Friday, November 25, 2005

And The Gifts Start Rolling In!

Here's my best description of the sensation...

I wake up this morning, the day after Thanksgiving, and though I don't really need anything in particular to feel thankful for because I'm blessed to be a natural optimistic who is acutely aware of how favored she is, I go into my AOL email box and learn that I can be GRATEFUL I made a mistake! Now those among you who read this and think, "grateful she made a mistake...what the...", are the very ones who should keep on a matter of fact, y'all should read faster! Those of you on the other hand who intuitively smiled at the thought that I could be grateful I made a mistake already know the magnitude of this particular type of gratitude.

Upon entering my email box, I found that I had received a message from a person with whom I have not been in contact for awhile, though I very much would have liked to have been. It turns out, that this very blog was the impetus behind this individual reestablishing contact with me...(talk about a fast turn around on a time investment, and returns I never imagined receiving ;). Anyway, while trying to include my Uncle Arthur and his family on a distribution list I created from my online address book when sending a message to friends and family to introduce this very blog, I inadvertently added this "Art's" email address. The long and short of it is this resulted in the reestablishment of communication between me and someone I very much would like to discover more about and I am thankful for the "Divine Intervention" that allowed the meticulous, detail-oriented me to make such a wonderful mistake!

MISTAKES I believe are the key to my ability to remain positive and optimistic and can be for anyone. As I replay my life and analyze the final result of each of my own biggest faux pas, I have found that they typically have landed me in a great destination that I either had not or would not otherwise have had the foresight to plan to go, or if I had, did not have idea one about how to go about getting there. Examples you ask, wanna hear 'em, here they go:

  • 1983, best pal Jeff (you know who you are) convinces me to go to college with him (we'll get each other through med school!) at Creighton in Omaha, NE then proceeds to go to school himself at Clark in Atlanta, GA -- 1988, I've discovered med school would have been a mistake and subsequently am graduated from one of the best Pharmacy schools in the country -- for this mistake I'm thankful every day!
  • 1989, I'm pregnant (need I say more...) -- 2005, I've had the baby alone, a son, who is now sixteen, loving, brilliant, well adjusted, handsome, popular, funny,...and the hands down winner for the title of "THE SINGLE BEST THING THAT EVER HAPPENED TO ME!" -- for this "mistake" I'm thankful every single second of every single day!
  • 1998, I quit my job prematurely with only a verbal (not signed) offer from my next employer (okay, okay...beyond stupid), hoping to have a couple weeks between jobs to spend with my son (I should at least get some cool points for this) --1999, following a hiring freeze which prevented me from starting for three months (2.5 months longer than I had planned for), I am hired and in the interim, I discovered how resourceful and capable I can be! 2005, end result, this position was definitely worth the wait ultimately and more than prepared me for my dream job which is the one I have now...(I mean if you have to have a job at all, and unfortunately, I do) -- but at least its one I like, am good at, and can be thankful for every day!

The long and short of it is, nobody wants to make mistakes, but whether we want to or not, we all do. The question becomes, what do you do then/next? You can kick yourself, but why do that, you're already down. You can spend the rest of your life lamenting your misfortune, but that's not necessary either as there are plenty of people who will boldly remind you of your "oops!" more often than you'll ever need them to. You can play it safe from here on out and never risk anything ever again, but as they say, "You can't win if you don't play"! Or you can embrace your "failures" for what they are...OPPORTUNITIES! Opportunities to learn something, gain something, or just try something again or something new. But the bottom line is mistakes are something! And I'll bet if you take a trip down mistake memory lane as I have, you'll find that that something is almost always a gift in the end. Holla back if you feel me and share some of your own "opportunities". Thanks Art! ... both of you.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Read Sista Read Book Club Hobnobs With the Authors We Love To Read

If the opportunity to learn from those who are already sucessful published authors appeals to you, find your way as soon as you can to the National Book Club Conference website and register for next year's event. Almost without exception, the writers in attendance very graciously made themselves available to discuss writing, pose for pictures, or just hang out. Some of the more noticeably approachable included from left to right in the collage below (skipping obvious duplications): Lolita Files (Child of've gotta read it!), Francis Ray (discover that black folks are romantic too!), Walter Mosley (without question the creme' de la creme' of the lot!), Bebe Moore-Campbell (grace personified, and What You Owe Me, I need not say more!), Tayari Jones (I can't begin to describe the beauty of her spirit, nor the quality of her work!), Virginia DeBerry & Donna Grant (the dynamic duo package deal who are the dopplegangers of my best friend Angie and me!), Dr. Ian Smith (whose Blackbird Papers took the world and our club by storm), Crystal McCrary & Tonya Lewis Lee (who I have had the pleasure to meet twice and found to be genuine, informative, and so very uplifting!), Dr. Obery Hendricks (who is without question the most sensitive brother I've met in a long time...and let's face it, any brotha who raises his daughter alone is alright with me!). Others in attendance included J. California Cooper, the high priestess, Bertice Berry, my new idol, Terrie Williams, for whom the English language has not yet created a word positive enough to be applied, as well as a myriad of others. Whatever you do, if you love writers or just like being around good people, don't miss this event! Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Link to my NaNoWriMo Profile and Novel Excerpt

Hi and welcome to my blog. I am so happy to know someone, anyone is possibly reading this! Somewhere deep inside me there are so many things screaming to get out. A lawyer, an actress, a poet, and most aggressively, a writer. I have designated 2005 and 2006 as the years I am going to work to "help the creative process along", instead of hindering it as I have been so very adept at doing in the past. So to that end, I have created this blog and this is my very first post.

Additionally, I have looked for any opportunities which encourage, cajole, or just plain force me to do more writing including opportunities focused on creative fiction as well as creative non-fiction which is a new-found interest. In the pursuit of increasing my creative writing output, I joined writers all over the world who are participating in National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo), a project whose sole purpose is to drive writers to produce quantity (50000 words to be exact during the month of November), while relegating the idea of quality to a later point in time referred to by Brandon Massey in his Tailspinner blog ( as National Novel Revision Year (NaNoRevYr). I only discovered NaNoWriMo while catching up on the blog of one of my new favorite authors a sharp sista by the name of Tayari Jones ( who I recently had the pleasure of meeting at the National Book Club Conference (NBCC) ( back in August. She is the author of two fabulous pieces of literature that I have had the pleasure of reading, Leaving Atlanta and The Untelling. Check out her website especially if you are an aspiring writer (note I said writer not author) yourself as she posts many useful tidbits on her blog. Anyway, Tayari's blog introduced me to NaNoWriMo, which I subsequently joined last Monday about halfway through the allotted timeframe, and thus I am sending this link ( to my profile on their website where you can read a short excerpt of my NaNo novel.

Well, I guess I have rambled enough for my first official post. Please check out my NaNo novel if you have the time and hit me back here with your comments. I'm very interested in your feedback, and would really appreciate hearing from you whether you like what you read or not. Also feel free to share about things that may be on your mind as well, especially as it pertains to writing. While you're surfing the net, check out the other links I have included as well, as these sites have much to offer.

Until we meet again which once you get to know me better you'll find could be anytime day or night, take a lesson from me that was a long time in coming and get out of your own way and let the writer, dancer, singer, or whatever in you get out and at least get some air!

Read Sista read Book Club of Omaha, NE attending the National Book Club Conference (NBCC) held at the Buckhead Intercontinental Hotel in Atlanta, GA August 5-7, 2005. Standing on far write is "wannabe writer" Sharon. Posted by Picasa