Thursday, March 27, 2008


UPDATE / BREAKING NEWS For those of you who'd rather leave the reading to others, an AUDIO version of After The Dance will soon be available. Yes, that's right--I'm talking CDs, cassettes and via download. Is that cool or what? (smile)

BOOK CLUB MEMBERS For those of you interested in a deeper discount, the book will soon be available through the Black Expressions Book Club. Visit their site for details.

Also, if your book club meets in any of the following areas: Charlotte, Winston-Salem, Durham, Memphis or Cleveland and your members plan to read and discuss the book, please let me know. I'm opening to attending/participating in discussions of the book in person, by arrangement and at no expense to your club OR via teleconference if you live outside of those areas.

REVIEWS Comments about the book have been wonderful, thus far (smile). You'll find links to a few of the reviews in this blog's upper, right hand corner. A couple of the reviews also appear in the novel's listing on Amazon. Feel free to add your own impressions of the novel in Amazon's comment section.


Look for me in
Memphis on Saturday April 12th, 2008
11:00 - 1:00 at Barnes & Noble Booksellers (6385 Winchester Blvd) **open to the public**

3:00 - 5:00 at Davis-Kidd Booksellers--Bronte Bistro (387 Perkins Road Ext) **invitation only**

I'll post details of my other signings as we move closer to those dates.

LAST WORDS Buy the book y'all or check it out from the library. If you enjoy it, share it with a friend. If you hate it, pass it along to one of your enemies. Either way it goes, I appreciate the support (smile).

Tuesday, March 25, 2008


A recent post on Bettye Griffin's blog (Chewing The Fat With Bettye) both inspired and amused my inner DJ. In her post entitled, "Who's Making Love To Your Old Lady While You Were Out Making Love" Griffin rails against all of those who've either been caught and/or who've been moved to confess of having "knocked boots" with someone other than a spouse.

While Ms. Griffin had the newly installed Governor of NY and his wife in mind when she selected one of Johnnie Taylor's classic hits for her blog's title, when I first heard about the past affairs of the legally blind, African American Governor, the first song that came to my mind was one by the blind Blues musician, Clarence Carter . . . you know, the song where he brags, "I be stroking, I be wearing it out."

A commercial with the blind Mr. Carter singing that particular song used to air pretty frequently when I lived in Memphis, which, in case you didn't know, is the offical home of both Beale Street and the Blues.

Anyway, after reading Ms. Griffin's post, my inner DJ was moved to dedicate a few songs, mainly of the Blues variety, to some of the folks who've been in the news of late.

1) To NY Governor David Paterson, I'd like to dedicate my man Clarence Carter's "I Be Strokin."

2) To Paul McCartney, I'd like to dedicate two songs: Johnny Taylor's "It's Cheaper To Keep Her" and John Lee Hooker's "I Need Some Money."

3) To Idaho Congressman Larry Craig, I'd like to dedicate two songs: Little Milton's "Behind Closed Doors" and Ko-Ko Taylor's "Wang-Dang-Doodle."

4) To Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick and his former Chief of Staff, I'd like to dedicate Johnnie Taylor's "We're Getting Careless With Our Love."

5) To Former President Bill Clinton and Hillary, also affectionately known as "Billary" I'd like to dedicate Z. Z. Hill's "Cheating In the Next Room."

6) To Former NY Governor Eliot Spitzer and his wife Silda, I'd like to dedicate: Memphis Slim's "Messin' Around" and B. B. King's "The Thrill is Gone."

7) For Eddie Murphy and Tracey Edmonds, I had to step outside of the box a bit in order to dedicate Kanye's "Golddigger." How's that line go again? "I ain't saying she's a golddigger, but she ain't messin' with no broke . . ." Also, in the more traditional vein, I'd like to dedicate to the pair B. B. King's "Never Make Your Move Too Soon."

8) And for the woman who sat on the toilet for two years (y'all heard about that madness, right?) I'd like to dedicate two songs: Jimmy Witherspoon's "Ain't Nobody's Business If I Do" and Big Joe Turner's "Everyday I Have The Blues."

Okay, those are my selections. You want a turn? Is there someone to whom you'd like to dedicate a song or two? Go 'head. Give it a whirl (smile).

(Written while listening to John Lee Hooker's "You Know, I Know" "It Serves You Right To Suffer" and "One Bourbon, One Scotch, One Beer;" Muddy Water's "Mannish Boy" and Johnny Taylor's "Take Care of Your Homework.")

Sunday, March 23, 2008

EASTER BLESSINGS. . . (Easter Images Of Old)
Easter Back In the Day
from Lori's Picture Collection
Baby Boy's 1st Easter
from Lori's Pic Collection
Nana & Baby Boy's 4th Easter
from Lori's Pic Collection

Friday, March 21, 2008


Earlier in the week, I held a contest in an effort to promote the upcoming release of my debut novel, AFTER THE DANCE. While Malcolm of Pop Culture Dish, Presented by Malcom won the free, autographed copy of the novel I was giving away, Pjazzy of Traces of a Stream won the free CD ( just so you know, she chose Four Play's version of After The Dance).

But there is one prize left! A bottle of Memphis style barbecue sauce (your choice of Neely's or Corky's) will be awarded to the first person able to correctly name all of the Al Green songs mentioned in my novel AFTER THE DANCE.

Pjazzy won the CD by correctly guessing that a total of six (6) Al Green songs are mentioned in AFTER THE DANCE. Thus far, she's also correctly guessed two of the songs: "Love and Happiness" and "Look What You've Done For Me."

Since there is only one prize left and only four songs to guess, I'm adding a new rule to the game. Hey, it's my game, I can do what I want (LOL). Anyway, the new rule is you can only guess two songs at a time. Okay? Got it?

Now, all of you lurkers out there need to come out of hiding and give Pjazzy a good run for the sauce (smile). Hmm, things could get messy. But if they do, I'll happily throw in some free napkins or a roll of paper towels (LOL).

Winner or no winner, the contest will officially end on Sunday morning (March 23, 2008). But don't worry, there will be other contests and other prizes.

In the meantime,

Have a great Good Friday and a Blessed Easter

Wednesday, March 19, 2008


Hey, you knew this post was coming, didn't you? (smile) I'm a Prince fan from WAY BACK. The following are some of my favorites, but by no means are the top 13 on my list. Matter of fact, I could have easily made a list of 20. But ranking them is much too difficult an undertaking. As it was, I left off favorites like Pop Life, 17 Days, Raspberry Beret, If I Was Your Girlfriend and 1999. But let me quit complaining and get to the list.

1) Another Lonely Christmas (b-side of I Would Die For You/1984)

2) Anotherloverholenyohead (Parade / 1984)

3) Baby I'm A Star (Purple Rain / 1984)

4) Erotic City (b-side of Let's Go Crazy / 1984)

5) Girls & Boys (Parade / 1986)

6) Head (Dirty Mind / 1980)

7) I Would Die 4 U (Purple Rain / 1984)

8) Lady Cab Driver (1999 / 1982)

9) Let's Go Crazy (Purple Rain / 1984)

10) Nothing Compares 2 U (1992)

11) Purple Rain (Purple Rain / 1984)

12) She's Always In My Hair (b-side of Raspberry Beret / 1985)

13) Thieves In The Temple (Graffiti Bridge / 1990)

Do you have a favorite Prince Song or songs? If so, go ahead and name it and claim it (or them) in the Comments.

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here! The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others' comments. It’s easy, and fun! Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

Sunday, March 16, 2008

WIN A FREE COPY OF . . . AFTER THE DANCE . . . AND OTHER PRIZES . . . (See Contest Details Below)

In case you haven't figured it out yet, I'm a music lover. My debut novel contains over 20 references to songs and artists. But one artist in particular has more songs listed than any of the others.

I'll award a free, autographed copy of AFTER THE DANCE to the first person who can correctly guess the name of the artist whose music is mentioned more times than any of the others in the book.

In addition, I'll award a free AFTER THE DANCE cd (either Marvin's or the Fourplay version) to the first person who can correctly guess the number of songs the book contains by the artist whose name is most frequently mentioned.

As an extra bonus, I'll give a free bottle of Memphis barbeque sauce (Neely's or Corky's) to the first person who can correctly guess the names of the songs by the artist who is most frequently mentioned in my novel, AFTER THE DANCE.

Got it?! You wanna play? Yes, it is possible to win all three prizes. No, you won't have to pay any shipping and handling charges. Ready?! Set!? Go!


Wednesday, March 12, 2008


No, this is not a post about osteoporosis. It is a post about bones . . . more specifically spines or, perhaps, I should say . . . the lack thereof.

I guess, I just don't get it--you know--the whole "publicly standing by my man" bit, particularly when said "man" has not only broken his marriage vows, but made a Zip-Dang-Fool of himself to boot.

Why after being duped by said Zip-Dang-Fool would any woman, owning so much as an ounce of self-respect left, turn around and let Zip D. Fool drag her before the public so He can apology for His transgressions? Yes, I am referring to women like Effie Barry, Suzanne Craig, Carlita Kilpatrick, Silda Spitzer and all of the others . . .

Okay, I do understand and respect folks going off privately to work on their marriage/relationship/issues and the like. I've been married a long time--long enough to have high school age kids, actually, even though I don't. I know it's all about compromise, learning to take the good with the bad and operating in a spirit of forgiveness. I'm not about to hate or cast aspersions on any woman or man who ultimately decides she/he wants to stay with Zippy, put the transgressions behind them and move forward. Tor err is human. Now, to make the dang same err over and over and over again, is, well, you know . . .

I'm just saying, after the dirt's been done, why parade the Mrs. out to hold Mr. Fool's hand, pat his back and stand by his side? For the career? Heck, seems to me Zip should have thought about that before he unzipped . . . For the children? Please. I think, in the long-run, children are better served by having a Mama with a back-bone.

Really, I just wish more of these ladies would just say, "No, I'm not going out there!" Tell ole boy, "Okay, we can work on our issues, but after having already abused me and my trust, I'm simply not going to let you use me in this fashion."

I'm sure there will be others, but if I could say anything to them it would be "Stop drinking the Kool-Aid! Really, it ain't nothing, but poison, the type of which will eat your soul, if you let it. Instead, why not go get yourself a big, tall glass of milk, put your big girl panties on and see if you can't sing a few bars of Beyonce's "To The Left?" I bet it would make you feel a whole lot better.

(Written while listening to Erykah Badu's "The Healer" "Master Teacher" "Honey" and Aretha's "Do Right Woman, Do Right Man" and "Respect."

Sunday, March 09, 2008

COLOR BLIND . . . or . . . COLOR STRUCK? (True Story) . . .

Back when I was a bright-eyed, twenty-some-year-old, college student and living in Memphis, I found myself frequenting a hair salon with a predominately-White clientele. The salon was one of those chains you typically find in a mall. Matter of fact, this one was located in what, at the time, was my favorite mall--the now demolished, though forever infamous (smile) Mall of Memphis.

Anyway, I was sporting a perm back then and I'd somehow lucked up on a fella at this particular salon who could give me that hot, poofed-out look all the PYT's were sporting in the '80s. So one day, I'm there sitting under the dryer (possibly getting a conditioner, I can't recall) when the older White lady seated next to me strikes up a conversation.

No biggie right? Happens all the time in salons across America, I'm sure. But hold on, this one was a little bit different. This lady, bless her lil ole heart, starts in on how she loves my color.

"Oh my, I just absolutely love your color! I'd give anything to be able to tan like that."

With the salon music blaring (Duran, Duran, no doubt) in the background and the dryer humming on full blast, it takes me a few seconds to process the information and to realize, okay, wait, she thinks I'm . . .

I've barely finished the thought when she smiles ever so sweetly and asks, "So are you Greek? Jewish? Italian?"

Okay, granted, I'm a card-carrying member of the light-skinned tribe. I have a tendency to wash out in pictures and grow pale in the winter-time. And, sure, my perm-straightened head was tucked inside of a dryer. But I'm sorry, the nose is a dead-give away. Till this day, how anyone could ever mistake me for anything other than a person of African descent, truly boggles my mind.

In any case, I smile ever so sweetly back at her and say, "No ma'am, actually, I'm African American."

The sweet little old lady's smile disappears and for the remainder of our stints beneath our respective dryers, she doesn't utter so much as another word in my direction. Go figure (LOL).

(Written while listening to Aretha Franklin's "Rock Steady," "I Say A Little Prayer," and "Think.")

Wednesday, March 05, 2008


We all have them, right? Come on, you know you do (smile). Okay, I'm talking about those foods that trigger your gag reflex or make you wanna cuss your Mama, or whomever it is who's insisting you eat, taste or try "just a little bit." Bleech! For my Big Guy, it's beets and Brussell sprouts. For my little one, it's creamed spinach. You'd best believe, if something, anything is nasty to this kid, inevitably, he says it tastes like creamed spinach. Personally, I don't have a problem with any of the aforementioned. But just thinking about any of the following, summons a right awful taste in my mouth . . .

1) Fig Newtons (My husband loves these. But really, don't these taste like something that got rolled in kitty litter?)

2) Pottage, Cottage . . . Okay, "Potted" Meat (This is one I've long filed under mystery meat).

3) Spam (What sick and diseased animal does this come from anyway? See above).

4) Okra (This holds the honor of being the very first food that I can ever recall making me gag.)

5) Black-Eyed Peas (Okra and Peas seem to always come together to make one big, nasty-a$$ slime fest, don't they?)

6) Liverwurst (Liver is a bile secreting organ . . . need I say more?)

7) Livercheese (You know, I think I want to hurl.)

8) Liver (Okay, by now I think it's pretty much been established that anything with the word "liver" in it gets a pass from me.)

9) Cottage Cheese (I won't even put this in my lasanga. For me, the only thing more disgusting than eating it--is watching someone else do so. Bleech!

10) Grape Fruit (I say we vote this bitter, sour imposter right out of the fruit family.)

11) Watergate Salad (My mom loves to make this marshmallow, fruit and whipped cream-filled, multi-colored concoction and my hubby is generally the first to fix himself a big bowl. I, on the other hand, consider this little more than sweet and chunky cottage cheese with a bit of food coloring tossed in a sly attempt to fool the eye.)

12) Ground Turkey (I had a bad experience with this once. Rather than share any of the gross details, I'll just say it's not an experience I'd wish on my worse enemy.)

13) Egg Nog (There's not enough liquor in the world to make me want to drink this. Actually, I highly suspect this is cottage cheese that's been pureed with buttermilk, which, for the record, I can't stand either.)

Okay, your turn. Which foods consistently turn your stomach? I'm saying, let's all be grossed out together . . .

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here! The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others' comments. It’s easy, and fun! Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

Saturday, March 01, 2008

From Lori's Picture Collection

At the moment, the fellas in my life, at least the ones with whom I currently reside, are out reading me. The tyke you see in the picture above is now quite a few years older. From the looks of things, he's even recently acquired his very first zit. Poor baby (smile).

But between his Sports Illustrated For Kids and college basketball mags, the young'un has been reading The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas and poetry by Claude McKay from The Portable Harlem Renaissance Reader. No, none of the aforementioned is required reading for a class or an assignment from his dear old mother (smile). Actually, I told him The Three Musketeers might prove a bit challenging for him and recently he agreed. But to his credit, he hasn't given up and tossed the book aside just yet. I, most certainly, would have at his age. The other book, The Portable Harlem Renaissance Reader is something the boy's dad (the hubby) picked up for him last year at a Black Book store we visited on a spur of the moment trip to Durham. Now why the boy's sudden interest in Claude McKay's poetry is anybody's guess. Hey, he's just strange like that and he lucked up and gott nerds for parents, is what I figure.

For inspiration, the hubby is currently reading Your Best Life Now: 7 Steps To Living At Your Full Potential by the always smiling Joel Osteen, who I playfully refer to as the "Kool-Aid" man and for pure pleasure the hubby has been reading The Black Swan: The Impact of the Highly Improbable by Nassim Nicholas Taleb. The latter title is actually one I'd probably read if I had the time. One the book's inside flap, a Black Swan is described as "a highly improbable event with three principal characteristics: It is unpredictable; it carries a massive impact; and after the fact, we concoct an explanation that makes it appear less random and more predictable, than it was. The astonishing success of Google was a black swan; so was 911." Forgive me, but yes, that sort of thing really does speak to my inner nerd (LOL). But for now, I'll just content myself with listening and asking questions when the hubby comments on what he's read thus far.

If I were reading something other than the weekend edition of the local newspaper or a few pages from the latest Essence or Poet's & Writers Magazines, I'd probably be tackling Toni Morrison's Tar Baby, a hardback copy of which I recently picked up--though where I can't recall at the moment. It's one of the few older titles by Morrison that I haven't read. Also, on my list is I Got Thunder: Black Women Songwriters On Their Craft edited by LaSonda Katrice Barnett, a book the hubby got me at my request this past Christmas. Arnold Rampersad's Biography of Ralph Ellison, a book I bought at the Black Store we visited in Durham, is another title I would be reading had I the time.

So what about you? What are you reading? Or what would you be reading if you had the time? Also, if you dare, what type of literature are the folks in your house into these days?