Monday, December 29, 2008
That simple request was asked of me about a year and a half ago. Probably closer to two years. When I seriously got back into my "craft" hobby, I wanted to make hat a scarf sets for the boys. My middle son liked his so much, he asked me to make him a blanket. No problem. Now, when I learned to crochet as a kid, the only stitch my mom knew how to make was a granny square. So, all my projects have been granny squares. But, I didn't want his blanket to be a granny square blanket, so I set out researching all the sites on the internet, intent on finding an appropriate design to make his blanket. I found the ripple and fell in love with it. For the life of me I couldn't figure out how to make it. I started and had to rip out stitches. Started again and had to rip out stitches . . . you get the picture. After about the 10th try (no lying) I gave up. For about ten minutes. One thing about me, I'm a stubborn and determined cuss. If I want to do something, I will find a way to do it. I'm happy to say that my determination paid off. After visiting sites such as, Crochet Cabana (http://www.crochetcabana.com/), Bev's Country Cottage (http://www.bevscountrycottage.com/), and Crochet Pattern Central (http://www.crochetpatterncentral.com/index.php), I figured out how to do the ripple and I've been "a ripplin" ever since. Here are a few pictures of my finished project.
Saturday, December 6, 2008
I guess because the Christmas holiday is approaching, I'm being particularly sentimental. I'm missing my mother and husband all the more. I miss my mom, and all the holiday turkeys and mac and cheese she used to make. Mine are good, but not as good as hers. I miss walking into her house and smelling the gingerbread cookies she'd be baking right about now. But, I'm also missing my husband. Christmas was his favorite time of year. He loved putting up decorations, stringing the lights around the house, and having me yell at him to be careful on the ladder, “cuz I'm not taking your ass to the hospital.” If he were still alive, my house would be decorated already. Here it is, December 6th and I haven't even pulled out the first Christmas light. I have so many memories of him. His smile. His laugh. His scent. My most favorite memories are the ones of him with the boys. He used to get up early on Saturday mornings and take the boys to the National Arboretum, for walks and talks. They'd be gone for most of the day, and when they got back home, I'd usually have some type of meal waiting for them. His bonding with his boys gave me some much needed alone time, which made me a better wife and mother. I know the boys miss him too. His namesake often mentions some obscure thing he would say and have us cracking up. Or a ridiculous facial expression he would make after I'd gone off on a tangent about nothing. I'd blow up over something one of my menfolk had done around the house, and he'd let me vent, and after I was done, he'd give me a zany contorted look and say, “WTF is wrong with you now?” I know from experience that growing up without a father is hard. I never knew who my father was. I grew up with a very strong mother, and she kept me in line. I only pray that I can and am doing the same thing with my boys. It seems as though African-American men have been taking a beating for not doing for their families; their children in particular. I know several brothas who could dispute that: Terry Bazemore, David Dixon, Thomas Felder, Adrian Prather, and Donnell Cox, just to name a few. I'm not disrespecting my white cousins out there; but, the brothas have been put on blast for too long now, and it's time they got some recognition. Remember fellas, to the world you may be just one person, but to one person, YOU are the world. So this blog is dedicated to all the brothers out there, who are stepping up to the plate and handling your business: those who are struggling to hold down a 9-to-5, and make it home to spend time with the family; those who are not on the best of terms with your baby's momma, but still find a way to provide for your child, in spite of it all; those I see on the Metro, pushing the stroller and juggling the diaper bag; and those who are still trying to figure it out. God Bless you. I hope Santa brings you something special this Christmas. **Note** Reposted at Myspace.
Thursday, December 4, 2008
My best friend mysteriously hurt her right ankle in her sleep. Yeah. In her sleep. She woke up Monday morning with a sore ankle and didn't know how it happened. She finally went to the doctor on Wednesday, and he said she has a strain, and to stay off of it until she can see an orthopedic specialist. Meanwhile, she's got one of those ugly braces, and crutches. She came to work today, to pick up her laptop, so she can check her email and do some work from home. Such a dedicated government employee, I tell ya. Since she couldn't maneuver very well with the crutches, purse and laptop, I helped her down to her car when she left. I carried the purse and laptop and she limped along with the crutches. Halfway to her car, I got struck with a pain in the heel of my left foot. Out of nowhere, it hit me. A sharp, stabbing pain, with every step. So, there we were; she's limping on her right foot, with crutches; and, I'm limping on my left foot, with a purse and laptop. Some man came past us, just as I yelled “Ouch,” and reached for my foot, but we continued hobbling along, laughing at what a picture we must have made. He kinda laughed, too. I'm sure we were a sight. All I can say is, I'm glad she's not pregnant. But, that's another story, entirely.
Tuesday, December 2, 2008
I think the essence of a romance novel is how well the love scene is handled. I've read bulletin discussions where some readers like the love scene hot and steamy, and others like to cut-away from it. Personally, I like it hot and steamy. Let's face it, I'm single and don't get much action (read, none), so I live vicariously through the heroines in the novels. And, I like to see my girls gettin' busy! I had a hard time writing my first love scene. Not because of the mechanics of how to phrase the scene or what goes where; but, because of who might read it. Most of you know that I lost my mother in 2000, so I wasn’t fearful of Mom reading it and looking down her glasses at me. No. For me, the fear came from my Pastor’s wife; who incidentally, used to be my elementary school music teacher. Double whammy! I tried to write a cut-away scene, but it didn't feel right to me. And, if it didn't feel right to me, then my readers would probably feel the same way. Robbed! I mean, after everything Jenee' and Thorne had been through, I felt that I had to show their love scene. This is my first attempt at hot and steamy. I hope to do better in the next book. What do you think: Except of Love's Web Never before had she felt so hot, so alive from a mere touch. She’d been thinking about him and wishing he were here so many nights, his hands caressing her in places she’d only dreamed of. What had come over her when she started undressing him in the living room, she didn’t know. She’d never initiated lovemaking before. But he had an addictive power; the more she listened to his silky voice every night, talking about the things he would do when he made love to her, the more she longed for him to do it. He pushed her oversized tee up over her head. The smooth whiskers on his chin tickled her with each swathe of his tongue, moving down, up, over and across every inch of her waist. He kissed her hip bone, his tongue running parallel to the waistband of her shorts. “You like that?” he asked, his voice a husky whisper. He continued stroking, caressing, and exploring every region of her body with his hands, his lips, and his tongue. When their mouths met again, she was impatient with longing, her body aching to be joined by his. He pushed down her running shorts, his hand tracing a pattern against the waistband of her panties. Her stomach fluttered. For several long, menacing seconds, his fingers teased her warm center before dipping inside. Her hips arched off the bed. Needing something to hold on to, she wound her arms around his neck, her head rolling side to side against the pillow. Was it supposed to feel like this? “Thorne.” She found her voice. “Please.” She unbuckled his belt. His remaining clothes soon fell with hers on the floor. He returned to his task of pleasuring her. He kissed the mound of her left breast, slowly running his tongue along the edge of her nipple. “Please,” she begged again. “I’ve waited so long.” His lips quieted her pleas. They covered so much of her mouth, she thought he would ingest her. Then he broke away from her, moving toward the foot of the bed and fumbling around with his jeans. She heard the crinkling and tearing of paper and saw the movement of his arms at his waist and knew she wouldn’t have to wait any longer. He rejoined her and gathered her in his arms, his long legs running parallel to hers. Hovering over her, he gazed into her eyes, separating her legs with a gentle push of his knee. She closed her eyes, wrapping her arms around his waist. “Look at me.” Her eyes fluttered open at the soft command. He raised his hips slightly. “Guide me inside you.” She reached for him, stroking him gently, and he glided inside her. She closed her eyes again, gasping in sweet agony. “Open your eyes,” he said, cupping her head in his hands. “I want to look into your eyes.” His hips moved in a circular motion, and she arched to meet him. She wrapped her legs around his, her head spinning. He called to her with each thrust, and she answered back. She’d never dreamed making love could be like this. Her body felt as if it were aflame. With each rush of his hips, she met him with one of her own. They moved in harmony. She didn’t know what came over her. She arched her hips and rocked against him, her head wrenching from side to side. The pleasure was pure and explosive. “Yes, baby,” Thorne croaked. As he roused her passion, his own grew. He stilled his motion, holding her tight through her release. He didn’t want it to end. Not yet. He knew the slightest movement would send him over the edge. She writhed beneath him, lifted her head off the pillow, and brushed her lips against his hardened nipple. An electrifying shockwave coursed through him. He buried his head in the hollow of her neck, singing out her name in sweet surrender. End of Excerpt I attended the Black Butterfly Review Holiday Explosion chat on Sunday, and from what I could tell, most of the authors in attendance like it hot and steamy, as well. Check out some of the wonderful authors I met during the chat: A.C. Arthur, Gwyneth Bolton, Sheila Goss, Saundra E. Harris, Barbara Keaton, Samara King, Celeste Norfleet, Pamela Yaye, and Pamela Samuels Young. I stopped by their websites and I received a shocking surprise when I visited Ms. Yaye's site.