This February (exact date coming soon) I will be releasing a new project entitled Stella, a short story about the lives of two women living in two different time periods, their experiences colliding in an explosion of emotional revelations:
Cynthia insists she’s not a racist, and while many of her points about the state of Black America are valid, she still doesn’t believe Blacks should have the same rights as whites. She believes America has come a long way, but that integration has kept it from going further. One day, Cynthia and her boyfriend Alex decide to visit Cynthia’s Grandmother, and happen upon information that will change their lives forever.
Raised under the protection of her mother and the field hands, Stella is unaware that she is a slave. Not being accustomed to hard labor things change when Mama dies and she falls into the cruel hands of “Mars Saddler”. Years later, when The Louisiana Constitutional Convention of 1864 abolishes slavery in the parish, Stella learns of Saddlers plan to keep her on the plantation. She then agrees to accompany Saddlers daughter Miss Carla and her husband John to The Windy City.
Together, Cynthia and Stella learn the hard way the difference between slavery and freedom.
Stella will be available in the following formats as well as in print:
On the way to work this morning we stopped at a red light. We could feel the stare of someone on the side of us. You all know the feeling, when your hairs stand up on your skin like antennae. My husband noticed it first since he notices everything. He can somehow see everything you’re doing in your car. So, turning slightly to the left there he was. All fury and bursting with energy. Tongue hung over the front of his mouth and …wait, “did he just smile at me?” I think a dog just smiled at me. He may have winked too. I’m not very good in the doggie breeding category so I don’t know what kind of dog he was but as long as he knows that I know his secret. It all started back in 2007, before which I was a cat woman. As a child I treasured the company of tiny paws and purring sounds. The ease of having them to jump up in your lap, petting had never been so fun. But today cats are just kind of creepy. They’re always sneaking around and peeking around the corner. Showing up at the oddest times, “where did you come from?” Destroying something I’m sure. Anyway, back to the story.
So yes, 2007. My husband and I, (unwed then) received a puppy (Rottweiler) from some friends. Technically she was a puppy but didn’t really look like it. She was almost my height so I was never really convinced. The dog absolutely loved to lounge on the couch downstairs from which she was strongly prohibited. Did she obey? No. She jumped up on the sofa every chance she got and crossed her little paws like she was the queen of the castle. I mean sure she guarded things but sista girl needed to get one thing straight: I am the woman of this house. We named her Lady because aside from her obvious doggy demeanor she was everything but a dog. As you can see she loved to take pictures and happened to be very photogenic. I don’t know who she thought she was (to my knowledge America’s Top Doggies didn’t exist). She handled herself nice and dainty like. I kept trying to tell her she wasn’t as petite as she thought she was, but what I said didn’t seem to matter. She walked around the house like she was made up of feathers though company made it very clear we’d adopted the most dangerous animal known to man. So did her appetite. That didn’t stop her from switching across the floor though, moving her butt from side to side like she had hips. I didn’t play that though, no male doggie company until you are of age young lady. Although now that I think about it, I’m sure she lied about her age.
The straw that broke the camel’s back was in ’09. We’d traveled from Chicago to Dallas in my husband’s truck with little Miss thing in the backseat. What a trip that was. Upon our arrival we checked into a hotel that would allow for pets. Usually I just got my mother to doggy sit but that wasn’t happening this time. The last time mama came over Lady made it very clear that she could take care of herself. Needless to say my mother wasn’t very enthusiastic about doing this again. So we check into the hotel and although very nervous about leaving her there, we decided to take a risk. It was a business trip and we did not have the time to stick around. Amidst all of the fun we were having, we forgot about Lady in the hotel room. It was dark when we got back and I braced myself for the destruction we would have to pay for on account of this child we left to her own devices. But when we opened the door laughter escaped us. I think we laughed for a good 15 minutes straight. We had one of those comfortable sofa chairs and the dog was sitting on the chair with her paws crossed and watching television. I couldn’t make this up if I tried. Nothing was out of place. Nothing chewed on. The only thing this prissy little lady wanted to do was sit uninterrupted on the most comfortable spot in the house. I eventually accepted her for who she was and went out and bought this neat little electronic device that could be used to trim your dog’s nails, since Lady made it very clear that she’d never had a mani pedi before.
So now I know the secret: 101 Dalmatians was not just a movie. If your a dog lover listen to me very closely, this is not a joke: all dogs have personalities. They talk when your away and act like people as soon as you turn your back. I’m just warning you.
There are two books I always carry with me: 1). The Bible and 2). Letters to a Young Poet. Don’t laugh, but I thought Rainer Maria Rilke was a woman before I saw his picture! I’m a youngin (not millennial but a youngin nonetheless lol hee hee), but seriously though, it was Sister Act 2 when I first heard his name, so I looked into it to see if Sister Mary Clarence really knew what she was talking about. Here’s my diagnostic of this quote:
Primarily, I think Letters to a Young Poet has of some of the most inspiring quotes in relation to life and to love. Take this one for example, there is such profound truth here. We tend to go through life expecting to be given the answers to every question in the momentary whim to which we seek them. It never occurs to us that we are not in the position to handle the answer to that question. But if we focus on living, and we live, we will stumble upon the answer in a time where we are wiser and more mature. We will understand it then, though we may not understand it now. This book itself began as letters Rainer wrote to a young man who was interested in the art of poetry. These letters have been combined into what can be easily mistaken as a book of poetry itself, as it reads.
About the Author: (from Wikipedia)
“René Karl Wilhelm Johann Josef Maria Rilke (4 December 1875 – 29 December 1926) — better known as Rainer Maria Rilke) — was a Bohemian-Austrian poet and novelist, widely recognized as one of the most lyrically intense German-language poets writing in both verse and highly lyrical prose. Several critics have described Rilke’s work as inherently “mystical”. His writings include one novel, several collections of poetry, and several volumes of correspondence in which he invokes haunting images that focus on the difficulty of communion with the ineffable in an age of disbelief, solitude, and profound anxiety. These deeply existential themes tend to position him as a transitional figure between the traditional and the modernist writers.”