Saturday, September 7, 2019

Matthew 17:20 New International Version (NIV)

20 He replied, “Because you have so little faith. Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.”

Hi everyone, I started this blog the Forth of July.  I didn't finish it because I got called outside for some reason or another and it was forgotten about.  Between working a full-time job, home, finding time to write and finding time to go to the gym I often get discouraged.  It would be so easy for me to quit, to give up, and then I'm reminded of the verse.  

On the Fourth of July, I pondered on the founding fathers; the authors of the United States of America Constitution. To believe in something greater than their own self and to create something that still exists today is magnificent.
There is no doubt in my mind, they had the faith of a mustard seed. 


Anytime one steps out on new territory is a frightening concept.  Yet, many have stepped out on faith to start a new business, changed careers, go back to college after the kids start school or when their kids are out of the nest.  And some decide to follow their dream.  Sometimes, I believe having a grain of faith the size of a mustard seed, keeps the drive alive inside us.  Waking in the wee hours of the morning to jot down a scene idea on a current work-in-progress manuscript, getting a jump start on our day, when we have so much to do we feel dizzy and to enjoy a cup of coffee while we meditate on God's word is all fueled on faith.  Faith that one day, all the pieces of the puzzle will fall into place for our dream to become a reality. 


Anything worth pursuing is never easy, in fact, it is a never-ending, frustrating, non-stop, get-in-your face turn of events.  There will be roadblocks, you will discover your adversaries, and not to mention financial dilemmas.  With faith also comes trust.  Trusting in the Lord and yourself.  Yes, yourself.  No matter what, 'Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.  In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct they paths. Proverbs 3: 5-6

When things go wrong, not according to plan, the key, I've discovered is to stay calm.  You can't think clearly if you're fuming and angry.  For example, mid-July I attended a writer's conference in Crystal City, VA.  On the drive home, somewhere around Fredericksburg, VA, traffic came to a halt.  For forty-five minutes I crept along I-95 S at a crawl.  Instead of getting upset, (I wanted to get home before dusk), I pulled out my notepad and made notes for the current manuscript I'm working on.  Will I use them?  Probably, probably not.  However, what's important is I stayed calm and focused on thoughts and ideas for my characters instead of the six lanes of bogged traffic at a standstill.  And yes, I did arrive home right before dusk.   

Here are some photo's I hope you enjoy!

Field of Flags - U.S. Army Airborne & Special Operations Museum, Fayetteville, NC

The Angel Oak Tree - This summer I finally got to visit the Angel Oak Tree.  It's even more spectacular in person!

Arlington National Cemetary ~ John F. Kennedy & Jacqueline Kennedy's Grave.  As I ascended the steps to their grave I had chill across my shoulders.

 Changing of the guard at the Unknown Solider's Tomb.  Words can't describe the emotion as I watched the changing of the guards.  The smooth, and precise movements was an honor to witness.

Arlington National Cemetary ~ Riding the tour bus, my thoughts were with the families of the loved one's buried here.  The sacrifice, these men women gave to keep us free in the US brought tears to my eyes. 

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Hello Friends,

I've written a short story I would like to share with you.  The idea came to me one warm, sunny afternoon in a coffee shop during my lunch break while I enjoyed a nice cup of ice coffee.  I do love ice coffee, even in the winter time.  I hope you enjoy and please, feel free to drop me a line a let me know if you enjoyed it or not.
Thanks for reading my blog!


            “Hi, Granny.”  Melinda Jacobs called out when she opened her car door with all the energy she could muster.  It was only Wednesday and she were already tired to the bone from working long hours at a demanding job.  The more long hours she worked the further behind she became in her house chores and her pursuing her love of writing.  “I apologize I wasn’t able to come by Sunday.  I had to work.”
            “Hey Puddin.”  Melinda’s seventy-eight-year-old grandmother answered coming towards her.  “I hate you missed it.  I cooked your favorite and a pecan pie too.”
            Granny called all her grandchildren Puddin’.  It were a custom in her culture all grandkids had nicknames with no indication of their favorite food, drink, sports or etcetera.  The tradition is suspected to have begun before the Civil War to prevent the Confederate Soldiers from drafting young boys to work on the fort down on the coast.  The county census held the child’s birth name.  The prevention of revealing who the boys really were remained in only the use of their nicknames. 
            “Did you save me a slice?”  Melinda stooped down gave her grandmother a hung.
            “Honey chil’ you know I did.  I baked two pies.”  Granny smiled and winked.  “I hid one in the pie safe when your mother said you couldn’t come.”  Granny turned to walk back to her flower garden of roses.
            “Thank you, Granny.”  Melinda wrapped her arm around her Grandmother’s shoulder, taking slow steps as they walked together.  “Your roses are looking great this year Granny.  Have you done anything special to them?”
            “No.  Not really.  Just some loving care here and there.”  Granny leaned down to smell a perfect bold, red bloom of a rose called, Hoochie Coochie.  “Tell me about your new job, Puddin?”
            “Not much to tell Granny. It’s corporate America.  I work when they say work or I don’t have a job.”  Melinda hunched her shoulders.  “The pay and benefits are good, however, the hours are not.”
            “That’s not good.  What about the Lord’s day?” Granny moved to the next rose bush and began to inspect the leaves and the blooms.
            “Work doesn’t begin on Sunday’s until 4 pm.  That’s why I didn’t come Sunday.  I would have been late for work if I had driven here and tried to drive back.”
            Granny nodded her head.  “I understand Puddin.  There have been many times in my life were I’ve questioned why things were done the way they were.”  Granny reached inside her handmade apron, retrieved a pair of tiny scissors and cut a closed bud of a pink rose.  With wrinkled, knotted fingers from years of hard manual labor, she cut the thorns from the flower stem.  “I know times have changed for you young folks Puddin.  I know its harder now than ever to make ends meet.  Always remember one thing is for sure.  There is a time and place for all things. To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven, #Ecclesiastes 3:1.   Don’t ever forget the Lord God, the Sabbath and always keep His day holy.  You may have to work on the Lord’s Day.  That doesn’t mean you can’t still get down on your knees and thank God for what you do have.” 
Granny motioned for Melinda to come closer to her.  Granny reached up and placed the rose behind her ear.  “Now, that’s a fine rose for my fine looking granddaughter.”  Granny turned toward the back door of her humble home.  “Come on Puddin’.  You look pale underneath your eyes.  I bet you haven’t had a decent mouthful to eat since you started working.”  Granny stopped and turned back to Melinda.  “Come on now, times a wasting.” 
            “Coming, Granny.”  Melinda forced her tired limbs to move.  Granny was right.  No matter what, she would continue to praise God.  For it was God who woke her every morning, gave her a job to go to, kept a roof over her head, shoes on her feet, clothes on her back and food on her table. If not for God, she didn’t know where she would be.  

Tuesday, January 1, 2019


#HappyNewYear from me to you!  Where has the year gone?  One day I was taking photos for my Memorial Day post and the next thing I know it's #2019! 

I am compelled to explain my absence from my blog and all my social media in the past seven months.  For the ones who have read my first book, 'A Sister's Love', the main character Flo moves to New York City to take care of her niece and nephew.  While there, she takes interest in the well-being of a teenage boy, Daniel.  This past summer, I got the opportunity to experience opening my home and my heart to a teenager and an infant.  Talk about a major life change!  Although, my youngest son is 19 the mother instinct kicked right in gear whenever the little one woke in the middle of the night.  I never grumbled when I woke to fetch a bottle, changed a diaper, nor rocked the baby and myself back to sleep at 2 am.  My attitude has been I'm blessed to have had the opportunity God has given me.  Too often we get caught up in being inconvenienced, we overlook the opportunity that God is preparing us for a blessing. 

Although there were times, I chastised myself for not finding the time to write and/or blog, I now understand God had a bigger plan that included life lessons for me.  The past couple of years, I have been so consumed with studying the craft of writing and trying to learn what potential literary agents would be interested in reading in my manuscripts, I lost focus on what was more important: my love for writing and telling my stories.  So what if I don't properly introduce the hero and heroine on the first page?  What's the big deal about showing instead of telling and so what if my characters don't have a concise goal-motivated-conflict?  The way I write (my voice) is totally different from all other authors and rightly it should be.  My focus for the upcoming year is to complete to manuscripts I've been working on and to continue to ask God for guidance in all that I do.  He hasn't failed me yet. 

In spite of my once routine life getting all shook up, I had the opportunity to speak with a lady from my hometown, Becky Barfield who sings in a gospel group, FOREVER CHANGED.  Based out of Lexington, SC, the members of Forever Changed are from Lexington, SC; Woodruff, SC, and as far away as Pigeon Forge, TN.

Sharing God's love through music, Becky told me about visiting a church and after the singing, a man walked up and introduced himself, 'my name is Jimmy'.  Becky described how the wife broke down in tears.  Jimmy had dementia and he hadn't known his name in a very, long time.

On other instances, Becky recounted how visitors would introduce themselves after the singing and express how they felt close to their loved ones who had passed.

As I drove home from my church the last time Forever Changed visited, I reflected on the message I received from their song worship and I were reminded of this Bible verse: 
          1 Corinthians 2:12 Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of                                           God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God. 

Until next time, I wish everyone a blessed Happy New Year and a wonderful week! 


Monday, May 28, 2018


    Today we observe #Memorial#Day.  For some, today is recognized as a #Federal holiday; a day off from work with pay.  Others associate today as a time to prepare their pools for the summer, time to plan their summer vacation to the beach, time to get their boats and fishing gear ready and time to fire up the grills.  
     For many others, today will be a day for them to grieve, to hang on to the good memories they still have and mourn the loss of their loved ones who served in the US Military.  

     Umbrella in hand and my camera, I visited a local cemetery near my home where my ancestors are buried.  I walked amongst the tombstones in the misting rain with mixed emotions of sadness, gratitude, and admiration.  

    As I walked along the graveyard searching for the tombstones with small flags saturated from the rain I wondered what the soldiers' lives were like growing up.  Were they from a large farming family or were any of them orphaned?   Did they get to finish high school?  Did they leave a sweetheart behind?  So many unanswered questions and a part of history we will not ever know. 

     Visiting the graves of the soldiers, I just didn't take a photo and rush on.  I patiently took my time and lingered for a few moments.  Some more than others because I had to clean off the nameplates on the ground.  (Trees and mother nature hasn't been kind to some).  I took time to read their name, read their birthdates, death dates and then I 'Thanked them' (by name) for their service, for their belief in our nation, for their courage, for their strength to leave their families behind to serve their country, for their integrity, for their never-ending bravery, and for their sacrifice to keep us free.  

     I wondered what it was like for these young men to go away from home to a new a strange environment.  Did their parents approve?  Or how many didn't have a father, just a mother, and siblings?  It had to have been very difficult and I'm sure the color of their skin and their deep, old-Oxford-Dutch dialogue caused them to be center of attention when they first arrived for basic training.  (If you're wondering - the soldiers are all Native American from the Lumbee (North Carolina Tribe.) 

Today, I took time from my way overdue chores, from my manuscript to visit and pay my respects to my ancestors at the family cemetery on Memorial Day.  This is something I used to do with my grandparents when I was a child.  They didn't wait until Memorial Day or any other special holiday, they went when the notion struck.  As I remember, it was at least once a month.  
     This last photo is of my maternal uncle's grave.  I visited his grave last.  I stood on the small brick retaining wall surrounding the family plot and thanked my Uncle for his service to our country.  
     As I drove home, I wondered how many others would visit the graves of our soldiers today?   


Sunday, May 6, 2018

Faith to chase Your dream

For we walk by faith, not by sight 2 Corinthians 5:7

Do you have enough of faith to chase after your dream?  That's a tough question to answer, especially today in a world that thrives and functions on competitiveness.  
 Growing up, I was interested in writing but didn't know how to pursue it.  I remember asking my 12th grade English teacher about pursuing a writing career.  
"You need to attend a college with a good English department," was her only response. I didn't have a clue on how to determine which colleges had good English departments or not.  I spoke with my guidance counselor and expressed my desire to attend a college with a good English department because I wanted to be a writer.  "Pick something else," she shook her head at me sitting in her office.  "You'll starve to death."  I remember how angry I became slamming the door behind me as I stormed out of her office.    
A few years after high school life responsibilities took over and my dreams were put on the back burner.  
For twenty years, my desire to write not once faded nor dwindled.  It became stronger.  While writing my first book, 'A Sister's Love', I accepted it would be my only book and my life as I knew it would return to normal: work, home, church on Sundays, repeat.  But it didn't. I had no warning another book idea would develop from driving down highway US 1 near Sanford, NC after seeing a small log cabin nestled in the trees facing a small man-made lake.  Or on a hot, muggy July morning watching a man walk down I-95 carrying a huge backpack with a small American flag displayed on it.  
Every time my mind reverts to the negative excuses and reasons why I shouldn't write or I'm not a good writer I'm reminded why I love to write.  It's not about gaining fame or money.  I have a deep desire to share my stories with great hope they will someday inspire others to follow their dreams.  
So, what about you?  Do you have faith to pursue your dream?  The first step is acknowledging your dream.  Easy, right?  The second step is to write a plan of action to achieve your dream.  Even if baby steps, it's a walk on faith in the right direction towards your dream. 

Friday, February 2, 2018

Wal-Mart Joins e-Publishing Ballgame?

Just when I thought I had figured out which e-publishing platform I was going to use once I completed my manuscript the publishing industry has changed yet once again.  

My research of e-publishers resulted in the five largest retailers: Amazon, Apple iBooks, Nook Press, Google Play and Kobo. At the time, Kindle by Amazon ranking highest on my list of e-publishing requirements.  After the newest announcement, its back to the drawing board for me.

#Walmart has partnered with Kobo to sell e-readers, e-books and audio books that will be available at its 4,000 stores later this year. According to #Publishers Weekly, Kobo marketplace 'holds nearly six million titles from thousands of publishers and hundreds of thousands of authors.'

The thought of my book ever getting read according to Kobo's title list is very daunting.  Walmart has changed and dominated the retail industry for the past several years.  With e-commerce slowly on the rise, the million dollar question is who will attempt to conquer it now?  Will it be Wal-mart who teamed up with #Google and now Kobo or will it be Amazon?  

I'm wondering if this new partnership between Wal-mart, Google Play and now Kobo are going to tip the scales in not only e-publishing options but most importantly if it will affect the prices of author's books? Most e-books range from $.99 to $3.99 per download.  That's considerably a fair price to download a book in the comfort of your home to enjoy on a cold, wintry day.  The dishearten part; I receive newsletters on a regular basis from many authors who are giving away their books for free just to gain readership.  I'm wondering if that concept is working?  

In the upcoming months as after I finish writing my manuscript and get it edited, I have a sneaking feeling my decision to e-publish will be between Kobo and Kindle Direct Publishing.  

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Happy New Year everone!  For us here in #North#Carolina, the New Year came in with a #bang.  In all my years I have not ever known it to be this cold for this long.  It's been three weeks and counting the weather tempatures have not been above 36 degrees in the day, not counting the windfactor.  At night it's been in the teens.  For North Carolina, that's #cold, cold, cold.

As I sit in my livingroom bundled up and type this it's snowing. Yes folks, we are getting #snow.  Everytime we get snow in my small town, the hardware stores, gas stations and grocery stores are swarmed.  Milk, bread, eggs and always on the top of the list.  

Speaking of list, did you make a New Year's resolution or any goals for the upcoming year?  I did.  In fact, I have 19 so far.  That is alot, but the last quarter of 2016 and 2017 has been an eye opener for me.  You see, I had been so focused on writing, creating and builing my brand, building a platform, developing my social media that I worked myself up into a frenzy and forgot about why I started writing in the begining.  I started writing becasue I have stories I want to tell the world. Stories that my Grandmother told me, stories that my parents told me about them growing up and most importantly I want to inspire others to chase thier dreams. As an author I strive to give my readers suspensful love story and a glimpse of hope in thier own life.  

Matthew 17:20   New International Version (NIV) 20  He replied,  “Because you have so little faith. Truly I tell you, if you have faith  ...