Tuesday, December 31, 2013

“I am an excitable person who only understands life lyrically, musically, in whom feelings are much stronger as reason. I am so thirsty for the marvelous that only the marvelous has power over me. Anything I can not transform into something marvelous, I let go. Reality doesn't impress me. I only believe in intoxication, in ecstasy, and when ordinary life shackles me, I escape, one way or another. No more walls.” - Anaïs Nin

Happy New Year!

Love and light,

Friday, December 27, 2013

Yesterday, I learned a dear friend passed away.  I sat on my tan carpet with my legs crossed and my laptop cradled in my lap.  In the kitchen, my sons chatted with their mouths full over graham crackers and raisins.  I glanced out the window beside where I sat and the late afternoon sun was descending in the sky.  The yellow-orange rays shined brightly through the spaces in the bare tree branches and cast wild shadows on our muddy grass.  A man was walking his dog in the path behind my house.  His dog stopped to do his business and the man waited, turning so his face met the warm sunlight and squinting from its intensity.  When his dog was done, he kept walking.
I wept. 

(c) Faye McCray

Love and Light,

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

So, I wrote this little article over on Black Girl Nerds that seems to be causing quite the firestorm.  I wrote the article after seeing SNL's skit, White Christmas, an attempted parody of black film. Venture on over to BGN and let me know what you think, then if you feel like witnessing the firestorm, follow me on Twitter @fayewrites and see the mayhem that hath ensued.  It all started with one woman who decided to vocalize her dissent and tag Michael Che, SNL writer of said skit, in her comment.  He wasn't happy, to put it mildly, but it's okay, more people read the article, more discussion was sparked, and for that, I win.

Oh, and for the record, I wasn't defending Tyler Perry in the article.  If you read my blog, you know better than that, but I thought I'd add that for the newcomers. 

Love and Light,

Monday, December 16, 2013

Junot Diaz interviewed Toni Morrison last Thursday and it was broadcast live on YouTube, sponsored by New York Public Library. I hadn't heard about the event before last Thursday and when a good friend of mine sent me the link, I damn near crashed my car.  Toni Morrison is my favorite author of all time and Junot Diaz is fastly moving up my list.  
It was like I died and went to literary nerd heaven.  I pretty much scream announced it on Twitter every five minutes as I was watching (sorry about that).  In case you missed it... or if I'm honest, in case I want to watch it again (okay, okay, when I want to watch it again), here is the link.  The talk was amazing.  As usual, I appreciated Junot Diaz's raw, unapologetic voice (which actually translates well from paper to person) and Toni Morrison's... well... Toni 'Freakin' Morrison.
Love and Light,

Saturday, December 14, 2013

As a mother of a first grader, my heart breaks every time I see these beautiful faces and remember the senseless and violent way their precious lives ended.  My thoughts and heart are with these little souls today and everyday.  Mommies and Daddies, we will never forget your beautiful angels.  We will also never forget those heroic teachers that lost their lives protecting their students. 

Love and Light,

Thursday, December 12, 2013

While waiting for my eldest to get out of school, I saw a girl, no older than nine, walking with her nose in a Beverly Clearly book.  She was so focused on her book she tripped twice, and was hit square in the face by a stray snowball from the group of boys having a snowball fight beside her.  She adjusted her glasses, wiped the wet remnants from her cheek, and kept reading.  But for her wispy blond hair and petite frame, I would have sworn I had gone back in time and was spying on my former self. 
It's going to turn out fine, sweetheart.
Just fine.

Maya Angelou

Love and Light,

Sunday, December 8, 2013

I always get overly introspective at the end of the year.  Though time is relative and New Years Eve is really just another day, the end of the year always fills me with nostalgia.  I miss the good memories, am anxious to get beyond the bad ones and hopeful about what lies ahead. 

This time last year, I was hitting 'publish' on my first blog post as Faye McCray.  Those close to me know I have been toying with my identity as a writer my whole life.  I started working on my first novel in 2008.  I vaguely remember sitting on the beach with my then-newborn son, thinking about my idea for the novel.  I would write a few paragraphs and read it to my husband, write a few, read a few and then tuck it away.  I wrote on lunch breaks at work, stop lights during my commute and after middle of the night feedings when I just couldn't get back to sleep.  It really was enough at the time.  It was a story I felt I needed to tell so I did, without any expectation or approval. My husband suggested joining writing groups and sharing my writing with other writers.  I shrugged but agreed thinking, "Wouldn't it be nice if... nah..." I was comfortable in my identity.  I was a new mom, wife, lawyer and sometimes, I wrote.
Then in 2009, my brother, Tommy died.
And I was angry.
Grief is, in fact, very angry.  Angry at everything.  Angry at the pain.  Angry at the birds chirping outside your window.  The sun for rising and warming your wayward tears.  The director of the funeral home's feet for being too large to stuff into her inappropriately high heels.  On a bigger level, I was angry death happens at all.  Whether you articulate it or not, there is a layer of emotion in grief solely devoted to the unfairness in death.  You wonder, how could the universe have given you someone you grow to love and cherish only to rip them away?  How could life be so tragically short?  Just when you get the hang of it, you get the news that it will be over soon.  Or maybe you never get a chance to get the hang of it at all..
Less than a month after my brother died, I found out I was pregnant again and suddenly the whole circle of life dwelled within the walls of my body.  My soul bled with loss and simultaneously rejoiced in life.  I fluctuated between joy and pain, life and death, and in an instant, time seemed finite.  Like an explosion or fiery dagger barreling down at where you sit from the sky, it could all be over in an instant.  One second you are there, laughing at a silly joke, filling your lungs with the shared air and the next.... well, in the next, you're gone.

It wasn't so much that the sun shone down and I had an out of body epiphany to pursue my life as a writer... it was that I realized I wanted to spend the remainder of my days being true to who I was.  There was a way I wanted to love.  There was a way I wanted to look.  There was a way I wanted to parent.  There was a way I wanted to spend my days that I hadn't been true to.  Don't get me wrong.  I had a good life.  I had a stable job.  I was still madly in love with my husband and in complete adoration of our happy, healthy and cute babies.  However, so many of my days were spent in obligation.  I did so much of what had to be done and I didn't dare to dream of what could be done because I was afraid wanting more would make me selfish.
But when Tommy died...
When Tommy died and ten months later, my youngest son was born, life felt like no more than a brief slumber in the liminal.  Life was that moment between opening your eyes and closing them.  That moment between seeing something that brings you joy and allowing the smile to take hold of your face.  That moment between wanting to be touched, and feeling a warm hand against your skin.

The last time I saw my brother, we were both shuffling mindlessly around my mother's house in Queens.  I was getting ready to snuggle in my mother's recliner under a blanket and Tommy and my husband were about to pop in the "early release" DVD of Zombieland.  My oldest, who was two then, toddled into my mother's office, undoubtedly to get into something.  I dropped the blanket down on the recliner and reluctantly followed.
"Pickle..." I'm sure I mumbled.  Tired and eager for him to settle down.
As I entered the hall, I spied my brother lift him up and place his forehead to my son's.  My son giggled and my brother smiled.  I did too.  My brother and I didn't always get along.  To see him so tender with my son... it was everything.  Call it a gift from the universe, but I remember that moment vividly.   As clear as a picture in my palm.  Sometimes when its quiet I relive it.  I rewrite it.  Instead of shuffling back into my mother's living room and falling asleep and muttering a sleepy goodbye as Tommy leaves my mother's house and I never see him again, I say...
"I love seeing you with him like that, Tommy." 
He smiles and says, "I know, me too."
I say, "I'm sorry we fought so much when we were growing up but I am so happy we are closer now.  I love that I can call you and you always pick up.  I love that you are always there for me.  I love that you are such an awesome Uncle to my son."
He'd smile again and look at me over the shades he always wore.  He'd smirk because he'd be embarrassed but he'd let me hug him, a little longer than usual, and then I'd let go and he'd leave because he had too. 
I can't rewrite that. 

As I move into 2014 and reflect on all I did, and all I want to do, I am pausing to look back.  To remember placing a flower against my brother's silver casket and months later, spreading my fingers over my expanding stomach and feeling my son kick against my open palm.  My spirit weary with death and yet joyous in life.  I am reminded to take hold of those liminal moments with both hands.  Breathing in each space I am allowed to fill and not in a rush to end my journey.  I am reminded to become who I am intended to become.  Nothing more.  Nothing less.   I am reminded that a stranger's expectations of me matter not compared to my expectations of myself.  I'd say I'm eager to get started but let's face it, it's already begun.

Love and Light,

Sunday, December 1, 2013

CONGRATS, Lisa K. and Melanie P.!
Now repeat after me, I promise... not to... download Drake or Ke$ha. 
Okay, we're good here.
Thank you ALL again for your support!
I reached 200 Likes on Facebook!

I can't tell you how much it means to me that 200 folks have clicked 'like' on my Facebook page.  It was almost a year ago that I decided to take this journey and it has means so much to me that so many of you have decided to take the ride with me.  It's scary to put yourself out there and admit you have a dream.  Every word of encouragement, every download, every comment and every 'like' has meant the world to me!


In honor of reaching 200 likes on Facebook, I am giving away 2 FREE iTunes Gift Cards!  Music and writing has always gone hand-in-hand for me.  Music sets the mood and the tone to send me spiraling into my paper-universes.  I thought there was nothing more fitting than to give away some music to celebrate!

Enter to win:
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Winners announced Wednesday, December 4, 2013!

Love and Light,
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