Thursday, September 17, 2009

Why Can't We All Just Get Along?

I have a hobby. . . I have been a casual observer of life, people, relationships and their dynamics for many years now. It's fascinating work. As I've mentioned before, one of my favorite pastimes is to sit in a busy shopping mall or other heavily trafficked/traveled venue and simply people watch. Watch and observe. Oh, and listen. It's amazing what one can see and hear by simply sitting back; it makes for great visual and dialogue in my contemporary fiction books.

However for the life of me, in observing group dynamics, I've never been quite able to figure out why some people think they are better than others. Superior is another term. It's an amazing phenomenon. It shows in everything about them from how they relate or don't relate to others; it shows in their actions or lack thereof; it shows in body language, conduct and demeanor. Their nose is so high in the air that if a heavy rainfall came down, they would drown.

I've never understood how some people try to make themselves look better by attempting to make others feel small. Maybe it's simply human nature. Oh, it's done in various ways: by exclusion, by forming cliques, by subtle comments or looks. Most of all it's sad. If belittling others makes you feel bigger, better and superior, then you have serious self-esteem issues. Seek therapy as soon as possible. Run, don't walk.

One of the worst scenarios: I hate it, simply hate it, when another woman literally looks me up and down. From the top of my head to the bottom of my feet. . . and then doesn't speak.

Coming in a close second: Don't you just hate it when you have to almost force someone to speak to you? They are looking over your head, around you, through you. . . and then suddenly they see you. . . and speak without an ounce of sincerity.

Do until others as you'd have them do until you!

You see. . . I'm not a hater, never have been and never will be. Excuse me if I feel it is my moral obligation and duty to be positive, uplifting and real. That's who I am. Isn't that what genuine, nice people do? I get so much more out of smiling, speaking, embracing, mentoring, encouraging, engaging, developing. . .

I personally believe that no matter how far or how high you may go in life: what was in you to begin with will only shine brighter, be it good or bad.

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Sunday, September 06, 2009

Speaking from Beyond the Grave

I am seriously thinking about starting a personal journal for each of my children, Brandon and Briana, for when I am gone.

No, I don't have any immediate plans to pass away anytime soon. God willing, I hope to live a long, healthy and productive life. However, I know from experience that the best-laid plans don't always pan out the way we would like them to.

My plans are to leave behind a journal so that my children can always have a piece of me with them. I hope that doesn't sound too morbid. I realize I will always, hopefully, be in their hearts and memories, but wouldn't it be cool to physically have a record/journal of my thoughts, hopes, fears, joys, triumphs, failures, loves, dreams and pains? They may not appreciate it now, but when they become adults, I think they will.

This is something I'd like to do because I recognize how I would love to have the opportunity to sit down and have one last conversation with my mother. Yet, I guess I do, in my very vivid dreams. I have always had so many questions that I was never able to ask.

Believe me, I don't usually sit around pondering my own immortality any more than other people, but occasionally I think about how life will be for my family when I have moved on to the next level.

I guess I have always had a slight fascination with death and dying. Who else would have had a Death and Dying class at 8:00 a.m., in the morning, winter quarter when I attended college? It was actually a great class and I took a lot from it. I wish I still had those old journal entries we had to write each and every day.

I've always believed in alternative ways of thinking and I've never allowed myself into thinking only "this" or "that" is the absolute right or wrong way. I've always questioned everything and thought of the what ifs, ands, buts and could ofs for everything in my life.

So. . . that's it. I've released it to the universe. It's a done deal as I have now committed to the project. Since I believe in seasons and cycles in life, I think I'll start this process in January 2010.

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Saturday, September 05, 2009

Swimming in Opposite Directions

I am a Pisces. I have always been interested in astrology since I was a little girl and I read my first horoscope. Seems like my life has been a continuous quest to discover the "real" true essence of me. Electa Bridgett Rome Parks. Pisces is the symbol of fish swimming in two opposite, distinct directions.

It is still amazing that that categorizes me in a nutshell because I realize I can be such a contradiction to most. For instance, even though I have always been quiet and laid back; I'm also very opioninated and vocal (whether verbally or written) when I am passionate about a topic or subject.

I embrace everything steeped in tradition; in fact, sometimes I think I should have been born in another century and time. On the other hand, I'm not conservative at many levels. I'm always open to other ideas, beliefs, customs, thoughts and anything considered outside the box. I probably believe in "stuff" that some people would deem crazy. Again, I'm forever on a quest to fit all the pieces of the puzzle together. . . to figure out the great mystery of life.

I am most definitely a true, hopeless romantic; I admit it. You see, I'm a prissy, girly girl (woman) and I adore sappy, romantic movies. . . I have even been known to shed a few tears while watching them. The entire idea of a black knight in shining armour riding in to whisk me away is intriguing and exciting. Visualize the final scene of An Officer and a Gentlemen and Urban Cowboy. I'm not going to lie; I love, love, love those movies and have watched them countless times, with the same reaction. The concept of a soul mate, that one person made just for you, who completes and complements your life, man, that just takes my breath away. Blows me away. Yet, with all that said, I don't believe in happily ever after endings. I'm too much of a realist and I accept that no one is perfect. And. . . with imperfections comes grief and disappointments.

Contradictions are present everywhere in my life and have also been evident during my literary career. The genres I write under are classified as contemporary fiction and erotica. My novels are known for having elements of drama, volatile relationships, a topical issue and most of all, raciness.

From the outside looking in, my novels are everything that I am not (on some levels). And. . . that's the great beauty of being a writer. . . having the ability to create and structure characters the way I see fit. From day one, my novels have always carried my name, not a pen name. Electa Rome Parks is my real name, not a pen name as some readers have thought. I'm very proud of my creations, my babies, and have never felt the need to hide behind a false name. Side note: I do realize there are other reasons authors use pen names to conceal their identities.

Yet, from family and friends who know me well, at one point or another the inevitable question has been raised. Why do you write such spicy novels? Why don't you write inspiration or Christian fiction or literary? My answer remains the same: "Because I don't want to. Contemporary fiction and erotica speaks to me. I can deliver my messages and be just as effective this way."

No, my novels aren't literary masterpieces that can be broken down and dissected by the best literary reviewers of our times. I write for entertainment purposes and the desire that the reader takes away my underlying life lessons in the process. I adore writing about imperfect people living their imperfect lives in an imperfect world. No. Most of my novels don't have a happily ever after ending because life isn't that sweet, and cozy and tidy. Mishaps, dysfunctional relationships and sexual gratification is a part of all our lives. . . it's human nature.

Who knows? I learned long ago to never say never. Never say what you will never do or do. You never know where life will take you. Down the line, one day, I hope to write an inspirational novel because I think I have many life lessons to share. I think I'm what one would classify as an old soul and I connect with people because they sense a level of sincerity and realness in my demeanor.

In the meantime, I'm simply happy that my novels are touching lives, connecting with my readers based on the many emails, letters (yes, letters) and feedback I receive at signings. Puts a big smile on my face every time. My readers can relate to my imperfect characters doing what imperfect people do, including having sex (LOL) and that makes it all worthwhile.

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