Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Hop Against Homophobia, Bi and Transphobia 2015

Hello everyone! As you can see by the beautiful badge here and on the side bar, I'm participating in the 2015 Hop Against Homophobia Bi - and Transphobia. As you can also see, my post is late. I went back and forth on what I wanted to write about. In the end, I decided to go with the topic that most often comes to mind when I think of the fight for Gay Rights.

I'm an African American woman. And to me, the fight for Gay Rights and against homophobia is very similar to the African American Civil Rights movement and beyond. I honestly cannot understand how anyone who has the skin of a people that have been discriminated against for the entirety of this country's history can't feel sympathetic to the Gay Rights cause. Our family members endured water hoses and police dogs during marches. They suffered milkshakes poured on their heads during dinner sit-ins. They were spit on when going to vote or integrating schools. But in the end, the sacrifice and abuse were worth it. African Americans can go to school where we want, we can shop where we want, and we can marry who we want.* So how can anyone who has that history in their blood turn around and want to deny the same rights to the Gay Community?

Whenever I see someone of African American descent saying that gays shouldn't have the right to marry or adopt children, it makes me disappointed and sad.  Slave owners twisted passages from the Bible to justify ownership of Black men and women as slaves. They prevented slaves from marrying, because they were property, not humans. After slavery's end, laws were created that prevented African Americans from marrying who they chose.  It wasn't until 1967 with the Loving vs Virginia case that the Supreme Court overturned any remaining laws against interracial marriage. How distasteful it is to me that some members of the Black community now have the same mindset when it comes to the Gay community. (Some may disagree by saying that people don't choose to be Black while they do choose to be gay. That belief always confuses me. Why in the world would anyone choose to live a life that brings with it discrimination and the danger of violence committed against them?)

It is my sincere hope that sometime in the very near future, people of other marginalized groups: minorities, women, persons with disabilities, etc. will realize that as humans we all deserve the basic right to legally be with the one we love.

Thank you for reading this post. For my contribution to the Hop, I am offering a prize: A $10 gift card to Amazon and a donation in your name (or alias of your choosing) to The Montrose Center.
Enter by commenting below. Leave your email in case you are the winner. If you prefer not to leave your email, be prepared to check back on May 25th when I announce the winner.

You can view the list of others participating in the Hop Against Homophobia and Bi Transphobia here: You can also visit the Facebook page here:

*I'm not naive enough to think things are perfect for Blacks in America. The recent civil unrest in cities like Baltimore are Ferguson is glaring proof that it is not.

Thursday, May 7, 2015


Original Prompt Image
This week I'm finishing up a short free read for a Goodreads group I'm a member of. The Goodreads M/M Romance group puts out a yearly anthology of stories written based on prompts and images provided by group members. I discovered the project last year and I picked a contemporary threesome prompt. I choose it because it was something I hadn't really done before, and I wanted the opportunity to challenge myself. This year I picked a historical prompt, which has Mars, the God of War, becoming embroiled in the passionate love affair of two warriors. Yummy, right?

Again, I wanted the challenge of doing something I hadn't really written before. When I was in middle school and first practicing writing romance novels, I wrote historicals because that's all I read. As an adult, however, I've only written and published contemporary stories. But I'm a big ole history nerd. I took multiple history classes in college because I thought they were fun. I used to binge watch The History Channel before they moved to all those reality shows. This prompt in particular is set in one of my favorite time periods. I love the ancient world. Xena: Warrior Princess is one of my favorite all time TV shows. Gladiator (hot damn Russell Crowe was hot in that movie) is in my top five favorite movies. And I love Starz's Spartacus series. I'm currently Netflix binging it since I didn't watch it when it aired. Andy Whitfield was glorious in the role. I'm on season two and still a little iffy on Liam McIntyre.
Andy Whitfield entering the arena as Spartacus. So glorious

Anyway, back to the purpose of this post. I'm enjoying putting my spin on the rough and brutal beauty of that era. And in the mental lineup of books I want to write, I've got plans for a series set in the ancient world. So this is great practice for me. Since I'm so excited for this year's story, I thought it would be nice to have my own cover made for it. The amazing Jay Aheer will be creating it for me. But before she gets to work, I need help picking the image she'll build the cover from! I have four pictures below. Let me know in the comments which you think would be best for the cover art. Each vote will be entered to win a prize!





Here's the fun prize the winner will receive, a pair of super cool Bookworm socks! Remember, leave your vote in the comments on this blog post to be entered. One entry per person, open to US only. Votes must be received by 12 am CST 5/7/15. Winner will be randomly selected from all votes posted. Thank you for helping me choose!


Monday, May 4, 2015

May 1st

I survived another May 1st. What's the big deal with May 1st? Nothing, for most people. For me, it's the anniversary of my boyfriend's death. Tom passed away from skin cancer on May 1, 2009. Unfortunately, I remember that morning very vividly. Tom had spent the previous night at MD Anderson for tests and treatment. I woke up suddenly at 4:45 and just laid there for about twenty minutes, feeling sick and anxious, until the phone rang. As soon as it did, I knew for sure something had happened. Tom was already gone by the time I got there. He was hooked up to machines so that he was still breathing, but unconscious. So I sort of got to say goodbye, but not really.

The first few May 1sts after that were extremely difficult. I was depressed for the days leading up to them and for several afterwards. Depressed to the level where it was a struggle to do anything. I spent most of those days in bed, hiding away from the world. Then it started to get easier to survive May 1st. And oddly, that made me mad. I didn't want it to be easier to get past those painful anniversaries (his birthday, when he was diagnosed, etc) because it made it seem as though Tom was even further away from me.

Now, six May 1sts later, and I was neither depressed nor angry. I was moody that evening, but it wasn't horrible and it didn't hurt. I want to say that I've accepted his death and I know he's in a better place, etc. etc. And I know all that. I even dreamed a few years ago that he came to check on me. I opened the front door and he was there, as tall and wonderful as ever. There was nothing behind him but the brightest golden light. I was so happy to see him and I told him that I was alright. So yes, I know that he's gone and that he is in a better place. But I'm still disappointed that we aren't sharing a life together. I wouldn't say I'm bitter. I'm just ... disappointed. Maybe once I've moved past that feeling of resentment that he was taken from me, I'll be able to say those things without the underlying layer of disappointment that makes those words sound so fake.

Until then, I survived another May 1st.

Top Pic: Tom and I at home. Bottom Pic: Tom and I visiting the Busch Brewery on a trip home to meet my family.
Tom and I in Jamaica, 2008