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.


Ten little fingers,
on two perfect hands.
Ten perfect toes,
on two perfect feet.
The first precious breath,
first wail of new life
erases all pain,
and fills the senses with delight.
This period of gestation,
labor and rending
was well worth the wait.
What a miraculous transformation.
I thought I was whole.
You’ve wholly changed me;
enlisting me into this new sorority: Motherhood.

http://Photo by Andrae Ricketts on Unsplash

New Chapters

The first quarter of the year has come to a close. (That was fast!) I am a co-author in the recently published, Women Overcome Through Writing Anthology. I hope my chapter will encourage anyone who is considering writing her memoirs to push past the fear and write! My contribution to this book has been one of my most challenging projects, so far. Challenging, humbling, and worth it!

Thanks to Coach Jaime Washington for her encouragement and wisdom and we worked through our fears and committed our truths to the page. Congratulations to my co-authors! You ladies are amazing!

Stay tuned! I’ll be sharing a link where you can purchase a copy of this inspiring anthology very soon!

Writing the End, First

When the television show, Scandal, premiered, I recall Shonda Rhimes saying, she knew exactly how the series would end. Being a ‘pantser,’ I was amazed! How did she do that?! I declared her and her writing team a group of stone-cold, geniuses at that moment!

As I mentioned in my previous post, my coaches have challenged me to do some things differently. It’s caused me to revisit the way I approach my writing. I usually start at the beginning, and write in a relatively chronological order – without an outline. (This hasn’t been working for me.) It’s a great way to start and get ideas down on the page, but I’m realizing that I have plan (outline) and perhaps, know where I want the story to end, first. I think I’ll finish more projects if I take that approach.

In the meantime, I have two projects in which to figure out their endings. I’ll keep you posted. (Pray my strength!)

Starting at the beginning isn't always the best approach to constructing a story.
Photo by Kat Stokes

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!