Tuesday, 31 May 2016

Excerpt: The Swamp is Full of Mystery

Have you read The Swamp is Full of Mystery? It's available here, for free, when you sign up for the mail updates.

This is the second book in the series between Between Death and Heaven and Child of Destiny. Enjoy!

“I can’t believe you brought me here to be healed by some wild-haired crazy old lady!” Roy Lestrange complained to his mother as she pulled him impatiently along.
“I told you, she’s not just some old lady; she’s a witch and she can make you better.”
“The fact that you believe in witchcraft Ma… I mean this is 1989”, Roy complained even as he followed her through the trees to the ramshackle house he could see. It looked like it was standing strictly by the grace of God or maybe some magic the witch was using to hold up her residence. Roy didn’t get it; if she had access to all this magic and shit why didn’t she imagine herself a mansion and a fortune? Why live like an animal in the middle of the bayou with her equally crazy granddaughter?

His mother reached the door, she hesitated, shooting him a glance tinged with apprehension before extending a hand slowly to knock softly on it. They shifted from foot to foot, waiting for someone to come to the door. It was opened by a wizened old woman with a halo of grey hair; she smiled at them in welcome as if she’d been expecting them…
“Come in”, she said and led the way into her house. Roy was expecting to see the skulls of babies decorating the mantelpiece, maybe with snakeskin covering the walls. But no, the furniture was threadbare yet neat. An aubusson rug, old but well kept lay on the living room floor. The couch was covered with throw pillows and a crocheted cover. There were outdated pictures on the wall of men and women dressed in old fashioned clothing. A tantalizing smell of freshly baked something emanated from behind the wooden kitchen counter. Roy’s mouth watered, and he wondered if the witch would offer them something to eat before the day’s business began.

She led them past the living room however, toward some narrow stairs. They led up to an attic where all the good stuff was. Animal skulls, and chicken feathers, an altar with the requisite freaky statue on it. The statue was surrounded by offerings of rice and tobacco, black coffee and yams, a straw hat and a cane, pennies, palm oil and roses. This was more like Roy was expecting.
“What can I do for you?” The witch asked startling Roy with the soft, compassionate nature of her tone.
“My Roy is sick Nannane. Could you heal him?” His mother asked hands clasped and stretched forward in a pleading way.
The witch held out her hand to Roy, and he understood that she wanted him to put his hand in hers. He was scared though; he didn’t want to do it. With his mother’s narrowed eyes on him though, he felt he had no choice but to clasp her hands with his own. She closed her eyes, humming softly under her breath. A warmth suffused the area where her hands touched his and it slowly began to permeate the rest of him. He felt his body relax into languid peace while his eyes closed of their own volition. It was like receiving the gentlest massage in human history.

“You have the wasting disease", the witch intoned, “What are they calling it these days… AIDS?”
Roy jumped in shock. Nobody knew that; nobody said that...not out loud. His mama didn’t know, she couldn’t have told. How had this witch guessed? He opened his eyes and snatched his hand out of hers, standing quickly to leave. His mother was watching him; a sad look in her eyes. The witch’s eyes were serene. She sat watching him, waiting for him to do what he would.
“How do you know that?” He whispered.
The witch just smiled slightly and held out her hands, “I don’t know if I can heal you; that is not in my hands. But I can make you feel better,", she said.
Roy just stared at her, “You can’t… tell anyone. You can’t…”, he stammered.
The witch shook her head, “My work is just as confidential as any priest… or doctor. You need not worry that anyone will know of your illness from me.”

“What can you do for me that the doctors can’t?” Roy demanded.

Saturday, 28 May 2016

Domestic Violence vs. DOMESTIC VIOLENCE

My disclaimer for this post is that I have not personally been physically abused by any significant other that I know of. I have been mentally abused though; the thing with mental abuse is you might not realize it's going on until you move away from that person and realize that they were seriously depressing you. but I think if a man tried to put his hands on me, it just might be the last thing he did.
So I'm not an authority like, at all.

Yesterday, +Amber Heard filed for a restraining order because...wait for it; he's beating her. I have to admit my first reaction was; is she angling for a larger payday? Am I cynical or hwat? She had a picture too of herself, with injuries around her eye. Apparently +Johnny Depp threw a phone at her face. Seriously scary shit...
I'm not a fan of physicality. At all. But there's a difference between physical abuse and a fight. Sometimes fights get physical. Someone says something, someone else gets mad; something gets thrown in the heat of the moment. I remember one time? My sister was poking at me and poking at me about something - can't really remember what. I had a rake in my hand that I was tryna cut the grass with. The next thing I knew, the rake was slicing through her arm. It was crazy. I don't remember how it happened; I remember the shock afterwards. The horror. I've never really forgiven myself. My mother just looked at me like she was seeing inside my soul and then she told me if I wanted to cut the grass, then I should go cut the grass. All of it. Our compound was HUGE.

I don't know what happened with Johnny and Amber. Maybe Johnny is really a monster. But I feel like I've watched so many movies where someone sets up the other person especially when there is a lot of money on the line. So what if it went like this; Johnny's mother dies, and Amber comes in with provocative statements. He throws his phone. Visible injury ensues...
so demure..

I am suspending judgement on this one, I'm sorry. I know it's supposed to be solidarity forever with women but people are so shady these days; you can't really know. E!News is outraged. I'm like why don't we wait and see how it all pans out?
It's not just women though.
I love +milan christopher. I do. He's a very interesting and funny gay man. He's a bit of a drama queen. And he also released a picture of his eye, bruised apparently, by his ex boyfriend +Siir Brock (I can't tell you how long I had to think to remember that name). Now I'm not saying it never happened, or that it doesn't qualify as "Domestic Violence"...

I'm just saying that Milan had all the money and power. He threw Miles out for staying out late one night. It's kind of different from what +Rihanna went through for example. Maybe Miles landed a lucky punch and Milan didn't retaliate physically. It was still a fight to me, not a domestic violence incident.
But like I said; no personal experience of domestic violence.
Let me be a bit more controversial and say that nobody can beat your ass if you don't allow it. The kind of men/women who enjoy talking with fists are usually pretty cowardly. If you stand up to them, they fold like scared dogs. So if you stand up to them and say 'fuck off' they go. Grumbling. Calling you names..but they go. Personal experience with that one. The domestic violence dynamic is a co-dependent one. One person uses their fists on the other, and the other person allows it for whatever reason. I once knew a chick who felt like her man didn't love her if he didn't beat her. She'd be all, "Oh is there someone else?!?" if he didn't beat her ass regularly. Other people are like "Oh I stay for the kids", even though the kids are severely traumatised by seeing their mother bruised and bloodied on the reg'lar.
I stopped trying to understand that dynamic long ago.
So anyway, good luck to them.

Thursday, 26 May 2016


How do you find books? Personally once +Stephen King's Dark Tower Series let me down and +Anne Rice dashed my hopes that she'd write a good book again where Louis and Lestat resolve their issues finally and live happily ever after...well; I just usually read the first three lines and see if the book will snag me and make me want to read more. Three lines. It's not much to go on but it works for me. It's how I found +Maria Doria Russell's Children of God, and then The Sparrow. I read them backwards because the Sparrow is the first book but hey...excellent pieces of work. Made me want to become a jesuit.

And now, in this time of grief when I'm grappling with how God works, it's also a source of great comfort. If Emilio Sandoz could finally find some answers, well maybe so will I. And if I don't, well, there's always someone to blame.
It's the first anniversary of my father's death in two months. I don't know where the time went.I haven't even really started grieving yet. Still very much dealing with anger. The advantage of being angry I find, is that one cannot hold anger and sadness in one's breast. It's one or the other. And it's so much easier to sleep at night with anger as your bed mate. Sadness blows.
This wasn't meant to be a maudlin post.

I was actually going to tell you about this girl I met online. She's English, lives in England; and we got to talking because of our mutual +Supernatural obsession. She was very intelligent, articulate and mature and I figured she was some late twenties chick with minimal responsibilities judging by the fact that I could find her online any time my day or night. Well anyway, quite by accident I discovered she was actually sixteen....
Lucky for her I'm not some fat, sleazy paedo looking for sex online.
I'm sure she'd have stopped talking to me if I was.
I hope.

So I tell my (then) fifteen year old son that I'm friends with this sixteen year old and would he like an introduction. He turned me down. Quite unequivocally. I don't know why. Maybe coz she was my friend. Or her blog was a bit too intelligent for him. I don't know.
So anyway, she writes fanfic.
And I'm reading this fanfic and it's tagged NC-17..
So by rights, the writer of the fanfic is not old enough to even read the fanfic.
And it was explicit.
And hot.
And explored aspects of BDSM that seventeen year olds really shouldn't know about.
At least, that's what I tell myself.
Of course this chick is a year older than my son.
So probably he has intricate knowledge of sex acts I haven't even heard about too.
It's very stressful for a mother to think such things about her child.
I'd rather stick this in the 'ain't broke' column and 'don't go looking for trouble' philosophy.
Of course it made me think about all the other fanfic out there.
And the average age of writers.
Yeah I remember making up "love stories" in my head when I was young. They were also loosely based on television shows; but most TV shows I saw at the time tended to show kissing which gently faded to black as the couple slid down away from the camera. It didn't give too much away in terms of What Really Happens.  but now teenagers are writing gay sex and BDSM and alpha/omega/beta dynamics and hooker!fic...and the more explicit and the more humiliating, the better.

I don't know what to think about all this.
When I was writing Child of Destiny, my editor was aghast at the amount of sex I was writing about. But it's soo tame compared to what I've seen on live journal. I feel I should be worried but I don't know about what. Do "young people" have too much knowledge or do I have too little?
Most importantly what the fuck happened to sex being about connection? communion? love?

Wednesday, 18 May 2016

And It All Came Pouring Out

Listening to 'oldies' music and reading my old posts. I notice that I have a tendency to not finish my thoughts on a subject. this could be because;
a. my brain runs faster than my hands ever could.
b. I have ADD
c. I don't read through my work when I'm done.
d. All of the above.
e. None of the above.

Also it's raining.

I ran across this absolute gem about Prince that I absolutely have to share with you.
as seen on instagram
It's not why I admire Prince...that he did things for others. It's inspiring, don't get me wrong; but we didn't know about these things until after he was dead. But it explains his music, his lyrics; the low down preaching that he did...he had a good heart and that leaked into the things that he did. I'm glad we were alive at the same time.
I was thinking that it was ironic that for a lot of the music I listen to now, I didn't know the artist when they were alive. Bob Marley in particular comes to mind. I don't remember him. He died when I was maybe six? The people who listen to his music now were mostly not born when he died. His music endures. Prince's music will endure. Good things do that; true things.

But now that brings me to William Shakespeare. Like seriously people, why does he endure? Is it because you don't get what he's trying to say half the time? We still trying to figure him out? Because Romeo and Juliet? Is it their age? The fact that the whole double suicide thing was completely pointless? The failures of communication breakdown? You just can't predict what will stick. What if Harry Potter fades out of the collective consciousness after the demise of this generation? What if the books don't endure but the movies do!!! You just can't tell with these things. There is no rhyme or reason.
I was talking about Prince...
There was this episode of +Supernatural this season which was legit Romeo and Juliet the wincest edition. It was so epic. I feel like every episode this season has been that. I'm calling it. Best overall season of Supernatural ever. Every episode has brought it. But...I have a separate blog for that so let's get back to organised rambling.
random pic of a lovely room

I read this article the other day where the American Red Cross raised half a billion dollars to rebuild homes in Haiti and then only built six houses.
I mean...
The Kenyan Red Cross does some really good work so I guess I'm very biased toward the name. So when I hear things like this I just shake my head. Was it because it wasn't the local red cross? Would the Haitian Red Cross have done better? I mean I don't know much about Haiti except that it used to be called Hispaniola and it was the first country to gain independence from colonialism. So I don't know if they even have a local red cross but from the lesson of years, I can say that it's always a mistake to trust an outsider to solve your problems. They always have their own agenda and it rarely aligns with yours or is purely about helping.
Buyer beware.
And finally, I used to have this beta reader; my cousin Akati. But she's a doctor and she went off to do Doctor Things so now I'm left all by my lonesome with noone to bounce my manuscript off of. I'm taking volunteers if you have experience as a beta reader and editor...

Tuesday, 17 May 2016

Too Much Madness For One Text

I haven't felt much like writing lately. I mean I have; so many things to say - they keep me up at night...for at least an hour. It's just sitting down, opening the browser and writing has just been a HUGE detail. However the stars have aligned today; it's been an excellent day if I do say so myself - if not very productive work-wise...I had a point.
I went to the supermarket today to pick up some food and the guy at the till is just staring at me instead of ringing up my stuff. So I finally look up at him to see what the hold up is and kind of meet his eyes.  And I lift up my eyebrow (yeah I did even manage to lift up just one like all the heroes in my books) and he says, "You're so serious, why aren't you smiling?"

And I swear like every single 'please don't ask me to smile' meme I've ever seen just flipped through my mind. And something of that must have shown on my face because he suddenly became very busy ringing up my groceries. It was epic.
A funny thing happened a few days ago; I was discussing with a friend of mine on facebook, why it is that people follow +Donald Trump in spite of the fact that he's a total waste of space who doesn't even have good hair; like Becky. (I named my puppy Becky btw; coz she white..geddit? *snigger*) And I was telling her how when I was reading this overly simplified story on Archive Of Our Own, I had to ask the author why she wrote like she was writing a story for the mentally challenged. And she told me that one of her writing teachers told her that most 'people' (read Americans) read at fourth grade level and therefore it's advisable to write at that level. Now I don't know how old people are in fourth grade, having gone through 8-4-4 myself; but I know the final grade is 12th so it's way down there. And most people read at that level. 
Mind. Boggled.
Well anyway, my point was that if that's the level 'most people' are at then no wonder they think the Donald is the shit. Well this blonde haired, blue eyed person replies in defence of Donald Trump all the while stating that most Americans are not at fourth grade reading level; but somehow agreeing that his Trumpness' ideas are correct. I debated with myself for like...five minutes whether or not to reply but in the end, I couldn't help it. I gave it to her; both barrels blazing; and told her exactly why she, Donald Trump and anyone who agreed with them were huge blind fools with no brains. It was nice. I just let 'er rip. In the end, she said she didn't want to talk to me anymore and wished me peace and love. It was too easy. I was left dissatisfied. Is there anyone who has oppressive views who doesn't shy away when confronted. Because I'm here. Seriously, let's go.

I watched Captain America today...in fact, I'm actually watching it again right now. If you haven't seen it, do skip this part because there will be spoilers. 

What is it about the friendship between two guys that is so compelling? Sam and Dean, Jared and Jensen, Bucky and Steve...it's like the greatest thing since sliced bread when people would do anything for each other. Why aren't female friendships like that? Why are they laced with bitchiness and/or self-righteousness? Or unnecessarily competitive? Why can't we just love each other the way guys can? Always and forever regardless of whether one of you becomes a cold ruthless assassin who tried to kill the other?

I'm a sucker for such friendship and loyalty; it warms all my soft parts and melts all my hard parts. The thing I find with +Marvel Entertainment is that when they do a fight scene, you can actually follow it. Marvel movies are the only ones where I don't stop watching immediately people start hitting each other.In fact the fight scenes are some of the best choreographed I've ever seen. Also fuunnnyyy! Antman fanboying over Captain America; Spiderman fanboying over Captain America...

It was so perfect. And then there was the Black Panther...an African superhero?!?!? I'm like dead right now. And he was so excellent. Seriously; like EXCELLENT. He's definitely my new fave. And now I get the excitement over +Lupita Nyong'o joining the cast of +Black Panther. It's coz she's a legit African right? Whatever. It should be fun.

In other news that have happened since I was last here; Blacc Chyna announced a pregnancy! To the excitement of thots everywhere who felt like she'd exacted thee most righteous of revenge against the evil that is Kardashians. I couldn't help but feel a little sad. I can't help feeling that she kind of flicking from baby daddy to baby daddy looking for someone to take care of her by having their baby. I'm just wondering; by the time she's done, how many babies is she gonna have? And those babies are humans, not toys. You can't just return them when things don't work out. I hope they do; and I hope this is real. For the sake of the chirren. Still, her and Rob seem to be a solid team at the moment. I hope it continues that way. The saddest of them all is Tokyo Toni though - Chyna's mom. Why she likes to include herself in her daughter's shenanigans is that shit I don't like. Someone has to try and be the adult. And if it's not your mother, then who?

And finally...or whatever, someone finally wrote me a review on +Amazon.com for Child of Destiny. The thing about this review is that it wasn't from one of the half dozen people I have been politely requesting to write me a review in exchange for a free copy I repeat, FREE COPY of my novel. Oh no, it was just a random reader who came back to give me...count 'em...five stars because they enjoyed my book. I haven't really touched the ground since. Yep, that's all it takes to get me high.

I've had people review my books before but Child of Destiny is my baby and this is the first review I've had of it, from a stranger. It validates everything I think about it, that a total stranger who doesn't know me, would give me five stars for my work. Thank you lotty dot. You made my life.

Also I changed the cover.