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The Crying Doves Syndrome

Posted by on in Married in the Nick of Nine
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 What’s the Crying Doves Syndrome? Remember Prince’s mega hit song, “When Doves Cry?” It’s the lead single on his Purple Rain album. Music aficionados are probably rolling their eyes and shaking their heads right now, saying, “Who doesn’t know the song.” Well, let me not digress. The one line in that song that jumped out at me the first time I heard the joint was, “Maybe you’re just like my mother, she’s never satisfied.” Why that line? Because unfortunately it resonated with me.  I hate to admit it, but lately I’ve come to realize that there may be a thin line between a person who’s driven and a person who’s never satisfied.

When is enough enough? In our society there seems to be this unrelenting push to obtain more, more, and more. When does one finally say I have it all? I can rest. Even God rested after seven days. And He created the world. Talk about branding. Do you really need a dozen pairs of red bottom shoes?  Is there really that much difference between the new iPhone you hanker for and the iPhone you currently have? How wide does your television screen really need to be and do you actually need highER definition? Have you not had enough hit records? How many more billions can you make? Why can’t you be satisfied with a hundred million Twitter followers? Is not one television network enough? Do you really have room on that shelf for ten more Grammys, Oscars, or Tony Awards? What is it about human nature that makes us strive? Why can’t we just BE? After all, we are human BEings.

In 2008 I self-published my first novel, Daughter Denied. I erupted into rapturous applause when it made its way to Amazon. Then a few days later, my excitement dissipated while I anxiously awaited my first sale. Then review. And before long I felt compelled to write another book—Dancing Her Dreams Away. Again, I was elated when it debuted. Excited after the first sale and triumphant upon receiving my first five-star review. Not so thrilled when I received my first negative review and that review and similar assessments, motivated me to write another BETTER book.  While I’m flopping down this rabbit trail, I’m still longing to be a published author, and I’m fantasizing about getting a huge book deal.

Then in 2012 I finally landed an agent and in 2013 that agent managed to get me a multibook deal for my four-book Cass and Nick series! Wow, I made it. Finally. I should be happy. I should be SATISFIED! Well, the first book, Married in the Nick of Nine debuted on Amazon on June 30th and is doing better than any other book I’ve had on the market. It’s presently #17 on the list of 100 hot new releases in African-American Women’s Fiction and #38 on the list of 100 top African-American Women’s Fiction books. I just received word regarding the release of the remaining books in the series: The Baby in the Window, October 2014, One Harte, Two Loves, January 2015, and Renee’s Return, April 2015. This is amazing news. I’m SATISFIED right? Well, I should be, but, but, I want Married in the Nick of Nine to be #1 in all categories. I want it to be optioned for a movie deal. I want, I want, I want. Enough already! I need, I need, I need to be GRATEFUL, not just SATISFIED.

Yes, I had to check myself before I wrecked myself. Over the past fifteen years on my literary journey, with God’s help, I have accomplished a great deal! I’ve made a commitment to stop and smell my progress. I’ve made a commitment to appreciate where I am today and what I have today. Tomorrow will take care of itself. There’s nothing wrong with wanting to grow, to achieve more, but we have to keep balance, keep it in perspective. 

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Born in Oakland and raised in San Francisco, playwright and author, Alretha Thomas is making her name through her pen. She started at the age of ten, when her 5th grade teacher picked and read her short story assignment in front of the class – that simple, loving act empowered a new writer. A graduate of U.S.C., Alretha’s plays have graced numerous Southern California stages. Her most recent production, “One Woman, Two Lives,” starred Kellita Smith of the Bernie Mac Show. Her debut novel, “Daughter Denied” was launched in 2008 and has received glowing reviews from readers and book clubs across the country. Her second novel “Dancing Her Dreams Away,” launched in 2011 and was also well-received. “Married in the Nick of Nine” is her third novel and she recently completed the sequel, “The Baby in the Window.” Alretha says the one and only upside to her 350-mile-a-week-commute, is that it gives her ample time to come up with story ideas. When not in bumper–to-bumper traffic she enjoys going to the movies, blogging, and spending time with her husband Roy.