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Inspirational Reader

Inspirational Reader
  While reading her email I could feel every ounce of enthusiasm and excitement that enveloped her being. Her words bounced off and danced across the screen. Who was this young woman who so exuberantly expressed her love for "The Baby in the Window," my latest novel? My eyes took in every compliment, every adoring word.   “Alretha, I soooo loved this book!!!” “I love Nick & Cass!!!” “You’re a great author!!!”   I love reading validating statements such as these just as much as I loathe reading comments like, “An okay read.” “I’ve read better.” Readers are human and they bring their entire life experiences to a novel. What one reader finds brilliant, another may think is boring. This is why it’s imperative that writers approach readers’ comments with balance and perspective.   But then there are those times when you get that reader who’s full of elation and cheer, a reader who gets you, your characters, your story, they just get it, they connect. These readers are rare and very inspirational. Alisha is that kind of reader. Alisha r...
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4202 Hits

133 Minutes a Slave

133 Minutes a Slave
  Yesterday I had the opportunity to see the movie “12 Years a Slave.” I had first learned of the controversial film while at the theater to see “The Butler.” The trailer for “12 Years a Slave” immediately caught my attention. The notion that a free man is kidnapped and held captive for 12 years was unimaginable and terrifying. I wanted to know who this man was and if he escapes and how he endures such an atrocity. When Chiwetel Ejiofor, who plays Solomon, the man kidnapped and enslaved, appeared on screen, I knew I had to see this film. I loved him in “Talk to Me” and “Inside Man.” Anyone who knows me will attest to the fact that I love going to the movies. My husband isn’t as fond of movie-going as I am and oftentimes he has to be persuaded and I have to endure a barrage of questions. “What kind of movie is it?” “How do you know it’s good?” “Who told you it’s good.”   “Who’s in it?” To spare myself the third degree, sometimes I’ll skip asking him to go with me, and I’ll see the movie I want to see by myself. But this time I wanted him to go becaus...
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3813 Hits

I think I have Oldorexia

I think I have Oldorexia
          You’re probably scratching your head wondering what in the heck is Oldorexia. Well it’s a new word I have coined and it’s trademarked. It’s similar to anorexia, wherein an individual has a distorted view of their body shape and size. However, Oldorexia means you have a distorted view about how old you appear. For example, a fifty-year old woman is often told she looks like she’s in her forties, but in her mind she thinks she looks like she’s in her sixties. I’m on this topic because I recently turned another year older and I, like many Baby Boomers, am trying to adjust to my new look, if you will. What’s my new look? It’s a mature look. It’s a look that says I’m a middle-aged woman. Don’t get me wrong, I’m grateful to be alive, but in my head, I’m still in my thirties, and sometimes in my twenties. But when I see photos of myself, I get a rude awakening. The tight skinned, bright eyed young woman in my head looks nothing like the woman staring up at me with her droopy lids and sagging chin. Who is this wo...
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3834 Hits

Fourteen years ago today...

Fourteen years ago today...
I said “I do” to my soulmate. September 18, 1999 was one of the happiest days of my life. It was a day I never imagined would take place. Trust me, I fantasized countless times about meeting “The One” and walking down the aisle while family and friends looked on with smiles plastered on their faces, but it was just a fantasy. I actually believed that I had a better chance of winning the lottery than finding “The One.” My marriage fourteen years ago was not my first. At the tender age of nineteen, I wed a man I had meant in college. To sum it up in four words—“It was a mistake.” Let me be truthful, at the time I felt it was, but after serious soul-searching and growth, I don’t believe any of the choices I’ve made in my life have been mistakes. Everything happens for a reason and I believe emotional and spiritual growth is at the top of the list. If at nineteen, I was the woman I am today, I’d probably still be married to my first husband. However, I was confused, carrying a lot of childhood trauma, and definitely not wife material. It took two decades for...
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4245 Hits

A Kindergarten Flop

A Kindergarten Flop
  The month of September is somewhat bittersweet. The sweetness can be attributed to my book launch party for my latest novel “The Baby in the Window” that took place August 24. It was a great success and I’m still basking in the aftermath.   The bitterness is because my mother died in the month of September thirty-eight years ago. It’s also the month a lot of schools reconvene and invariably my mind is flooded with stomach-cringing memories of Kindergarten.   There I stood in front of my kindergarten class, trembling like a leaf on a windy day. I was wearing a navy blue jacket with fake fur around the collar. I held my breath while the teacher stumbled over my name. “Class, let’s all give Al…Areth…Alaret…Alretha a warm welcome.”   I lifted my head and took in the twisted faces of my classmates as they shouted BOO!!! BOO!!! BOO!!!!   My stomach sank and my eyes filled with crocodile tears that I tried to blink back. It was too late. I wiped my eyes trying to keep the salty water from falling onto the floor. My body was shuddering, rac...
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  3980 Hits
3980 Hits

I Can't BeWEAVE it!

I Can't BeWEAVE it!
  Recently it was reported in the news that a preacher out of Texas banned the women in his congregation from wearing weaves. I thought it was a joke when I first heard about this, but on further inspection, I realized it was true—in my humble opinion, sad , but true. We are truly in trouble when a man of God is focusing on hair and not hearts. What is all the fuss about weaves? Okay, I must admit, I’m bias, because, yes, you guessed, I wear a weave. Why? Let me get honest. I like long hair and at present, my hair is short, and I’m growing it out. Can’t it grow without a weave? Yes, but when it grows, it invariably breaks. The weave, which I might add, I maintenance on the regular, provides my hair with an environment to flourish.   And to the Texas pastor, I must remind him that the Bible in I Corinthians 11:15 says “A Woman’s hair is her glory.” Okay, it didn’t say weave, but as far as I’m concerned, the weaved hair on my head is mine. I paid for it! The Pastor purports that women who wear weaves have low self-esteem.   With all due respect, ...
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  4364 Hits
4364 Hits




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