Posts Tagged ‘about me’

I know, it’s been a while. I’ve not been around on this page much lately for a number of reasons that I’ll get into in a minute, but first, I need to say that this page is still evolving. And now, as I get serious about my second career, I’m poring over ideas for making it work for my writing. Which means things will continue to be out of focus for a while longer. Which brings me to where I’ve been…

Five years ago, I was approached by a client who read one of my stories on Literotica and liked it very much. I didn’t even know that that was a thing that could happen, and was quite shocked that he wanted me to write romances for him as a result of reading me there. I wrote him three biker stories and a three-story paranormal series before he threw me over for someone I introduced him to who wrote better biker stories than I did, and didn’t mind making bad guys into heroes. That wasn’t my schtick, and I was sufficiently in charge of my fledgling writer’s persona not to try and do something that just went against the grain for me.

Since then, I’ve discovered Upwork, a freelancer’s website which allows you to set up a page and advertise yourself to prospective clients who might wish to engage your services for the skills that you list in your profile. I have been a freelance romance ghostwriter on Upwork since 2015,  and have had nine clients, four of whom worked with me for multiple projects, and three of whom I still currently work for.  As a ghostwriter, I give up my right to the copyright and any proceeds from sales of the stories once I receive a check for the story in question.

I’ve written stories in a number of sub-genres…paranormal, biker (though I resist doing those unless I can make the biker someone other than the kind that is too often found in stories of that genre), billionaire, inter-racial, gay (M/M, to be specific), sheikh, step-brother, clean contemporary (no sex) aka sweet romance, mail order bride, Regency (both clean and erotic). I’ve written short stories (10-15K words), novellas (30-35K words), and novels (50-70K words). Ghostwriting has been my on-the-job training for my own writing, which I have finally begun to work on this year.

Which brings me to the final bit of news. The last fourteen months have been especially stressful for me. In December 2016, for five days before, during and after Christmas, I was hospitalized with an illness that had my white blood cell count so high they were testing me for cancer, and my potassium so low I had to have it administered to me intravenously for the entire five-day period. And when I was finally discharged, I was given more to take home. I was also pumped intravenously with every high-powered antibiotic they could find to combat an illness they could not diagnose, and when I was discharged, they still didn’t know what was wrong with me. I recovered completely from the mystery illness after another week of medication at home, and thought all was well.

And then last month I began to feel ill and thought it was just a very bad case of gas. After five days of no success with home treatments, I gave in and went to the ER, only to be told that the CT scan showed I had a cyst on my liver that had grown so large that it was pushing against the liver and displacing all the other organs in my abdomen. I needed immediate surgery and was admitted and seen to in less than two days. The cyst was benign, thank heaven, and I am now recuperating from an almost five-hour surgical procedure.

And while all this has been happening, my parents, both in their 90’s, have been having their own physical and emotional challenges, and as I am the child living closest to them, I bear the brunt of the responsibility for dealing with them. And with a senior in high school — thankfully my last child — I often feel overwhelmed.

So, I’ve had a lot to deal with, and blogging has had to take a back seat to life’s more pressing concerns. I’m having to practice patience and to read my body to make sure I’m not overdoing it after the surgery because I feel fine until I do something I shouldn’t just yet. I can write, though, and I’m getting back into the groove slowly but surely.

Well, that’s all folks! Until next time, take care of yourselves, and don’t ignore your body. It’s the only one you have, you know? Treat it well.


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I am
The beginning of Autumn.
My leaves
Are just starting to turn,
Their fall
Still some way distant,
The breath
Of change still faintly warm
Upon my tongue.

I am
The yellowing, golding leaves,
Bright still
With the light of the midday sun,
Warm yet
With its noonday fire.
My change
Is heat and primal passion,
Beautiful and bold.

Copyright 2015

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A useless walk at 3:00 a.m.
opens up a place
I had thought closed; and suddenly
shared moments, apparently forgotten,
strain the fabric of calm appearances.

Sometimes, it takes nothing
to trigger
a deluge of feeling,
a flood of tears,
an ocean of desolation.

The past becomes present,
the wound as raw
as when it first gaped open,
like the maw of Hell
inside my heart.

Absence becomes presence,
tearing away
at the flesh of memory,
leaving me exposed
and floundering in grief.


Copyright 2015

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Scotch Bonnet

The words burn
on the page,
on her fingers,
on her tongue…
in her heart.

Their knobbled,
surfaces, smooth-skinned,
belie the fire
raging underneath.

Vibrant colors
provide a clue
to their heat
and potency —
Orange, Yellow,

They speak in tongues
of flame and passion
of things no heart
should know…
of desires unrelenting,
of lusts unabating,
of needs unyielding.

Compact or expansive,
the words burn,
irascible and piquant,
consuming their way
from her inside
flavoring her tears.


Copyright 2014

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I am drunk
with the heaviness
of the lost hour.
infinities of desire
passed away,
pissed away,
bled away
in the time warp
of the approaching
I am drunk
with the leadenness
of Spring.


Copyright 2015

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How to write a eulogy

How does one write a eulogy?  I’ve thought of this question before, but have never really done much more than think.  But today, I must do more.  My Aunt Gigi died yesterday, aged 83.  She suffered from cancer in the last few years of her life, but the last time I saw her, in August, the only evidence of the affliction was her difficulty standing, and the hesitancy with which she walked on her own.  Yes, she had also lost a lot of weight, but I never saw that as a sign of anything.  It was her birthday celebration, and she was animated, happy, determined to enjoy her family and friends.

The party was held outdoors, and she celebrated with her younger sister (my Aunt Pat), whose birthday is three weeks before hers.  I loved to see her smile, to listen to her sass, to watch her interact with her grandchildren.  But as I contemplate what I want to say about my aunt, I am struck by how little I know about her.  I know her names, the first of which I love…Hannah — it’s a beautiful, elegant name. (The second, Gloria, is the one from which I presume the diminutive by which she is known to family and friends is derived.)

My aunt was a Hannah.  She was elegant, and very proper.  Old school, today’s young folk would call her.  She was all about the proper way to speak, the proper way for gentlemen and ladies to comport themselves, the right way to address one’s elders, the proper way to show respect.  She was a lady of decorum, and I never felt completely comfortable around her unless I was decorous, too.  One must needs mind one’s manners when in Aunt Gigi’s company.

I know other superficial things about her, as well as her names. I know when she was born, where she was born, who her parents were (my grandparents, of course), whom she married, how many children she was blessed to bring into the world.  But we never spent much time together, my aunt and I, but I knew she loved her family, which included my mother, her older sister.  I knew she wanted what was best for all of us — her children, her husband, until the day he died, her sisters, her nieces and nephews and grandchildren.  I knew that often times she would insist upon having things done her way, sometimes to our chagrin, but I also knew she meant no harm by it.  She was a nurturer, and that was her way.  Who am I to judge the way she showed her love?

I know she will be missed by us all.  Despite the challenges that came with her increasing frailty, in her last days, we have much to remember her for, much to be thankful to her for, much to celebrate.  Hers was a life well lived, and now, at last, she rests in peace.

I think I just wrote her eulogy…it doesn’t follow the usual rules, and I suppose I will need to add in things about her life that are expected to be included in a traditional eulogy.  But this reads like a thoughtful, personal expression of affection and knowledge from her family, the last words for a life lived fully, unapologetically, with elegance and propriety.  A fitting salute to a grand dame.


Copyright 2015

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Having been nominated for the award above, for which I heartily thank whocouldknowthen, I was led to consider what it means to be “versatile”.  I found a number of interesting definitions, among them “embracing a variety of subjects, fields, or skills”, from Merriam Webster online, and “capable of doing many things competently” from The Free Dictionary.  Also included were some less affirming definitions, such as “Variable or inconstant” also from The Free Dictionary.

Not being one to self-denigrate if I don’t think it’s accurate, and accepting that I do multi-task fairly well, and do know how to blog in a variety of ways on a variety of subjects, I decided it isn’t too arrogant of me to accept the nomination.  I enjoy blogging, and though I may not do it as others do, or have a trail of “friends” as long as my arm, I am content to be able to say what I feel, write what I will, and choose the venue in which to share my thoughts and emotions.  I suppose that is why I currently post poems, short stories, novellas, and photographs on this and many other web pages online.  I have a need to communicate, even with one other person who will appreciate what I have to share.

So once again, thanks to who could know then for sending a few more eyes my way.  I hope you all find something on these pages to tickle your fancy or in some way awaken your passions for life, for words, for people.  Welcome to my page!

And now, to fulfill my duties…The Rules and Requirements for The Versatile Blogger Award

1. Add The Versatile Blogger award photo on a blog post
2. Thank the person (or animal) who presented you with the award and link back to him or her in your post
3. Share seven things about yourself
4. Pass the award along to 15 favorite bloggers. Contact the chosen bloggers to let them know about the award.

Item #1, check!

Item #2, check!

Seven things about me…

1.  I seem to be stuck in third gear.  Let me explain…I heard last Halloween that my birthday, here in the US, is the third most popular party day after New Year’s Eve and Superbowl Sunday.  Add to that the fact that I was born in and am a citizen of a Third World country, and that my bachelor’s degree designation was BA, Second Class, Lower Division — i.e. Third Class, and you see my dilemma…

2.  …with one exception.  I am fourth among my five siblings, though I am the third of the three girls.  Go figure!  🙂  Some day, please God, maybe I can be first class at something, eh?

3.  When I was in my 20’s, I couldn’t wait to be 40.  Now I can’t wait to be retired…and in the New York City public school system I can, in the next two years.  I’ll be 57!  It can’t come soon enough for me!  The rest of my life is waiting, and I’m tired of treading water where I am now!

4.  My maternal great-grandmother was Irish, and my husband’s paternal great-great-grandfather was French.  Typical Jamaicans we are!  I love being a mutt!  LOL!

5.  I studied three languages in high school, way back in the last century, and a fourth in college, also way back when.  (Two of those four languages are dead languages — well, they have not been spoken for forever, but in every other regard both of them remain alive in English, and one in many other languages.)  I get carried away by nerdy stuff like languages and words, and forget directions and instructions, and lose my bloody mind before I notice (thank God!) how far off track I’ve gone.  I think that explains why my nose is always in a book (or on a Kindle), and why my laptop is my faithful companion, poor dear Mac!

6.  To demonstrate the truth of my comment about my versatility above, I have a web page where I sing karaoke.  I love singing, and as the PK (preacher’s kid) with the God-given talent, I sang all the while when I was growing up — solos, duets, trios, in choirs in church and at university.  I haven’t been there in a while, but it’s my “singing blog”, if you will.  And only yesterday, I opened another page on a site where I can read my poetry and short stories.

7.  I just spent the month of April writing poems, one for every day, as part of the National Poetry Writing Month challenge (NaPoWriMo).  But I also I write erotica.  I’m told that most preacher’s kids are the devil’s bairns in disguise.  I was the exception to that rule.  I was the good PK…until now.  Well, technically, until about seven years ago, when I wrote my first naughty novel.  When I read it now, I smile at how vanilla it is to some of the stuff I now write, and a lot of the stuff I read.  And if you ask me why a poet writes erotica, I will tell you, in all sincerity, that I believe what it represents is the crux of human relationships.  If you want to know what I could possibly mean by that, or want to argue with me, come talk to me.

Item #3, check!

Now for my nominees (this rule has forced me to get off my duff and go visit some blogs!):

Kali, my passionate and creative west coast friend from the now-defunct Multiply.

S. J. Maylee, who writes flash fiction, another passion of mine.

Milli, my long-time Aussie friend also from Multiply, takes the most amazing pictures!

Trisha and Carolyn, because they write about things that matter to me at this point in my life.

Samantha Wilson, because I’ve discovered I’m way wilder than I ever thought I could be!

The Morning Bell posts writing I love to read.

Laurie Wagner Buyer Jameson and Melinda Green Harvey because they marry two of my favorite things to do – write poetry and take pictures.

Pat shares her life, her work, and her warmth with us all here.

Kitt Crescendo, a passionate woman, like me.

Lottie, a new friend and humorist whose insights, from the perspective of a mature woman, I thoroughly enjoy.

Circles‘ page is like a breath of fresh air to me.

Melissa‘s is a page I shall return to often, because it’s there that I can force myself to leave the heaviness behind, and play.

Daniel Greenwood, because I’m an Anglophile, and he takes me there with his photographs.

Benjamin‘s world view grabs me where it counts, and doesn’t let go.  And he has my dad’s middle name.

Rosalind is an ex-pat, like me, and has close connections to the church, like me.  And she is creative, like me.  What’s not to like?  🙂

Item #4, check!

Happy Mother’s Day to all the mothers who come to visit me today!  May your cup of love always be full!

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