Thursday, February 25, 2010

Happy Birthday to me! Happy Birthday to me! Happy Birthday dear, Electa!

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

As a new celebration of my birth looms on the horizon, March 2nd, I feel so geninuely blessed and can't help but do a bit of reflecting on my amazing journey thus far.

There are a few things I've learned, well actually I've learned quite a lot, but for purposes of this blog I'll only share a few. A couple of things I've learned during my uh, coughing and clearing my throat, ??? years on earth are:

1. Life is short and precious. Don't take it for granted. Make a difference. Be a difference.
2. Age is simply a number.

As I've grown older, I have come to realize that there are two types of people I've crossed paths with during my lifetime. There are those who realize life is short and precious. They have elevated their state of existence in some manner. They are at peace with themselves and have discovered a purpose. At the end of the day, they realize it's not what you say but what you do to make a difference in the lives of others.

These are people who have let go of the baggage and discarded the clutter of life. They realize when they look in mirror, only they are required to love themselves back. And it's all good. They aren't looking for confirmation or validation from anyone. They are way pass that stage. It doesn't matter what your parents said, did or didn't do. It doesn't matter what material things you do or do not have. It doesn't matter how much money is in your bank account---it simply doesn't matter. When it is all said and done, you have to find peace within yourself---only then will the joy come. And joy really does come in the morning!

Going back to purpose, type #1 has discovered it is a responsibility as human beings to give back to others. Yes, it is our responsibility to mentor to young girls who have lost their way or simply don't know any better! Yes, it is our responsibility to teach boys how to become men! Yes, it is our responsibility to instill a moral compass within our children and to be a source of inspiration and guidance! Yes, we should be our brother's and sister's keeper because I've learned that it really does take a village to raise a child!

Our gifts were bestowed upon us for a divine purpose. It wasn't an accident. There aren't any accidents; everything happens for a reason. How are we and who are we to walk away and not accept the responsibility and not use it to uplift, inspire and embrace. That's the secret to a peaceful, happy life: Give back to others, find peace within yourself and use your gifts to inspire others to reach higher and be a beacon of light. Some of us are so lost we need a light to reflect our path.

The second group, even with age, haven't awakened and realized that age is just a number. It's all mental baby! I finally understand what the "old people" from back in the day meant when they stated they still felt like a young girl or a young man at heart. You really are as young as you feel. . . or as old as you feel.

The youthful appearance may fade, the muscles and joints may ache, the wrinkles and gray hair may appear,  and the suppleness may leave in some places, but that still doesn't undermine the fact that we should continue to live life to the fullest because we only get one and personally, there is too much I want to see and experience before it is said and done. I want to experience much that falls between the hypen that will be on my tombstone.

Every day is an adventure to me.  I have an adventurous spirit that will probably be with me to the day I die. I'll be the old woman sky diving from a plane. . . well, maybe that wasn't a good example since I'm afraid of heights. LOL. I thrive on discovery, seeing new and exciting places and things. I enjoy meeting new and interesting people that expose me to new ideas, cultures and concepts. I love to be taught and challenged and shocked and loved and pampered and spoiled. . . Embrace life with a passion and it will love you back ten-fold.

So on March 2nd, I will not look at it as another day older but as another opportunity to experience all the beauty and splendor that life has to offer.

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Tuesday, February 02, 2010

I Don't Read Those Types of Books

"I don't read those types of books"

Last Saturday, that was the comment that was haphazardly tossed my way at my first book signing in over two years at a Border's bookstore.

Welcome to the world of the crude and insensitive. Let me dig around in my bag for my thick skin and put it back on.


I simply smiled, gave her the 100-watt version, tossed it back in the African American woman's direction and said, "Okay, thank you. Have a nice day."

As she made her way to the discount bin and non African-American sections of the store, in my mind, I was thinking, "Exactly what kind of books do you not read and since you haven't picked up mine, haven't come within 20 feet, how can you positively classify, Diary of a Stalker, in that category.

Don't get me wrong and misconstrue my message, I wasn't upset. . . wouldn't waste my precious energy on such trivia nonsense, but I was curious as to how she could make such a broad, all-encompassing statement without any information whatsoever on which to base it.

After hurt feelings (Pisces trait) many years ago, I accepted the fact that everyone wasn't going to love or even like what I penned and that's cool. . . I respect that. Believe me when I say, my world doesn't come tumbling down. However, on the flip side, I have many adoring fans that embrace my novels; I write for them.

I pen drama filled, fast paced, racy, relationship-based stories with underlying messages that appeal to women overall. I graciously accept the title as a women's fiction author. However, I am not who or what I write and I make no excuses for my storylines. I simply know I am a writer. I do what writers do; I create intriguing storylines that stem from my vivid imagination. . . and then I release them to the world. There is always a choice for the reader and always for the writer, an audience that may or may not embrace their body of work.

Y'all know I share the good, the bad and the ugly side of the literary industry. So here are my thoughts:

Basically, I found it ignorant for an African American female, or anyone for that matter, to classify all AA books in one category based upon glancing for three seconds, across the room, at a book cover. She wasn't aware of the storyline, the message, how well written or any details to back up her condescending statement or attitude.

Simply: I don't read those types of books

Yet this is the same African American consumer who will stroll two aisles down, pick up a Stephen King or Jackie Collins novel and support them wholeheartedly with her consumer dollars. Again, I know that is her prerogative. But I'm just saying. . .

Lesson: We all have choices, but lets have the facts first.

Side note: Within an hour and a half, I went on to sell out all copies of Diary of a Stalker in the store. Somebody reads those types of books:)

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