Wednesday, December 24, 2008


This morning I made an impromptu appearance on live radio! While signing books at Brentano's last night, I made a reconnection with an old classmate from my LeMoyne-Owen College days. Come to find out, my old classmate is the host of his own radio show on KWAM 990 (The New Voice of Memphis). "Tony Todde" is my friend's radio name and it was my pleasure to appear on his hour-long show this morning at 11:00.

A big shout-out to Tony and all of the other Memphians who came out and showed me some love at Brentano's this past Tuesday evening. My Memphis signings have been my favorite and most successful ones, thus far. The homefolks really know how to make a homegirl feel special (smile).

I'll be at Brentano's (Oak Court Mall) again this Saturday (December 27) from 2pm-4pm. If you'd like a signed copy of After The Dance or you'd just like to stop by and say, "Hello," come out out.

Until later . . .

Happy Holidays!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Thursday Thirteen #33 . . . 13 Reading Habits . . .

1) Quite frequently, I'll read the last few pages of a book--just to see how it ends. Seldom does it lessen my enjoyment of the story, nor does it keep me from finishing the book.

2) I love libraries, but I buy more books than I borrow.

3) When I start a hard-back, I generally remove the cover until I've finished reading the book.

4) I've been known to read in the tub.

5) Sometimes I'll read more than one book at a time.

6) Don't ask to borrow one of my books. I hate loaning them out because I know they're not coming back.

7) I prefer reading literary fiction, short story collections and essay collections.

8) I tend to use bookmarks and prefer not to dog-ear the pages of my books.

9) I've been a regular reader of the newspaper since the age of twelve.

10) In recent years, I've stopped subscribing to a daily newspaper and switched to being a weekend only subscriber.

11) Typically, what's popular or on the best sellers lists doesn't interest me.

12) I tend to read books that have been out for a while.

13) On average, I read at least 4 hours a day. Of course, this includes the amount of time I spend reading online.

Do we share any reading habits? Do you have any odd reading habits?

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!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Thursday Thirteen #32 . . . 13 Christmas / Holiday Traditions (Past & Present)

Baby Boy's 2nd Christmas
from Lori's Picture Collection

1) Shortly after Thanksgiving, I start listening to Christmas music and I don't typically stop until sometime in January. Yeah, not everybody in the fam is down with that, but what can I say? Some of my favorite Christmas cds include--Grover Washington's Breath of Heaven, Boney James' Funky Christmas, the Jackson 5 Christmas Album, Handel's Messiah: A Soulful Celebration (by various artists) and The Best of Vanessa Williams: The Christmas Collection.

2) Putting something in the bell ringers' kettles. I feel guilty when I don't.

3) Participating in Advent ceremonies, festivities and observations.

4) Enlisting my son's help in putting up the Christmas tree.

5) Pulling out and plugging up the Black Santa who dances to Jingle Bell Rock.

6) Mailing Christmas cards.

7) Watching Christmas movies. Charlie Brown Christmas, "Polar Express" and Chevy Chase's "Christmas Vacation" are some of my favorites.

8) Listening to Grover Washington's "Breath of Heaven" at night, by candlelight. One year, while living in Cleveland, the hubby and I lit the candles, opened the curtains and watched it snow while listening to the music.

9) Before our son was born, the hubby and I spent Christmas Eve delivering gifts.
10) After our son was born and while we were living in Memphis, I'd cook a huge pot of chili on Christmas Eve and invite our relatives over for the exhange of gifts.
11) When I lived in Memphis, I'd make a couple of lemon meringue pies for my family's big Christmas dinner. Since my move from Memphis, I've managed to weasel out of this task (smile).

12) Driving around the city after nightfall on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day and taking in all of the beautiful (and/or tacky) Christmas displays and lights.

13) Getting my grub on at my cousin Gertrude's house on Christmas Day.

Well, do we have any traditions in common? Feel free to mention a couple of your own Christmas / Holiday traditions.

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, December 06, 2008

UNSUNG . . .Who would be on your list?

Besides the food, one of the things I most enjoyed over the Thanksgiving holiday was a TV One television special entitled "Unsung." The 4-part series explored the lives and musical talents of The DeBarge family, Phyllis Hyman, Donny Hathaway and The Clark Sisters. Each hour long segment gave a detailed account of the individual's or the group's rise and subsequent fall from the limelight. The series greatly exceeded my expectations and I managed to catch every segment except the one on The Clark Sisters--which was unfortunate, because of all the artists profiled, I know the least about them.

Some of the things I learned about the DeBarge family truly shocked me. I mean, I knew some of them had drug problems, but dag, not ALL of them! And like an astute observer on another blog pointed out, whatever they were using and abusing, straight-up wrecked some sho'nuff havoc on those good looks. They now all look to be about the same age as their 70-some year old mama. Say it aint' so, Chico, say it ain't so! (LOL) Yeah, Chico is my favorite DeBarge and I hope one day soon he and some of the others are able to get it together and come back out strong.

The Hyman and Hathaway stories I pretty much knew, but they still left me melancholy and wondering what each might be doing now and much more great music might they have produced had they lived.

I do hope the folks at TV One plan on continuing the series and perhaps even, at some point, including a few unsung actors and atheletes in the mix. "Unsung" was some of the most insightful, educational and entertaining TV I've watched in quite some time. If TV One is considering expanding the series and is in need of a few suggestions, the following are a few "unsung" singers, groups and musicians I'd loved to see profiled: Curtis Mayfield, Gil Scott Heron, Angela Bofill, Bill Withers, Roger Troutman, Slave, The Sylvers, The Brothers Johnson, Billy Preston, Michael Henderson, The Stylistics, The Dramatics, Norman Conners and Loose Ends . . .

Obviously, I could go on, but I'll stop there. What about you? What "Unsung" entertainers from the music world would you like to see profiled in an upcoming show?

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Signed Copies Of . . . After The Dance . . .

Believe it or not, while I was surfing the net one night, I stumbled upon a site where someone with a signed copy of my novel, After The Dance, was asking $60.00 for it. Huh? LOL! I'm saying, you can buy the durn thing at any bookstore for $15.00 (or less if you go through Amazon) and if you send it to me, I'll sign it and send it back to you for free.

Yes, the offer is, indeed, still open. If you mail me your copy of After The Dance, I'll sign it and pay the postage required to have it mailed back to you. The offer has been extended and will remain open until Friday, December 12, 2008. If you're interested, email me (go to my blog's "view my complete profile" page for the contact info/email address) and I'll tell you where to mail your copies.

Hey, Michelle F. from Memphis, if you're reading this, your copies arrived in my mail today! (smile) Thanks for supporting my efforts. I'll sign the books and get them back to you ASAP. Also, I'm looking forward to seeing you and all of my other Memphis friends, family members and associates in the coming weeks.