120 Seconds

I see them every day on my commute. They don’t have access to proper face masks, so they pull the hoods of their jackets over their heads and draw the strings tight until they only have a slit to peer through. It’s the only protection they have from the virus.

They work each end of the intersection, one holding a sign stating his cause, the other two held bunches of flowers and walked between the cars, trying to sell them whenever traffic came to a stop.

They all kept a pace. But, I noticed the young man working the northbound traffic the most. He had a noticeable limp, but his gait held purpose. As soon as the light turned red, he left his position at the top of the median and began marching between the cars. During this time of day, he could only walk between the turn lanes. He knew he only had 120 seconds to make it to the bottom of the turn lane before the light turned green and he would need to begin his march back to the top of the median, again. I watched him do his work, counting his steps and the seconds, waving the bouquet of flowers in his left hand while clutching three other bouquets in the crook of his right arm, hoping all the while a driver might have a few dollars to spare for some flowers. He wasn’t asking for a handout, he was trying to make some money to buy something to eat, or maybe to get some more comfortable shoes. The soles of his of his boots were falling apart.

The light turned green. I glanced in my rear view mirror to see him marching back up the median, counting his steps as traffic moved forward and new rows of customers rolled to a stop.

Photo credit: Matt Artz

Black People are Normal, Part II

I recorded this video several times earlier in the week. I’m just getting around to posting it at the tail end of the week. (Free time is a luxury!)

The young man that I mentioned in the video is Elijah McClain. His story just came to light this year. His murder is finally being investigated instead of being swept under the rug.

Elijah McClain by @HeatherSheiderIllustrates_

In today’s post, I continue the discussion from the previous post: Black Lives Are Normal. I speak about some of the things we do on autopilot that others may not give a second thought.


Black Lives are Normal, Part I

I’ve been trying to write my thoughts about the latest string of race-related killings that occurred since the start of the year and leading up to the murder of George Floyd. I think I have covered most of the areas of grief, emotionally. I’ve cried over people I never met. But George Floyd’s murder hit a nerve. If I can’t write about it, I will talk about it. Bear with me…there are layers to this and it’s challenging to put my thoughts into a true organized format, but I couldn’t delay sharing with you any longer.

(Sorry about the craptacular video editing. I just had to get this out!)

Thanks in advance for listening.

No More Pants

Tres Blah by Torley

Once a year (usually around November) the question comes up, “Are you a ‘pantser’ or a planner?” This question is usually a reminder that I need to work on my writing organization style. I’m a total ‘pantser.’ I sit down at the desk, and create “by the seat of my pants.” No outline. I let the story wander where it will, and then go back (while I’m still writing) and fix the noticable loopholes. This is a HORRIBLE writing habit. It slows me down and leaves as many holes in my story as there are in swiss cheese.

One of my broad goals is to plan (and execute) better. I have two coaches in my life challenging me to do so. (The funny thing is, I didn’t go looking for coaches. They “happened” to me! LOL! #TheLordProvides!) And so, I’ve spent the last couple of weeks trying to plan, then write. Let’s just say, Rome wasn’t built in a day. This is going to take some work, and getting used to! But I’m determined to become better at planning and executing. My writing life depends on it!

I’ll be sharing more on the process I’m using in coming posts. Stay tuned!


I won’t state the obvious about time passing, days on the calendar, etc., blah, blah, blah…but I will greet you with good tidings, great joy and many blessings for the remainder of 2019! 😀

As for me, the new year started several months ago – at least the emotional and mental prep-work did. I was warned of specific changes coming to my life. Some changes dropped into my lap, forcing me to adjust and be graceful and grateful. (I wasn’t always. I don’t like being pulled out of my comfort zone.) Other changes have been more methodical and deliberate. I do periodic self-evaluations, and determined it was time to let go of certain things so I could move on to better things in life.

I have a few new things in the works. I’ll share those in upcoming blog post. Stay tuned! And I’ll be making some changes here, too. (New window dressing, a little dusting…ya know…clean the place up a little!) So far, 2019 is off to a great start! I hope the same is true for you!

Happy New Year!

They Shut Me Up

They shut me up…
or at least they tried.
Don’t they remember?
I was born wailing.
I came into the earth
with a God-ordained purpose.
My lips will not be sewn shut.

I’m not a ballerina in a music box.
You can’t close the lid and hide me.
You can’t bring me out for a moment of delight,
then shut the lid and hide me away.
My melody will haunt your imagination.
And long after my demise,
my words will linger.
Someone will remember,
and repeat,
and pass my words on to the next one.

They tried to shut me up.
They tried and failed.

Photo credit: Music Box by Tilemahos Efthimiadis

See Me

Don’t just look at me.
Don’t look past me,
or through me.
Don’t hear my dialect
and judge it as ignorance.
You speak one language,
I speak at least two.
See me.
See the entire person that stands before you.
Don’t see the locs,
the head wrap,
the melanin,
the beard, the tunic,
and dismiss me as “other,”
or less than you.

This isn’t an egotistical demand.
It’s humanity’s expectation.
It’s every soul’s cry.
My presence here is normal.

Look past the hoodie,
the iced tea and the bag of candy,
the life-threatening cell phone
or wallet in my hand
that you believe has the potential
to shorten your days.

See my child in the back seat.
See my fiancée sitting beside me.
See me without requiring additional justification
of my worthiness.
I’m supposed to be here.
My child’s life, my husband, wife, or intended’s life
is equal in value to anyone’s life in your world.

See me, but don’t demand I fit into your limited mold.
I’m fearfully and wonderfully made.
God broke the mold when he made me.
Therefore, I won’t play small for you.

And if you choose not to see me and mine,
I will not take accountability for your blindness.
It’s up to you to remove the scales from your eyes.
I can’t lead you to water if you dig your heels into the dirt,
and I certainly will not bring you water and force you to drink.
Because, the limited view
in which you choose to see people like me,
is how people will choose to see you.


All of a sudden…

I actually had a good and productive Monday. (Most people don’t celebrate Mondays, which is kind of sad. The day is what you make it, but I digress…) Tuesday was a doozy. That’s the point when my week went to crap, and I’ve been trying to recover it ever since. All I can do is roll with the punches. Hopefully I’ll be fully up and running again in a few days. I’m determined to finish this #NaPaWriMo Challenge!

Spirit Song

Today is day 16 of NaPoWriPo! We’re just beyond half way through the Poem-A-Challenge! (This is not an easy task! But I must say, it’s loosened the creative muck a bit!) Today’s post was inspired by yesterday’s Daily Prompt word of the day: Song.

Only I can hear the song.
The melody tugs at my center,
and what looks like
madness to the outside world
has a beat
a rhythm
a range
a harmony.
Only I can hear the song,
and every kick,
arch of my back,
raise of my arms,
twist and twirl,
is my praise offering to God.

Photo by David Hofmann on Unsplash

When Forcing the Words Just Won’t Do

On this day of rest
my soul was overloaded
with thoughts
with words
with emotions
that congealed at the end of my pen.
Nothing would flow
in a steady
organized direction.
Nothing desired to
So, I didn’t force the mood
out of its place.
I let it be.
Sometimes, that’s best.
Let it be,
and let the soul rest.

Photo by Tyler Nix on Unsplash