Life has two rules: number 1, Never quit!; number 2, Always remember rule number 1 ~Duke Ellington
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Tuesday, August 30, 2005

KaTrina - Her Lasting Impression

Thanks to everyone who were concerned I was in harms way. I wasn't directly affected by the storm because I'm in North Louisiana.

After monitoring the news and talking to my friends in South Louisiana off and on all day on Monday, I thought the worse was over.

I woke up in tears...I left CNN on last night when I went to bed and each time I woke up, I could hear about the heart broke when a teary-eyed Black man said, "I was holding on to my wife and she told me you can't hold on forever. Tell the kids I love them." She floated away. Even the newscaster couldn't control their emotions.

The reports of people screaming for help last night and nobody being able to get to them...the New Orleans mayor announcement that 80 percent of the city is under water...all of it makes my heart heavy.

I talked to all of my friends in the area, but there's one friend that I haven't talked to. After trying to get through on the phone lines yesterday (which took forever), I got their voice mail. I called again at 6 am this morning and got their voice mail. I left another message begging them to call me.
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Saturday, August 27, 2005

My New Novel

The reason why I haven't posted as much is because I've been juggling handling family issues and writing. I'm almost through with my next novel and at this point, it's full speed ahead so I've neglected a few, blogging and hanging out with friends. The life of a writer demands solitude. Some of my friends understand and then there are others who call me anyway and act offended if I tell them I'll have to call them back unless it's an emergency.

I'm excited about my new novel, but nervous at the same time. I won't reveal the title right now (If you've read some recent interviews, however, I've mentioned it several times.)

I promise myself that when I finish this next week that I will call up my friends and set up a time to get together.
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Saturday, August 20, 2005

I've Been Tagged...and now I'm tagging Princess Dominique, Peggy, Yolanda, V. Anthony and A Singing Chick

I've Been Tagged...and now I'm tagging Princess Dominique, Peggy, Yolanda, V. Anthony and A Singing Chick

Cydney Rax @ got me. She's a Jackson Five fan and its sparked me to go pull out some old cassettes. Anyway, my list is listed below. A lot of people that know me are surprised that I also listen to hip-hop. Being a music reviewer, however I've opened up my mind to listen to and also enjoy all types of music from country to pop. My personal preferance however, has always been R & B.

Right now, here are the songs in my personal rotation:
  • Shake it Off by Mariah Carey (love the entire CD..check out the review at my other blog
  • Holla Back Girl by Gwen Stefani (Haven't heard the whole CD yet, but I like this song)
  • Back Then by Mike Jones (I like those boys from Houston...including his label mate Paul Wall--Sitting Sidewayz)
  • No Words by Charlie Wilson (Check out his new CD when it hits stores on September 13)
  • Goin' Out of Business by Babyface (love the entire CD..check out the review at my other blog
  • Guess Who Loves You More by Raheem DeVaughn (If you like neo soul/r&b you'll enjoy this CD...check out my review @
  • Leaving You by Lina (If you like neo soul/r&b you'll enjoy this CD...check out my review @
  • Motivation by TI (Hip-hop fans will like the whole CD...I love this song because of the paraphase, the lyrics basically say: no matter what type of obstacles you throw my way, it only motivates me to succeed)
  • Ain't Going to Beg You by Fantasia (This American Idol's CD is by far one of the best ones since that show aired. It beats Kelly Clarkson and Ruben's hands down...check out the whole CD if you get a chance) and
  • Golddigger by Kanye West (Love this song...once again, the lyrics are awesome. It's about time somebody called a spade a spade...his last CD was good, so I can't wait to hear the entire CD).

  • Okay, I had no plans to list my personal commentary by each song, but as a music reviewer, I just couldn't help it (smile).

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    Monday, August 15, 2005

    In Awe of My Favorite Author - Terry McMillan

    On last Thursday, my book club and I gathered in the mini-van and went on a day trip. For me it was a last minute trip, because I didn't think I would get a chance to go see one of my top five all-time favorite authors--Ms. Terry McMillan. Thankfully, my sisters in my book club wasn't having it and thus the journey to Dallas to see Terry began.

    Although, there were several things that occurred that tried to mark our trip, we refused to give in. For example, Budget didn't have our van ready--it was supposed to be ready at 7 am...and on top of that, we had to deal with someone with not just bad customer service...but TERRIBLE customer service. It was their error, but she acted like she could care less. Now I hate to say things bad about a company, but it'll be a VERY very VERY long time before I use Budget again, if ever.

    Anyway, we got to Dallas in plenty of time to stop by the mall. Afterwards, we made our way towards our main destination--Black Images Book Store.

    We were the first set of people to arrive, so we were given the first tickets. Relieved that we wouldn't have to wait hours to get our books autographed, we relaxed a bit.

    Oh my, I had no idea how phenomenal Terry was. When she arrived, the crowd (400 plus) was pumped. They cheered her on as she made her way to the podium.

    Terry made you feel as if she was talking to a group of friends. The excerpt she read from was mesmerizing. I can't wait to read the book. One of the highlights however from the signing was during the Q & A session. She gave great advice to writers--"Write from the heart" and she gave us a glimpse into some of her other experiences--priceless.

    Once the Q & A was over, we finally got our books signed...not without having to wade through an unruly crowd...we were the firsts there and it was announced that "book club from S'port" were to get their books signed first, but you know there are always folks who don't agree to follow the rules.

    Anyway, so after allowing a few RUDE folks to do their thing, (didn't want Terry to see the other side of me...fortunately for them, I'm not only an avid Terry fan, but an author)...anyway, I spoke to her briefly as she signed my book--then she gave me some one-on-one advice, that I will take heed.

    As one of my serious novelists sisters would say, "Terry is my she-ro."

    She is classy and sets a great example for any writer to follow (no matter what genre they write).
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    Wednesday, August 10, 2005

    What's in a Name?

    Here it is August the 9th and I'm just now posting a message to my blog. Well let's see what's been happening since I last posted.

    I've been busy interviewing music artists. The highlight was being able to interview what I like to consider a music legend and genius--Mr. Charlie Wilson. If you love good R & B, then you know he's a member of The Gap Band. He'll have a solo CD coming out a few days before my birthday in September.

    Another thing I've been doing is actually and finally getting a chance to work on my novel. I've changed the lead character's name from Veronica to Paige. The reason: The name change hit me like a ton of bricks one day. I had been hell bent on NOT changing the name from Veronica. But when your characters speak to you and say, "Hey, I'm a Paige, not a Veronica" you have no choice but to listen.

    One of my friends will vouch for me not wanting to change Veronica's name. When I shared with her the premises for my story, she reminded me that there was a supermodel with the same name. My response was, well it's a fictional character and I'm sure there are lots of character names that belong to actual real people...I've met a Rose and a Violet (characters from my first book-Roses are Thorns, Violets are True) and the name Nicolette from my second book, My Invisible Husband, actually belongs to one of my cousins.). So knowing that the name was also that of a model, didn't persuade me one bit to change it. It only prompted me to give her a middle initial of "C."

    Anyway, my character cried out and didn't want to be known as Veronica, so I was forced to change it to Paige. I've had to go back and do a "search" and "replace" in the manuscript, but I've grown to love the name Paige. Paige Webb is alright in my book. I hope she's able to handle the situation she's gotten herself into in my third novel, My Three Beaus.

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