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Saturday, December 31, 2011

2011 Remembered in Thoughts and Pictures...


It's 11:19 PM. I'm excited at the advent of another year. Wow! 2012. That's enchanting. 2012. I can feel the renewal, the refreshing vibes, the rejuvenation the year will bring. Deep within me, waters flow. Dreams ignite my Spirit. I am the same; I am different. Sometimes one day passes much like the days before, although we know, on an Unseen level, each moment is fresh and new, same as each morning we are blessed to see imprints its own fingerprint on our history.

Racing the clock on my desktop, I breathe evenly as I allow myself to empty random thoughts and beloved photos here from our quickly fleeing year. In a few moments, 2011 will be memory, cherished and gone yet forever chronicled here, in snippets and snapshots, for posterity!

I relished another cruise, a Caribbean cruise, with my sister Glenda and my beloved Aunt Marion! Uh huh! We visited the Cayman Islands and Cozumel, Mexico. More times than I can count, I spoke the desire and embraced the wish Within: one day I shall stroll beaches as fine and sweet as granulated sugar under my feet. I will kiss the sky and dance about in cerulean waves that rival those in cruise brochures, for once I asked, believing, it was written, that it would be done. Thus, I allowed the Universe to work its magic and here lies the gift-wrapped memory!

The above are all photos of the Cayman Islands. I thought my sister's pics would take us to Cozumel, Mexico, but I gather we were having too much fun there to whittle time on pictures! On Cozumel, an island, which I hadn't realized would be an island instead of a coastline, the water was a blue that superseded any blue I have ever seen, or maybe it was just that I was overwhelmed the Universe had finally brought me to the Moment I strolled Mexican streets, greeting the people in Spanish, smiling, accepting their delight that I was there and could enjoy small talk and share laughter.

In my pictures, the Little People are the youngest cousins from the Moss side of the family! They belong to the children of my brothers and sisters. My grandbabies, the children of my son, Avery, and his lady, Shanice, are Naz and Laila, two busy bumble bees, who enjoy moving and moving whatever they can most Little People. He will be three in this New Year of 2012, and Laila will be two!

It took so long to scan the pictures and download them from my email to this desktop, until I missed dinner and my hour-long deadline to get this photo blog entry done! Good thing I don't mind eating late night or early morning. Am gleaning the freedom of being in the flow, not restricting oneself so staunchly that the life drains away from rosy sunsets and azure midnights in one's struggle to abide by ingrained beliefs that warrant release. (Poetically prophetic, perhaps)

When next I vacation, there will be no cruise for me. I'm more of a resort/stay a week/learn-a-place kind of girl! Yet I do love the ocean. Consider me a water baby, though I can swim about three fairly decent licks and afterwards I must come up for air! No, that should have read..."must stand up for air," though I am looking at remedying that in this New Year. Know any great swimming coaches?

My sister Glenda is always getting me to pose beside anyone who is breathing when we are on vacation! I don't much mind, as she is absolutely hilarious. Bad feelings, memories, nightmares. You forget them all when Glenda shows up. A stand-up comedienne in the truest sense of the word, she can regal a crowd, intimate gathering, babies, the elderly, animals and folks who don't even speak English. Amazing she is!

I'm dreaming more this year! 2012 will find me imagining my inner visions and desires! With full expectations of manifesting those dreams, I intend to enjoy myself more, be easier with myself, dance far more than I did in 2011, walk Stone Mountain every chance I get, maintain my journal with regularity, return to my social networks with consistency, considering I fell off so badly towards the end of 2011, I felt as if I'd self-imposed a stifling sabbatical that drained the connectivity from my core, a core, mind you, that adores people.

I've decided I'm going on another journey this year. I may or may not leave home, although I will depart the familiar. What will count most is the inner terrain I intend to traverse. Going to do some things differently. Take my head out of the sand for extended periods. Breathe. Eat. Consume fresh pineapples to sweeten my soft tissue. (Giggling) Gotta see if there is any truth to that tidbit of juicy advice I received recently from a beloved friend.

On this journey, I will TRUST...myself, the odyssey and the guide me on the course to right where I need to be, to gently encourage me to release those things that no longer serve me, (and that could mean my attitude in dealing with others who may not "appear" to be amenable for my life. There are no throwaway people. I will trust that who shows up is supposed to be there and those who leave of their own accord are supposed to depart, at that Divine time. Could be to teach me a lesson, could be for me to assist in teaching them a lesson. I will open myself in action, not just via my word.

I will LOVE more. Make love. Feel. Enjoy touch. Accept that my scars, invisible and visible, assist me in telling the lovely story of my life. I will bask in the sunshine, splash in the luscious wetness of my passion. Unabashed. To love and be loved and show love and receive love and cook up some kinda Wild Woman Love is medicinal, just what the Goddess ordains, orders and orchestrates. We make love and loving a nasty, closeted whisper. I choose to remember Michale Jackson right here. I will start with the Woman in the Mirror. Quite nicely, here is a great time to add, I will cultivate the art of looking beyond another's surface. Yep! I've written of doing such before, but this time, this year, I've already begun to practice it. Yeah, Golden Goddess! BE golden! I am far more than what the camera has recorded in the above pictures, and if you come closer, you will discern that by peering deeper than my skin, my features, my smile.

Towards the end of 2011, I felt out of balance. I ceased doing things I'd ALWAYS done, like exercising. Now I'm climbing back onto that Trojan horse, and let me tell you, it feels better than it felt before, bucking and whipping atop its steel broad back. The tingle rides my veins long after I stop bouncing up and down on my tram or jogging with my sisters. My body is my temple. I am my temple. Forgetting to honor the sacred of myself won't be a carry-over digit in 2012! No, no, beloveds! Don't forget physical fitness play is superb for the active mind, and I don't write it for a mere play on words!

Hmmmmm. The guns and the fireworks have subsided this morning, the first morn of the New Year! Under the calm, I can feel the pulse of the morning. My own pulse is cummunicating, "Heiffer, do rise and eat now! You've blogged. Now go below stairs, grab a plate and cuddle up to clean sheets and a movie, a love story, my favorite, as every story, I yet believe, is a love story at heart."

In all that happened in 2011, most pleasant, some frightening, I do firmly believe that I live a Golden Life, and I intend to rise and sleep under that belief, as comfortable as a well-fed baby, as trusting as a satisfied toddler, as expectant as a mother-to-be who has never known the delivery room! Ooops! What is with this baby imagery here? (Scratching my locs) It is the new birth, rebirth imagery of a new beginning, which I readily embrace. Yes, indeed! Eso es que es esto! That's my premise, and I'm married to it...for now. (Smiling) After all, I AM a goddess, as so are you! And, really, isn't that the business of being a goddess...birth and rebirth?

Te amo.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

The Southwest Arts Center Book Fair 2011

I am scintillating to be a participating author in the Fulton County Arts & Culture's Southwest Arts Center's Book Fair 2011. The gala takes place in a few days, on Saturday, December 10th. The hours are 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

No, I've never had my work included in a Book Fair! With this one, authors had to mail or hand deliver their books to the center to be considered. I'd never have known about it had it not been for my beloved sista/poet/friend, Colette Paul, who insistently called and e-mailed me, enthusiastically seeking word of whether or not I'd read her e-mail heralding the glad tidings. I hadn't, editing blinders shading my vision. Hearing nothing, my networking mogul called the evening before the deadline and sweetly read me the riot act. So I desisted with the endless editing (of which I do entirely too much of, let my knee-baby sis tell it, considering I'm the only one stuck on perfection) and read the e-mail.

Yikes! I fast learned they'd be closing the author considerations in a few hours. Thanking her profusely, I set two alarms, clock and cell, something I rarely do, and got myself to bed. Invigorated a few hours later, I drove to New Hope Road off Cascade, lost for approximately 25 minutes, until I could turn myself around and calm down. I'd get there in due one piece.

Thank goodness the day loomed sunny, uncluttered. A small, smiling gentleman greeted me at the glass doors of the center, warmly accepting my three offerings: my novel, "If You Love Me, Come" and the second and third books in my Wanda B. Wonders series, "Wanda B. Takes the Cake" and "Wanda B. Sings the Bailout Blues." I didn't have the first in the series, "Wanda B. Wonders Speaks Her Mind" on hand. My sister might have fainted if she'd known. "You should always have extra copies of your art for promotion/marketing purposes at all times" is her unerring motto.

Tickled, I didn't even offer a self-addressed, stamped mailer to have the books returned to me if they didn't make the cut-off. Most likely, in my mind, that option didn't exist.

Therefore, it gives me great pleasure to invite you to the Book Fair, if you are in the Atlanta area on December 10th. Uh huh, I will be grinning broader than any other author, just chatting and laughing, fluttering and soaring! Come out and give me a hug! And while you're present, buy a book or two, share it with a friend and make a mental note to share your thoughts with me. I'll be waiting...

Living a golden life,


A Writing Question From a Facebook Friend

"How do you get started with your writing and keep going with it? I've tried but always end up quitting?"

Tonight, I was catching up with my beloved Facebook Family and up-dating my author fan page, when I noticed a new e-mail in my in-box. The above question awaited me from a lovely friend.

Immediate and heart-felt, it spoke to my soul. I couldn't move on to other tasks I'd set for myself on this peaceful Saturday night. A quiet resolve softly encouraged me to answer it right then. And, with a bit of editing, this is my response...


I got started in the business of writing at my mother's feet, as she read to my siblings and me nightly before we bathed and went to bed. A reading mother, she adored books. Perhaps it stemmed from her love and respect of school. She was Miss Tennessee State and an excellent student throughout her schooling.

Under the music of her voice bringing my favorite stories to life, I was imblued with a passion to write my own stories to satisfy my soul's desire to weave a yarn that tickled my fancy. So I put pencil to notebook and came up with female heroines who did what I wanted to the world, love deeply, stand and fight (if need be), and bow to a greater power in the Divine.

Not only that, while writing juvenile stories I recorded in spiral notebooks, I learned to tell a good story, feeling the ebb and flow of an intriguing tale, with nuances of sound and gestures to match. My audience, my cousins and siblings, sat around my grandparents' fireplaces and heaters, enthralled, their faces glowing. Oftentimes, they begged me to continue the storytelling, one night after another.

Years later, while teaching high school English and raising a family, I continued to write...only it trickled into the summertime. Thus, I lived for Friday evening, so that I could immerse myself in novel writing. My first novel, "Dolly: The Memoirs of a High Schoool Graduate," appeared in 1986. I was charmed. How did it happen? I'd sent a short story to PLAYERS magazine and the editor loved it, asking me if I could make the main character live throughout 250 more pages. If so, he'd publish it. Turn to his word, he helped me publish it via Holloway House Publishing Company in Los Angeles!


Then it seemed my writing time waned and became harder and harder to come by. My soul wept. But I persisted. It was a sweet persistence that carried me through the up's and down's of my life at that time. The more difficult times got, a shift appeared in my writing. Poetry stepped in and picked up where novel writing could not go, when I moved through divorce. Poems were immediate. They snapped pictures of my inner landscape. They gave me to myself. I like to say poetry saved me. Welding a melodic pen and performing at Atlanta's open mics, I wrote myself out of the closet of my life. The bulk of these poems I now cull and record to create my coming Spokenword CD/poetry collection, "Soft Tsunami."

Newly single, I returned to the marriage of Claudia and novel writing! I began the story, many years ago, that would become the novel I now promote, a novel that has received rave reviews. Thinking about it, I smile, my heart singing the same proud melody a new mother croons at a newborn's first smile.

I wrote that novel. Stopped. Got derailed. Started again. Got picked up by a New York literary agent, the best in the business, Marie Dutton Brown. Life flowed in on me like a tsunami. I could not write, similar to other times--the best of times, the worst of times, in my life. When I could though, I continued to write, a lovesick woman trailing her first love.

The persistence gradually paid off, even though I was no longer represented by the Marie Dutton Brown Agency. "The Marie," as she is fondly known in the business, had praised me and the completed novel royally then asked me to edit it from 600 pages to less that 350 pages. Publishers simply did not want to take chances on a new author whose manuscript boasted that many pages. That's when other waves washed over me. How was I to cut a manuscript I adored? Was that possible? The tale demanded each chapter to arrive at its memorable ending...or so I thought.

Years swept in. I determined if I were to witness the book's publication, I'd better learn to edit. After all, I was an English teacher by profession. My red pen dashed across student essays artfully, opening veins and restoring faith, simultaneously. I cut it. Then learned that Marie Dutton Brown had cut me and moved up shore. New writers could not be counted on, most times, to finish writing and editing, a common consensus.

But I did. Now I write and publish independently. I no longer wait on others to save me. That Power Within guides me, and I come into this realization each time I pause to let Peace be Still in meditation. Sometimes I am saddened and discouraged, thinking I should be further along than I am. I compare myself to other writers. Before an inner inquisition, I flog myself for not banking millions, like Amanda Hoecking and others inducted into Amazon's Millionnaire Club. I wonder if my work is enough, the thought chasing me to desist and get off a rollercoaster my pen is obviously not fit to ride.

Then I remember to go within, where I am reminded that the Divine Is Enough! This never fails to unleash the magical. Once cloudy and murky, my eyes and heart clear up. I invite judgment to the front door. My horizon manifests an eggshell blue clarity, and again I turn to this keyboard, renewed. Refreshed. And invigorated.

I write because I cannot NOT write. I have tried it. A cessation of all writing. When I do it, guess what? I write in my head. Snippets of stories and characters take shape, and I am back at time.

There are times I read to stop the love/hate passion I have with writing! Yet in the act of giving myself to reading, I find myself inundated with ideas to fuel my own writing. HERE IS MY ADVICE TO MY FACEBOOK FRIEND: Stop trying to do anything. Give yourself a pink slip. Just stop. Go within and determine what your soul wants to do. And do that! If Spirit returns you to the writing, you will do it with a REJUVENATED fire! That is a promise. I have done it many times.

But when you know deep within that you are a writer, ask the Divine for the strength neeeded to birth your gifts. Whether your own or from others, rejection can slice your heart into red ribbons. Make you drop the pen. Run from the sight of sheaths of paper or a vacant computer. Despite that, if writing is your talent, lift it for FREE...and simply write for you. Whatever you come up with, loving it, someone else will love it also!

I hope that was helpful!

Love & Light,