Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Here is a piece I wrote for class this week in honor of a close family member's upcoming wedding. Enjoy and... you know, be kind and what not....

To Baby Girl (on day one of your marriage and year twelve of mine),

It’s hard to know what to say.  Advice is such a personal gift to give, and I don’t really know if mine will fit you.  I know you, of course.  Since you had uneven pigtails in your hair and zig-zag parts. Before that, when your mom brought you home and your skin was red and wrinkly and I thought you were my new doll. Remember when you told us you were an actress at 5? We all gathered around the television to watch you in your first department store commercial.  You were the cutest little brown thing with a swirls of ebony curls. You were supposed to be pretending to wait for Santa to come down the chimney.  You leaned forward into the fireplace to look inside and said, “He’s too fat” and your Grandma hooted and hollered like you’d win an Oscar for that one line.  We must have rewound it 1000 times until the VHS tape broke.  I knew then – you’d make a space in the world and you’d expect everything around you to fall in place. 

When he told your grandma he was going to ask to marry you, I already knew you’d say yes. I suppose he did too.  When you called to tell me, it wasn’t to gush, it was to tell me what would come next.  There would be a house and babies and jobs in the city.  When we got off the phone, I laughed, baby girl. I was excited for the future you’d live and I prayed you’d have the patience to live it.

I was so different from you. I hadn’t really thought about marriage or seen myself as someone’s wife. I was always my own and planned to stay that way. I was a baby when I came down with loving him. Just barely 22. On our first date, he played me a song he liked and held me to him as we moved in my studio apartment.  He let me unload my dreams, and I, his fears and we cried until we felt better and we laughed until it hurt. We’d lay naked with our long limbs dangling off my full size bed and dreamt out loud a future that felt like promises.  We’d make love everyday, we’d have perfect babies, and live in one of those houses off Connecticut Avenue with the wrap around porches and impossibly large trees.  He’d be better than his father and I’d believe him in spite of mine, and we’d never settle for anything less than that feeling.  R&B songs in the dark and salty popcorn kisses on my Ikea couch.  I remember feeling free in his space.  My funny boy from North Carolina.  Do you feel that way too? We skipped down the isle less than three years later two months before we took the bar. Jumping in grown up clothes and excited about the future we’d create. We gazed at our rings in the dark on our honeymoon. We watched the gold shine and dull in the moonlight and bounce in the ocean outside our hotel window. Forever, we whispered. Forever, and ever, and ever.

But big spaces tend to get small when you keep growing.  And baby girl, you have to know, you will keep growing.  Even if you chose to ignore it for awhile, if he loves, he will call you on it and you will do the same and those expectations will fly like razors around you.  They will cut you and you will bleed and you will blame him and it will be his fault. It’s hard to hold on with that kind carnage. But one of you will have to reach out and the other one will have to reach back, even if just to touch fingertips and take deep breaths with therapists in Virginia and say things like, “I feel…” with therapists in New York and write ridiculous letters to each other when you’re angry that start, “I felt sad when you let your mother criticize my chicken…”

Because despite what they say, although marriage is tough, life, baby girl, is tougher.  And although my story is my own, I know this to be true.

Sometimes the future doesn’t go as you promised yourself.  Sometimes you don’t become the first black woman Supreme Court Judge and he doesn’t become the first black Warren Buffet.  Sometimes the perfect babies grow ill, and so does he and so do you.  And he sees you without your extensions and your lashes and kisses your tear-stained face and inhales your vomit breath and tells you he loves you and gently reminds you to take a shower.   Sometimes you lose the perfect baby growing in your belly.  Sometimes you will need you to hold him in the dark after he buries his father. And sometimes you will need him to do the same when you cry tears for your own.  And then…

On those days, you will need the sanctuary you once created.  Before the planning began and the dreams that felt like promises. When you kissed him that first time, and his lips tasted like chap stick and his breath smelled like breath mints and you knew he had prepared. When you curled up together for the first time on your full size bed.  When the air was thin and your burdens floated because they had yet to grow heavy enough to fall. When you held hands and your rings shined and dulled in the moonlight.  R&B songs in the dark and salty popcorn kisses on your couch.

Love and Light, 

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, 
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