Monday, April 28, 2008

Please stop shouting at me. I know I haven't posted for a while but I'm trying to study here. Actually, I'm staring at the words pretending to study, but what's the difference. This stuff is sooooo boring.

DO YOU . . . Continued . . .

IT was a long and hard decision for me to use my own name when writing. I'm sure it was equally as hard for all authors making their own first foray into the writing world. I worried about the backlash from family and friends. I worried about the stigma. I worried about all the effects writing would have on my life.

But if there is one thing that I always try to do is to be true to myself. And for me that includes not only writing but also being published using my own name. I'm still nervous about the repercussions. And quite frankly, I haven't even told my family what I write. Some don't even know that I do write. But it is something I just gotta do.

But let me tell you, if being true to yourself involves the use of a pseudonym, go on guys and gals do you . . . Express yourself in any way you want. Always do what you love . . . And continue to do you in whatever manner suits you.

Oh and BTW, watch Happy Feet it's a lot of fun.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Do You . . .

The one thing that I have noticed since starting this journey is that no matter what anyone says is the next big thing, you have to do you. You have to write what you feel comfortable with, and you definitely have to write in the genre, style, theme, category that you like. The only way to produce an excellent product for you is to not force a style upon yourself that doesn't fit.

The fact is not everyone is going to like what you write. And not everyone is going to like you. But so what? People will hate you for no other reason but because you are breathing (alive). It is the same with writing. There are people out there who will hate your stories. But there are others that will devour it and check everyday for the next story to be released.

But isn't that how life always is? Isn't it expected that life will be filled with people that hate you and people who love you? Otherwise, wouldn't life be just a tad too boring.

Courage . . .

It took me a long time to screw up enough courage to submit any of my work. I thought it to death. I hummed and aahed. I went back and forth. I was afraid of the disapproval of others, but I have lived for others for so long. I decided enough was enough. This is what I wanted to do with my life. And this is what I would do.

So what in the long run will make you happy and what's my advice as the novice in the room.

Always remember to DO YOU . . . .

Sunday, April 20, 2008

School almost at an end . . .

In less than two weeks, school will be over and then I'll be able to get back to my writing. But I have been having a bit of a problem lately. I seem to be having a writer's block in relation to my school assignments, one of which is due this Tuesday.

What a stupid problem to have at this late stage of the game. *Rolling my eyes.* And instead of trying to finish it now, I'm here trying to complete this post for Blogger. Go figure.

Graduation . . .

I'm scheduled to walk on May 2 at 9:00 am. My classmates (some of us have become very close) and I are planning an exit party that will probably span the whole darn weekend. Then sleep the whole week that follows.

We have been extremely lucky. We all went through this process together from start to finish. We have helped each other, guided each other, and encouraged each other when necessary. We each understand what the other has gone through, all the obstacles we each faced whether personal, professional, or academic. And we have all grown stronger because of them.

Support systems . . .

I'm a loner by nature and I don't like crowds. I am more comfortable in smaller (more intimate) groups. I do my own research, dig for my own answers, and only ask questions as a last resort. But I did see the value of being a part of a larger group when it came to a support system for school. This could be study groups, bouncing ideas off each other, comparing notes and answers to see where we went wrong.

And now that school is almost over, I am recognizing the beauty of another kind of support system: one that is directly related to my writing. I am joining groups and communicating with other authors and doing my best to live in this writing world that is so new and exciting for me.

So, do you use support systems (not the familial one, which I tap into regularly)? But ones that are related to your passion or work or studies, if applicable? Let me know. And until next time . . .

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

People being rude . . .

Why do people who are supposedly in authority feel the need to talk down to people, to shout at them, to be verbally abusive?

I have worked in the Libraries Division for a little over four years now, and my coworkers constantly feel the need to be rude and condescending to me. They shout at me, call me names and I am quite frankly tired of it.

I don't get involved in the office gossip or politics. I am close to a total of three people in the whole damn division which has over 800 employees at any given time. I'm polite and don't ask anything of anyone but to do their damn jobs.

So why does everyone act like shouting at Anika is a part of their job description?

So what if I'm younger than you? I still have a brain. And even if I haven't worked there as long as you have, I can still use common sense and my reasoning ability to figure things out.

What most of these people don't understand is that their job can be taken over by any of a number of other people tomorrow and it would still get done and get done right. This work does not require genius. There is no great skill in these functions. But for them this job is their life, their very identity.

These people will never develop the cure for cancer, or compose a beautiful song, or write an engaging story.

This job, as a friend of mine loves to tell me, is only necessary to put corn flakes on the table. So get over yourselves.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Abdicating Responsibility . . .

At work, at school, in life.

What do you do when the people getting paid to do their jobs do not want to do their jobs? Or worse assign someone else to do it for them. This really irks me, not so much about the pay but about the credit. I slave over an assignment and someone else takes the credit. Then they don't even have the decency to tell me 'good job'.


Hunger . . .

I don't do well with hunger. I get miserable, pouty, downright cranky. I literally am unable to function properly or work. I'm also a very picky eater. And I firmly believe that the food pyramid should peak with the good foods instead of the the boring ones (the so-called healthy foods).

What's worse, I don't cook. Not that I can't cook, I just don't cook. But now that I'm on my own, I have to be fending for myself a little more. I just don't know how people with kids do it though. I go home and if I'm too tired to be bothered, which happens a lot, I eat chips and salsa for dinner.

How do the people who starve themselves do it? Or what about the ones who do not have a choice? Scary.

Why did I bring up this hunger thing, you might ask. Well, the fact is a few days ago my friends made me wait an extra half hour before going to lunch. And I'm still bitch, moaning and groaning about the delay. Yep, I really hate being hungry.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Hi all:

The cover for my book Dessert Box is complete. :-) I love it.

Dessert Box is an African-American Lesbian Romance with Light BDSM.

Story Blurb: It’s Valentine’s Day and Sandra has set the scene. Carmella will have a delicious feast filled with everything she loves. By the end of the night, Carmella will discover which is sweeter: her woman or her chocolate.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Taking simple things for granted . . .

I am sometimes naive in my thinking. Then something happens and I realize how lucky I am to be able to do simple things. I feed myself, cloth myself, support myself, drive myself wherever I want to go. These simple things I take for granted daily.

Yesterday, a wheelchair-bound person was in the ladies room when I walked in. And that's when it hit me, they don't just walk in, utilize the facilities, wash their hands and walk out. They must contend with handrails, bigger stalls, lower sinks, etc., etc., etc. It is marginally more complicated for them.

But even if my thinking is sometimes naive, I do realize that there are a lot of wheelchair-bound people out there who have experienced more, are much braver, and have accomplished more than I have so far in my life. My understanding of this fact has helped to strengthen my naivete because with all the obstacles people with disability face they strive to and have achieved their goals.

So I'll gladly hold onto my naivete. I think it would do the people with disability more of a disservice if I wised up. ;-)

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

My MPA Capstone class visited the Broward County Central Homeless Assistance Center today for our final field trip of the semester. The facility is very impressive, providing a wide range of services to the homeless. Most of their staff are volunteers, except the medical staff. It is sad that homelessness exists. But it is amazing that Broward County has such a wonderful facility to help them get back on their feet.

Related but separate is my issue with PRIDE. I understand about pride and how some people have it by the bucketful. But what I don't understand is how some people allow their family or kids to suffer because of said pride. How can you say you're a good parent when you would rather have your kids live in your car than take advantage of the assistance available? And don't tell me pride is important when your kids go to school hunger, or shower in the fast food joint's restroom.

Holding on to your pride when you're responsible for only your own welfare is fine. But if you have a family that is depending on you GET HELP. It's only fair to the children you brought into this world. More than that it is your responsibility to take proper care of them.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Amarinda has demanded that I answer the following questions -

1. If you were trapped on a deserted island and you had the choice of a man or unlimited chocolate which would you take?

Umm. Ma... nope. Choco... no wait. I'm thinking, I'm thinking. This is really tough for me. Jeez, give me a minute here. Okay, I got it.

The man (especially if he looks anything like Jason Momoa) . . . I'd probably get tired of the chocolate, anyway.

2. What is it about your books that make them stand out from all others?

I still believe in everything, I still think anything is possible. Therefore, my characters are more open to the possibility. They find love in any situation or in anyone . . . They're playful and moody, and not afraid to show their emotions or turn neanderthal if the situation warrants it.

They demand all from their loves and they are willing to give the same. They've been betrayed by love before, but they still find the strength to keep looking. They know life in general takes hard work and love is no different but they look forward to the challenge.

They're not supermodel wannabes and not ashamed of that. Oh and BTW, they use everyone and everything to get what they want.

3. Aliens knock on your door and want to borrow your car for sight seeing - what do you do?

Get my keys and drivers license and jump into the driver's seat. I would definitely want to go along with them for the ride. No way would I pass up that opportunity.

And hope when they're done sightseeing they'll take me with them (to their home I mean). What an adventure that would be . . . wow.

4. Who would play the hero/heroine in your book and why?

Heroine: Jada Pinkett Smith. This five foot nothing woman is small but strong. In the Matrix movie, she played Niobe and packed quite a punch. Intelligent and willing to fight for her man. It also doesn't hurt that she is quite cute.

Hero: Jason Momoa. He plays Ronan Dex in the sci-fi series Stargate Atlantis. This tough, miserable, shoot first ask questions later guy, is smoking hot. Excellent with weapons, hand to hand combat, and that mean stare that can fell any man. But when he cares about you, he will kill everyone that stands in his way to get to you.

5. What is your worst habit? And do you care enough to change it?

Overly dramatic which leads to exaggeration. I can take the simplest thing and balloon it into the worst crisis of the known universe. It's fun, I make people laugh when I do it. And although I do sometimes take it so far that people do not realize I'm only joking, I care enough not to want to change it.

6. If you were in charge of the world - what would you fix first?

My first fix would be to take (rescue) every child in a bad situation, whether through foster care or bad parents/guardian, and place them with loving families, regardless of race, religion, and nationality.

Homework completed . . .

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Amarinda has challenged the bloggers over by Oh Get A Grip! to talk about the 5 things that piss them off. And even though this might be presumptuous, I have a few things to gripe about. So here goes:

Signing contracts and then complaining about the terms.

No, I'm not talking about authors signing contracts. Stop jumping to conclusions and read the rest of my rant.

Anyway, I bought my condo last year and although the sales lady was none too happy with me, I sat there and read every one of those trillion and one documents they wanted me to sign.

Now a few nights ago, we had the turnover meeting. The homeowners now have to start paying their own club dues (the builder as an incentive paid for every homeowners club dues for over a year and a half).

Anyway, yes, I'm pissed at the extra money I have to scrape together to pay the fee. But this is not news. This information was a part of our purchasing documents, and I'm sure they didn't pick, choose, and refuse who would sign and who wouldn't.

So the people at the HOA meeting were acting all crazy:

"I didn't know." Yeah right, check your contract.

"Its not fair." Hell, life isn't fair.

Car Indicators

I hate when people use their indicators to go around a bend or use a turning lane. Now if the road only bends to the right, why bother indicate. You can only go right.

I promise you, other drivers do not think you will actually turn against the bend or go straight ahead. We don't think you will ram your car through the concrete median or the guard rail to drive into a canal or on-coming traffic.

I'm driving down the same road. I can see that the road can only go one way. Please stop using that indicator for stupidity.

Nonsensical repetition (I wasn't sure what to call this one but it bugged me so much I couldn't leave it out.)

It pisses me off when people use the same one experience to apply to every single topic under the sun.

There is a professor who teaches Ethics, Organizational Behaviour, and Labor Relations. But in every single class, the man only talks about globalization. Okay, maybe globalization can be applied to each subject, but damn if I got the reference. And quite frankly, I'm tired of the word.

Now that's the second word I hate hearing (Writing being referred to as a hobby is another).

Not sure what I mean, the following is an example:

Person A: I had a car accident today.
Repeater: You know, I stubbed my toe once.

Person B: I fell asleep at work today.
Repeater: You know, I stubbed my toe once.

Person C: I got a promotion today.
Repeater: You know, I stubbed my toe once.

Person D: I saw the Pope today.
Repeater: You know, I stubbed my toe once.

Wearing skimpy clothes when its cold

Okay, I live in South Florida, and it doesn't get cold that often, but when it does we Floridians can't handle it.

But like every society, there are bunch of women who inevitable do something stupid, like wear the most inappropriate clothes when its cold.

Now ladies, you know its 35 degrees outside. Your man is fully clothed. Why the hell are you wearing that short shorts or short skirt? Don't you have any common sense?

You're huddling in on yourself from the cold. And he's all warm and cozy. Stupid.

Your teeth are chattering, quite unattractively I might add. And he is warm and cozy. Stupid.

You're hopping from foot to foot in a rain dance imitation. And he's warm and cozy. Stupid.

I haven't figured out the fifth gripe yet, but will be sure to post it when I do.

Have a good day!

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

School will be over in one month and I cannot wait. I'm actually marking off a calendar, counting down the sessions.

One question I get asked a lot, after: 'What are you going to do with your degree?' is: 'What are you going to do with all your free time?'

I smile and respond 'write, of course."

Unfortunately, some people do not understand how important writing is to me. They fondly call it my 'hobby,' never thought I'd hate that word. But there it is.

Yes, I love writing. No, its not just a hobby.

So back to the topic at hand, I hadn't realized until the school schedule had been redone and I was forced to take last semester off that I'd committed the ultimate sin as an author. I had not written a thing for over two years. No wonder school was driving me crazy...not that I wasn't already crazy to begin with.

And even though, I won't be jumping up and down, waving my degree at every employer alive, does that mean my graduate studies was a total waste? I think not, the experience has been beneficial to me personally, if not professional.

So, what have I learned from the MPA program?

In addition, to the small amount of extra knowledge about public employment, I already work in government. I have gained other skills that are more valuable to me:
  1. I am a better public speaker. Now don't get me wrong, I still get very nervous when it is necessary to speak in front of large crowd (the patois comes out). But I have learned to relax more quickly.
  2. I am better able to articulate myself.
  3. I defend myself and my ideas more now. I don't just bow and say 'whatever you like" (Coming to America reference).

So, I might not have garnered any vast knowledge from my two and a half year stint in graduate school. But I did improve my interpersonal skills. And that is worth something.:-)

So, what about you? Is there an activity, process, or program you were involved in that provided you with skills beyond the intent of the program? What was it?