Category Archives: book club

My Promised Summer of Reading

I love to read. Period. I didn’t get to do a lot of that this past year. I was a rookie English Literature teacher, I was preparing graduate school packages and doing more drafts on my latest novel. This summer it was all about reading, drafting (writing) and getting out of the city (beaches).

My favorite 3 that I read this summer:
Alice Walker -Anyone who knows me knows that I love prose and I love folklore. The prose in this book is magical! I found her POV writing to be confusing at times but it served its purpose for the storytelling. But the prose writing made me fall back in LOVE (again) with the magic of words.

Jamaica Kincaid – I can always count on her to teach me more technique on first person fiction writing. She is a genius with sentence temperature! Your typical story has structure for plot movement. She can twist plot in every sentence to keep you hanging on! But the genius part is, she’s writing just as we think. Constant growth/contradiction. Magic of words!

Mary Monroe – This was my second Mary Monroe book that I’ve read. The first one I read years ago and I suppose with life piled on top I forgot about her. NO MORE! This was my favorite book of the summer! I haven’t fallen in love and cared about characters as much as I did in this book in a long time! Magic of words!

My mentor/guide advised that I “find” time to read more. (We’ll see, with my upcoming schedule of teaching and school.) I told her about the books I read and why I chose these three as my top. Her reply was something to the tune of, ‘Because those books asked you something of yourself. They found you. Just as your readers will find your books, so take your time with your writing.

**NOTE: These are not new releases. Alice and Jamaica are two of my favorites and Mary Monroe’s book was published in 1995 (I believe).  Other books I read this summer were:

Half of a Yellow Sun by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Liliane by Ntozake Shange

Diablerie by Walter Mosley

Advertisements

Re-Membering Katrina, “When Chris Met Katrina”- a short story

The boat whistled its’ way through the waters and soon the screams of the women faded. The air was now filled with the constant yells of families sitting on roofs screaming for help.  They approached Memorial Medical Center and Chris decided to seek refuge there.  As he got closer, he could see through the lobby window hundreds of people camped inside.  Every seat was occupied and people were sprawled out on the floor with blankets.  Police were patrolling the doors.  Chris knocked but the policemen just stood and shook their heads in the negative.  Chris trudged through the water to the other side of the hospital and policemen were standing heavy guard at those doors too.  He knew besides the sore bones and loose teeth, he had no serious injury and they were not going to let him in.

Chris double tied his bag of food and treaded through the water on his tippy toes.  He began to reminisce on the summers growing up in New Orleans.  His father worked as a mechanic in a neighborhood shop and in the summer Chris would help out by washing the cars once he was done.  Afterwards, instead of joining his cousins down at the local swimming pool, he hung out with the neighborhood knuckle heads and smoked weed.  Or they convinced one of the older drunks to buy them liquor.  He was all of nine years old.  With the water slapping up against his chest and occasionally splashing in his face, he wished he had taken those swimming lessons instead.

A few blocks from the hospital, Chris found himself pacing in the water side by side with a dog.  The dog was a dark brown cocker spaniel probably looking for a dry place to rest his feet.  From atop, the dog seemed to be relaxed.  But he knew underneath he was probably  paddling his legs wild as the devil!  Chris remembered how easy it was to tread the dog paddle when he was younger so he picked his feet up to give it a try.  He quickly dipped in the thick, murky waters and emerged panicked.  He struggled to get his stance stable but soon regained his pace and continued down the street with the other stranded people.

A little ways down, Chris spotted the small boat and whistled to get their attention.  They acknowledged him by waving.  Other people began to whistle and try and make their way to the boat too so Chris picked up his pace.  The eyes of the dog swimming nearby were showing signs of exhaustion.  There was no telling how long the dog had been in the water.  The dog let out a bark, then went under the water.  Within seconds, his head reappeared and he began to bark in desperation.  Chris was mindful to stay as far away from the dog as possible to avoid being bitten.  The small boat reeved it’s engine as they waited for him.  The dog’s bark now became aggressive as he continued to swim towards Chris.  The men on the boat splashed water towards the dog to slow him down and distract  his concentration on swimming.

“Come on man!  Dat dog look mad or summin’!,” one of the men said.

Chris turned his head to witness the dog go under again.  He started to run on his tip toes because he knew he would get sprayed with the dirty water when the dog came back up.  He reached the boat and threw his bag of food aboard.  He could feel the water spray on the back of his neck as the dog shook its’ head.  The men reached down and pulled Chris on the boat.

“They wasn’t lettin’ nobody in down at the hospital huh?,” Gunner asked.

“Naw,” Chris simply replied.

The boat pulled away and the dog continued to swim behind it.  His eyes were bulging as he barked pleas of help.  There was nothing in sight for the dog to take refuge on.  The dog’s shiny, brown coat disappeared under the water a third time, not to emerge again.

a snippet from the short story book, Mississippi Window Cracks.

Purchase your copy today

Mississippi Window Crack

The comedic ebook to add to your collection!

Here’s more advice from Grace on customers with declined cards this holiday weekend of shopping.  And don’t forget to download the comedic ebook, “Grace in Retail” for FREE this weekend ONLY.

Here’s one more thing to get this Black Friday shopping weekend!

Enjoying all the black friday shopping deals?  Well don’t forget about this one… download “Grace in Retail” for FREE this weekend only!  Now here is Grace with some interviewing advice…

An Incredible Launch Day!

Grace in Retail – The Bonus, had an INCREDIBLE debut yesterday landing #12 with Amazon Kindle short reads in Humor & Entertainment!  Thank you a million times for the support!

To support myself financially throughout the years while working on my artistic endeavors, I have worked as a store manager in retail.  Working with the public garners some very interesting stories!  And being a store manager, in charge of taking care of a team and customers can be a very taxing job.  Like any job, it can be rewarding and on other days have you wondering, “why/how did you get in to this?!”

I wanted to create this project as an ebook series instead of a paperback. I will release it according to four major parts of a retailers life, (1) getting a bonus (2) getting corporate/regional visits (3) black friday (4) holiday shopping.  I had fun remembering the characters and stories and I hope you enjoy reading them.

Get your copy for only $3.99 today!

bookcover

 

RELEASE DATE! Today for Grace in Retail

Today is the official release date for the first part of my comedic ebook series, Grace in Retail.  Enjoy a snippet of the book here:

“Today started like any other day.  My usual routine of sitting in the parking lot of my job praying that God moves my feet to go inside.  Another day another dollar, right?  Well actually not today.  Today is the day I find out if whether or not I will get the bonus check I so well deserve.  And I say deserve because I was tricked into taking this damn job!  I was told it was easy to move up in this company so I took a serious pay cut in hopes of moving to district level within six months.  But once I got in, I saw it was store managers that had been with the company so damn long they were part dinosaur!  I messed up… that’s all I can say, I messed up big time coming to Deal World.

It’s the end of 4th quarter, and I’ve survived another crazy, hectic holiday in retail.  I outperformed my colleagues in overall sales, comp sales and conversion.  I’ve been a store manager with this company for nine months so I’m the newbie coming in winning product prize incentives and scoring above company average on various store business audits.  My performance definitely sent a message to everyone that even though I am new to this company, I am not new to retail.  I’ve been in retail management for over eight years so I know what I’m doing here.  The number rule to this retail game is building a strong team.  A team that trusts you as their leader and is committed to perform as they see you demonstrate.  That is exactly what I’ve been able to do in the short time I’ve been here.  But if I don’t get that bonus they will see a different me today. I deserve this bonus.  I need this bonus to add to the financial cushion I’ll need when I resign from this place.  You know, have a little extra money in the savings to take my time with finding another job.  I better get this bonus. Continue reading RELEASE DATE! Today for Grace in Retail

Article: 40 Words of Wisdom Every Parent Needs to Give Their Child

40 Words of Wisdom Every Parent Needs to Give Their Child

http://flip.it/rIHxlt