Saturday, October 24, 2015

I Wish I May I Wish I Might Be A Fighter Of This Eff'd Up Life

In the shadow of a calling I found myself...
                                                Thinking about the youth of today heart is sad and hopeful

Musical Moment ~ “Modulations" Ani Difranco

Fire Island Magic - Photo Credit - Deborah Blake Dempsey

So many damn shootings going over the last few years and now we are escalating at an alarming rate. I'm not going to talk gun control or politics, but I have to wonder - after going to a gun range and handling a Sig Sauer myself - how the complete and overwhelming feelings and knowledge of respect and responsibility of LIFE does not convince more people that pulling the trigger can be an act with life altering results that can affect so many lives and that of a nation. The first time I pulled the trigger I stopped before I shot again and I sat with that moment because it rocked me to my soul. I felt that responsibility. I took that moment so that when I wrote about it in my stories, I never took the act lightly. I wanted to understand what that moment would truly mean. I don't know all the details at the Tennessee State University, but a dice game is no place for a gun to every be pulled, cocked, and shot. Are we so desensitized about human life that taking another persons life or causing injury that leaves someone in a wheelchair or on life-support is so easy to do nowadays? What the hell is going on with our young men that make this a plausible way to deal with anger, grief, confusion, conflict, insecurity, rage, disillusionment, or for them to find a way to define themselves as men in this world? We need a solution. We need to start having honest discussions. We need to start talking to our young people and allowing them to speak their minds and feelings in their own ways and telling us in their own truths - even and maybe especially when it makes us “adults” uncomfortable. Apparently, our young ones are living above a boiler and many of them are starting to blow. What next people? What next? If we don’t begin to talk “with” them instead of “to” or “about” them then nothing will be resolved. Nothing. If this is not a cry for help, I don’t know what is. Are we listening America? Are we?

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

In the shadow of a calling I found myself...

Musical Moment ~ “Dum Diddly" Black Eyed Peas

It's my anniversary! Twenty years ago today, I boarded a plane for NYC leaving my home in Tampa. I grabbed life by the balls and said, "Show me what's next". I had no idea of what I would experience when I left my home, my family, my best friends, and the life I had established--all 24 years of it and a few thousand dollars in my pocket, no job in sight, but a heart full of dreams and a head filled with determination. It's been a wild ride filled with love, laughter, lessons, pain in many of its incarnations, hellos, good-byes, visions, transformations, births, deaths, new friendships, new careers, adventures, and more blessing than I could have imagined. I was not afraid that day I boarded that plane all by myself. I was not afraid when the plane taxied down the run way and I could no longer see my parents worried faces. I was not afraid when I saw the tall, magnificent, and intimidating buildings of NYC, and I was not afraid during my first hurdle of the worst bout of food poisoning two weeks later that still makes me shudder and sweat when I think about it. Twenty years ago today, I took a risk on myself and damn it, it was worth it. I have become someone I am proud of and I am going to keep on walking my path as fierce and as fearlessly as I can. Twenty years ago, I proclaimed myself ready for the world. Today, I proclaim myself Fabulously Fierce at Forty-Four. The door of the world is open. I wonder what is next...

Wednesday, January 07, 2015

Happy Birthday To Me!

In the shadow of a calling I found myself...
                                                Thinking about my next adventure.

Musical Moment ~ “Wait For You" Nelly Furtado

I love my birthday. I know many people may be indifferent or annoyed by the passing of another year of life, but I celebrate it with full zeal. It is the one day of the year that is all about you: when you arrived upon the earth, the people who brought you here (Happy Birthday to you too Meva and Trevor Blake - yes, I give my parents a shout out on my birthday because without them I would not be), the lessons you've learned, the lessons you've ignored, the low, sad moments, and the moments that were so brilliant, heart-warming, funny, and filled with love that you should take the day of your birth to drink it all in. I usually don't work on my birthday and I do whatever my heart wants from getting a massage, having an adventure or just sitting on the couch and reading a book in the quiet. And I always give myself a gift. It's my way of reminding myself that life is precious. It can be longer or shorter than we realize and I want to be as present in my life as I possibly can and enjoy each and every single day I have breath in my body. 

I haven't figured out this year's gift yet. I've been thinking about falconry or taking a lesson on flying a helicopter. We'll see, but I'll definitely let you know which way I go. So my birthday wish is for everyone to have a brilliant joy-filled day and please laugh, laugh, laugh. 


Thursday, January 01, 2015

New Years And A Different Kind of Resolution

In the shadow of a calling I found myself . . .
                                       Embracing the acknowledgement of my writerly efforts.

Musical Moment ~ The buzz of the heater warming up the house and my husband's phone pinging with reminders.


I don't usually make New Year's resolutions, but this year I thought I should kick off the year with Intentions for my greater good and this is what I came up with:

Each day I will laugh. 

Each day I will love. 

Each day I will be kind to others. 

Each day I will be kind to myself. 

Each day when I open my eyes I will hug gratitude close to my heart. 

Each day you open your eyes I will embrace the joy of your being. 

Here's to saying good-bye to 2014 and a big ole "Whassup?" to 2015. 

May 2015 be filled with laughter, joy, happiness, and deep, deep love. May the not so good times be only small hurdles to fly over and my your landing on the other side of it be soft and surrounded by the family and friends you need.

Here's to a New Year.


Friday, November 28, 2014

Review: Nightsong by Ari Berk

In the shadow of a calling I found myself . . .
Realizing physical pain is a great, great teacher. 

Musical Moment ~ SILENCE, just good old-fashioned silence.

I went to the bookstore today and discovered a book called Nightsong written by Ari Berk and illustrated by Loren Long. When I saw the cover of the book with a single flying creature in the night sky with an curious look on its face and the way the used the title to add to the atmosphere of the story I knew nothing about, I picked up with book without looking for the description and when directly to the check out. What a beautiful story about a young bat first venture into the world by itself and its mother’s advise of using its sense. What a wonderful way to prepare yourself and your child for those times they must do things on their own. These words captured me the most:

Sense is the song you sing out into the world, and the song the world sings back to you.”

Doesn't that sentence just make you curious? This is a book to have in ones collection. It's moody and thoughtful with a sense of suspense and a deep sense of love.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Diversity in Books

In the shadow of a calling I found myself . . .
Wondering about health and personal responsibility

Musical Moment ~ “Invisible (RED)" U2

Diversity in Books come in many forms: I am a Jamaican American author. My debut novel THE HOPPERNOTS is a middle-grade fantasy novel for readers still young enough to be enchanted by woodland dwellers and for older readers who secretly believe in the magic and madness of the forest. The themes of the novel are about friendship, courage, community, nature, and the human-animal relationship. While I do not focus on the diversity of people, I do so through animals in a different manner of seeing people and animals in all of their glorious differences and how though working together we get to see each other’s positive attributes, the similarities between ourselves, and the power and grace of working together.

I have been a voracious reader since I was a child, but there have been few books where I have seen myself or my friends who have been black, African, Thai, Vietnamese, Puerto Rico, Cuban, Persian, Saudi Arabian, Indian, Caribbean Islanders, Korean, on and on and on. The only way I had the opportunity of learning about different cultures was through my insatiable curiosity and the generosity they and they're families have had with all of my questions. I have devoured thousands of books in my life, but NOW is the time the world is ready to be introduced to the stories of people who look nothing like you. Not as a way to sway you to be like them, but as a way to see the similarities of your lives and appreciate the differences as well.

Let us embrace the beauty of this earth and its people. The only way to gain peace on earth is to see and appreciate each other as the glorious human beings each of us are. 

For more information, please check out the official We Need Diverse Books website. Let's keep the movement moving forward.

The Complexities of Life...To Slow You Down and Think

My back is completely seized up today.No movement except for my hands today...until the meds kick it and I'm useless to the messages the Universe wants me to pay most attention to. My deepest intuitive thought is: Sometimes being the positive personal support system to others allows the door for you to ignore yourself and your own needs so your body (or your mind or your soul) reminds you that you need to come first as well. Many times in my life I've forgotten this and now my body is tired of this abject forgetfulness on my part. It is time to put me on my own to do list of priorities and to find the most natural of ways to heal myself - East must meet West must meet West Indian traditions.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Some of my favorite links to animal tales...

In the shadow of a calling I found myself . . .
Staring at the leaves in my backyard, turning for lush greens to sultry reds, vibrant orange, and an "I don't care" yellow.

Musical Moment ~ “Just Out of Reach (Of My Two Empty Arms) by Percy Sledge

It's time to share some of my favorite animal tale websites. M

My absolute favorite is by photographer Kai Fagerstrom who created the wonderful book The House in the Woods which is a small look at the world I created in my novel The Hoppernots. I discovered this book when YA writer Jo Knowles posted it and I realized this is what life around my fictionalized Lake Fibian would probably look like, but with frogs.

It's a squarely life...

A young environmentalist and animal activist in the making. Meet Alex Green and his interesting discoveries...

Life in nature is amazing. I hope you take a moment out of your day to get outside and to listen to what the life outside of yours is saying and doing.

Oh, and just in case you need pure mind candy, check this site out, but don't blame me if you loose hours giggling and saying "awwwwww". It's appropriately called Cute Overload.