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Showing posts from 2014

Oprah, SoulCycle, Weight Loss and Finding Faye

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This fall, my best friend gave me four free tickets to Oprah's The Life You Want Tour in Washington, D.C.  Initially, I was a little wary of the invite.  I consider myself fairy driven and mostly happy.  I didn't know how much I would benefit from a weekend of self-help clichés and sponsored motivation (I mean, how intense is that photo?).  However, filled with gratitude that my friend would think of me (and trust in her assurances that it was "just what I needed"), I rounded up my girlfriends and went all in.



I had a great time.  The speakers and activities were great but the energy in that room was life-changing.  Over the two day event, men and women piled into a convention center with hopes of coming out better humans.  I met and had conversations with people who, on face, I should have had nothing in common with. However, I came out of each conversation feeling like a better person.  There was no judgment or pretense - just positivity and support, like a reboot …

Beyond Distraction

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He said he loved being black. His voice was barely a whisper above the soft sound of the tangerine comb gliding its way through his curls.  His brother, my littlest, was fiddling with my contact case, turning it upside down and spinning it against the ball of his fingertips. For a moment, I forgot what I had been saying.  The rush of the morning slowed and the light from the rising sun suddenly filled our halls.  I had been feeling heavy. An early morning scroll of social media will do that to you. Everyone was outraged.  Everyone was frustrated.  We’d witnessed a man who looked like my husband take his last breathes on a street corner, and we’d learned no one would pay.  I’d rose from bed with my alarm as I had done every morning, chucking my phone to the nightstand beside my bed. I watched my sons' bounce into our room.  I rested my hand in the warm spot my husband had left and listened to the sound of the shower beat down on him from our bathroom.  I rose, helping my boys, 4 and …

Five

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Five by Faye McCray I am in the dirt this Wednesday. My hair is sprouting leaves. My fingers are burrowed and moistening. Mud coats my knees. I am digging to hear you plainly again I last heard you five years ago I know if I dig deep enough, I will still hear your echo. We’ve been five years sullied. Our roots in mounds of pain. As if joy is the exception To deaths dark shadow on your name. I am in the dirt this Wednesday. My hair is sprouting leaves. To forget how you left us. To remember how you breathed. © Faye McCray
Love and Light,
Faye

Cookies and Heartbreak

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My baby boy is in love.Well, not quite.My four year old has this deeply complicated relationship with another four year old.  She rubbed his back the first day of preschool when he cried in my arms about leaving me for the first time.  Then she gave him a lollipop (and “No’buddy else, Mommy”) just because she had fun playing with him that day. Then she wrapped her arms around him tight and told him she would miss him between a Thursday and Friday just because he was leaving school early.
He looked at me, amidst the embrace, with his eyes wide and mouth reluctantly spread in a wide grin, that wild smile you only get when you’re trying really hard not to, and I knew. This little brown girl, with big hazel eyes and sweeping auburn curls had stolen a piece of my young son’s heart.The next day, I picked him up from school and he was in tears.  Big fat, snotty tears that ran down his face and left giant raindrops falling from his chin.  I scooped him up and kissed his wet face.  His teachers…

Dancing in September

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I can't believe I have let a whole month pass since I've reached out! If you follow me on Twitter or Facebook, you know I'm alive.  So, that's good.  However, I've neglected this here writing space for the whole month of September.  I haven't been hibernating (though forced exile and sleep sounds reaaaally good right about now).   I've also been working away on a fast approaching deadline.  Earlier this summer, I was asked to participate in a horror anthology!



Aside from being loads of fun, it is also my first professional fiction gig with a real publisher.  After getting over the initial fears and doubts (Am I good enough? Can I really do this?), my fingers have been flying.  I channeled all my creative juices into this project so a few things were put on hold.  But have no fear, I am still planning on pursuing Dani's Belts as a graphic novel! The preliminary sketches are done and next  month I will resume preparing my story boards.  Also, I still plan…

Mornings

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The walls in my bedroom are ivory.  A rather plain ivory but it ricochets sunlight from our window and captures shadows from the large oak trees behind our house.  In the morning, while my husband is still sleeping, I like to pull our fabric blinds all the way open, lie back down and be consumed by the light.  I watch the soft motion of the wind as it travels through the leaves to the rhythm of the chirping birds. The shadows two-step in the sunlight and sketch patterns on my body. 

My hair, when loose, feels like spun cotton against my pillow.  I turn so it captures my face.  It's soft and it smells like coconut.  I like how it feels against my face.  It isn't long before I hear little bare feet smacking against the hardwood in the hallway.  Two sets. Opposite directions.  They swing open the door and jump into bed, my sons, snuggling against my husband and I, kicking blankets and talking about their dreams.  My little guy wants ice cream today.  My eldest wants to run throug…

Why I WILL March for Eric Garner

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Response to Kimberly Foster’s Why I Will Not March for Eric Garner
Last week, shielded behind the numbness of my computer screen, I, too, watched Eric Garner take his last breath.  I watched a large, vibrant man’s resolve, self-worth and basic human right to stand up for himself squeezed out of his body in a matter of minutes.  I watched him struggle inside a police officer’s elbow and fall lifeless on a dirty, concrete street corner.  Like many, I shed tears but inside, I bled.  All I could see was my husband’s large build, my brothers’ dark skin, and my beautiful sons’ blind belief in their own freedom.

At the time, my sons’ played in our playroom.  They chatted incessantly about what superheroes they would pretend to be and what adventures they would take throughout our house as we waited for the rain to stop so we could go outside.  I wiped my tears away and regained my composure, more resolved than ever to be present.  To soak up every drip drop of their beautiful life.  To love t…

The Power of Contemplation

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I was watching an interview recently where Pulitzer Prize winning author, Junot Diaz was asked if he had any advice for young writers.  True to Junot, he initially scoffed at the question, making no qualms about his disdain for such a clichéd question.  However, his disdain seemed to stem from his resentment of the professionalization of the writing craft... as if artist as a profession was like professionalizing one's humanity or thought or thirst.  He said, "There is nothing about our craft that needs to be pursued with such Talmudic concentration. But what does need to be pursued in our culture, which does everything to discourage us, is a passionate engagement with the world." He concluded, looking out into the audience and resting his eyes on the young question-asker, "The "you" that spends most of her life living not writing will be the "you" that writes the books I want to read."

I thought a great deal about those words in the days t…

Shonda Rhimes Dartmouth Commencement Speech

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I saw this speech a few weeks ago and can barely find the words to articulate how deeply I identified with it.  I'm not alone.  It has been shared, tweeted and discussed by thousands.  I'm putting it here for selfish reasons (so I can hug it and squeeze it and make it mine) but I am also putting it here for anyone with a dream.  I hope you find the same inspiration I did.  These past few months have taught me the value of opportunity, preparedness, individuality, and flexibility.  Your dreams may not be turn out exactly how you anticipate but if you work hard - sometimes they turn out better than you ever imagined!



Love and Light,
 Faye

Thinking of a Master Plan

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When I was ten, my mom moved me to a better school across town.  It was this swanky, Catholic school in a neighborhood with private streets and black nannies.  I remember feeling like a cassette tape in a CD player.  The kids looked different, they sounded different and definitely acted different.  They were nice enough, and some remain my dear friends to this day. However, there were things about me I knew they'd never understand and by virtue of my being immersed in their neighborhood, everything about them that I didn't understand, I had to learn. 
I took the Q60 to get there.  A bus that ran along Queens Blvd in Queens.  It began in South Jamaica and ended in Astoria, just outside of Manhattan.  I lived on the Jamaica end, in a then predominately black middle class neighborhood, and my new school was in Forest Hills, a predominately white wealthy neighborhood somewhere in between.  I remember sitting on that bus in my plaid, green school uniform and watching as the neigh…

Celebrating Black Boys: My Love Project

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This week, I did something remarkable for my soul.  I established Celebrating Black Boys, a social media presence dedicated to the celebration of positive images of black boys.

It started as a Facebook group.  In October 2013, with the government shutdown looming into perpetuity, I sat with my three-year-old son outside of our house in the warm fall breeze and wondered what the future had in store.  He was fascinated by a worm that had emerged from our grass.  He could stare at it all day, and all I could do was stare at him.  In addition to my indefinite break from work, I had just removed him from his preschool.  Despite only spending three weeks in his new three-year-old classroom, his teachers had unleashed on us a litany of “concerns” about his behavior.  In an email from his teachers, they noted he was having trouble “pulling up his pants” after using the bathroom (he needed help with buttons), “sorting items into trash, compost and recycling,”  “zipping his lunch box,” “staying …

Yearning

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I am struggling to write a blog post lately.
It's not block (perish the thought) because I'm writing. I'm just not writing here.
I think the best writing is emotion driven. For me anyway.  If something is weighing heavy on my mind, I feel flooded with words.  It's like they all coming running to the door waving their little word-hands and screaming, "Write me! Write me!" I choose them carefully, and since I am primarily a fiction writer, most of them wear a disguise.
Knowledge.  Vulnerability.  Yearning.  Freedom. Peace.
I would say these are central themes of my thirties.  Acquiring knowledge and learning what I want.  Knowing what I want and being vulnerable enough to admit it... and telling people as needed.  Once I've admitted it and let it be known, yearning for it with every flutter of my soul and truth in my energy.  And once I have it... once I am living life as it is intended... well...
I'll be free.
...and with freedom comes peace.
I think t…

Next up...

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Thank you, thank you, thank you for all the downloads, reviews, tweets and comments in support of Dani's Belts! What started as a Halloween project turned into a short story series and I am SO very proud of how it all turned out.  For those of you who didn't read my interview with Graveyard Shift Sisters or get to the end of Black Belt, I am proud to say I am currently working on turning the series into a graphic novel!  I am so excited to bring Dani, Rob, Michelle, Coral, Tubbs and the many eaters to life. I am also excited about continuing their stories.  I will keep everyone posted on its progress.



While I am working on getting the graphic novel squared away, I will also be publishing a novella later this Spring.  It is a departure from the horror genre.  It is a nostalgic literary highlight reel of a short, obsessive relationship between a career driven young woman and a charismatic coffee shop barista.  It's told in little vignettes.  It is funny, sexy and a tad dist…

Black Belt is LIVE!

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After a few minor glitches, we are up and running! Special shout out to the Amazon team for their super fast response time.  Thumbs up for Kindle Direct Publishing! So, without further ado...
Check out Black Belt!
When you're done, please click "Write a Review" and tell me your thoughts! I'm committed to this writer business, folks, and I value every syllable of your feedback!



Thanks to all those who have been following Dani's journey! It's been so much fun. Rest assured, it is not over for Dani.  I am working hard on turning the series into a graphic novel.  I promise to fill you in on more details later!  For now... there is a pillow calling my name.  More words later.
Love and Light,
Faye

And by tomorrow, I meant....

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Tomorrow!

Sorry folks, I was a little delayed in uploading Black Belt to Kindle!  It will be up in less than 12 hours which may still actually be today but it may not (all depends on the Amazon Digital Gods).  Good news though.  Orange Belt is still FREE today, April 7 through Wednesday, April 9 AND you can still enter to win FREE copies of both White Belt and Yellow Belt by entering HERE!

If that still doesn't make up for it, watch this... it always puts me in the forgiving mood.




Love and Light,
Faye

Black Belt COMING SOON and A GIVEAWAY!

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The final installment in Dani's Belts, Black Belt is coming out tomorrow April 8!!!


In honor of it's debut, Orange Belt will be FREE April 7 through April 9! Also, you can enter to win here for FREE copies of White Belt and Yellow Belt!  http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/31a3643/" rel="nofollow">a Rafflecopter giveaway


Winner Announced Wednesday, April 9!
Good luck!

Love and Light,
Faye

A Dreamer's Pledge

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Say it with me….
A Dreamer’s Pledge by Faye McCray © Faye McCray, 2014
I will fight to protect my dreams. I will keep getting back up. I will believe in myself when no one else does. I will keep getting back up. I will swallow criticism to the extent it makes me better. I will keep getting back up. I will improve. I will keep getting back up. I will grow. I will keep getting back up. I will be everything my children believe I am. I will keep getting back up.
I will succeed to prove the people who believe in me right, not to prove insignificant people wrong. I will keep getting back up. I will be inspired by greatness, not threatened by my own infancy. I will keep getting back up. I will act with gratitude, passion and greater purpose. I will keep getting back up. I will repel negativity. I will keep getting back up. For every step forward, I will reach my hand back. I will keep getting back up I will remain humble and kind. I will keep getting back up. I will not settle. I will keep getting back up. I will be pre…

Check me out on For Harriet!

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An article I wrote, Teaching My Son to Love Himself is featured on For Harriet today. 

Check it out here.
Love and Light,
Faye

Black Belt April 8!

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Black Belt will be available April 7 8th! Yay! Stay tuned because I will be doing a giveaway later this week.  Get caught up on White Belt, Yellow Belt and Orange Belt now for only $0.99 each!


Love and Light,
Faye

Guess where I am?

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On Graveyard Shift Sisters!!!! Technically, I am not there right now... I am... was... virtually there... well, you get it... 
Check out the awesome interview here.


Love and Light,
Faye

Still

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It feels like its been awhile.  Orange Belt is out YAY! Download it here for only $0.99 :-) 

I've been deep in my cave the past few weeks, working on the Belt series and preparing upcoming projects.  Just to give you an idea of my schedule, I wake up before the sun, work, pick up the little ones from school and daycare, kiss their golden faces, cart them around to their social activities, spend time with the spouse, cook, clean, laundry, and then <3 write<3.
Anything else has kind of been like...

The past couple of weeks have caught up with me and today, I took full advantage of the spring equinox and mellowed the fuuuuuuggg oooouuut.  I work from home a few days a week so I decided to take a really long walk at lunch through my neighborhood.  I've mentioned before, I grew up in New York City, so living in the 'burbs now still elicits a kind of wary curiosity from me.  I live near woods, and creeks, and lakes and while I thoroughly enjoy the beauty, I have this fear…

Orange Belt!

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Orange Belt is coming March 17th!


Woot!

In honor of its debut, White Belt and Yellow Belt will be FREE March 15-17, 2014. 

By the way, pardon my mini-hiatus.  I am in editing-land putting the final touches on Dani's story.  I am also preparing two very special projects coming this Spring and Summer.

Stay tuned...

Love and Light,
Faye

Dates!

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I have been working hard putting the final touches on Orange Belt and Black Belt, the final two installments in Dani's story.  In the meantime,  you guys have been reading and reviewing. White Belt has an average rating of 4.6 stars on Amazon and 4.53 on Goodreads and Yellow Belt has an average rating of 5.0 on both sites.  I even received my first international review on the UK site which was pretty awesome - big wave to all my readers across the pond! Thank you so much to everyone who read and reviewed!

Special thanks to Dawn over at BookLoads and Amy at The Undercover Reviewer for adding five star reviews of White Belt and Yellow Belt to their sites. 

Orange Belt will debut March 17, 2014 and Black Belt will debut April 7, 2014!

I am so excited about it, and I hope you are too! I'm going to miss Dani, Michelle and Rob.  Is that weird?

Fortunately, my next project will be coming out in May so I am already delving into a new cast of characters.  It isn't about zombies…

Tears 4 Jordan*

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He's up from nap.
He stretches his long legs out over his blue and green sheets, snuggling his curly hair into his pillow.  He opens his big brown eyes and looks at me, a soft smile on his face, then he closes his eyes again, turning so his chubby golden cheeks nestle deep into his pillow.  He curls in a ball, drawing his knees to his chest and breathing softly.  He looks so tiny in his new big boy bed.  His three-year-old frame only making up a third of its length.  The rest crowded with his stuffed animal friends and fluffy comforter. 
Are you up, baby?
I whisper it, kneeling beside his bed and breathing in his smell.  He smells like cookies and clay.  From the morning of playtime and the snack he just had to have.  I kiss his nose and he wipes it away, sitting up slowly.  His bare feet dangling over the edge of his bed and his eyes still hanging low from sleep.  I watch as a soft yawn escapes his tiny pink lips.  I remember him as the colorless baby, swaddled and content, nestl…

Starting where you are

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It is cold here in my neck of the woods.  I have been engaging in the most socially acceptable form of human hibernation I can.  I only emerge to make an appearance at the day job, shop, pick up the kiddies or find food.  Other than that, you can find me having dance parties with my family, hiding under a blanket with the spouse, or chugging away at Orange Belt and Black Belt (sequels to White Belt and Yellow Belt).  I am also preparing a super, duper exciting project I will hopefully be able to announce soon (from inside)!

So, yesterday, I emerged from my hibernation to take my eldest son to his piano lesson.  He is six and awesome.  He plays piano by ear.  We discovered it when he was about four.  He had chord bells and he would play songs he knew without us teaching him.  We thought it was different but we were first-time parents and thought everything he did was pretty darn miraculous so we weren't sure whether it was a big deal. When he started doing it on our keyboard and t…