Monday, November 22, 2010

On Becoming an Author

I have been on this journey since 2007, when I began writing my first novel while visiting my future husband's family in Bermuda. It Is What It Is was birthed while I sat on the seashore and my son and future husband were fishing. This was a story I held on to for some time, and my desire to write never waned.

This journey has been like a roller coaster, mostly with ups and not many downs, fortunately. I was blessed to have the TEAM that my mentor Ananda Leeke spoke about last year when I first met her. In addition to her recommendations, I was blessed to have an artist for a husband, who I let design my book cover and website. I also reconnected with a childhood friend, Khadijah Ali-Coleman, who is the editor of my novel.

The excitement that I feel now as I felt when I first started is still the same.

To see my book in its final stage has been absolute feelings of exuberance and a HUGE sense of accomplishment. I started my story to tell my "love story" and it turned into a fiction with much drama. When Khadijah told me that I was "holding back", I hung my head because I knew she was right. By following her direction and listening to her pointers, I just jumped in and moved forward. She pulled it out of me, and when I read my book from start to finish, I screamed. My actual words were "This is the freaking BOMB! SAY WHAAAAT!"

My sentiments were shared by three special people who were given a pre-release copy of It Is What It Is. One of them said "I love your quotes and a true reader will have no problem immersing themselves in the story." I was literally tickled pink.

Another reader said she visualized the places I describe in the book, placing herself there as she read along.

Like Kem says in his song "Matter of Time" from his latest CD:

"You are right where you are supposed to be

Everything is in divine order.

Nothing happens under God's creation without His eye upon it.

There is a divine appointment for everything that takes place in your life.

So just relax, let it's a matter of time."

Thanks to everyone who has followed me on Facebook, Twitter, and recognizing my desire to get this book done. There is more to come. Thanks for being patient and waiting on me. This was truly a journey that I will never forget.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Grandma Freestyling

My seventy-six year old grandmother has decided to learn how to swim. She has never been afraid of water, and will don a swimsuit and jump right in. She just didn't have the technique that my sister and I possess. And as much as we tried to show her the proper way, it was to no avail.

So, I was not surprised when she shared with me her news of taking swimming lessons. Listening to her speak of her Beginner's class, I can hear her excitement burst through the phone. "People in my class can't believe it when I tell them my age," she says. She continues to tell me how her instructor had the class go down the slide.

"And I did it!" she exclaims, with even more enthusiasm. "If I could just get that kicking thing's so hard, Pooh!"
"Grandma, keep in mind that we took lessons when we were very young, so it is easier then as opposed to now. You just gotta keep practicing. It will come. You'll get it," I reassure her.
I am just glad that my grandmother takes the time to do what she likes to do. See, my grandmother has been caring for my grandfather who has Alzheimer's disease. She has put a lot of her desires on hold to make sure that he is taken care of, but we stressed to her that she not put her desires on the back burner. She has had some rough days, and being a nurse myself, I knew what this could do to her health, if she didn't continue with her life. I don't think it's a selfish thing at all. Caregivers have to be strong mentally and physically to do what we do. If our health and well-being is challenged, then we will be doing no justice to those we care for in the long run.

Grandma has taken hand-dance lessons, continues to participate in her church group activities and NAACP meetings, exercises daily, swims, and still cooks and cleans.

I missed getting over to the pool to see grandma swim, but I still plan to do that. I would love to swim a lap with my grandmother, and even come down the waterslide with her. I know she would enjoy it as much as I would!