Wednesday, February 10, 2021

Working on New Projects

I've been working on a few projects. Two of them are novels of the fantasy persuasion, and they are parts of a series. So far, there are two books in the series. I’m thinking that there may be a novella and maybe a third full-length novel, but only time will tell. I think I may have mentioned the first novel in an earlier post, but its working title is Water’s Memory. The second novel, that I’m about three chapters, or so, from finishing, has a working title of Magic’s Memory. It is clear I have a few irons in the fire, but that is not the point of this post. It feels like the world and characters I created for Water’s Memory and Magic’s Memory have become organic and alive. Some of my characters, mainly the parents and grandparents of Selah, the principal character, want me to tell a few of their backstories. So, in response, I started writing vignettes. I had to figure out why Selah could not really control her elemental powers in Water’s Memory, and it came to me one night, her grandmother, Elaine. I’m going to post a snippet of the story “Magic Bound” that came out of that night. Enjoy and let me know what you think. Until next time, hold it in the road.

 

Magic Bound

 

            Jason carefully plucked his baby daughter from her crib. The child had been crying for about ten minutes. Usually, when he held her, Selah calmed down and would coo and eventually fall asleep. This night, he couldn’t comfort his baby girl.

            “Hey Sweetie, what’s wrong?” He whispered. “Daddy’s here, so you can relax. Don’t cry. I’m here.” He bounced her gently as he paced the room, then sat slowly in a rocking chair near the crib. Jason began rocking in the chair. As he held his daughter, Jason teased the baby’s lips with the pacifier until she eventually latched on and sucked. The young father watched the baby. She reached for his cheek and briefly touched it. Her cerulean eyes sparkled as she smiled behind the pacifier, and she let out a contented little gurgle.

            A grin curved Jason’s lips. The baby closed her eyes in sleep. Jason followed his daughter’s lead and settled down to a relaxing, brief nap. He would put Selah back in her crib once he was sure she was asleep.

            Baby Selah’s scream startled Jason awake. Ondine rushed into the nursery. She approached her husband, who now wore a worried frown. “The baby has a fever. She was fine when I sat down with her.”

            Ondine nodded and pinned her long braid into a bun. “Let me have Selah.”

            Jason carefully handed the baby over to her mother. “Jason, she’s so hot.”

            Selah continued crying, coughing, and struggling for breath. Ondine gently bounced the infant in her arms. She undressed the baby, so she only wore a diaper. The night was cool, but it didn’t seem to offer any comfort. Ondine stopped her trek around the nursery and stared at Jason in worry. “She’s getting hotter. What do we do?”

            Asa entered the nursery. The older man rubbed his eyes and put on his glasses. “Maybe she’s teething?” He asked.

            “She’s too young, Asa,” Jason said.

            “Perhaps it’s colic. I read that babies her age can be prone to it.”

            Selah’s crying stammered, and she screamed again. When she did, rain harshly pelted the windows. An emergency bulletin sounded on the television in the den. A news anchor appeared on the screen. “We interrupt your regularly scheduled program to announce that a dangerous line of thunderstorms is coming into the area. If you haven’t yet, please find a safe place in your home, an interior room away from windows as there is the potential for tornadic activity. Our meteorologists will continue to update you on this surprising and dangerous weather phenomenon.”

            Asa sighed in disbelief. “This isn’t possible. At least it shouldn’t be possible.”

            Selah cried out again, and the bulb in a lamp exploded. Ondine tried coaxing the baby to take her pacifier, but she refused to be soothed.

            “Ondine,” Asa whispered. “It’s Selah.”

            “What? Asa, what are you saying?” Ondine asked as she continued to pace the room with Selah.

            Asa sat heavily in the rocking chair. “The baby is affecting the weather. She’s sick, and it’s showing in the weather outside.” As Asa said that, a peel of lightning illuminated outside the window. “I don’t know what to do. Sarah and I didn’t have children. I can’t help the baby. If she doesn’t stop this, the Synod is going to get alerted. This activity will attract the seer, and they will send the hunters.”

            “They wouldn’t kill an innocent baby, would they?” Jason asked.

            “They will do what they must do to protect the enchanted from mundane humans, even if it means killing the younger enchanted who haven’t mastered their powers. Your marriage to Ondine, Jason, was discouraged, but Lavinia allowed it anyway.”

            “I’m not letting anyone hurt my daughter,” Jason said. Silver lined around his mahogany irises.

            “Jason, calm down. Call Elaine. She and the coven will know what to do.”

            The silver outline of his irises dimmed in Jason’s eyes. “Mama? Right! She will know how to help.” Jason took out his cell phone and quickly dialed his mother.

            A crack of thunder shook the windowpane when Elaine answered.

            “Mama,” Jason said.

            “What’s wrong, Jason? Did something happen?”

            “Mama, Selah’s sick, and we don’t know what to do. She, her magic, is affecting the weather. We don’t know how to help her.”

            “I can hear her. She’s hurting.”

            “We can’t comfort her, and she has a fever.”

            “Strip her down.”

            “Ondine did that. The baby is so hot.”

            “Get some cool, wet towels for her. Have Ondine sit with Selah and put me on speaker phone.”

            Jason did as his mother ordered. He directed Ondine to sit in the rocking chair and she slowly rocked with the crying baby in her arms. Asa assisted Jason in getting the towels.

            Elaine’s voice was an octave higher than the baby’s crying. “We’re coming tomorrow.”

Tuesday, February 2, 2021

Remembrance

Remembrance



I received the news of Ms. Cicely Tyson’s death several days ago. I’ve been mulling it over whether or not to post this entry, so I will. This is my memory of this great woman. I remember Ms. Tyson from a speaking event that was hosted at Jefferson Davis Community College in Brewton, AL. That college is now a branch of Coastal Alabama Community College. I was in high school at the time and was able to attend. Anyways, Ms. Tyson was the first celebrity that I’d seen up close and personal. The day was a bit humdrum, and I was getting a little bored, and then Ms. Tyson took the stage. She was so dynamic and commanded the audience’s attention with a scene reenacting the first day of a school was being integrated and the young black girl was being heckled by a crowd as she walked to school. That scene was the teaser, and an awesome one it was. The rest of Ms. Tyson’s talk with us teens was inspiring.  As the young folks say, she was fire! Even though the minute details of that day at Jefferson Davis are a bit fuzzy now, I remember how Ms. Tyson inspired and motivated me. I’m glad that I attended that event.

I had only known her for her role as Ms. Jane Pittman, but I got the opportunity to see her range and depth as an actress. She inhabited her characters and made them her own. The last role I recall seeing Ms. Tyson in was as the maid Constantine in The Help, and her character moved me. I watched some of her last interview with Gayle King during CBS This Morning and parts of another interview that aired on another network. It is interesting because I watched a program on PBS a while ago, a biography of Maya Angelou, and Ms. Tyson was interviewed and was a friend of Ms. Angelou, and she discussed how great Ms. Angelou was. Ms. Tyson moved in the circles of greatness because she was great as well. I was glad to hear that she’d published her memoir, Just as I Am. During the last part of the interview, Ms. King asked Ms. Tyson how she wanted to be remembered, and Ms. Tyson remarked, “That I did my best.” My Big Mama always said, “When you do your best, you don’t have to worry about the rest.” Ms. Tyson definitely did that and then some. Rest in eternity, Ms. Tyson. Now, y’all go on out and check out her memoir. I certainly will. Until next time, y’all hold it in the road. 


 

Thursday, June 11, 2020

With Liberty and Justice for All

These days are super stressful. I'm still working from home because of the pandemic, and I'm still dealing with the feelings of isolation, but that is not the subject of this post. I watched the video of George Floyd's arrest which resulted in his death. I also watched one of his televised memorials and his funeral service. Reverend Al Sharpton's eulogies were moving and served as messages for the living to think about things.

I have been watching the coverage of the protests in different cities. The closest to me were in Mobile and Pensacola. Peaceful protests for reform and change are admirable. It takes a lot more energy to maintain peace while trying to enact change than to go wild and get violent to get that same change. This country needs some positive change to affect her. The change needs to come for race relations. When everyone can sit at the table of true brotherhood and be treated as equal is when this country can begin to be great.

The protests didn't start with George Floyd's death at the hands of police, but they have been perpetual. I remember watching recorded footage of them when they happened in the 50's and 60's. I also remember seeing footage of the riots. That was definitely the wrong way to go. Fast forward to the kneeling of Colin Kaepernick. I thought that was a noble and peaceful protest. This upset the White House and many felt that it was unpatriotic. I saw many tweets and rally speeches about it, but how was he unpatriotic? We are supposed to chastise the ones we love when they are doing wrong. That is how I'm seeing the protests that happened then and are taking place now. Everyone should want America to be the best and greatest she can be. I certainly do. I kept remembering some of the speeches of Dr. King, not just the I Have a Dream speech, but also his speech about Vietnam and his letters from the Birmingham jail. So it is our duty to call America out when she is doing wrong. It can help all of us be better and improve our times.

Things must change. When I was younger, I can't remember who said it, but I heard that the world is white, male, and right handed. If that is true, I have one thing going in my favor, being right handed. I am a black female. I have been DWB (Driving While Black) and followed by the police repeatedly, and yes I have been called that infamous racial epithet by someone in ignorance. Ignorance and fear arm that word, and we all know the opposites of those, knowledge and love. That is what the world needs now, more knowledge, understanding, and love.

I think that some white people have not gotten to know their black and brown brothers and sisters. Well now is as good a time as any. If all lives matter, black and brown lives matter too. We need to sit down and talk and quit assuming and tweeting things that aren't true. Get the lowdown on the hoedown, so we can have some honest, but needed conversations. Black is not a threat. It is beautiful! I have been seeing positives also in the form of the protests with all kinds of diversity among the protestors. I like to stay hopeful for the country, the world, the future. I'm going to close now. I keep thinking of the pledge of allegiance. When I was in elementary school, the class would say it every morning before school officially started. The part that comes to mind is, "One nation under God, with liberty and justice for all." Every American must realize this if this country is going to be as awesome as many think she is.

On this parting note, I urge you to study up on Mahatma Ghandhi, read Dr. King's speeches and letters as well as read Emma Lazarus's poem, "The New Colossus". Until next time, y'all hold it in the road.



Monday, April 20, 2020

Doing Some Reading


I’ve been doing some reading, and I thought this is a good series. I thought the books were a good representation of characters of color. I was a bit reminded of reading Octavia Butler, but Ms. Butler wrote science fiction, and this is fantasy.  I enjoyed reading about the world of Orisha that Ms. Adeyemi built. The first book, Children of Blood and Bone, was sooooooo good that I pre-ordered the second book, Children of Virtue and Vengeance. I enjoyed the second book as well, not like the first, but I must admit that the end threw me for a loop, but it makes me curious to see how the series is going to wrap up. The characters and their journeys are interesting. I admit that I’m usually not a fan of the first-person point of view and multiple points of view, but Ms. Adeyemi manages to weave a great story. I’m glad I picked up that first book in the series and decided to read. If you have the opportunity during this time of shelter in place, I suggest that you curl up with these novels. I don’t think you will be disappointed. 


Working on New Projects

I've been working on a few projects. Two of them are novels of the fantasy persuasion, and they are parts of a series. So far, there a...