Barbara Writes

Tuesday, October 19, 2010


Howdy yall!!

I know it’s been a long time since I’ve written and most who’ve read this thing know it’s because writing here every day is too regimented and Lord knows regimentation is NOT my bag! LOL! But I’m compelled to write here today.

So much has been going on. After I was “separated” from CTA, I took great stock in my life and found that my God had served me well in that once I was unemployed I rested, re-grouped and then was blessed with another job. God is GOOD! And then he sent me a potential help mate – Mark – who through much has proven to me what I’d assumed all along: Barbara is quite a loveable woman! Sometimes you know, but it’s really nice to have someone else show/tell you as well. While long-term, permanent (read: marriage) has been discussed, there are no rings and we’ve still got to go down the “counseling” road. I’ve been married before (as he has, too) and this time around I’d like to stay married till one of us breathes their last breath. Also, for all the women out there: self love is GREAT love; so love you some self!

Now let me get on my soap box:

Truth – most do not know what real truth is! And this is a shame. Let me begin by saying: there is no such thing as a little white lie! A lie is a lie – no matter how you phrase it. Many years ago I made the conscious choice to attempt to speak truth always. I have fallen short in this quest, but the reasons were varied (no excuse!) and each caused me great pause; like the former friend who I just have not been able to tell her, honestly, that her negativity was STIFLINGLY MADDENING, therefore I’m unable to continue the friendship (I can only listen to so much of how Black Men ain’t shit!). Or to the former date that, for the life of me, would not get the simple fact that while he was considered a good catch he wasn’t a good catch for me! Or lastly, when you disappear for hours and DO NOT respond to messages, do not expect ANYONE to believe that you were somewhere by yourself contemplating life. I believe you were somewhere contemplating another date—without me, even though I said I believed you (total lie!).

Yet with all of the above said, there is something sinister, evil and quite duplicitous about all of the lies and stealing and cheating and deceit that is occurring in our world. It reminds me of a pale joke a former boss used to say: Lions ten, Christians zero! While this may be funny (it was when he first said it), it’s scarily true. Our faith is taking a back seat to plain greed and deceit – truly one in the same – AND it is not a good thing! There are days when I just no longer want to watch the news for if it ain’t Tiger Woods (dude you were wholly STUPID for sacrificing your family for overly used CUNT! sorry yall), it’s the mortgage, subsequent foreclosure scandal (greedy folks taking mortgages they couldn’t afford; even greedier folks giving them the mortgages), or Bishop Long’s allegations (all I can say is: WOW! Oh, and brother PAHLEESE get rid of the weave!) which, true or not, are quite unsettling, to put it mildly for the lack of a more appropriate phrase.

I could go on, but I won’t. Instead I will talk about the wondrous things I’ve come across: the woman who I helped when some less than attempted to rob her – to this day she calls me her “angel” and to this day I say it was God’s plan for me to be there; to my friend Fathiyah and her hubby, Morro – they just brought a beautiful baby girl (Amira) into this world. They are both great people and will make even greater parents (GOD’s BLESSINGS!); and there is my sister-girl-Soror, Annette, who’s pain has been transformed to be a blessing to others (you are my SHERO!! I know you don’t want to be); to the sister who bravely stood and testified against the two women who hired a couple of teens to pour acid on her because she was involved with one of the women’s former boyfriend (the story is SILLY and the women who hired the teens are cowards – they were convicted); and let me not forget the countless folks across the Nation who continue to believe. Yall, the higher power will take care of us all – good and bad. As a footnote, I was amazed when I read in my local paper that the infamous Edward “Fast Eddie” Vrdolyak admitted that he had acted “studpid[ly]” in a scheme that netted him over $650,000. In a time when just about everyone is pointing a finger and refusing to take responsibility for their actions, here’s a man who has; and given his colorful and storied Chicago background, this was a plus as well as unheard of! Mr. Vrdolyak was recently sentenced to some time in a federal prison.

Writing – It struck me the other day as I put the finishing touches on a treatment for a series I’d like to see published that while I was writing my eleven romances at the time I was not in a committed relationship. The words I was putting on paper were things and situations I’d wish had occurred. Often, when I speak about my romances, I speak of how the stories are always how I’d want a situation to end. How I wished the men who had been in my life had been different (no lies; no cheating; no ego trips; no selfishness), had been upstanding brothers who weren’t afraid of commitment. But, as in real life, they weren’t and I found that the stories were my own brand of therapy. Just yesterday I sat down and began re-writing a story I’d started in 1998! YIKES!! I know that’s a long time. As I went over the story, its edginess and grit was a little jarring at first, but then I stopped and realized where I was at when I wrote it: my then husband had been cheating on me! And my story was the retaliation. I do want to finish the story, for I believe in redemption and have recently had my own ability to forgive put to the test. I did NOT forgive the former husband (nor his family members), but today I do. While we will never have a relationship, the things that were said and done no longer matter and I sincerely wish them all the best and blessings our Lord can bestow! Anyway, back to writing. I still believe in love –black love. I still believe in the redemptive powers of love, commitment, emotions and staying the course. I still believe that our men (no slam to those who’ve found love outside of their race – love is love!) are wonderful gifts and should be lifted up and celebrated (and I don’t mean the ones who refuse to take care of their kids, or the ones who lie and cheat, or the ones who think it’s cool to have several “in the stable”) when they are do-right brothers who knows the importance of life and wants to be that catalyst of change!

Lastly—getting older. I love being 46! I feel good, look good and have an abundance of me to give. I am so looking forward to the fabulous 50’s! For some reason I see this as an age of wonder and awe, of being in a place and space to look back, assess and assist (even though we all should be giving back to some cause) those who are coming behind you – if the Lord deems it so. And each year that I walk on this earth I realize two things: I’m truly blessed to be here and I love the fact that I’ve gotten a chance to live my dreams. For me, life over the past 16 years (at age 30, I had finally arrested the manic depression I’d been plagued with since the age of 12) has been FANTABULOUS and I see my glass as half full, not half empty! I am so looking forward to the next phase of my life.

Well, that’s enough for one day! Do enjoy this journey called life—which is gratifying, hard, joyful, maddening, loving, calloused—one that cannot be avoided! Until I write again: SPEAK TRUTH!

Stepping Down from the Soap Box!


Tuesday, July 28, 2009

A little bit of this, a little bit of that!

Yall know I'm bad!! I'd love to write here everyday, but I'm just not that regimented. I stopped recording and watching soaps because I simply found that I did not want to be tied to an event like that everyday. And I'm truly impressed with the folks who tend to write and have something quite intelligent to say - and do so on a daily basis!

But, I did put it in my head to watch two reality shows this past season! The first one was Tough Love - featuring a house full of women being taught how to find and engage in possible meaningful relationships with men. The things the matchmaker, Steven Ward, said to the women were things as women we should know. But ....

And then the second show was (drum roll please!) - G's to Gents! Now, this was my show cause I know I've a little bit of ghetto in me and the G's or Gangsters were there to be transformed. Fonzworth Bentley (Derek Watkins), the one to assist these "G's" in their transformation, was cute and likable with wayy too much common sense that at times I knew he was blowing the "G's" minds! But what I loved about both of these shows was the resounding theme of change! And I'm one of those folks that wholeheartedly embrace change as long as it leads to a positive outcome! Change for change sake doesn't make sense to me.

Now, how about my recent foray into the world of unemployment? I have worked since I was 13 years old - my first job had been through CEDA and from that point on I've always worked; worked in High School, worked during College (McDonald's, pizza deliverer for Iva's, clerical work), and even worked temp! So, I was never afraid to work. But as I crept past my 40's, I came to many realizations and one of them was any work I do MUST be emotionally and psychologically satisfying, allowing me to feel as if I was making a real difference in someones life - be apart of a solution. So, when I got sick and was off work, I was stunned, hurt and then relieved to have been "administratively separated." Stunned, for all of my medical documentation was in order & the registered letter informing me of my status came out of nowhere (I swear I hadn't a clue); hurt, because I gave 190% of myself - worked hard (not afraid of hard work) and no one cared/dared to say: "Are you okay?" "What do you need?"; and, relieved because while sick I was forced to do introspection as to why I hadn't fought to walk in my destiny and then began my walk! God is truly good!

On to something completely different. I attended two conferences this summer: BEA (Book Expo America) and RWA (Romance Writers of America). BEA, which is one of my favorites, was made doable by my great friend and mentor, Rochelle Alers, who insisted I stay as her guest which made my trip financially feasible. While there, I got an opportunity to pitch a story idea for a series and it was well received. I've been working on it ever since. And I also met a potential literary agent - a real nice woman who asked to see my work.

Then I went to RWA in DC. I'm a big fan of DC and no I didn't see President Obama! Wish I had - I'da been like: know anyone need a good executive assistant?! LOL! Anyway, I was the volunteer extraordinaire and spent a lot of time networking and making some new friends: Constance and Celeste - great women. The highlight was the Harlequin Party! Those folks know how to put on a PARTY!!! I hadn't danced like that in moons! Needless to say, my legs was a little tight the next day (LOL!) - but I had a ball! Both of these events are like staples to me in that I get to see what the industry is doing and how. God willing, next year I'll be able to add Romantic Times Conference to this short list.

And lastly, how about a little bit of ... politics! I was so proud to know that Dr. Tais Crawford-Thomas' husband was on CNN's Black in America 2! Tais, who along with me, is an adult literacy instructor for the Delta Literacy Project, is such a wonderful woman! And I got a chance to meet her hubby (Dr. Pete) and their beautiful daughters a few months back and found him to be just like her. So needless to say I was super impressed and hollering at the screen when Dr. Pete got to talking about Black men and healthcare!! Aside from my glee and obvious pride, I have found that the series presented by CNN's Soledad O'Brien has been quite enlightening, regardless of seeing some things that were disturbing (the young brother released from prison only to commit a really dumb crime and was heading back to prison) to having a belief supported: black folks are way too disproportionally effected by every DAYUM thing in America! A change has got to come! And weren't you impressed with Professor Roland Fryer from Harvard? He was in the first series and I was too taken - the man was on point and super smart! You must check out some of his work!

Well, that's my this and that for today! Who knows when I'll write again! And of course look out for the re-release of my second book, An Unfinished Love Affair! Hits the stores Aug. 4 & will be in Walgreens, Target, Borders, B&N, and

Caio Bella!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

A Black President

I know its been sometime since I wrote and for those few who follow, please forgive me!

Now, I just had to write about us having a Black President! I am one of those folks who said that Chicago's infamous housing projects would never be demolished in my life time nor would we have a Black president in my life time. Boy am I glad I was WRONG! I have been witness to profound history and you KNOW I just had to go to the Inauguration (later I'll have pictures up). Didn't have tickets to nuttin but Oprah - but to be in the crowd, listening to Obama as he was sworn in followed by his address. I cried as I stood next to a guy that had to be at least 6'4. He had graciously allowed me to step in front of him, even lean on his arm as President Obama talked of the hard work ahead. I even hugged this stranger, who had really been shieding me from the cold (but there were so many people around me that I barely felt it) and found an odd sense of calm in the unending sea of faces all around me.

And then later, we (my friends Annette, Nick, Mikel and Kimmie) walked for several blocks so that we could witness the parade from the offices of a former colleage of mine - Marcel (he's such a sweet heart). I watched, with my mouth open in awe as the President and the First Lady walked down Pennsylvania Ave. during the parade.

In a former postion, I was once a lobbyist here in Illinois and would lobby him on bills that would have a positive impact on persons with disabilites - he was never a hard sell - always had his support. And then when he ran for US Senate, I attended a fundraiser and he remembered me! I think it was because my last year of grad school I completed a series of artcles on the Juvenile Justice System, which turned 100 the year I graduated. Then Illinois Senator Obama championed some legistlation and I tried like HECK to get him to sit for an inteview. Long story short: I'm still waiting! LOL! Actually, his schedule was soo hectic that I went online, found a news story and attributed it to him in the article.

I have to admit that I'm super proud to have known him prior to. And there are times now when I see him on TV that I'm in awe! To think: WE HAVE A BLACK PRESIDENT! WOW! And to remember that at one time I stood face to face with him.

But for me it just reaffirms what I've always believed in: Dreams!

So, each and everyone reading this post, lets inspire those around us to dream, to dare to hope and to chase the possibilities. For as we know life is short, tomorrow isn't promised, and dreams do come true!

Much Love,

Barbara K

Friday, May 23, 2008

Romance Slam Jam 08!

Wow!! How do I begin to talk about the gathering of over 200 folks to celebrate Black Love?! I mean, I've been to two Slam Jams and I always walk away feeling all warm and fuzzy! But this Slam Jam was particularly special to me for it was in my hometown of Chicago and I was honored to be a member of the host committee, as well as the MC for several events during RSJ. And for those of you who know me well, know I gots the gift of gabbanation! This sister loves to talk (know that I had me a sore throat for a couple of days after).

But I have to tell you that when the idea was first entertained to have Chicago host RSJ 08 I was worried - scared actually, for Donna Hill had laid the gauntlet - it needed to match, if not exceed the RSJ from New York! And I heard that that Slam was the BOMBDIGGITY! I was not in attendance, but you know word of mouth. And second, when you are part of a committee you need a strong leader and I'm not one (honestly). So, when Deatri stepped up and took the lead I cannot tell you how relieved I was. And though Dee can be blunt and brutally honest (I ain't ever mad), it was what was needed to pull off a class act affair! And when she calls you at 11 at night you just respond and don't ask a whole lotta questions!

When I arrived at the hotel on Thursday, I was sooo proud - I mean my pulse was racing and the adrenalin was pumping! To see the organization and my fellow author friends and sisters was all that. The shirts, the bags, the badge holders, the goodies - all spelled classy and organized and this is due to selfless acts of the committee as a whole.

Now I've got to say that even though I enjoyed all of Slam Jam, I must admit that my two favorite events was the party on Friday night (Due Damage you ain't S@*T!) and the Emmas. First, the party.

Who'd a thunk that Dyanne Davis could sing Jimmy Mack, that Wayne Jordon could blush a deep crimson and that my partner in crime, Earl Sewell, is actually a super freak? LOL! And then I laughed till I was hurting as we rushed forward to twirl our make-believe longer that long hair (Kim had hers) to Proud Mary or trying to keep up with the words to Rappers Delight. You really had to be there - but if you saw some of the pictures and clips from Urban Reviewers then you do know that Karaoke was wayy too funn and we sang out hearts out. I can't carry a tune in a basket. Now, I did get a complaint about the DJ - but know this: I TOLD HIM WHAT TO PLAY AND HE'DA GOT SHOT HAD HE PLAYED BIGGIE SMALLS OR TOO SHORT! Know this for fact.

The Emma Awards. It always does me proud to see so many beautiful black faces in one room celebrating the thing we love to do most - celebrate black romance writers! The sweep by my girl, Beverly Jenkins, was one of the greatest highlights of the evening. Shoot, my sister is the only one right now writing Black historical romances (if you haven't picked up one - you need to) and like I said to the crowd: I'm Theresa July! Everyone was dressed to the nines, the food was really good, the ambiance just right, and the judges stepped up and gave a real air of mystic as they announced the nominees followed by the winners. And the award itself was simplistically gorgeous.

To be surrounded by women, my contemporaries is hard to describe. But most of all, being surrounded by those who take the time to buy my work and read it is more than I can even hope for!

My only down comes from my not having time to sit and really chit-chat with folks. My dear friend and mentor, Rochelle Alers was in da house and all we got to do was hang for a half-hour, if that. And then there was Pam Yaye, who'd traveled from Canada and she and I only got in a hug here and there. As there were several others folks I got a chance to meet for the first time and a few I remembered from past Slams as well as the crazy book club members from Milwaukee (make some cookies and I'll be there!) that I got to hang with a bit.

In the end, I had wayyy too much fun, talked wayy too much, and hung out wayyy too long - but I wouldn't trade any of it for the world. Thank you to my fellow sister-/brother-authors, RAWSISTAZ Chicago Book Club and the readers/book clubs for making this a Romance Slam Jam to remember! I'm looking forward to next year! See ya in Cali! Oh, Jackie - if you get Idris Elba to come and act as a co-MC with me you will be my bestest friend for life!

Saturday, January 26, 2008

How about a little this and that ....

A lot of times I view other peoples blogs and am quite impressed. They have much to say, while I sometimes wonder if I'm not saying enough. Take my sisterhomegirl, Nikki Woods - if you ever to go to her blog you will see that she is really deep and deep thoughted (I know it ain't a word!) and her blogs give you much food for thought! And then I've gone to some other blogs (will not out them here) and wondered: dayum - when are you going to seek some professional help?! Sooo, as I sit here waiting for the bacon to cook in the oven, I'm going to jot down topic that come to my head. Let's start with one of my favorite topics: Writing.

I am amazed when I finally finish a book! Now I know that sounds really crazy, like maybe I SHOULD seek a little help, but bear with me. Because I'm no fan of outlines, I tend to write exclusively from my head - whatever pops in makes it on the computer. I create a scene or some dialogue, then a day or so later I may change the whole thing! CRAZY! Yet, it seems to work for me. Like now, I'm working on my next single title, One In A Million, and I've changed the heroines name twice now! And I've changed the protagonist three times - sheeeze! Anyway, this is how I write so when the publisher asks for a briefing of the story, I'm too hesitant for I know something will change. Anyway, I've got another month to finish and I'm not even half way through it. Pray for me, y'all!

Next ... Driving. Let me start by saying I think I'm the worlds best driver! Nah! And I don't think there are many folks, men or women, who drive better than I do. And possibly you reading this blog think that you are the worlds best driver, but here are my drivers pet peeves:
Turn Signals -- ALL vehicles were install with them. To use is kind, to not is inviting danger! If my mother was Svengali and my daddy, Houdini, then it would stand to reason that I may just be able to read your mind and know, through osmosis, that you want to make a left turn.

Car Doors -- Did you know in the state of Illinois that it is against the law to open your car door WIDE in the path of oncoming traffic? Yet, many do and then look at you like you stole something when you give the offender an evil glare. There is nothing worse than that feeling of foreboding, thinking that some NUTT is going to open their car door as you pass. But fear not - the accident is theirs and so is the liability!

Double Parking -- Unless your mother/father or elderly passenger needs to get out of the car due to no parking spaces, sitting there chatting with your girlfriend for five minutes while other vehicles need to get around you is just plain RUDE! And being the passenger who refuses to hurry and get out is unconscionable!

And speaking of rude - not saying excuse me when two people are talking and you are the last to the group, but feel that what ever you have to say is FAR more important that what we were conversing about. But saying excuse me and then not waiting for you to be acknowledged is asinine! I guess this is something your mom did to you and you didn't like it.

MEN - Anyone who knows me know that I love men, Black men. Wait, but I do think Sean Connery is a super sexy ole dude and Matthew McConaughey is FOINE!! My apologies, I digress. I love black men's colors, shapes, sizes, swagger, coolness - I just love them; but I don't always love the game. When I was younger I loved playing right along, but now that I'm older, I don't like it and won't play it and this is where me and my brothers part. If you consistently tell me that you are going to call me and don't I take that as: YOU'RE JUST NOT THAT INTERESTED IN ME and I move on. I'm not mad. Like Romance books, not everyone likes them, not every man is going to like me. That's okay. But what makes me mad is the fact you have the audacity to get angry at me because I didn't chase you down and blow up your phone by calling to see why you didn't call me back! This, my brothers, is not a sign of interest it's a sign of STALKING! And if you paid any attention to me, you would have figured out that I think I am far too cute to be stalking anyone.

Women - My sisters, and this is from the heart, dealing with married men is not an option in the world of dating. In my younger days, I'd date a man with a girlfriend but married men have always been off limits to me and will be until I take my last breath.
Recently, someone told me that during a book club event it was said I made the statement that I dated married men. Well, that is an outright lie and unfortunately for the person who made that untrue statement, if I hear it again I'm going to be suing for slander. Anyone who reads my work sees the underlying theme: commitment.
Anyway, I've always had great respect and reverence for matrimony and when my ex cheated on me twice (he had three women the first instance and one the last) I was truly hurt. That kind of pain I wouldn't wish on anyone, so how could I do that to another sister? Anyway, when a man talks bad about his wife and he has to lie to her to see you - what makes you think that he's not telling you lies? Speaking ill of you? All you are is a diversion. Now, if his marriage is THAT bad, then he can come see you AFTER the divorce. As women we must see ourselves as special. See, I think I'm special - to myself and my mother. PERIOD! Outside of that I hold no false hopes. Sisters, let the married men go! If he cheats on his wife he will cheat on you and God forbid he leaves his wife for you! Honey, what makes you think that he won't leave you or cheat on you - remember the ole saying: what goes around, comes around.

And my last topic. Domestic Violence. This illness has gone on far too long, yet when Prophetess Juanita Bynum and Bishop Weeks placed their hands on each other in violence they engaged in Domestic Violence and proved that its ugliness is still alive and thriving! Now I don't know who's telling the truth and who's telling the lies, really don't care, but what I do care about is the church's lack of response as if this is okay! It's NOT. When I was a young teen, my brother once told me to never put my hands on a man in anger. That if a man hit me back, he would kick said man's ass because he wasn't man enough to walk away from my silliness. But if a man hit me, my brother said he was going to jail for the man is a dead man. I took this to heart! And I was so proud of my minister when he stood in front of the congregation and spoke of always protecting women and that not one of the women of his congregation better ever step to him with any visible signs of physical abuse - he and the armor bearers would be paying a visit to that women's husband/man.

Sisters, we must carry ourselves as the greatness we are. We are life! We are the earth! And human kinds continued existence is predicated on us - women! Let us not teach our daughters/sisters/nieces/female neighbors how to punch and be punched! That is not our destiny!

Enough said? Enough said (for now) :-)

Wednesday, September 12, 2007


This past weekend I was in Atlanta attending my second RAWSISTAZ event - the RAW Affair. And as usual, I had a great time! But allow me to give you a little highlight of the event.

I landed on Friday, took the MARTA from the airport to the hotel, which by the way was FANTABULOUS! I'm one of those folks who really like a nice hotel and the Crown Plaza (Ashford Dunwoody) was really nice - great amenities. And the train ride wasn't too bad - this coming from a person who works for the CTA and take transit a lot (especially in other cities - wanna compare). When I got to the Dunwoody station, I had to call the hotel, not realizing it was about a two block walk!

Sooo, I checked in, rolled to my room, called my mommy (yeah, I wrote: Mommy!), grabbed me some grub, then snatched me a nap! Once I woke, I headed down for the Meet/Greet, which featured author Toschia (she is wayy too dayum funny!) who got down speaking on our (meaning the RACE) importance of giving back! And did I mention food? HECK, the four pounds I lost I sure gained it back just looking at all that dayum food! Shoot, Tee fed us!

The next day was packed. I sat on a panel titled "Promoting Your Book." I was joined by Marc Lacy (a great poet/spoken word artist); Dr. Moe (a fellow author) and my partna in crime: Tina Books-McKinney! Hell, all she and I have to do is look sideways at each other and we ready for T-R-O-U-B-L-E! As for the panel topic, all I have to say is: Lisa Woodson (aka Naleighna Kai )! This sister is a PROMOTING PIMP!!

The day continued with other panels: Our Voices: Writing What We Love, which included teen author sensation Brittney Holmes, Pam Samuels-Young, the RACE MAN: Dr. Fred Williams and Thomas Brooks, who I must digress and speak on. This brother's journey mirrors my own - we were both adopted as infants. He searched for his birth parents, which is something I did half-hearted about 10 years ago. We even had a great discussion on should the adoptive parents raise the adopted child with the fact they are adopted or not. For Thomas, he was told when he was about 11 whereas I was raised with it. But we both feel the same about it: we think its special! Kudos to this brother!

The next panel, "What We're Writing and Our Literary Legacies" was too lively, especially since the ever gracious, never short on words, quite prophetic Gwynne Forster sat on this panel along w/Victor (Alexander O'Neal - I'll explain lata) McGlothin and Kendra Norma-Bellamy (author and mother to Miss Brittney - Kendra, you did a WONDERFUL job!). This panel got a lot of discussion, as it swept from Urban Ficition to the writings of Langston Hughes and Richard Wright!

Lunch saw Travis Hunter, who was the Keynote speaker. Now, my brother, don't get mad, but I sure as hell didn't get what you was talking about!

After lunch, I had the honor of conducting a workshop I created as a way to motivate writers! Thanks to the folks who attended! Yall was great, especially Monica and her hubby! And let me not forget the RACE MAN, Dr. Fred Williams, who evoked great memories for me when we began talking about the Harlem Renaissance!

The final panel of the event was , "Perceptions of Black Americans Through Literature," where we all agreed that in the end, we need, as writers/readers, to make sure that we are shown in all of the diversity our race exudes!

Did I say Tee fed us? Snack time saw me sliding a cookie in my pocket! LOL! Then we had the Book signing, where I was paired with Gwynne (I just love her honesty!). During the signing, I noticed that Victor McGlothin's pictures were sitting on the table where Gwynne and I was signing. I called out to Vic to "come and get ... his propaganda." Then I looked at one of the pictures w/him in a suit and thought instantly of Alexander O'Neal! And to make matters worse, Marc Lacy joined me in a meolody of Alexander O'Neal songs!! Vic - you all good brotha! Alex! Alex, baby! Alex!

Dinner featured Gwynne as the Keynote, who did not disappoint in her rendition of what family was, is and will be as she tied it to how RAWSISTAZ has become a family to countless authors over the years! And did I say TEE FED US?!??!!? Hell, I had to roll to my room, but not before I made two stops. One to Tina's room for a look see at some umm, shall we say, ahhh, unmentionable goodies?! Tole yall she my partna in crime. And did I mention that Lissa Woodson was also in that same room?! Nuff said! And the second stop was to the room of two women who belong to the esteemed sorority of Delta Sigma Theta, who just so happen to be from my family's home state (Arkansas) and who was so kind to me, as well as gave me a book I wanted to read! A million "Thanks." God willing I'll see you both at UAPB's homecoming in Nov.

In closing, thank you aNN, Brenda, Dinny (sp?), Kalaani and Tee - I cannot tell you how much I appreciate the support, the reviews (good or bad) and the love you have shown me as I roll along this literary journey! Blessings to each of you! And if I forgot anyone, please charge it to my head and not my heart!


Wednesday, August 15, 2007

I Met Billy Dee!

On Saturday, Aug. 11, 2007, I had the distinct honor to not only hang out with 19 FANTABULOUS authors (several I knew), but I also got an opportunity to network with a few book clubs, meet the owners of Da Book Joint bookstore and got to get my picture taken with Billy Dee Williams - who still looks good! I was very pleased to see bruthaman owned a very smooth and laid back demeanor! And when he gave me his autograph, he signed it: Lando Calrisson - the character he played in Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi of the Star Wars series! Once I get a copy of the picture (taken by photographer extrodinaire Dot Ward), I'ma have to post it here, cause I was all teeth!! LOL!

As for the event where I met him, Levy Distibution hosted a two state tour to Wal-Mart with 19 black authors ranging from varied genres which included a reception in a Chicago suburb! The tour, which is a first and according to Pam Nelson (sistah extrodinaire), not the last, began in Indiana and ended in Illionois! And though for reasons I don't understand and won't go into here, I wasn't able to participate, but I was able to attend the public reception. And when I walked into the reception, my fellow authors made me feel warm and welcomed (thank you all, especially you Lisa! I love ya, girl). And the book clubs and several readers recognized my name and my work!

By nights end, I left that reception on cloud nine!! Capped off by meeting Billy Dee - who I had to tell I just purchased Mahogany on DVD! He was like, "Really? that's a classic, you know? " All I could do was grin and nod my head!! Talk about floored!