate, with a passion, any injustices I witness in the world. I can't stand for anyone to use their "power" over someone of lesser authority just because they can. My soft spot is children; it tears me up to hear of any form of abuse (emotional, sexual, physical) to a child. If I'm ever on a jury and the case centers around a wrong to a child or children and I think you are guility, your ass is going to fry! Children are helpless and defenseless and you just don't harm them.

I thinks all the answers are in the quietness of listening to your spirit, but most people don't know how to simply be. . . and listen. My moods go up and down, but those who know me are used to that. Do you think I could be a maniac-depressive? Yah, I don't think so. I hope not. I have to have a certain structure and order to my surroundings. For instance, I can't work in clutter; it's too distracting. I'm a total romantic, which I'm sure you can tell from my playlist. I think I'm in love with the idea of love, however, I'm realistic about it all.I can become almost obssessive with situations if I'm truly feeling the project or person. That's just the way I am, I give my all if I'm into the task at hand.

Even though I'm definitely an adult and have lived life, I'm still naive about alot of things in life. I think that deep down most people are good inside. I believe in dreams and I believe that almost anything is possible if we truly believe that. Think back to when you were a child and you thought the world was yours. What changed that? I'm really a kind, compassionate person if you deserve it. Warning: Don't take my kindness for weakness though. Good girls don't finish last.

I could go on and on with my manifesto of what I believe and who I am. So lets just break it down. I'd love to get feedback from my myspace friends:

1. I think people are placed in our lives for a reason. Prime example: I've had people to enter my life exactly when I needed them, only to be gone after my crisis had passed.At the time, they were my angels on earth.

2. I believe that everything in our lives is predestined. We have the ability to make decisions, have freewill, that leads us down one path or another, but in the end, it all takes us back to our one original destiny that was created for us before we were even born. I believe our parents, the country we live in, our life experiences, our race, sex. . . all predetermined.

3. Past lives (reincarnation): Don't laugh, but I do believe in this. I know I've had deja' vu moments when I swore I had visited a place before or had met a person long before visiting it or meeting them. I had that experience my first time in Jamaica; I felt I had been there before and I felt like I was going home. I was so at peace there; I really didn't want to leave.

I've met people, well, actually only two, where I felt such a strong bond, almost emotional attraction when we met for the first time. I felt like I was being reunited with someone who had been missing in my life,someone who at that moment I realized I had been missing and didn't even know it until then and I felt this deep connection in my soul.That is powerful! I think the soul recognizes.

4. UFOs: Yes, I think there is life on other planets. The nerve of us to be so arrogant as to think we are the only intelligent life in the universe. The Truth is Out There (LOL). I used to love that show: The X Files.

5. Affirmations: There is power in words, even the Bible says so. Repeating positive words creates it in your mind, you start believing it and then you start acting on it. Then the magic really begins

6. Law of Attraction: What you put out there does come back. The universe is like a mirror. Think it, ask for it and it will come.

7. Religion: I believe Jesus Christ died for my sins and is my Lord and savior. And I believe there have been other prophets to walk the earth. I believe Dr. King was a prophet whose sole mission was to bring about the civil rights movement and I won't go into my feelings about our current president. I believe God is in each and every one of us and we have the power to make wonderful things happen during our lifetime.

8. One of my mottos: If we treated everyone as we'd like to be treated, the world would be a much better place in which to live. People have lost that sense of community and looking out for each other and treating everyone with respect.There was a time when you could learn a lot from older, wiser people.They had earned our respect because they had lived life and experienced its ups and downs. Today, some of them are just as foolish and self-absorbed as the younger generation.

9. Soulmates: I believe we all have a soulmate, that one person who completes us. I'm not saying the person makes us whole, as if we couldn't survive without him/her. I'm saying that the person makes us a better person; takes us to a higher level of being; brings out the very best in us and helps us to achieve great things.When the two souls come together as one, they are unstoppable.

10. Making a difference: I think we all have the ability to make a difference in the world, one person at a time. That's all it takes.We are all God-like.

11. Readings: I get two a year, at the first of the year and at the end. Most people think it is a bunch of bull, but if you go to a "real" pyschic, the information shared can be put to good use. People need to be more open-minded about life and things/people they don't understand. As I always say, I'll do almost anything once as long as it doesn't hurt anyone or myself or place me in jail (LOL). Life is an adventure. Live it because you only get one and there isn't a dress rehearsal.

Wow! I guess I'll stop now before I make this a book. . . (I've shared enough), speaking of books, I guess I'll eat dinner and go back to working on my manuscript. This creative, free flowing exercise really works. . .

Peace & Blessings,


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It's Hard Being an Adult Orphan

Even though I experienced great exhilaration on yesterday, witnessing the first African American president to be sworn into office, the dawn of a new day, I still find my mood swiftly going downhill.

It's almost January 29th.

I find myself each year, knowingly and sometimes unknowingly, moving into a mood slump. You see, January 29th is the anniversary of my mother's passing from breast cancer. She left this world ten days after my sister's birthday. My mom died with me holding her hand and whispering to her about all the love in the room.

You'd think it would get easier with each passing year, after all it has been 10+ years, but it doesn't, never does, probably never will. There will forever be an empty hole in my heart that aches to have my mom back. An emptiness exists that I'd give anything to fill.

It's hard being an adult orphan. It's even harder accepting the fact that there is no one in my lifetime who will love me with the unconditional love she possessed. I try not to become jealous when I hear other people talking about their moms and Mother's Day is the hardest. Sometimes I ask God, "Why did you have to take my Mom? Why my Mom?"

I always had visions of my children, Brandon and Briana, growing up with the warm, nurturing support and wisdom of a grandmother. I grew up with a family of women---aunts, female cousins, play aunts, etc. and I know their power, love and sacrifice.

I dreamt of them (my children) having a loving, wise presence in their life who spoiled them and lavished them with things they didn't really need---like grandmothers are suppose to do before sending them back home to their parents.

Nothing in life has prepared me for my loss, my ache, my emptiness, my loneliness. Some things just are. Don't get me wrong, in my small inner circle, I have people in my life who I love, love dearly. They bring me much joy, happiness, laughter and peace. Peace is always a little harder for me to acheive sometimes. I smile, but if you look closely, the smile never fully reaches my eyes, my soul.

Yes. Life goes on. It surely does because it certainly doesn't stop for my grief---especially after all these years. Family and friends feel I should have gotten over it by now. But those who have lost a mom, you know that you never really do. How do you "get over" not having a mom?

My confirming thought is that I must go on because that's what she'd want. My mom would want me to live a full, joyful life. She'd want me to reach for my dreams with both hands spread wide and feet firmly planted. She'd want me to experience the beauty of a rose, appreciate the loveliness of a sunset and sunrise, revel in the vastness of an ocean and know that my destiny is waiting because a higher power has made it so.

We are all placed here for a reason, a purpose. My mom fulfilled her predestination and moved on to a higher plane. Me. I'm still here for a reason, so I should strive to live the best life I can and ask God to provide the direction and guidance I need to become the best person I can become. I'm still a work in progress. I make mistakes, but I learn the lessons.

Yes, it's hard being an adult orphan, but I know my mom watches over me each and every day. My personal guardian angel. I can feel her spirit and it's telling me to be strong and live my life. . . because life without living, without joy, without passion, is simply existing.

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Ramblings on a Wednesday Night

For as long as I can remember, I've always loved the beginning of a new year. I think there is something magical about a fresh, new start. Maybe I am strange in that way, but a new year gives me unlimited, renewed hope. Hope for new beginnings, new starts, a time to wipe the slate clean and start over. And that's how I try to start each new year. No regrets, no looking back. I embrace the future...

2009 is chocked full of possibilities for me. Shortly this country will have a black president in the White House and I couldn’t be prouder. That alone gives me hope. . . hope for the future, hope for my children, hope for this country. I never thought I'd live to see this day, not in my lifetime. When President-elect Obama shouts, 'Yes, we can,' I believe him with everything in my being. I still possess the childlike quality of believing that if I wish for it, ask for it, and believe it will happen, then guess what, it will. There is so much power in positive thinking...

As 2008 came to an end, I realized that even though I may not be exactly where I want to be, I also realize as long as there is hope in my heart and passion in my soul, then I'll get there with hard work and by the grace of God...

Each new year brings 12 months (from the previous year) of additional wisdom to my lifetime of experience. I'm an old soul and I know life is full of disappointments, delays, frustrations and pain. . . that is all part of the lessons we must learn. I pray that I use my wisdom wisely. But life is also about great triumphs, life-changing events, realizations, and meeting people who bring joy, peace and excitement into your life right when you need it. There are no accidents in life; everything happens for a reason, including the people who are placed in it. I've finally come to an understanding that life is about serving others by using our God-given talents in a positive manner.

I'm constantly learning about the person I see when I look in the mirror. And I can truly say I like the person I am, the person I see. Yeah, I'm moody. One minute I can be smiling, happy and on top of the world and the next, I feel like I've lost my best friend. Yes, I'm a perfectionist. I know, I can be selfish. Sometimes, well a lot of times, it is all about me, me, me. Okay, I'm impatient. Whatever I want, I wanted it yesterday...

But on the other hand, I am loyal. I can be the best friend you ever have, if you prove to me that you are a true friend. I'm dependable, reliable and I have an honest, caring heart. I love hard because I have so much love to give. I'm emotional to a fault (I wear my feelings on my sleeve) and I'm a true romantic, believing in soul mates and past lives. I have a weird sense of humor. But take me or leave me, that's me. That's who I am...

One thing I've learned about myself lately is that I truly am a writer. A storyteller. Well, I really already knew that, it wasn't an earth shattering realization, but I tried to be hardheaded and not listen to what my spirit was saying. And your spirit doesn't lie. Just be quiet and still, and really listen. Regardless of setbacks, a changing literary industry, and just flat out hard times, I can't run too long or too far from the power and beauty of words. They embrace me and comfort me like no other. We are having a true, torrid love affair. I absolutely adore writing; I love being in the zone, I love creating, I love playing God by creating characters that are born of my imagination and mind. I crave the beauty of words. The absolute, sheer power of words. . . how they can change lives...

Writing is my outlet. My joy and sometimes my pain. T he one thing I can depend on. So, 2009, I promise myself, here and now, I will be true to my spirit...

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The Best Mom I Know

Experiences such as the death of her mother, two years after her own birth. Abandoned and given away by a young father. Adopted by a poor, Christian family. Became a single mom to two girls. Lost her only biological sister to an early death. Years passed, and lost a third child to an early grave.

For most of us, these are ingredients for the makings of a tragic life. Yet my mother, Dorothy Ann Taylor, chose to triumph over tragedy. She made the mental decision to win and not be defeated at the hand she was dealt. Her entire life was lived in a matter that chose to see the positives over the negatives, always with style and grace. I think my mom, Dot, as we affectionally called her, figured out that life is what we make it out to be and family is whoever you hold dear in your heart.

Regretfully, I lost my mother, my best friend, to breast cancer many years ago; yet, it feels like only yesterday. Years have passed, but the pain and yearning for my mother remains. My mom was my rock---the only person who has ever loved me with unconditional love, accepted me for who I am, flaws and all. Her unbending strength and strong fortitude were my shelter during silent storms and how I miss the many conversations in which my sadness and lows was quickly turned into genuine laughter. There were many happy times, too many to list. Laughter was always present in our home because my mom had a wonderful sense of humor and always kept us in stitches.

Growing up, looking back now, my mother did the very best she could with what we had. We may not have had a lot of material possessions, but we had a lot of love and that was enough. My sister and I grew up with a wonderful sense of who we are and our place in the world. My mom had a way of making me feel very special and she was so proud of my successes no matter how large or small. Even though I never told her, my mom was my hero. Even on her deathbed, she was a symbol of grace, strength and faith…still thinking of others and putting others first.

My mom's gifts to me: she taught me, by example, how to be independent, self-sufficient, strong and confident, how to always hold my head high in the midst of my failures, how to pray, how to reach for the stars, believe in myself and to follow my dreams. That's her legacy. One I hope to pass on to my daughter, Briana.

My mom was a dreamer, an achiever, a wise woman, a survivor…the best mom I know, my hero. Dorothy Ann Taylor. Forever and always in my heart and soul.

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