Sunday, October 29, 2017

Do you live in the D.C. or Baltimore Metropolitan Area and have a child who loves to write?  I teach workshops for young storytellers in and around Maryland!

Before I get into the when (but if you want to skip to that, feel free to scroll down), here is the why:
Why I Write
I was not the most popular kid in school. At 10 years old, I was already over five feet tall, and I wore a size 10 shoe. I was awkward. I didn’t know how to do the most popular dance moves and most days, I would prefer to be underneath a big blanket with my head buried in a book.
It wasn’t until 6th grade when my homeroom teacher, Mr. D introduced a unit on fiction, that I found my place. Mr. D spent months allowing us to explore different genres of writing and perform in showcases. I had been writing stories since I was six years old. However, up until that point, those creations were secrets in my notebook. They were people and worlds I created that were usually spawned from long city bus rides and from just being a kid in an adult world. What Mr. D gave me was the opportunity to share those stories and those worlds with my peers. The bigger gift was finding out I wasn’t the only one!
I didn't have the opportunity to explore my creativity again until college. I attained a Bachelor’s Degree in English and took every creative writing class I could find! I went on to law school and practiced in New York, Washington and Baltimore. However, throughout my legal career, after I got married, and even after becoming a mother to three beautiful children, I kept going back to the writing. Writing never failed to bring me peace and make sense of the ever-evolving and often confusing world. While working full-time, I became a published author and essayist and went back to school to pursue my Master’s Degree in Writing.
Why I Teach 
I often wonder how the trajectory of my life might have changed if I had been given more space to explore my creativity as a child. Maybe the angst of my teenage years would have been easier. Maybe I would have explored a more creative career path straight out of college. These are musings that have compelled me to give the same gift Mr. D gave me. 
Unlike Mr. D, I am not a teacher. I am a writer. I love the craft, and respect the young writers as artists. In my workshops, young writers explore different styles and genres using visual and written prompts to spark their imaginations. I approach teaching as a collaborative process. In other words, all workshop participants are both teachers and students. We learn to read each other's work critically to determine what works and what doesn't. Participants learn to not only trust their creative process but how to edit to make sure their writing is clear to their readers. Whether a child's ultimate goal is to just try writing fiction, submit a story for a competition, or become a published author, workshops are a great place to get started! My goal is to unlock your child's love of writing and encourage him/her to reach their creative potential.
If any of this sounds familiar for your child or a child you know, join me at one of my upcoming creative writing workshops. Help your child explore all they are destined to be!

For more info, click HERE or click on Workshops and Appearances above for my upcoming workshops and events.

Love and Light, 

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Hey, hey, hey! It has been awhillleee.  I wish I could tell you I have been working on a top secret project but I have mostly been in new baby bliss. My newest addition, Baby A, joined us in November 2016.  As some of you know, I had a few setbacks but it has been all good since. When I was pregnant with the new guy, I knew he was my last so I have been trying to soak up every second of his babyhood. It goes by fast, ya'll.  My oldest will be 10 this year... 10! For those of you who have followed me since Then Came Isaiah days, you know how fast those 10 years have gone. I just want to enjoy every giggle, squeal and dirty diaper... albeit it enjoyed in the haze in sleep deprivation... what day is today?

My last big project, I am loved! is doing well. I want to thank everyone who purchased it. If you liked what you read, please drop a review on Amazon or Goodreads and let me know. I am really proud of the positivity poured into that book. I meant every single word.

So, although I have been enjoying baby bliss - I have also been plotting my next move. As many of you know, I am a lawyer by day. However, I love, love, love my writing life. As proud as I am of my body of work, I know I have room for growth.  That's why I am so excited to announce I am entering Johns Hopkins University's graduate writing program this fall.  I have a few projects in the pipeline I want to give my best. I am confident the faculty and students at Hopkins will help me see them through to the finish line.

In the meantime, I will definitely still be writing across these here interwebs and perhaps dropping a short story or two.  I will also be teaching workshops in and around Maryland beginning this Sunday July 9 at Howard County Library in Ellicott City, Maryland. For more details and/or to register, visit the HCLS website here.  You can also find me on

Until then...

Love and Light, 

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

I am loved! Positive Affirmations For Our Children is now available for purchase on Kindle HERE.

You can also purchase your very own PAPERBACK COPY HERE.  The paperback copy includes workspace to create your own affirmations with your child. 

I am so proud of this collection of positive affirmations. It came from the heart and was born out of the unconditional love I feel for my three beautiful sons. Don't forget to drop a review.

Love and Light, 

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Guess what?! My latest novel, I am loved! Positive Affirmations For Our Children is available today, January 10, 2017 for pre-order on Amazon Kindle!

It features a collection of positive affirmations designed to be read aloud with your favorite tiny human. This book is personal for me.  It is a collection of things I tell my children, even my latest little guy who arrived November 7 :-).  I realized when I tell them about the good in themselves, they believe it.  It is a great book for reinforcing all that beautiful qualities you see in your children to help them enter this world ready to combat any and all negativity.

The official release date is February 14, 2017 but if you pre-order today it will be delivered automatically to your Kindle that day.  The paperback copy will be available on February 14.  I hope you enjoy!

Love and Light, 

Saturday, September 3, 2016

Today marks the beginning of the third trimester of my pregnancy.  As of Thursday, my growing baby boy is three pounds and three ounces -- ahead of the growth curve already.  I am so excited to meet this little guy. I'm also feeling a little like a giant feeding sloth ready to spontaneously combust at any moment.  But y'know... the good and the bad.

This pregnancy has been filled with a myriad of emotions for so many reasons.  Many of which you guys know already.  I've also been emotional at the thought of bringing another beautiful brown child into this tumultuous society. However, rather than dwell in the negative (Trump, Police Shootings, Incarceration, oh my), my husband and I decided to create our own little ray of light in an otherwise dark time. Together, we created WeeMagine, an online magazine devoted to celebrating and inspiring children of color and the people who love them.

This labor of love is probably not a surprise to most people who have been following me. After all, the bulk of my essays in recent years have been about my own fears in parenting young brown children.  I find myself constantly looking for positive news so I can feel free to dream for them so they can feel free to dream for themselves.  In 2013, I started the Facebook page Celebrating Black Boys (Twitter @CBBoys) with that goal in mind. WeeMagine is a continuation of that.  The site regularly features inspiring news, essays on parenting and positive affirmations. It also includes a section I am SO excited about called Minute Mentors which profiles real people achieving their dreams. It takes mentorship digital - making it attainable to anyone.

The site is growing. In the two weeks since we have been up, we have had 1,000 views on the website. We just hit 100 followers on our WeeMagine FB page and 200 on our Instagram, Our Celebrate Black Boys page on Twitter has a little over 2,000 followers and close to 700 on FB.  I am really proud of the community we are building. Social media can be a depressing place these days. I'm hoping we are an alternative to the negativity.

However, have no fear, dear reader, in addition to cooking this kid and my new site, I am working on new fiction.  It may not be as soon as I would have liked in light of the other things in the pipeline but it is coming! Thank you all for riding with me on this incredible journey.  Thanks also to my new followers and all those who left recent reviews on my work.

As always, stay tuned ;-).

Love and Light, 

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

"All art is kind of confession, more or less oblique. All artists, if they are to survive, are forced, at last, to tell the whole story; to vomit the anguish up." - James Baldwin

Late last year, I suffered a miscarriage. I know that's a tough way to start a blog. Okay, it's depressing as hell. The thing is, I've barely written here since. I've barely written anywhere since. I have realized that maybe I need to let some of the depressing stuff out so I can get back to the good. I have been blogging since 2007. Back then, I was shouting into a dark space and really didn't know if anyone was listening. It was cathartic for me. Validating. It allowed me to process the joyous transitions, the unfathomable pain and my personal growth with clarity and at times, company. Lately, I've been kind of afraid of the blank space. Any blank space. This blank space. I think its because I haven't been honest so here it is... all of it.

I had a miscarriage. Even now, its difficult to write those words without a blush of embarrassment flooding through me. First of all, it's an ugly, freaking word. It sounds more suited to dropping something accidentally. That shattered glass on the floor - I miscarried. That milk in Isle 1, miscarriage. It doesn't sound like loss. Like irretrievable, gut-wrenching loss. I didn't tell many people at first. Not just because I hate the word but because my sadness felt so darn silly. Even upon finding out, I kept muttering this is so stupid to my husband. I was embarrassed by the tears rolling uncontrollably down my face. Embarrassed by the tears in his eyes. After all, I didn't know if it was a boy or girl. I didn't give him or her a name. We never even met. However, I was full with her. For a brief space in time, there were so many possibilities. Early morning snuggles and wet kisses. Coos and toothless smiles. We weren't planning to have another child but sitting in the doctor's office, clutching my husband's hand and watching my doctor's mouth as she muttered the words, "I am so sorry" - all I could think about was how badly I wanted to hold him in my arms. How very badly I wanted to smell her and watch her grow. Suddenly, something I hadn't even known I wanted was all I wanted and all I couldn't have.

News of our rainbow came on a Sunday in March. My husband and I had just celebrated our 10th wedding anniversary and spent four days at the ocean. A month before, we decided we would try again. We didn't want to replace what we had lost but we had learned from our pain. Simply put, we realized that we wanted another child and losing the baby taught us how unfinished our family felt. So when it was safe, we tried again. The test that night was undeniable positive. We were watching The Walking Dead and had guests. I checked in the bathroom on a commercial break and when I returned to the couch, I texted him the news, even though he was right beside me. We were like two kids with a secret, stealing kisses when no one was looking and laughing for absolutely no reason at all. I can only imagine what our guests thought. The new guy is growing at a furious pace, even faster than his two older brothers. He will arrive in November. Almost a year to the date we learned we were carrying the baby we lost.

I'd be lying if I said I wasn't afraid. I am so afraid. I am afraid something will happen to rip him away from me. Me away from him. Him away from us. I am afraid to love him so much even though I barely know him. At every doctor's appointment, I hold my breath until I hear his heartbeat. Until I see is little body moving and stretching. I cry every time. Every single time. I just have to keep reminding myself he is here. Now he is here. I have no reason to believe that this time next year, he won't be joining his brothers in driving us absolutely crazy.

Two weeks ago, my husband lost his dad. I'm not mentioning that to win the most depressing post ever award (though, admit it, I'm in the running). I'm mentioning it because with my last son, I lost my older brother and my grandfather. When we got the news, for a moment, I felt ill. Why is it that new life seems to be accentuated by death? Why can't my father in law be here to meet his newest grandson? Why does the joy of this new life have to be marred by the pain of death? I confessed my feelings to a dear friend and all she could see was the beauty. Twice, she said, I have been chosen to be a vehicle of life in the time of death. How lucky was I to give birth to such charmed children? I was reminded of how happy my mom was holding my youngest in the wake of losing her own child. How happy my mother in law, husband and sister in law will be holding this new life in her arms.

I just want to thank everyone for sticking with me on the blog and social media while I worked out the more difficult parts of this year. I'd be a fool to say its behind me because no one know what the future holds. I also imagine the words would be pretty empty if I'd never been forced to survive. I will say this... spilling these words here has felt marvelous and necessary. Hopefully, that means now they won't stop...

Love and Light,

Thursday, April 21, 2016

I fell in love with him all at once. Devoured him. Gobbled him up. Like you do a meal you’ve been waiting for all day from that one restaurant you never get tired of.  I’d heard him before that day.  I’d listened outside my brothers’ rooms as a child.  Back then, he was the guy singing “Sexy Motherfu#ker” and making my cheeks hot beneath the wallpapered ceiling of my childhood home in Queens. The day I fell in love, I was in a plaid uniform, tugging at my navy tights and sitting in the back of my mother’s Oldsmobile. I’d borrowed my brother’s CD player.  The Hits was in it, B sides.  It had all of the greats from Little Red Corvette to Let’s Go Crazy to If I Was Your Girlfriend to Purple Rain to Pink Cashmere. I was swaying, smiling, blushing and bopping.  Teleported out of my box braids and morning traffic and transported in the melody. The electricity that pulsated from every lyric, every drum beat, every harmony consoled me.  Wrapped me in otherness and released my spirit into the wild.  He was a man of five foot nothing, fluid and ambiguous, unapologetic and free.  A black man.  In heels and eye liner.  He was undefinable and because of that defined so much.  Who I wanted to be. How I wanted to live. Things I wanted to feel.

The news blasted through me like a hollow point bullet today.  Shattering everything it passed and leaving me breathless.  I was so shocked, in fact, I couldn’t help but laugh.  It was silly to feel so deeply, right? To care so much. To shed so many tears for a man I never shared eye contact with or a meal or a private joke.  With a man who never knew my name.  The thing is, I knew his music.  His art.  Art that was creative and inspired, true and raw.  It was never contrived or manufactured or compromised.  I may not have been a part of his life but his art was an inextricable part of mine.  In his art I was fine, “filthy cute,” "soft and..." sexy.  Longing for life altering “just can’t stop writing songs about you,” “love is too weak to define” kind of love.  Had me feeling star-bound, “might not know it now.”  And when I grew up, gazing into my husband’s eyes, I “wondered what they’d look like on a newborn child.” The words. The music.  The liberation.  It was all there. Decades of my life. To a beautiful beat.  I would have broken if I hadn't shed tears.  There will never be another like him and because of that his life, his art, and his music was an immeasurable, unquantifiable, melodious, funky, rhythmic, emotive, eternal gift to this world.  

I am grateful I got to share in his stardust and exist during the ride.

Thank you for leaving the music. Rest in greatness, Prince Rogers Nelson.

Love and Light,
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