Ever find yourself smiling and crying at the same time? I was doing both those things this morning when I woke up. It’s because I’d been dreaming of my mom, who’s been gone now for almost thirteen years. Of course I don’t remember the dream, but I do remember her face and laughter. I also remember one of her favorite gospel songs playing, so I decided to share it this morning. The song is “It’s Gonna Rain”, and as sung by the Reverend Milton Brunson Thompson Community Choir, it always made me cry because they harmonized so beautifully and it was clear they believed passionately in the essence of what they were singing.
On another note, I found another choir singing the song and it’s like they made special effort to sound like (with the exception of accents) the Brunson Choir version — even down to the ad-libbing. I believe it’s a foreign (foreign to the U.S.) choir, and I was blown away. Your thoughts?
The title of this post is also the title of an independent film that came out a few years ago. I never saw the movie, but thought the title was amazingly perfect for how one of my male protagonists perceives how a female protagonist feels about him. The two of them are featured as characters in a novella I’m currently working on, and she is giving him (and me) fits. I’d meant for the two of them to be secondary to the main characters and to have a sweet romance, but it’s not quite going as originally planned.
She’s just not having it and he’s been trying to tell me that all along, but I wasn’t listening. This morning I couldn’t help but hear him, because his voice sounded in my head loud and clear, and he was saying the very words in the title of this post. He wasn’t angry; he was bewildered and a bit sad. And…there was the hint of tears. I totally understand, given that she’d just had him arrested and stood there smirking while the police put the cuffs on.
Characters usually talk to me (other writers understand what I’m talking about), but these two have been particularly vocal. Well he has anyway. She’s just been a bitch, an awesome one, yes, but still a bitch. She’s more a woman of action and lets what she does communicate how she feels — a roll of the eyes here, a throat punch there. You know…subtle-like. I adore her.
Anyway, after his plea this morning, I’ve decided that they’re not a match and I’m considering taking them out completely. If I do, she’ll definitely have her own story. I doubt he’ll be in it, though. She might kill him.
Some years ago I did contract PR work for a domestic violence prevention agency. It was an informative and sad experience for me. I want to share ten things I learned that everyone should know regarding domestic violence. They’re called 10 Signs. Five indicate that you’re in an abusive relationship, and five indicate that your partner has the potential for abuse. If I’ve missed some, please feel free to add. National Domestic Violence Hotline: 800.799.SAFE (7233)
Signs that you are in an abusive relationship include:
- Your partner is verbally or physically abusive
- Your partner isolates you from friends and family
- Your partner uses force during an argument
- Your partner “playfully” uses force in sex when you don’t agree with it
- Your partner imposes rigid sex roles
Signs that your partner has the potential to be a batterer include:
- Your partner has a history of battering in past relationship(s)
- Your partner threatens violence
- Your partner breaks or strikes objects
- Your partner displays extreme jealousy or has “Jekyl and Hyde” personality
- Your partner displays controlling behavior or blames others for his/her problems or feelings
Roslyn Holcomb and I recently finished a book we’d been planning for at least two years. I LOVE this book, and am quite proud of Roslyn and myself for finally completing it. In addition to it being the very first novel in an exciting series we’ve planned, it is also the second book I’ve completed this year, making it the second in my goal of five for the year (and YES, it does count, even though it was a joint effort).
I am currently working on the third, which is a novella that catches up with two of my characters from my second book, Caught Up in the Rapture. Jack and Tracy are giving me a heck of a time, but I’m enjoying getting to know them again. The book doesn’t have a title yet, but I’m hoping to have it hit virtual shelves in June.
Next up? Who here likes surprises?
Today is National Women & Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day so I thought I’d take a few minutes and share a few facts. Did you know that:
- Every 47 minutes a woman in the United States tests positive for HIV
- One in 139 women will be diagnosed with HIV in her lifetime
- In 2010, women and girls made up two-thirds of the people who got the disease by having heterosexual sex, with African-American women and girls continuing to be disproportionately affected
How can you help in at least slowing down the rates? Educate others. Tell them that:
- Abstinence from sex or being in a long-term mutually monogamous relationship with a partner who has been tested and she knows is uninfected is the best way to avoid transmission of the disease.
- Correct and consistent use of the male latex condom can reduce the risk of transmission, BUT no protective method is 100% effective and no condom use can guarantee absolute protection against any STD. The more sex partners a person has, the more she (or he) is at risk of getting HIV or other STDs.
- Condoms used with a lubricant are less likely to break, however, condoms with the spermicide nonoxynol-9 are not recommended for HIV/AIDS prevention.
- Many people have been infected with HIV through the shared use of needles or syringes used to inject drugs, steroids, vitamins or for tattooing and body piercing.
- Transmission of the HIV virus or any other STD can occur with a single act of intercourse.
- Get tested!
Centers for Disease Control
Rock the Red Pump
This morning I woke up with Paris on my mind. I don’t know how long I dreamed about “The City of Light” during the night, but I do know that when I woke up images from the great city were vivid and fresh in my mind. I visited Paris by myself years ago and I have to say it was the best vacation I’ve ever had.
I believe firmly that one of the reasons (besides the delicious cuisine, awesome architecture and rich history) that particular trip still holds first place amongst my vacations is because I was by myself. As someone who’s pretty much a loner, for me there was nothing like planning a schedule without having to worry about accommodating the desires of other people. Don’t get me wrong: traveling with others has and will be, I’m sure, a wonderful experience for me. However, I did so LOVE checking out Paris by myself.
Of course many people travel alone all the time. I love the idea because I can be really selfish with my time. I can’t wait to go off again, and I’ll bet London is lovely in summer…
Photo courtesy of the Brooklyn Museum’s Flickr Stream
So, didn’t watch the Oscars last night and while flipping through my cable-less television channels trying to find something else to watch, I started thinking about Sunday nights in the Riley household when I was growing up. First after a day of actually playing outside or reading, we’d sit down to a huge dinner, one which my mother and sometimes a couple of my sisters (never me) spent almost the entire day making — after gospel music and religion, of course. After dinner and some gastronomically sinful dessert, my sisters, brother and I were encouraged to get our clothes ready for the week, not just the next day, but the entire week. Some of us were quite accomplished in doing this — again, never me.
After all that, we’d gather to watch 60 Minutes, a news show my mother tried never to miss. We’d all sit and watch it with her initially, I think, just because she was there. For many of us, she was like a magnet and if she left one room for another, one after the other, we’d follow her until we were all “up under” her eventually. I’m sure that must have been annoying for her — never having more than twenty minutes to herself. However, eventually, I actually did find the show quite interesting, and probably would have watched it without my mom back then. I certainly did when I went off to college and as an adult on my own.
We also watched Murder, She Wrote on Sunday nights. And as much as that comma bothered me, I never missed an episode. My mother loved the show and while we watched, it was one of the few time during the week where there was absolute quiet in a house with eight children. I remember sitting next to Mom and leaning on her with bated breath as Jessica solved the mystery. They were ridiculously simple, of course, but we loved them. I still watch the show on Netflix streaming, particularly when I feel the need to veg and just want to relax. The show is very comforting and brings back fond, hazy memories of my mom. She was so cool.
What are some of your Sunday memories from childhood?