Thursday, August 13, 2009

Silver lining

Good morning,

I came here to blog on my regular day and ended up first on the blog itself. So I read Miriam's post. And I'm sorry but it made me laugh. Okay people, I'm not a sadist person. No, if anything my emotions lead me to do many things based on empathy and sympathy. I laughed because I saw myself in Miriam's post. I laughed because she's a good writer and made it humorous.

Life has a way of not going the way we want, of knocking us down, of making us question every decision we've ever made. It makes up sometimes want to do things contrary to our nature.

People we care about let us down. They cease communication without explanation. They make us feel devalued, lied to, and as though the relationship has become one way.

All of this is a part of life I've learned. We can not control others and can barely control our reactions to their actions. I've learned that generally at the source of our pain there's a human or two in the background that we imagine is sticking it to us.

Knowing this I limit myself to the amount of control I give to humans to affect my life. I shut myself off from them in order to protect myself. Then I look for joy in the oddest places.

Last month when I was once again questioning the why of this blog and my participation I received a reply which carried me through and made me write this month's post. So I'm going to share with you one of life's little unexpected pleasures.

For the past week or so I've had sporadic Internet service. On Friday I talked with a tech for almost 2 hours and we fixed it. Then on Saturday the same thing happened. On Friday the tech was in India, on Saturday Mexico.

These are the things I learned on Saturday about the tech that was supposed to be helping me fix my problem. Her birthday was Sunday and she made 27. She can not cross the border into the US. She was a troubled teen who took the wrong path doing many things and becoming pregnant at 17. Her daughter lives in Calif with her father, her son lives in Mexico with her. Her mother died of cancer several years ago and for an unknown reason her mother's family broke off contact with her and her father. She's an only child. She wants to go to university. Her 5th grade teacher once told her mother that she was a talented writer but she's never tried. She admitted to me that she wanted to be a writer.

When she asked me questions about myself that I thought were not supposed to be viewed I realized that my talking to her was not about fixing my Internet problem but about encouraging her to go for her dream. After a two hour conversation where my tries to gently get her to do something to fix my computer wasn't working I gave up. The call was meant for me to talk to her. So be it.

When the conversation ended I was sputtering, "but we haven't fixed my computer." She promised someone would call. Which they didn't by the way. LOL. But I stayed on the page I was on trying to remember what the guy from the day before had told me to do. After about another hour I got my Internet working and it's been working since.

The point of this post is this: While encouraging this young woman to go for her dreams I became encouraged myself. How can I tell others not to give up if I give up myself.

I'm writing and submitting my work regardless of the depressed market, regardless of publishers being inundated with the same things that I write. I'm a writer and I can't give up. Writing is not for the faint of heart.

So Miriam, and all, take heart. Each day is a new opportunity. Look for the unexpected joys and hang on.


Wednesday, August 12, 2009

What's today

I don't know what today is. I thought it was August 11th, but that was yesterday. I'm a day late ... again. That seems to be a chronic condition lately along with a number of other health issues I was starting to really worry about. I haven't been able to focus and I cry easily, I feel like I just can't cope. My skin itches and my rash comes and goes so quickly, I can't keep track of my creams. I'm restless and can't sleep. I can't seem to stay on task for anything. What used to take me a couple hours is now taking me half a day. I knew there had to be something wrong. I'm too emotional, too whiny to be me. Yeah, I know a lot has gone on in my life the last eighteen months. Life-altering changes, but nothing that hasn't happened to other people. So why am I in such dire straits?

Time to go to the M.D.. Complete blood workup and what not. Went back yesterday to find out that I actually had a real, medical reason for being so out of sorts. I have a B vitamin deficiency. Serious enough I got a shot in my butt and have to return for the next 6 months before I have another blood workup. And I have to eat spinach. Yeah, spinach. Daily! Twice! I actually like spinach but I don't think I can manage it twice a day. I'm thinking what I'm going to do to hide spinach so that I don't know it's in my dish. I feel like I've created a new monster, Halloween Spinach, coming to a theater near you on October 25. Be careful of spinach leftovers caught between your front teeth.

Wow, that really crept up on me. Funny how you start making excuses for being exhausted, for not quite completing your last project, for crying without any real reasons, for thinking you forgot the grocery list only to discover you left it in the car and could have just marched right back out and gotten it.

I think I need a cruise. Jackie, Seressia and I originally booked one for October, but it didn't work for Seressia, so we've moved it back to February or March of 2010. We're thinking a short 5-6 day cruise to Cabo San Lucas. Drinking, maybe some writing, sleeping, maybe some writing, chasing guys, maybe some writing. Then I got to thinking why not invite the rest of you guys. I realize the economy is not going to be looking a whole lot better next spring, but I think a cruise with balmy breezes and sweet palms trees swaying in the wind would be just the thing to recharge us. Anyone interested? We'll keep it small and intimate and just plan to have some fun, some brainstorming, drinking, male ogling and mind boggling se...better not go there.

Let me know how you feel. Miriam

Wednesday, August 5, 2009


Hey Guys, sorry I didn't post last month. Family vacation took me to Virginia and to my brother's wedding all in the same month. Talking about hectic but I have to admit it was the best time I've had in a long long time. It has been almost two years since I've seen my baby brother and my husband ended up being his best man. We live almost 600 miles apart so planning was kind of tedious but in the end it all worked out. Now I can let out a big sigh of relief right? Wrong! My mind is now consume with back to school stuff, registration and football season. My teen age son 14 by the way is driving me crazy. Books, clothes, expensive Air Jordons and uniforms is the topic of each day in my household. Anyway I promise to have more for you next month.

P.S Is there any other parent/author out there who wants to share the back to school blues or should I say happiness!!!!

Janie De Coster
Broken Commandments

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Multicultural is blooming...

I'm sorry I've missed a few blogs. I've had a rather interesting and busy year. Hopefully I'll be on track going forward.

As far as the title of this blog's my observation that multicultural books are suddenly becoming mainstream. I say that in the most affectionate way. For the past six months I've been browsing plenty of bookstores and I'm very impressed with how they're being laid out. I've seen special tables dedicated to African American and Multicultural books, including end caps and more... It makes my heart go 'pitter-patter' because it seems like people are branching out. Readers are beginning to explore different stories and voices and allowing more of an open-mind when they choose their books. Seems like I worked a long time to see this explosion and just recently, I've become more hopeful.

For instance, a good friend of mine, Jeannie Lin recently won the Golden Heart and sold to Harlequin Mills & Boon for her historical set in China, all in the same week! It's amazing how Harlequin took a risk on a storyline like this and I'm ecstatic that this could mean the door has opened up for many multicultural writers like me.

So my advice is for all your multicultural writers to keep plugging away because once the floodgates open, we want to be the first one through the door.

For all you readers, please take a chance because you might discover something special in our stories!