Monday, August 31, 2009

Truth or Dare

Truth or Dare

Truth or Dare. Have you ever heard of this game? It's a game my friends and I used to play, back during our college days. It was simple, fun and revealing. Very revealing. Truth or Dare is played by at least two or more people. The more participants, the more fun it is.

Participants sit in a circle, preferably on the floor (with favorite alcoholic beverage in hand. LOL.) and basically go around the circle, starting left, to each person by asking a question, which has to be answered with the absolute truth. Or the player can decide not to answer the question and therefore has to take the dare.

Sounds simple? It could be. . . depending upon how open you were to revealing your truths to sometimes, complete strangers or depending on how daring you were to perform unknown stunts (which were usually embarrassing in some form or fashion).

However, that was the absolute beauty of the game. You never knew what question was going to be asked until it was your turn and if you chose dare rather than answer the question, you had no option but to perform it. At that point, there was no turning back. You chose carefully and cautiously.

Some of the random questions were:

At what age did you lose your virginity?
What's your favorite sexual position?
Who is your least favorite person in this room?
What do you hate about_______? (someone in the room)
Would you participate in a threesome?

Remember we were college students, back in the day, everything was sexual in nature, and these were daring, bold questions to be asked and answered. The dares were usually extreme and never tasteful. Sometimes, one of the participants would take mercy on you and give you an easy question or dare. Sometimes, not most of the time.

Some of the random dares were:

Knock on the dorm room next door and moon the students in there.
Run down the hallway butt naked.
French kiss the person next to you.
Tell your secret crush that you like him or her.
Take two shots of liquor

It's funny because I recall telling the truth the majority (98%) of the time. I rarely chose the dares. Me, quiet Electa, revealing her truths to a room full of strangers, male and female. Empowering. Friends would bring friends and you'd end up with a room full of people who didn't really know one another. Maybe you nodded or said hello in class or you saw each other at frat parties or from a distance across the yard. Maybe a basketball game. And now, suddenly you know their most intimate thoughts and secrets. It made you see that person in an entirely new light. Eye-opening.

I loved playing Truth or Dare and many late Saturday nights or early Sunday mornings would find me participating. . . and having the time of my life. Those were the days. When I look back on those years, I see myself laughing, unafraid, bold and free. Always laughing. Dancing like no one was watching. I had so many dreams yet to be fulfilled. There was magic in the air. The sky was the limit. To be young, single and the world as your canvas. . .

Most people in my inner circle would most likely describe me as very private. Not simply private, but very private, yet when I blog I reveal a side of myself, my truths, my reality, to the world. As seen through my eyes and my eyes only. I realized by playing Truth or Dare or via blogging, it allows me to place my truths on the table to be dissected, scrutinized, questioned and absorbed. And in the process I am free.

It's not about the reader; it's all about me and allowing my thoughts to be read, that gives them power.

In revealing your truths, you are liberated. You are stripped down to who you are as a person. You are vulnerable. There are so many fakers in this world we live in and most people rarely allow the true, real side of ourselves to be peeled back like an onion, revealing many layers, for all to view. Sometimes the truth is ugly. Sometimes it is painful. Sometimes it holds scars. Deep scars. But. . . on the flip side there is beauty as well. So much beauty. Good or bad, in the end, they are yours alone.

That is what blogging does and that is what Truth or Dare did for me and in the process I see myself for who I really and truly am. I've always said writing is my therapy. And I've always wanted to look in the mirror and know who and what was peering back.

Looking back, I didn't want to participate in outlandish behavior, so I rarely chose Dare. However, I had my moments when I reluctantly did. There were some truths that I wasn't ready to reveal to the world, wasn't ready to share. There were some that I hadn't worked through myself and chose to keep carefully hidden behind closed door until they were ready to be revealed. Just like in blogging, there are some topics I'm not ready or able to explore yet.

When you break it all down, everyone is a product of his or her truths. Our very own personal truths determine who we are as a person. Our truths determine what type of life we lead, how successful we are or not. Our truths are the very fabric or fiber of our being.

We are who we believe we are.

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Friday, August 28, 2009

Hate Him or Love Him. . . you still have to admit. . .

Terrell Owens is a lot of things -- narcissist, team cancer, fan of front-yard topless sit-ups during press conferences -- but you can never accuse him of not being fine.

Everybody who knows me KNOWS that I have been in full blown lust with Terrell Owens, AKA, T.O. since the first moment I saw his commercial advertising his not-so-popular reality show, The T.O. Show. Mind you, I'm not a sports fanatic or could even be described as an average sport's fan (sports is not my cup of tea). I had only heard of T.O. from listening to my husband speak of him and from random sport's reports; I knew T.O. had a tendency to run his mouth, alot. Translation: Terrell garnered a reputation as being arrogant, uncontrollable, not a team player and a loose cannon. When he opened his mouth to speak, there wasn't any telling what would come out and that made a lot of people nervous, I suppose.

All of that means absolutely nothing to me. I simply appreciate a fine, chocolate brother. . . and T.O. is definitely fine with a capital F. And oh, by the way, yes I did state that I am married. However, being married doesn't mean that a person is blind, deaf and dumb. I still have eyes.

Anyone who can look at T.O.'s photo and not readily admit his body is a piece of art, all by itself, is blind. I now understand and appreciate why artist will sculpture and paint canvases of people in the nude. The human body holds such beauty and strength.

However, I digress. The point of my tale is that after declaring my lust for T.O.(which in and of itself, makes me a cougar, I guess) and admitting my guilty pleasure is to watch his reality show every Monday night like clockwork, I didn't get a lot of love from my sistahs. Nope, I wasn't feeling the love, ladies.

I received responses and questions such as: I can't believe you are watching that show. How can you watch that show knowing his preference for non-African American women? Oh, I can't stomach his show and his taste in women. I can't stand, T.O. He's a joke. And the list goes on. . . I began to feel like I was betraying my sisterhood if I watched the show. However, lust beat out sisterhood. LOL.

I'm not going to lie; I admit I was a bit turned off as well when I discovered his preference appeared to be non African-American women (mainly white and exotic looking chicks). I definitely do not consider myself prejudice or racist in any form or fashion, however, I also do not condone when one person decides to date exclusively outside their own race. It's one thing to fall in love with someone outside your race, but it's entirely different to actively seek them out, exclusively. My mind can't logically wrap around that mindset. I seriously question how can you hate what you come from? I can't understand that rationale because even if you were hurt in the past, one bad apple doesn't make the entire batch rotten.

The amateur psychologist in me didn't miss the fact that during an episode of his reality show, T.O. spoke to a group of high school football players. In fact, they were from his former high school, a small town in Alabama. T.O. sadly spoke of not having a great high school experience.

1. He was only an average football player; never revealed an inkling of the beast he is on the field now.
2. He was raised by his grandmother (whom he loves dearly). Still, it's hard for a young person, especially a boy, to be raised by an older adult.
3. He was called names such as darkie, blackie, ugly, etc. This wasn't great for his self-esteem.
4. Girls were not attracted to him, at all.

So. . . now that he is successful, he's not attracted to women who didn't want him. Black women represent the rejection and hurt he suffered in high school, i.e. Wesley Snipes.

Just my take on things. . .

Bottom line: T.O. can date whomever he wants to (that's his prerogative); it's his life and he's rich, successful and powerful. And as an added bonus, he has a gorgeous smile and dimples. . . dangerous combination. T.O. can do whatever the hell he wants to. If the sistahs don't make him happy and he's not attracted to us, then so be it. However, that still doesn't take away for the fact that the man's body is a work of art!

T.O. is fine. . .and there is nothing sexier than a fine, chocolate, southern brother.

Amen. Amen.

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Saturday, August 22, 2009

Top Things I Hate

It's Saturday night; I'm home alone and bored, so I thought I'd have some fun. Since I'm notorious for writing down lists of things to do, I thought I'd pen a different type of list. I really need to get a life, don't I? LOL

Top Things I Hate

1. People who will look you straight in the face and not open their mouth to say hello.
2. People who are ALWAYS negative; they never have anything positive to say about anything or anybody.
3. People who are selfish and feel that "it" is all about them.
4. People who won't say I'm sorry, even if they are the ones at fault.
5. People who are dream dashers. Enough said.
6. People who are downright haters.
7. People who try too hard to impress you.
8. People who try to keep up with the Joneses when they don't have a pot to piss in.
9. People who are quoting Bibles verses on Sunday and was in the club on Saturday.
10. Women who make the same mistakes over and over again concerning men.
11. I hate hypocrites.
12. Women who will put a man before their child or children.
13. People who think they know every damn thing.
14. People who are hung up on the light-skin, dark-skin, good hair complex.
15. People who think money can buy them class.
16. Women who would rather have a piece of man than no man.
17. People who think the world owes them.
18. People who think racism doesn't exist in our country.
19. People who are brown-nosers and ass kissers.
20. Women who support lazy ass men.

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Tuesday, August 18, 2009

What's in a Date?

What’s in a Date?

At this very moment, as I watch the rain fall in heavy droves in downtown Atlanta, I sigh. My heart is heavy. I feel as dreary, gloomy and gray as the weather. My soul is sad... My spirit feels alone. . . I see the rain as being symbolic of my tears and the state of my downtrodden spirit.

My mother’s birthday is fastly approaching and I always get this way around this time of the year, like clockwork. She would have been 66 on August 23rd. The passage of time never seems to make the realization any better to accept.

I often question the “whys” of life. Why did I have to lose my mother to breast cancer? Why me? It’s simply not fair that I didn’t get to spend the time I needed and desired with her. It’s simply not fair that I didn’t get to share precious moments and events in my life with her. I wasn’t ready to let her go. We never are.

However, no one ever said life was fair.

I’ve heard it all: It was her time, she’s in a better place now, it’ll get better with time, she’s no longer suffering, you’ll see her again some day. I realize people say these things and they do mean well, but. . . it doesn’t lessen the pain. Unless you’ve walked in my footsteps, you can’t truly understand. True, with time, life does move on; it has no choice but to. Yet, there is still a dull, piercing ache that reminds me at inopportune times how I am a motherless child. I’ll never have anyone say, “That’s my child” or “I am so proud of you.” I’ll never have that unconditional love again. My heart aches and I feel all alone in the world and then just like that, the moment passes and life begins again. Life goes on, regardless.

God has blessed me with “substitute” mothers at different times in my life, even though I didn’t realize it at the time. They gave me what I needed and was missing at that moment, a mother’s love and guidance. I am so thankful and grateful for their entry into my life. I guess when it is all said and done, at the end of the day, God really doesn’t give us more than we can bear.

When Sunday, August 23rd rolls around again, I’ll try to focus on the good memories, and there were many, that I keep close to heart. Memories that I will treasure until the day I die. I’ll share stories with my children who never truly got the opportunity to know their grandmother. They were very young when she passed. Mostly, I’ll give thanks and celebration for the years I did have with her and for the independent and loving spirit she instilled in me.


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Why Do Black Women Hate On One Another?

Why Do Black Women Hate On One Another?

Why do black women hate on one another? That was the question which was posed by a local, Atlanta radio station personality. I was outraged that he (yes, a brother) had the audacity to broach such a totally bias and inaccurate discussion. Needless to say, the morning show and he in particular was bombarded with phone calls and e-mails. Deservedly so. . .

There is power in our words. Being a black female and fully knowing my daily reality, I get so frustrated and upset when I hear or read of such outrageous comments that perpetrate stereotypes to mainstream America. And when it comes from one of our own, it’s even more of a slap in the face. To say the least, it is dangerous and reckless to pose such a question on the airways.

In itself, the question is utterly ridiculous to assume that an entire race of women consistently cut each other down with our looks, gestures, comments, jealousies, etc. On the contrary, my experience has been the exact opposite. I’ve found the majority of the women I’ve dealt with to be uplifting, inspiring, and supportive. That’s my experience. My success is their success.

Maybe the radio personality should have taken a moment to speak with some real African American women.

Don’t get me wrong! I’ve met women who didn’t like me for unknown reasons. Oh sure, I’ve gotten the looks, you know the ones, the look starting from the top of your head to the tip of your shoes. Yeah, that’s the one. Andy you can just see it on their faces that they want to say, “Who does she think she is?” Yes, those insecure, narrow minded, jealous women do exist in our community. And guess what? They exist in other non African American communities as well. It is what it is.

Personally, I think it is irresponsible, uncouth and mostly dangerous of a person with the ability to reach millions on a daily basis to put out such a stereotypical question. Use your medium to showcase positive attributes. We get enough of the negatives simply by watching the evening news and to be honest, some people really do believe everything they see, read, and hear. If it was stated on V-103, then it must be true.

Okay, I know you have to keep your ratings high. . . to remain the #1 radio station in Atlanta. Is it okay as well to sell out your black women in the process? These are the same black women who are listening, supporting, loving you and giving you the high ratings to be the #1 radio station in Atlanta. Hmmm?

Even when you have a black mother and a black wife? Then on the other hand, to speak highly of how our non African American sisters support and nurture one another all the time. Bullshit. I’ve been in the workplace too many years to know that is misinformation and an inaccurate statement.

Why couldn’t the show give uplifting statistics as to how more and more AA women than men are completing degrees in higher education? Speak to how many black women are out earning our black men. Speak to how many black families are surviving based upon the blood and sweat of African American women. Speak to how our AA sisters are being placed in more and more positions of power in corporate America.

Do not use your power within the media to uphold stereotypes:

Black women are angry
Black women are over sexual
Black women hate our black men
Black women are too outspoken and aggressive
Black women want to be the man

Not everyone has the power to make a difference in a huge way every Monday through Friday. I implore these personalities to realize and accept this privilege, as just that, a privilege, with the greatest of responsibility and moral obligation to your community. Ratings aren’t everything!

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Wednesday, August 12, 2009

A Star is Born

I'm simply beaming. . . grinning from ear to ear. Actually, cheesing!

I'm so excited and I just can't hide it
I'm about to lose control and I think I like it
I'm so excited and I just can't hide it

I feel like a little kid on Christmas morning or maybe the never-ending night before Christmas. My anticipation is heavy in the universe; seems like I've waited forever for this moment. Today, I officially received my sonogram photo (my book cover). And the projected date of birth is December 29, 2009, a few days earlier than expected. However, from all indications, my baby girl, Diary of a Stalker, is healthy and strong, in the best of hands, and ready to make her glorious entrance into the world. She is being highly anticipated by many aunties and uncles (avid readers) eager to take that first glimpse. So, the countdown begins. . .

Diary of a Stalker will be my sixth book and I'm still as excited and antsy as I was when my first baby, The Ties That Bind, entered the world on a cold wintry morning. Wow! Do I really have a six-year old? My, but time does fly!

It is such an exhilarating feeling to see all my hard work, all my blood, sweat and tears finally pay off. To witness an idea/storyline start from scratch, simply from my imagination, to feel the characters grow stronger and more vibrant each and every day, to literally come alive in my mind, to see the final result. . . of my vivid imagination. . . to hold the finished product in my hands, there are absolutely no words to describe that feeling. It is such a nature high that it is truly magical, almost spiritual. Dropping a novel really is tantamount to giving birth and announcing your baby to the world.

I have always been a very protective, shielding and super sensitive mother because I want everyone to love and embrace my new child as they did her siblings before her. I want her to be welcomed into the fold and for everyone to "ooh" and "aah" over her and tell me how beautiful she is:} I sit back and simply beam like the proud parent I am. I can see no wrong, in my eyes!

After all is said and done, I wouldn't trade it for the world, being an author. I love my life. I love being a creator of characters that will live on long after I'm dead and buried. It blows my mind to think that someone, possibly 50 years from now, could be reading my books. I've always heard and know from personal experience that the pain of childbirth is all but forgotten as soon as the new parent takes a glimpse of the new baby. I am pretty sure that on December 29th all my worries, fears, misgivings and doubts will dissipate like a thief in the night and all that will remain is. . . joy, pure absolute joy.

So stick around as I prepare for my new addition. I'm sure I'll offer up plenty of commentary. Of course, my readers (I'm so possessive of you guys) are cordially invited to the baby shower. I can share all my tales of how she was conceived (LOL). I was sitting in a restaurant and I said, "I'm going to write a book about this fanatical fan who..." And now, she is almost here. Unbelievable.

Wow! I have a new baby coming soon and I couldn't be more excited or proud.

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Wednesday, August 05, 2009

It Shall Be Done

It's quiet.


There's a tranquil gentleness that cloaks the essence of my home right now. It's a little after midnight. The bewitching hour. My husband and children are fast asleep; quite a contrast to the chaos and frenzy that is the typical evening mode of operation in the Parks' residence.

I should be in bed, preparing myself for another busy day. However, I feel almost compelled to write; to release my energy and words to the universe. It's almost like I have no control over the situation at hand. There is an almost urgent need for me to express myself, not tomorrow, but right now. Maybe my words will speak to someone else who is searching for a solution . . .searching for guidance.

In the stillness of simply listening, that's always when I get the answers. The answers, the quiet reassurance that I have not been forsaken nor forgotten. Most of the time, in the hectic lifestyle I lead, I forget or don't have the luxury to sit back, put my feet up, be still and just listen. . . listen to that inner voice that speaks only the truth that soothes and touches my spirit.

Even though I don't like to reveal my frailties, I admit, some of the time, many times, I'm afraid. Afraid of failure. Afraid of not reaching my goals, my dreams. Afraid that life is moving too fast. Afraid I'm not going to reach the greatness that is within me, in all of us. Terrified, I become paralyzed with fear.

To those of you who have followed my blogs, you've read my tales and thoughts about the publishing industry and life in general. Good or bad, I usually put it out there. My view of the world. Most of you have shared my ups and my downs, my triumphs and my defeats. I've revealed my ultimate goal. . . to become a NY Times bestselling author, to touch lives and make a difference. It is grand and lofty, but certainly not unachievable. All things are possible to those who believe.

I believe I have a gift of uplifting others, but a lot of times I fall short in doing so for myself. It's like I'm immune to my own inspirational words at times. I've been published by three major NY publishing houses, my alma mater, University of West Georgia, uses my story and photo in their orientation brochure, in a month I'm going to participate in a 4-day event as a featured author along with other A-list authors I have admired from afar before I even had a writing career, and tonight a young man came to me for advice and mentioned how much he admired me (that made my night). Even with a highly anticipated book dropping the first of the year and an impressive literary resume. . . still I have my moments of doubt. Fear sets in.

Tonight, in a moment of stillness, a peacefulness enveloped me and a great calmness settled upon and embraced me. . . because suddenly without a shadow of a doubt, I knew that everything would be okay. Don't ask me how I knew, I just did. It's as if I heard an angelic voice lovingly whisper, "Electa, God, didn't bring you this far to forsake you. This is your season and his will shall be done. Be patient."

I've handed it over, it's out of my hands. He knows my heart. . . and my pure aspirations.


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Monday, August 03, 2009

Another Life Lesson

Another thing I've discovered about the beauty of life is that it doesn't matter how many years may come and go, there are always new life lessons to learn. Isn't that amazing? We are never too old to learn.

Lesson learned: Friends will disappoint you, but if the friendship is worth salvaging, then you will work through it.

I've determined one of my personality traits in dealing with people is that sometimes I tend to place them on a much higher pedestal than they deserve to be. When they disappoint me in one way or another, which they almost always do, the effect is much greater because I thought so highly of them to begin with.

Now,I understand that it is unfair of me in a lot of ways because no one is perfect and no once could ever live up to my high expectations, not even myself, if I were my friend.

When you really break it down, life is a series of people who come and go throughout your lifetime. You have to determine the ones worth keeping, the ones worth fighting for and the ones who have completed their journey with you.

As I've made my journey through life, I've had the opportunity to meet and befriend many wonderful people. Some have been with me for only a reason, others a season, but the life lessons they have passed on will last a lifetime and I am forever grateful.

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