Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Misery Loves Company

Have you ever heard the saying, “Misery Loves Company?” Well, I’ve heard it all my life but never paid much attention to it until I became an adult. Guess what? It’s a true saying. Miserable people aren’t happy and you better believe they are going to try their best to make sure you aren’t happy either. Have you ever noticed the expression on an unhappy person’s face? Pay attention and learn. Their laughter lines are always forced outward into a fake smile. When I look at them, “Smiling Face, Sometimes by the Undisputed Truth” starts playing in my head. “Smiling faces tell lies they don’t tell the truth. A smile is just a frown turned upside down.” I muted the song and sigh because they aren’t lying about that. Before long that fake smile turns into a full frown right in front of your face; that’s when all those negative words start flying out of their mouths.

Miserable people will steal your joy if you aren’t careful. Two things I learned about a miserable person that stuck with me to this day; you better stay as far away from them as you can and you better not forget and let something dear to you slip out your mouth ,like sharing a special moment or a dream with them. Humph! They will shoot them down with a bazooka—shatter them to pieces right in front of your face. That day will be your worst nightmare.

I had this dramatic experience about three years ago. I had just got a rejection letter from a major publishing house telling me in details how to tweak my book. Everyone in the publishing business know that editors don’t send a detailed rejection letter—always a form letter. I wasn’t down but a bit bubbly and a little crazy happy because I knew there was still hope for my book. I talked to another writer’s friend, Jana about it and you’ll never guess what she said.

“Girl, I don’t see nothing so spectacular about your book anyway. You can find that kind of stuff anywhere. I sure wouldn’t pay money for it.” Jana said.
When I hung up that phone my head was spinning like a top. I felt like i had pulled a sixteen hour shift on a construction site in the rain! I went straight to bed and didn't shower. My body was drained from listening to all that negative junk--totally washed out.

When I finally calmed down the next day, and talked to another writer friend, Lisa, I realized that Jana was bitter because her self-published books weren’t doing well. She couldn’t get a contract and she was downright mad. As a matter of fact, the same words she threw on me, "You can find that stuff anywhere. I sure wouldn't pay money for it." is the exact same words the editors who looked at her work told her. Whew! I know sometimes there are miserable people in your family that you must deal with but hear this. Check in for a minute, handle your business and then check out within the next minute to keep from being sucked into all that negative junk. Whatever behaviors you are around the majority of the time are the ones that will be the most prevalent.

Some people are not happy with their lot in life because many of them don’t know what it is. That’s right, they haven’t found their purpose. For those that have figured out what their purpose is, they are either to lazy or scared to do something about it. Since some people don’t know what they need to be doing, or they are too scared or lazy to do it, then you know doggone well they aren’t going to be happy for your accomplishments. For miserable people a day is just another day to complain of how life have done them wrong. They will never see a new day as an opportunity to a better way. Soooo, they keep wasting valuable time hating on people that don’t even know they exist or people who could care less about their opinion.

I say to you! Stop wasting valuable time dealing with miserable people. Life is too precious and too fragile to dwell on negative junk. Handle it wisely. Why? Whatever you do today is crucial because it will be exchanged for a day of your life that God has given you. You cannot put life on lay-a-way, and you can never go back and get what you placed in that day. Make sure that whatever you leave in that day of your life is memorable and well lived.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

10 Commandments of Love Part 2 Story Excerpt # 1 (LIFE)

You ever met somebody that was mad at life? I mean really mad, furious. So mad that they would beat life down if they could. But you and I know that you can’t touch life like that. You see life will choke you down to your knees, body slam you, pin you down and won’t let you up, if you ain’t careful. When the chips fall and the game is over, life is gonna be the winner every time. Being respectful of life means more than saying yes sir and no sir, Mr. Life. You got to cut out all that bitterness and learn how to live in life. Some folks that can’t take out their frustration on life, they grab whoever is closest to them—their family and friends, people who love them.

Now Life is kind of like a deck of cards. You shuffle them and you get what you get once the hand is dealt. Nobody wants a bad hand but it happens. If you’re smart, you’ll learn something from that bad hand. When old Life throws lemons at you, you better make lemonade—and make it sweet. That’s right when it’s storming in your life and you don’t see sunshine no where in sight you better not lay down and cry woe is me. Only the strong survive the circles of life.

Something else about Life, it don’t discriminate. It don’t care who gets the bad hand and who gets the good one. You ask yourself a hard question, what do you do if you’re on the bottom and want to get to the top? Simple, get life’s ugly hand off your throat so you can breathe because if you don’t negative stuff will be flying out your mouth about everything. When this happens, you won’t be able to see the trees because all that negative stuff will be nothing but a big old forest and will blind you on what you really should be seeing.

You know something else too? Sometimes you look at life and wonder why you can’t get no place especially since you changed your life—snatched it out the hands of the devil and turned it over to the good man up above, like Cousin Charles keeps saying he’s done. Well some folks seem to forget that you got to reap what you sow. Your sins are forgiven but you still got to pay for all those bad seeds that you sowed. That’s right all the wrongdoing you did for years before you turned right ain’t in the clear yet!

“Jesse,” Cousin Charles looked at Daddy and dropped his head in his hands. “Ain’t nothing in the South for a black man but problems and trouble. As soon as I finish this crop, I’m heading north to Detroit. Did you see those Cadillacs that Rico and Jimmy drove down here for the family reunion three months ago? Even Junior Boy lives in Chicago and got a nice ride and decent clothes. Look at me!”
He pulled on his tattered overalls and worn out plaid shirt and cursed. He did look like Bozo the clown. Cousin Charles picked up that empty whiskey bottle off the ground and threw it at the moving train with all his might. Glass shattered as it hit the side of the rail. Boy was he mad at life!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Where do Broken Hearts Go?

This question has been asked so many times by so many people and the answer is always different. Whitney Houston said you go back “to the open arms of a love that’s waiting there.” Ummmh, I don’t know about that. I remember coming out of a relationship and I couldn’t eat, sleep or even think straight. I wondered why all the pain if love wasn’t supposed to hurt. I did all the right things or so I thought. Even in the darkest hour when your spirit is wounded and you feel that your heart will surely bust, there is still hope. My mother in law always told me that the darkest hour is just before day in the morning. Meaning that the sun will shine again and our heart will soar like an eagle because true love and happiness is not just a myth but a reality.

The next time we plunge into a relationship if we learned anything from the pain of the previous one, we’ll be more attentive and not dismiss signs that may be telling us something important. Maybe we’ve learned to wait and let love find us. My grandmother used to always say. “If you go looking for something you’ll find it and most of the time, it won’t be to your liking.”
Enjoy your life with yourself. Learn how to focus on your. Learn how to love yourself. When you development the confidence you need for you, other people will be drawn to you like a magnet. Please don’t let one bad relationship keep you from finding happiness in someone else. Now, before you go and say Eve, I don’t need a man to make to happy, I have myself. A man is not put in your life to make you happy. You make you happy. That man is only an enhancement to what’s already there. So if you’ve had your heart broken, and is trying to move on. Start doing some things with yourself. Get to know you better. What do you like? Try new things and you may discover some amazing things. Go to movies by yourself or with a friend. Don’t plunge into a new relationship so soon. Give yourself time to mend and breathe. It takes time to get rid of all that old baggage, time to mend that broken heart.

First of all, I am not a licensed counselor or Psychiatrist. I am only sharing with you what I have learned from my lessons and observations in life. If there is something that I say that you can use, use it. If not, discard it and let it be.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

10 Commandment of Love Part 1 Story Except #10

What Goes Around Comes Back Around

Some people are just plain down prejudiced. They say it’s ok for a older man to date a younger woman, but let a younger man want a older woman, and it’s a sin, especially if it’s more than a fifteen year age difference. When his friends and family say, “Where’s your old lady at man?” they mean oooold. Some of them jibe, “Where you find her at? In the nursing home, or is a senior citizen missing?” But nobody says nothing about a older man. They don’t say “Where’s that baby at? Is she sleeping? or watch you mouth, a child’s in the house.” Oh no, he ain’t no cradle snatcher—just mature and settled. Oooh, they make me so mad with that stuff.

My boyfriend, Mark wasn’t nothing like those young bucks my friends dated—broke and walking. He had money, a brand new Cadillac, and he gave me everything I asked for. Said I didn’t have to work when we got married, if I didn’t want to.
To be honest, Mark, had a wife when we met, but I didn’t care. Child, he was flashing them hundred dollars bills so hard, all I could see was dollar signs flashing while those bills were flipping. When my friends were eating at burger joints, I was being wined and dined at Libby’s restaurant. Oooh, I was living my dream.

“That man is to old for you. Don’t nothing in this life come without a price tag!” Mama snorted. “Being lazy and looking for something for nothing is gonna cost you.”
“I love him.” I wailed.
“No you don’t! You love his money, Sarah, and that’s gonna run out. Watch and see what I tell you.” Mama turned a page and sighed before sticking her head back in the Bible.
Mama was starting to sound just like her oldest sister, MaRed. I told Mark what she said.
Mark just laughed and rubbed my cheek. “She’s just jealous cause she don’t have no man to do nothing for her.”

Well, whatever the reason was, Mama didn’t stop nagging me.
“Don’t be crazy girl; sugar daddies rob young girls of their youth.”
“What you talking about, Mama?” All those riddles was driving me crazy.
Mama looked at me like I was a fool. “You want his money and security, and he wants your young body. You gonna be looking older than me before long.”
I married Mark because I was sick of hearing Mama fuss everyday. I wasn’t gonna work all my life like her and never have nothing to show for it. Can you believe my own mama is jealous cause I got a man to take care of me?

I sit here in my living room twenty years later and think of how it all started just a couple of months into my marriage. I was so na├»ve to the point of being silly. Whenever someone said what a cute couple we made, I burst out into giggles. Now, as the time went on, that compliment got to be less and less funny. Well, a lot of things changed as time went on. Mark’s promise that, “You don’t have to work if you don’t want to” disappeared a couple of months after we got married. Child, I think I slaved harder than my mama ever thought about. I’m so sick of Mark, I would kill him with my bare hands and not feel sorry about it, if I thought I could get away with it.

One day, I looked at myself in the mirror and saw somebody’s grandma looking back at me. Forty year olds didn’t look like this unless they were drugs addicts or alcoholics, and I didn’t do none of that stuff. Mark’s hair and sideburns were salt and pepper, but he was sixty-two years old, and that was alright. At forty, I saw quite a few gray hairs in my head and it scared me so bad. And the worse part about it, I didn’t have no children to lay it on. All my friends looked younger than me, but they had husbands their age.

Mark was a caring man. But his caring soon became a burden for me. That old man told me what time to go to bed, when to get up, when to eat, how much to eat, and he even picked out my clothes. Now my daddy died when I was ten years old, and my mama never remarried. So that meant, I didn’t have a daddy.

About a week later, after taking a good look at myself in the mirror, I saw one of my classmates, Nora Jensen, at the post office.
“Hey, aren’t you Sarah Miles?”
I was standing at the clerk’s window buying stamps. When I turned around, I came face to face with her. She looked good. Her make up was perfect. Nora’s hair, nails, clothing ,and shoes were all singing in harmony.
“Girl, you look different.” Nora said.
“Different how?” I blinked my eyes and rubbed the side of my face.
“More mature I guess.” Nora kept staring at me. “Are you still married to what’s his name?”
What could I say? Everybody knew I married an old man. But I be doggone if I would let her have the last say today. “Yes, I’m still married, and his name is Mark Woods.”
Nora’s nose went up. “Well anyway, it was good to see you.” She smiled and left.

“I went home and took a good look at myself this time. My skin was dried out, my teeth could stand a good cleaning, my hair needed cutting and fixing. All women should have make up, whether they wear it or not. I didn’t even own a tube of lipstick. No wonder Nora kept saying I looked different—she meant I looked old.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Writer's Bookshelf

Below are books that I feel every writer should have on their shelves. Believe me, my list is longer but I’ll stop with these.

The Marshall Plan for NOVEL WRITING by Evan Marshall (This is great for beginners)

Techniques of The Selling Writer By Dwight V. Swain

Creating Characters (How to Build Story People) by Dwight V. Swain

The Complete Writer’s Guide to HEROES & HEROINES (Sixteen Master Archetypes) by Tami D, Cowden, Caro LaFever, Sue Viders

The Career Novelist by Donald Maass

The WRITER’S JOURNEY by Christopher Vogler

Mastering Point of View by Sherri Szeman AND/OR Characters & Viewpoint by Orson Scott Card

Finding your VOICE by Les Edgerton

Writing Dialogue by Tom Chiarella

GMC by Debra Dixon

Roget’s Thesaurus (the latest editions)

Monday, March 29, 2010

Ball of Confusion

Advice on Living

Sometimes life seems so complicated and lot of times it is. But for the most part, the decisions that we make or don’t make can help or intensify those complications. I have this unique personality that pushes me to explain almost everything that I say to others and I have them do the same to me.
A former co worker told me. “Everything don’t need to be explained. There are some things an intelligent person can figure out.”
I agree that there are a lot of things we can figure out but will they be accurate? I feel that when we assume too much then that’s when the trouble starts because to me assumptions are simply another form of miscommunication.
I think the best example I can think of is two people starting a relationship. When a woman is dating a man and she feels those butterflies in her stomach. He holds her hand tight and fondles her palm while they walk in the park. After that dinner date, he kisses her with so much passion until she feels her heart will stop. Do she automatically conclude that this man has some deep feeling for her? Most women would. But would that assumption be true? Think about it! In some cases maybe but not in all. Then how do you figure out if he cares? Some would simple ask and hope that he’s honest. Others women may take the relationship through a series of test and measure his response to those test as the answer.
Some Psychologist would say, “Just ask him. It’s your right to know what his intentions are.”
Sounds simple. I don’t care how simple something is, people just don’t always think to do it the way we think it should be done. Everyone is unique in their own way. I personally would ask the gentleman and watch the reaction in his facial expression. I would then do a follow up based on this along with his actions in other areas. But I know from experience that this doesn’t always work either. Women love and feel with their hearts while men are visual and connects love by the way a woman makes them feel through sexual intimacy. There are a few exceptions to the rule but…….I’ll leave it at this.
Okay, let’s go to the male side. Almost every man that I’ve ever talked to says that women are hard to understand and are unpredictable. “Women don’t know what they want and it leaves a man confused.” If I had a dollar for every time I heard this statement, I’d be RICH!
Now what is really going on here? What's the problem? Why can’t two adults get it together? Communication! Someone is taking and someone is not listening. Or someone is talking and someone thinks they understand and don’t ask questions.
Remember author, John Gray “Men are from Mars and Women are from Venus?” This book was a bestseller for a reason. John Gray understood that men and women makeup were so different, thereby causing a failure in communication. A Woman's mind just don’t operate like a man's and vice versa.
Women want men to know what they need. We don’t always want to tell them. We want them to think of those special things that put a smile on our face and remember what’s important to us. Telling them to do it takes the joy out of it! Men wish we would just tell them what we want and need and stop the guessing games.
Want to avoid confusion?” Ask questions, listen, and pay attention. Never assume anything because it’s dangerous and leaves the door wide open for a “Ball of Confusion.”

Giovanni's Woman

Giovanni’s Woman

I wanted to be a blade of grass amid the fields but you refused to be a dandelion.
I wanted to be like a robin singing amongst the leaves of the trees but you refused to be my tree
I spun myself into a web and looked for a place of rest but you refused to be my corner but instead chose to stand straight.
I tried to be a book but you wouldn’t read so I turned myself into a bulb and you still denied me growth
Finally, I decided to become a woman and you refused to be a man. That okay because I’m still going to become a woman even though you will not become a man.

What does this mean to me?

“She wanted to be a blade of grass and wanted him to be a dandelion,” suggest that she wanted to have freedom but she also wanted to be his support system. Grass grows along side of flowers but they don’t crowd the flowers out but allows room for growth.

“She wanted to be a robin singing though the leaves in a tree, but he refused to be her tree.” suggests that she would like for her man to be her resting place after a long day’s work or journey. Just as a bird who has traveled a far distance and sometimes from one place to another rests upon a tree before continuing on.

“She spun herself into a web looking for a place of peace but instead of being her corner, he stood straight.” Here the woman is in trouble or facing everyday problems or burdens of life and she looks to her man as a confidant but instead he turns away.

“She wanted to be a book but he wouldn’t read her then I turned myself into a bulb and you still denied me growth.” She tries to let him know how she feels but he refuses to make the effort to understand. She then humbles herself to him but he still denies her

Finally, she is tired of trying and wanting so she becomes a woman and doesn’t care if he becomes a man because she is tired of him making no effort to make her happy and she realizes that it is time that she made the effort to make herself happy.